Tag Archives: teaching resource links

Lionel Trains – Special Day August 25

COMICAD lionel trains catalog

According to Special Days in August the 25th is the birthday of Joshua Lionel Cowen, one of the best known toy train manufacturers of all time.  A couple of years ago, we made Cowen and toy trains a Special Day study. Below are the web links we followed as we learned.

Biography of Inventor Joshua Lionel Cowen  http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventors/cowen.htm#ON%20THE%20WEB:

Vintage films on Youtube

Inside Lionel’s Train Factory  Part 1

Inside Lionel’s Train Factory Part 2

Showroom Layouts, Part 1  –

Showroom Layouts,  Part 2  –

Play Interactive Train Games  http://www.trainarcade.com/

Read Train Stories, Play Train Games and Watch Train Videos  http://trc.trains.com/Trains%204%20Kids.aspx

Classic railroad songs playlist from the Smithsonian  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUSRfoOcUe4bjeu8QIfbrejTyT0hYVncE

And we couldn’t build an electric train, but had fun making a toy train out of recyclables!  This ended up as a bank.  Perhaps Z will start saving for a Lionel of his own?


Do you keep a timeline for your studies?  This “Timeline Add-on : Toys” is currently on sale for only $ 0.22!  http://www.currclick.com/product/36820/Timeline-AddOns-Toys?term=toys+timeline&test_epoch=0&it=1

This was one of several history studies that the kids deemed “Not Boring”!

betty jo











Learning Resources for July

july_clipartJuly’s calendar has wonderful learning opportunities!  Here’s a resource list to help teach and learn through the month.

BIG List of Special Days in July –  

Click here for Special Days in July updated for 2020!

July Prayer Calendar for Children –  http://cherigamble.com/2015/06/25/july-2015-prayer-calendar-for-children/

Resource Links for Learning from June’s Calendar  –  http://www.se7en.org.za/se7ens-july

July Science Calendar –  http://thehomeschoolscientist.com/2015-july-science-calendar/

July Themed Elementary Printables and Activities –  http://www.apples4theteacher.com/

July and Summer Themed Bible Based Activities –  http://www.christianitycove.com/

July Themed Vocabulary Word Lists –  http://myvocabulary.com/

July Daily Writing Prompts –  http://www.theteacherscorner.net/daily-writing-prompts/july/

July Themed Arts and Crafts –   http://kinderart.com/seasons/july.shtml

July Stargazer’s Guide –  http://farmersalmanac.com/astronomy/2015/06/29/looking-up-july-2015/

July and Summer Themed Math Lessons –  http://www.yummymath.com/

15 Things to do in July –  http://diyhomeschooler.com/15-things-to-do-in-july-2015/

Specific July Themed Resources –

Presidents with July Birthdays

  • Calvin Coolidge – July 4, 1872
  • George W. Bush – July 6, 1946
  • John Quincy Adams – July 11, 1767
  • Gerald Ford – July 14, 1913

Awesome learning resources for the presidents – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/02/14/resources-for-presidents-day/

July Statehood Anniversaries

  • Idaho – July 3, 1890
  • Wyoming – July 10, 1890
  • New York – July 26, 1788

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

States Videos and Facts  –  http://www.history.com/topics/us-states

Daily Specials for July, 2015  (I’ll be updating the daily specials with more resources as we go along, so check back.  And, if you have any special day resource favorites, be sure to let me know and I’ll edit them. I appreciate all the help I can get!)

July 1 – International Joke Day – Our favorite kid’s joke resources and tips – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/01/just-joking/

July 4  –  Independence Day –

July 5 –  Shark Week begins – Webcams and videos  –  http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/shark-week/

July 8 –  Liberty Bell cracked 1835  –  Learning Resources  –  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/08/the-liberty-bell/

July 14 –  Artist Rembrandt born 1606 – Learning Resources and Activities –  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/15/rembrandt/

July 17 –  Eid al Fitr – Ramadan Study Resources  –  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/12/studying-ramadan/

July 17 –  Hymn Writer Isaac Watts born 1674  –  “Tea Time” biography and resources  –  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/blog/2013/07/tea-time-with-isaac-watts/

July 28 – Author Beatrix Potter born 1866  “Tea Time” biography and resources – http://www.homeschoolshare.com/blog/2015/07/tea-time-with-beatrix-potter/

July 29 – International Tiger Day – Facts, Listen to “ROARS”, Coloring printables, and more – http://www.tigers-world.com/

Happy July Learning!

betty jo

Learning Resources for New Year’s


It’s been a wonderful holiday break from homeschooling for us, but it’s time to get back into the swing of lessons and learning.   New Year’s celebrations will be our last lesson focus of 2014 as well as our first lesson focus of 2015.  Below are the online resources we’ll be using for our study.

