Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Educents!!

(And by "We" I mean Educents!) 

Educents is turning ONE, ya'll! Can you believe it?!? Those of you who've been on board since its inception have noticed some incredible changes over the past year. The site literally went from offering just a few products--and leaving them up for quite a while--to offering a billion products, making deals with several vendors, and having to put time limits on how long you can make your products available! This is HUGE--and it all happened in just one year!

Educents has grown exponentially in the past year, and it's time to CELEBRATE! Because, really, it couldn't have happened without YOU....guess who gets the prizes, discounts, and giveaways?? That's right--YOU! 

If you aren't already signed up, make sure you create an account (which is totally FREE!) ...then subscribe to the newsletter via email so that you don't miss a single thing! (You'll be happy you did, too, because even after the big birthday bash, you'll be the FIRST to know about everything going on, what's up for sale, amazing discounts, and more!) 

Don't forget, signing up is absolutely, 100% FREE. The only thing you'll lose is your own money if you spend it unnecessarily on curriculum you were going to buy anyway when you could have saved loads by purchasing it on Educents! Just check out some of my previous posts to see what I mean! 

And how about a FREEBIE to get started??

How cute is this!? As promised, it's totally and completely FREE!

From products from big-name publishers (see previous posts) to teacher-created materials that will REALLY save you loads (again, see previous posts), you'll find it all on Educents. BUT! You must have an account in order to snag the deals, subscribe to the newsletter, enter giveaways, AND earn Edubucks (that's like earning "store credit"...and you earn it *every time* you make a purchase. How awesome is that?!

Oh, and I blog about Educents all the time, so you're free to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss announcements, too! The benefit of subscribing to my blog is that you get more than just "buy this!" You get to hear from a REAL homeschooling mama (who has been doing this homeschooling thing for 13 years now), and you get to hear how a product will really be good, see pictures of products in use, or, yep, even hear why something may not be a good fit for your family. 

Either way, stay in the loop and don't miss out the deals from this amazing curriculum-saving company! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Frugal Friday Freebies ~ 3/28/14

As I discussed once before, I'm going to start doing a weekly "Freebie Friday" for you guys! I don't have any set number (like "Freebie Five!" or something like that). It'll just be what I happen to come across or go find--yes, sometimes I do actually go hunting for freebies specifically for you! :)

  1. First up... you can pretty much call this the "mother-load of free clipart." Ashley Hughes has a LOAD of free clip art in her store, but this specific set was part of her reaching a milestone. I downloaded ALL 14 (yes, seriously--FOURTEEN!!) *free* pieces of clip art a couple of weeks ago because I follow her on TPT and saw my notification. It's called her "Amazing Accents" collection. If you're a clip art fan like I am, she's definitely one I'd suggest following--especially if you like freebies! Grab these here at her TPT store!

  2. These Spring Calendar Task cards are PERFECT for daily reviews! Although they're tagged as being "2nd grade," they'll easily work for anywhere from 7-10 year olds, just depending on where your child is at and the skills he or she has obtained. While I don't plan on using them in a calendar, I love using these types of things as just general daily review for whomever it suits. Sometimes, I'll sort them (like 7-8 y/o's, 9-10 y/o's) and then each day, "group" of my children will get a turn. They LOVE THIS!

    Also, if you like this, be sure to follow Second Grade Style for any updates she puts up! :)

  3. Next up is a FREE Bedroom cleaning mini flip chart from Times Tales. This is really cool because it walks children through cleaning up their rooms in a fun, step-by-step way. And, because it's in flip-chart format (versus Mom & Dad...), children can use these independently. My children are going to LOVE these, especially my younger two.

    Not that they need something like this in order to clean their rooms... but I'm planning on reserving them for when their rooms look like a tornado just struck (and hey, if I'm being honest, even our--parents--room gets that way at times). On those times, it's SO overwhelming--even for adults. {So then, why do some adults hold children to higher standards than we have even for ourselves??? That's more of a discipline/how-you-view-children issue, so I'll leave that off this blog.}

    Anyway: I have step-by-step type of thing (just 1-2 pages) in my Home Management Binder. My older two have their "Pre-Home Management Binders," but they don't have any pages like this. This is definitely "kid-friendly" and I can already tell it'll spark motivation in my crew on those dreadful, terribly overwhelming days. Can't wait to try these out! 

