Tag Archives: teaching resource links

Teaching July


We had a few fantastic “special days” studies last July.  Below are those special day posts.  Each one has the links to the teaching resources we used.  I’ve checked the links and they seem to  be working.

Ramadan, 2014 began in June and continues until  July, 28 with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. .(This past winter, our local homeschool group hosted a holiday history fair.  B chose to come back to this study for his presentations.  It’s a very good study.)  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/12/studying-ramadan/

International Joke Day – July 1   https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/01/just-joking/

This was our study following the 4th of July, it would have been better if we had done it first with the fireworks display to follow.  We learned a lot and found it interesting.  We’ll be visiting topic again this year.  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/05/fireworks/                   We learned about the Liberty Bell as part of our July studies last year, too.  The resources for that study were awesome!  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/08/the-liberty-bell/

Artist Rembrandt born July 14 – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/07/15/rembrandt/

July born Presidents:

  • Calvin Coolidge – July 4, 1872
  • John Quincy Adams – July 11, 1767
  • Gerald Ford – July 14, 1913


We haven’t yet made any decisions yet about our July 2014 special day learning, but I’m pretty sure ICE CREAM will make our list (more than once)!  And, we may have a go with the July 24th unschool holiday, “Learn Nothing Day”, though I don’t know how that would be possible.  Here’s the “Special Days in July” list for 2014  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/06/26/special-days-in-july/

Happy July learning,

betty jo

Autism Awareness

autism_acronymAutism Awareness is one of several themes for the month of April.  Today, April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day.  It’s the specific day set aside that focuses on education, resources, information, help, and encouragement to those who are effected by autism.

This time last year I wrote about my sweet J!  As I reread that post this morning I realized that I had no reason to write another personal account about autism.  I still believe that their are blessings in having a child on the “spectrum”.  That post can be found here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/02/autism-i-am-aware/

Today I asked my almost 11 year old, J , what was one thing that he would like the world to know about him.  His answer was, “My mom makes mistakes”!  And that is truth.  I’ve made thousands of mistakes concerning him and I’m sure there will be thousands more.  So many times it’s “trial and error” experimenting to figure out what strategies work with him regarding behavior, home schooling, relationships, therapies, and rules.  And some solutions are successful for only a short time before experimenting starts up again.

Wanting a little more insight about possible answers to my question.  I asked again, but to moms of autistic kids.  These are some of the replies to the question, “What is one thing you would like the world to be aware of about autism and your child?”

It’s so hard to narrow it down to one thing. There are so many things I wish the world would understand. I guess the biggest thing is he loves deeply and the things that come across as “weird” or “insensitive” or “immature” are just him trying to make sense of an incredibly confusing, overstimulating world that uses irony and sarcasm way too much. In reality, he is incredibly creative, intelligent, and empathetic beyond his years.

“Mine would be that my son is not trying to be a smartie pants or disrespectful most of the time. He mimics responses like a recorder.  Once we tell him what his remark means or comes across like, he wants to know what would be appropriate.  Staring off is not ignoring, it is the way he thinks.”

It is not a lack of discipline!”

“There is no box!”

“I think it is the simple fact that they want people to understand that they are just kids — yes they process things different, yes things that are not a big deal to some kids like tags on clothes is a huge deal to a kid on the spectrum, yes they have their quirks and their moments and their melt downs — however they are kids — they just want friends and not to be looked at like they are aliens and judged harshly —- they feel, they hurt, and they do not need your sympathy they just need your understanding.”

Below are some of my online picks for learning about autism and keeping up to date with current information.

I have a homeschool blogger friend, Sylvia, who shares many autism related articles including her lovely testimony of experiences with her daughter.  This link will take you to her blog’s search results for her autism articles.  http://www.faithfulmomof9.com/?s=autism&submit=Search

For better understanding of those labeled autistic, this is the most wonderful account I’ve ever seen!  http://nhne-pulse.org/carly-fleischmann-autistic-girl-who-used-computer-to-ask-for-help/

This animated video was made by a boy who has autism.  This is a great resource to share with our families and friends.  http://blog.theautismsite.com/hi-im-david-and-i-have-autism/

And in case you’re interested, this link takes you to an online autism assessment/screening  http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html

About autism… I’m “Still Learning Something New” daily!

betty jo


Resources for Presidents

3000348_origThe third Monday in February is set apart as Presidents’ Day in honor of the birthdays of our two most famous presidents, Washington and Lincoln.  However, this is just one of several Presidents Days in our homeschool.  As we work our way through American History this school year, we study the presidents as their birthdays show up on the special days calendar.  Below are the links we go to each time we study a president.

