Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Subway Random Acts of Fitness For Kids

Subway has a new promo going called Random Acts of Fitness For Kids! They are wanting to help teachers to get their kids fit!!

If you are a teacher/home-educator, you can request a free Get Fit for the Fun of It! Kit from Subway. They will send you health and fitness information! Sign up HERE!!!

While you are there check out their Classroom news and Activities links!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books Awareness Week

(I posted this on The Homeschool Reading Diary)

I never realized that there were "banned" books until I was in 11th grade. My Lit teacher told us that we were going to read classical books that were not on the banned list but we could read books on the banned list on our own outside of class! I asked after class what were "banned" books because I had no clue! I would have loved to have had access to the Internet at that time because I would have Googled "banned books."
I just heard that there is Banned Books Awareness Week, September 26- October 3. This is what Half Price Books has to say about this week: Speak freely. Write candidly. Read endlessly. Celebrate your First Amendment rights during Banned Books Awareness Week, September 26 - October 3. And remember that Half Price Books buys and sells anything ever printed or recorded, including banned and challenged books. We applaud the courageous authors who open our eyes to controversial topics.

Here is a list of the top 100 banned books as listed by 100bannedbooks .

1. 1984 by George Orwell

2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) by Mark Twain

3. Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

4. Age of Reason by Thomas Paine

5. Andersonville (1955) by MacKinlay Kantor

6. Animal Farm by George Orwell

7. 1001 Arabian Nights by Geraldine McCaughrean

8. As I Lay Dying (1932) by William Faulkner

9. The Bastard by John Jakes

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison

11. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

12. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya

13. Blubber by Judy Blume

14. Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

15. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

16. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

17. Call of the Wild by Jack London

18. Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce

19. Candide by Voltaire

20. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

21. Carrie by Stephen King

22. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

23. Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J. D. Salinger

24. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

25. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

26. Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

27. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

28. Color Purple by Alice Walker

29. Confessions by JeanbyJacques Rousseau

30. Christine by Stephen King

31. Cujo by Stephen King

32. Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen

33. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite

34. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck

35. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

36. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

37. Decameron by Boccaccio

38. Dubliners by James Joyce

39. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

40. Fallen Angels by Walter Myers

41. Fanny Hill by John Cleland

42. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes

43. Forever by Judy Blume

44. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

45. The Goats by Brock Cole

46. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

47. Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck

48. Grendel by John Champlin Gardner

49. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

50. Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

51. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

52. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

53. Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

54. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

55. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman

56. House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

57. Howl by Allen Ginsberg

58. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

59. I Have to Go by Robert Munsch

60. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

61. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

62. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

63. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

64. King Lear by William Shakespeare

65. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

66. The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks

67. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

68. Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov

69. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

70. Lysistrata by Aristophanes

71. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

72. Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

73. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

74. Monk by Matthew Lewis

75. Native Son by Richard Wright

76. Nigger of the Narcissus by Joseph Conrad

77. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

78. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

79. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

80. Ordinary People by Judith Guest

81. Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin

82. Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective

83. Portnoy's Complaint (1969) by Philip Roth

84. Private Parts by Howard Stern

85. Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

86. Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

87. Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

88. Separate Peace by John Knowles

89. Silas Marner by George Eliot

90. SlaughterhousebyFive by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

91. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

92. Sons & Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

93. The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman

94. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

95. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

96. Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller

97. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

98. Ulysses by James Joyce

99. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

100. Wrinkle in Time byMadeleine L'Engle


I found a great site that goes into why books are banned. Go to Delete Censorship for more information. Some books stay on the list. Others get added or deleted over time.

Motivation to ban a book stems from an individual feeling that their family values, religion, political views and or minority rights are being threatened. From there they just gather supporters and up it climbs the chain to get it banned. If you don't like the book for whatever reason then don't read it. Simple as that. FYI- The Harry Potter Books are the #1 most challenged books of the 21st century!


My opinion is that as a mother there might be books that I do not want my children to read. I do not feel a need to impose that on every child in America. As I looked over this list I see may books my daughters have already read. Some of the books on the list we are reading for High School Literature! This is something we will be discussing as we read and study together.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Break a Record and Support Child Literacy


On Oct. 8th you can join others and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and join in to beat the record of the most people reading the same book on the same day! This is sponsored by Wal-Mart and the book is available for you there for $8. The proceeds of the sale will be donated to JUMPSTART!


Make the Pledge to read!!! You can also purchase the book online! They are selling a special limited edition copy for the purpose of the contest!

