Category Archives: Extra Curricular

The Super Bowl


A few years ago I put together a cross curriculum resource list for Super Bowl related lessons.  I have updated the post for 2017 and super Bowl 51!.






betty jo




Free Learning Resources for the Olympic Games


Our first Special Days unit study of the new school year will be based on the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.  I’ve been lesson planning and collecting resources.  And, I’ve found some fantastic free online learning resources to share with you!

Homepage for the Rio 2016 Olympics!

Olympic Sports Schedule

Meet mascots Vinicius and Tom and learn what they are and who and what they represent

Free Summer Olympic Lapbook Printables

Brazil facts, interactive, and printables

Great selection of Oylmpic and Brazil free printables for all subjects and levels (you’ll need an account and it’s free to set up and won’t take long)

4 Olympic Bible verses and homeschooling ideas

Olympic Maps!  Maps and information of participating countries, Brazil, Reno, the torch relay, venues, history, events, and more

Olympic Current Event Articles for kids

Olympic Atheletes’ faith based current event articles for families

Olympic Vocabulary List with interactive and printable puzzles

“Lighting the Olympic Torch”, “Swimsuits – What A Drag”,  “Which Olympic Sport…”  math lessons adaptable for any level.  I use this site often and anticipate other Olympic math lessons to be released throughout the next few days

Olympics history and trivia interactive quizzes

Watch videos that teach about the elements gold and silver

“Mr. Science” with Hooked on Science and a kid scientist explain how your big toe can determine your athletic potential.

Play Olympic Interactive Games

“How to Be a Good Sport” article and tips for kids  with audio and printing options

“What If I Don’t Like Sports?”  article and tips for kids  with audio and printing options

List of “Sports  Injuries” and athlete health articles with audio and printing options

Learn to speak Portuguese (the official language in Brazil) with flash cards and games. Lots of other Brazil  .

Portuguese language printable worksheets and quizzes

Lots of Olympic activities, printables, and craft ideas

Brazil and Olympic themed crafts and activities.  I love the coloring page of Rio!

BIG list of Olympic arts and crafts

Fun and easy DIY backyard Olympic Games  ( Javelin Throw, Balance Beam, Discus Throw, Bean Bag Toss and Water Bucket Relay)

Party, food, and activity ideas

Let the Games Begin!  (August 5, 2016)

betty jo




Learning Resources for Special Days


Recently, I was asked what resources to use for teaching from the Special Days posts. Every month has different topics, but I turn to the same tried and trusted web sites as I collect resources for our Special Days learning.  Below is a list of those I find to be the most helpful when preparing our “from the calendar” studies.  I hope that you will find them helpful, too.

Special Days and Biographies –  How to and resource list

Resources for Presidents Birthdays

Special Days and Geography –  How to and resource list

Special Days and Science – How to with resource list

A monthly calendar “resource of links and things to do, things to learn and things to explore”

Wonderful resources, activities, crafts, recipes, and open ended ideas often related to seasons, holidays, and monthly themes for families and independent learners

Calendar of Books

“Food, Nutrition, and Health By the Month”

Monthly themed bulletin boards, lesson plans, activities, and writing prompts

Seasonal Themes with Resources

Daily Feature Video

Wonder of the Day

This Month in History

Bible based object lessons, games, projects, and science experiments which will often correspond with themes and holidays

Vocabulary lists to go with just about any seasonal or holiday topic

Seasonal and holiday themed math lessons and activities

Monthly Science Calendar with resources

Writing Prompt Calendar

Calendar Related Writing and Literacy Activities and Lesson Plans

Science Activities for Every Month of the Year  –

Crafts for holidays and themes

Special Days art lessons, craft projects, and activities

Elementary level printables with monthly themes including holidays, statehood anniversaries, and president’s birthdays

Seasonal and holiday interactive games and printables

I’m going to keep this handy resource list on the sidebar under the current Special Days icon link.  And, if you need some help developing a special day study, just let me know!

Happy Learning!

betty jo






History, Fireworks, Food, and Family Fun – A 4th of July Unit Study and Resource List

4th-of-JulyThe 4th of July, America’s birthday, is a fantastic opportunity for family fun, fireworks, food, and summer school learning!  I’ve found some great cross curricular and multi level resources to share as we celebrate,  explore, create, learn, review, and play through a unit study.

American Revolution Timeline starting with The Stamp Act (1765) and ending with The Treaty of Paris (1783)

Early America Resources – Documents, Photos, Biographies, and Videos

Tour Revolutionary War Battlefields                        

‘Revolutionary War’ Famous Paintings                                          

Museum of the American Revolution – Impressive collection of objects, works of art, manuscripts, and printed works!                                             

Interactive version of John Trumbull’s famous painting “The Declaration of Independence”

Guns of the Revolutionary War                                                  

History/Geography/Math Game Printable  – “Find the Lost Redcoat”   

banner_2465Liberty’s Kids is an entertaining and a favorite video resource for homeschooling families to introduce the events and people of the American Revolution.  Here’s the link to the viewers guide for all 40 episodes.

