Saturday, September 29, 2012

Making Money With It Works!

It Works! Only sells its products through licensed distributors. The licensing fee is annual and there are no minimum monthly requirements in order to buy and resell the products.  To sign up and start earning money while getting healthier, go to

Two options to becoming licensed:

Independent Consultant Distributor - $99*
  • Licensed as a distributor for one year (you can buy/resell products, and earn commission off of regular “Loyal” customers and distributors that are under you) - $35 value
  • You receive a kit of business materials
  • You receive a pack of four wraps - $99 retail value
  • You are automatically qualified for your first month to earn commissions off of customer orders and distributors under you (separate from individual wrap sales) without having to have a personal autoship or a minimum sale volume
  • First month FREE online website and eSuite (online business managing site) - $20 value

    Note: this is the better option for individuals who want their own It Works! Business.

 *Kit normally is $199. The $99 discount price has been indefinitely extended by the company (woo-hoo!), but this could always change and go back to the $199 price.

What You Will Spend
  • Initial distributor licensing fee (your "Business Builder Kit"), renewable for $35 annually.
  • Cost of your first auto ship (so you qualify for the $120 product credit) --usually around $100 (most people buy what they're going to resell at their parties each month); you can cancel your auto ship after your first month and STILL receive your commissions if your sale volume is $200 or more.
  • Monthly website/online business program -$20 (optional, but VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED).
  • Any additional marketing you want to do; wholesale cost of any products you want to resell individually.

How You Will Earn Money
  • Individual wrap sales; both the Ultimate Body Applicator and Facial Applicators can be sold individually to people on a one-on-one basis, through “wrap parties”, as a service at your Salon/Spa, as a menu item for your chiropractor practice or gym business, etc..
  • Retail Customer Commissions; 10-15% on retail customer orders that are placed directly through your website or called in with reference to your distributor ID number.
  • Loyal Customer Commissions; 10-15% on all of the Loyal Customer (regular autoship program) orders that are placed directly through your website or called in with reference to your distributor ID number.
  • Downline Commissions; on all of your downline distributors, customers, and your distributor’s distributors/customers, so on and so forth infinitely, you will earn a percent of commission (percentage dependent upon your distributor ranking title).
  • Fast Start Bonuses; $99 cash bonus for each qualifying distributor you sign up; this will increase throughout your downline (not just those you signed up personally) once you reach “Diamond” ranking title.
  • Wrap Rewards; ability to buy one pack of 4 wraps for $25 total for each two Loyal Customers you sign up.
  • $120 Product Credit; when you sign up two Loyal Customers and have your personal authoship order set up/sent in your first 30 days, you will receive a $120 product credit.
  • $600 Monthly Bonus; once you have 60 Loyal Customers directly under you with a minimum monthly sales volume, you will receive a $600 monthly cash bonus. (Beach money! Car bonus! You can use it on ANYTHING!) :-)
  • “Get Out Of Debt Bonus”; Called the “G.O.O.D. Bonus,” this is a $10,000 cash bonus paid out over 25 consecutive months. To qualify, you must sign up as a distributor and achieve Diamond ranking title within any of the timelines that the company opens the GOOD Bonus for (basically, all the time).

How To Get Started For (almost) Free
  1. Take pre-orders for the 4 wraps that are going to come in your kit. Charge $25/wrap, and once you have collected the $100, order your kit (will be around $114 with shipping).
  2. Sell the four wraps that will come in your kit at your launch party instead of using them yourself, then you will have your $100 back in cash to reinvest into your business.

Get Started NOW!

Friday, September 28, 2012

DIY Montessori 3-6 Materials

It would be lovely to buy an entire Montessori classroom with complete materials, manipulatives, and printables all ready to go. In fact, that would rock my world! The "real life" part of this though, is that it's completely unaffordable for me to buy everything I'd like to for my daughter's schooling. The GREAT news, is that there are MANY Montessori 3-6 materials that can be crafted DIY style.

