Super Simple Homeschooling: How You Can Homeschool For Less Than $20 Per Year (Per Child)

How You Can Homeschool For Less Than $20 Per Year! Did you know that you can homeschool for very little money? Check out this post to learn how!

Have you taken a financial hit this year? Are you struggling to pay for your homeschool supplies, curriculum, field trips, etc…?

Maybe, like us, your spouse lost their job at some point during the year. Or maybe, like us, you have a new addition to the family. Or like us, your children are growing and consuming more and more. Maybe you have been struggling for awhile, ever since mom gave up her job and agreed to stay home and homeschool the children.

I am here to share with you our own experience and encourage you – you CAN homeschool for as little as $20 a year per child.



Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Acceptance

If you don’t accept where you are at, that you simply don’t have the money for all those shiny, new homeschool books this year, you can waste a lot of time and energy and you will have trouble moving forward and actually get going with your homeschooling.

Once I accepted that the money just wasn’t going to be there for workbooks, textbooks, learning toys, etc… this year, I was able to shift gears and get creative with what I did have, and I started to brainstorm what I COULD do for homeschool this year.

Get Basic Supplies

Most of your budget will to go to the basics: binders / notebooks, paper, pencils, erasers, glue, scissors and crayons.

If you opt to go with some of the free online options (see below) for homeschooling, then instead of the supplies above, you will need to invest your budget in printer ink and printer paper. We choose to make sure our children are doing some writing by hand and we are doing some learning online, so we got all the supplies – notebooks, paper, ink, etc… With the cost shared across 3 children, we are still well under our $20 per child budget.

We purchased the printer ink online with Amazon, the paper (both writing and printer) at Walmart, and the supplies at Walmart during their back to school sales.

Search The Thrift Stores

Next, find your local thrift store, especially any outlet stores, and take a few hours to go through their books.

I did not even come up with this idea. My brother-in-law, knowing that we were struggling this year, went to our local thrift outlet store called the Youth Ranch Outlet. He and his significant other spent an hour or so going through the large bins of books and came up with a dozen or so very useful books. Things like science encyclopedias and science experiment books, old math textbooks, barely used kindergarten workbooks and a great math games book.

We will make use of these by reading the science books, doing experiments with stuff we already have, having the children copy passages from the books, practicing spelling words, and more. They then get LA / English out of this too. We will use the kindergarten books for our kindergartener. I did purchase three kindergarten workbooks from Rod and Staff. They are only $3.60 each plus shipping. If you are a Christian based homeschool, they have some inexpensive curriculum available through Milestone Books.

I will state that we have half of our Story of the World History curriculum leftover from last year (which was given to us free), so that is how we are doing history.

For art, we are doing play-dough, creating our own paper dolls, coloring in dollar store coloring books, practicing drawing, making cards and looking for ideas all around us.

Find The Free Online Apps and Printables

For Math, there are LOTs of free online options. You really just need to decide which option you want. You could also use old textbooks for a baseline and write your own math problems weekly.

We have found some free online tests and games, free online printables, and we are also going to give Khan Academy a try, although as of this writing, we haven’t started yet.

There are many more apps and online learning sites to explore – more than you could ever visit in a lifetime. Just start with a topic and do a search. For example, if you want to teach your children about bugs, just Google “learn about bugs” or “homeschool bugs free printables or lessons.”

And Then There Is The Library

Even if your children don’t read yet or don’t like to read, you can read to them. Everything you would ever want to learn and teach your children is available. Have them copy passages of important information or summarize what they read.

I hope this helps you homeschool your family this year and you will be able to see it as a joy and an exciting challenge. This isn’t everything we are doing, so please ask questions about what you are wanting or needing in the comments below.

If you would like some additional encouragement, check out my post: Homeschooling From The Bottom 10%.

If you have a little more budget to purchase curriculum this year, I have curated some Books, Homeschool Curriculum, and School Supply Deals, Discount Codes, and Coupon Codes for you at: I’ve Got A Deal For That!

 

Cancel Halloween, Save The World

Cancel_Halloween

I am going to make this really simple – according the UN, it would take about a $30 billion dollar a year investment to eradicate world hunger. According to CNN, we spend about $7 billion dollars per year, just on Halloween. That is almost 1/4 of the needed money spent on one holiday. So lets just cancel the indulgence of non-food (i.e. candy) for one day per year and all the stuff that comes with it, and invest the money in seeds, farm animals, tools, wells, small business loans, and the such and the poor in the world will be that much closer to having what it needs.

Can it get any simpler than that?

