Posts Tagged ‘homeschooling children’

Earn a Christmas Bonus – Shop Early and Often

Christmas Bonus Program!

We love our loyal customers. And this year we want to give you a Christmas Bonus!Beauty and the Beast 2017 live streaming film online

Every dollar you spend between October 1 and November 30 goes toward your total bonus. (Don’t worry! We have been keeping track. But if you are curious, you can log into your account and view your order history to calculate for yourself what you have earned.)

You don’t have to remember anything or sign up for anything, just use the coupon we send you on December 5 before the end of the year.

Spend $250; $Get $25
Spend $350 – $499; Get $35
Spend $500 – $749; Get $50
Spend $750 – $999; Get $75
Spend $1000+; Get $100
Mary spends $315.24 between October 1 and November 30. On December 5, Mary will get an email from us with a $35 coupon for her to use on Nest Entertainment between December 5 and December 31.

Coupons valid from December 5, 2011 to December 31, 2011. Some products and exclusions may apply. Some manufactures do not accept coupons. Totals based on registered customer number. Total qualifying amount does not include taxes and shipping fees.


How to Homeschool without Breaking the Bank

homeschool Homeschooling is an option parents are increasingly deciding to make.They are becoming dissatisfied with the public school system, and they want to ensure their children receive a quality education. One thing many people do not realize, though, is this quality can be costly! When one considers most homeschooling families are, of necessity, one income households, it becomes especially important to manage these costs. Here are some tips on how to keep your costs down without sacrificing excellence:

  • Utilize the library. Your public library is a wealth of resources, from books, to DVDs, to special offerings like lectures and classes.


  • Use community resources. State parks offer classes for kids. Community gardens often welcome participation. There are volunteer opportunities abound, not just in charitable organizations, but in places like theaters and symphony halls. What better way to teach children about the world than to get them involved in their local community?
  • Share and share alike. Why not form a co-op or barter goods and services? Parents can get together to educate their children, taking turns teaching and sharing curriculum. If you’re not the founding type, find a group already in existence and join up! You’ll not only save money, but you’ll also make valuable friendships.
  • Utilize educator discounts. Often, bookstores and other retailers will extend the same benefits to homeschool educators that they give to teachers. Don’t hesitate to ask!
  • Know your area. Some states allow homeschoolers access to public school resources. Take some time to learn the local statutes and regulations. You may be surprised to find a treasure trove of resources.
  • Don’t be afraid to buy second hand. Yard sales, Ebay, and kids’ consignment shops are all good places to look for educational materials, and some homeschool groups even host curriculum sales.
  • Get plugged in. Sign up for emails from homeschool groups, curriculum websites, and even local museums and attractions. You’ll be in the loop when educational materials you’ve been eyeing go on sale, if the zoo has a free day, or when the museum has its annual membership drive and lowers prices.
  • Remember that the world is your classroom. Learning is not limited to a classroom and textbooks. A day spent hiking can turn into a valuable lesson on local flora and fauna. Visiting historical sites brings home history in a way simply reading about it does not.

homeschool As you can see, there are many ways to cut expenses without reducing the impact of the experience. Once you get started, you’ll come up with your own strategies for saving as well. Remember to think outside the box, isn’t this the kind of creative thinking homeschooling is all about?

How to Make President’s Day Come Alive for your Students

“History is boring” is often the general consensus of school kids. It’s a failure of educators to take something as thrilling as the establishment of our nation and reduce it to a series of facts and dates, only to be regurgitated back out of bored little minds who won’t retain much of it past college. As home educators, let’s shake it up and help the next generation understand that history is a living thing with real people, and it’s still being created!

President’s Day is the third Monday in February, and it’s a great chance to spark their imaginations and get them thinking of Washington and Lincoln as inspirational people, not just old men that lived long ago. Let’s look at some ways to do this:

• Why not manage a Presidential campaign? Have your kids pretend Washington and Lincoln are alive today and running for President. What would be a good way to promote them? Imagination comes into play; they can create videos, write commercial spots, and anything else their modern brains can come up with!

• There are so many entertaining ways to learn history, from animated DVDs, to coloring books, to puzzles and games. You could even “take the day off” from schoolwork in honor of the holiday and spend it watching movies, creating posters, and playing games, all using exciting educational materials regarding these two great men.

• Play dress up! Have students design their own Washington and Lincoln costumes. There’s nothing like some baby powder in the hair or a stovepipe hat made of poster board to get kids laughing, and amused kids become involved kids.

