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The truth about Learning Bundles

In this blog we will go over what are they, when and how to use them; and why are so many parents presently using them.

Stay tuned and read on because there is a lot of helpful information inside this post!

Perhaps you have heard about them, or have seen them around Instagram or Facebook. You wonder what they are since all of a sudden you see many of your favorite homeschooling accounts promoting them and then all of a sudden, they disappear.

What are Learning Bundles or Mega Bundles?

In short, a mega bundle is a compilation of digital resources made available to families for a limited time at an exceptional price.

To further explain, these bundles are planned throughout the year by homeschooling creatives, small shop owners, and artists that work designing quality educational material for homeschooling families or families who want to explore fun, specific topics with their children at home. They usually have a particular theme, but they are very diverse and unique since there are so many people involved in creating the material. For example, today, I am sharing the the newest mega bundle available: THE WORLD AROUND ME MEGA BUNDLE. This bundle focuses on connecting children and their families with the world around them through geography units, nature studies, and social studies. 

Features of a Mega Bundle:

  • A bundle usually ranges from 30 to 50 contributors.
  • Each contributor usually provides 1 to 5 digital files with flashcards, posters, unit studies, full-year guides, and memberships.
  • You receive about 2000+ pages of the best quality resources available to print at home.
  • All files are organized and sent to you through an email with a Google Drive link.
  • Once you receive your files, you get to keep them for life.
  • The resources included in a bundle are usually geared towards families that learn together, meaning you will receive material that can be used with your children- no matter what age they are!
  • All material usually has a net worth of $1500 BUT for the duration of the bundle, it is offered at an incredible discounted price. For example, the current bundle is priced at only $25 dollars.

Too good to be true, right? Well, it is!! the only catch is that bundles only last about a week. After that, you won’t find them anywhere. They are gone for good.

Downloading and organizing bundles:

Okay, so by now you must be feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the numbers I just gave you. Yes, they are FANTASTIC, but you must be thinking how do you keep up with all of that material and how do you use it?…Bear with me, I will guide you through the whole process and will give you some tips so you can keep everything well organized.

Once you receive an email with the link to Google Drive, you have two choices: download and save everything on your own Google Drive folder or leave it where it is. Some bundles are kept there forever so you would be all set, but some get deleted after a limited time, so I suggest you save them to your own drive just to not have headaches later on. If you don’t already own a Google Drive account, I encourage you to create one. It is free and amazing! you can keep everything organized and “on the cloud” which will give you access to all your files wherever you find a computer or directly from your phone if you have the app (free as well).

Once all that precious material is saved, I go back and create folders within your designated folder in Google Drive where you saved all files. Spend some time checking out the material. Seriously, I once purchased a bundle and didn’t take this step and missed out on a lot of information that I could have used during that school year-ouch!. Once you know exactly what’s included, then everything can be organized by main subjects like Math, Language Arts, Science, History, Geography, Art, etc. Inside each of those categories, I sometimes go all out and organize the resources by age group: Preschool and Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle school.

Taking the time to do this upfront will ensure you will get the most out of your bundle. And since you organized all of it, you will sort of making a mental note about what’s included. But it will also be organized so you can easily go back to it and find what you need.

If you have in mind some material that you would like to use already then you can proceed to print, cut, laminate, and get everything ready to use with your kids. In this case, a three-ring binder with separators and a clear box to organize your flashcards will come in handy.

Recap:

  1. Find email with Google Drive link
  2. Create folder on your Google Drive
  3. Organize by subject
  4. Organize by age
  5. Print, cut, laminate and file into folders to get them ready to use with your kids.
  6. Remember to write down what resources you would like to from the bundle when you are lesson planning.

Resources included in a learning Bundle:

Unit studies: A unit study is a collection of learning activities with a specific theme that incorporate multiple subjects into the study plan and are very popular with homeschooling families because they usually include material for kids in different age groups, making it a fun way to explore a topic as a family. They can consist of hands-on activities as well as some paperwork ones. You will find Poetry, Math, Language Arts, and more. All centered on one topic helping the child understand the subject as a whole and not in small pieces. 

