“If I Could Do It Over Again…” GREAT Homeschool Advice

“If I Could Do It Over Again…” Thoughts and Advice from Homeschool Families (PDF ebook)

A few years back, we surveyed hundreds of homeschooling families about what has worked well and not-so-well for them in their homeschooling activities. We got some remarkable answers from this survey. One of the most intriguing questions we asked was this: “If you could do it over again, what would you change about how you have homeschooled in the past?” We got some great responses to this question, with some tips and suggestions that are well worth considering by both newbie and veteran homeschoolers alike. This ebook is an edited collection of the best of these.

Now, as you go through this, here is a caveat for you: There obviously isn’t an ultimate “right way” to homeschool that fits everyone, and we’re not saying there is. This is reflected in the responses you will find in this collection — in fact, some of the thoughts expressed here are directly contradicted by other moms. However, a few very definite patterns quickly emerge as you read through these. So our suggestion to you is this:

Do any of these speak to you in your situation? Are there some hard-learned truths here that you can learn from? Can you apply some of these lessons to your own homeschooling? Glean and learn, friends… there are some true golden nuggets just for you here, if you are willing to find them!

To download this PDF 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.

Geology Rocks!

Screen shot 2016-02-06 at 10.18.31 AMGEOLOGY ROCKS! LESSON PLAN

Today we feature this neat geology unit study from the Cleveland Museum of Art on “The Rock Cycle” explaining how different types of rocks are formed, how to classify rocks, and several other activities. Includes several printable charts and manipulatives, and a great hands-on experiment on making your own “rock cycle” using crayons and other household materials.

To go to the download page, CLICK HERE.

LEGO® Castle Adventure Curriculum

Screen shot 2016-02-06 at 10.02.02 AMThis neat unit study, prepared by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for use with their traveling LEGO Castle Adventure exhibit, has colorful lessons on how castles have always been the setting for adventure and wonder stories, with students creating their own unique castle-based story; about everyday life in and around castles; and the science behind how castles were designed and constructed. All incorporating Legos, of course. Lessons are presented for students from grades K through 6.

To download this 55 page PDF unit study, RIGHT CLICK HERE then “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key, then click the link and save to your mac.

Abraham Lincoln, Teenager

TeenagerAbraham Lincoln, Teenager (MP3 Audiobook & PDF Listening Guide)

In honor of Abraham Lincoln’s 207th birthday, today we bring you this excellent biographical portrait of Lincoln’s teen years and the kind of character he displayed as a young man 
during his years in Indiana and Illinois.

Darren Cacy narrates this great essay written by famed historian Hamilton Mabie Wright. 
There are some really great stories in this!

Accompanying this 24 minute MP3 audio reading is a PDF Listening Guide for further discussion and learning!

To download the MP3 audio, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key and click the link, then save to your mac.

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

Moneypalooza & other Financial Literacy Games


Screen shot 2016-02-04 at 4.26.59 PMMoneypalooza & other Financial Literacy Games

Courtesy of the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, NC comes this page of downloadable games and lesson plans built around the topic of financial literacy. Of special interest is Moneypalooza, a colorful board game in which players have fun figuring out how to be smart about how you earn, spend, save and share. Looks like a lot of (educational) fun!

Click here to go to their download page

Wildlife Watch activities

Screen shot 2016-01-31 at 6.38.28 AMWILDLIFE WATCH, a UK based site, has a library of dozens of downloadable activity sheets on a wide variety of nature activities for young students.

Topics include: Dissecting owl pellets, how to build a treehouse, discover animal tracks and signs, nest boxes, insect hotels, make bird & butterfly feeders, make salt dough creatures, build a bumblebee nest, make compost, make a pond dipping net, build a mini-pond, making your own wormery, and much more.

These are short, colorful, engaging hands-on projects that will capture young imaginations and help you explore the great outdoors.

Click here to go to their download page!

Understanding Algebra


Here’s a great beginner’s guide to algebra, suitable for high-school Algebra I, as a refresher for college students who need help preparing for college-level mathematics, or for anyone who wants to learn introductory algebra. Note that the author also points out he is especially pleased to help homeschoolers!

To preview or view the course online, click here.

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

Tip: The Kindle version of the text is also available as a download on the author’s site!

Hymn of the Week

Our friend Angie at CelebratingHolidays.com has finally completed and released her outstanding 52-week Hymn of the Week study series. Each hymn includes a lyric video, history, sheet music and other resources. The hymns for each month of the year have a theme, usually related to that month’s main holidays. These mini-unit studies are a terrific way to learn more about the origins of these classic hymns of the Christian faith. A great resource!

Angie writes: One of my favorite traditions is to learn and sing a new hymn with my family each week. Not only are we exposed to rich language and theological truth, but as we study the history behind the hymns, we are often inspired by the godly lives of the writers and composers. If you are not familiar with these hymns, you can listen to many of them on our You Tube Hymns Playlist to find the ones that you like best!

Click here to go to the site

Opening the World through Journaling

Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts (2nd edition), is a unique new nature journal, created for the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) by John Muir Laws, Emilie Lygren, Emily Breunig, and Celeste Lopez. It teaches children to become keen observers of the natural world by drawing and writing about the plants and animals in situ. Designed for use in a multitude of settings from school yards, camps, and nature centers to and family outings, it is geared primarily towards children age 8 and up, but is also suitable for teens and adults. In a set of nested games and activities, students gain confidence in drawing and writing to as a way to gather information. Using a set of key prompts, children and adults also discover a language to create poetry from their observations. They employ these skills and tools to put together a field guide, make treasure maps, and to write poems and stories.

This download does require an email registration, but is well worth it. It is a beautiful, well done guide for nature study, art, literature and more.
Click here to go to the download page, then click the “You may download the 2nd edition here” link 3/4 of the way down the page to register.


Free as a Bird – History of Flight IV


This final episode in our four part audio series of the history of flight shows us how the study of birds led men further toward the actual goal of flight… from the wings of an Albatross to Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), an engineer from Anklam, Germany, who was one of the first humans to glide through the air. He became a pioneer of unpowered human flight by building and flying the world’s first hang gliders.

Lilienthal built several different types of gliders, and made around 5000 flights between 1891-1896. Using his gliders, he flew as high as 984 feet, and would sometimes stay in the air for up to five hours… before he came to a tragic end. The photo at the left is Lilienthal ready to take off in one of his gliders.

To download the MP3 audio program, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” the file to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key and click the link, then save to your mac.

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