Into gardening? Check out our FREE activity sheets on garden beneficials to help kids identify and appreciate the good guys.

I’m writing a gardening module for my grandkids (as part of a study on self-sufficient living), and I’ve put together a little activity to introduce them to garden beneficials. Since many fellow homeschoolers are also interested in gardening—specifically using sensible, sustainable practices—I thought I’d share it with our online friends.

The Beneficials’ Bios page gives a brief description of some common garden helpers and how they work for us. You can refer to the pictures on the Beneficials Bingo sheet as you read about each one. When you’re finished, you’re ready to head outside for a scavenger hunt and a game of Beneficials Bingo. We’ve rearranged the pictures on the Bingo pages to create different versions for those who’ll have more than one student participating. Here are the different pages: Beneficials Bingo Card 1 Beneficials Bingo Card 2 Beneficials Bingo Card 3

This FREE Lilly the Ladybug Coloring/Activity Book from Earthbound Farms also makes a great introduction to the basics of organic farming.

And finally, if the height of summer has you fighting a losing battle with weeds and water loss, you might want to check out our previous post on recycling cardboard as garden mulch.

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Win a FREE First Form Latin Set—the new beginning Latin program from Memoria Press. Entering is EASY!

First Form Latin Set from Memoria Press

First Form Latin  is a new program designed for use with students in 5th-12th grade, or younger students who have completed Latina Christiana 1. It’s getting rave reviews from those who’ve had a chance to use it, and we’re excited to add it to our product line.

Part of the program involves learning Latin sayings, so we thought it might be fun to share some sayings amongst ourselves. From the down-home witticisms of Will Rogers (“It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so”) to the lofty thoughts of Aristotle (“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”) to our beloved regional sayings (“Sittin’ in an oven doesn’t make you a biscuit”), clever minds through the ages have come up with ingenious ways to say a lot while speaking little.

For this week’s contest, we’d like you to share a favorite saying or quote. To enter simply write your entry as a “Comment” to the contest  post on the Finders-Keepers Facebook page. The winner will receive a free First Form Latin Set.

All entries must be received by Noon CST on Wednesday, June 30th, and the drawing will be that afternoon. One winner will be selected randomly from the number of responses received. The winner will be announced on Facebook, and he or she will receive a message from Finders-Keepers requesting shipping information. Please feel free to share the contest information with friends and family, but we do request that responses be limited to one per person.

And don’t forget, the Finders-Keepers website offers fantastic prices on First Form Latin products as well as the entire line of Memoria Press materials with FREE shipping on all orders of $50 or more.

www.finders-keepers.net

Win a FREE Apologia Biology Set (Student Text, Solutions & Tests Manual, Extra Test Booklet). Entering is EASY!

contest post on the Finders-Keepers Facebook page.  The winner will receive a free

For our Apologia Biology contest, we had originally planned to touch upon biodiversity and the interdependence of life.  However, the oil crisis in the Gulf—which is, of course, upsetting the balance of nature—is such a sensitive and/or grievous subject for so many that we thought it best to go in a different direction for now.  Having said that…

Since Biology is the study of life,  for this week’s contest we’d like you to name a song that has some form of the word “life” in the title.  It can be any genre (hymns, country, pop, etc.) , from any era, and in any language.

To enter simply write your answer as a “Comment” to the appropriateApologia Biology Set.

All entries must be received by Noon CST on Wednesday, June 16th, and the drawing will be that afternoon. One winner will be selected randomly from the number of responses received. The winner will be announced on Facebook, and he or she will receive a message from Finders-Keepers requesting shipping information. Please feel free to share the contest information with friends and family, but we do request that responses be limited to one per person.

And don’t forget, the Finders-Keepers website offers free Apologia Notebook Pages and Sample Modules, as well as fantastic prices on Apologia Science materials with FREE shipping on orders of $50 or more.

www.finders-keepers.net

Strategies for Sanity in the Schoolroom: The Dad Cam


Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this in a place as public and as permanent as the internet, but things haven’t always been sweetness and light in our schoolroom. (What? You already knew our lives weren’t perfect?) Most days were great, but when you’re living, working, studying, eating, playing, etc. in such close proximity, the minor conflicts of normal life can be magnified, and they can easily get out of control if left unchecked.

I was determined to address problems as quickly and fairly as possible, but as my darling little cherubs grew into clever little debaters, I found myself spending a lot time trying sorting out who said what to whom, what their tone of voice and facial expressions were like, what happened just before and just after, who had initial possession of any items involved…you get the picture. And after all that, it still often came down to a he said/she said situation. If the offense was more serious and required some counsel from Dad, the play-by-play had to be repeated several hours later, adding to the opportunity for misrepresentation.

It finally hit me one day that what I needed was instant replay—just like in a sporting event. This was long before the days of web cams or cell phones that captured video, so it was an off the wall concept at the time. I got out our old clunky camcorder and set it up in a place that offered the perfect blend of scope and detail. I told the kids my plan, then pressed “RECORD”. The Dad Cam was in operation.

Your first response to this idea might be, “Sure, anybody will be on good behavior if they know they’re being taped.” Uh, yeah. It was kind of nice.

