Freebie Friday Roundup

Freebie Friday Roundup: String Figures, Japanese, Flexagons & Nature Stories

Here are more freebie resource links for you, brought back from our archives!

String Figures for All Ages!

Can your kids have fun, improve their dexterity and learn about design and geometry from just a simple loop of string?

Check out this great collection of tutorials and cool designs for making all sorts of great string figures that have been collected from cultures around the world.  From simple “cat’s cradles” to “Jacob’s Ladders” and beyond, there are many fascinating designs and projects here that will keep some kids busy for hours.

This is old fashioned “digital” fun that incorporates all sorts of thinking skills that generations of kids used to enjoy. Why not give it a try?

Click here to go to today’s resource site.


IRASSHAI – LEARN TO SPEAK JAPANESE

Irasshai, a video course from Georgia Public Broadcasting, teaches Japanese language and culture skills to high school and college students and adult learners and professionals.

The 138 video lessons in this well done series get up close and intimate with viewer learners. Dr. Tim Cook, an Emmy award-winning instructor, takes students on a personal journey to where Japanese is spoken. Sometimes it’s predictable – inside a Japanese home or a Tokyo office building. Sometimes it’s less so – a sushi bar in Atlanta, a fishing hole in the Appalachians.

This is an award winning, excellent way to learn  basic Japanese language skills & be introduced to many fascinating aspects of Japanese culture and society. Good for jr. high through adult learners!

Click here to go to the site!


YOUNG NATURALIST

Wow! This has to be the motherlode of nature stories for kids! You will definitely want to check this out.

Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine’s “Young Naturalists” series is designed to engage elementary and middle school students with a wide variety of nonfiction topics on natural science and outdoor life. Each full color, illustrated story is accompanied by a Young Naturalists teachers guide that includes ready-made classroom activities. Bookmark this impressive library of over 100 stories and refer to it as you study outdoor and nature topics. Highly recommended!

Click here to go to the site!


EARLY SETTLERS AND THE FOREST

Here’s a great educational picture book/coloring book by Debbie Sluggett and Larry Fox from the Canadian site, Learn Forestry.com on early settlers and their relationship with forestry and wood products in both Canadian and US pioneer days. It is great for primary grades!

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key and click the link and save to your mac.


FLEXAGONS & OTHER COOL GEOMETRIC TOYS

In these hands-on tutorials, you’ll learn how to make a flexagon, a most fascinating geometric toy! It looks like an ordinary paper hexagon with a front and a back, but hidden inside is a third side (or face) that can be brought to the outside by flexing the paper.

Flexagons are folded paper polygons that have the neat feature of changing faces as they are flexed. There are many types of flexagons. The names of flexagons tell the type of polygon and the number of faces.

Click here to go to the Flexagon introductory page with instructions on how to make a basic Flexagon.

Then to make a Hexa-hexaflexagon, go here.

Then to make a Tri-tretraflexagon, go here.

And THEN, to make a way cool FLEXTANGLE, go here!

Uncategorized

Learning to Write the Slow and Steady Way

If your elementary age student is having trouble writing, check out this simple but very helpful step-by-step resource site. HelpWithWriting.com offers a sequential program divided into five units or “building blocks”, each containing a short movie, a lesson, and seven free printable worksheets to reinforce each lesson.

from the website:

Helping With Writing.com is a website to guide you, the parent, on how to support your children with all their writing projects; the objective of this site is to improve your children’s writing. I begin with basic sentence structure and take you step by step through mini movies, lessons, and worksheets ending with your children being able to use nouns, collective nouns, prepositions and verbs correctly in all their writing. Write On!

I have designed the program so that your children build their writing skills taking baby steps (no tricks of the trade or hoops to jump through), but simple. I recommend that they do one worksheet per day to build a strong foundation and gradually develop their skills. Taking bite sizes pieces everyday is easier for them to digest than a huge turkey dinner all in one sitting.

Childrens’ attention spans are short and sweet.  Work within their limitations.  Slow and steady wins the race.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Language Arts

Helping with Verbs

HelpingWithVerbs.com is designed to help students improve their writing through the correct use of verbs in sentences.

There are six main lessons on the site, each with a series of printable worksheets that can be worked through by students. These provide lots of examples and opportunities for practice through extensive and varied exercises. The lessons teach students how to use verbs in their everyday writing.

Each worksheet is packed with information on historical events, the natural world and/or legendary people — so students not only develop their written communication skills, but they also learn about the world around them. This takes the focus away from the grueling grammatical exercises and puts the focus on the information.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Math

Simple Math Games

HelpingWithMath.com offers loads of simple math games for elementary grade students. The games here are not filled with lots of hyper animation and distractions, and have solid learning value. Games include times tables, place value, rounding, ordering numbers, skip counting, fractions, and many more. If you’re doing elementary level math, you will probably find several games here you can incorporate into your homeschool for reviewing lessons and some educational fun.

They also have a huge collection of worksheets, flash cards, and other printable resources to help teach and reinforce math concepts. No login or account required.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Reading

Reading Challenge Printable

Jennifer Flanders at flandersfamily.info created this fun and flexible “Reading Challenge” printable. Here’s what she says about it:

“I love reading. I love making lists. I love challenging myself (and my children) to reach new goals. And I love pretty vintage artwork. So this summer, I decided to combine all those likes and create a Reading Challenge that can be easily adapted for any age: You should be able to find many of these titles at your local library, but if you are given to re-reading your favorites as often as we are, you may want to add a few to your own collection.”

