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  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

Would You Mind Nominating My Blog?

October 20, 2009


The Homeschool Post is having their annual Homeschool Blog Awards, and I’d love to enter the competition for one of their “Best . . . Homeschooling Blog” awards.

So, if you like what you read here on my blog, feel free to nominate me.

It takes less than a minute and a few easy steps:

  1. Click here to nominate Homeschool Bytes!
  2. Scroll down the page and choose a category.  I was thinking “Best Eclectic Homeschooling Blog”, “Best Homeschool Mom Blog”, or “Best Crafts, Plans, and Projects Blog”.  But, feel free to pick the category you think fits best.
  3. In the category field, type “Homeschool Bytes”
  4. In the category URL field, type (the “http://” stuff needs to be included)
  5. Pat yourself on the back for doing something nice 🙂  Thanks!

Posted under Homeschool Websites

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

Carnival of Homeschooling: We’ve Got Style!

August 25, 2009


Homeschoolers have Style!  Lots of it, in all kinds of flavors.

With the freedom homeschooling affords, comes individual style.  We can afford to experiment, jump around, take a leisurely path through phonics, or whatever suits our family best.

Check out these styles!





ChristineMM of The Thinking Mother shares thoughts about unique classes taught by subject matter experts that homeschoolers can take advantage of in her article The Thinking Mother: Homeschool Filmmaking Class for My Kids This Fall.

Shannon tells of her experience with filing a “notice of intent” to homeschool: Get this . . . posted at Mountaineer Country.

If you’ve wondered why public schools don’t teach based on skill level instead of age, Susan Gaissert writes about how that may be changing in:  Who is Leading When It Comes to Educational Innovations? posted at The Expanding Life.

Elena LaVictoire presents A few tips for Ohio homeschoolers posted at My Domestic Church.

If you’ve given some thought to a homeschool name or ID cards, Beverly has some tips in “Do You Name Your Homeschool?” at Beverly’s Homeschooling Blog.

Barbara, from Barbara Frank Online, motivates us with some encouragement for the new school year in Fasten Your Seat Belts…..

And Christine gives us her take on planning the school year and juggling paperwork in Planning the School Year at Our Curious Home.




Need a fun, make-at-home, game to liven up your school drills?  Kris presents Giant Board Game posted at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Kaye presents Rainy Day + Chuck E. Cheese = Happy Grandkids & Grandparents! posted at  “Chuck E. Cheese can be a great “friend” to grandparents who help with their grandkids’ homeschooling programs!”

Summer presents A Day In Our Homeschooling Life posted at Wired For Noise.




In How to Educate for Beautiful Results, posted at Pajama School Blog, Natalie Wickham shares the importance of identifying and working on the parts that ultimately contribute to a whole education.

Make sure to check out these great art ideas:  Julie Moses presents Follow the Yellow Brick Road- More Oz projects! posted at Kids Art Projects and Lessons at Ms. Julie’s Place.  “Just a few projects to get us going somewhere over the rainbow!”

Annette Berlin presents 37 Ways To Share Crafts With Kids posted at Craft Stew.  “If you love crafting, chances are good you want to share that love with your children. Here are some easy (and frugal) ways to help your child also develop an interest in crafting.”




Kathy presents her review of Andrew Peterson’s North! Or Be Eaten: The Wingfeather Saga Book 2: Homeschool Review posted at Reviews.

Dave Roller presents Reading Programs posted at Home School Dad.  “I wanted to share some of the reading programs my children have been participating in.”

Amanda gives an in-depth look into the history of the atomic bombs dropped at the end of WWII in The Daily Planet » Blog Archive » The “Little Boy” Was Dropped posted at The Daily Planet.

Stephanie shares her excitement about learning Latin for the first time together with her children in I Am Just The Lead Student, That’s All at All About Homeschool.

Ruby shares her insight into using computers, the internet, and online learning to have a positive impact in schooling with one article at Freehold2 called “Internet as a Teaching Tool” and another titled “Online Learning Benefits” at School’s Out.




Need some ideas for field trips?  Kristen Hamilton presents A Day in the Life – Field Trips posted at A Day in the Life – Homeschool Blogger.

If you’re trying to plan for fun AND learning this fall, check out this post:  The Family presents What to do, what not to do posted at Once Upon a Family.

Lynda at The Adventures of A Princess and the Bear writes Bear’ Geography: “about our doing geography and learning the continents with literature and lapbooking. We are making an apple pie in this post, to go along with the book, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

John shares thoughts along with the inspirational story of a Zac, a homeschool teen who sailed around the world alone.  He writes Home School Encourages Independence In  Learning and Life at Independent Learning and Home Schooling.  He says, “Rather than isolating students, home school encourages students to develop independence in the way they handle the way they live and the way they learn.”

Amy shares her summertime adventures in Summer Time Learning posted at Kids Love Learning.

We can all empathize with Janine at Why Homeschool who writes about struggles with starting backup with school in “Not Quite Ready to Start School.”