Educational flashcards: Learning bundles are unique places to get quality flashcards to use with your kids! You usually find a couple of these included, and they are great for Gameschooling, reviewing concepts, learning vocabulary in a different language, and more.

Pictured here is our New Release explicitly made for THE WORLD AROUND ME MEGA BUNDLE. Our World-Bilingual cards were inspired on Earth’s Day, but we want to promote using them all year long. Each alphabet card includes a word related to planet earth, a definition, and a fun task or activity suggestion for families to have fun caring for our planet!

Classroom educational decor: Bundles are also wonderful places to find excellent, and colorful decor to display in your learning spaces. Take for instance these beautiful posters made by @mydarlinchickadees

Memberships: If you are fortunate enough, you will even land full access to memberships or clubs included with the bundle. For example this time around our favorite online watercolor school Lily & Thistle. Hanna will be offering a full free month of watercolor Nature’s Art Club. These resources alone are fantastic!

Some links are affiliate links and I might receive a small commission. If you want to read my full affiliate relationship disclosure click here. Thank you in advance!

Here is what I use for printing and organizing all the resources:

  1. To print all material: The BEST printer in the world! Okay, that might not be very objective, but I do think I have found one of the best-most affordable printers out there. It does not print 100% quality because it is a toner printer, but it does the job beautifully. Actually, this is the printer I use for my shop; it is good enough to print everything and look beautiful and sharp in product photography. I have only had to replenish the ink once in about 1.5 years and I think that is an incredible deal. I’m pretty content with it.
  2. To store printables: Three-ring-binders with Dividers. Once I print everything, I organize what I will use per subject and use the dividers to create new divisions in the same binder. I have two 2″ binders, and those two have been plenty to store about four bundles worth of material. Looking inside of those bundles makes me feel like a child at Christmas time. It’s so wonderful to get access to so many unique products and have them all there available for us to use whenever we want or need to.
  3. To store flashcards: Plastic stackable boxes I use these fun boxes to keep everything that is not full size material. Think, cut-outs, learning cards, game pieces, etc.
  4. Another option for all the smaller resources is plastic clear photo album sleeves. I love those too because I can add them inside the binder. It’s nice to have everything in one place.

How and why we printable resources in our (bilingual) homeschool

In efforts to not isolate the minority language for my kids, I find myself (quite often) using any unit studies and printables in English to practice Spanish. I’m not going to lie; this requires a little bit of extra work on my end BUT let me tell you, this has been a successful practice at our house. By connecting the unit that we are studying in other subjects with our Spanish learning, the kids are constantly learning new vocabulary and remembering concepts that we know already. Like everything else in life, it will take some time before you feel comfortable with this task but eventually, you will get the hang of it, and what once looked like so much work you will get done in no time. IT is worth it, mamas!

Here is how I make the most out of a unit that is not in the target language:

  1. Create a vocabulary list and we review it (Say it, repeat it and review it daily)
  2. Locate fun concepts in the unit that I can connect with the language and write them down in my planner so I remember to cover them during our learning time with the kids.
  3. I search online (or come up with my own) activity where we can practice the language. This can be anything. It usually depends on my energy level and how much time we have that week or day, I try to make it fun for the kids and easy for me to put together. For example: A bingo game, a craft, a crossword puzzle, a memory matching game…you get the idea.
  4. If the unit includes flashcards, I always, always print, cut and laminate these and add them to our stack of flashcards. The kids LOVE flipping through those during car rides, and I don’t get mad about it.
  5. If I have enough time I order thought my local library’s website books in the target language that goes with the unit or unit we will be covering during the upcoming weeks
  6. We have fun learning together!

Last words

Well, I hope I have covered all your questions about mega bundles, but if I didn’t please let me know in the comments. Also, I would love to hear your feedback on this post. I hope I convinced you to try a Mega Bundle or more, they truly are a big blessing for the homeschooling community. With them, you are getting a ton of great quality resources at an affordable price to diversify your kids’ education AND also with your purchase you are blessing the many moms and small business owners that gather together to make these events happen. ♥

Want to try a bundle? Click on the button below:

Happy learning, families!

