Category Archives: Homeschool

Discover Safari Wilderness – 1 of the Top 10 Safaris in the US!

Time to add another exciting adventure in Central Florida to our list! Check out this amazing opportunity to take your family or friends to visit Safari Wilderness today! Read about all the fun ways to view, photograph, learn more about, and interact with the animals at Safari Wilderness in Lakeland, FL!

Our family is going to be visiting TODAY for a sneaky surprise for my daughter’s 11th birthday! You won’t want to miss the delightful pics and stories of our adventure coming up tomorrow!

DISCOVER ONE OF FODOR’S “TOP 10 SAFARIS IN THE U.S.” IN THE HEART OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
Feel worlds away at Safari Wilderness, no passport or long-haul flights required

LAKELAND, FL (November 6, 2017) – Rivaling the African savanna, the dramatic, 260-acre landscape of Safari Wilderness sets the scene for an unforgettable, family adventure. Located halfway between Tampa and Orlando in scenic Lakeland, Polk County, Florida, this family-owned, working game ranch offers an up-close encounter with herds of roaming exotic animals—without the crowds and lines found at theme parks and zoos.

During the signature vehicle safari, an experienced guide leads a small group of adventurers in a custom safari vehicle through the open vista of grazing animals surrounded by cypress domes and bay trees. Under the truck’s shaded canopy, guests are safe, cool and comfortable year-round, and everyone has the perfect view. Safari highlights include close-up encounters with Eland, Red Lechwe, Sitatunga, Waterbuck, Grant’s Zebra, Greater Kudu, Watusi Cattle, Barasingha, Axis Deer, Fallow Deer, Water Buffalo, Scimitar-Horned Oryx and Nilgai. Guests may also take part in hands-on interactions with many species that feed from the vehicle. Pricing is $90 per guest. All ages are welcome.

Other tour options include a 90-minute camelback expedition in which guests can join the ranch’s roaming animals by becoming a part of the herd. Two experienced tour guides and handlers lead camels through the pristine wilderness. This is the only full-on camel-backed game-viewing safari outside of Africa. Pricing is $180 per guest. Children ages three to five must ride with an adult. Children under age three are not permitted.

Another option, game viewing by kayak, offers a unique perspective that is active, adventurous and educational. During this tour, guides lead small groups to easily navigate freshwater areas and encounter wetland species such as common and Defassa Waterbuck and Red Lechwe. Kayakers will also spot a variety of common local Waterfowl and upland birds such as Killdeer, Egrets, Herons, Ibis, Spoonbills, Cormorants, Wood Duck, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Kestrel, Red-shouldered Hawk, Meadowlark, Black and Turkey Vulture. Pricing is $180 per person. Children ages five to eight must ride with an adult. Children under age five are not permitted.

Any of the above safari experiences can be extended with the following add-on activities:

  • Lemur feeding – Enter the Ring-tailed Lemur habitat with a guide and hand feed grapes to a troop of playful and polite Prosimians. This “guest favorite” is in high demand and limited to a few participants per day.
  • Budgie feeding – Enter an outdoor aviary with a guide and feed up to 200 beautiful Budgie Parakeets. These colorful, sweet and playful creatures will land to eat seed straight out of a willing hand.
  • Guinea pig feeding – Guinea pigs live in colonies, which are fascinating to experience. The whole colony greets guests with excited whistling in anticipation of being fed.

Available by reservation only, tours are strictly limited in size to ensure a high-quality experience for every guest. Each guided safari lasts approximately one and a half to two hours. For online reservations visit http://safariwilderness.com or call (813) 382-2120.

In addition to tours, Safari Wilderness offers facility rentals—including the option of a full buyout—to host weddings, field trips, birthday parties, company holiday parties and corporate groups. For rental information visit http://safariwilderness.com/rentals/.

Follow Safari Wilderness on Facebook and Instagram at @SafariWilderness and on Twitter at @SafariWild.


Let me know if you get to go visit Safari Wilderness! I can’t wait to hear how you liked it! It’s now on our top ten list of family friendly experiences in Central Florida! Lots of beautiful pics coming soon from our visit!

Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou

Fantastic Tools To Help Your Child Develop At Home

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Education is one of the most vital parts of a child’s upbringing. School learning is undeniably a crucial factor. However, it’s equally important that you provide your son or daughter with the best opportunities in other areas too. Frankly, your home life is the perfect place to start.

Of course, you may need to help your child with their academic studies at various stages throughout their school tutoring. However, there’s more to life than purely academic development. You can promote the development of equally key skills from the comfort of your home. Here are some of the best ways to do just that.   

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Arts & Crafts

Children shouldn’t only learn the fundamentals of reading and writing. As a parent, you should always look to embrace their creative sides at every given opportunity. Arts and crafts are a cheap form of entertainment while they also encourage creative flair.

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Moreover, those crafts also underline the sentiments that hard work pays off. Whether it’s these paper bowl jellyfish or another craft isn’t overly important. As long as the project is age appropriate, it will be a rewarding method. Best of all, it gives you a chance to participate and track their personal growth.

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Music

Music plays a crucial role in all of our lives, and that spark of development starts at a very young age. Encouraging your kid to play music rather than just listen can bring a host of benefits. Guitars, keyboards, and other instruments may seem like expensive gifts. But the years of entertainment they’ll provide ensures that they offer value back for the money you’ve invested.

Another great thing about encouraging music at home is that you can use both autonomous learning and guided learning. In turn, that should provide your child with a comprehensive experience. Given that musical talent has been linked to academic progress too, the incentives to encourage this could not be greater.   

Interactive Video Games

Most kids respond far better when they are actively participating in their learning activities. Meanwhile, computer games are a firm favorite for children of all ages. So why not combine the two with educational titles that develop academic skills as well as computer literacy?

These popular ABCYA games for 5th graders are particularly good examples that bring a wealth of benefits. However, there are many more titles aimed at kids of all ages. If the kids are having fun and interacting while learning, you will see great results.

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Garden Activities

Learning shouldn’t simply be about remembering and reciting facts. Problem solving, logical thinking, and self-discovery are all important factors too. Likewise, it’s imperative that your child is encouraged to lead a healthy lifestyle as well. Utilizing the garden with treasure hunts and other games is one of the best ways to do this. Who knows what exciting and unusual discoveries they will encounter?

Jungle gyms, trampolines, and sporting activities will also enhance their development. Those rewards can range from communication skills to improved coordination. When combined with the tasks above and strong academic learning, their opportunities to develop will be greater than ever.

Love2EncourageYou is pleased to share a variety of helpful and interesting articles from collaborating with numerous authors. It is our pleasure to bring you some of the very best info on the web to help your family grow, learn, and stay healthy together. 

Save The Lost: Glow in the Dark YOUTH Group Game

 

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Have you ever hoped to connect with your teens or the kids in the youth group on important topics like Salvation but weren’t sure how to break the ice? Here’s a unique and super fun way to do just that! Introducing the game: SAVE THE LOST! This fast paced action game is fully interactive for youth to get their energy out in a dark environment with glow in the dark components and exciting game play for all to enjoy! It plays somewhat similar to a capture the flag style activity, but much more impactful and significant when it comes to using in a youth group at church or at a camp. This fun family oriented game can be a huge hit at birthday parties, family reunions and block parties or graduations.

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Watch this video to get an idea of just how much energy and enthusiasm these kids have for this game!

VIDEO – See the game in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Z9RqmIJ7reQ
OFFICIAL RULES – Learn how it works: https://www.savethelostgame.com/the-game.html

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My son and I enjoyed sharing this game and donating it to our youth group at church. They LOVED Save The Lost! They enjoyed it so much they want me to buy more of the wrist bands to add even more players and expand the challenge! They played it again at a youth LOCK-IN event during Spring Break too and said it was a blast! An AWESOME way to help kids connect with the truth that Jesus is the LIGHT and is the WAY to be SAVED.

With the lure of social media and video games, it can be hard to get youth off the couch and active. It can also be difficult to get them to focus on their Bible study when all they want to do is go play with their friends.

This new, glow-in-the-dark adventure game helps solve both these problems. “Save the Lost” gets youth to experience Christian principles while giving them a reason to have physically active fun.

