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(Giveaway) Our Favorite Homeschool Writing Curriculum

There was a time period many years ago where both of our girls hated writing. All the joy, fun, and creativity had been sucked out of that subject thanks to me and the belief that writing could only be done one way (thank.you.very.much), and there was no wiggle room allowed.

(I was desperately wrong, in case you were wondering).

Many of us get caught up in the ‘right way’ to teach something (or maybe that’s just me), and in the process we often forget that learning should be fun and something our kids desire to do. When the creativity literally shriveled up in our girls, it was a moment when I realized we needed to stop and bring the life back into a subject that was dry, dry, dry – and make it fun!

Enter WriteShop…

We picked up a set of holiday StoryBuilder cards from WriteShop before one Christmas break and suddenly, based on three little prompts, the writing floodgates opened and stories began to pour out of our girls. Notebooks were filled (and kept going and going) in just a short timeframe. The love for writing returned.

Ironically, we already had one level of WriteShop on our shelf, but I had put it aside for something else (hello, shiny). We pulled that book back off the shelf, ordered additional levels, and haven’t looked back since! WriteShop has become the writing program of choice for our children, and one that I wholeheartedly recommend to other families.

A Solid Writing Base

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This year, Laurianna (11th grade) has been taking dual credit English classes at our community college that require a lot of detailed writing assignments. I’ll admit that at first I was nervous – would she be able to handle the requirements? 

In her sixth and seventh grade years, she completed both WriteShop I and WriteShop II and went on to work through three years of a high school literature program in which I based the writing rubrics off our time with WriteShop – and you all, she has been SO prepared! The foundation those two years gave her were truly the core of her writing.

Not only did the WriteShop I and II programs prepare her, they prepared me as a teacher to truly instruct her in the writing process (from essays to research papers), evaluate her work, and offer constructive feedback. As I mentioned before, the grading rubrics were highly instrumental in our high school literature program as well and helped in various co-op classes when needing to provide instruction and guidance to those students.

Really truly, the one thing that I keep repeating to my high school lit classes – being able to write a strong paper is one of the most important things in education. Choosing words carefully, writing a persuasive argument, proper spelling – writing is a part of almost every facet of our lives!

A few words written poorly can make all the difference, and I want our kids to have a strong writing background, which I know they will thanks to WriteShop.

I’ll also admit that the teacher’s guides in the WriteShop 1 and WriteShop 2 levels have greatly spoiled me. The grading rubrics and instructions are very clear – such a huge help to a busy homeschool mom, and the step-by-step program is easy to follow for both students and teachers.

Something for EVERY Grade Level

While I’ve shared much of our love for the WriteShop I & II programs, they truly have a writing program or tool for every grade level, and it’s never too late to jump in and start. Our younger children are also using their programs (Junior and now WriteShop I), and we have worked through all the levels of their programs in recent years. We really love it that much!

From grades K through high school, there is truly something for each of the children in your home to use. 

WriteShop Birthday Sale & GIVEAWAY

WriteShop

This month, WriteShop is celebrating their 17th birthday! To celebrate they have some great deals AND a giveaway for you!! Here are the ways you can save and enter to win: 

  1. SALESave 17% on all digital sets and bundles the entire month of January! (WriteShop video courses are excluded from this offer.)
  2. FREE BONUS: Buy ANY digital or print set during their Birthday Event in January 2018, and you can choose any one product from the Writing Extras category. Use the code 17years at checkout During the 17th Birthday Event, when you buy any set (digital or print) you may choose any one product from the Writing Extras category for free by using code 17years at checkout. 
  3. GIVEAWAY: 5 winners may select their choice of curriculum set. WOOT!!!

Enter the giveaway here:

 

FREE Writing Prompts

WriteShop

Don’t miss their FREE writing prompts either! These are a fantastic way to get a peek into the WriteShop programs – and get hooked as our family did! From elementary through high school, there are mini-lessons, story prompts, word prompts, and programs to encourage and help even the most reluctant writers! Here are a few reviews that’s I’ve written in the past:

Writing doesn’t have to be another chore you add to your homeschool day. It can be fun and productive – and inspire your family to creative writing for years to come.

Ivy Kids Literature Kits – GIVEAWAY!!

One of our long-time sponsors, Ivy Kids, is dedicated to making children’s books come alive for families. Their focus is meaningful play based around a specific book to help children learn basic academic skills, engage in critical thinking, and build overall comprehension while reading together. Each month they create a new “kit” based on a children’s book that includes games, activities, learning guides and questions, crafts, and more for children ages 3-8. We have used several of their kits and absolutely loved the time we spent with them. Literature-based learning was the core of our early years with our kids and holds such wonderful memories. 

