Thursday, June 30, 2016

Enjoy a Free Trial of The Odyssey Adventure Club!


Think of ways you can enjoy this summer for free:

  • Hiking

  • Visiting Parks In Your Area

  • Swimming

  • Camping In Your Backyard

  • Visit a Public Museum Or Library

Now, add more fun and imagination to your summer through the Odyssey Adventure Club!

The Odyssey Adventure Club will give you streaming access to more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes plus a sneak peek of exclusive audio and video stories, on-line activities and daily devotions you can’t find anywhere else. My kids LOVE listening to these episodes to unwind at the end of a busy day. The themes are relevant, inspiring and fun!

Start a free 14-day trial for your family today and make the summer even more fun!

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by The Odyssey Adventure Club.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wet'n Wild Emerald Pointe

I live about an hour from Greensboro, North Carolina. Nestled in between two cities, our humble, country home is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. If we want to go anywhere, it's going to be a drive, guaranteed. So, we are used to hour drives. If we want to go to Greensboro for a day, it isn't that big of a deal. We just hop in the car, and go! 

One attraction in Greensboro that we hadn't experienced yet was Wet'n Wild Emerald Pointe. I had heard about it but really knew nothing about the place. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised! Our family had the opportunity to visit recently and my kids can't stop talking about their experiences. Even days after, while sitting around the dinner table, the conversation often seems to turn to talking about that one really cool water slide or which water slide they want to go on next time!

Wet'n Wild Emerald Pointe is the 12th largest water park in the US with over 36 rides and attractions. It includes a wave pool, kiddie pools, a lazy river and piles and piles of slides for swimmers of all ages. 

When you first arrive, your child will need to check their height. 48" and taller can ride all of the rides. If your child is this tall, then they will need a general admission ticket not the junior admission ticket. My two oldest boys were super thrilled to be tall enough to go on any slide they wanted! Fortunately, they both know how to swim, which is important since many of the larger slides end in pools that require swimming.

My daughter was tall enough to go on certain adult sized slides such as the Riptide Racer and the Runaway Raft Ride. She couldn't get enough of them! For some rides, you have to be at least 42" tall to ride. Others, you have to be 45" and for others, 48." The lifeguards are extremely strict with this rule, which is good. I saw many parents have to walk their child down from the top of a slide because they thought their child could do it, but the lifeguards wouldn't let them.

 Speaking of lifeguards, the ones at this water park were quite efficient. While waiting for my oldest son and husband to go down the Double Barrel Blast, I observed the lifeguard in the pool at the bottom of the slides. Twice, she had to rescue swimmers who were having a difficult time. Now, it is possible that the swimmers needing to be rescued were planted there to keep the lifeguards on their toes as a part of their training, since that is a part of their continuing training, but either way- she was quick and did an amazing job! In addition to this, she was incredibly thorough in the way she looked in the water to make sure all was clear before giving the lifeguard at the top of the slide the thumbs up. After observing her, I noticed many other lifeguards watching the deeper pools were just as thorough, which made me, as a parent, feel safer taking my children here. 
One of the highlights of our stay was the use of a private cabana. 

I loved having our own, personal, shaded, space. The cabanas are set back away from the other guests which offer you a comfortable sense of privacy. Not only did we have our own table set in a shaded area, but we also had our own private lounge chairs for relaxing in the sun! The kids loved this. And for me, it was nice to have a place to go back to and kick up my heels for a bit!

The park has locker rentals when you first enter but a nice amenity that the cabana has is it's own private locker. It was great to have a place to lock up our valuables while we were enjoying the attractions.

One of the features of the cabana is there is a person who comes by every once in a while to see if you want to purchase any food or drink. They will take your order, go pick the food up for you and put it on your bill that you can pay for when you return the lock for your locker. One thing that you should know is that no outside food or beverage is allowed inside the park. Although, one bottled water per person is okay and for children under 2, you can bring in one small sandwich sized baggie with a snack. Also, there is a free picnic area, next to the parking lot that you can use if you do bring your own food. 

It was a busy day finding attractions for all four children since they were all across the board as far as age, heights and skill levels but everyone found plenty to keep them busy. They even had infant life jackets so my little one could enjoy the lazy river and wave pool with us!

Heading to Wetn' Wild Emerald Pointe this summer? Use promo code THRIFTSCHOOLINGBLOG16 when purchasing tickets online or use this link!

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Wet'n Wild Emerald Pointe. All thoughts expressed here are my own. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Be Transformed- Virginia Homeschool Convention 2016 {HEAV}

Top Ten Things I LOVED 
About the 2016 HEAV Convention

10- Being a HEAV Blogger
This was my third time attending a HEAV convention but my first time going as a convention blogger. What an amazing opportunity! I was able to make new connections with both bloggers and vendors all while sharing my experience with the homeschooling community. 