And, the link to the Liberty’s Kids Youtube channel and playlist.  All the episodes are available to view.

Schoolhouse Rock 4th of July Cartoon

4th of July Vocabulary List and Word Puzzles                                         

July 4th Writing Prompts                                                                                          

Patriotic Writing Paper Printables                             

Calligraphy Resources                                                        

Patriotic Quotes                                                         

How to Speak Like a Colonist                                           

Devotions, Quotes, Prayers, and Bible verses for Independence Day


“Why do we celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks?”  According to Slate, that answer is , “Because John Adams wanted us to.”  Link here for the full article.

Boom Pow Whizz” is an awesome article explaining the history of fireworks with a couple of suggested art and language arts activities.

Fireworks and Flags Math Activities

Learn about the chemistry of fireworks and use the handy chart of to identify what chemical compounds are used to produce different colors

And here’s more firework chemistry including a highlighted periodic table

And to find out more about the elements that make the firework colors

What’s inside a firework and step by step explanation of what happens when lit

How It’s Made – Fireworks

How It’s Made – Sparklers

Steve Spangler’s – 4th of July Science

Homemade Fireworks Instructions (advanced and probably dangerous!)        

BBQ and Grilling Safety Guide with kids

Kids Grilling Recipes and Tips

My family’s favorite 4th of July treat is this yummy and easy layered dessert using store bought angel food cake – cut into cubes, blueberries, sliced strawberries, and whipped cream.


Fun Learning Activities                                                                   

4th of July themed Bible games and activities

4th of July Party Games

4th of July themed Interactive Games

Patriotic Music for Kids

And don’t forget to check with your local library!  We found these …


And we don’t have to stop this study here!  “The Pennsylvania State House bell was rung to summon the people of Philadelphia to gather for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776.  Though the bell wouldn’t be called the Liberty Bell  until years later, the bell’s message of liberty certainly rang that day.”

The Liberty Bell –  Learning Resource List







betty jo

Learning Resources for October, 2014


October is always a favorite time of the year for my family.  It’s also a favorite month for learning!  October has a good variety of themes, foods, and daily historic events.  This link will take you to the list of Special Days in October, 2014

Below are the resource links to take you to special day studies we’ve done with our homeschooling through Octobers in the past.  I’ve also included some links that I’m thinking we’re about to use with this October’s lessons.

October Prayer Calendar Printable

October Writing Prompts

Octbricks  –  31 Days of Legos  –

Autumn and Halloween Background Lined Paper printables

Fall Themed Interactive Games  –

Bats! Cross curriculum resources   –

Fire Safety  –  A “Must Read” article   And,   Also,  Fire Facts

The Salem Witch Trials was one of our best studies last year.  Though not a “special day”, it was a nice tie in with a Halloweenish theme.  Also, this resource post has been one of the most popular posts I’ve put together.

Human Anatomy can be another Halloweenish theme.  Here’s some creative learning ideas

Crafts are great all year long, but the autumn ones are some of the best!

October offers some of the best “food themes” of the year!

Apples  –  Cross curriculum research project  –

Pumpkins  –  Here’s a “big ole’ list” of pumpkin themed resources  –

Candy  –  Play, Invent and Explore  –

Popcorn  –

Presidents Born in October:  (This link takes you to our family’s resources used for studying any president.

  • Oct. 1    –  Jimmy Carter born 1924
  • Oct. 4    –  Rutherford Hayes born 1822
  • Oct. 5    –  Chester Arthur born 1829
  • Oct. 14  –  Dwight Eisenhower born 1890
  • Oct. 27  –  Theodore Roosevelt born 1858
  • Oct. 30  –  John Adams born 1735

Oct. 2  –

Oct. 4  –  Fall Astronomy Day  This link takes you to my “go to” site for all things astronomy.

Oct. 11  –  Elenore Roosevelt born 1884  –  Here’s a nice short biography, reading comprehension quizzes and language arts printables

Oct. 13  –  Columbus Day  –  Resources and Printables

Oct. 15  –  Poetry Day  –  Homeschool Poetry Resource List  –    And, since October is at times spooky and odd,  here’s a link to study guides, summaries, and quizzes to Edgar Allen Poe’s Poetry      Also, here’s a research guide and resources for a Poe Study

Oct. 16  –  Noah Webster born 1758 and Dictionary Day (this site has much more than a dictionary!  You’ll find games, Webster biography, language history, daily buzz words, and a way to add your own made up word to a dictionary!)

Oct. 16  –  World Food Day  –  Photo Collection What the World Eats  –

Oct. 19  –

Oct. 20 –  Monster Mash Day  –  The Monster Mash song is the first one on this  Youtube Halloween song playlist     And, these kids can teach you the dance moves!

Oct. 22 –  Daniel Boone born 1734  (We’ll definitely be playing the pioneer games again. They were awesome and they were outside!)

