Free Printable Weather Tree for April

Free Printable Weather Tree for April

Here’s a fun way for kids to track the weather and sneak in some math!  Have them color a weather tree this month, with each color representing a different kind of weather. I make up a weather tree for each issue of Wild Kids Magazine, a free monthly nature magazine for kids and their grown […]

February weather tree

Free Printable Weather Tree for February

Weather trees are great ways to incorporate art, nature studies, science and even math into a fun daily project.  Here’s a free printable weather tree for February to help your kids track the month’s weather. Kids can assign a different color to each weather type, then color one leaf each day to show that day’s […]

Free curricula in every subject for your 3rd grader

Free Curricula in Every Subject for Your 3rd Grader

Continuing in our series of absolutely free curricula in every subject for every grade, here’s a round-up of resources for math, science, history, language arts and more that are absolutely free for third grade. (Note from Alicia:  This post was compiled as part of a series for my homeschooling column at Examiner, which is no […]

Free Curriculum for Homeschooling 7th Grade

Free curricula in every subject for your 7th grader

  Homeschooling in the middle school years doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many outstanding curricula for math, science, history, language arts and more that are absolutely free. Here are some of the best free resources for 7th graders in each subject. Note: This is a tiny fraction of what’s available online for free […]

Free algebra games, lesson plans and curricula for all ages

Free algebra games, lesson plans and curricula for all ages

Looking for some resources to help teach algebra? There are some really phenomenal ones online, absolutely free. Here are some of the best. (Note that some sites offer multiple types of resources, but are listed in the section of their greatest strengths. For instance, CK-12 is listed under free textbooks but it also provides free […]

Oodles of amazing educational uses for plastic eggs

Oodles of amazing educational uses for plastic eggs

After Easter, it’s the perfect time to pick up extra plastic eggs on clearance to use them for all sorts of homeschooling fun — and not just for the preschool set. Most of us have seen the Pinterest pins of Easter eggs being used to learn sight words or letters, but you can use them […]

Free 89-page ACT math practice book offered online

Free 89-page ACT math practice book offered online

Here’s a wonderful free resource to help high school students (or advanced younger kids) practice their math skills. prACTice 4 success is a PDF workbook intended to offer high school students who have completed algebra and geometry practice on problems similar to those encountered on the math portion of the ACT. Authors Jeremy Aikin and […]

What homeschoolers can learn from Finland's math success

What homeschoolers can learn from Finland’s math success

Many Americans are intrigued by Finland’s high international math scores and want to replicate their success here, with more and more people asking how to institute Finland’s curriculum in their own schools and even in their homeschools. The surprising news is that Finland doesn’t teach math in a novel way or have a trick that […]

Ten sites for fun, free summer math practice

Right now, we finally have nice weather in southern Minnesota and it would be nearly criminal to have the kids sitting inside doing anything, even educational stuff! That said, everybody needs cooling off times and it’s great to have some educational fun on hand for rainy days. Here’s ten sites with games, activities, drills and […]

Free online learning games for every subject

Here are some great ways for the kids to play (and learn) in every subject from right at home today.  These online games are all free and require no special downloads or installations other than basics like Java or Adobe Flash Player in some instances. Math: Zeus’ Petals teaches kids multiplication skills.  The game says:  […]

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 […]

Boredom Busters: 10 fun challenges in writing, math and more

Looking for a creative way to jump start homeschooling or to just combat cabin fever?  Here are ten challenges to offer the kids. Writing: Write a short story about a superhero whose superpowers lead to accidental, funny consequences. Write one page about the best or worst day you ever had. Do free writing for 3 […]

PBS releases new free K-12 app for the iPad

PBS releases new free K-12 app for the iPad

PBS LearningMedia classrooms has announced a great new iPad app for K-12 students that is absolutely free. Designed specifically for students in grades K-12, the app provides access to thousands of resources covering all subject areas, from math and science to English and social studies. The PBS Student app allows kids to watch and learn […]

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 […]

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, […]

25 Modern Science, Math and Technology leaders who were homeschooled

It goes without saying that many of our world’s most famous scientists and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) pioneers were home educated back when homeschooling was more common. These include great scientists such as Alexander Graham Bell, Ernst Mach, Pierre Curie, Mary Blackwell, Clara Barton, Joseph Priestley and Thomas Edison (who only lasted three […]

Tell the temperature with crickets!

Summer science: Tell the temperature with crickets!

Here’s a great way to combine nature studies, science and math in a really fun way — use crickets to tell the temperature! My husband has been teaching our kids to tell the temperature by counting cricket chirps for years. It sounds like a bit of blarney, but it actually works and scientists have been […]

Free curricula in every subject for your preschooler (it's not what you think)

Free curricula in every subject for your preschooler (it’s not what you think)

I’ve been sharing free curricula for every subject and each grade in this column, and several parents have asked me to share free curricula for preschoolers. I’ve put off doing a preschool list yet for two reasons: If you’re new to homeschooling your kids, it’s more important to find resources for older kids than it […]

10 Sneaky ways to improve your child's math abilities

10 Sneaky ways to improve your child’s math abilities

Math seems to trigger some ancient fight-or-flight mechanism in some otherwise brilliant children. This irrational fear of math can cause kids who don’t feel good at the subject to avoid doing it, leading to a snowball effect of more avoidance, falling farther behind and feeling more panic about not understanding it (and more avoidance). Luckily, […]

22 Fun ways to help kids learn their math facts

There’s no discounting the importance of memorizing math facts. Kids can understand math concepts perfectly but if they don’t remember their addition or multiplication tables it can leave them frustrated and feeling like failures. The good news is that there are lots of fun ways to help them memorize their math facts. Here are 22 […]