Monday, May 22, 2017

It's Homeschool Convention Time!

It's that time again!  Every homeschool mom's delight!  Homeschool children are singing the song of "their People"......Yes!  It's homeschool convention time!

We plan for months, checking the vendor list, 
noting what we need to purchase (free shipping!!), what we want to look at, and of course, the gathering of the freebies!  Our children get excited, they will be amongst children like them!  I know that mine were excited for the book vendors, the hands on exhibits, and the most important....the young entrepreneurs booth.

I have to admit...I have been homeschool conventioning 
(is this a word?) since the denim jumper days!  I still drag my "box on wheels", which by the way, gets some strange looks! I carry a small spiral notebook that has my needs and wants...when I visit my curricula booth, I am welcomed with a big hug and and friendly, "Good to see you again this year!" 

Every year I meet up with all my home school
 moms and we plan our yearly lunch....a walk downtown to our favorite Mexican restaurant! And this is with at least 9 children in tow!  If you have never been to a are missing out! The smell of new text books, an entire booth dedicated to paper products!  (YES) There is a booth where you can purchase the dreaded frogs and squids for dissection, and there are books galore for reading enjoyment! And this mom purchased two fabulous novels written in the 1800's! 

Oh! The freebies! Pens, pencils, water bottles, 
candy, lunch bags, and keychains.....of course some of the best are the free drawings for curriculum, i-Pads, and lap tops!  From one home school mom to others...if you get a chance, visit a homeschool convention! It is day of fun and encouragement! PLUS....this can be considered a "professional day" for your records!

Next plans are to attend 2 (yes..TWO) conventions! I may go into book overdose!  Here's to lazy summer days! Oh...who am I fooling! I don't know about y'all, but this girl has some deep house cleaning to do! 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Keeping the Dream Alive

They say that ''it takes money to make money,'' but the truth is that it takes money to help other people, too.  As much as we'd like to never have to ask for donations and financial support, that's just not realistic.  Therefore, after much debate, we found a few ways that will allow you to support the Book Shack without having to stretch your budget even further.

Where do these donations go?  They are used for :
  • boxes & packing material
  • packing tape
  • blank paper & shipping labels
  • light bulbs
  • bookshelves
  • staples, clips & other binding materials
  • *postage for recipients
(*= We are currently unable to offer this, due to having no operating costs at this time.  See policies for more information on how postage is currently being covered.)

We have contracted with shopping sites to make it easier for you to help raise these operating costs.  Straight donations are always welcome - we have a 'Donate Now' button that goes through Paypal (who does verify our 501(c)3 eligibility) - and present another option for assistance.  Sites are broken down into five categories, shown below.  Click on the category header to see all sites within that category.  (Please check back, as we will continue to add sites, when available.)

Thank you so much for supporting the Book Shack and keeping this dream alive!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bibliomania & A Budding Friendship

We spent the day at BiblioMania Homeschooling Materials in Tulsa forging new friendships!! 
They have been so wonderful to help us as we get started and continue to work to get this organization up and running smoothly!  
If you're in Oklahoma or NW Arkansas, you should definitely check them out for this semester's materials.  

About BiblioMania
The store
 was founded in Tulsa, OK, in 1992, and is a unique source for gently used homeschooling materials on consignment. With dozens of years of homeschooling experience under their belts, the ladies who run the store have a wealth of information and encouragement, and will cheerfully answer your homeschooling curriculum questions!  (They'll also provide hugs and strength when you're ready to throw in the towel.)

If you're going to visit the store, be aware that it's in the back corner of a strip mall.  It looks something like the pic on the right.  Here is their contact information :
12929 E 21st St Suite I
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Phone : (918) 438-9889

 little helpers loaded up even MORE books and were ready for a rest on the long ride home!  I think that they, more than anyone else, will be happy when the organization has a permanent home and the boxes no longer need to be lugged around!  LOL

Monday, April 17, 2017

End of the Year Reflections

Notes from the Homeschool Trenches....

Another school year is coming to a close.  This year really flew by fast.
13 years I have been at oldest will be finishing his Junior year.
I swear it was just yesterday he learned to write his name! 

