The Traveling Sisterhood: January 2017

Monday, January 30

300 Companies That Send Free High Value Products to Bloggers

All of the included companies sent me full-size items which I loved reviewing, most of them worth a total value of $30 or more if a giveaway was included/$50 or more if not. My time is valuable, so in order for me to find products worth an hour or so of the time it takes to write about them I try to be sure they're worth it--sample sized items are never worth a blogger's time and you won't find any of that type here. I've organized the list of companies and their links by category for easier navigation. Just click below to get started and have fun!

Sunday, January 29

Homeschool Fun With Frogs... and Some Freebies for my Readers!

At the beginning of 1st grade, I asked my kiddos what kinds of exciting things they wanted to learn & this was what they came up with: gymnastics, piano, mice (as in experiments with them), Hebrew, horses, tadpoles & frogs, maps, typing, dragonflies and aerodynamics. And so, ladies and gentlemen, without further adieu... our Frog Adventures!

New Pet... or A Prince in Disguise? We found this little guy in the backyard. How cute is he?! Not cute enough to kiss, though... ;)

I set up our classroom alcove with frog lifecycle toys and some books on Reptiles and Amphibians. I really love all of the Peterson guides. We have a bird one, too. They're excellent and my kids really like looking through their full-colored pictures. The kiddos chose one amphibian to learn about in the book, drew about it, and wrote a bit and then presented their report to the class.

Every time I come up with a new lesson theme idea, I do a quick search on Educents for freebies. These came up and they were a lot of fun! They were very cute, perfect for 1st grade (though they'd work for any of the lower elementary grades) and you can't beat free! You can get the Frog Fact here.
And you can get the Frog Life Cycle coloring and tracing pages here. They were the perfect addition to our frog and amphibians theme! Let me know if you decide to try this in your homeschool!

Do You Want to Build a Snowman... with Mrs. Freshley's Donuts?!

The kids and I had so much fun with this edible winter DIY! We couldn't help breaking into song every now and then as they made their snowmen.... especially after seeing a Frozen play! Mrs. Freshley's had some great recipe ideas--this is only one of 3 featuring some of their yummiest desserts. Read on for more!

Mrs. Freshley's Frosty Donuts
  • 1 Family Pack of Mrs. Freshley's Powdered Sugar Mini Donuts
  • 1 bag Candy Corn
  • 1 bag mini chocolate chips
  • 1 bag mini candy coated chocolate pieces
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Red licorice
  • White icing
  • Press the large end of the candy corn into the center of one donut.
  • Use white icing to adhere the mini chocolate chips to the donut for the snowman's eyes and mouth.
  • Stack three donuts and apply the candy coated chocolate pieces for buttons.
  • Place the donut with the snowman's face on top of the three stacked donuts.
  • Insert two peppermint sticks for the snowman's arms and use a piece of red licorice for the snowman's scarf

Mrs. Freshley's Merry Berry Honey Bun Trifle

  • 10 Mrs. Freshley's Honey Buns
  • 1 Pint strawberries, hulled and cut into thick slices.
  • 2 Pints raspberries
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Whipped topping
  • Cut the Honey Buns into bite sized pieces, put aside.
  • Mix strawberries, raspberries, sugar and vanilla extract in medium bowl. 
  • Layer Honey Buns in glass serving dish, followed by berry mixture, then whipped topping.
  • Repeat layers until serving dish is full.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Mrs. Freshley's Holiday Donut Sticks

  • 1 Multipack of Mrs. Freshley's Donut Sticks
  • 2 C. of melting chocolate
  • Holiday sprinkles
  • Melt chocolate according to package directions. 
  • Dip each Donut Stick halfway into bowl of melted chocolate until fully coated.
  • Garnish with holiday sprinkles and let cool.
Special thanks to the wonderful people at Mrs. Freshley's for providing us with these goodies to review!

Saturday, January 28

Top Resources Loved by Homeschoolers!

