Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekly Weigh In Week 9

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  Ok so I have been slacking about keeping up writing the last couple weeks, but that definitely does not mean I am slacking off in my weight loss journey. I am doing so well and I surprise myself each week at the scales.  This week I was down -1.9lbs. The biggest Surprise was when I was measured on March 9th. It was my month one measurements from MWL I lost 4.5 inches just off my waist.
My measurements on February 7th were as follows.
Chest 53
Waist 53
Hips 55
My New measurements on March 9th were the following.
Chest 52  -1
Waist 48.5   -4.5
Hips 51   -4

   For a total of -9.5 inches lost.
I was being optimistic and went and purchased some new clothes for Spring and the beginning of Summer, well I was in a size 24 jeans when I began this journey in January. As I have been moving along I have noticed my jeans getting very loose. So I thought ok by the end of May I hope to be in an 18 so that is the size I purchased. I got home and tried them on to see how far I need to go to get into them, and to my shocking surprise I could not only fit in them, button them and breathe, but I had room to spare. HOLY COW! I was so excited. So off to take them back to the store I exchanged them for 16 instead. Those did not fit I needed about two more inches to get them to button, but they looked amazing everywhere else. That was about 10 days ago. Well guess what I tried those 16s on yesterday and with a struggle I actually got them zipped and buttoned. So another 2 weeks worth of hard work and I will be wearing them with pride. I have also gone from a 3x/larger 2x shirt to a larger 1x/smaller 2x so it is definitely a step in the right direction. I also went down a bra size too.  I am having so much fun shopping for clothes these days. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Well the first stop  in my journey is 10% of my original weight. That is 27 lbs for me and I am almost there. My second stop is my newest goal I have set for myself, My 37th birthday is coming up May 13th and so my very fitting goal is 37lbs by my 37th Birthday. My goal after that is to not have to shop in the plus size department. I would like to accomplish that by the first day of Summer. I am longing for warmer weather.

   I did get my bike and I love it. I went for a 2.5 mile bike ride yesterday, we rode to the YMCA. Then I walked the tredmill for 1.5 miles and then did some circuit training. We then rode to my parents. I had reached my limit and my Dad drove me home. I have learned that admitting I have limits is not admitting defeat. So I am trying to decide if I am going to throw on my iPod and walk to get my bike and ride it home or just drive over and get my bike and bring it home. I am half waiting for the weather to perk up and the other half is me getting motivated.

I wrote the following excerpt in the online weightloss group I am part of with some of the TOS crewbies, it explains my process over the years and where I am at now.

   I will let you in on a little secret, for the last several years I have had this dream that I was going to get skinny, This is the year you know the drill, back to weight watchers as soon as the holiday is over. lasts till February lose about 10 lbs and as soon as I stopped losing, (a gain two weeks in a row) I would bail. Usually it was when my period happened for the first time in my "weightloss" journey. This year however something changed in me, I stopped seeing my weightloss journey as a diet, and more of a life changing journey. I have equipped myself with knowledge about eating right, instead of just following the plan of whatever diet I chose. I have armed myself with supportive friends online and off. I have made a conscious effort to exercise a few times a week. I am not kidding myself I cannot physically do it everyday. I have MS and I am not in perfect health but I am seeing positive changes in myself and that is a big motivator. I used to take pain pills everyday and muscle relaxers just to go to sleep. Now I only take them maybe once every week or two when I have done a lot of exercising. I have learned that I do have limitations, I can push through some of them but not all. I have the power to change but I had to truly want it. The point I am trying to make is I thought in years past that I wanted this for myself but in reality I was caught up in the new year hype, all the commercials for weightloss centers and gyms. This year for me is different. I will conquer this come the end of the year, maybe not to my goal but close to it and I will keep going for as long as it takes to be the me I have envisioned for myself. There are bumps and hiccups. I heard a line from my meeting coach at WW yesterday "To be Healthy you DO NOT need to be Perfect!" This is my new slogan. We all try to be so perfect when we are trying to lose weight and all it sets us up for is failure. This is what I was doing in years past. I would be so good, fall of the wagon during that time of the month and then let myself believe that I was not capable of this goal for myself because I could not follow a program without fail. I have learned this year that being perfect during a weightloss adventure makes it a DIET, being Imperfect makes it a life journey. Some of you are struggling and I am hoping that reading this will help you realize, your time may not be everyone else's time. Do not give up, your mojo will come soon, just surround yourself with people who make positive choices. Pray and keep making small changes and don't focus on the weightloss. that will come in due time.

