Essential Homeschool Planning Forms

formsRecently updated at is her wonderful collection of “The Forms that Every Homeschool Planner Might Need” As Donna says about these: “Some forms seem essential for the homeschool planner. These are homeschool forms that provide a record of several aspects of your children’s educational studies and forms that makes your day a little easier. I will list links, homeschool form names, and why the planner forms are helpful.”

There are lots of great useable forms here, including a school calendar, event calendar, attendance calendar, course of study, goals & objectives, curriculum key, book list forms, household & meal planning forms, and much more. Check them out as you are making your plans for the new homeschool year this summer.

Click here to go to the download page!

Fables from Aesop: The Golden Goose & others

The_Goose_That_Laid_the_Golden_Eggs_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_19994Here’s a fun listen for you: The story of the goose that laid golden eggs & other fables from Aesop, retold by Sterling Holloway! There are several Aesop fables stirred into this delightful classic children’s audio for listeners of all ages.

You can stream this half hour audio to your device by clicking HERE.

Or to download this MP3 Audio file, RIGHT CLICK HERE and save to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key and click the link, then save to your mac.

The Engines of Our Ingenuity

“The Engines of Our Ingenuity” is a radio program that tells the story of how our culture is formed by human creativity. Written and hosted by John Lienhard and other contributors, it is heard nationally on Public Radio and produced by Houston Public Media. Among other features, this web site houses the audio transcripts of over 3000 five minute episodes broadcast since the show’s inception in 1988.

With thousands of streaming audio programs to choose from, there is as you might guess a huge array of inventions and historical topics to choose from, including basic inventions like paper clips and tunnels, to odd ball topics that might also appeal to young listeners, including Mad Scientists, the Black Death, and many others. Just start digging around and you’ll find something that you are currently or planning to study.

These short audios are pretty much straightforward and can be a bit dense for younger students, but tweens and teens especially ought to eat these up – and at five minutes length, they are very easy to listen to.

Click here to go to their site! (Once on the page, click the link “Engines Transcripts” to go to their streaming library of shows.)


Skillswise English Learning Games

 Link has been fixed!

Screen shot 2015-07-10 at 11.01.37 AMSo… we teach English & Grammar rules to our children, and then practice, review and hope – but if they still need reinforcement, what then? That’s when you can try games like these.

The BBC’s Skillswise site offers over 50 interactive English language & grammar games and activities. These very practical, life-skills oriented games were originally created for adult learners, but most will work great in a homeschool setting with students grade 6 and up. Topics include phonics, sentence structure, punctuation, and much more.

Click here to go to the site!

Crash Course Videos Channel

Screen shot 2015-07-10 at 11.08.32 AMHere’s a great Youtube channel chock full of interesting courses presented in 10-15 minute “lessons”: John Green teaches you World History 2; his brother Hank Green teaches you Anatomy & Physiology; Phil Plait teaches you Astronomy; Craig Benzine teaches you U.S. Government and Politics. Check out the playlists for past courses in World History, Biology, Literature, Ecology, Chemistry, Psychology, and US History, Economics, Astronomy and much more.

We have not viewed every video on this channel, but what we’ve seen so far has been very good, and quite entertaining. Just to be sure, you may wish to preview specific courses you are interested in before sharing with your kids. Also: We always suggest you don’t read the comments on these or any other youtube videos, as anyone can post there, and they aren’t very edifying to say the least.

Click here to go to their youtube page!

The Bible In Pictures

Screen shot 2015-07-03 at 2.51.07 PMHere’s an amazing vintage book from 1906  telling the Bible story in a rebus (picture/text/puzzle) format. As it says in the introduction, it was “designed to stimulate a greater interest in study of the Bible by both young and old”, and it does indeed grab your attention with its detailed, well done illustrations. If you want to share some basic Bible stories with your little ones in a way they will remember, take a look at this.

Tech Note: This is a scanned PDF of the original book, and can only be viewed properly on a computer screen. It won’t show up on a portable device.

To download this large (25 megs) 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.

Things Worth Doing… and How to Do Them

Screen shot 2015-07-03 at 2.37.48 PMTHINGS WORTH DOING… AND HOW TO DO THEM

Here’s another wonderful vintage book by Lina and Adelia B. Beard that is chock full of old-fashioned crafts, games and activities for children with a little time, creativity and imagination. Included are loads of things to make, party ideas, indoor and outdoor games, seasonal celebrations, and much much more. This is early 20th century “hands on” fun that just naturally includes lots of educational tidbits too.

Project Gutenberg offers this delightful book in several formats:

Click here to read the book online (HTML)

To download the Kindle version, click here.

To download the EPUB version, click here.

Field Trip Guide to WWII sites

Looking for some interesting educational outings for your family this summer that aren’t far away? Homeschool graduate & history buff John Notgrass has compiled a great PDF directory of historical sites and museums focusing on World War II that would serve as a great field trip planner.

John writes: “I have developed a field trip guide to help your family learn more about World War II. Historic sites and museums across the country preserve the memories and honor the efforts of Americans during that time. The guide I created features 450 sites in all 50 states, with descriptions and illustrations of different aspects of U.S. involvement in the war.”

Included in the guide are:

  • Sites in Alaska, Oregon, California, and North Carolina where enemy attacks touched the U.S.
  • Relocation centers from Arkansas to Idaho where American citizens of Japanese ancestry were interned during the war
  • Holocaust museums and education centers across the country
  • A memorial chapel built by Italian POWs in Texas
  • A church destroyed in London by German bombing and rebuilt in Missouri
  • Dozens of museums where you can see real WWII weapons, tanks, planes, ships, and submarines

Click here to go to the download page.  (Note: You will need to give an email address to download the PDF, but signing up for their mailing list is optional.)

The Little Girl’s Sewing Book

Screen shot 2015-07-03 at 2.06.47 PMHere’s a wonderful “how to” guide from Project Gutenberg for anyone wanting to teach the basics of needlework and hand sewing. Dozens of neat projects, hundreds of illustrations, and good clear instructions make this a perfect primer for beginning sewers. It is really, really good.

From the introduction: “This book contains lessons in practically all the stitches used in plain needlework, as well as the more useful of the fancy stitches. Each article described and illustrated will be found to contain instructions for some definite branch of sewing; and though all the stitches required in making the article will not necessarily be illustrated in that chapter, they will appear in other chapters, and can easily be referred to, by aid of the comprehensive index.”

This ebook is available in three formats:

To read online on your computer (HTML format), click here.

Kindle format: Click here to download.

Epub format: Click here to download.

Civil War Era Activities & more

Screen shot 2015-07-03 at 1.54.55 PMAuthor Susan Kilbride has just published her new historical chapter book, The Civil War Adventure. To celebrate, she is giving away a free PDF of Civil War activities on her website. Topics include: recipes for making old fashioned taffy & other candies, hot air balloons, the Gettysburg Address & more.

Also on this page are links to activity guides for Sue’s other books about the Pilgrims, King Philip’s War, the Revolutionary War and more. Each has several projects and hands-on activities to engage young learners.

Click here to go to the download page!