Teens - Christian Parent

Archive for the ‘Teens’ Category

Review: Time Capsule – Medieval England Unit Study

We have just started homeschooling our boys this year, and I have been looking for some interesting and engaging ways to encourage my boys to learn.

There are a number of ways to teach your children at home, but in recent years unit studies have become very popular. You can find many unit studies to choose from all over the internet.

What is a unit study? A unit study is a creative way to combine history, social studies, language arts, math, logic, photography, drama, geography, and science all into one learning activity. Your child has fun experiencing the chosen subject from many different angles, with many hands-on projects. Studies have shown that children learn and retain more when they are actively participating in the project they are working on.

This particular unit study is about medieval England. This unit study is called Time Capsule: Medieval England by Michelle Caskey. There are daily lessons to keep your children engaged and learning for 12 weeks (300 activities in all)! For each day you also have a variety of activity options to choose from to suit your child’s interest and needs. The unit study also includes a supplies list and suggested reading list.

In this unit study your child will experience being:

  • A Peasant in Medieval England
  • A Tradesman/Tradeswoman in Medieval England
  • A Knight/Lady-in-Waiting in Medieval England
  • A Monk/Nun in Medieval England
  • A Baron/Baroness in Medieval England
  • A Knight/Queen in Medieval England

Your child will get to create and wear peasant clothing, listen to Old English, go on a field trip to a local farm, learn to whittle, make a water clock, design their own castle, make a medieval battle axe, and much more.

While these activities would be fun for boys OR girls, they are especially suited to active boys. Not only will they be reading and writing, but doing lots of fun physical activities too.

If you are looking for a fun interesting unit study, then I really recommend this one. I know that my boys are going to love it and I can’t wait to dive in.

For more information and ordering details for Time Capsule: Medieval England see http://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/unitstudies.html

5 Ideas for Easter Care Packages to Send to a College Student

It is hard on both Mom and the young students who are away at college during the Easter holidays. But you as a Mom can make your students Easter enjoyable with just these little things. The best way to start out with an Easter package for a college student is the traditional Easter basket. This will be a delight to remind your son/daughter of the Easter’s of the past. Of course, this basket has to be filled with some candy of their liking. A chocolate Easter Bunny, maybe even some hard boiled colored eggs, homemade cookies, or any other candy that they like will bring a big smile to your student’s face. Can you picture them now, sitting there munching on their favorite candy?

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The Good Ole Mug

People of all ages use a mug for many different things. What student wouldn’t like to have one that Mom picked out? The mug works well for so many different things, coffee, hot chocolate, soda, and even pencils. This mug can also be filled with candy or hot chocolate packages. Every time it is used they will think of you.

The Needed Hygiene Items

A little help with hygiene items is always appreciated. Things like chap stick, a new comb, toothpaste, or even their favorite soap. These are a must for everyone and it helps to have a little extra on hand. Students will thank you for thinking of these little items as it can save them time running to the store.

A Little Fun

If your student doesn’t have a CD player this would be a great gift for them. If they do have one, some CD’s of their favorite music will brighten their day. Other ideas are a MP3 player or an IPod. Music isn’t the only way to go. A good Frisbee for them to have some fun and exercise is a great way for them to spend their free time. A new pair of sunglasses or even a hat will be appreciated on some days.

Those Needed School Supplies

Even though a student may not want to receive those, school supplies are always welcome. It may just be pens or paper but those are items that will be used.


Small items of clothing would fit into a basket also and we know how everyone can use clothes. A funny t-shirt would brighten anyone’s day.

There are many things that a Mom can send to their son/daughter who is away at college. This is just a few of the many things that will bring a smile to a student’s face. The Easter basket filled with goodies, a mug that will be used over and over, the must have hygiene items, and items to make their time at college a little fun. This can all be topped off with a beautiful Easter card from you. The stores have many to choose from or you might get creative and make one yourself. What joy a homemade card from Mom would be. Once the card has been bought or made and signed with love from you, then the envelope could be decorated to bring more smiles to your students face. Adding a bunch of pictures of the family and friends would be another delight to your son/daughter. Who says a student can’t enjoy their Easter holiday while they are at college. They will be receiving love and Easter from Mom.

Advantages of Home Schooling through High School

by Romona Weston

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Many parents like you have thought about the possibilities of homeschooling their children through high school. After all, every responsible and loving parent wants the very best for their offspring. The simple truth is that whether you send your child to high school or teach them yourself, your decision will impact them for the rest of their lives. I think it’s a decision worth taking some time to think about.

