Geography

World Map + Flags

We are all familiar with flag charts, usually arranged alphabetically, but this one is superimposed onto a world map so that students can see details that are not obvious from the usual charts. By placing the flags geographically we begin to see new patterns, like bunches of near-neighbour countries (eg in Africa, Scandinavia and around Australia) having very simiar colourings and shapes. This fascinating map is very high resoluction, and can be downloaded or blown up to view details and specific areas of the world.

CLICK HERE to view the map! Or to download, “right click” the link, then “save as” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click on the link and save to your mac.

Audio, Autumn, Poetry

Autumn in Verse – Audio Readings

 To poets, autumn often symbolizes change, maturity, wisdom, or the harvest. In this collection of poetry readings from the LitToGo project, you can explore many interpretations of Autumn in this collection of poetry by Emily Brontë, Emily Dickinson, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Ellen Robena Field, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Richard Henry Wilde. All are available for download in good quality MP3. They are also available for online reading.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!
Grammar, Language Arts

Grammar Planet

GrammarPlanet is a comprehensive and completely online grammar, punctuation, and usage curriculum. And now it is totally free.

GrammarPlanet is the brainchild of Erin Karl and Jerry Bailey. Erin is the owner of Analytical Grammar, Inc. and Jerry is the President and a partner in Dynamic Literacy, LLC. Erin’s skills at teaching grammar as evidenced by Analytical Grammar, and Jerry’s skills and experience in developing an online version of WordBuild: A Better Way to Teach Vocabulary, complement one another perfectly.

GrammarPlanet will help you or your students master the mechanics of English and create a more confident writer. The curriculum is aimed at students from 10 to 99 who want to improve their English. It can be used by students in school, students at home, or adults individually or as a group. The system is responsive, meaning that students who take a little longer to “get it” will get more practice before the test. There is no time limit and students can take as much time as needed to master the material.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Arts & Crafts

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!

Audio, Literature, Reading

Dozens of Public Domain AUDIOBOOKS for Ambleside Online/ Charlotte Mason Education

These pages show all the Ambleside Online Booklist books that have been recorded as audiobooks by Librivox, with links to all their respective download pages. These are unabridged audio book readings, done by volunteer readers, so their quality varies but is mostly quite good. Only the public domain titles from their list are included here… Hundreds of audios, from grades 1 – 8. This is a wonderful index & collection, even if you aren’t doing Ambleside Online or Charlotte Mason-style learning.

Links to Audiobooks for Grades 1-4

Links to Audiobooks for Grades 5-8

Family Life, Just for Fun

Family Dinner Questions

From the HowDoesShe? blog comes these way fun printables  that do wonders to promote some fun family discussion around the table: “Here are questions that encourage family talk!  We believe in families and we know the power of getting to know each other better. So what we’ve created for you are 30 questions that you put in a jar. It doesn’t need to be a fancy jar. Each night at dinner time pull out one question and read it to the family. Some are silly and some are serious.  Get to know each other better and smile as you create memories with your loved ones!”

These are delightful, and great fun! We had a similar  “store bought” thing like this that we used for years around  our table and it never failed to provoke some interesting discussions — even if it was just to laugh at the sometimes crazy questions. Print out these PDF masters, cut ’em up  and put ’em in a nice jar on your table and you are  guaranteed to have some memorable supper discussion times with your kids over the months to come. There are FIVE sets of 30  questions on this blog, so there are 150+ in all. Just follow the links to all five sets. Collect ’em all.

CLICK HERE to go to the website. Links to all five sets of printable questions are on this page.

Arts & Crafts

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!

 

Literature, Living Books

Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress – Illustrated

Today we are featuring “The Pilgrim’s Progress” — like you’ve never seen it before. This is just awesome.

Laurie Bluedorn of Trivium Pursuit has combined the unforgettable text of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress with hundreds of magnificent illustrations from dozens of editions of this book over the past two centuries, and has created an truly enchanting version of this classic book for children of all ages. When the book describes such scenes as Christian wounding Apollyon, or trapped in the net of the Flatterer; or Faithful before Lord Hate-good in Vanity Fair; or Hopeful languishing in Giant Despair’s dungeon; or Atheist laughing at Christian, you will have dozens of imaginative illustrations to enhance the experience.

