Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Family, Fun and Homeschooling (An Interview @ Finchnwren)


My dear blogging friend Melanie, from the blog Finchnwren, has begun a new series on her blog this year and it has been so much fun to follow!  

Family, Fun and Homeschooling consists of a series of interviews of homeschooling moms! 

Each Friday you'll meet a new family and take a peek into their world. So many homeschooling styles, families and methods exist. It is wonderful to learn how each family implements schooling into their lifestyle or home! 

Last Friday, her interview featured me. What an honor! Feel free to head over to her blog and read the interview in full. You also can subscribe to her blog and be certain not to miss any of these fun interviews!


Finchnwren: Tell us about your blog.  How did you come up with Thrift Schooling?

Me: When my kids were little, ages three, two and newborn, I would constantly be at home. Someone was always napping or nursing and it was just easier to be at home. With all the demands of taking care of these little ones.... READ MORE AT FINCHNWREN!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Watch IndoctriNation for FREE Online



Just wanted to let you know that Freedom Project Academy is presently showing IndoctriNation for FREE online until August 16th! I saw this film at a homeschool convention a few years back and it was a real eye opener. My husband has been wanting to see it as well but I just haven't gotten around to buying it yet! I'm so excited to see that we can watch it for free this week and I so plan on setting aside a night this week to do just that. If you aren't familiar with this documentary, you can view the trailer below. Enjoy!


 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Back to Homeschool Essentials




 ~ 3 Ways To Save ~





As a thrifty, homeschooling mom I enjoy finding great deals on curriculum at yard sales, used book sales, eBay and sometimes even Goodwill. But lets face it, when you are buying used, there are several problems you can run into. 

- You only find a portion of the material- such as a teacher's manual without the work text
- You find a used workbook, but, it's partially used!
- The manuals or books you find are outdated or an obscure edition

Recently, I was excited to find a used teacher's manual for a specific subject. The problem was that the company's website no longer sells the workbook for this particular manual anymore! Some materials are great to find used, while others are best to go ahead and just purchase new! 


Of course, if I am going to 
purchase new, unused materials 
each year, I still want a discount! 
is a great place to find 
BRAND NEW, UNUSED, DISCOUNTED materials for your homeschool!

Rainbow Resource Center sells TOP NAMES in homeschool curriculum including:


Handwriting Without Tears
BOB JONES
ALPHA OMEGA
ROSETTA STONE
MOVING BEYOND THE PAGE
HANDWRITING WITHOUT TEARS


They offer free shipping on orders over $50 and they have over 50,000 materials to choose from. My suggestion? Do a search on their site first to see if they have the materials you need because most of their materials are discounted from the retail price!

If you want even more of a bargain, you can also scroll through their slightly imperfect books to find books at close to half the price! This section includes a range of items including:

Picture Books
Science Lab Supplies 
Workbooks
Biographies
Music Books
Bible Resources
and so much more.

Rainbow Resource Center also provides thousands of free resources on their site that can be easily incorporated into your homeschool routine. One of my favorites is the lapbook section! These are great for those unit studies that you can do on their own or as a supplement to what your child is already learning. Here is where you can find a links to printables, educational websites, and even flashcards. Since there is so much to choose from, you can simply search by age, subject, type of materials and/or grade. It is an easy way to search their database to find relevant and age appropriate materials for your child.





 Some supplies that homeschoolers go through excessively can easily be found at your local dollar discount store! Why go to an office supply store when you can get basically the same items at such a discounted price? One of the joys of homeschooling is you don't have to fall into the pressure of trying to stay trendy! You don't need to buy a new backpack or wardrobe each year for your children. It may sound silly but I remember the pressure in school to have the coolest clothes, lunch bag, even folders and notebooks sporting the most popular movies or trends! My kids on the other hand aren't too picky and are fine with simply picking out a simple folder in their favorite color! Therefore, dollar stores are a perfect fit!

Local dollar stores are usually seasonal so now is the time to stock up. Even though they have a "teacher's section" year round, there are some items that they will only be selling right now. To save money, you can pick up the following for only a dollar apiece:

4 Count Ballpoint Pens
6 Count Neon Gel Pens
10 Count Colored Pencils
6 Count Mechanical Pencils
1" 3-Ring Binder
2 Colored Folders with Pockets and 3 Prongs
10 Count Manila Folders
2015-2016 Daily Planner
Wooden Clipboard
Full Size Stapler
4 Pack of Glue Sticks





If you have several children, it can be helpful to schedule in educational computer time for each of them. This way, you can focus one-on-one with another child during a more teacher intensive subject. Here is a list of FREE sites that I have incorporated into our daily routine in the past. 

Salsa
Brain Pop Jr.
ABCya
Starfall
Learn with Homer (FREE app- There is a cost for the online version)



Getting ready for the new homeschool year doesn't need to be stressful nor does it need to break the bank! Just remember, there ARE ways to get quality products to be excited about without having to pay the full retail price!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

8 Creation Based Science Curriculum Options


When I walk into my local Museum of Natural History I am greeted by a picture of the infamous Charles Darwin. It makes my heart sink. Yes, I have told my kids about him, his theory of evolution and how it contradicts the Word of God. Please note that it was I that taught them this, not a school system, museum or even a book. In my opinion, they are still very young and do not need to be bombarded with lies when this is the time of life that the truth needs to be instilled in them. Focusing on the truth rather than the lies is a biblical principle. It is also an excellent example of training up a child in the way they should go so that when they are old they won't depart from it! (Proverbs 22:6). 

