Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sneak Peeks

Here is a little peek of the vendors participating in this giveaway! I am still working out some rafflecopter kinks but this should be a super easy giveaway to enter! Remember this is NOT LIVE until Sept 12th. Be sure to come back then to enter!

Homeschool Mega Lot Giveaway!!!

I am excited. No, I am beyond excited. I am on cloud nine. In a few days I will be announcing the start of the largest homeschool giveaway I have ever hosted, in conjunction with several other bloggers. The list of vendors participating is incredible and the value of this lot is beyond words!

I will also be test driving a new giveaway set up called rafflecopter which should make it quicker and easier than ever to enter.

Be on the look out for teasers over the next few weeks!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our School is Home

Our wake up time is 8:00am or later. No pulling groggy kids out of bed as the claw at the covers attempting to pull them back over their heads. No shoving down a bowl of cereal for breakfast and no mad rush to hunt down last nights homework.

Our uniform is whatever we feel comfortable in. No khaki pants and navy blue tops. No white socks and brown shoes. Sometimes, it is Keira's eclectic look and sometimes we never make it out of our pajamas.

Our bus is my mini-van. Seat belts, three well behaved kids and a/c. Best of all, I get get into my mini-van without fear of being prosecuted.

Our desks are the couches. Or the dining table. Or the picnic table in the back yard. I think you get the point. Not only can we do school anywhere that we find comfortable, we can get up and move around without having to raise our hands or waiting an hour in the same hard chair, for the bell to ring.

Our lunches are good home cooked meals. Yes, every now and then Kraft mac and cheese comes out, but most days I am able to cook a good wholesome, unprocessed meal. We socialize and eat at whatever pace we want.

Our playground is the world. Wherever we happen to be; the backyard, the park, the sports center, an indoor bounce house, the spray park. An added bonus is that these places are virtually empty during the school year.

Our classroom is the world. Whether we are taking a nature walk or sitting in the living room talking we are always learning. Learning is not confined to a school building.

Our lessons are Christ centered. There is no fear of pulling out your Bible in this school. We pray as a school together over our food, for our country, for our friends and family. We sing praise songs and we talk about how often we disappoint Christ with our sin. We pray together for forgiveness and we grow in our faith as a family every moment of every day. We learn unashamedly about creation and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. There is no undoing hours of God-less indoctrination.

Our homework is life. No hours of school after school, no struggling to understand what the teacher is asking because we weren't there during the lesson. No fights and no lost family time.

Our school is home. Where we, their God given parents, can spend all day every day bringing up our children in the admonition of the Lord. Where we can prepare them at an appropriate pace to face the world with a zeal for sharing the Gospel. Where we don't have to worry how we will keep them from learning about sex from their peers, or being bullied, or if they will succumb to peer pressure. Our school is at home where our children belong.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Aluminum Foil Crafts

This blog is in honor of my friend Jessica over at Feeding the Family for Less. We had a bit of a joke about her doing a blog on aluminum foil. I got the feeling that she thought I should stick with writing homeschool posts. I agreed, but why can't I do both. So here it is, a homeschool post about aluminum foil:

The History of Aluminum Foil

All About the Element Aluminum

How is Aluminum Recycled?

Aluminum Can Crafts

You can use foil to make models or to do embossing crafts too!

HomeSkoolie T-Shirt Review and Giveaway

I am always looking for fun ways that we can let people know that we homeschool. Shirts are one of my favorite ways to do that. They not only let people know why my kids are not in school during the week, but they also can head off some of those annoying questions. I ran across Homeskoolie while browsing Twitter one day and let me tell you I am so glad I did!

One of the great things about smaller companies is the customer service details that are often missing in bigger companies. I was very excited when I received the package with the shirt, but was even more impressed when it came neatly wrapped in tissue paper with a bow. I know it sounds silly, but little touches like that can really give a great first impression! Even better was the product! I requested the Socialized youth small in bay as my review product. It is a gorgeous blue and I enjoy the fact that because of the color blue it is, it can be gender neutral. The cotton is 94% ring spun cotton and 6% organic cotton and feels Divine on your skin. The temperatures here in N.Texas get up over 100F regularly and so it is important that the shirts we wear be breathable.

I do have to point out that the sizes run a little large. I am fairly small, but am 5'4 and the youth small fit me perfectly. Also remember that youth and child sizes are different when considering ordering for a young child. Sizes are in a classic fit, women's fit and youth fit.

Clothing reviews are a bit out of the box for me, but I am so glad I did this one. I am really looking forward to see what other designs this company comes up with! In the mean time, I enjoyed wearing the shirt and look forward to seeing the looks it brings as those around me realize that my family is 100% guaranteed homeschooled and socialized! I am really looking forward to see what other designs this company comes up with!

Now for the fun part! Homeskoolie has offered me ONE(1) shirt to giveaway. Winner can choose any shirt on the website. In order to be entered for one(1) entry, you MUST visit the Homeskoolie website and tell me what you would choose if you won. None of the bonus entries will count if you do not complete this first entry. For one(1) entry you can Follow My Blog. For one(1) entry you can "Like" Molding Minds Homeschool on Facebook. For one(1) entry you can Share On Facebook or on on your favorite social media site (to share just cut and paste this blog into your status and let me know where you shared). For one(1) entry you can follow Molding Minds on Twitter. This is a total of FIVE(5) chances to win!

Please post a SEPARATE COMMENT for each entry and be sure to leave an email address for me to contact you at if you win! Multiple entries in a single comment will not count! Be sure to read the entry requirements thoroughly!

Winners will be chosen Monday, August 29th at 7PM central and will be notified via email. Winners will have 72 hours to respond.

