Entries Tagged 'Contests & Giveaways' ↓

Cultivating a love of reading {and giveaway!)

books, bookstore, love of reading

By Daniella Dautrich

WHEN your child opens a book, does she find a dull and lifeless heap of words? Or, does she see a portal to new ideas and creative adventures?

As a homeschooling parent, one of the best gifts you can impart to your children is a genuine love of reading. There are so many ways to do this, from building a strong reading foundation to working on reading skills.

Today, let’s explore three more ways to cultivate a lifelong love of reading.

A Child’s Bookcase

When my brother and I were young, our parents gave each of us a tall bookcase for our bedrooms. Mine was clean white particleboard. It had a middle shelf for chapter books, a lower shelf for picture books, and room to spare for dolls and knickknacks. Over time, my stacks of fiction, poetry, and reference books grew, while toys were quietly donated or packed away.

I grew up believing that bookcases–and book collections that never stopped growing–were part of normal family life. Just imagine my surprise when I babysat in homes where a few toddler board books and scattered sci-fi novels were the only books around! To this day, shelves full of biographies and classics mean home to me. I take pride in these treasures and know it all started with my very own bookcase. {Thanks, Mom and Dad!}

Bookstore Outings

Our family loved to visit bookstores, where we spent hours on end. These trips might have a stated purpose (to purchase new journals or Christmas gifts for the uncles), or they might be spur-of-the-moment capstones to special restaurant dinners. My parents would buy their coffees, and I would dart straight back to the enchanted corners of the children’s section.

Those timeless hours let me fall in love with books over and over again. Before I had laptop computers and Amazon wish lists, I always knew exactly which book or paper-doll set I wanted for Christmas. I could choose just the right paperback to buy for a friend’s birthday. I had seen it, read it, and touched it in the bookstore.

The Reading Tree

One year, my mom transformed a 3- by 4-foot bulletin board into an impressive piece of fall foliage. Crumpled brown paper, pinned and stapled in place, became a tree trunk and branches. Paper leaves, neatly cut and stacked, stood at the ready. Now, whenever my brother or I read a new book, we could add a leaf to the reading tree.

You can contribute to your children’s love of reading with an autumn-inspired family reading tree of your own!

  • Cut out green, red, orange, and yellow leaves from a free printable template.
  • Explain to your children which books will count for the reading tree and which books won’t. For example: “Only non-text books at or above your grade level.”
  • When your child finishes reading a book, ask them to write the title and author’s name on a leaf. If you haven’t assigned a specific leaf or marker color to each child, always have them add their initials.
  • Watch your child’s reading skills soar—and your homemade reading tree will grow in no time!

WriteShop’s Reading & Writing Gift-Basket Giveaway

WriteShop writing basket

WriteShop is joining in the iHomeschool Network Back to School Toolkits bloghop! We believe reading and writing go hand in hand, so our winner will receive:

…gift basket valued around $50!

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

* See my complete giveaway rules
* No purchase necessary.
* All giveaways are void where prohibited.
* age 18 and older.
* Winners are chosen randomly, by Rafflecopter.
* Unless otherwise stated, winners have 72 hours from the close of the giveaway to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed within 72 hours, an alternate winner will be selected.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the other Back to School Toolkits!
iHN Back-to-School Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links. Read our full disclosure policy.

Bookstore photo: MIKI Yoshihito, courtesy of Creative Commons.

Summer writing contests for kids

summer writing contests, writing contests for kids

THEY’VE MASTERED new grammar concepts and sharpened their editing skills. They’ve learned brainstorming and outlining tricks of the trade. Since last September, your kids have become more confident writers. Motivate them to keep learning through writing contests for kids!

Although some of these contest deadlines are much later in the year, your kids might prefer writing during the long days of summer vacation.

If you’re looking for more writing contests, check your local library. Libraries such as those in Phoenicia, New York or Berkshire County, Massachusetts offer exciting prizes for young writers of many ages!

