Because of where we live, we have to do a good bit of shopping online. The good thing about online shopping: I don't have to leave the house, I can shop in my pajamas, my items hit the post office box or they are delivered to my door, and let's not forget the most exciting part I AM EARNING MONEY WHILE SHOPPING. Try and earn money while standing in line at the local mall.
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Several years ago, a friend of mine recommended Ebates to me. At that time, we did not have the need to shop online, we had all the conveniences we could want within a 10 to 20 minute drive. I really should have seen the amazing opportunity Ebates presented, but I didn't until a friend of my husband's told him about Ebates and to sign up last year.
So what exactly is Ebates?
Ebates is an online CASH BACK SERVICE where you can shop over 1700 stores. Many are familiar stores like Macy's, JCPenney, Target and Walmart. While some will be new to you stores that offer wonderful items with great prices.
How does Ebates work?
Ebates is paid a fee each time we shop the online stores that link through their site. Because of this partnership, we the consumer are passed on the rewards. You can choose to paid by check or Paypal and payments are paid quarterly. It's that simple and there are no fees for being a member.
How to save more with Ebates?
Ebates offers Daily Doubles which is a daily special email. These emails offer double the percentage back when shopping that day at a particular store. Many stores offer extra savings coupons through their link. When pairing those coupons along with the ebates percentage, you'll be saving even more on your purchases. ** If you are anything like me, you won't allow a daily special to cause you to spend money just because it is a special.
Monday, May 12th, is Ebates' 15th birthday. You can earn 15% on purchases from over 100 stores.
I was a little scared about planning for this coming school year since it is a big one... NINTH GRADE and the beginning of HIGH SCHOOL. After I sat down and began planning our high school years, I realized how not so difficult it would be. I didn't use the word easy in that sentence, because it was truly not that easy to plan, but it wasn't that hard either. Once we decided on what to learn, I went from there to finding the different curricula.
MATH: We are using Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1. I can't say enough about Teaching Textbooks. If it were not for TT, I would have thrown in the towel years ago or be sporting a bald head.
LANGUAGE ARTS: I was not planning on doing grammar this year, but after I foolishly changed my mind about switching back to Abeka English last year and many days leaving the table with a horrendous urge to pull my hair out; I am sticking to my guns and will be using Easy Grammar Ultimate Series Grade 9. We are doing one more year of grammar and then taking a break from it. We love using Wordly Wise 3000 for vocabulary. This is a program we have used for years and really like it. You can't go wrong with about fifteen words for twenty lessons. Spreading a lesson out over two weeks, makes learning vocabulary words a dream. ~at least for me! Writing/Composition is a hard subject for me to teach! You either have the natural love for writing and it comes easy to you or you don't. Well, I have a son who was not graced with the natural love for writing. Some days, he had rather have his finger nails pulled out one at a time than have to write. We started with
Jump In this year and we really like it. Since it is basically a two-year program we will continue to work through the book and go from there. If time allows, we will move on to Write Shop. I'm excited about Literature this year, I came across Lightning Literature and Composition by Hewitt Homeschooling Resourcing. We will be studying the American Mid to late 19th century pack.
WORLD GEOGRAPHY: I am a little reluctant about geography this year, I was hoping to use the new high school geography being released in July, but to make a long story short, I decided to go with Apologia Around the World in 180 Days Geography. When I was researching this geography program, I was a little disappointed to find that there are NO lesson plans included. I began searching the internet to see if any one created plans of their on; lo and behold, I found Susan Bower's lesson plans that she was sharing... for FREE!
SCIENCE: I'm keeping my fingers cross on Apologia Biology. When we tried to work through the General Science book, Jamie begged to fling it out the door and go with Abeka. To me, that is a little discouraging because I want Jamie to be SCIENCE READY and to at least like the subject if not love it. I have had several other moms tell me once you get past the one book, it gets better. After calculating the costs of different programs and their needed items, Apologia comes out on top.
FINE ARTS: Jamie will be expanding his learning of oil painting and possibly watercolors. He started oil painting about three years ago and really enjoyed it using Bob Ross dvds. This year we will be focusing on lessons from Jerry's Artarama.
PE/HEALTH: Since we just finished up a half a year of Abeka health, we are not using a curriculum this year. I will be incorporating information found at 7sistershomeschool. As for PE, Jamie will be working out for bull riding and steer wrestling along with helping out on a local farm when needed.
4-H: Jamie is working through several projects in 4-H; rabbit, small engine and is moving up to shotgun sports. If you have never looked into 4-H, I recommend you at least look into what they have to offer. Working through the 4-H program has its benefits for home educated children~credit for the work and life skills. It is not a program for just animal loving, country living children; you don't even have to like animals or live in the country to be apart of the program. Life skills are taught in every thing the children work on like photography, cooking, sewing, woodworking, small engine repair just to name a few.
I can't believe I'm saying this... Our middle school days are numbered; five days to be exact. This is a little hard to swallow, not because my precious son is growing older, but because I am facing high school ~ AGAIN! Thankfully, my high school years are in the past and I never have to relive them, unless they are in a nightmare.
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I was a little worried about facing these years. We have always kept in the back of our minds during our home education journey, I would go back to teaching and Jamie attend school. At the moment, this is not an option, but if it arises in the future, it will be something we consider.
Facing high school with a boy who is not sure what he wants to do career wise, is hard! In fact, I didn't know what I wanted to do at 14, so it's natural, I guess. One thing that has helped me with this one bump in the road, is to lay the law down about college... he will attend. He may not know what he is going to major in at the moment or he may not graduate with a degree, but he will make an effort.
With us just starting out in our high school years, the one thing I can do for my son to help him succeed in the future is make sure he is PREPARED. Since I don't know what field he will be going into and working towards it at the moment, I can make sure he has all of our state's requirements and any prospective college's requirements met.
I have heard some horror stories of young people not making it into college all because they were not prepared. This saddens me because some of these young people really wanted to attend college and there was no one working to help them succeed. It is up to us, the parents, to have a plan ready for action when our children hit these important years. Whether we steamroll right through the years and reach our goal, or we hit a few snags and spend extra time achieving the goal, our children NEED must be PREPARED for college.
I have had several home educating friends who have already walked the high school road with their children, recommend to me The Home Scholar. Lee Binz has some wonderful things on her website and it is ALL ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL! I have read and reread Lee's book Planning High School Coursesand,both times, I learned something new. If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it.
The biggest thing for me in planning for high school was to make a plan for all four years; I need to know what I will be facing. I found what the state of Montana requires for graduation and then I went to our local high school's website and found what they require. From there I went to Abeka and Bob Jones, along with many of the Christian schools in our state to get an idea of what is learned in each grade and electives. I found some interesting classes being offered as electives throughout our state and two classes will be right up Jamie's alley. Now that I have a completed high school plan, I can focus on each individual grade and not worry about the future. Our high school plan is not set in stone, but it is something that we can work towards each year and it gives me peace of mind in knowing what we will be facing.
This is our high school plan, as for the electives, Jamie will choose which course he wants and when. After looking at it, I feel all the excitement of starting high school.