Category Archives: teacher resourses

Relaxation VS Stress – Resource List

Understanding stress and how to relax are life lessons I want my boys to grasp.  According to Special Days in August, the 15th is “Relaxation Day” and the perfect time for us to focus on this topic.  I’ve gathered some resources for our homeschooling lessons and want to share them with you.

“Relax” Synonyms and Antonyms

Free K-12 Teacher Guides –  What stress is and how to manage it.

Best Foods for Stress Relief

Bible Verses About Stress

Top Relaxation Techniques for Children

Relaxation Music and Nature Sound Playlist 

Make a Stress Ball

Massage Tips

Articles with Audio for Students:

The Story on Stress

Five Steps for Fighting Stress

Help Yourself Destress 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

betty jo

The Great American Solar Eclipse

Monday, August 21 is the date of the Great American Solar Eclipse.  However, there is much to learn and observe before the event!  Below is the collection of online resources we’ll be using for eclipse lessons and to prepare for the viewing.

Everything You Need To Know About the Solar Eclipse – Explanations, Diagrams, DIY Safe Viewing Projects, and more!

Animated and Interactive Eclipse Maps  –  Find out when and where

Eclipses: Crash Course Video

Eclipse Live Stream

Eclipse History –  NASA’s collection of historical eclipses starting with about 5000 BC including Chinese, Babylonians, and Greeks to current times.

Ancient People and the Solar Eclipse  –  Video

Solar Eclipse Folklore, Myths, and Superstitions

Eclipse in the Bible

A Day With Two Dawns  –  Free Eclipse Ebook and Resources from Apologia

Eclipse Kit   –  Resources and STEM activities from NASA

Lapbooking and Notebooking Printables

Eclipse Quotes

Eclipse Vocabulary List with Games and Puzzles 

Free Eclipse Printables and Resources

Eclipse Art Projects

Math Lesson  –  Geometry of a Solar Eclipse

Our town is one of the prime totality viewing spots. We’ve decided to avoid the crowds that are expected at the various events and have our own back yard party.

For the party!

Ideas and Planning Tips

Music Playlist

Snacks

Sun, Moon, and Stars Coloring Sheets (most of these are suitable for teens and adults)

betty jo

 

 

 

Special Days and Science

There are many opportunities for science lessons on each Special Days list!  Scientist and Inventor birthdays, invention and technology patents, animal days  health related observances and awarenesses, food themes,  conservation topics, weather related themes. discovery and disaster anniversaries, and even more!  (See right sidebar for the current month’s list or use the search bar to access other months.)

For an example of how many science themed lessons are possible from a typical Special Days list,  here’s what some of the August themed science study choices are.

  • Botony – Cactus, Daffodil,
  • Anatomy – Eyes
  • Chemistry – Gold, Nuclear Tests, Salt
  • Health – Immunization, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Fresh Breath, Sarcoidosis, Relaxation,
  • Geology with Labs – Water Quality, Sand, Wind, Mt. Vesuius (earthquakes),
  • Zoology – Catfish, Sea Serpent , Lion,  Lizard, Elephant, Honey Bee, Orangutan, Mosquito, Whale Shark
  • Nutrition, Growing information, and Facts – Coffee, Kiwifruit,Orange, Peach, Papaya, Potato, Zucchini
  • Astronomy with Labs- Solar Eclipse, Meteor Showers, Echo 1, Viking 1 &2, Gemini 5, Pluto
  • Scientist/Inventors/Inventions/Discoveries/Technology – Escalator, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, Neil Armstrong, Mimeograph Machine, Marvin Minsky, Florence Merriam Bailey, Phonograph, Wrench, Aviation, Canals, Roller Coaster, Radio, Lionel Cowen, Lee DeForest, Antoine Lavoisier, Carl Bosch, Charles Franklin Kettering,  Waffle Iron, Kinetoscope, 1st Solar Power Car, Slinky.

I absolutely do not expect to cover all of those science themes and days. I will have to narrow it down as I work on our weekly plans.  Some of our choices will not be a complete study but will be quick review discussion of past lessons. Others might be as simple as an online search of images or video or a definition while other science days will include more in-depth lessons and activities and could continue over several days.

Nearly all of our science lessons for the past 3 years have come from the ever growing Special Days lists. We check with our local library for books and videos. Also, a quick “Google” search will provide all kinds of ideas and resources for a DIY science study.  I highly recommend including the words ” for students”, “for kids”, or “lesson plans” to rule out search results that won’t be of much help to you.  Also, I will often include the word “free” in my search!

There are a few online resources that I tend to use over and over and I’ve listed those by topic below.