• Write some letters. Have students write a letter to George Washington or Abraham Lincoln about a troubling issue. Then write back, as the President, addressing the issue and asking relevant questions. See how long you can keep it going back and forth!

• Skip the cherry tree. Instead of traveling over ground that’s been well worn, find some facts about the Presidents that you may not have known before. Keeping it interesting for you, the educator, helps to make it interesting for your students. Did you know:

o George Washington never went to college. He joined the British Royal Navy at age 14.

o Abraham Lincoln was self-educated and had only eighteen months of schooling.

o Washington was the only founding father to free his slaves; he freed all 124 of them in his will.

o Lincoln was born in Kentucky, making him the first President from west of the Appalachians.

o George Washington was the product of a second marriage and grew up with nine brothers and sisters.

o Abraham Lincoln didn’t fish or hunt because he loved animals. He liked to wrestle, though.

As you can see, there’s a lot to intrigue students about these two men. Have fun this President’s Day breathing new life into an old topic!

Black History Month – It’s Not Too Late to Celebrate!

In the midst of Black History Month, focusing on the national, social, scientific, and political contributions of African Americans such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman opens the door for diverse learning experiences. In honor of this month, take a field trip to a landmark of the civil rights movement, watch a biography on DVD, or listen to a Presidential speech. Nest Learning offers a wide array of products to bring these subjects to life. And while you’re sparking your children’s imaginations, here are some interesting trivia facts to share with them:

• Allensworth, California was built in 1908 as an all-black city, self-sufficient and free from racism. It is the only town in California to have been founded, financed, and governed solely by African Americans. In 1974, California State Parks purchased land within the historical township and created Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

• African American entrepreneur Wally Amos, known for his “Famous Amos” cookies, had previously been a talent agent at the William Morris agency, working with such notable acts as Simon and Garfunkel and the Supremes.

• Trumpeter Louis Armstrong earned money and bought his first coronet when he was only seven years old and taught himself to play while living in a home for juvenile delinquents.

• Performer Josephine Baker smuggled military intelligence to our French allies during World War II by pinning secrets inside her dress or writing them on her sheet music in invisible ink.

• The design of our nation’s capital, Washington DC, is credited in part to black scientist and mathematician Benjamin Banneker.

• After a long and fruitful career, actress and singer Pearl Bailey earned her bachelor’s degree in theology from Georgetown University in 1985 – at the age of 67.

• In addition to her career in politics as US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice is an accomplished pianist and has played with such greats as Yo Yo Ma and Aretha Franklin. She has even performed for Queen Elizabeth.

• Baseball hall-of-famer Jackie Robinson helped to establish the African-American owned and controlled Freedom Bank.

• Debi Thomas, who won a bronze medal in figure skating in the 1988 Winter Olympics, studied engineering at Stanford before becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

There’s a wealth of information on people from a wide array of career paths and interests to evoke your child’s interest in Black History. It’s not too late – honor Black History Month in your lesson plan today.

Homeschooling Kids 101: Educating Skeptics

Buy Homeschool Parenting Resource Books

Buy Homeschool Resource Books

The kids are about to start homeschool and everything is ready!  You and your husband have bought homeschool resource books, spoken to a few homeschooling families, and even selected the most appropriate homeschool curriculum for your children . . . Everything is in place and you’re eager to move on to the next challenge: informing your family and close friends.

And while many of them will surely support your brave decision to homeschool kids, some might be a bit skeptic.  You should expect this, and not allow it to cause unnecessary stress.  Be thankful your children are surrounded by people who actually care about the kind of education they receive.  Take their concern as an opportunity to educate them about homeschooling.  This is the most effective approach in building a strong support system.  You may follow these three easy steps in educating skeptics in your family and group of friends on homeschooling:

Step #1:  Inform and educate those in doubt. Answer their questions on point, and try not to focus the conversation on what’s wrong about the public school system.  Be objective and clear when providing information, as clarity is always the best persuader.  Share the things you learned from researching and talking to other homeschooling kids and families.  From the new movement’s history to current status, share as much information as they want you to.  Let them know of famous homeschoolers from different periods of time, and use these successful figures to show how a different education system can also lead to remarkable, ground-breaking accomplishments.

Step #2:  Address all concerns. Issues about socialization and teacher qualifications are most frequently asked, so prepare to go at length when discussing these points.  Mention how you plan to incorporate social interaction with your child’s homeschool curriculum, and be ready to answer questions like “what about prom, sports, college?”  You will need to take a stand, and rightfully so, as the parent, and explain how you feel about these things.  When it comes to cultural diversity and being able to interact with other races and groups of people, talk about the trips you plan to take as a family, and how you feel such an experience will educate your children.