Make the Donation to help Jumpstart. According to their site "Just $200 can sponsor a family and community literacy event, providing early education resources to an entire community of families to help jumpstart learning at home!"

Anyone tweeting with the hashtag #jumpstart has a chance to win a free copy of the book! 500 winners with 1 given away every 100 tweets!! Crazy fun!

Of course Amy at Resourcefulmommy had a great twitter Site Warming yesterday for the tweeting contest! Keep on tweeting!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lunchnote Promise and Site Warming Party!

(This entire post is also on my The Homeschool Messenger Blog)
Thanks to Lunchables and their Lunch note promise campaign a lot of children will be getting fun lunch notes from their parents this week! They ask that you go to their site LunchNotePromise and pledge to put a note of encouragement,etc in your child's lunch this week.

In turn, their promise is to donate a meal to a child and their family in need through Feeding America. According to their site "Feeding American is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, which serves an estimated nine million children annually. The goal is to turn up to 100,000 promises from moms like you into up to 100,000 meals from Lunchables Lunch Combinations for kids in need."

When my daughters were younger and went out for school this is something I would do for them! One time I found a stack of the notes where they had saved their notes! Now that we are homeschooled I don't do lunch notes because we are all home together for lunch. My pledge is to do something special for 3 weeks on one lunch day (I have 3 girls so we can all share in the special treat). Thanks for this reminder!
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Amy at Resourceful Mommy is having a huge Site Warming Party for Lunchable this Friday, Sepember 11th from 9-10pm EST.

We will be tweeting with the hashtag #Lunchables!

Of course you will come and learn a lot and even have a chance to win a prize!!

Go to ResourcefulMommy to RSVP and get all the juicy details!!

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Online Mom-Momma's little helper!


A few months ago I was at a site warming for The Online Mom put on by ResourcefulMommy. What a little gem tangled in the wide world of webbing! I became a member of her site, fan on Twitter and Facebook.

The Online Mom was created by parents for parents.

From the site it states: "The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more."

I love the INTERNET section on her site. It covers how the internet works, e-commerce, educational tools, search engines, e-mail, instant messages, social networks, blogging, photo & video sharing, pornography & other dangers, and internet security tools.

This is the go to place for all your answers on what is going on with the Internet. Do you like reading high tech information that you don't understand? I bet you don't and you won't find that here. They easily explain these subjects quickly and move on to the next topic!

As a mom I try and be in the KNOW before I'm asked by my girls if they can join such and such on the internet and send the photo to such and such and so on. There have been times when they have asked me if they can join something that I didn't know about. So before I say yes they know I must check it out.

I found that The Online Mom is just the place to go to to explain things like Facebook, Texting acronyms, search engines, filters, etc. We are a homeschooling family and rely heavily on the internet. It is a wonderful resource that can no longer be ignored. Most likely your child uses the computer at home and at school. Guess what? They also use the computer at their friends house! Do yourself and your child a favor and learn all that you can to protect them.

Are you curious as to what MP3 players, thumb drives, video games, computers, phones, cameras, GPS devices and so on that your kids are wanting? Do you want to know how these products work? This site is the place to go to education yourself and arm yourself for the up and coming technology choices your kids are making for themselves based on what their friends have and what the TV tells them that they need to have.

I know that you are you ready to go check out The Online Mom right now! Sign up for the RSS feed and get weekly newsletters. Do you have a question that you can't seem to find the answer for? Click on ASK THE ONLINE MOM to submit your question.

You can also connect
  • On Twitter with The Online Mom founder Monica Vila. She has tweetchats every Wednesday night using the hashtag #theonlinemom. Chats discuss everything from privacy on social networks to back to school gadgets.
  • On Facebook where she has fan giveaways starting this Wednesday and running through Monday, September 21st. The giveaway includes a Nintendo Wii game system and some other prizes to fans who complete various fan challenges over the almost two-week contest period. Fan challenges will be announced by The Online Mom status updates, so fans will have to keep an eye on their home page newsfeed or check back on the page regularly for info.

This post will be in a series of post about The Online Mom website. I am participating in a blog promotion of her site and will be reviewing products and writing reviews. I was given this opportunity through Momfluence.



Friday, September 4, 2009

Go Travelin' with Rand McNally

I remember traveling as a kid! I would have the map in hand looking at all the little towns, rivers, etc. When we travel with our kids they do the same thing. Their experience really is more educational because their dad loves maps! He has taught them the ins and outs of map reading. Shhh don't tell him but I've learned a few things too!!!! I have found though that the map lookin' fun only last so long.

