Mapping History

This neat collection of interactive historical maps of American history, Latin American history, African history and European history was developed by the University of Oregon. As explained on the site, it is “…designed to provide interactive and animated representations of fundamental historical problems and/or illustrations of historical events, demonstrations, and dynamics.”

This is an excellent history and geography resources that helps your kids visualize the many historical changes in colonization, government and influence of countries throughout the history of these regions.

Freebie Find submitted by Shana

CLICK HERE to go to the site

 

Pest World for Kids

Pest World for Kids

What are “pests”? Think of them as animals out of place. Out in nature, they’re just doing their jobs. But when they move into our homes and yards, then we call them pests. On this fun and educational site, your kids can explore the world of pests via interactive lessons, crafts, videos and much more. Lots of interesting freebie kid-friendly resources here!

- This Freebie Find was submitted by Shana, who says of it: “This site has pictures of various pests and information about them. It has lesson plans, games, and even science fair kits!”

CLICK HERE to go to the site

Fun & Games with NASA

NASA provides several really neat “learning games” that you may freely download to your own computer and use in your homeschool studies. Included in these games are:

Foil Sim:  FoilSim II computes the theoretical lift of a variety of airfoil shapes. The user can control the shape, size, and inclination of the airfoil and the atmospheric conditions in which the airfoil is flying. The program includes a stall model for the airfoil, a model of the Martian atmosphere, and the ability to specify a variety of fluids for lift comparisons. The program has graphical and numerical output, including an interactive probe which you can use to investigate the details of flow around an airfoil.

CurveBall: Using the CurveBall applet, students learn more about aerodynamics by controlling the conditions of a big league baseball pitch. You can vary the speed of the pitch, the spin on the ball, the release point, and the location of the stadium which affects the atmospheric conditions and the amount of curve on the ball. The program will compute balls and strikes and tells you how far your pitch passes the center of the plate .

RocketModeler: This program lets you design and study the flight of a model rocket. You can vary the size of the rocket, the number of fins, and the materials used to construct the rocket. You can choose from a variety of available model rocket engines and test fly your rocket on the computer. The program computes the stability of your design and the flight trajectory. Output includes the maximum altitude which the rocket achieves. You can then compare the computed and actual performance of your model rocket.

KiteModeler: This program lets you design and study the flight of a kite. You can select from five different types of kites and then vary the length, width and types of materials used to construct the kite. You then trim the kite by setting the length of the bridle and tail and the position of the knot attaching the control line to the bridle. Finally, you test fly your kite on the computer by setting the wind speed and the length of control line. The program computes the aerodynamic forces, weight, and stability of your design and the shape of the control line as it sags under its own weight. Output includes the maximum altitude which the kite achieves. You can then compare the computed and actual performance of your kite design.

Atmosphere Applet: This program lets you study how pressure, temperature, and density change through the atmosphere. You can study the atmosphere of the Earth or of Mars. Since speed of sound depends on the atmospheric gas and the temperature, you can also output the local speed of sound and the Mach number for a selected aircraft velocity. You can either input a selected altitude, or change altitude using an aircraft slider.

The site offers several other interactive games as well, all with teacher guides & review lessons. Great technical science fun!

Click here to go to their download page.

Children of Ancient Rome

Children of Ancient Rome (PDF ebook)

Classic story/history book set in the early years of ancient Rome, providing a fascinating view of that civilization’s early history, through the eyes of children growing up in that historic era. A fascinating mix of Roman history, legends and lore… really makes ancient Roman history come alive.

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.

Good Character

“Your character is defined by what you do, not what you say or believe.”

“Good character requires doing the right thing, even when it is costly or risky.”

Good Character.com offers lots of mini-lesson plans, activities, ideas and online resources designed to instill good character traits into students age K-12. While this site is mainly designed for public school use, there is a lot of good material here that can be incorporated into your homeschool.

Be sure to check out the “Teaching Guides” and “Service Learning” sections. Lots of good ideas in these.

Click here to go to the site!

The McGuffey’s Primer Copybook

Mcguffey primer colorful front cover

McGuffey’s Primer Copybook

Kimberly Garcia of Brookdale House has put together probably the most useful and practical enhancement to the McGuffey beginning reader that we’ve ever seen — turning this classic reader into both a reader AND a wonderful writing copybook resource for young students.

