Category Archives: Homeschool For Free

FREE Internet Based and Printable Curriculum Resources.

Free 50 States Studies, Elementary

usa-155594_128050states.com

How All 50 States Got Their Names

Reading Around The USA, 50 Books For Kids From 50 States

State Travel Guides

14 Resources for Studying the United States

Exploring the United States and It’s Regions

Free Printable US States Geography Cards

How the States Got Their Shape

Awesome America, Fun Facts, Stunning Photos, Travel Info for All 50 States

US State Printables

Explore Your America

One Thing You Must Do With Kids in Every US State

Free 50 US State Printables

States and Capitals Worksheets

Flat Stanley Unit Study

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Writing a Friendly Letter

thank-you-515514_1280Although we live in an age that is centered on communications in technology, writing a friendly letter is still a practice among those who desire to be more personal in their communication, whether to a friend afar or to thank a potential employer after a job interview.

As a teacher, I still wrote thank you  notes to my students who provided me gifts of appreciation. The children loved to receive them. With the small gesture, they knew the appreciation was returned.

My own children love to receive cards and letters in the mail.
I know, I’d sing atop a mountain if I was  to receive one that isn’t a bill.

While business communications make  the most of the efficiency of an email or messenger program, nothing says “tender love and care” like a hand written letter.

Here, I have put together some resources for teaching and applying the art of letter writing through the friendly letter.

Letter Generators
We recently picked up a book from the library in the children’s non-fiction section called How to Write a Letter. It included format, conversation topics, and how to address a letter . They have a series on different types of writing that we have been checking out one at a time. One of the things I love about using books over something online is that my 5 year old will see my 7 year old using it to learn how to write a letter and then she begins pulling out paper and pencil with him. Nevertheless, we find many useful tools on the internet for learning to include  four interactives for writing last year when my son was less than willing to put pen to paper. One  of these focuses on writing a friendly letter.

We love having a book in hand and I encourage the keeping of a journal in at least one subject. However, we have less space  now, so online learning is convenient , but also fun and interactive.  I’ll talk more about online learning in another post.

I love the Read Write Think site! Here is an interactive template or Letter Generator guiding the student through each step of the letter writing process.

Step-by-Step Guides
Here is an activity for writing a friendly or personal letter including a step by step visual guide and other friendly letter links.

Wiki How provides another step-by-step guide to writing a friendly letter. This is for the more mature writer as the content of the sample letters includes great depth and detail.

Lessons and Literature

Teaching with TLC has some resources and letter writing activities including suggested books to inspire the beginnings of a writing habit.Carey Jane Clark shares a lesson integrating reading a writing of a friendly letter along with other book ideas for the theme.Teach Kids How provides some suggestions on how and what to teach to different age levels, providing a way to differentiate for students of all ages.
Activities and Worksheets
DLTK has letter writing resources geared toward the younger writer that include a “stamp glue recipe” and templates for envelope and stamp.
 You can find some printable worksheet sources here,  such as  visual aides, templates, and written assignments.
Addressing Envelopes

Read Write Think and ABC Teach both have templates and instructions for addressing the letter.

I haven’t paid the bills via snail mail in so long that it wasn’t until my daughter and I both began writing someone out of state that I realized I no longer remembered how. Very humbling.

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Across the Curriculum with The Rover Boys- A Unit Study

Reading

The Rover Boys on Internet Archive or Project Gutenberg

For Girls, 10 Free Bobbsey Twins Books on Kindle

people-163906_640Explore the genre with this lesson on Ingredients of a Mystery. Several Free Worksheets are included as well as a list of suggested books. There are plenty of free mysteries for Kindle and on Google Books, including the Bobbsey Twins and The Rover Boys.

There is a little confusion about the real author of these books. In The Story of the Bobbsey Twins, you” ll read about the

Read Mysteries By Kids

Use an interactive tool from ReadWriteThink to dissect your mystery. There are writing activities too!

Writing

Mystery Writing: Write with Writers

How to Write a Mini Myster

Writing Mystery Stories The Best Mystery Writing Tips and Tricks for Kids

Science

Kids Ahead – Crime Scene Investigation Activities

Science Mystery – Educational Mysteries (and Reading)

Detective Science Games

History

The 25 Biggest Mysteries of History

The 20 Coolest Unsolved Mysteries in History

Mystery Timeline and more, including lessons and interactives.

detective-156961_640Math

Mystery Math Pictures -Math Facts

Mystery  Picture Math -Math Facts

Mystery Pictures with multiples and division.

Maths Mysteries Online Games

Math Maven’s Mysteries Home – Scholastic  Various Skills and Levels, including Logic and Reasoning

Mystery Math– an online game of deductive reasoning

Critical Thinking

Solve some mysteries at Mystery Net’s Kids Site.