  So hopefully by next week when I report on my weightloss journey I will have gotten to my 10% I am going to work my tail off this week and drink my water everyday and follow my diet plan to get there. Today I am challenging myself to a no cheat week. I want this so bad and I can see it in my reach. I will let you know how I did and I will let myself know that it is ok to Fail. It is human and a part of life.

Hasbro Game Giveaway Event 4/1-4/7

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    If your family is anything like ours, then you probably have family game night in your house. Our family gift for Christmas was all board games and we play at least twice a week. We are always on the hunt for new games and I was super excited when I heard there are some new games coming out and one of them happens to be a take on one of the computer games the kids love to play. I cannot wait to get my hands on the Bejewled board game and I am curious about the World Series of Yahtzee too, We love to play yahtzee and it would be fun to play a new version of that as well. Check out the post below for your chance to win one of the games mentioned. 

          Welcome to our Event where there will be 2 winners:  the first winner has their choice of either Bejeweled  or Yahtzee and the second winner will receive the game that is left.  This Event is being sponsored by Hasbro.

          You can read a review of these 2 games HERE.

          This Event is being hosted by Tammie's Reviews, Giveaways and More.  I want to thank my Co-Host: Charisma MediaFishing For SavingsOur Wolves DenThe Cafe CouponCentral Bargains and GiveawaysAsha ButterflysAlways JoartMy Best of Both WorldsFresh Start AcademyI Heart Winning and The Deal MatchMaker   for helping me to promote this terrific Event.

         This is open to residents of the United States.  Terms and conditions are on the widget.

         The Event will be live from 4/1 to 4/7, starting and ending at 7 p.m.

         The winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond.  All entries will be verified.  

         There will be 2 winners. 

         Please enter using the easy Giveaway Tools widget below and Good Luck!

Disclosure~ Fresh Start Academy Homeschool is not responsible for prize fulfillment.  I have not received a product or monetary compensation for helping to promote this giveaway.  Contact Tammie @ pankuch1605@hotmail.com for any questions or if you are a company, for me to review or set up your giveaway.

Math U See Schoolhouse Review Crew Review

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   When we first started homeschooling one of the things Taylor struggled with the most was Math. He still struggles a bit but not as much since we found Math U See, I came across MUS at a homeschool convention a few years back and let me tell you it was the best investment we ever made. We quickly made the switch for both boys for the next Fall and have been using them ever since. This being our 3rd year using them. I have also shown MUS to many of my homeschool friends and they have made the switch as well.

   At first the price scared me a bit, it is an investment, but semi consumable as you can use some of the components over again but you do need to get the student workbooks for each child when you want to begin the program with your next child.  I was worried since there were other programs we had tried that did not work so well for us, I kept thinking what if this did not work either, then we had just wasted a fair sum of money. I talked at length with the people at the booth and what was different was all of the hands on manipulatives. Both of my boys are very hands on learners and I truly believe this was the missing component from our previous Math programs we had used. I was so excited to show them when I got home and for the first time we were all content with the choice we had made in our Math studies. I for one was relieved because the burden of teaching the entire lessons to the boys, Math is not my strongest area. I know enough to get by but was nervous about teaching it as my boys got older and in more advanced areas of Math. What is one of the added benefits of MUS is that Mr. Demme teaches the lessons via DVD. This is great since now with Alyx in 9th grade we are dealing with Geometry which is what we were given to review. Geometry scares me a bit to say the least, it has been a long time since I did Geometry. The teacher's guide is wonderful because it does not just give you the answer key like in other curriculum, it walks you through how the lesson is to be taught so you can understand and if your children need help beyond what they learned in the DVD you can help them to grasp the concept even if you are not a Math Whiz like me.