Some Advantages of Home Schooling through High School

  • Greater Focus on Learning – Studies have shown that only a third of the average school day is focused on academic subjects. By having one-on-one support, either from yourself or an online tutor, you can maximise your son or daughter’s learning time.
  • Reducing Peer Pressure – In the school environment, there is a lot of pressure to ‘fit in’ with a group. Some sensitive youngsters can be influenced into misbehaving in order to appear ‘cool’ to their classmates. Even if your children manage to withstand peer pressure, its very existence can disrupt learning.
  • Avoiding Sex and Drugs - You have probably worried that, one day, your innocent child will be exposed to the realities of sex and drugs. In high school, this might happen far earlier than you are happy with. Home schooling enables you to protect your son or daughter from the harsh realities of life until you feel they are ready to cope with them.
  • A Safer Physical Space – It is impossible for teachers to see everything that happens during school, especially in the schoolyard. Physical and verbal attacks and ongoing bullying can make school a terrifying place for some children and even general play can lead to dangerous risk-taking. Home schooling protects your offspring from some of these dangers.
  • More Extra-Curricular Time – With no travelling time to and from school, your child has more time available to get ready for and attend any extra classes, groups, choirs, musical interests, community service, church involvement that they are drawn to.
  • Prolonging Parental Influence – As loving and moral parents you have already built a secure foundation for your child’s future. With home schooling you can continue that process, guiding and mentoring your son or daughter through the ups and downs of academic life.
  • Building Strong Families – With your children effectively out of your care for six to eight hours a day, family bonds can be eroded and your cherished values can start to slide. With home schooling, your family relationships can continue to grow from strength to strength, creating a happier home.
  • Customize your Child’s Learning – One of the greatest benefits of home schooling is your ability to tailor your child’s education to their own learning style, areas of interest and pace. In high school, your offspring are in competition with the rest of the class and can get bored or left behind if the pace doesn’t suit them.
  • Increased Flexibility – Another great reason to consider home schooling is flexibility. Not only can you structure the learning day to suit your family life, you can take family holidays at convenient times.
  • Results – At the end of the day, the most important reason to turn to home schooling is that it works. Children who have been taught at home are typically more mature, better socialized and have a bigger vocabulary than their high school counterparts. Research carried out by Dr. Brian Ray revealed that children who were home schooled were no less likely to enter college and were more satisfied with their work, happier with their lives and more involved in civic life than their high school peers.

Drawbacks of Home Schooling

Of course, home schooling is not an educational cure-all; there will still be bumps in the road. Here are a couple of common worries:

  • Learning Difficult Subjects – One of the greatest fears for parent-teachers is that they will be unable to master the subjects themselves. Although some subjects will be unfamiliar at first, perseverance will not only bring success, you will be providing a good role model as you show your child how to be an independent learner.
  • Having No Time Away From Your Children – Spending most of every day with your children may be something you are looking forward to or are dreading. Either way, there are bound to be times when you both get fed up with each other’s company. Will you be able to adapt to this level of intensity?

If you do decide that home schooling is for your family, you will need to check out your state’s requirements first. Sometimes (e.g. in Texas and Michigan), you won’t even have to inform your state that you are home schooling. In New York, on the other hand, you may need to undertake teacher training and agree to home visits.

In preparation for home schooling, you will also need to consider which core courses you have to include in your curriculum, which electives and what extra-curricular activities, based on your child’s interests and goals.

Whatever your decision, you owe it to your child to consider carefully whether home schooling is their path to a happy, successful work and family life.

Romona Weston and her family lives in the beautiful Amish countryside in Lancaster County, PA. She is a mom to 7 beautiful children and a wife to a wonderful man. Romona has been homeschooling for over 20 years, and loves every aspect of learning as a family. In her spare time, she loves to hike, write and organize. She is a Web Publisher who started a review blog on the best stainless steel top kitchen islands carts and rolling kitchen carts. As researcher rather than a seller, she presents an unbiased view of products. You can read her reviews at http://www.kitchencarts360.com

Second-Hand Clothes, First-Class Style


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Consignment shopping can be fun as well as rewarding. I was first introduced to consignment shopping when I was pregnant with my daughter, about 12 years ago. The trend of buying second-hand items was just beginning. I started shopping at a store that consigns women’s and children’s clothes, toys, and baby furniture. At first I just bought some baby clothes there and marveled at how inexpensive they were (1/3 or less of retail prices). As my daughter got older I didn’t have any little girls to give her clothes to, so I started consigning her clothes. The consignment store decided how much the clothes should sell for, and after the clothes had sold, they gave me 30 to 50% of the purchase price. For just a few items that might only add up to a couple of dollars, but if you make a practice of taking in all of your children’s outgrown clothes, it can add up quickly. Where I shop, they will either give you the cash when the item sells, or they will hold your money “on account” so that when you buy something there in the future, your purchase is subtracted from your account.