To no surprise, I’ve heard the game has been a big hit with youth leaders and students alike—reflecting on profound Biblical principles that teach about avoiding temptation, finding redemption and showing them how to help others do the same— all while being a delightfully exciting and fun game to play.

“The strategy that took place in the game involved everybody, and everybody was playing together,” says Jeff VanWagoner, another youth leader involved in testing the game. “Everybody would strategize as a whole group against the Tempters—regardless of whether or not they’re friends.”

Here are some other comments and testimonies from the Christian youth leaders who tried this game, Save the Lost:

“I know you may be skeptical and think, “OH, Another cheesy Christian game!” but let me tell you my kids LOVED it! I am a youth pastor in the heart of Hollywood, CA and my kids had a blast with this” — Michael B, Hollywood CA

“We used this game for our church youth group activity with boys aged 13-17 and they all had a fantastic time. There are multiple variations on the structure of the game which allowed them to pick and choose which they enjoyed the most. The technology worked amazing when we used it in a darkened gymnasium, and also outside as it turned dusk. The message of the game was evident to the boys, but not overbearing” — Laurn V, Riverton, UT

“This is the best game I have ever owned! I’m a youth leader at my Church…so I ordered it and I was amazed by how great this game is!! No joke my youth all loved this game and have discussed playing all Sundays after church! — Andrew A, Rio Roco, AZ

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I highly recommend purchasing this game for your next youth group event, family reunion or as a great way to have fun and be a positive impact at your son or daughter’s graduation party coming up! Paul King is the creator and teacher for this game and has done an amazing job on customer service – even helping me find additional items to go with the game when we wanted to expand the number of tempters for a bigger challenge. He is awesome and will be more than happy to assist you with anything your youth group, homeschool group, or Christian school needs to enjoy the game and make an impact on the lives of today’s youth.

Blessings to you as you embark on this exciting journey together to SAVE THE LOST!

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received a free sample copy of the game in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and may differ from your own. However, I only share items I feel would be of value or interest to my readers. 

Smiley Happy Children: Top Tips For Healthy Family Teeth

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Ensuring your children have healthy teeth throughout their childhood and into their adult life is an important part of being a parent. Anyone that has suffered from a severe toothache will never want their child to experience the same pain. Good practice with regards dental hygiene is something we all want to pass on to our kids, and it can start at a young age.

It’s all in the routine

Developing a brushing and flossing routine while your child is young teaches them that it’s a very normal practice of day-to-day life, and something which can benefit mom and dad too. Cleaning teeth when you all wake up, and again before you all go to sleep, makes it far more difficult to forget, and it cements it as part of their morning and nighttime routines. Allow them to brush their teeth on their own with supervision as they get older, maybe trying to make it into a fun activity too.

 

Get regular dental checkups

Everyone in the family needs regular dental checkups throughout their life. Not only are they checking for cavities and gum health, but in children, they will check that their teeth are developing properly as infants, that there’s enough room in their jaw, and that there will be no problems further down the line. Taking your child to the dentist from a young age teaches them that there is nothing scary about a dental hygiene check, and so it will help to establish good practices as they get older.

 

Develop your home remedy repertoire

Teething problems, abscesses, and toothache are common in many households, and sometimes it’s not possible to visit a dental practitioner immediately after onset. Having a repertoire of home remedies allows you to treat painful problems in your kids and yourself without having to necessarily see a dentist. Websites such as https://homeremedyshop.com/ are full of great ideas for how to deal with all manner of dental problems with just the things you keep in your pantry.

 

Keep sugary drinks to a minimum

Avoiding teaching bad habits to kids is one of the best ways to ensure their dental health into adulthood. By offering too many fizzy, sugary drinks, sweets, or chips, not only does it put the health of their teeth at risk immediately, but also in later life. Water or milk are the best drinks, especially while their teeth are still developing, but also as they get older.

 

Be a good role model

Good dental hygiene habits start really young, and they’ll pick most of their habits up from mom and dad. After all, they look up to you both and tend to want to copy you. If they see you brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing after meals, and drinking water, not soda, they’re going to learn all the right lessons from you as you teach them the importance of good dental health.
Teaching your kids the right lessons for good dental hygiene has to start young. Just remember to practice what you preach, and there’ll be great family teeth all around.

