Monday, July 22, 2013

Birthday Giveaway!


It's My Birthday! 



UPDATE: Carmela I. is the winner!! Congratulations! If she hasn't claimed her gift by next Monday, I will hold another drawing. So....if you haven't entered yet, it may not be too late! 

I've decided to do my first giveaway! You get to chose your prize from a list of different things! 

All you have to do is register on my site as a preferred customer! It's super easy! Share on your favorite social media! (Pinterest counts)

Register Here!
OR
Put "Giveaway" in the Contact Form!

Drawing will be held next Monday (because some of us need that pick-me-up)! Winner will be announced on this page along with chosen gift. No need to see if you won, you'll get an email. 

I'm so excited!! Good Luck!

PS-Make sure you see Brandi Perkins listed as your shop consultant (you're not on my site if it doesn't) ((shopbrandi.com if the link doesn't take you there))

PPS-If winner doesn't claim prize within a week, a new drawing will be held.

PPPS-It's not a surprise if I tell you what your choices are but they will come from this list: My Products


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Curriculum Reviews

Here are my thoughts on some of the curriculums that I have used while homeschooling; I'll keep updating when I have time so be sure to check back. I'll try to give you a link for everything I review. Sometimes http://www.christianbook.com/ has the best prices as well as http://www.rainbowresource.com/. Take time to look for discounts and shop around! I hope you find these reviews helpful!

Easy Grammar
Pros: I really like Easy Grammar. I think it does a great job of teaching basic grammar in a format that is easy to understand and use. When I started homeschooling, my oldest son would freak out over anything and everything that required writing or thinking. I was so relieved to find this! He had no issues with completing a page or two of this every day.
Cons: I don't believe that Easy Grammar succeeds in teaching the kids to translate what they've learned into real world usage (or standardized testing). I recommend supplementing with something else that will help them with this step. Here are a couple of websites that I found for this:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar_tutorial/index.htm
http://www.pearsonlongman.com/ae/marketing/sfesl/practicereading.html

Teaching Textbooks-
Pros: My kids all dramatically improved their test scores after they started using this program. That tells me that it works. I love the automatic grading and the option of deleting/editing their grades on each lesson and each question. If I'm not satisfied that they know the material in the lesson, I can have them do it again. The kids don't mind doing math at all with this program. One other thing, their customer service is top-notch. As a small business owner, I have high expectations and they've met them.
Cons: The disks. It's $15 each to replace any disk that gets scratched. Legally, you can copy them and I highly recommending you do so as soon as you get them (just don't keep the copies if you sell the program)! I had 3 kids using 3 different disks on the same computer every day. We're up to two computers right now so it's not AS bad but it's still an issue. That's my only issue with this program!

Paths of Progress-
Pros: The books are very high quality. Everything is laid out step-by-step so there is little pre-prep involved. Most subjects are covered in some way. I think much time and effort went into making this a user friendly book. Student notebooks are included for certain grade levels. There is a lot of printing but not much ink it used on most of the pages so it's not as bad as it looks at first glance.(How to print double sided pages)

Cons: Expensive. The recommended books are pretty much necessary to use the curriculum. The cost for the extension for high school on top of all of the rest is prohibitive for most of us. Since I wasn't able to find most of the books at the library or online, I decided to sell the curriculum instead of adding the extra expense. So, check the book list and make sure it isn't an issue for you before purchasing the curriculum. This is more a guide than anything. I think there are options available that do the same thing with way less cost.
Here are some other options that I think are comparable:
http://simplycharlottemason.com/
http://www.livingbookscurriculum.com/
http://bfbooks.com/

Inflammation and Disease

Inflammation isn't bad; it's a necessary part of our defense system. The problems occur when we have too much inflammation (think blowtorch to light a birthday candle) and it causes damage. When you have chronic inflammatory disease, your body doesn't have a chance to repair the damage and you end up with things like RA and Crohn's. Asthma, allergies, diabetes, heart disease, and many other things are usually the result of inflammation. Our diet is a huge contributor to our growing problem of excess inflammation. Obesity is another factor. You don't have to be obese to have excess inflammation but if you are obese then you do have it.