The full book contains 525 illustrations, many in color, chosen from dozens of sources over the span of 250 years. (This freebie sample edition contains the text of the first five chapters of the book, with the accompanying illustrations.)

The text of The Pilgrim’s Progress used is in modern English while preserving John Bunyan’s original meaning, his doctrine, and his quaint, charming, and most memorable style of expression.

Pilgrim’s Progress is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, and has been cited as the first novel written in English. This version with all its amazing illustrations (even including versions from several different cultures!) has our HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION for anyone who wants to introduce or re-introduce this true classic to their family!

To download this 120 page sampler ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your Mac.

If you like this sampler, click here to purchase the full ebook (over 600 pages with 525 illustrations!) from the Trivium Pursuit website. (It is also available for kindle on Amazon.)

Freebie Friday Roundup

FREEBIE FRIDAY ROUNDUP: Slo-mo, Writing Challenges, Worksheets, Color & Sound

Let’s continue our weekly roundup of past freebie resources, shall we?

Amazing Adventures in S-L-O-W Motion

Sometimes the most common, everyday things around us can take on a breathtaking beauty and grace when viewed in a different way than we normally see them.  Today, let us direct your attention to a wonderful page of slow motion videos on the neoK12 site, where you will find animals, surfers, car crashes, bursting water balloons, matches catching fire, drops of water, and dozens more everyday subjects made most EXTRA-ordinary when viewed in super s-l-o-w motion.

Click here, then click on the different videos on their page.


This is ME Writing Challenge

You are the only one who knows your story. This well-done site for teen and adult writers helps you tell it your way with help and ideas from the “This Is Me Challenge!” Here you’ll find dozens of wonderful writing prompts and ideas to help your older students tell their own story and learn to write better in the process.

Click here to see all the writing challenges posted to date. Each of these links to a more detailed version w/ extra challenges. A unique, revealing and memorable approach to creative writing lessons!


Sound Uncovered: An Interactive Book for the iPad

Explore the surprising side of sound with Sound Uncovered, an interactive collection from the Exploratorium featuring auditory illusions, acoustic phenomena, and other things that go bump, beep, boom, and vroom.

Hear with your eyes, see with your ears, test your hearing, make and modify recordings—this app puts you at the center of the experiment.

How do you make a saxophone growl? Are there secret messages in music played backward? Can you talk and listen at the same time? Why does the sound of gum chewing drive some people mad? Listen up and find answers to these questions and more as you take an auditory trip to the place where sound gets truly interesting: the space between your ears.

Click here for info on downloading this iPad app


Color Uncovered: An Interactive Book for the iPad

When is yellow yellower than yellow? What color is a whisper? What’s missing from the palette of Renaissance painters?

Explore the surprising side of color with Color Uncovered, an interactive book for the iPad, featuring fascinating illusions, articles, and videos developed by the Exploratorium.

There’s a broad spectrum of colorful surprises in store that focus on the art, physics, and psychology of color. In keeping with our hands-on spirit, there are also a few color activities you can conduct yourself using your iPad and simple items you have at home: a CD case, a drop of water, and a piece of paper. You’ll never look at color the same way again.

Click here for info on downloading this iPad app


WorksheetWorks

Here’s an amazing site that offers downloadable PDF worksheets in all sorts of categories, customized to your specifications. There are hundreds of worksheets here, with millions of possible configurations. Highly recommended! (Be sure to check out the puzzles category if your kids are maze or brain-teaser lovers!)
“You can make and print out worksheets of topics including math, handwriting, geography and english language and more. Good to use for extra practice or to supplement what you are teaching.” – Submitted by Adriane White
Click here to go to the site!

 

Homeschool Helps

Planned Spontaneity

PLANNED SPONTANEITY (PDF ebook)

So, you have read everything you can about planning a homeschool schedule. You have tried some planners – but they take too long and don’t seem to work for you. What now? It is time to try a planner with a difference, courtesy of Julie Gilbert at homeschooling-ideas.com.

Julie’s new ebook, “Planned Spontaneity”, helps you do just that – plan for spontaneity in your homeschool. With a simple, yet very effective approach, this planner is a great way to make your homeschooling time a lot more fun and creative. Loaded with great tips and ideas that you can put to use right away. Check it out!

Click here to go to the download page for this resource.