Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Free Amazon Gift Cards - Takes Very Little Time

I have been using Swagbucks for years, since my kids were babies, maybe even before, I honestly can't remember. If you don't know, listen up: I have used this, with little effort, to provide my kids with Christmas, to buy our homeschooling materials, to pay for groceries and household items here and there. I know several people who have used it to pay for actual Disney vacations - not even kidding.

For your reference: 500SB = $5. It isn't a way to get rich quick, but if you have a few minutes, you can use it to pad your budget or make some fun money. It's also a way to get cash back from shopping, and a great source for discounts.

I put maybe 30 minutes of effort into this in the morning. This is how I do it. When you log in, there is a goal to meet at the top and a to-do list to the left. If you hit the goal, you get a bonus the following month. If you hit the goal every day for 7, 14, 21 days, or the entire month, you get an even bigger bonus. I've done that a couple times. I work my way down it.

First is the Daily Poll. You answer a question, that's 1 SB. Daily Watch is easy. Click on it and let it run while you brush your teeth and do your hair or make breakfast. The first one is worth 4 SB. Swagbutton Activity will be greyed out every day if you install the swag button on your chrome browser, which makes it easier to enter codes anyway. Daily Search - just click on that and see if you get a search win. Search wins are an exciting thing. If you use swagbucks as your search engine (for simple things, be not deceived, this is not Google) you stand a chance of getting a win. I've won 100SB on searches before, they seem to happen about 1 in 10 searches, but don't spam the search or you won't get anything.

Next you click on Daily Discover. There are tons of offers you can do that might get you a really great deal, some of which you put in money on some deeply discounted item and you get back SB. There's a deal with Schwans right now, where if you shop through Swagbucks, put at least $35 in your cart, use a coupon for 50% off (google it!) and you'll pay whatever half your cart is, and they will bring you your food, and then you get 3500 SB back. That's $35. So you pay, say $17.50 (minimum) and they'll give you food and $35. Not too shabby.

But you can't do that every day. So what I do is, when I click Discover, I go down to Radium One. There are two videos related to seizures. I click it, let the video run (about 30 seconds I think) and then it credits me.

The last part is surveys. Surveys are what takes the time. There are 5-10 minute ones, there are hourlong ones. They pay all kinds of different amounts. Sometimes, those surveys will get you free things to use in your home and try out in exchange for your honest impressions. We had a Keurig for 6 months to try out thanks to an in home use trial from Swagbucks.

Once you finish a survey, you probably met your goal (starts out very low but will get bigger) and maybe your second goal (second goal = extra bonus. And once you finish your to-do list you get an extra bonus!

There are other things you can do to get the money to go up. There's the SBTV app, which will play and every 5 videos it drops 2 SB into my account. SwagIQ is a really fun trivia game that some people win big with - I usually only win 3-4 SB but it's a fun game. I let the Watch player just run on the computer while we school during the day, and it just drops SB into my account. I come up with about $25 every 10 days. For me, it's extra money to do special things. So I always cash out with a $25 Amazon gift card, and your first one is even discounted to 2200 SB so you get there faster.  The gift cards say they can take up to a week, but I usually get mine in 3-4 days.

So with about 30 minutes of actual paying attention to it, I come up with a little extra money - you should totally check it out, even if it's just to pad your Christmas budget, or you know what? Get a little extra spending money to get something for YOU! Why not? We all get so used to spending only on the kids, the husband, the pets, the house. Treat yourself, and this removes every trace of guilt. Because it's basically free money.

Try Swagbucks!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

50+ Free Homeschooling Resources

I realized a little bit ago that I may have neglected to share some important information with you. I'm so sorry about that.

You can homeschool for free, or almost free.

I mean, obviously someone in your home has to be able to support your family, and there may be some logistical challenges that I'm not qualified to adequately address. That's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the folks who say, "Homeschooling is so expensive! How do you afford it?" or "I wish I could homeschool but it costs too much."

This is just a taste of what I've collected for you over on my homeschooling blog - Flying J Homeschool. I have a post with over 50 different resources, all of which are free. So if this list has you wanting more, jump over there and see the complete list. (For now! Stay tuned!)

The following are resources that I have either personally interacted with, or (far more rarely) a close friend that I trust has personally interacted with and told me it was great.

Teachers Pay Teachers has an amazing collection of free or cheap printable worksheets.

YouTube. Yes, I know, it's user created content. But there is SO MUCH GOOD out there, especially when it comes to science. There are some really amazing educational YouTube channels that can help you dig deeper into a topic. Additionally, many of the same documentaries you can find on Netflix and Prime you can find on YouTube.