US President biographies, printables, word games, and more  http://gardenofpraise.com/leaders.htm

Disney’s The American Presidents short videos  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=presidents+disney+education

President Quotes – http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/type/type_president.html

Online quiz for each president  http://www.quiz-tree.com/United_States_Presidents_main.html

We’ve been collecting these presidents layer books on a board.  After this school year, we’ll transfer them into a file folder for easy storage and quick reviews.

1383105_589757634439426_1467905323_n Presidents lapbook printables  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/presidents_lapbook.php

President Notebooking  http://notebookingfairy.com/president-notebooking-page/

And because Presidents’ Day is a special day,  here’s extras to take advantage of.

Is it “Presidents”, “President’s” or “Presidents'”?https://www.surfnetkids.com/presidentsday/349/how-to-spell-presidents-day/

The presidents on coins and currency  http://mistupid.com/currency/

For fun Animaniacs Presidents Song  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9KFoqK-yhU

Presidential Salary Math Lesson                                                           https://www.yummymath.com/2017/in-honor-of-presidents-day-find-out-about-presidents-pay/

Free Presidents’ Day resources and printables for all grades and most subjects                   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:presidents%20day/Price-Range/Free

Arts and Crafts Ideas for Presidents’ Day  https://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/presidentsdaycraftsideakids.html

“Hail to the Chief” Presidential Anthem

Favorite Food of Every President                                                            https://www.wideopeneats.com/every-presidents-favorite-food/

Occasionally we’ll bake a cake on the president’s birthday we are studying.  Most any study is better with cake!

betty jo

Resources for Teaching – Chinese New Year


January 25th is the first day of the Chinese New Year and 2020 is the year of the Rat.   Here’s a resource list for cross curricular and multi-level learning!

Traditions, Greetings, Decorations and More                                                https://chinesenewyear2020.org/

Chinese New Year History, Celebrations, Food, Crafts and More for Kids                   https://www.china-family-adventure.com/chinese-new-year.html

Chinese New Year Activities, Crafts, and Learning Resources   http://www.franw.com/2016/01/chinese-new-year.html

Chinese New Year resources, games, recipes and printables  http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/chinese-new-year/

More Learning Activities and Resources                           https://seasonal.theteacherscorner.net/chinese-new-year/

Lesson Plans, Ideas, and Resources                                                                     https://kidworldcitizen.org/a-lesson-plan-for-chinese-new-year-w-props-and-stories/

Chinese New Year craft ideas and instructions                             https://www.redtedart.com/chinese-new-year-craft-dragon-puppet-free-printable/

Lunar New Year Math Activity                                                    https://www.yummymath.com/2018/lunar-new-year-2018/

Free downloads for language arts and math activities with a Chinese New Year theme  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:chinese+new+year/Grade-Level/Homeschooler/Price-Range/Free

Chinese New Year Family Traditions  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noiouIzjJZE

How To Teach Simple Chinese Characters                    https://bilingualkidspot.com/2018/07/10/chinese-characters-for-kids/

Step by Step Chinese Writing Symbols                                                                                 https://www.china-family-adventure.com/chinese-writing-symbols.html

Learn Mandarin Chinese – 40 online lessons with audio, including reading, speaking, writing, modern vocabulary, grammar, calligraphy, examples and exercises    http://www.chinese-tools.com/learn/chinese

China History and Timeline               https://www.ducksters.com/geography/country/china_history_timeline.php

China Stats, Maps, Missions, and Prayer Card Printables   https://joshuaproject.net/countries/CH

Chinese New Year makes a wonderful theme for a project.  Here’s the one our family worked on a few years ago.