I say start the movement now – CANCEL HALLOWEEN and SAVE THE WORLD!

I do have to add a little note. When you take your Halloween money and give it instead, please be sure to invest it into an organization with very little overhead so the money gets out to the communities. Also, be sure to invest it into an organization that invests in the community, not just gives handouts of food that will run out, but gives them what they need to grow, make, purchase their own food.

What other things can we give up to help the poor and get rid of world hunger?

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Gifts With A Cause

Amazing Deal Of The Day: 10% To 70% Off Of Children’s Clothing

Being a Mom Blogger means I am a mom. As a mom trying to clothe my girls in a pretty way, yet within a small budget, I spend a lot of time doing research, looking for deals and coupons, going through clearance racks, and more. Being a blogger means I have access to affiliate programs which allow me to find coupons and deals that I can pass on to you.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Here are the current deals and coupons that are available through my blog:

Children’s Apparel (Children’s Clothing)

Crazy 8 Sale On Now! Gymboree Sale On Now!
kids rain wear FREE SHIPPING
Find Styles Perfect for Any Special Occasion at Tea Collection

Amazing Deal Of The Day: $10 Off Holiday Photo Cards

I keep getting these great holiday photo cards in the mail each year and I love to put them on my fridge. You know the ones, with the beautiful, happy, smiling families with the brief happy holiday greeting, that usually comes with the family letter that I get totally envious about because I am just not that organized and together to actually put them together for our family!!!

25% off holiday greeting and invitation orders using the code FIRSTLOOK25, 8/12-8/18
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

But this year, I resolve to get our photos taken and use a great site like Shutterfly to make the cards and get them sent out to our friends and family.

If you haven’t gotten in on sending the cards yet or you are looking for a more professional service to create them with, here is a link with a promo code for $10 off your order: 10OFF10. Get started now, as this deal only lasts until the 18th of this month.

If you aren’t ready to order yet, watch my “I’ve Got A Deal For That” page, as I will add new promo codes as they come out.

The fine print of the promo:

Offer expires October 18, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free set of address labels or $10 off an order of $10 or more (after any other discounts and before taxes, shipping and handling) through shutterfly.com or our mobile-friendly site. Must select one of the two offers listed. Valid only for new Shutterfly customers (those who have never purchased from Shutterfly). Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on TripPix, personalized postage stamps, other products, prepaid plans, gift certificates, Videograms, cards sent using mailing services, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up and purchases made on the Shutterfly apps. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

Celebrating Biblical Holidays: The Feast Of Tabernacles

Biblical_Holidays_Feast_Tabernacles

Update For 2016: The Feast of Tabernacles starts this year sundown, October 16th and ends sundown, October 24th. 

Have you heard that many Biblical scholars have determined that Jesus was born in the Fall, most likely during the Feast of Tabernacles? I know that is a shock for many people, but it makes so much sense once you understand the holiday.

Historically, the Feast of Tabernacles is a time to remember the Israelites time in the wilderness, a time when they lived in tents and God’s Spirit was right there with them – in the Tabernacle. God asks His people each year to celebrate this time in remembrance of what He has done for them, how He was with them, and how He delivered them.

When Jesus came to earth, He came to be a resting place for us and a spiritual Tabernacle. He is our protection and shelter. Looking forward (prophetically), when Christ returns, He will Tabernacle (or live) with us forever.

How Our Community Celebrated The Feast Of Tabernacles In The Past

The week is a time of celebration, joy, rejoicing and fellowship.

We had a brunch the first morning. We were encouraged to have our sukkah (tabernacle) built before that morning, and then invite people all week long to join us and feast with us.

For the final celebration, we had a dinner, in a large tent at a winery, with all of our community and friends and family that wanted to attend with us. One year, we celebrated at a winery and I remember how beautiful it all was and how the full, harvest moon was dramatically displaying itself that evening.

We will celebrate similarly this year, just the locations are different 😉

Learn More About The Biblical Holidays

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

If you want to learn more about the holiday, either to celebrate it or just as an academic exercise, I recommend – A Family Guide To the Biblical Holidays. It includes recipes, stories, printables and much more.

Here are my posts on the other Biblical Holidays

Here are some other ladies that blog about the Biblical Holidays.

The Ladies at Radical Femininity
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Kathryn at Depths of Imagination
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Dawnita at Prairie Dust Trail}
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Celebrating Biblical Holidays: Day Of Atonement

Celebrating Biblical Holidays Day Of Atonement

Update for 2016: The Day Of Atonement starts sundown Tuesday, October 11th and ends sundown Wednesday, October 12th. 

