Audio, History

The Fight Against Fire

The Fight Against Fire – Firefighters battle fires to prevent destruction of life, property and the environment. Today, firefighting is a highly technical profession which requires years of training and education in order to become proficient — but it wasn’t always so. In this excellent episode of the classic series “Adventures in Research”, we hear how firefighting has changed and developed through the centuries. (15 minute audio)

Here is your download link: The Fight Against Fire

(To download these MP3 files, RIGHT click the links and “save as” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and “save” to your mac.)

Audio, Living Books

Understood Betsy

UNDERSTOOD BETSY by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (PDF, kindle & nook ebook + mp3 audiobook)

A truly classic children’s book by Dorothy Canfield Fisher that is a real treat especially for homeschooling families. This engaging tale follows the adventures of thin, pale, 9 year old orphan Elizabeth Ann who is whisked away from her sheltered, overprotected city home and is taken to live on a Vermont farm where her cousins, the “dreaded Putneys,” live. However, it turns out that the Putneys are not at all what Elizabeth was told to expect, and under their care she blooms into a capable, independent and confident young lady.

UNDERSTOOD BETSY is a deeply satisfying story with wonderful insights into education and learning for its own sake, your family will love this delightful heroine and her heartwarming story will stay with you for years to come. Highly recommended!

We have the PDF and kindle and nook versions of the story for you, PLUS a link to the unabridged audiobook version! Enjoy!

To download the PDF version of the ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE.

To download the kindle version of the ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE.

To download the nook (EPUB) version of the book, RIGHT CLICK HERE.

To go to the AUDIOBOOK page, where you can play this audiobook online or download to your computer CLICK HERE!

History, Living Books

Richard of Jamestown

Richard of Jamestown by James Otis (PDF ebook) – A wonderful, highly readable chapter book by James Otis, chronicling the adventures of Richard, a young boy who sails to the new world with the colonists who founded Jamestown. His stories of the hardships and adventures faced by the Jamestown settlers, told from the viewpoint of a young boy, make this great reading for the Fall season. Don’t miss this!

from the foreword:

The purpose of this series of stories is to show the children, and even those who have already taken up the study of history, the home life of the colonists with whom they meet in their books. To this end every effort has been made to avoid anything savoring of romance, and to deal only with facts, so far as that is possible, while describing the daily life of those people who conquered the wilderness whether for conscience sake or for gain.

That the stories may appeal more directly to the children, they are told from the viewpoint of a child, and purport to have been related by a child. Should any criticism be made regarding the seeming neglect to mention important historical facts, the answer would be that these books are not sent out as histories—although it is believed that they will awaken a desire to learn more of the building of the nation—and only such incidents as would be particularly noted by a child are used.

Surely it is entertaining as well as instructive for young people to read of the toil and privations in the homes of those who came into a new world to build up a country for themselves, and such homely facts are not to be found in the real histories of our land.

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer!

Homeschool Helps, Just for Fun

Educating with Cootie Catchers!

Children’s book author Lou Treleaven has a unique crafts site that offers dozens of downloadable, printable “cootie catcher” paper toys of all sorts. It really stretches the boundaries of this traditional children’s paper toy.

There are fairy tale cootie catchers, treasure hunt cootie catchers and lots more. But what we especially like are the examples of educational cootie catchers that review different subjects, such as Spanish, geometry, art terms, forms of water, vocabulary terms and more. What a novel way to review basic facts or lessons!

If you’ve never shown your kids how to make and play with a cootie catcher, you definitely need to print out and make a few of these. There is also a template that you can use to create your own cootie catcher just for fun, or even to use for reviewing your own lessons, should you be so inclined. 🙂

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Arts & Crafts

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!

