EDITED: This giveaway has ended! Thank you for your interest!
Check out my blog post from last week: http://oahuhomeschoolmom.weebly.com/blog/homeschool-holiday-deals
As if it wasn't before... now it has got to be THE most comprehensive list of homeschool Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday homeschool deals (for 2015) available right now!! I have now more than QUARDUPLED the sales list on the Black Friday & Cyber Monday homeschool sales (holiday deals) post from when I first posted it! Over SIXTY-FIVE sales are on there now (in alphabetical order, to make it easier to find what you're looking for). Please do SHARE this & spread the word! Seriously. How could you let your friends miss out on this kind of information? ;-)
Helemano Farms has locally grown Christmas trees available (both the traditional kind and a Hawaiian version), and will be open tomorrow! Their prices are usually rather reasonable and you get to choose which tree they cut down for you! Check out their website for hours and other details. (http://www.helemanofarms.com/)
This might not seem homeschool related, but it can be! Helemano Farms has worked with homeschool (and school) groups in the past for group tours/visits during the holidays and other visits after the holiday season. The owner has been very kind and flexible in the past. If you have any questions, would like some pictures of the farm, or would like me to find something out for you about this farm, I'd be happy to drop in there next time I get a chance. Just let me know!
Try Amazon Prime FREE for 30 days... which is just in time for their Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals! Prime members often get to see the Black Friday sales before non-members and it definitely helps to have the added savings of free shipping on top of whatever it is that you score during the holiday sales! Please remember, though, that some things can't ship to Hawaii and the 2-day shipping usually doesn't apply here either (it's still free shipping, but it often takes longer).
All About Learning Press is offering a FREE 30 page pack of polar bear themed spelling and reading activities! Go claim yours!
yAs the word "homespun" in the name implies, this book contains plenty of ideas to create a warm atmosphere for the holidays, filled with homemade, hand-crafted goodies. Mingling among the recipes and craft projects were poems, book suggestions, insider's tips, and stories from the authors lives. The whole thing had a relaxed and casual feel, giving me a sense of family and genuineness. It was as though some neighborhood moms got together over coffee to chat and share their favorite holiday ideas and traditions, with one of them compiling it all in a nice collective presentation afterward. I have a family cookbook from my grandparents generation, which includes cooking tips, quotes, and memories interspersed throughout. This ebook reminded me of that.
Since my girls absolutely adore cooking, crafts, and poetry, they nearly thought it was an early Christmas present to go through the book and choose their favorites! They wanted to give something from each area a try - choosing from the recipes, book suggestions, games, traditions, and crafts. However, a few things don't apply or work for us right now, either because we live in Hawaii (and seasonal experiences like raking leaves aren't the norm for us here) or because I have Celiac (making many of the recipes less appealing since it would require adapting them to be gluten free). Luckily, there was enough substance in the ebook to give us plenty to try out, despite our minor limitations.
Aside from saying that the recipes in the ebook all sound yummy, I won't comment on them further in this review. This is because the changes I would have to make would alter the result, making the taste or texture slightly different, resulting in an unfair judgement of the original recipe. (I am, however, happy to elaborate on our experience with the recipes for any of my readers who also eat gluten free and might be curious about this - simply feel free to email me or comment below if you have any questions!)
I enjoyed reading the stories of seasonal traditions in other families (especially the shepherd's dinner - which we haven't done but I'm sure my kids would love), which sparked thoughts on new traditions that I'm considering implementing in our house. I love traditions!
Our kids could sit all day listening to books, so we always like to hear about other people's favorites. There weren't many books mentioned in Homespun Holidays: Fall & Winter, but you will find a few treasured story suggestions in there. The poetry was cute, but not awe inspiring or extremely memorable. Additionally, I think it would have been a nice addition if audio book and family-friendly movie recommendations had been included as well... something to listen to or watch while enjoying the other cooking, baking, or crafting projects!
"The crafts were the most fun aspect, in my family's opinion. The ideas in Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter could appeal to a variety of skill levels and interests, from the quick and easy to the slightly more time consuming and complex (albeit not too much so). This is nice for those hoping to get a spectrum of inspiration from the book, but maybe a tad disappointing for those that only want simple projects or only things that young kids can do on their own. Nonetheless, I didn't find any of the included ideas to be too difficult or beyond the realm of possibility (given enough preparation and effort).
I am not the most crafty mama - though I would certainly like to be (you should see all my lofty Pinterest-y goals!) - so things like the "scarecrow welcome sign" weren't in my realm of readiness and skill level at this point. (I did, however, just get a sewing machine as a gift for my birthday, so I hope to improve in this area soon!) But not to worry! There were also simple crafts that we were able to do with things normally found around the house. "Normally" being the key word here... since finding a good old-fashioned wire clothes hanger took us DAYS. Ha!