Ivy Kids is offering a wonderful giveaway to my readers this week – TWO Ivy Kids Kits: Night Animals and Elmer!! Both are described a bit below, but I’d encourage you to visit The Ivy Kids store and see all of the kits they have available, as well as their monthly subscription plan, where a new kit is shipped to you each month! 

Save 20% on Ivy Kids Kits!

If you’d like to try Ivy Kids Kits with your children, be sure to use the coupon code below!

Ivy Kids discount code

Subscriptions to Ivy Kids are available for one, three, or six months and add-on sibling kits are available for an additional $5. Try out any one of their past kits, but remember supplies are limited. Subscriptions are the best way to get the newest literature kit! Use the code IVY20 to save 20% off your first kit with any renewing subscription.

Also, all store orders over $60 receive free shipping in the continental US! Yay!

Recommended for grades preK – 3. Parent supervision is needed, but no prep-time is required. We wholeheartedly recommend Ivy Kids to other families.

Night Animals Kit

Learn more about this kit here

In this Ivy Kids kit featuring the humorous book Night Animals by Gianna Marino, you will find:

  • The book Night Animals by Gianna Marino, will introduce children to nocturnal animals through lovable characters and a humorous story.
  • Read along Bookmark: Use to assist with reading comprehension.
  • Plush Skunk: Children will love to cuddle and play with this soft and adorable skunk while reading this month’s book, Night Animals
  • Ceramic Owl: Use paints to decorate a large ceramic owl. The owl will make a beautiful addition to a child’s room!
  • What Are the Night Animals Saying?: In the story, the author uses speech bubbles to tell the story. Now it is your turn to tell a story with the night animals and write what each animal is saying.
  • Paper Bag Possum: Create the fearful possum from the story by cutting and pasting the possum body parts onto the bag. 
  • Paint a Picture of a Skunk: Paint a realistic skunk by using the adorable plush skunk and skunks photos as a reference.
  • Nocturnal Animals: Learn fun and interesting facts about nocturnal animals. 
  • Nocturnal vs Diurnal: One player will have the Nocturnal board and the other player will have the Diurnal board. The first player to cover all the spaces on his or her board wins the game.
  • Sorting Eyes: Sort the night animal eyes by size and/or color.
  • Animal Eyes in the Dark: How many night animals are in forest? Use the colored wiggly eyes and the dark forest board to help you solve multiplication and division problems.
  • Bat Craft: Use scratch art and stickers to create a colorful bat to hang in your home.
  • Bats in the Night: Use finger painting and cut out bat shapes to create a night sky filled with bat silhouettes. 
  • Flying Bats: Players take turns flinging the bats at the creature cards. If the bat lands on a nocturnal animal, the player collects the card. How many nocturnal animals can you catch?  
  • One Night in the Deep Dark Woods…Use your imagination to tell a fictional story about a night in the woods.

Elmer Kit

Learn more about this kit here

In November’s Ivy Kids kit featuring the heartwarming book Elmer by David McKee, you will find:

  • The book Elmer by David McKee, a story about a colorful and humorous elephant that teaches readers to be themselves and celebrates the power of laughter.
  • Read along Bookmark: Use to assist with reading comprehension.
  • Wooden Elephant: Use paints to decorate a large wooden elephant. The colorful elephant will make a beautiful addition to a child’s room!
  • Fingerprint Elephant: Create Elmer the elephant by stamping the entire paper elephant with different colored fingerprints. The fingerprint elephant will be a beautiful decoration for your home as well as a lovely keepsake of your child’s fingerprints. 
  • I Like That I Am…:At the of the story, Elmer learns that it is okay to be different and he likes that he is funny and makes the other elephants in the herd laugh. Now record what you like about yourself on the board provided and create a collage of your face. 
  • Elmer the Elephant Puppet: Decorate the small wooden elephant with paint and create a puppet to use as a fun prop while reading the story.
  • Elmer’s Letters: Player(s) select a picture card, identify the beginning letter sound, and cover the corresponding letter on the Elmer board. The game is over when all the letters on Elmer have been covered by the colored squares. 
  • Elmer’s Words: Find each sight word on Elmer and cover it with the matching colored paper square. After playing the game, reread the story and see how many times you can find the sight words.
  • Elmer’s Day: At the end of the book Elmer, all the elephants in the herd decide to celebrate Elmer once a year by painting themselves different colors. Pretend it is Elmer’s Day and use the crayons to color your face with designs, patterns, or squares. 
  • 3-Dimensional Mosaic: Place the colored cubes on the animal shapes to create colorful mosaics.  
  • Elephant Body Parts: Learn fun and interesting facts about an elephant’s body, like why they have such large ears and long trunks.
  • Elephant Body Part Labeling: Label the different parts of an elephant’s body. 
  • Elephant Headband: Pretend to be an elephant by creating a headband with elephant ears and a trunk
  • Roll-a-Square: Roll the die and cover the matching number on your Elmer board with a colored square. Be the first player to cover all the spots on your board to win the game.
  • Elmer Race! Roll the dice and place a colored square in the column displaying the number rolled. Continue rolling until the colored squares reach the top of at least one Elmer column. Which Elmer column will win the race?

