What's the big deal about Young Living

Fort Worth Texas Homeschool Convention ~ {GIVEAWAY}

I am super excited that a huge Texas Homeschool Convention is coming my way! Great Homeschool Conventions is coming to the Fort Worth Convention Center March 17-19, 2016!

Fort-Worth-TX-Homeschool-Convention

AND I’M GIVING AWAY A FAMILY PASS TO THE HOMESCHOOL CONVENTION LOCATION OF YOUR CHOICE! (See details below.)

This event is chock full of amazing speakers, relevant sessions, and a HUGE exhibit hall with over 200 booths with curriculum on hand to touch and feel and flip through.

Some of the sessions available are:

  • Homeschooling 101
  • Special needs homeschooling
  • The how-tos of teaching math,
  • Science,
  • English,
  • Literature,
  • Reading
  • All core subjects are covered
  • Inspirational sessions
  • How to homeschool through hard times
  • Common core awareness
  • Charlotte Mason
  • Classical
  • Hands-on homeschooling
  • AND MORE

Ann Voskamp Great Homeschool Conventions

The keynote speaker is Ann Voskamp, author of *One Thousand Gifts, A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are and one of the top 10 most-read Christian blogs on the web today, A Holy Experience. Ann was named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today. She will be speaking on “When There Doesn’t Seem Like Enough of You for the Calling: What do you do when there doesn’t seem to be enough time, enough resources, enough of you to make it all happen for your family like you desperately want? What if there was another way? A broken way—that turns about to be a more-than-enough, abundant way?”.

 

And here are a few other speakers I’m excited to meet and to hear speak:

Great Homeschool Conventions Speakers

 

Steve Demme is a former math teacher who has taught at all levels of math in public, private, and Christian schools, Steve is also the author and founder of Math-U-See. He addresses a variety of topics at homeschool conferences to encourage parents in their God-given responsibilities of raising and training their children for His glory.

 

 

Heidi St. John is a popular author and conference speaker, Heidi brings a refreshing mix of information and inspiration to listeners on the radio, in person, and through the written word.

 

 

Dr. Jay Wile has published 30 articles onNuclear Chemistry, Christian Apologetics, Homeschooling, and Creation vs. Evolution in nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed journals, and has 9 books to his credit, most of which belong to the award-winning “Exploring Creation with” series of junior-high and high-school science courses.

 

 

If you can’t make it to the Fort Worth homeschool convention, don’t worry! There are 2 more locations coming up!

I’ll be at the Fort Worth event with my family, and I hope to see you there! Please, let me know if you will be there and we can meet up. I love to connect with my readers!

Now, if you would like to win a family pass to the homeschool convention location of your choice, please comment below and tell me which event you would like the family pass for: Fort Worth, TX, Cincinnati, OH, or Ontario, CA. 

The family pass includes mother, father, children/teens, and grandparents for all three days of the convention. The winner will also receive up to four (4) tickets to each of the special events for that specific convention. Those include:

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe performance by Friends of the Groom. (all locations)
  • The Willis Clan performance (TX and MW)
  • Ann Voskamp keynote (TX and MW)
  • John Stonestreet keynote (CA)
  • Holocaust survivor, Dr. Inge Auerbacher (MW)
  • Thursday Night Out Comedy with Bob Smiley (TX)
  • Thursday Night Out Comedy with Dennis Regan (CA)

Leave your comment below with the location of your choice to win! 

*This sponsored post contains affiliate links. 

  • Share This:
  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share on Twitter

Tip to Promote Good Attitude During Reading Lessons

*This post contains affiliate links. 

Reading lesson smarty tip

I have used *Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to teach all of my children to read, and I am currently using it on my 8th child.  Same old, trusty book, minus the cover, plus a few scribbled on pages.

I love this book for so many reasons.

  • The lessons are short, usually around 15 minutes long.
  • The book is all you need. There are no worksheets or flashcards involved.
  • The parent part is scripted. Simply read aloud the words in red. No wondering exactly how to present the lesson.
  • The child REALLY CAN read on about second grade level at the end of 100 days.

However, my children don’t always love doing these lessons each day. (They also don’t love doing their chores and going to bed on time.) Because the lessons require the child to sit still, concentrate, and remember and repeat what they hear, there is occasional whining, crying, stalling, and/or complaining. They are children, after all, and they don’t always like to do what they should do.

So, sometime during the teaching of 8 total children to read using this book, I figured out the following tip to promote good attitude during reading lessons.

  1. Line up Smarties in fold of book.
  2. Every time student whines, stalls, complains, refuses to cooperate, etc, Mom mercilessly, and without comment, eats a Smarty.
  3. Student gets all Smarties left at end of lesson.

I am telling you THIS WORKS LIKE MAGIC FAIRY DUST if done consistently.

You’re welcome.

*affiliate link

  • Share This:
  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share on Twitter

Winter Summit 2016 ~ Homeschool Moms’ Retreat

winter summit girls weekend graphic

I just spent another weekend with a few hundred of my friends at the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit 2016. This is a fantastic, Jesus-centered retreat specifically designed to encourage homeschool moms.

