What is a homeschool bundle?
You may have seen these going around Instagram recently. All of a sudden all of your favorite homeschool accounts are sharing about a “bundle” of resources around a particular theme. So what is it exactly? In a nutshell, these popular bundles are...well, brillant. The main idea is that a bunch of creators come together and offer their products (often all surrounding one theme) in one big themed set for a super reduced price for a limited time.
For example, the current bundle that I am a contributor for is the Nature Mega Bundle Vol. 2. This bundle has over 600 pages, valued at $600 for only $25! Included in this bundle are wonderful guides and mini-curriculums, that feature complete nature and art studies, science, games and other enriching activities. The themes of this bundle are water, trees, sky, plants, mini-beasts, earth, birds, bees, and animals. This bundle is only available through October 17th.
What’s the catch?
There’s really not one. Bundles are beneficial for the creators and for the buyers. It helps the creators get their name out and their products in many hands who may not have found them otherwise. Creators also benefit financially because they have an affiliate link to the bundle and get a percentage of each purchase that goes through their link. It benefits the buyer because the value of the bundle is significantly more than the price and the products are themed, so it’s a one-stop shop without much effort on the buyer’s part.
Downloading and organizing bundles
Once you purchase a bundle, you receive an email with a link to view and download the bundle. Typically, bundles are organized through Google Drive, and once you click on the link you will see folders with units and lessons organized by theme within the folders. Some bundles only allow access to the folders for a limited time and others will keep the link active indefinitely. I personally prefer to go through the folders and download the content into my hard drive and into my personal Google Drive account. Then, I can organize the files as I see fit and refer to them easily without fear of losing the link or it expiring.
The way I organize the content in bundles, and really any additional mini unit study or digital educational content that I purchase, is by using folders in Google Drive. In my Google Drive account, I have a homeschool folder. In that folder, I have more folders for each main subject: Math, Science, Literature, History, etc. Inside those folders are more folders with sub-topics, such as “preschool math”, “insects”, or “US History.” You could really break it down however makes the most sense to you. In those folders, I organize all of the mini-units and “extras” that come my way via bundles, shops I come across through Instagram, and any digital learning content I find and download.
Sometimes items in a bundle may fall into more than one category or sub-subject. That’s okay–you can make a copy and place the files in more than one folder. For example, if you have Insect Counting Cards, you may want to place them in your “Preschool Math” and your “Insects” folders. Organize your materials in a way that makes it easiest for you to quickly find what you are looking for.
Using bundles in my homeschool
You may see all of the beautiful resources and wonder what to do with them all. It can be overwhelming, especially as a new homeschooling family. Here’s how I view these resources–I have my main curriculums and guides that I use continually and for the year; these are our staples that we use everyday. These include our phonics and math curriculums. Then I have areas of our schooling that allow for extras. These areas currently are geography, history, art, science, nature study, and music appreciation. I love keeping these open so that I can add things in seasonally, because I find something I think my children would enjoy, or to follow my children’s interests about a topic. I do loosely follow some guides in these areas here and there, such as Exploring Nature with Children, but for the most part they are open. Even in following a guide or curriculum, the material included in these bundles can be added to the lessons in your curriculum to further studies.
Rather than printing and preparing the material all at once and in advance, I have everything organized digitally for when we are ready to study a topic. During my weekly planning session, I find what relates to what we will be studying and prepare it then. I print, cut, laminate, and bind all at home. You can see the office supplies I use and love here.
Types of materials frequently offered in bundles and how I use them:
I like to print these and frame them or simply hang them in our school area for quick reference. The Nature Mega Bundle II has many of these, such as “Anatomy of a Rose”, “Woodland Fungi” and “Phases of the Moon.”
Full unit studies
These unit studies could be used in part or in full to enhance your lessons or completely stand alone for a full week or more of studying a certain area of interest. The Nature Mega Bundle II has many of these, such as one about trees, weather, bees, and many more.
I love to print, cut, and laminate these to hang in our school area or keep as reference if we’re learning about a certain topic. They’re also nice to throw in a backpack for learning outings. The Nature Mega Bundle II has many of these, such as ones about mountains, moths, landforms, and more.
There are more activities included in Nature Mega Bundle II like crafts, games, nature journals, and printable stickers! You really won’t be disappointed with this purchase.