The Best Black Friday – Cyber Monday Deals for Homeschoolers

 

I don’t know about you, but my budget can always use a helping hand.  That’s especially true around this time of year when I’m hoping to buy gifts for family and friends.  That’s why I’ve been scouring the internet and looking for some great deals on some of my favorite homeschool curriculum and supplies.  To make it easier for our readers shopping online this weekend, I thought I would list all the sales I’ve found so far to save you some time!  I divided them into categories: Books, Lapbooks/Unit Studies, Science, Art/Creativity, Printables, Bible, and Curriculum and Helps.

 

The Best Black Friday Cyber Monday Deals for #Homeschoolers @hsbapost

 

Books

Beginning on Black Friday and extending through the weekend to Cyber Monday, Usborne Books is having their annual Book Friday sale, with up to 60% off on books and activity packs.  They have something for everyone from birth through high school.  From the popular touchy-feely series of books for little ones to the Conspiracy 365 suspense series for middle school/high school, as well as books that will help you in your homeschool studies, Usborne Books has it all.

 

Book Friday Black Friday to Cyber Monday Usborne Books sale www.kidsloveusbornebooks.com

 

All ebooks at Homeschool Encouragement are on sale! Come see our list.

 Lapbooks + Unit Studies

Black Friday Lapbook SALE

Homeschool Curriculum and Helps

 

 

Basic Shapes for Beginners ebook

Get 30% off Basic Shapes for Beginners using the special coupon code: ChristmasSale30 at check out. This code is valid from December 1-8, 2014.

 

BlackFriday30_MediaAngels


Printables

 

Save on printables, unit studies, file folder games, workbox tags, and more for grades PreK through 4th at Little Learning Lovies.  50% off each item or 95% off to buy EVERY FILE on a USB! You can even make three monthly payments or use PayPal and get 6 months to pay.

 

 

E.H.M. Member’s Only Website 2014 Thanksgiving Sale

 

Use code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout.

Art & Creativity

 

 

Exclusive Kiwi Crate Black Friday Sale! Starting today to 12/1, save 60% on your 1st month subscription to any Kiwi Crate Family Brands PLUS free shipping with code HOLIDAY60 at checkout.

This holiday season, give the gift of monthly hands-on projects designed to spark creativity and curiosity for the little ones in your life. Kiwi Crate was founded on the vision of inspiring kids’ creativity and its mission is to help equip the next generation of innovators with the tools for creative problem solving and exploration. Kiwi Crate offers high quality award-winning products across four brands for young makers ranging in age from 3 to 16+.

 

Online Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist Class

 

 

 Science

 

Cyber Monday Sale 2014 Groovy Lab in a Box

 

 

 

Bible

 What’s in the Bible? DVD series

Nest Animated Bible DVDs at NestLearning.com

 

 

Educational Fun

Toys & Games at NestLearning.com

 

I hope these sales help your budget, too!  Best of all, you can do all this shopping from the comfort of your own home!

 

 

 

Sara (38 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.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***Early Christmas special for HOMESCHOOL POST readers: 25% off BIBLE STORIES 5 DVD Boxed set + FREE SHIPPING. Over 17 hours of content including 15 stories and 15 complete step-by-step art lessons. Code to use: HSP http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/bible-stories.html***
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Thanksgiving Writing Activities and Prompts

 

thanksgiving pies

Just because it’s the week of Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate a few fun writing activities and prompts into your homeschool days. Even if you traditionally take time off from formal schooling, you can still find engaging and inspirational ideas to get the creative juices flowing (along with the turkey and cranberry sauce!).

Here are a few fun ones to try:

Video Writing Prompts: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Video Writing Prompts: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving from TeachHUB.com has great ideas for each age range (K-12). My favorites are “Food Frenzy” and “Create Your Own Holiday.”

25 Thanksgiving Writing Prompts

Journalinghelps.com has an extensive list of writing prompts for both primary and older students. In addition, there are story starters, report ideas, and movie ideas! Pick a story starter and add a little each day. Check out the movie list and choose one together to watch on Thanksgiving eve or day. It’s a nice change from football (not that there’s anything wrong with that)!

A Thanksgiving Tweet

From the wonderful folks over at WriteShop.com, here are 5 {fun} Thanksgiving writing prompts. I love the one where the thanksgiving turkey sneaks into the house and sends out five, potentially desperate, tweets. If you were the turkey, what would you say in 140 characters?

Journal of Thanks

This idea is fairly simple and is a take-off on the 30 Days of Thanks as seen on social media. If you haven’t had a chance to start on Day 1, no worries, get started now! Write down each day one thing that you are thankful for. Participate with your children. Have your kids decorate each page, if they like, by illustrating the thing they are thankful for that day.