But that can only last so long, and our Dad Cam stuck around for quite some time. It served several purposes:

1. If there was a minor conflict that just required a quick sorting out of fact from fiction, I’d say, “Let’s go to tape.” We’d gather ’round the VCR, and the truth would be plain for all to see in a matter of moments. Those who were mistaken or downright deceitful had an immediate opportunity to make things right. Those who were wrongly accused were vindicated.

2. If an opinion from Dad was in order, he could simply watch the video to see what really happened instead of trying to sort out the facts from several perspectives.

3. It gave me—the mom—a chance to see how I really looked and sounded. Sometimes I was harsher than I should have been. Sometimes a little more patience was in order. Sometimes a more watchful eye could have kept things in check.

4. If something wonderfully extraordinary happened in the course of a school day, we had a record of the event. On many occasions, the Dad Cam played a part in letting others get a glimpse of an amusing or profound moment in our homeschool.

These days, access to video is cheaper, faster, and easier than ever before, and even constant streaming is an option for regular folks. It’s the perfect time to bring the Dad Cam into a new era. If you’re looking for ways to keep the peace, keep Dad in the loop, and keep tabs on your day, you may want to give the Dad Cam a try.

www.finders-keepers.net

Win a Free $50 Finders-Keepers Gift Certificate—and let us know what else you’d like for us to give away! Entering is easy!


The Finders-Keepers weekly Facebook drawings have been so popular that we’ve decided to continue them into the summer.  We’ve been blessed, amused, informed, and encouraged by the responses we’ve received to our previous contests, and giving away free materials has been downright fun.  Now we’d like to hear from our Facebook friends regarding what they’d like the opportunity to win in the coming weeks.

Entering is really easy. First browse through the items offered at our website, then respond with a comment to the contest post on our Facebook page naming an item you’d like to see offered as one of our giveaways.  (Feel free to explain why, if you like.)  There’s a lot of good stuff available, so for this week only we’re encouraging participants to enter more than once.  Additionally, we’d love for you to pass the contest information along to likeminded friends to increase the chance of having your favorite products featured as prizes. For instance, if your student will be in an Apologia Biology co-op next year,  you might invite everyone in the group to enter products from that category as potential prizes.

The entries will be tallied and considered in conjunction with shopping trends and our advertising budget to determine which items will be given away in upcoming contests.

All entries must be received by Noon CST on Wednesday, June 2nd, and the drawing will be that afternoon. One winner will be selected randomly from the number of responses received, and he or she will receive a $50 Finders-Keepers gift certificate.  The winner will be announced on Facebook, and he or she will receive a message from Finders-Keepers about the prize.

The Finders-Keepers website offers pictures, descriptions, and prices for all our products, as well as additional resources such as sample modules, scope and sequences, placement tests, and demo clips.  And as always, Finders-Keepers customers can count on us for expert curriculum advice, friendly service, and free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

Finders-Keepers Educational Supply: Homeschooling's Greatest Hits!

www.finders-keepers.net

Read any good guarantees lately?

  

Here’s my submission for the most ridiculous item of the day—and further proof that manufacturers think consumers are stupid.

My daughter’s blow dryer recently went kaput.  My husband, the master tinkerer, was not able to revive it because certain specialty parts were needed.  It’s a pricey unit, but my daughter’s hair is very long, and I like to think that this particular product causes less damage, so I decided to reorder the same one.

When the replacement arrived, I made sure to check on the warranty, just in case we had the same problem again.  Here is the guarantee that is offered on this top shelf piece of equipment:

Your common sense probably tells you that pretty much the entire unit is composed of steel parts, plastic parts, and the flex cord. I can confirm this, since I have a dismantled version of this blow dryer in my possession. It does have a thin piece of cardboard on the inside, so I guess that’s the part they’re guaranteeing. I’d have more confidence in the product and the company if they just labeled it “SOLD AS IS”.

I know this hoodwinking is nothing new, but sometimes I just want to speak up. So here’s a message to all those big companies that think they’re pulling one over on us:

We know that you’re shrinking the size of ice cream cartons and coffee cans. We know that you’re pumping our meats full of “solutions” to bloat the net weight so you can walk away with more dollars per portion. We know that you’re choosing deceptive brand names to mislead consumers about a product’s country of origin . We’re onto you, and we’re adjusting our shopping habits accordingly.

Furthermore, we’re training a generation of students who can read, think, contrast, compare, and make rational decisions. When they finally outnumber the sheeple, you’re going to have to change your ways.

www.finders-keepers.net

Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 6:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Win a FREE Shurley English Jingle Time Music Pack–for use with ANY English curriculum. Entering is easy!

One of the things that makes Shurley English so effective is the use of jingles to teach the parts of speech. Shurley recently released their Jingle Time Music Packs so students using any English curriculum could take advantage of this unique learning method. Each Music Pack includes an Audio CD and a Piano Sheet Music Book with guitar tabs, and they’re available in two sets: Levels 1-2 and Levels 3-8.