Before you begin, keep in mind the key principles to preparing Montessori Materials: Isolation of Quality and Control of Error (thanks, Living Montessori Now!).

In case you are able to purchase some of the materials, make sure you get the best deal! Montessori Album has:

  • Price comparison for Fabric Boxes
  • Price comparison for The Movable Alphabet
  • Price comparison for Metal Insets and related supplies
  • Price comparison for Sandpaper Letters

  • For everyone wanting to save some money and get crafty, though, here are links to get you started!

    More DIY Instructions from Living Montessori Now:

    DIY Practical Life Materials

    DIY Dressing Frames and Alternatives
    Montessori-Inspired Activities for Care of Self
    Practical Life Activities Posts

    DIY Sensorial Materials

    DIY Color Tablets
    DIY Geometric Shapes
    Inexpensive and DIY Geometric Solids and Extensions
    Sensorial Size Extensions
    DIY Sound Cylinders
    DIY Smelling Bottles
    DIY Tactile Boards and Extensions

    DIY Language Materials

    Learning to Read Can Be Just a Fun Game
    Inexpensive and DIY Sandpaper Letters
    DIY Alphabet Box
    Inexpensive and DIY Movable Alphabets
    The Montessori Grammar Farm

    DIY Math Materials

    Inexpensive and DIY Sandpaper Numerals
    DIY Number Rods and Alternatives
    DIY Spindle Boxes
    DIY Cards and Counters
    DIY Bead Bars
    DIY Golden Bead Materials

    DIY Cultural Materials

    Peace Education Activities
    Montessori-Inspired Art Appreciation
    Montessori-Inspired Music Appreciation

    DIY Geography Materials
    DIY Montessori Globes
    Continent Map Work
    Easy DIY Land and Water Forms
    Montessori-Inspired Fun with Land and Water Forms
    DIY Pin Maps
    Montessori Continent Boxes
    DIY Cosmic Nesting Boxes, Map Towers, and “Me on the Map” Activities

    Montessori-Based Religious Education Materials
    Fitting Montessori-Based Religious Education into Your Home
    How to Add Godly Play to Your Homeschool
    Creative Godly Play at Home – Old Testament
    Creative Godly Play at Home – Parables
    Montessori-Based Lenten Activities
    How to Use Godly Play at Home During Advent

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    Karoo iPhone App: a virtual timeline of your child's day

    As a working parent, we miss a lot of things that we don't want to in our children's lives. Too often, someone else experiences the first step, first word, and the special things during the day like songs, creations, and snuggles. Of course, none of us like this or wanted this, but either by choice or by necessity, we can't always be there.

    When I first went back to work after my first born's birth, I cried. I was told it would get easier, but a year later, I was still crying. I've finally stopped crying--most of the time. I think I've become numb in many ways to having to leave my children in order to provide for our family, but I have never lost the hope, drive, or passion to get myself to a point where I can support our family from home...and be with my kids!

    I was recently told about a great new iPhone App called "Karoo" that, I think, will be a big help to the heart of parents and grandparents (and maybe some Aunts and Uncles!) who can't always "be there." This app allows those who you choose to basically have access to any updates you (or your caregiver) make about your children. The caregiver can post twitter-style notes, photos, videos, etc. throughout the day and the program will arrange it in a timeline fashion so you can access it whenever you are available to. Unfortunately...I don't have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or any other "i" device which would let me use this app! But just in case you do, check it out and feel more connected to your babies!

    Download link:
    Twitter Hashtag: #doyoukaroo

    Friday, September 21, 2012

    Materials List for Montessori 3-6 Homeschool Classroom


    I've been trying to find a list of necessarry materials for my Montessori 3-6 classroom, but it seems as though there is no straightforward list about the matter! Below is my best shot at what materials one needs to have on hand, aside from the printable ones specific for individual lessons.


