2010 Winter Olympic List of Websites – Ideas #3

January 27, 2010

Want to get the kids excited about the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics?  Need some information to sprinkle a little learning in with the fun?

Here are some great websites to help you out:


Posted under Homeschool Unit Studies

2010 Winter Olympic Schedule – Ideas #2

January 25, 2010

You can’t have fun watching the 2010 Winter Olympics if you don’t know when everything is happening.

Here is the official Olympics schedule with the Opening Ceremony starting Feb. 12th @ 6 pm, and the Closing Ceremony on Feb. 28th at 5:30 pm.

Take a minute with the kids and scan all the great sports that are listed on the schedule – Have your kids heard of the luge, curling, the nordic combined, or the skeleton

And even better, each of the events listed on the Olympics schedule is clickable and you can then see:

  • Where the event will take place
  • All other times the event is planned
  • More about the sport and it’s history
  • More about the athletes competing in that sport
  • Photos and news about the sport.


Posted under Homeschool Unit Studies

2010 Winter Olympic Homeschooling Projects – Ideas #1

January 20, 2010


Looking for a fun unit study?  The Winter Olympics are coming in a few weeks, and there are TONS of resources and ideas for you and the kids to enjoy and follow along while they happen.  I’ll be doing a series of posts with my favorite resources.

First is Currclick: a great homeschooling resource for e-books, lapbooks, and online classes that you join via the internet.  The prices are great, and you get most of the products instantly as PDF documents that you can read on your computer or print if you’d like.

Here are the best-priced 2010 Olympics selections:

  1. The Winter Olympics 2010 Lapbook with Study Guide – $4.00 – Get ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics with this educational, hands-on 3-folder lapbook by A Journey Through Learning!
  2. Vancouver Olympics Unit Study – $9.00 – This unit study is designed to teach students about the past and present Olympic Games as well as the Paralympic Games. Students will read about the significant historical events of the Games and complete activities including research, creating time lines, and writing a newspaper column. Students are also provided with a medal tracking sheet to keep track of the 2010 events.
  3. Live Class – Winter Olympics – $30.00 – 5 Class Sessions, Ages 8-12, Tuesdays from 1:45 – 2:30 pm Central, February 2, 9, 16, 23 and March 2
  4. 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games- A Unit Study & Lapbook Project – $6.85 
  5. Wonderful Winter Lapbook with Study Guide – $13.00
  6. Winter Olympic Games – $16.00
  7. Plus lots more Olympic selections . . .


Posted under Homeschool Unit Studies

Fun Multiplication Tips and Tricks – 9’s

January 15, 2010

Make the times tables a little fun for little ones with this ‘handy’ trick for doing the 9’s:

  1. 9 x 6 =
  2. Hold up both hands, 10 fingers, starting at the left, bend down the 6th finger.
  3. Count the numbers to the left of the bent finger = 5, and the fingers to the right = 4 and you have your answer = 54.
  4. This works for multiples of 9 up to 10.

For the ‘do it in your head’ crowd, try this:

  1. 9 x 6 =
  2. Take the multiple (6) and subtract 1  . . . 6 minus 1 = 5
  3. Then figure out how much you need to add to the 5 to get up to 9.  5 + 4 = 9.  There’s your answer = 54
  4. Again this works for multiples of 9 up to 10.

If you’re looking for some fun free games to practice multiplication, try these:


Posted under Math Curriculum

Five in a Row – The Early Reading Curriculum that doesn’t feel like school at all!

January 2, 2010

five in a row

Do your kids love stories?  Would you rather pick up a stack of library books and snuggle together on the couch with a blanket than break out the school work?

Jane Claire Lambert has designed a great curriculum where you read and reread a classic book to your children each week, while focusing each day on lessons taught by the story in five subject areas; Social Studies, Language, Art, Applied Math and Science.

This curriculum is called Five in a Row, and is an excellent first curriculum for younger children.  The daily lessons, including any facts and details, are spelled out very clearly and little preparation is needed.

My younger kids have loved these books and lessons.  Fun pieces of the classic stories have made their ways into our daily lives.  For example, we call the kids to come to evening prayer by singing, “La, la, la, la, LI!”, from “The Story About Ping” and the little duck that was too afraid of the swat he would get if he was the last one on the boat.

Has your family used the Five in a Row curriculum?  What did you like/dislike?  Please share in the comment section!

Five in a Row: Volume 1 includes lessons on the following children books:

This is an excellent list of classic childrens’ books to read, even if you don’t purchase Five in a Row.  I’d also love to hear which is your favorite classic children’s book?  Please share – I’m always looking for good books to read to the family!

story about ping

The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese

Lentil by Robert McCloskey

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

pair of red clogs
A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno

rag coat
The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills

who owns the sun
Who Owns the Sun? by Stacy Chbosky

mike mulligan
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

glorious flight
The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen

how to make apple pie
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

grandfathers journey
Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say

cranberry thanksgiving
Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin

dancing bear
Another Celebrated Dancing Bear by Gladys Scheffrin-Falk

papa piccolo
Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley

very last first time
Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews

clown of god
The Clown of God by Tomie DePaola

storm in the night
Storm in the Night by Mary Stoltz

katy big snow
Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

night moonjellies
Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha

stopping woods snowy evening
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (with illustrations by Susan Jeffers)


Posted under Books to Read, Reading Curriculum

Free Online Homeschool Videos: Math, Science, and More!

