Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I Remember the Night the TV Went Down Into the Basement!

I saw this on Pinterest tonight and boy did it ever strike a chord with me.

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall."

Kids, I'm sure, are pleading for this very thing to happen whether they know it or not!  Why?  Because not as much is learned from the TV that you can learn from a book.  AND not as much quality family time occurs with the TV than it does from a book. In fact not as much quality family times occurs at all when the TV has control of a household. 

I was the victim of the TV set being thrown away when I was a kid.  Actually ours went down into the basement - the scary dark, unfinished basement where every boogie-man imaginable lived"  You wanted to watch TV?  You went down there to watch it.  Do you think we did? Heck, NO!

I remember that fateful night.  My older sisters were "glued" to the TV and clearly not listening to my mother.  She finally got fed up and insisted to my father that the "thing" was going downstairs!  So dad carried it down to the basement.  Did he put it down at the bottom of the stairs?  NO!  It went in the farthest, backest, darkest corner of the basement!  NEVER were we to ever have a TV in that living room ever again.  It's over 40 years later now, and I can honestly attest that there is NO TV in that living room STILL!

As a kid growing up I thought it was just awful that we didn't have a TV to watch.  Friends would come over and wonder where it was.  If some special event, like the Olympics, or Roots, or the Holocaust was on, we would bring our little 9 inch black and white TV upstairs and watch it.  Then it'd have to go downstairs immediately when it was over.  

But as an adult?  This just shows me how SMART my mother is!  She made sure we had a house with no TV!  She made sure we spent time with one another, and that we read, and played board games, and cooked, and gardened.  We did everything together except watch TV!  

There are times that, I have to admit, that I have cut off the cable for my own kids cause TV watching was getting out of hand.  Life is SO different when you don't have TV controlling your household.  So much more gets done.  So much more learning, and reading, and crafting, and home cooking, and everything else gets done - TOGETHER!

So ... is the TV controlling your family?  Turn it OFF! Get rid of the cable! Put it in the basement or the garage.  Don't know what to do with your kids then?  Read them a good book.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Usborne Activities is Giving Away Sticker Dolly Dressing Books!

You saw that right! Enter to win YOUR CHOICE of TWO Sticker Dolly Dressing Fairies from Usborne Activities.  How do you enter you ask?  Simply head on over to my Usborne Activities page on Facebook by clicking here: 

All you need to do is "like" my page and enter your name and email.  It's that simple! Good luck!  

Contest ends at 11:59 CST on Feb. 1st, 2014.  Winner gets to select two Sticker Dolly Dressing Fairies of their choice. Winner will be notified by email.  Books will be sent directly to the winner in time for Valentine's Day in case the winner would like to use them for a gift.  There ARE books for boys and girls to choose from!

Good luck! And thanks for entering!  


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Spooky Doodle Fun for Halloween!

Do your kids love to doodle?  Do they love Halloween?  If they love both, they will have a blast with Usborne's Spooky Doodles (Usborne Activity Cards) activity cards.  Set includes 50 wipe-clean cards along with the dry erase pen needed to doodle on the cards. They are two-sided so there are a total of 100 doodle scenes to draw on. As they can be drawn differently every time, the amount of fun is endless! These are also a great item to keep in the car for traveling entertainment.

Both of my kids love these - especially my son who is more into spooky fun than my daughter. Here's a few he did:

One tip I will share with you ... be sure to wipe the cards clean BEFORE packing them back in the box to put away. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Five Tips to Keep Teens Interested in Reading

Teens nowadays spend very little time reading.  Everything they do is all technologized, as I call it.  I know that's not a word, but I'm declaring it to be one!

As most teens spend the majority of their time outside of school on their phones and techno contraptions, how do we keep their interest in reading?  It's hard in their junior high days, I know!  And it gets even harder as they enter the high school years.

Here are five tips to help keep your teen interested in reading:

1.  Even though they have to read specific books for school, have them find a great book that interests them outside of school.  They can read it on the bus, while eating breakfast, and especially before they go to bed.  So many kids loose that love of reading because they are TOLD what to read by their teachers.  They don't get to choose a book that is of their own interest, therefore they loose interest in reading all together.  Keep them reading books that still fascinate them on a subject matter that intrigues them and you will help them keep that love for reading.

2.  Get your teen a subscription to a magazine(s) of their choice.  It could be a fashion magazine, art magazine, some kids love science type magazines.  Whatever your teen is interested in, that would be a fine magazine to have them receive monthly in the mail.  Even if it's a magazine on video games, they WILL read it! 

3.  Many teens like to know what is going on in the world these days.  Reading the newspaper (yes, they still print those!) or reading a news site or blog can keep teens in the know.  

4.  Anytime you see an article about anything that interests your teen, save it.  Whether it is in print or on the computer, cut it out or email/text them the link. By keeping information in front of them that interests them, they will continue to read instead of solely finding information on youtube.