Wishing your family a warm and joy-filled week of Thanksgiving. Be sure to let us know in the comment section if you tried any of the writing activities or prompts!

 

Angela (29 Posts)

Angela is co-founder of Mosaic Freeschool and a homeschooling mom to two never-been-to school kids. Born in Southern California and raised on the East Coast, Angela had a bit of an unconventional education, but did not consider homeschooling seriously until her first child was born. Believing that young children learn best from those that love them most, Angela and her husband John chose homeschooling for their two boys. She is dedicated to the advancement of alternative education choices, creating the web-site Raising Autodidacts in 2011 to further explore the idea of fostering the self-taught individual. In June of 2013, she started an instructional writing service called Gathering Ink .


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***Early Christmas special for HOMESCHOOL POST readers: 25% off BIBLE STORIES 5 DVD Boxed set + FREE SHIPPING. Over 17 hours of content including 15 stories and 15 complete step-by-step art lessons. Code to use: HSP http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/bible-stories.html***
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The Cornucopia of Homeschool Blogs

 

cornucopia_2

I am profoundly grateful that blogs came about when they did.

You see it was writing a blog that not only reignited my own stalled education….but also blogging that led me to discovering homeschooling in the first place.

Amazingly, I was 30 years old and had never even heard of homeschooling until stumbling across John Taylor Gatto while researching a post!

But that was merely the beginning. Here’s my advice on how a homeschool parent can get the most out of blogs today, and into the future:

Read Blogs

Whenever I meet a frustrated homeschooling parent the situation is almost always related to television and video games.

But if that isn’t the culprit, in my experience the parents generally suffer from a “lack of research”. And that’s where homeschool blogs come in. I can’t believe how many homeschoolers I’ve met who are not utilizing the bounty of the internet – more specifically the collective wisdom, practical ideas, and inspiration of homeschool bloggers.

Some parents are just not very tech savvy (Luddites!) and/or they are afraid of the web for addiction or content reasons. Either way it’s a shame. The internet is a powerful tool – probably the most powerful educational tool in all of history.

If you think about it, people who don’t read blogs (on any subject) are, essentially, closed-minded.

Now how is a parent ever going to promote resourcefulness, computer literacy, and open-mindedness in their children with such an attitude?

Read Comments and Comment!

Oftentimes the real gold in the homeschooling blogosphere is buried in blog post comment threads. Yes, often the readers are more knowledgeable of a particular topic than the blog post writer!

In fact I admit that there are a few blogs that I read even though I rarely learn anything from the actual blogger. Instead I mine the comment threads for nuggets of wisdom and provocative insights.

And don’t ever be hesitant to add to the discussion yourself. Definitely comment when you have something to say. AND, most of all, ask questions when you have them. It costs you nothing and I promise you’ll be shocked at the level of generosity and helpfulness of others.

Write Your Own Blog!

Very few people are going to actually do this. And of those that do, only a small percentage will keep at it diligently, over time. Nonetheless I still strongly recommend it for many reasons.

Writing a blog will sharpen your focus, remind you of your neglected goals and priorities, and in general elevate your level of self-awareness.

Of course it’s also great to share your experiences, to give back a little inspiration to others. I promise you’ll be amazed at the power and effect your posts can have on others.

chrissy_blog_512x382

Have Your Kids Blog

Yes. Make it part of their daily or weekly work. It will be low-stress writing practice and additionally will provide a priceless record of their lives and intellectual growth. Blogging will exercise their creativity, sharpen their computer literacy, and may even, as happened with my son, get them interested in computer programming.

Here is his original blog, started at age 6:

The Youngest Blogger

But a few months ago he recently upgraded to a more customizable and more complicated(!) WordPress site:

HomeschoolSon.com

Christine got started at age 4! Here’s her blog:

Christine’s World

I highly recommend Blogger.com for its ease of use, its cost (free!), and linkage to Gmail accounts.

When the kids were young…

We would first “discuss” the blog post. My wife or I would write down a few sentences on paper. And then the kids would “copy” the written words which were placed next to the computer in an inexpensive document holder.

Here is an example of one of my daughter’s early (4.5 years old) posts – Mom.

So we started out that way, collaborating, copying, and paying strict attention to some details like capitalization, spelling, grammar, and aesthetics.

But as the kids got older my wife and I happily backed off. To us the important thing is that our kids are creating and producing content on a regular basis – that during each day they are on the lookout for “bloggable” material. Every couple of weeks we will sit down with them, make corrections, and add a little polish. In other words, we believe proper grammar, punctuation, diction, etc. are all secondary, if not tertiary to the process of blogging.

