Build-Your-Own Marshmallow Guns

One of our kids’ favorite toys growing up were their homemade marshmallow guns. They had wars all over our back yard, the woods, and indoors with these crazy things. These are great fun, more-or-less safe (I’d suggest sunglasses for eye protection from flying marshmallows), and an inexpensive do-it-yourself project. These are the same PVC toys that are sold online and in some stores for $8-$12.


Blogger TennZen from Tennessee recently posted some very good, detailed instructions for building these right here. (Be sure to also check out other posts on her blog for several additional “holidays on a budget” ideas. There are some good ones there!)

Next, here is a funny downloadable PDF from that also shows how these are built. Click here

These are fun projects for your kids to make, and great gifts too, as long as you are patient and adventurous enough to handle miniature marshmallows flying all around the house and yard. Enjoy!

Everyday Arithmetic

Everyday Arithmetic (PDF ebook) – This is a CLASSIC early 20th century math text for middle grades that very effectively applies arithmetic to everyday activities such as shopping, cooking, telling time, building projects, household concerns, sports activities, camping, and much more. It is full of interesting interesting word problems and neat illustrations – plus some great math exercises and quizzes. Definitely a “living book” as far as math texts go, and worth your checking out! Originally written for grades 5 – 6, but the material could be used for other middle grades as well.

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your pc. Mac users: press the “control” key and then click the link and save to your mac.

A Day With Charles Dickens

A Day With Charles Dickens (PDF ebook)

Want a unique way to learn about the life and work of one of the greatest authors in English literature? Let’s follow him around through a typical day’s work!

In this short, easily read book, we spend a typical day with Dickens as he went about his home life, writing and workday. A fascinating vintage book that provides many intriguing insights into the life and work of Mr. Dickens!

To download today’s PDF resource, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer! (2 mb PDF file)

Everyday Life in the Colonies

coloniesEveryday Life in the Colonies by Gertrude Stone and M. Grace Fickett (PDF ebook)

Here’s a wonderful classic “living book” about what it was like to live in colonial America. Each chapter is actually a separate story, following young boys and girls through their daily life as it would have been during that time. Included are chapters about ordinary activities such as candlemaking, letter writing, schoolwork, telling time and celebrating the Christmas season, as well as some exciting stories of Indian encounters. Great “living history”!

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.

The Manual of Mathematical Magic

Mathematics and magic may seem a strange combination, but many of the most powerful magical effects performed today have a mathematical basis. Math is also the secret behind the technologies we use, the products we buy and the jobs we do.

The Manual of Mathematical Magic is packed full of magical miracles to impress and entertain your friends. The secrets behind street magic, close-up and stage tricks are explained clearly with instructions and videos to help you perform them perfectly. Then you can learn about the math behind the trick and discover how that same mathematics is used to power our modern world and numerous careers.

Talk about “hands on” math… this fascinating guide is a great learning (and fun) resource for students grade 6 and up.

Click here to go to the download page.

The Sugar ‘n Spice Unit Studies!

The Complete
by Martha Greene

This week, just in time for the “kitchen season” (ie. Thanksgiving and Christmas), we will be featuring all five educational, fun (and tasty!) units in the Sugar N’ Spice Unit Study Series from The Homemaker’s Mentor. Each morning this week, we’ll post a different study  about the traditional kitchen spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and sugar.  Each unit (suitable for ages 6-10) includes a history of that spice, creative hands-on activities, a dash of geography, art & science, yummy recipes your kids can make themselves, puzzles and more. Your littles will love these fun, fascinating and “oh so good” unit study lessons. They are perfect for this holiday season!

IMPORTANT! Each unit study is available for 48 hours only, so be sure to stop by each day this week to get that day’s study. You snooze,  you lose.

“The five units in the series cover the history of the spices, what they are used for, recipes, word finds, math, geography, reading lists… the list goes on. These are adorable little booklets full of FUN learning. It’s hard to believe that Marmee packed so much into them. Sugar N’ Spice is a great break from regular lesson… My girls and I have done these together and loved them. They really lend themselves to any age range — perfect to do as a family! Highly recommended! – review by Lisa Barthuly

Sorry, these are no longer available as a freebie. However, you can purchase this collection this week at a special sale price! CLICK HERE.

TIP: If you like these, be sure to sign up at The Homemaker’s Mentor for more free lessons in your email box. You’ll love them!

The Original Thanksgiving & Christmas Audio Treasure Chest!

Over 120 full length, classic audio stories to fill your home with the wonder and joy of the season this year! Click here for details.


I purchased the holiday stories last year since our family enjoys reading aloud
and audio books. We truly enjoyed the stories and listened to them daily.
It has become a new Christmas tradition as all four of my children (including teens!)
begged to listen to The Cinnamon Bear every day. Thank you for these wholesome,
timeless adventures! – Rachel R

The tradition continues. Now I am purchasing this set for my daughter and her little
family. She has fond memories of this set when she was living at home and
homeschooled! Thanks  for continuing to offer it. – Felice G.

Thank you so much for the Cinnamon Bear stories.  It has become a family tradition
to start listening to them on the way to their Nonnie’s for Thanksgiving.  We listen
to them only in the car and finish up the story by Christmas.  It’s the only time of
the year we play it. My girls talk about them throughout the year.  – Colleen

This is our favorite collection for the Holidays – our daughter even pulls it out
to listen to in the heat of summer:) Thanks for making this available for
generations to come! – Angela

We may have been one of the original “Cinnamon Bear Listeners” from your site.
A Christmas tradition at our house. We even have a Paddy O’ Cinnamon that we
put on our tree each year. – Christine W.

