Homeschool Resources Under $20

 

Most of us can relate to being on a tight budget. When it comes to choosing homeschool resources, I have to resist the urge to buy everything that sounds good. We love books and I don’t believe we can have “too many.” Anyone else?

At any rate, I’ve learned to rein in those impulse buys and look for bargains whenever possible. Here is a list of some great bargains I found on homeschool resources under $20. We have used everything on this list so I can vouch for the educational value these things have provided.

homeschool resources for a budget

Here’s a list of the best affordable homeschool resources – all available for $20 or less on Educents.

Helpful Resources

Homeschool Planner – This planner includes dated journal pages, practical forms, motivational quotes, and teaching aides to make your homeschool planning effortless and enjoyable.

Do-a-Dot Mega Bundle – 17 different activities that cover fine motor skills, numbers, letters, sight words, word families, shapes, colors, patterns, and early addition. All of these items are designed for use with do-a-dot markers, but they also come with a variety of suggestions for alternative uses.

Photography Lessons for Kids – Add some fun to your homeschool! Whether your kids have a point and shoot or a DSLR camera, the fundamental rules of photography can still be taught.

Math Resources

Tegu Geometric Blocks – Here’s a hands-on way to learn geometric shapes. These blocks come in many shapes and colors.

Educents Tegu Blocks

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Times Tales DVD – Kids can learn their times tables in a snap! Most homeschoolers say this DVD only takes about an hour to teach kids the upper times tables. There’s also a downloadable version available.

Life of Fred Math Stories – After reading the Fred books, kids will never say “math is boring” ever again. These fictional stories weave in math concepts with real world examples. Start with the Apples book for early math, and follow Fred all the way to calculus lessons!

Tegu Geometric Blocks – Here’s a hands-on way to learn geometric shapes. These blocks come in many shapes and colors.

Science Activities

Slimy Squishy Polymer Bucket – Learn, create, and play with your student. These polymers can help teach measurements, chemical reactions, and following directions.slimy_squishy_polymer_gloopy_hands_mommywifelife

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One Minute Science Mysteries – Each story, just one minute long, challenges students’ knowledge in earth, space, life, physical, chemical, and general science.

Language Arts Games & Lessons

uKloo Early Riddle Edition Treasure Hunt Game -Disguised as a treasure hunt, this literacy game gets kids physically active as they strengthen reading comprehension skills while solving clues to find a surprise.

ukloo treasure set

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Let’s Get Reading Bundle – Play detective with this printable packet investigating CVC words, phonics, word families and more! Kids can even print & wear spy gear!

Cursive Writing Worksheets – Make handwriting practice more fun with these superhero-themed printable worksheets.

Do you have a favorite inexpensive resource that has added value to your homeschool?

 

Sara (142 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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Learning American History Through Unit Studies and the American Girl Book Series

When the American Girl dolls first came on the scene, the girls were all historically based, and the books that accompanied them were not only cute stories about the girls themselves but a great overview of the historical time period that the girl was from. Over the years, the American Girl dolls have moved away from the original history-themed dolls, and there are many more modern girls in the series now. But the historical dolls and their accompanying books still offer a great way for girls- and boys as well- to learn about various periods in American history.

Although the dolls didn’t come on the scene until I was in high school, I was a doll lover and soon had several. My favorite was Molly. Not only does she look at little like me with brown hair and glasses, but I’ve also always had an interest in the World War 2 time period- Molly’s time in history. When I learned about the Girls of American History unit study curriculum based on the original American Girl books, I was very interested to have a look at the Molly unit study. I’ve also been covering American history with my younger girls- 10 and 11 year olds- this year, and we happen to be close to the World War 2 time period. I knew they would enjoy a unit study based on the American Girl books.

american girls review

About the Girls of American History Curriculum Series

The Girls of American History series is a series of unit studies based on the historical American Girl book series. There are thirteen units, covering the dolls from Kaya, a Nez Perce Native American girl all the way through Julie, who grows up in 1974. (And yes, I’m a little disturbed by the fact that a historical dolls line has a figure from the year after I was born!) The units in the curriculum series are numbered in the order of the American Girl doll releases, I believe, and not necessarily in historical order. From what we saw in the Molly series, the units are self-contained. So if you were doing a year of American history, you could choose to use the units in historical order.