  4. Super-Charged Science has long been a known company in the homeschooling world. It's more than "just" Science, and it's definitely more than dry reading of a textbook. It's hands-on and VERY visual for my visual learners.

    With this free DVD, you'll get 10 (yep, TEN!!) cool, easy-to-do science lessons. The DVD will guide children step-by-step through each one. There are also activities and experiments that use easy-to-find, inexpensive materials, activities your children can do indepndently AND a 26-page PDF guidebook explaining each experiment as well as the Science behind each one.

  5. I LOVE finding new sources for inexpensive clip art! I love it even more when that clip art is FREE! Wooooot! I came across DJ Inkers through Educents and have been scouring the site ever since. Great stuff for really good prices! :)

    Easter Story in an Egg - Resurrection Eggs from

  6.  For years, my children and I have been doing Resurrection Eggs at Easter Time. If you shop at the Christian stores, you'll notice that they aren't always cheap--unless you get them on Educents, that is!

    How about $14.99??? :) Less than $15 isn't bad--especially since you can earn Edubucks along the way (you earn Edubucks for every purchase!). Also, since this is the "2014 Edition" (AKA the "Resurrection Eggs Anniversary Edition"), they've improved the contents as well!

    Considering you'll use them year after year, the price isn't bad (though I don't have any plans to "update" our version; they work just fine...and I'm NOT a fan of spending money unnecessarily). But let me say this: I've purchased TWO sets in 13 years of parenting. Why? Because a few preschoolers I birthed got a hold of the first set and thought they'd make a nice addition to their doll houses many years ago.... The second set not only went WAY UP HIGH (with explicit instructions NOT to touch!)... but they also sat there as my children simply got older.

    So, we've been using the same set for the past 5 or 6 years now. But, what fun it would be to make them! I think this is still a great idea even if you do have the pricey, store-bought version. I mean, I sure as heck wasn't buying four sets of those things...but by doing this craft, everyone would have his or her own set! Not that everyone must have EXACTLY the same things (I can't stand that mentality, and I happen to think it's school-bred but I digress...) but everyone simply *would* get his or her own. Unless we all made it a group project as we have some of our lapbooks....hmm! 

  7. Anyway, now I need to decide if I want to do these alone or together with some friends. Decisions, decisions!

    Whether you're making them on your own or are using the store-bought version (because maybe, like us, you already have one), check the current sidebar for some ideas for a couple of adorable--and cheap!--books that'd go great with the story, a lapbook, or just another day!
So, that ended up being 6 for this week! Stay tuned (by subscribing via email; Bloglovin' and Facebook buttons shall appear!). If you don't want to miss what I find for you each week, stay in touch! :) 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Don't Forget About FREEBIE Friday at TBA!

You may or may not be aware of this, but Teaching Blog Addict does a link-up on Fridays that is nothing but freebies! Yep, that's right--lots of FREE teaching resources, lesson plans, and other items, all in one convenient spot!
Freebie Fridays

It's been a pretty busy week around here, but I wanted to just post a quick reminder that today is FREEBIE FRIDAY at TBA! If you missed it and you're reading this on Saturday, that's okay; the freebies are still there! Remember, they also keep links up from previous Fridays so you have the opportunity to grab freebies from several weeks prior. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

FREEBIE! Notebooking Nook's FREE Science pages!

Pay no mind to the fact that this post (if you track it down at her site) says Feb. 21st. It's still available! So you can still go "Like" her FB page and grab it! 

Science Experiment Notebooking Pages - Only For Likers Facebook Freebie - Limited Time!

First, I've gotta give a shout out to Betsy at Notebooking Nook. Most of us already know her (and by "us" I mean homeschooling mamas). For the few who don't--or who've only recently learned about her--let me tell you: she is one generous mama! If you pop on over to her page--you know, after you snag the freebie below!--you'll see she's got many freebies available. She's extremely generous to offer so many freebies, and I've been using her site for years. (And no, I neither compensated nor paid to say that!)

