Archive for 'Free or Almost free resources'

Free Big History Curriculum from History Channel

Lynda Altman

Lynda Altman, author and creator of Arkansas Homeschoolers

This is just a quick post to let you know about a great freebie from the History Channel. If you have homeschool kids in middle school and high school, grab the free, Big History curriculum while supplies last. This is completely free, they do not charge for shipping.

You will receive a USB drive with the curriculum and videos on it. This curriculum coincides with the History Channel’s new series, Big History.

When History Channel did this with Ammerica, the Story of Us, I requested the DVD set. My kids and I were thrilled with it. We had a blast with all the activities.

To get your copy of Big History, just fill out the online form.


Hope this was helpful

— Lynda

Posted on 31 October '13 by , under Free or Almost free resources, Freebies, Homeschool Curriculum. No Comments.

Free access to Discovery Education for 30 days

I love freebies. Discovery Education has amazing content for grades kindergarten through 12. Once upon a time, the state of Arkansas gave homeschoolers free access to Discovery Streaming. Those days are long gone. The good news is that through the Home School Buyers Co-op you can get a free, 30-day trial to Discovery Streaming.


I like Discovery Streaming because it has video content on a variety of subjects. Students can explore history, art, science, math, and language arts. Parents can assign their children specific content to watch. The trial subscription is unlimited. Parents can preview all video content prior to allowing their children to watch.


In addition to the streaming videos, Discovery Education has lesson plans and activities. Sometimes even veteran homeschool parents need new ideas. I have found Discovery Education very helpful when I am putting together a unit study. Parents have plenty of multi-disciplinary options at their fingertips.


This is truly a free trial. You will not be asked to provide credit card information. If you love Discovery Education Streaming and want to purchase it for your homeschool; make your purchase through the Home School Buyers Co-op before September 30, 2013. They are currently offering a one-year subscription for $99. The retail price for Discovery Streaming is $199, so don’t wait to make a purchase if you want this for your homeschool.


I recommend getting the free 30-day trial. You have nothing to lose and if you like it, you can purchase it at a steep discount. This is a great offer, especially for households with limited TV. At $99 it costs about the same for the year as Netflix or Hulu Plus, but the content is educational.



Hope this was helpful


Posted on 20 September '13 by , under Free or Almost free resources, Freebies. No Comments.

Homeschool freebie: Make it Real by Math Mammoth

If you are not familiar with Math Mammoth, you should check them out. There is a ton of free math worksheets and materials on their website. One of my favorite freebies from this website is the Make it Real, Volume 1, activity sampler. The ten lessons in this sample book show your child exactly why math is important.


The lessons are real life situations that your child will eventually come across. Make it Real starts off with a lesson on choosing a cell phone plan. Your child is given a data set—rates for different plans—and they must choose which plan would be the most cost effective for a given situation. This lesson is for kids who have already been exposed to working with linear equations. After completing the lesson, why not have your child examine your current cell phone plan to see if you are getting the best deal.


Cooking in the Kitchen is the second activity in the sampler. This lesson involves working with fractions and percents. Students will explore the importance of fractions and percents by working with a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. You can take this one step further and perform the practice exercises in your kitchen.


Several lessons include higher level math including calculus. Some lessons, such as the lesson on investigating cubic functions, may not be suitable for younger children. This particular lesson uses teen pregnancy statistics as the basis for the lesson. I know many parents who would prefer not to touch on this subject with younger children.


The ebook is free to download as a pdf file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or other program that can read pdf files in order to use the book. You can download the Make it Real ebook here.

Hope this was helpful


Posted on 14 September '13 by , under Free lesson plans and ideas, Free or Almost free resources, Freebies, Thrifty Homeschooling. No Comments.

Homeschool Science Project: Solar Food Dehydrator Part 3

We had  a few set backs with the project. It was more expensive to purchase all of the materials than we first calculated. Then work and cancer treatment schedules got in the way. Finally, the battery to the cordless drill died, so we had to replace the battery – the drill worked fine. So now that things are back in swing, here is where we stand.

