January 30, 2014

Groundhog Day Resources

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Groundhog graphic from My Cute Graphics

Is it cold where you are???? As I am writing this it is 12 feels like -1. Which would be OK if we actually had SNOW!! But no, no snow here. It snowed in Louisiana but not HERE!! What's a person have to do???

My point is, I bet you can't wait for spring, right?? And I bet you are going to be watching ol' Punxsutawney Phil to see how much longer we have to put with this! ;) To help you get the most out of Groundhog's Day I'll be listing some resources for a unit study!

Now might be a good time to check out weather resources, too! (Scroll down to science to see all of weather resources and activities.)

As always, I try to include resources for a variety of ages.

All printable resources are free unless marked with $$$.

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If you don't have a Kindle it's very easy to add the app to your computer, tablet or phone. I think I have it on every device in the house! ;) The same goes for the Nook. The reason I list Kindle books is because a lot of times you can find them for FREE or very cheap.

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Lapbook - Homeschool Share

Lapbook - Homeschool Helper Online

Coloring Pages - Animal Jr.

Coloring Pages and Activities - Making Learning Fun

Coloring Pages, Crafts and Activities - DLTK - Kids

Coloring Pages, Crafts, Activities and Lesson Plans - Yahoo Voices

Coloring Page, Crafts and Lesson Plans - Crayola

Coloring Pages and Printables - abc Teach (some free)

Coloring Pages, Puzzles and Activities - Activity Village

Coloring Pages, Worksheets and Activities - Education.com

Pre-K Mini Unit - 2 Teaching Mommies

Pre-K Unit - Blessed Beyond a Doubt

Printables and Activities - Kid Sparkz

Printable Activities and Worksheets - Scholastic

Printable Booklet - Lori's Page

Worksheets and Puzzles - Homeschooling.About.com

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Activities - Examiner.com

Crafts - All Kids Network

Crafts - The Crafty Crow

Crafts - No Time for Flashcards

Crafts - Play with Me Mommy

Info - eNature

Info - MNN

Info - Nat Geo

Info - NOAA

Info - Squidoo

Info - Time and Date

Math Activities - Squidoo

Videos - YouTube

Watch Phil Live - Visit PA

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Cupcakes - Creative Party Ideas by Cheryl 

Pancakes - Gourmet Mom On-the-Go

Pudding Snacks - Domesticated Lady

Snacks - Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons


January 29, 2014

Homeschooling High School - Part 2 - The CHEAP Stuff

HighSchool 2

MOST of the stuff we use in homeschooling I get on the cheap. ;) I love used book stores, Amazon and thrift shops for finding cheap books, especially since we use mostly living books.

Now, having said that, Deanna actually likes Abeka for science. Thankfully I have found all the books from 4th grade up to chemistry for at most $4 a piece.

I am going to give you a list of some of my favorite cheap curriculum and they can almost all be found at the same place, Currclick.

Hands of a Child - Lapbooks and Notepacks - can also be found at their own site (usually cheaper). The older kids have grown out of their love of lapbooks but still do a lot of notebooking.

Simple Schooling - Tons of prepared units for science and history. These go on sale quite often and at certain times of the year they can even be found for free.

Homeschool Learning Network - Tons of prepared units for science and history. They can also be found on Amazon for Kindle.

Brandenburg Studies - Units for almost all subjects.

History Scribe - History Notebooking Pages

The Christian Homeschool Hub Download Club - ALL SUBJECTS!! Seriously, just about anything you could think of. It's a flat fee for a whole year and you can download as much as you like.

Now, those are just my favorite. There are many, many more cheap resources out there.

Just remember, homeschooling does NOT have to cost a fortune!! Even if you prefer text books, you can find them cheap at  Amazon or eBay. ;)


January 28, 2014

Homeschooling High School - Part 1 - The Free Stuff

High School Part 1

I realized the other day that I have posted very little about homeschooling my high school kids. Most often I follow the same things I do with the younger kids BUT the lessons are MUCH more involved.

There are, however, lots and lots of different FREE sites that we use. Yes, FREE!!! And I am going to list all of those for you here. ;)

Khan Academy - Most awesome site EVER!! We would never have made it through some of the upper math without it!! They also have lower level math, as well as science, history, art, economics.....

HippoCampus - Another site with higher maths, sciences, social sciences and humanities

Coursera - I have actually taken a couple of courses on Coursera and HIGHLY recommend it. A lot of the classed will give you a certificate of accomplishment at the end of the course. These are all college level courses but my kids have been able to follow along quite well.