Times Tales

Kids will learn their times tables in an hour… for real!
If your kids aren’t quite “getting it” when it comes to the multiplication tables, use this supplemental multiplication resource. Times Tales is a very popular series of videos and games that use stories to help kids memorize their upper times tables. Times Tales is a great example of a program that uses both stories and visuals to make learning the upper times tables easy and fun for kids. The video’s cute, simple stories provide students with a “memory peg,” allowing them to quickly recall otherwise abstract multiplication facts.
Here’s what one mom says about Times Tales: “Listen – Times Tales is amazing. If I can sit down with my son for an hour, or for two half-hours; follow-up for 15-minute sessions and he still knows the information; then anyone can do this.”

Maestro Classics Music Collection

Help your children foster an appreciation for music.
homeschool music
Maestro Classics prides itself on musical representations of classic stories. One of the most classic of these stories is “The Tortoise and the Hare,” which is entertaining and provides a good lesson about achieving goals by moving at a slow and steady pace. Stephen Simon directs truly amazing work and with included activity books, your students can get the story behind the music!
One homeschool mom said, “I wanted to teach my kids music appreciation, but I don't have a lot of background in it myself. These CDs have filled my need - the booklets provide information about the composers, the cultural background of the piece, information about the instruments, and activities.”

Complete Curriculum Digital Textbooks

A comprehensive and affordable homeschool curriculum.
This homeschool curriculum package covers every grade and subject for Kindergarten through 5th grade, complete with a teacher’s manual. If you’re looking for a first step in your homeschool curriculum, this is comprehensive package that you can build your lessons off of. The digital curriculum includes many interactive activities that reinforce every subject – from language arts to social studies. The science experiments are especially hands-on, and include fun activities at every grade level.
homeschool complete curriculum
One homeschool mom said, “My kids are really loving these texts. I'm able to teach all three of my kids with these texts and know that we're good for the next couple of years at least.”

LearnToMod Minecraft

Add basic programming skills to your homeschool curriculum.
Sharpen your child’s computer and critical thinking skills using your their favorite video game. This Minecraft program allows for users to modify the game through computer programming and helps them learn JavaScript. These “mods” are quite popular and help Minecraft players take the game to the next level. Why add computer programming to your homeschool curriculum? Professions in computer science are not only some of the highest paying jobs out there, they are also some of the highest satisfaction jobs!
“One thing I love about LearnToMod is that each lesson is very focused on a specific task to teach. This makes the lessons short, easy to understand, and easy to put into practice. This is really important for my highly distractible kiddo. Each lesson includes a short video and step by step instructions that help him stay on task.”

Learn Math Fast

Use pennies to teach tough math concepts!
This homeschool math program makes math learning fun and easy. The Learn Math Fast System teaches 1st to 12th grade math with a unique approach, making it possible for students to start over from the beginning and still advance several grade levels in just one year. Perfect for struggling students and gifted students. The older you are the faster you'll learn. If your homeschool kid hates math or is struggling to retain math lessons - this program is worth checking out.
“I have been very pleased with this math system. I never expected it to make such an extreme difference! My 8 yr old son has never completed a page of anything without being prompted to ‘move onto the next problem/question.’ He does some pages for ‘fun.’ I can't say enough how pleased I am to have this system. Love it.” - Charlie, Homeschooler

Online Autism Training Course

Learn new strategies to empower your student.
autism training
This Autism training is helpful for all educators who work with students that have Autism, or to family members of children with Autism. This course is also helpful to individuals who are studying to become an educator. The comprehensive 9-part training program covers topics pertaining to the implementation of basic Austism training methods.
"Information of ABA has empowered me to help my child overcome trial and obtain new skills. Our relationship is now strong and we have a much improved quality of life since we communicate well and interact more. This training is absolutely vital for parents of children with autism to understand. We are very lucky to Have Special Learning!"