Step #3:  Prove skeptics wrong. You cannot please everybody, you know that.  What you can do, however, is to turn your homeschooling kids into homeschooling ambassadors.  Keep a portfolio of their work and progress, and show them to family and friends—both skeptics and supporters—when you get a chance.  Sharing your homeschooling kids’ success is good because not only does it help boost your child’s confidence, it also serves as testament that you made the right call.

But remember, your decision to homeschool your child is yours to make as a parent.  And although you will always find a skeptic in a bunch of supporters, this shouldn’t derail you from your goals.  Educate the skeptic, and if your efforts still do not bring your the results you want, do yourself and your family a favor and shrug it all off.

To get the help you need on homeschooling your child, visit our parent resources section for  homeschool resource books.

Why Homeschool?

Find Homeschool Resources Here

Find Homeschool Resources Here

Why Homeschool? Homeschool education is perhaps one of the biggest and most monumental reforms in our education system since mass public schooling took effect about a hundred years ago.  As the practice of homeschooling children gains more support from families, many have become increasingly disappointed at the decline in quality of public and private school education in the U.S.  And who can blame them?  Think about it for a second.  Why is it that when our kids take those aptitude tests that measure our rank—in terms of intelligence—in the world, they always score near the bottom?  If our public and private schools systems work, how come our kids never score better than an average Asian or European kid in math, science or literature?

For those who ask “Why Homeschool?” I say “Why not homeschool?” Let me give you two most important reasons why homeschooling children may be a better choice for your family:

Reason #1: Homeschooling encourages children to learn from their mistakes. One of the problems with traditional schools is that they tend to emphasize how it’s ultimately wrong to make mistakes.  The more errors your children incur in their exams, the lower their final grades become.  Everything is quantified by numbers, and if theirs don’t meet the school’s standards, there are serious consequences.  The homeschool movement, on the other hand, teaches children that mistakes can lead people to discoveries.  This foundation then is able to hone a culture that isn’t scared to make mistakes and create a generation that recognizes opportunities amidst problems.

Reason #2:  Homeschooling turns the world into one big classroom. It encourages curiosity and inspires creativity.  Learning is facilitated by different people, like an artist your child meets at the museum, the doctor at the hospital, or the baker at the store.  While day school system forces children to sit in class for 6 to 8 hours, 5 days a week, homeschool education teaches them to explore and discover at their own pace.  The world becomes their classroom, boundless and never-ending, exactly the way learning and education should be.

There are many more reasons why homeschool is preferred by a growing number of families in the U.S. today.  And it varies, depending on the parents’ priorities when it comes to educating their children.

Tell us your story.  Why does your family prefer homeschooling your children?  What do you think are its benefits?  Would you recommend homeschooling to other families?

Homeschool Curriculum That Works

Saxon Math

Homeschool Curriculum

Finding the appropriate homeschool curriculum can be a bit tricky, but once you find one that fits perfectly with your child’s learning style and pace, believe me, it will be absolutely rewarding.  Studies show that homeschooled kids tend to be more academically advanced, mature, confident, and eager to learn than their peers.  An effective homeschool science or homeschool math program, for example, can teach your children to think outside the box, explore what hasn’t even been conceived, and discover new ways to solve problems much earlier than kids who are publicly or privately schooled.

If you have been researching and planning about homeschooling your children, then you are on the right track!  Preparation is crucial.  It will save you plenty of time, energy and stress in the long-run.  To better help you, we’ve listed 5 Easy Steps on How to Prepare for Homeschool:

Step #1:  Learn everything you can about homeschooling. Read up on everything—from your state’s laws and school district’s requirements, to different homeschool science or homeschool math curriculum available.  Talk to other parents who have experience in or are planning on homeschooling their children.  Not only will you be pleasantly amazed at the many things you can learn from each other, you will also be creating a community of friends for you and your children.

Step #2:  Discuss your homeschool plans with your children. Get them excited about it.  Ask them where they want to go for their field trip, or what science experiment they want to do first.  Get them involved in planning their lessons and projects.

Step #3:  Procure a fun and effective homeschool curriculum. Focus on your children’s interests, and find a homeschool curriculum that fits their personalities best.  Whether homeschool science, homeschool math or any other subject, you need to make sure it’s age-appropriate and tailor-made to satisfy your children’s learning needs.

