Archive for 'Thrifty Homeschooling'

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 Freebie: Math Mammoth Percent

I like things that are free and here is a good one. Math Mammoth is offering the Math Mammoth Percent ebook for free, now through August 18, 2013. The book is designed for middle school students or students performing in math grade levels six through eight.

If you are unfamiliar with Math Mammoth, this is a good time to check them out. They do not sell their math worksheets and curriculum directly, you have to go through one of several vendors, like the Home School Buyers Co-op,  to purchase it. All of the products are available for download, some are available in print and CD format.

Click here for the free Math Mammoth Percent ebook.

Hope you find this useful



Posted on 16 August '13 by , under Free lesson plans and ideas, Freebies, Homeschool Curriculum, Thrifty Homeschooling. No Comments.

Homeschool Science Project: Solar Food Dehydrator

We have started to build the wooden solar food dehydrator for our homeschool science project. Those of you who follow Charlotte Mason’s teaching methods know that she feels older kids should have a project that requires the students to use their hands. This is the first of several woodworking projects we planned for the school year.

All materials were purchased at either Home Depot or Lowes. We did not need to purchase window screen to cover the vents, because we had that on hand already. We purchased the screens for the food trays from

One important note: if you plan to build your own solar food dehydrator, do not use regular window screen for the food trays. You must use food safe screen. We purchased ours online, it is food safe poly screen.

metal plate for solar food dehydrator

Homeschool Science Project Food Dehydrator metal plate

Today my son and husband created the metal shelf used to help hold and conduct heat through the dryer. It is a single piece of sheet metal, bent along the sides, with notches cut out so it will fit around the legs. The guys sanded the surface of the metal to get it ready for paint. We used black, heat safe, spray paint. It is the same type of paint you would use to repaint your grill or stove.

After the metal was sanded, the first coat of paint was applied. It dried and then we added a second coat.

We plan to finish painting the other side tomorrow. Then the boys start to work on the wooden cabinet and frame for the solar food dehydrator.

What the kids learned today with this homeschool science project:

  • working with sheet metal
  • preparing metal for painting,
  • proper use of spray painting
  • measuring, cutting sheet metal
  • bending sheet metal

I’ll keep you posted on how this project progresses.


Posted on 27 October '12 by , under Solar Food Dehydrator, Thrifty Homeschooling. No Comments.

Free Fishing this Weekend: June 8-10

Love to go fishing? Hate the hassle of getting a fishing license? This upcoming weekend is what you are looking for. Each year the State of Arkansas has a free fishing weekend. From June 8 through June 10, 2012, you can fish anywhere in the state without a fishing license. All other fishing rules apply, including size and other limits. The best part about this weekend is that the local fish hatcheries are holding fishing derbies for kids under the age of 12. All you need to bring is a rod and reel, or fishing pole. The lakes are stocked with catchable fish.

Free Fishing Weekend

Beginning at noon, Friday, June 8 until midnight, Sunday, June 10, residents and nonresidents may fish without fishing licenses or trout permits. Regulations for Arkansas waters apply: daily limits, slot limits and length limits must be observed. Anyone can fish, anywhere fishing is permitted.

Kids Fishing Derby

Kids’ Fishing Day at Arkansas Game and Fish, fish hatcheries is this Saturday, June 9 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
The derby is for kids 12 and younger. Each pond is stocked with catchable fish. Kids will need to bring fishing tackle and bait. A Limit of three fish per child is in place so everyone has a chance to catch a fish. One rod or pole per child is permitted.

Kids Fishing Day Locations

Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery
23 Joe Hogan Lane | Lonoke 877-676-6963

C.B. Craig State Fish Hatchery
977 West Fish Hatchery Road | Centerton 877-795-2470

Andrew Hulsey State Fish Hatchery
350 Fish Hatchery Road | Hot Springs 877-525-8606

William Donham State Fish Hatchery
3587 U.S. Hwy. 67 West | Corning 877-857-3876

Jim Hinkle/Spring River State Fish Hatchery
895 Ark. Hwy. 342 | Mammoth Spring 877-625-7521

Checkout the AFGC Fishing Guidebook for great information about fishing in Arkansas.


