Freebie Friday Roundup

FREEBIE FRIDAY ROUNDUP: BALLOONS, ART, CIVICS & CLASSICS

Since our server crash a while back killed off our archives, we are re-posting a handfull of past freebie links every Friday for the forseeable future. In other words, it’s time for another “Freebie Friday Roundup!” Here’s this week’s goodies:

MAKE YOUR OWN BALLOON ANIMALS!

You just KNOW somebody in your household needs to know how to make some cool balloon animals this summer. It occurs to me that a nice stock of balloons from the local party store along with these links would sure keep ’em occupied for a long while. And who knows? They might be a big hit at your next party or get-together.

So Here’s a neat PDF ebook on BALLOON TWISTING 101 for beginners!

And below is a great site with dozens of well-illustrated tutorials on how to make your own balloon animal sculptures… from very basic shapes to crazy, intricate creations. Have fun!

Click here and then click through to all the tutorial links.

i-CIVICS

iCivics is chock full of interactive games, curriculum and lesson plans for teaching young people more about civics… and it’s all free! Here’s what they say about their mission on the site:

There is an important link between civic knowledge and civic engagement. Our system thrives if Americans understand how our government and its branches work. In fact, our public schools were founded to teach young people to understand these structures, and to cultivate informed citizens. Yet students are growing up in an uncivic-minded era. Civic education has nearly disappeared from the school curriculum. More than ever, youth are not voting and are becoming disillusioned with the political process. This is why, after serving 25 years on the bench of the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics in 2009: to restore civic education in our nation’s schools.

The success of any democratic system depends on the active participation of its citizens. iCivics gives students the necessary tools to learn about and participate in civic life, and teachers the materials and support to achieve this goal. Our free resources include print-and-go lesson plans, interactive digital tools, and award-winning games.

iCivics teaches students how government works by having them experience it directly. Through our games, the player steps into any role – a judge, a member of Congress, a community activist fighting for local change, even the President of the United States – and does the job they do. Educational video games allow for concepts to happen to us. They convey information while teaching skills for effective civic engagement.

Click here to go to the site!

OVER 100 EDUCATIONAL COLORING BOOKS

If your kids enjoy coloring, or YOU enjoy coloring, we’ve got a great resource site for you today!

This site, organized by The New York Academy of Medicine Library, features over 100 free downloadable coloring books and coloring pages for children and adults from museums, schools, and institutions all across the country. Each reflects the materials that they hold in their collections. The range of participating organizations and their available subject matter is impressive; from rare books to scientific diagrams to ornate Art Nouveau. There is truly something for everyone—and hours upon hours of relaxing (and educational!) entertainment.

Click here to go to the site!

CHEAP AND EASY CRAFTS FOR EVERYONE

Originally created for library program use, this neat little guide offers dozens of fun and simple craft projects using inexpensive materials you probably already have on hand. Lots of full color photos, simple instructions, and some great projects that are easy for you to prepare for, and that your kids will enjoy.

CLICK HERE to download this PDF ebook!

10 CLASSICS IN 10 MINUTES

Want to know what 10 classic living books are all about… in just 10 minutes? Your tweens and teens may get a kick out of following along and deciphering these humorous 1 minute summaries of these famous stories. Along with partners Jim Becker and Andy Mayer, John “Mighty Mouth” Moschitta recorded a pugnacious take on ten classic novels in which he summarizes each book’s entire story in approximately one minute. Included in this collection, entitled Ten Classics in Ten Minutes, are Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind; and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

Yep, this resource is really just for the fun of it, but students will also at least get a notion of what these classic stories are about. If you want to have some fun with these and see if your student actually listens, have your student tell YOU what the story is about after watching one of these videos. Then try it with someone else in the family (mom, dad, siblings, etc.).

CLICK HERE to go to this YouTube playlist.

TORN PAPER COLLAGES

Looking for a fun art project that can be either simple OR challenging for all ages? Here’s a GREAT guide to creating beautiful torn paper collages using old magazines, newspapers, junk mail, sheet music, photos, scrap paper, construction paper or whatever you have around the house. It includes step by step instructions and lots of wonderful full-color project examples!

CLICK HERE to download this PDF lesson guide!

History

The Timeline of Food

Ever wonder how the ancient Romans fed their armies? What the pioneers cooked along the Oregon Trail? What your great-grandparent’s favorite dessert was? Who invented the potato chip…and why? So do we!!!