Step #4:  Stock up on educational toys, games, books, DVDs and school supplies, and get organized. They don’t have to be expensive; what you’re really after is quality.  You also want to get a good supply of flipcharts, coloring supplies, paper, pens and pencils, and make sure they are stored properly.  Make full use of your organizational skills, and don’t allow a bad storage system affect your level of effectiveness and efficiency.

Step #5:  Turn to remarkable and successful members of your community who are willing to share their experiences with your children. Get your kids involved in church and community.  Having different mentors from different fields can be an excellent learning experience for them.

If you’re looking for an age-appropriate, yet mentally stimulating homeschool curriculum, visit NEST Learning today!

Live Butterfly Garden Rising to Be a Top Educational Toy

Live Butterfly Garden

Live Butterfly Garden

One of the educational toys on the market that is gaining huge popularity for its creativity, learning aspects and entertainment is the Live Butterfly Garden for kids by Insect Lore.

With a live butterfly garden you can explore the life of insects with live butterfly, ladybug, ants and other insect kits for education and home use. Insect Lore (a creator of live butterfly garden kits) lets kids witness the wonder of the butterfly life cycle with child-and-insect friendly habitats. Kids can see the caterpillar’s transition as it grows, changes into a chrysalis, and finally emerges as a lady butterfly.

A live butterfly garden comes with a mesh cage and 5-6 larvae that will turn into caterpillars and then into butterflies. All of the food that will be needed is provided.

with this educational toy, kids watch the progress of the larvae turning into a caterpillar, the caterpillar spinning his cocoon, and then the butterfly emerging in just a few weeks time. Kids will then have to let the butterflies go after 3 days so they can find food.

The live butterfly garden and other Insect Lore products teach kids about science and nature and the process in which different insects go through. It also teaches kids to learn to let things go for the benefit of nature and others.

I bought this educational toy before for my 4-year-old niece and it has been one of her favorite gifts to date. It is something that most people do not think to give and is very exciting for kids.

The Importance of Homeschool Record Keeping

Homeschool Record Keeping

Homeschool Record Keeping

It’s every homeschooler’s nightmare. A local school district official knocks on the door and asks to see your homeschool record keeping. However, after a brief moment of panic, the realization dawns that this isn’t a nightmare after all. You’ve done your homework and are prepared for such a visit. After spending a few minutes looking over your records, the impressed official heads for the door, satisfied you are in compliance with the law.

It rarely happens, but what if it would happen to you? Would you be prepared? Record keeping is a critically important part of a homeschooling parent’s job. However, the importance of homeschool record keeping goes way beyond being prepared for an unexpected visit from a school official.


Why is record keeping so important? The documentation of your children’s Christian homeschool education can serve many purposes beyond simply proving compliance with the law. Children applying for scholarships or other honors may need school records in order to satisfy eligibility requirements. The college application and admission process depends heavily on the existence of detailed homeschool record keeping. In addition, a child entering or re-entering a public or private school can be placed more easily and appropriately if adequate records have been kept. Homeschool records also help provide the opportunity for personal and/or professional evaluation of student progress and planning for future academic pursuits. Finally, some families may elect to keep records for nostalgic reasons or for the purpose of providing a way to showcase a child’s homeschool experience for family and friends.

Still, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Since no two homeschool experiences are the same, it’s impossible to design a record keeping plan that works for every family. This guide is intended to provide the information you need to assist you in developing a record keeping system that meet your specific needs.

Who and When?

Whether you’re a first-time home educator or a veteran who has never made homeschool record keeping a
priority, every homeschooler should start keeping detailed records now! While you may never need to use some of what you collect, the benefit of having comprehensive records far outweighs the time invested to create them. Besides, it doesn’t require much time in the first place? While the time required will vary from family to family, most homeschoolers must invest relatively little time in order to create and maintain a well-designed record keeping system.


Now that you’ve decided you should keep records of your family’s homeschool, what should you maintain? The
answer to this question is determined to a large extent by the consideration of several important factors

  • Where do you live?
  • With what laws must you comply?
  • How old is your child?
  • Will your child be entering a public or private school in the future?
  • Is your child college-bound?

Where you live plays a significant role in answering the question of “what,” In the United States, state laws
govern the education of all children, including children who are schooled at home. Since failure to comply with
the laws of your state can result in the loss of your right to homeschool, knowing and understanding your state’s laws is vitally important in determining what records you need to keep for your children. An online search for your state’s homeschool laws can help you determine records you are required to keep.

