3 Free Crockpot Freezer Meals Recipe Books with Purchase

Most of you know that I’m a homeschool mom of 7 children.  Today is our first week back to school.  We like to ease back in.  Taking it a couple of subjects at a time to get us used to doing school again and being in a routine.  It is exciting to get back to that routine, but it’s hard to start getting up earlier and cramming so much into our days, too.


Since we’re all homeschoolers around here, I’ve got a terrific sale to tell you about.  It’s called the Homeschool Omnibus and it is chock full of ebooks for homeschooling moms.  It happens only once a year and each year, they put different books in it.  This is my first time including a book (one of my Freezer to Slow Cooker cookbooks) in the Omnibus.




Free Gift from ME with Purchase!


Included in this bundle, is Week 2 of my Freezer to Slow Cooker Ebooks.  I wanted to let you know that anybody who buys this bundle through my link, will receive Week 1, Week 3 and Week 8 Printable menus for free!  That is an extra $12 in gifts to you for purchasing this!  If you’ve been debating about purchasing my menus, you’ll get all 4 of them plus 97+ other books for the one low price of $25.  If you do purchase this from my link, please send me the email address that you used to purchase this with, to sidetrackedsarah (at) gmail (dot) com.  (Remove (at) and (dot) and replace with the actual symbols.)  After I receive your email and confirm that you purchased through my link, I will send you an email with your other 3 ebooks.




What Books are Included in the Homeschool Omnibus?

Included Discounts/Freebies

Additional Resources: Codes and Links Provided After Purchase



  • The deadline for refunds is September 5. Positively no refunds will be given if the file host shows that you have downloaded any files.
  • The ebooks will only be available until September 25, please do not delay in downloading them. See the FAQ or contact iHomeschool Network for more information.
  • DVDs can be purchased until September 20.
  • The sale will run from 12:00 am ET, Monday, August 18 to 11:59 pm ET, Sunday, August 24.



Celebrating Cruelty

Blackberry Cell phone

My son is 14. If he had remained in public school, he would be entering 9th grade in the fall. That means, for all intents and purposes, he’s a high-schooler. Even though he’s 5′ 3″ and barely 100 lbs. He started kindergarten a year early, and it shows.

Recently, our tiny hicktown in the Northernest portion of New York State made national news because high school and middle school students were beating the tar out of each other, recording the beatings on their cell phones, and posting the videos on YouTube. It all came out when a victim brought a jack knife to school and was brought up on weapons charges. He was 13.

It’s no surprise to anyone who was a teenager that teens are capable of intense cruelty. This is not to say they are all cruel, not at all. I am well acquainted with a number of teenagers whom I am proud to count as my friends. But I also was the victim of bullying in public school, and peer cruelty lead my son to attempt suicide at the age of ten.

Why are some children so cruel? I suspect it is, in part, human nature. We are born selfish creatures. But we have the capacity for awesome goodness. What makes the difference?

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

I believe the main contributor to a child’s tendency towards good or evil is the parent. A child who is raised tightly, with a parent or parents who are involved in his or her life, with consequences enforced for actions, is much less likely to record themselves assaulting a fellow student and posting it proudly on the internet than one for whom consequences are rare or variable, or who has no one to turn to when in need.

This is especially true in our current “viral video”, 30-seconds-of-fame culture. Those videos were posted to make the perpetrators appear “cool”…and it was successful. They were considered “famous”, for a short time, in the school. Famous, for beating up a classmate. Cool, for hurting an innocent person.

Just as we drank up our Madonna-esque 1980s culture of MTV and Air Jordans, our kids are drinking up the new culture. But this culture is malleable and made up of the users. The users who create the material are the same people who choose what is “viral”. When that media is accessible all hours of the day or night, from the phone in your pocket or the iPad in your pack, the horror of beating a classmate recedes through familiarity. It is no longer a bad thing…it’s desirable. It will get your video shared.

True worth – as opposed to the false fame of a “viral video” – does not come from outside. It comes from within, from the knowledge of who you are a God’s child. To keep that in the front of one’s mind can be difficult with so much pressure to conform. “The World” wants to suck us in, use us up, and spit us out.

