Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!

Jul 222014

I was sponsored by Lessontrek to review their homeschool lesson planning tool and am excited to share my experience as well as an awesome giveaway!  All opinions are mine alone.  For more information please read my full disclosure.

Lessontrek Review and Giveaway -

Lesson planning. It can be a thorn in a homeschool mama’s side! We all need something that’s going to keep us in line, and is fluid enough to allow us to be sick, and not pile up a ton of work trying to rearrange everything when we get back. We’ve dabbled with pen and paper lesson planners, and online lesson planners. Lessontrek looks like a great way to make easy lesson plans!

Last year we used free printable lesson planners, and while we had a great plan, the follow through broke down between the lesson plan I carefully crafted, and writing down the lessons in Kira’s planner. I’m very excited to see how Lessontrek keeps us on track for the coming year!

Fast Setup

It’s was very easy to get going quickly on Lessontrek. With just a few short steps, I created multiple subjects, with different assignment types and grading methods, and was on my way! One thing I look for when choosing an online tool is how easily I can maneuver my way around without having to touch the mouse. It makes things so much faster if I can just Tab through settings rather than click in each area, which I’m able to easily do in many areas of Lessontrek.

Lessontrek Review and Giveaway -

Lessontrek Review and Giveaway -

Also, check out my video on YouTube where I setup a new school year:

Checkboxes, beautiful checkboxes

Kira loves to check things off. It’s a definitive way to see that something is done and she can move on. My favorite part is that when she’s at her dad’s house, which is half the week during the summer, I can see what she has completed without having to nag her about where she’s at. This one feature has been invaluable for us this summer as she’s still wrapping up a few things and we’re both highly invested in making sure she gets done before the next school year is supposed to start. It’s easy to think you’re done without a solid plan in front of you, but if the box isn’t checked, it isn’t done. Simple as that!

Lessontrek Review and Giveaway -

Printable weekly lesson plan

I love that Lessontrek allows you to print out a weekly schedule for each child. As I said, my highschooler really is a checkbox girl, and she needs to be able to check off assignments as she goes, so this is great. Plus, there’s no room for error as she jots down her assignments in her personal planner (that lesson was learned the hard way). For my 3.5 year old, Aamina, we are pretty casual, but I’m trying to make sure we cover certain things at least a couple times a week, so having the plan printed out and posted where I can see it is a great reminder throughout the week!

Color coding

Besides just being fun to look at, color coding helps remind you to keep a balance of the various subjects. Since Aamina’s school work is very fluid at this point, it could be easy to only focus on one area. Having the different subject areas color coded helps me remember to include math, art, phonics, and other valuable activities in her week. You could also use a certain color for activities you do with multiple children, or to show which subjects should be done independently versus with Mom!

Continuing improvements

My first email from Lessontrek noted some great features coming down the line as well, such as:

  • Grade book
  • Monthly calendar
  • Subject sharing across multiple students
  • And more

There are quite a few free online options available, but from what I’ve found, they aren’t reliable in keeping up with user requests or bug fixes. There are some things that are just better done in a paid service. At least this way you know that people are likely employed to make sure the service keeps working, and to keep making it better. There’s nothing worse than getting a lesson plan all set with one service, just to find out it doesn’t work any longer. Another lesson learned the hard way.

Giveaway and Discount!

Lessontrek is giving away one free membership to one of my readers!

Plus, everyone else can get 50% off a one year subscription through July 30th with the code JULY50BLUE!!

On to the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 202014

The first ever “Build Your Bundle” – Homeschool Edition sale is here!

For one week only (July 21-28) save up to 92% on bestselling
homeschooling products, including MANY on Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 list!

The bundles are AMAZING, including products such as Learning Language
Arts Through Literature
, A Child’s Geography, Character Concepts,
Picture Smart Bible, Math Mammoth, and more! There are SO
many incredible products to choose from, all bundled up in grades/themes
OR you can “Build Your Own!”

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Our “Build Your Own” bundles offer you the opportunity to select
a certain number of products with a retail price of $19.99 or less for up
to 80% off! We have MANY items to choose from, including Cathy Duffy Top
100 Picks! When you purchase a combination of any 2 “Build Your Own”
bundles, you will get the 3rd one at 50% off!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!
Buy more & save more! Purchase 2 “build your
own” bundles and get the 3rd one 50% off! See
site for details.

