A Beatrix Potter Treasury

Today we feature a wonderful treasure chest of books, audios, videos and lessons about the stories of Beatrix Potter. Her classic artwork and stories are utterly delightful and should be known by every child. What better stories than these to share with your littles?

CLICK HERE to read almost all Beatrix Potter’s original picture books online or download them in kindle and mobi format at Project Gutenberg.

CLICK HERE to listen to almost all Beatrix Potter’s books online or to download them in mp3 format or to iTunes. There are three massive collections on this Librivox page, and you’ll just have to pick and choose which narrators you enjoy best. You can follow along the readings using the picture books from the Project Gutenberg link above.

CLICK HERE to go to a youtube page which offers up a couple dozen Beatrix Potter stories and related videos, including all the episodes of “The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends”. (As always with youtube, parental oversight is recommended.)

Resources from PeterRabbit.com:  CLICK HERE to go to the download page — and don’t miss the 39 page PDF of Beatrix Potter Teaching Resources!

Projects, Experiments & Hands-On Fun

TheHappyHousewife.com has a great collection of almost 100 hands-on projects, crafts and experiments especially for homeschoolers, on all sorts of interesting topics, including:

Turkey Feather Science
Testing for Starch
Milk Fireworks
The Physics of the Trapeze
Fun Ways to Improve Writing Skills
Buoyancy Experiments
…and dozens more.

CLICK HERE Take a look and browse through the collection yourself!

Art for Teens Who Say They Can’t Draw

StartsAtEight.com has a great post on how to help your tween and teen-aged student dramatically improve their drawing skills, utilizing “right brain / left brain” exercises as popularized in the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards. Included are links to five downloadable lessons to help guide your student into putting this into practice.

PS. This really works.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Origami Airplanes, Whirly-Gigs, Boats and more

ORIGAMI AIRPLANES, WHIRLY-GIGS & BOATS!

Here’s a great site with dozens of animated tutorials on how to fold high-performance paper airplanes, whirly-gigs, boats and more. We could say this is a great way to develop hand-eye coordination and pick up some practical examples of physics & geometry in action, but naaaah —  the plain fact is these are great fun and a neat way for your kids to occupy themselves after study time is over, and create  some great playthings.

The site has a lot of ads, so just pay attention where you click. The How-to videos are at the bottom of each page.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Tracing Great Art

Here’s a simple, short lesson plan from the terrific Practical Pages website that is full of neat ideas to make great works of art come alive for your kids — by tracing them!

Why would you want to have your student trace some famous artwork? Nadene shares a few ideas:

 

  • Create a reference to a famous work and add it to written biographies and narrations.
  • Apply techniques famous artists use
  • Learn to mix colours, do colour washes and paint in layers with details last
  • Make the art work “your own”
  • Focus on the original for clues and details
  • Use the original for some more contemporary art techniques (like a collage/ a mural/ coasters/place mats/ quilt designs/ build a 3D landscape, etc.)
  • Although many adults consider this just “colouring in”,  I encourage them to give it a try!  It is MUCH more difficult than it seems!

This is a great idea… give it a try.  CLICK HERE to go to the website!

 

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!

Housing a Forest

Tammy Dube loves being creative and encouraging kids to be creative as well.  Her website Housing A Forest is packed full of fun experiments, art tutorials, educational activities and good old fashioned fun your kids will love.

40+ experiments, including how to make a barometer & how to make a frozen bubble, are here

Over 200 crafts projects, including straw rockets & licence plate rubbings, are here

Over 100 kid art projects, including compass painting & marble painted rainbows, are here

Take some time to browse the site and check out the different project categories too. Highly recommended!

Printable Graph Paper & More

Have you ever needed a very specific type of graph paper or grid paper for a project or lesson? If so, you’ll understand the value of this very helpful freebie.

Incompetech.com has a great online graph paper generator, that lets you customize pages to your specifications and then download as PDFs so you can print copies as needed. There’s a wonderful variety of designs: Squares, circles, hexagons, brick patterns, etc. — even specialty pages (music notation, accounting ledgers, perspective & more). You’ll find these PDFs extremely useful. Bookmark for use when you need it!

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Previously…

Here are a few recent freebies we posted in July just before the lights went out:

GREENLEAF GUIDE TO OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY

This “History for the thoughtful child” by Rob & Cyndy Shearer outlines a reading program which will take you through the history of Israel by reading through the historical books from Genesis to Nehemiah chronologically. Old Testament history is divided into 196 Bible readings (approximately 1 chapter each) along with some suggestions of how to cover the material and keep it interesting. For each reading there is a series of questions to help you focus on the significant details. There are also a number of background notes and some suggestions for further study. This book won’t answer all your questions, but it will give you a well thought out program of reading and studying the ancient history of Israel. This is intended as a first history course for the early elementary grades (though many parents are using it with high school students).

The complete ebook is available at this link on Lulu. You’ll need to go through checkout to download it, but it is totally free.

CLICK HERE!

THE BIRDSLEUTH EXPLORER’S GUIDEBOOK!

Here’s a wonderful freebie for your nature studies.  The Cornell Institute of Ornithology offers its 12 page BirdSleuth Explorer’s Guidebook absolutely free to download and print.
The full color 14 page booklet includes lots of great stuff for identifying birds, including some fun activities and worksheets to fill out. This is a great printable to help get kids interested in birds and will teach them lots of the basics of bird watching and bird identification.
Pages include:
• Wake up your ears
• What’s a habitat?
• Habitat scavenger hunt
• Bird search
• Identification clues
• Bird count
• I wonder

CLICK HERE to go to the download page at MagicalChildhood.com. You can find it at the very bottom of the page.

WORLD WAR 2 TWEETS in Real Time

Here’s a unique “living history” twitter account, which livetweets the events of the Second World War as it happened in “real time” on this day in 1940 & for 5 years to come. Events unfold as they happened during the war, with frequent updates throughout each day. It’s filled with amazing period photos and brief commentary — great for students studying WW2.

CLICK HERE to go to this Twitter account!

Emergency “Get-Started Right NOW” HIGH SCHOOL COURSES

Do you know someone who has had to begin homeschooling a high-school age student at the last minute?  Who doesn’t? Well, this resource will be of tremendous help in that situation.

HomeschoolCollegeUSA.com put together this “emergency” page for parents looking for courses they can begin immediately with a student pulled from a public school system, with little or no time to research and prepare for homeschooling, It was put together as one a student can start at any time without a lot of prep work. The courses listed (with the exception of their recommended math courses) are all free and only require internet access, plus paper and pens/pencils for note-taking when needed.

HomeschoolCollegeUSA also offers a four year curriculum for high school students, plus resources that help students to earn college credit via CLEP while still in high school. Check out the whole site… loads of great resources for homeschooling any high school students.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!