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Cool Sites

We’ve compiled a list of the “Cool Websites” published in the weekly HEAV Update and sorted them by category for your browsing convenience. We’ve even included a few categories specifically for homeschooling parents.

Please review all websites for suitability before passing along the address to your student(s). HEAV has no influence on the content of websites other than our own.



Art  Bible Study  Biblical Archaeology  Christianity  Economics  English
Geography  Health  History  Literature  Logic  Mathematics  Music
Preschool  Reading/Phonics  Science  Testing  United States of America
For the Parents  For the Family  For the Teacher  Thrifty



Quotes for Teens

Even teens can enjoy making a card or small poster by coloring a prepared quote–for themselves or as a gift. Experimenting with more advanced coloring or painting techniques* can make those who think they have no artistic talent feel good about their work.

*One possibility is outlining in heavy crayon and finishing with lighter coloring using pointillism with watercolors or other media.


Drawing on Pinterest

Here is a cute site with simple drawing techniques shown step-by-step. Children of early elementary age upwards can probably follow many of these little illustrated how-tos and come up with all sorts of clever and fun drawings to adorn homemade cards and endless other possibilities.

Note: Parents should monitor Pinterest sites carefully as one click can lead anywhere.


Teacher-Approved Crafts E-book

This free downloadable e-book will get you started on a birdhouse (you’ll never guess what the roof is made of) and other crafts for teachers, more crafts for kids, and fun back-to-school activities (save this one for later). Parental supervision is needed on most of the projects. One of the easiest crafts is a composition book decorated by strips of scrap cloth.


Happy Birthday to John James Audubon – April 26

John James Audubon, born April 26, 1785, is the father of American ornithology–the study of birds. His drawings are still among the best in the field of wildlife illustration and ones to which others are compared. Learn more about him in this biographical sketch (parents may wish to pre-read and edit certain elements). As you scroll down, you’ll come to a large selection of free, online activities such as puzzles, games, quizzes, and many other free activity and coloring pages to print. Since spring is here, be sure to look for birds to identify. An Audubon or other field guide is handy to have on outings or at home to help identify species.


“Galaxy Doh”

Modeling clays are a real kid-pleaser in most households and here is yet another recipe for some of the homemade stuff. It requires several ingredients along with cooking, but the results appear especially stellar (sorry–couldn’t resist).


Yarn Cowl – No Knitting, Crocheting, or Sewing

Perhaps the words “Red Heart” on yarn make you think only of projects requiring skills such as knitting or crocheting. Likewise, do you think fabric crafts always require sewing? Here is a handy list of fiber arts crafts that do not require knitting, crocheting, or sewing!


Sewing a Denim Organizer

Use old pairs of jeans and pockets to make a personalized organizer with pockets for pens, paper, or sewing items, as in the illustration. The nature of its construction is very forgiving and little mistakes won’t show much. Note: the project requires free registration to download the instructions.


Home Economics: Easy Sewing Projects

See this Better Homes and Gardens feature to get directions for 33 easy sewing projects that range from the practical to the whimsical and downright adorable. Make a hot coffee shield for take-out coffee cups, a retro kitchen apron, or sweet little carrot appliqués for a child’s clothes. Free registration is required to access the instructions.


Arts and Crafts: March Is National Craft Month – Crafts for Kids

While not glitzy, this simple site touches on categories such as bead crafts, paper crafts, and yes, their purpose is to sell you the materials for crafts–but behind those plain headings and salesmanship, there are IDEAS! How about a notebook to keep records of needlework or other hobbies? We keep academic records of all sorts, but do we keep hobby project records? The records could be of crafts, art, special dinners, and holidays…


Crocheted Necklaces
The title says it all! Crocheted necklaces are a popular craft these days. They are cheap, fast, and forgiving. Give them a try—and don’t you dare tell boys that crocheting is only for girls. Many fellows learned from visits to elderly aunts and grannies who weren’t quite up to chasing active tots.


DIY Art Frames from Magazines

The photo tutorial shows clearly how to complete this fun project and wind up with a very attractive frame. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a picture frame for a homeschool picture day?

Crafts for Bible Lessons

Find arts and crafts to accompany Bible lessons.


Recycle Christmas Cards

Choose from several ways to recycle Christmas cards via wikiHow. Search terms on the Internet such as “recycle Christmas cards” will turn up lots more ideas. Some are sure to be both usefuland fun! Get started now–you know how soon Christmas comes!


Covered Button Bookmarks

Save a snippet of a child’s dress or other special fabric–or just a handy scrap–in this extra-quick-and-easy, covered-button bookmark to keep or to give as a gift.


30 Homemade Ornaments for the Kids

Here are some ornament ideas older children can make including 6 keepsake ornaments, 10 globe ornaments, and 14 others.



Recycled Ornaments

If you scroll down one section, you will see Homemade Christmas Ornaments, too. Choose the projects suitable for your family. See the left sidebar for other types of crafts; be daring and take a quick plunge into expanding your crafting skills.


Create with Kids

Find all sorts of arts and crafts ideas on this site that is searchable by type of activity, topic, and age. Sign up for the free newsletter if you like.


Fall Sensory Play – 45 Ideas!

This UK website has loads of sensory play suggestions. You are sure to find some that appeal to you! Some activities reflect the large South Asian community in Great Britain, their culture and religion; families will need to select ones they deem appropriate for their own use.