    _ Triangular Box

    _ Large Hexagonal Box

    _ Small Hexagonal Box

    _ Rectangular Box A

    _ Rectangular Box B

    _ Large Moveable Alphabet

    _ Small Moveable Alphabet

    _ Primary Phonics — Level 1 and 2

    _ Farm set

    _ Stamp Game

    _ Golden Bead Material

    _ Two sets of Number Rods

    _ Colored Bead Material

    _ Short Bead Stair

    _ Addition Snake Game

    _ Subtraction Snake Game

    _ Number Cards

    _ Three sets of Small Number Cards

    _ Large Number Cards

    _ Hundred Board and tiles

    _ Addition Strip Board and colored strips

    _ Addition Charts and tiles

    _ Subtraction Strip Board and colored strips

    _ Subtraction Charts and tiles

    _ Multiplication Charts and tiles

    _ Geometric Figures and Cards

    _ Touch Boards

    _ Touch Fabrics

    _ Color Tablets

    _ Sound Cylinders

    _ Smelling Bottles

    _ Continent globe

    _ Land and Water globe

    _ Flat puzzle map

    _ Land and Water Forms

    _ Calendar

    _ Pink Material

    _ Blue Material

    _ Purple Material

    _ Yellow Material

    _ Grammar symbols, farm label cards

    _ Sound containers

    _ Metal Insets

    _ Sandpaper Letters

    _ Sandpaper Numbers

    _ Teen Boards

    _ Ten Boards

    _ Multiplication Bead Board

    _ Division Bead Board


    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Free Montessori 3-6 Materials (printables, unit studies, and teacher albums)

    The Montessori Print Shop
    This website has over 1,100 PDF printable Montessori materials  ($), plus almost 50 free ones. The free ones cover ever subject area, and are high quality with bright colors and graphics. Once you download what you want, you can check out their Instructions page for information on how to prepare what you have printed!

    Montessori for Everyone
    These aren't separated into what classroom groups they're for, so you will have to sort through to find appropriate materials for the 3-6 group.

    Maitri Learning
    This website has a lot of information and great resources. The free materials, though, are a group of lesson plans combined into one pdf file. It is located at , and includes:
    • Using Vocabulary Cards
    • Using Matching Cards
    • Using Phonetic Reading Cards
    • Using your 3-Part Cards
    • Using Zoology/Natural World Cards
    • Using "Parts Of" Photo Cards
    • Using "Parts Of" Definition Cards
    • Using Foreign Language Cards
    • Using your Math Equations
    Living Montessori Now has rounded up over 100 Montessori Unit Studies on a huge variety of topics from butterflies to Dr. Suess! She includes lots of Holidays as well, and even has a link with instructions on how to create your own unit study.

    Teacher Albums
    A "teacher album" is a group of lessons put together by topic for a specific age group. These are going to save you TONS of time as you prepare lessons plans, and they will also explain how to actually USE all of the manipulatives and ideas you've been hearing about, like the "spindle boxes," "golden beads," and "continent globe"!

     *gasp! You can actually teach this, after all!*

    Culture: from Montessori Teachers Collective; includes Geography, History, Biology, and Science.
    Math: from Montessori Teachers Collective

    Math: 43 activities from Shu-Chen Jenny Yen
    Sensorial-Motor: 35 activities from Shu-Chen Jenny Yen
    Language Development: 39 activities from Shu-Chen Jenny Yen
    Practical Life: 124 activities from Shu-Chen Jenny Yen

    Montessori Albums Printable Materials
    A slew of beautiful, colorful printable materials that include picture matching of famous classic paintings, practical life, language, math (some of which look a little beyond the 3-6 age), social studies, and art (a color wheel).

    and my favorite free Teacher Album resource...Montessori Primary Guide which includes full information about the topic, then details and explanations of every exercise/manipulative/lesson within that topic. In fact, I like this one so much that I'm ending my search for Albums right now! This is a comprehensive guide to Sensorial, Practical Life, Language, Mathematics, and all of the smaller categories that fall under these ones!