When it comes to our home and our schooling, it is extremely important that my children are reading and watching creation based materials. Yes, it is hard to find these materials at times, but they are out there! I hope this list is a blessing to those who are looking for good, quality, creation based options like I was.

 Apologia

I love, love, love this curriculum! Clearly from a creationist standpoint, you'll find a variety of learning styles provided in the Apologia Curriculum. In addition to textbook reading, there is dictation, notebooking and plenty of hands-on activities.

 Answers in Genesis 
  
The heart of the Answers in Genesis ministry is to help Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. Using the historical events presented in Genesis such as creation and the flood, AIG equips both young and old with the answers to questions that many skeptics ask! You'll find a wide variety of complete, year-long homeschool options for students of all ages.

Kent Hovind

The teacher who provoked me to have a passion for Creation Science. He teaches in a way that even my children can understand! His lessons are DVD based but you can purchase a  Creation Science Curriculum PDF lesson plan to use along with the videos. Most homeschool resources that you purchase are protected by copyright laws. What I appreciate about this ministry is that he allows you to copy his material as long as you don't sell, edit or change it.

 Eagles Wings

Considering God's Creation is a life science course with a 270-page lap-book style notebook for 2nd-7th graders. It includes plenty of activities, music and topical Bible studies.

 Calvary Curriculum  

Calvary Chapel offers Children's Curriculum  for young learners (3 years old through 6th grade) that can be used in a church, homeschool or outreach setting. Most of their materials are bilingual, written in both English and Spanish.

 Institute for Creation Research 

Institute for Creation Research offers DVDs, books, and other creation-based materials that homeschoolers can use. They have a true heart to see children raised with a biblical understanding of creation and provide parents with ways to see that biblical truths are taught in their science curriculum.


Christian Kids Explore  

Christian Kids Explore is a part of Bright Ideas Press and provides full year science curriculum options from a creationist view. Written by a homeschool mom who wanted a curriculum that all of her kids could enjoy together, she made the activities and experiments simple and understandable for children of all ages. The books are geared towards grades 3-6 but can be easily adapted for younger siblings to experience as well.

A Beka

The A Beka Book Science Program promotes creationism and refutes the theory of evolution. I have used their materials both in the Christian school setting and in our homeschooling. Throughout these experiences, I have seen that they use very consistent, solid, creationist teachings.

 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Meet Our Featured Sponsor: Rainbow Resource Center!




Those of you who receive the Thrift Schooling Newsletter have already been introduced to our featured sponsor, Rainbow Resource Center! In the newsletter, I shared briefly about what they have to offer. Today, I would like to share in more detail some of the wonderful deals you can find on their site.

EARLY LEARNING MATERIALS

It's never too early to begin homeschooling your child. Remember, homeschooling isn't just "doing school" at home but it is providing an environment where your child can develop a love for learning. If your kids are still young, Rainbow Resource Center can help you get started in developing this environment in your home. Whether you are looking for parent resources or baby educational materials, you can find a wide array of these types of resources on their site. You can find interactive books, educational software, activity idea books, Brain Quest sets, learning mats, charts, fundanoodle materials, educational music CD's, books and much, much more.

DISCOUNTED CURRICULUM

For those of you with school aged children, you can find popular, well known curriculum at a fraction of the cost. I absolutely love the prices on this site, especially if you are trying out a curriculum for the first time. You want to be sure that you have all the materials needed to get the job done but it can make you nervous spending full price on a company you have never used before! Rainbow Resource Center can help you be assured that you are getting a great deal on quality materials that you can feel good about.




My Father's World Kindergarten Set
Retail: $162.39
Rainbow Price: $129.00

There is so much to choose from that really, you need to search for yourself on their site if you already know what you are looking for. Personally, I am excited to see certain programs on there because I know they are programs that many homeschoolers covet. Some examples include:

My Father's World
McGuffey's Readers
Lifepac
Bob Jones
Moving Beyond the Page
Answers in Genesis
Memoria Press


GAMES



We utilize games in our home. Often. When the kids were younger it was stressful dealing with the child who hated to lose, or the impatient one who wanted to quit early. I simply turned these times into character building lessons allowing the kids to work through these difficulties at a young age so they can deal with stressful situations later in life! Of course I let my kids have computer time where they are able to play alone once in a while but in our family, we strongly encourage corporate play, especially board games! This site has plenty of educational games that you can purchase at a discounted price to stock your schoolroom. Themes include, geography, history, writing, Bible, math, science, sight word practice and plenty more.

TOYS

Toys are educational too. It helps with the creative thinking process! If you want your children to be able to express themselves
well through writing and even in presenting oral book reports in the later years, allowing ample time for creative playtime each day will help foster these skills! Here you can find a great selection of toys for both boys and girls; puzzles, playsets, scooters, puppets, stuffed animals, Shrinky Dinks, K'nex, craft kits and more.  