New Year Countdown Interactive Map  –  http://www.timeanddate.com/counters/newyearmap.html

Traditions, recipes, games, poetry, and how to say “Happy New Year” from Around the World  –   http://www.fathertimes.net/traditions.htm

And Year Review and Resolution printables  http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com/2014/12/free-family-new-years-resolution-printable.html

And New Year’s themed art and craft ideas  http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/newyearscraftsactivitieskids.html

A hands-on Bible Study with a New Year’s object lesson and playdough  http://www.christianitycove.com/new-years-lesson-committing-to-gods-hands/6281/

Times Square Ball math lesson  –  http://www.yummymath.com/2014/evolution-of-the-times-square-ball/

Photos of Celebrations Around the World  –  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/31/photos-new-years-world_n_6402768.html

How to Make Fireworks is an interesting science article and with the noises we’re hearing from around our neighborhood, an appropriate New Year’s science lesson  –  http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/brainstuff/how-to-make-fireworks.htm

The top news/current events from 2014  –  http://www.ourlittleearth.com/

Wishing you a wonderful year of learning!  Happy 2015!

betty jo



The topic of earthquakes came up back in August when we studied skyscrapers, then again in September as part of our disaster preparedness studies. Also, the third Thursday in October is the official Great American Shakeout (earthquake preparedness observance).

Since we live close to the New Madrid fault line, and the boys were interested, we took a bit of a detour from our regular lessons to focus on learning about earthquakes.  As to be expected when the boys pick the topic of study, it was fantastic.  Below are the online resources we used as we researched, experimented, and learned about earthquakes.

Earthquakes explained, facts, and information  http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-earthquake.htm

Extensive list of earthquake related vocabulary words and their definitions http://www.brighthubeducation.com/science-homework-help/53594-earthquake-vocabulary-words/

17 Bible references to “earthquakes”  https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=earthquake&qs_version=NIV

Live Earthquake Map and Stats  From Around the World (Even now that our earthquake study is over, we’re still checking this site daily.  We’re amazed at the seismic activity that goes on everyday!)   http://quakes.globalincidentmap.com/

Information about the most severe earthquakes on record past and present    http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0001767.html

How to Prepare for an Earthquake                                                                   https://thesurvivalmom.com/just-moved-prepare-earthquake/?fbclid=IwAR0zXhL63aqEkPFzwmBUd0mdiPOTibEHhaBEAFoDYCoZtcS5ZQFM3OQNlz4

I hadn’t planned on making a lapbook with this study, but Z asked if we could.  So of course we did, and it turned out wonderfully.  We made a few booklets on our own and printed off some of these resources too.   earthquake lapbook printables  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/earthquakes.php


“Earthquake Safety” video for kids and by kids and FEMA

“Deadliest Earthquake”  Documentary (B and I watched this together without the younger boys.  There’s some disturbing images shown.)

Old Zoom video instructions of how to make a seismometer.   Ours turned out great!  http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/ess05.sci.ess.earthsys.seismometer/making-a-seismometer/

Other Learning Resources from PBS (with grade level recommendations)  https://ket.pbslearningmedia.org/search/?q=earthquakes

Hands-on activities and projects.  One of these even involves Oreos!  Yes, I’ll buy Oreos in the name of “science”!                                    http://www.exploratorium.edu/faultline/activezone/activities.html

This interactive “Stop Disasters” game was tough!  We were set up as city managers and assigned the task of building, upgrading, and educating the people on safety. We were given 25 minutes to get our city in order before an earthquake hit.  The first time through the game, we were fired!  And that was the “easy” level!                                             http://www.stopdisastersgame.org/

Richter Scale Math Lesson                                                       https://www.yummymath.com/2019/california-earthquakes-and-the-richter-scale/?fbclid=IwAR0QAPbop11AA_I7o8CsLvMcx2ZfGryCTGrYWmFqoeEXTiRscZSl0RVk7hw

We took this online earthquake quiz twice.  Once before our study and again when we were finished  (we did much better the second time)  http://www.softschools.com/quizzes/science/earthquakes/quiz273.html

And of course we had to find some earthquake jokes for J –

Q: What do cows produce during an earthquake?   A: Milkshakes!

