Bless a Homeschooler $500 Giveaway

As homeschool moms many of us come from single income families.  We pinch and squeeze and tighten the budgets like no body’s business.  As a single income homeschool family, I know that just about any of us could use an extra $500 to use on homeschool supplies, field trips or even a coop class you didn’t’ figure you would be able to swing.

Bless a Homeschooler Giveaway 600x600

At this time, if I won this giveaway, I would buy a fabric cube for each of my children, one for my planning tools, one for completed work, and one for family school.

Any homeschool family could use this wonderful pencil sharpener. We actually already own this baby, and LOVE it!!

You could subscribe to a year’s subscription to LessonTrek and  be able to plan and record your entire homeschool year in a professional format.


You can add another wonderful history resource to your homeschool, helping you teach history for a strong Christ centered literature based

perspective.

 These are just a few of the things I would get for our homeschool to make this year.  I would use some of the leftover money for field trips, special rewards for extra hard work on challenging concepts, books my children want, and craft or hobby supplies.  What would you purchase with an extra $500 to spend on homeschool supplies?

 

In order to win this prize, you must have a Paypal account.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to visit all of the hosts of this giveaway for more homeschool ideas!!

Preparing for the New Homeschool Year~Online Records Lessontrek

It’s that time of year.  The time when many homeschool moms are rushing around trying to get all their ducks or.. books in a row.  Suddenly they relize they need to also get their recordkeeping plans set… I like the ease of a paper record keeper, but LOVE the professionalism of an online record keeper.  Lessontrek is a new online lesson planner.

Lessontrek Web based easy to use Homeschool Planning App

I am still in the process of setting up our school in Lessontrek.  In fact we won’t officially start our book work school year for another couple of months.  At this time we are doing a very lifestyle of learning type of school based around our farm life.  Lessontrek allows me to customize each entry of our Lifestyle of Learning lesson or project with just a little typing and a few clicks.  Making it simple to keep track of all the accomplishments outside the textbooks!!

 

Lessontrek features (directly from Lessontrek’s home page)

Lesson plans can be taken wherever you go, or create your lesson plan template on-the-go
  • Lesson tracker
  • Grade recording
  • Drag and drop lessons to another weekday
  • Copy/paste lessons across weeks
  • Copy/paste an entire week of lessons
  • Print weekly lesson plans
  • Secure information storage
  • Customer support
  • Ongoing improvements based on your feedback
  • … and more

Features in the works

  • Gradebook
  • Shared subjects across students
  • Attendance tracking
  • Transcripts

Browser Requirements

  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer 10+

 

Below are some screen shots as I set it up.  Most everything is fairly easy.  A click here and a bit of typing, and then be sure to hit done/save. Otherwise you get to start over.  Ask me how I know.  lol

 

Using Lessontrek 

 

Setting up the new school year in Lessontrek

Setting up the new year, just a few clicks.  It is all step by step, making it simple and fast.

 

School Year Profile

 

 

 

Adding new students to Lessontrek

Adding new students to your Lessontrek planner couldn’t be much easier.  Over the last few years, I have had to add a new student as another child ages into our homeschool lessons.

Lesson Trek New Student

 

Creating a New Subject in Lessontrek

Creating a new subject in LessonTrek is quite easy.  It is all step by step.  I have added in a subject of Lifestyle of Learning here.  In the next screen shot you can see a little better how to easily customize daily tasks that have taken place as we do Lifestyle of Learning on our farm.

 

Creating New subject

 

Setting up an assignment and adding grades in Lessontrek

Setting up an assignment and adding grades in Lessontrek is done in the same screen.  So, if you just happen to add lessons as they happen, you can do it all at once.  That’s how I do things!!  Here is where you can see the ease of customizing the things your child has learned through life skills and such. (Lifestyle of Learning)

Inserting Grades in an assignment

 

 

Printing with Lessontrek

You can print each week’s lesson easily with just a click or two of the mouse.  I am still trying to figure out how to get the grades printed after I enter them.  I only had a few minutes to mess with that before baby needed my attention.  With a new baby in our home, I need something super user friendly, and so farm Lessontrek seems to fit that bill!!