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou is happy to be collaborating with a multitude of authors to help bring you quality articles that offer value and helpful tips.

Let’s Talk Mom: Worries We All Experience And How To Calm The Anxiety

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Being a mom is the most rewarding thing I think anyone of us can experience, but I also feel it is one of the hardest challenges we will ever face. The issue is, so many of us can feel alone in the journey and feel we are the only ones feeling this conflict of emotions. The truth is, we all experience worry from time to time and motherhood can certainly make us feel anxious. Which is why I thought it would be a wonderful time to share with you some of the most common worries we can all experience, and hopefully ease those anxious feelings in the process. Children are blessings, yes, but it’s also wise for our own sanity to feel comforted that we are not the only ones to worry.

Health concerns

One of the biggest things we as moms can worry about is the health of our children. Any high fever, cough and cold can certainly send our worry emotion into overdrive, especially as a first-time mom. It’s natural to be concerned as to whether your child is healthy or experiencing something nasty which is why it’s always advisable to seek guidance from a local doctor. But It’s understandable that appointments may be in the future, and the truth be told we would like an answer there and then as to the welfare of our babies. This is why phone applications like Babylon could really help put our minds at ease. Getting answers from professionals instead of worrying ourselves over Google search results.

School

As a homeschooling mom and one child in high school, I can see why school can be such a huge worry to mothers. From wondering whether they are getting the best out of the educational environment to whether they will have friends in their class. Homeschooling means I can control the environment somewhat, but that doesn’t mean to say that the worry goes away. We all want to ensure that our children learn as much as they can in the most positive of manners. If you do feel a little anxious over this then speaking to other mothers or even the school itself could enable you to put your mind at ease a little.

Their development

I don’t think there is any mother out there who won’t worry about the development of their child. Sure milestones and ages are not necessarily important as each child develops at their own rate, but it doesn’t stop us questioning whether everything is fine. Again communicating these concerns will be the only way to put your mind at ease, every child is different after all.

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Our own mindset

What mom doesn’t worry about their own mindset? Whether that is feeling crazy by the end of the day, or even feeling the loneliness that can come with motherhood. It isn’t spoken about enough, and it is so important to surround yourself with positive people who will help support you. Especially on those days where you are feeling tired and drained.
Of course, there are so many other things moms concern themselves with such as our inability to catch up on sleep, or our child’s fussiness with eating, but at least we can all agree that a problem can be halved when spoken about. More often than not, it can make you feel much calmer about the situation. Surround yourself with people who care, and make sure you are airing out your concerns and not keeping those anxieties inside.

Share with me in the comments what your top concerns are as a mom or parent and lets all help ease these anxieties together. Many blessings to all the moms out there!

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou collaborates with a variety of writers in hopes of bringing you the best quality articles available on the web. Thanks for your continued support and readership!

SuperiorMaker Door Stops and Furniture Pads Come In Handy

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Let me introduce you to some of the best doorstops I’ve ever come across! This may sound strange to some of you, but for those of us that have needed them in the past or in the present, you’ll want to stick around and read more.  After years of teaching in the Christian schools and daycare centers, I have come to love useful things such as doorstops. These are SuperiorMaker door stops. I have found they give you the best possible non-slip grip and are extremely effective.

One of the larger doorstops is in the picture above holding the weight and pressure of a heavy school door from a local private school.  You can just plop the doorstop down on the floor and the door will instantly be caught within the doorstop when it leans against it.

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These SuperiorMaker doorstops are also very light weight which is a bonus because other styles sometimes feel very heavy to pick up like you are lifting a brick. I’m impressed with the hollow interior and ridged bottoms for that extra non-slip protection. It helps give that light weight feature which is a big plus.

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The floors we tested the SuperiorMaker Door Stops on were shiny, waxed floors and the door stops stood up to the test perfectly giving a flawless performance of durability, strength, and non-skid/non-slip ability. This test was performed on both the large doorstops and the smaller, thinner doorstops and both met our expectations and exceeded them!