PBS Kids: They make every list for me. Tons of games, lots of good science, spelling, reading, etc. Videos if they want. And PBS is provided by viewers like you!

Arcademics is Arcade + Academics. Educational and fun games that result in learning of reading, math, spelling, and the logic and reasoning that accompanies any video game.

Curriculum:
Ambleside Online is an old, old, old Charlotte Mason homeschooling program that provides you with a list of books for each grade level that covers history, science, language arts, and geography. You can also get book lists from Sonlight and Bookshark, just click on your child's grade.
Easy Peasy All In One Homeschoolis a great curriculum, offers you a day by day plan and it's totally free. Lots of printing but I hear a lot of great things about it.

Reading:
Oh gosh. Let's see. We used Starfall, which the boys didn't really like. They loved Teach Your Monster To Read, which is a free offering from Usborne.

Spelling:
Spelling City is really great, you can input their spelling lists. The boys have enjoyed this more than any other spelling app or program we have attempted. Which is to say, they still hate it, but they hate it....less.

Math:
Khan Academy is a wonderful math program (and it frees the parent from having to actively teach math). It goes all the way up through calculus, differential equations, all that. A godsend, I know. And free!
Prodigy: This math game looks like a MMO almost pokemon game, but in order to advance, you have to get better at your math. You set the grade level, then you can assign topics, say, measurement, or 3 times tables. Whatever you need.
Calculation Nation is a math game community for upper elementary through middle school, lots of gaming, nice interface.

Financial Literacy: Visa has you hooked up here, guys. It might be because they want you to eventually open a card with them. But in the meantime, they offer tons of free materials. My kids have enjoyed the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy comic books, but there are also video games. Financial Football, Financial Soccer, Money Metropolis, and Peter Pig's Money Counter (for the little buddies). Isn't the lack of training in financial literacy one of the reasons we don't love the public education model? Get your kids some free materials to help with that.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST!!!

DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!

Your public library. It is free (Except for the fees - that is the REAL cost of homeschooling) and crammed with resources. You can look through Magic School Bus, Magic Tree House, all the classic literature, you have experts right there to help guide you, you get to leave the house, it's wonderful. They have computers there too, if you haven't got one at home. And many libraries also offer games, CDs, and DVDs. Depending on their connectedness, they may be able to get you specific books through an interlibrary loan.

Anything you can't get through your library, you could try Project Gutenberg. This website offers a ridiculous amount of classic books as ebooks for free. Readability wise, not great for a kid, but you can use it easily as a read aloud. And it isn't fancy, just runs on a browser, so you can pull it up on your phone - you know you're never without it.

And so, that is my big list of free resources that can be used in homeschooling. It's by no means exhaustive and as I find new stuff I plan to add it here as well. If a link is broken, or if you have something you want me to check out and add, please comment and let me know!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Free Homeschool Materials: Science DVDs!

I posted this already on the Flying J Homeschool blog, but I know some of you are not aware of it yet, so I thought I would share it here too since it's a great freebie!!


Hey lovelies!! My friend sent me a link today that has me ALL excited - so excited that my husband is doing the post-dinner cleaning for me so I can tell you all about this. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute will send educators (YES, that is you, you are an educator, educating your children after all) free DVDs about science. 32 different DVDs on different subjects.

They appear to be geared more toward middle and high school, and I know a lot of you are schooling big kids. But there were two (luckily for me, they were the first two) that were perfect for what my boys are studying!

Jonny is studying water birds for his NOVA Wild! project, so the one called Ecology of Rivers and Coastsis perfect for that. The description mentions fish, crabs, insects, snails, and algae, but it also says that one of the major themes of this program are food webs. Those animals are food for the water birds, and food webs are one of his goals on his checklist. I've got my fingers crossed that we will see some good birds in this DVD.

Jasper is interested in the outer planets of our solar system for his NOVA Out Of This World project, and The Farthest: Voyager in Space fits perfectly. The Voyager program has explored Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, which is a thing that my 8 year old child taught me. Go delight-directed learning! So he will be excited to watch that.

Like I said, there are 32 DVDs, most of which are for older kids and many of which are, perhaps very predictably considering the source, medical in nature. There are some cool ones, topics include DNA, evolution, AIDS, Alzheimers, Zika virus (if you live in southeast Texas and are homeschooling a big kid, you should totally do a project on mosquito-borne illnesses!), vaccines, the biology of skin color (which I have seen and it will make you feel very very disgusted by the fact that humans have treated each other differently based on something so ridiculously simple), and several about dinosaurs if you have someone who wants to dig in deeper and isn't intimidated by the big words. I'm not going to say it's for big kids because I have known some five year olds who could probably hold their own at a paleontology conference.

Anyway, check these out, sign up for an account, and get them mailed to you for free!!

