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Category Archives: Helpful

5 Massage Tips for a Beginner

Have you ever wanted to give someone a massage, but were too intimidated by the idea?

5 massage tips

I want to help you get over that hurdle with a few simple tips to keep in mind next time you want to treat someone special to a relaxing experience.

If you want to give (or receive) a better massage, try to keep these five tips in mind.

massage

1. Just Relax

The massage will not be as good if you’re tense and overthink. Try to focus on feeling the muscles under the skin and use loose fists with slow strokes. This is supposed to be a relaxing experience! Be sure you are using a good carrier oil such as V6. Have your essential oils set out ahead of time. Make sure the diffuser is going, the lights are dim, and soft music is playing.

2. Take a Broad Approach

By working large sections with broad strokes instead of focusing on smaller areas, you’ll create a much more comfortable massage. Think of the muscle as a whole and loosen the whole area around the knots and trigger points.

3. Warm-up The Muscles

The muscles need to be warmed up before deeper work can be done, so remember to start shallow with large, soft motions. Once the muscles feel warm they are ready for heavier pressure.

4. Use Appropriate Pressure

Communicate with your subject that they should tell you if they want lighter or deeper pressure. Thicker muscles such as the lower back usually require heavier pressure compared to thinner muscles that stretch over bone.

5. Watch Your Thumbs

You’ll likely cramp your hands if you use your thumbs too much. Keep your wrists straight and massage with a loose fist and the heel of your hand. For more advanced folks, use your forearm and support the movement with your weight to add pressure.

The Takeaway

Treating someone to a relaxing massage might be intimidating for you, but if you keep these five tips in mind I bet you’ll do a great job! Be sure to leave a comment or drop me a note about how it goes when you try it.

 
 

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Thanksgiving Gratitude Book

This Reading Mama is offering the following:

My ABC’s of Thanksgiving: 21 Days of Contagious Gratitude

She has a link to a download of her ABC book. She also has a preschool version you can download as well. She includes blank templates you can adapt for your own use.

 

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Teaching Character Traits

Focus on the Family has a great Christian character trait program called Character Crew. You can access it for free.

The program covers:

  1. Respect
  2. Citizenship
  3. Hope
  4. Compassion
  5. Courage
  6. Honesty
  7. Excellence
  8. Perseverance
  9. Responsibility

 

 

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Book Review: Our America…The King Philip’s War

Susan KIlbride’s second book in her Our America series is titled, The King Philip’s War.

Our America....The King Philip's War Adventure (Volume 2)

Summary: Finn & Ginny’s parents are lost back in time, and the two young twins have decided to take a second trip back to early America to find them. In The Pilgrim Adventure they had found themselves living on the Mayflower, but this time they get caught up in the horrors of King Philip’s War.

I am not going to say much more about the story itself because I don’t want to spoil it for you. What I can tell you is that Sue has written another wonderful living history book. This is one war I wasn’t familiar with at all, so I was glad to read about it. Due to the nature of the book, the horrors of war, the book is recommended for ages 10+. Kilbride doesn’t go into graphic detail about the useless killing, but it is mentioned several times to properly tell the story. If your child is very sensitive, I suggest you read the story first, then decide if you think your child can handle it.

Sue waves great historical detail into the story in such a realistic way. Finn and Ginny meet many ancestors who are actually real ancestors of Kilbride. I think her sense of writing sort of her own personal history made the book even more interesting for this reader. It caused me to think about my ancestors. This would be a great way to introduce genealogy to your child.

The back of the book includes a timeline from July 1662 through August 1676. There are also several pages of really interesting historical notes, but that’s not all, Sue offers neat  hands-on activities that match this history study at her website Funtastic Unit Studies. The activity page is completely free. I highly suggest you check the page before reading the book so you will have the necessary materials on hand when you get to those particular activities.

I look forward to following Finn and Ginny on their next adventure as they continue the search for their parents. I know wherever Sue takes us, we will be sure to learn something we didn’t already know.

This wonderful living history book is on sale at Amazon.com. Please take a moment to read the reviews on her past two books, Our America…The Pilgrim Adventure and Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers.

 

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Free Homeschool Management Software

LearnBoost is offering free management software tailored for homeschoolers. The program  features a fully integrated grade book and software to create and share lesson plans, track student progress, analyze learning trends, add narrative reports, and so much more. It is integrated with Google Apps and is available in 15 languages, soon to be 70.

I’ve looked around the site and it is intriguing. The first thing I did was make sure it is truly free. It appears it really is. They also offer a free demo.

Here is what the site says about the resource being free:

LearnBoost is 100% free. You get all the wonderful features in all of our modules: grade book, attendance, lesson plan, calendar, and more. You have everything to gain by signing up because LearnBoost is free and amazing.

LearnBoost operates on a “freemium” business model. This means that while the majority of our users can access our software for free, future iterations of the product will allow schools to elect for premium administrative features, customization, and services.

We love education and we know school budgets are always tight. In the future, our optional premium services won’t break the bank either!

 

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Teaching Writing and Context Clues

I have a post about writing  and one about context clues on my other blog, 3 D Learners.  Check them out when you have time, or better yet, subscribe so you get updates about posts.

 

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3-D Learners

You might have noticed lately that I have not posted as often. I have been extra busy with many things. Some of my time is focused on my article writing obligations, homeschooling needs, family life, the farm, reviewing books, and contributing to a new blog just to name a few.