This is a fun way to get your children to read a wide variety of books in categories you might not otherwise think of.

CLICK HERE to go to the download page!

Freebie Friday Roundup

Freebie Friday Roundup: Civility, Spelling, Outdoor Skills, Learning Greek & more

CIVILITY COSTS YOU NOTHING: Great Quotes on Manners (PDF ebook)

Many writers, observers and philosophers have written about the value of good manners throughout the ages. Their comments contain a wealth of insight, humor and wisdom, and have application for our kids even today.

This unique little compilation of great quotations can be used for penmanship and copywork practice, memorization, or to print out and stick some choice quotes on your refrigerator door! Check it out!

To download this PDF, RIGHT CLICK HERE then “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your Mac.


ArtsEdge

Here are over 180 different visual, performing and literary Arts related lesson plans from the ArtsEdge program at the Kennedy Center. These downloadable lessons cover a huge range of  arts topics – from writing haiku to Irish Dance to creating comic strips.

You can search the lessons by keyword, arts subject, and grade level. Use the blue “Lesson Finder” box and fill in the specifics to find what you’re looking for!

CLICK HERE to go to the download page!


OUTDOOR BIOLOGY INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES

Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies (OBIS) is an outdoor program that offers young people fun and challenging opportunities to investigate ecological relationships in their local environment.

OBIS was developed in the 1970s at the Lawrence Hall of Science to help adults (teachers, parents, community leaders) take young people outdoors to experience ecological principles in their local area.

The 97 OBIS activities in this PDF collection are meant to increase environmental awareness, and can be used individually or in combination. These simple experiences then act as a gateway for children and adults to explore and understand their local environment.

Click Here to go to the download site


MATH PUZZLES, COMPETITIONS & BRAINTEASERS!

The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching over in the UK has put together this GREAT collection of brain-stretching mathematical problems and shape related teasers (including printable tangram puzzles, sliding blocks, pentominoes, and dissection puzzles). There are dozens of them on this page, all designed to get your students thinking mathematically and using their problem-solving skills!

Click here to go to their math challenges page!


LEARN GREEK FREE

Learn Greek Free.com offers a complete 13 lesson video course (along with dozens of free downloadable handouts & review sheets) to enable students to read the New Testament in the original language. No other resources or books are required.

As explained by instructor D. Eric Williams:

“The method of instruction employed at LearnGreekFree.com is designed to begin the learning process as quickly as possible. The  lesson plan will enable you to read the New Testament Greek after a few hours of study. Rather than burden students with morphological technicalities right off the bat, the pupil will learn Greek grammar in the same way he learned his mother tongue; in context and as the need arises. In this fashion the learner is able to make quick progress and the learning of the Greek becomes a joy, not a burden.”

Click here to check it out!


THE BASIC COZY SPELLING COURSE

Here’s a complete 30 lesson spelling course especially designed for students grades 6 to 8, with a complete course outline, lesson plans, dictation, answer key, and more. Good stuff!

Says the author, Marie Rackham:

“Spelling, like grammar and punctuation, is a technique of English.  Spelling is an important communication skill. In my opinion, since the advent of the Internet, it is even more important because words on a web page may determine what people think of you and your abilities. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors will make you appear less credible to your audience. Good luck and have fun with the course!”

Click here to go to the site! (There are other courses available for sale on the site, but the Spelling course is free!)

Homeschool Helps, Reading

Eye Can Learn

The purpose of Eye Can Learn is to provide parents with fun eye exercises to enhance their children’s visual processing skills for better academic performance and improved attention. If you know a child who struggles, the underlying cause may be vision – even if the child has 20/20 eyesight. Children also need to be able to track a line of print, coordinate they eyes for single vision, make fast focusing shifts, and accurately interpret what they see.

The site has several games and activities to help with tracking, perception, visual discrimination, focusing and more. This is a terrific resource for any child having issues with reading and/or visual perception. Be sure to read the Getting Started page before diving into the fun and very helpful activities.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

History

American Revolution Lesson Plans & Activities

From the Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, create a revolutionary experience in your homeschool using one of these colonial America-related lesson plans and activity guides. Topics include: How do we know about Colonial life? What challenges did the Continental Army face? What was everyday life like in colonial Virginia?

Also on the site are “Anna’s Adventures – Activity Sheets & Videos”, where you can test your success as a colonial farmer, learn how to play the marching drum, download a popular strategy game in colonial times, and even make pickles the old fashioned way!

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Geography

Maps & Globes Lesson Plans

World Maps Online has a great collection of free lesson plans on how to read and use maps, for ages K-3, grades 4-5 and grade 6 and up. They offer their own classroom maps and globes for sale, and they are very good ones too — but honestly, you can probably use any detailed wall map of the US and world that you have handy for most of these step-by-step lessons, which can be read online or downloaded as PDF files. They are a great way to introduce geography to your students!

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Arts & Crafts

Larry’s TOON Institute

If your kids are interested in animation and learing how to animate their own cartoons, here’s a great collection of beginner lessons for them from professional animator Larry Lauria.

The Toon Institute’s free animation course offers a baker’s dozen lesson on the basics of animation, including the basics of animating a bouncing ball, squashing and stretching animated objects, character and face construction, timing, how to “thumbnail” a scene, and much more. These are a lot of fun, and explain the fundamentals of animation very well.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!