Product Reviews


Homeschooling Your Young Black Child: A Simple Getting-Started Guide & Workbook {Giveaway}

Disclosure: I received the homeschooling guide and workbook in exchange for this post and giveaway.


“Homeschooling Your Young Black Child: A Simple Getting-Started Guide & Workbook” was created by Rachel Garlinghouse.

The getting-started guide and workbook is “for parents and caregivers who wish to give their children an education that fosters creativity, self-confidence, attachment, and balance.”

What is included?

  • A workbook for parents/caregivers
  • A 12-month homeschooling plan
  • Monthly checklist
  • Extensive resources list featuring Black musicians, authors, illustrators, and characters
  • Activity and field trip suggestions
  • Tips on setting up the homeschooling space
  • Supply lists
  • Troubleshooting Q & A

About the author:

Rachel Garlinghouse is mothering young, Black children and is the author of four books, including “Black Girls Can: An Empowering Story of Yesterdays and Todays.”  Her experience and education has been featured in many places, including MSNBC, NPR, Huffington Post Live,, Scary Mommy, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, Adoptive Families, The Good Men Project, My Brown Baby, and many more. Rachel is a former college writing teacher turned stay-at-home-mom.

“I wanted my children to be educated on their history and culture as Black people, as well as develop a healthy racial identity.”

If you would like to connect with Rachel and learn more about her adventures you can follow her on Twitter @whitebrownsugar and on Facebook.

You can also visit her blog at White Sugar Brown Sugar. “The sweet life of our transracial, adoptive family.”

****WIN IT****

enter to win

In celebration of this resource, we are giving away one copy of “Homeschooling Your Young Black Child: A Simple Getting-Started Guide & Workbook.”

Just fill out the form below, leave a comment, and complete other entries to build-up points by September 9th.

One winner will be picked randomly after the giveaway has ended. If you are the winner, you will have 2 business days to respond or another winner will be randomly chosen.

Homeschooling Your Young Black Child: A Simple Getting-Started Guide & Workbook {Giveaway}

If you are interested in purchasing one right away, you can do so on Amazon.


Fellowes Saturn 3i 95 Laminator {Review & Giveaway}

Disclosure: I received a Fellowes Saturn 3i 95 Laminator for the purpose of this review.  All opinions expressed here are honest and my own.


As a parent, you may be searching for more ways to get organized – including keeping tabs on important documents such as: transcripts, certificates, memories, or maybe a portfolio for your homeschool student.  With all of the papers adding up, how many times have you wished that a laminator sat on top of one of your shelves or desks just to achieve this task? Is there one that can actually do that without taking up a ton of space?

I recently received a small office laminator, the Saturn 3i 95 (colors silver and black) by Fellowes. Upon pulling it out of the box, you can most definitely tell that it’s a space saver.  It’s also light weight!

That’s right, it’s not a bulky laminator and can laminate more than you think.  I also received a package of Fellowes Laminating Pouches to complete my laminating tasks. They are water resistant, can enhance colors, and are easy to wipe clean.

As soon as the laminator arrived, I was so excited to get started and give the Saturn 3i 95 a try. Let’s just say I was like a kid in the candy store.

Is the Saturn 3i 95 easy to use?  In one word, yes! 🙂

How to Set Up the Laminator

Just find a stable surface for the laminator. Make sure that there is enough space behind the machine to allow the items you want to laminate to pass through without any issues. Plug the machine into an easy electrical outlet and you are good to go.

How to Use the Saturn 3i 95 Laminator

Turn on the laminator.  There is a power button on the back of the machine.  As soon as it is turned on, all of the buttons on the front of the machine will flash.  This is to show it’s working properly.

There are different settings to choose from 3mil to 5mil default hot settings. For cold setting, press the snowflake button to cool the laminator for self-adhesive laminating.

How do you know when the laminator is ready to use? You will hear a beeping sound.