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    I wish I had know about Math U See years before I took the plunge to begin homeschooling, because the worry of being an effective teacher when it came to Math scared me to death and prevented me from homeschooling for years. Even though back then I knew I could have taught them what they needed to know, it frightened me to look at the long road of Math ahead of us, I did not want to fail my kids. I am happy to say I have gained confidence and refreshed my mind when it comes to Math since we began using Math U See back in 2010.

  One of the other things I love about MUS is that each book is focused on one area of Math, like our Geometry book we reviewed, it is all about Geometry. Back when we started MUS we chose to start with Gamma which focused on Multiplication using single and multi digit numbers, along with the manipulatives Taylor finally grasped the concept and sailed through to Delta which was all about Division. We have been finishing and catching up rapidly since we started MUS. Taylor is now working on Zeta which is Decimals and percents, Alyx has just completed Algebra 1, which is why I chose Geometry to review since that is the next book in sequence for us.

  I am so impressed with how much the boys take to doing their Math with no arguments because it comes so easy with MUS and they truly are learning and mastering the topics they are working on without the traditional skipping around that other curriculum has you do. MUS has made math not a struggle and for that I am truly thankful. Alyx's only complaint with the Geometry is there are no manipulatives like the Algebra and lower levels. I told him I was sorry it is so tough to get old, ha ha!

   For Geometry you would need to purchase the Student Pack (this is the consumable portion that would need to be purchased if you were to use the program with other children) which sells for $32.00 this comes with the student workbook, which includes the lesson by lesson worksheets, review pages and honors pages. This also includes the Geometry tests. You will also need to purchase the Geometry Instruction pack this sells for $57.00 but this is the portion that can be used over and over again, no need to purchase it again to use it with other students. This includes the Instruction Manual with lesson by lesson instructions and detailed solutions and also the DVD lessons ( 2 in the set). The DVD is where your students will learn from Mr. Demme and be taught the lessons so they can complete their assignment in their workbook.

    As I stated above in the lower levels you would need to purchase the same type of packs but in addition you would need to purchase the manipulatives that are reusable in order to make the curriculum work to its full capacity. These are an investment and truly are what makes in my opinion this curriculum work for the lower levels, so that by the time they get to the upper levels of Geometry and above they will have mastered all of the Math concepts they need to know to be a successful Math student.

    My boys often do more than one lesson a day for Math because the curriculum is so easy to follow, now I am not saying it is easy by any means but the way that it flows helps to make learning less stressful and in turn it doesn't seem like the chore it used to be to complete their Math work. I honestly cannot give as much praise as Math U See deserves, it has made Math time in our house, much more enjoyable and my son is catching up to grade level with so much enthusiasm and confidence, this is something we were not seeing with other full Math curriculums. If your child is a hands on learner or is struggling with Math or both, you need to make the investment and switch to Math U See, you will see in no time at all, it was one of the best investments you made for your student and homeschool needs.  I am sure you will thank me for it later. Be sure to check out all of the reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew as we all chose the level that was best for our student. If you are not sure which level is best for your child, be sure to have them take the FREE placement test and browse the sample lessons on the Math U See website, they are also great at answering any questions you may have when making your choice for the level for their program, as well as if you have any questions while using their curriculum. Don't forget to come back and thank me later, when you see what a difference Math U See makes in your student's Math studies, I love hearing all of the success stories when it comes to Math U See.



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Alyx has a gift

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   At 14 1/2 years old I am amazed on a daily basis how talented Alyx is when it comes to working with his hands. I love that homeschooling has allowed him to really uncover those talents and let him work on projects when the mood strikes him. Yesterday the weather was the best it has been since Fall at almost 60 and sunny it was absolutely gorgeous. We had some errands to do and ended up at JoAnns to look for some items and what should we find but the crates that were needed for a Pinterest project we were interested in doing. We have been on the search for the perfect coffee table but also in need of some extra media storage when I stumbled on a Pinterest post of a coffee table made from wood crates.
 So we embellished ours a bit by adding feet instead of casters and instead of a planter or some other dish in the center where there was a hole when finished putting the crates in order to make the square. We covered ours up with a ceramic tile and framed it with some molding and stained it a shade lighter than the table to add some depth. Now I am on the hunt for something to set on that tile in the center of our new table. I tell you what when he puts his mind to something he does not stop until it is finished. He worked the afternoon away and it was in my living room with just the mastic from the tile left to dry over night and this morning when we woke up it is all dried and we can fill the crates with books, games and movies. I absolutely love it and it is the perfect size for our living room and because it was made by my son with love I will treasure it always. I love items that have a story to go with them. I would much rather have something homemade than something just store bought that is just like everyone else's furniture. To me it makes it more homey and I just love that feel.