There is really very little talk about homeschooling and absolutely no talk about curriculum, but do you know what there is a HUGE focus on?

GRACE. Rejoicing in the beautiful grace God has given us, extending grace to ourselves when we fail, and offering that same grace to others when they disappoint us.

This retreat will benefit ALL moms who are just looking for someone to encourage them to keep giving it their best shot, and to keep relying on God to give them the strength to do it. Anyone who would like other moms to lock arms with her and say, “We’re in this parenting thing together sister,” would love The Summit.

winter summit dance party

Saturday night dance party

But one of the things that makes it so extra special to me is that this is where my people gather. I know without a doubt that this hotel ballroom will be filled with women just like me who know exactly what it feels like to be a stay at home mom in a one income family who spends all day every day directly responsible for her children’s education.

They know what it is to wonder if they will have to explain again at the family reunion that homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Or the nervous, deer in the headlights look your child gets when he stalls and stammers upon being asked asked what grade he is in. They know what it is to wonder if you are ruining your child’s chances of getting into college, his future, his life because of your weaknesses and inadequacies.

winter summit blogger skit

Mrs. Homeschool Universe finalists

The whole weekend is chock full of heartfelt praise and worship, hilarious skits, transparent honesty, encouraging sessions, and plenty of advice from moms who have already traveled the road I am still on.

winter summit q&a panel

This picture represents 97 combined years of homeschool wisdom and 23 homeschooled kids whom they have graduated.

GRADUATED! They have completed their homeschool journeys! Can you believe they are all still standing tall and they come to The Summit every year to cheer the rest of us on? THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PART! These ladies take anonymous questions that have been submitted throughout the weekend and they answer even the most difficult ones with honesty and transparency. I am telling you right now that it is SOLID GOLD to have these ladies speak life and encouragement into us bone weary moms who are just trying to get through one more school year without running away from home.

In between the general sessions, delicious food, and skits, there were 12 breakout sessions to choose from during the weekend, so it was easy to tailor the topics to suit different needs.

winter summit bio

I was asked to speak in 2 of those sessions, and I brought along my 15 year old daughter to be a “Summit Server.”

winter summit mother daughter

Cami and me

She had a ball with some of the other daughters running errands, helping ladies find where the restrooms were, and holding babies.

Winter Summit photo booth

Me and Kelly

winter summit bloggers

Kris, Lisa, Heather, and me

Another one of my favorite parts is just getting to hang and laugh with some very dear friends that I have grown to love. When you spend the entire weekend with someone, you never know what you might find out. You could hear that she has met and danced with Jon Bon Jovi, and you might squeal and be very jealous because there was a time that you and Jon shared a very rich history (in your head) and yet he never invited you on stage to dance with him. (No comment on which of the above ladies was the lucky one.)

Wouldn’t you love to grab a few girlfriends and make it a weekend to remember? We would love for you to join us at The Summit next year! Read what these ladies had to say about the weekend below.

  • Share This:
  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share on Twitter

Get HALF OFF Homeschool Winter Summit Registration

Can we be real for a minute?

Homeschooling is hard. Really hard.

Like there are some days when I don’t know what I was thinking when I committed to doing it. Like there are some days when I don’t think I can make it to graduating all these kids. Maybe not even to May. And sometimes I find myself just trying to hang on until Christmas break.

That’s why the founder of The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit, a homeschool mom herself who has graduated 4, planned the event to take place every year during the dark months smack in the middle of winter.

Summit Facebook party

And now The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit is quickly approaching, and I couldn’t be more excited! This is my all time favorite event every year, and here’s why:

  • I get to hang out with homeschool moms who have graduated all their students and are still standing tall.
  • I get to pick the brains of homeschool moms who are a little farther down this road than I am.
  • I get to laugh until I cry with other moms who are going through the same exact season of life I am.
  • I get to hear homeschool moms being real about their struggles, their fears, and their failures.
  • I get to encourage homeschool moms who aren’t quite as far along as I am.
  • I get to pray and sing praises to the Lord with all these beautiful ladies.

Truly, this one weekend is such a breath of fresh air, such an energizing boost, such an encouraging experience on a deep, deep heart level, that I look forward to it all year, knowing that it will give me the vision I need to make it through May.

And now The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit is having a virtual Facebook party, from 9-10:00pm CST tonight, December 1st, to introduce us to all the speakers (I’m one of them!) and offer one participant HALF OFF your registration! It’s so easy to attend. Just click “going” at the top of the event page, tuck the kiddies into bed, put on your comfiest pajamas, open up your laptop, and jump into the discussion to be entered to win. (For an extra entry, invite your friends.)

See? Easy, peasy, mac and cheesy! Whether already registered, or planning to soon, one participant will get to attend The Summit for HALF PRICE! It might as well be you, right???

And if you don’t win half off, I still have a deal for you. At check, use the discount code “Smockity10” to get $10 off!

I’ll see you at The Summit!

(*I don’t get paid at all for promoting this non-profit ministry. The other team members and I even use our own money to buy door prizes and make casseroles to help feed the speakers. I am just so in love with this ministry that I can’t help sharing it with you!)

