Monday, October 7, 2013

The Homemaker’s Mentor (A Rich Review and Giveaway)




One of the perks of being a blogging homeschooler is being able to review wonderful home and schooling products that we can use here in our home.  Recently, I was invited to do just that as a part of the Bow of Bronze launch team for The Homemaker’s Mentor Library CD.  In exchange for an honest review, I was given an advance copy of the CD, which, essentially, is a huge library of hands-on homemaking lessons and tutorials.


What a delight it was to dive into this practical homekeeping library  of 110+ tutorials, recipe pages, ebooks and resources, especially since I am admittedly a mom with homekeeping deficits. 

Okay, true confessions honesty check. 

It was both a delight and a deluge. 

Just Some of the Books Included
With so many tutorials, resources and recipes. when I first dove into the Homemaker’s Mentor, I – a challenged homemaker – was admittedly overwhelmed.  There was just so much there! 

However, once I navigated my way through the table of contents and previewed each section of the library, I realized there was no need for overwhelm.  The Homemaker’s Mentor would be easy enough for me to categorize into portions that might be useful to me and mine now, what could be useful later and what would simply be good to know I had at hand should the need for it ever arise.  And, so, it was, I continued to dive in.

Now, I invite you to take a moment to dive into a review of my first impressions of the Homemaker’s Mentor, followed by opportunities to enter to win a free copy of the collection, as well as to enter a Mega Giveaway, which includes the Homemaker’s Mentor and more, and is valued at $400.

A Review of The Homemaker’s Mentor

* * * * ¾’s

A * READABILITY

Each section of The Homemaker’s Mentor is formatted in a clean, clear style and contains easy-to-follow tutorials, recipes, ideas and inspiration as you can see in the free downloadable sampler you can find in the middle of this page.  Some pages have photos.  Some have vintage graphics and borders.  Some have both.  All are easy to read and learn from, even the truly vintage ones that come in the bonus materials, which the kids and I consulted for their button sewing lesson the other day.  

Vintage Inspiration for Our Button Sewing Lesson

A * RELEVENCE

In the first Rich Review I ever wrote, I set out criteria for how materials might earn stars.  For “relevance”, that criteria was, “Does the book provide information and ideas I can use right now, or in the relatively near future?  It gets one star if I find myself thinking ‘Do now,’ ‘Think about soon,’ or ‘Ah-ha! That’s it!’ while reading a portion of it.  That said, The Homemaker’s Mentor certainly earns a star.

“Do nows” included the aforementioned button sewing and also our latest bedtime read aloud for the kids, Mary Frances’ Adventures Among the Doll People, which inspired the kids’ own do now – making their own doll house and furniture!

Nina and Luke's free time one day was spent making self-designed tables, rugs and cups for a doll house inspired by Homemaker's Mentor Bonus materials.

Among the items from the resource on my “Think About Soon” list are the oil lamps – which I wish I had noticed before St. Jerome’s feast day passed since they would have tied in wonderfully with the storybook we read each year on that day – and the pages about embroidery.  (My children have recently showed an interest in embroidery and in order to mentor them, I need someone to mentor me.  Enter this resource!  Yeah!)

A * PRACTICALITY

The Homemaker’s Mentor is all about practicality – timeless practicality that speaks to modern times with a vintage flair. 

As a someone with homekeeping deficits, I appreciate that the library focuses on encouraging skills that I have not mastered, yet want my children to develop young so that they never become struggling homekeepers like I am.  I am certain that lessons from the collection will both inspire and equip me to be both teacher of – and co-learner with – my children in all facets of homekeeping.

Nina's second attempt at button sewing (right) shows improvement over her first (left) with just one lesson.

A * LONGEVITY

Because the Homemaker’s Mentor includes over 110 recipes, tutorials, etc. I have yet to dive fully into the whole thing.  For that reason alone, I know I will be accessing the resource for quite a while to come.  With how-to’s, reminders and tips on everything from gardening to canning to sewing to embroidering to cooking to cleaning and more, this resource will stand the test of time.  It may well become our family’s go-to source for all those home ec. sort of skills that I somehow missed mastering while I was growing up, yet value as timeless, important and, perhaps one day even enjoyable, skills to explore now that I am a parent.

Inspired by his homemaking lesson, Luke has decided he wants to add more buttons around the first he sewed to make a "button quilt" for dolls.

A ¾ * VALUE

At $47 ($37, plus free shipping through October 18th) for 110+ lessons, tutorials, recipe pages, e-books and resources to inspire and encourage homemakers of all ages, the Homemaker’s Mentor is a solid value  However, for families like mine, some of those pages may not be worthwhile.  Why?  The Homemaker’s Mentor contains page after page of traditional mouth-watering recipes that are anything but GFCF. 

I know that many readers here at Training Happy Hearts have special diets like we do.  As such, I want to be honest:  many of the recipes in the Homemaker’s Mentor will not be read-and-go for you.  In order to test many of the recipes out, while still honoring our family food goals, I will need to tweak them.  That said, there are plenty of other useful pages of non-recipe information (and even some useful recipe pages) that anyone can benefit from.  So, I am subtracting a ¼ star in consideration of my special diet readers, but do so with the caveat that I’d give it a full star outside of this.

Want Your Own Copy?
o      Order your copy of the Homemaker’s Mentor for $10 off through October 18 through this page.

o      Or, enter to win one of the two copies that the Erskine’s have generously offered for me to giveaway by using the Rafflecopter entry form below.  (CD's will be sent to US addresses only.)

o      And, enter to win the Mega Giveaway, valued at over $400, here.
 
Included in the Mega Giveaway
o      You can also check out other reviews and impressions of the Homemaker’s Mentor – along with their additional giveaway opportunities – through the Bow of Bronze Launch page link-up.

Whether you win one of the free copies the Erskine’s are generously offering as giveaways or purchase a copy of the Homemaker’s Mentor, I think you’ll discover many ways to sharpen your homekeeping skills and enjoy making your home a clean, comfortable, hospitable place.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

8 comments:

Annemarie said...

I struggle with letting the kids help and be imperfect. I have to work super hard to let them help and be happy with whatever job they do

Annemarie said...

I struggle with letting the children help and not nt picking the things they do. I need to work on being joyful they helped instead of critical

Lisa said...

This looks like a great resource! My greatest joy is seeing one of the children "get it"; that lightbulb moment of how or why something is done and the pride that comes to the child when he/she masters it. My sorrow comes when, through lack of time or planning or just through my own selfishness I neglect to teach my children the skills they need to master.

Amy B said...

I love your sons idea for a button quilt! Plus, sewing buttons is so good for fine motor skills! (Shhhh. Don't tell.)

SharonUF said...

My biggest challenge in letting the kids help and in teaching them how to do things is my patience. I usually just want to do it the quickest, most efficient way, so sometimes it is SO hard to wait on little kids to do what I can do quickly.

Dalynn McCoy said...

I agree completely with your thoughts here. It's a great resource, for me and for me to teach my children. It's all you say it is, for certain! You've compiled a fantastic review. Thank you very much! Be blessed!

Anonymous said...

How willing my two boys are to learn to wash clothes, cook, feed and water the chickens, sew and garden! They love learning the real world work us adults do everyday. I like to know that they are more selfseficiant.

martianne said...

The giveaway has ended, but the intro sale has been extended through the end of the month. Check it out at https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?i=HMM-CD&c=single&cl=24968

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