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Our Family World: Unique and Useful Father’s Day Gift!

Unique Father's Day gift
Is your spouse or father always losing his keys or sunglasses? I have the perfect Father’s Day gift idea for you! Best of all this is a non-clutter gift, the best kind in my opinion. Check out my post, No More Losing His Keys: Unique Father’s Day Ideas at Our Family World. You may want to get one of these for each member of the family.

Love, Luck &


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Mom Conference Day 3: Free Online Apr 9

The Mom Conference

Day 3 of The Mom Conference Starts April 9th!

I was so busy yesterday but I still managed to tune into a couple of The Mom Conference speakers. I played the conference videos on my iPhone once again and listened to them while I worked!

I listened to Jordan Page talk about “Getting Out of Debt”. She went step by step over how to create a budget. Then I listened to Jenny Layton speaking on “Get and Stay Organized”. Her advice was so useful! She went step-by-step in detail over how to take a space and get it organized. I put this into action right away – started sorting “that closet” – you know the one I mean, I bet you have one too! Jenny said: “Things can be an energy drain.” It’s so true! Stuff can really clutter your mind and drag you down. I have renewed resolve to get rid of it in my home! She also mentioned a handy item called a “Swoop Bag” that opens up into a play mat and then you just swoop up everything in the mat and it becomes a bag! I WISH I had this when my kids were younger. In fact…I might still be able to use one with my youngest…hmmm…

Sometimes it can be tough being a mom and homemaker, and it’s great to have access to these daily videos!

Each day of the conference, a new set of 4 videos is up for viewing at The Mom Conference site for a FREE 24-hour viewing/listening period.

Here are the incredible speakers and their topics for today:

  • Holly Rigsby of
    Rock Your Skinny Jeans
  • Katie of
    5 Practical Natural Remedies for Moms
  • Nicole Carpenter of
    Define Your Time
  • Dino & Shannon Watt of
    Systems of a Healthy Marriage: Top 3 Successful Marriage Tips
  • Natalie Monson & Amy Roskelley of
    Involving Your Kids in the Kitchen

Come watch ONLINE with me and be inspired and encouraged today!
If you haven’t already registered, register FREE today:

See you at The Mom Conference!

Did you attend the conference yesterday? Which speakers really resonated with you? Let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &


This post may contain affiliate links.

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Our Family World: Valentine’s Day Travel Ideas for Couples

Our Family WorldDo you need some time away from the kids? How about a weekend getaway for Valentine’s Day? Check out my article at Our Family World, Valentine’s Day Travel Ideas for Couples for some ideas.

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day as a couple this year?

Love, Luck &


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The SAT: How to Prep for SAT Writing and Critical Reading

More and more Canadian universities are requesting the SAT test as one of the requirements for admission. I am delighted to have our guest blogger back again today, sharing how to study for the SAT Writing and Critical Reading portions of the SAT test for your homeschooler! Be sure to check out the great links she’s included! Click here for last week’s post on How to Study for SAT Math. ~ Kimberly

The SAT: Writing and Critical Reading

The SAT “Verbal” consists of three multiple-choice Critical Reading sections and two Writing sections. The Critical Reading sections have two types of questions: Sentence Completions and Reading Comprehension passages. The Writing sections have three types of questions: Improving Sentences, Identifying Sentence Errors, and Improving Paragraphs.

To start getting familiar with the types of problems you’ll see on Test Day, buy the blue Official Guide. Once you register from the test online, and explore the SAT College Board site, you’ll need to get busy with some serious practice questions. You can buy the OG here:  It’s $22, but contains 10 official SAT Practice Tests with answer keys, as well as strategy advice and tips for handling every question-type. It’ll be a vital resource in your studies. Here’s some quick tips to jumpstart your SAT Verbal studies:

Develop a step-by-step strategy for each question-typec. Since each of the 5 question-types that make up the Writing and Reading sections are very different, you’ll need a specific approach for each one. However, for all of them you’ll want to think critically and try to predict the correct answer before looking at the answer choices.