Posted on 5 June '12 by , under Events, Freebies, Great Field Trips, Thrifty Homeschooling. 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.

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.

Thrifty Homeschoolers Thanksgiving Tips: November 2

From now until Christmas, I will be posting tips for saving money over the holidays. Today’s tip focuses on getting your kitchen and pantry ready for holiday baking. Get the kids and head into the kitchen for a lesson in organization and money management.

Take inventory of what you have. Start with the essentials such as flour, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, salt, butter, margarine, shortening, baking chocolate, condensed milk and pie fillings. Check the expiration dates and discard anything that is outdated.

Make a list of all the essentials you need to replace or stock up on. Starting this week, the stores will have sales on baking items. With your list in hand, gather coupons to reduce your cash outlay. Use the link on the right side of the screen to search for coupons. These are free to print and use.

Plan now for providing beverages to guests and family. Stock up on soft drinks, juice, coffee and tea. Look for sales and combine them with coupons for maximum savings. Now is the time to replenish sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, sugar and sugar-free sweeteners.

Reduce your stress levels by keeping your kitchen and pantry well stocked. This gives you the ability to whip up a batch of cookies for an unexpected event or to appease children (and adults) who are suffering from cabin fever.


Posted on 2 November '11 by , under Coupons, Thrifty Homeschooling. No Comments.

Why Using a Coupon Clipping Service Makes Sense

I use coupon clipping services. For me, it is more economical to order the exact coupons I need than it is to purchase multiple copies of a Sunday paper. With the paper, I end up with a ton of coupons I do not use and there is really no need for the extra paper. So, I purchase a Sunday paper to read and for the coupons, and then I order the coupons I want from a coupon clipping service.

What is a coupon clipping service?

A coupon clipping service is an online service that will clip and sort coupons for you. You are not buying the coupons, you are paying for the clipping and sorting of the coupons. This is different than purchasing coupons at auction on eBay. On eBay you are also paying for the clipping and sorting, but most of the time there is an additional shipping charge and you have to bid at auction. I find that using a website where I do not have to stay on top of things makes my life easier.

All coupon clipping services are not equal.

Make sure that you understand all of the terms and conditions associated with your purchase. Some clipping services require a minimum purchase. Others will require a deposit of $20 or more and then your order amount is deducted from your balance. I prefer to use a service that does not require a minimum deposit.

My personal favorite place to order coupons is Coupon Dede. She ships the coupons within 24 hours of your purchase. The minimum order is only $5.00. You are not required to maintain a deposit.  For more information about Coupon Dede click on the banner below.



Hope this is helpful


Posted on 24 October '11 by , under Coupons, Thrifty Homeschooling. No Comments.

New Amazon Store for Arkansas Homeschoolers

I am beginning to be overrun with homeschool books. I have tons of  Usborne and other educational books that my kids have outgrown. If you are looking for good deals on gently used or new books, check out my Store. I have books and DVDs that are ready to ship. Thrifty homeschoolers know that you should never pay full retail for anything. This helps me out by freeing up space in my house and putting a few extra dollars in my pocket. The store helps out homeschoolers by offering quality books and DVDs at discount pricing.

If you live near me, I have boxes upon boxes of books that will be sold at a garage sale next weekend. Anything that does not sell at the garage sale will be listed on my Amazon store.

Check out the store and see if there is something you can use. Feel free to email me with any questions. Thanks.


Posted on 4 September '11 by , under News, Thrifty Homeschooling. 2 Comments.

Well Planned Day Homeschool Planners on Sale

September is traditionally a back-to-school month. To celebrate the fact that we homeschool our children, The Well Planned Day is offering 25% off of all their planners. You should take a look at the planners.

I own one of  The Well Planned Day planners and it is the most helpful planner I have used. It contains room for scheduling 4 students and a teachers schedule. It allows you to completely organize your household. This planner has made my life a lot less stressful. Weekly catechisms and daily scripture reading is included for those who like to have this. Another bonus is reprints of articles from Home Educating Family Magazine.

Click on the link to find out more about the Well Planned Day. Use code septsale to get the discount.

Hope this is helpful


Posted on 2 September '11 by , under Coupons, News, Reviews, Thrifty Homeschooling. No Comments.

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