Last time, all we had accomplished was painting the heat plate. That was easy enough to do and we have progressed to cutting the wood. Under the direction of my husband, my 12-year old son is learning a lot with this project.

Solar food dehydrator project

Measuring takes time and patience.



Measure twice, cut one. Measuring all of the boards and pieces to cut took some time. But, my boy took his time and we did not waste any of the wood.





Life Skills

This is where the project is invaluable. My son has learned the proper way to use power tools. Now he has experience with a table saw and circular saw, as well as a cordless drill. He has self confidence knowing he is capable of handling dangerous equipment.

Video: Learning to use a table saw


Our first cardboard dryer was a lesson in solar energy. This project will show a similar lesson on a much larger scale. We will be able to compare the outdoor temperature with the temperature inside the dryer. Doors and screens will allow us to control the air-flow better than the cardboard model. This model has a different air-flow pattern. As the heat panel absorbs the sun’s rays, it radiates heat into the unit. The warmed air starts to rise and exits out of two holes in the top rear of the dryer. This upward movement of air, pulls cooler air in from underneath the unit. The cooler air is warmed by the heat panel and continues to rise past the items we are drying before it exits at the top of the unit. Here is a lesson on air currents, heat, and solar radiation.

Stay tuned as we continue to assemble the solar food dehydrator.



Posted on 24 November '12 by , under Free or Almost free resources, Science lesson plans, Solar Food Dehydrator. No Comments.

Free Hair Cuts for Kids

JC Penny is giving kids in kindergarten through grade 6 free hair cuts during the month of August. All you have to do is call or visit one of their in-store salons to make an appointment. This is a great money saver, whether or not you homeschool. If you have more than one kid, the savings are incredible. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.


I would jump on this opportunity but my kids are too old. My youngest is in the 7th grade and looks like he is 15. Hopefully this information will save some of you a few dollars. I’d book my appointment soon because once word of this spreads, their appointment times will fill up fast. You do not need any special codes or coupons to take advantage of the offer. Just tell them when you drop in or call for your appointment.





Posted on 13 July '12 by , under Free or Almost free resources, Freebies. No Comments.

Free First-Grade Literature Curriculum from Hewitt Homeschooling

It is difficult to find quality homeschool resources. Hewitt Homeschooling is offering a free first-grade literature/language arts curriculum. You just have to sign up in order to receive notifications when the page updates.


Starting on September 30, 2012, Hewitt Homeschooling will upload four lessons, student guides and a teacher’s guide to their website. You can download the pdf files as you need them. The program is called Lightening Literature. An outline for the curriculum is available here. Most of the books are available at your public library or you can easily find them online at websites like or


I have looked over the outline and the resources listed on the webpage and it looks like a wonderful free resource for first-grade students. My children are in middle and high school, so this is not something I plan to use. If you decide to go with this program, drop me a line and let me know how it worked out for you.


Hope this is helpful


Posted on 3 June '12 by , under Free or Almost free resources, Freebies, Thrifty Homeschooling. No Comments.

Free Homeschool Help Workshop: Curriculum Choices


The next Homeschool Help workshop will be CURRICULUM CHOICES on Monday, March 26, from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Circle of Life Hospice Building in Springdale/Tontitown.

At this workshop Shelley will describe the different types of curriculum, how to choose and buy, and different
schooling philosophies and methods that shape the variety of curriculum that authors produce.
Some other topics that will be covered are Unit Studies, Living Books, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, and Classical Education.
There will NOT be any curriculum there to browse.

This is a FREE workshop, but donations are accepted to help cover the cost of handouts.
Invite a friend!

There will be no childcare provided. Nursing infants and babes in arms
are welcome.


