Free Homeschool Resources from the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op Webinar

This week I received an email to attend a webinar on the “Best Homeschool Freebies” hosted by Shiller Learning and presented by Cailin Sandvig from the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op.

Cailin went over several freebies that she enjoys using as a homeschool parent, many of which I didn’t know about.  I thought I would share some of them here.

Homeschool Buyers Co-Op Membership

Prior to the webinar, I hadn’t heard of the Home School Buyers Co-Op before (newbie here, still doing virtual school with my daughter).  The first thing Cailin highlighted was they offer free memberships.  Their website has several articles dedicated to other free homeschool resources from across the internet.  The primary purpose of their website is to offer discounts on curriculum because they’re able to purchase it in bulk.  They also offer several homeschool curriculum freebies on their website, and a neat homeschool field trip ideas map.

Access to Teacher Discounts as a Homeschool Parent

One of the things I didn’t know prior to the webinar was that as a homeschool teacher, you can get access to a free homeschool teacher id card (or student id) on their website.  This card can be used to get a teacher discount at many retailers.  Considering I never knew how much money I would be spending on supplies, books, computer ink, and more when we started on this adventure, every penny saved helps.  This is probably my favorite tip from the webinar.  If you want a more official and sturdier card, they also offer a printed version for $7.95.

Field Trip Ideas & Car Based Activities

On of the perks to homeschooling is having the ability to do hands-on education through field trips.  Of course field trips mean more time in the car, and if you’re not fond of your child having their nose buried in a tablet or other electronic advice, some of the car based activity ideas Cailin shared may interest you.

  • Road Trip Binder
    This was my favorite takeaway that I’ll be creating this weekend for my daughter!  A Road Trip Binder contains activities your child can do to keep them entertained on the road.  The best part … since you create it, it can be tailored to your child’s unique interests.
  • Drawing Prompts
    If you want to help your kids focus of what they’re experiencing during the car trip, Cailin recommended checking out these “Road Trip Drawing Prompts” activities.
  • Word Battleship
    Looking for a great way to practice spelling and challenge the mind?  Word Battleship is an easy game to create to play in the car.

Computer Skills

  • GCF Global
    GCF Global offers free courses on a variety of topics.  You can find free lessons on everything from Microsoft Office and internet skills to programming languages.  The best part is many of the courses include teacher guides.
  • MIT Courses
    The Mass. Institute of Technology offers a wide range of free courses on their website on a variety of topics.
  • Coding Skills
    W3Schools offers free courses on how to learn various computer languages and coding.

Storytime Ideas

  • Levar Burton Reads
    Who didn’t love Reading Rainbow growing up as a kid on PBS?  While the show doesn’t exist anymore, older children and adults may enjoy Levar Burton’s free podcast.
  • Goodnight with Dolly
    With a sweet voice and a passion for improving access to books for young kids, Goodnight with Dolly offers free videos of Dolly Parton reading stories to your child as part of her Imagination Library program.

Home Economics Ideas

  • Kids a Cookin’
    Kids a Cookin’ is a free website hosted by Kansas State University.  It teaches school-age children step-by-step in preparing nutritious, delicious, but most of all, fun recipes. Each week, pint-sized chefs will help prepare a different recipe that can easily be made in your own home. These recipes are not only simple to prepare and affordable, but are an excellent way to share the joys of cooking with your kids.
  • Plain and Not So Plain
    Plain and Not So Plain is a free Online Home Economics Kitchen Course. This course is designed to help you with the basics of the kitchen and lessons in simple cooking. It is designed with 16 units and over 60 hours of instruction both online and in lab work.

Teacher Tools

  • Schiller Diagnostic Testing
    As hosts of the webinar, Schiller offered a free code for those interested in utilizing their Diagnostic Testing.  They didn’t note how long the code would last, but if you enter “T@2HSBC” at checkout, they’ll waive the $19.95 fee for each test.

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