Homeschooling for Almost Free with Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

I have the Paperwhite and I just love, love, love it. If you have been thinking about it, now is the time. If you’re not a Prime member you can sign up for the 30 day free trial and still get the sale price.


One of my favorite resources has become my Kindle that I received for my last birthday. Kindle books can also be read on most computers and devices, so the Kindle reader itself is not necessary, but using mine introduced me to the whole new world of Kindle Unlimited.

I have found numerous homeschool favorites in Kindle format. Granted, it’s not exactly the same as holding a book in your hands, but it is very portable, searchable and highlightable! Which makes it a huge plus for this busy homeschool mama.

So, on to my very first Kindle Unlimited find.

I had always wanted to read this book by Alexandra Swann, but was hesitant to spend the money in case it was not what I was looking for. When I saw it listed as a ‘Read for Free’ with the Kindle Unlimited free trial, I decided to give it a try and cancel after my free month.

This book was an interesting read and, although I do not follow everything that the Swann’s did by a long shot, some of the information in this book is spot on for homeschooling a large family. One of my biggest take-aways is encouraging independence in learning so that as the children get older they take on the responsibility of their own education. No Regrets by Alexandra Swann

After reading No Regrets, I decided to see what else was available with the Unlimited plan. I was so excited to find a few psychological thrillers. Yes, this is my weakness and my ‘help me fall asleep’ reading choice! I downloaded In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell. This was a decent book full of suspense and surprises.

So I was excited to find many other books in this genre for free also.

And then I found there were some children’s books! This one, Ducky Duck Doesn’t want to be a Duck, intrigued me because my youngest child has had a stuffed duck since she was a baby that’s name is… you guessed it!… Ducky Duck! So, we got to read it FOR FREE!!!

And this is my latest find. Not of This World: A Catholic Guide to Minimalism. The title caught my attention because it’s the book I would have written if I were writing a book! After ordering it for free, I quickly skimmed the chapters and am looking forward to reading this book! It looks like not only a delve into the philosophy of minimalism from a Catholic worldview, but also chapters and chapters of practical application.

I will save a review for a future post. But for now, go ahead and order and read it along with me! I always appreciate comments, so let me know if you’re reading.

Anyway, as you can probably guess, I did not cancel my subscription. I get so much use out of my Kindle Unlimited and the free Prime books, that it is worth the $9.99 a month.

I encourage you to give the free month a try and see if you can’t find some great additions to your homeschool curriculum.

UPDATE 2/22/18  My original Paperwhite froze one day. I couldn’t do anything with it. Granted, the kids had slightly cracked the screen earlier in the week, but I didn’t think that could do it. So I contacted a very nice Amazon representative through the chat and he arranged for it to be sent back (free) and replaced with a brand new Paperwhite Kindle. Not only that, it does not have the ads (I didn’t want to pay extra to begin with). So I’m giving them an A+ for awesome, stress-free customer service. 

Quick and Easy Large Family Beef Stroganoff

I often get asked for ideas on what to feed a large family. This recipe for Beef Stroganoff is a family favorite. It can be very inexpensive depending on your choice of ingredients.

What you’ll need:

3 lbs Ground Beef
1 Medium Onion
Small can mushrooms
36 oz of Egg Noodles (I used three 12 oz bags of Egg Noodles)
3 oz Tomato Paste
3 Cups Sour Cream (maybe a little more if not creamy enough)
2 tablespoons Better than Bullion
2 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp thyme
Salt/Pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Cook 3 lbs ground beef, chopped large onion, and drained mushrooms over medium heat.

Prepare eggs noodles in boiling water. Once done, drain and set aside in large serving pan. Mine is like this:

Drain excess grease from ground beef once it’s thoroughly cooked.

To the ground beef, add in 3-cups sour cream, 3 oz tomato paste, two tbsp bouillon, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and salt/pepper to taste. Mix completely.

Pour the cooked ground beef mixture evenly over the cooked egg noodles.


