Category Archives: Newsletter

Gone Fishing…

Uncle Salty is retired and spends a lot of time on and around the water. He goes fishing every chance he gets. He loves his wife and he is the proud dad to 3 children and granddad to 4 beautiful grandchildren. You can write to Uncle Salty at

It’s amazing what can happen while you are enjoying a nice day on the water fishing. The main thing to focus on is to have fun and spend quality time outdoors. Children automatically relax, open up, and ask questions and, we get to listen and learn what they are feeling and thinking. If you are the lucky parent or grandparent, uncle, or aunt you may just have opened the window to their soul.

I still think that the best reason to go fishing with children is to make memories. Memories are made away from electronic devices, computers, and television.

There are lots of things to learn about while you pass the time waiting for the big one to bite.

Top on your list may be to promote sharing and taking turns as well as patience since you’ll likely be the one baiting the hook and there is only one of you. Listening to the nature sounds and quietness (shhh, don’t scare the fish away!) may be next.

Some of the best safety education opportunities come up naturally when you go fishing. Water safety, sunburn protection, insects, snakes, and animals, poison ivy and oak. Let’s not forget about being safe around sharp things (fishhooks, etc.). If you are on a boat instead of the bank of the lake, then boating safety.

Protecting our natural resources, conservation, litter prevention and recycling are some other discussions that tend to come up almost automatically when we take our children fishing. It’s important for children to understand how their parents and grandparents feel about issues that affect our surroundings and our environment so that as they grow, they can develop a well-rounded opinion on these subjects as they come up in social situations.

Put that fishing outing on your calendar and repeat it often. Everyone will have a great time and experience a priceless learning opportunity. They can go back home and draw pictures, write fishing stories and tell stories about the big one that got away (ha, ha).

Yes, it is more work if you use live bait but it’s worth it. It is awesome to see a child catch his or her first fish. Have fun and keep your bait wet!

Uncle Salty

Merry Christmas!

We at EverBright Learning wish you and your family
Christmas blessings and a prosperous New Year.

We’ll return to you on January 10 with more educational and inspirational content
to assist you through your homeschooling journey.

Holiday Traditions Increase Excitement & Give Security

Monica Irvine
Founder and President
of The Etiquette Factory,
a unique 3-phase etiquette learning system designed to change the world, one child at a time.

Yay!! The holidays are upon us and once again, we have opportunities to add a little joy to the life of others. Surely, that’s the spirit of the holidays and surely, that is something we can all get excited about. I realize that the holidays can bring sadness to so many people as they remember loved ones who are no longer with them and for some, the holidays bring the reality of loneliness or isolation. That is why it is so important that each of us take some time to ponder what we and our family can do to bring the light of Christ to others this season.

Holiday traditions are something that is so rewarding to both young and old. First of all, it’s never too late to start a tradition. When I meet people around the holidays, I always ask them, “Tell me about your holiday traditions” and people just light up when they talk about activities that their family did every year. It’s so special to have such memories and to have things that are unique to your family. May I suggest that this year, you take the time to consider if you have some traditions that bless others and if not, consider creating a new family tradition. May I share with you a list of some fun traditions that my family does:

  • Each year we go to the store and allow everyone in the family to buy a new Christmas ornament, even mom and dad. Make sure you write everyone’s name on their ornament. It is so joyful to open the Christmas ornament box each year and be reunited with our special ornaments. And, when our children marry, they can take their ornaments and memories to their own tree.
  • Each year we adopt a family for Christmas. Sometimes, if money is tight or a family is really large, we invite 1 or 2 other families to join us so it’s not too much of a financial burden. Then, we meet on Christmas Eve (or the night before) and stack the presents up on the family’s doorstep, knock and run. Boy have we had some fun doing this over the years.
  • Each year, my girl cousins and aunts (and grandmother when she was living), meet starting in October and begin making our traditional Christmas cookies. We make one kind each get-together and then everyone goes home with one tin of cookies. By the time Christmas rolls around, we each have 5-7 tins of our favorite Christmas cookies to give to friends and eat ourselves. This tradition has been such an important way for us to stay connected to each other and we all feel like our grandmother is proud that we have carried this tradition forward.

What are your family traditions? We would all love to read and gain ideas of special traditions that we could incorporate into our family. Please share in the comments below.

Merry Christmas! May the light of Christ penetrate your home and your heart throughout this special month. May we bring this light to as many as we can. May we remember the elderly, the lonely, the down trodden. May we share of ourselves in every way.

RV Christmas

You can find out more about Todd, Debbie, his eight children, their RV, and ministry at

Hey Christmas Travelers,

It’s chilly out there! Which can only mean Christmas is right around the corner. Shhh… my wife starts to freak out when someone says that. She has a ton of responsibility to make it all happen. I on the other hand… get to have fun the whole month.

It’s all just so Christmassy. My Christmas mindset has been formed by all the holiday specials that I’ve watched over the last five decades. It all started with Rudolph, Charlie Brown, The Little Drummer Boy, the Walton’s-The Homecoming, and Frosty.

Of course the Christmas classic that kicks off the season is Miracle on 34th Street… the old one… with Natalie Wood as the little girl who learns to believe. The cool thing about the movie is that it involved real places… places you can visit… and I like that.