Burp Cloth Tutorial

This “Cloth Diaper to Burp Cloth Tutorial” is a good way to teach a new sewer–or Mom–more about sewing. Use it yourself or make a neat, homemade baby gift.


Poppies–and Why – November 11 Is Veterans Day

November 11 is Veterans Day and is frequently symbolized by red poppies worn in the lapels. Prepare to commemorate the service of all who have defended their country in military uniform with a lesson in history, research skills, and arts and crafts. Try an Internet search for paper flowers, more fused plastic bag projects, and then be brave–make poppies, wear them, and thank a vet!


Cheap Bibs from Plastic Bags

Make cheap bibs using fused plastic grocery bags decorated by crocheted trim. Learn about this household iron fusion technique and all you can make by recycling and creating an assortment of homemade accessories and kitchen aids.


Knitting and Crocheting References

Do you remember home economics in school? Besides being a subject with daily practical uses, there are a variety of other benefits to learning various homemaking skills and handicrafts. By developing these skills, a person will gain a creative outlet, sense of accomplishment, and often, a relaxing, stress-busting hobby. You’ll have the ability to make those special homemade gifts we treasure. Pass these skills down to the next generation and, in addition to those long-term benefits, children can learn how to get organized, follow directions, and build fine motor skills.

Summer can be a great time to pick up material you didn’t have time to squeeze in during the traditional school year, but finding a way to shoehorn in handicrafts is often not a waste of time when you are trying to “get stuff done;” it is instead a way to recharge batteries by taking a break from deskwork. If you’d like to brush up on existing needlework skills, set a good example, and learn a new skill–all while teaching the kids–look at these web sites for starters. Check the resources on the website found under “Helpful Web sites” at the third link for more downloadable diagrams and/or video clips. Parents will wish to supervise as some links are to chat rooms.


Various Yarn Craft Bracelets

Need a break from heat or rain? Come inside and try one of several types of “Pretty Yarn Craft Bracelets.” Find free instructions on Grandmother’s Pattern Book along with links to more at the bottom of the page. Join the free daily newsletter to get many more needlecraft patterns (most–but not all–are knitting or crocheting).


Finger-Knitting Videos

This is needlework without the needles–the best kind for little kiddos! Not only does finger-knitting develop dexterity, but you can choose whether to frog it (rip it all out–“rip it, rip it!”) or start over for more ways to occupy the kids. Internet searches will turn up a number of sources.


“All Free Crafts”

When the heat or a thunderstorm demands an indoor break, consider having a pre-selected craft activity ready. This website has categories by age group and by craft type (homemade toys, edible crafts, and crafts to go back outdoors to name a few). It’s all very well-organized for you.


Free Lessons from Coats and Clark and Pillowcase Challenge

Coats and Clark has created two types of pillowcase patterns specifically geared towards teaching children to sew–even three- to six-year-olds can participate! Teaching children how to sew provides valuable life skills, fosters creativity, and boosts self-confidence. Add to those positives, sewing a pillowcase for charity which teaches children compassion and empathy. Download the free teaching tools and patterns and get the details at the website.


Create from Recyclables

Sift through the various projects to see what piques the interest of your kiddos and corresponds to the almost-trash you can rescue; then make something creative and useful!


Patriotic Crafts

With Flag Day (June 14) and Independence Day coming up shortly, now might be a good time to pick out some crafts to work on as a family.


Free Art Resources

Check this section of Free Homeschool Deals for free art resources. Don’t leave this subject out of your curriculum because you aren’t an “artist.” This is certainly an area in which you can learn right along with your children!


YouTube Art Instruction

Dan Frenette, a certified art instructor, has made instructional videos available on YouTube for parents and children who want quality art instruction. Parents should screen the videos to determine their suitability for their own family. If you like them, let other parents and homeschoolers know about the videos. To make it easier to navigate, see the links below for the channel, his introductory video, and the most recent video.


Finger Knitting for All Ages

Keeper of the Home recommends the old craft of finger knitting to all ages; her 7- and 8-year old daughters are enjoying it. There are clear photos with good written instructions and links to items to make from your work.


Free Patterns for Fleece

End-of-season clearances may yield fleece at reduced rates and remnants the size to make small accessories. Check out these free patterns and see if any meet your needs–either for wearables or for sewing lessons. Plan ahead for Christmas gifts!


Creative Lunch and Snack Ideas

Make a lamb from cottage cheese, and Noah’s ark from bread and cheese, for a different-looking lunch–and teach an informal lesson at the same time! Show your children that they can explore unusual art media–and get away with playing with their food! See what ideas of your own this book excerpt sparks. Click on the Creative Kid Snacks (second link) for a fruity snack that’s out of this world–and more!


Sock Monkeys Updated

Do you have fond memories of this childhood toy or just a desire to make a trendy new version of it? See several examples of these updated monkeys at the first link; get the directions at the second.


Making Books

Dan Frenette, an art teacher, has made three YouTube videos detailing how to make books. If you wish, you can subscribe and share them with friends or on Facebook.


Last Minute Gift – “Art Magnets” – All Ages

Use whatever arts and crafts materials you have at home and make them as simple or fancy as you wish! Just create a picture to place inside a recycled bottle top, decorate the outside rim, and affix a magnet.


