Wednesday, April 29, 2009
This e-book, available for download at the TOS Magazine Schoolhouse Store for $12.45, is a compilation of stories chronicling the adventures of homeschooling families who manage home businesses. A variety of business ideas are highlighted, everything from sewing to printing to computer-based businesses... and more. Each family has a different purpose for their business and a different style of management. Each family is also very honest about the obstacles they have faced and the challenges they must meet daily. They also offer wisdom and practical advise on starting a business, including the children in the process, scheduling work and school, and keeping your eyes on the Lord in the midst of it all.
My only criticism is that I found some chapters much more interesting than others. I believe this is because some of the businesses did not appeal to me as much as others. However, that is what gives this e-book so much potential. What did not interest me, may interest you. What works for some families featured in the e-book, does not work for others. There are a variety of ideas and organizational systems to glean from. You can treat the book like a buffet and pick and choose ideas that will meet the needs of your family.
In my opinion, the final two chapters are the most helpful. Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, explains how to keep the finances of a home business organized. She offers advice on record keeping, even providing a sample bookkeeping system. Katy Dawn suggests ways to keep everything organized. She leads the reader through a system of prioritizing, scheduling, planning, and setting the stage for success. I found her chapter helpful even though I have no plans of starting a home-based business and will use some of her suggestions for my home classroom.
This is a little longer e-book with 95 pages. If you like to print a hard copy of your e-books, be sure to take that into consideration. The book was easy to buy and download. I did not experience any technical problems, and there was no shipping to pay.
If you are looking for seasoned home-business advice or organization ideas for your homeschool, click here and get busy with Home Work.
TOS Magazine's Schoolhouse Store has the solution, the WeE-book series. This "mini-digital package" offers a selection of thirty different "bite-sized" e-books, each covering a different topic of interest to the homeschool mom. Each e-book is authored by a recognized homeschool expert and lets you "cross the hall" and receive encouragement and advice from Dr. Ruth Beechick, Carol Topp, and Jeannie Fulbright, just to name a few.
Each e-book is written to encourage excellence in homeschooling but is not dry or filled with jargon. The advice is edifying, Bible-based, and applicable. Plus, they are called "WeE-books" for a reason. Each book contains about 20 pages, a quick, easy read... perfect for the busy homeschooling mom.
I have read three books in the collection to date.
Missing in Action or Mentoring in Action, written by Jeannie Fulbright, encourages us to be sensitive to the Lord's leading in the matter of mentoring other moms. She explains that mentoring does not have to be a taxing commitment. Instead, she exhorts us to mentor in "snippets", sprinkling a little salt here and there as the Lord brings others into our lives.
Reading Building Strong Arithmetic Thinking by Dr. Ruth Beechick encouraged me to take a "Home Style" approach to developing mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills in my children. She explains how to make abstract concepts more accessible to concrete thinkers and offers great, easy-to-implement ideas.
Writers Workshop: Getting Children Excited about Writing by Maggie Hogan is my favorite of the three. In our homeschool, we dedicate a few hours per week to a writers workshop time and have experienced great results. For those unfamiliar with the program, this WeE-book explains how the workshop is organized and how to implement it. The information is very well organized and offers several ideas for getting started, involving the entire family, and ensuring success.
Each WeE-book costs $1.95, very affordable. Other topics covered include Classical Education, Beating the Summertime Blues, and The "Me Time" Myth... just to name a few. They are easy to download and will not be expensive to print if you want to organize them in a binder. In fact, to help you organize your collection, you can also download WeE-book Binder Covers for free. Plus, you will never pay shipping. Each book also includes suggested resources if you want to read more on the topic and a page with advice on getting started in homeschool.
The WeE-book collection offers a lot of bang for the buck (plus 95 cents). If you are ready to leave your island, click here and sail over to the TOS Magazine Schoolhouse Store to begin your WeE-book collection today.
Monday, April 27, 2009
"What are those?"
"How did they get there?"
Then they acted like boys....
Finally, they began to speculate....
"Did bears do that?"
I assured them there were no bears, and we continued the trek. Eventually, they did hear and identify a red-cockaded... very cool and worth the effort. However, as we left the foot trail and stepped onto the paved road that led to our parking place, we heard a very loud, very deep, very disconcerting animal sound. This call was definitely not a bird's. My "there-are-no-bears-in-these-woods" conviction began to waver.
Orville, Wilbur and Teammates "Mooing" at the Cows
He looked at me with a huge smile on his face and said in all seriousness and with great joy, "Oh! That's what those were... cow patties! That is what the pioneers burned for their campfires while on the Oregon Trail! Mom, can we burn one so we can better understand what life was like on the Trail?"
Although I admit that would be true experiential learning, even I, the OLIVE-with-an-E-for-Experiential mom, had to say "NO WAY!" to that request.
Goodbye Cows! When I said "experiential", you were not exactly what I had in mind!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Before the remodel it served as our classroom. You can see in the picture below how I used every spare millimeter of this room.
While planning for the remodel, we decided that since everything had to be moved anyway, we would switch the boys' bedroom and the classroom. We needed the bigger space for school, and all the boys do in their bedroom is sleep. Why give such a large portion of our square footage to that?
After two new windows, a new ceiling fan, refinished floors, and a new coat of paint (Color Place "Country White"), the cubby hole is a nice cozy place for two sleepy boys to get some shut eye.