You will also find the following pre-assembled bundles with saving up
to 92% off retail:
Tot/Pre-K Bundle, K-3 Bundle, 4-6 Elementary Bundle,
Middle School Bundle, High School Bundle, Charlotte Mason Bundle, & the
Homeschooling/Homemaking Mom Bundle!

Charlotte Mason Style Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $377.35 - On Sale for ONLY $49.00 - One Week Only! Elementary Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $220.35 - On Sale for ONLY $39.00 - One Week Only! Middle School Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $361.77 - On Sale for ONLY $59.00 - One Week Only!
High School Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $381.68 - On Sale for ONLY $69.00 - One Week Only! K-3 Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $187.13 - On Sale for ONLY $39.00 - One Week Only! K-3 Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $171.37 - On Sale for ONLY $29.00 - One Week Only!
K-3 Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $118.19 - On Sale for ONLY $10.00 - One Week Only!  Homeschooling Curriculum - You Choose What to Buy - Save up to 80% - One Week Only!  Homeschooling Resources, Curriculum & More - Save up to 60% - One Week Only!
Jul 162014

I received the following book for review. All opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy with any questions.

Ilyas and Duck Search for Allah: Review and Giveaway! -

I get really excited when I find great Islamic books for my little ones, so I’m always anxious to find new resources to build on our home library. Finding high quality Islamic books for preschoolers isn’t easy, but alahmdulilah, the list is growing! Ilyas and Duck Search for Allah is definitely on that list.

Ilyas and Duck Search for Allah is about a boy and his best friend, Duck, trying to answer the question, “Where is Allah?” They search high and low, encountering interesting animals along the way to help them solve this basic, yet deep question.

Fantastic for toddlers and preschoolers

With bright pictures and short phrases, it’s easy to keep the short attention span of even toddlers throughout the entire book. I loved that the vocabulary was mostly at an easy level, and anything that may have been new was easily figured out within the book. There’s no ultra-formal voice here. Just a boy and his best friend.

Learn new animals!

Since we have been giving more attention to nature study recently, I absolutely love that there are a variety of animals, each with their specific name. Instead of simple descriptions that all kids are familiar with like monkey, bird, goat, and fish, you have a mandrill, hoopoe, alpine ibex, and anglerfish. We’ve been working on sometimes using more specific descriptions for plants and animals so Aamina can start to realize the variety of species in the world around her, in sha Allah. Ilyas and Duck tied in beautifully with a goal we have already been working on.

Easy reading for both native and non-native English speakers

Can I say this? Hmm. There are some books out there that are clearly not written by a native English speaker. I greatly appreciate their contribution to Islamic publishing, but when it comes to reading to my kids, stumbling through awkward wording and formal speech disconnects both myself and my kids from the flow of the story. I loved I was able to pick up Ilyas and Duck, and just start reading. No going back to rephrase the sentence with proper inflection. Just a smooth sailing story.

Adorable pictures

Too, too cute, mashaAllah! Just see a couple for yourself!

Ilyas and Duck Review

Ilyas and Duck Review

Ilyas and Duck Review



Now, on to our giveaway, in sha Allah! We purposely timed this giveaway so you can in sha Allah get a book for your child just in time for Eid! A couple giveaway rules:

  • Ends at midnight on July 22nd (morning), in sha Allah.
  • Open to participants in US and Canada only
  • Winner will be randomly selected

Best wishes and in sha Allah you’ll get something great for your little one for Eid!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Cost of Homeschooling 9th Grade

The Cost of Homeschooling 9th Grade

Homeschooling can be expensive - really expensive, though it doesn’t have to be. High school is a time where many parents reach out to other resources to supplement their child’s learning experience, and those resources aren’t always free. So, what’s the real cost of homeschooling 9th grade? Here’s what we have spent this past year: How much homeschool cost for 9th grade, 2013-14 $225 - Currclick Hybrid Mandarin Chinese class First semester had a hybrid class option, which [Read more...]

The first ever "Build Your Bundle" - Homeschool Edition sale is almost here!

The first ever “Build Your Bundle” – Homeschool Edition sale is almost here!

The first ever “Build Your Bundle” – Homeschool Edition sale is almost here! You can enter to win $100 towards your purchase to use when the sale goes live on 7-21-14! Enter now through 11:59PM EST on 7-20-14. The winner will be announced the day the sale starts! Be sure to look for the special coupon code you will get when you pin the giveaway on Pinterest! For one week only (July 21-28) save up [Read more...]

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