I will be honest, this is the hardest holiday to write about. Not because I don’t have enough to say or it is hard to say, but because I know that many (most) people don’t really want to hear about this day. Most people do not want to know that there was a day set aside each year for all of Israel to repent of their sins, and that today, even if we are walking with Jesus and declaring Him King, we still need to repent of our sins.

But, that is what this day is about. It is the foreshadow of the final days. The Feast of Trumpets declares the return of the Lord. The Day of Atonement is when we stand before Him in judgement. The Feast of Tabernacles is the rest of our lives, tabernacling (living) with Jesus.

On this day, I will come before the Lord and dig up things that I have been ignoring or burying in my head and/or heart. Today, I will come before the Lord and admit things that I did not want to deal with this year. Today, I will come before the Lord and let Him remind me of what I did not even realize I have been doing that is not good for me and He does not want me doing (or thinking or saying).

Today, I will come before the Lord and humble myself and repent of many things. Then I will try to practice this throughout the year…

How Our Community Has Celebrated The Day of Atonement In The Past

We fasted from sundown to sundown.

We gathered at our church in the afternoon for personal worship. Our leadership setup tables that are geared to make us think about different areas of our lives and how we have (or have not) been following God’s call / Jesus’ teachings and leadings in those areas. My husband and I rotated on this – one will go with out the children, then come back so the other can then go with out the children. It is a very beautiful time and very emotional.

We then gathered our children for the final worship in the early evening. In this time we sang (reverently), prayed through a corporate prayer of repentance, then we had additional time to pray for each other, as the Spirit leads.

Our community will celebrate in a similar way this year. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

Learn More About The Biblical Holidays

I understand if this is a little much or is more than you want to know at this time. Maybe you just want to learn about the basics of the holiday for your homeschool or Sunday school.

I recommend – A Family Guide To the Biblical Holidays. It includes recipes, stories, printables and much more.

Here are my posts on the other Biblical Holidays.

The following are some ladies that also blog about the Biblical Holidays:

The Ladies at Radical Femininity
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Kathryn at Depths of Imagination
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Dawnita at Prairie Dust Trail}
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Celebrating Biblical Holidays: The Feast Of Trumpets

Biblical Holidays Feast Of Trumpets

Update 2016: The Feast of Trumpets will start this year sundown Sunday, October 2nd to sundown Monday, October 3rd. 

I have to be honest with you. Outside of the birth of our beautiful baby girl, this year has been a tough year. We have suffered pain, we have lost almost everything financial (car, savings, job), and we have suffered the fruit of some bad choices and bad attitudes.

But this is what is so very wonderful about the Feast of Trumpets – It is the New Year… It is a time of New Beginnings… It is a time of Restoration and Redemption. We have repented of what we have done and now our bodies and hearts can be healed and restored. Our finance can be healed and restored. Our home can be healed and restored.

Everything can change for us this new year, this new beginning.

And so, we really do celebrate on this day.

The past few weeks, God has been repeatedly showing me the cycle of the Israelites – both in the desert and once they were in the land: They would trust and follow God, then they would start forgetting Him and following after their flesh, then they would make bad choices (sin), then bad things would start happening to them, then really bad things would happen to them, they would repent, God would help them, and lastly, they would celebrate their deliverance.

Our lives have been following this pattern for a few years now, but this year is the time to break free and it starts with the Feast of Trumpets.

Finally, this holiday is usually considered the foreshadowing of Christ’s return. We see it as a “dress rehearsal” for the final trumpets that will sound on that day. It is also the reminder that we need to face the Day of Atonement.

How Our Community Celebrated The Feast Of Trumpets In Past Years

Our community got together a little before sundown  We celebrated with worship music, Messianic dancing, and the blowing of the Shofar. Actually, the blowing of lots and lots of shofars.

There is also a quiet, reflective time during the service where we prayed and brought forward a symbol of our repentance. My symbol a couple of years ago was my pointer finger (a photo) pointing upward in accusation towards God. I had been blaming Him for my situation, instead of seeing it for what it is, and simply repenting and asking Him to redeem it.

After the service, we rested on the following day, treating it as a Sabbath. We will also started counting the 10 days of Awe as we prepared our hearts for falling at Jesus’ feet on the Day of Atonement.

Our Celebration Will Be Similar This Year. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Learn More About The Biblical Holidays

If you and your family would like to explore the Biblical Holidays together, I recommend – A Family Guide To the Biblical Holidays. It includes recipes, stories, printables and much more.