   Now here is what ours looks like along with some photos of the process it went through.

The final product...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday New Thirty One Products

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Classical Academic Press Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013

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   You may remember my review from last year when we were blessed to review Art of Argument from Classical Academic Press. So I was super interested when I was given the option to do a review for Classical Academic Press, this time for Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic. My boys are on the Autism Spectrum and often lack in their conversational skills so these types of curriculum are a way to build on their skills, teaching them how to back up their opinion. The other component they are often missing from their language skills is Logic, most things to them are very concrete or black and white. They often are missing the component that sometimes there is just a logical answer to some things. This is where this course comes in handy for us.

    We were sent the The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic which sells for $26.95 and The Discovery of Deduction Teacher's Edition for $29.95. There are also E-book versions for Kindle and Apple ibook as well. Although this course is meant to follow a study of informal Fallacies, such as The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies it can be used as a stand alone product, or as an independent study of formal logic.



   All through life we are often faced with having to reason out our thoughts, stand up for our opinions and prove our points with others. For some this comes easy and for others it does not for various reasons, for my boys it is a communications delay due in part to their disability. I had witnessed great gains with our first review and  was eager to continue on our logic journey with The Discovery of Deduction. Geared for grades 8 and up but are uniquely appropriate for  7th through 9th grades which are said to be the "logic stage" of development, my boys fit this mold perfectly. Being in 8th and 9th grade this has helped them be age appropriate in this subject. I want them to be able to be reasonable when substantiating  what point they are trying to make to a friend or conversational partner or family member. Often they get swept up in their emotions without being reasonable. My hopes in reviewing curriculum such as this is that it will help train them to be complete thinkers and speakers.

  This complete curriculum comes with everything you need to accomplish a full class on logic. The books are laid out in a manner that walks you through the way to schedule your work. There are two suggested formats, one for a Semester long class where you do 1 read and do a lesson each day. For us this doesn't work as we do not do school on Thursdays due to co-op so we do not accomplish as many lessons in the week as suggested. if we were to follow this format we will just extend the time it takes to finish by a bit. The chapters are comprised of reading material, exercises, Quizzes and Tests, as well as some review. So you may compete only 1 chapter in a week or you may start the next chapter and finish it the next week. The lessons are thorough and should not in my opinion be rushed to get completed. Some take longer than others and that is perfectly acceptable. The second format is a year long class, this format allows for a more slower pace and shorter class length, the lessons are split up so you do some reading the first day and the exercises the next. This format for us is too drawn out so we created our own pace where we just follow the first lesson plan but format it to fit our four day weeks. The Joy of homeschooling is doing what works best for your family, whether it be structure 1, or structure 2 or the one you create yourself, it does not make it any less valuable of an asset to your homeschool curriculum.

   The Teacher's Edition is equipped with all that is in the student text but also has the answer keys, teacher's notes and suggestions for interactive classroom activities. This allows you the ease of teaching because it is all mapped out for you, just follow along as you teach.
    There is also a DVD that can help you out by teaching the curriculum for you, this is especially helpful if you have other duties to attend to or smaller children to teach. Although in my opinion this is not a curriculum that you just hand your children and say do the work. There is some deep thought provoking content, that I feel should be shared with both children and parents. This is a great way to open up the chains of dialog between the teens and the parents.

   There is bountiful resources that are Free just take a look you will be pleasantly surprised. Also be sure to check out the FAQ section to answer any questions you may have, especially about the importance of a logic course in your curriculum.
  Be sure to check out all of the reviews for this course as well as the Poetry curriculum that some of the crew chose instead. Also be sure to check out the Classical Academic Press website for all of the choices they offer from Spanish to Poetry and Logic and everything in between, there is certainly something to tickle your fancy or get your students thinking.