Food history presents a fascinating buffet of popular lore and contradictory facts. Some experts say it’s impossible to express this topic in exact timeline format. They are correct. Most foods are not invented; they evolve.

Whether you’re looking for the origin of coffee or hamburgers in America, or want to know who invented Twinkies or Coca Cola, this fascinating food timeline – with hundreds of clickable notes and lots more in-depth information when you want it –  makes the history of food both fun and educational.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Arts & Crafts

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!

Language Arts

“The Good and the Beautiful” Language Arts Course

The Good and the Beautiful website offers a great Language Arts curriculum, and Levels 1 thru 5 are currently available as free PDF downloads from their website.

Here’s what they say on the site about this course on their site:

Connects learning to the good and the beautiful: family, God, high moral character, wholesome literature, and the wonders and beauty of nature and human life

Requires no daily prep time—just open the book and follow the instructions, learning and exploring along with your child.

Combines multiple subjects, connecting learning, adding meaning, shortening school time, making learning more enjoyable, and eliminating the need for 6 to 7 different courses. Reading, writing, literature, spelling, grammar & punctuation, vocabulary, geography, and art are all in one course.

Emphasizes literature of the highest literary and moral merit. 

Full phonics reading program creates excellent readers. Phonics instruction is included through Level 3.

Strong writing program creates excellent writers!

Thorough and advanced courses leave no gaps! There is no need to supplement.

There are lots of resources on the site (both downloadable and printed) that are available for purchase, but again, Levels 1 – 5 of the Language Arts course are free downloads in PDF format. You will need to go through their checkout to get them.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Language Arts

Listen, Write and Read

Listen, Write and Read is a multi-sensory series of five workbooks incorporating dictation, writing and reading of simple sight word sentences. Its primary goal is to help students both young and old to read and write.

Here’s what Paul J. Wickham, creator of the series, says about its origin:

For nine years, I taught reading and writing to children and adults in Los Angeles. At the end of each school term, all my students could write clear, coherent sentences and paragraphs that developed a central idea.

The dramatic improvement in their reading and writing skills over a single school term was attributable to the use of dictation exercises I developed to introduce and review the use of high-frequency sight words. Training in the whole-word recognition of sight words is clearly superior to phonics instruction for these words. Learning to recognize these words instantly by sight is essential to developing reading fluency and comprehension.

LISTEN, WRITE AND READ Sentences for Sight Word Dictation is a collection of the specific sentences I used for this instruction, arranged by grade level. A series of five activity books provide students with an illustration of each sentence. The illustrations were designed to have universal appeal to students of all ages.

All five activity books are available free on the website.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Freebie Friday Roundup

FREEBIE FRIDAY ROUNDUP: ASTRONOMY, LEGOS, PHYSICS & 100+ HS EBOOKS

Since our server crash last week killed off our archives, we’ll be re-posting a handfull of past freebies every Friday for the forseeable future. And so is born the “Freebie Friday Roundup!” Here’s this week’s goodies:

AT HOME ASTRONOMY

Want to build a lunar settlement, launch an indoor rocket, make meteor craters and explore our solar system? You can do all that with a little imagination and these fun hands-on science experiments for the entire family, from the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

SHELLY LOVETT’S PRE-SCHOOL TEACHING TIPS LIBRARY

Shelley Lovett’s ChildCareLand page on YouTube offers a HUGE library of short teaching tips and learning activities videos for preschool and kindergarten age students — over 500  practical, helpful ideas, crafts, activities and demonstrations that will enhance any pre-school or kindergarten age learning time. If you’ve got a little learner in your home, check it out!

Click here to go to the video library site on YouTube! Be sure to bookmark it for future reference!

HOMESCHOOLING EBOOKS FROM CREATION MINISTRIES

Creation Ministries has a library of well over 100 homeschool-oriented ebooks and PDF articles on a huge variety of topics. Some of these are creation science oriented, but most of them cover other topics, such as

Language Arts
Math
Reading
Writing
Charlotte Mason topics
Classical homeschooling
Unit Studies and much more.

You’ll definitely want to bookmark this great page of goodies!

Click here to go to the download page!

LAND OF THE LOST LEGO PLANS!