Another important factor to consider when determining what records to keep is the age of your children. While it is strongly recommended to keep records for all children, it is especially important to keep meticulous records for high school aged children. These records can significantly impact the college and/or job application process of your teenage child. In addition, if it’s likely your children will eventually be placed in a public or private school, detailed records will make the transfer process much easier, potentially eliminating the need for extensive placement testing.

Though some families have very few requirements to satisfy, they still choose to keep records of their children’s homeschool experience solely for personal and/or sentimental reasons. So, even if all you want to do is show off your child’s academic abilities to family and friends, homeschool record keeping is a great idea!


There are as many different ways to keep homeschool records as there are reasons to keep them! Exactly how you keep your student records should be determined by many of the same factors considered above and may change as your homeschool journey progresses. Factors like location, age of children, academic goals, and others also affect how you should keep your records.

While there are many possible record keeping methods, one of the most effective and efficient ways to compile academic records for children of all ages is to create a portfolio, a collection of documentation intended to demonstrate a homeschool child’s academic progress. The contents of a homeschool portfolio will vary from family to family according to specific legal requirements, as well as personal preference. However, a comprehensive portfolio always contains some variation of many of the following items:

• Student data page: General student information, such as name, birth date, address, etc.
• Medical records required by law, such as immunizations
• Documentation of compliance with state requirements that may or may not include the following items:

– List of specific goals and objectives for each academic subject
– Documentation of communication with local school district officials
– List of educational materials utilized, including author and publishing information for all books,
curriculum, DVDs/videos, and software
– Sampling of student work in all subject areas, particularly those required by law like math and
science: Samples should be representative of both type (workbook pages, written compositions,
quizzes, and tests) and quality of work completed by the student.
– Documentation of required and/or voluntary assessment: Assessment can be measured and reported
through a variety of means, including report cards, standardized testing, professional evaluations,
grade reports, and transcripts.

• Report of extracurricular activities, such as field trips, homeschool group or church activities, sports, music, drama, etc. These can be presented in journal format and may include photographs and student assignments specific to the activity.
• Documentation of special awards, honors, accomplishments, and achievements earned.

A portfolio can be compiled completely from scratch or can be created using packaged record keeping programs available in a variety of formats. Electronic curriculum options, such as online or computer-based curriculum can provide easy access to much of the documentation needed to put together a complete record of your children’s home education.

So, why are you waiting? Wherever you are on your homeschool journey, don’t wait for a knock on the door to begin your homeschool record keeping. Start creating a record of your children’s homeschool experience today!

Record keeping is a critically important part of a homeschooling parent’s job. However, the importance of
homeschool record keeping goes way beyond being prepared for an unexpected visit from a school official.
Wherever you are on your homeschool journey, learn how you can begin your homeschool record keeping and start creating a record of your children’s homeschool experience today!

Source: Alpha Omega Publications

Gallery of Children Appreciation Letters

I love my job!! I love that I work with products that have such a positive influence on others. One of the greatest rewards is when we receive letters from kids telling us how much they love our products and how they have impacted their lives. We would like to start posting any letters that we receive from your kids below. The letters can be about anything to do with one of our products that they had the chance to view. We really appreciate you as our fans and our customers!!

You can fax your letters to the attention of Amy Upton at (800) 221-8729, scan them and e-mail to or by mail to:

Nest family

Attn: Amy Upton

1421 S. Beltline Rd. #300

Coppell, TX 75019

Letters will be posted by the end of the week after receipt!

Displayed below are actual letters that we have recently received from a 2nd Grade classroom of students who were donated our hero classics DVD collection to educate them on historical figures such as Marco Polo, The Wright Brothers, Helen Keller, and many more.

Camryn at Brentwood Elementary

Camryn at Brentwood Elementary

Lucas of Brentwood Elementary

Lucas of Brentwood Elementary

Greg of Brentwood Elementary

Greg of Brentwood Elementary

Kailey of Brentwood Elementary

Kailey of Brentwood Elementary

Austin Molketin at Brentwood Elementary

Austin Molketin at Brentwood Elementary

Laura Timms of Brentwood Elementary

Laura Timms of Brentwood Elementary

Ethan Evans at Brentwood Elementary

Ethan Evans of Brentwood Elementary

Marquel of Brentwood Elementary

Marquel of Brentwood Elementary

Jordan of Brentwood Elementary

Jordan of Brentwood Elementary

Ryan of Brentwood Elementary

Ryan of Brentwood Elementary

Sam of Brentwood Elementary

Sam of Brentwood Elementary


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