Printable record

 

I suspect that the printable grade record is coming soon, as it is listed on their website as in the works. Maybe that is why I couldn’t figure that out in the few minutes I played with it.  ;)

With this being a cloud or online based software or app, you can use it from your tablet, laptop, desktop computer, iPad, and smartphone.  This makes it easily portable and always up to date as long as you remember to click SAVE/Done when you enter new information.  As more and more homeschools become more on the go, being mobile is a huge benefit for moms as they try to keep up with the busyness of today’s active homeschools.

I have enjoyed learning and playing with Lessontrek as I set up our homeschool.  The ease and customization in Lessontrek makes this one of the best online lesson planning software I have tried.

Lessontrek Pricing

Lessontrek is $6 per month or $60 for a full year to access this app from any device you can get on the internet with!!!  You will always have your homeschool plans and lessons at your fingertips!!

Be sure to follow Lessontrek on Facebook to learn about new updates as they happen.  Be sure to sign up for a FREE 14 day trial of Lessontrek to see if this app is a good fit for your homeschool!!

Lessontrek Discount 50% Off Discount

Lessontrek would like to offer ALL of my readers 50% off a 1 year subscriptions. This will make your program very affordable for even tight budgets. Families can get a full year access to Lessontrek for just $30.  You need to click the $60 yearly and enter the code 2IOL50 in the Payment Info section. Your credit card will be charged $30 for a full year and then renew for $60 each year thereafter.

I received a year of Lessontrek in return for my honest review.  I have not received any other compensation.

Wheat Harvest 2014 Blessings

Wheat harvest 2014 is beginning to wind down here.  It seems to me like it has taken forever, but really, it is just running later in the year.

Wheat Harvest 2014

Here in our area of Kansas, wheat harvest 2014 has not been a bumper crop.  With the drought, and cold temperatures a bit too late in the season the crop has been rather slim.

Wheat Harvest 2014

It has been a roller coaster for our family.  Well, with a new baby in the family, a new to us combine and well, rain every few days, it has been one of those will it ever end type of wheat harvests’.  We have had just a little going on.  You know, wheat harvest, putting up hay, Vacation Bible School and having a baby all in about five weeks time.

With all that has gone on, we recruited our children to help out.  Very typical for farm families.  This is why our farm is a FAMILY farm.  Our oldest, nearly fifteen is now swathing hay.  He is starting on our second cutting now.  With alfalfa hay, you normally four to five cuttings a year.  He has also started working ground, tilling it to get it ready to plant next year’s crops.  Having children old enough and mature enough to help has taken a huge load off our work load.

We got all our wheat harvested early on.  However, we have helped friends and family since. Since our wheat crop was a bit lacking, cutting for others will help bring in a little extra money.

As a Farm Wife I am Needed

Simon was born just days before wheat harvest started.  But, he was born, long enough before that we weren’t stressed terribly bad while in the hospital.  However, having a baby during the harvest season is a bit or a lot stressful.  I worried whether I would be up to driving to help move equipment from field to field or take meals to those who didn’t stop to eat.  I worried about parts runs and all the fun that goes with being a farm wife.  We are needed a lot, and I was down…

God Knew What He was Doing

However, God knew what He was doing, like there was any doubt…

  • Baby came a bit early.
  • Friends helped us out.
  • It rained lessening the effects of our current drought. (we are still in a drought)
  • We are all healthy and mostly recovered.

Blessings

I have been able to help out with things around the farm.  Mainly, taking kiddos to the field, taking meals to the field and helping move equipment.  I may be driving a tract the end of this week.   I am feeling pretty well now, though a bit tired.  Simon sleeps better than some of our other newborns.  Our children love to help with him, so I can get things done when needed.

Baby Simon Harvest Blessing

How is God blessing your summer?  How has God shown Himself in your life during  a time that could be/or was stressful?

 

Baby #7 is Here~ Birth Story

Well, it seems it is time to come back here and tell a bit about my pregnancy adventure, as Baby # 7 has been here for just over a month.  I am sharing with you his birth story and a few pictures, and how God worked through this latest journey.