Mystery Fun
Make your own spy equipment!

You can find more FREE resources in my Facebook group, and learn how you can Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum for FREE.

 

Tappan in the Public Domain, History and Legends Ebooks

This is an incomplete collection of Tappan’s work. She had a way of bringing history to life in her books. Perhaps it was her many years teaching and her in depth knowledge of literature that helped  her achieve success.

The first part of this list was contributed by my friend, Allison. I will update as I find more titles.

tappanThe Story of the Greek People: an Elementary History of Greece

American Hero Stories

Making Your Own Word Family Lapbooks

folders-24867_640Here is a sample lapbook from 1+1+1=1 to model after. I love this simple idea. Those are the best. The lapbook includes a poem, an easy reader, and copywork. We like to use a spiral notebook for ours and use duct tape on the spine for longevity. I think a word list would be a good addition. You could incorporate a word list into your mini-book or even into a word family wheel. You might also use these Editable Lapbook Pages to copy and paste word lists, your poems, or individual words with a picture on the cover.

Word Family Lists and Poems

This endless list of word families from  Mrs. Alphabet also has poems you can copy and paste onto a document or lapbook template.

Here is a grouping of CVC Word Family Wall Cards from 3 Dinosaurs.

Copywork or Worksheets

ABC Teach only has a few of these copywork booklets available for free, but the idea is a simple one a easy to reproduce in Word.

Starfall’s Download Center has several printables for word families that would make a great lapbook activity.

Education.com allows 10 free downloads a month and has several nice word family activity pages to choose from.

Everything is free over at Have Fun Teaching, including these word family worksheets.

The sample at the top used the poem as the copywork activity. You can easily make this yourself by copying and pasting the poems from Mrs. Alphabet (above) into handwriting generator like the one here at Handwriting Worksheets or by using the fonts here at the Learning Place.

Free Homeschool Deals has shared a Short Vowel Worksheet Packet and Short Vowel CVC, Stamp ‘n Write booklets, both from Mama’s Learning Corner.

Word Family Readers

One of the sites below shares how the author made her mini-books.  It is so easy to make your own with the lists available in the above links. You could even incorporate lines from the  poems or make your own simple sentences.

Hubbard”s Cubbard is a great place to start for word family readers.

The Measured Mom has some short vowel word family sets.

Lavinia Pop shares some short vowel word family readers at Teacher Pay Teachers.

These phonics readers from Progressive Phonics include short vowel word families. You could easily print each word family out separately to make your own book or page for your lapbooks.

Starfall’s Download Center has several printables for word families including mini-books. I like the “find the word in  the picture” page.

Word Family Pictures

Storytime Standouts provides and shows you how to make your own word family flip books, as well as providing words and picture sheets.  You could cut the sheets with words and pictures to staple into your own little book or have you child use for a matching game that is then pasted into the lapbooks. Be creative and have fun with it.

About 3 or 4 sections from the top, you’ll find a group of word family printables from The Measured Mom (again). She has a lot of pictures to use for word families. You could use them as a bingo type activity and then create your word wheel (below) using the word ending and pictures provided.

Pixabay is a great place to find your own pictures for free.

Word Family Wheels

I think these could be a great addition to your lapbook. Word Wheels can include some of the words in the list, as well as pictures to match them. You could trace one of the pre-made word wheels to make your own template. If you make one in Word, you can add text/picture to it before printing or you can have those on a separate page for your child to cut and paste on.

ABC Teach has a huge selection of resources on the free portion of their site. Here are some word family wheels.

34 FREE Short Vowel Houses from The Measured Mom (one more time 😉 ). Check out the rest that she has pinned!

Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum For FREE
Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum For FREE

Visit my Facebook Group for more FREE Homeschool Resources and learn to Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum for FREE

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Makers of American History Series

Makers of American History Series

mount-rushmore-55477_1280This may not be a complete list. I will update the post as I find more titles in the series. This first contribution was built with the help of my friend Allison, who shares the same love for books.

Lee – General Lee

Peck – Daniel Boone

Schouler – Thomas Jefferson

Abbott – George Washington

Courtenay – Christopher Columbus

Abbott – Benjamin Franklin

Courtenay – Abraham Lincoln

Everett – Daniel Webster

Gammel – Roger Williams

Hilliard – Captain John Smith

Ellis – William Penn

Jenkins – John Caldwell Calhoun

Everett – Patrick Henry

Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum For FREE
Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum For FREE

Adam – The Lewis and Clarke Exploring Expedition

Sumner – Alexander Hamilton

Tuckerman – Peter Stuyvesant

 

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Young Folks Pictures and Stories of Animals Vol 1-6 by Sanborn Tenny

tenney-sanborn-iconSanborn Tenny was born in 1827 and was a student of science because he saw the omnipotent God in the creation around him.