Q: What did the ground say to the earthquake?    A: You crack me up!

Q: What is an Earthquakes favorite song?   A: “Shake, Rattle and Roll!”

Actually, not “Shake, Rattle and Roll” but this one was our song through our earthquake study

betty jo



October 2 marks the anniversary of the very first publication of Peanuts (1950)!  This is one of the October “special days” the kids were interested in.  Yeah, I’m interested, too.  I grew up on Peanuts.   Below are some resource links to follow as we learn and have fun with Peanuts.  

See the first Peanuts Comic!   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:First_Peanuts_comic.png

Peanuts History Article   http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2022745,00.html

Charles Schultz biography and printables  http://makingartfun.com/htm/f-maf-art-library/charles-m-schultz-biography.htm

Faith Based Video https://www.museumofthebible.org/book/minutes/147

Read Peanuts comic strips free online  http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts

Character Profiles   https://www.peanuts.com/characters/

Step by step instructions for how to draw Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and other Peanuts characters  http://www.dragoart.com/tags/tuts/1/2945/how-to-draw-charlie-brown-characters.htm

Blank Comic Strip Printables for making our own comics  http://www.printablepaper.net/category/comics

The Peanuts  theme song   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQybajU2GNk

Theme Song Piano Lesson   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh5C1F1QNAg

Theme Song Piano Tutorial   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tidspc7AYkE&t=24s

Easy Theme Song Piano Tutorial for Beginners   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8ASSPA8OLE

Peanuts Quiz (easy)-

What’s Your “Peanuts” IQ?

Peanuts Quiz (difficult) –


And in case you’re wondering, I am going to give this study credit for literature (winks), art, music, history, and creative writing.  We may get a PE credit too  –  football kicking and baseball pitching seem to go along with the whole Peanuts theme.

Good Grief!

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  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/09/27/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 http://cherilynngamble.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/october-prayer-calendar/

October Writing Prompts  http://www.theteacherscorner.net/daily-writing-prompts/october/

Octbricks  –  31 Days of Legos  –  http://www.educatinglaytons.com/2014/09/31-days-legos/

Autumn and Halloween Background Lined Paper printables  http://www.teacherfiles.com/resources_background_paper.htm

Fall Themed Interactive Games  –  http://www.primarygames.com/seasons/fall/games.htm

Bats! Cross curriculum resources   –  http://www.franw.com/2011/10/bats.html

Fire Safety  –  A “Must Read” article  http://www.unplannedhomeschooler.com/2014/08/how-my-kids-reacted-to-night-time-fire.html   And,  http://repurposemylife.com/teaching-children-fire-safety/   Also,  Fire Facts http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/fire.html

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.  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/10/30/salem-witch-trials/

Human Anatomy can be another Halloweenish theme.  Here’s some creative learning ideas  http://www.homeschool-activities.com/human-body-for-kids.html

Crafts are great all year long, but the autumn ones are some of the best!  http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/autumnfallartscraftideaskids.html

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

Apples  –  Cross curriculum research project  –  http://www.franw.com/2013/09/apple-research-project.html

Pumpkins  –  Here’s a “big ole’ list” of pumpkin themed resources  –  http://www.blessedbeyondadoubt.com/pumpkins-free-printables-activities-recipes/

Candy  –  Play, Invent and Explore  –  http://www.housingaforest.com/candy-potions/

Popcorn  –  http://www.franw.com/2014/10/popcorn-project.html

Presidents Born in October:  (This link takes you to our family’s resources used for studying any president.  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/02/14/resources-for-presidents-day/)

  • 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.  http://www.kidsastronomy.com/

Oct. 11  –  Elenore Roosevelt born 1884  –  Here’s a nice short biography, reading comprehension quizzes and language arts printables  http://www.gardenofpraise.com/ibderoos.htm