Saylor - This site has just added a K-12 option. Math seems to be the only course they have so far and that is 6th - advanced statistics. They do have a  variety of college courses, though.

All in One High School - This site has it all mapped out for you, day by day. It's isn't quite complete yet as far as I can tell, but it's getting there. And everything is ONLINE!!!! I believe they may ask your child to read certain books that aren't available online BUT they are always available at the library.

Ambleside Online - Another site that has everything laid out for you. BUT not quite everything is available online for free but there are options given.

An Old-Fashioned Education - Tons of free resources, almost all of them from yesteryear and for every subject.

Homeschool Share - Yes, I know, this site is geared more toward the younger set BUT you can still use  a lot of the lapbooks and unit studies to get you started. All you have to do is ask for more details and add more reading, projects, etc.

Practical Pages - Notebooking is great for ALL grades, except for the very youngest, of course. ;)

Donna Young - Printables for every occasion!! Even DIPLOMAS and forms for transcripts!!

So, how do WE use these sites?? Well, all 3 of my older kids use Khan Academy A LOT for math. A LOT. The other sites they use as their interests direct them or if they feel like going deeper into a topic.

We do a ton of reading. Lots and lots and lots of living books. I'll give you some examples.

Founding Fathers

Founding Brothers

Founding Mothers

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee


Elements of Style

Lots of Isaac Asimov's non-fiction

And pretty much anything in the non-fiction sections of the library that catches their attention.

I wish all my books were unpacked then I would have a better list for you.

Anyway, we also rely a lot on Netflix documentaries, YouTube and stuff we DVR.

Don't forgot those field trips! Art museums, history museums, state parks, etc.

My advice? Give them a topic and set them loose to research the heck out of it. OR see what they are really interested in, then set them loose to research the heck out of it. LOL

And RELAX!!!! It's OK!! They are learning and that's what REALLY matters!!


January 27, 2014

How We Do Nature Studies

Nature Study

We LOOOOOOOVE studying nature. It's one of our absolute favorite things to do and we do it as a family.

Here is how WE do nature studies.

We go to a lot of different places:

Our yard

Botanical Gardens


Nature Centers





Petting Zoos

Regular Zoos

And we take A LOT of pictures!!!

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Cailey found a caterpillar at a local park. She wanted to take it home and see what would happen.

First, we took some leaves from the tree where we found it.

When we got home we realized we had one of that same tree in our yard! YAY!!

Then we put the caterpillar in the bug catcher with the leaves and a few drops of water.

Next we waited.

After 2 days it started making it's cocoon!! (Yes, cocoon, not chrysalis.)

Then we waited some more.

After what felt like FOREVER, a tent moth finally appeared!!!

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These  were all found in our yard when we lived in Virginia.

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These pictures were taken at 4 different parks in the Richmond area.

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These were taken at a botanical garden in the Richmond area. Botanical gardens are the PERFECT place to observe nature. Plants, bugs, birds, lizards......

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These 2 were taken in our yard in Georgia.

One thing about moving, you can learn so much about the different plants and animals in each environment.

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This was taken at a WONDERFUL nature center in the Richmond area. We LOOOOOVED that place. They had live animals, a nice park, fossils, skulls, bird calls (with pictures of the birds) and a ton of dioramas.

So, HOW do we do nature studies?? We just get out in it. No set topics, no set lessons. No agenda other than seeing what we can see and being outdoors.

We don't do much of it in the winter, though. We usually just observe from the windows... LOL  I can't wait until the temps warm up enough to go exploring!

I guess that sums up exactly what we do. We go exploring. :D

January 26, 2014

Jackson Pollock Resources for a Unit Study

Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock's Birthday is January 28th! I thought I would throw together some resources for a unit study!

As always, I try to include resources for a variety of ages.

All printable resources are free unless marked with $$$.

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Notebooking Page, Links and Activities - Homeschool Share

Notebooking Page and Mini Books - Practical Pages

Mini Books and Activities - Confessions of a Homeschooler

Artist Card and Activities - The Crafty Classroom

Worksheet - Teacher Vision (you can get 5 freebies)

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Activity - Education.com

Activity - Instructables.com

Info - JacksonPollock.org

Info - NGA

Info - Biography.com

Lesson Plans - Story Board Toys

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Not a large group of resources by any means, but hopefully enough to get you going. :D