Category Archives: Literature

Around the World in 80 Days

In Jules Verne’s novel, Around the World in 80 Days, the calm, orderly main character, Phileas Fogg, makes a wager that he can travel around the world in eighty days.  He does this on October 2, 1873.  Today we have fun holiday in honor of this fictional occasion, “Phileas Fogg Win a Wager Day”! If your family hasn’t read Around the World in 80 Days, October 2 would be a perfect time to start. Of course, anytime is a good time to begin such a thrilling adventure.

We chose to “read” this classical story via audio a couple of years ago and the whole family loved it!  The reader from “Loyal Books” was excellent.  Please note that Around the World in 80 Days is not a children’s book. There are some rather mature scenes in Verne’s tale, however my youngest (11 at the time) was fine after some discussion. Actually, this book inspired a lot of discussion.

Here’s a collection of resources to add some extra fun and some lessons to the reading.

Learn to Play Whist   (this is the game that Phileas Fogg was playing when he begins his adventure)                                                                                                                     

Listen to the audio book                                                                 

Read the book                                                                                         

Several Free Printables              

Study Guide                                                                                          

Map of the trip      

Interactive Game     

Vocabulary Lists (the vocabulary is intensive)                                                                                

Oh, and the movie from 2004 staring Jackie Chan?  Let’s just say it was barely based on the book.  Just barely.

betty jo




Special Days in November, 2017

Click here for the updated BIG list of Special Days in November!


Click here for the list of Special Days in October updated for 2019!


Special Days in June, 2017

Click here for the Special Days in June list updated for 2020!

April Resources

There are many opportunities for learning from April’s calendar.  Here’s my list of learning resources for April related themes and special days!  Some of these are from our past Aprils studies, others are resources we’ll be following as we learn this April, and the rest of the resources are recommended by other homeschooling families.  Check back throughout the month as other resources will be added as they become available. And, if you have favorite April resources, let me know!

BIG List of April  themes, holidays, historic and scientific anniversaries, famous birthdays, and more!               

My favorite educational calendar resources for learning every month

April Themes Resources

Astronomy – Interactive games, videos, songs, and worksheets

Autism Awareness  –  Resources and tips for homeschooling a child on the spectrum

Card and Letter Writing  –  The basic steps for proper letter writing

Confederate History  –  Facts, Events, Battles, and People of the American Civil War

Financial Literacy – Teaching ideas, tips, and fun

Frogs  –  Learning Project and Resources

Garden  –  Big List of Ideas and Resources

Kites  –  Fun Facts –   And,  How To Build Kites Instructions  –

Listening Awareness  –  Active Listening Skills and Tips

Pet 1st Aid  –  Tips for Pet Owners

Poetry – Resource and Activity List

World Habitat Awareness  –  Facts, Project Ideas, and Games

Presidents with April Birthdays

  • Thomas Jefferson born April 13, 1743
  • Ulysses S. Grant born April 27, 1822
  • James Monroe born April 28, 1758

Presidents Learning Resources and Activities  –

Country Independence Days and Statehood Anniversaries

  • Georgia Independence – April 9, 1991
  • Zimbabwe Independence – April 18, 1980
  • Rome Founded – April 21, 753 BC
  • Sierra Leone Independence – April 27, 1961
  • Togo Independence – April 27, 1960
  • Maryland Statehood – April 28, 1758
  • Louisiana Statehood – April 30, 1812

Special Days and Geography Resources and Activities

Specific Special Days in April Resources  

April 1  –  April Fool’s Day  –  Learning Resources

April 2  –  Author Hans Christian Andersen born 1805  –  Read his fairy tales, biography and more

April 3

Explore Your Career Options Week begins *  –  Resources and Activities

April 4  –   Tell a Lie Day –  Play 2 Truths and a Lie game     

April 5  –  Easter Island “discovered” April 5,1722 – Lesson Plans, Work Sheets, Program Links, Photos

April 5  –  Activist Booker T. Washington born 1856  –  Biography and Printables

April 6  –  Artist Raphael born 1483 – Learning Resources and Activities

April 7 – Poet William Wordsworth born 1770 – Video Reading of Daffodils

April 8  –  Draw a Picture of a Bird Day  –  Step by step instructions

April 9  –  Winston Churchill Day  –  Biography, Timeline, Games, Photos and more

April 10 – Farm Animals Day – Lesson Plans, Themes, Printables, and more

April 11  –  Submarine Day – Facts,  Instructions to Make a Submarine, Experiments, and a Quiz