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The smaller door stops worked well holding the doors open to actual classrooms. These doors are not quite as heavy as exterior doors and main hallway doors we tested the larger doorstops on, but the smaller doorstops were able to withstand the weight of the classroom doors just fine. We enjoyed being able to donate the smaller and larger doorstops to our local private school after doing this review.

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Do you know someone who needs doorstops that are reliable and can withstand the weight and pressure of both lightweight and heavy fire-strength doors? Check out the links below and purchase some as gifts this holiday season for your own home, office, or local school as a blessing they won’t refuse. They’ll love these high quality doorstops that are practical and well worth the economical price.

You can buy SuperiorMaker Doorstops or Furniture Pads in a variety of sizes on Amazon:
4 pack Small Doorstops www.amazon.com/dp/B00MC4NL7G
3 pack Big Doorstopswww.amazon.com/gp/product/B013FKICJC
100 pack furniture padswww.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BSAY010

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The furniture pads made by SuperiorMaker are just as effective as the doorstops they produce. I was more than pleased with how easy they were to use and apply. Many homes, offices, workplace showrooms, and other locations have great need for furniture pads – especially if the space being occupied is rented or leased. Protecting the floors is a must. Grab a pack of 100 furniture pads from SuperiorMaker today and relieve your troubles or worries of damaging the floors. You’ll have it all covered safely with the variety of sizes and shapes to choose from to get the job done and keep the floors safe and unmarked by furniture scuffs.

Love2EncourageYou received a free pack of both size doorstops in exchange for an honest review. I only review items that are of value or interest to my family or my readers.

High Praise For The Whittle Shortline Railroad Toy Trains

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Greetings my friends!

I’m thrilled to share another great product in review for you today! We were blessed with the opportunity to experience choosing one of the many mixed train sets available for purchase from The Whittle Shortline Railroad. This company is bringing joy into the lives of children everywhere with their high quality standards in making toy trains that should last the tests of time. The wonderful craftsmanship and dedication to detail on these wooden trains are incredible!

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I have been playing with my children and their love for wooden trains since my first son was born over 19 years ago! I have learned that not all trains are created equal. Because of this knowledge, I wish to pass onto you the high value I see in these Whittle Shortline Railroad trains. The engines and cars are each created by hand and made with a beautiful smooth and safe finish for the kids to play with. The magnetic trains are always a huge hit with the kids anyway, but the allure of having actual real trains you see in America on the railroads such as the Santa Fe set we picked were so much fun to experience!

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The products came safely packaged and ready for gift giving! You can learn more about the company, their products, and their expertise in train making in my previous post here.

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As you can see, it doesn’t matter if you have your own wooden tracks to pull the magnetic trains along or not. We have had fun using the trains both ways! Finding a flat surface to roll them along on works just as well for the little guys and gals to play with them on. If you do have the wooden track, these trains are completely compatible with the other magnetic trains and tracks out on the market. Very convenient and fun for the kids to play with either way.

I hope you will consider investing in products from The Whittle Shortline Railroad for your holiday shopping needs this year. You will not be disappointed.

My Readers receive 20% Off High Quality MIXED 5 Car Diesel Engine Toy Train Sets. Enter Promo Code: WeLoveWhittle! in comments section at checkout at https://www.woodentrain.com
For Ongoing Special Offers Save This link to the Whittle Shortline Railroad online coupon: http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=13138&dealid=3063

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Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received a free sample of the train set in exchange for an honest review. I only review items I feel are of value or interest to my family and my readers.

Scribbler 3D Pen: Make Fun Creations! Get Coupon

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We were excited to try the new Scribbler 3D Pen! My daughter is 9 and I thought it might be a neat way to let her creative energy flow using this unique art and design item. She was beyond thrilled to get the chance to review this! The pen is very cool and feels good in your hands so it is easy to manipulate and hold while creating a design. We plugged in the device to the adapter and saw the digital display light up with it’s function signals. She giggled with excitement as we proceeded to learn more about how it works and get it started.

