Saturday, July 20, 2013

Our Week at iCanBike Camp

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This week has been an emotional roller coaster for us but I am getting ahead of myself. Let me back up. Sunday evening I was sitting here browsing facebook when I came across a post from SPD Connect. A reader had posted a link for iCanShine, a bike camp for children with disabilities. I admit, I had my doubts that there would be a camp near us, as there never is, but I checked it out anyways. Sure enough, there was a camp within 20 minutes of us - YEAH! As I am reading I discover that it starts the next day and is only for one week. Yeap, here is were the train stops. I decide I would send an email to the address that I found on the website for someone local and ask if there will be another camp anytime soon. I go back to browsing facebook not expecting an email this week (I just imagined everyone would be busy and out of the office with the camp this week). At 15 till 10 my phone rings and much to my surprise it is someone from the local college that is hosting the event. He tells me that there are still openings and I get Yang signed up. Score one for Mom!!!

You see, part of Yang's SPD is that she has gravitational insecurities, meaning she needs to have her feet planted firmly on the ground at all times, and therefore riding a bike has always been an issues. It doesn't help that she also has some gross motor delays. 

Once we arrived Yang was given a camp shirt and fitted for a helmet. She was super excited and said she had a real life helmet like bike racers now! Next her "bubby" Debra (a volunteer who works one on one with the kids) came over to introduce herself and take Yang over to the bikes. She was fine walking over but once she got to the bikes she started screaming and ran back to me. I have to tell ya it was hard not to run to her and just leave. I HATE seeing my babies cry! It just tears me up inside. Instead I kept my bottom planted firmly on the bleachers and when she got to me, she's quick, I gave her some deep pressure with my hugs, told her it was okay to be scared of something new and unknown but no one would let her get hurt. I told her she could do this! It took a few minutes but she finally calmed down and we made a deal that I would walk her over to the bikes and walk with her. As we walked across the gym, Gabey from iCanShine meet us half way, gave Yang a big high five for coming back and giving it another go! After 2 laps around Yang said it was okay that I went and sat back down!!

iCanShine uses specially designed bikes to help child with disabilities learn how to ride a bike, without training wheels. The camp is an hour long and last 5 days. Approximately 80% of the kids that attend are riding a bike with 2 wheels by the end of camp. The other 20% have made drastic improvements and leave the camp accompanied by parents, siblings or caregivers that have been trained as "spotters" to help them continue to reach their goal once they go home. The back wheel has been removed and replaced with a roller. There are different size rollers that are changed throughout the week as the child "masters" that roller. The rollers get smaller, making the kids use their balance more and more to get them ready for riding a 2 wheel bike.

Yang & Cory on the tandem bike.

Tandem Tuesday was lots of fun! Yang was scared at first and said Cory was going cray cray (crazy) but by the end she asked if we could get a 2 person bike!

Wednesday was a little difficult towards the end. Some of the kids got to take their first try at riding a 2 wheeled bike. Yang REALLY wanted to ride a 2 wheeled bike as well but she just wasn't ready yet. She had just been placed on the last roller before going to the 2 wheeled bike and still needed some more practice. She got really upset and began glaring at me as she did her laps on the practice bike. When she gets upset or nervous she starts itching. She went to itch while riding and lost control. She didn't wreck or fall but it was enough for her. She jumped off the bike, took off her helmet and threw it as she ran to me. By this point I have gotten better about staying put and not jumping in immediately. When she got to me I assured her she was doing an awesome job and it was just a matter of time before she was riding a 2 wheeled bike. Gabey came over to and they struck a deal to hop on the tandem bike together! She was good with that, but you could still tell she was mad.

Thursday was the most difficult day. She spent the first 10-15 minutes of camp riding the practice bike. When she went to take her water break Cory got out the 2 wheeled bike for Yang. She was so happy, until she started to ride! (Might want to turn your volume down a bit)

After a couple more tries we went outside, and from there she only let the anxiety get the best of her. She never wrecked the bike but had some situations that she THOUGHT she was going to wreck and would freak out. Cory work with her really well and had her riding. Unfortunately the heat was bad (we were under a heat warning) and we ended up having to go back inside.

Friday Jenna worked with Yang. She still needs to work on her balance and making sure she is looking up and paying attention where she is going but overall she has it! After riding outside for a while, again we had another heat warning) we came inside for an awards ceremony. Each kid received a metal for all their hard work this week!

I want to THANK Debra, Kelsey, Gabey and Cory for working with Yang this week. Without their hard work, determination, support and encouragement, not just for her but me as well, none of this would have been possible. They will always hold a special place in my heart and I will be forever grateful!!  

