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Works for Me Wednesday — and everyday!

April 13th, 2012

This great little meme inspired me long before Pinterest came on the scene.

Before virtual bulletin boards, loads of amazing ideas enter the cyber world each week and inspired moms and families to find solutions to everyday problems.

The catchy name, Works for Me Wednesday rolled right off my tongue and became the place to be when it went live late each Tuesday night.

Now, they have compiled hundreds of the most amazing tips into one bursting at the seams e-book that is organized, consolidated and packed with links to last a lifetime — inspiring, time saving, maybe even life saving, tips.

The book includes sections for homeschooling, pets, meals, crafts, frugality, laundry, marriage, organization, travel, decor, and a total of 24 categories, with a total of 807 tips.

Each section begins with an adorable picture and an inspiring quote and is peppered with interviews with bloggers that made this book possible. The book comes in a PDF format which makes it oh so easy to flip through. Obviously, a book like this you want to be able to find what you need in a hurry. You won’t read it cover to cover (although it probably wouldn’t hurt you!) so the tips are arranged for easy finding.

E-book is the best format for this type of tool, because each tip is hotlinked to the site it came from that gives you the full description of the tip and how it worked for the person who entered it. Also, you get the benefit of any comments added onto the post as well. I am a big WFMW fan and to have the best of the best at my fingertips has brought me a treasure.

This great new resource is now available for purchase as well for just $8 Right now you can get a dollar off so it is only $7! Just use discount code  SAVE1

Head over to their page to buy your own stress-saving copy.

To find out more about the book:

Contest: Check out the contest on the website that continues through the month of April for a gift card for house cleaning ($150 value). Please submit your own tip to enter.
Twitter: @works4mebook

A portion of the proceeds also goes to help the Mercy House:

Mercy House is a non-profit ministry that empowers a maternity home in Kenya, Africa. The
home offers a safe refuge for pregnant girls living in extreme poverty. This organization began
and is supported almost entirely through social media avenues.

As a contributer and reviewer of this book I have been given a copy to enjoy and a copy to give away. One of you will get to enjoy this ebook for free! Please leave a comment at the end of this post with your contact info and you are entered to win your own pile of tips. You may earn additional entries by following the above links and following them on twitter and/or facebook. Just make sure you come back and leave another comment telling me you did so.I will choose a winner next Friday night, April 20th.

And, don’t forget to enter their contest for a free house cleaning!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. These come to you free of charge, but enable me to earn a little commission if purchases are made through them. Just a simple way that you can help support the work I do here without paying a dime for it. 🙂

Works for me Wednesday — Homeschool Tracker

February 7th, 2012

This year with the advent of high school for my oldest I really needed a method to keep  better track of, well, everything. Grades, attendance, transcripts, course materials, book lists, etc.

During the summer I got really serious about finding a workable method for record keeping and what I found was exactly what I needed, in Homeschool Tracker.

We first downloaded the free version to make sure that I liked it. Played with that for about 6 weeks of summer school and I knew it was a keeper, so we jumped in and bought the full version, and now I tell everyone I meet about my new brain.

Why I love it so much:

Does way more than I ever need it to do. This is a good thing. Because, some day I might just get the urge to put all my homeschool books in one list or write out detailed lesson plans or have a weighted grading scale. But, for now, I can pick and choose the features that I choose to use, and the rest just sit there quietly until I decide to use them or not.

Prepares my assignment sheets for me. At the beginning of the school year and again over Christmas break I put in a bunch of hours logging all their assignments for the months ahead. Yes, that was a monumental task. Think 5 kids times about 7 subjects each times about 200 days of school. Yeah, a little crazy, but the program makes it as easy as possible. Now, all I do is select all the students and print out the sheets two weeks at a time. I could print the whole year, but I like to do a couple at a time because invariably I change something over the course of a week or two and I would hate to have to hand-write all those changes. Each weekend, or Monday morning depending on how things go, I print out everyone’s sheets, punch holes in them and they put them in their binders. Then, as I come around to work with them individually we pull out the binder and know exactly what needs to get done today and all week.

Easy to reschedule. Life happens, sometimes a little too often. Kids get sick, relatives drop in, an assignment takes longer than anticipated, a concept needs extra teaching, kids fly through what you thought would take a week, books get lost, and sometimes the teacher gets sick. With a few clicks you can reschedule all assignments for all the kids or pick and choose what subjects and what kids need some rescheduling.

Grades are figured automatically. All I needed to do was each week spend about 20 minutes (for all 5 kids, if you have fewer in school this would be even quicker, it takes me less than 5 minutes per kid) putting in their grades for the week and I have report cards ready made at the end of each quarter to go get their rewards from Chuck E Cheese.

Not just about grades. As I mentioned this program does way more, and you can use any or all of the following features: track attendance, keep a reading log, record assignments and grades, write lesson plans, track goals, record school info, catalog your home library,  and print reports for any or all of those things.

This program has surpassed my expectations for a record keeping program and made it so painless. Yes, it took a little bit to get the hang of it, but they have an online forum on their site that can answer all of your questions and then some. I also made some silly mistakes while learning and spent extra time fixing said mistakes and getting back on track. But, now it is such a huge time saver and I have all their records in one place, saved and backed up every five days without another thought.

Why you should definitely try the free demo first:

– I will readily admit, there is a huge learning curve with this one. There are so many features, and it is a little old school in its on screen presentation, but it can do anything you want it to, you just need to learn how to work it.

I’m sure it’s not for everyone. Although for me it was love at first download, it might not float your boat. So, check it out, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. It is amazing!

I can’t say enough about how much I have enjoyed using Homeschool Tracker Plus. I am thrilled to pieces with this program.  You can check out the basic edition for free, and you can try the plus edition for $5 for 30 days. If you do decide to buy, pleas use my referral code: U33EH and I’ll get a little bonus for referring you. 🙂 Hope it is a help to you as much as it was for me.

Check out more wfmw.