April 12  –  Big Wind Day  –  Wind Information and Experiments/Projects

April 14  –  Dolphin Day  –  Across the Curriculum Resources

April 14 – Citizen Science Day  –  Project Ideas to Advance Scientific Research  

April 16  –  Inventor Wilbur Wright born 1867 – Wright Brothers and Aviation Resources

Bat Appreciation Day  *– Resource Page

April 18  –   Juggler’s Day –  How to Juggle Lessons for Beginners

Poem In Your Pocket Day *    Tips and Resources

April 19 – Bicycle Day – History, Fun, and Safety

April 20 – Chinese Language Day –  Mandarin Lessons

National Park Week *  –  Virtually Explore and Learn about our National Parks

April 21  –  Naturalist John Muir born 1838  –  Lesson Plans and Student Activities

April 21 –  Queen Elizabeth II born 1926  –  Monarchs Resources and Lesson Plans

April 22  –  Earth Day  –  Across the Curriculum Learning Resources

April 23  –  Talk Like Shakespeare Day / Author William Shakespeare born 1564  –  Learning Resources

Dance Week *  –  “Homeschool Mom Approved” Youtube Dance and Exercise  Instruction Videos

April 25  –  World Penguin Day  –  Across the Curriculum Learning Resources

April 26  –

April 27  –

How I use Special Days lists in our homeschool blog series :

Special Days and the Evolution of Morning Calendar Time

Special Days and Biographies

Special Days and Geography

Special Days and Science

Special Days Archive    – Direct links to the most recent Special Days and Resource lists for each month

Remember to check back throughout the month for updates!

Happy April Learning!

betty jo

Special Days in April, 2017


Click here for Special Days in April updated for 2019!

March Resources

There’s tons of learning potential from the March calendar!  Here’s a collection of resources to use for March themes and special days lessons.

BIG List of Special Days in March

My “Go-To” List of  lesson planning resources for all months

How I use Special Days lists in our homeschool blog series

Special Days and the Evolution of Morning Calendar Time

Special Days and Biographies

Special Days and Geography

Special Days and Science

Resources for Specific March Themes 

Geography Resources –                         

Presidents with March Birthdays

  • Andrew Jackson – March 15, 1767
  • James Madison – March 16, 1751
  • Grover Cleveland – March 18, 1837
  • John Tyler – March 30, 1790

These are the resources we use to learn and review the presidents

Resources for March’s Daily Specials  –  (Some of the following are studies we’ve done in Marches past, others are recommended by other homeschoolers, and the rest are the result of  online searches for topics we may be interested in learning about.  Check back throughout the month for more resources as they become available.)

March 1  –  Yellowstone Park established 1872 – Facts, history, videos, photos, and more

March 2 – Author Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) born 1904 – Printables, crafts, and recipes

March 3  –  Alexander Graham Bell born 1847 – Biography and printables

March 4  –  Jane Goodall born 1934 – Educators resources and printables

March 4  –  Grammar Day – Lessons and quizzes                                         

March 4  –  Composer Antonio Vivaldi born 1678  –  Biography, music selections, and quiz

March 5 – Boston Massacre 1770 – Watch a short informative video with political pictures

March 6 – Artist Michelangelo Buonarroti born 1475 – We did a wonderful study on him a couple of years with an art project that still gets talked about today!

March 7 –  International Festival of Owls begins * (1st full weekend) –  Resources and Activities

March 8 – Aardvark Week begins – Videos and facts

March 9  –  Explorer Amerigo Vespucci born 1451  –  Biography and printables

March 10 – Harriet Tubman born 1820 – Biography and printables

March 11 – Johnny Appleseed Day – Research, projects, and activities

March 12  –  Alfred Hitchcock Day  –  What, Why, and How to Celebrate

March 13  –  Uranus discovered 1781                  

March 14  –  Scientist Albert Einstein born 1879  –  Lesson plans, ideas, and activities

March 14  –  Pi Day – Activities, information, and videos                         

March 15 – World Speech Day – Public Speaking Tips

March 16  –  Panda Day  –  Lapbook Lessons and Printables

March 17  –  St. Patrick’s Day – Learning resources and activities

March 18  –  Mount St. Helen erupted 1980 – Information and facts

March 19  –  Explorer/Missionary David Livingstone born 1813  –  Read his biography and learn about Victoria Falls                                                                                                  

March 20  –  Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day (Fred Rogers born 1928) – Watch episodes of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood                                                                                         

March 21 – Composer Johann Sebastian Bach born 1685 – Biography and printables

March 22 – World Water Day – Resources and Activities

March 23 – Patrick Henry delivered “Give Me Liberty” speech 1775 – Liberty’s Kids has an episode about this

March 24 – Harry Houdini born 1874 – Resources for learning magic tricks

March 25  –  Tolkien Reading Day – Lit Study guides available for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy                                                              

March 25  –  Manatee Appreciation Day * (last Wed.) –  Lapbook Lessons  and Printables

March 26 – Poet Robert Frost born 1874 – “Tea Time” biography

March 30 – Artist Vincent Van Gogh born 1853 – Appreciation lesson plans and activities

March 31 – Eiffel Tower opened 1889 – Fun facts

Happy March Learning!

betty jo

February Resources


There are fantastic opportunities to learn from the February Calendar.  Here’s a collection of free resources for teaching and learning this month!

