iCivics is chock full of interactive games, curriculum and lesson plans for teaching young people more about civics… and it’s all free! Here’s what they say about their mission on the site:
There is an important link between civic knowledge and civic engagement. Our system thrives if Americans understand how our government and its branches work. In fact, our public schools were founded to teach young people to understand these structures, and to cultivate informed citizens. Yet students are growing up in an uncivic-minded era. Civic education has nearly disappeared from the school curriculum. More than ever, youth are not voting and are becoming disillusioned with the political process. This is why, after serving 25 years on the bench of the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics in 2009: to restore civic education in our nation’s schools.
The success of any democratic system depends on the active participation of its citizens. iCivics gives students the necessary tools to learn about and participate in civic life, and teachers the materials and support to achieve this goal. Our free resources include print-and-go lesson plans, interactive digital tools, and award-winning games.
iCivics teaches students how government works by having them experience it directly. Through our games, the player steps into any role – a judge, a member of Congress, a community activist fighting for local change, even the President of the United States – and does the job they do. Educational video games allow for concepts to happen to us. They convey information while teaching skills for effective civic engagement.
Click here to go to the site!
If your kids enjoy coloring, or YOU enjoy coloring, we’ve got a great resource site for you today!
This site, organized by The New York Academy of Medicine Library, features over 100 free downloadable coloring books and coloring pages for children and adults from museums, schools, and institutions all across the country. Each reflects the materials that they hold in their collections. The range of participating organizations and their available subject matter is impressive; from rare books to scientific diagrams to ornate Art Nouveau. There is truly something for everyone—and hours upon hours of relaxing (and educational!) entertainment.
Click here to go to the site!
CHEAP AND EASY CRAFTS FOR EVERYONE by David Lemming (PDF ebook)
Originally created for library program use, this neat little guide offers dozens of fun and simple craft projects using inexpensive materials you probably already have on hand. Lots of full color photos, simple instructions, and some great projects that are easy for you to prepare for, and that your kids will enjoy.
CLICK HERE to download this PDF ebook!
MUSIC TALKS WITH CHILDREN (PDF ebook)
This little volume is perfect for Charlotte Mason and literature-based learning households.
MUSIC TALKS WITH CHILDREN is a wonderfully sensitive and thoughtful book of lessons and stories to help develop an appreciation of music in young children – but readers of any age will benefit from this. Once you read and ponder this book, you’ll never think quite the same about music and the effects it has on us. This was written in a different era and obviously dealt with a very different type of musical atmosphere than what surrounds us today, but this would still be great to use as you expose your children to classical and other genres of music outside of today’s pop culture.
Just start reading, you’ll see the value of it very quickly.
To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE then save to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key, then click on the link and save to your mac.
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!
Want to know what 10 classic living books are all about… in just 10 minutes? Your tweens and teens may get a kick out of following along and deciphering these humorous 1 minute summaries of these famous stories. Along with partners Jim Becker and Andy Mayer, John “Mighty Mouth” Moschitta recorded a pugnacious take on ten classic novels in which he summarizes each book’s entire story in approximately one minute. Included in this collection, entitled Ten Classics in Ten Minutes, are Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind; and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.
Yep, this resource is really just for the fun of it, but students will also at least get a notion of what these classic stories are about. If you want to have some fun with these and see if your student actually listens, have your student tell YOU what the story is about after watching one of these videos. Then try it with someone else in the family (mom, dad, siblings, etc.).
CLICK HERE to go to this YouTube playlist.
Need a little extra help with writing skills and/or getting your Grammar rules to stick? Here’s a great resource for you!
EnglishGrammar.org offers literally hundreds of very short, concise, and specific grammar usage lessons are downloadable (in PDF format) for students of all ages. Whatever you are studying Grammar-wise, you will find a nice supplementary/summary lesson for it here.