October 23, 2009


With Youtube and video capabilities on most digital cameras, there is an overwhelming amount of video available online.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could go through and find the educational ones, pick some of the best, and then sort them by topic?

Well the folks at NeoK12 have done just that – reviewed, chosen, and catalogued TONS of free online educational videos.

Find the topic your children are currently studying and let them watch a few videos on the subject:

I just sat down with my 4-year-old on my lap and had a great time running through a few of the counting videos – Counting Sheep and Super Simple Song’s version were his favorites.

Do you have suggestions for online learning videos?  A website or technique you use?  Thank you for the ideas!


Posted under Homeschool Curriculum, Homeschool Websites

How to do a Homeschool Bird Unit Study This Fall.

October 21, 2009


Do you remember coating pine cones in peanut butter and bird seed, hanging them outside, and then pressing your nose against the back window waiting for the birds to come?

  1. Here’s another article with lots of easy bird feeder ideas and what birds eat what.
  2. A couple of years ago, we filled a few bird feeders, perched them on the railing of our deck and had a great time watching the birds come and go.  I was at a loss to figure out which birds were which until we checked out this great bird guide from the library that is perfect for beginners.  I love that it is organized by color, so when the kids saw a yellow bird, they would flip to that section in the book and then search for ‘our’ bird.
  3. Here are the ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ versions of the bird guide:

  4. Another amazing resource I just discovered is What Bird.com.  This site has so much bird information it can be overwhelming.  For a start, check out some of these links:


Do you have any fun bird-schooling stories or favorite bird study resources?  I’d love more ideas.  Thanks!

Posted under Science Curriculum, Science Websites

Ideas to Use Instead of Homeschool Curriculum

October 19, 2009


Since we’re pretty eclectic homeschoolers and tend to follow what works for our kids and what they’re interested in, I’m always looking for good ideas.

Melissa Wiley has a great archived blog article:  Things to Buy Instead of Curriculum.  It’s a great list full of ideas you can use next time you’re looking for a ‘fun’ teaching idea or right now lots of them would make great ‘non-toy’ Christmas gifts.  Check it out.

Do you have favorite ‘non-curriculum’ teaching tools you use?  I could use some new suggestions!

Posted under Homeschool Curriculum

Practice Grade-Level State Math Requirements by Playing Online Games!

September 9, 2009


photo by Jo Jakeman

Math is supposed to be fun, right?

At our house, math work seems to inspire the most creative moans, physical contortions, and excuses why it doesn’t need doing.  angry_smiley  So, we’re always looking for new ways to play the old math game.

Here’s our new twist on a math curriculum:

Internet 4 Classrooms has gathered TONS of links to website resources for teaching, and their math section is awesome!

Here’s what we’re doing:

  1. Go to their math page.
  2. Click on appropriate grade level under “State Assessed SPI’s”
  3. Tadah!  You’ll now find every state required math skill sorted and listed down the left side of the screen and to the right are lots of links directly to websites with games, lessons, and more that teach that exact skill.
  4. Have your kids either work on a certain number of skills, just ‘play math’ for a length of time, or join in and encourage their interest until they get so involved they forget they are doing MATH!

Even if you already have a math curriculum, this site can give you some fun online games to help drill play with a math concept that is particulary difficult.

I’m also looking for good math websites to compile a free E-Book Math Guide to the Internet, so I’d love to hear (in the comment section) what your favorite sites are. 

Please share!

Posted under Math Curriculum, Math Websites

Flubber Science Experiment – The Best Kid’s Craft Video!

August 28, 2009


I posted a recipe for Flubber last year and we decided it would be a fun rainy day activity to do today.

(Especially, since the kids were moaning with boredom because they are grounded from the computer, the TV, AND all their basement toys – I’m tired of cleaning them up)

Here’s the recipe again:

Bowl #1 – Mix thoroughly

  • 1 cup white glue
  • 3/4 c warm water
  • food coloring (opt.)

Bowl #2 – mix thoroughly

  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 t. Borax (20 Mule Team is one brand)

After mixing each bowl separately, mix them together.  It is amazingly cool as a polymer is formed.   Read about the science behind the reaction here

Stir with a spoon, or for the more adventurous, mix with your hands.  Don’t quit, the gluey slime will suddenly harden into a great cross between slime and silly putty.

Even the baby can enjoy Flubber, just make sure he doesnt’ eat it.


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Posted under Homeschool Crafts, Science Curriculum