An Instant Library for Every Aspect of (Natural) Homemaking – for Less than $30

An Instant Library for Every Aspect of (Natural) Homemaking – for Less than $30

For the first few years of my marriage, I was a bit clueless as a homemaker. I thought cooking from scratch meant heating up convenience foods. I piled my dirty dishes in my laundry basket to take to my mom’s because I didn’t have a dishwasher. And my budget didn’t even include food. Food.

That’s … important.
An Instant Library for Every Aspect of (Natural) Homemaking – for Less than $30 | Shalom Mama
Thankfully, I learned a lot over the years.

Experience taught me that budgets are important because debt stinks, my husband is definitely the baker in our family since I love to get “creative” with recipes and you don’t use bleach on a brown carpet to stop a smoothie stain (yes, I seriously did that).

And the rest, well, the rest I learned through those wonderful sources of wisdom that always help me get a clue – books.

It is because of the wisdom shared by others that I now consider myself a pretty competent homemaker. I budget, meal plan, take care of my family naturally and homeschool our four kids without going crazy (most of the time). I haven’t even bleached a carpet lately!

That’s why I’m excited about The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.

What is The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle?

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is a complete library of great eBooks on homemaking-a truly valuable knowledge base you’ll use for many years to come.

Unlike a library, though, you don’t have to spend years building it up. The Ultimate Bundles team has done the hard work for you, searching the web to find the very best eBooks from top homemaking authors and combining them into one essential collection that you can buy in one simple purchase.

Act now to get the ultimate eBook collection on homemaking at a once-in-a-lifetime price.

Buy the PDF BundleBuy the Kindle BundleI’m confident you won’t find a more comprehensive set of homemaking resources anywhere — and certainly not at this price. Bought separately, they’d cost a total of $698 (not including $200+ in bonuses!). But you can have all of them for just $29.97!

Or, for just an extra $10, you not only get the full set of PDF files, but also a bonus set of Kindle editions, perfectly formatted for easy Kindle reading. This has been a popular request over the years and I’m excited to say it’s now available!

I believe it’s the best deal on homemaking eBooks anywhere on the web. But it will only be available for six days. So grab yours before it’s gone!

You get ALL THIS in The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

In this bundle, you will find 80+ eResources aimed to grow you in all aspects of homemaking, including:

  • Homemaking
  • Motherhood
  • Marriage
  • Food (recipes!)
  • Self-care
  • Faith (for you & for your kids)
  • Work-from-home & blogging
  • Pregnancy & babies
  • Health & wellness
  • Homeschooling
  • Holidays & special events
  • Financial stewardship

See the full list of 80+ eBooks, audio files, eCourses & printable packs included in the sale.

We’ve also included $200 of freebies from our 10 awesome partners!

In addition to all the amazing eResources, this bundle includes the best bonus offers it’s ever had, including:

bonus-imagesAs well as five more incredible offers from:

These deals are worth over six times the price of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. So you’re up on the deal right away!

Learn more about the bonus offers.

Buy the PDF BundleBuy the Kindle BundleThis huge wealth of information and guidance will be right there on your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or Kindle, whenever you need it.

Here’s what you need to know about the sale:

When? 8 a.m. EST Wednesday, April 23 until 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, April 28

What? 78 eBooks, 2 eCourses, 2 audio files, and 2 printable packs PLUS over $200 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle here.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth nearly $900, and it’s selling for less than $30. Sweet deal, right?

Get ALL of these eBooks for 1 LOW Price! One Week Only!

Want to learn more? Read about what this amazing bundle offers—or just buy it now!

Buy the PDF BundleBuy the Kindle BundleRemember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, April 23 to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, April 28th.

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

A Simple Homeschool Planner

A Simple Homeschool Planner

A few weeks ago, I sat down to plan out our homeschool year. Our third is in Kindergarten this year, and our youngest is a preschooler now, so there’s potential for some serious confusion!

Simple homeschool planner
As I planned everything out, I realized that my planner would need to be super organized, or I would just need to keep things very simple and do as much combined learning as possible. I decided simple would be best.

So we started school last week and everything was great.

Until I realized that the planner I made was a little … complicated.

