Stop Stealing Dreams – What is School For?

Seth Godin’s fascinating ebook examines what’s wrong with our modern educational system and why it is messing up so many young people. Although he doesn’t even mention it by name, a better argument for homeschooling would be hard to find. Very enlightening, thought provoking reading you will really enjoy. Downloadable in just about any format you can think of. (Also check out the author’s TEDx video on his page.)

The economy has changed, probably forever.

School hasn’t.

School was invented to create a constant stream of compliant factory workers to the growing businesses of the 1900s. It continues to do an excellent job at achieving this goal, but it’s not a goal we need to achieve any longer.

In this 30,000 word manifesto, I imagine a different set of goals and start (I hope) a discussion about how we can reach them. One thing is certain: if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’ve been getting.

CLICK HERE to go to the download page

Chemistry Helps Feed the World

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 8.53.30 AMOne more edition of “Celebrating Chemistry” from the American Chemical Society to round out the week… this one on chemistry’s role in growing, preserving and making food safe. “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:

The world population is estimated to be about 7.5 billion people, and growing by about 1.1% per year. That’s a lot of mouths to feed! But there is other work to be done, too.  Just like you, these people need a place to live, which means there will be less land available for agriculture … and that means we can’t grow as much food!

So, how are we going to feed all these people? Chemistry can help. Chemical analysis of the soil can tell farmers which nutrients are needed and how much of them to use. Chemists can also tell when too many nutrients have been used, and where the extra nutrients travel to. There are also chemists who develop herbicides and pesticides to help keep the crops safe. Of course, these chemicals also have to be safe for farmers and their families, and also for the people who eat the food. The same chemists also work to make sure that the nutrients don’t harm helpful animals, such as bees and butterflies.

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.

Solving Mysteries through Chemistry

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 8.28.17 AMOne more edition of “Celebrating Chemistry” from the American Chemical Society… this one on how chemistry is used to help solve all sorts of mysteries. “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:

Do you enjoy doing crossword puzzles, solving problems, or exploring mysteries? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could also be a chemist!

From the moment babies are born, they use their senses to look for clues or hints to find out more about their surroundings. Chemists do the same thing — using not only their senses, but also technology to learn about the world around them. Many of the biggest scientific questions and some of the world’s most urgent problems— involve chemistry, the science of atoms and molecules. Many of the most famous scientists and chemists in history who have contributed to the most important discoveries were explorers. They used the scientific method in their work: They made careful observations, patiently gathered information, did experiments — and most of all, experienced the thrill of discovery!

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.

Chemistry: The Joy of Toys

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 3.42.51 PMHere’s yet another neat guide from the American Chemical Society’s Celebrating Chemistry e-publication… this one on how chemistry can be used to create toys!

From the introduction:

Do you think children who lived a thousand years ago had toys? Believe it or not, they did! Their toys were very simple compared to the toys that you play with every day. Their toys were mostly handmade from things that were found in nature, like animal bones, stones, wood, or clay. The ancient Greeks and Romans played with rattles and dolls made from clay. They also played with wooden tops, barrel hoops, and horses carved from wood. The Egyptians played with marbles made from stone. Kites flown in Asia were once made with wood and cloth. Can you imagine playing with a stone yo-yo? Children in Greece and Egypt did.

Thanks to discoveries by inventors, scientists and engineers, toys today are made from stronger and safer types of materials. Although many toys are still made with wood, metals and plastics, there are strict rules on how they can be used in toys. Before you start playing with any new toys, be sure you and your adult partner read all the directions and instructions carefully.  Chemistry plays an important part in the inventing and making of toys.

In this issue of Celebrating Chemistry, you will learn more about the chemistry of toys and make a few toys from items that may be found in your home. Read the articles about the materials and the chemistry used to make toys. After you have finished reading and doing the activities, ask your teacher or family members about the toys they played with as children. Share your knowledge of the chemistry in toys.

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.

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

Having a Ball with Chemistry

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 12.00.21 PMFrom the American Chemical Society, here’s another fun and informative issue of their Celebrating Chemistry e-publication… this one on how chemistry and sports are related. 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:

Did you know that the first Olympics ever recorded took place in 776 B.C.? Since then, a lot has changed. The study of chemistry has improved the way that athletes train, the sports they play, and the equipment they use.

For example, we now know much more about how our bodies break down foods to provide “power” for our cells. Scientists are able to measure the energy and nutrients that foods contain so that we can make better decisions about what to eat. We also realize that it is essential to stay hydrated—our bodies need water to carry nutrients, to regulate temperature, and to help muscles work properly.

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.

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.

MuseScore

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: http://www.flandersfamily.info/web/happy-birthday-george-washington/
Free age-appropriate chore chart for children: http://www.flandersfamily.info/web/age-appropriate-chores-for-children/
Free prayer guides:
Free “Stop, Drop & Roll” game: http://www.flandersfamily.info/web/stop-drop-roll/

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!):

http://violinflashcards.com/

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.

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https://quizlet.com/24870642/cello-notes-flash-cards/

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.

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https://quizlet.com/4032261/alto-clef-notes-viola-flash-cards/

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!)