  • Share This:
  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share on Twitter

Usborne Books Online Party ~ FREE PRIZES!

12166757_10153340134583477_2046597121_n

Do you like high quality, award winning educational books?

I am hosting an online Usborne book party tomorrow, October 23rd at 2:00 p.m. CST, and there will be FREE PRIZES! You don’t even have to order any books to win a prize! Simple RSVP here by clicking “Going” or “Maybe” (under the picture at the top) and show up some time during the party to leave a comment, and you’ll be entered to win.

Usborne publishes high quality, award winning children’s books (ages newborn – young adult). These books are also used in many homeschool curriculums such as: Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, The Well Trained Mind and Veritas Press just to name a few. I would love for you to come and hang out with me, learn about these great books, and possible win a prize!

You can get a head start in entering to win a prize by commenting right now before the party starts!

Hello? Christmas shopping anyone? This is the perfect opportunity to knock out some of the gifts on your list without waiting in long lines.

Even if you can’t be online during the time of the party, go ahead and click “Maybe” so you can drop by the page later to see the great deals on these wonderful books.

See you at the party!

  • Share This:
  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share on Twitter

Scheduling and Taking Your CLEP Test

A Homeschooled Student's Guide to CLEP Tests

 

This is a guest post, written by Madison Hughes, homeschool graduate and college senior. This post is part 4 of a 4-part series on CLEP tests for homeschooled students. Find the rest of the series below.

The popularity of CLEP tests is currently on the rise, and you may have heard about them from friends or acquaintances as a way to earn college credit.  Homeschoolers especially can take advantage of this easy method.  This 4-part series will guide you through learning about and choosing a CLEP test, studying for and taking a CLEP test, and transferring CLEP credit to a college.  In part 1, we explained what exactly a CLEP exam is and how to determine if it is right for you or your student.  In part 2, discussed how to consider your options and choose a CLEP exam.  In part 3, talked about how to prepare for your test.  Now we will finally discuss scheduling and taking your exam.

Ok, at this point you’ve learned about CLEP tests, chosen a subject, studied hard, and now you think you’re finally ready to take your exam!  What next?

As we learned before, CLEP tests are given at designated testing centers in many locations across the country.  To find a nearby location, use this link and enter your zipcode.  Once you have found a conveniently located testing center, you will need to get in contact with them directly either by phone or via email.  If you aren’t sure who specifically to contact, the college’s registrar should either be able to help you out or at least point you in the right direction.

When setting up a test date, be sure to understand that most centers are located on college campuses and that the computer lab is probably being used for other functions as well.  With this in mind, know that when you book an appointment it may need to be a couple of weeks in advance.  For your first CLEP test, I would recommend booking your appointment only when you feel ready to take the test now even if you end up with a wait time.  In the future, you may be able to figure out how to time it so that you book your test date when you aren’t yet ready, but are prepared by the time of the exam.

In addition to scheduling a date and time, be sure to ask your testing center about methods of payment.  CLEP tests cost $80 each and most testing centers charge a proctoring fee of $20 or less.  Some locations may have a pay-in-advance voucher system, while some may require you to pay before the test.  Additionally, ask about what all you need to bring with you to your test.  Most tests will not need or allow scratch paper, but your center should provide scratch paper for you if needed.  You may need a calculator for some exams.  For any exam, you will need a photo ID and your social security number.

Be sure to get to the testing center early as, typically, late entry is not allowed.  Your exam will probably be given in a computer lab.  The center’s staff will help you to get set up and you will answer a short questionnaire about your CLEP experience before viewing a demo on how to use the program.  You will also have the opportunity to choose one or more colleges that will receive your CLEP score.  If you are currently attending college or know what college you want to attend, use this opportunity to make your selection now in order to save trouble later.  If you’re not yet sure where you should send your scores, leave the form blank.  CLEP will retain your scores for 20 years and you can have a transcript sent to any school at any time for a marginal fee.

Tests are 90 minutes long and generally contain between 80 and 120 questions.  You will be able to see time elapsed and time remaining with the program in use.  When you finish and before your score is revealed, you will have the opportunity to void the test if you felt that you did very poorly.  If you choose this option, you will not be shown your score but can retest again at any time.  If you choose to see your score, it is automatically reported and, if you did not pass, you will not be able to retest for 90 days.  If you complete the exam early, you may quietly leave – you don’t have to stay for the rest of the allotted time.

You did it!  You took (and hopefully passed) your first CLEP test.  If you didn’t report your score to a specific college, you can do this at any time by contacting CLEP customer service at 800-257-9558.  You will be charged a fee of $30 per transcript, and each transcript will include all reported CLEP scores for that student.  If you did report your scores to one or more colleges, they should receive and add them to your transcript within 6 weeks.  You can contact the registrar’s office of the college with questions or concerns.

And that’s a wrap!  I hope this series has been helpful.  CLEP tests have really helped to give me a leg up in the world of college, so I hope that they can do the same for you!  If you still have any questions that were left unanswered, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.

  • Share This:
  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share on Twitter