Build your knowledge of the tested concepts. The best thing about the SAT Writing sections is that it only tests about a dozen grammar concepts:

·         Idioms

·         Run-ons and sentence fragments

·         Wordiness

·         Parallelism

·         Subject-verb agreement

·         Transitions

·         Modifiers

·         Pronouns

·         Verb tenses

·         Comparisons

·         Passive voice

Learn these concepts and you’ll be able to recognize the errors on most of the questions!

Circle, underline, and take notes on the Reading passages as you read. The longer reading passages take a lot of mental focus and energy, so be sure to read actively. Circle keywords that help indicate the author’s opinion or point of view, and write down the author’s purpose next to each paragraph.

For short passages, read the questions first. Shorter passages will only have 1-2 questions, so it’s fine to read the question stems first. That way, you’ll know what to look for as you read. Longer passages can have anywhere between 5-13 questions, so it’s much more difficult to remember the stems.

Try to think like the test-makers. Try to develop an understanding of what the test-makers “prefer” in terms of the answer choices. For example, after studying the SAT Writing sections for some time you’ll notice how overall the SAT test-makers prefer less wordiness and economy of language. This kind of understanding will help you make better “educated guesses” on harder problems.

For tough vocab on Sentence Completions, look for prefixes, suffixes, and word roots. Harder vocabulary words can often be broken down into their component parts. Always ask yourself: do I see parts of this word in other words? If we didn’t know what “diction” meant, we could still see that it looks like “dictionary” and “dictate” which both have to do with words. Therefore, it’s a good guess that the prefix “dict-“ has to mean “word.”

Finally, learn the directions early. Don’t waste valuable time on your SAT test day reading and re-reading instructions. Each question-type has its own set of directions. Familiarize yourself with them now, so you can save time the day of the exam.

Vivian Kerr is a Los Angeles-based test prep tutor, blogger, and content creator for Learnist with 7+ years experience. She offers tutoring online via Skype for all sections of the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT with


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Love the Journey – Book Review

Love the JourneyLove the Journey: Real-life testimony of God’s faithfulness in every day is a devotional for mothers. It was written by Stephanie Jackson, who runs the HEMS (Helping, Encouraging, Mentoring, Serving) Christian support group in the Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia.

Although Stephanie runs a homeschool group, she mainly muses on being a wife and mother of five, so any Christian mother can read this book. Each entry is punctuated with Bible verses.

Love the Journey is a collection of Stephanie’s blog posts.  You can read Stephanie’s devotional style posts at her blog, Under His Wings or purchase Love the Journey for $17.00. You can order by emailing Stephanie at

Love, Luck &


**I received Love the Journey in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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GEEK Schooling at Homeschool Mosaics: International Tabletop Day!

TableTopDay_logo-474x512The first ever International Tabletop Day (a day to celebrate tabletop gaming) is being celebrated on Saturday, March 30th! Learn more about how you can get involved in today’s GEEK Schooling column at Homeschool Mosaics: Enjoy GEEK Schooling on International Tabletop Day!


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World Education Games 2013 – Math, Science, Literacy – Register Now!

Once agWEG13_date1ain, World Math Day is approaching…on March 6th!  Along with World Literacy Day on March 5th and World Science Day on March 7th, they make up Mathletics’ World Education Games!  We participate every year and my children have so much fun!   And not only do they drill their math, literacy, and science skills in an extremely fun way, but they also learn about Geography and flags of the world just by competing with other students around the world.  There’s even a world map download on the site 🙂

Each of the World Education Games is free and a lot of FUN!  Register now and you can practice for a whole month on the site.  Be a part of this great education event, whether you’re a teacher, parent, homeschooler, or student.
  • Students take part in real-time math, literacy, and science challenges using the using the Mathletics game engine.
  • Student play live with other students around the globe.
  • Designed for all ages and ability levels.
  • Simple to register and participate. All you need is internet access.
  • Great prizes
  • And it’s absolutely FREE!!

HURRY, registration opened today and you get a whole month now to practice!  One registration gets you access to all three of the World Education Games.