Christmas World
This site is a holiday gold mine! From Christmas craft ideas to holiday party games, jokes, trivia, gift ideas and more, this webpage has it all!


Plywood Shelving

This creative piece of shelving made mostly of plywood was customized for a specific use and space, but it may well be possible for someone with some woodworking experience to adapt the design for homeschool, dorm, or student-apartment use. It could be a great father-son (or daughter!) project.


Cross-stitch for Kids

Get the basics and how to explain them in this piece on teaching cross-stitching to kids.


Melted Bead Projects to Create with Children

Use the “peg beads” meltable beads for many projects; three are suggested here that are not the flat template type project. Search the Internet for more. They have more uses than you can imagine!


“In Praise of Coloring Books”

The author of this brief blog post suggests a few things to do with coloring books besides just occupy children as you wait for your meal to arrive in a restaurant. Very often, such reading will also jump-start your own ideas! She suggests some favorite sources for buying coloring books.


Earth Shot’s

Celebrating the beauty of God’s creation around the world through a photography contest. The daily picture on this site could serve as inspiration for writing, photography, art, science study, or just for taking a moment to relax and enjoy the view. For more information and to submit photos, see the website’s page and select “Enter.”


Google Doodles Unveils Revamped Website

The folks at Google Doodles have unveiled their new website premiering their “resolutions” at the first link. See the second link to review past doodles and gain inspiration for your own graphic-arts endeavors.


Ladder Bookshelves, Loft Bed, and Desk

A woodcrafter has put together a neat bedroom set especially good for boys, though the creative moms out there could undoubtedly spiff it up for a girl. The shelves and desk make it all particularly suitable for homeschoolers. The builder says it only cost him $150 for the lumber.


Scratch Art

Here are clear and simple instructions for a scratch-off art project that kids of many ages enjoy. It uses basic, inexpensive art supplies and household objects helping keep costs down, too! As a vase of flowers is suggested as one of the better subjects to draw with this technique, it could be especially good for Mother’s Day art and cards.


Bible Study

90-Day Bible Challenge

What better preparation for a great start to next year’s lessons than immersing yourself in the Word? An average of 12 pages a day in most Bibles is enough to get through all of the Bible this summer. The website has resources, both free and for purchase. Don’t pass up the handy reading record that folds to fit in the Word.


Beta Version of Bible Gateway Is Up

Whether or not you are new to Bible Gateway, the tutorial link (second one) may be a fast way to learn your way around this set of great Bible study resources. See the third link for @biblegateway on Twitter. If you really want an easy introduction, the YouTube videos have it for you! If you are really, really into Twitter, the list of affiliated Twitter sites will knock your socks off (last ).


Bible Reading Plans

Whether the New Year just scooted past you without you selecting a Bible reading plan—or the plan you chose didn’t suit you after all—it is never too late to choose one. Look at the ones suggested at Back to the Bible and jump in. Begin at the beginning or join the plan in progress, but read!

Bible Hub

Visit this website to see some basic tools for Bible study. Try looking up the Bible verse in this Update. You will note parallel verses (the same verse but in different versions for comparison), context (to see the verses before and after the one being examined), cross references (similar verse for comparison), and parallel commentaries (various commentary excerpts to explain and compare the verse under study).


Eight Profitable Ways to Read the Bible

Beloved English preacher and author, J. C. Ryle, made these pithy suggestions, beginning with “1. Begin reading your Bible this very day.” Don’t go another day into 2014 without taking time to read this short article with memorable advice. Then set your daily appointment with God. The busier we are, the more we need to carve out time to spend with the Lord and His Word!


The Christmas Bible Reading Plan

Designed for personal or family reading times, these 25 New Testament readings highlight the birth of Jesus and the purpose for His coming. Related Old Testament passages are also featured daily. Although we are already into the month by a few days, you could easily catch up to today’s reading.


Bible Study Tools Online

Your editrix is appalled she did not know about this easy-to-use set of Bible study tools, but makes haste to inform you of it. Join in (it’s free) to explore the site’s features and receive daily devotional items, if you choose. Customize the different sections to suit you and consider letting older students set up their own Bible study tools pages. Academic research is a needed skill; Bible research skills are also needed!


Twelve Methods for Bible Study

Many of us follow church-wide study plans or have a favorite method, but even very young students can benefit from learning new ways to study the Bible. Some of the 12 ways to study that this thorough article suggests are the Character Quality Method,the Thematic Method, the Word Study Method, and the Book Background Method. All are examined in steps–some with subsections explaining even more.


Bible Reading and Prayer Plans

While many families begin a read-through-the-Bible plan in January, others begin with their “school year” which may begin as early as August. If you are in the latter group, Heartlight ministry offers several different Bible reading and prayer plans from which to choose. Internet searches will turn up many more so this is a great time to do your research and make a prayerful selection. No matter what you choose, ask God to help keep you faithful in it! An accountability partner can help.


Bible Based Homeschooling {on a Budget}

This website has loads of free or inexpensive resources on all aspects of family and homeschooling topics.


Blue Letter Bible Institute

The Blue Letter Bible has free daily e-mail promises, Bible study tools, and this modest set of courses on some Bible basics.


Topical Memory Verses from has daily Scripture verses and devotions (sign up for free e-mail if desired), lists of topical verses suitable for memory work or copy work sent weekly, and more. Recent topics of verse lists were gossip, a diligent work ethic, and the steadfast love of God. It’s an uplifting, challenging, and encouraging site! (The site’s creator is also on Twitter and Facebook.)


