Sunday, August 29, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge

We are headed off to the Great Wolf Lodge until Tuesday for our family staycation! I will update my blog as soon as I get back with the details of our adventure and a new review and giveaway! This is one that all homeschooling parents can appriciate so be sure to check back and enter!
See you soon!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Leapfrog Sale on Amazon

Leapfrog is one of our favorite learning tools here at the Molding Minds Homeschool. The DVD's teach pre-reading and reading skills in a fun way! Our absolute favorite is our LeapFrog Tag Reading System (32 MB). And best of all, is having an awesome sale on some great Leapfrog Products!

Leap Frog - Learn to Read at the Storybook Factory - Marked down from $14.99 to $9.99

LeapFrog Leapster 2 Learning Game System - Green -Marked down from $69.99 to $39.99

LeapFrog WordLaunch Learn-to-Read-It System -Marked down from $39.99 to $17.98

LeapFrog - Letter Factory-Marked down from $14.98 to $8.49

LeapFrog Math Adventure to the Moon -Marked down from $14.98 to $8.99

Don't forget that you can get free super saver shipping if you spend $25 making this an even greater deal!

Thanks Stephanie at Couponing101!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Trust You'll Treat Her Well

I have a guilty pleasure that I probably shouldn't indulge in, but I listen to 106.1 KISS FM (the talk show portion) in the mornings on my way to co-op twice a week. Yesterday was the first day back to school for most of the North Dallas area and as per a tradition on the show they read a poem called "I Trust You'll Treat Her Well". I really expected a mushy poem about how his little girl was growing up and all that other mush that comes along with it (don't get me wrong, I love mush!), but what I heard was actually HORRIBLE! I honestly can not believe that this poem is a comfort to anyone. In fact I turned it off after a few lines because it made me want to cry for anyone sending their daughter(s) or son(s) for that matter, into this enviroment that produces such awfulness!

Trust You'll Treat Her Well

World, I bequeath to you today one little girl
in a crispy dress.. with two blue eyes...and a happy laugh that ripples all day
long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she
runs. I Trust You'll Treat Her Well.

She's slipping out of the backyard
of my heart this morning and skipping off down the street to her first day at

And never again will she be completely mine...

Prim and
proud, she'll wave a young and independent hand this morning, and say goodbye
and walk with little-lady steps to the nearby schoolhouse...

Gone will
be the chattering little hoyden who lived only for play, and gone will be the
delightful little gamin who roamed the yard like a proud princess with nary a
care in her little world.

Now, she will learn to stand in lines...and
wait by the alphabet for her name to be called...

She will learn to tune
her little-girl ears for the sound of school bells, and for deadlines...

She will learn to giggle and gossip... and to look at the ceiling in a
disinterested way when the little boy across the aisle sticks out his tongue.

Now she will learn to be jealous...and now she will learn how it is to
feel hurt inside...and now she will learn how not to cry. No longer will she
have time to sit on the front porch steps on a summer day and watch while an ant
scurries across a crack in the sidewalk...

Or will she have time to pop
out of bed with the dawn to kiss lilac blossoms in the morning dew. Now she will
worry about important grades...and what dresses to wear...and
whose best friend is whose. Now she will worry about the little boy who pulls
her hair at recess time... and staying after school...and which little girls
like which little boys...And the magic of books and knowledge will soon take the
place of the magic of her blocks and dolls.

And she'll find her new
heroes. For five full years I've been her sage and Santa Claus...her pal and
playmate...her parent and friend. Now, alas, she'll learn to share her worship
and adoration with her teachers (which is only right).

No longer will
her parents be the smartest, and greatest in the world. Today, when the first
school bell rings, she'll learn how it is to be a member of the group...with all
its privileges, and, of course, its disadvantages, too.