9-  Meeting The Family From The The Brinkman Adventures
As we traveled to the convention, about a three and a half hour drive, we listened to the Christian, audio drama, The Brinkman Adventures. My whole family enjoys listening to this series about a large family who have a heart for missions. At the convention, we were able to meet two of the kids from this production, Gracie and Isaac. My children were thrilled to put faces behind the names! It was a blast meeting them. We also made sure to pick up another set of CD's to enjoy on the car ride home!

8- The Activities For The Kids
The Thursday art class with Sharon Jeffus of Visual Manna and the annual homeschool chess tournament were a big hit with my kids! My older boys loved working with clay and creating their own works of art. The class was packed and I even met parents who were bummed that they didn't sign their kids up in time, so if you want to sign your child up for a Thursday class next year, do it early! Also, the chess tournament was fun to watch. My oldest son was nervous going in but was thrilled to walk out with a trophy. This opportunity certainly was a good boost for his confidence!

7- Being In The City
From the hotel stay to the good eats, we enjoyed simply being the city. My kids are not used to the lights, sounds and experiences of the city so this was a big deal to them. They even asked to sleep with the curtains pulled open at night so they could watch the city lights. We love trying out new restaurants so we had fun walking around and giving new ones a shot each evening. The old buildings were impressive as well, it certainly added to the experience as a whole.

6- Joel Salatin
My husband had a chance to go to his sessions, which he really enjoyed. It was certainly a highlight even though I only had the opportunity to sit in on a part of it, due to a verbal baby! Just seeing my son and husband excited after hearing him speak was a highlight for me!
5- Mike Farris' Keynote Session
I wanted my kids to experience at least one keynote. It's a different experience than the workshops. Mike Farris shared about the relevance of homeschooling in today's day and age and I appreciated his message. 

4- The Bread Becker Booth In The Exhibit Hall

Free samples? Yes, please! We kept coming back to this booth to try homemade pancakes and other goodies throughout the convention. We weren't able to hear Sue Becker speak but she handed out CD's of former sessions. We brought them home and listened to them once everything calmed down and it was powerful! And yes, we are now looking for a grain mill, haha!
3- Taking My Son To Hear Kirk Martin
I loved the humor used to address difficult topics such as discipline. All my son remembers from the session is the fact that he referenced to Legos and Leave It To Beaver, but he loved it! I've even begun to implement some of his suggestions in my own disciplinary actions. 

2- The Used Curriculum Sale
Used books, need I say more? I really am thankful for the exhibit hall because there are certain materials that I can only get there but the used curriculum sale is a huge blessing too! I could spend hours in that sale but even though I only got in there for a short time, I was extremley thankful for what I found! And the best part? I sold some items there and made about the same amount that I spent! Perfect.  

1- My FAMILY came!
This was the first year that my family joined me and it certainly won't be the last! It made the experience so much richer having them there. They are already talking about how they can't wait to come back next year!

Disclaimer: I received a full convention pass in exchange for being a convention blogger.All opinions stated here are my own.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

FREE Odyssey Clubhouse Magazines!


Try 3 issues of the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse® (ages 8-12) OR Clubhouse Jr.® (ages 3-7) magazine for free!

Created with kids in mind, Focus on the Family offers a world of fun and imagination through short stories, jokes, puzzles, and games as well as recipes and activities to do as a family. Plus, what child doesn’t like mail? Your child will enjoy getting this entertaining magazine each month in the mail.

Click here to sign up for the free Clubhouse® magazine trial.

Click here to sign up for the free Clubhouse Jr.® magazine trial.

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Grow Your Child's Faith This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Odyssey Adventure Club and Litfuse. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

5 Field Trip Ideas For Young Ones (On a Budget)

Looking to take your young ones on some field trips this year but plan on sticking to a tight budget? Here are some inexpensive ideas that will help them learn more about your local community... Read More at Our Homeschool Forum

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Makeup Tips For Oily Skin In Summer

The following is a guest post, brought to you by Matchzup Coupon Site. Having had skin issues at the beach already this summer, this advice couldn't have come at a better time! Enjoy. 

Summer can present major issues for young ladies. As a result of slick skin,  zits and different polluting influences can ruin the skin due to the heat. Here are some simple tips that can help you with your your makeup and give you cool and crisp look throughout this unforgiving season. 

The one imperative thing is that you need to get ready for summer makeup, deliberately. The makeup you use now may not make you flawless and elegant normally in a hot, damp climate so here are some summer makeup tips for oily skin. Take these strides and get impeccable makeup even if you live in a hot and muggy climate!

