Apr 19, 2014

Sneak Peek Inside an Usborne Book Party!

Well, I did it!

My Usborne Books & More kick-off party is in the books!

I had a blast, got $380 in FREE books, AND made over $200 in commission.




These results are not 'typical,' but it was pretty awesome, and I'm more excited than ever to be walking this new journey as an Usborne consultant!

Have you ever been to an Usborne party (home shows and parties are the same thing; I didn't know that until like a few weeks ago!)? My kick-off party was the first one that I've ever been to. Want a sneak peek? Sure you do, right?! Okie dokie then, here's what went down...

Meet Molly.

Molly is the (almost) team leader for our area, and she's the one who actually did my show. She arrived at my house about an hour before the party with her bags of books to set-up. She had TONS of books, which was a really good thing because my friends wanted to see as much as they could.

Molly and her mom (a teacher and fellow consultant) spread the books around my living room and dining room table. As my friends came in, we all talked and visited, then Molly asked everyone to find a book that looked interesting. We picked out our books and found a comfy spot on the couch, bean bag, or pulled up some carpet. It was very casual, which I LOVED.

Then we went around the room saying which booked we picked up and why it caught our attention. Molly or her mom would jump in sometimes and mention a special feature of the book, like the fact that Usborne has its own composer who creates the tracks for our music books (so cool!). 

My beautiful friend, Amanda (she adopted Sophie from China last year, remember her?), shared about a book her son loves called Animals at War. Did you know that dolphins wore cameras strapped to their backs to spy on ships? Yeah, pretty much everyone at the party bought the book after hearing Amanda talk about how fascinating it is (including me!). 

After everyone talked about their books, we passed them around and Molly stacked the books up in the middle of the floor. The stack of seven or so books was a good visual of how many free books the average hostess gets, which is around $70 in free books (around 75% of Usborne books are under $10, so the seven books represented $70). However, since I'm a new consultant, I'm allowed to offer my first hostesses DOUBLE free books for a limited time with one booking, which Molly also pointed out.

The average home show is around $400 (circled in green above), so the red amount is the new consultant special offer. Pretty awesome! Four of my friends at the party decided just to have their own shows to get their books (or more books!) for free. Yeah, I don't blame them!

After that, we all just looked at books... and looked... and looked. These books are just so awesome! (Don't believe me? Click here to see what the Pioneer Woman thinks about Usborne! I mean, c'mon, it's the Pioneer Woman! You've got to see what she says - great pictures, too!) Then people started checking out and enjoyed some snacks.

And that was the party! Easy, fun, relaxed.

Basically, just perfect!

(this is what my inside happy-yay looks like)

The best sellers of the night were definitely the human body books (getting ready for Cycle 3!), Encyclopedia of World History, and the war books. Click here for more CC Cycle 3 and Usborne match-ups!

As I said in an earlier post, being an Usborne consultant is like having your own small business. There's so much freedom for creativity in how each consultant operates (and each part is different depending on the consultant's personality). I decided to go nuts and create my very own VIP Club!

When someone spends $75 or more in one order, she becomes a VIP and gets one duck punched. Then, for each future order over $35, I'll punch another duck (and yes, this post will more than likely pop up on 'animal cruelty' web searches). When the ducks are all punched out (that does sound kinda bad, huh), that friend will get a free $25 gift certificate to my Usborne Book Barn! (BTW, I just posted the new internet specials at The Barn, so be sure to check those out! I'm working on getting new content up over there, too, but there just aren't enough hours in the day right now.)

Did you know that YOU could become a VIP, too? Yes, you! My virtual duck puncher just arrived! (Actually, I just keep track in a spreadsheet. ;) ) Best part - there's nothing for you to keep track of! You don't have to email me and say that you just placed an order and don't forget to punch a duck. I've got it all covered. However, if you spend over $75 and become a VIP, I'll email you a card, just so you know that I've got you down in the VIP system. Get all your ducks (virtually) punched, and enjoy your free $25 in books as a thank you!