And kind of hard to read. I decided I needed to make it prettier, simpler and ok, organized. And then I completely forgot about it until yesterday, when I got an email from my friend Tsh at The Art of Simple.

She let me know that she just created a simple homeschool planner and sent me a copy. Many thanks, Tsh, because it was exactly what I needed.

5 Reasons Why I Love This Planner

  • Printable: Like Tsh, much of what I do is digital. But. I love having paper in front of me. Especially if it’s some kind of form I can fill in. It just delights my nerdy heart.
  • Super Cheap: At just $4, this simple homeschool planner is easy on my budget. And you have the file forever. For-ev-er!
  • Easy to Use: Open file. Print. Fill in. And if I have any questions, Tsh was kind enough to upload some sample ways to use the pages.
  • Pretty: I love the font and how clean it is. And I really like how the inspiring quotations look like they’re written on a chalkboard. So pretty!
  • No Fluff: It has everything I need, plus a little bit more, but nothing that isn’t helpful or looks like it was added to increase the number of pages. I appreciate that. A lot.

What’s Included

When you get the simple homeschool planner, you’ll get a compressed (digital) folder that contains three files. One file has inspiring quotations, one has some sweet extras (listed below) and, lastly, there’s the 40-page planner.

Here’s a sample of what’s inside: (You can see all that’s included here.)

• Calendar that spans August 2014 to December 2015 (If you bought the planner last year and just need to update the calendars, you can get them here.)
• Daily school planning pages
• Report cards
• List pages for spiritual development ideas, enrichment activity ideas and memory work ideas (have I mentioned how much I LOVE lists?)
• Blank list page to make your own (YES!!!)
• Book list page for each student’s independent reading and family read-alouds
• Weekly routine—in your choice of two week, one M-F week, or one M-S week schedules
• Note pages
• High school transcript (I never would have thought of this)
• Check lists to give your students, if that helps them stay on task


• List of the countries of the world and their capitals, as of 2013
• Multiplication table to 12
• Full-color color wheel, with primary, secondary, and tertiary colors
• Basic metric and imperial conversions
• Inspirational quotes about teaching and learning
• List of famous homeschoolers in history

Get Your Planner

To buy the planner, click here. You’ll get more info about what’s included and some sample ways you can use it. And, of course, you’ll get the simple homeschool planner.

Do you homeschool? Do you use a special planner?

What’s That Smell? Using Scents for a Fun Learning Activity

What’s That Smell? Using Scents for a Fun Learning Activity

Image by Savannah Lewis

Today’s post comes from friend and parenting coach, Shelly Birger Phillips, of Awake Parent.

The first three years of life are all about sensory development.

We are born hearing echos and with fuzzy vision, but amazingly babies are able to reliably learn their mother’s scent in just three days.

The study I’m referring to was done with infants in the hospital in the 1990’s, so infants spent some of their time in the nursery, just imagine how quickly they learn the scent of a parent who they’re with 24 hours a day!

Scent memories are stored in some of the oldest parts of our brain, that’s why certain smells can bring back such vivid memories. Just today I opened acontainer of Play Dough and I was instantly transported back to preschool.

Yet, when we try to think of activities for our kids, we often forget about the sense of smell.

I worked in Montessori classrooms for several years and one of the sensory development activities that was hugely popular was the scent identification activity or “smelling bottles.”

It’s really quite easy to create your own smelling bottles at home and it can be a great way to help your child develop his/her sense of smell AND his/her attention span. Independent activities for your child can also give you a moment to finish the dishes, laundry, dinner, or some other task.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  1. At least 6 small matching glass bottles with airtight lids that your child can open unassisted
  2. Cotton balls
  3. 3 or 6 of your favorite essential oils
  4. Small stickers (to number the bottoms of each jar)
  5. A few note cards

I’ll share two variations of this activity.

The first is a scent matching activity for pre-readers.

Put three to five drops of an essential oil on a cotton ball (or part of a cotton ball, depending on the size of your jars).

Make two matching jars of each scent and then label the bottoms with either numbers or letters so that children can check their work when they’ve completed the activity.