From the site: “Here you’ll learn all aspects of the English written language, enabling you to improve your writing skills in both personal and formal communications. Whether you’re starting with the very basics such as understanding the meaning of verbs and nouns and correct apostrophe placement, or wanting to understand more complex topics such as conjunctions, syntax optimization and creative writing techniques, we have it all covered.”
CLICK HERE to go to their downloadable lessons page!
Looking for a fun art project that can be either simple OR challenging for all ages? Try making a torn paper collage!
Here’s a GREAT guide to creating beautiful torn paper collages using old magazines, newspapers, junk mail, sheet music, photos, scrap paper, construction paper or whatever you have around the house. It includes step by step instructions and lots of wonderful full-color project examples!
CLICK HERE to download this PDF lesson guide!
Pictured here are The Mountains of Mourne, which inspired C. S. Lewis to write The Chronicles of Narnia. About them, Lewis wrote “I have seen landscapes … which, under a particular light, make me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge.”
Here’s a great accompaniment to yesterday’s Narnia audio readings. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about Lewis and some of the underlying concepts for his Narnia series, check out AllAboutCSLewis, a site filled with many podcasts about Lewis and both his theological and literary works — including a series of very good podcasts on the backstory and theology of each of the Narnia stories.
All the audios – including those about Narnia – are collected on a single page here. Very interesting and entertaining listening!
The COMPLETE Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis – read by Chrissi Hart (Audiobooks)
By request, we’re bringing back this amazing treasure for you:
It’s the COMPLETE seven book Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, in audiobook format. These programs were originally recorded for broadcast on the Ancient Faith Internet Radio station (which we occasionally listen to and enjoy – especially their music station). The reader is Chrissi Hart, who has a lovely British accent just perfect for these readings.
Between the seven books in the series, there’s almost 50 hours of listening here! Wonderful for family or bedtime listening… bookmark this site and enjoy this incredible treasury of some of the best children’s books ever!
Click here to go to the listening page for THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA! Note: These readings are only available in streaming format on the site.
Mr DeMaio’s Video Channel
This fun youtube channel is a collection of videos created by Mr. DeMaio for the education of his students as well as children around the world. In these lessons/programs, Mr. DeMaio tackles a wide assortment of topics ranging from multiplication to the planets in our solar system.
These 5 – 12 minute videos are fun, creative, and very entertaining… check it out!
Click Here to go to the Mr. DeMaio’s Video page!
This huge PDF library offers loads of great ideas and projects for your homeschooling… OUTDOORS!
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.
Thanks to Lorraine G. for pointing us to this link!
Click Here to go to the download site
Forgive us if we toot our own horn a bit today. THIS just arrived:
AAAAAA! What is Jess Erskine’s new coloring book about?
It’s a curious combo of cats, cupcakes, and colors. Have you ever seen a sushi cat? Ever colored a cat on a cupcake? What about a cat taking a bath in the crockpot? This curious collection by artist Jess Erskine features 25 original illustrations of cats cooking, playing, sleeping and chilling in the kitchen, and posing as only the most delectable of gourmet delights. You’ve got to see it to believe it.
Mix cute cats + your favorite foods + Jess Erskine’s detailed illustrations and you have the perfect coloring book for cat lovers, foodies, and coloring fans of all ages.
Click here to see it on Amazon!
Making the Most of Your Summer Break: Homeschool Families Share their Best Ideas and Tips (PDF ebook)
We’re bringing back this excellent resource because of numerous requests, and also for the benefit of our many new readers who did not get a copy last year.
Are you thinking about taking a short/medium/long break from homeschooling during the upcoming summer months? Or are you not sure how to juggle your summer plans with your homeschooling? If so, you NEED this collection!
We surveyed over 250 homeschool families to find out their own “summer break” experiences: How long a break they normally take… what they like (and dislike) most about “summer vacation”… their very favorite summertime learning activities… AND their best tips and advice to YOU for keeping the learning going all summer long. The result is this compilation full of practical, “real life” advice that any homeschool family will find both helpful and inspirational. DON’T MISS IT!
To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer. Mac users, hold down the “control” key and click the link, then save to your computer.