Tag Archives: notebooking

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

Online Art Galleries with Artist Biographies –                                http://www.abcgallery.com/alfaind.html

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snow Week

 Ice, Snow, Wind, maybe even Blizzard Conditions!  The local public and private schools will be canceling for “snow days” but not us.   “Snow Days” make some awesome learning days! Below is a great resource collection for winter studies whether you have snow or not !
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Why it’s good for us to get outside even when it’s cold –  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/01/15/but-its-cold-out-there/
Winter Weather Science Lessons, Safety Tips, and Activities  http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-winter-storms.htm
Bring some snow inside for observation and experimentation.
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A study of snow wouldn’t be complete without some research into the life and discoveries of homeschooled farmer boy turned scientist, Snowflake Bentley.     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V1cxjcRXCw
 Bentley Biography, Photos, and exhibits

Printable Writing Paper for Notebooking/Journaling. (The kids tend to write nicer/better when we use decorated paper.  I appreciate these for not using much ink.)   http://www.teacherprintables.net/free-printable-bp-holidays.html

 Bible Focus –  Psalm 147:15-18

15 He gives a command to the earth,
    and it quickly obeys him.
16 He spreads the snow like wool.
    He scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He throws down hail like rocks.
    No one can stand the cold he sends.
18 Then he gives a command, and it melts.
    He sends the breezes, and the waters flow.

Amazing and beautiful!  Macro Photographed Snowflakes  –http://www.natureknows.org/2013/11/amazing-macro-photography-of-individual.html

Fun Snowflake Resources, Activities, Recipes
Winter Weather Themed Math  –  http://www.yummymath.com/?s=winter
Snowmen – Netflix has this award winning film. Our local library has it, too.  We loved it,  (some of the themes were  on the mature side, but my younger boys did just fine with it)  Here’s a preview    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUq8VS6aa9U
Snow Week learning can still happen without actual snow!
Paper Snowflake Patterns
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 “Grow Your Own Crystal Snowflake” Kits. –  I used purple pipe cleaner sticks thinking the color would be pretty coming through the crystals.  We thought the borax crystals were fun to watch grow and turned out quite interesting!
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1800413_584443411637515_1941961007_nThis is the recipe and instructions we used for the kits.  http://creativecynchronicity.com/2011/12/crystallized-snowflakes/
Add Crystal Comparison Experiments by making Epson Salt and Sugar Solutions.  Of course you can make icicles instead of snowflakes. They fit better in smaller jars.
Snow Dough –  2 cups baking soda, 1 cup corn starch, 1 1/2 cups water. Combine all ingredients in sauce pan. Cook over medium high. Stir continuously until it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes. Move dough to bowl and cover w/a towel until cool. Knead well. Store in airtight container.
Sensory Cloud Dough –  Baking Soda and White Hair Conditioner also   Flour with Baby Oil works well – Just mix until the texture feel right to you
Put tortilla shells goes on the grocery list! These dessert snowflakes are fun to make and really yummy!
Cut round flour tortilla shells into snowflakes, lightly fry in oil then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
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Homemade Crockpot Hot Cocoa is a delicious warm up to any snow day!
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
 cup-s whole milk
2 ups heay whipping cream
2 teaspoons anilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients in a 4-quart crockpot.  Stir well.  Cover and cook on low for 2 hours stirring occasionally. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream.    Stirring with a peppermint stick is tasty, too!
Stay warm and enjoy learning with snow!
imagesbetty jo

HAPPY JOYGERM DAY!

DSCF0008According to the special days in January list, January 8th is Joygerm Day!  I’ve caught it (once again) and plan on trying my very best to make sure my family catches this germ and continues to spread it.  It’s my understanding that the joygerm is highly contagious!  You don’t even have to be in a physical setting to give it to someone else.  It can be spread through a phone, computer, or a letter.  You know, not all germs are bad, some are wonderful!

Below are some of the study links we’ll be following as our homeschooling special days lessons.  Learning together today is going to be great!

Joygerm Day background   http://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/joy-germ-day/

For Bible Study and Journaling

Many “joy” Bible quotes to choose from any version of choice  (just type in “joy” in the search bar)  http://www.biblegateway.com/

Famous quotes about joy  http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/joy.html

For Science:

Happiness:  Contagious as the Flu is a good article explaining the science of joy  http://www.livescience.com/3110-happiness-contagious-flu.html

For “Socialization” (because we home educators have to get that included) the assignment is simple….”be intentional about spreading joy to others”.

I hope that you, dear reader, get infected with the Joygerm as well (if you haven’t been exposed to it yet) and contaminate many others!

betty jo

Arrrrgh! Pirates!

1328026975arvadacenter-pirate-tattoos-big-pngAccording to the special days in September calendar, the 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day!  And on our planner, it’s the last day of our pirate unit study that we have been working on a couple of days a week for the past several weeks.  It’s been a fun and interesting study.  Below are some of the resources we have been using.

For pirate biographies, dictionary, lore, sea sickness, and more  http://the-pirate-ship.com/

For learning about how much work it was to sail a full-rigged ship  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6DZIvMZWzQ

Since pirates needed sewing skills for sail repairs we have added some sewing instruction to our lessons.

https://sewing.com/hand-sewing-stitching-basics/

How to tie knots was also a valuable pirate expertise, so we gave that a try as well.  This site has step by step knot tying instructions   http://www.netknots.com/rope_knots/

Navigation  was another important sailor skill  PDF from nps.gov

This PDF is the instructions for making a cork and needle compass  http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/for_fun/MakeyourownCompass.pdf

Our lapbook board  (we glued these to file folders once the unit study was finished).

