Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nathalie Van Giveaway

I am absolutely in love with this love bird painting by Nathlie Van and am hoping to win it in a giveaway.  You can enter to win this (or any other beautiful piece in Nathalie's Etsy shop valued at $250 or less) by hopping over to She Wears Flowers.  The entry is simple- visit the shop, like your fave, and comment.  The winner receives a $250 credit toward the painting of his/her choice.  There are chances for bonus entries, too!  Fly over for details.


Friday, June 17, 2011

My Favorite Resource This Week: Circle the Date Planner

Favorite Resource This Week
Please visit Learning ALL the Time
for links to more favorite resources!

My favorite resource this week is the simplest, yet most effective, organizational tool I have ever used with my children. It is the Mead Circle the Date Planning Notebook.

I bought one notebook for each boy at Wal Mart. I cannot remember the price I paid but feel certain it was less than $10 per notebook.

Here's how we use them:

  1. On Fridays, I collect the notebooks and fill in the pages for the up-coming week. I circle the date on each needed page. This is normally five pages (one each for Monday-Friday); however, if we plan to take a day off, I will only circle the date on the number of pages needed for active school days.
  2. I write in specific page numbers and specific instructions for independent work and a note that says, "See Mom" for lessons we need to complete together.
  3. I write in daily chores.
  4. When I have filled in all the assignments, the boys place their planners in a "special spot" on their desks and work down their to-do lists each day.
  5. Before I declare each school day finished, I read down each list, make sure I have graded all independent work, that all together work is complete, and inspect the quality of their completed chores.  If everything is done well, they are FREE! 
  6. When they have finished their Friday work, they bring their planners to me for a conference during which we finish step 5 for that day and restart the cycle with step 1, preparation for the next week.

Here's what I like about these planners:
  1. They are available in different colors, so each boy has his own. I know the red one belongs to Wilbur and the black one belongs to Orville (as do they).
  2. The pages are large with lots of room to write...cause I always have lots to say (and write)!
  3. It is spiral bound so we can easily keep the notebook open to the page for the day and keep all the old pages as records of what we have done. (Can anyone say easy end-of-the-year record?)
  4. The circle-the-date feature means that we don't "lose" any pages because they are date specific. I don't need to write in instructions for Saturdays and Sundays or days that we are on a school break. All those pages would go unused in a date-specific planner.
  5. It has made the school day run MUCH MORE SMOOTHLY! Really!!

Here is the best deal I could find online. It is not the exact same planner that we use, and I don't think they are available in different colors. I suggest checking your local Wal Mart or office supply store before buying online, however, should you buy through the link above, Amazon will pay me a small commission. Thanks! (I have not received any other compensation.)

Happy Date Circling!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Audio School Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the My Audio School giveaway and the Great Curriculum Reveal! 

There were five entrants with 17 total entries (a LOT of bonus entries!).  This morning I assigned a number to each entry and used random.org to select the winner.  It chose #2 which was assigned to Heather of Kingdom Arrows!  Congrats, Heather!  I know your family will enjoy and benefit from all that My Audio School offers.

I also want to say thank you to Molly of My Audio School and Counter-cultural School for offering such a great prize for my readers!  MAS is great, and so are you!! 

Happy Listening!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Great Curriculum Reveal 2011

Details to follow,
so please,
read to the end.  :)
Hip, hip, hooray!

It's time for the the Great Curriculum Reveal!

Clicking here will redirect you to Our Academy page
where you can read all about our plans
for the 2011-2012 school year!

I want to also tell you a little about my

Join Learning All the Time
for links to more great resources!

One of our most-valued resources is the website

MAS is a paid membership site.  The cost is incredibly reasonable, only $15 per year, per family.  With a paid membership, you have full access to a large, and growing, collection of free downloadable audio content. 

I plan to download several audio books available at MAS to my boys' iPod.  Then they can listen to their school work while I tutor, while we grocery shop, while we're traveling to all our different out-of-school activities, or when we need a quiet time.  You can read more about my MAS plans on Our Academy page.

The site creator, Molly, the Counter-cultural Mom, has poured hours (and I do mean HOURS) into this labor of love.  Initially, Molly set out to find quality audio content for her dyslexic son, and in the process, created a place for families to access free downloads without having to search the world wide web over.  She has done the hard work for us, and the time it saves me to have what I need at my fingertips is well worth the $15 subscription cost. 

However, you may not have to pay for full-access this year!  Molly has decided to celebrate the Great Curriculum Reveal with us by giving one Olive Plants reader a free one-year subscription to My Audio School! 

To enter, visit MAS.  Some of the content is available to non-members, so take a minute to peruse the free collection.  Then return to Olive Plants and comment on this post about which audio book your child would most enjoy.  While you're there, make sure you take a few minutes to look around.  You will be amazed at all the titles Molly has compiled and the care she has taken to ensure quality content.

For additional entries you can do any or all of the following
(please leave a separate comment for each):
  1. Follow Olive Plants.
  2. Tweet about this giveaway (@Homeschooldawn).
  3. Become a fan of My Audio School on Facebook.
  4. Participate in The Great Curriculum Reveal.  You will need to link in at Kingdom Arrows.  This is worth 3 additional entries!!!
I will accept entries until Monday, June 13, 2011 at 11:59 p.m.  I will select a winner using random.com on Tues., June 14 and announce the winner that day.
    Make sure you visit Kingdom Arrows, too, and check out all the other participating blogs!

Happy Curriculum Revealing!