She'll learn in
time that proper young ladies don't laugh out loud...or keep frogs in pickle
jars in bedrooms...or watch ants scurry across the cracks in a summer

Today, she'll begin to learn for the first time that all who
smile at her are not her friends. That "the group" can be a demanding
mistress... and I'll stand on the porch and watch her start out on the long,
long journey to becoming a woman.

LITTLE GIRL in a crispy dress, with two blue eyes, a happy laugh that ripples
all day long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when
she runs.
By Dan Valentine

So you tell me. Is that the world you want your gifts from God going into at the tender age of 5 and coming out of 13 years later? I'll Pass.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Scentsy Warmer Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Katy who won the Scentsy Warmer and 3 bars! I will be contacting our winner via email soon.

Don't worry! If you didn't win this contest I have another one coming up next week. I will be reviewing and giving away TWO copies of A Well Planned Day homeschool planner!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

7 Tips for Frugal Homeschooling

I walked into the homeschool book fair for the first time last year. It was amazing. A huge convention center filled from wall to wall with every sort of textbook, manipulative and homeschool novelty you could hope for. I walked out $80 lighter, my arms filled with the new goodies I had purchased in the heat of the moment.

This year as I was cleaning out old items and organizing our school space I found them. Two text books totalling nearly $20 that had been shuffled to the back of the stack of other books I had also excitedly purchased that year. As I continued on, I found receipts and other books totaling about $250. Wow. I had no idea I had spent that much!

Does this sound familiar? Even if you aren't prone to losing curriculum like I am (actually I have a tallent for losing just about anything!), let me help you save some money by sharing some tips with you on how to homeschool frugally. 7 Tips for Frugal Homeschooling will share some of my money saving methods and hopefully let you keep your money in the piggy bank just a little while longer!

Back to Homeschool. Celebrating a New Year!

As a parent, the one thing I do not feel like I am missing out on is the "back to school" rush. Shopping for uniforms, backpacks, lunchboxes and art supplies is not at the top of my list of fun things to do. However, as a child, I remember loving this time of year! There is something to be said about the back to school rituals and even the hustle and bustle of all the other parents who left it until the last minute. Kids love traditions like this and even if you don't do the typical back to school rites it is important to celebrate the beginning of the new year.

1. Mark the Date. Even if you homeschool year around have an official start to your school year. It will help you and your child feel accomplished and organized if you have an official start and stop to your school year.

2. Decorate for Back to School. Maybe you don't have a dedicated space but even if you are teaching out of your living room decorate for the first day of school. Make it something special and exciting!

3. Have a "Not Going Back to School" Party. Celebrate with other homeschool friends or just with your own child. Decorate a cake and have a special lunch, play games and do a special back to school craft.

4. Buy New Supplies. Even if you don't need a new backpack or a lunchbox, go out and buy a special folder, pencil box or art supplies. Buy a special outfit just for the first day. Starting the new year is much more fun with new things and even homeschoolers need to restock every now and then.

Back to school can be a fun time to celebrate new goals and old successes. Make your homeschooler feel special!

K'NEX Kicks Off 2011 K'NEXpert Search

K'NEX Kicks Off 2011 K'NEXpert Search
Kids Can Win $10,000 Savings Bond for College!

K’NEX is inviting kids to design a creative, original model made entirely from K’NEX parts. Three imaginative children – one from each of the three age groups: 5 to 6-year-olds; 7 to 8-year-olds; and, 9 to 12-year-olds - will each win a $10,000 savings bond for college. The models made entirely of K’NEX pieces are judged on creativity, uniqueness and detail.