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Friday, March 22, 2013

Living Innovative Giveaway Ends 4/22/13

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  I do not know about you but I am always looking for kitchen storage solutions. We always need containers to hold our snacks to keep them fresh and tasting yummy. Living Innovative has all sorts of Kitchen solutions from containers to kitchen towels. There is bound to be something to meet your family's kitchen needs. So be sure to check out their site and also enter the giveaway below, there will be 3 winners in all.

Welcome to the Living Innovative Giveaway

This Giveaway is hosted by Jenn, Mom of Two Munchkins


 Sponsored by Living Innovative

Living Innovative is an awesome site that encourages you to reduce your food waste and other waste through the reusable products they sell.  They have wonderful products for your kitchen including food containers to kitchen towels.  Check out more about Living Innovative and their awesome products. 


Enter below to win 1 of these 3 Sistema Containers!


Jenn, Mom Of Two Munchkins was provided with a free sample of this product to review, and was under no obligation to review it.  Nor was Jenn, Mom Of Two Munchkins under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.  Jenn, Mom Of Two Munchkins and Fresh Start Academy Homeschoool is  not responsible for shipping of prize.  Living Innovative has the sole responsibility for shipping of prize.  Prize value is approximately $6.49 - $7.99 (depending on prize).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Making writing an essential part of your school day. Schoolhouse Review Crew Review #HSREVIEWS

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   When we started 8th grade with Taylor this year I knew we were behind a bit with Alyx who is in 9th grade, the boys have always struggled with writing and so we have been moving a bit slow in this subject compared to other areas of our schooling. Essentials in Writing is a primary Language Arts/Writing curriculum that teaches the student the right way to write. This is what we needed, step by step program that will help guide the boys into being confident writers without overwhelming them. Both boys will be in High School next year and I want them to be able to catch up this year and the beginning of next to their grade level in writing mechanics. We have always found good language arts curriculums but never one that was a full package of language arts and grammar and writing from sentences to research papers. I think we have finally found that.

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   Essentials in writing is a curriculum that is taught using short DVD lessons from founder Matthew Stephens who is a former middle school English teacher. I love writing but find it is one of the hardest subjects for me to teach and put into words. When it is something that comes so second nature I often find it hard to articulate what needs to be done to another individual. This is why I was so drawn to want to review Essentials in Writing as it was video based lessons, more of an independent study, which is what we are trying to gain more of as the boys are getting older. Now I am not sure about the younger ages but we chose Eighth Grade and it is definitely an independent program and the boys loved that, they enjoy working at their own pace and that way as they each learn differently they can move as slow or as fast as they want.

   The Eight Grade curriculum is compromised of ...

Eighth Grade Curriculum - $40
Included:  DVDs with lesson-by-lesson video instruction and a CD-ROM with printable worksheets/assignment sheets/answer key in PDF format.  (they are in the process of replacing the CD-ROM with a downloadable file to keep the costs down) You also have the option for an additional $20 to purchase a pre-printed workbook, so you do not have to print the lessons out. For us I prefer the printable sort, since I have a laser printer that is cost effective as far as ink and then I can use it for both of my kids with out having to purchase additional workbooks, it is all a matter of preference at that point. 

   Now as your start the 8th Grade curriculum you are beyond the grammar and are moving into the mechanics and structure of writing good solid pieces. There are however some review of grammar but only in the video lessons, you will not find and printable worksheets for that. This was fine with us as we have pounded over grammar for the last couple of years and need to shift our focus to the actual writing of papers. For review purposes we did skip around a bit, the lessons go fairly swiftly depending on what the topic is, the research papers will be a bit more lengthy we have not tackled that portion yet, we are going back to where we skipped off for the review and work in sequence and build up to the research paper, I am not sure we will get to finish the book this school year as we are almost finished only about 2 more months left for us. We will most likely pick it back up in the Fall and finish it up by Christmas break. Alyx is a little more ahead of Taylor at this point so it all depends on how fast they are working. I am using it as a completely student led curriculum which has helped me tremendously this year. 

