Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quick Tip/Share: Elements

We started Intro to Physics and Chemistry and I found a helpful Notebooking Page for learning and outlining the Elements. You can find it here at Spell Out Loud blog.  along with some good resources for Chemistry ~
created by Maureen from Spell Out Loud

Until Next Time~!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Quick Tip/Share Series: Learning History in a Snap!

photo credit

This site could be used for both history lovers ( I have two of those) or the learner who just really doesn't find history interesting and would rather be doing something else~  The American Memory site has a section Today in History where you can click on the section and learn all about something that took place in history for that day~ its great!

I think it can be a great resource to use for a writing resource as well as a quick lesson for history as well.  


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Quick Tip/Share~ Type-it-in Notebooking Pages

Here is a type-it-in generic notebooking page I just created. My teen prefers typing and loves to do notebooking pages so I am trying to bring both of these things together.

Here is a page you can type on. The directions on how to go about using it is typed right on the page. It is a pdf so it will save in your google docs or where ever as a pdf so the format shouldn't change.

Read over the brief directions and try it out and see how you like it. I am going to be making many more in different styles etc., and also will be looking for other programs to make typing on notebooking pages even easier!

Here is one more I created with smaller lines for more room for typing. (these have been added to my freebies page)

Share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions as well I would love to hear from you~

Quick Tip/Share~ Ramping up for Studies

It is that time of year~ everyone is either just about ready to start back on their studies or have already started.

Each year, we start back from our summer studies much slower than most homeschoolers. We only go back to two a day and that seems to really get us going ( I usually choose areas of their interest like History etc., ) and we start back on Math. After Labor Day we will ramp back to a full load of studies with all the classes.

This helps kiddos and us in a few ways~ if you have been off all summer it helps to slowly get back into things and isn't so overwhelming. It also helps with sleep schedules and other things we might be trying to tie up before the new year begins.
Try it out if you haven't already, ramping really makes alot of sense and and can be better for some than hitting the ground running~

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Quick Tip/Share Series: Prime Factorization

photo credit 
Here is a quick fun online game to practice prime factorization and factoring. It is from the site Math Playground.

Some other resources to practicing and learning this concept are here~ I really liked some of these ideas and hope you find them helpful as well.  You will find lots of great ideas and suggestions for working with factors and multiplies at this site  and this site as well.

Here is one more game that practices Prime and Composite Numbers~ Enjoy!

Happy Learning!

Monday, August 19, 2013

A "Generic" Notebooking Page ~

Here is a generic notebooking page I created this morning. My youngest wanted a page with image boxes a bit bigger than the ones we had already so he asked me to make this one and I thought I would share.

This page can be used for any subject where you have images or drawings~ he thought it was just perfect :)

You can download this page here.  This page has been added my freebies page as well.

Quick Tip/Share~ New Science Units

photo credit

Did you know about The Happy Scientist? Scientist Robert Krampf has created a site for learners to go and explore videos and learn about many different areas of science.

There is now new units of study for Minerals and The Process of Science, Food Webs and a unit on rocks is being built out and is in progress. We can't wait till these are ready :)

The subscription is very reasonable and my youngest son love these videos~ be sure and check it out when you have a chance.

Happy science learning!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Quick Tip/Share~ Math Worksheets

[New Series for Fall- Quick Tip/Share- a series where I will quickly share a resource or tip I find helpful]

Many of my homeschool friends and readers know that I have never been a huge fan of worksheets. That is now suddenly changing.

There are tons of worksheet generators and sites to find worksheets out there. I have looked through them and used a couple. My boys now are getting into higher math and that means worksheets ( working a couple extra problems) might be needed here and there.

I found a great site  ( Math-Aids.Com) that has an added feature to it. Student Solutions to answers. These are IMPORTANT for error correction. Its nice to find worksheets with answers and in my case needed, since I am not that much of a "Mathy" person.  Finding worksheets that have these solutions to the problems they work are critical in solving problems with error patterns in their math learning.

We have been using their Operations of Operations worksheets and it has made all the difference for my teens ~  be sure and check this site out and find worksheets with worked out solutions instead of always just using a page with answers on it.

If you have any sites you have found that have great worksheets with the worked out solutions for answers please post and share!

Until next time~ !