So, at my party, I had three good friends join the club! Thanks, ladies! I also had a couple friends become charter members of the VIP Club before the party even started. So great! Please know that I'm very thankful for your support! There are many places on the internet that sell Usborne, and I'm honored that you're here (and have read this far!), and I'd love to help you find the right books for your family - not once, not twice, but every time you need quality, award-winning educational books for your children.

Well, I hope you don't mind all the Usborne posts lately. Books are just something that I've always been excited about, and Usborne books really are the best on the market (and CC is over, so what else are we going to talk about?! JK!) Our family loves them, and I'm super-excited that I can now share them with you!

Here are just a couple of quick pictures of our newest Usborne additions today at Mary's 6th birthday party:

Anna got This Is My Monster, which is soooo adorable! The monster's little roar is priceless!

(Yes, Anna gets a 'sister gift' on Mary's birthday, and vice-versa. I know that my be controversial, but it is what it is.)

Nana gave Mary the Jonathan James and the What If Monster book and huggable-lovable, which were top priority on her list!

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek into an Usborne Books & More party! Molly did an amazing job with my kick-off show, and this Friday I'll actually be doing my first show for a dear friend. Eeeek! I'm beyond excited to share all of these great books with her friends and just hang out with some awesome ladies! Girls' Night!

If you're in the Huntsville, Alabama, area and want to get $300 in free and discounted books while having a fun night with your friends, send me an email and we'll get you on the calendar!

Wait, what?

$300 in free and discounted? I thought you said only $100 a few paragraphs up?! (Am I reading your mind?) $300 is what the average hostess gets in free, half-priced, and incentive books at her party - all of the hostess benefits! And, really, who's 'average' anyway? Not you and not me! I got $380 in free books, $250 half-priced, and other little incentives. Friends, if I can do it (with God's grace first and foremost), you can do it! 

Thanks again for sticking with me through this beast of a post. Check back soon when I share the best-kept secret of becoming an Usborne consultant. Really, it's pretty mind-blowing, and I'm not even sure I"m supposed to be sharing it! Shhhhhhh!

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Apr 16, 2014

2 - Minute History Date Review!

I've LOVED all the important dates in history that we learned this past year in CC! And I've just loved them so much that I do not want Mary (or myself!) to forget them. So, I've come up with an extremely simple way for us to review the dates:

Easy cheesy match-up!

In the center of our dining room table, I have a little basket of stuff (art cards, opera cards, etc.). This game also stays in the basket, and we pull it out and do it about three times a week at snack. All I did was take a piece of yellow construction paper, write the name of the wars and other major events and their corresponding dates, cut them into strips, laminate (always optional, btw), and viola!

This quick review literally takes about two minutes, and I love it! And obviously Mary's very pleased with herself when she matches everything up correctly. ;) Love that girl!

Want the game?

Click here to download!

In other news, my Usborne Books & More kick-off par-tay is TOMORROW! Eeeek! I'm SO excited about beginning this new chapter in my life! Click here to learn why I became a consultant for Usborne.

If you'd like to shop the eShow (which will be closing this week) and get exclusive customer specials, please click here. There are just an insane number of books to choose from (over 1,400 titles!), so I made a list of my favorites for the upcoming Cycle 3:

We've had some friends already shop the eShow, and I thank you so much for your support! I'll be starting a VIP guest program soon, too. I'll share more details in just a bit, but basically when you shop with me five times and each order is $35 or over, you'll get a $25 gift certificate after the fifth order. Isn't that awesome?! So, if you shop my eShow and your order qualifies, you'll automatically be entered into the VIP program! I'll keep up with it all - no hassles for you! (yay!)

And if you're curious about how all this book party stuff works, I'll be posting pictures and an update when mine is over so you can see what it's like. Can't wait!

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Apr 11, 2014

EOY and Geography Fair!

Tonight was our CC End-of-the-Year (EOY) Celebration and Geography Fair!