   The curriculum is divided up into 64 lessons, the first few lessons are focusing on clauses and compound and complex sentences. This is to be the first of the foundations of writing a strong paragraph. Next for chapter 6-12 the boys moved onto figurative language, as children on the Autism spectrum this is a particular challenging area as they do not express themselves as some. I was pleasantly surprised that they sailed through this area and actually liked it. This was an area they actually asked to complete in entirety.  After that they proceeded to begin the next few chapters, writing different types of paragraphs, such as persuasive and descriptive, they only did half the lessons in this book, I wanted them to focus on descriptive paragraphs, they both chose to write about our Fall road trip down south. It was fun to read each of their interpretations of our adventures and what they each focused on as the highlight of the trip. 

   After we jumped from the paragraph sections we jumped into the next 3 chapters which covered the mechanics of dialogue and the writing process. We then chose to jump over the personal narrative portion as I am saving that to go along with another subject after Easter. Which brought us to writing a summary, we used this portion to write a book report on Life of Pi. The last portion we managed to begin in the review timeframe was writing a compare/contrast business letter. The boys are working on that currently and I had them pick a business they liked of a certain product and write the similarities and differences of a business that is a direct competition. I cannot wait to see how this ends up. I will be sure to let you all know. 

You can check out the curriculum for yourself by visiting the following links...

  I have enjoyed watching my boys use this curriculum and find their inner spark for being a writer, writing just as reading can unlock adventure anytime you put your mind to it. I have seen great strides in their writing performance and also their confidence in writing. My boys have always struggled with writing which in turn caused a struggle with all of us. I think it may have been the way I was teaching it and this has helped take me somewhat out of the equation with the video lessons. I highly recommend Essentials in Writing whether you are struggling to teach writing, or if your students are struggling with writing, or you are just simply searching for a new curriculum for the upcoming new school year. They offer writing programs for all grades 1st through 12th, They also offer High School elective classes such as Creative and Technical writing courses. I am seriously considering the Creative writing class. If you have any doubts at all or are interested in hearing about the other grade levels be sure to check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew as we all chose the program that fit our homeschooling needs, there is sure to be a review about the program that will fit your family best. 


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Monday, March 18, 2013

$150 Country Outfitter Giveaway

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Welcome to the Country Outfitter Giveaway

Ever since our trip to Texas in the Fall, my son Alyx has been cowboy boot crazy, he bought his first pair down in Texas and when he got home he tried to find a shop here, but up here in Michigan good boot shops are hard to come by, so we turned to the internet to help him find the perfect pair, and the one online store that had the most variety was Country Outfitters. Well Alyx saved up his money and we scored a coupon from Country Outfitters by joining their email list and he ordered his new pair of boots. They came super quick and he had his new boots in only a couple of days. He was so excited to get them out of the box and put them on. Here are some photos I snapped of his new boots so ya'll could see the fantastic quality.

 Giddy up their partner! This giveaway is all those Boot Scootin', Boot Lovin' Cowpokes out there. Country Outfitter is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and there tagline...“We Know Country”! They are THE go to place for all things country not only boots but apparel, handbags and all types of country accessories.

$150 Country Outfitter Giveaway

1 Winner will receive a $150 Gift Card to Country Outfitter. See form for Entry Details. Open to U.S. You must be 18 years old to enter to win. Ends 3/29
Disclaimer: An email address is required to enter. The winner will be chosen randomly through Giveaway Tools and contacted via email. A reply to the winning email is required within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen. One person entering per household please. U.S. only. This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on March 29, 2013. This event is sponsored by Country Outfitter and hosted by The Review Wire. Fresh Start Academy Homeschool is not responsible for prize fulfillment. I was not provided with product for this review. I was provided a link on the form in exchange for helping to promote. Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by The Review Wire.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

iPad Mini Giveaway Event 3-11 thru 4-8

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Welcome to the iPad Mini Giveaway Event!
Hosted by Rude Mom & Rude Mom Media and Designs

Special thanks to our lovely co-hosts Must Love Freebies, Mommy Lesson Plans, Swank Savings, Mom to Bed by 8, Homeschooling Mom 4 Two, Plum Crazy About Coupons, Capri's Coupons, Confessions of a Messy Mama, Coupon Queen of Texas, Bay Area Mommy, Budget EarthSimply Southern Couponers and Simply Sherryl, for their help bringing this giveaway to life!

