Better homeschool resolutions

Better homeschool resolutions

We homeschoolers tend to set high standards for ourselves, and never more so than at the start of a new year, whether it’s a new school year or a new calendar year. This year, we’ll stay on track in every subject. This year, we’ll read all 250 books on that list of what kids should […]

SDSU offers excellent free K-8 biology curriculum

SDSU offers excellent free K-8 biology curriculum

Here’s another great free science curriculum that homeschoolers can take advantage of. San Diego State University has developed a full curriculum of biology lessons for prospective or practicing teachers, complete with experiments, discussion questions, teacher guides, and more. Note as of 7-17-14: The links to this curriculum are currently not working at the SDSU site. […]

Should you homeschool through the summer?

Should you homeschool through the summer?

One of the great things about homeschooling is that you can do it in the ways that fit your family’s needs. You can choose how to homeschool, what to use and when to do it. That said, what’s the best way to approach the summer months? There are many good reasons to continue homeschooling through […]

Netflix to air new CGI Magic School Bus series

Netflix to air new CGI Magic School Bus series

Netflix has announced plans to offer an all-new series based on its most popular educational program, The Magic School Bus. The new series, The Magic School Bus 360°, will be produced by Scholastic Media, who also created the original series. Magic School Bus 360° will feature updated versions of the school bus, students and Ms. […]

What is lapbooking and why is it so great for homeschooling?

What is lapbooking and why is it so great for homeschooling?

Have you tried lapbooking in your homeschool yet? This delightful, hands-on activity is a wonderful way to combine crafts with science, history, literature, handwriting, math and more. Lapbooks use file folders as the basis for homemade project books that are laid out in a creative manner and fit in a child’s lap. You can think […]

Use printable car maps to help kids learn their states on road trips

Use printable car maps to help kids learn their states on road trips

Here’s a fun way to help kids pass the time on road trips and learn their states at the same time. Print out free car maps and have them color in the states as they spot cars with those state license plates. There are two versions of maps available — a labeled one to help […]

Kids can learn history through DIY timeline game

Kids can learn history through DIY timeline game

Here’s an fun and effective way to help kids learn history and get an idea for when things happened in relation to each other. Make a timeline game! Here’s all you do: First, find a timeline of history that includes events you want to teach about. This site has collections of timelines of people, places […]

Summer science fun

Summer science fun

Summer is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to start up a little outdoor summer science. Don’t worry, this kind of science fun doesn’t require much on your part at all! Here’s all you need to get your kiddos experimenting, making concoctions and learning along the way. Test hypotheses.  You hear all sorts […]

Make an inertia ball!

Make an inertia ball!

Here’s a fun project to make that will help teach physics.  Make an inertia zoom ball! In the winter time here in Minnesota, we make a lot of trips to the library and do a lot of indoor projects.  This project is one that we got from a book in our current library pile,  Gizmos […]

Lapbooking 101

Designing your own lapbooks

We design our own lapbooks about 90% of the time.  While it can take more time in terms of research and planning, there are many advantages.  The kids learn more doing the research themselves, they feel a greater sense of ownership, it allows for more creativity, it can be tailored to the child’s age and […]

Print out a fun, free U.S. states game!

Print out a fun, free U.S. states game!

  Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational has created a wonderful free printable card game that helps kids learn all about the geography and history of the states. Battle of the States is played a little bit like “War” but by comparing numbers and dates related to the states such as population, number of counties, electoral votes […]

Little House homeschooling - Oodles of free lesson plans, printables & more

Little House homeschooling – Oodles of free lesson plans, printables & more

Are your kids Little House on the Prairie fans? There are all sorts of wonderful resources on the internet to help use the famous book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder in your homeschool. Here’s a round-up of some great sites. ~ Laura’s Prairie House has lots of hands-on activities, printables and recipes, plus much more. […]

Learn and craft about fireflies!

Learn and craft about fireflies!

Fireflies offer the perfect blend of science, nature, fun and magic. This is the perfect time of year to study them, too, and do some firefly crafts with the kids. Here are all sorts of ways to study these fascinating little insects and have some fun. Firefly.org is the perfect spot to start your firefly […]

LEGO homeschool! Oodles of lesson plans and more for every grade and subject

LEGO homeschool! Oodles of lesson plans and more for every grade and subject

Do you have a Lego lover in your house? Legos are great for learning when they’re used as building tools, but there are also all sorts of great lesson plans on the web to use them in even more educational ways. From chemistry models to creative writing prompts to symmetry challenges, there are fabulous lesson […]

You-tube's Music for History Lovers channel uses modern music to teach history

You-tube’s Music for History Lovers channel uses modern music to teach history

Here’s a fantastic world history resource for kids who like pop music and music videos. The Music for History Lovers channel on you-tube uses modern top 40 hit songs to teach about important people and periods in world history, from the French Revolution (set to a remix of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”) to The Crusades […]

Viking homeschool! Free printables, crafts, lesson plans and more

Viking homeschool! Free printables, crafts, lesson plans and more

Are you looking for fun resources to teach your kids about the Vikings? There are all sorts of wonderful crafts, printables, lesson plans and more — free for the taking! Crafts and costumes: Bug, Boo and Bean has instructions to make your own cardboard Viking helmets and swords and shields. Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational has […]

Free 34-week lesson plans for the entire Magic School Bus series!

Free 34-week lesson plans for the entire Magic School Bus series!

