Understood Betsy

UNDERSTOOD BETSY by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (PDF, kindle & nook ebook + mp3 audiobook)

A truly classic children’s book by Dorothy Canfield Fisher that is a real treat especially for homeschooling families. This engaging tale follows the adventures of thin, pale, 9 year old orphan Elizabeth Ann who is whisked away from her sheltered, overprotected city home and is taken to live on a Vermont farm where her cousins, the “dreaded Putneys,” live. However, it turns out that the Putneys are not at all what Elizabeth was told to expect, and under their care she blooms into a capable, independent and confident young lady.

UNDERSTOOD BETSY is a deeply satisfying story with wonderful insights into education and learning for its own sake, your family will love this delightful heroine and her heartwarming story will stay with you for years to come. Highly recommended! [Read more...]

Super Simple (and FUN!) Animation Projects for Kids – Unit Study

Ready for some super simple – and highly entertaining – animation lessons for your kids? Then join us today as we turn back the clock to the 19th century and find out how make our own “Living History” PHENAKISTOSCOPES!

The phenakistoscope is a simple but fascinating “science toy” that uses the persistence of motion principle to create an illusion of motion. Pronounced fen-a-kist-o-scope. Its name comes from the Greek words phenax, meaning ‘deceiver,’ and scopein, ‘to see’. It was developed in 1833 by Joseph Plateau as a toy that would make stationary images appear to be animated, These ideas eventually led to the development of cinema.

Today we have a pile of great links for you to learn more about animation history, and in the process make your own way cool phenakistoscopes!
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Cells Alive!

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 11.42.51 AMCells Alive! is a neat site that makes the world of cells come alive for your students. Their interactive activities include animated models of animal, plant and bacteria cells, cell cycles, mitosis, meiosis, comparison of cell sizes and more.

They also have a microscopic cell cam, puzzles, several free downloadable worksheets and other activities. Perfect for biology class! Bookmark it accordingly.

Click here to go to the site

Fine Art Pages collection + 5 more freebies!

Classical Composer Monthly has a great freebie (available through this Friday) exclusively for our readers — FINE ART PAGES to introduce some classic masterpieces to your children in a novel, natural way. Here is Erica Johns’ rather humorous story of how she created this delightful 28 page collection: [Read more...]

Chronicles of Narnia – Complete Audiobook Series + more!

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! [Read more...]

My Timeline Notebooking Journal

{Freebie} 132-Page My Timeline Notebooking JournalDanika Cooley from The ThinkingKidsBlog.org is offering a neat Timeline Notebooking Journal as our freebie today! Here’s what she says about this neat 132 page resource:The timeline starts in 4000 BC. The beginning of human history is recorded as starting anywhere from 4004 BC to 3500 BC, so this will give you room to record from Creation forward. Here’s how the timeline pages are arranged: [Read more...]

Current Events Resources

Betty Jo Hendrickson at StillLearningSomethingNew.com has compiled a terrific list of kid-friendly sites she uses as resources for current events in her homeschooling.

Here’s what she says about it:

“Oh, you homeschool?  Your children won’t know about the real world…”  Blah, blah, blah.

As home educators we have a huge advantage when it comes to teaching world events as they unfold.  We are not limited to only an occasional news study.  We are not tied to a lesson plan that leaves no room to learn about something important happening.  Homeschoolers (for the most part) are highly aware of the “real world”.

For our family, world current events always has a part in our weekly studies.  Current events lessons can inspire prayer projects, set the stage for discussions/debates,  lead to geography/culture studies, and make great essay/report assignments.  It’s so very important for all of us to know what’s happening in the world.  Even as we “shelter” the children,  through current events studies they will gain knowledge of the world.  Also, they will understand some of the reasons why we are “sheltering” them.

These links to free online current events sites for kids are a great resource — Click here to go to her resource page.

“The Practical Trivium” seminar

Screen shot 2014-07-18 at 1.31.25 PMThe Practical Trivium seminar by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn is the sequel to Teaching the Trivium: Introduction to the Trivium (which can be found here http://youtu.be/fFHoQRIovCQ). The video of Introduction to the Trivium has been available for many years but The Practical Trivium is just being made available now. 

Some of the highlights of The Practical Trivium (and our other seminars) include:

–an emphasis on reading aloud to your children

–studying logic from ages ten through high school, rather than using it as a one or two year supplement

–ancient literature from a Christian perspective (is it really necessary to read Homer?)

–choices in language study, with an emphasis on Biblical Greek

–why informal math or grammar before age ten may be a better choice

–how to give your children the tools they need to teach themselves

–how to homeschool in a classical style without buckling under the burden

–a workable plan for every subject and for every age which avoids homeschool burnout (there is only so much time in the day)

–how to continue using other approaches to homeschooling within the framework of classical education

–homeschooling is not alternative education (homeschooling was here first)

–the family is at the heart of God’s plan for restoring Christian culture

These seminars were delivered in Austin, Texas in 2004.

The first part of this seminar (25 minutes) is directly streamable from the Trivium Pursuit website. Parts 2 and 3 are also available when you sign up for their newsletter. Do it! This seminar is Highly recommended!

CLICK HERE to go to the resource page!


Noun Basics Mini-Lapbook

Noun Basics Mini-Lapbook

Today’s freebie comes from Knowledge Box Central, and here’s what our friend Cyndi Kinney has to say about this neat lapbook (normally $5 but free to our readers today!):

Nouns can be FUN! Use this exciting hands on tool to learn more about proper and common nouns, abstract and concrete nouns and more.  Bring adventure to your language arts studies.  Create booklets to place inside the one-folder lapbook, and improve retention of the information. Includes a Study Guide that can be used for teaching the topic. This product can stand alone or be used as a supplement to any other curriculum. This lapbook was designed with the K-3rd grade student in mind, but it could be used for any student who needs to revisit this topic.

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

24/7 Science

Looking for some unique hands-on science fun? Here’s a great resource for you!

The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California has compiled a wonderful collection of kid-friendly science projects, activities and experiments on this great site. There are dozens of different topics here, all of them very hands-on and kid friendly. Check it out!

Click here to go to the site!