Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Have a Great School Year!

funny picturesWell, this has been an interesting experiment, and I've found a lot of cool resources. But I have definitely spread myself too thin. I guess I need to focus on my specialty, which is math --- so I will be limiting my blogging to my Let's Play Math! site for now.

But for those of you looking for great homeschooling resources, Diane Flynn Keith has been ferreting them out for years. Check out her lists:

The Best of ClickSchooling

ClickSchooling Yahoo Group
And best wishes on your family's homeschooling adventure!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Weekend / End of Summer Bash

Don't miss it! Pop over to the Homeschool Freebies site for free downloads galore. Time is limited, so act quickly --- the fun ends Monday night.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Women's Suffrage, and Playing with Wordle

[Image created using Wordle.]

When things calm down, I plan to get back to posting mini book reviews each week. For now, I'm doing good to get anything posted at all! But I have been looking for an excuse to play around with the Wordle online "toy," so I copied the carnival of homeschooling into it, just to see what came our. (If you have trouble reading the fine print, click to enlarge the image.) This ended up taking much more time than I thought, because my old screenshot capture program couldn't handle the java image. I had to install Jing, which worked like a dream.

This week's homeschool blog carnival celebrates women's suffrage. Stop by and enjoy the history and the wide variety of carnival entries:

I haven't had a chance to read even a quarter of the posts. The carnival seems to grow longer every week, and there are always so many interesting articles that I have trouble choosing where to click first. But I like to post highlights each week, passing on a little link-love to my favorite bloggers. (Every little link helps, right?)

So here are several articles that drew my attention:
Carnival hostess Renae is a homeschool mom of three in East Texas. She writes, "My days are consumed making a peaceful and nourishing home for my family. I desire to renew my mind according to biblical principles. This will be my life long pursuit. Truth is my passion. When my children are grown, I intend to go back to school to officially become a teacher, so I can inspire more generations to live in liberty. I will also finish at least half of the scrapbooks and sewing projects I’ve started."

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Division Flashcards, and Free World U

This week's freebie from CurrClick is just the thing for my 4th grade daughter. We can print these on index cards, clip them together with a linking ring, and practice on the go. (It seems like we are always on the go to somewhere. What ever happened to home schooling?)

If you like this product, be sure to check out the other flashcard sets from Homeschooling with Index Cards.

And if your students enjoy learning with flashcards, here is one more resource to consider:
This website offers a wide variety of online flashcards for K-12 students. I spent some time browsing and tried a couple of their card sets (high school biology, and 4th grade social studies). I don't know whether we will end up using the site, but it is an interesting concept.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Computer Trouble...

[Photo by S Baker.]

Ah, the joys of antique equipment! Between computer problems and an urgent list of things that need to be done before school starts (okay, I missed that deadline!), blogging has become temporarily impossible.

While I'm gone, I hope you will take some time to browse some of the other excellent educational blogs out there. Here is a list of edublog carnivals, copied from the sidebar widget on my math blog.

What is a blog carnival?
Carnival of Education
Carnival of Homeschooling
Carnival of Mathematics
Other Edu-Carnivals

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Math Caching Game

In the treasure-hunting game of Geocaching (pronounced "geo-cashing"), players use GPS systems to locate boxes hidden at different geographical locations across the country. Now, the creative people at have created online activities for junior high and high school students, called MathCaching. Students solve mathematical problems to find hidden "boxes" on the Internet. Each box reveals clues to the location of the next one.

Here are the MathCaching levels now available:

MathCaching for Basic Math Skills
The "BasicCaching" game covers prealgebra skills such as fractions, ratios, percents, order of operations, signed numbers, exponents, sum of angles in a triangle, mean, median, and probability.

The "AlgeCaching" game challenges students with order of operations, equation solving, integer and consecutive integer word problems, slope, distance, midpoint, area, radicals, exponents, factoring, quadratic equations, and rational equations.

The "GeoCaching" game requires knowledge of angles, reasoning, parallel and perpendicular lines, triangles, congruent triangles and proof, quadrilaterals, area and volume, polygons, similarity, circles, and transformations.