Friday, August 9, 2013

Four Day Lesson Planner Page ~

Here is my other Lesson Planner Page I created this week. This is geared more for a younger learner who still enjoys lapbooking, notebooking and is still doing read-a-louds.

I used this more specifically in the area of History and Geograpy~

Happy Planning! ~

Unit/Lesson Planner Page~

I needed to condense a few of our units before starting the larger lessons in September. I created this Unit Lesson Planner Page ( it is for four weeks of lessons) ~

Just fill in the boxes and your on your way to having a four week unit study planned out~

(Scroll down for the next pages to fill in to print)

Happy planning!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Literature Study: Mark Twain, Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn

We ended the Reconstruction period in May of last year and now are moving ahead toward learning about the Railroads, the Western Frontier and so Mark Twain fits in nicely in this time period.

We are reading together the book "The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West"  by Sid Fleischman. And so, I thought reading one or two of Mark Twain's writings might be perfect. We decided on Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

To change things up a bit and since my youngest is reading several other books at this point I found an audio book of it so that he could just listen and follow along, enjoying the colorful language of the time.

If we would like there is a literature guide to go along with the book found here. 

Later on, if we want we might go ahead and also do Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well, along with the study guide.

Happy Reading~ !

Learning and Practicing Order of Operations

We were reviewing and learning Order of Operations this week~ aka, PEMDAS, BEMDAS or even PEMA whichever, its learning the order of the operations performed in a multi-operational problem! :)

Its easy in the beginning~ learning about always working the parentheses and/or brackets. It is only one step we need to remember. However, multi-step problems can be tricky! We found that out~

I thought I would share some resources that my good friends have given us as well as thing I have found on the internet to help with teaching and learning this concept/skill;

Here is a blog that shares a math foldable that helps sort out the order of operations so that it might be easier. My friend Cindy shared this with me and I instantly loved it because it helps make it much more visual for my guys. I also liked how it shows how the multiplication and division are worked at the same time (working left to right) as well as the addition and subtraction (again working left to right). So the acronym "Please Excuse My Dear Aunty Sally" can be a bit mis-leading and I think that was happening to my teen.

Here is a set of worksheets that I loved. Helping to slowly advance in the steps so that they are not getting too confused to early.

Here is the other resource the author of the blog mentions ( Math=Love blog) that she got her idea from :)

I share these just in case  you want to look through these blog resources to see if there is something else that might be helpful to you~

Monday, June 17, 2013

Planning Pages~

I am in the process of going through all my bookshelves in our study and as I do I am boxing up older programs and things we no longer will need now that I have two teens home schooling in high school.

I started working with a planner last year and found it really helpful to me. And this year, because some things are changing just a bit I couldn't seem to find exactly what I needed as far as planning lesson studies and weekly planning so I decided to just go ahead and create my own to match my needs. I needed something  more simple than what I had been searching for ~

If your interested in looking at them or using them you can find the following planning pages by clicking on the links:

School Year Calendar - you can print out and adjust this editable calendar to map out your days off and any other specific things in your school year.  I used the one below with the color coded days. You are able to edit the calendar by adding your school name, color coding etc., before printing.

Weekly Lessons Page
photo of what it looks like in my binder 

The Weekly Lessons Page is where I have all the subjects and days that we study. The top where I have "note" is where I add words from their writing to use for their ISL  ( Individual Spelling List) and also make notes on trouble areas or ideas I might have in a subject.

The row with the Subject is where I add my days~ you will notice I didn't put any in there. That's because I don't have a specific day where I am going to begin so I will write those in. We normally school Monday thru Friday but that could change over the summer studies and winter because of the delight directed ideas, drivers ed or anything else that might come up. By not adding the days I have the freedom to just add them as I go~

For English I use mostly IEW products so I broke down the English section into sub-topics so that it makes it easier for me to quickly write down where we are ~

Working Lesson Map & Lesson Outline/Syllabus -

       Explanation: the Working Lesson Map is a page I created so that I could pull together all my resources/programs we are using. I use many different things at one time for units or lessons so this helped to me take advantage of resources I find and have on my shelves.

       Explanation: the Lesson Outline /Syllabus is a page that helps outline the lessons specifically I can print this off and give it to my teens or use it to create assignments or lesson plans in HST Online.

I kept both of these in "document form" so that they can be edited if someone wanted to adjust things to have it fit their own needs.