Pull out one laminating pouch and place document into the open side of the pouch. Line the document against the edge of the laminator. Be sure to use appropriate sized pouch for the document you want to laminate. Place the sealed edge of the pouch into the laminator first. It will slowly move into the laminator and upon exit may be hot or soft. The machine does have a red release lever (on the back of the machine) when it comes to the end of laminating task, or if you encounter any issues.

The first document I laminated (after doing a test run with a piece of paper, highly recommended), was my daughter’s baptism certificate.  It turned out beautifully.  Since then, I have laminated a variety of documents that I have been aching to laminate, including my husband’s I.D. cards for work, etc. He’s loving the machine as well.

Here are some photo images of my laminating experience:




The Saturn 3i 95 is definitely my new favorite small office machine. The best thing about the laminator is that when it’s performing a job, it’s quiet. There is no noise to worry. In fact, it’s so quiet I had to check to see if it was working properly when indeed it was.

I highly recommend this product for all families. The Saturn 3i 95 small office laminator is valued at $169.99. Some retailers may offer it at a discounted price.  You can purchase this product from these retailers:

Online Retailers

  • Office Depot
  • Quill
  • Buy Online Now
  • Office Super Savers
  • Walmart

Buy From Retailer

  • Staples

You can also buy from a retailer near you.

Fellowes offers a free laminating resource center where you can download fun templates. Simply visit, for educational worksheets, flashcards, and planners.

You can stay up to date with Fellowes office products by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

****WIN IT****

enter to win

Are you ready to get a laminator of your own?

In celebration of this review, one laminator will be given away {for free} right here on Modern Homeschool Family.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form, leave a comment and complete other entries to build-up points by August 5th.

One winner will be picked randomly after the giveaway has ended. If you are the winner, you will have 2 business days to respond or another winner will be randomly chosen.

If you are interested in purchasing one right away, visit

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PEANUT BUTTER PRINCIPLES – 47 Leadership Lessons Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids

PEANUT BUTTER PRINCIPLESIn Peanut Butter Principles: 47 Leadership Lessons Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids, Eric Franklin has assembled a wealth of wisdom he learned from his parents, extended family and other influencers that has stuck with him — like peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth! 🙂

Franklin’s simple concepts can prove to have lasting power to develop young leaders, including:

  • “Be thankful you don’t get everything you ask for.”
  • “The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.”
  • “Your accomplishments should speak for themselves. Don’t interrupt.”
  • “If you don’t make your own decision, someone else will make it for you.”
  • “Count your blessings, not your problems.”

Let’s read the reviews:

“Peanut Butter Principles” by Eric Franklin is a very insightful and encouraging book. Mr. Franklin touches on some very good points on how to encourage children and others to reach their full potential. As the author points out, our journey to reach our full potential and to make our lives a success is not easy, but with hard work and perseverance it is possible. Mr. Franklin speaks about how to build up the child’s self esteem when helping them. He mentions that they should think for themselves as opposed to giving the child the answers or completing a task for them. Mr. Franklin tells us the importance of persevering in our endeavors and not giving up so easily.”

“Eric Franklin has opened my eyes to the power of leadership lessons. As a father of three and a businessman, it’s hard to find books that apply to both aspects of my life. Peanut Butter Principles does that and more. The 47 leadership lessons will teach you basic human truths: take responsibility for yourself, what a goal truly is, wisdom for your journey, and many more. When we apply the principles in this book, we don’t just change our lives, we change the lives of the people we love and have influence over.”