Enjoy!  You might see us taking part – look for “Hidden Hill Homeschool” 🙂  Adults can play too!
Love, Luck &

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Halifax: Latin Class for P-Gr. 2 Starts Sep. 22

A Latin class for young children entering P to grade 2 (about ages four to seven) will be  meeting on Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 in the St. George’s church hall, Cornwallis Street, Halifax.  It will begin the 22nd of September and will run through to June with breaks for Christmas, Easter, and March break. There is room for about 12 students.  It will be based on the Song School Latin program.  The class will include the Latin portion, a story from Roman or Greek mythology, and a little time for a game in the churchyard or hall gymnasium.

Cost is $50 and that includes the student workbook with a CD of the Latin songs.  Email to register. It would be useful to know if your child is a reader or not.

Love, Luck &

Posted in Homeschool Events, Things to Do, Places to Go, Uncategorized

Disney, 3D Travel AND The Homeschool Ultimate Field Trip!

PhotobucketA friend of mine recently became a Disney Magical Travel Specialist and with Disney’s Ultimate Field Trip coming up this fall, I wanted to share her services with other homeschoolers!  So, heeeeeere’s Heidi!

Hi, Kimberly!  Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog!

Tell us about your homeschooling family.
I live with my family in central Pennsylvania, right in the heart of Amish country.  I’ve been married to my husband, Brian, for 20 years.  Together, we have 3 great kids (1 who joined our family in the traditional way, and 2 who came to us via international adoption).  Ashley is 18, and recently graduated from our homeschool.  With the exception of a 2 1/2 year stint in the local public school, she’s always been homeschoPhotobucketoled.  This past year, as Ashley was entering her senior year, our youngest child, Ian, was just ready to start Kindergarten.  Yes, our kids are spread pretty far apart in age – and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Our middle child, Gracie, is working on 7th grade this year.  She is also very busy with piano and violin lessons.

My kids are all very different in personality.  As a result, I’ve found that school absolutely cannot be a one-size-fits-all environment around here.  Each year we reassess what we are using and make plans for the year to come – often buying new curriculum and supplements to use.  What worked for Ashley rarely ever works for Gracie – and I can tell that it will be more of the same with Ian.  So, we are most definitely eclectic in nature – using a little of this and a little of that.

What began your love affair with Disney?

My love affair with Disney began when I was 17.  My parents were preparing to take our family to Walt Disney World for the first time.  A friend loaned my mom a copy of Birnbaum’s  Guide to Walt Disney World, which my mom turned over to me.  I studied that book probably more than I was studying my textbooks in school!  I made notes and lists and lists of notes!  When we finally got to Walt Disney World, I was prepared with a plan – and we conquered those parks (at the time it was only the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT) like professionals!  You can find more of this story here.

How did you decide to become a Magical Travel Specialist?
This is a bit of a long, drawn out story; but here’s the condensed version:

We were planning a trip to the Orlando area (for a homeschool convention) in May of 2011. We decided to try a few days on Disney property (something we had never done before – we had always stayed off-site).  I checked pricing online; then took a chance at going through a travel agent.  I was amazed by the pricing she offered – which was much less than the prices I could get myself.

This past year, we tried again (this time planning a real family vacation).  By this time, I had a friend (that I met through the online homeschool community) who was working as a Magical Travel Specialist for 3D Travel Company.  So, I went through her to plan my trip.  Again, I was pleased at the savings she could offer.  She told me that the company was hiring this past winter, so I took a chance and applied.

One of the neat things about 3D Travel Company is that the company is owned and operated by a homeschool family.  I love that I can have a job that relates to two of my passions in life – Disney AND homeschooling!

What services do you offer?
I am basically a travel agent, specializing in Disney travel.  So, while my main area of expertise is Walt Disney World, I can also help you book your vacation to the Disneyland resort in California.  Or, if you’d prefer an off-shore vacation, I can help you plan a trip on the Disney Cruise Line.  Other Disney vacation opportunities include the new Aulani Resort in Hawaii and the Adventures by Disney trips.

The neat thing about working with a Magical  Travel Specialist is that we are always looking out for your best interests.  So, if you’ve booked a trip already and Disney decides to release a special deal, we’ll rebook your trip to get you the better rates!  We also will help plan (or totally plan) your dining options while visiting the parks.  We take the stress out of your traveling, so that you can focus on the magic!