After I had started consigning my daughter’s clothes and realizing the benefits I was receiving (when you both buy and sell items at consignment stores, you get the benefit of low prices, your children get the benefit of wearing the clothes until they quickly outgrow them, and then you get to re-sell them, making a profit that almost equals the value of buying the clothes in the first place!), I started going through my dressers and closet and realized how many clothes I had that I never wore. I was a little reluctant at first to get rid of so many clothes, but I took a deep breath, and consigned them. I ended up bringing home at least $50 for a couple of grocery bags full of clothes. I realized that I could use that money to buy new (used) clothes that I really would wear, and that no money would have left my pocket! That’s when the adventure really began. As time went on, I got braver and braver about simplifying my life and getting rid of all of the things I didn’t want or need anymore. Have you ever paid a lot of money for an outfit and then didn’t like it after all? Of course you have! Many times people are reluctant to part with clothes that they paid a lot for and never wear (maybe because it shrunk the first time you washed it). Consignment shopping takes all of the guilt away! The first step is to let go of the guilt and get rid of the clothes. When you start buying your clothes at consignment stores, that guilt is never there. If you decide you don’t like something you bought there, take it back and consign it. You didn’t pay much for it in the first place, and you can use the money you get from consigning it to buy something else.

At first I usually just kept the money and didn’t buy new clothes with my profits. I only shopped there occasionally and didn’t see much I was interested in. Then I started going more often and realized that there really were great clothes there, but they go in and out of the store so fast that you have to go often to find the best deals. I haven’t bought a brand new pair of jeans in years. I have, however, bought many brand-name pairs of jeans consignment shopping that would have cost anywhere between $30 and $50 new, and I paid about $8 a piece for them. Many look like they’ve never been worn.

I bought and sold my daughter’s clothes there from the start. She is now 11 years old and I have very rarely ever bought new clothes for her. My sister spent about $50 on a shirt and a pair of corduroy overalls for her last Christmas. A few weeks later we found a similar pair of overalls in another color at the consignment store for about $8. My daughter was thrilled. I’m glad she can also find joy in consignment shopping. I know that in a couple of years she may not be as thrilled about buying second-hand clothes, but buying used clothes is becoming a lot more acceptable. More and more people are becoming fed up with expensive prices and the high cost of living in general. Our favorite consignment store even recently created a section just for teens that looks just like a department store display.

If you don’t have a consignment shop in your town, the next time you visit the nearest big city, check out their yellow pages or ask around. Even if you make a trip once or twice a year to clean out your closet, it’s well worth the effort! In these times of corporate “down-sizing” and just trying to get by, don’t spend a large portion of your money on new clothes. You don’t have to be as extreme as I am and buy all of your clothes at consignment stores, but if you keep your eyes open and look for opportunities to spend less on clothing, you won’t regret it!

Gift Ideas for Teen Girls


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Christmas, birthdays, graduations…these are all occasions when we might struggle to come up with an inexpensive gift idea for the teenage girl in our life. Following are some gift ideas that can be purchased for $15 or less. Be creative, shop ahead of time, and watch for sales!


Teenage girls always enjoy scented body washes, lotions, perfumes, and powders. Lip gloss and finger nail polish are also popular with teens. Watch for sales and put together a gift basket. One of my daughter’s favorite birthday presents was a set of scented hand sanitizers! Stay away from hair accessories and jewelry unless you know the teen very well.


Most teen girls love to write. Give them journals to write in. A friend of mine gave my daughter a special journal and pen to write with. This journal quickly became my daughter’s book of poems. She’s been adding to her poems for several years now and will treasure this special journal forever. Stationery and stickers are also always welcome. Teenage girls never get tired of writing notes to each other. Gel pens are also very popular and make writing more fun.

Gift Certificates

Give a gift certificate to a favorite book store, for a CD, favorite clothing store, or movie tickets.

Photos/Photo Albums

If you want to get creative, take a favorite photo and frame it. Something meaningful to the teen. My daughter was in a school play with a couple of her friends and one of them took a photo of the entire cast of the play and framed it for my daughter. It is a real keepsake and was one of her favorite birthday presents. Another friend of my daughter’s moved away, and my daughter decided that for her friend’s birthday she would take pictures of all their friends and put together a photo album to surprise her.