Homeschool Programming, Curriculum, and Good Citizenship

Nominations closed last week and we will begin letting everyone vote this Friday morning, pending there are no unsuspected surprises that pop up and prevent us from getting the polls ready. We were thankful that the lady we are hiring to help us run the polls was OK and has power – she was in Sandy’s path!

Please spread the word about the awards and link back to our main page for the awards – and you can show your support by snagging a button from our button page (they will update automagically when voting starts and ends).

Be sure to browse our prize pages and get to know our amazing vendors who partnered with us to make the awards more fun for the winners. We highlight three of our vendors each Wednesday through the awards season, so here’s this week’s spotlighted sponsors:

Homeschool Programming, Inc.


They have graciously donated 2 – KidCoder: Windows Programming or TeenCoder: Windows Programming courses with instructional videos.

Our self-study computer science curriculum teaches your students how to write their very own computer programs, games, and Android apps!

The KidCoder Series of Visual Basic courses for 4th-8th grade is light hearted and easy to learn, with plenty of detailed examples and guidance to keep your student on the right track. This series is geared for younger students or those just trying out the field of computer programming to see if they like it.

The TeenCoder C# Series and TeenCoder Java Series for 9th-12th grade are for older students looking for a more in-depth study of computer programming. These courses can be used for high school computer elective credit, enhancing transcripts, and preparing a college-bound student for a technical degree.

Approximate value = $85-90 each





They have graciously donated 20 – 1 Your-Choice Curriculum Item

Choose from Writing, Psychology, Literature, Human Development, Drama, and more!

Approximate value = $29.99


The following sponsor has a Texas legislative watch group (and offers endorsements for homeschool and parenting-friendly candidates for the general and all Texas elections) and puts on a super Texas-sized homeschool conference with some of the most fun add-ons you can imagine: field trips and a great teen program included. My daughter is in this shot from last summer’s THSC Woodlands, TX conference:


Texas Home School Coalition


They have graciously donated… 1 – THSC Good Citizen Pack and Educational DVD of choice & 1 – Five Educational DVD’s or CD’s of winner’s choice from the THSC store

THSC Good Citizen Pack and Educational DVD of your choice produced by THSC specifically for Texas home schoolers. This very helpful, 80-page unit study helps to fulfill the requirement of “good citizenship.” Using this study, elementary- through high school-age students will gain a more complete understanding of government and the Texas legislature through the activities, projects, and reading assignments.

Microsoft Word - Document1

Winner’s choice of 5 THSC DVDs or CDs from the THSC Store
DVD’s or CD’s that allow you to attend encouraging and educational home school workshops in the privacy of your own home.

Approx value $40.00 & $100.00


We are half way through the 8th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards now — and November is tomorrow! Are you ready?

{Happy Fall, and Don’t forget to VOTE – not just in the blog awards, but in the general elections, too!}


 Visit our Homeschool Blog Awards 2012 sponsor…


Sprittibee (16 Posts)

A Word From Our Sponsors

Read the next post: »

Easy Autumn Craft: Leaf Placemats

I love crafting. I really wanted to be one of those homeschool moms that does something fun and crafty with her kids every day. My dislike of glitter on the floor and complicated projects that leave me doing most of the work is just part of the reason our craft sessions are few and far between.

When you’re looking at the sweet pictures below, just remember these are the ones that DON’T have the two year old tiny torturer throwing leaves in the air and stepping on his sister’s sticky paper. Our 4-year-old would have participated had she not been napping.

For mom, this craft was quick, fun, and cheap. For the kids it was “way cool mom!”

Leafy Place Mats

Easy Autumn Crafting Leaf Place Mats



  • Leaves
  • Construction Paper (the big sheets)
  • Clear Contact Paper
  • Scissors


  1. Send the kids out with a bag, box, or basket and instructions to find only the coolest looking leaves imaginable. If they come back before you’re finished with your cup of coffee, send them out to find a particular color or shape to stall them. (This is where I should have put in some sort of unit study on leaves or trees or autumn but I really just wanted to finish my coffee).
  2. Cut a sheet of Contact paper for each mat, slightly larger than your paper.
  3. Pull off the backing and lay the Contact paper sticky side up.
  4. Place your construction paper UNDER the contact paper. This serves as reference for where to place your leaves.Let your paper guide you
  5. Let the kids come back in, if you haven’t already.
  6. PLACE LEAVES UPSIDE DOWN ONTO CONTACT PAPER. Otherwise your mat will show the back side of the leaves when you are done.
  7. Once all the desired leaves have been placed on the paper, pull out your construction paper and place it on top of the leaves. Press gently, working from center out.
  8. Cut another piece of Contact paper. I prefer to peel away the end of the backing, stick it down, have a kiddo hold that end, and then slowly pull the backing off while applying it to the bottom piece. Cover the back of the project with the second sheet of Contact paper.
  9. Work out the bubbles as best you can.
  10. Press around edge of paper to make sure there is a good seal and trim the edges.