As for the freebie mentioned in this post...

This is an incredible deal for some FREE (Science) notebooking pages! All you have to do is become a fan on Notebooking Nook's Facebook page in order to snag it. Here's a sneak-peek into what you'll get: 

Science Experiment Notebooking Pages Sample 1

And then, like any fine homeschooling mother would do, she's created pages that'll appeal to boys as well as those that'll appeal to girly-girls: 

Science Experiment Notebooking Pages Sample 2

Science Experiment Notebooking Pages Sample 3

Once again, ALL you have to do to grab these great freebies is "Like" Notebooking Nook's FB page. Once you get to her FB page, you'll see a button titled "Just for Likers." It's behind that "door" that you'll find your fabulous freebies! 

Have fun learning! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Free Printable Bible Book Cards!

Yep, it's time to get back to more FREEBIES--and here's another one for ya. :)

I found these when looking for some printable books/bookmarks of the Bible (I'll share what else I found in a minute!). Meet Penny is a blog dedicated to helping us homeschooling mamas (i.e. those most likely living on a single income) has shared some printable Bible book cards that you may find useful. Since they're printable, you can do with them whatever you want: laminate and turn into magnets; laminate, punch a hole in the top, and put them all together on a metal ring; and more.

Books of the Bible Printable

Oh, and these were created in order of the books of the Bible...which means you can glue them together, THEN laminate (I seem to have a thing about laminating!), and proceed with any of the above ideas. WARNING: IF you choose to glue bits together before laminating, DO NOT cut into anything you've glued together. Otherwise, it'll all come apart. (Ask me how much experience I have with that one...)

Friday, March 14, 2014

25 Children's Books for only $1 EACH!

Love dollar deals? Me too! Currently, Amazon is running a promo where you can choose from among 25 Children's Books for only $1! {<<--Click the link, not the image!}

FREEBIE Friday at Teaching Blog Addict!

Freebie Fridays

You may or may not be aware of this, but Teaching Blog Addict does a link-up on Fridays that is nothing but freebies! Yep, that's right--lots of FREE teaching resources, lesson plans, and other items, all in one convenient spot!

Since we don't use any specific "curriculum," I find Teaching Blog Addict a very helpful site. (For more on our homeschooling style, click on the Charlotte Mason tab above.) 

And as if that weren't enough...they also post the links to the previous Friday (in case you missed it)....AND the Friday before that! Of course, from each one of those posts, you'll also find the links to the previous Friday and the Friday before that....... They seriously don't want you to miss out on FREEBIES! You can see why it's called Teaching Blog Addict! :)

Regardless of your teaching style (we homeschoolers have more options in this area!), you may find something useful--and for free! I love it!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sermon Notes for Kids {FREE} Printable

If your little ones are like mine were, they could really use something like this pack of Sermon Notes for Kids to keep them focused in church. Of course, mine are older the sermon itself is enough to keep them focused--or should be....

But when they were younger, I would have loved to have something like this! I keep feeling like mine were born in the Dark Ages...or something...with all this cool stuff popping up left and right for little ones. WE never had this stuff! And my oldest two (twins) are only 13! Sheesh! 

This awesome FREE printable comes from Not Consumed (love that title!) and would have been a Godsend when my children were younger! It's a FREE "Sermon Notebook" that is specifically meant to help little ones stay focused in church--which is especially helpful for those of us who prefer FIC (family-integrated churches).

By the way: if you're looking for practical information as a solo mama, you'll definitely want to head to Not Consumed. She's got some very good information about dealing with the aftermath of a spouse leaving and other bits of encouragement you're likely to enjoy reading. ♥ 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

{FREEBIE} St. Patrick's "Crack the Code!"

Note: the link in this post does not link directly to the file, per the publisher's terms of use. However, it will link you directly to the post you'll need so you can download.


If you're a Pinterest fanatic {hand up}, you're probably seeing loads of free stuff for preschoolers and other little ones. It's, what about their older siblings? 'Cause I gotta tell ya, before you know it, those preschoolers grow up! 

