Saturday, August 30, 2008

Comcast's Decision To Cap Bandwidth And It's Effects On Homeschooling

Hello. My husband asked me to post this,

Many of you may not know this but Comcast cable internet provider will begin "capping" bandwidth beginning October 1 of this year. For those who do not know what this means let me explain. Comcast will begin putting a 250 gigabit cap, or limit, on how much internet you use each month. Comcast already has a system in place called a tiered usage rate for choosing plans of different internet connection speeds. Now it will be penalizing you if you use more than 250 gigabites of what is called "bandwidth." Simply put, bandwidth is how much sending and recieving of information over the internet you comsume. Downloading, watching movies and voip phoning (skype) for instance takes quite a bit of bandwidth. Comcast will begin keeping track of this on a monthly basis and if you pass their limit then they will begin taking penalizing measures. First time offenders will be warned and second time offenders will be cut off from using comcast internet for a year and/or charged for usage over that amount. The details have been rolled out in Comcast's excessive use policy located here,

While this cap may sound like a fairly large limit, for a homeschooling family it could be easily reached if you are a frequent downloader of homeschool information (like us), you use internet phone, chat, online conferencing, game systems like xboxes that connect to the internet for gaming, or anything else you do through the internet like trying to manage a homeschool web page or get tons of mail you have to sort through. Below is a link explaining the details of Comcast's decision and it's effects.

Comcast will not be providing a meter of sorts to help in judging how much bandwidth you use and if you use several operating systems like we do, (linux, BSD unix, as well as windows), keeping track of such usage could be a nightmare. Programs provided on the internet are almost all windows based and useless for us. If you are network savy and use a broadcom based wireless router there are programs out there that will provide a usage meter for your router. This is the best bet anyway since it will give you a total of bandwidth comsumed for your whole household at the source of the connection as opposed to having one on each computer. The links to the firmware to install on supported routers are here,


I am currently looking on ebay for such a router to replace our non-broadcom based one.

I do not know how we can fight this but if someone has constructive comments they are welcome. I could only wish there was more competion against Comcast. I would certainly switch. As with many of you, we can only get Comcast in our area.

By Courtlyn Phillips-(Debbie's Husband)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Freebies on the Net

I just found a great site with lots of links to freebies in every area of education... she even had a link to my blog already on her page... that was a great lift to me today. It is so exciting to see others who think my site is done well enough that they would be willing to put a link to it on their pages.
check out her site...
she has lots of great links


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


A friend, Shanna, is having a contest on her blog for a digital subscription of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine - check it out here... only good until Friday the 15th

Friday, August 8, 2008

2008 Beijing Olympic Lapbook Minis and Maps

The sections below that are underlined are each of a book or map (map set) they are in the order that they are shown on the slideshow. If you want to see a close up of either slideshow just click on the slideshow and it will take you to a larger view.

Don't forget to check out the cookies... my dd Rachel 22 designed and cut by hand the sugar cookies. Then she put the base icing on. Then she, my dd 19 Jessica, my ds Nathan 14 and my ds Christopher 11 decorated them. The first cookies without a person were done by Rachel and Jessica. Then there are three pictures of the boys and their cookies.

So here are the mini books and maps - in order of appearance in the slideshow at the top

Olympic Mascots through the years mini book

Here are some articles on the Olympic mascots through the years:

I used the sites above to compile information and get photos of the mascots. I printed out the pictures of the mascots and we pasted them in a mini booklet. I used ¼ size pages with lines to make it easier for the kids to write the descriptions about the mascots. I got the ¼ pages from my Dinah Zike Big book of projects. (The sample booklet is mine... so my writing not my kids... that is why it looks so neat and I used my calligraphy markers for part of it.)

Summer Olympics Logos

the websites I used:

I used the information from the top site and put it in a writing program then put it in two columns and then adjusted it so the pictures and text stayed together and were not split by the columns or the page changes then printed it. The kids then had a choice of how to display the information. I put mine in a timeline format – an accordion fold, one of the kids did a booklet.

Map of the Torch Run



for the first map... this is the one I printed for the kids to do their map from... you have to click play then click stop before it gets to the detailed map of China and then click print. If you miss it the first time or the second time... etc. just keep trying. Click stop when the last dot on the mainland by China turns blue and not orange. Then print. Then push play again and then stop it when the arrow gets to the last dot on the China map... Beijing. Press stop then print. This was the best representation of a map for the torch run that I found. If you have questions leave a comment and I will get back to you.