To help your teens understand the fleeting gratification of “The World”‘s approval, teach them their true worth. Demonstrate it in your behavior towards them. If they feel they are valued in your eyes, in the eyes of your extended family and your church family, and in the eyes of the Lord, the desire to be valued in the eyes of strangers on the internet will be lessened. You can also reduce the pull of those internet strangers by monitoring and limiting your children’s access to social media. That is not a society that should have a strong pull on children.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:2)


Kathy LaPan is a homeschooling mom of two in Northern NY. She has an MBA in finance and teaches through SchoolHouseTeachers.com. Check out her blog at Simply Homeschool Living.

Free McGuffey’s Primer Copybook + $160 Write from History Curriculum


It’s week 31! We love bringing you these giveaways each and every week here on Homeschool Survival. If you have Freebies you’d like to share, be sure to link up and we will be Pinning and Sharing through the week. We’d like to encourage you to like us and interact with us on Facebook. Visit us there to find and share more fantastic posts. We are a community where you can ask questions, get mom to mom answers and be encouraged. In fact, if you happen to have any questions about homeschooling, feel free to leave us a comment here…and we’ll be happy to post them on the page, or even write a blog post about it. We are here to help you in your journey and can’t wait to hear more from you! Be sure to read all the way to the end, where the fabulous giveaways will be posted.

Write From History

This weeks sponsor: Brookdale House- Write from History series

In the Charlotte Mason style – children will learn to write by studying some of the “greats” – collections from famous and talented authors of the past. Who best to learn from – than the Masters themselves?

In this way - you are teaching an elementary student to write, and you’re also teaching history and handwriting  -  you can definitely save time with this homeschool writing curriculum and method of teaching.

It is an elementary program – intended to prepare children for middle school writing.

This writing program teaches grammar, spelling, penmanship, and history—all at once.


See more about the curriculum and get the details here. 

FREE McGuffey’s Primer Copy Book

McGuffey's Primer Copy Book

All of you will get a free McGuffey’s Primer Copybook from Brookdale House.  Just enter your email address below and we will send one your way.


Win a complete email set of the Write from History series–$160 value.

Covers of Write from History
A bit more about the Write from History series:
Based on the Charlotte Mason style of learning, students will study writings by famous and talented authors from history. They will then complete age appropriate assignments using oral dictation, writing summaries or additional writing.
In this manner – your history, spelling, reading, grammar and handwriting is combined – saving you time and money on curriculum and with terrific results!
From Brookdale House: 

All Level 1 books contain historically relevant reading selections divided into four chapters: short stories, time period tales, poetry, and cultural tales. There are two writing models following each reading selection. One or both can be used for copywork. If the student is ready, the second model can be used for dictation.

In the Level 1 books, the two different writing models are presented differently for each reading selection. For the first model, children write in an area that has ruled lines below each word they copy. The second writing model is written at the top of the net page, and is followed by ruled lines in the lower half of the page. The second model requires students to write from memory.

All Level 2 books contain historically relevant reading selections divided into four chapters: short historical narratives, excerpt from primary source documents, poetry and cultural tales. In the Level 2 books, students in grades 3 to 5 are introduced in a gentle manner to interesting excerpts from primary source documents. These older students are encouraged to copy paragraph sized models written in either print or cursive. In the appendix are additional models which may be used for studied dictation.

 On Sale Now

Those wishing to take advantage of the Back to School Sale – can purchase any of the products for 20% off HERE (with code)

backtoschool coupon!


Have you tried using the Charlotte Mason Method for writing?

Which of these periods in history interests you most? 


 Giveaway: $160 – Write From History Series

Enter with one link or enter with them all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
By entering this giveaway, you will automatically be added to the author’s email list. By confirming your subscription, you will receive a second FREE ebook – An Elementary Writing Plan: Guiding Your Students from Copying Letters to Writing Essays! If you don’t want to receive the FREE book and email updates, simply ignore the confirmation email.  

Other Giveaways & Freebies: Let’s Link Up!