I’ve never been to the actual house that little Natalie gets in the end, but you can visit the home used in the movie.

I have been to other Christmas movie homes. I visited Ralphie’s home in A Christmas Story (“You’ll shoot your eye out”). It’s in Cleveland, and it has a cool little museum attached. Just north of Chicago I visited Kevin McAllister’s home in the Christmas classic Home Alone. And I’ve even visited Lucy’s apartment in the couples’ chick flick While You Were Sleeping (also in Chicago).

There’s just something fascinating to me about seeing the actual places in the movies. That’s why I’ve made a special effort to see the Banks’ House in Father of the Bride (Pascedena, CA), The Brady Bunch House (In Los Angeles), and even the parking lot where Marty McFly blasted into the future.

Did I mention I grew up in the town where part of Hoosiers was filmed?

The cool thing is that you can find the address to about any favorite movie location you can think of on the Internet. So if you want a fun little side trip, Google your favorite Christmas movie (or any movie for that fact). You just might be surprised that it’s not far from you.

I still have a few Christmas movie spots on my bucket list: Duncan’s Toy Store from Home Alone (Chicago) and Ernest’s gaudily decorated home in Ernest Saves Christmas (Orlando).

Swing wide and keep your eye on Christmas!


PS – Even if you don’t visit your favorite movie spot, you can use Google street view to see it up close.

Rosemary Satchels and Poinsettia Transplants

Award-winning author D.S. Venetta lives in Central Florida with her husband and two children. It was volunteering in her children’s Montessori school garden that gave rise to her new series Wild Tales & Garden Thrills, stories bursting with the real-life experiences of young gardeners. Children see the world from a totally different perspective than adults and Venetta knows their adventures will surely inspire a new generation to get outside, and get digging.

The holidays are in full swing and for gardeners like me, it’s time to head indoors for the comfort of family, friends, hot cocoa, and home-cooked meals. And while I long to be in my garden, heading inside doesn’t mean I have to tuck my green thumb in and hide it away. On the contrary. Have you seen the gorgeous Christmas cacti cascading from the shelves of your local garden center? How about the Christmas tree-shaped rosemary plants? And of course, the abundance of poinsettia and chrysanthemum.

Why, come December my home is transformed into a veritable greenhouse! While my children prefer to focus on the Christmas evergreen that sits prominently in our living room, I indulge in the aromatic leaves of the rosemary plant. Did you know that rosemary provides a quick mental boost and decreases anxiety? It’s the perfect reprieve from my hectic holiday pace.

And a great way to distract my kids. Why stop at indulging in the aromatic leaves when you can clip them and create a wonderfully scented gift satchel? Kids love crafts and this one requires little more than a square swatch of fabric, scissors, and a decorative ribbon. Simply remove the leaves from several rosemary branches and place them in the center of the material. Pull the corners up and draw the fabric together, forming a round of leaves. Tie the bag tightly closed with the ribbon so that no leaves can escape. These are perfect for kitchen and bathroom drawers, even your coat pocket! You can oven dry the leaves prior to use by placing them on a cookie sheet and “bake” at 200° for 2-3 hours. Alternatives include lavender, lemon balm and mint.

Once January rolls around, if you live in a warm climate, you can put those poinsettia in the ground and enjoy year-round. For them to thrive, you’ll need a general fertilizer, indirect light, consistent moisture, and protection from freezing temperatures (a fabric cover will suffice). Even Northerners can enjoy them as potted plants indoors. Come October, give them 12-14 hours of darkness and 6-8 hours of bright light for 8-10 weeks. Nighttime temperatures must be between 65-70F and the plant will be blooming like new!

This year, unleash your green thumb and extend your garden into the holidays and beyond.

Practical Money Skills Entrepreneurship Teaches – 12 More Reasons Why!

Financial literacy is so much more than simply knowing how to manage, spend, and protect the money you earn. It’s having the confidence and ability to know how to create income, too. Entrepreneurial education not only teaches how to create an income, but all the skills that involve managing that income, too! Encouraging your child/teen… Read More

Having Fun with Phonics!

The best way to teach your child to read is by teaching them phonics and phonological awareness. Here are 10 fun games to get you started that you can play over the holidays. I Spy Understanding that words are made up of individual sounds is a very important pre-reading skill. The traditional game, I Spy,… Read More

To Be Polite… Is it Really that Hard?

I think the best way to help ourselves and our children to be more polite, is to look at the heart of manners. Manners (being polite) are about helping those around us to feel valued and comfortable. If our objective in life is to walk as the Savior walked and to love as the Savior… Read More

Picking the Right RV – Part 1

Hey Aspiring RVers, I’m in the midst of my second RV renovation on the same RV. The first reno was eight years ago when I brought it home after buying it sight unseen on eBay (1,000 miles away). Man, that was a red letter day. I was so pumped and excited as I pulled into… Read More

Finish Well…

Many parents instinctively feel responsible for their children’s education, their spiritual state, their moral value and how they view life. They desire their children to grow into functioning husbands, wives, parents, citizens, employees and friends. They want them to love learning and continue to learn throughout life because they’re curious, not to pass a test.… Read More