The "Alge2Caching" game tests such topics as absolute value equations and inequalities; radical equations, functions, logarithms, exponentials, quadratics, complex fractions, asymptotes, rational equations, sequences and series, Binomial Theorem, and probability.

The "TrigCaching" game covers right triangle trig, angle relationships, conversion between radians and degrees, reference angles, exact values, area of triangle, Law of Sines, Law of Cosines, amplitude, frequency, period, vertical shift, phase shift, inverse trig functions, and identities.

PreCalculus and Calculus levels are coming soon.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Highlights from This Week's Carnival of Homeschooling

The 137th Carnival of Homeschooling kicks off the school year with a trip down 'homeschool memory lane' with a collage of photos from several years of raising kids and home-educating them.

"The memories are priceless... and I wouldn't have traded ALL my burnout, stress, or bad days for any one of these smiles in the pictures."
While not priceless, the many articles by homeschooling bloggers are well worth browsing, too. Here are a few of my favorites:
  • Chore “Time Cards”
    Are your children learning real-world skills (also known as chores)? Here are downloadable pdf time cards to help them keep track of their work.
Carnival blog hostess Heather of Sprittibee says, "I'm a Christian Homeschooling Mom who likes to spend free time thinking through my fingers on the keyboard. I update this site daily, so come on in and enjoy the buzz."

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, and More Freebies

[Photo by ldcross.]

Be sure to check out this week's freebies at:

The Homeschool Freebie of the Day

Each download is available for one day only, so don't procrastinate! These are wonderful resources.

  • Tuesday, August 12: "The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever... Made Simple!"
    Amazing tips for baking the perfect cookie, from Lorrie Flem - yum!

  • Wednesday, August 13: "Ancient Literature about Alexander The Great"
    A compilation of primary historical sources by Laurie Bluedorn

  • Thursday, August 14: "Aunt Mary's Primer"
    Vintage 1800s reading primer, loaded with great pictures

  • Friday, August 15: "The Story of Siegfried for Children"
    This mythical story, retold for children - great color illustrations!
And you won't want to miss this week's free resource at CurrClick:

August Book Bag

The August Book Bag is packed full with 129 pages of fun. According to the authors, "It may say August, but it can be used year round and for years to come." Includes:
  • unit studies on apples and sunflowers
  • Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh
  • bar graphs, pictographs, and comparison charts
  • story wheels, and a book to make
  • mapping activities and timelines
  • personal weather trackers
  • calendar materials, and a sunflower clock
  • quilting activities, life cycles, oodles of yummy recipes, and many more activities

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Spelling it Right - Learn to Spell Confidently

[Photo by anomalous4.]

Are you concerned about your child's (or your own) spelling skills? Even good readers can find spelling difficult. Unfortunately, spell checking programs donut work two will fur a week spiller, if ewe no watt eye men.

We all know that people judge us by our spelling. Poor spelling creates a bad impression, and no one wants to look stupid. But what can a weak speller do? Whether you are an adult who has always struggled with spelling or the parent of a child who needs spelling help, here is a website that you may find useful:

Author Roger Smith offers advice about dealing with spelling problems and a collection of free printable worksheets. Topics include syllables, consonant blends, prefixes, suffixes, and more.

Check out these pages
Master the most important words
  • The 150 Most Commonly Used Words
    The top 10 words make up about 25% of all you read and write, and the whole list will cover nearly 85% of the words you need. Learn them, check them, and re-learn them to perfection.
Games for spelling practice
  • Shannon's game
    A teacher-guided game that helps children recognize common spelling patterns.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Computer Trouble

[Photo by youngthousands.]

Oh, dear! My computer has died again, and I'm afraid this time it may be for good. It has been hobbling along for the last 2-3 years, throwing occasional tantrums but usually working well enough. I will certainly miss the beast! Fortunately, I can use my daughter's computer to check email and other emergency stuff --- but I may not be able to put together a blog post for awhile. See you later!