It’s time to link up!  If you’re a blogger linking up, I only ask that you link back to me, if possible.  I can’t wait to see your giveaways and freebies! (If you’re reading this in an email, be sure to click to the site to see more giveaways. More could be added all week!)  

Thank you for being a subscriber!

Thank you for being a subscriber of Homeschool Survival!  Because you’re already a subscriber, you’re eligible to receive this ebook for free, compliments of Brookdale House.  Just click on the picture below:


McGuffey's Primer Copy Book

Clay Bead Necklace

How to Make Clay Bead Necklaces - HomeschooLSurvival.com


My girls have been hard at work preparing for our local fairs. One craft that they worked hard on were these clay bead necklaces. Their hard work paid off! They both received purple ribbons at one fair and blue at the other! More importantly they had a great time making them!

This activity was fun for me also! It is also a very good fine more activity and math patterning activity in case you want to sneak in some school un-noticed! Plus, as an added bonus, you can use them as oil diffuser necklaces!

What you need:

Small Cookie Cutter

Wooden stick or end of a paint brush

Lacing or jewelry cord (We used this…Hemptique Hemp Cord Card, 20-Pound, Party)

Oven Baking Clay in desired colors (We used this one…Polyform Sculpey Bake Shop Clay Variety Pack, 14-Ounce)

How To…

First, work on your medallion by pressing out a small lump of clay and cutting with cookie cutter. We then cut out another from a complementary color and place in the center. Using the end of a paint brush or stick carve in a design or initial.




Next, work on your beads. Roll a “snake” of clay and use a plastic butter knife to cut it into even sections.


Roll each section into a pea sized bead.


Using the end of a paint brush or stick, poke a whole through the center of the bead for lacing.


Bake beads and medallion on a sheet tray in a 275 degree oven for 15 minutes. Allow to completely cool. Then lace onto cording. Tie cording securely at the ends.


How to Use Sensory Play in Your Homeschool

How to Use Sensory Play in Your Homeschool

When I had my first baby I had no idea what sensory play was, but I already knew it was important. After her birth, I wanted her to experience as much as she could whether it was feeling, hearing, seeing, smelling, or even tasting. In my mind the more she experienced, the more connections her brain made. So when I learned about sensory play it just made sense!

What exactly is Sensory Play?

Sensory Play is an activity that evokes the senses. Not all sensory play will evoke all the senses, but generally it will involve at least two. This can be as simple as playing with water and feeling the temperature as well as hearing the splashes and seeing the ripples.

Why do kids need Sensory Play?

All people, even adults, learn best when their senses are engaged. This explains why many of our memories may be triggered by just a smell. When a baby is born it knows little of the world around it and (like all of us) uses its senses to learn.  As it experiences different sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch the brain will connect them, so sensory play enhances learning. Sensory play also gives kids the chance to practice fine motor skills like pouring or pincher grasp. It gives them a chance to experience cause and effect when given things they can interact with like water, shaving cream, or food coloring. It gives them a chance to boost their creativity with free play and exploration of the world around them. And as long as you are there discussing what is going on (which supervision is needed especially with young children), it gives them a chance to develop a larger vocabulary and make connections to what words really mean. How can you know what a splash looks like or sounds like until you experience it and are given the words to go along with it.

I am sure you can see why Sensory Play is valuable to the young child. Honestly even my early elementary kids still love it, and they can start to learn even more from it. That vinegar and baking soda eruption is more than some stinky bubbles now; they can begin to learn the science behind it and think of ways to alter it. They are still learning vocabulary from it as well!

Another benefit I have seen in my own kids is that it can calm them down. If they are having an overly energetic day, a sensory bin can help them refocus and keep them entertained for a while. Usually after some time in sensory play they can come back to school work or house work or just quieter play!  This may not be true for all kids or even all sensory activities, but I have noticed it with mine.

Want to start some sensory play with your kids?