I never really planned to take a hiatus, but I was sick… sick for nearly 20 weeks, and then I got sick again at 30 weeks.  There were days I just couldn’t eat. Some days I would make myself eat and be sick. So, I had to focus on just getting through the pregnancy and doing the best I could around the house.  So, I am here to introduce y’all to Simon, our seventh blessing.

This pregnancy was one of those, nothing ordinary or typical for me type pregnancies.  We were convinced he was a girl, until our sonogram in January.Those aren't girl parts

This ain’t no Maggie Faith

 

The Birth Story…

To really see how God worked through this pregnancy, you have to know his birth story.  Our summer and wheat harvest began with a new baby boy, coming 10 days before his scheduled c section. I went into labor early Monday morning on June 2. After laboring at home trying to convince myself it wasn’t labor, my hubby came home, took one look at me, fed kiddos lunch and took oldest to a neighbor’s, then loaded the rest of us in the van for what should have been a 2 hour drive… ended up being 1 hour 15 minutes maybe.

A friend met us at the hospital to take our other 5 kiddos to her house for what ended up being 4 days.

After hooking me up to the monitors, they realized quite quickly my contractions were 2 to 3 min apart and lasting 45 to 75 sometimes 90 seconds. They gave me Benadryl to attempt to stop them as baby was transverse. They continued. About an hour later I started have terrible pain on my lower right side with each contraction, but it didn’t stop when they ended, it got worse with each. They did a quick sono, and called a C-section. Within 30 or 45 mins. (Lost track of time) I was on the table.

C-Section

During the C-section they discovered a weakening and beginning of muscle separation in the same area of my extreme pain. With contractions, his feet would get in there and cause further separation. They called it the beginnings of a hernia.

After they got him out, they did some minor repair to help it pull together and heal.

Simon weighed 9 lbs 6 oz., 20 inches long. He was 37 weeks 4 days. He spent his first night in the Special Neonatal Care Nursery due to him not being able to maintain his body temperature. By Tuesday morning he was able to room with us.

Simon Rodney's Birth Story.  The Story of the Blessings of a c-section, and how God worked through the birth of a little boy to a farm family in the midst of the harvest season!!

We came home Thursday evening, June 5.

He dealt with some Jaundice, and on June 7th I ended up in the ER with Mastitis.

Here is how God worked through all this…

It rained the Sunday before he was born… Being that we farm, huge blessing because we are in a drought and my hubby couldn’t get in the field, therefore he didn’t stress about needing to be home when we were in the hospital two hours away.

Tuesday morning, after he was born a group of our neighbors and church family gathered together to bale up our hay that was ready, allowing my hubby to be able to stay with me.

It has rained off and on since, allowing hubby to be more easily around to help with appointments and such.

We have managed to work through the worst latch issues I have dealt with and I have nursed more months than not in my married life.  He had to have is lip clipped for a lip tie, and may need further intervention in time.

Lip Tie in one month old before clipping

The week he was born, worked better than the planned week, for our child care help, for our farming and for our health.

Giving God all the Glory!!!!

Red, White and Blue Patriotic Diaper

Rockin’ his Red, White and Blue Patriotic Diaper on Independence Day at one month and two days old!!

Picking Out a Printer for the Homeschool Family

Picking out a printer for the homeschool family has many challenges.  Probably the biggest challenge is the financial side. Most of us are single income families, and well that means that having that extra $200-$500 laying around to spend on a printer when the need arises is probably not the case…

Picking Out a Printer for the Homeschool Family

Earlier this month I was trying to prepare lessons and set up my children’s assignment notebooks.  When I went to print, my printer decided to be a major issue and brought me to an abrupt halt that I really didn’t have time for.

There are many considerations to take when picking out a printer.

Compatibility with your computers

  • Operation System
  • Mac/Windows

How Much do you print?

  • I print a LOT.  I need to find a way to make ink as cheap as possible.  Using the Office Max Teacher Max Perks program really helps me save money.
  • I get paper through Office Max also.
  • How fast does it print?

Double Sided?