My online class helps people eat right so they can control this problem. Control your health or your sickness will control you. If you want class info, send me a message . There are still a few spots open for my September class.


Besides eating right, antioxidants (http://bit.ly/W1mUVi) and Omega 3 (http://bit.ly/13sH9jm) are very beneficial in the fight against excess inflammation.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Copyright VS. Real World Needs

In today's world, we have the dubious pleasure of learning how to adjust from what we've always done to what is legal in the new age of ebooks and computers.  It is understandable that people want to get paid for their work; they should be. I have no argument with paying for the things we use. I do, however, have a problem with the limitations placed on things like ebooks and curriculum that don't allow people to be exposed to new things that interest them.

Word of Mouth marketing is invaluable to anyone in the sales world. It's no secret that people are more likely to buy something when someone they know has recommended it. Product demonstration is also another wildly successful marketing tool. So, if these are some of the best ways to sell then why are they being stifled by copyright laws. Something needs to change. They've changed the rules without providing new ways of achieving these marketing strategies and it's not only the people selling that suffers but also the people that are looking for new products.

Think about what used to be....You get a book, you read it, you lend it to your friend to read, they give it back (sometimes), then you read it again or lend it out to someone else. Remember Barnes and Nobles' great ad campaign that promised lending features for our books? I can't be the only one that got suckered by that marketing gimmick. Why did they promote that? Because that is what people are used to and what people want! What did we get? The ability to lend a book out 1 time...ONE! I think that was need to know info. The only reason I can figure out that we aren't allowed to lend a book out as many times as we need (only one person being able to access the book at a time) is greed. It makes sense to me; after all, we have to pay the same amount for an ebook that we pay for a printed book even though the costs have to be more for the printed book. Sounds like an easy way to make a higher profit off of the same product. 

Now, that's books. What about curriculum? Okay, let me just go ahead and say that I am not a curriculum fair person. I cannot sit and think about what I'm looking at when I'm surrounded by people, noise, and an overwhelming selection of products. I know it works for many people and if one were near me, I would most likely go but I need a quiet place to relax and consider my needs and match those up with the right curriculum. Every homeschooling parent knows how expensive it can get when buying new curriculum and most of us don't have the extra money to buy something that we haven't seen, something that we just hope might be what we're looking for. Some people are lucky enough to live in areas with homeschool stores-I used to and I really miss it! Some people are lucky enough to have a good homeschool group that brings in their curriculum for others to see. I used to have that as well. These are the best ways that homeschool curriculum is sold. That is why some things are so incredibly popular while other curriculums can't seem to get started. 

We can't borrow ebooks, we can't see curriculum, we can't lend out out anything like we used to. So we're not exposed to new authors and new curriculum. How are we supposed to buy them if we don't know about them? How do we know if we'll like them if we can't see them? People that want things for free will find a way to get them. Do you really think copyright laws are going to stop them? It hasn't worked in any other area of life. The only people you're limiting are the ones that follow the law and actually buy things. It's a simple concept. We can't buy it if we don't have the necessary information.

So, how do we find a balance? I don't think it's such a difficult task. Simply give people the opportunity to see what you have to offer! Apologia has already done this with great success. You can go to www.currclick.com and download the first part of their notebooks. Why do they do this? So you can see what they have to offer and make an informed decision! It works! It worked for me; I bought one because of that. I found out about it because of reviews by other people but I bought it because I was able to see it.

We live in a new era that have given us limitations on what we can do with the things we buy. We have gotten used to being able to find information on anything at anytime thanks to the internet. Yet, the people that love to research and educate their children are limited because we can't access new products-curriculum. I would love to see a website that all curriculum could be browsed through, just as if we were sitting in a homeschool store.  I would love an online library that gives us access to new authors and books. (My local library doesn't even know what an epub is...true story.) Release the chokehold and I'll bet you'll see sales soar. It just makes sense to me.

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