Just a few weeks ago on our summer jaunt, my youngest took 3 new activities from Rand McNally with her on the trip! Thanks to Rand McNally through The Product Review Place these activities were given to us to try out for our trip!

Rand McNally just introduced a series of innovative games and activities to keep kids entertained and families connected in the car. The Boredom Breakers™ line is designed to bring families together, encouraging conversation, laughter and fun making the miles fly by for moms and kids on the go.

Here are the activities Emily and I tried. We
don't have pictures because I was driving.
Rand McNally states this about Car Karaoke: Mom can sing lead and kids are back-up vocals. Just pop in the CD with 12 classic rock, pop, and kid favorite songs. Includes everything needed to be a rockstar: an inflatable microphone, rating cards, and three lyric books. Choose from favorites like “Build Me Up Buttercup” or “Twist and Shout,” to see who’s got the pipes in the family. Earplugs not included!

THIS WAS FUN because she inflated the
microphone and I held it and sang "TWIST and SHOUT" while I drove. She was embarrassed that I did this but I didn't care because it was CAR KARAOKE!!! I love the microphone and plan on using it for school too!
Rand McNally states this about the Magnet Message Makers: Magnet Message Makers is a mess-free way to get the kids and the car ready for the road . It includes two reusable and removable magnets that will not harm your vehicle and five sheets of removable stickers for decorating the magnets. “Florida or Bust!”

EMILY is very creative. She loves stickers! She whipped this one out of the package while I was singing some tunes on the Car Karaoke. I was a bad mom and would hit her with the inflatable microphone. So just be aware that it can be used to bonk someone in the head.
Anyhow she loved the
Magnet Message Maker. She used the green license plate magnetic and spelled out Kentucky and Nana & Papa. That is where we were headed! She added other fun stickers that were included as well. She did have to take off one and it stuck right back on and never came off. We had to make a stop to put the magnetic on the back of the car! I really didn't think it would stay on! Well it survived the trip and a week later it is still on the car!

Here is the scoop by Rand McNally on the Story Starters: Packed with 72 minutes of funny stories, mysteries and games, this interactive CD will be an instant road trip hit. Story Starters combines the best of classic radio-style drama and audio effects to get families telling stories together. Hearing is truly believing!

Dear child was tired of me singing and slipped in the Story Starter CD. She loved the characters in the stories! Emily is all about mystery so this was by far her favorite. She only got through 4 stories. So we still have more fun to go on this one too!

The other two Boredom Breakers are
Car Game Countdown and Travel Card Games. We will check into these before our next trip!! Best things is we still have more fun to explore on the other 3!

I loved it that there weren't any small pieces to get lost on the floor. Best thing ever though which allows me to give these games 2 thumbs up, a twist and a shake is the fact that the hard plastic package was super easy to open up! No scissors or axes required! Easy perforated tabs in the back!!! Thank you Rand McNally! About time someone got it right!

So if you are headed out of town for the long weekend I suggest you grab a few of these! Someone said that they saw these at a book store in town. You can also order them at Rand McNally and Amazon!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Million Minute Family Challenge! You up for it?


According to their site the purpose of the Million Minute Family Challenge is to provide a simple but fun way for family and friends to enjoy the benefits of board games. The challenge runs from Sept. 1st- December 31st. This is their 9th year!

Games are a fun way to interact with a group! I know that my daughters love to play APPLES TO APPLES when they have a group of friends over. It is a great way to interact with everyone!

What do you need to do? Minimum they are wanting every team to commit to playing a game for at least 20 minutes between September and December and record their time on the website.
Their goal with groups working in all 50 states is to reach 1 million minutes in 2009. They figure if 1,000 families, groups or organizations X 50 states X 20 minues of game play = 1 million minutes!

How fun! I hope you take the challenge, create a group name and log your minutes! Pass this information on to your child's teacher. I bet the class would have fun with this. If you are homeschooled then you can easily do this daily or weekly! Their goal is 20 minutes of game time one time in those 3 months. Just think if you played 20 minutes once a week!

Pass this information on to Libraries, Senior Living Homes, Schools, Girl/Boy Scout Troups, PTA/PTO, Preschools, Daycares,etc.

So take up the challenge and join my group
CrAzY gAmErS and have some fun!

We will post our minutes and games we play as the Challenge continues!


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