Here's a quick glimpse into our evening:

In the picture above is my sweet class. LOVE them! Can you tell which on is my distractible child? Yeah...

Above, the two younger classes combined for their presentation. All the classes had their turns reciting some of the memory work from this cycle, and then they all came on stage to sing the Doxology. It was beautiful.

Congratulations, Memory Masters!

Time to party! This was our third party of the DAY, for real! Anna had a party at her preschool, then we went to a birthday party, which was immediately followed by our EOY Celebration. Don't even ask me what my kids ate all day! ;)

The Geography Fair was so wonderful! I was truly blown away by the amount of time and effort these kids put into their projects!

This was our campus's first year, and it was amazing. I'm so blessed to be a part of such a supportive group of families! Our campus, however, is multiplying (splitting just sounds so ugly), so next year will bring new families and friends to our community. I'm very excited to see what God has planned!

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Apr 10, 2014

Tutor Idea - Around the World (and Being Replicable)

Yesterday was our final day of CC for Cycle 2. 

(can't believe I just wrote that!)

I knew the kiddos would probably be very excited, so I wanted to do something different to keep them interested while also giving them the freedom to move around.

So, we went around the world! 

(which was really just around the room to different 'stations')

We always start with Geography at the table, and then we moved to Math, the red sign in the back.

King Arithmetickle was happy to explain the final Math law of his kingdom. (You can see me holding that puppet, right? I mean, I can see me, too, but the kids act like I'm not even there! They're mesmerized by this crazy puppet!)

Then we continued our trip around the world by moving six feet to the left and arriving at History. ;)

I taped the History Sentence cards for Week 24 under the sign, and we said the sentence with some motions. No frills, except the cards.


I usually use my iPad to play the history sentence song, but I'm not going to do that anymore in class. For me, it breaks the flow (and eats into the 4 minutes) to say, "Okay, now that we said the sentence, let's listen to the song and sing along."

Changing it up like this was a BIG HIT with the class - and me! Moving around so much let them get their wiggles out, they appeared to be more engaged because it was something new, and I liked that I didn't have to add 'extras' to keep their attention (aside from a puppet or two). I felt much more stick-in-the-sandish!

Another sidenote:

I'll be leading Foundations tutor training at a couple of Parent Practicums this summer, which means I've been getting lots of training myself. As a tutor, one of my main jobs is to model for the parents how they can review the memory work at home, and I think I've really missed the mark sometimes on this.

I am supposed to be replicable

Parents are supposed to be able to go home and replicate (if they so desire) what we're doing in class.

With my Mary Poppins bag of tricks, I don't think I've been very replicable at times. I don't know...

If a parent sits in my class and thinks, "I could never do that," then I don't think I'm doing my job.

This is why CC's so big on 'stick-in-the-sand.' We should be able to introduce new grammar on a beautiful tropical island, next to a clear blue lagoon with our toesies in the water, using just a stick in the sand (this is my secret mental picture every time someone says that!). If we add a bunch of bells and whistles, are we really being replicable?

I know that no tutor feels like this picture with the stick-in-the-sand analogy, right? Right...

Ha! I know, I know, but we have technology now, what's wrong with the iPad and PowerPoint and my phone?! Hello! This is the 21st century!

Yes, yes, I hear you.

But, the truth is, Tutor, not everyone has what we have. If we make introducing new grammar look hard or 'magical,' as in something only we can do, our parents may become discouraged or overwhelmed. And I know nobody wants that to happen, because if you're a tutor, you love these kids. And because you love these kids, you love their parents and want to equip them for success at home.

Please don't think I'm preachin' to you, because I'm really thinking about myself here. I'll definitely be making some tweaks to my class for Cycle 3. I'm just bringing it up because if these thoughts are crossing my mind, maybe they've crossed yours, too? 

And, I'm not talking about review games. I love me some bells and whistles and hula hoops and bean bags and sticky hand slappers during review time. Bring it and bling it, I say!

So, as tutors, that's just something to think about...

Are we replicable?
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