In addition to $10,000 for college, the three grand prize winners will also receive a trip for three to K'NEX headquarters near Philadelphia, PA for the K’NEXpert Award Ceremony, where they can meet each other and discover, through company designers and a factory tour, how K’NEX is made. Seven finalists will each receive $1,000 savings bonds and all ten winners will receive $250 worth of free K’NEX Building Sets, and their very own photo gallery page at
The 2011 K’NEXpert Search will run through September 10, 2010. Children can enter by printing out the entry form and mailing it in.
The K’NEXpert Search is open to U.S. and Canadian residents and there is no purchase necessary. For more information on K’NEX, the contest and previous winners, visit
K’NEX website
K’NEXpert dedicated page -

2011 K’NEXpert Rules & Details -
K’NEXpert Photo Gallery

Don't forget I am also giving away a set of 4 K'Nex sets! As soon as my Facebook Fan Page reaches 200 I will run the contest!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Homeschooling Mom's Not So Perfect House

I get asked alot how I get my housework done and school done all in the same day. Well, I have decided it was time to come clean (pun intended). I am confessing. My house isn't always clean. *GASP*. I'm afraid it's true my dear friends. Sometimes I just don't get around to the housework. Sometimes I would just rather play with my children, and I do. Sometimes school takes us down a path that I didn't intend and what started out as a simple science lesson ends up being a 2 hour wait while we watch the ants pick up and carry off peices of the poptart that someone dropped. That is part of what makes homeschooling glorious! As important as it is to keep a clean and comfortable home, it is equally important to take those learning moments and go with the flow!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recipe:Make Your Own Rubber Ball

We are always looking for fun ways to learn, and being able to use items from around the house makes it even better! Here is a recipe to make your very own rubber ball. Study chemical reactions as well as basic physics with this fun project, suitable for all ages.

First, you need to gather a few basic supplies:
Rubber Ball Recipe
•borax (found in the laundry section of the store)
•cornstarch (found in the baking section of the store)
•white glue (e.g., Elmer's glue - makes an opaque ball) or blue or clear school glue (makes a translucent ball)
•warm water
•food coloring (optional)
•measuring spoons
•spoon or craft stick to stir the mixture
•2 small plastic cups or other containers for mixing
•marking pen
•watch with a second hand
•metric ruler
•zip-lock plastic baggie

Next mix water and borax, add food coloring if desired, and measure out your glue:

Dump the borax and water into the glue and watch the reaction!

After about 15 seconds stir the mixture until it becomes impossible to mix any more:

Now here is where it gets a tad messy. Take the mixture and roll it in your hand. It will be very sticky at first, but don't worry after about 2 minutes it will start to form a rubbery texture. Roll until you have a round ball and then test it out by trying some of the experiments here!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shark Week Lesson Plans

In honor of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel here are a few resources to help you plan out a lesson all about sharks!

Kidzone-Facts and fun activities all about sharks!

Discovery Education has free lesson plans all written out for you!

First School offers craft ideas for younger and older students

Atlantis Marine World has lesson plans for grades 11-12

Currclick offers several shark lapbook and notebooks

Home Science Tools- Get hands on by disecting a Dogfish Shark!

Scentsy Giveaway!

Ever forget to blow out your scented candles before leaving the house? I do. All. the. time. There is nothing scarrier than coming home and seeing that candle still burning. Or what about the smoke and fumes from the wick? Some even contain lead!

But what if you had an alternative to that? What if you had a product that safely leaves your house smelling great? Well, Scentsy is that product! Scentsy is lead free, wick free (which also means smoke free) and smells great! Scentsy is a scented wax that is melted with a low watt light bulb in a ceramic warmer, eliminating the wick and the nasty smoke that comes with it. From small plug-in warmers, mid-size warmers to large warmers there is a size and style for everyone. Check out this super cute Boho Chic Warmer of the Month! There are dozens of scents to chose from, and, for the month of August there is a 10% discount on select items! On top of that you will be helping my daughter's dance team raise money for competition!

But here is the best part! I am giving away a free Scentsy Warmer plus 3 scents to get you started! To enter all you need to do is follow my blog and post a comment (if you already follow just post a comment) ! Want a second and third chance? Follow me on Twitter and/or on Facebook. Please post a SEPERATE comment for each entry (up to 3). I will chose the winner using on August 20th!

I was not paid to do this review. I purchased the warmer to give away in hopes of helping my daughters dance team raise money. Open to US residents only.