The girls had so much fun brainstorming other craft possibilities while we were there! We ended up leaving with a bag full of goodies for homemade gifts - both from ideas in the ebook and of our own design. We plan to include some of these gifts in the "treat bags" mentioned above (which we will use as homemade gift bags).
As soon as we had the chance, we started working on the crafts from the book. About 10 minutes into the wreath project (which is made using plastic trash bags), my 8-year old commented that she "didn't think this would be a fun craft, but it really is!" She loved it. While she handled the majority of the design and execution, we each contributed (even Little Sister was able to help a lot) and we all felt proud of the result. It was a good family project and we bonded during our time spent together working on it.
Overall, we liked Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter. You can find it at The Old Schoolhouse's Store. Normally it costs $12.45 but at the time of this writing, it is currently available for free! (That could change at any moment, of course!) Being free, I would definitely recommend it to others! At the full price, I'd say that it depends on the person and what they are looking for. It does have a lot of value and heart put into it! I think that a lot of fall and winter ideas similar to those in this ebook can be found on Pinterest or elsewhere on the internet, but this format brought things together by season, makes it easy and quick to have a fun selection to choose from, and I think it would be a good starting point - especially for those that would be overwhelmed by the vast number of options (and trying to find them) online. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, there was that special "family feel" to this ebook, making it feel like a friend offering their beloved ideas for enjoying the season.
Here's a sneak peak at the new local Box of Crafts service! Some of the crafts we made this month were: a silly fall tree finger puppet, a Thanksgiving turkey, a 3D paper pumpkin, and some really adorable owls! We had fun with the crafts but also had some feedback for the company. We will be testing Box of Crafts out for another two months to really get a good idea of what they have to offer, then I will write up a full review to share our experience and thoughts with you!
The Box of Crafts company offers a monthly subscription service in which customers receive a box in the mail with craft ideas and almost everything needed to create them. The company states that the crafts are intended for children ages 4-8 and prices begin at $20/month. We are participating in their test group as they get the service rolling. We are providing feedback and suggestions in return for being able to try out the crafts. They did not request a review or blog post for their product, nor did they compensate me for sharing this here. I am not an affiliate or otherwise financially associated with them, nor do I gain any referral benefits. This post and information therein is being shared here for informational purposes only, so that other homeschool families on island might know about another option for their kids. Any questions? Please contact the company directly.
Looks like some fun winter camps for kids ages 5-11 are being offered by The Green House Hawaii! $150/session. 10% sibling discount. Check out their website for more details and to register.
(This is not a paid advertisement. I have no financial connection with this company nor have I received any benefit or compensation for posting about them here. This information is just being passed along in hopes it might benefit other homeschoolers. All questions regarding this camp should be directed to The Green House Hawaii.)
The Barber's Point (5K) Bubble Run will be held on January 9th, 2016. TODAY is the last day to sign up for the Barber's Point Bubble Run at the discounted $20 rate. After today, the registration fee goes up to $50. (Children under 4 race free with paid adult registration.) FYI: There is also a $10 parking free on the day of the event.
Training for this run could be a good motivator for running as part of your homeschool PE!
(NOTE: I have *no* financial or other business affiliation with the Bubble Run. This is not a paid advertisement. I've received *no* benefit or compensation for posting about them here. This is for informational purposes only, being shared in hopes that it might benefit another homeschooling family to know local options.)
Do you shop online for the holidays?
Are you looking for a great deal on homeschool curriculum and educational materials?
Then I have just the thing for you!
Here is a list of 90 companies with Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday specials!
(+ MORE to be added soon!)
I am so excited! Here is a vast compilation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales for homeschoolers!!! I've been working on this post for awhile. In years past, I missed some great homeschool holiday deals. So this year, I decided to be proactive and seek out the coolest, most generous education-related companies to find out if they would be offering a sale this season. And in keeping with the nature of my website, I couldn't help but compile a list!
This little treasure of a blog post is here to share the fruits of my labor! Each company listed below has different sales/offers, so be sure to read all the relevant details and contact them directly if you have any questions. Some of the companies I spoke with did not want their special deals revealed until closer to the day of the sale, while others gave me a sneak peak. As such, I will add more sales and details as allowed, so be sure to check back in with this post often for the latest updates and "sales reveals". If you know of any other deals, be sure to share in comment below or contact me via email or Facebook!
Below the Homeschool Holiday Deals, I have also listed a few other companies that do not plan to have a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, but are offering other deals or discounts in the next month or so.
Like this list? Want to share it? Great! Feel free to link directly to it!
In consideration of the time & effort put into creating this list, please do not copy it.
It is subject to updates, changes, removals, and additions... and you wouldn't want to miss out!
More discounts, deals, and sales...
The following sales/specials are not specific to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Cyber Weekend. Instead, these are other deals or discounts that my readers might be interested in, available now or coming soon.
I'm a homeschooling mom of three, enjoying our time in Hawaii and hoping to share some of that experience with you, including ideas, reviews, resources, and information.