I also put the links for the outline maps I used. You can of course use others.

Map the Modern Olympics

click on download next to the following page - Olympic Sites and Years Flag Match and Geography Mapping Activity (527)

I did not want to try to squeeze all the dots onto the Europe map... there are so many in that area it was impossible... so I printed a map of Europe from this site

I printed the Europe map 1x1 1 page

on my world map I outlined the area in orange that I was going to cover on the Europe map and put “see larger map”

I did the Olympic sites in different colors:

one color (purple) for the summer Olympics before they had the winter Olympics (1896-1924) or you can do it the same color you do Summer Olympics since it is technically under that category, but I wanted it separated to show more pronounced when the winter Olympics started

one color for the summer Olympics

one color for the winter Olympics

one color for the future Olympics

Maps of the Countries Participating in the 2008 Beijing Olympics

list of the countries participating in the Beijing Olympics

cross out (not participating or covered under another name)

Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, West Germany (keep just Germany they play together now), Soviet Union (now Russia), United Kingdom (Great Britain), Yugoslavia

add: Marshall Islands MHL, and Tuvalu

other great resource for the Participating Countries Map is:

Excellent resource – click the map and it will highlight the name or click the name and see the map

another list

we did these on a variety of maps.. it would work fine on the maps from Owl & Mouse Educational Software from this part of their site

Coloring one map for each of the following areas... leaving white the areas that are covered on another map.

Here is the list of maps we did:

Middle East (can be done as part of another map but I wanted it separate)




North and Central America

South America


The best map for Australia/Oceania I found at

we could just list the names according to the #'s and only colored Australia, New Zealand, and Papau New Guinea I had to add a couple #16 American Samoa, #16 Cook Islands, and #17 Guam ( the islands are on the map but not numbered)

Oh I should put a solution for that map on here ... ok... this is how I labeled our islands... If you think I am wrong... don't tell me... LOL. OK tell me but it is to late to change it.. we are all done this map.

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand

  3. Papua New Guinea

  4. Solomon Islands

  5. Nauru

  6. Palau

  7. Micronesia

  8. Marshall Islands

  9. Tuvalu

  10. Kiribati

  11. Samoa

  12. Vanuatu

  13. Fiji

  14. Tonga

add 15-17 see above

also wanted to add this link not in my other posts:

new website addition – coloring pages for the FUWA

leave a comment or question


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Free Preview Chat for Back to School Blast

Preview Chat (Invite your friends!)

Tonight, August 7, 2008--8PM CST- (Note the time is Central Standard time... make adjustments for your time zone... it is 9pm Eastern time for me)

How to Plan and Implement Lapbooks!
with Katie Kubesh from

For joining the Preview Chats, here are directions

How to Join Us Online in Our Conference Room...

We provide the software download-free. Here is the link:

Click to begin download or copy/paste into your internet browser and click ENTER. It will only take a few minutes to download into your computer, but you want to do it ahead of time so you don't miss a minute in the Conference Room. After it is downloaded on your computer, it will set up an icon on your desktop that says CONFERENCE. Then, you will only have to click it to open up the room. Here are your instructions from there:

When you are ready to enter, you will enter your NAME or EMAIL ADDRESS in the first blank.

Add the following information when prompted:

Name of Room: Talk-a-Latte

Password: letschat (password is case sensitive-do not enter any extra characters or spaces-password is only in effect during the actual chat) Remember...your password is different for chats and other classes. It only works for the room when the room is open for the study.

Hope to see you there... if you join us for free tonight and found out about the preview chat from my website please let me know when you join the room tonight. I usually sign in with the name Debbie~Most~Helpful
See you there,

More links for the Olympics

Here are some more links. Some of these were suggested by the ladies in one of my yahoo groups. Later today I will be posting a couple of pictures of finished mini books we have done so far and the maps my kids have done so far. Sooo come back later and check that out.

This site has two great free pdf's with samples of their Journey to Beijing Activity books for two different age groups. The free sample looks great... I wish I had the $10 to buy the whole book. Well at least we get a couple of great free pages. They have a number of related products for sale also.
I found this link on Dori's Tumble from yesterday - thanks Dori-- check it out here - she posts more great free stuff every day.

Here are some links that give info about the history of the Olympic games:

Donn's History site

Here are some Lesson Plans

This is an article on how major sports events affect the environment in a negative way and what is being to done to solve some problems. Beijing and the 2008 Olympics are included. Beijing is one of the world's most polluted cities but steps are being taken to improve the situation:

Lots of info about the Olympics on this site: details about the city, how to encourage good sportsmanship, all about the different sports included in the Olympics, fun activities for the whole family, and fun facts.