Enter the Giveaway

Ready to enter? All you need to do is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to those with a US mailing address only. Giveaway ends on Monday, November 20, 2017 at 11:59pm.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Homeschool Giveaways, Coupon Codes, and Sales

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Below you’ll find some current homeschool or family-related sales and giveaways you might not want to miss. We all can use a good deal when it happens! 

There are some time-sensitive sales, giveaways, and goodies below, so if you are at all interested, I’d encourage you not to hold off!  

Win a FULL level of All About Spelling!  

Our family uses All About Spelling and 100% recommends it to your family. Don’t miss this fabulous giveaway from All About Learning Press – a full level of All About Spelling, which includes the Teacher’s Manual and Student Packet! Giveaway ends 10-31-17, so enter now!

 

Spin-a-Story Freebie from WriteShop

WriteShop

This freebie from WriteShop includes 4 printable story prompt spinners in both full color and grayscale options (8 spinners total) plus directions. Our kids have loved their writing program. Spin-a-Story is a special gift for subscribers of the WriteShop site (and you’ll get other great tips and freebies along the way!). 

Popcorn Party Review Game

This free “Popcorn Party” download  includes a game board, 14 pages of printable “popcorn” word cards, and blank word cards for individual review. This is a special gift for subscribers of All About Learning Press (and they have additional freebies they offer as well!). 

 

Additional Sales and Giveaways 

Here are a few additional sales, freebies, and giveaways you don’t want to miss. 

$50 Amazon Gift Card – Back to School Giveaway

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We’re in the final stretch of back to school time, but the shopping still isn’t quite done in our home – and maybe not in yours either. To help you wrap up your back-to-school shopping (and pad the budget), today we are giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!!! It’s not fancy, but maybe your Amazon cart is brimming with various ideas like mine (grins). 

 


Super easy to enter – have fun browsing Amazon (and shopping from your pajamas!). And several of the entry options allow you to enter once a day, so be sure to visit and share often. 

Enter the Giveaway

Ready to enter? All you need to do is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to those who can receive the $50 gift card via email. Giveaway ends on Monday, August 14, 2017 at 11:59pm.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Box of Books Giveaway!

It’s time for another box of books giveaway! I’ve been cleaning off my shelves and would love to share some of the books with you all. 

Do you love free books? 

Many of the books are in brand new condition, but a few others may have some underlining or an earmarked corner or two. A chunk of them are from my past reading lists, but others are ones that have been pulled off the shelf to make room for another book or two currently on my list. 

Here’s a list of what’s in the box – 12 books total. Hopefully one or more of these are on your list and you’d love to have them in your home – or to share with friends. 

  • Wife After God – Jennifer Smith
  • Making it Home – Emily Wierenga
  • Make it Happen – Lara Casey
  • Present Over Perfect – Shauna Niequist
  • Six Ways to Keep the “Good” in Your Boy – Gresh
  • Praying for Boys – Brooke McGlothlin
  • Say Goodbye to Survival Mode – Crystal Paine
  • Platform – Michael Hyatt
  • Everything – Mary Demuth
  • The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren
  • Bringing Up Boy – James Dobson
  • Bringing Up Girls – James Dobson

To enter the giveaway, use the widget below to enter. Giveaway ends Tuesday, June 6th at 11:59pm and is open to those with a US mailing address only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Before You Forget!

Enter to Win ALL 20 Bundles - Over $4,000 Value!
Maybe you saw my email or blog post about the giveaway for over $4400 in homeschool resources but haven’t had a chance to enter. I know – time slips by and distractions happen (well, for me that’s a definite!). 

The H-U-G-E giveaway from Build Your Bundle ends in less than 36 hours (Monday, May 22 at 7am). Just take a look at some of the companies included in this year’s bundles – you do not want to miss it! 

The BIGGEST Homeschool Sale of the Year Starts 5/22/17

Build Your Bundle is also giving out coupon codes to every single entrant to use once the sale goes live. That alone will help so many families out. So before you forget or a kiddo pulls you away, let me make it easy for you…

Enter to win HERE.

Grab a coupon code for the sale HERE.

Giveaway ends May 22nd @ 7am – so act soon!