Writing Competitions 2013

No cash prizes, but winners will receive a detailed, five-page writing assessment

  • Website:  writingclassesforkids.com
  • Who is eligible: Ages 8-18
  • What they’re looking for: A piece of fiction that demonstrates character, conflict, and action in 500 words or less
  • Deadlines: June 30, 2013 (fiction set in the real world) and November 30, 2013 (fantasy, science fiction, etc.)

A Book That Shaped Me

The Library of Congress summer writing contest for the Mid-Atlantic region

  • Website: loc.gov/bookfest/
  • Who is eligible: Rising 5th and 6th graders in participating library districts
  • What they’re looking for: A one-page essay about a book that made an impact on your life
  • Deadline: August 12, 2013
  • Entry Form

Patriot’s Pen

Cash prizes awarded by the Veterans of Foreign Wars

  • Website: vfw.org/Community/
  • Who is eligible: Grades 6-8 (as of November 2013)
  • What they’re looking for: 300-400 word essay on “What Patriotism Means to Me”
  • Deadline: November 1, 2013
  • Entry Form

Voice of Democracy

College scholarships sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars

  • Website: vfw.com/Community/
  • Who is eligible: Grades 9-12
  • What they’re looking for: 3-5 minute speech on “Why I’m Optimistic About our Nation’s Future”
  • Deadline: November 1, 2013
  • Entry Form

Totem Head’s Story Contest

Encouraging kids to write adventure stories in 1500 words or less

  • Website: adventurewrite.com
  • Who is eligible: Ages 5-18
  • What they’re looking for: Mysterious or suspenseful adventure stories that begin with the phrase, “So there I was”
  • Deadline: December 31, 2013
  • Entry Form
Photo © Karah Fredricks. Used by permission.

Review & Giveaway: Little Pilgrim’s Progress

Little Pilgrim's Progress Adventure Guide - Moody Press

I started reading the book Little Pilgrim’s Progress when I was a lot younger. In fact, you could say it was far back enough that my parents had to read it to me! Honestly, it was one of my favorite books of all time. For a reason unknown, eventually the paperback volume was left on a shelf, unfinished. It wasn’t until many years later that I finally picked it out, dusted it off, and started again from scratch.

Little Pilgrim’s Progress is a beautifully written book, and although the theme could steer some away, it has everything you’d want in today’s fiction or fantasy. Being one of the most compelling and imaginative books I’ve read, the pages are full of morals and fantastic hidden meanings. It’s filled with unreal scenarios and wonderful characters, although the main aspect of Christianity is just so perfectly placed. It’s easily one of the novels that you can get completely lost in.

But that’s enough about the feel; it’s time to get straight to the book itself!

Little Pilgrim's Progress Adventure Guide

The book centers on a young boy named little Christian, living in the faraway town of Destruction. He has lived there all his life, never leaving, never drifting away. He has always heard the loveliest stories about the world outside Destruction, how there are beautiful kingdoms ruled by a King who loves the children of the world.

After hearing enough stories, little Christian embarks on his own journey, seeking the promised land of the Celestial City. His quest brings him down many paths, both pleasant or treacherous, and he meets many people—friends and enemies alike.

Sixty years after John Bunyan’s classic was first published comes the new Anniversary Edition from Moody Press. It is complete with lovely illustrations, along with a redefined Adventure Guide by Deanna Conrad.

Combined with the book, this extra booklet can really help the younger audience understand Little Pilgrim’s Progress, pointing out unseen implications and simply adding some fun to the process. Nonetheless, whether young or old, pilgrims of all sizes are sure to enjoy Helen Taylor’s novel from cover to cover.

