For many years we paid for satellite television in our home. As time went on we found that we were paying more and more and watching less and less. For our family we felt that there was not a lot of quality programming available. It seemed the price was going up each year while the quality of programming was going down. We cancelled satellite and used half of the money we saved for a gym membership the rest went into savings. While it may not be the right decision for everyone, it was a good move for our family. This does not mean that we are screen free or never watch television, we just wanted to find better and more inexpensive options. We have used a variety of resources throughout the last five or so years since we cut our satellite.
Discovery education is a great resource for educational programs. We have purchased through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op as it is a significant discount over purchasing it direct. There are a variety of programs on almost any educational topic you can think of. My children really enjoyed one that was about Math Monsters for the younger elementary level. It taught and reinforced a variety of math concepts using funny animated characters. We also enjoyed programs about some of our favorite composers and artists. There are a great many science programs (though you may want to preview these depending on world view issues). Discovery education includes literally thousands of videos on many different topics. While we used it simply for the videos to supplement our other studies it also includes supplements, lesson plans, assignments and more if you choose to utilize them. You can even get audiobooks with your discovery education subscription. I’ve included a list below of the various features included in the program. If you are looking for purely educational content this is a really good option to consider. There are many fun and enjoyable programs but they all have an educational focus.
Discovery Education Streaming Plus features:
- Thousands of full-length videos from scores of producers, segmented into tens of thousands of content-specific clips tied directly to state and national standards.
- Supplemental resources such as Assignment Builder, Quiz Center, Writing Prompt Generator, lesson plans, and more
- Fast and accurate search functionality and dynamic navigation menus
- The ability to customize and personalize lessons to different subjects, grades, and learning styles
- Comprehensive K-12 curriculum coverage in six core subject areas.
- Thousands of images
- Membership in the Discovery Educator Network (DEN)
- Interactive self-paced training
- Exclusive Discovery programming such as Frozen Planet, Human Planet, LIFE, Into the Universe, Mythbusters, and Curiosity
- Video series from trusted content providers such as BBC Worldwide, CBS News, Channel 4, Discovery Studios, Scholastic, TV Ontario, and Westin Woods
- Hundreds of games, skill builders, and body atlas interactives
- Thousands of self-paced math tutorials spanning concepts from basic addition to calculus
- Thousands of audio files including podcasts, classic literature audiobooks, children’s literature audiobooks from Scholastic, and numerous supplemental study aids for auditory learner
Amazon Prime is another great source for educational content. We currently use Amazon Prime and have found it to be a great value for our family. We have found fun family movies, inspirational movies, and educational selections. One of our current favorite education choices is American History for Kids. It is fun but informational and the selections are short and easy to fit into our studies. My son has been asking for more information on the various presidents so we are getting ready to try the series Our American Presidents. My preschooler loves Thomas the Train and Sesame Street. There are also a variety of science programs included, Popular Mechanics for Kids is a family favorite. In addition to educational programming, we have been enjoying watching a few Christmas movies during this season. While not everything available on Amazon Video is included free with prime, there are thousands of options that are free and they fit a variety of ages and interests.
In addition to the education and entertainment component of Amazon Prime, you also get access to free two-day shipping on many items, lots of free music, and other popular prime benefits for the same price. While it will certainly vary by family, we have found that we save enough with the shipping benefits to pay for the cost of prime, making the video and music benefits just an added bonus. There is a link below in our deals and freebies where you can try Amazon Prime free for 30 days to see if it is a good fit for your family.
The third option that we have used, is YouTube. YouTube is great in that there is a lot of content and it is all free. However, we have found that there are many inappropriate commercials and sometimes the content is not as easy to find or screen. It is also more difficult for children to navigate safely without assistance. For our family, we use YouTube when there is something specific that we need that is not available on Amazon Prime or in our DVD collection.
Overall, there are options for educational programming that do not involve having to pay a huge satellite or cable bill each month. We have found that utilizing other resources saves us money and gave us back some wasted time. I’d love to know what you use if you integrate educational programming into your schooling.
Friday Deals and Freebies
My Snowman Paul is free on Kindle (as of posting Amazon changes prices frequently so always double check before purchase).
Need a good way to organize all of these great printables and have access to them when you need them? Try a free Dropbox Plan.
Amazon Prime 30 day FREE trial. If you do not yet have Amazon Prime this is a great time to try it for free for 30 days! Get your Christmas shopping done with free shipping, enjoy Christmas music and more.
The Green Ember is FREE on Kindle
$10 Sign-Up Bonus for Ibotta and they are doing some major savings and rebates starting today. Great way to save money on the things you are already buying.
$40 off your first HelloFresh Box
If you are looking for some maps to help extend your geography check out these from Knowledge Quest Map Trek (including a free sampler).
Homeschool Buyers Co-Op is offering a great deal on Discovery Education Streaming right now.
Two Free Audio Books with an Audible Trial and if you aren’t sure what to start with I’d suggest checking out the Green Ember or The Penderwicks for good family choices.
Also check our free resource library with history freebies, recipes, and four Christmas freebies!
When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.
This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.