From I540, take the Holiday Inn exit in Springdale (exit 72) and go west toward Tontitown.
Near Tontitown, turn right at the Jones Rd. stoplight. There is a Harps
on the right at that intersection.
Circle of Life is the first building on the right after Harps, 901 Jones Rd.
It says “Circle of Life” on the building, but at the entrance there is a
sign that says “Willard and Pat Walker Family Center”.

Hope to see you there!
Shelley and Marni

Shelley Kinder

[email protected]


Marni Hendrix

[email protected]



Hope you find this helpful


Posted on 12 March '12 by , under Events, Free or Almost free resources, Freebies, Great Field Trips, Homeschool Parent Education, Homeschooling 101. No Comments.

Free for all homeschoolers: Mythbusters Live on Discovery Education

Mythbusters Live: March 15 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time (1:00 pm Central Time) on the Discovery Network Website.

MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage will share their experiences as well as those of co-hosts Kari Byron, Tori Belleci and Grant Imahara, as they make experimentation come alive through this dynamic presentation about science behind the exhibit. The interactive exhibit, created by Discovery Communications and Exhibits Development Group (EDG), in partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, helps inspire learning beyond the walls of the classroom.

Scientists, engineers, and mathematicians drive innovation that will fuel our future. This live event will spark the natural curiosity of budding scientists by showing students just how fun science can be and how it’s helped Adam and Jamie follow their passion to ultimately find success.

Here is the link to register and ask questions.


Hope you enjoy this.


Posted on 12 March '12 by , under Events, Free or Almost free resources. No Comments.

Holiday Money Saving Tips for 11/12/2011

I intended to write daily throughout the month of November and December to bring you money saving tips for the holidays on a daily basis. Instead, health issues got in the way and I had an open surgical biopsy done earlier this week. That threw a monkey wrench into my good intentions. Anyway, I am back for now and have an awesome money saving tip. Restaurant gift certificates. You can get them on the cheap and they make awesome gifts for co-workers, co-op members, church members or anyone on your gift list. Keep some for yourself. Taking a night off after weeks of holiday planning and cooking is good for your sanity and your soul. is offering $25 gift certificates to most restaurants for just $2. The promotion runs from now until November 15th. If you happen to have a Upromise account, make sure you log-in to your account and shop through the Upromise link. In addition to getting the gift certificate for $2, you will receive 15 percent of your order towards college savings. It’s a great deal. At $2 each, you can order the gift certificates for almost anyone. They are good for 12 months from purchase and you can search for restaurants by zipcode. Normally, the $25 gift certificates are $10. With this promotion you are saving 80 percent!

To get your discount, use the code HAM at checkout.

Hope this was useful


Posted on 12 November '11 by , under Coupons, Free or Almost free resources, Thrifty Homeschooling. 1 Comment.

Money Saving Car Care Tips for Northwest Arkansas Homeschoolers

In Northwest Arkansas, homeschoolers depend on their cars to get them where they need to go. We do not have mass transit in most places, so if the car dies, we are stuck. Thrifty homeschoolers will want to know where to get free air and where to get free car vacuum services. Check out the places listed below for free services and gas discounts.

Money saving car care tips for Northwest Arkansas:

1) Kum and Go gas stations have free air. Visit them to keep your tires properly inflated, thus saving on gas consumption.

2) Boomerang Car Wash has free vacuums. You do not have to purchase a car wash to use them. Save your vacuum and your electricity and use theirs for cleaning your car. If you do want to wash your car, their prices start at $6.00.

3) Load up a Walmart gift Card and use it to pay for gas at Murphys. You will save 10 cents a gallon. Use the gift card instead of a debit card. They charge $3.00 to load a debit card. This offer is good until September 2011. After that it should revert back to 3 cents off for a gift card. This offer is not good in Oklahoma, so fill up before you head out that way.

4) Check your fluids (oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze and brake fluid) regularly and top them off when necessary. This will keep your car running smoothly. Change the oil every 3,000 miles to prolong your engine life.

Hope these tips are useful.


Posted on 19 July '11 by , under Free or Almost free resources, Freebies, Thrifty Homeschooling. No Comments.

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