Candy: The Sweet Side of Chemistry

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 11.48.34 AMThis week we will be sharing the “Celebrating Chemistry” publications for kids, produced by the American Chemical Society and available on their website. “Celebrating Chemistry” is designed to engage and educate children (Grades 4th – 6th) in the basic principles of chemistry, and is full of interesting information, activities and hands-on experiments for your homeschool use.

From the introduction of this ebook:

Candy… How sweet it is!!! Don’t you love the sweet taste of jelly beans, gummies, jellies, caramels, toffee, fudge, and gum drops? Or how about lollipops, taffy, cotton candy, candy canes, hard candy, candy bars, chewing gum, and licorice? Candies come in many different textures, from soft and chewy to hard and brittle. The texture of a piece of candy depends mainly on the number, size, and type of the sugar crystals, the amount of sugar compared to water, and the other ingredients present.

Did you know that most types of candy are made of sugar from two kinds of plants: sugar cane and beets? The common form of sugar is called sucrose, a molecule made up from glucose and fructose (see front cover). But what else is in the recipes for candy? Many contain corn syrup, milk, gelatin, chocolate, and vegetable oils, for starters, along with other ingredients such as flavors and food colorings. Sour candies, for example, contain citric acid, the acid that makes grapefruit sour. All these ingredients are combined to make a sweet and flavorful product.

In this edition of Celebrating Chemistry, you will learn about the chemistry in candy making, certain properties of candy, and much more. Read on to learn more about chemistry’s sweet side.

To download this PDF ebook, right click here then “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key, then click the link and save to your mac.

Keith & Rusty McNeil’s Historical American Songs

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 5.33.10 PMIn 1966 Keith McNeil left his comfortable middle management job when he and his wife Rusty decided to spend full time teaching American history through folk song. Their goal was to build bridges of understanding and appreciation between Americans of different religions, nationalities, ethnic and racial backgrounds, economic status, ages, gender and political persuasions, using history through folk song.

Since that time, they have recorded dozens of collections of authentic American folk songs dating from colonial days to the 20th century, using period instruments — and all are filled with wonderful authentic music and spoken word history. They are a great complement for anyone – especially younger students – studying American history, sociology and culture!

Their entire library of historical American songs ( over two dozen full-length albums!) are available on their bandcamp site. You can listen to any or all of the songs streaming online, for free — or you can purchase individual albums for downloading.

Click here to go to the website, find a subject you are studying, and give these a listen.


Have students who would like to write their own music? Check this out: MuseScore lets you create, play back, share, and print professional quality sheet music with their free and easy to use music notation software. This downloadable program will work on Windows, Mac and Linux computers, and includes an instruction manual and a user forum for questions and support.

Click here to go to their website!

“A free way to create music and play it back. Or, search the database for music other people have uploaded.” – first suggested by Tim Nafziger (thanks, Tim!)

SEN Teacher

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 12.00.58 PMSENteacher (SEN stands for “Special Education Needs”) offers dozens of downloadable resources for teachers working with children with special needs, including severe learning difficulties and autism. Resources are categorized in Language, Math, Science, Sensory Arts, and Communication and cover most basic skills. An extensive collection of printables as well as software, links, etc.

Click here to go to the site!

 – first submitted by Debbie (thanks, Debbie!)

A Baker’s Dozen of Freebies from the Flanders Family

Jennifer Flanders (from the Flanders Family blog) sent us a baker’s dozen of some of their favorite freebies from their websites.  Lots of good stuff here… Dig in!

Free printable pack for George Washington’s birthday:
Free age-appropriate chore chart for children:
Free prayer guides:
Free “Stop, Drop & Roll” game:

Tonic Tutor

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 6.10.38 PMTonic Tutor helps students improve their musical skills and saves music teachers valuable lesson time. With a few clicks you can assign a lesson that students can play at home and track their weekly progress. All of Tonic Tutor’s games have settings you can change so you can tailor each student’s lesson as they progress. With Tonic Tutor you can make sure your students are learning and improving their Note Reading, Music Theory and Ear Training skills.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Violin & Cello Flash Cards

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 11.05.58 AMToday’s freebie resource is this set of helpful links for students learning the violin, cello and viola, submitted by Freebie Hunter, Laurie B. (thanks, Laurie!):

My daughter has used this website at various stages of learning to read treble clef on her violin through the years.  Now, she recommends this website to her students when they are ready to begin reading notes.  This website allows you to choose any key signature and locate that note on the
fingerboard of the violin on the screen.


This one for the cello is not quite as good as the violin site, but it will allow you to print flashcards for the bass clef.


This is the same version as the cello, but these will allow practice for the viola in the alto clef.

Art Freebies from See The Light

Jim and Pat Pence’s SeeTheLighShine website has several free art lesson videos, an art “how to” podcast, and some really nice Mini Art Projects (definitely check these out).

Click here to go to the website!

“We really enjoy learning art from Mrs. Pat and Mr. Jim.  Their free art resources include tutorials, art class video lessons, art video tips, mini art projects, lineart, and podcasts. Plus, there is always something fun on Mr. Jim’s blog.  You can’t go wrong with See The Light!”

– first submitted by Donna F. (thanks, Donna!)

Bible verses for kids, Charlotte Mason style

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 10.28.13 AMPenny Gardner’s Charlotte Mason Approach website offers an excellent tutorial on how to read and remember Bible verses and stories with children, Charlotte Mason-style. First read her  overview, “Scriptures in a Child’s Heart”, then check out and print the wonderful Bible “episodes” checklists she has compiled for both the Old and New Testaments. This is great stuff for the Christian home educator.

Click here to go to the overview page.

Click here to go to the Old Testament readings checklist.

Click here to go to the New Testament readings checklist.

– first suggested by Freebie Hunter Courtney M. (thanks, Courtney!)

Building Your Future financial literacy curriculum

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 9.31.46 AMPersonal finance is part knowledge and part skill – and the Building Your Future book series, published by the Actuarial Foundation, gives students a foundation in both. It addresses knowledge by covering the essential principles of banking in Book One, financing in Book Two, investing in Book Three, and succeeding in Book Four. The series also addresses the mathematical skills that students need to live a financially healthy life. Students will be able to see the real-world consequences of mastering their finances, which helps them understand the relevance of good mathematical skills.

Building Your Future gives high school age students multiple opportunities to practice core skills and showcases the real-world impact of the financial decisions they make. Each of the four books in the series are classroom-ready with a teacher’s guide that includes handouts, answer keys, instruction and assessment suggestions. The PDF version of all four student booklets + teacher guides are free to download from their site. Printed copies can be ordered inexpensively.

Click here to go to the website!

– first suggested by Freebie Hunter Robbyn R. (thanks, Robbyn!)


Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 9.16.49 AMXtraMath is a math facts fluency program and a nonprofit organization dedicated to math achievement for all. Their goal is to develop effective, efficient, adaptive, and intrinsically rewarding supplemental math activities, with short free video lessons and exercises emphasizing basic math skills.

Click here to go to the site.

“We use this for 10 minutes each day and it’s been a huge helping tool for memorizing facts! The kids all say “is it time for Mr. C?”
– first suggested by Sally R. (thanks, Sally!)