Favorite Bible Verses

See 238 of the most popular Bible verses. It’s a great list to memorize over the course of a few years and is suitable for daily copywork.


16 Psalms to Help Ease Worry

In times of difficulty and uncertainty, we can forget to “cast our cares upon Him.” Here are some verses from Psalms especially chosen to help us deal with worries. They would make excellent copy work or memory verses regardless of our situations!


S.O.A.P. Bible Study Method

The Scripture, Observe, Apply, and Pray–or SOAP–Bible study method can be applied to any passage. Even elementary-age students can begin to learn and use it. Print and post this simple graphic in a handy place to remind your family to apply it.


Bible Reading Plans–Again

Did you select a Bible reading plan for the year? It’s definitely not too late. Just double-up each day until you catch up or jump in where you are–but do it!

George Mueller made it a practice to read the Bible through four times a year. If you are still searching for a plan (check the last few issues of the Update for more), Back to the Bible offers several choices of Bible reading plans, plus studies, challenges, and quizzes to make things interesting. They also have their famous classic devotionals. Subscribe free of charge to any of their newsletters (second link) to receive many of these items in daily e-mails. You can also listen to their daily radio show via the website.


Scripture Memory Plan

Prepare for a new year with a serious Scripture memory plan. One is available free of charge at Fighter Verses (as in 1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the faith…”). Do an Internet search for other suggestions of Bible verses to memorize, along with methods for memorization.


Free Printables from Heart of Wisdom

Get free printable Bible verse memory cards, spelling list pages, copywork, chore charts, and much more.


Voddie Baucham Sermons

See Voddie Baucham’s 4-minute video, “Jesus Loves the Church and So Should You” at the first link. Pastor Baucham, keynote speaker at a recent HEAV convention, and his wife homeschool their children. Check the second link for his website; hear more of his stirring sermons at the third link.


Free Bible Coloring Pages

Do you need some simple drawings that illustrate biblical events? Print these free coloring sheets that illustrate Old and New Testament happenings.


Christian Resources: The Gospel According to Luke

The Gospel According to Luke, by the JESUS Film Project, was the original work from which the well-known “Jesus Film” was edited. The JESUS Film has been translated into more than 1,140 languages in its run of more than 30 years to date. View the Book of Luke free online, chapter by chapter, at the Blue Letter Bible website.


Christian Resources: Bible Quizzing and Memory Game

Select the level of expertise and verse on which you wish to be tested (you may study first). Be ready to move quickly–it’s timed!


The NET Bible Study Site

This site has a variety of Bible study tools from simple ones, like a daily passage, to parallel translations, articles, commentary, Greek and Hebrew references, and much more. Explore a little and see if you can use this to delve deeper into God’s Word. The second link is to the “classic,” older site version.


Discoveries 4 Children – Children’s Bible Programs

While geared for children from 4 to 10 years of age, other children may still benefit from the video, coloring page, and worksheet. If you like them, you may sign up (free) for more.


New Research: How American Adults Read the Bible

These interesting facts and easy-to-read graphs show that, unfortunately, owning several Bibles is more common that actually reading them.


Simple Steps for Scripture Memory

Living Waters Ministry’s School of Biblical Evangelism offers a very simple index card system to aid Scripture memory beginners. Though it only takes one short page, it’s written in complete detail with examples so that children from about fourth grade and up could probably follow it unaided. offers a series of free resources as well as ones for purchase. Categories include hymns with lyrics, Bible passages, crosswords and other worksheets, and more.


Scripture Memory for Children

God’s Word is the ultimate way to “cleanse a young man’s heart.” Here are suggested verses and free printable memory cards to help in that task. You cannot always be with your child–but He can!


Art, Geography, and Bible: The Last Supper

This e-lesson in pdf form gives all the preparatory instructions for the teacher, the supply list (common items), stick-figure drawings you can easily replicate, Bible verses to use during the lesson, and review questions. There is even a suggested memory verse and pages made for photocopying. The lesson is designed for multi-level teaching.


Grace Gems Daily Devotions

This “gem” of a website will send you a short daily e-mail devotion if you like. You can read or listen to as much or as little as you wish of the shorter selections from Puritan authors and pastors. Read longer passages free on the website or buy the books if you’re interested in the entire works. Some website features include quotes, sermons, commentaries, and collections of written works divided by author and topic, or prayers. There’s much more!


Daily Devotion – All Ages

Get a free e-mailed or Facebook daily devotion from “Learn the Bible.” Each one features a short Bible passage or verse with teaching points for young children as well as older students or adults. Prayer suggestions help round out the brief devotional time.


Easter Unit Study – Updated

The Teaching Home has updated their previous unit study on Easter with over 70 new links! Check it out on their website and sign up for their free newsletter so you don’t miss anything!


Biblical Archaeology

Extinct Tree Regrown

See a tree grown recently from a 2,000-year-old seed discovered at the site of Herod the Great’s palace. Prior to this, the tree was extinct.


Video about Mt. Sinai

This archeological video about Mount Sinai shows many places one can see now that authenticate the Bible’s accounts of events on and around the famous mountain. At the end of the video you will see links to other videos on biblical sites.