Dayana.

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New to Homeschooling Series: Help! I’m attempting homeschooling. Where do I start?

Mama, are you hanging in there? Are you struggling with the lack of normalcy? Do you currently have your kids “training” so they can attend school in the fall with a mask on or are you considering keeping them home and attempt to home-school them? Are you as afraid as I am, for not knowing what will be the future of this country?

The year of COVID-19. What a year…

Where to start, right?

Businesses closed, social distancing, gloves, and, were masks enforced. One person per family allowed at some stores, no children allowed in others. Sickness, unemployment, schools closed, some had to start working from home…Shortage of food and even of toilet paper.

Life basically stopped.

And that is not even mentioning the protests, the riots, the division of the nation.

And it’s only July…

I urge to give your worries to God, friend. If the idea of homeschooling your children keeps roaming your mind, it might just be time for you to take the step forward and try it!

Let me give you a little bit of a backstory so you understand why I feel like I can write about this. Please know that I write this out of a humble heart. I am, by no means, an expert. I just feel a a strong desire to lift others up and remind us all to seek peace, trust in God and find courage to do the things that He has call you to do.

I am an immigrant from Colombia, I became a U.S. citizen in the year of 2013. I came to this country not knowing much English but with an immense desire to learn the culture and the language. When I first learned about home education was though my husband. His mom had done it with some of his siblings.

Some of the questions that I made back then about homeschooling and that I currently hear other moms are:

  • How does a mom teach her kids without a degree?
  • Does that mean that I can’t work anymore?
  • What happens if I have more than one kid and they are in different grades?
  • How do I clean the house and cook if I have to teach my kids?
  • What about me time? This sounds like a 24/7 gig. How do I take care of my own needs?
  • Will my kids feel lonely without their school friends?
  • Are they going to become awkward?
  • What about the academics?- What if they don’t qualify for College because of low scoring?
Front yard after lunch picnic and story time.

I think back and remember how the idea sounded like total craziness in my mind, at the same time, it started to feel more doable every time my husband and I would come across a homeschooling family and they’d start sharing about their experience. I started to wonder more and more about it but being from a different country brought even more fears to this mama’s heart. Finally, one day, we decided to try it “only for one year” we said. “The next one we will enroll our kids right away back in school”…We are on our 3rd year and going strong.

BEST.DECISION.EVER.

Friend, if this Colombian mama has been able to figure out a way to make it work for her and her family, I am sure, YOU also CAN do it.

Allow me to answer the previous questions for you:

  • You don’t need a degree to teach your kiddos. You might need refreshments of what you once learn or learn as you go (which is what I find myself doing in subjects that were taught to me differently back in my country of origin). You can get help by finding a curriculum. I followed one the first year and once I felt confident enough, I started to customize our learning in a way that would fit our family and kid’s needs the best. A curriculum is a tool and you can use it as much or as little as needed.
  • Since you wont be teaching a class of 18 students you can get done A LOT in a little time. So, you can actually work part time if you’d like. It’s just a matter of arranging a schedule that works for your family.
  • Educating multi age kids is a little bit tricky but let me tell you some good news: there are multi-age curriculum out there. Also, kids become very independent with their work and, this is great preparation for college and life in general, often overlooked in public schools!. And, after you present a lesson they can be left to do some individual learning while you work with another child. You can stretch or summarize a subject to make it work for all your students. This is my favorite thing to do! If I can teach a history where I can engage my 4, 8 and 10-year-old, then I am all about that. This won’t work for everything of course but it can help you save time whenever is possible. Lastly, you can outsource a class. By finding a COOP (see notes at the end if you need more info about coops) or a mama that knows more about that specific topic (Hello Science mama friends!!- you’re my favorite!!)
  • I like to include cleaning, cooking, repairing, gardening and wood working into our schedule. We all live in this house; we are all responsible to keep it and care for it. (These are by far some of the most important lessons children will get from being at home. At least the ones that they will use the most during adulthood). Call it Home Ec. and add it to the schedule. Make sure it happens. Done.
  • If you spend a couple weeks training your kids into being independent, if you can be organized with your time, and if you stick to the plan you make and adjust as needed until it works for everyone, you will have time to do YOU. Whether it is reading a book, tending a garden, doing your nails or doing a workout or another personal hobby; you will have the time to do it.
  • If you have more than one child, most of the time, with good instruction, they will become the best of friends. Homeschooling has the beauty of allowing your family to work on differences, nourish relationships and create deeper bonds between each other. If you have only one child, let me tell you the homeschooling community (Especially in the US) is extensive. You own your schedule; you can arrange it in a way that you and your kids get enough social interaction as possible. Let me tell you, I have never in my life been as *social* as I have been ever since I started homeschooling my kids. The flexibility that you find in homeschooling is fantastic.
  • We ALL are a bit awkward! 🙂 whether we go to school or learn at home. The intellectual, the nerd, the clown, the star, the teacher’s pet, the shy, the bully, the drama queen will be just that, wherever he/she is.
  • Actually, studies show homeschooled children enjoy a statistical advantage in many important facets of life. Studies have linked homeschooling to greater community involvement in adulthood, a higher likelihood of civic engagement, and to above-average scores on measures of psychological and emotional development. The college graduation rate for homeschooled students is 67%, nine points higher than the 58% clip for traditionally schooled teens. So, in other words, YES, they will totally be College material.

So now, you are seriously considering the option, but then you wonder. “What do I do next?… Where do I start?”.

I’ll give you 5 steps to get you started:

  1. Pray about it. Please ask God for wisdom and direction.
  2. Find yourself a homeschooling mama friend.
  3. Find a good resource where you can get some good and valuable information. [Please be aware that there is an extensive amount of resources out there and that can lead you into feeling overwhelmed (at least I did)]. Perhaps ask said homeschooling friend to give you a book recommendation or find a high rated one online. A lot of the home school experience is trial by error.  You will always be tweaking and refining your schedule and curriculum. What might work for one kid, might not work for another.  What might work one year might need to be adjusted the next.  The beauty of homeschooling is that you can adapt and change as needed.  Just remember, friend, patience, prayer and rest are most important and should always be you go to in times that you are starting to feel overwhelmed.
  4. Attend or find an online (hello again COVID-19) homeschool convention. In short, a homeschool convention is where you can find all the curriculum, all the speakers, all the material in ONE SINGLE PLACE. At the very beginning of our homeschooling journey, my husband and I attended The Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, OH. And it was AH-MAZING to say the least. You can see if they have one close to you or register for an online one here

Planning for the fall right now seems silly, as we are basically having to guess what we are going to do. But we all need some sort of tangible plan for the future. Especially if there are kids involved. So I really hope these posts helps you organize your ideas and think about what the next steps will be for you and your sweet family.

Let me know if this helped you and also if you have any questions or suggestions about what I should write about next, please drop a comment below.

“We ought to enter into God’s rest and then serve Him wholeheartedly- not out of anxiety, but out of love and trust.”

Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie

NOTES:

To read more about homeschooled children going to college read this article: https://www.collegetransitions.com/blog/how-do-i-help-my-homeschool-student-get-into-college/

An excellent book to read to get you started and one that I continue to read year after year to get me ready for the new school year is this one. i will have to do a post just in this wonderful book alone because it is that amazing.

Homeschooling is a big, BIG commitment. It might not be for everyone and if you feel like you cannot take on a big challenge, this option might not be for you. Your patience will be tested, it will be hard until everyone gets the routines down, and even then, you may need to arrange and rearrange things every so often. But if you decide to do it, the reward will be immeasurable!

Thank you for reading and remember that with God all things are possible and If God brings you to it; He will bring you through it!”~ Isaiah 58:11.

My next post will be on curriculum. Be sure to sign up to receive my emails so you don’t miss it 🙂

Dayana