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!

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!