Temple Mount Video and More

Tour the Temple Mount in Jerusalem with Dr. David Reagan on the show “Christ in Prophecy!” This video is part of a four-part series, “Mountains of Jerusalem.” You can see it on their YouTube channel, Christ in Prophecy (second link below). You may not agree with all his conclusions regarding prophecy, but it is hard to argue with the archaeology and sites you’ll see.


Archaeologists Uncover a First Temple Seal

While relics of the Second Temple are not too unusual, this find from the First Temple is an exciting discovery.


Biblical Archaeology

This portion of the Christian Answers website is a great starting point for any study of how archaeology consistently demonstrates the reliability of the Bible. It is divided into sections that answer general questions, those dealing with the period before the Nation of Israel came about in Bible times, and questions regarding the Old and New Testament periods.


Associates for Biblical Research

The Bible has been proven accurate over and over by archaeological finds. Here is a website devoted to the subject! Also, they provide a Biblical perspective for each discovery.



Wycliffe Bible Translators Children’s Curriculum

This site is chock full of links to lessons, printables, activities, games, simulations, crafts, and other materials, with levels for preschoolers through junior high students!


New YouVersion Bible App 5 – Free

Fans of YouVersion should be happy about this free software update. If you are unfamiliar with it, you might start with a search for “YouVersion Bible App 5” and read Amazon user reviews from five stars to one to get a range of opinions.


Creation Resource List

Here is an excellent resource list with audios, a list of his books, and testimonials about Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith on the topic of creation vs. evolution. Wilder-Smith debated Richard Dawkins in 1986 and, as a result, Dawkins refuses to debate creationists to this day. One person who read Wilder-Smith’s book, “The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution,” commented that it was easy to understand why Dawkins reacted the way he did.


Kevin Swanson – Free Book and Audio on Getting Out of Public Schools

Kevin Swanson conducts a powerful interview with author Ray Fournier (a Christian public school teacher) in a challenging conversation about the urgent need to get our children out of the government schools. Hear the frank discussion about the serious reasons to remove children from government indoctrination in their formative years.

To read Fournier’s book, Education Reformation, sign up to become a member of Education Reformation and download the e-book free of charge.

Education Reformation gives homeschool parents the following:
1. A Biblical Defense for their rejection of public education.
2. An Outreach Resource to give to friends and family who are being hurt by public education.
3. A Handy Guidebook for providing a Biblical education for their children.

Ray truly believes that Education Reformation will be a great source of encouragement for homeschooling parents. He urges each of us to send the link for the free e-book to every homeschool parent we know.


Ten Ways to Endure Suffering

In the midst of the season where the suffering of Christ is prominent in our thoughts, Nancy Leigh DeMoss writes that we know suffering surely will come, but God can and will give us grace and power to overcome every trial and still fulfill our purpose and mission for His kingdom. She shows how the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 10 ways to endure–to the glory of God and our own edification.


Free Five-Day Easter Unit Study

The really nice thing about the Teaching Home’s free unit studies (besides that they’re free) is their multi-disciplinary, interactive, and family integrated nature. This is an especially neat opportunity to learn together for a change, especially if your lessons are conducted in an individual, subject-oriented fashion.


“Down Gilead Lane” Radio Stories

This popular children’s radio series is available free of charge and accompanied by a written lesson. Don’t let “lesson” scare you; it’s really just a brief additional explanation and question for thought and/or discussion. Skip it if you’d like.


Defend Magazine - Free Online

This week’s quote by author Nancy Pearcey was taken from an interview that appeared in the free, online e-magazine, Defend Magazine. Parents and older students will find a rich store of resources such as interviews, reviews, and feature articles (recent ones included “God and Cosmology–What can modern science tell us about the existence of God?” and “Gary Habermas, leading Resurrection Scholar.”


Sermon Audios

Hear (and see) live-streamed church services; hear and see messages from classes, debates, broadcasts, sermons, and other sources. Search for messages by topic, Bible passage, or by speaker. The link provided is to the beginning page for HEAV keynote speaker, Pastor Baucham.


Apologetics – “Got Questions?”

The popular website, “Got Questions?” has prepared 3,800 answers to FAQs about the Bible and Christianity. As we approach the time when we celebrate the Resurrection and as several Bible-related movies hit the market, many of our neighbors, family, and friends will be reminded of the eternal questions of life.


Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson

After Dr. Dobson left “Focus on the Family,” he established “Family Talk” to help preserve and promote the institution of the family. Family Talk is not affiliated with Focus on the Family. Family Talk’s goal is to help preserve and promote the institution of the family and the biblical principles on which it is based, and to seek to introduce people to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Read free articles, listen to streaming broadcasts (or download until convenient to hear).


How to Guard Your Heart

King Solomon instructed his son to, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,” meaning that our thought life controls how we act. The late pastor and broadcaster Adrian Rogers wrote a one-page article on how to do what the Bible warns us to do–“guard your heart.”


Free Christian Modesty Audio Series

Pastor Jeff Pollard is the speaker in this free, 12-part audio series on “Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America.” The subject can be just as hard to find material on as sermons on tithing. His effort and care in study is apparent, as is his care in addressing the subject discreetly. Pastors, parents, and teachers will be challenged; the messages will help you wisely lead those for whom the Lord has made you responsible.