Oct. 30  –  Radio Broadcast of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds 1938  –  Read an article and listen to the recording here

Oct. 31  –

I’ll be posting some other resource links as our studies for October develop.  I’m thinking owls and perhaps spiders.  Haunted places and monsters are being considered, too.  What are some of your October themed lesson plans?  And got links?

Happy October Learning

betty jo






2014 Sochi Winter Olympics – Teaching Resources

Winter-Olympics-LogoWe aren’t particularly “sports fans” at our house, but there are some sporting events we are occasionally interested in.  The Olympics is our top sports interest.  The 2014 Winter Olympics begins Feb. 7th.    And, as it happens at my house, where’s there’s interest, there is learning potential.

I have been planning for a Winter Olympic Unit Study and been collecting a stock pile of links for our homeschooling lessons.  I have some awesome resources for teaching during the Winter Olympic Games to share with you.

The Official Olympic Website –

Bible Based Olympic Discussion Guide for the Family –

Olympic Themed Interactive Games for Kids –

Sport Event Coloring Pages –

Support Team USA with a snowflake and a photo

Information about the 15 Sports of the Winter Games

Maps and facts of Russia –

Meet the Team USA Atheletes –

Short videos showing how skis, skates, and curling stones are made –

A Video Series of the Science of the Olympic Sport Events

Winter Olympic article series from Time Kids –

Gold (Au79), Silver (Ag47), and Bronze (Copper-Cu29)  Information from this Interactive Element Chart –

Gold, Silver, Bronze Element Videos  –

Olympic Printables and Activities –

Teaching Resources and Printables for all grades and several subjects –

Crafts and Games –

And finally, the 2014 Winter Olympics Events Schedule and TV Listings –

Know that I’m cheering for our homeschools to have winning Winter Olympics studies!

betty jo

Thanksgiving Unit Study Ideas and Resources


This week we began our Thanksgiving unit studies with a couple of Pre-Thanksgiving activities.  Below are some of the links we followed as we both reviewed and learned about the early American Settlements of Roanoke and Jamestown.

3 Articles about the history and mystery of the Roanoke Colony

Roanoke Colony Creative Writing Prompt            

Online interactive Jamestown adventure                                                                                         

This history game with Pocahontas for the younger kids

Jamestown Interactive webquest adventure

Jamestown reading comprehension and printable quiz

John Smith interactive adventure     

The Natives and The English video from Crash Course                   

In addition to the early settlement studies, we began this thankfulness Bible study with printable cards and daily question/activity suggestions

For the school days from now until Thanksgiving we we will be notebooking, crafting, cooking, reviewing, and researching  who, what, when, where, and why – everything associated with the Plymouth Colony.  We will keep journaling pages and bulletin boards of what we discover.

Below are the links we’ll be using for resources as we travel back in time to visit early America over the next few weeks.

Thanksgiving History Timeline 1541-2001

Plimoth Plantation “Just for Kids” Activities – Coloring, Talk Like a Pilgrim, Virtual Field Trip, History Detective, and more!                                                            

Virtual field trip to the first Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Myths Debunked and other Thanksgiving Articles and Child Friendly Recipes

Interactive trivia quiz

This site is my favorite of all the resources I’ve found.  We will use this site daily.

Grammar lessons with Thanksgiving themed mad libs

Thanksgiving themed notebooking, activity, and poetry copywork printable pages

Instructions and printables for writing  “Sensory” poetry

Beautiful copywork and notebooking pages while you are on this page be sure to scroll down.   A little past half way is a link that takes you to a free Squanto study and lapbook printables. Then down on the right sidebar is a link for a free download story,  Squanto’s Garden

Jokes, poems, songs, and more (scroll down and look at the left sidebar)

Stories, jokes, poems and coloring pages

Thanksgiving Math  and Printables                                                  

Thanksgiving census

Thanksgiving themed math worksheets (for younger students)

How Many Calories Are on Your Thanksgiving Plate?                  

Ideas and instructions for Thanksgiving themed arts and crafts

Outdoor Pilgram Games

Games that pilgrim children  played                          

Thanksgiving Music Playlist

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade interactive games

On nice days we’ll be getting outside for some nature observations, football (not soccer), and archery practice and just maybe some fishing.

Our science is research based (meaning the kids will have to come up with their own resources for information) and will include the following topics:

  • Human anatomy – digestive system
  • Why does Thanksgiving dinner make us sleepy?
  • Native American agriculture and nutrition of  “The Three Sisters”  (beans, squash, corn)
  • Natural Resources, plants, and wildlife surrounding the Plymouth Colony

Thanksgiving themed free downloads and printables for all levels and subjects for homeschools (you will need an account, but that is free and easy to set up)

I’m  thankful for many blessings including the homeschooling resources that I find.  It’s a tremendous help and I so appreciate the hard work and the willingness to share of those who have free sites and offer free games and printables.  I hope this season finds you also with much to be thankful for.

betty jo