Apple iPad Mini Wi-Fi 32 GB +Cellular

Pick up the iPad Mini and suddenly, it’s clear. You’re actually touching your photos, reading a book, playing the piano. Nothing comes between you and what you love. To make that hands-on experience even better, they made the fundamental elements of iPad compact – the display, the camera, the wireless connection. All of which makes the iPad Mini capable of so much more than you ever imagined. Everything you do with iPad, you can do through its smaller, yet beautiful display. And when the display is better, the entire iPad experience is better.

The Retina display on the iPad Mini features a 2048-by-1536 resolution, 44-percent greater color saturation, and an astounding 3.1-million pixels – in a smaller 7.8-inch space. That’s four times the number of pixels in iPad Mini and a million more than an HDTV. Those pixels are so close together, your eyes can’t discern individual ones at a normal viewing distance. When you can’t see the pixels, you see the whole picture. Or article. Or game. In ways you never could before.

Product Features:

  • 7.8 Retina Display; 2048 x 1536 Resolution

  • Apple iOS 5; Dual-Core A5X Chip with Quad-Core Graphics

  • 5 Megapixel iSight Camera; 1080p Video Recording

  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); 32 GB Capacityes: 1 x Headphones – Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, 1 x Docking / port replicator – 30-pin dock connector

  • Up to 10 Hours of Battery Life; 1.44 lbs

  • 7.9‑inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi‑Touch
    display with IPS technology

  • 1024-by-768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch (ppi)

  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

  • iPad mini supports fast cellular networks around the world — including LTE networks.* So you can download content, stream video, and browse the web at amazing speeds. And if you’re in a location without an LTE network, you’ll still get access to fast GSM/UMTS networks including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA.

  • One lucky reader will receive an iPad Mini 32GB with Cellular!

    Giveaway ends April 8th at 11:59pm, open worldwide, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!


    Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. FRESH START ACADEMY HOMESCHOOL is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Contact Rude Mom at rudemomblog75@yahoo.com with any questions you may have about this giveaway.

    Delight-Directed Teaching 5 Days of Teaching Creatively Blog Hop #HSREVIEWS

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    This post is part of a week of blog hopping hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew:
    5 Days of Teaching Creatively Day One

       When I first started homeschooling I had this vision of being in our classroom with a set schedule and using all books for our learning. Boy was I in for a big surprise as the years have gone by, we do a lot of Delight=Directed Teaching in our homeschool. The boys have such unique interests and learn best when they can learn about what they love.

      For Taylor his is Art and Japanese and Chinese Culture. He is also into Archery and loves to make his own bows and arrows and studies how different materials cause better flight then others. He is always testing his newest creations. He can tell you just about anything about guns and the wars from History, he especially loves the Civil War time period. and finds their weapons fascinating. His Art has been a huge area of his learning this year and he is starting to get some pieces finished for the Genesee County Fair this Summer. I have seen him blossom and grow so much this year, and it is so fun to see him get excited when he is learning about what interests him most. 

      For Alyx his interests are completely different than his brothers, he likes to build things and fix things and his biggest passion is working on cars. He amazes me the amount of knowledge he has when it comes to tools and cars. At just 14 years old he knows more than a great many adult men I know. He works on building hot rods with our friend Eric Sunday through Thursday evenings and he is always chattering on about what he learned and what he did. I do not understand half of it, but I listen intently as any mother would. I am very proud of how much he has learned about cars this past year and he continues to amaze me. He also enjoys any type of construction project, recently he learned how to put insulation and drywall up when they renovated Eric's Garage. I was able to snap a few photos of Alyx up in the rafters putting up ceiling boards. He scares me to death being up so high but it does not seem to bother him in the least. He refinished an end table for his older brother for Christmas, he sanded it for hours and put several coats of varnish and sealant on it. It turned out absolutely beautiful. He is forever fixing and tinkering with anything that needs fixing or improving, whether it is at home here or at my Parent's house or Eric's. He never wants for a job to do and he makes money sometimes too. Either way he is just happy to be busy and working with his hands.  I recently got a bike for the first time in a long time and he helped me get it all adjusted just right for me, he adjusted the seats, checked the tire pressure and properly inflated the tires and then adjusted the fenders so they did not rub, I do not think there is anything he cannot do. If there is he will research and learn how to do it. 

       I love watching my children learn by doing, and learning about what they love, this is what homeschooling is all about.