Practical Things with Simple Tools


How about some neat old fashioned “kid stuff” projects you and your kids can build this spring and summer? Here’s a huge volume of great family fun stuff that parents can make with little ones, or older kids can try on their own.

This classic book includes instructions on making:
 Tool boxes, kites, doll houses & furniture, stilts, water wheels, slings, optical toys, bow & arrows, wagons, flying machines, wigwams, camp seats, paper boxes, 
bookshelves, picture frames, scooters and more.

If that sound fun & educational to you, then your creative & handy kids will need this classic “how to” book.

Note: This is a scanned PDF from the original printed book, and as such is only viewable on a PC or Mac.

To download this resource, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer!

Ancient History Coloring Book

Screen shot 2016-05-17 at 8.14.09 AMAncient History Coloring Book from Golden Prairie Press

Bring history to life with this coloring book from our friend Amy Puetz at Golden Prairie Press. It features 20 historical events from ancient history including the Hittites, the Egyptians, Cyrus, Darius, Alexander the Great, and Hannibal, and many others.

CLICK HERE to go to the download page.


Brain Builder Match Puzzles!

Brain Builder Match Puzzles
compiled & illustrated by Russell Erskine

Here is an immensely fun collection of some of our favorite classic manipulative puzzles… match puzzles! These are great “hands on” puzzles that give your students an opportunity to do some creative problem solving. Have fun… and do your best to solve them before looking at the solutions, which can be found on the last pages of this PDF ebook. You CAN solve these before your kids solve them, can’t you? 🙂

Don’t want to use matches? No problem! You can use toothpicks, craft sticks, crayons, straws, or even paper cut outs to do these puzzles too. Get creative with your “matches”, then have fun with the puzzles!

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

The Tongue Twister Treasury!

A Treasury of Tried and True Tonsil Tangling Tongue Twisters to Torment Trusting Tots, Tweens, Teens (& Parents Too)! (PDF ebook)

This could easily be one of the funnest family collections ever – if you use it! Challenge your whole family with these delightful wordplay tongue twisters. Aside from being fun wordplay for all ages, tongue twisters can also be quite helpful in developing speech skills, and are often used in speech therapy and as a way to improve pronunciation. So while you are having fun with these, you’re also helping your kids improve their enunciation and communication skills. How neat is that? Have fun!

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!

A Child’s History of England

A Child’s History of England by Charles Dickens

Our friend Laurie Bluedorn of Trivium Pursuit recently compiled a great annotated list of her all-time favorite homeschool purchases and resources from the past 40 years. It’s a fascinating read, and has lots of resources in there that you probably never even heard of if you are a new homeschooler… but really ought to know about. You can CLICK HERE to read her article and educate yourself.

One of the resources Laurie suggested in that article is The Child’s History of England by Charles Dickens, which happens to be one of the most readable, interesting and exciting history books ever. So we thought we’d share it with you today. Try reading it aloud to your kids and you’ll see why it is such a classic.

You can read it online or download in  kindle or epub format from Project Gutenberg’s website here.

Poco a Poco

POCO A POCO: A Direct Method for Learning Spanish (PDF ebook) – Today’s resource is this neat beginner’s Spanish language primer in which you learn the language “poco a poco” (little by little) – by reading basic lessons written entirely in Spanish. Presented in both question & answer, and conversational format, each day’s lesson are presented orally by the teacher, and build on the previous day’s lesson and words learned. Great curriculum! Includes a complete vocabulary & grammatical guide.

To download this PDF ebook (scanned from the original printed version) RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

The TEACHER’S GUIDE to this book is also available! To download it,  RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

Brain Builder Picture Puzzles!

Brain Builder Picture Puzzles
compiled & illustrated by Russell Erskine

Can you solve these before your kiddos do? Here’s a delightful PDF ebook of some of our favorite brain-teasing picture puzzles to stretch your kids’ thinking and develop creative problem solving skills! 18 classic puzzle pages plus all the answers (if you have to look!)

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!

A Poem for Today: Someone


Some one came knocking
At my wee, small door;
Someone came knocking;
I’m sure-sure-sure;
I listened, I opened,
I looked to left and right,
But nought there was a stirring
In the still dark night;
Only the busy beetle
Tap-tapping in the wall,
Only from the forest
The screech-owl’s call,
Only the cricket whistling
While the dewdrops fall,
So I know not who came knocking,
At all, at all, at all.

– Walter de la Mare

A Poem for Today: The Spider and the Fly

This is my very favorite poem from childhood.  My mom read it to me with such dramatic emphasis that I’ve never forgotten the first stanza – it’s been etched in my memory for over 30 years though I never actively sought to memorize it.  Hope you enjoy it as well (and the moral that it teaches:-).  Suggested by Jen Connelly

The Spider And The Fly

Mary Howitt

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the spider to the fly.
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to show when you are there.”

“Oh, no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair, can ne’er come down again.”

“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high.
Well you rest upon my little bed?” said the spider to the fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest a while, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”

“Oh no, no,” said the little fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again who sleep upon your bed!”

Said the cunning spider to the fly: “Dear friend, what can I do
To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome – will you please to take a slice?”

“Oh no, no,” said the little fly; “kind sir, that cannot be:
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

“Sweet creature!” said the spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise;
How handsome are your gauzy wings; how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
If you’d step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”

“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say,
And, bidding you good morning now, I’ll call another day.”

The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly;
Then came out to his door again and merrily did sing:

“Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple; there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer grew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes and green and purple hue,
Thinking only of her crested head. Poor, foolish thing! at last
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast;
He dragged her up his winding stair, into the dismal den –
Within his little parlor – but she ne’er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words I pray you ne’er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the spider and the fly.

A Poem for Today: It Couldn’t Be Done

It Couldn’t Be Done
Edgar A. Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

(Suggested by Janine Sevy)