1545659_579692425445947_531859764_nbetty jo

But, It’s Cold Out There!


The beautiful days of autumn we spent learning outdoors are only a memory.  The warmth and freshness of spring is only something hoped for.  Nature study and outdoor play are important aspects of our home educating, however I normally would plan outside learning during the warmer months. Honestly, with the days being so cold, damp, and grey,  I prefer to keep our homeschooling indoors.  (Unless there’s snow!  Snow makes wonderful hands- on studies, but that’s another post for another time! https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/02/07/snow-week/ )


Coats, hats, gloves, double socks… can be a bit of a burden to keep up with and just adds more height to Mt. Laundry.  Not to mention the cleanup from wet and dripping boots that make puddles across the hard wood floors.  It is difficult to plan anything outdoors in advance this time of year with wet weather, runny noses and coughs,  crafting and baking to do, excuse after excuse.

The Surprising Benefits of Outdoor Education has convinced me to get our family outside on every possible occasion regardless of my winter themed excuses to stay in.  Spending time outdoors is good for us in any season.  It’s good for our bodies.  It’s good for our brains.  It’s good for our schooling.  https://www.learningliftoff.com/the-surprising-benefits-of-outdoor-learning/

Nature crafts and projects are still possible in the winter months.  I love this idea for a frozen door hanger made from items collected from a nature walk.  https://www.kcedventures.com/blog/winter-craft-creating-nature-art-with-ice

And this suet log  (peanut butter can be substituted) will keep the birds hanging around.  We put our bird feeders in front of our big window so that our nature observation continues once we’re back inside   http://snapguide.com/guides/make-a-suet-log-bird-feeder/

We’ve found lots of fun winter time activity ideas here http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/winter/

I’m thinking now would be a good time to set up a new weather center.  (Our last one washed away during a flash flood)  The resources we used last time were great.  We will get our homemade weather instrument instructions from here again  http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-experiments.htm

weather-station weather-station-2

And something for a little added music while we’re in search of matching gloves and extra socks or for warming up when we come back indoors …



But go out anyway!  But if you just can’t, here’s some activity ideas for inside.

A “Homeschool Mom Approved” Youtube Excercise Playlist (for when we can’t get outside)   https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/01/10/get-up-and-move-a-break-time-playlist/

25 Fun Activities You Can Do Inside When It’s Cold Outside!  https://www.franw.com/2017/12/25-fun-activities-you-can-do-inside.html

betty jo



Fun (But Still Educational) Resources


It has been a marvelous Christmas break, however it’s time to get started on the second half of our homeschooling year.  Over the holidays, I happened to run across some interesting sites for us to take a closer look at once we settled back into our daily learning routine.  Below are the best of those “new to me” online resources that we’ll be giving a try this first week back to full time homeschooling.  I think we are headed for a fun start to 2014 learning!

These first couple of weeks we won’t be having specific science lessons, but I know my kids, and science is their favorite, so I should add a little science into our plans.  These two sites look like great fun!  Interactive, kid friendly chemistry site! http://humantouchofchemistry.com/index.htm  and  Physics interactive games  http://www.physicsgames.net/

My younger boys are getting to the age where they like to learn on their own and research topics of interest like the “big kids” do.  However, regular search engines aren’t set up to be child appropriate.  This link is for a research site which is designed for children up to about the 6th grade level.  I’m impressed with all the short and easy to understand articles and activities   http://www.kidcyber.com.au/

After all the craft projects we worked on during the holidays, our supplies are running low.  Instead of restocking from the art supply store, I thought we should give making our own supplies a try.   There are several DIY paint recipes here to get us started  http://handsonaswegrow.com/50-paint-activities-tools-methods-recipes/  And creative  playdough recipes http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com/how-to-make-easy-homemade-play-dough-50-play-doh-recipes-and-ideas/   And homemade glue http://sustainableecho.com/homemade-natural-glue/

Most of the online learning sites I find are geared for lower grades, so I was excited to find this site which offers higher math videos and games.  I think it will be a nice change up from worksheets for some extra math practice for my teens  http://mathflix.luc.edu/Student/nctm-mathflix-student-page.html

