Discovery Education offers full-length videos, video clips, lesson plans, and suggested resources on educational content for grades K though 12. During the month of September, homeschool parents can get a 60-day subscription to Discovery Education Streaming for free. This is truly a free trial, you will not be asked for credit card information.
To sign up for your free trial, go to DiscoveryEducation.com. If you have never registered with them before, you will have to provide some basic contact information and the name of your homeschool. You will choose a user name and password. They will not ask you for credit card information. Even if you have had a subscription to Discovery Education in the past, you can still take advantage of this offer. Log in with the user-name and password for that account. If you forgot that information the system will help you to recover it.
After the trial period is over, you have the option of purchasing a subscription. If you decide that Discovery Education is suitable for your homeschool, I would recommend making the purchase before September 30, 2013 from the Home School Buyers Co-op. Between now and the end of September; the Co-op is offering a one-year subscription at close to 50 percent off of the normal retail price. Currently, the discounted price is $99 for the year. The price will go back up to $199 on October 1, 2013.
The Co-op is offering a free trial to Discovery, but it is only a 30-day trial. Parents are much better off going directly to Discovery for the 60-day trial instead.
Benefits of Discovery Education Streaming
I know many homeschool parents have strict limitations on how much TV their children watch. Some parents do not have cable, they just subscribe to Hulu Plus or Netflix. A discounted subscription to Discovery will cost about the same over the year as Hulu or Netflix. This makes it very affordable.
Another benefit of Discovery Education’s free trial is that it is unlimited. Parents can preview all content before allowing children to watch it. Most video content comes with information on how it is aligned to national standards. Parents can use discussion questions included with the videos and they can search for lesson plans and other activities.
Using Discovery Education makes unit studies easy to plan. A few searches for content and you can have a well-rounded unit study on almost any topic. Our homeschool is currently doing a unit study on Latin. This includes learning Latin, Greek and Roman mythology, and the culture of ancient Rome. I typed in “Ancient Rome” in the search box and a list of video clips and full-length videos were at my disposal. I chose a full-length video. The link I chose brought me to a landing page that included the video, the standards that the video aligned with, a teacher’s guide, and links to other related content within the Discovery Streaming website. It does not get any easier than this.
Other items that were available for me to choose from were video clips, quizzes, a Jeopardy type game, and photos. I have the option of uploading my own content into my classroom to create lessons that are uniquely tailored to my child. Discovery Streaming is like a digital lap-book. The site has evolved extensively since I first started using it in 2009.
Homeschool parents wear many hats. In addition to parents, nurturers, and caregivers; we are teachers, principals, and the purchasing office for our schools. Sixty days is a really good free trial. That gives you ample time to figure out if Discovery Education will fit into your homeschool. It also gives you time to put together a unit study or two without having to pay for the service.
Discovery and Common Core
It was bound to happen. Discovery Education Streaming is aligning to Common Core standards. This is where homeschooling is such a blessing. As homeschoolers, we choose the content that best suits our child—not what the standards say our child should be learning. Instead of following the Common Core standards, I would strongly suggest looking for content that is suitable for your child’s stage of development as well as content that will challenge them.
Many parents are boycotting any and all publishers, curriculum, and websites that align with Common Core. Although I agree that Common Core is a fiasco; I am asking that homeschool parents use their common sense. Pick and choose content from free resources that fit your homeschool style, beliefs, and children. Protest Common Core at the political level without throwing away perfectly good resources that can be tailored to homeschools without using the standards.
It makes sense to check out Discovery Education using the free trial. If you decide that it is not right for your situation, there is nothing to lose. However, if you enjoy the content and think it will be an asset to your homeschool--purchasing it at a steep discount makes sense.
Lynda Altman has homeschooled her 4 children over the last 16 years and she continues to homeschool her youngest child. She believes that homeschooling is a parent’s G-d given right. Lynda writes a blog called Homeschooling When Mom has Cancer. Get notices when this page is updated by clicking on the subscribe link, by email, or contact Lynda @fusgeyer on Twitter.