Preparing for A Traditional Catholic Baptism

Matthew 28:19 “Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”

Scroll all the way down for a video of our daughter’s Baptism. She is now 12 years old.

Ah, the Sacraments! One of the best parts of being a Catholic!

Amanda’s Baptism 1997

And Baptism… well what better way to welcome a new child into this world than by also erasing all Original Sin and paving his/her way for life in Christ and as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ?

And so, it is with such humble gratitude, that my husband and I find ourselves again asked to be Godparents to a special new little girl that entered our world last week. I was supposed to have been on hand to help her momma give birth. It was a privilege I was very excited about and anxiously looking forward to. But, sadly, the flu finally found our home and I was one of the first to fall prey.

But, Deo Gratias!, labor was fast and easy and the sweet girl arrived surrounded by her parent’s love. And then, surprisingly, we were asked to be godparents!

So I thought I’d reveiw for my readers what it means to be a Catholic godparent?

According to (emphasis mine)

“In the case of children, the role of the godparent is to be that of “spiritual guardian” who takes up any “slack” in the child’s catechesis, helps ensure that his godchild learns the Faith, and prays for the godchild throughout his life. St. Thomas Aquinas writes in his Summa Theologica III-67-8:

Now it has been stated…that godparents take upon themselves the duties of a tutor. Consequently they are bound to watch over their godchildren when there is need for them to do so: for instance when and where children are brought up among unbelievers. But if they are brought up among Catholic Christians, the godparents may well be excused from this responsibility, since it may be presumed that the children will be carefully instructed by their parents. If, however, they perceive in any way that the contrary is the case, they would be bound, as far as they are able, to see to the spiritual welfare of their godchildren.

This is a very solemn obligation, not one to be entered into lightly. Parents should choose their child’s godparents very carefully and select traditional Catholics who know the Faith, understand the obligations of godparenting, and are willing and able to live up to them. Parents and godparents should work together for the goal of helping the child to know, love, and serve God! During the Rite of Baptism, the godparents will answer for the child, that is, they will make the replies to the questions asked by the priest of the one to be baptized.”

Below is the baptism of our daughter Isabella. Our priest at the time was Fr. Hewko and he gives a wonderful explanation of everything he is doing.

Please keep our new goddaughter in your prayers (name withheld for privacy).

Homeschool Consistency Bootcamp Challenge

Pam Barnhill of Homeschool Solutions is hosting a Homeschool Consistency Boot Camp Challenge.

The course closes on February 24th. Click here to find out more details.

Here is what Pam says you can expect from her course:

A unique blend of accountability group and online course.

Learn the benefits of homeschooling consistently and why this is such an important habit to cultivate.

Discover the myth of homeschool independence and how it might be sabotaging your homeschool.

Find out how a few simple habits can make a huge difference to your homeschool morning — and they don’t involve getting up at dawn or working out.

Get tips on how to avoid distractions and derailment — and what to do when that happens.

Learn the difference between grace and excuses.

Build your own habit of personal accountability to last long after the boot camp ends.

The Lonely Homeschooler

Have you ever wondered if you are causing your children to be forever lonely by homeschooling them? While some siblings get along just great, others seem to be the lone sheep in the family, constantly searching for a companion. A ‘bosom friend’ as Anne Shirley would say.

This article by Melody Lyons was shared to me by a good friend.

A siblings ‘girls night’. Painting nails, face masks, hair styles, food and a movie.

In it she addresses every mother’s concern for her children. She affirms what I have been thinking for the past few years, ever since we pulled all of our children from our private Catholic Schools.

Melody begins with:

This article is written primarily for homeschooling parents who wonder if their kids will ever find true, Christ-centered friendships with someone of similar age… and also for those parents who avoid homeschooling because they are afraid for the same reasons. I will spoil the ending for you in this first paragraph but then you still have to read the rest of the post. The answer to your question is: Likely, but not certainly.” >>more…

This is well worth the read and I would love to know your thoughts. Either comment here or head over to my Facebook page.

~ Have a simply happy homeschool day!