Bank It! Money Management Game

Teach kids to save money and shop wisely.
Manage your money wisely and shop for a good bargain while saving money for your bike! Bank It! introduces concepts of saving, interest, and giving. Up to 4 players can play this board game that develops skills in counting money, decision making, and mindful spending. Perfect for kids ages 8 and up. This board game is a great way to show kids how to manage their allowance, or start a conversation about family budgeting. If your homeschool kid wants a job, this is a great way to prepare them for earning money (and saving it!).
money management homeschool board game
Money Management Game One homeschool mom suggests you replace the play money with real coins and dollars to prepare kids to handling money!

Hooked on Phonics Reading Kit

hooked on phonics
Each lesson takes about 20 minutes, making the complete Learn to Read kit perfect for parents and homeschoolers looking for an effortless reading program for children ages 3 to 8. "I'm SO glad I bought this kit! My daughter has had such a great time working with the program (which was a bonus to me) and she's now reading!"
Learn to read in 20 minutes a day! Because kids learn in different ways, this program includes a variety of multi-sensory tools that appeal to visual, auditory, and experience-based learners. With the Hooked on Phonics® step-by-step approach, kids learn about letters and sounds, learn how to put them together to form words, and then read great stories and books.

Anatomy Adventure Series

adventure kit
"These books are very colorful. My kids like to look at them and they don't even realize that they are learning. The books make it very easy to learn a large amount of information easily." -Katie L.
A monthly science & history adventure delivered to your door! Each Know Yourself Adventure is anchored by an educational comic book highlighting anatomy, history, and civic engagement. These comic books, together with an adventure guide and other cool stuff will introduce kids to foundational learning about the systems of the human body through collaborative, hands-on, STEAM-based activities and side by side learning. Delivered monthly, each Know Yourself Adventure includes a Time Skaters comic, science experiments and corresponding materials, historical lessons and healthy recipes.  


Students using this approach consistently outperform their peers. ShillerMath includes authoritative materials and lessons used by thousands of Montessori schools worldwide and is the curriculum of choice for thousands of homes and classrooms nationwide. "This is our third year of ShillerMath! After a previous experience with math in a school setting, I never expected math to be my daughter's favorite subject or to be a source of confidence for her.”
A research-based math curriculum with music, manipulatives & more! ShillerMath publishes research-based curricula, music, manipulatives, flashcards, and workbooks for students of ages 4-13 (including pre-K and pre-Algebra), with beautifully designed lessons, diagnostic tests with answer keys, songs, and Montessori-based manipulatives. No Montessori or math/language arts knowledge is required and there's zero lesson preparation - just read (or have your child read) what's in quotes and you're good to go!

College Prep Genius

Make sure your homeschooled teen is putting their best foot forward on college applications.
College Prep Genius provides an eCourse on how to ace the SAT and other standardized tests. 85% of colleges admit and give money based on the SAT so learn to answer questions in 30 seconds or less and raise your score high to get scholarships! There are 12 easy self-directed/mom-friendly lessons. Each lesson is 45-60 minutes with a complete step by step homework guide. Students have raised their test scores as much as 600 points, become National Merit Scholars and gone to Ivy-League colleges for free. Test prep can be used as an elective on your student’s high school transcript.
"My son was told he would never go to college because of his low test scores after 3 attempts. We heard Jean at a local event and after the program, Buddy raised his SAT score 600 points and received $230,000 to Brown University!-Thank You So Much!"-Joe Y. Keene, TX

Free Math Games by TeachMe

Take your child’s math skills to a new level with these fun games.
Math Games combines interactive skill testing questions with exciting games to cover the full range of math skills, taking practice through play to an entirely new level! Parents and teachers have access to progress reports, individualized learning plans, and student management tools to facilitate truly innovative digital learning without all the time consuming grading and overhead. Practicing math through play is the most engaging way to reach today's modern student. It really combined technology with learning in a way that captures attention and builds a sense of fun of learning. These games make learning fun!
Sanela posted on Edmodo, "I want my students to have fun while learning and this is the thing. Kids love games, and now they love math games."