Margaret writes about her plans for not teaching history this school year at Semi-Schooling History posted at Two Kid Schoolhouse

Barbra Sundquist presents Do You Need to Get Angry Before Anyone Listens? posted at Barbra Sundquist.  “Have you ever found yourself thinking, “Why is it that I have to get angry to get what I want?”

Lynn shares her successful first week of school along with some great resources, ideas, and links.  Check out First Week of School Done! posted at Eclectic Education – Homeschool Blogger.

Ben presents 7 Ways to Save Money on Back to School Shopping posted at Money Smart Life.

Scott Palat presents Parental Involvement Affects the Academic Success of Children posted at TutorFi.

Freestyle – a bit of everything


Susan Ryan presents Open Education – It’s the Learning that Counts posted at Corn and Oil.  “There are many high quality, free learning resources available for homeschoolers, including MIT’s free online courses.”

Shelly presents Vintage Video – Jay Can Do It posted at Homemade Homeschoolers.  “This episode of Vintage Video – Jay Can Do It – is part of the Homemade Homeschoolers Podcasts. The post includes thoughts about the difference between how non-homeschoolers define “socialization” and how we at Homemade Homeschoolers define it. We hope you enjoy!”

And if you haven’t settled into a homeschooling style yet, check out Choosyhomeschooler’s article PURLs of Wisdom Blog » Choosing a Teaching Style or Homeschooling Method posted at PURLs of Wisdom Blog.

Help Aimee out with some new lunch ideas as she shares hers in Homeschool Talk: School lunches at Aimee’s Land.



If you haven’t done the soda bottle and Mentos experiment, you’re in for some fun.  See how Lara DeHaven did it in A Homemade Geyser posted at Texas Homesteader.  My boys are itching to do this!

And if you need some ideas to let your enjoyment and study of nature branch out into other science topics, check out Katie Glennon and her article: Using Nature Study to Study all Areas of Science posted at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage.



Leah at The Courtney Six shares Just In Case I Haven’t Mentioned It Lately…:  “My thoughts on why I’m so glad we homeschool.”

Amy at Raising Arrows presents “The Shame On Me Sea“.  The homeschooling parent’s life is often fraught with guilt. Amy writes about her own personal struggle to stay out of the Shame On Me Sea.

I’m grateful, too!

I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Homeschool Carnival.  Thank you for all your contributions!

Please take a moment to comment and/or spread the word by posting to your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Next week the carnival will be held at Home Grown and submissions are due Monday, Aug. 31st at 6 pm.  Visit here to submit your post.

Or if you’d like to peruse previous editions, they are listed at Why Homeschool.

Thank you again to all those who took the time to submit posts and share!

— Misty

Posted under Blog Carnivals, Field Trips, Homeschool Activities, Homeschool Crafts, Homeschool Curriculum, Homeschool Life, Homeschool Websites

How many spiders on your body does it take to break the record?

May 22, 2009


If you haven’t checked out National Geographic Kids’ Site, you’re missing out.

Do you know what the record is for number of spiders on a human body in 30 seconds?  It was 75, until the 11-year-old “Spider Boy” broke the record with 125 orb spiders!  Check out the video.

I don’t know how they come up with these records, but they’re pretty fun to watch, unless you’re arachnophobic :-()

Check out the other website sections for TONS of great content:

Posted under Science Websites

Enjoy Science Experiment Videos Online (without the mess)

May 2, 2009


Do you need a break from doing science in your kitchen?  My son loves to watch the fun Robert Krampf’s science videos.  He does great science experiment videos and posts them online.  Some are free, and you can get access to the entire collection for $20 a year, which is very reasonable if you have a curious middle schooler who will enjoy clicking through the videos on his/her own.

You can also sign up for his free “Experiment of the Week” newletter here.


Posted under Science Websites

Online Reading, Writing, Science Curriculum Free May 4th – 8th!

April 23, 2009


Looking for some online literacy and science curriculums?

Learning A-Z is having a free trial week in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day.  If you’re investigating literacy resources, this is a good time to check them out.

They offer the following:

  • Free all week long:  A collection of online books kids can choose, listen to, read along, or read on their own for $60/yr.  (Raz-Kids won Learning Magazine 2009 Teacher’s Choice Award for the Family)
  • Free on May 4th:  Reading A-Z: Everything you need to teach reading including phonics, leveled readers, lessons, worksheets, etc. for $85/yr.
  • Free on May 5th:  Science A-Z: A K-6 science curriculum with lessons, experiments, worksheets, etc. for $60/yr.
  • Free on May 6th:  Writing A-Z: Writing resources including research packets, mini-books, story cards, writing prompts, lessons, etc. for $30/yr.
  • Free on May 7th:  Vocabulary A-Z: After building your word list, a lesson generator will give you a week’s worth of lessons, activities, games, and a graphic organizer.  $30/yr.
  • Free on May 8th:  Reading-Tutors:  If you need tutor lesson plans, this site offers 450 complete tutoring packets with lesson plans, games, activities, etc. for $60/yr.