Young Folks Pictures and Stories of Animals Vol 1

 
Young Folks Pictures and Stories of Animals Vol 2

 
Young Folks Pictures and Stories of Animals Vol 3

 
Young Folks Pictures and Stories of Animals Vol 4

 
Young Folks Pictures and Stories of Animals Vol 5


Young Folks Pictures and Stories of Animals Vol 6

 

Read more about Sanborn Tenny  here.

 

Visit my Facebook Group for more FREE Homeschool Resources and learn to Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum for FREE.

Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum For FREE
Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum For FREE

Our Favorite Grammar Books in the Public Domain

monkey-236861_1280I love these grammar books and find it difficult to say which I love more. They are simple and to the point but each of the authors has been so creative in the way grammar is approached, making it a lovely experience for all involved. These can be read aloud by the parent or used for independent study. For those that have questions and exercises, I found most are handled well with an oral discussion. Few lend themselves only to a written response. Both of my older students are using their for independent study this year. I let them choose the one they wanted, so grammar is never a subject they avoid. Many of these darling little books only contain 35-40 exercises allowing them to be the perfect supplement to your writing curriculum. My children usually focus on the lesson 1-2 days which opens the rest of the week to writing assignments for other subjects. Other books in this collection are teacher guides for oral exchange and have daily lessons including theory and practice.


The Child’s Own English Book
is just plain adorable with its personable read aloud style and games to play with child after Mommy has read. The games provide a combination of both oral and written exercises for customizing a lesson for your little one. For the younger student, best read orally than in independent study.

First Lessons in English is mostly exercises for the child, so that the child can learn and then use what he has learned often. Included are both oral and written exercises including cursive copywork.

Primary English Grammar is simple and straightforward. This book covers the basics in the eight parts of speech. In completing one section, it provides 40 weeks of learning.

Grammar Made Easy for Beginners speaks directly to the reader, this charming little book teaches the parts of speech thoroughly. This book was written specifically to make a regularly boring subject pleasing to the reader.

Each part of Speech plays its own part in Grammarland. The kids get lost in all the drama and learn the grammar in the process. You can use this as a read aloud alone or can add these Grammarland Worksheets. Here are some alternative Grammarland Worksheets and Game. Librivox provides Grammarland Audio for readers as well.

Harvey’s Elementary and Composition even further breaks down grammar and the written word. Heavier on the written exercises to focus on the polished and effective composition of text. Thorough in its explanation and graduated in exposure of material for the ease learning.

Elementary Grammar is a more advanced and in-depth look at Grammar, with over 130 exercises and 62 lessons.

There are our favorites, but here are more you may like:

Elementary English Grammar

First Lessons in English Grammar

browsing-15824_640
Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum for FREE

Lessons in English

Excelsior English Studies in English Grammar

Hart’s Elementary Grammar

An Elementary Grammar of the English Language

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More on Reading Levels, Finding the Right Book

So, how do I find the right book for my child? I don’t want a book that is too difficult and will halt progress. Iblack-and-white-28791_1280 don’t want something too easy that will not challenge and encourage growth.

This is a question every mom considers when making plans to help her child learn to read. I have some ideas I would like to share with you. They are strategies I have used in the classroom, and I still consider them in my home, when schooling my own children.

I think we all agree that no matter how far behind or how far ahead of the “average” child our child is, we must start at the skill level they have mastered. Moving ahead when a child is not ready will confuse him. Lagging behind when a child is ready to move forward will leave them feeling unengaged. In either case, they may question if learning is worth the effort. We want to avoid both situations and build a love for reading.

Fortunately, finding a books for your child is not a difficult task. We are going to visit two ways to get your child matched with the right  books. The first is by perusing the library. Take your child to a section of the library that you think would meet his level and interests. In our library, we have a place for picture books, children’s chapter books and nonfiction, teen chapter books, and adult novels and non-fiction.

I like to require my children to choose something from both the fiction and non-fiction to check out. I ask them what topic they would like to read about and help them find that section. I give them ample time to pull books from the shelf about their chosen topic. Sometimes another topic attracts them and that is okay. I encourage them to read a page or two from any section of the book. If is is too hard for them to read and they do not understand100_1031 what they are reading, they can put it back. This is not a strict rule, because my oldest has learned to use Google and the dictionary to look up words, concepts and background information to help her understand the book. These are books that are great for instructional reading, reading that includes new concepts and vocabulary in a new context.