Grading Page:
photo in my binder 

I use HST Online, yet I have not been as good as I should entering in all the grades on time so I found a grading page to help me keep the grades organized until I have time to add them into the HST System. Look under Grade Book Page over at Busy Teachers Cafe and you can find it there.

Generic, Printable Lesson Plan Page:
I also found a really generic Lesson Planning Page - click on the Lesson Plan2 over on the Busy Teachers Cafe site.

You might also find some other forms on this page as well that you might be able to use in your own Home School. ( thematic planning sheet etc., )

As I printed these pages out I was able to three hole punch the weekly lesson plans so that on one side (left) I would have one student and the other I would be able to see the other student (right hand side) so that at a glance, I could see each teens lessons for the week.

The grading pages I three hold punched so that I could see the full spread of the grades as I enter them in. Each teen has his own subject grading sheet and I labeled each grading section with a sticky tab for each subject. Its rather simple but very functional.

I can keep all my lesson planning notes, outlines and grading sheets all in one place my binder so this will be much more functional for me and I will have enough room for writing notes and adding things in the binder as I go.

Hope this is helpful if you have been looking for planning pages but haven't been able to find just the right ones for your home school :)

Until next time!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Slideshow for Portfolios~

I have been very busy over the past two weeks wrapping a few things up for our year of studies and working on our years-end portfolios.

This year I found a new resource I wanted to share with my readers in case they also use some photos to chronicle their year of studies, each year I always tell myself that I need to take more pictures of things we do and this year isn't any different but with a new resource I think I will be much more apt to take more pictures during the year and visually chronicle our learning in a much faster way~

I found Kizoa. It it an online slideshow and collage creator. I wasn't sure I would be able to do it very easily because I am not really a techy person when it comes to computers, but I was able to use it very easily~ its very intuitive. And I found creating our slideshows for our portfolios was really fun! It is free as long as you use the basic settings plan ( allows up to 1GB of space) and allows you to see what you can and could do if you were to pay for the premium. I found the basic settings were fine for what I needed but I must admit after seeing how easy and user-friendly it is I think I am going to be signing up for the premium subscription.:)

Until next time~

Friday, May 31, 2013

An Art Resource~

We have been working on some art pieces and I wanted to share about a resource that I have known about for a while but might have forgotten to share~ the boys have a bit of an advantage( or even maybe a disadvantage considering the perspective your coming from) with their creative learning because we have our own art studio in our home. Being a freelance artist has its advantages when it comes to teaching art to my boys at home. I have LOTS of resources I can pull from and lots of supplies always on hand and if I don't I know where to go and who to call if we need something~
Artist Daily 

One recommendation I have for learning about different mediums is a great website called Artist Daily. It provides lots of great information and they have some very helpful free resources there to use for your budding artists at home.

It is free to subscribe so you can enjoy looking around at all the resources and freebies they provide. I highly recommend you checking this site out as a resource for your art learning at home ~

*one more quick resource to share- Famous Artists from the Practical Pages Blog.

Until Next Time !

Monday, May 27, 2013

A New "Search" Resource~

Similar Search Link
Have you ever found an internet link that you really love using? And then you try and find something that might be similar to the kind of resource your using? I think I found something that can help us do just that. It's called Similar Search- just type in the name and press search and it will show you different sites that might be a match to what your looking for~

Happy Searching!

Monday, May 20, 2013

An Art Resource~

We have been DRAWING! Its been fun working on 3D Shapes and Figures. My younger teen is trying his hand at a bunch of different techniques and fun from Mark Kistlers Online Art Lessons.

photo credit
I have another resource for you to check out. Its called Awesome Arts it has a bunch of unique resources for learning and practicing art. ( more links to follow soon!) I don't want to overwhelm my readers with all my artsy finds, but they are coming!

To start out, my plan is to create a lapbook from  The ABC's of Art section ( download the one in color) and as each is introduced add work of theirs to that particular sections or topic/skill/concept.

Happy Creating!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Strive & Thrive: Biology Learning

We have been working through Apologia Biology and my son finds the reading very interesting. As he reads he is working on written narrations explaining what he learned, what he found interesting and his own opinions on different topics and material.

As he works I really wanted to increase his activity level and understanding with specific concepts with more hands on experiments, data collection and incorporate more Inquiry Based Learning to make things even more interesting while studying Biology.