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    Free Montessori Teacher Training Materials for 3-6 Classroom

    The Order
    First things first. If you are not sure even where to begin in your Montessori 3-6 homeschooling, download and read this pdf. It quickly and simply outlines the major components of the 3-6 curriculum (Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language and Culture Studies) examples of what fits into those categories.

    Next, print off this free comprehensive objectives list for the 3-6 Montessori student that Maitri put together. It's conveintly put in a 12-page form that provides room to write dates of when that concept is presented to the child.

    Do you want an easy way to see what Montessori materials correspond to the state governed learning standards? Maitri has made a chart to make it easy for you!

    By now, you realize that there are a billion different Montessori tools, lessons, and printables out there. You know that you need to cover certain topics and objects, and THIS is going to give you the order of how you should present the materials/lessons in each category to your child:

    The Sequence of Order For:
    The Theory

    Maitri Learning offers free downloadable mp3's that explain the theory behind:
    • Reading Road Map (overview of the main steps on the road to reading)
    • General guidelines for giving Montessori lessons/presentations
    • Building vocabulary
    • Sorting
    • I Spy
    • matching
    • Phonetic Reading Cards
    • 3-Part Reading Cards
    • Zoology/Natural World Cards
    • Foreign Language cards
    • Definition Cards

    The  Montessori Approach to Education
    This may be your most VALUABLE piece of free information on how to do Montessori at home. This is a series of 30 college lectures entitled "The Montessori Approach to Education," taught by Margaret Homfray, who was a student and colleague of Maria Montessori. Each lesson is approximately 30 minutes in length...which is just under the equivalent of a 3 credit hour college course--for FREE!

    These lectures aren't particularly designed for the homeschool environment, but the information is still relevant, valuable, and necessarry for you to learn! They cover topics such as an introduction, how to introduce a lesson to the 3-6 age range, specific tools such as the knobbless cylinders, color tablets, and sound cylinders, topics such as practical life and walking the line, the "silence lesson", and even how to start your teaching year off.

    Maria Montessori's Own Handbook
    Maria Montessori's Own Handbook. Yes, it's the meat and potatoes, describing each key manipulative and concept right from Maria. There are multiple ways to download this for free, thanks to Project Gutenberg

    The How-To
    eHow has an entire Montessori section with 56 videos that demonstrate and explain a variety of activities/manipulatives that are part of the 3-6 curriculum.

    Many of the Teacher Albums and individual printables that will be featured in the next post will also outline specifics of teaching the Montessori way!

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    Our Jouney Into Montessori

    "Overall, what makes this method of learning so different compared to the conventional form of education we have today, is that the teacher does not stand in front of the class and teach each child the same lesson all at once. Each child is allowed to learn at his own rhythm in a way where he feels as though he is in fact not learning or being taught.
    Montessori called this way of teaching 'preparing the child for success'. The teacher is there to guide the child through small Exercises in which the child will succeed. Through time, the Exercises rise in difficulty but because the progression is so well thought out, the child never feels as though learning is a struggle."
    -Montessori Primary Guide 

    During one of my first semesters of college, I had the brilliant idea of taking an early childhood education class, thinking I'd love to be a teacher...and the thing is, I do love teaching. I have taught music lessons to people of all ages, taught college level psychology and recreation therapy classes (through teacher's assistantships; I'm not a qualified professor! haha), coordinated challenge courses, designed and taught classes for staff of and individuals with disabilities, substitute taught in the public schools...yeah, I love to teach! The thing is, though, I didn't like the education class I took, and thus majored in Psychology and Therapeutic Recreation (and Paramedicine) instead. While I found the early childhood education class to be way too simplistic and I couldn't justify spending money on a series of classes that didn't challenge me, I did take away an amazing experience from that class (aside fom the free pastries and hot cocoa since the location of the class was at a NYS fire academy): I had my first Montessori experience.