Here are my posts on the other Biblical Holidays.

The following is a list of ladies that also write about the Biblical Holidays:

The Ladies at Radical Femininity
{Facebook} {Google+}

Kathryn at Depths of Imagination
{Facebook}{Twitter}{Google+}

Dawnita at Prairie Dust Trail}
Facebook} {Pinterest} {Twitter}


The Shockingly Easy Way To Remove Baby Poop Stains From Baby Clothing

The Shockingly Easy Way To Remove Baby Poop Stains From Baby Clothing


I have been blessed with a new baby girl – baby girl number 4 to be exact. I am also blessed to be able to nurse that baby.

What I am not quite blessed by is the mustard yellow poop that seems to seldom be contained by the diaper! And so, every week I have a pile of clothing with poop stains on it that need to be washed.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

You would think after 4 babies, I would know how to get the stains out of the baby’s clothing, but I don’t. So I keep doing the same thing – spray and soak and wash – and I am still left with a stain here and there that is permanently set in.

And then one day, I randomly asked a friend if she knew what to do to get the poop stain out – and she did! And it was so ridiculously simple, that I could have kicked myself. Here is what she said:

“Just wash the clothing, then put them out in the sun to dry.”

Yup, that easy. And is just happens to be summer right now, so…. last week, I washed the latest baby clothing with poop stains, laid it out in the sun to dry, brought them in – and there were no stains left on any of the clothing!

If you already knew this, be sure to share with your friends – I bet there is at least one who did not know this trick. If you didn’t know the trick, share it with all of your friends – there might be a few out that need to know.

If you do get the clothing clean, then you can trade it in to many places for credit when you baby outgrows them, including Amazon.com – Trade In with Three Easy Steps .

What are your best baby care tricks and tips?

Gymboree Sale On Now!

10 Ways To Serve Part 2 – Academics Are Not Perfect Religion

10 Ways To Serve Part 2 Academics Are Not Perfect Religion
Yes, knowledge is good. Yes, we want our children to be educated to do what God has planned for them. However, reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic is not what the Bible refers to as perfect religion.

What the Bible does refer to as perfect religion: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27 (NASB)

The Second In Our List Of How To Serve

Do you know a widow? How about a single mom who has been abandoned by her husband? I have seen the Bible define an orphan as one without a father, not just children w/o any parents. There are also 1000’s of children in the foster care system that one could consider an orphan, even if the parents still live.

This is where our time should be spent. This is where our heart should be. If you homeschool, you most likely have the time to adopt at least one family or one child to bless. They need you more than you need to complete every page of that workbook. It could be something as simple as taking their children once a month so that mom can have a day to herself. If you have ever spent a few weeks with your children w/o a spouse and/or grandparent to give some time, you will understand what I am saying here.

Maybe they need some supplemental food or household necessities each month. Maybe they need your families hand-me-downs. Maybe they need help with their homeschool. Maybe they just need a few people to understand the challenges they face.

In the end, although we want to be diligent to educate out children, God has made it clear what really matters.

If you know of a widow or single mom who homeschools or wants to homeschool and needs help, contact the HSLDA Ambassador Program or the HSLDA Widows Curriculum Fund. If you know if any other resources for widows and single moms, please let us know in the comments.

Follow the entire 10 Ways To Serve series.

10 Things To Do This Summer Under $10: #5 – Play In The Sprinklers!

10 Things To Do This Summer Under $10 Part 5

As I have been working on this series, I have been thinking back to my childhood – what things did I enjoy that cost very little or nothing (as least as far as I knew)? One memory that came to me was my parents turning on the grass sprinklers and running through them. I remember two different kinds of sprinklers: the one with lots of holes that the water came straight up through and the other one that came out two ends of a little rod and spun around.

In my child mind, this activity was free, since my parents had already purchased the sprinkler for the grass and they needed to water the grass anyway. But now that I am an adult, I do understand that there is a small cost involved.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

These days, lots of creative toy sprinklers are now on the market. The one that we are using the in the photo came from Walmart and I think we paid more than $10 for it, so I don’t actually recommend it. In fact, the whole toy sprinkler market almost seems a little overpriced.

If you want to find a good, old fashioned sprinkler, check out some thrift stores or here are a couple from Amazon:

Gilmour 876R Rectangular Pattern Spot Sprinkler
Orbit Metal 3-Arm Lawn Watering Sprinkler
Gilmour Circle Pattern Twin Spot Sprinkler 875

What is your favorite childhood summer memory?