Leaf Place Mats


Do you have an easy, go-to craft for fall?

Visit our Homeschool Blog Awards 2012 sponsor…

Lisa Baldwin (59 Posts)

Disciple of Christ, Wife, Mother of Four, Homeschooler, Crafter, Designer (Graphics and CSS/HTML), Blogger. I share too much, laugh at the wrong things, and fall on my backside regularly. Thank goodness Jesus ignores all of that and loves me anyway.

A Word From Our Sponsors

An Elementary Writing Curriculum
Read the next post: »

Don’t Freak on the Delete

I grew up on an Apple IIe. My daddy taught me a lot on that thing. (In retrospect, he did an awful lot of homeschooling of me, even though he sent me to public school.)

I learned to type.

He would say to me, “These are the home keys: ASDF and JKL;. If I walk by and you’re typing via hunt-and-peck, you’re not going to use this computer.”

I learned to read the user’s manual.

He wouldn’t help me until I proved to him that I looked the problem up in the index and found the page where the solution should be.

This was particularly annoying when I went to work part time where he worked. He was the computer guru (before they had actual IT guys) and would help other people without question. For me, though, it was always, “Did you read the manual?”

I learned to save.

I would leave the computer and when I returned, he would be on it doing something else. “Didn’t you save before you left?”

The first time he did this, he saved it for me. But he assured me he would never, ever, do this again.

That was my techno-start.

Through the years I’ve had to modify the “must save my work” attitude to fit the changing landscape of computers.

Have you ever written a blog comment only to hit “submit” and get some crazy error? Yeah – you know what I’m talking about.

How to get your work back.

So here are some of the things I do to make sure to save my work, even though there’s often not a save button in sight.

Control+Z will get you out of just about any jam. Sometimes, though, this just goes back one step.

Control+A then Control+C copies what you’ve just written and holds it until you copy something else. This is really helpful for those blog comments. Copy the text and if it crashes, go paste it quickly into a text document or Evernote.

Evernote is a great tool to capture loose text that you’re not sure you really want to delete. Like a particular sentence that you think doesn’t fit in your blog post (but then again, maybe it does). Or some html code that you’re taking out but might need to put back in if everything breaks.

What about other platforms – like WordPress?

This whole train of thought comes from one of my fellow writers here who accidentally deleted a whole post. So what if you do that?

There are two possibilities – one is the revisions box, the other is the trash.

In your WordPress “Edit Post” screen, there is a small dropdown in the upper right corner called “Screen Options.”

Click on it and you’ll see something like this:

Now make sure that “Revisions” option is checked. When it is, you’ll see this when you scroll way down:

This box is likely way way below where you normally type your blog posts. Scroll down and keep your eyes peeled. If it’s just the title bar of it, click on the “expand triangle” in the right and it will open.

You can click on any of the links and it will show you what was saved or auto-saved.

At the bottom of that screen, you can see the restore options, as well as a way to compare what you used to have with what you currently have.

What if you delete it from the list of posts?

Luckily WordPress has a trash bin that hangs around until you purge it. So if you deleted something in the list of posts, head to the trash.

When you hover over the title of the post, you get the option to restore it. If you want it back, click “restore.”

An ounce of prevention…

Make sure you manually save often.

And always (I do this – and not just because I’m paranoid), do Control+A then Control+C before clicking submit/save on anything web-based. Even WordPress.

Teach your kids these things too!

You’re not just in charge of Reading ‘Riting & ‘Rithmetic. You’re in charge of teaching all the other stuff too. Like saving your work.

Take some notes from my daddy. He did a pretty good job.

Note for Mac users: change the “control” button to a “command” button in the tips above and they’ll work the same.

Visit our Homeschool Blog Awards 2012 sponsor…

A Word From Our Sponsors

Write Through the Bible Junior
Read the next post: »