Each of the units has six weeks of unit study activities. This is because the American girl book series has six books for each girl. So the unit study is set up to read one book each of the six weeks of the study. The unit study activities are multi-sensory, giving children with different learning styles the opportunity to do activities that best suit them.

The site’s Home page has information about how the unit study works and some flexible ideas about how to use the curriculum. It isn’t meant to be an all inclusive unit study curriculum, but you can adapt it to use in the way that best fits with your family and your need. The author emphasizes that, although the curriculum is based on the American Girls series, boys can enjoy it as well. There are some boy characters in the books we’ve read. But I don’t believe my son would enjoy them because they are based off of dolls and feature primarily girls. He has watched a few of the American Girl movies, but I’ve never been able to interest him in the books.

Upon purchase of a Girls of American History unit study, you’ll receive an email with your file and a password that allows access to the resources page on the site. The unit studies each have a list of required resources and suggested resources. The unit study file contains a suggested six week schedule for using the books and includes some ideas for crafts, field trips and cooking activities.

About the Molly-World War 2 Unit

We received the Molly unit study, and I began looking at how I would use this with my girls. The six week suggested schedule referenced crafts and other resources listed on the site. I logged into the password protected resources page for the Molly unit to see what resources we would use to do the suggested activities.

Within the craft resources section, there were a few broken links. There is a note from the author that says she can be contacted about any broken links, so I can notify her. With the working links, there are some fun crafts that we can make when those are suggested on the schedule- planting a garden like Molly’s victory garden, making a model airplane, and ways to recycle and compost. Some of the links- such as the model airplane- are for kits that need to be purchased.

girls of american history resources

After the crafts resource section, there is a section of suggested books. In addition to the basic series of six books which you’ll definitely need for the unit study, there are a host of suggested books, including the Molly’s Craft Book and Molly’s Cook Book, drawing books that have lessons for drawing from historical time periods, an American Girls mystery series based on Molly, and a variety of other books based in the time period. The author notes that some of these books are now out of print. There are links to purchase all of them- new or used- from Amazon or other sites.

girls of american history books

Included in the resource section is also a compilation of field trip ideas that will coordinate with the Molly books. There were a few links that allow you to search for trips closer to your area and then a few links to specific sites and museums throughout the US.

The resource also contains links to purchase all of the Molly books, including the mystery series, the mini Molly doll and book set, other Molly-themed books, and the Molly movies.

At the end of the resource page, you can find a few lapbooking resources. The six week unit study plan suggests time for working on a lapbook on some of the days. At the bottom of the resource page is a link to a free Homeschool Share lapbook, basic lap booking information, and an Amazon link to purchase the Knowledge Box Molly lapbook.

What I Think

If you have girls who are fans of the American Girl dolls, this could be a great way to get them interested in history. Reading through the basic set of six books and doing some of the extension ideas suggested would be a good supplement to an American history study. Kids who love hands-on crafts and cooking and field trips will especially enjoy some of these ideas.

You could probably take the time to hunt up most of these links and resources on your own, but there is often value in having things laid out and easily referenced. It saves me time and keeps me from jumping on the computer to look for “one little idea” and emerging two hours later having found that one idea, pinned forty crockpot recipes, checked Facebook for thirty minutes, and posted ten pictures to Instagram. Now I have those ideas laid out for me, and I can pick out an idea quickly as we read through the books.

I was a little disappointed at the fact that most of the resource links were links to something I would have to pay for. There were a few working craft links, the field trip links, and the Homeschool Share lapbook. But it seemed as if the rest were all things I would have to pay extra to use. Some of the Molly books could probably be requested through the library. I know our library doesn’t have even all of the basic American Girl books, but I may be able to request some of these through interlibrary loan.