Scientists Biographies Resources:

Inventions Resources:

Resources for Animal Days (Zoology):

Resources for health related themes:

Chemistry –

Physics

Geology

Astronomy

  • Sky Guides                                                                                      https://www.almanac.com/astronomy
  • Text, Videos, Games                                                                               https://www.kidsastronomy.com/
  • NASA Space Place                                                                                               https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/

This post is actually ‘Part 4’ of a series in which I’m explaining how my family learns across the curriculum with topics selected from the Special Days list. For the series introduction click here. For Part 1,  how we use famous birthdays for biographies with resources, click here. And, Part 3 – geography with resources click here.   Part 4 – electives and extras will be coming soon!

betty jo

 

 

 

 

 

Louie Armstrong

Short Biography

Acheivements

Museum Collections

Photo Gallery

Jazz Terms Glossary 

Jazz Slang     (Parental Guidance Alert! Not all the words in this glossary are appropriate for children!)

Greatest Hits Playlist

Lyrics

Read Aloud –  When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat

Quotes

Coloring Pages

Later, Cool Cats! Catch ya on the flip!

betty jo

 

 

 

Special Days and Geography

 

 

Each month the Special Days list will include multiple opportunities for geography studies! (See right sidebar for the current month’s list or use the search bar to access other months.) Some months will have a “Heritage” theme. For example September is ” Hispanic Heritage”  so the countries of  Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America could be included in the month’s lesson plans.  Other geography lessons can be based on Statehood Anniversaries and Country Independence Days which are also included as entries in the Special Days posts. In fact, we just finished a study on The Bahamas that we began on their Independence Day  (July 10, 1973).

Both the kids and I look forward to our geography studies!     We generally include mapping activities, fun facts (natural resources, population, currency, landforms, etc.), event timeline, famous people, key words and phrases of the language or lingo, culture, music, art, landmarks, religion(s), holidays, unusual customs, a recipe, a video tour, a postcard art project, and occasionally another hands-on project.  We have a binder that we continue adding to as we learn about places.

Our local library has a good selection of books and DVD’s to help with geography studies. We also get a lot of our information from web searches using the country’s name and “travel tips.  I find it good advice to preview everything before sharing with your family!

Below is my online “go-to” list when preparing for a geography study.

We enjoy watching  “Geography Now” videos and will check there first when looking for ‘country’ videos.   We will usually find a virtual tour or travel guide on Youtube to watch, too. (When using the Youtube search bar, I will include the words “for students” or “for kids”. This saves me quite a bit of time previewing because bad language or an inappropriate image is less likely) .

“Get all sorts of information on any country including a map, a picture of the flag, population and much more!”
http://www.ducksters.com/geography/

Maps and Facts    http://geology.com/world/world-map.shtml

Geography Project Ideas     https://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/10-hands-on-history-and-geography-activities-for-kids/

Around the World Craft Ideas                                                                                              http://www.freekidscrafts.com/world-crafts/

Country Notebooking Printables                                                 http://www.notebookingnook.com/freebie-country-study-notebooking-pages/

States Videos and Facts

http://www.history.com/topics/us-states

States Notebooking Printables                                           http://harringtonharmonies.com/2013/06/free-state-notebooking-pages-2.html

States Lapbook Printables                       http://www.homeschoolshare.com/connections__usa.php

Printable Maps                                                                   http://www.yourchildlearns.com/megamaps.htm

Blank Timeline Printables                                                                http://notebookingfairy.com/timeline-notebooking-pages/

I will often make a wordsearch or crossword puzzle to include with a country study.

Christian Resources and Prayer Projects for Country Studies  https://joshuaproject.net/global/countries

Recipe Collection from Around the World for Families                                                                             http://globaltableadventure.com/

Foreign Language Courses                                                                           http://www.languagetutorial.org/

As I’ve said before, I love combining several subjects into one topic!  I keep a daily journal and subject checklist and will often be able to checkoff Geography, History, Art/Music Appreciation and Application, Cultures, Religion,  and various sciences such as Zoology, Geology, Botany during a week long (or longer) geography based study.

Language Arts naturally fits into a geography study with the subjects of

  • Reading Comprehension,
  • Vocabulary,
  • Foreign Language
  • Composition and Penmanship

Math lessons are easily added to a geography study.

  •  Figuring travel time and costs to visit,
  • Calculate currency conversions.,
  • Use map key measurements to calculate distances from home to the place being studies
  • Graphing a map
  • Half a recipe or cook for a party
  • Temperature ranges and averages
  • Statistics  –  Population, Gross National Income, %’s, and graphs
  • Math usages from data – tallest mountains, sea level heights, river widths/lengths, area in square miles  and/or meters.
  • Anything with numbers that comes up during  a Special Days – Geography study.