1. Scrub Your Skin

This is the initial step before wearing makeup if you oily skin in the summer, especially when at the ocean. Scrubbing your skin is most imperative to do before applying makeup. This practice is suggested by skin experts and makeup craftsmen. A good, quality, scour will help encourage new skin growth through the disposing of all your dead skin. On the off chance that you have purging moisturizer of good quality brand, then you can utilize that likewise.

2. Use Oil-Free Cream

It is best to utilize oil-free cream throughout the hot summer season. Oil-free cream will make your skin sweat free. This is the most imperative summer makeup tip for sleek skin. Before putting on any sort of makeup, it is essential to saturate your skin with oil-free lotion. Also, ensure that the cream is water- based.
3. Use Smearing Paper

Smearing paper is a great way to prevent an abundance of oil. For sleek skin,  utilize smudging paper at whatever point required. Smudging paper is a good way to help you evacuate the abundance oil. It also helps you to look new and refreshed.

4. Makeup Preparation

Subsequent to peeling and saturating the skin, you will need to expel oil from your skin. In this case, utilize oil-free foundation. Oil-free foundation will leave profoundly benefit your skin. Remember, applying foundation with your fingers in summer season can warm it up. So,  use a brush and mix well before applying.

5. Apply Translucent Powder

When applying foundation, mix it deliberately to get smooth look. Utilize a face powder or translucent powder with a brush. Powder will set in the most ideal way. Utilize light powder as per your establishment and skin tone to make it blend in.

Nordstrom offers a wide variety of cosmetics including hard to discover things, at awesome prices. In the wake of figuring out what sorts of cosmetics are required, go to the Beauty Gateway and begin hunting down postings on Nordstrom with discount deals.

Disclaimer: This post was brought to you by 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cool Off!

Beat the heat and treat your family to a refreshing visit to Wet' N Wild Emerald Pointe this week! I admit, I was born and raised a Yankee. It's true. I remember summer as being warm but never as scorching hot as it is down here in the south! 

Dealing with the heat, with children, has been interesting. I have had to be creative in this department otherwise the complaints come rolling in. If I don't plan several activities that are both fun and will help keep the kids cool then they will just want to stay in the air conditioning all day long. 

Not happening. 

We have wooded areas and a creek on our property, which helps keep the kids a bit cooler on those intense summer days. We also live close to a river and a lake, which we visit quite often to cool down. Yet nothing beats the adventure and excitement of a water park! The kids always have such memorable experiences that they can't stop talking about for weeks afterward! This summer, we plan on visiting Wet' N Wild Emerald Pointe in Greensboro, NC! 

Waterslides, cabana's to keep cool, refreshments to keep you going, a lazy river, wave pool and so much more. Stay tuned for pictures and a write up of our experience!

Order Your Tickets Now!

Thrift Schooling Readers Get $10 off Regular Admission 

This deal is good for both adult and child rates. 

Operating dates are May 22 - September 5, 2016. 

Tickets valid throughout the 2016 operating season.  

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Wet and Wild Emerald Pointe. 
All opinions stated here are my own.

Monday, June 13, 2016

World Explorer's Summer Adventure Kit


Give your family summer vacation a makeover this year and turn it into a "staycation." Have your kids forget their summer boredom, turn off their screens, and instead, circle the globe with Focus on the Family's "World Explorers" Summer Adventure Kit!

Throughout the next two months, travel our colorful, diverse world, visiting 27 different countries on six continents. Part of the fun will be figuring out where the next stop is, using five clues that reveal interesting facts about the next country. Once you've determined where you're going, use the games, activities and faith lessons to give your kids a glimpse into that country's unique culture.

Click here to sign up and receive your Free Summer Adventure Kit.

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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by OACLUB and Litfuse. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Setting Realistic Goals For Your Children

While cleaning out my closet recently, I stumbled upon a mystery box. A box I rarely look through but have been carting around with me since I graduated college. A memorabilia box, so to speak... Read More at Our Homeschool Forum

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


It's here! It's finally here. The annual HEAV Homeschool Convention is THIS Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So much to think about and so much to plan for! From past experience, I can tell you that hitting the exhibit hall can be quite overwhelming. So many booths and an overload of information. 

To help ease the chaos, I like to have specific booths in mind that I plan on visiting when I first arrive and then I will go from there. 

You can check online and see which exhibitors will be set up in the exhibit hall and where. 

For starters, if you head over to Booth #826, Character Concepts is handing out a FREE BOOK to anyone who stops by! 

Have a science kid? Your first stop should be Booth #600 where Applied Inspirations will be holding a hands on soldering workshop!

Nervous about SAT and ACT testing? Visit Booth #1228 and meet convention speaker Jean Burk who will be sharing her test taking knowledge and so much more throughout the convention! Check out her videos below.

Here's some of her Amazing Testimonials:

National Merit Scholar-College of her Choice!

