Have Fun With History

Have Fun With History.com is a great way to liven up your history studies, with hundreds of vintage freebie videos & interactive activities for students, educators, and lovers of American History. They are especially homeschool friendly. You can search the site by timeline, topic, people or events. They also  host the excellent “One Minute History Videos” collection which give a great intro to any topic or event in just 60 seconds.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Click here to go to the site!

Spell by Color

The Spell By Color spelling course by Andrea Scurlock (for grades 3 and up) uses color-coding to reinforce organized instruction in the rules of spelling. The course is unique in that it actually teaches spelling rules clearly and explicitly to ensure that a child has the tools they need for figuring out how to spell any word, not just the ones they see on their spelling lists. 

Andrea has made the complete first year of this 3 year course available as a freebie. “Year One” is geared toward 3rd grade but can be used with older children who either need extra practice or who have not yet use a rules-based spelling program. There are a total of 31 weeks in Spell By Color Year One, averaging 4 lessons per week. This leaves you a few weeks remaining in the school year to focus on age-appropriate sight words that don’t fit well into any spelling rule.

For more information, and the download link for the full “Year One” course, Click here!

Papercraft Motorcycles, Animals & More

Screen shot 2015-01-01 at 10.20.54 AMYamaha (yes, the motorcycle manufacturer) has a wonderful paper crafts / origami page with printable paper models of realistic motorcycles, rare animals, and other great designs that will amaze and challenge your kids. Most of these are advanced projects for ages 10 and up. They also have some videos showing some how-to techniques and tips. These are beautiful, and great indoor craft projects for cold winter days!

Click here to go to the site!

Peanuts, Flight & Borneo

Innovative Classroom.com has three very interesting and well done thematic unit studies for you:


You and your students will be surprised to find that peanuts aren’t really nuts at all! This unit on this remarkable legume will teach your students all about the peanuts, starting from the cultivation practices and going to practical uses of the plant. They will learn how to make their own peanut butter and uses for all parts of the peanut plant. Major subject areas are covered, including art, math, history, and language arts. Lots of great material in this 36 page study.


This unit will take you and your students on a tour through the history of Flight. It starts with the dreams of flight and early ideas proposed and finishes with modern jet aircraft travel. Use this unit to get your kids excited about the science of flight and the mathematics involved in the design of flying machines. 40 pp PDF.


Borneo is the third largest island in the world. Located in the South Pacific, it is made up of lush rainforest and unique habitat areas. This unit covers topics ranging from geography and population to wildlife and climate aspects. There is an emphasis in science and math in this thematic unit, but language arts, art, and other areas are covered as well. 18 pp. PDF.

Click here to go to the download page for all three!

Winter “Why” Tales

Winter “Why” Tales (PDF ebook)

Here’s a lovely little children’s storybook featuring two fanciful wintertime stories: “Why the Bear Sleeps All Winter”, and “Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves”. Great “fairy tale” style read alouds for younger listeners on a chilly winter day!

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


The Man Who Invented Ice

The King of Ice

In the 1700s, one man claimed to have “invented” ice! What was the story behind this outlandish claim, and why did he make a fortune with a cargo of plain ordinary ice? Listen to this fascinating old time radio program and find out — great “living history for the ears”! (15 minute audio)

Here is your download link: The King of Ice

(To download these MP3 files, RIGHT click the links and “save as” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and “save” to your mac.)

“Around the Horn” Board Game + Loads of Crafts Projects

From prolific homeschool writer Alicia Bayer’s Magical Childhood site, here’s a downloadable American history board game you can print and play! Your kids can go back to 1848 and experience their own journey “around the horn” from New York to San Francisco – and learn a lot about this part of our history in the process.

From the description:

“When gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California in 1848, it set off the great Gold Rush. While many people went overland across the country, many others chose to go “around the horn”.

This meant boarding a ship at New York City, Boston, or another eastern port and heading south, south, south. The ships kept going until they reached Cape Horn, the tip of South America. Making their way around it, they then headed north for San Francisco. In 1849, over 700 ships made this voyage of 13,00 miles, usually in 6-8 months, stopping at ports along the way to resupply.

While it was by far the longest route and was very expensive (around $300 per person), there were many advantages. People could set off in the winter when the overland routes were blocked. They could bring along far more baggage and cargo. And they didn’t have to worry about buying their own supplies or facing any of the many hazards along the way. It is easy to see why ships were so popular…”

Click here to go to the download page!

And while you are there, here is more interesting stuff from Magical Childhood to check out…

An extensive Craft Projects page with dozens of hands-on projects for kids

Alicia’s current blog with lots of neat ideas and links for homeschoolers