Here is how you can! There is really no right or wrong way to put together a sensory bin. Sometimes I use a plastic bin, sometimes the water table or bathtub, sometimes our homemade light table or just a table depending on what we have.  Think of some things you can include in your sensory play. You can use play dough, rice, beans, soap bubbles, marshmallows, shredded paper, and on and on;  really there is no end to what you use. You do need to think about your own child and if they are likely to taste whatever you put in it. If you have young children who still stick everything in their mouths (which they do for sensory input) you may want to stick with edible sensory fun like pudding, yogurt, jello, or homemade edible play dough. You can keep it simple or add a fun theme.  if you do choose to add thematic components make sure you organize them aesthetically in the bin! If it is pretty and looks like fun, our child is much more likely to dive in!

I think one thing that stops some parents from adding sensory play is the mess it can create. It’s true, sensory play can be very messy. Some is definitely less messy then others though. So my tips for minimizing messes are:
  • do as much as you can outside (not possible in bad weather),
  • if you are inside, make sure the bin is on a easy to clean surface (not carpet),
  • or go one step further and place a large plastic tablecloth under the bin
  • or even let your child explore the bin in the bathtub where clean up is easy!

Sensory play really doesn’t have to be intimidating and most all children really enjoy it. You may find specific materials your child doesn’t care for, but don’t give up if a bin or two get rejected! If you need some ideas to get you started check out my Sensory page where I have listed some of the bins we have used.

Ashley is a classic strong-willed child,  she fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian is 2005 only to realize a new dream had formed, having a family with her husband (another strong-willed child). After much heartache, they were blessed with 2 daughters and a son, who are all proving to be just as spirited as their parents! Though she still works part-time, she fills her days off with fun activities and lots of learning with her three kids. And this is where the blog comes in, Life with Moore Babies, is where she documents the activities they do and the places they go in hopes that someone might be inspired to do some “fun learning” with their own kids. You can find Ashley on FacebookPinterest,Google +, and Twitter.

FREE Jim Hodges Audio Book & Study Guide For YOU + Giveaway


It’s week 30! We love bringing you these giveaways each and every week here on Homeschool Survival. If you have Freebies you’d like to share, be sure to link up and we will be Pinning and Sharing through the week. We’d like to encourage you to like us and interact with us on Facebook. Visit us there to find and share more fantastic posts. We are a community where you can ask questions, get mom to mom answers and be encouraged. In fact, if you happen to have any questions about homeschooling, feel free to leave us a comment here…and we’ll be happy to post them on the page, or even write a blog post about it. We are here to help you in your journey and can’t wait to hear more from you! Be sure to read all the way to the end, where the fabulous giveaways will be posted.


Jim Hodges Audio Books Giveaway

This weeks sponsor: Jim Hodges Audio Books Giveaway –  Win 2 Cds of your choice

Jim Hodges Audio Books Makes History Come Alive with Henty books and more…..

When we first began listening to our new audio book, True to the Old Flag, we were captivated as we heard Mr. Hodges change his voice in so many ways.  Whatever character he was reading about, he would become.  Voice inflections, accents and all!  We knew that we would NOT get bored!   He has a way of making the story so interesting & the listener feels as if he or she is right there with the characters of the book.  My son is always asking if we can listen to one more chapter, when it’s time for our listening session to end.

One of my hesitations to picking up a Henty book was because of the “old English”.  Well, Jim Hodges Audio books has helped me out with that one, too!  They have vocabulary guides to go with many of the Henty books that are available on their site. When we don’t know what a word means, we look it up in the vocab guide.  Talk about a time saver!  (Read more of this in depth review at Sidetracked Sarah)

What others are saying . . .

“What do you get when you cross a spellbinding story with an eloquent storyteller? You get Jim Hodges reading aloud a G. A. Henty book! We had to drive 6 hours this weekend and our family was enthralled! Mr. Hodges reads with a fluent style that charmed us all, from Drew (7 years) to Daddy (40 years).”
L. F. – Renton WA, TEACH Magazine

“A highly professional recording. Made history come alive for me and my sons. What a voice!”
D. J. – Fort Worth TX

“Whether you are out on a walk, riding in the car, or just sitting by the fire, you will be able to bring these G. A. Henty classics with you wherever you go. Jim Hodges has brought to life these Henty novels in unabridged, dramatic readings. The tapes are high-quality and well recorded with strong, clear reading – perfect for recapturing that “lost” time in the car.”
God’s World Book Club


Jim Hodges Giveaway-Audio Books


Products for younger listeners

If you have younger listeners in your homeschool, check out the following audio books:

Our Young Folks Josephus

Yesterday’s Classics

Still not sure how you will use these books in your homeschool?  Try listening to this free recording about how these products can be valuable tools in your homeschool:

Jim Hodges speaks

10th Anniversary Sale!

