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August 17, 2008

Homeschooling On A Budget – FREE Curriculum Items

Do You Want A Superior Homeschool Education

With These Free Items?

First you’ll need material and here’s the best news – you can get textbooks and other supplies for free!

Your Most Important Freebies!

1. Your Library.

Textbooks are expensive; real books are not, and they’re available for free at your public library.  Also, check your library’s website, because e-books are available as well.

Children learn just as much—if not more—when exposed to a variety of fiction and non-fiction books on the same topics covered in the usually drier textbook format. Not to mention, today’s library stocks more than books for your family’s no-cost learning adventures.

Most house some combination of magazines, newspapers, videotapes, audio books (perfect for car rides), computer software, art work, historical documents, and computers for public use (in case you don’t have one at home). 

Whether from home or the library, when you access the Internet, you connect yourself and your child to enough free materials to keep a person busy learning through many lifetimes, covering every subject and age range.

2. Online bookstore universities, internet search engines, Office Depot WebCafe seminars, Office Depot Live Interviews for Entrepreneurs, Acting Classes and more – all FREE!

If you’re looking for school-type materials, you can find online lesson plans, worksheets, classes, tutorials, science experiments, and more.

A.  http://www.EnchantedLearning.com is a terrific place for free lesson plans, and worksheets on nearly every subject.

B.  http://www.officedepot.com has a remarkable program if your family has the entrepreneurial spirit.   Their online WebCafe series is exceptional, and their partner, business on demand radio, with Jim Blasingame, has over 4,000 interviews free.  Forbes Small Business Magazine named Jim one of the 30 most influential people in America representing small business. 

His site, http://www.smallbusinessadvocate.com is the place to go if your child or anyone in your family wants to know how to start and run their own business.

But wait, there’s more…the Office Depot Business Resource Center has too many freebies to mention - so check them all out here:  http://www.officedepot.com/a/business-resource-center.

And remember, if you shop at Office Depot, sign up for their work-life rewards because your points add up fast – I know I’ve gotten free ink for my printer, free paper and all the other supplies I wanted.

C.  Barnes and Noble has a special book club section where you can actually speak with the author.  Visit their club at http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn   This book club took the place of Barnes and Noble University, and gives your family a chance to interact with authors.

D.  Want your child to have a free acting workshop?  Then visit http://www.redbirdstudio.com/AWOL/acting2.html

E.  Lookng for facts on virtually anything, countries, people, bibliographies, etc.   Visit http://www.factmonster.com 

F.  At http://www.A1Tutor.com there are brainteasers, crossword puzzles, learning games of every stripe, arts and crafts instruction, music, coloring pages, art work, recipes, and links to practically every museum, university, research center, science center, and historical site in existence.

G.  Want a free learning styles inventory to find out how your child learns best?  We have one in our book, Homeschooling And Loving It! on page 62.   In addition, there’s an excellent, self-scoring free personal learning styles inventory at http://www.HowToLearn.com

Use the search capabilities of www.google.com, www.altavista.com, www.askjeeves.com, or any other search engines, and you can often find thousands of web sites containing information on your child’s current interest or learning passion.

If your child asks a question for which you don’t have an answer, the Internet makes it easy, quick and inexpensive for you to find the answer together.

You’ll also want to keep learning about homeschooling even after you get started, and you can find plenty of free information on web sites and email lists. For general information, try: • Homeschool.com at http://www.homeschool.com , A to Z Homeschool at http://www.gomilpitas.com/homeschooling ,  National Home Education Network at http://www.nhen.org , Home Education Magazine at http://www.home-ed-magazine.com

Multiple homeschooling email lists are available. Some of these offer general discussions about homeschooling, but many more are set up to address special interests. For instance, email lists can focus on a specific homeschooling approach, homeschooling in a particular state, region or city, or homeschooling when someone in the family has special needs.

Household Items Are A Treasure Chest Of Learning

To discover what’s available, web surf over to www.yahoogroups.com and run a search on homeschooling.

Remember, if by some chance you don’t find what you’re looking for, it’s very easy to set up an email list of your own and let others find you! Resources you already have rev up your imagination and help your think beyond typical school accoutrements.

Take a good look around your home—you already possess a gold mine of educational resources! If you’re trying to save money—and even if you’re not—you’ll appreciate how common household items can perform double-duty.

Here are just a few examples to get your wheels turning:

Household items be used for learning measurement:  ruler, tape measure, bathroom scale, measuring cups, kitchen scales, multicups and spoons.  Use all of these to learn division, addition, subtraction, multiplication and conversions.

Use real money for more math, including concept of tens, making change, playing store, etc.  All types of paper can be used for writing, handwriting, spelling, art, creative writing and letter writing, etc.  Dry beans, poker chips, M&M’s can be used for arithmetic operations, sorting, buttons, beads graphing, etc.

Your calendar, clock, and watches help with time concepts.  Use Index cards to make your own games, flash cards, note cards, etc. Use your tape recorder for oral reports, pretend radio and TV productions, parent recorded stories for child, singing, etc.

Your radio inspires your singer or instrument player to be.  Use this for recording, music appreciation, styles, instruments, and introduction to other countries and their musical styles.

Use dice to play dominoes, playing cards for more math related skills, and all kinds of games to teach your kids about money and how to invest, save and calculate interest.

All these freebies, help you and your family recognize the world as your classroom and appreciate the value of everything for joyful learning experience.

Remember, create your best homeschooling year ever! 

If you haven’t already, grab a copy of Home Schooling And Loving It! at http://www.homeschool.com/hli and listen in each Tuesday to our live Homeschool.com Radio Show, where we review the book and interview authors and experts.  Visit:  http://www.homeschool.com/radioshow for the details.

Warmly,

Rebecca Kochenderfer

Author, HomeSchooling And Loving It!

Owner, Homeschool.com

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