US Residents Only. I was given one free shirt in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% mine. Please take a moment to read my disclosure policy.

Disney World Paint Chip Countdown Calendar

I have been having a blast finding fun and frugal ways to get us all excited about our September 2011 Disney World Trip. Browsing the internet gave me quite a few ideas and one of my favorites was the Paint Chip Countdown Calendar. This one is mine:

For those that don't know, paint chips are the sample cards you find at your local hardware store that have the different paint colors on them. HomeDepot carries the Behr brand of Disney paints and the paint chip cards are cute Mickey heads. My dad picked mine up for me, but if you decide to do this, I think the best way to go about it would be to either get them while you are actually purchasing paint, or to ask if you can have them. After all, the store does have to pay for them. Anyways, there are numerous cute ways to do this, but since I don't have a fancy die cut machine and didn't feel like taking the time to cut out numbers I just took a black marker and put down the days. As we hit each day we will take one down! The cards are great because they gradually change tones and colors and it gives a really neat effect.

Here are a few other ideas that I will be adding to as I find more!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blissdom 2012 Sponsorship

It is time to start thinking about my trip to BlissDom! This will be my first year going and I am looking forward to finding some great sponsors and promoting some great products while I am there!

A little about me and my blog:
I average 5000 hits per month, have just over 500 subscribed readers through Google connect and Feedburner, 150 Facebook followers (I just created this page a few months ago so it is still young), and 275 Twitter followers. I also write for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Review Crew.

My costs for this trip are as follows:

Ticket to BlissDom :$278 based on last year's rates
Hotel: $400 with a shared room
Food: $150
Flights $300 as of August 8
Total: $1128

I have a friend in the area so I will not need a car to get to the hotel.

About Molding Minds: I am a mom blogger that writes primarily about homeschooling. I do reviews and giveaways. What I write comes from experience and from the heart. I only represent companies I love and that means that if we enter into a partnership I will promote your company wholeheartedly, because I would only accept sponsorship from a company I love! I am very outgoing and will work with you to make sure that I advertise your company the way you want me to. I want to customize the experience for you. I am looking forward to finding a great company to partner with! Please contact me at molder.anna@gmail.com for information or to offer sponsorship.

Honorable Mention Sponsorship: $15

This level will get you 3 months of ad space on my side bar with a standard size button and a mention on my sponsor page.

Level 1 Sponsorship: $25

Will get you 3 months of ad space on my sidebar with a standard size button, a live tweet from BlissDom with your site link, and a mention on my sponsor page.

Level 2 Sponsorship:$50

All of the level 1 and level 2 benefits plus a short company mention on my blog live from BlissDom and a Facebook mention.

Level 3 Sponsorship: $100

All of the benefits of the first 3 levels plus a total of 3 live Twitter mentions and 3 live facebook mentions, a large advertising space(180x150 imu) at the top above the fold for 3 months.

Level 4 Sponsorship: $500

All of the above plus a total of 6 months large advertising space, your website printed on my business cards that I will give out at BlissDom, once a month mentions on Twitter, facebook and my blog until the end of February, 10 live Twitter posts with your company website and a full dedicated blog post about your company. I will also host a giveaway for your company if you desire.

Level 5 Sponsorship: Full Sponsorship $1128

All of the above plus 1 year of large advertising space above the fold, Tweeting before and throughout Blissdom about your company, your company logo on my Facebook and Twitter for 1 month, your company's site added to my signature at the end of all of my blog posts for 1 year, your companies logo and website on my business cards to be handed out at BlissDom, 2 full dedicated posts about your company one before and one after BlissDom). I will also work with you to find the best way to advertise your company at blissdom, whether it be me wearing your logo or handing out your flyers, I will do anything you ask within reason.

I am ready to go to BlissDom. I am ready to meet other mom bloggers and learn how to better serve my sponsors. I promise that anyone who partners with me will get my full attention toward promoting your company. Feel free to browse around my site, visit some of my sponsored posts, and contact me if you need any more information! molder.anna@gmail.com

My Guest Appearance on NBC5 DFW

Yeah, I freaked out a little bit when Stephanie over at Couponing101 called me and asked me to do an interview with her for NBC about couponing. I even told her no at first, but after a little coersion she talked me into it and I am so glad I did!

I, of course, am not a couponing blog, but I do enjoy getting a good deal. Before we started eating more organically I saved quite a bit of money on groceries using sites like Couponing101. Eating organically means I don't save quite as much money as I used to, but I still try to save money other ways!

Frugal homeschooling is one of my favorite topics. Did you know that you can homeschool for next to nothing if you just put a little time into searching for free resources? That's part of what Molding Minds Homeschool is about. Helping you find great resources (and if they are free that is all the better!) while encouraging you in your homeschool journey. On top of that I am known to host some pretty great giveaways!

Some of my favorite places to find homeschool freebies:

Homeschool Share

So have a look around, gather homeschooling inspiration and then go visit Stephanie at http://www.couponing101.com/ for some couponing inspiration! And don't forget to watch the 6pm NBC DFW news on channel 5! I will post the online version as soon as it is up!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Octopus Lapbook Resources

This is actually a cake!!! How cool is that?!

When my daughter picked out a stack of octopus books from the library I figured it was time to go down one of those rabbit trails homeschoolers always talk about. Octopus lapbooks are not easy to come by so here is a list of the resources I found for this lapbook. Most of these will be from http://www.homeschoolshare.com/ and will be under the Nico's Octopus Unit Study.

Vocabulary Pocket
Singular and Plural Word Practice
Prefix Oct-
What Color Would You Be?
Octopus Senses
Octopus Defenses
Octopus Anatomy
Octopus Arms
Octopus Facts for Kids
Toilet Paper Roll Octopus Craft