~Jessica Stilwell

From a Mom’s Point of View

I just love the Little Pilgrim’s Progress Adventure Guide that accompanies the book! The Guide is divided into six “sessions,” each containing:

  • Vocabulary list to complete
  • In-depth questions about the story
  • Short chart to fill in allegorical concepts
  • Questions about the setting
  • Biblical application
  • Character chart with character matching (matching a description to a character)

This little Guide is so packed with information, it could easily be used as a language arts program over six weeks. For the younger child,  a lot of parent interaction will be needed as some of the terminology will probably be over their heads. I do think most older elementary students, as well as middle schoolers, would enjoy the process of going through the book and Guide on their own.

Little Pilgrim’s Progress would be a wonderful book club pick for children! For a church group, it would make a great small group or Bible study.

~Kelly Stilwell

Jessica Stilwell is a 13-year-old who loves art and gaming. She attends a virtual school for most of her classes. Her favorite class is media/animation. Jessica plans to be a video game designer.

Kelly Stilwell (Jessica’s mom) is a stay-at-home mom of teens blogging about family life in the fast lane at Virtually Yours. Kelly writes about food, travel, education, and hosts a lot of giveaways! You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter too.

Giveaway

We are happy to be giving away both the Little Pilgrim’s Progress book and Adventure Guide!

Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget below.

  • See my complete giveaway rules
  • No purchase necessary.
  • All giveaways are void where prohibited.
  • Open to all age 18 and older.
  • Winners are chosen randomly by Rafflecopter.
  • Unless otherwise stated, winners have 72 hours from the close of the giveaway to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed within 72 hours, an alternate winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Another Birthday Bash Giveaway

Writeshop birthday giveaway

We’re still celebrating WriteShop’s 12th birthday … and that means another great giveaway! This giveaway is open to everyone—even our international friends, with a prize package worth as much as $211!

WriteShop giveaway

Prizes from WriteShop

WriteShop will give the winner your choice of WriteShop Primary or WriteShop Junior curriculum package - includes ebook version of both Teacher’s Guide and related Activity Pack  ($29 to $65 value)

Book A is recommended for kindergarten or first graders. It may also be used with reluctant second graders. The program accommodates pre-writers as well as beginning and developing writers, teaching the skills of the writing process at the very simplest level.

Book B is recommended for first or second graders. It may also be used with reluctant third graders. The program accommodates pre-writers as well as beginning and developing writers, teaching the steps of the writing process in a simple, engaging way.

Book C is recommended for 2nd or 3rd graders. It may also be used with 9-year-olds who learn with difficulty. Students learn to write simple stories, articles, and reports with parent help. The program accommodates beginning and developing writers, teaching the steps of the writing process in a simple, engaging way.

Book D is recommended for 3rd, 4th, or reluctant 5th graders. Students learn to write and publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry using a variety of pre-writing games, graphic organizers, and self-editing tools. Effective with both reluctant and enthusiastic writers.

Prizes from Friends of WriteShop

Four of our favorite publishing friends are tossing some great gifts into the prize package!

Media Angels is giving the winner a ticket to the Ultimate Homeschool Expo.  This year they’re talking about homeschooling methods, teaching styles, organization, making the most out of your holidays while homeschooling, creation science, exceptional children, teen years, and more. Listen to the Expo and each of the exciting speakers in the comfort of your own home! ($89.95 value)

Grapevine Studies offers Bible studies for all ages. The winner will receive the teacher and student download of The Resurrection study ebook. Starting in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, your students will study the people and events of the final hours of Jesus’ life. Great for family devotions, Sunday School, or Bible class. ($23.00 value)

Homeschool Adventure Co. creates and offers resources designed to inspire and equip parents to educate and raise children to be loving, compassionate, strong, and wise. One of their tools is Philippians in 28 weeks, which will help you memorize Philippians in 28 weeks! This streamlined approach uses memory cards carefully constructed to present Philippians thought-by-thought, copywork verses, journal questions, weekly reflections, recitation charts to test your retention, and an optional tracking tool called “The Log.” The winner will get their own copy of this eb00k. ($14.95 value)

Jim Hodges Audio Books has largest collection of unabridged recordings of the G.A. Henty historical novels available. The winner will get to pick one audio book of your choice. ($18 value)

 

Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget below.