  • Printing double-sided saves paper, but if your printer doesn’t print double-sided automatically, then you will spend a lot of time doing this.
  • If you plan to print double-sided you may want a duplexer and auto two-sided printing.  For me, this is a MUST! I print entire workbooks for my children and bind them.  NOTE:  They are purchased through sites that allow this. such as Currclick

How economical is ink?

  • How many pages can you expect to print from each cartridge?
  • Can you refill the ink cartridges?

So, now you are wondering what printer I decided on?

I chose the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4530 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax, iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible (C11CB33201)

I had a friend who is a public school teacher recommend this to me.  She uses it in her classroom and has found it to be wonderful.  After reading a few lot of reviews, and comparing the upfront cost with similar not as highly rated printers, I chose this one.  In order to refill the cartridges, I will need to purchase a chip resetting gadget, so at this point I am buying new ink for replacement.

My Review

So far, after over two week’s of use, I am really impressed with this printer.  I have printed well over 800 pages and still have over half of all ink cartridges left.  It is fast, and smooth when printing.  It did take me a bit to figure out how to use the new to be print dialog box on our computers when I went to print.  I also am having to get used to not having a touch screen LCD on the printer itself when coping.  I am finding I can live without it.

I absolutely love being able to EASILY print from our smartphones, and iPad without any issues…I didn’t even have to install the printer on them.  Speaking of installation, it was quite easy.  In under an hour, I had it installed and working on three different computers.  Setup was quite easy also.

If you print quite a bit, need two-sided, want to make copies and are looking for ease of use… This printer is for you!!

What are some frustrations you have gone through as you are picking out a printer to meet your family’s needs?

Galapagos Islands a EduVacation in a Book

What is an EduVacation?  It is a educating vacation.  However, this one is in a book.  Galapagos Islands is a book published by MasterBooks, is a pictorial view with lots of text to help your family get an idea what the Galapagos Islands is all about. It could be considered one of the most beautiful…

You Might Be a Literature Based Homeschool If

My oldest two children love to read, they read in the car, they read during their free time, they read during our nap/rest time, they read when they should be doing chores, they read to their siblings, and well, they read to get out of trouble.  My husband and I both love to read also. …

2014 Word of the Year

I chose the word faith for my word of the year.  I am really not into resolutions, but wanted to have something to focus on this year.  I am choosing to focus on faith. Faith in: Daily life Future Husband God Children Trials Praises and everything in between Another reason I chose Faith?  This baby…

A Light bulb Moment with my Sensory Intense Child and her PJs

As our evening temperatures drop, I have been putting my children in warmer jammies at night.  Not footed jammies, but light weight pants and a long sleeved t-shirt or night gown.  My youngest, who has Sensory Processing Disorder wasn’t handling this.  She wasn’t getting rest which meant I wasn’t getting rest.  She also only had…

The Announcement that Caused Excitement…

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Holiday eBook Bundle to Help Your Family Stay Focused

Thanksgiving, Christmas and all are just around the corner.  It is time to get organized and focused on the true reasons for these special holidays.  This bundle of 25 books for JUST $25 will be sure to help you.  There are planning pages, homeschooling helps, pages to help your children record their memories, crafts to…

Not Just Tacos Recipe Book Giveaway

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Thirty-One Days of Our Life on the Prairie Day 3

   Have you been enjoying the pictures of our life on the prairie?  Well, you are  going   to laugh at one of these, say awww with one, say how fun and then well wonder what in the world I am taking a picture of for the last. I am really enjoying sharing our life on…

Thirty-One Days of Our Life on the Prairie Day 2

31 Days of Our Life on the Prairie from PeaceCreekonthePrairie.com

So, how did you like a look into our days, for day one?  Looks like fun so far to be living the life on the prairie ehh? Today is another fun day too.  But, let me warn ya, not all days on the prairie are fun days.  Remember Laura from Little House on the Prairie…

Thirty-One Days of Our Life on the Prairie Pictures

So, as I was praying what I should be posting on this blog over the next several weeks, God kept saying keep it real. So, I thought oh Farm pictures, but really I am not always able to get just farm pictures, but our lives revolve around the farm, homeschool and this all takes place…