On this page you will find many activities and ideas for an exciting week of Olympic festivities. Introduce your children to the idea of people from many countries all over the world gathering to compete and have fun. Give each child who participates in an event an Olympic Badge.

Olympic-inspired activities and games for fun, exercise, and challenges for the whole family!

The following is the search results in Internet archive for out of copyright books related to the Olympics

click this link, Then click on the book cover. It will take you to the flash version of the book. Pages 30 - 37 are about the ancient Olympics.

this is a link to another blog with a list of links for the olympics

Olympic Games

Celebrate the world's biggest sporting festival.

All About Beijing

2008 Summer Olympic Games Events

Top 10 Olympic Controversies

Olympic Scandals Quiz

On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!

Quiz: The Olympic Games of Old

What's Your Favorite Summer Olympic Games Event?

More on the Olympic Games

Hope these help you in your pursuit of great studies of the Beijing Olympics and Olympics in general, with your lapbooks, notebooking and or units.

Debbie Phillips

Monday, August 4, 2008

Great Idea from a friend's site

Here is a link to another ladies blog with a great idea for back to school for this year, especially if you have early elementary school children. I wish I had thought of this when my kids were little and were doing Saxon Math and we had a "Meeting" every morning to review some basic facts before doing the workpage for the the day. It is similar to a mini office but much more interactive... I just love it.

If you use Saxon Math this is a great idea... if you don't use Saxon this is a great idea!!!

The Geography stuff on the back is great too!!!

I ALMOST wish I had little ones to do this with... guess I will have to wait for future grandkids... someday!

Here is the site...


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Back to School Blast


I just got an email from my friend, Cindy Rushton. She is "pumped" about her upcoming Back to School Blast. I am pumped too! I have been listening to a few preview chats and this is going to be a great weekend. Do you need encouragement for the new school year? Could you use some new ideas to make this year the best ever? There will be lots of topics discussed this coming week
end and you can be a part of it. Listen live (and/or download the audios later... not as much fun but great to listen to over and over) and ask your questions to the speakers and to the other ladies online... a great time of fellowship... usually over a hundred ladies chatting (through text... like IMing). It is like a great big online party you won't want to miss!!! So read on...

Cindy is so "pumped" that she has just shared a sneak peek into the new Back to School Blast Membership Site. You see one of the neat things about the Back to School Blast is that e
verything is ONLINE. Cindy builds a private, exclusive Membership Site that includes everything from the BTSB in one place--it has audios (from all of the sessions and from the bonus gifts that her speakers give to us), ebooks, complete unit study guides, articles, printable notebooking pages, cookbooks, on and on. I can't believe all of the things that we receive for only $29.95. It is truly amazing!

Anyway, back to the reason that I am sharing with you...

Cindy just sent me permission to give you a sampler of one of her free gifts that is included on the Membership Site. I am so excited to give it to you! It is a audio and ebook set that she actually sells on her website, but she is giving away on the Membership Site. Here is the link:

Let’s Make a History Timeline Notebook Set

Ready for a fun and easy way to give your children a flow of history while introducing them to great people? Need a little help in pulling together your history studies? Ready to teach History The EASY WAY??? Join Cindy as she shares some great tips for the basics of teaching History The EASY WAY while showing you how to make your own history timeline notebooks! Cindy will show you how to set up a basic timeline notebook while you try your hand setting up YOUR OWN pages! Cindy will give you some cute ideas for making your own timeline figures by using the resources that you have already. This workshop goes beyond being a make-it-take-it workshop to also include very practical how-to’s and ideas that are sure to help you make history lessons doable AND easy! If you are needing a bit of help for planning your lessons, breathing more life into your studies, or just knowing how to document what your children are learning, this is an ebook you won’t want to miss! Plus! It is FREE!

Download Here:

Isn't that FUN?

You know the saying that a picture captures a thousand words,well...what about a a gift like this??? And, just think...this is only ONE of the awesome gifts included on the Membership Site. There are many, many more!

Take my word for it, you will WANT a ticket to this event and access to all of the wonderful resources. Also, feel free to leave a comment about my blog... just click on the comment link below
. Remember, since I am an affiliate of Cindy's I get a portion of any sales that come from you clicking on MY link... so please... grab your ticket from the link below and support me.

Grab your ticket here:



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