I’m aware that sometimes lessons can be boring.  Grammar falls into that category fairly often.  If the kids don’t find a topic fun or interesting, they do not retain the information for long.  This collection of grammar videos is not just fun, they’re funny, and these short lessons will be worth remembering  http://www.gcflearnfree.org/labs/grammarvideos

Our history studies are based on early American history this year.  This site has some improv/ drama based games to play to add some entertainment to our history lessons  http://freedramaplays.blogspot.com/2013/07/american-revolution-improv-games-4th-of.html

There’s tremendous learning potential from the listing of special days in January!  In fact, our planner/calendar is starting to fill up.   https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/12/22/draft-special-days-in-january/

I’m hoping that teaching and learning can be as much fun as possible this new year for all of us!  Happy 2nd semester!

betty jo



Change of Plans and A Melting Pot Christmas

canceled1The first  week of homeschooling Christmas we had  4 sick kids, 3 canceled events, 2 visitors, and roads closing due to a winter storm.  Hey, that could (almost) be sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”!

We are making a slight change of plans this week with our “Christmas in Early America” studies, too.  After a three day study/review of the original colonies, we started researching Christmas in the colonies.  That was when we learned that in Boston, Christmas celebrations were against the law!  In the other early colonies, Christmas was decorated ,  foods prepared, and celebrated by whatever traditions those early colonists brought with them when they sailed over.

So, for the rest of our learning days before we break for the holidays, our new lesson focus will be more of a “Christmas Around the World” theme.

Short_storiesThis study will not actually take us away from our years course of study of Early American History, it truly relates to an early American theme…”The Melting Pot”.   America is called this because we, the people, came from everywhere around the world, but coming to America made us one nation.


Below are the best of the internet links I’ve found for studying Christmas Around the World!

Interactive advent calendar which features Christmas facts and information from a different country each day  http://projectbritain.com/Xmas/calendar/index.html#calendar

Clever video from Team Marco Polo  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQCxRLo8rGs&list=PLlQeGlB7ezHZhmCjzXrQGvMAg2rTC9ct_

Christmas customs, traditions, and how to say “Merry Christmas” in more than 50 languages http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/

Free Christmas Around the World printables for all grades and subjects (you will need an account to access, but it’s simple to set up and worth the effort for printable resources to use throughout the year)  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:christmas+around+the+world/Price-Range/Free

Unit Study and Lapbook Printables –  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/christmas_around_the_world.php

Fun Fact Note Cards Printable –  http://teachmama.com/holiday-time-fun-fact-lunchbox-notes/

Though we already have our crafting ideas and supplies ready to add to our learning, we may try to include an idea or two that goes along with our new theme.  Christmas Around the World craft ideas  http://www.benandme.com/2010/12/christmas-crafts-from-around-world.html

A nice collection Christmas songs from around the world

And just thinking of “melting pot” conjures images of melting chocolate chips for fruits, cookies, and pretzels and also of warm soupy cheeses for breads, veggies, and meats.

Chocolate-Chips Red_Leicester

Our holiday cooking lessons and potluck dishes to share will most definitely have to be fondues!

Kid friendly instructions, tips, and fondue recipies


For other Christmas study related posts see here







May our Christmas plans not just be merry and bright, but FLEXIBLE!

betty jo

Free Christmas Themed Teaching Resources

Again this week, I’m sharing some sites that I am adding to our homeschool’s Christmas themed studies link list.
  • The FREE YouVersion Bible App for kids is now available.  E downloaded it for the younger boys, but she and I had the most fun with it.  And the app includes the birth of Jesus!  https://www.bible.com/kids
  • This site has fun interatives for all subjects K-5 (and they have a “holiday” category  complete with Christmas themed math games)  http://interactivesites.weebly.com/

Happy Holiday Schooling!

betty jo


Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 – Our Chalkboard Wall

There is so very much I am thankful for, not just today, but everyday.  And, dear reader, I am thankful for you!  It’s my prayer that you are finding much to be thankful for as well. 

Have a blessed holiday!

betty jo

Here are a couple of Thanksgiving themed posts just in case you are needing some last minute activities!