[tags]reading, writing, phonics, science, homeschool, printables, worksheets, lessons, learning, teachers, websites, review, free [tags]

Posted under Language Art Websites, Reading Curriculum, Science Curriculum, Writing Curriculum

Ology – a Fun Science Website to Explore!

April 22, 2009


Need some ideas to make science fun?  Or ideas for a science project?

Check out Ology, a science website done by the American Museum of Natural History (get it? -ology as in bi-ology, arche-ology?)

There are tons of catagory pages including:

Plus for each topic, there are activities in fun categories including:

  • Scientist at Work
  • Inside Story – “Ask a Scientist”
  • Quiz Games
  • Make It – fun activities with supply lists and instructions
  • Interviews with Scientists
  • Explore the Evidence


Posted under Science Websites

Steps that Multiply – “Math Teachers at Play” Blog Carnival #4

April 3, 2009

I’m happy to host the 4th edition of the “Math Teachers at Play” Blog Carnival!

Learning math starts with baby steps and as our skills multiply, we need less and less help to take bigger and bigger steps.  So, here are some great articles organized by steps. 🙂

Baby Steps

(We need lots of help understanding math to make any progress)


Wendy Piersall presents Spring Math Worksheets: Counting Money posted at Animal Jr..

And just in time for Easter and all its candy, Shauna presents candy math posted at Treasure Seekers.  She says, “While homeschooling my older daughter for kindergarten, I used some Halloween candy to help teach basic math concepts. (At this time of year, you may have extra Easter candy on hand!) The ideas can easily be adapted and expanded on depending on the student’s level.”

Denise presents How DO We Learn Math? posted at Let’s Play Math!.  She says, “To teach effectively, I need to understand how students learn. I can think of at least 3 ways that I have learned math — what about you? How do you and your children learn?”

Elissa presents Red Light Green Light: 9 Tips to Organizing Your Classroom posted at Miss Cal.Q.L8

Here is a fun set of lessons teaching the ways to add to 10: Magic Number Lesson Ideas

Childhood Steps

(A little math help is appreciate, but we’re ready to step out a bit on our own)


 Bogusia Gierus presents Subtractions and Decomposing Numbers | Nucleus Learning posted at Nucleus Learning.

Brent Yorgey presents Chessboard counting posted at The Math Less Traveled. See also the solutions here.

Here’s a fun article about Math Salons, a great idea for get-togethers based around a math lesson.  What a fun idea to make math more interesting and fun:  Sue VanHattum presents Math Salons and Base Eight posted at Math Mama Writes….  She says, “This is about my math salon, and a children’s story I wrote.”

Adventuring Steps

(We’re off on our own, but may fall in a few puddles along the way)


Praveen presents What’s the Chance That the Patient Has the Disease? posted at Math and Logic Play.

If you have a child multiplying 2-digit + numbers, you’ll have to take a look at the video in this article showing how to do calculate by drawing a few lines on paper.  Fascinating!:  Marco DSouza presents Become a human calculator posted at Technology at work and play. Understanding the concepts of Trachtenberg and Vedic mathematics to solve complex math in your mind!

Here is an interesting discussion on the philosophy of real world math:  Michael Croucher presents Martial Mathematics posted at Walking Randomly.

Check out Maria’s video lessons – if you have some visual learners:  Maria Miller presents Division of fractions conceptually posted at Homeschool Math Blog.

Running Steps

(We take all we’ve learned and leap over the math hurdles we encounter.)


Dave Marain presents Another Quadratic Function SAT Problem posted at MathNotations.  An example of the type of quadratic function (parabola) question that is currently being tested on the SATs with answers, solution and discussion.

Pat Ballew presents Testing Understanding of Slope posted at Pat’sBlog. What a difference a subtle shift in a graph can make…

If you are looking for an interesting field to apply math skills:  TeacherC presents Investigating Social Inequity in the Mathematics Classroom posted at An (aspiring) Educator’s Blog. The mathematics classroom is a place where students can explore inequity and social justice issues that affect their communities and the world.

Test your math skills on these ancient Algebra problems:  Jon Ingram presents Ten 16th century word problems posted at Lessons taught; Lessons learnt. Ten algebra word problems, taken from The Whetstone of Witte, the first book on algebra ever published in English, slightly over 450 years ago.

John D. Cook presents Springs, resistors, and harmonic means posted at The Endeavour.

Edmund Harriss presents Surfaces 1: The ooze of the past posted at Maxwell’s Demon.

Dave Marain presents Those “Function” Questions on the SATs – Practice, Tips posted at MathNotations. This post looks at a different kind of function question of the type that could appear on the SATs. Issues of coping with function notation and convoluted wording are addressed. The problem also deals with number theory topics appropriate for middle schoolers.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these articles!  Feel free to post a blurb about the carnival on your blog.  Enjoy! 

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Posted under Blog Carnivals, Math Curriculum, Math Websites