The BIG list of February’s holidays, observances, food themes, awareness days , historic figures, composers and authors birthdays, science and historic based anniversaries, and more!  Click here for the updated Special Days in February 

Printable Special Days in February

Here’s my “go to” list for ideas, lesson plans, printables, book suggestions and art projects for calendar studies

Presidents with February birthdays

  • Ronald Reagan – Feb. 6, 1911
  • William Harrison – Feb. 9, 1773
  • Abraham Lincoln – Feb. 12, 1809
  • Presidents Day –  * (3rd Mon.) ,
  • George Washington  – Feb. 22, 1732

We study and review the presidents this way –

Bird Feeding – Resources, Lesson Plans, and Activities

E-books, research projects, and family learning activities to go along with February themes such as Chocolate, Strawberries, Bird Watching, Library, Susan B. Anthony, Bubble Gum, Circles   –

Black History Month  –  Biographies, interactives, and printable worksheets

Free Resources for Specific Special Days in February  (Check back during the month, I’ll add to the resource list as more resources become available)

Feb. 1  –  Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week begins  –  Resources and Activities  –

Feb. 1 –  Robinson Crusoe Day  –  Activity Guide  –

Feb. 1  –  Serpent Day  –  Notable Snakes  –

Feb. 1  –  1st US Supreme Court 1790  –  Lesson Plans, Interactives, and Discussion Guide  –

Feb. 2 – Groundhog Day  – The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club- livestream, teacher’s resources, history, and more –

Feb. 3 – Artist Norman Rockwell born 1894 – PDF Family Guide from the Norman Rockwell Museum –

Feb. 4 – Thank a Mailman Day – Printable Pack –

Feb. 4 – Artist Appreciation Day – This was unanimously our family’s favorite art study ever! –

Feb. 5 – Weatherman’s Day –  For anything weather related, this is the best “go to” site  –

Feb. 6  –  Baseball’s Babe Ruth (George Herman) born 1895  –  Articles, Stats, and Photos  –

Feb. 7 –  Author Laura Ingalls Wilder born 1867 –  –  Be sure to check out what’s available at the library.  Ours has her picture stories for younger kids as well as The Little House collection and the tv shows on dvd.

Feb. 8 – Kite Flying Day (It’s February!  I do not see us out flying kites.)  NASA has a kite simulator and other kite information.  Scroll down for the category “Kites”

Feb. 9 – Random Acts of Kindness Week begins – ideas for your family to make a difference –

Feb. 10 – French and Indian War Ends 1763 – study resources –

Feb. 11 – Inventor’s Day/Thomas Edison born 1847 –   Edison Unit Study

Feb. 13  –  Stamp Collectors Day  –  Lesson Plans and Activities

Feb. 13  –  Artist Grant Wood born 1892  –  Artist, Art, and Project Lesson Plan

Feb. 14  –  Frederick Douglass Day  –  Biography and worksheet printables

Feb. 14 – Huge list of Valentine’s Day Resources –

Feb. 15 – Galileo Galilei born 1564 –

Feb. 16 – King Tutankhamen’s Tomb opened 1923 –  Article, photos, and a quiz –

Feb. 17  –  Presidents’ Day * (3rd Mon.)  –  Learning Resources  –

Feb. 20  –  Photographer Ansel Adams born 1902  –  Gallery                     

Feb. 21 – Washington Monument dedicated 1885 – Photos and history –

Feb. 23  –  Composer George Frederick Handel born 1685 – Biography and Music Audio Show

Feb. 24 – Author Wilhelm Grimm born 1786 – Read Brothers’ Grimm Fairy Tales online in the language of your choice –

Feb. 25 – Artist Rierre Renoir born 1841 Biography, lesson resources, and gallery –

Feb. 26 – Grand Canyon National Park established 1919 – Explore online –

Feb. 27 – Author Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow born 1807 – Tea Time Study –

Feb. 28 – Smokey the Bear introduced 1944 –  Story, history, and fire prevention –

Happy February Learning!

betty jo