  • See my complete giveaway rules
  • No purchase necessary.
  • All giveaways are void where prohibited.
  • Open to all age 18 and older.
  • Winners are chosen randomly, by Rafflecopter.
  • Unless otherwise stated, winners have 72 hours from the close of the giveaway to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed within 72 hours, an alternate winner will be selected.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WriteShop’s 12th Birthday Celebration!

WriteShop's Big Birthday Bash

This month marks our 12th year of providing quality writing materials to homeschoolers—and we want to celebrate! A number of our friends have partnered with us to offer a fantastic Big Birthday Bash giveaway package worth over $500!

Here are the Birthday Bash prizes:

WriteShop Birthday Bash Prizes

WriteShop will give the winner their choice of WriteShop curriculum. Choose the level you need! ($32 – $100 value)

Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations created a wonderful resource for homeschool parents called the Homeschool Planner. This great planner can be customized and used year after year. ($20 value)

Thirty-One Consultant Kathy Planton is offering an Organizing Utility Tote. See how Spell Outloud used this bag to organize her WriteShop curriculum. ($30 value)

Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler is offering her Classical Literature Unit Study Pack. Each literature unit study contains educational lessons, activities and a fun lapbook students will work on as they progress through the book. ($18 value)

WriteShop Birthday Bash Prizes

Bright Ideas Press is offering a digital copy of their fabulous geography software called WonderMaps. It’s a customizable collection of over 350 different maps. With nearly endless possibilities, WonderMaps makes it easy to regularly integrate map study into a variety of lessons and make the most of every learning opportunity. ($49.95 value)

Michelle from Hi Mamma Designs creates beautiful fabric banners. She is making a fabric Happy Birthday banner for the Birthday Bash winner. This is a perfect decoration to use year after year as you celebrate the birthdays of your loved ones at home. ($38 value)

Schoolhouse Teachers is offering a 1-year membership to their online classroom, where Kim Kautzer is the writing teacher. With over 25 different “school” subjects presented via teaching videos, ongoing lesson plans, worksheets, lapbooks & unit studies, writing prompts and other assignments to choose from, students can additionally  interact personally with the teachers by asking them questions and gaining feedback. ($64.26 value)

All About Learning Press is offering a $50 gift certificate to their store! Their All About Reading and All About Spelling programs are complete, comprehensive, and based on the Orton-Gillingham approach and the latest research. ($50 value)

Knowledge Quest created A Presidential Scrapbook and is giving a copy to our Birthday Bash winner. Journey back through time and get acquainted with our nation’s presidents, from General George Washington to our current Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama. Find out about the events that propelled these men into the highest office of the United States of America and what remarkable and memorable deeds marked each of their presidencies. ($18.95 value)

Linda Lacour Hobar, author of The Mystery of History curriculum, is giving a downloadable Mp3 Audio book of Vol I of The Mystery of History. Bring The Mystery of History Volume I Second Edition to life! You can listen to the professionally recorded stories through the voice of the author. ($49.95 value)

Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young is a practical guide to equipping the hearts and minds of boys without losing or breaking your own. The winner will receive their own copy of this encouraging book. ($15 value)

The winner will also receive a 1-year subscription to Home Educating Family Magazine. With its first-rate graphic design and culturally relevant articles, Home Educating Family Magazine has quickly become the most popular homeschool magazine on the market. ($19.95 value)

With 25 years of experience in the home educating community, Media Angels  has developed an online EXPO addressing a wide variety of topics for today’s homeschool moms! Each year we line up an impressive speaker list with topics that are relevant to your every day life. This year we are talking about homeschooling methods, teaching styles, organization, making the most out of your holidays while homeschooling, creation science, exceptional children, teen years, and more. The winner will receive an Ultimate Homeschool Expo ticket! ($89.95 value)

Starting a  Micro Business for Teens by Carol Topp will help teenagers earn money while learning a lot. A micro business is simple to start, usually home-based, low risk, educational, and easy for a busy student to run. This book offers ideas, a business plan, pitfalls to avoid, and resources to get a teenager started making money running their own micro business. The winner will receive their own copy of Starting a Micro Business for Teens. ($9.95 value)

Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget below.