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There were quite a few directions for her to follow though and the pen specifies that it should be used by adults only, so that was a bit of a concern since this was my first time working with this product. However, we were pleasantly surprised that once we completely followed all the instructions, as long as I was there as an adult to monitor her actions using the pen – we were able to get the pen working well with the plastic filaments and enjoyed using it in a safe manner. I do recommend having adult supervision with this art pen as it does require help at times from an adult.

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This V3 set we received came with 3 different filament colors in red, white and blue. She decided to create a candy cane with it to be appropriate for the holidays coming. We want to make it into an ornament for the tree! It took a couple tries to figure out which way we wanted to make it, but she eventually chose to make the entire red base and then switch to white filament to make stripes around it.

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There are so many awesome ways you can create with this Scribbler 3D Pen. I think older elementary students to teens or even adults are sure to enjoy playing with it for a hobby, or for creating things you can sell online in an Etsy shop or at local flea markets.

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You can learn more details about the Scribbler 3D Pen and how it works in my previous post here.

Save $35 with the Scribbler 3D Pen! – Perfect gift for the Holidays!
http://usfamilyguide.com/coupons.php?bid=13130&dealid=3053 .@usfg

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received a free sample in exchange for sharing an honest review. My opinions are my own and may differ from your own. However, I only share items that are of interest or value to my family and my readers.

Super Fun and Convenient Bible Journaling Kit + Giveaway

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Wow! What an exciting week ahead! So many fun giveaways and reviews coming! I hope you are ready for another fantastic product to consider in your hunt for great gifts for family and friends or even for yourself!

Today’s highlight is on a beautiful and extremely useful Bible Journaling Kit from Ellie Claire! This is such an awesome addition to your personal devotion time or when taking a Bible class, seminar from a Christian speaker, or just during your weekly Bible Study lessons in Bible Study groups, Sunday School or Church services. I love it! I showed it to my mother and now she wants one too! These are just so cool!

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One of the real blessings of this kit is that it came with a page protector so you can use the journaling pen to take your notes and can not only prevent the pen from bleeding through to other pages, but you can use the guidelines to write straighter and keep things neat and tidy in your margins. I also love the tabs for various topics that you can add to a page right next to a favorite verse (as I did) or any other reason you might need to mark a specific page or section of the Bible.

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I give this Bible Journaling Kit a big thumbs up for convenience with its handy zipper pounch to hold everything in and the large variety of stickers and tabs they include along with a good selection of colored writing instruments.

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I hope you will get the chance to purchase one of these for yourself and get to experience how helpful it is. It would make a great gift for your mom, your sister, your prayer partner, your pastor’s wife, or anyone else you can think of that might be truly blessed by such a gift. I think they have tremendous value and will be used for months to come by the receiver.

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BNBibleJournaling
Amazon: http://bit.ly/BibleJournaling
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/BAMBibleJournaling
Christian Book Distributors: http://bit.ly/CBDBibleJournaling

About the Product
Create a work of art on the pages of your favorite Bible. Draw, color, or journal your thoughts, dreams, and prayers. Highlight your favorite verses or the encouragements that speak to your heart with pencils, stickers, and tabs. Kit includes:
·         4 sheets of word stickers
·         4 sheets of alphabet stickers
·         24 tab stickers
·         8 colored pencil twists
·         1 journaling pen
·         1 pouch with adjustable strap to fit Bibles of all sizes
·         1 ruled page protector mat with tracing lines

AS A SPECIAL BONUS: Ellie Claire is offering a huge giveaway (separate from the one below for my readers) where you’ll have the chance to win one of 5 different Bible Journaling Kits! Visit this link to enter: http://bit.ly/BibleJournalingKitGiveaway  (The link also offers free downloads of several coloring pages for you to enjoy!)

Social Corner:
#BibleJournalingKit

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Prize: One winner will receive a Bible Journaling Kit! $35 value!

Must be a resident of the USA. Must be 18 yrs or older to enter.

Ends at midnight EST on Dec 7.

How to Enter: Please leave a comment below sharing your favorite Scripture verse or verses. You may comment once per day during the giveaway. Each comment per day counts as one entry.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Making Learning Real: Why Home Education Begins In The Kitchen

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Most people have by now made up their own minds on whether or not they like homeschooling. It’s not a debate that is likely to get any less polarized any time soon. Both sides have their positions, and hopefully in most cases can respect the opposite side. So rather than try and convince anyone to change their mind, it may just be worth focusing on the method.