I found this really great resource that really helps me do just that. The resource link is called Serendip and is by Dr. Ingrid Waldron and Dr. Jennifer Doherty who are out of the University of Pennsylvania.

Their topic sequence can be used for Biology learning and/or used in conjunction with a spine you have chosen for learning these principles. I thought it might work nicely with what we are doing and I am looking forward to having my teen work through this site.

You can also subscribe to their list so that when new activities become available you will be emailed of them at that time.  Also be sure to check out the Additional Activities to see a plethora of things to explore.

We just can't wait to get started on some of these. And if you really want to dive in deeper check out the other topics; Playground, Brain & Behavior, Complex Systems, Science Education, and Science & Culture. I hope you find the site as interesting as we do~

*update: one more resource I would like to share is a non profit organization that is called The Teaching Channel. It has videos to view for all grade levels (including highschool) and is free when you sign up. It is funded by the Gates Foundation.
Other Resources to use:
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute: yourgenome.org
Biology Web
Lehigh University: Biology Web links ( pls note, there are a few that are no longer valid but many are still very useful) 

Happy Science Learning!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Strive & Thrive: Combining Subjects When You Can

We have had a really interesting couple of months. Because we are homeschooling year round we decided to take "breaks" from certain studies and focus more attention on other areas. By doing this I am finding that is becoming increasingly easier, (as my teens get older especially) to combine subjects.
our Reconstruction Lapbook we started with an outline for an essay

When working on our focused studies we are able to easily bring in and review "Skills Learning" (grammar & usage, writing, comprehension, current events, art and much more). So far while working more closely with History and Science as our focus I have been able to bring in other areas and I am really happy and am learning how to really condense our studies so that we are covering much more material, and covering with a great deal of more depth and we love it.

The one thing we hated was taking our mornings and jumping from one subject to the next~ having to take out the writing program and then its time for history or science and sneak in grammar etc.. this really felt disjointed and having tried this more focused learning we are really enjoying things and my teens are seeing much more relevance in their learning. I suppose its giving a reason why we have to do something. And for teens that really seems to help make a difference with boredom or the lack of interest we see in teens so often.

I have found it takes just a bit more time to organize my resources we will be using but I am finding tricks to organizing by using a written outline and/or planner to help me. We are making use of more books that sit on our bookshelf and I think its a worthwhile option to try out. I am considering switching completely to working this way from now on especially where I have older learners and many of the "skill subjects" (excluding math of course) are mostly learned and reviewed at this point in their learning.

If any of my readers are interested in more information on how I am doing this feel free to post and ask and I can explain things in more detail~

Happy Learning!

A GOOD reminder~

In continuing to research topics for our mini-units I remembered a great resource to help me along. It is a daily newsletter that provides a link per day to explore. Each day covers a different subject the resource is a free to sign up, website/newsletter called Clickschooling. You can also explore the archives ( see bottom of page).

Happy Learning!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mini- Units over the Summer~

We are working through this summer so we can take more time off during the Fall Season here in New England. I had an idea that I am thinking of trying. Mini-Units.

I am looking around for topics that I think my teens will be interested in and thought I would share one idea I had so far. This blog post from the Vision Learning Blog was a great start for a mini-unit to work on over this summer. I think the boys will enjoy reading about this and then possibly doing a write up with IEW writing methods and then looking into the "learn more" section for further learning.

I will be sharing each one as I find and research them~ I think it will be a lot of fun and of great interest!

Happy Learning!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Strive & Thrive: Online Document Collaboration

We have been  focusing this year on practicing grammar in context. This means that we spend much more time editing written pieces of work. And by doing so the teens learn how to make better use of structure and style in their writing.

Working together on a document can be a bit tricky if the written piece is on your teens One Note or on a document on their laptop.

I realized what we needed was some kind of online collaboration to work together on a a particular document in real time.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

New History Resource~

photo credit
We found yet another great History Resource site. It is called Smithsonian's History Explorer. I really like it and wanted to share it with my readers. It has interactive lessons, themes and the lesson can be searched by grade level.  A great history resource to check out!

Happy History Learning!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Working Apologia Biology- Tips and Helps

We have started using Apologia's Biology.  After looking at many different science programs we decided that Apologia's Biology gave my teen the best, overall understanding in learning about living things.