However, there is also a time for books that are right on your child’s level. These books are meant to be enjoyed. Your child should not struggle with vocabulary or concepts in these books. With these books you will most likely discuss things like plot, characters, and setting or use these books to teach concepts like cause and effect and other reading skills. It is much easier to teach these reading skills with books they are familiar and comfortable with. Checking for understanding daily will ensure your child has books suited for his comprehension level.

Another way to ensure your child is reading books on his independent level is to get a sampling of different leveled books and have discussions after reading to assess comprehension and find the level he best understands when reading solo. Your library probably shows the reading level of books in their card catalog, and you may be able to search it by reading level. If not, you can use the Scholastic Book Wizard to help you find books by whatever reading level measure is easiest for you. I find that grade level equivalent is easiest for most.  For a book that has a Grade Level Equivalent of 2.6, it would be an independent reader for a typical child in his second year and 6 month of reading, but children vary greatly. This chart might be helpful in translating the correlation of the other reading level measures for you. Choose a starting point for your assessment and then choose books on either side of that level. If you decide to start with leve 3.0, then check out books between 2.5-3.5. If you are not familiar with reading levels, your guess might be off quite a bit in either direction, but before long, you will be able to pick up a book and tell its level by reading a page or two. When I was teaching, I liked to choose one fiction and one non-fiction to assess reading level comprehension. It provided me with more information about strengths of the child’s reading. To read more about choosing books and the discussion used to assess comprehension read my other article on Reading Levels. I start the discussion about halfway down the page.

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If the library is not convenient or you simply can’t wait to get started you can visit Reading A-Z‘s site and pull down 1-2 samples from different levels, using the free trial. You can download a couple to start with and if you find the chosen books are not the right level after your discussion, you can download more, either above or below the level you started. Once you have discovered his new reading level, you can decide whether re-evaluate once a quarter or in whatever intervals you are comfortable with. You may be happy simply seeing him read more difficult text as you make trips to the library or assign him books for his learning.  If you choose to evaluate, you might want to get him involved in setting goals of where he would like to be in 3-4 months. He may think that he wants to see progress sooner. You can assess more often if he is comfortable.

It doesn’t matter what method you choose. Both of these methods work. I have used both with great success. Many times a child will tell you a book is to easy or too hard simply by putting it aside. Be sensitive to the choices your child makes and continue with informal assessments of comprehension. You will soon be able to pick out books that fit both his interest and skill level. I guarantee he will think you have some magical skills in finding the right book for him.

Come visit my Facebook Group for FREE homeschooling resources and learn how to Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum for FREE.

Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum For FREE
Build Your Own Homeschool Curriculum For FREE

Free Singapore Math Curriculum Resources

school-307641_1280We love Singapore Math, but I have made a commitment to homeschool on a dime so that we can afford some of life’s luxuries on a shoestring budget. I’m always amazed at the generosity of others by what they are making accessible for free.. Here are some of the resources we are using and a couple thrown in to give you some choice.

Full Curriculum

These are not Singapore Math, but are so similar my children do not know the difference, we are using the first set of books for each of my kiddos in conjunction with one of the tutorial links I’ll be adding down the page a bit.

Center for Innovation in Mathematics has a fantastic curriculum to download. I only download the student book and use the other resources over the computer screen when necessary. It helps us save on paper and ink. The curriculum covers both primary and secondary grade levels, not including kindergarten. It is just the right amount of challenging. The reason we chose this one over the next link is because this program seems to give a little more variety in the daily lesson. The program keeps the kids engaged.

Comprehensive School Mathematics Program is another curriculum similar to Singapore. This program might be liked more by those that need something a little simpler, though it is very thorough and has many components that keep it engaging. It covers all grade levels including kindergarten.

Tutorials

The kids love these tutorials from The Singapore Maths Teacher. They have really come in handy. Parents can also learn the why behind the model drawings and different ways for solving math problems. It covers grades 3rd-6th.

The Online School of Mathematics covers grades 3rd-7th. You have to set up an account to use the site. After you enter each grade level’s area, you may choose what skill to work on. There is a premium subscription but most of it is FREE.

Khan Academy has an enormous inventory of Singapore Math tutorials from grades 4th-12th.

Conceptua Math is another site with lessons. It has a premium membership, but the learning libraries are both free to view.

Worksheets

If your child needs some extra material to work on a certain mastered skill, here are some sites with worksheets.

School Kid covers grades 1st-6th.

Math in English has it all. For grades 1st to 6th. It includes worksheets and workbooks, videos and games, all based on Singapore Math.

Virtual Manipuatives

Everything is online now! Even Manipulatives. Check out Math in Focus’s iTool. I just found this. My kiddos are going to love it.

They are using Thinking Blocks now. The game guides the child through each step of the process and rewards them after a few correct answers leading them to a new level.