The Fresh 20 Homeschool Meal Planning

Homeschool meal planning with fresh, nutritious ingredients and easy to follow recipes.
The Fresh 20 is a meal planning service created for busy families who want to eat fresh, healthy food without the stress of "what's for dinner?" Meal plans rely on just 20 fresh, seasonal ingredients per week and are created by a professional chef who utilizes each ingredient to make meals that are high on taste and low on budget. Each week you get a prep guide, shopping list and original recipes everyone will enjoy (even picky eaters). We offer Classic, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Paleo meal plans to cater to your family's specific dietary requirements.
“The meals are amazing. My husband loves that almost every night is a new recipe, and my shopping budget is always less when I "shop The Fresh 20." ~Jillian, PA

Red Apple Reading

Sharpen your child’s reading skills with these fun lessons and games!
Get the most value for your child learning to read with Red Apple Reading. Fun, safe, effective and robust, this program includes over 100 hours of game-based learning, teaches phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension while your child plays games and learns at his/her own pace! Uses proven research-based practices and was developed by a team of educational experts! Practice with 50+ original storybooks and printable support material. Works on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, and comes with a 30 day no hassle money-back guarantee. Start your child learning to read today!  
"I have to limit how long the girls spend and how many lessons they can do. I’ve seen tremendous strides. The confidence surprises me daily. If you are looking for extra help when it comes to getting young kids reading, I very much recommend giving Red Apple Reading a try."

VideoText Interactive Math

Foster independent learning with these videos for middle and high school math.
Recommended by Dr. Jay Wile of Apologia Science as "...truly, the best that I have seen," VideoText Math specializes in multi-media programs for middle & high school mathematics (Pre-Algebra through Pre-Calculus). Focusing on the “why” behind concepts, video lessons are supported by notes, worktexts, tests, step-by-step solution guides, and a toll-free helpline for additional support. While parents and students are often frightened by the prospect of teaching high school mathematics, VideoText Algebra and Geometry programs are the perfect solution for continuing home education. Visit our website to request a FREE sampler DVD or login with guest access to VideoText Online!
videotext for homeschool
VideoText Interactive Math "After completing the VideoText Algebra course in 1.5 years, my 13 yo son took the college Algebra CLEP test and passed! Through the clear video instruction and the practice problems, quizzes, and tests, he learned the algebraic concepts quite thoroughly. Many thanks to all of you at VideoText!" -Jill H.

Wings to Soar Online Academy

wings to soar
“Wings to Soar supports children with learning differences to fill in any gaps in their learning in a fun way. It brought me peace of mind to know that I had a professional, who was very affordable compared with a therapist, helping me to meet their learning needs.” Liz M.
Fill in your student's learning gaps. Is your child struggling with reading, spelling, writing, or math? Are you starting to worry your “late-bloomer” actually has a real problem needing intervention? Does your teenager need more independence? Are you feeling less confident to teach certain subjects? Wings to Soar Online Academy specializes in helping dyslexics and other outside-the-box learners gain skills and confidence through custom Path to Success™ Learning Plans for K-12th. Enroll in just targeted intervention on up to full enrollment. Get started with your free Just-Right Level™ Assessments today!

School of Rock

school of rock
“My son has been involved with School of Rock for two years and it is wonderful. He is learning musical skills, but also being exposed to lots of great music. The instructors are talented, encouraging and great communicators and the other students become friends fast.” -Megan
Learn to rock your world. The School of Rock has a unique approach to teaching music that helps kids blossom in unimaginable ways. The performance program gives every kid who participates the opportunity to work with a team and perform live in front of an audience. And along the way, they learn to work toward a goal, go outside their comfort zone, and kill a riff from their favorite song. Visit School of Rock's website for more info on programs, camps for all ages, and click here to browse their 27 locations and find a school nearest you!

Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues

nancy drew
The coding challenges increase as the story progresses and leads to a Super Coder award. Not only is it a great way for girls to get some basic education on coding skills and knowledge, but it’s also a great way to keep them entertained and challenged. “An amazing introduction to teach kids coding in an easy, approachable way.” – The Toy Insider
In one of the most creative and educational coding games for kids, as a member of Nancy Drew’s De-TECH-Tive crew, choose disguises, find clues, and program your robot puppy to solve the mystery of a missing project at the Tech Fair.

Adorable, Customized Wooden Teacher's Painted Chalkboard Sign for $8.55!

Toad & Lily makes the most adorable teacher's door signs and I couldn't believe I found them on sale this week for $8.55 thanks to the promo code I found (it's FHD10). This one is my favorite but....
... one of my best friends is a teacher and I like the wording better on this one plus it will match her classroom decor so I ordered it for her today. The signs are completely customizeable up to 18 characters and come in 5 different styles! I can't imagine a better bargain for a really nice gift!

One of these door signs will make the perfect added touch to your classroom or a co-workers! The winner will be able to choose which one she would like. It will be personalized just for you, or will make a very uniquely personal gift to give.

Each door sign measures 5 1/2" x 10 1/2", a high-quality print of Toad and Lily's original art work that is professionally mounted to a wooden plaque, and given a top protective coating.

I couldn't believe the price for these--only $8.55 plus shipping--just make sure you use the code FHD10 or if you need more stuff for next school year, you can use this $10 off a $50 purchase coupon.  Which sign do you like best?

The sign I ordered! Isn't it adorable?! I love it! If you decide you need one, too, make sure and use one of the promos above to save the most! You can view all of the styles at Toad & Lily's page on Educents.

Friday, January 27

Read and Share Look! I'm Reading Bible Storybook Giveaway

A new approach to favorite Bible stories helps young children gain confidence in reading with rebuses!

The rebus format, with pictures that represent a word or phrase, keeps children engaged with the Bible stories as they fill in the words using the correct picture. My kiddos loved these when they were little. Our friend's son is having difficulty reading so I gave him this book as a gift to inspire him and give him confidence.

The book is 192 pages long and has these stories: Adam and Eve and the Sneaky Snake, Noah and the Big Boat, Moses and the Ten Commandments, David and the Giant, Mary’s Big Surprise, Jesus Stops a Storm, Jesus Goes to Heaven, and A Promise to All God’s Children.

Enter using the form below. Ends 2/6/17 at the stroke of midnight!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Tommy Nelson for providing us with this bible to review and give away!

5-Minute Bedtime Treasury Book Giveaway!

With charming stories combined with soft, sweet rhymes, illustrations, and Bible verses will help parents get their little ones to sleep each night, this bible storybook is perfect for little ones from 2-5.

This treasury combines all of the Really Woolly storybooks into one beautiful book that you and your little ones will love to use at bedtime. With a simple 5 minute format, the Really Woolly 5-Minute Bedtime Treasury will allow you to spend quality time with your children before they drift off to sleep and won't leave you exhausted when they beg for just one more story. 192 pages of adorableness!

One of you will win this adorable bedtime treasury. Enter using the form below. Ends 2/6/17 at the stroke of midnight!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Tommy Nelson for providing us with this bible to review and give away!

Why We Love Educents In Pictures ♥ A Homage to Our Favorite Homeschool Store

If you haven't discovered Educents until today or just haven't checked them out yet, sign up for their e-newsletter here to receive a coupon worth $10 off a $25 purchase. We love them and we think you will, too!

*All photos above are of my children using actual products that can be purchased at Educents at a deep discount. If you'd like to know the name of a product featured and are having a hard time finding it at their store, you can e-mail me at and I'll get you the link.