Online Christian Library

Northwestern Theological Seminary and Christian University have assembled a collection of books in the public domain. Find Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Pilgrim’s Progress, Mere Christianity, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, and many, many more. In addition to books, readers will see library resources (including multimedia resources such as free courses, audio and apologetics seminars, and more), research tools, reference books, and religion resources. You simply have to skim the contents to grasp the scope of material here!


Tracts for Mobile Devices

Living Waters evangelist and author Ray Comfort showcases this app in a YouTube video.


Family Lessons for Advent

Glance over these lessons from Focus on the Family and see what appeals to you. Don’t worry at all about where you are beginning or what you may have missed; simply choose what is useful and meaningful for you.


Puritan Hard Drive Demonstration Version

The Puritan Hard Drive (PHD), a separate hard drive you connect to your computer (Windows or Apple), is now on sale, but they offer a form of the PHD one can download free of charge. Read about their extensive material from the Reformed perspective on the website. If you do wish to own the paid product, look for the frequent sale prices (two-for-one packages to share with a pastor or a family member interested in serious biblical studies) and sales extended well past the original deadlines. Endorsements include those from Voddie Baucham and evangelist Paul Washer. Sample some resources the PHD offers via their website.


30 Days of Thanksgiving

The website says, “30 Days of Thanksgiving is simply about helping people choose to live thankful lives. Gratitude is a foundational virtue for people who have experienced the grace of God poured out through Jesus Christ.” Although already in progress, you can jump right on in if you are a social media user–Facebook to be exact. See the series of four YouTube messages that explain it; there are also daily devotionals on the website with a printable “30 Days of Thanksgiving Devotional Booklet.” Why not start a new nightly tradition of sharing a sentence of thankfulness from each family member around the dinner table?


How to Do Family Worship

Family worship–which can be more involved than homeschool or family devotions–may be something you practice daily, semi-weekly, or possibly only when the family is unable to attend formal services. Whether long or short, the same areas are usually covered, and often include a teaching time, worship in song, and a prayer time. Read the article to see the well-organized how-tos.


The Cry of the Martyrs: The Threat to Religious Liberty Around the World Video

In time for last year’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, this presentation is one hour long beginning with a short video of interest to a broad audience. The video recounts the experience of a man imprisoned for his faith. It is not too graphic, but parents will wish to screen it first to determine its suitability for their children. The webcast was co-sponsored by the Family Research Council and Voice of the Martyrs and discussed the ongoing, and growing, assaults on religious liberty throughout the world.


Free Rose eCharts

Sign up for free Bible eCharts sent to your inbox weekly by Rose Bible Publishing. Printed up, they fit nicely in your Bible to keep handy, or store the files on your computer for study. – One-Stop Audio Broadcast Archives is a website that archives Christian radio broadcasts so you can listen to your favorites, whether you missed the on-air broadcast or just want to listen again. Many programs are available for at least a month, some longer. Listen online or download to the player of your choice. The site also has dozens of devotionals, articles, and links to newsletters from the ministries for which they carry the archived audio.


Christian Alternative to Facebook

If you use social media you may have noticed a problem–well, okay, several problems–with Facebook, including their shutting down conservative sites or otherwise censoring conservative speech (writing). is the answer provided by Brannon Howse and Worldview It describes itself as, “a social media site for those who embrace a Christian worldview.” Read more in the short article.


Christian Youth Worldview Conference – Memphis, Tennessee Area – January 2-4, 2014

Student Worldview Weekend

Cost: Free; however, travel, lodging, and meals are the responsibility of the attendees.

Sponsored by Brannon Howse and Worldview Weekend, this conference will top off the training you have given your young people before they are launched into the world on their own.


International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church – November 10[K1]

Voice of the Martyrs and other groups sponsor an annual International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) near All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. This year it will be celebrated on Sunday, November 10, 2013. See the free promotional video, suggested prayers, other resources, and ways to get involved at the website.


False Guilt in Limited Circumstances

Satan wants to steal your joy! If he can’t keep you from becoming a Christian, he’ll settle for making you an ineffective one and make you lose your witness to the world and to your kids. Read the blogger at Living on a Dime about feeling guilty when you must economize. Don’t apologize for tightening your belt–or requiring your kids to do it–when circumstances require. Your kids will thank you one day for joining them in an after-dark (free) game of tag in the yard.


Free Book – Israel 101 – Praying for Israel

Learn about the land of Israel with this free book while learning more about praying for Israel, God’s chosen people.


How to Have Family Devotions

Whether or not you include group devotions in your homeschool day (as opposed to working with individual Bible study material, which is common with older students), here are practical suggestions for those interested in coming together as a complete family to worship and study. Find Bible reading plans, devotional guides, Bible study material for a family, suggestions for families with young children, and much more.


Praying for Your Children and Future Children

It is hard to imagine a more sacred duty to our children–the ones here and those yet to arrive–than to pray daily for them. Many parents are praying for the future spouses as well. Read the suggestions for prayer–and take a minute to exercise that priceless privilege!


Church History for Kids: Heroes of the Faith

Read the short stories about heroes of the Christian faith such as Adoniram Judson, John Bunyan, Ida Scudder, and many more and then ask or discuss the questions at the end of the stories.


Praying for Our Children Monthly Calendar

Keep this days-of-the-month calendar handy–in your Bible, where you usually pray–any place it will be handy. Use it often and the verses will become secondhand.