Of course, it's always awesome to see stuff that works for children of all ages, and this freebie does the trick! My children LOVE these encrypting/crack the code type things, and this was no exception. It was a HUGE hit, especially since we had to spend half of St. Patrick's Day in the hospital. {blog post forthcoming} So, in the days prior, I looked for a few things here and there that'd give them something to do while they waited...and that's when I stumbled upon this gem. 

If you're a homeschooling mama, I'm sure you already know about Jamerrill at Free Homeschool Deals. (And if not, you do now!) Her site is loaded with freebies--usually so many you just don't know what to pick--and you can sign up for her newsletter to be the first to know about these freebies! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Homeschool Architecture, Bug Collectors/Bird Houses, Family Science (and Math!) games....and a St. Patrick's Day freebie for little ones!

With a young boy on my hands, I'm used to seeing building upon building erect. (I'm also used to disgusting bug collections, but I digress...) It's's innate in boys to want to create and build. Not that this is limited to boys, mind you; I'm sure plenty of girls enjoy seeing just how high they can build something before it topples over!

Architecture Course
Of course, there's a boy here... but note the girl in the background! 

If you've got a future engineer--or Imagineer!--on your hands, he or she will fall in love with this course from Homeschool Architecture! This isn't just some "build and watch it fall" thing. It's an actual course. As in, something your child will happily watch you schedule into your day!

If you look at my blog header, you'll actually see something similar made from gumdrops that we did a couple of years ago...but that didn't take as much effort as the above marshmallow structure would (because of the arches)! 

Have fun watching what your kiddos come up with before your very own eyes! And now, it's only $59.95--which is almost 40% off!

Speaking of bug collections... 

Let me say upfront: I am of lizards. Literally, I panic. I'm "okay" with seeing them outside, as long as they are a decent distance away (minimum 3 feet). But any closer and I start shooing them away. And in my house, I nearly faint. (Except for Sunday evening when, as we were on our way to our evening church services, I opened the door and one scrambled in. Somehow, my "fight or flight" instinct kicked right in and I "fought" the lizard...and won, of course. Immediately when I saw him, I.......stepped on him. Eeek! Gross!! But it just came instinctively, I'm telling you. I just....saw him, panicked for a second, and then BAM--stepped on it. Without even thinking. Afterward, I exhaled...realizing just what I'd done as I leaned back on the couch and felt my heart speeding out of my body. My teenagers said, "Whoa Mommy! I'm shocked at you!"

(Me): "For what?" I replied (thinking, DUH I'm not going to just let this thing be in my house).

(Teen 1): "For not running away...and for just stomping on it!"

(Me): "Well what did you think I was gonna do? Just let it roam the house?!?"

(Teen 2) "We expected you to take off running up to your when there was a snake in the yard."


(OK, #1 that was a snake. And what. Humph!)


My future herpetologist (who is forever collecting lizards and who knows he will never bring them inside) has been keeping his "pets" in a netted butterfly garden. However, I stumbled upon this that I absolutely know he'd love:

Wildlife Books
Granted, he'd want to keep his lizards in the Bug Bottle (fine by me, but they still are NOT coming in the house). However, I know he'd love the Bird Book and Bird Feeder as well! (We actually have some wooden ones upstairs from this past weekend's "Build & Grow" at Lowe's...but it isn't our first bird feeder. And, he made most of our previous ones.) At just under $25, it, too, is nearly 40% off! 

And if those weren't enough deals for ya...... how about some Math and Science games for the whole family? There's Math Explosion, Sci-ology, and Animal Tracks--a must-have set for homeschoolers, I'm telling you! This set is AWESOME.

Ready for some freebies? 

I'm almost always loaded with freebies, and today is no exception! (OK, some days my posts are "loaded" with freebies for you...other days, it's just 1 or 2. Today is one of the latter days.)

BTW, today's freebies are for the littles in your home!

First up........ how about SIX I See Sam books??? And yes, they are 100% FREE! These books are normally $20 (don't believe me? Google it and see!) But for right now, you can get them totally FREE!