Science Freebie: Animal Adaptations~

I saw this freebie today on facebook and was thrilled. Its perfect timing for us since we have been reading and learning in our Science about Natural Selection and Animal Adaptations etc.

Photo Credit
I picked up this free lapbook that Hands of  a Child has entitled "Animal Adaptations". (They reached their goal over on facebook for having over 4500 likes. This will be a perfect addition to our science and just had to share with my readers. Be sure and "like" them on Facebook if your on there!

Happy Learning!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lapbooking Templates~ Type it In

photo credit 
It can be easy to find lapbooking templates online for free.

Some folds we create on our own and add images and write the information down. But sometimes the writing can get exhausting for my youngest learner.

I hunted online all over for templates that you can "type it in" but didn't find much information at all. I did see a freebie over on Homeschool Share where if you subscribe to their blog you can get a full download of "type it in" lapbook folds. But I never got my download so that left me no where, again.

I went over and asked around and heard that Hands of a Child had a TII template pack. It was exactly what I was looking for.
So, if your like me and have been trying hard to find something like this, you can find it here.

Happy Lapbooking!

Creating a Lab Report~

download file 
I just finished writing up an explanation of a Lab Report for my teen. He will be using a Lab Notebook for his Labs. This is a document I shared with him today that he found helpful.

It gives a brief overview of writing up a Lab Report and also a template he can follow if he wants.  He found these helpful and I explained that he doesn't have to follow this template he can set up his lab any way he would like.
download file

Happy Science Learning! 


Monday, January 28, 2013

Continuing with Civil War Learning~

photo credit
We are continuing on with learning more about the Civil War. We have been working on and off with this particular historical period. I wanted to share one more extended resource for learning more about the Civil War~ it is a site called Teaching the Civil with Technology, Ideas for teaching the Civil War. 

There is great, really great resources here for learning more about the Civil War. Be sure and check it out if you have a chance.

Note: Here is a teachers packet for learning about the battle of Antietem. This packet has a good deal of information.
* I also recently found another GREAT site: Go Social Studies Go be sure and check this out! AND one more~ History Animated.

Happy History Learning!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Math Notes for PH Mathematics Course ~

photo credit 
We are starting a new Math Course with our youngest. It is Prentice Hall Math Course 1. Since the Teachers Editions are now all on CD ROM in PDF version. I took some time to go through it and made some notes for myself so I can quickly skip to where I need to be in the program. You can find these notes here.  Anyone using this program might really find these notes helpful, which is why I thought to share, when looking at the Teachers Resources on CD ROM.

Note: I am finding the easiest way to work this program is to load the New Paced Lesson plans into the Lesson Book. The Lesson Plans that are pre-loaded shows all the information, objectives, lesson vocabulary, materials needed and th elist of activities and descriptions along with links for the information and resource.

Happy Math Learning!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Writing About History~

I had been going over some lesson plans for our history program. I  wanted to share about how we are now jumping off from IEW ,  setting it aside and venturing off on our own, for writing.

It has started off nicely. The boys have been working on writing from their history lessons. History tends to be one of their favorite subjects so this is a great area to start off  with, since we are making this shift in our writing practice.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Quick Little Tip~ for Long Divsion

I sometimes wonder if I should post something. I wonder if it will be worthwhile for people to read. Often times I don't end up posting, but I am going to try and make a shift and post these silly little things anyway, just because when I posted this idea to one of my groups I had someone who found my idea really helpful.

So I may be posting Quick Little Tips every now and then when something comes up that I find helpful.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Biology for our Science~

Both teens are working two different Biology programs. I am having them work two different programs because of age, ability and also style of learning.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Literature Study: The Magicians Nephew

We are starting a new literature study from the Narnia Series
"The Magicians Nephew".

Our youngest learner ( my middle schooler) is going to be reading this book and creating a  lapbook and Readers Journal for the chapters in the book. ( see below for more information on the Readers Journal)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Planning our Art Study~

We are going to be starting our Art Study now that we are in January. So far I have found some really great resources to use for our Art Study.

Monday, January 7, 2013

We're Back! Now Organizing and Getting Going~

We start back with our studies this week. Today went rather well for taking a few weeks off for the Christmas Holiday.

bailey at four weeks old 
A few new things have happened around our house as well; we decided we will be getting a puppy~! yes, a puppy, phew his name is going to be Bailey.

You might like these~

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