Now, it’s fair to say that there is some good to take from a standardized schooling system. There are fundamentals that kids will learn through that system that prepare them for a future career. What that style of education often lacks, compared with homeschooling, is the practical application.

Here’s an analogy: you may learn from a book what to do if a fire breaks out. But if an actual fire does break out, do you run and look for the book? No, you put it out. When it comes down to it, we all learn more by doing than we can just by reading.

(Please note: This isn’t a recommendation to start a fire so you can teach your kid how to put it out.)

What we can take from this is that your home is a place where so many of the practical aspects of education exist both in theory and in practice. And nowhere is this more evident than in the kitchen. Let’s have a look at how.

Math: Measurements And Sums

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One thing you can be sure of about kids is that they like to eat. Early on in life, there is a sense that they just see food appear, but don’t know how it got there. Cooking a meal, such as a pie, is an excellent opportunity to both see that process and learn some math.

Say the recipe calls for half a pint of milk. That’s a measurement right there. If you go to the fridge and take out a pint container of milk, there’s also a sum involved. You need half of that bottle. Now, if you’ve got a recipe that serves four, but there will be six of you eating, you need to do some multiplication to make it work. So before long, your kids can see math in action. It makes it stick more than reading it from a page.

Home Economics: Preparation And Safety

Most schools have a class dedicated to Home Ec. But let’s be honest here, where is the best place to learn about Home Economics if not the home? As well as cooking, the kitchen is a place where you can learn about hazards and preparation. This can all be arranged around the math lesson above if you like.

To make a meal you need the right ingredients, the right equipment and enough time. Preparation is essential, so give your kids a list of what is needed and where it can be found. Get them to arrange it in the center of the table, and do this all by a certain time limit.

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Once the meal is prepared, then there is another important thing to do – the cleanup. This is a perfect chance to reinforce the importance of a clean, sterile kitchen and putting things back where you found them. Leaving things out, and bits lying around, can lead to milk going sour, pests showing up, and accidents in the kitchen. No classroom can teach this stuff better than your home.

Biology: Health And Nutrition

Cooking a meal has some lessons to give about some of the key aspects of biology, too. We all know how important it is to eat healthily. Kids know what they like, but aren’t always so good at knowing what’s good for them. If a recipe includes butter, they may look to use more because, well, they like butter. Too much is unhealthy, though, and you can use that to make a point on health.

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Each ingredient that you use has its nutritional profile. For example, celery is an excellent food for lowering blood pressure, as The Alternative Daily points out. Garlic has many benefits for health, including the immune system. If you’re going to use making a meal as a learning experience, then it’s best to use one with a lot of ingredients. Pie, or a casserole, will give you a lot of teachable moments.

Geography: Climate And Commerce

In some people’s hands, an onion is just an onion. But in a home lesson, it can become so much more. Where did the onion come from? How did it get here? What did you pay for it and what did the farmer receive? There are a lot of questions there, and a lot of layers. Much like an onion, in fact. Or an ogre. There are facts, figures and details attached to every ingredient you use.

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America is a land with varying climates, and many different foods are farmed in various regions of the country. Your potatoes may come from Idaho, your squash from Arizona. Your meat may come from somewhere else again, and it’s possible that your peppers originate from another country.

All of these are a chance to learn about climate – which foods grow in which conditions and soils. And you can learn about different cuisines – why Italian food uses tomatoes so much, the specific spices used in Mexican dishes. Fajita night can even be a chance to use any Spanish food terms the kids may have learned.

It’s amazing how much one seemingly simple process – cooking a casserole or pie – can allow you to teach. Your kitchen is in so many ways the heart of your home, but homeschooling allows you to make it the brain as well. And remember, this is just from preparing a meal.

The other rooms in your house have their own lessons to give. So for that matter does the garden (geography, science, Phys Ed). When you really think about it, the home in homeschooling isn’t just about the venue of the learning. It’s the source of so many lessons all rolled into one. Pretty impressive, when you think about it!

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