5.  It's still ok to read to them!  Believe it or not, and they probably won't admit it, but they still love to be read to!  Get a good classic, or a good modern novel that you know your teen will love and sit down and read it together.  You'd be amazed by the discussion you can develop with your teen, and you just might learn something about that child who no longer wants to talk to you much.

If you have some other tips on keeping teens interested in reading, I'd love for you to share them.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Boy Who Still Loves To Be Read To

My daughter still LOVES to be read to at night before bed.  We read a lot of non-fiction science and history along with longer picture books and a chapter from a classic.  I did the same with my son when he was younger.  We read and read and read.  Reading time was his favorite part of the day.  It used to be that even though he thought he was too old to be read to any more, he would still come in and sit on his sister's bed when I started reading.  He still wanted to be a part of reading time.  Well, now that he is in high school, he doesn't dare join in on reading time - "That's for kids" he says.  

But I will tell you this!  The door to his room is right by the door to my daughter's room.  I have noticed that he makes sure his door is open at reading time.  I also have noticed that he pipes in and makes all sorts of comments about what we are reading!  He expounds on the non-fiction topics at hand so as to teach his sister a bit more about what is in the book.  He also comments on the fiction.  So ha!  He still enjoys reading time!  He still loves to be read to just as he always has. He just doesn't want to admit it!  I truly think and hope that some of my children's fondest childhood memories will be of us reading together.

Read to your children EVERY night! Read to them no matter if they can read on their own or not, and read to them no matter how old they are.  Read four or five smaller books or pages from non-fiction books on subjects that interest them.  You can even read to them about a topic that you would like for them to learn more about.  Not only are they learning and developing stronger reading skills, you are building a bond between you and your child that will never be broken.  

Happy Reading!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Usborne Human Body Sticker Book is a Fun Way for Kids to Reinforce Learning About the Body

The Usborne Human Body Sticker Book is a fantastic way to teach kids about they body.  It's also a fun tool to supplement with what your child is learning in his/her science or health class.  With true Usborne style, this book has snippets of an incredible amount of information on each page.  Having stickers to use after each topic that they learn helps to reinforce everything their brain has just taken in.  There is also a glossary at the back that defines each term in a concise format for memorization.  It even includes terms for the body parts in Latin and Greek.

We just used this book this week. My daughter is learning about cell structure in science right now.  After she had studied this topic in school and BEFORE she took her final test on the subject, I had her work on the Looking Closer  and The Secret in Cells pages.  It reiterated many of the facts that I knew were going to be on her test, especially that Robert Hooke discovered cells in 1665.  One full page is devoted to what is inside a cell.  As I knew she would have to diagram and know each definition of what constructs a cell, this was a very useful review for her.  Having stickers of each major cell part to match into the diagram of the cell is not only a visual, but also kinetic learning activity.  My daughter said this actually helped her as she was able to visually remember putting those stickers on the smaller cell parts.
The stickers for Looking Closer and The Secret in the Cell pages.
I hope The Usborne Human Body Sticker Book will be a big help to you, and I am sure your children will enjoy learning with it.

Happy Studying!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

List of Books in the September 2013 Usborne Books New Consultant Kit

September is one of the best months of the year to start an Usborne Books business!  Why?  Because school has just started and the holidays are fast approaching.  

We're not just a "party" business.  Usborne Books is a serious business where its reps impact literacy on a daily basis - not only with family book parties, but also with sales to schools and libraries, book fairs, reading incentive programs and even a matching literacy grant program.  Because of the variety of avenues at which you can work your Usborne Books business, you can choose an avenue at which to earn income that works best for you and your family.

With the holiday season right around the corner, books make awesome gifts children.  Usborne also provides a great means to earn extra funds for Christmas. Many of Usborne's holiday titles are sought after each year,  and ALL of Usborne's titles make fabulous gifts for the little ones in your life.

Usborne Books' September 2013 business kit includes 5 FREE holiday titles:

Monsters Sticker Book
Santa's Workshop Sticker Book
Nativity Play
My First Christmas Activity Book 
The Big Book of Christmas Things to Make and Do

Here is a list of the 22 books that come in the kit:

100 Paper Planes to Fold and Fly
100 Science Experiments
Animal Hide and Seek
Billie B Brown
Cow Takes a Bow
Drawing Doodling and Coloring Book
A Football Story
Conspiracy 365 (Books 1-4)
Usborne Geography Encyclopedia
There's a Mouse About the House
Human Body Sticker Book
The Whatif Monster
Questions and Answers
Special Forces
Splash! Anna Hibiscus
Travel Activity Book
Hey Jack!
Ted and Friends
Sticker Dolly Popstars
That's Not My Prince
Write Your Own Story Book

A $375 value in books for only $129!

The mini starter kit is also available in September.  It includes 8 books, supplies and a website - everything you need to get your Usborne Books business up and running for just $69!  

With NO monthly minimums, a starter kit chock FULL of product and supplies - along with a website, as well as a sponsor who has been with the company for over 8 years, TODAY is a great day to get started with Usborne Books and More.