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Friday, April 18, 2014

Alone Yet Not Alone {Review & Giveaway}

Alone Yet Not Alone by Tracy Leininger Craven is a true story about two young girls and their experience as captives during the French and Indian War. Halfway throughout the book, I noticed that the last name of the girls in the story was same as the maiden name of the author! I quickly leafed through to the "about the author" section only to find out that this historical event indeed happened to relatives of hers. I already was engrossed and thoroughly enjoying the book, but at this point, the events started coming to life knowing that this story was shared by someone personally connected. 
This book is recommended for children ages eight and is full of adventure and faith in God. I have a passion for historical fiction anyways so finding one that kids can appreciate, and from the perspective of a God fearing family is simply golden. My kids are younger than eight so I haven't shared this book with them yet but hope to use this in our homeschool when they are older. This will be a gem to use while studying the French and Indian war in depth. 

 I grew up on the East coast and our family is familiar with the setting that this story occurred. Reading about an area so close to us and picturing life,in detail, during the time of the French and Indian War really brings history for me. As a homeschool mom, it was a wonderful quick read to help put things in perspective as I teach my children about this time period. The setting is in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, deep within America's new frontier. The Leininger family believe and trust in the Lord and are celebrating the harvest in the beginning of this story. Suddenly, the tragedy of the Penn's Creek Massacre occurs.

The lives of this simple, family who trusted in God are changed forever when Barbara and Regina, two young sisters, are carried away by a band of Allegheny warriors. This story focuses on the determination and faith of these girls. They believe that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour, and that they will be reunited again.

This is a powerful read and puts the Christian life in perspective. Anyone reading this is forced to ask themselves, "what would I do in this situation?" Would I have the strength to move on? Could I trust God and to believe that He is there in the midst of complete darkness? After reading this book I felt inspired and challenged. I did leave the story questioning a few things, wondering why some details were left out, but I don't want to spoil the story for you, you'll have to read (or see it!!) for yourself. 

That's right, Alone Yet Not Alone has been made into a movie and will be released in theaters June 13th 2014Reserve your seats to see the movie when it hits the big screen!

One THRIFT SCHOOLING reader has the opportunity to receive an additional copy! 
Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.

Alone Yet Not Alone
Written by: Tracy Leininger Craven
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Paperback: 148 pages

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No More Naps

3 "After School" Activities For Homeschoolers

Well, it's official. My children no longer nap. I remember thinking that this would be the most impossible task to handle since having little ones would be so tiring. I must not have realized that once the time came that naps would be eliminated, that they would be more self sufficient and taking care of them wouldn't be so emotionally and physically taxing. Actually, ever since I've only had one napping, I've been waiting for this day with anticipation! Why? So we can actually GO OUT and do things in the afternoons rather than being tied down to a schedule! I must have become so used to always being home because someone was always napping at some point that I never really planned activities in the afternoons much. Now I can! I'm still a homebody of sorts, but try to get out once in a while other than the typical errands. We get the bulk of our work completed in the mornings so the majority of our afternoons are generally free. Here's a short list of a few activities we have enjoyed recently when our school day is done!

 1- Volunteer: Recently we visited the local SPCA and volunteered to walk a dog. Simple and easy with little ones. The kids enjoyed walking around with the dog and the people at the shelter were very appreciative of the help. 

2- Practice New Skills: Bike riding, roller skating, baseball, etc. If there is a skill that you have been wanting to work on with your child use this time to head to the park and practice bike riding or hitting a ball!

3- Local Attractions: Whether it's a local museum or historical landmark, use this time to explore local history. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in our curriculum or Internet searches that we forget to explore our own neighborhood and all it has to offer. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mom, What's For Dinner?

Help! We've been homeschooling on and off all day. The little ones need a bath.  My house needs to be roughly picked up. And... it's almost dinner time, what do I do? Whether you have a meal pre-planned or not, this time a day can be quite stressful when a child pulls on you asking, "Mom, what's for dinner?" So many thoughts are swirling through your head, sometimes you just want to tune them out and focus, think about what needs to be done, in what order and for how long.

Finally, I got over myself  and realized I was fighting a never ending battle. I stopped shoving the kids OUT of the kitchen during this stressful time and actually invited them IN. This made a world of difference. Even if I'm tired and worn out and do not feel like preparing another meal, if a child asks to help, I generally let them. Whether it's simply sitting on the counter watching water and waiting to tell me when it's boiling, or if they are chopping up veggies it's amazing how eager my kids can be to help with dinner. They enjoy being with Mom and being a part of what is going on. 

Simple Ways Your Child Can Help With Dinner

Assemble Pre-Cooked Ingredients into a Casserole
Pour In Liquids From A Measuring Cup
Mix or Stir Batter
Bring Flatware over to the Table
Add Toppings to A Pizza
Oil a Pan