Place the jars in random order on a beautiful tray and put the activity on an easily reachable shelf.

Show your child how you would like them to use the activity and then allowthem to choose it independently after their “lesson.”

The second variation is a scent identification activity for readers.

Using six jars, create a card for each bottle with the name of the essential oil.

Then put three to five drops of essential oil on a cotton ball. Label the jar and the back of the card with a number or letter so that your child can check his work after he has completed the activity.

Demonstrate first by smelling each bottle and matching it up with the appropriate card.

Be sure to show your child how to check her work afterward so that she will know if she made any mistakes.

Then, allow access, sit back and enjoy a few minutes to yourself!

I think you’ll find that by taking a little bit of time to prepare this activity, you’ll reap the benefits for months to come.

One more thing, if your kids stop choosing this activity, tuck it away for a month or so and then bring it back out again. They’ll remember how much fun it was the first time and you can get MUCH more use out of it than if you remove it entirely.

Have so much fun with this!

Warm hugs, Shelly

Beginning home discipleship

Beginning home discipleship

“Give me the youth, and Germany will rule the World” - Adolf Hitler

(I love how right-on this quote is. We can imprint ANYTHING on a child’s mind.)

I home school for many reasons. One is because, believe it or not, I not only love my children but I really like them as well. I enjoy being around them and take great pleasure in seeing them learn new things.

Another reason is that I want them to get a good biblically-based education. As a Christian, the Bible is my source for truth and I want to incorporate that into my kids’ daily lives as much as possible. I also want to give them a “real life” education.

What does that mean? Well, for starters, real life doesn’t mean only hanging out with people of your own age. I don’t do it, you don’t do it, it’s just weird. We learn from those older than us who have more life experience. We gain leadership skills by imparting knowledge on those younger than we are. It’s just the way life works.

I also want them to learn things that I wish I could have learned to do in school (thank you budget cuts for). Like sewing, for one. I don’t know why I’m so fixated on that one, but it’s a useful skill, dang it! Cooking, taking care of baby, developing a budget and living within your means, speaking more than two languages are all important skills I want my kids to have – without having to tack additional school time onto the 7 or so hours they would go through in public or private school.

This isn’t a comprehensive list. I will add, though, that my desire to home school was greatly influenced by my public school experience. (HATED it). But it was also a desire that I believe was placed on my heart by God. I believed that so much in fact, that I told Ian that if he really wanted to send the kids to school that I supported his decision (he though home schoolers were weird and was pretty opposed to it) and then prayed like crazy that if God wanted me to do it that he would direct Ian that way, too. One week later Ian said, “Honey, I think we should home school.” Thank you Lord!

After a lot of research, we decided on My Father’s World curriculum. It’s extremely affordable, doesn’t take much time to teach and integrates the Bible into every day learning. I’ve also heard some really great things about the curriculum from friends. It’s also very flexible and I can add things in that I think are important, sewing for one. I also love that they start a foreign language in early elementary school.

David Hazell, who owns the company, also has some workshops on CD that have some awesome, awesome information on teaching kids to be mission-minded, occupying pre-readers and becoming a family of eternal purpose. I highly recommend getting those.

Lessons are only 60-90 minutes so I’m going to start off doing “school” Monday through Thursday with Fridays being a day for service. This Friday we’ll be making cards for a widowed friend and maybe do a little science and math in the kitchen while we bake her some cookies.

I want to get Isaac through Kindergarten quickly and start first grade by January. Mainly because he knows a lot of what’s in the package already and because the only reason we didn’t start last year was because his birthday is in December and he wouldn’t have started public school until this year anyway (does that make sense?). However, if we don’t get through it that quickly, it’ll be okay.

My hope is to graduate all of the kids early so that they can go on a mission trip, work, volunteer or whatever before they go away to college (if that’s something that fits into what they’re passionate about doing).

I know this seems weird to some people. Maybe lots. But I’m used to it. It’s inherent in being a follower of Christ. It’s my responsibility to disciple my kids to be followers of Christ; to love God above all else and to love and serve others. It’s not something I take lightly and not something that I expect anyone else to do for me (and my husband). But it can also be fun and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to learn and grow in Christ with my kids.