The McGuffey’s Primer Copybook is created from McGuffey’s Eclectic Primer. The copybook contains the original McGuffey’s primer along with added copywork selections taken from the reading passages. The original primer is located on the left side of the page, and handwriting exercises have been added to the right. For the benefit of young students, the pages of the text print horizontally, keeping the spine out of the way.

Highly recommended!

Click here to go to the download page (…and while you’re there, join Kimberly’s email list for a second bonus freebie).

KISS Grammar Mega-Course – Grades 1 through 12!

KISS Grammar

This amazing site offers a complete – and quite unique – grammar curriculum for students from primary grades all the way through high school with texts, lesson guides, a grammar game, essays that explore the problems with modern grammar teaching, specific suggestions about what grammar should be taught in which grade levels (including explanations of how and why), and a large selection of instructional material, including answer keys so that parents and teachers can study the KISS approach and decide for themselves if it makes sense.

Instead of focussing on grammatical constructions, the KISS Approach focuses on texts. It uses grammatical concepts to explain how words in a sentence work together to create meaning. The students’ objective is to understand how every piece (every word) fits. This huge resource has everything you need to teach grammar from primary through high school. Check it out!

from the introduction:

     When most people think of studying grammar, they think of rules (hundreds of), and exceptions (thousands of), and “drill-and-kill” exercises. That is, after all, the way that grammar is currently taught. But it need not be. Currently, too many terms and exceptions are taught, and the concepts for which they stand are not related to each other. The typical textbook, for example, explains subjects and verbs and then gives students twenty numbered sentences (which do not form a coherent text) in which the students are expected to identify the subjects and verbs. Then, in another section, the text explains clauses and gives students an exercise with twenty sentences in which the students are supposed to identify the clauses. Students are NOT expected to apply what they learned about subjects and verbs to their work on clauses.

Imagine working on a jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces with flat edges (probably border pieces) go into one pile. Light blue pieces (probably sky) go into another. The dark green (grass?) become another pile. Pieces that don’t go into any of the above remain in a pile by themselves. In terms of the current teaching of grammar, we have now finished the puzzle. If that were how jigsaw puzzles actually worked, few people would find them either enjoyable or sensible, but the comparison accurately describes current instruction in English grammar. It doesn’t make sense.

The purpose of the KISS Approach is to put the puzzle together. Instead of focussing on grammatical constructions, the KISS Approach focuses on texts. It uses grammatical concepts to explain how words in a sentence work together to create meaning. The students’ objective is to understand how every piece (every word) fits.

Click here to go to the Home Page with links to everything.

Wow! Can We Do That Again?

It’s back! Our daughter Jess has put her put her hugely popular “all-time-favorite science experiments” collection on sale at a huge discount – just for you!  Click here to check it out and add some awesome “hands on” science fun to your homeschool this Spring!

Teach With Movies

TeachWithMovies.com is a unique site that uses movies to teach different K-12 subjects, via  free lesson plans and discussion guides based on movies (or clips from movies) you watch with your kids.

Their Learning Guides are designed to assist teachers in creating lesson plans. Each Learning Guide contains sections on Helpful Background, Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Discussion Questions, and Assignments. Snippet Lesson Plans are made from short subjects or from “film clips,” “movie clips,” or “video clips.” The video segments of these lesson plans are ideal for classroom use because they are less than 40 minutes long.

CONTENT NOTE: While we can’t and don’t recommend every movie or lesson they suggest on their site (there are over 350 of them, some are suitable for all ages and some are geared for older viewers) there is a lot of good material here for discriminating homeschool families to use to add variety and depth to their learning. Pay attention, GLEAN, and use this site wisely!

Click here to go to the site.

THE BIG HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY – EARTH, WATER & SKY

In the final section of THE BIG HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY – EARTH, WATER & SKY we focus on the world around us – from small brooks – to soil, minerals, and crystals – to the weather, skies, and sun, moon & stars. What a wonderful world it is… and many wonder-filled lessons and activities fill this last section of the book.

Again, each study begins with a great Teacher’s talk, and includes activities and discussion questions. Be sure to download all of these and keep in your permanent homeschool library. This is a keeper that you’ll use many time throughout your homeschooling years!

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