SIX I See Sam e-books
And for your littler ones working on sight words and Spelling, check out this seasonally appropriate....... and FREE...... St. Patrick's Day freebie! This is so cute! You just print out the pages (which your kiddos can also color) and the letters. Then, your little ones will complete the sentence with a sight word by building the word (excellent hands-on Spelling practice) that goes in the blank.
St Patrick's Sight Words

Well, I've finished my coffee... so it's time for me to get to doing some guided learning with my own crew. :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

FREE Easter Printables for Preschoolers!

This has got to be the CUTEST free pack I've seen for preschoolers in awhile. You get seven pages of large pics to color (easy for little ones). The benefit to large pictures is that they can do more than just color: paint, glitter glue, sequins, pom-poms....all go great with large pics! Some of you are cringing at the thought, but I LOVE crafting with little ones and loved doing them with mine when they were little. Protect your workspace, use washable, and it all comes up later. And 10 years later when you pull it out of a bin, you're gonna cry...and be thankful you let them do those things (ask me how I know). :) 

Be sure to check out the Intentional Mama's blog for GOBS of other freebies, as well as low-cost (and mama-friendly) printables! Love her site, and if I had preschoolers, you betcha I'd be buying! 

An Educents Exclusive ~ Trio of FREEBIES!

You've heard me say it before: Educents is one of THE best places for homeschooling freebies. I seriously look forward to my daily newsletter from them to see what's going to be the newest deal, LOL.

But check out this TRIO of freebies--all in one spot!

Educational Bundle
I got the Times Tales download myself a week or so ago (I blogged about it, so you'll see it wasn't that far back). But the coloring book is just AWESOME as is the Spanish Lessons book. 

Draw Write Now deals at Educents!

Draw Write Now Boxed Set
The Draw-Write-Now boxed set is one of the latest homeschool-friendly publishers to hit the Educents floor! 

One of the best things about this series is that it brings History topics alive for children. Although the publisher of this program says "up to 3rd grade," it's EASILY adaptable for children much, much older. Even teenagers enjoy using these books. I've seen it at co-op, in person, and in my own home. The gentle approach of the series appeals to many Charlotte Mason homeschoolers while the art-sy approach seems to appeal to many Waldorf and Montesorri homeschoolers. 

And then there's just the fact that it's an awesome series that appeals to ALL homeschool types no matter what! LOL 

Go check it out while you can get it for an amazing price! Of course, if you're not sure about buying the whole kit 'n kaboodle, you may want to buy a single book instead of the whole series.Or, if you have a 5-6 year old, you may be interested in the drawing and handwriting book (pictured below).

 Draw Write Now Workbooks

 But if you already know about this series--or may even have some of the books in your home right now--then you know this is awesome. Go get it! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

No Prep Grammar, Totally Open and Go ~ "Teaching Grammar" set at Educents!

Teaching Grammar

So, Grammar isn't always the most fun subject to teach...especially if you don't even understand it yourself. You look around, you talk to other homeschooling mamas, and you keep hearing about some supposedly-glamorous grammar program that you're this.close. to buying. It promises to teach Grammar and promises your kiddos will retain the info to boot! 

Lemme let you in on a little secret: in reality, you can teach everything there is to know about Grammar in one year. And remember, I say that as a Sr. Editor/Sr. Content Editor/Writer....and a whole slew of other titles that are pretty much not worth mentioning except to show you that I know what I'm talking about. Not to toot own horn or anything.

But yes, you read that right. ONE year. There is seriously no need to spend big money on some "fabulous" program you're dying to check out at convention. Instead, go for something less complicated (and that's very open-and-go...which we all LOVE!) like the Teaching Grammar set at Educents for only TEN BUCKS!! (Well okay--and 99 cents.)

This set has TEN instant downloads and enough pages to last the entire school year. As a Writer and Editor myself, I can tell you that Grammar isn't really something that you need to teach *every* single day (though many homeschoolers are under the impression that that's the case). Trust me--it's not.

In fact, going over Grammar evvvvvery single day is a great way to kill retention. Because guess what? Most curricula publishers are going to keep having them do Grammar every.single.year. until they graduate. Isn't that splendid? 

I know, you're jumping with joy.... 

Instead of killing retention or boring Mom to tears, try something WAY less expensive, far more engaging, and that teaches just as much as the other programs ....except without all of the unnecessary "fluff."