Month: April 2012

Discount Homeschool Books – Resources That Will Save You Money

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discount_homeschool_booksPurchasing discount homeschool books is a great step toward inexpensive homeschooling. Begin by making a list of books you want to purchase for each child, subject and grade level. Be sure to make note of each book’s retail price. Then check with the following retailers to find the lowest prices available:

  • Booksellers like Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Borders and Half Price Books allow homeschoolers to to take advantage of teacher’s discount programs to purchase new books at a reduced price. You may be asked to present official documentation when applying for the educator’s discount. If documentation is necessary, you can create a letter or homeschool ID card on your home computer.
  • Barnes & Nobles and Borders also host annual teacher appreciation events that offer savings over and above the educator’s discount.
  • Christian Book Distributors offers a free Educational/Homeschool catalog that offers savings of up to 90% on homeschool books and curricula. Its catalog also features product reviews by homeschool book author, Karen Andreola.
  • Rainbow Resource offers price savings on a variety of materials from popular homeschool curriculum suppliers. The company provides free shipping on orders over above $150. Its free catalog is also a great source of product reviews.
  • Scholastic offers a monthly book club flyer where homeschoolers can purchase materials for prices as low as 95 cents. The company also hosts semi-annual Customer Appreciation Warehouse Sales where it sells many of the fiction and nonfiction books from its monthly fliers at half the cover price. By registering for these sales through Scholastic’s website, you can print a fast cart pass that also serves as a coupon at checkout.
  • Usborne Books provides money saving opportunities through its home shows, e-fairs and consultant program. By introducing friends to Usborne books through a party hosted in your home or on a consultant’s website, you can earn free homeschooling books for your children. Usborne also provides home educators with the chance to become independent consultants. During my first 3 months as an Usborne consultant, I earned over $600 in free books, received commission on materials I purchased for my family, and earned money for use in our homeschool.

By purchasing materials at a home school curriculum fair, you can eliminate shipping costs and take advantage of show specials. Vendor fairs can save you money and time. By viewing the books before purchasing, you reduce the risk of having to return materials and select new ones.

You can also save money on homeschooling resources and supplies by taking advantage of teacher’s discount programs at Office Depot, Office Max, and Staples.

By: Carletta Sanders

Here is a list of other retailers that offer homeschool discounts. For links to free homeschooling resources and tips for buying used curriculum, visit Carletta’s website Successful Homeschooling.

Homeschooling Support – 5 Ways To Develop An Extensive Homeschool Network

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A home school network can help!

One of the most important components of successful homeschooling is good homeschooling support. Here are 5 ways you can receive the support and information your family needs to thrive:

Homeschool Support Groups

Homeschooling support groups are made up of families who meet regularly to provide each other with encouragement and social interaction. Homeschool support groups can be formal or informal depending their scope and purpose. Some groups limit membership to those who use a certain curriculum or hold specific religious beliefs. Inclusive homeschool groups are open to all families who educate their children at home.

Homeschool Coops

In homeschooling coops, or cooperatives, families join together to help teach each other’s children. Coop courses can be taught by parents or paid tutors. When choosing a co-op, make sure you understand the required level of commitment for both parents and students.

Homeschool Message Boards

Homeschool message boards, or forums, are great places to receive support without leaving your home. Some homeschool forums focus on specific teaching methods and curricula, while others are open to all homeschoolers. These online communities are excellent sources of information and encouragement.

Homeschool Conventions

Homeschool conferences are great places to meet and learn from other homeschoolers. Many of these events feature workshops that provide information about homeschool curriculum and techniques. Some conventions also host home school curriculum fairs where you can view and ask questions about home school materials. When preparing for a homeschool convention, make sure you are aware of the rules of the event.

Community Groups

Many businesses and organizations host classes or activities that provide valuable learning opportunities for homeschool students. Check with community centers, athletic facilities, museums, churches, libraries and other local companies to see if they offer programs that can benefit your children.

Stay on the lookout for the many opportunities for support that are around you. Homeschooling is not always easy, and homeschool support can help you stay the course when the going gets tough!

By: Carletta Sanders

Here is some additional information about homeschooling support. Carletta Sanders is a homeschool mom of 3. For homeschool information and activities delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for Carletta’s homeschooling newsletter.

Liven Up Your Homeschool Math Curriculum With Fun Family Games And Songs!

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homeschool_math_gamesWe often hear about the “good old days” and bringing them back, but for the most part we go about our daily routine and somehow don’t think that it’s possible to do that. It does seem like the pace of modern life is speeding up beyond all recognition, and we all wonder where the good times went. We ask, where is the glue that holds family and friends together? Fortunately for those who are homeschooling and/or working at home, you’re already more than halfway there, since you’re spending a lot of time together and at home, rather than at school or work.

Though it may seem difficult at first to recapture this strength of feeling and bonding among family and friends, it’s not really so out of reach. It’s similar to establishing an exercise routine. At first it’s a major struggle with every run, walk, bike ride or swim: a seemingly huge mountain to climb. But once a momentum is built up, it seems strange not to exercise!

Just so with good old fashioned family fun. You can struggle through the first, difficult times of coaxing everyone away from the TV or the Wii or the video game, but eventually the benefits of your efforts will pay off. You and your family and/or friends will find yourselves having a good time and loving it, wanting more and more of it. And you can also use the games to make a seamless connection with your homeschool curriculum.

These are two of the most favorite family games, and they’ve been math-adapted so you can have fun with them and can also apply them to your homeschool math curriculum.

Math Charades (2-12 players: the more the merrier)

Players are divided into two equal teams. Each player from team #1 writes an equation on a slip of paper (like 7X8=56 or 32-14=18), and gives one equation to each member of team #2. Each player on team #2 acts out his or her equation for the rest of the team, indicating the operation with crossed fingers for addition or multiplication, a horizontal index finger for subtraction, and the same for division with two dots indicated). Answers are shown with fingers. Correct answers are acknowledged with a silent nod, YES and incorrect answers by a silent shake of the head, NO. Play continues for each equation until the correct answer is given. If needed, paper and pencils can be used by the players, and/or a large times tables chart can be posted on the wall. Use a clock or watch to time the teams, and the team with the shortest total time wins that round.

Bingo! (2-12 players and a caller: the more the merrier)

Use small squares of paper to write numbers 1-75, with the following letters: 1-15/B, 16-30/I, 31-45/N, 46-60/G, 61-75/O. Write these letters and numbers on the board or a large piece of paper on the wall as well. All players make a Bingo card with 25 squares, 5 rows of 5 squares each. B I N G O is written across the top, one letter above each of the 5 columns. As s/he consults the list of numbers and letters, each player chooses random numbers from every letter’s group, writing them in numerical order down each row, while leaving the center space (a FREE space) open. Markers (buttons, stones, glass gems) are given to all the players (25 each). The 75 squares of numbered and lettered paper are placed in a bowl for the caller to call, one at a time. The first player to spell BINGO, across, down, or diagonally, wins. For an extra challenge, fill up all 25 spaces!! Players can total their columns at the end to earn extra points for correct sums.

Music is a natural partner with math, and you can further enliven your homeschool math curriculum with old favorite songs. Find songbooks at your local library or search the Internet for lyrics and/or sound tracks. Here’s one to get you started. Try your songs in rounds as well!

Simple Gifts

‘Tis the gift to be simple,
‘Tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
‘Til by turning, turning we come round right.

Have fun playing and singing and know that your homeschool math and all other subjects along with the well being of your family and friends will reap the rewards of your efforts!

By: Marin Lipowitz

This article has been written by an expert associated with Math By Hand, a leading company providing homeschool math curriculum ships worldwide.