BARGAIN BOOKS

If you don't mind a slightly imperfect book or homeschool resource, then you will love the Bargain Books section of the website! All of these materials are sold at almost half the retail value and are sold as is. All sales are final. Once the item is sold, it is gone. With most of these, there is only one of the product available since it is an imperfect copy. I would head over soon and see what is available!

CLEARANCE SECTION

For those of you prone to raiding the clearance section of retail stores, this section is for you! As if the prices on this site aren't discounted enough, there is entire page dedicated to material that has had it's price dropped even further. In addition to the original discount, there is another discount to help get these materials out of the warehouse and into eager hands! In addition to books you'll find a variety of resources such as foreign language flash cards, biblical resources, and hands-on math games. All for a limited time, of course!

FREE RESOURCES 

Who doesn't love free? The Free Resources section of this site leads you to piles of resources that can be found online. Whether you are looking for printables, online educational games, lesson plans, or ebooks, be sure to look here for an exhaustive list. This page is very easy to navigate. You can search for free materials by age, grade, subject or type. Just be sure to set aside some time in your day if you really want to take advantage of these materials because there are thousands to choose from!

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Rainbow Resource Center. All opinions stated here are my own. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Free Sample of Happy Calm Focused (Just Pay Shipping)




Sign Up Here
The brain. The control center of our bodies. God has so carefully designed the human body with the skull to protect it and the backbone to protect the nerves connecting to it because it is the essence of our physical existence. Yet, even though we have natural protection for our brain, it is amazing how so easily we can damage it by the choices we make everyday concerning what we consume. I'm just as guilty as the next person. We live in a world bombarded with chemicals and toxins, medicines and poisons that are absorbed into our bloodstream and effecting our brain. Or maybe you suffered a brain injury causing developmental issues with your brain either as a child or an adult. Whatever the case, restoring our bodies with the proper nutrients can effectively increase brain function in our lives! Even if we try hard to eat all the right foods after years of poisoning ourselves it still may not be enough to restore all that which was lost. That is why supplements, if you find the right kind, can help your body regain the nutrients that it has been lacking. HCF: Happy Calm Focused is a natural supplement that helps to restore two specific nutrients Phenylalanine and Glutamine. These are two powerful key amino acids similarly found in whole-food proteins like fish, milk, cheese, and turkey and have been developed into a supplement that can be taken daily. This supplement is supposed to help promote alertness, energy, happiness, motivation, memory and more! Curious as to whether it works? Try it for yourself!

Disclaimer: Thanks to HCF for a free sample of the above product. All opinions stated are my own.

8 Quality History Curriculum Choices




(1) Golden Prairie Press

If you are looking for a gentle approach to teaching multi-level children in the elementary age grades, this curriculum is very hands-on! Filled with stories, songs and activities, your child will learn to fall in love with America and it's history! You can read my Golden Prairie Press Review to learn more!


(2) Home School in the Woods
 
This curriculum is also geared towards elementary aged children. I began it when my children were very young and am holding onto it for when they reach the older elementary grades. The content is a little more challenging and in depth than Golden Prairie Press and very detailed. I look forward to using this again! You can read my Home School in the Woods Review to learn more!


      (3) Christian Heroes: Then and Now 
Unit Studies

Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose is only one book in YWAM Publishing's Christian Heroes Now and Then Series. The unit study that goes along with this biography is easy enough for young children to understand yet challenging enough for tweens and teens to read as well. The activities that go along with this book help children understand both South American culture and the life of a Christian missionary. You can read my Jim Elliot Unit Study Review to learn more.


   (4)  The Light and Glory for Children

The Light and the Glory for Children is a book where children will see God's plan for America from Christopher Columbus to George Washington. This is geared towards upper elementary aged children and is a great story based tool written by the same authors as the original book for adults, The Light and the Glory.


(5) My State Notebook






Children enjoy learning about their own state with Abeka book's My State Notebook . This activity book is a part of their fourth grade history program. Of course, you can buy it separate and use it on it's own for any age! My son is looking forward to this hands-on approach to learning about his state this year!

 (6)  Veritas Press



                                          
If you appreciate the classical style of homeschooling then you would enjoy Veritas Press! We tried one year of their online history program along with their Old Testament and Ancient Egypt Flashcards. Even though it wasn't for us, since we aren't of the Classical mindset, many, many families are enjoying this program every year! You can read my Veritas Press Ancient Egypt Review 
to learn more!


(7) Notgrass History


Notgrass Exploring World History is also geared for older children and provides a comprehensive curriculum they can enjoy. I've heard rave reviews from moms and private school educators who have used this program! I look forward to trying this when my kids are older.


(8) Romans, Reformers and Revolutionaries

Another program that I look forward to using when my children are in the middle school years is Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries: A Biblical World History Curriculum by Answers in Genesis. I know, I'm getting ahead of myself but this looks like a quality program that my kids will enjoy when they are older. What a great way to teach my kids about the reformers from a protestant perspective!


Have I left anything out? Which history curriculum is your favorite?