As I look over my dinning room table, well....maybe I should say "school table", there are workbooks, text books, notebooks, and and tray of pencils that are without erasers, and all with broken lead;  through this mess I can see the the amazement of learning.

Homeschooling is not as easy as some would think.  You spend hours pouring over curriculum samples, deciding on what type of teaching and learning will work best with each of your little scholars.  You plan lessons, field trips, experiments, and extracurricular activities.  And, all the while you are also doing laundry, planning and cooking meals, cleaning house, shopping, doctor's appointments, the many trips to the library, and any other task that needs to be done.

Not only is the table a mess, so is my house!  Deep cleaning is usually put on "hold" until summer break.  My therory on this is that I will only have my childrens' attention for a moment, and that this house will wait, for these little minds need to be dust and cobweb free more then my home.

I have heard so many say, "How can I stand to be home all day with my kids?" or "I need my "Me Time".  For which I gladly reply, "These children were a gift from God to me, and my time with them is so short, I want their memories of education to be one of family, learning without stress, and having life skills."  My "me time" is at 5am....when the house is silent...

So, as these last few weeks are coming to a close, and I prepare for for the next year of heart is full.  The outcomes of this year's goals have been met, the children have grown, they have learned, they have aquired more life skills, but most of all....they are growing into loving, honest,  and well adjusted young people. 

Yes my life is super busy, and sometimes I look around at my house and just sigh....but this is my life, a life of continous chaos, but it is all mine....and  I LOVE IT!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

A HUGE Helping Hand!!

Have you heard?  For the month of April, Amazon is giving an extra boost to non-profits by boosting their earnings!  What does this mean? means that if enough of you start your shopping trips (and remember to check out) at that little square Amazon button on the right side of the page, they'll deposit a small portion of your purchase into an account that can be used for the Book Shack.

We've already had some requests roll in, but the list is long and the funding is non-existent right now.  Most people do some shopping at Amazon, so this is a way that everyone can help, whether they live nearby or halfway around the world!
If you're able to physically bring items by, other ways you can help include :
  • Sturdy totes w/ lids (like this one) for storing and carrying books
  • Donation of old curriculum
  • Sturdy boxes, book mailers, and packing tape
  • And we are still looking for a permanent home....a building, rental house, some place to set up shelving and get everything unpacked
Remember, we do have our 501(c)3, so your donations (including a donation of rental space / property) are tax-deductible.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Look What Arrived!!

If you're not sure what you're looking at...that would be our 501(c)3 non-profit status letter.  

What does this mean for you?  It means that if you want to donate books or money, we have the official letter of donation receipt to provide you for tax purposes.  

To be honest, it came in the mail a few weeks ago, but both of our families have been battling it's just now getting posted.  

It's a happy day for the SHACK!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Busy Little Bees : A Little Backstory

These are our busy little bees!  

They used to go work up at the Book Samaritan with us twice a year, helping the owners to organize books and keep things in order.  

Then, in the summer of 2016, they moved 65 truckloads of books...stacked from side to side, floor to as high as they could safely go.  These were some tired little puppies, but I think they deserve a lot of credit (hence the trip to Medieval Times) for helping to get the Book Shack up and going.

We also had a few helpers from our local co-op, who could come for a day and help move things around.  All told, it took four weeks to move items from the Book Samaritan in Pawhuska, Oklahoma down to our new home in Prague, Oklahoma.  

And then we found out that our 501(c)3 wasn't coming through.  We lost our new home and had to immediately downsize (just like if you were foreclosed upon) - losing 95% of the items we had managed to salvage.  It was a bad week...

Well, it was a bad week for us.  It was a good week for the 100+ families that we were able to help in our big "homeschoolers helping homeschoolers" event.  You can see more about that here...

Following that, we had some health issues to deal with, while at the same time continuing to get all of the paperwork straightened out.  We've also spruced up the website a little bit - adding tabs across the top of the page that will answer many of your questions.

Now that it's come to fruition, can you imagine just how happy these little faces are about knowing that their Spring Break will be spent doing none other than...................moving books?  😯

Let's give a hand for our very best helpers!!!