  • See my complete giveaway rules
  • No purchase necessary.
  • All giveaways are void where prohibited.
  • Open only to U.S. Residents, age 18 and older.
  • Winners are chosen randomly, by Rafflecopter.
  • Unless otherwise stated, winners have 72 hours from the close of the giveaway to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed within 72 hours, an alternate winner will be selected.

International friends, there will be a special giveaway open to everyone later  in the month!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WriteShop Junior Book D – Review and Giveaway

IT’S REVIEW and giveaway time over at Confessions of a Homeschooler!

Even after combing a publisher’s website, it’s still nice to hear what real moms think about homeschool products, don’t you agree? Erica is a long-time WriteShop fan, and she’s sharing her review of WriteShop Junior Book D. Not only that, she’s giving away free curriculum—and the winner could be YOU!

Head on over for a chance to win your choice of WriteShop Primary Book A, B, or C or WriteShop Junior Book D. Hurry! Entries close October 12, 2012 at midnight EDT.

BONUS: You’ll also find a coupon code for 15% off your purchase in the WriteShop store.

 

Kim’s birthday giveaway: RAK to win a WriteShop package!

My heart in your hands

creative commons

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” ~Anthony Robbins

Have you ever been RAKed?

I have!

  • A stranger shared her umbrella with me as we found our cars in the rain.
  • My neighbor slipped a homemade cinnamon roll into my mailbox.
  • A sweet friend cleaned my house while I recovered from surgery.
  • When I ran a bit short at check-out, a smiling grocery clerk pulled twenty-seven cents from her own pocket and tossed it into the cash drawer.

Each of these simple gestures presented itself in my life as a Random Act of Kindness (RAK).

I can’t begin to remember all the ways I’ve experienced the goodness and generosity of both friends and total strangers. Some cost nothing more than a bit of common courtesy; others meant a greater sacrifice of time or resources.

These blessings happen every day, all around us. I wonder how often we miss the gift?

Smallest Gestures

Just last week, a woman invited me to go ahead in line at the grocery store checkout. I know this seems like such a small thing, but it was a hectic day, and those few precious extra minutes meant a great deal to me.

Secret Blessings

Once, when my husband asked our server for the dinner tab, she told us our bill had already been paid!

As we left the restaurant, we spotted a young family in the corner whose children had been in our toddler Sunday school class over the years. Were they the givers of this sweet gift? We’ll never know for sure, but we certainly left that restaurant with lightness of heart!

The Kindness of Strangers

Perhaps the most striking act of kindness calls to mind a November night many years ago when our new dog, whom we recently rescued from a shelter, got into some snail bait and became seriously ill. Her treatment costs were mounting by the hour, and without my husband in town to help make decisions, I told the vet how much I could afford and asked him do what he could for Casey.

As I stood in the office, a man approached the counter and said he’d seen my son crying on the steps outside the animal hospital. He couldn’t bear to see a boy grieving so, and he proceeded to tell the receptionist that he’d cover the difference in the bill, whatever the cost. Whatever the cost!

I have never forgotten the kindness of this man, this complete stranger, because Casey, now quite elderly, has been the sweetest pet we ever could have asked for—and he helped save her life.

Kim’s Birthday Celebration

Today is my birthday, but I’m much more in a giving mood than a receiving one: I’m in the mood to pay it forward!

Ever since the lovely Jenn at Daze of Adventure posted about how she celebrated her 36th birthday by performing 36 Random Acts of Kindness, I’ve been looking toward my own special day with similar thoughts fluttering around in my mind.