Eric Franklin’s Peanut Butter Principles is simply outstanding! With its succinct focus, process-oriented style, and easily applicable lessons, I highly recommend this book for ANYONE who has ever been, is being, and will ever be a parent and/or guardian. Furthermore, I STRONGLY recommend this as required reading for a yearlong PLC (Professional Learning Community discussion in any K-12 and post-secondary environment. Assistant Principals, Principals, Curriculum Facilitators, Professional Development Coaches, Superintendents etc., use this book with your staff!!!!!! My husband serves as a high school assistant principal, and I am a former high school principal and current college instructor. Given our careers, coupled with our honorable title as parents of children at various stages of their lives, I am eternally grateful for the captivating wealth of information Mr. Franklin has chosen to share with the world through these easily relatable, and candid messages that some parents may not have even been aware – including us!! What makes the reading even more relatable is the homage Mr. Franklin pays to both his parents and his own family. He takes pages out of his own playbook!!! You won’t regret this reference tool!!!”

Purchase your book here: Peanut Butter Principles: 47 Leadership Lessons Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids

For more information, visit


Fellowes Laminator Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a Fellowes Saturn 2 95 Laminator for the purpose of this review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.


Do you remember that giddy feeling you had as a child when you received that one special birthday or Christmas gift?  You know, the one that you were really, really, really, really, hoping you would get?  And then, after you did have it, you couldn’t stop looking at it.  You treated it like it was the most special thing EVER.

That’s exactly how I felt when I received the Fellowes Saturn 2 95 Laminator to review.  For years, I dreamed–no longed for, a laminator.  So many missed opportunities to take pieces of paper, coat them in plastic and have them last forever!  I cannot count how many things I “fake-laminated” with clear packaging tape in my homeschool and as a Girl Scout leader–and how frustrating it was trying to align the tape just perfectly.  (not to mention how many papers I ruined trying to do it this way)

The Fellowes Saturn 2 95 Laminator does not disappoint.  It’s ridiculously easy to use.  Just plug it in, give it time to warm up (about 5 minutes) slip your object of desire into the laminating pouch and insert it into the laminator opening.  The machine does the rest.  This is so much easier than trying to cover things in tape or trying to position the paper “just right” in the self-adhesive sheets (yes, more ruined papers!).

That’s it.  I realize that this is a product review and should be lengthy and detailed but really, the Fellowes Saturn 2 95 Laminator is so easy to use there isn’t much more to say!  Plug it in, warm it up, laminate stuff.  Done.

There are some really nice features to this machine, though.  I love that the surface remains cool to the touch.  Truly cool to the touch.  During my laminating-sessions-of-goodness I moved the laminator around (it’s very light weight too!) while it was in “ready mode” without any discomfort.  This model can accommodate self-sealing pouches in it’s coolest mode and 3 mil and 5 mil in it’s warmest modes.

There are so many, many, uses for a laminating machine!  If you are part of a homeschool co-op group, getting one of these is a complete no-brainer.  You can make long-lasting staff or faculty identification badges, room signs that will actually last for the entire school year (and beyond!), student awards and any classroom materials that you may want to reuse.

Here are a few more useful laminating ideas:


Make your own Homeschool Student ID cards


Help extend the life span your File Folder Games


Create reusable Chore Charts


Make your child’s reference papers, like maps, last longer


Preserve that family recipe your great grandmother sent to your mother in 1976, so your kids will have the official “this recipe came from your great-great grandmother” recipe


Or anything you’d want to not get messed up in the kitchen, such as this handy-dandy conversion chart


And, of course, any special creations made by your favorite 6 year olds!

(If you’re the creative type, check out these Erasable Funny Faces)

****WIN IT****

So, aren’t you just dyyyyiiinnnng for one of these now?  Lucky you, we’re going to give away one for FREE right here!   Just leave a comment telling me what you would laminate (nothing that’s actually alive, please) and complete the Rafflecopter form below by October 23, 2014 (you’ll get extra entries for sharing on your favorite social media channels too! – rack ’em up folks).  We’ll pick a random winner shortly thereafter.  If you are that said random winner remember to respond within 2 business days; otherwise; I’ll be picking a different random winner.

If you want to absolutely guarantee that you’ll get one of these smart machines, you can find one on Amazon for right around $75;  a very small investment for something that you will get so much use out of.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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