We’ve been with you since the beginning and bought the Holiday Stories when you
first offered them, and listen to them every holiday season! They are truly a treasure!
Thanks for the reminder today to pull them up and start listening again. – Martha

I also have to say what a great resource this was last year. We brought the
Cinnamon Bear Companion also and did the lapbook, coloring book and games
with our youngest (7 years). I want to add that after 6 years of family homeschooling
it was the best project we have ever done 🙂 – Shelley B.

Pilgrim Stories III – Little Pilgrims & The Red Men (plus Teacher’s Guide)

Pilgrim Stories III: Little Pilgrims & The Red Men (PDF ebook)

Today we have the conclusion to this absolutely delightful three part serialization of the story of the Pilgrims – perfect for “read aloud” and sharing with the kids over the next couple of weeks! In Part Three, we learn how children from the Pilgrim settlements fared with their encounters with their Native American neighbors – this includes some outstanding stories of danger, adventure & friendship!

Also included in Part Three: A short but helpful “Teacher’s Guide” to learning more about the Pilgrims’ life and times through play-acting and other fun activities. Great stuff!

To download today’s resource, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer! Mac users, hold the “control” key down and click the link, then save to your mac.


Pilgrim Stories II – The Wild Land & Thanksgiving

Pilgrim Stories II: The Wild Land & Thanksgiving (PDF ebook) 

In Part Two of our great “Pilgrim Stories” collection, the Pilgrims at long last arrive in the “New World”, only to find it a truly “wild land” filled with incredible danger and hardships. Providentially, they are befriended just when they need it most, and the very first Thanksgiving is celebrated.

To download today’s resource, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer! Mac users, hold the “control” key down and click the link, then save to your mac.

Pilgrim Stories I – From Old Homes to New

Pilgrim Stories, Book I: From Old Homes to New (PDF ebook)

After a couple of years absence, this week we are again featuring this absolutely delightful three part serialization of “Pilgrim Stories”, originally published in 1910. This is a wonderful “read aloud” resource that you can share with the kids over the next couple of weeks, to make Thanksgiving not only a family celebration, but a learning time as well.

We are loving this series! Thank you so much! We read almost the entire book the first day. My son is only 6 and I was amazed how much he enjoyed it! He didn’t want me to stop! I can’t wait to finish reading the rest of the series to him!- Diana

I can say enough how much we are enjoying this series of books. We keep reading and don’t want to stop. My children are very young but are really getting a lot out of these. They go very nicely with our study of Thanksgiving. These stories of real people help my children understand. – Connie

In Part One, we meet the Pilgrims and learn why they were forced to leave their homes in search of a place they could freely worship… a journey which had many false starts, and which eventually led to a hazardous journey across the ocean in hopes of reaching the “New World” and a place they could make their own.

To download today’s resource, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer! Mac users, hold the “control” key down and click the link, then save to your mac.


Paper Dolls from Melissa Jacie

PAPER DOLLS for All Seasons

Artist Melissa Thomsen (who has a wonderfully creative and encouraging blog which we recommend for any young artist) has created a delightful series of paper dolls, most with seasonal outfits (some in full color, others you color yourself). There are several to freely download on her site!

Click here to go to her main Paper Doll page, then be sure to explore all the sub-pages for more.

If you like Melissa’s art, be sure to sign up for her email list and you’ll receive her printable monthly calendar and news about new paper dolls and other projects.

Artists & their Art: Sharing Visual Stories

Artists and their Art – Huge Lesson Plan Library!

Artists and Their Art: Sharing Visual Stories, a resource site hosted by the Concordia University of Chicago, focuses on art appreciation and history by providing a biographical sketch of the artist, an image of one of the artist’s specific works and details about that work. It also provides class discussion questions and ideas for hands-on exploration. With a very nice archive of ten downloadable lessons per grade level, this resource series is very well suited for homeschool use.

Click here to go to the download site!

Natural Oddities – Volume One

Natural Oddities by Gus Mager (PDF ebook) – Today’s resource is this  classic little collection of cartoons depicting odd and unusual aspects of the flora and the fauna in the world around us — “Natural Oddities”.  These engaging cartoons by Gus Mager are full of strange but true facts about everything from polar bears to platypuses… and are sure to fascinate young readers.

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” the file to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key, then click on the link and save it to your mac. (Note: This is a scanned ebook, photographed from the original vintage book, so it may not be viewable on portable devices such as a kindle, ipad or phone.)


A Q&A Guide for the Study of Animals


This is an excellent question & answer lesson guide for studying small animals and insects, prepared for high school use in the 1920s. From maggots & beetles to fish & chickens, these are great, easy to use lesson plans suitable both for hands on dissection or simple nature observation sessions.

To download this scanned 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.

What’s that noise? Exploring your sense of HEARING

How do our ears detect sound? How do our brains interpret it?

Today we return to the Neuroscience for Kids website created and curated by Dr. Eric Chudler to focus on the Sense of HEARING, and learn about the parts of the auditory system and how they work.

Click here to go to the introduction about the sense of hearing.

Click here for a collection of experiments all about your sense of hearing.

And the PDF Lesson Guides: The Teacher’s Guide is HERE. The Student’s Guide is HERE.