Whether you love them or hate them, the little ditties that make their way into your brain as a child really stick with you! For this week’s contest, we’d like to hear about a jingle from your youth that’s made a permanent home in your head. I’m a pepper, you’re a pepper…Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down…Ooey gooey rich and chewy inside…Nothing beats a great pair of L’eggs. We’ll probably never get that personal hard drive space back, so we might as well have some fun remembering the jingles of days gone by.

To enter this week’s contest, simply write your answer as a “Comment” to the contest post on the Finders-Keepers Facebook Page. The winner will receive a free Shurley English Jingle Time Music Pack (choice of level).

All entries must be received by Noon CST on Wednesday, May 26th, and the drawing will be that afternoon. One winner will be selected randomly from the number of responses received. The winner will be announced on Facebook, and he or she will receive a message from Finders-Keepers requesting shipping information. Please feel free to share the contest information with friends and family, but we do request that responses be limited to one per person. 

And don’t forget, the  Finders-Keepers website offers free  Printable Shurley Extra Practice Sentences , free Printable Shurley Writing Templates, and a Shurley Scope & Sequence, as well as fantastic prices on Shurley English materials with FREE shipping on all orders of $50 or more.

www.finders-keepers.net

Doodle4Google Homeschool Student Finalist—Please vote and help spread the word!

Hannah Newsom is a homeschooled student who has been selected as one of 40 finalists in Google’s Doodle4Google competition. (She also happens to be from my hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas!) In addition to being a lovely work of art, her entry expresses a wish for others to “glimpse the beauty of the Maker”. We received information about this contestant at a homeschool convention this weekend, and we’d love to see the homeschool community rally around to help her win!

The following information is excerpted from a VegSource post:

Since Hannah is a homeschool student she doesn’t have the backing of a large
school like many of the other contestants. So, we hope you will be her school
and vote for her and help us get the word out to your friends, family, co-
workers, etc.

Voting is going on now and closes at noon on Tuesday, 25th. Takes just a
couple of minutes to vote.

How to Vote –
Go to doodle4google.com
click “Vote Now”
click “grade 10-12”
click “Region 7”
Hannah’s doodle come up “Dawn of Hope”
click “vote for this doodle”

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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Win a FREE Shurley English Software CD. It can be used with any English program, and entering is EASY!


 (You can watch a demo of this software HERE –if you don’t mind my southern accent!)

Not all learning can be a fun-filled carnival, but games certainly have their place in the world of education.  Critical thinking, strategic planning, memorization, sportsmanship, laws of probability, and much more are apprehended unconsciously through many games—particularly old fashioned board games.

Because we’re giving away a game (well…it’s sort of a game), this week we’d like to know what you’ve learned from the games of your youth.  I’ll go first: I used to love to play a game called “Sleuth” that was 100% deductive reasoning and critical thinking—no bells and whistles, fancy graphics, or happenstance turns of events.  Playing this game taught me to think hard and really hang on to a train of thought.  It also taught me to win graciously and perhaps not go for the jugular every single time.  Otherwise, I’d have nobody to play with! And it taught me that I’m not always as smart as I think I am.

To enter this week’s contest, simply write your answer as a “Comment” to the contest post on the Finders-Keepers Facebook Page. The winner will receive a free Shurley English Classifying with Quigley Software CD (choice of level).  This software can be used with any English program simply by labeling the words from left to right rather than according to the Shurley Question & Answer Flow.

All entries must be received by Noon CST on Wednesday, May 12th, and the drawing will be that afternoon. One winner will be selected randomly from the number of responses received. The winner will be announced on Facebook, and he or she will receive a message from Finders-Keepers requesting shipping information. Please feel free to share the contest information with friends and family, but we do request that responses be limited to one per person.

And don’t forget, the  Finders-Keepers website offers free  Printable Shurley Extra Practice Sentences , free Printable Shurley Writing Templates, and a Shurley Scope & Sequence, as well as fantastic prices on Shurley English materials with FREE shipping on all orders of $50 or more.

www.finders-keepers.net

Published in: on May 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Win a FREE Apologia Human Anatomy & Physiology text—the newly released elementary course! Entering is EASY!

  

The human body is an awe-inspiring work of Creation, and it offers outstanding examples of  irreducible complexity in support of intelligent design.  From the intricate operation of the human eye to the clotting ability of blood to the  extraordinary sensitivity and responsiveness of the nervous system, the more you learn about human anatomy and physiology, the more intriguing it becomes.

For this week’s contest, we’d like to know what part of the human body amazes you. To enter simply write your answer as a “Comment” to the contest post on the Finders-Keepers Facebook Page.  The winner will receive a free copy Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy & Physiology–Apologia’s newly released elementary course 

All entries must be received by Noon CST on Wednesday, April 28th, and the drawing will be that afternoon. One winner will be selected randomly from the number of responses received. The winner will be announced on Facebook, and he or she will receive a message from Finders-Keepers requesting shipping information. Please feel free to share the contest information with friends and family, but we do request that responses be limited to one per person.

And don’t forget, the Finders-Keepers website offers free Apologia Notebook Pages and Sample Modules, as well as fantastic prices on Apologia Science materials with FREE shipping on orders of $50 or more.

www.finders-keepers.net