Go talk to any writing teacher or just do some research online and you’ll discover how painfully difficult it is to get many teenagers to write. To them, writing is torturous and infinitely frustrating. A lot of them are self-conscious and embarrassed about what they put down on paper. I myself have even seen some violent reactions when a parent tries to get their older children to write or even tries to take a look at what they have written.

By starting writing so early via blogging, my wife and I are not only trying to forestall this drama….we’re trying to get way out in front of it. We want to raise kids who not only can write effortlessly, but love to do so.

Tips for Blogging

These days, when bloggers are starting out….I warn them that there’s a solid chance that very few people will actually read their blog.

Why? Because of the exponential proliferation of web content and social networking. There’s just so much noise out there it’s unrealistic to expect to gain much traction. 7-10 years ago was a different story. But now the blogosphere is very crowded.

So I remind upstarts to blog “for themselves”. Do it to keep their own brain fresh and to keep a quasi record of what they are doing, one that they will certainly cherish as the years go on.

Since it’s a record, a diary….vacations, special projects, events, milestones, and even unhappy developments are obvious blog post ideas.

However, if one does want to attract a wider audience here’s my advice on how to do so.

Be original! Look at all the blogs out there and see how you can stand out, how you can offer something different. Be funnier, more irreverent, even outrageous. Forget about doing curriculum reviews and posting pictures of the blueberry muffins your kids helped you make.

Spice up your blog with your personal interests. Post a video of your golf swing. Blog your weight-loss or fitness challenges (before and after pics!). Whatever. Just do something that few others are doing. One thing I did (with my non-education, personal blog) was post all of my trades in the stock market. I didn’t write an article typical of a financial magazine where an analyst says, “I like shares of FB (Facebook)”. My posts were almost in real time and said, “I just bought shares of FB at 55.24…” My readers really appreciated this level of intimacy.

Again, if you want to stand out in the crowded World Wide Web, you’re going to have to take it up a notch. A surefire way to do this is to just give far more details about what you’re doing.

Another tactic to increase readership is to turn the blog focus away from yourself. Produce “helpful” content for your audience. It almost goes without saying that readers will rave about you and share your content if you can improve their lives in some way.

One thing that really chafes me is when I find a great homeschool blog and can’t even find out where the blogger lives. Not even which State! Then I become a detective, trying to figure out which mountain they just climbed from the images posted, and trying to figure out where they are based on context clues.

Why does it bother me?

Use Blogs to Connect

It bothers me because homeschooling, depending on where a family lives, can be lonely in the beginning. There are many people doing it in rural areas – even foreign countries – nowhere near any other homeschoolers. And I’ve mostly lived in Boston, New York, and now London – which are hardly hotbeds of homeschooling. So it’s always been tough to find other homeschool families – and even tougher when people are hiding!

You see, that blogger who doesn’t share any details might have a reader, a big fan who has a friend or family member living near the blogger – someone who is thinking hard about homeschooling (or really SHOULD homeschool) but has the usual jitters, who feels they’d be lonely in their community, doesn’t know how to get started, etc. A blog with more details has the potential to connect more homeschoolers to each other. Numerous times I myself have met people in person, AFTER I found their blogs. More accurately, I met them in person ONLY because of their blogs. My latest such success was connecting with Sarah from Delivering Grace when we moved to London earlier this year.

So please, put pictures of your kids online, use their real names, tell everyone where you live. Don’t be afraid of imaginary stalkers or privacy breaches. In over 10 years of blogging I’ve never experienced or even heard of someone having the slightest problem for posting information about themselves online. On the contrary, all those online marketing experts and blogging gurus will advise you to do just what I said above if you want to gain traction – give details, lots of them.

john_blog_512x312

So even if you aren’t going to start blogging yourself, there are still many ways you can benefit from them.

I had a guy, an erstwhile friend (stereotypical bitter, cynical Ivy League guy from Boston), tell me about 6 years ago, “You’re never going to make any money from a blog…ever.”

I thought for a moment and responded, “Well, I discovered HOMESCHOOLING by blogging….go try and put a dollar value on that!”

 

 

Blogger To WordPress Transfer Kit

Dan (4 Posts)

Husband to Inez. Father of John and Christine. Homeschool Coach, Accelerated Math Teacher. Former derivatives trader and future scratch golfer! Follow our learning adventures at HomeschoolDad.com.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***Early Christmas special for HOMESCHOOL POST readers: 25% off BIBLE STORIES 5 DVD Boxed set + FREE SHIPPING. Over 17 hours of content including 15 stories and 15 complete step-by-step art lessons. Code to use: HSP http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/bible-stories.html***
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