Raised SAT 400 Points!-Update-He received a Full Ride to NYU

Up 450 Points and only a Freshman!

600 Points on SAT and 59 Point Raise on PSAT!

 If you are going, I hope you have a wonderfully refreshing time!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Adventures in Odyssey Summer Challenge 2016

This summer, you can join Adventures in Odyssey’s Clubhouse Magazine and help children in the Middle East go to school and learn English. It’s Adventures in Odyssey's Clubhouse Magazine Exercise to Educate Summer Challenge!

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The Problem

Nearly 7,000 miles away from the United States, there's a war going on in the country of Syria. Many families have been forced from their homes. Parents have had to leave their jobs, and children have had to leave behind toys and friends.

Many of these families now live in refugee camps in nearby countries. They have tents instead of houses. Clean water is hard to come by. This war has put 2.6 million children out of school – some for more than four years already.

The Solution

Our friends at Focus on the Family Middle East know many families who don't have the money to buy a school uniform and pay for their children to go to school. They also know people who would love to teach children English in local churches.

You may not have a lot of money to help, but you probably have time, energy and excitement. Here's what you can do:

1. Go to to

2. Print a sponsor sheet and exercise to earn points. You can do it for a week or the whole summer – just remember, the more you exercise, the more points you'll earn!

3. Ask your family and friends to sponsor your efforts.

4. Beginning in July, tell us how you did and receive a digital bundle from your friends at Adventures in Odyssey and Focus on the Family. The deadline to submit your information is August 31, 2016.

For participating and submitting your information, you will get:

 (1)  FREE Adventures in Odyssey Episode

 (2)  FREE ebook, "101 Surefire Ways to Strengthen  Your Child's Faith" 

 (3)  FREE Audio book “Voyage with the Vikings” 

Make the most of your summer! Exercise for your health and help other kids in need while you do!

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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with over 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at

Disclaimer: This post was brought to you by the OACLUB and Litfuse. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

4th Of July Resources

 Do you use graphic novels in your homeschool? A graphic novel uses sequences of pictures to tell a story. Some children (and even preteens or older) respond well to this style of learning. For those who struggle with reading, this is an excellent way to hold their attention. You know your child, you know which method of learning works well for them. What forms of teaching helps them remember the content presented? Quiz your child when they aren't expecting it. Try to see what information was absorbed into their brains and remember which methods you used to teach them that information and expound on it from there. We have so many resources available to us today thanks to both technology and old fashioned means. See what works best for each of your children and run with it!
If your child is younger, in their early elementary years, try using easy readers to present new material, such as the story of the American flag. Readers such as this include colorful imagery and simple facts presented in a way that is easy to grasp. In this book, your child will learn the different names for the American flag such as, Old Glory and Stars and Stripes. They will see how the flag has changed over the years and learn that it hasn't always looked the same way as it does now. This particular reader is level two with simple sentences that is meant to be read by your child with help. It is 48 pages long, filled with piles of information delivered in bite sized pieces. New, emerging readers love easy readers because they are able to find out new facts, on their own as the new skill of reading is opened up to them in a whole new way.
Teach your young one the ever so popular and important patriotic song, The Star-Spangled Banner with Peter Spier's wonderfully illustrated book. His powerful illustrations bring the song to life as he paints a picture of what this song truly stands for. We as Americans are so familiar with this song and can sing it by heart but how many of us know the story behind it? It is powerful and this book portrays this aspect of history so beautifully. Presenting the truth behind this song to your children as they learn it is a priceless gift that they can carry with them throughout their lives. Patriotism is an important gift that parents should pass along to their children. This book helps even the youngest learner appreciate America's past. 

Do you know when The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited, and why? This book is an excellent resource for children in the upper elementary grades to learn the what's, why's and when's of, The Pledge of Allegiance. Through colorful illustrations and historical events, your child will never forget the importance of this daily routine among school children nationwide. The text is simple to read, while extremely informative. This book would be perfect for children learning to write research papers. Also, this book is part of a collection of easy to read history books for children in the upper elementary grades.  

We don't want to forget about the little ones in the family! This book provides 34 activities for children in preschool through grade two. Your young one will learn about important national landmarks, holidays and events in early American history. This is an awesome resource to use to help introduce patriotism to your child!

Looking for more 4th Of July Resources? Visit Rainbow Resource Center for a wide selection of materials for all ages!


Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Rainbow Resource Center. All opinions stated here are my own.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Don't Give Up On Your Struggling Writer

Has your child ever had to write a biography report, kicking and screaming the whole way? There comes a point in your child’s writing journey when he must move away from writing about what interests him and move into different genres that might not be as much fun. It’s always easier to write about what we know, like and have experienced.. Read More at Our Homeschool Forum