Oct. 13  –  Columbus Day  –  Resources and Printables  http://embarkonthejourney.com/christopher-columbus-resources-printables/

Oct. 15  –  Poetry Day  –  Homeschool Poetry Resource List  –  http://homeschoolencouragement.com/poetry-ultimate-homeschool-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  http://www.gradesaver.com/poes-poetry/study-guide/short-summary/      Also, here’s a research guide and resources for a Poe Study  http://www.franw.com/2013/10/edgar-allan-poe-research-project.html

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!)   http://www.wordcentral.com/edu/index.htm

Oct. 16  –  World Food Day  –  Photo Collection What the World Eats  –  http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/what-the-world-eats-shocking-photos

Oct. 19  –

Oct. 20 –  Monster Mash Day  –  The Monster Mash song is the first one on this  Youtube Halloween song playlist  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0R_oDEvYUY&list=PLA8F349F78FC52532     And, these kids can teach you the dance moves!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ8DOL-KeWw

Oct. 22 –  Daniel Boone born 1734  (We’ll definitely be playing the pioneer games again. They were awesome and they were outside!)   https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/10/22/daniel-boone/

Oct. 30  –  Radio Broadcast of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds 1938  –  Read an article and listen to the recording here  http://www.ibtimes.com/war-worlds-radio-broadcast-turns-75-listen-orson-welles-famous-hoax-1447470

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






Resources For Learning About Skyscrapers

“SKYSCRAPERS” is one of the themes for the month of June and September 3 is “SKYSCRAPER DAY”!   Below are the links we’ll be following as we learn about skyscrapers.  This study will cover the subjects of science, math, language arts, history, geography, literature, and art.  Most of the resources will apply to all ages.

Skyscraper Day Information http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/September/skyscraperday.htm

Fun Facts About Skyscrapers http://www.factmonster.com/spot/skyscraperfacts.html  (there’s related links on the right side of the article)

How Skyscrapers Work Articles with Diagrams http://science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/structural/skyscraper2.htm

Time-lapse Construction Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdpf-MQM9vY

Virtual Field Trip – 360 degree Panoramic View from the Empire State Building http://www.nylocations.com/360-panorama/empire-state-building/

Skyscraper Emergency Engineering Lab Interactives  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/skyscraper/challenge/index.html

Videos, Lesson Plans and Printable Resources, and More http://skyscraper.org/home_flash.htm

Video Algebra Lesson  http://threeacts.mrmeyer.com/dominoskyscraper/

Window Cleaning Skyscraper Math (multiplication) Interactive Game http://www.multiplication.com/games/play/math-wash

Another math lessons will be skyscraper word problems game.  I’ll make up and write some math problems on cards. The kids will be making some too.   For example, “If the elevator travels 30 seconds between each floor and does not stop until it reaches the 37th floor.  How many minutes will it take to reach the 37th floor from the ground floor?”  We’ll each be able to come up with construction time and cost problems too.  Once there’s a stack of question cards, we’ll take turns drawing and answering.  With each correct answer, the player gets a Lego block.  The player with the highest Lego Tower will be the winner.

Skyscraper Building Activity Challenge http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Skyscraper-Challenge-A-Team-Building-Activity-279407

To add a Bible study to our lessons, I entered “skyscrapers” into the search feature at Bible.org.  I was pleasantly surprised to see more than the Tower of Babel to choose from!  https://bible.org/gsearch?search=skyscrapers

The Runaway Skyscraper written by  Murray Leinster, is a  science fiction novelette , originally published in Argosy magazine (a general-interest fiction magazine) in 1919,  now it’s a free read from Project Gutenberg  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17355/17355-h/17355-h.htm

The Two Skyscrapers Who Decided to Have a Child is one of the short stories of the Rootabaga Stories written in 1922 by  Carl Sandburg and is a free read here  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/carl-sandburg/rootabaga-stories-the-two-skyscrapers-who-decided-to-have-a-child/2206/

Skyscrapers are tall. “Tall” isn’t a greatest choice of adjectives for describing a skyscraper.  Here’s the link to synonyms and words related to “tall” for a grammar, writing, and vocabulary lesson. http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/tall

A Word Mining Game  will be another language arts connection.  After we have as many words made as possible from the letters in “SKYSCRAPER”, we’ll categorize them into the relative parts of speech they belong to, noun, verb, adjective, etc.  Then we’ll try to put those words together for silly sentences.

