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easy lunch idea, college plus review, Norwex review, Pinterest for bloggers, scrapbook kit reviewThis month’s hot flashes are in a new format similar to what I do with What’s Hot in Homeschooling. If you’re new to this series, allow me to explain that I give a detailed account of my hot flashes from the previous month. Not the wake-up-drenched or the open-the-freezer-to-cool-off-quick kind, but the hot news, reviews, and ideas I just have to share.

#1 The Treasure Box Scrapbook Kit Review

I found The Treasure Box at a local scrapbooking convention and was blown away by the quality and the price. Everything you need to complete six pages (3 double-page spreads) is included but adhesive, ink/chalk, and tools. I’m delighted with the results which my husband has declared are the best pages I’ve ever done. The price? Just $20.99 a month which includes shipping. The website states this is the lowest price on the internet. Try spending just ten minutes a day on these kits and use a Cropperware Page In Progress Box to keep everything in place until you can work on it again.

#2 CollegePlus Prep Review

My oldest son did CollegePlus Prep when it was a year-long program that involved group coaching. He found the study skills and logic courses valuable. While he decided not to take the CLEP tests that are part of the program so he could take AP courses instead, we both were impressed with the godly leadership of his coach.

My second oldest son, Sam (15 and a sophomore) enrolled in CollegePlus Prep this fall. To say that he is different from his brother is an understatement! I wasn’t sure what he would think of it. But CollegePlus Prep was much different than it was when my oldest enrolled. Sam did the study skills and reasoning parts of the program, but jumped right into studying for his first CLEP. Previously, this waited until the spring. I could tell Sam was anxious about both the workload expected of him (about two hours a day) and how he would do on the exam.

This month Sam took his first CLEP tast and passed! We are so proud of him.  But I really can’t say enough about CollegePlus Prep so far. It’s true that you can guide your child through the process of CLEP testing on your own and save some money. But the experience of the staff and the one-on-one attention Sam has received are well worth the expense for us. Sam’s coach not only encourages and assists Sam in studying the excellent materials provided, but has helped him set personal goals, and is helping him to grow in his faith. For example, Sam studied for and passed his driver’s permit exam with his coach’s encouragement and is asked to study Scripture around his life purpose.

Right now the plan is for Sam to begin working on his bachelor’s degree in earnest next fall. Meanwhile, my oldest is in the process of applying to college. I have friends who have asked me what their child should do where college is concerned. Because getting a four-year degree through CollegePlus is estimated to cost $17,000 right now, my advice is to use the Net Price Calculator to determine how much a college degree will cost your child elsewhere. By entering your family’s financial information, your child’s GPA, and actual or expected test scores, you can get a good estimate of what kinds of grants, automatic scholarships, work study, and loans your student would qualify for. These estimates do not include competitive scholarships.

#3 Yummy & Easy Lunch Idea

When I found this pin on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. I have a friend’s family over for joint classes and lunch one day a week. I have to whip something up quickly for nine hungry kids (including four teen boys!) before we leave for P.E. classes. This fit the bill. I rolled up turkey pepperoni and half a part-skim mozzarella stick in a reduced fat crescent roll. I served these with marinara for those who wanted it. I heard several, “Make these again!”

#4 Cleaning Without Chemicals

I went to one of those home parties that I dreaded. I wanted to help a friend out more than anything. I know how awful it is to have no one show up!

Norwex is a company that sells naturally anti-bacterial and ultra microfiber cloths. I liked that idea, but it wasn’t until I actually used the products that I was hooked. I have the window cloth that cleans my windows, mirrors, and shiny appliances with only water. And they have never been cleaner! I also purchased the makeup removing cloths and couldn’t believe that with just water, they removed all my makeup–even the waterproof kind. No more eye irritation from the makeup towelettes I was using before! The dust mitt, enviro cloth, and cleaning paste keep my bathrooms cleaner than ever with no harsh chemicals. The kitchen cloth and towel can stay wet without smelling musty. I can have the kids clean my car interior with just water, too!

#5 Grow Your Blog with Pinterest

Last month was my biggest traffic month ever, doubling the page views of my previous high month. Why? Because I created a pin of 6 Crazy Easy Crock-Pot Recipes. This was a guest post on Stuff Parents Need. I fully expected the majority of traffic to come from the other blog or from her boards on Pinterest. Instead, the majority of my traffic came from my own Pinterest board which doesn’t even have the most followers! You can be sure that I will be doing more posts like these.

Top posts here for the month were 6 Crazy Easy Crock-Pot Recipes (which became my best post of all time), How to Grow Your Nails and Change Your Life, and Why Classical Conversations Should Be a Part of Your Curriculum. I created new vertical pins for the latter two posts and repinned them with fantastic results.

#6 Schedule a Family Portrait

This month we had our family portrait done while my oldest was having his senior pictures taken. I absolutely treasure family portraits. If I only had time to grab a few photos in a fire, that’s what I’d grab. (Except I think our photographer has copies, too! But you know what I mean.) What makes me sad is whenever I mention family portraits, someone invariably tells me they need to do that. Please don’t wait! It doesn’t have to cost you anything. I have a homeschooling friend who’s a photographer and I bet you do, too.

If you’d like a peek at one of our family photos, I’m sharing a proof on the Psychowith6 Facebook page. While you’re there, I’d love for you to click “Like” so we can keep in touch.

Linking up with the Homeschool High School Blog Hop.

What hot flashes have you been having this month?

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