If you homeschool, you have probably heard of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Great publication - I truly enjoy reading and re-reading every issue (I don't throw them away; I categorize them by season for future reference). And I'm not saying I love their magazine just because my Bible study is available for purchase at their online store. I loved TOS well before the Lord ever laid it on my heart to write a Bible study for homeschooling mothers. So, if you haven't read an issue, it's time to check them out at www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com. You won't be sorry!
TOS has an awesome resource known as The Homeschool Crew. Again, another terrific resource. You really should check it out if you are considering a curriculum purchase of any kind. Real vendors send their real products to real homeschoolers who then offer a real review. It's a win/win for everyone ~ especially all the homeschoolers who benefit from the reviews before they make a purchase. Seriously, I'm beating a dead horse here I know, but you won't be sorry if you look into this resource!
Today I'm posting a review of a resource available in The Schoolhouse Store (again, see their website). You may already have heard of Molly's Money-Saving Digest. If not, there's no time like the present to check it out! It's a perfect addition to any homeschool, but even if you don't homeschool you have a lot to gain by looking into Molly's resources. You can learn all about Molly and her frugal ways at her website - www.Econobusters.com - great website, BTW. Her Freebie Fridays posts are chock full of good stuff. So, back to the review...
I've recently finished reading Molly's January Money-Saving Digest (I know, it's March & I'm just working on January's digest? Good thing her tips are timeless!). The theme of the January 2010 digest is "Evaluate, Prioritize, Organize". What mom couldn't benefit from a little more organization? Or a LOT more, in my case! I won't spoil the digest for you by telling you what's on every single page - but I will tell you that every single page has solid information. You really do get your money's worth from Molly's products (this isn't the first item of Molly's that I've used and I have no complaints about any of her products).
In the January issue, Molly talks about pies. Now, I don't bake a whole lot, probably because my mom owned a bakery and we always had baked goods around the house and we were always "helping out" with the business...you get the idea. I love to cook, and cook I do, but baking? My kids don't eat as many baked goods as I did growing up, that's for sure! So I was hesitant to try out any of the pie crusts or pie ideas...what more could I possibly need to know? Molly took something I truly dread doing and made it fun - and if something is fun for the homeschooling mom, it's much more likely to be fun for the homeschooled kids. The tapioca tip is easy and it works - no more runny fruit pies. The "In-A-Pinch" pie crusts are simple and they work! And the "Pies Don't Have to be Round!" article had some fun ideas. I'll be making the "Mother's Strawberry Pie" recipe this week and I doubt I'll receive any complaints about it at all...
Molly's digests also have printable forms (her resources come as e-books) that are very useful. They get the job done without a bunch of extra "fluff", if you get my meaning. I've used printable forms before that aren't very useful, at least not for my lifestyle. I don't need 5 different papers to do the same job...I don't need a HUGE binder to drag around with pages and pages I'll never use...but I do need a daily to-do list, a calendar with room to write, and recipes...Molly provides just what I need and very little of what I don't. Her "Daily To-Do List" from the January digest has room for the day's priorities (let's face it, they won't get done if they aren't given priority status), calls to make (I'm terrible about making phone calls), errands and appointments, meal plans (a HUGE part of a homeschooling mom's day!) and a place for a memory verse (you'll learn the verse if you have it in front of your nose all day!). I LOVE this to-do list. LOVE it. Love it as in I actually use it - and that's the real test in my house.
In the "Feather Your Nest - Frugally" section Molly shares some useful and do-able home decorating ideas. And guess what? You can really do them! I've attempted a few Martha Stewart projects that didn't turn out quite like I'd hoped...Molly's crafts are frugal, easy to complete, and they turn out, well, cute! One of her projects turned out to be a really neat homeschool art project. And if I can do it, anyone can, because I am not naturally crafty...at all.
Molly also includes menu ideas - and these aren't your same-old same-old type of menus. These are good meals made simple and frugal - again, exactly what a homeschooling mom needs. No fluff, just down to business with what works. Her chocolate chip angel food cake is really good, as is the pork tenderloin recipe. She even has a recipe to make grilled cheese pretty special - and of course, it's easy. No need to wear yourself out making dinner after a full day of homeschooling. These are recipes you will use.
In the Kid's Corner section she has a fun craft making a piggy bank out of a 2-liter bottle. It just so happens I have a daughter who loves pigs, so this made a perfect arts and crafts activity for her. It wasn't too hard, either - and it was, of course, cheap.
And then, there are all the articles in each digest. There are guest writers who offer encouragement and helpful ideas; there are email tips sent in by digest readers; and in this digest there was an excerpt from an essay about homemaking from a book published in 1891 - and the words penned so many years ago are still applicable for me today. I can't wait to read more from that essay, it inspired me so much! In fact I may look for a copy of the book the essay came from...and I never would have known about it except for Molly's Digest.
Check out Molly at www.Econobusters.com and enjoy gleaning from all her frugal and useful tips!
Day 22 done :)