Save lots of money on Jim Hodges Audio Books: go to the August 2014 “10th Anniversary Sale Page!” 

This audio books giveaway will bless your homeschool with a resource the whole family can enjoy.


FREEBIE For Everyone!  

Would you like to try one of his audio books AND study guides for free?  All of us, get a free download of the book, Under Drake’s Flag!  Exciting, isn’t it?

Under Drake's Flag


Setting: AD 1580 – Sailing ships, The Inquisition – Circumnavigation of the Globe.

Story: With hearty singing of Psalms, Drake and his crew greeted the Pomo Indians who resided in an area known today as San Francisco. Sir Francis Drake is the first English explorer to circumnavigate the globe and thus sail upon the Pacific Ocean. Ned Hearne and three of his friends make up part of Drake’s crew. The boys will share in Drake’s adventures on the Spanish Main in the 1580s. The heroic adventures of Francis Drake and life on the Spanish Main (Central America) will come alive through the masterful storytelling of G.A. Henty.



In order to get this FREE full length audio book and study guide, just go here to Jim Hodges Audio Books and enter your email address and download code of HSEDrake.  This is only available for a limited time, so get it before it expires.

Jim Hodges Audio Books Giveaway – enter with one link or enter with them all!

One Special winner will win 2 Free Audio Books from Jim Hodges Audio Books.  Your Choice!  A great way to supplement your homeschool!!  Enter in the Rafflecopter below:


Thank you for sharing with friends – See disclosure in Rafflecopter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Giveaways & Freebies: Let’s Link Up!

It’s time to link up!  If you’re a blogger linking up, I only ask that you link back to me, if possible.  I can’t wait to see your giveaways and freebies! (If you’re reading this in an email, be sure to click to the site to see more giveaways. More could be added all week!)

The Homeschool Balancing Act

homeschool balancing act @homeschoolsurvival


Homeschooling and Getting it All Done

We moms know that life in general can be a balancing act, but when you throw homeschooling in with all the other stuff you have to get done, it can seem like an overwhelming task. On top of that, you might be teaching multiple grades, tackling high school subjects, or dealing with a curious toddler. Field trips, errands, sports activities, and trips to the vet keep you on the road A LOT. Some days, it seems like it’s time to get supper started before you’ve even pulled that first load of laundry out of the washer.

So, how do you manage the homeschool balancing act?

Well, I don’t really have all the answers, but after eleven years of homeschooling, there are a few things I’ve learned that I can share with you. First and foremost, accept that right now — this moment — this is life. Life isn’t a “someday when I catch up” moment. When you are in the thick of it with dirty dishes, piles of laundry, science projects on the kitchen counter, and fussing kids, embrace it, enjoy it, and make the best of it. You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating, your kids are only young once. Don’t save your best for “one day.” Live it now: enjoy this time with your children.

This realization brings me peace, which helps me maintain focus. And that leads to number two.

You will never catch up. Accept it. There will always be more meals to plan, more dirty towels to wash, and more math problems to figure out. So instead of wasting your time playing catch up, chart a course for what you want to accomplish each day, and let the rest go. It will be there tomorrow. My household list includes getting the dishes out of the sink and starting a load of clothes before bedtime. (I can, however rest easy even if there’s a pile of unfolded laundry hidden away in my closet and a full dishwasher waiting to be unloaded.)

For school, instead of looking at a daily schedule, I focus on where I want us to be by the end of each week. Which leads to my third tip: plan ahead, but be willing to go with the flow. Having a written plan for schoolwork helps keep us moving forward, but I also embrace those “light bulb” moments when they arise. Sometimes, spontaneity brings about the most memorable learning experiences.

If you’re in the midst of planning for the new school year, and the task seems daunting, relax a little, celebrate this season of life, and give yourself some grace.