Yang and Debra
Yang and Kelsey 

Yang and Gabey
Yang and Cory

So what are you waiting for? Go find an iCanBike camp in your area now! Not able to find an iCanBike Camp in your area? Check out the Host page on the iCanShine website about becoming a host. You can always reach out to non-profit organizations in your area. Inform them about iCanShine and encourage them to host a camp. If you don't have a little one but have been inspired by my post please look into making a donation of ANY amount to iCanShine so they may continue to help children across the US SHINE!


We went bike shopping Saturday and before we could even get out the storm is was POURING! She cried the whole way home, so Sunday we made sure to get out and ride.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Gryphon Series Novella ~ A Pirate's Tale Book Blast & Giveaway!!

This post may contain affiliate links.You can read more about affiliate links under my disclosure policy tab, or by clicking here.

A few months ago I was approached to do a review of Stacey Rourke's Gryphon Series ~ The Conduit, Embrace and Sacrifice. I instantly feel in love with Celeste and even Gabe and Kendall! Just when Celeste thinks things have settled down enough for her to go to college, she is forced to take her siblings and move to Tennessee with her Grandma, while her Mom stays behind to sell their house. It's not long before Celeste discovers that her life will no longer be as carefree as she'd like it due to a pack her ancestors made with the Gryphon in the 17th century. Now Celeste must embrace her new found powers and fight the battle between good and evil.

Calling all Team Rowan fansA Pirate's Tale is the second of The Sidekick Chronicles ~ A Gryphon Series Novella is available NOW, and boy are you in for a treat!

Who needs a little more Rowan?

Stacey Rourke presents a Gryphon series novella

The call of the sea.

The promise of adventure.

For Rowan Wade, the need to return to his swashbuckling ways is enough to betray the only woman he’s cared for in over three hundred years.

With vengeance in his heart, he’s determined to exact his revenge on those that mutinied against his father. 

The arrival of an unlikely ally challenges Rowan’s plans. Her goal isn’t to stop him, but to lead him on a journey of self-discovery to unravel the mysteries of the twisted path that led him to the Dark Army.

Will it be enough to make the pirate shift course? Or will he be lost forever in a rum-induced haze? Hoist ye colors and prepare to set sail with the Gryphon Series’ favorite pirate!

Chat with Stacey Rourke
Friday, July 19 at 2 pm
Twitter #PiratesTale



A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prize. MARIETTA HOMESCHOOLING ZOO received no compensation for this post.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A+ TutorSoft Interactive MATH Curriculum 3 month subscription (your choice of grade level) GIVEAWAY

This post may contain affiliate links.You can read more about affiliate links under my disclosure policy tab, or by clicking here.

A few months ago I did a review of A+ TutorSoft Interactive MATH Curriculum after we won their Charitable Holiday Giveaway in December 2012. Yang and I worked through about half of the 2nd grade curriculum from the time we received our software until we stopped doing structured learning at the end of May. In April I announced that I was an affiliate of A+ TutorSoft and today I have a giveaway for my readers! Up for grabs is a FREE 3 month online subscription (your choice of grade level). 

Now through the end of summer (exact date TBA) you can grab a one month online subscription for $12 PLUS when you use coupon code SOHO20 at check you will save an additional 20%.


By entering the giveaway they are subscribing to A+ valuable newsletters which will provide math tips, specials, etc. 

Philosophy Adventure

Philosophy Adventure - Pre-Socratics Complete Set with Resources CD

Philosophy Adventure is a program designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas.

Set Includes

PRINT READER: The Reader is a spiral bound, 8.5 x 11", colorful text filled with relevant images, philosopher stories, writing lessons, critical thinking lessons, public speaking lessons, historical geography, primary sources, and a biblical worldview analysis. It also contains detailed writing checklists and delightful creative writing prompts.

PRINT STUDENT WORKBOOK:  The Student Workbook includes philosopher notebook pages, mapping assignments, quizzes, tests, and more.

DIGITAL TEACHER'S RESOURCES ON CD:  The Teacher's Resources includes keys to the quizzes, tests, and mapping assignments, timelines, and "at-a-glance" instructions designed to simplify your role as instructor.


Students are introduced to academic content as they develop practical skills using a flexible format that can be a primary curriculum for a quarter or a supplementary curriculum throughout the year. Using this curriculum, your high school student can earn credits in up to 4 subjects!

High School Credits

English Composition: 1-4 hrs per week .25 - .5 credit hrs
World History/Geography: 1-4 hrs per week .25 - .5 credit hrs
Speech/Communications: 1-4 hrs per week .25 - .5 credit hrs
Logic/Critical Thinking .5-2 hrs per week .25 - .5 credit hrs

Note: Requirements vary from state to state. See download sample for more information on high school credits.

Hearts at Home Curriculum One Day Sale!