Sermon Audio

While you can hear live-streamed church broadcasts, the real treasure trove of this site is the over 600,000 archived sermons by some of America’s best known preachers with solid biblical messages. Search for messages by topic, Bible passage, and by speaker’s name.


Voice of the Martyrs Online Classroom

The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) Open Classroom has free classes on persecution (you will need to register). The group’s founder, the late Richard Wurmbrand, repeatedly warned the church in the West of coming persecution and urged–begged–the Church to prepare for it. Although we in the West do not face persecution to such a degree yet, many predict it will get worse. These classes also prepare students (high school and up–parents can decide) to effectively minister to and advocate for the persecuted worldwide. “Open Classroom” means that classes are free-access, self-enrolled, and self-paced personal study. VOM expects to add even more classes soon.

By the way, if you do not know Wurmbrand ‘s story, Voice of the Martyrs will send a free copy of his biography, Tortured for Christ (second link).


Annual “Call 2 Fall” Prayer for the Nation – June 30

Call 2 Fall is an annual prayer effort close to Independence Day acknowledging our dependenceon God. There are 130 Virginia churches signed up at the time of this writing; join with one of them, add your own, host a small group, or pray with your family.


Gospel Reading for Summer

This homeschool mom has chosen the book of John for her family to read as their Summer Reading Challenge. Read her thoughts on implementing a program to keep skills sharp while also feeding her children’s hearts.


Seven Ways to Praise Your Husband for Seven Days

Give Dad the gift of genuine encouragement for Father’s Day by offering sincere praise. Here are some suggestions that will encourage your husband!


Hymns of the Faith

“Hymns Of The Faith–A Ministry Of College of the Open Bible” is yet another place to look up hymn stories online. This website has short entries that would fit easily into devotions or a short story time.


Church Listening Pages

Here are some simple printables to help children develop the habit (yes, they can be trained) of listening carefully in church–especially during the sermon, but not only then.


Matthew Henry’s “Prayer to be Used by Children”

From the 1700s comes Matthew Henry’s “Prayer to be Used by Children.” Henry was a very famous English preacher who wrote a Bible commentary still in use today. Note how many clear references there are to Bible verses in the prayer (an older child could be asked to identify the verses as a devotional exercise). Since Henry was a Presbyterian, the prayer assumes the child would have been baptized.


Stories Behind the Hymns

This website is exactly as it sounds! Find the stories behind many hymns we’d recognize easily, as well as stories about the writers. Family devotions aren’t complete without singing praises to God. Learning about the hymns makes them come alive in our hearts and minds. Once you start on this road, you’re hooked! There are many websites that will give backgrounds on hymns and writers along with the music in audio and sheet music form.


Children’s Stories from Grace Gems

Grace Gems has several old-fashioned, character-building children’s stories online that you can read to your children for a story time. They could also be used for a devotional time or an evening story.


Ultimate Apologetics MP3 Audios

Slightly different from the Apologetics Podcasts page recently shared here (regularly scheduled programs), these audios are a compilation of classes, speeches, and sermons on various topics in apologetics. Sit at the feet of masters in your own home!


Bible Printables – Coloring Pages, Lessons, and More!

Here are printable prayers; coloring pages to go with Bible lessons; common hymns, carols, Sunday school songs; puzzles and more.


16 Best Apologetics Podcasts

Apologetics 315 recommends these programs as the “16 Best Apologetics Podcasts.” Most, if not all, are available free via iTunes or other media.


Prayer Guide for Our Country’s Leaders

This short, downloadable prayer guide for our national and other leaders is just the right size to print and carry in your Bible as a reminder.


Apologetics – Christian Answers

At this time of year, near Resurrection Sunday, the topics of Jesus’ life, miracles, death on the cross, and resurrection often come up. Christian Answers takes on these and other questions in sections for adults and children. You might start with the resurrection and discuss how to answer challenges or questions with your older children, then glance at the main page with its changing list of monthly questions.


 Andrew Murray – The Deeper Christian Life:Daily Fellowship with God

Hear a professionally read audio from a book by Andrew Murray, The Deeper Christian Life: Daily Fellowship with God. The link is to part one of eight found on YouTube or the Librivox website.


Teaching Home Easter Unit Study

The Teaching Home offers an Easter Unit Study intended to cover five days. There are over 70 links to material that may be useful to your family.


Black Christianity Before the Civil War

“Black Christianity Before the Civil War: Christian History Timeline” details–in abbreviated form–some of the history of Christianity in America among blacks. Your students will meet many new and inspiring people!


Presidential Prayer Team

Inauguration Day reminds us of the need–indeed, the biblical commandment–to pray for our leaders. This non-partisan website and free daily e-mail offers guided prayer ideas and suggests a particular set of leaders from all branches of government for prayer each week. See the banners on the home page to get an idea of all the areas covered–there are a lot!


 Free Book of Virtues Curriculum

A homeschool mom prepared a huge set of workbook studies to go along with William J. Bennet’sThe Book of Virtues. She offers it free of charge as a download.


Family Activities for Winter Break

See issue number 264 of the Teaching Home Magazine for a variety of enriching and educational activity suggestions your family can enjoy over the Christmas and New Year break.


The Teaching Home – Christmas Peace

Issue number 354 of the Teaching Home features ways to foster family peace and take that peace-making skill out into the world.


Names of God Tree

One family describes their little tree decorated with tinsel and simple tags printed with the names of God as found throughout the Bible. Make your tags as simple or as creative as you wish. Click on the links in the blog to see a listing of the names–or do your own research!