Anne CampbellAnne Campbell is the mother to three boys (in every sense of the word!) and a homeschooler for the past eleven years. She is the Managing Editor of Blog at Home Educating Family Association, columnist for Home Educating Family Magazine, and member of the Home Educating Family review team. As a former classroom teacher, she loves to share resources and ideas and encourage other moms and homeschoolers. When they started on their homeschooling  journey, her oldest son was in kindergarten. They decided to take it one day at a time, one year at a time, and now she has a high school student, middle school student, and elementary student, and all still at home. They fly by the seats of their pants most days, spending as much time as possible exploring nature, and seizing learning opportunities whenever they appear. You can visit her at her blog Learning Table. You can also find Anne on Bloglovin’FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Summer Craziness!!!!

Summers are C R A Z Y here!
We LOVE the mild mornings for outdoor play.


They were enjoying some morning “coffee” in the crows nest. Most mornings are beautiful and our play yard is shaded wonderfully till about 10:30am.

This is normally where we play for the first two hours of our “movement” part of the day.



We really do enjoy the “hot” parts of the day in the school room. They can be active, yet not risk heat stroke!


We also love the hot afternoons for some much needed school time in the cool comforts of AIR CONDITIONING!
Yep, the open window explains why it was still so warm in there! :(


This is what happens when the two year old is tired and hungry AND it is lunch/nap time. Poor baby!


This particular day I was calling around for counter tops during school and time got away!  AWAY so much that princess put herself down for a nap! :(

We will work HARD on phonics.

We will hopefully drive home the basic addition 1 to 5.

HOPEFULLY, the oldest three will learn to write numbers to nine and all of their alphabet. (Sidewalk chalk is an amazing gross motor writing tool!)   I hate the clean up, but when the physical therapist and mom say  “use YOUR muscles”!  It is awesome for following those directions!

We school year round here.   Summers are much lighter “office” work, but still very strong on academics.   There are lots of adventures, from play dates, dinners out, hands dirty in various activities, LOTS of movement and songs.

 How do you do your summers?


Venus JonesVenus loves giving us a glimpse into her crazy, busy life as mom of 9, the youngest 6 of which she’s adopted.  She has been homeschooling for 13 yrs.  She recently started a new blog called Mommy Bear Blog and would love for you to follow her journey there.

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry

Spaghetti Squash

It isn’t always easy giving something new a try, but I had heard about spaghetti squash a few times now and figured if it would help us eat better, we might as well try it.  My son is a bit of a processed food junkie and I will give in and buy some now and again, but I cringe, as I have never had some of these things (pasta in a can, I just can’t).

While at my local grocer, I picked out a medium sized squash and showed my hubby. He’s not a squash fan, so I received a funny look.  I bought it anyway.

When we got home I began googling how to cook the spaghetti squash and found easy instructions online at http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-178036 .  Preparation was simple and my chickens were happy for the seed and stringy innards treat. I found it looks like angel hair pasta when ready, but it has a little crisp to it and almost a nutty essence.


After preparing the squash I set out to make it into my dinner. I used half the squash, five grilled chicken tenders, and about 1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed veggies as the base. I put this all into a frying pan with 2 Tbsp of soy sauce, 1 chicken bouillon cube, 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 cup of margarine.  I then cooked this on low until all the flavors had mixed well. When almost done simmering, I seasoned to taste with cayenne pepper, ground mustard, and ground ginger.

Dinner was delicious and I had two containers leftover for the next days of lunches. My leftovers the next day tasted even better!  That hardly ever happens in our house.

I now have half a spaghetti squash left to make something else with. I’m having trouble deciding between an American chop suey, with sauce and meatballs, in a soup, or in a spaghetti bake.  My sister-in-law even suggested a “pasta” salad with it.

What is your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash?


Melissa ReadMelissa is in her first year of homeschooling her teenaged son, while working part-time.  She enjoys the simple life, but her husband is a super techie.  It’s an interesting balance as Melissa strives to learn more homesteading skills, while her husband is playing the latest Xbox game.  Find Melissa’s Facebook page:  Minor in Homeschool.