This post may contain affiliate links.You can read more about affiliate links under my disclosure policy tab, or by clicking here.
Hearts at Home has decided to make their ONE DAY ONLY sale REALLY GREAT by offering you FREE Shipping PLUS a FREE Gift when you purchase $100 or more in Alpha Omega Publications products!

Alpha Omega Publications has discounting policies and they only allow retailers to discount their products to 10% off for the rest of the year. This is the last time they are allowed to offer them at 20% off!

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This free shipping offer is good for orders throughout the Contiguous United States only. Your order will ship best way, please allow additional time for delivery.

Switched-On Schoolhouse is the next generation of homeschool curriculum by Alpha Omega. It's a comprehensive, Bible-based curriculum that offers computer-based learning for grades 3-12.

With 3-D animation, video clips, and other fascinating multimedia, Switched-On Schoolhouse is the perfect homeschool curriculum for today's generation. SOS 5-Subject Sets include Bible, Math, Language Arts, Science, & History and Geography!


Horizons is a brightly illustrated, engaging workbook curriculum filled with consumable lessons and hands-on activities by Alpha Omega. Designed with fast-paced lessons, Horizons uses a spiral learning method to help your student master concepts through the process of introduction, review, and reinforcement.


LIFEPAC is a full-color, consumable worktext homeschool curriculum, by Alpha Omega, with Bible-based content for grades K-12. Designed by a team of accomplished educators with years of classroom experience, LIFEPAC is based on the principle of mastery learning. Students master content in each unit worktext before progressing to the next.

This is considered an all-in-one boxed curriculum, but can be purchased as individual subjects as well as full sets.


The Weaver Curriculum is a unique unit-based, Bible-centered homeschool curriculum by Alpha Omega. For grades PreK-12th, this family-based curriculum uses the same daily Bible theme as a foundation and then creates lessons for each student. Your students are then studying the same main subject the same time with individual lesson assignment geared to each student's grade level.


Promotional Terms
Any gift certificate earned will be applied to future orders at and is not redeemable for cash or a refund. You will be emailed your gift certificate within 14 days after your purchase, to allow time for processing and shipping of your order. If you do not get your gift certificate after 14 days, please first check your spam/junk box and then contact them for support. If you return any of your items, you may be deducted for the amount of the gift certificate that was issued as they cannot be cancelled. Gift certificates do not expire. This promotion cannot be applied to previous purchases for price adjustments, or used after 7-15-13.

Free shipping offer is good for orders throughout the Contiguous United States only. Your order will ship best way, please allow additional time for delivery.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Flat Traveler Adventures

This post may contain affiliate links.You can read more about affiliate links under my disclosure policy tab, or by clicking here.

If you've been around for a little while, thank you very much, but you may also remember our post Homeschool Swapping Adventures from earlier this year on flat travelers. We haven't been doing any structured learning since the beginning of June. For now we are just enjoying summer, getting ready for fair since Yang is a Cloverbud in 4-H, and learning as things come up.

Poppy has been hosting a flat traveler, Rosie, from Texas since late April while her traveler Ellie is in Texas having fun. When Rosie arrived I was still recovering from being on bed rest from my back injury I sustained in March and Poppy was getting ready for state testing. There is not a lot to do in our area without having to drive to Cincinnati or Columbus but recently we have been able to take Rosie to Hopewell Indian MoundAdena Mansion and Gardens, and Columbus Zoo.

The Hopewell Indian Mound is located in Ross County in southern Ohio. While there is still a lot to learn about the Hopewell Culture, they did leave behind many clues and objects that have defined who they were and what their life must have been like. The Hopewell Indian Mound is the second historical earthworks we have visited and each time it is absolutely amazing.

The Adena Mansion and Gardens are located right down the road from the Hopewell Indian Mound. Since it is a 2 hour drive we hit both destinations in one day. The mansion house was built in the early 1800's by Benjamin Henry Latrobe for the sixth governor of Ohio, Thomas Worthington. The mansion is one of the three remaining house designed by Latrobe that remain in the country! The home has since been restored and contains some of the same wall paper and carpeting that were originally in the house, as well as many original Worthington family furnishings.

This window is also a door. Mrs. Worthington
would walk out of her bedroom right into
the gardens.

Rosie hanging out in Mrs. Worthington's beautiful

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Although we haven't been doing structured learning over the last month, our traveler give us a wonderful opportunity to learn while having fun. Not only do we visit and learn about historical places locally but when our traveler returns we get to learn about the area our traveler was visiting. While we are hosting a traveler we collect brochures to send from our area, souvenirs, post cards and treats. We include a journal that tells our adventures and a passport to stamp the locations the traveler has visited. When our traveler returns we mark it on our world map with a thumb tack. 

Interested in learning more, or joining in the fun? Hope on over to Homeschool Swapping Adventures on facebook and join today. Be sure to check your "other" folder on facebook from a group admin.