All in all, if you have an American Girl doll fan, you may want to look at these unit studies as you’re covering American history. It’s a quick way to find some suggested ideas and resources for using the American Girl books as you move through history.

You can find the Girls of American History unit studies here. The site also has some samples, so you can get a better idea of what the digital download will include.

 

Girls of American History Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a unit of their choice! Just enter for your chance to win in the Rafflecopter below:

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Leah (15 Posts)

Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. Her days are filled with being a mom, homemaker, and teacher. In her (very rare) free time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and reviewing books and curricula. These days she’s learning the joys of being a mom of teens. You can read about her family and homeschooling life at As We Walk Along the Road.


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Tegu Blocks: Mom-Approved Toys with a Social Impact

 

Remember when “building with blocks” meant actual wooden blocks, not graphics on a tablet or computer screen? Do you miss the kind of free play and imaginative creativity that comes from those kind of wooden blocks? You’ll want to check out Tegu blocks — mom-approved toys with social impact!
Tegu Wooden Blocks are mom-approved toys with a social impact. Read why in this post! hsbapost.com

One of the oldest and most reliable toys that children have played with for centuries is the simple wooden block. It’s versatile, safe and most of all fun. While standard wooden blocks are still fun, there have been major innovations and advancements in technology to bring us to where we are now.

The Tegu blocks are an awesome modern twist on a classic toy. These blocks may look simple at first glance, but only when you start to play with them do you realize truly how awesome they are. Tegu blocks come with tiny magnets embedded in the blocks, which means that kids of any can create structures they only ever dreamed of. And with plenty of options, there’s a perfect Tegu set for any family!

What Moms are Saying About Tegu

Christina is a mommy of three who shares fun activities for kids on her YouTube channel, The Purple Alphabet. During her video review of the Tegu blocks, she says “It really encourages your child to think creatively… you’re gonna get a lot of use out of these over the years.”

“Bought these for my 6 year old grandson for Christmas and we now call his creations “the work of a City Planner. ” The different shapes and structures take on the look of city skylines with random items like trees, bridges, etc. Geometry was never so much fun.” -Deborah F.

“My first reaction was “these are pricey!” but they were highly recommended to me so I gave it a go. Now I can tell they will be loved for years. My 3 year old loves stacking them and clicking them together and a part. I even have fun playing with these and I’m an adult. They are high quality and the colors are great.” -Summer H.

The Social Impact

Not only are Tegu blocks fun, but they have a social impact. The business was founded in Honduras with the idea of helping out a country with an unemployment rate of above 30%. Local Hondurans are regularly hired and receive opportunities for growth and leadership within the company. If that weren’t enough, with every purchase of a Tegu product, the company plants more trees or funds a whole day of school for a child without access to education.

With a product this fun and a company that is so caring, it’s hard not to love Tegu, and the products listed here are only the beginning! Be sure to check out the full Tegu catalog to find out which one is right for you.

Classic 40 Piece

Create amazing structures and wonderful memories with the classic Tegu block 40 piece pack. Coming in four styles (tints, natural, jungle, and Nelson), the classic Tegu pack is the perfect purchase for kids who want to experience as many combinations as possible.

classic

What’s included:

  • 40 Magnetized Tegu Blocks in seven shapes
  • Large storage box
  • The Tegu Story booklet filled with build ideas and the Tegu story

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On-The-Go Sets

This Tegu pack is perfect for families who are constantly on the go. Available in four sets, these Tegu mini packs come with their own carrying case to make sure you don’t lose any of the pieces.

tegu1

What’s included:

  • Six magnetized Tegu blocks
  • High quality carrying case
  • Building ideas

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Classic Wood

This set is perfect for more retro-minded families. The classic wood Tegu package includes 22 slick wooden blocks that can be used to create tons of different wooden structures and shapes.wooden

What’s Included:

  • 22 magnetized blocks in four shapes
  • Storage box

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Do your kids play with wooden blocks? Do you use them as math manipulatives or just for creative free play?

 

 

Sara (142 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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