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Free unit studies and lapbook printables along with book lists and other links to follow  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/connections__pirates.php

“Why are pirates called pirates?”   –   “They just arrrrrr!”  and, lots of other pirate jokes for kids   http://www.enchantedlearning.com/jokes/topics/pirate.shtml

Blackbeard, pirate, and treasure chest printable notebooking pages  http://www.teacherfiles.com/resources_bp_ss.htm

More pirate themed notebooking pages  http://edgalaxy.com/printable-paper-for-teachers/2012/9/22/pirate-themed-writing-pack.html

Pirate Adventure Writing Prompts                                                                         https://writeshop.com/pirate-printable/

These are a few of our library finds.

994563_499037283511462_2074833300_nMovies and music!

12693220px-Pirates_who_dont_do_anything_posterPirates_of_the_Caribbean_movie

Interactive sunken treasure game  http://nationalgeographic.org/education/multimedia/interactive/maps-tools-find-sunken-treasure/

Interactive “Walk the Plank” and Pirate themed Math Games https://www.math4childrenplus.com/?s=pirate

And “Talk Like a Pirate Day” Math Lesson                                                                https://www.yummymath.com/2018/talk-like-a-pirate-day-viral-growth/

Our chalkboard wall mural.  The instructions for how to draw a pirate ship from here were  quite helpful.  http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/drawing/how-to-draw-pirate-ships.htm

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In conclusion to our pirate unit studies we attempted to make this treasure chest cake! https://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com/category/other/pirate/treasure-chest/

treasure-chest-cake-recipe-photo-420-0497-FF0403CAKEA19Haha!  Another “Pinterest Fail”, but still tasted good!

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For more resources for special days in September click here

Wishing you smooth sailing!

betty jo

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Attentiveness

ear

This past school year I added some character development studies to our homeschooling lessons.  These studies have proved to be a great opportunity for our family.  Homelife Ministries has wonderful family character quality guides.  E and B found much to notebook and journal about and as a family, we found much to discuss, memorize, and put into practice.  J, Z, and I made several lapbooks of the same studies from Homeschool Share.   The Homeschool Helper Online has some good ideas for character studies, too.  (Links are at the end)

I was able to include the subjects of Bible, History, Science, Music and Language Arts into each study making for simplified days with lots of time to pursue elective interests.  These charactier development lessons were a welcome break in between topics in our usual history studies.  We  completed six such studies this past year.  We will be adding more next school year.

“Pay attention! ” “Watch what you’re doing.”  “Listen.”  These are things parents say to their children on a regular basis.  I know I say these often during our homeschooling days, whether it is during math, cooking, art, or whatever.  If I would listen, I would hear the Father saying those same words to me just as often.   Attentiveness seems to be an across the board kind of character trait that both my children and myself need to further develop.  Attentiveness was good place to start with our new studies.  Though all of our character development lessons were good, this one was my favorite.  This one is also the most reviewed one.

This is J’s and Z’s attentiveness lapbook.   I covered the back with  clear contact paper so they can do the wordsearch puzzle with washable markers again and again.

 attentive 1  attentive 2

Below are the free resources I used for this and our other character development studies.  These are the links I’ll be going to again as we continue our lessons when our homeschooling starts back full time in the fall.

Hymns, Scriptures, application, examples, and science connections for copywork,  notebooking, journaling, and discussion from  http://www.characterjournal.com/  (scroll down a little bit then select the character quality from the list on the right sidebar)

Lapbooking and notebooking materials  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/character_lapbook.php

A few more ideas from  http://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com/character_studies.shtml

For other posts about character development  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/08/keeping-the-code/ and https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/10/calling-for-reinforcements/ and  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/05/10/but-he-has-a-good-heart/  and  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/10/1654/

betty jo

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Absolutely No Pinching!

A Wish for a Friend

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

This is an Irish blessing we read with part of our holiday unit study of Saint Patrick’s Day.  This poem and other Irish blessings, as well as everything else Irish can be found here:

http://islandireland.com/index.html

Write your own Irish Limericks with the help of this printable information page and writing pages                                                                                https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/St-Patricks-Day-Limericks-120141?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_campaign=LimerickPin

We are using these free printables for notebooking                           http://www.cyncesplace.com/friday-freebie-st-patricks-notebooking-pages/

These two quotes from St. Patrick are going to look great on our pages!

st patrick 2

st. patrick

We like playing “Would You Rather …?” games. Here’s one just for Saint Patrick’s Day. Some of these questions are crazy! All of them set up some awesome discussions.                    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/St-Patricks-Day-Would-You-Rather-Questions-119297

We made these shamrock treats!  Hershey Kiss, Green M&M’s, and Pretzels – Bake at 275 Degrees for just a couple of minutes until the Kiss has melted.  Watch carefully not to over cook, because burnt chocolate happens easily!

shamr

We have a few new rules during this study:  must wear green, Irish accents and phrases are mandatory, if anyone finds a pot-o-gold they must share with Mom, and ABSOLUTELY NO PINCHING!

Last but not least, a brief history video on St. Patrick from Veggie Tales 

St. Patrick’s Mix Playlist