How to Draw a Cityscape http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/link/4534/1/1/how-to-draw-a-city.htm

Print, Cut, and Fold Skyscraper Models –

I’ve been on my local library’s web site and reserved a few skyscraper books  to pick up this week and while we’re out, we’ll take a close look at our city’s 2 tallest buildings – 19 stories and 10 stories.

betty jo

Mother Teresa


According to Special Days in August (https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2016/07/26/special-days-in-august-2016/), the 26th is Mother Teresa’s birthday.  This means that she will be our study and timeline addition of the day.  Below are the online resources I found for us as we learn about this wonderful lady and perhaps one of the greatest and most inspiring humanitarians of modern history.

A short biography for kids http://www.pitara.com/magazine/people/online.asp?story=16

Timeline – http://www.softschools.com/timelines/mother_teresa_timeline/48/

Worksheet Printables – http://www.schoolexpress.com/fws/cat.php?id=2655

The Life of a Healer a video biography – http://www.watchmojo.com/video/id/10485/

A wonderful selection of quotes – http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/mother_teresa.html

And because Mother Teresa will be such an inspiration to us, we can’t complete the study without trying to feed the poor and hungry. We’ll cover all the rest of our subjects (math, geography, science, art, grammar) through this site today  http://freerice.com/category

Just in case you don’t know about about the Free Rice site…
To simply explain, you play educational quiz games (lots of subjects to choose from) and for every correct answer you can collect rice. Real rice that goes to real people! The questions start off easy and get harder and harder. There is an option to join that would keep track of progress and your place in the games so each time you visit you may play from where you last left off. Or you can just play without sign up/sign in. Also, they offer a couple of printables and lesson plans (I liked the creative writing idea).

betty jo



Current Events Resources


“Oh, you homeschool?  Your children won’t know about the real world…”  Blah, blah, blah.

As home educators we have a huge advantage when it comes to teaching world events as they unfold.  We are not limited to only an occasional news study.  We are not tied to a lesson plan that leaves no room to learn about something important happening.  Homeschoolers (for the most part) are highly aware of the “real world”.

For our family, world current events always has a part in our weekly studies.  Current events lessons can inspire prayer projects, set the stage for discussions/debates,  lead to geography/culture studies, and make great essay/report assignments.  It’s so very important for all of us to know what’s happening in the world.  Even as we “shelter” the children,  through current events studies they will gain knowledge of the world.  Also, they will understand some of the reasons why we are “sheltering” them.

For record keeping purposes, current events counts towards social studies and will often include other subjects such as reading comprehension, geography, arts, science, history, politics, and religion, too.

This past week  I was asked to share some resources for adding current event studies to the homeschooling curriculum.  Below are the links  to free online current events sites for kids .  The ones with the * in front of them are sites that our family frequently uses, the others were recommended by other homeschoolers.




*  http://www.timeforkids.com/


* http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/news/


*  http://www.youngzine.org/

*  http://www.dogonews.com/




K-12 Current Event Resources from the Smithsonian  http://tweentribune.com/

Daily News Videos for Kids (You can view without signing up, but sign up is free and you can receive more resources.)  http://www.channelone.com/

And here’s a couple of  additional links we like to follow with our current event studies.  Sometimes we just need some good news or at least know what those of Christian faith are actively doing about the bad news.  (Sometimes I choose not to include the younger boys, as the articles can occasionally be mature and graphic.)

*  http://www.persecution.com/

*  http://www.samaritanspurse.org/


There’s a few free current event printable worksheets and templates to choose from  here (you’ll need an account, but it’s free and a site that will be good to have for resources for any subject or grade level)  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:current+events/Grade-Level/Homeschooler/Price-Range/Free

For updates and articles concerning teaching, parenting, and education, The Native Speaker’s Academy has awesome weekly posts.  http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=8fb495371ca5be23e1601ecc0&id=44fb271459&e

Do you have a favorite resource for current event studies?  Do you have a neat way your family includes current events into the homeschooling week?  Please share in the comments, inquiring minds will want to know!

betty jo