(This post is actually ‘Part 3’ of a series in which I’m explaining how my family learns across the curriculum with topics selected from the Special Days list. For the series introduction click here. For Part 2  how we use famous birthdays for biographies with resources, click here. And, Part 4, science studies click here).

betty jo

 

 

 

Special Days in August, 2017

The 2017 August calendar has loads of special days!  The following list is made up of August’s holidays, observances, food themes, awareness days , famous birthdays, science and historic based anniversaries, and more.  So, if you want an occasion to celebrate, pick up some trivia, or add foods to your menu, this is the right place for you. And, of course you’ll find multiple opportunities for “on the calendar” themed studies for your family, classroom, homeschool,  co-op/support group, or club.

You will find an easy to print PDF of the list at the bottom of this post.

Special Days and Biographies

I’ve been asked several times, “How exactly do you teach from your Special Days lists?”  The answer to that comes in multi-parts, but usually starts with “Biographies, lots of biographies!”

Every Special Days list includes birthdays of famous people throughout history.  I’ll ask the boys what they know about that author/artist/scientist/historical figure/religious leader.  If they are not familiar with him/her, we’ll do biography study!  Some days we only have a brief discussion about the person, or a review if we had studied him or her in the past couple of years.  Other days we will go more in depth and I’ll include reading resources, videos, and quotes into the lessons.  Some biography studies can be finished in a couple of hours.  Some biography studies catch a bigger interest and I won’t stop the study until that interest is satisfied, even if it means having to cancel my other special days lesson plans for a week or more.  Whoever we miss, we can try to catch next year or the year after when their special day happens again.

This past school year we started notebooking some of our biography studies and plan to continue with this for the upcoming school year.   We arranged the pages in a timeline order and as the notebooks fill up, we can start a new one.  However, the boys prefer projects over notebooking, so we’ll do some of each.

Below is my “go-to” resource list for online resources for biographies, how-to’s, and notebooking printables.  Also, our local library has a wonderful collection of biographies and Youtube has many video biographies suitable for children and youths, so don’t forget to check those when you are looking for resources.

Alternatives to Writing Biographies  –  Biography Project Ideas 

Lesson Plans for 6 sessions of the “Writer’s Workshop  – The Biographical Sketch” http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/writers-workshop-biographical-sketch-1039.html?tab=4#session1

How to Write a Biography  –                                                           http://www.howtowriteabiography.org/

100+ Biographies and Printables (These are short and written for younger readers, however older students will find these helpful as a starting place when researching a historical person.  Also the printables are a useful for work samples for portfolios or history based notebooks)   http://gardenofpraise.com/leaders.htm

Artists Biographies  –                                                                 http://www.vangoghgallery.com/artistbios/

Composer Biographies with Music Selections                                   http://www.classicsforkids.com/

Kid Safe Scientist Biographies Resources-                                                   http://www.kidtopia.info/science_biography.html

President Biographies Resources  –https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/02/14/resources-for-presidents-day/

Church Leaders, Missionaries, Hymn Writers, and Evangelists Biographies  http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/index.html

Kid Safe Online Encyclopedia  –            http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies

1000’s of Biography E-books to download or read online  http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Biographies_%28Bookshelf%29#Pierre_Abelard

When we write biographies, we generally include the person’s birth and death dates, where they were from, a childhood fact or two, and their accomplishments as adults including spouse and children.  We will usually add a quote to the notebooking page, too.

Biography Notebooking Printables from The Notebooking Fairy

Author

Scientist

Artist  

Composer

Presidents

Timeline Facts

For Any Person 

Inventors (from Homeschool Share)

Missionaries  (from the Proverbial Homemaker)

Composers (from Homeschool Giveaways)

Portraits of Historical Figures (public domain)  for when we want a photo to print off for the notebooking page                                                   http://www.lib.utexas.edu/exhibits/portraits/index.html

Sometimes we’ll look over a history timeline to get the idea of what was going on in the world during our subject’s life.                                                             https://www.factmonster.com/us/timeline-archive

In accordance with my state’s homeschooling regulations, I keep a daily subject checklist.  On biography days I will check off the relevant History/Science/Art/Music and Reading Comprehension boxes. And, if we made a notebooking page I’ll check off Composition and Penmanship, too.  Don’t you just love it when one topic can cover multiple subjects!

And every now and then we’ll bake and decorate a birthday cake because …

I’d love to hear how you go about biography studies!  Please share about them in the comments.

(This post is actually ‘Part 2’ of a series in which I’m explaining how my family learns across the curriculum with topics selected from the Special Days list.  For the series introduction, Special Days and the Evolution of Morning Calendar Time, click here. For Part 3, Special Days and Geography click here. For Part 4, Special Days and Science click here)

betty jo