The blog owner at 3-D Learners has asked me to become a regular contributor and I have accepted. 3_D Learners is a homeschool blog with a focus slightly more toward technology…the digital native. I have been granted permission to create a new look, which I did, and take the blog in my own direction. Sounds fun doesn’t it?

I have only contributed two articles thus far, but be sure to check in from time to time and see what I am up to.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Helpful, Learning Styles

 

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Internet Safety Issues

I bet all of my readers have some sort of virus software installed to help keep your computer safe, but how many of you have solid plans for keeping your child safe while using the Internet? Internet Safety should be included in your homeschooling curriculum at some point. It is relevant for all age groups, even adults. My daughter, a teenager, and I have had discussions about ways she is to protect herself when accessing the Internet. We also explored why it’s important.

Have you heard about Cyber bullying? It is very real in today’s social media circles. So many older kids today use Facebook, My Space, chat sites, surf randomly, visit You Tube, blogs, and who knows what else. Many times, kids have no idea whether their movements are being tracked, who is reading what they post, who they are truly chatting with, who hacked their account, and so forth. Most kids do not purposefully go to “bad” sites, but bad sites ARE seeking them, tricking them, luring them in…

Do your kids know what information NOT to give at registration sites, in chat rooms, in post comments??? Do your kids know not to ever mention their school by name? Mentioning the name of a school or places near your home helps pinpoint the location of your child. Pedophiles have sneaky ways of finding that type of information. If your child posts pictures on the Internet, things in the background of the picture such as buildings or parks, specific clothes (such a school uniform, cheerleading outfit, team mascot or logo on clothes…) give away your general area. Even if your child doesn’t mention these type of things, chances are his friends might comment about them.

Take time to share safe surfing tips with your teen. Teach them to guard their information. The FBI offers a free report, Parent Guide to Internet Safety , that is a very good starting point for parents wanting to learn ways to spot online sexual predators.

Arm yourself and your child today, don’t wait!

 

 

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How To Homeschool

If you are new to homeschooling, then you might find this e-book about how to homeschool a valuable read. It was written by homeschooling families for homeschooling families. It is comprehensive without being overwhelming at only 12 pages. It is not a big download or a long read.

  • Learn Your Reasons for Homeschooling
  • Understand Your Child Academically
  • Learn the Laws
  • Learn About Learning
  • Get Connected
  • Go Online Your Year
  • Plan Your Day
  • Use the Right Materials at the Right Time… And For the Right Child
  • Keep a Portfolio
  • Learn the Lingo – A Homeschooling Glossary
  • Have Fun! 

AND MORE

Leave me a comment after reading the e-book telling me whether or not it helped, and why or why not. I am really interested because I recommend the book to new homeschooling families quite a bit.

 

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Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers

Susan Kilbride is a homeschooling Mom who happens to have a degree in biology. Early on in her own homeschooling journey, she noticed many parents were either intimated by trying to create their own science curriculum, or simply didn’t have the time. Susan began a quest to put together a resource for parents, teachers and kids that would not only be educationally sound, but fun for kids. The result was “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers”. It is perfect for homeschooling families and classroom teachers alike.

If you are looking for quality science units, but simply don’t have the time to put a unit together, Susan’s book is perfect for you. If you want to supplement your existing science program, I definitely recommend taking a close look at the book. Those of you who might be a little scared of trying to put together your own science lessons for fear you might get something wrong, fear no more, the answer is just a click away.

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers” is geared for ages 4-13 and is broken up into two different age ranges: 4-7 and 8-13. As the parent, or classroom teacher, you know best where your child or student fits regardless of age. There are ten chapters for ages 4-7 and 10 chapters for ages 8-13. The book also includes tests, answers, and worksheets. The back cover of the book has six full color camouflage pictures as a challenge for your child. I had to look hard for a few of them!

Each chapter is broken up into digestible parts, and includes needed information about the topic as well as supplies to carry out each  experiment. The learning activities are clearly scripted for you should you need that extra help. Each lesson has pictures and worksheets to help further explain the lesson.

Examples:

The Human Body (ages 4-7)

  • Part 1: Digestive System
  • Part 2: Respiratory System
  • Part 3: Circulatory System
  • Part 4: Skeletal System
  • Part 5: Nervous System
  • Part 6: Recommended Movies

Atoms and Molecules (ages 8-13)

  • Part 1: Definition of an Atom
  • Part 2; Definition of a Molecule
  • Part 3: Crystals
  • Part 4: Characteristics of Molecules
  • Part 5: Parts of an Atom
  • Test

My daughter and I have used Susan’s book this semester. It is easy to follow because everything is laid out very well. My daughter is enjoying the experiments and learning at the same time. That is a plus for us both. Another reason I like this book is because it fits the learning style of my daughter.

The lessons build upon each other, so you might want to follow the order they are listed, however, if you have already learned about a particular topic, feel free to move forward or skim the lesson before moving on.

Most of the supplies needed for experiments are easily found around your house, the grocery store, or craft store. They are not expensive items at all. The lessons are not intended to be done independently by the child, but rather with a learning coach.

Here are links to free downloads for two different lesson samples:

Plants for ages 4-7

Check out Susan’s site for more freebies. *Note–the site doesn’t open in Google Chrome.
 Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and TeachersSee book at Amazon
 

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