Many, many thanks to Terra for bringing this to my attention.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

AMAZON'S HOLIDAY TOY LIST JUST DROPPED! Check out my favorites.

Amazon's 2018 Holiday Toy List has just dropped. I always check it, because without fail, one of my kids has been nonstop talking about a toy, and if it's on that list I have to grab it before it winds up costing an arm and a leg on eBay. This year, of course, is no different. There are some really neat things on this year's list, it seems like a lot of interactive, STEM-y type stuff. Here are a few of my favorites.

Of course the first thing on my own list has to be Lego Harry Potter. All those cute people. The Great Hall looks beautiful - and its under $100 - for now. There is also Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts Express for $69, The Whomping Willow for $59, and if you just want a little taste of the Lego Harry Potter joy, there is Aragog's Lair for $13. They aren't ALL on Amazon's Holiday Toy List, but they are on MY Holiday Toy List, so there you go.


Check out the L.O.L. Surprise Bigger Surprise! set. It has 60+ surprises inside of it. I admit, I do not have girls and my boys are not into the LOL surprise things, but this was HUGE last year, and apparently this is slated to sell out quickly. It goes live on September 25th, so I'll remind you, but try to set an alarm in your phone if you can, because if this is on your list, you'll need to be quick.

We are big gamers in this family, and I read about Hasbro Gaming Monopoly Cheaters Edition Family Game a while back - it sounds like a blast! You cheat the whole way through, but it only serves you if you don't get caught. I'm excited about this one!


Did I mention I have boys? There are several poop-themed games out this holiday season. You might want them for some gross family fun, if that's your thing. It's....definitely my boys' thing. Haha! Check out Don't Step In It which honestly sounds like reliving the summertime dog poop minefield that was often my backyard...thanks Nellie, RIP. There is also Flushin' Frenzy, which somehow did not make the list, despite the attention it has recently got in social media.


The littleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit looks really cool, and I have a robot-obsessed 7 year old that will be all over that. It's just under $150, though, so Santa if you check this blog, Jon would like you to know that he loves that kit. They have a Star Wars themed Droid Kit that is about $87, so if Santa has a bit of a budgetary concern it would make him almost as excited.

Anyway, those are just a couple of the great things happening on Amazon - and like I said, I'll come back and remind you all on  Tuesday when that big ol' LOL Surprise thing gets releasted. Check out Amazon's 2018 Holiday Toy List and tell me what you think is the most exciting! Also, if you're trying to find the best deal on one of these items, let me know. I'll do my best to find you the hookup.

Peace!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Little Passports Valentine's Day Sale! Coupon Code Inside!

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Valentine's Day is tomorrow! Don't miss out on the chance to give the one you love a gift of adventure! What can be sweeter than a trip around the world, from the safety and comfort of your own home??

Little Passports is offering 15% off any subscription plan! You can take advantage of The Little Passports SWEET sale by using code:SWEET at check out. Hurry, this sale ends tomorrow


**This promotion is valid online only at www.littlepassports.com. To redeem enter code SWEET at checkout. Offer valid on new subscriptions only and cannot be combined with any other offers and/or applied retroactively to previously placed orders. Offer applies only to the first month on a Monthly Plan. Offer not valid on Personalized Products and Shop items. Offer excludes shipping and taxes. Offer valid from February 8th, 2016 at 8:00AM EST to February 14th, 2016 at 11:59PM EST.

Give a gift they will love! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Huge Freebie Printable Pack



Educents has a great new pack - grabbing these packs every time they are available is a great way to load up on extra enrichment to go along with your curriculum. They also give you an opportunity to try out each of the authors in the pack! This pack has everything from sight words to poetry to multiplication to World War 1. There's something for every grade level. And it's free! So add it now and it will be available to you whenever you're ready to use it - it's unlimited. I have things in my Educents account that I picked up a year ago - if I need them again I can still print them out!

Educents is just the best, right?? 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

BIG Freebie Alert: Homeschoolers!!

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. It helps us "keep the lights on" here at Bedfordnomics, giving us more time to bring the amazing deals to you, so we humbly appreciate your clicks. If this makes you uncomfortable, feel free to search for the item in the search engine of your choice rather then clicking the link.




Educents has posted a huge freebie bundle, 100% off a $78 downloadable pack of worksheets, flashcards, coloring books, and on and on. There's even a cookbook called Cooking American History that I am really excited about - my first grader is so into cooking right now.

The three coloring books are by Educents, but each of the other packets are by different authors, so you can try out their work before you commit to buying anything.

Educents is my number 1 favorite place to get free and deeply discounted educational materials - and I absolutely snagged this one! I encourage you to as well!!