ALL THOSE LOST LEGO PLANS – FOUND FOR YOU! If yours is a Lego household, you have all these Legos blocks and pieces jumbled together in boxes and tubs and drawers, but have likely lost the original instruction guides on how to build the individual projects, right? Not any more. We found them for you!

Here’s a great site that has dowloadable PDFs of practically EVERY Lego kit instruction guide you can think of, and loads more you’ve never even heard of. It’s every frustrated Lego builder’s dream site. Bookmark it and keep for future reference. Happy building!

Click here to go to the site!

PHYSICS EXPERIMENTS YOU CAN DO AT HOME

Physics is primarily the study of motion and energy, but that energy can take many forms: Motion, Heat, Sound, Electricity, Magnetism and Light. Each of these forms of energy is demonstrated and explained with easy to do, fun experiments in this neat little 22 page collection published by Professor Clint Sprott and his associates at the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as part of their Wonders of Physics outreach program. Your kids will really enjoy these. Highly recommended!

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

Language Arts, Math

“Mini Offices” from Practical Pages

A Mini Office is essentially a reference file or folder with all a child’s personal important information right at hand.  This could be reference charts, handwriting charts, number lines, multiplication tables, vocabulary lists, handy facts and any other useful information. It is a handy way of encouraging children to work independently and to provide the necessary assistance without having to put up visual displays.

Nadene at Practical Pages has put together collections of these reference pages for both younger and older students. They are filled with useful, helpful stuff, and you’re gonna want to download ’em both.

The JUNIOR MINI OFFICE includes:

  1. Number Line & Number Chart
  2. Ordinal numbers & Fractions
  3. Tally or scores, finger counting signs, Shapes, Colours, Directions
  4. Number words & Roman Clock and Roman numbers
  5. Multiplication Tables
  6. Seasons & Months & Days of the Week
  7. Days of the week & time of the day
  8. Address & Where am I?
  9. Weather symbols and Rainbow
  10. Sight Word Walls
  11. Phonic Alphabet
  12. Phonic Blends
  13. Family Words
  14. Print Handwriting Chart
  15. Cursive Handwriting Chart

THE SENIOR MINI OFFICE is a 20-page PDF download that covers a lot of Mathematics, and includes:

  1. Number Chart
  2. Number words
  3. Multiplication Table
  4. Keeping score / Tally, Finger counting, Shapes & Colours
  5. Maths Symbols & their meanings & Compass
  6. Ordinal numbers & Roman Clock & Roman numerals
  7. Telling Time , Clock face, Analogue & Digital Clocks
  8. Angles & Fractions
  9. Different types of fractions & Converting fractions
  10. Converting Units & Number Systems
  11. Percentages – Decimals – Fractions
  12. Circles – Definition & Formula
  13. 2D Shapes – Description Circumference & Area formula
  14. 3D Shapes – Description Volume & Outer Area formula
  15. Triangles – Definition & Formula
  16. Weather symbols & Wind direction & speed symbol & Celsius/Fahrenheit
  17. Cursive Handwriting Chart

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Arts & Crafts, Math

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!

Language Arts

Freebies from Lit Mama

Lit Mama Homeschool.com has a delightful collection of dozens of homeschool resources, worksheets, mini unit studies, planning pages, and more that may be freely downloaded.

Here’s just a few of them, reflecting Lit Mama’s them of “educating with a fire for literature”:

Poetry Walk Poems /Poetry Tea Time Poem Book for Kids
Treasure Island Pirate Pack
Explore your Neighborhood Pack
Mini Units on Bridge to Terabithia, Tom Sawyer, Watership Down, The Secret Garden, Alice 8n Wonderland,
Blank Maps of the World
Teaching Story Types & Elements of Plot
Book Journaling prompts
Curriculum & project planners…
And lots more.

CLICK HERE to go to the site and browse the collection!

Craziness, News

So this happened.

Hi Friends,

We had a digital meltdown, and the past 10+ years of freebies and resource posts just… poof! Evaporated.

So we are going to start again in just a couple more days.

There’s just a few resources here right now, but there will soon be more. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In the meantime, just looking at these wonderful photos taken last week  from The Atlantic and shared by the Internet Monk makes us happy. Don’t they make you feel better too?

The Erskine Family

Sunflowers in France
Child playing in a waterfall at Yards Park in Washington DC
Tourist taking pictures of a lavender field in France