Monday, February 20, 2012

Educational & Charitable Websites

Cruising along with my TOS pals, this week the topic is "What is your favorite free or cheap homeschool resource?" 

When our family made the choice to go from 2 incomes and 1 child to 1 income and 3 children, obviously, we had to become more cost conscious... especially combined with our decision to homeschool.  Utilizing the library, hitting used curriculum sales, completing product reviews, and taking advantage of all the world wide web has to offer have all proven to be financially responsible, frugal ways to educate our children.  While we have been exposed to and blessed by so many wonderful resources (and I really should blog about them in the future), for this blog cruise I really want to highlight a couple of websites that are not only educational but charitable as well.  Yes, I want my kids to be proficient mathematicians and competent, confident readers, but most importantly, I want them to have God's global worldview and a servant's heart.  I love that these websites accomplish both!

I know in passing, I've blogged a bit about We Give Books.  A friend from one of our co-op's just recently introduced me to this website, and I LOVE IT!  The premise:  Read a Book!  Give a Book!  This site combines the joy of reading with the power of helping others.  There are thousands of books available to read online... award winners, series, seasonal books, fiction, non-fiction, read-alouds, early readers, etc.  Once a book is read simply choose the charity you want and a book is donated to a leading literacy group on your behalf.  Several campaigns will be running at a time.  Once the goal is reached a new one is added.  Currently, my kiddos are reading for Tinga Tinga Tales, promoting literacy in Africa.  Obviously, very near and dear to our hearts!

While the titles on the We Give Books site will appeal mostly to the 10 and under crowd, I have another recommendation for teens.  Free Rice is a non-profit operated by the United Nations World Food Programme.  It operates with two goals:  1. Provide education to everyone for free.  2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.  How is this accomplished?  A question is asked, and if you answer it correctly 10 grains of rice are donated to help eradicate hunger. 

I, personally, use Free Rice since my kiddos are a little young yet.  (In fact, anyone under 14 must have parent permission to create an account.)  I like the English vocabulary the best, but there are several subjects available including:  Humanities, Geography, English, Math, Chemistry, and Language Learning.  Grab your teens, your spouse, or simply enjoy yourself.  Test your knowledge, gain new knowledge, and help fill an empty belly. 
Play Freerice and feed the hungry

Both of these websites are educational and completely free, but they GIVE so much!  Isn't that what we really want to instill in our children?  Empower them to be the change.  Cultivate a servant's heart within them.  Teach them to freely give as God has freely given.

Do you know of other educational/charitable websites?  Please share in the comments below!  I'd love to visit them.  I'm linking up with the TOS Blog Cruise today.  Find other free & cheap homeschool resources loved by others.

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