Tag Archives: teaching resource links

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!



It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas


Our homeschooling week was spent on more Thanksgiving themed studies.  But, on the homeschooling social media groups and the e-mails I’ve received, it is all about Christmas.  And with the  Christmas teaching season starting in just another week,  I’ve started my Christmas study link collection and I’m passing those links on to you today.

50 fun activities and projects for advent  http://www.onlypassionatecuriosity.com/holiday-traditions-free-printable-activity-advent-calendar/

Resources and lesson plans for all grades and ages that teach giving and volunteerism, civic engagement, and character through service.  This looks just perfect for countering the commercialism and greediness that comes along with the season.  http://learningtogive.org/teachers/

5 Days of Christmas Carols study with lyrics, printables, videos, and more http://www.homegrownlearners.com/home/2012/12/20/5-days-of-christmas-carols-day-5-o-come-o-come-emmanuel.html

100’s of free Christmas themed printables for all grade levels and most subjects  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/PreK-12-Subject-Area/ChristmasChanukahKwanzaa/Grade-Level/Homeschooler/Price-Range/Free

Interactive Christmas themed games  http://www.akidsheart.com/holidays/christms/chgames.htm

Science, language arts, history, and art resources and lessons plans with Christmas themes https://www.teachervision.com/christmas/celebrations-and-festivals/6604.html

3 levels of Christmas Trivia  http://triviapark.com/quizzes/xmasquiz.html

Printable notebooking and journaling pages here http://www.teacherfiles.com/resources_bp_holidays.htm and here http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/christmas-writing-paper

Holiday TV Guide  http://m.washfm.com/articles/happy-holidays-444238/holiday-tv-guide-2013-9483051/

Since our history studies are centered around early America this year, we will be learning about the Christmas celebrations of that time.  This article explains some of the Christmas traditions of the American colonists.  http://foundersacademy.net/2013/colonial-cmas-decor/

This site has an overview of American Christmas history  http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/ch/in_america.htm

“Bet You Didn’t Know” is a short Christmas history video which includes a bit of American Christmas history http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/videos#bet-you-didnt-know-christmas

Colonial American history, decorations, and recipes  http://www.history.org/almanack/life/christmas/

Video, Christmas in 18th Century America  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ9Iaw0iKLY

Short story, Christmas in 1776, http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/christmas/stories/christmas-in-seventeen-seventy-six.html

Of course Christmas is not the only special day in December.  Be on the lookout for my listing of special days in December coming soon!

To find your own study links and tons of “freebies”, consider joining some homeschooling social media groups.  I recommend these!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/567122276640599/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/210519735725683/

Happy Holiday Teaching!

betty jo