What are some of your absolute favourite Disney experiences?
I love all of Walt Disney World; so when someone asks me to list my favorite this or that, it’s always so hard to narrow down.  I just get this feeling that comes over me when I am there – I feel young, and carefree, and happy!  And that feeling stays with me throughout our entire visit.  Leaving is always a let-down; so I try to always have a future trip to work on planning.

I will say that my 2 favorite rides are at Hollywood Studios – the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (for the thrill) and Toy Story Mania (for the fun).  At the Magic Kingdom, I love the older attractions that have Walt’s name written all over them – such as the Carousel of Progress and it’s a small world.  My favorite park is Epcot – it’s so full of educational value that I could spend weeks in that park alone and still not see it all.

My family – maybe because they live with me – also pretty much love it all.  Our favorite place to shop is definitely Downtown Disney.   We all enjoy character dining and two of our favorites are the Princess Breakfast at Akershus in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase and Breakfast with Donald Duck and friends at Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom.  (A family who doesn’t really eat much breakfast at home loves breakfast at Walt Disney World!)

Another favorite that I must mention is a snack – the Dole Whip (especially the float).  If you go to Walt Disney World, you MUST try it!

Photobucket Tell us all about the Ultimate Field Trip!  Is there still time to get on board?
The Ultimate Field Trip is a really neat opportunity for homeschool families.  3D Travel Company has been hosting this event for the past 7 years, with planning (and booking) in the works right now for the 8th annual event.  This year’s event will take place from September 3rd – 8th.  It’s a great chance to combine a trip to Walt Disney World with an opportunity to meet up with lots of other homeschool families from around the country (and beyond).  We’ve got lots of events planned (which are totally optional) – such as a Mega Meet at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort & Convention Center (with special guest Steve Barrett, author of the famed Hidden Mickey book series), a scavenger hunt at the Magic Kingdom, and meet-ups to watch IllumiNations or enjoy a Dole Whip. You can
learn more about UFT here.

This will be my first time attending the Ultimate Field Trip and I’m very excited about it!  If you’d like more information on how YOU can attend, please feel free to fill out a quote request form.  All quote requests are free and no-obligation.  If you’re serious about booking a trip during the Ultimate Field Trip, it would be wise to hurry up and do so – Disney is currently offering a FREE dining package for the month of September, but booking must take place by May 18th.

If you have any questions about me or about Walt Disney World (or any other Disney destination), please feel free to contact me via e-mail.  I’d also invite you to “like” my Magical Travel Specialist Page on FB, follow my blog, and sign up for my Disney e-Newsletter (mailed monthly, or when new specials are shared).

Thanks, Heidi!  We are SO excited about The Ultimate Field Trip here in our homeschool!  What a great way to start our 2012-2013 homeschool year – at Walt Disney World!  Out of curiosity, I asked for a quote from Heidi, and couldn’t believe what a great deal it was!  Maybe we’ll see you there, too 🙂

Love, Luck &

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Adding FUN to your homeschool day

We have FUN in our homeschool!  Here are just some of the ways…

  • Boardgames! In my opinion, all boardgames are educational, and there’s a boardgame out there to teach everything (I have an article in the current issue of Homeschool Horizons Magazine about this)
  • Hand-crafts – usually we knit, weave, etc. while we read to each other
  • Field trips – almost anything can be a field trip – local fire stations etc. often don’t mind a drop-in from your family.  We often have museums all to ourselves during the day.
  • Video games/websites – there are so many educational games available – a few of our favourites are MathRider, Star Wars Math, and Always Icecream (this one’s for girls and Clever Dragons is for boys)
  • Apps – we use my iPod touch (These Are a Few of my Favourite Apps)
  • Movies – there are so many educational movies, including historically-based ones, dramatizations of Shakespeare, and documentaries.  We often take advantage of programs on NetflixAnd Z-Guides are great tools to turn movies into unit studies.
  • The Arts – we have been known to act, sing, dance, and draw our way through history.

How do you add fun to your homeschool day?

Love, Luck &