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.

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.

Curriculum Review: Artes Latinae

Homeschoolers who are using classical studies will want to include Latin as part of their curriculum. Finding a high quality Latin program can be difficult. This is especially true if you are teaching students who are in high school. Many of the programs available are not challenging enough for high school students. Another problem is teaching multiple children when there is a large age difference. The solution is a Latin program called Artes Latinae.


When I choose a homeschool curriculum, I pay attention to several key points. First, it has to be easily adaptable to teaching multiple ages. The program needs to be portable—up until very recently, I had to work around cancer treatments. But, I still want a program that I can access or take on the road with me. Language programs should include more than just reading and speaking the language. Finally, it needs to fit my teaching style and my kid’s learning style.


Artes Latinae meets my criteria. It is published by Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. Back when I was first introduced to Artes Latinae, it included filmstrips, cassette tapes and workbooks (yes, I am that old.) The publishers have kept up with the times and there are two versions available. The traditional version uses workbooks, and CDs. A newer version, DVD-ROM. This version replaces the books and CDs with a DVD-ROM disc. Mary Pride gives Artes Latinae a First Place Award in her book Practical Homeschooling.



One of the best things about this program is that you can use it for almost any age, even if your child cannot read yet. Non-readers can use just the audio parts of the program. Fluent readers will be able to work the program at their own pace. Younger children will require help from an adult or older sibling. Asking kids under the age of nine to work independently for an extended amount of time is unreasonable, so expect to be there to assist younger children.


Where Artes Latinae really shines is in the middle and high school grades. Level 1 is the equivalent of a traditional high school Latin 1 class. Your teenagers can work independently or if you have more than one teen, they can work together on their Latin lessons.



Artes Latinae is portable. Whether you choose the traditional or DVD-ROM version, it is easy to take the materials with you. This means you can have kids working at the library, while waiting for appointments, or in the car. All you need is access to either a CD player, or with the DVD-ROM version—a laptop computer. I have not used the DVD-ROM version, so I am not sure if it will play in a car’s DVD player because it has text documents as well as audio on the disc.


Your kids can listen to the CD in the car or use the graded reader while on the road, at the library or wherever quiet activities are required.


No More Language in a Vacuum

Latin, like any other language, did not exist in a vacuum. Teaching a language without learning about the culture in which the language was used is useless. Artes Latinae teaches students about the culture in Ancient Rome. For high school students, this is a bonus. A single curriculum purchase will give you a foreign language credit and a history credit. The history credit can be anywhere from ½ credit to a full credit or more—depending on how involved you get in the culture of Ancient Rome.


The publishers offer books to further the study of Latin. Favorite childhood books such as the Cat in the Hat or How the Grinch Stole Christmas are available in Latin. For students who have completed Level 1 and are working on Level 2, advanced titles in Latin are available. Artes Latinae, Level 2, when combined with the advanced readers, is a great way to prepare for the AP Latin exam.


Classical Studies and More

Our homeschool follows Charlotte Mason’s philosophy and teaching methods. We have found that Artes Latinae fits into a Charlotte Mason homeschool. It obviously will work in a homeschool that is using classical studies. We used Artes Latinae as a unit study which incorporated Latin, Ancient Rome, and Roman and Greek mythology.


The program is adaptable to many learning styles, especially when you add in some of the readers for younger children. Hearing a favorite book read to them in Latin instead of English gives them a new perspective of the story.


Purchase Options

Artes Latinae is somewhat expensive. The cost adds up quickly when you start adding in the extra readers or if you want to purchase books on mythology. I would recommend using the Home School Buyers Co-op for purchasing the Traditional Version as it is available through September 16, at a 40 percent discount.


The Traditional Version for Level 1 and Level 2 include: books one and two, audio CD, teacher’s manual, graded reader, teacher’s manual for the graded reader, reference notebook (consumable), test booklet (consumable), and guide to tests. The retail price for the traditional version is $159.


The DVD-ROM version for Levels One and Two replaces the student textbooks and audio CD and combines them into a DVD-ROM. A free sample for the DVD-ROM version is available. The retail price for the DVD-ROM is $279.


In addition to the actual Artes Latinae curriculum, the Home School Buyers Co-op offers a mythology bundle, a Christmas bundle, and an “I am reading Latin” bundle, to compliment the Artes Latinae program. These bundles are offered at a 40 percent discount and can be purchased with or without the Latin program.

Posted on 4 September '13 by , under Homeschool Curriculum, Reviews. 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.

Quarter Mile Math Makes Learning Math Facts Fun

We use Quarter Mile Math in our homeschool. I really like this math program. It is not a full math curriculum–instead it is a fun way for kids to practice their math facts.

The program is simple–Your child competes in a quarter mile race against four other opponents. During the first few rounds, kids race against a computer opponent who is destined to lose (although the child is not aware of this). After each race, one of the computer generated racers is replaced with the child’s last score. After five races–the child is racing against himself in quest for the best score.

The program is a lot more fun than flash cards and other math drills. Check out my full review here.  You can go out to the Quarter Mile Math website to download a free trial.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.



Posted on 26 August '11 by , under Reviews. No Comments.

Top five places for free home school curriculum

Top five places for free home school curriculum

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Posted on 3 November '09 by , under Free or Almost free resources, Freebies, Homeschooling 101. No Comments.

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