    As part of our class, we had to each spend a day at an early childhood center. Everyone else chose places like Head Start or local private daycares. The teacher had recommended Montessori, though, and after reading about that educational model, I knew I couldn't visit anywhere else. I spent the day in the 3-6 classroom and was amazed. It was magical! Everything was to-size for the children. They were engaged. The place was clean. The children were helping and teaching each other. These children were set up for success, not failure, and were being taught real life skills instead of just textbook facts.

    I met with the school administrator during outdoor play time, and then he took me on a tour of the rest of the school. I got to see the Jr. High aged room, where kids had found their own spaces to work on math books--some were at tables, others were sprawled on the floor, and another was tucked into a hideaway that was built into a loft in the classroom. I was told that the P.E. teacher coordinated with the head teachers of this room so that when the kids were learning about Ancient Rome, they were doing Olympic style games in "gym class." Not only was the learning environment engaging and memorable, but it was effective too, as I learned that the scoring of kids in a Montessori program was higher than that of traditional programs.

    It's years later now, and I have a daughter of my own who will be 4-years-old at the end of October. Oh, how I want her to have this magical education! How I want to see her grow and learn, being excited as she masters new concepts! And then...reality hits. How on EARTH can I send her to a Montessori school on a paramedic's salary? How could I even transport her to and from school when I could be gone for two days at a time working? I begrudgingly began to consider alternatives for her for this Fall. Public education, applying for assistance for a private education. Waiting until next year and having my mother home school her with the curriculum she used for me in Kindergarten (which I still clearly remember loving)...but none of these options sit right in my spirit. Being a working mother, or a parent with financial restraints can limit all of us. I have decided though, that my daughter's education isn't one more thing that being a working mom is going to take away from my mothering. Since sending her to a Montessori school isn't an option due to travel and financial concerns, and I just can't accept sending her to a public institution right now (NO judgement on anyone who does that! I am just a little terrified of the germs and what values/behaviors she'll be exposed to! There are LOTS of great places and great teachers, and no one is a "bad" parent for giving their child an education!!!!!!)...and I don't want to wait until next year to get her started in a homeschool Kindergarten program...

    the only option, then...

    is to do Montessori home schooling.

    And thus, my journey begins as I attempt to learn how to do this, aquire the materials necessarry, figure out an educational space while we're all living at my mom's because we are trying to sell our own home, and how I'm going to set it up so that my daughter can still be doing her school even when I'm working.

    Oh yes, I'm excited for this challenge. :)

    Posts begin TOMORROW!

    Friday, September 7, 2012

    The Mom I Wanted To Be

    The mom I wanted to be looked like this: she snuggles her babies in the morning because she can and they love it. She reads books to, does puzzles with, and lets them run through the laundry as she hangs it on the line. I wanted to be the mom who created awesome fun birthday parties (ok, I will give myself that one!), who home schooled her kids, who took them on adventures to learn about the world. I wanted to be the mom who taught her three-year-old piano (come on, I'm a musician after least, I used to be!), who nursed until her baby was 2-years-old, and who baked bread once a week and had homemade meals in the freezer.

    Today, I still want all of those things, and I'm prophesying them over our future, but...right now, I'm seeing the other side. I am up all night not with my babies, but taking care of mainly college-aged students who have made bad choices and people who live in tents or on the street. And the thing is, it makes me realize that it's not the homemade bread, cloth diapering, or home schooling that makes the difference in if our parenting works or not. 

    While I am putting IV's in arms, holding bags for someone to vomit into, and trying to get the truth out of what drugs someone really did or didn't take, I'm in effect, holding someone else's baby at two in the morning. Sometimes, these kids ask me if they should call their parents. And I always say "yes". And most of the time, I'm saddened by the parental responses. Instead of being shocked, outraged, scared, and immediately getting out of their own warm bed to get themselves quickly to the hospital, the parents usually want to talk to me and then they ask me if they should bother coming or not, or if they can just wait to see what the hospital says...while I'm running lights and sirens, and their child has an altered mental status...