Providing clean water to millions of peopleSo when my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I remembered a blog post from my friend Ann Voskamp and told him I wanted someone to have clean drinking water. For just $55, our gift will provide fresh water for 68 people for their entire lives!

Next, I invited friends and family to join me in performing one RAK on my birthday to help me celebrate.

My original goal was 58 RAKs, but in harnessing the power of the Internet, with its amazing viral capabilities, I’m believing that—with your help—my mundane 58th birthday will be a vessel to impact hundreds of people, if not thousands, in our communities and around the world.

Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

There are limitless ways you can bless someone with a RAK—and they don’t have to cost a penny! Whether you have change to spare or not, here are some places to gather ideas for ways you can pay it forward.

Will you join me by doing one kind deed to help celebrate my birthday? My blog gets thousands of visitors each week, so it’s my prayer that our collective Random Acts of Kindness will rock our world!

WriteShop Giveaway

To add to the celebration, I’m giving away a gift package to one lucky winner! Each person who comments below by sharing how you “RAKed” someone this week will be entered into a drawing for your choice of one of the following WriteShop curriculum packages:

What if you already have the WriteShop books you need, or you’re not homeschooling or teaching? Choose a $25 Amazon gift card instead!

I can’t wait to see how this takes off! Are you ready to RAK someone?

Photos: Louise Docker and DFID, courtesy of Creative Commons

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 Days of Christmas – A gift a day!

Twelve Days of Christmas

December 26, 2011 through January 6, 2012 mark the Twelve Days of Christmas. Celebrate with us by receiving a gift for the season!

Nutcracker ChristmasWriteShop is partnering with Homeschooling Today magazine to bring you a special gift on December 31, the Sixth Day of Christmas.

I can’t tell you what the gift is (don’t you love surprises?), but I can tell you that it’s something brand-new, and I promise you’ll be thrilled. Plus, we’re throwing in a terrific WriteShop discount coupon too.

How to Get Your Gifts

Go to www.HomeschoolingToday.com now to sign up on the home page for the Homeschooling Helper e-newsletter to receive our offer on the above date.

Homeschooling Today will send a special discount or gift from a different vendor each day of the Twelve Days of Christmas – that’s 12 different goodies — but only to their readers. Get your new year off right! Sign up now so you don’t miss a single one of these special offers.

And if you’re unfamiliar with the traditions of the Twelve Days of Christmas, check out Marilyn Rockett’s excellent article. It will help you make sense of what “four calling birds,” “six geese a-laying,” and “eight maids a-milking” really mean.

Wishing you the richest blessings of the season,
Kim

1000 fans giveaway winners!

Congratulations to the winners of our 1000 fans giveaway!

Three happy moms have each won a $25 gift certificate to the WriteShop store and are excited to go shopping for new writing curriculum!

Our Winners

Comment #41: Lynne!

 

 Comment #28: Missional Mama!

 

Comment #9: Sara!

 

Winners have been notified by email. Congrats again, ladies!

1000 fans: It’s giveaway time!

This giveaway is now closed.

Today we reached a milestone: 1000 Facebook fans on our WriteShop page!

In honor of this momentous occasion, we’re going to give away THREE $25 gift certificates to the WriteShop store. Simply leave a comment below telling how you would spend your $25!

Enter to Win a $25 Gift Certificate

  • The giveaway will be open until midnight EST Friday November 18, 2011. Winners will be announced Saturday, November 19.
  • Share the love! Encourage your friends to *like* our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/writeshop
  • You can get up to 3 extra entries by posting on Facebook, blogging, or tweeting a link to the giveaway. You must leave a separate comment for EACH entry (4 entries max per person). Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.
  • This giveaway is offered to US & international residents.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. “Liking” WriteShop’s Facebook page is not a requirement for entering the drawing.
  • IMPORTANT: In order to enter the drawing, you must leave a comment on THIS post. To leave a comment, scroll to the bottom of the post. (If you are reading this via RSS, you will need to visit the actual blog to post a comment.)
Related Posts with Thumbnails