Do your kids love the Magic School Bus? Here’s a great way to use the series in your homeschool. The Homeschool Belle is offering Primary Science Lesson Plans for Magic School Bus DVD’s for free on Teachers Pay Teachers. The lesson plans are offered in a spreadsheet format which is viewable with Microsoft Excel (you […]

Ten incredibly fun ways to teach history in your homeschool

Ten incredibly fun ways to teach history in your homeschool

Looking for some ways to make history really come alive in your homeschool? There are oodles of fun ways to teach history besides dry textbooks or boring curricula. Here are ten fabulous ways to bring history to life for your kids. Do a weekly “meet and greet” with historic characters. This can be a fun […]

20 Ways to put more joy in your homeschooling day

It can be hard being a homeschooling parent. Kids bicker, messes seem never-ending, and the combination of isolation and the pressure to nearly single-handedly educate our children can make the days seem even longer. Here in Minnesota, that can be compounded by long winters and cabin fever. This is one of those times when it’s […]

Free curricula in every subject for your 3rd grader

NGA provides incredible free lending library of art education resources

The National Gallery of Art now provides a phenomenal lending library of art materials that any homeschooler can borrow through the mail for free, including teaching packets, DVDs, art reproductions and more. Individuals, educational institutions and other groups throughout the United States can borrow their teaching packets and DVDs for up to nine months at […]

Free curricula in every subject for your 3rd grader

KIDS DISCOVER offers fabulous free resources

If you haven’t been to the KIDS DISCOVER site for free educational materials, you’re missing out on some wonderful resources. The magazine publisher offers full-color downloads, posters, activity packs and printables on a variety of subjects, absolutely free. Some of the topics covered include: Metamorphosis Ancient Empires Rock Cycle Louisiana Purchase Simple Machines Bill of […]

Print out free animal track ID cards!

Print out free animal track ID cards!

Here’s a wonderful resource for your nature studies. Hobby Farms is offering free, colorful animal track ID cards that you can print out to use for all sorts of educational fun. The sixteen cards include: Deer Mountain Lion Wolf Wild Turkey Skunk Beaver Bobcat Squirrel Fox Opossum Mole Mouse Raccoon Rabbit Coyote Bear The cards […]

Fabulous projects to get kids hooked on social studies

Fabulous projects to get kids hooked on social studies

Recently, a fellow homeschooling mom asked for good resources to teach social studies. She particularly wanted fun, hands-on ideas. She wrote: We’re looking for something that will lighten things up. History is so full of wars, disease, power struggles and such that my kids are amazed that humans ever made it past the Renaissance. Here’s […]

The internet is filled with fabulous educational videos, but finding them can be tricky. Enter WatchKnowLearn, which gathers these videos from the internet and puts them in one organized, searchable place. The site currently offers about 50,000 videos on everything from osmosis to table manners to sign language to the philosophy of numbers. The website, which was launched by Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sangler, is designed to offer free access to thousands of education-related videos for students ages 3-18. Sanger describes it as "YouTube meets Wikipedia." What can you find on WatchKnowLearn? Nearly anything! For instance, some of the videos currently available include: A short video about Minnesota from the History Channel Singing the alphabet with Elmo and India Aria A short geography video how Pangea split and the plates moved to form the world we now know. An animation of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" A half hour video teaching about the history and culture of the religious Shaker movement. A vast assortment of math songs Schoolhouse Rock's "How a bill becomes a law" Doing a unit on clouds? A search produces hits in categories like meteorology, earth sciences and clouds, with options such as: Weather & Meteorology : How Do Clouds Form? Cool Clouds Mykie's Lesson Plan 3: Clouds Different Types of Clouds (Time-Lapsed Photography) Cloud Rap New Cloud Type Name Proposed-Asperatus How To Classify Clouds Wow! Amazing Images of Storm Clouds Lesson for Painting Clouds "Going Outside"- Learn Weather and Outside Sign Language Words These are just a few of the results just on page one of the results for clouds -- and there are 116 pages of results! Click here to visit the website and see all of the videos available. You can also set up your own classroom on the site to organize the videos you'd like to use in your homeschool. The search tool allows you to filter by age, and you can browse through subjects and many, many sub-categories to find great content. The site was launched in October of 2009. The contributions have come from National Geographic, NASA, you-tube, eHow, private users and Google Videos, among many other sources. This is a wonderful resource for putting together unit studies, accompanying curricula or just answering questions as they come up.

WatchKnowLearn offers thousands of free educational videos for kids

The internet is filled with fabulous educational videos, but finding them can be tricky. Enter WatchKnowLearn, which gathers these videos from the internet and puts them in one organized, searchable place. The site currently offers about 50,000 videos on everything from osmosis to table manners to sign language to the philosophy of numbers. The website, […]

Read and craft your way through history!

Read and craft your way through history!

Have you been to A Book in Time? This wonderful free resource for homeschoolers helps history come alive through great book recommendations, games, crafts and more. The site’s founder, homeschooling mother Carol Henderson, says, “A Book In Time first began years ago when I wanted my students to read some good history books along with […]

Free curricula in every subject for your 3rd grader

Kids can earn free T-shirts and certificates from MENSA for Kids for reading

Here’s a wonderful way to encourage kids to read and to really give them a challenge. Mensa for Kids has developed the Excellence in Reading Award that gives children and teens a certificate of achievement and t-shirt if they successfully read all of the books on their age-appropriate recommended book lists. Kids can even listen […]

18 Magazines that publish art and writing by kids and teens

18 Magazines that publish art and writing by kids and teens

There are more and more magazines that feature writing and art by kids and teens, both online and in print. This is a great way to encourage reluctant writers and to give enthusiastic writers and artists a place to spotlight their creativity. Here are 18 magazines that publish children’s writing and art: Creative Kids magazine […]

Five lessons to take from Charlotte Mason for your homeschool

Many homeschoolers around the world follow Charlotte Mason methods, and it’s easy to understand why.  This British educator approached education through nature and great works, creating an environment that appeals to many parents. Here are five Charlotte Mason philosophies that can enrich any homeschool. Let children learn through “living books.”  Mason advocated teaching with books […]