Audio, Living Books

The Railway Children – New Audiobook Version

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit – Read by Kara Shallenberg

When their father mysteriously goes away, three children and their story-writing mother leave their comfortable life in London and move to a little house, Three Chimneys, in the country. Free to roam the countryside, Peter, Bobbie, and Phil make friends and enjoy adventures in and around the nearby railway station, and wave to the passing train each day, asking it to send their love to Father. There are no magical adventures in this Nesbit story, but as usual her child characters are so realistic that you feel they are your friends!
This brand new audio reading of E. Nesbit’s heartwarming classic story by one of our favorite readers, Kara Shallenberg, is absolutely wonderful and highly recommended by us. Don’t miss it.
CLICK HERE to go to the download page!
Audio, History

A Tooth for a Tooth (ow!)

Ever have a toothache? Be glad you didn’t have one 400 years ago. The poor soul in this picture can give you an idea of what it was like getting your teeth fixed way back when.

Even better, listen to today’s great audio story, “A Tooth For A Tooth”, where you will encounter strange things like travelling dentist-executioners, barbershop tooth extractions, tooth traders, and a crazy, laugh out loud “cure” suggested by the ancient Romans. It is a fun – and painful – tale, that will make you glad you have a nice, clean Dentist’s office to go to when needed. Your kids will be amazed at this delightful “living history” story — and will likely want to go brush their teeth after hearing it! (12 minutes, mp3 audio)

Click here to listen!

Science

Home Science Experiments

Home Science Experiments!

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chemistry Professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri shares the fun of science through this way cool page which contains dozens of fascinating and fun science experiments you can easily do at home. These are tried-and-true kid pleasers, and are all great fun! Check them out and bookmark the site!

CLICK HERE to go to the site

Grammar

Grammar Land (book, audiobook & worksheets!)

Grammar Land: Or Grammar In Fun for the Children of  Schoolroom-Shire, by M. L. Nesbitt (PDF ebook)

In this classic read-aloud story book, published way back in 1878, author Nesbitt creates an amazing fantasy land not unlike “Alice In Wonderland”, where the citizens are the nine parts of speech —rich Mr. Noun, his useful friend Pronoun, little ragged Article, talkative Adjective, busy Dr. Verb and Adverb, perky Preposition, convenient Conjunction, and irksome Interjection—are brought to trial by Judge Grammar to settle disputes over the rules of language. Each part of speech is called in turn to take the stand, where they are questioned by Doctor Syntax and Sergeant Parsing. In the course of the amusing trial, the reader, perhaps without even realizing it, is exposed to the most important rules of grammar. It’s a fun, fascinating way to learn some of the basic grammar rules all the  while carried along by the very memorable characters and a wild adventure to boot.

We’ve got the original book for you in PDF format, plus the well-done AUDIOBOOK, and some great WORKSHEETS to go along with it. Highly recommended!

THE ORIGINAL BOOK!

CLICK HERE to download the PDF ebook.

AUDIOBOOK!

To listen to the wonderful audiobook version from LibriVox, read by Kara Shallenberg, CLICK HERE!

WORKSHEETS!

Jessica at the “We Don’t Need No Education” blog created a delightful set of worksheets for each chapter of Grammar Land, incorporating the exercises woven into the story. You can download all 17 of these PDF worksheet files on her blog. They are loads of fun and a great way to make sure your kids “get” some of what is taught in Grammar Land.

CLICK HERE to go to her blog where you can download these.

Astronomy

Solar System Trading Cards

Today we feature this nifty set of printable Solar System Trading Cards (Jr. Edition) for grades K – 3, a collection of cards that depicts solar system objects such as planets, comets, asteroids, the Moon, and the Sun. Also included are cards with common misconceptions, Hubble trivia, online resources, and instructions for a game. The front of each “game” card displays a color image of a solar system object; the back provides facts about the object in large, easy-to-read text, along with a question for the game. Just download the PDF, print, and fold in half to make each card.

To go to the download page, click here!

Also available is the “About the Cards” PDF, which includes national education standards, more information about the game, and other uses for the cards.