    It's not the toddler piano lessons that determined if these kids were going to be risking their lives in college or living on the streets as adults. It's the caring of the parents. Granted, I know that you can be the best parent in the world and your child can still grow up to use drugs. But that's the exception, not the norm. Loving your children is the best thing you can do, and that is what's going to make the difference. You may have to be a working mother. You may not be the one there to see your baby's first steps or hear her first words. You may be too sick or tired to have homemade meals in the freezer. But you know what? It's ok.

    None of us may ever be the stay-at-home-super-moms that we want to be. But that's not what is going to make the difference in the success of our children, and we need to remember that. Are you interested and involved in your childrens' lives? Do you know what's going on, and do you find a way to connect with your child every day that you're home? Do you give them the best that you can give them? If so, then you're doing ok. Remember that next time that you're feeling down. It's probably not going to be your children that I'll be up all night with.

    Love. Care. Pay attention. 

    That is what is going to make you a good mama.

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Tips for Teaching Respect Without Spanking

    Since becoming a "no spanking" family almost a year ago, one of the common questions I receive is about how I am teaching respect to my toddlers if I'm not spanking them. Our approach to teaching respect is  that it is not built on fear, which teaching "respect" through physical pain often does. Those who have never tried a no-spanking method of teaching discipline are often nervous at the thought of attempting to teach respect to young children without spanking, but with these tips, you can have confidence that you are going to do more than you think.

    1) Demand respect for yourself by the way you dress. This means, get dressed every morning. Don't ever wear your pajamas to Wal-Mart, and never allow your children to, either. I'm not saying you need to wear make up and heals, but you do need to be neat and clean. Present the image that you want to be treated as. 

    2) Demand respect for yourself by speaking appropriately. Don't use slang language, curse words, improper grammar, or say things that you don't actually mean. Listen to your children as though everything they say is important, because to them it is. As is age and developmentally appropriate, correct your child to also speak appropriately.

    3) Show respect for authority. Believe me, my 3-year-old knows that I'm not supposed to talk on the cell phone while driving, and she says something when I do! What kind of message am I giving her when I choose to break the law in front of her? If there is a rule, you need to follow it. You can't make exceptions for yourself that you aren't also willing to make for your child.

    4) Be consistent. If you are expecting your children to fold their hands and be quiet while praying one evening, then you need to have that same expectation the next evening.

    5) Show respect to your spouse. Your child will notice if you complain about your husband to your girl friend on the phone. They will notice if you treat your spouse like a child, disregard, or don't appreciate him. And they will certainly notice if you aren't on the same team together when an issue arises! If you want your child to respect his or her parents, then the parents need to show respect to each other.

    6) Build empathy. Use emotion words, such as "sad," "happy," and "scared" when talking about why someone behaves a certain way. Help your child begin to sympathize with others and believe that each person has value by not making unnecessary judging comments about others (focus on the issue, not the person), by taking the time to help others, and by showing that you care about others. A person who empathizes with someone is not disrespectful to that person.

    7) Have consequences. When your child speaks or acts disrespectfully to you, if he or she is young, explain what he did wrong and that he is not to do it again. If the transgression is repeated, I follow it immediately with a time out, and an apology from that child. For an older child, have consequences determined ahead of time, and use those consequences to build empathy towards others and respect for himself and you. This could be taking away privileges, requiring volunteer time somewhere, extra chores, etc..

    8) Build your child up. We're not going for entitlement here, so don't be confused! What you want to convey is a sense of value and respect within your child for herself. A person who feels respected and valued, and who has an intrinsic sense of it will usually not lash out and be disrespectful towards others, because disrespect is often a defense mechanism or stems from a sense of no control.