Free Jesse Tree Advent Family Devotional

Ann Voskamp of the Holy Experience blog has shared her Jesse Tree devotional with 25 days of short, family friendly devotions to her e-mail subscribers (sign up free of charge). Each day, find Bible verses with reflections on them, a full-color ornament to cut out for your Jesse Tree, and an “action point” to put more of Christ’s love into practice.


Presidential Prayer Team

This non-partisan website and free daily e-mail offers guided prayer ideas and suggests a particular set of leaders from all parts of the government for prayer each week. See the banners on the home page to get an idea of all the areas covered–it’s a lot!


Free Instilling Biblical Character E-book

This e-book goes perfectly with the encouragement article in the Update this week. Christian education in the home is incomplete without purposefully forming the biblical character of your children. Follow the easy steps to download your free copy.


Scripture Prayers Before–and After–the Election

The election is less than a week away. Get suggestions of how you can pray for God’s continued grace and guidance.


Christian Grandparenting

See a list of suggested Scriptures to pray for grandchildren along with prayers for grandparents.


Sermons on the Underground Church by Richard Wurmbrand

After years of imprisonment by the communist authorities in Romania, and living in a country that was far from free even when he was out of prison, Richard Wurmbrand has spoken expertly on the subject of the persecuted church. Brother Wurmbrand and his wife were eventually ransomed by Christians in the West and settled in the United States where they established Voice of the Martyrs (second link). He urged western Christians to prepare now for the possibility–indeed the probability–that they too would one day live under severe oppression. These four sermons are a place to start. His messages apply to us now in many ways, giving us pointers on our devotional lives.


11 Simple Theological Terms We All Need to Know

Dr. Christopher Cone of Tyndale Theological Seminary has written this article with the layman in mind. He gives brief, easy-to-understand definitions and related Scriptures for bibliology, theology proper, Christology, and eight more key terms. The article is suitable for use with high school and above.


Christian Resources: Hymn Studies

Enrich your Christian life and strengthen your faith with these hymn studies full of details about the writers and the circumstances around which these priceless treasures were written. Read each one on the blog or sign up for the Yahoo group to have them delivered to your inbox. One Bible curriculum with which your editor is familiar suggests a hymn to memorize each week with a schedule of singing the first verse on Monday, verses one and two on Tuesday, and so on. Stretch it into two weeks to really cement all the verses in your minds.


Gospel for Asia Free Resources and Prayer Page

The Gospel for Asia website free resource page includes PDF and audio versions of books about the exciting missions work being done in South Asia. There are even a few songs. You’ll be asked to register for the site, but it’s free. Then consider using the variety of prayer teachings for yourself, your family, small group studies, or a church presentation. You may sign up for prayer request e-mails. Note: You will wish to preview items before using them with young people; some items contain graphic descriptions of persecution.


Foster Care Prayer Vigils - Anywhere – Ends May 27

May 20 through 27, 2012. You are encouraged to register your vigil time on the website and can indicate whether or not it is open to the public. Time for planning public events is obviously very limited, but your small group study or family can set aside time to pray for children not in permanent homes worldwide. See the website for more information.


Bible Fathers Trivia Quiz

Take on a challenge and learn.


Free Rice: Feed the Poor and Learn While Playing Games

For every correct answer, 10 grains of rice go to a program that feeds the poor. Categories have expanded to now include Humanities (famous paintings and literature); geography (flags of the world, identify countries on the map, world capitals, world landmarks); English (vocabulary and grammar); math (multiplication and basic math/pre-algebra); chemistry (basic and complete symbols); foreign language (German, Spanish, French, and Italian); science (human anatomy); and test prep (SAT).


92 Ways to Share Your Faith

Although this list refers to sharing the Gospel of John, the ideas translate well to tract distribution. The website also has a great, free devotional–e-mailed daily–if you wish. Check out the second link; free membership is required.


Family Worship Resolution

January 29, 2012 was Family Worship Sunday, capping Family Worship Month (January). The associated website says, “Family Worship Month is a humble call to the church and to the heads of households to spend time with those you love reading the Bible, praying, and/or singing.” Read the story about the importance of family worship in the home at the first link and the suggested resolution at the second link. Many parts of the resolution are sure to resonate with you and strengthen your commitment to discipleship in your family.


Digital Puritan

If you enjoy reading the works of Puritans such as John Bunyan, Matthew Henry, Jonathan Edwards, and John Owen, you will be pleased to learn that many of their works, and the works of many other Puritan authors, are available free of charge in digital format. Hundreds of sermons, treatises, books, and other works can be downloaded directly to your computer and many are also formatted for e-reader devices such as the Kindle.


One-Minute Apologist

The One-Minute Apologist seeks to provide quick, credible answers to apologetic questions for people with a hunger to defend their Christian faith. The organization also has a YouTube channel.

The site says, “The One-Minute Apologist sets out to answer tough questions about Christianity, Bible Difficulties, Faith, Religion, Jesus, God, Atheism, Cults, Doctrine, Theology, Ethics, Science, Philosophy, World Religions, and more.”


Voice of the Martyrs Kids of Courage Series

Voice of the Martyrs recently came out with their new Kids of Courage series suitable for vacation Bible schools or Sunday schools (ages 5 to 13). Their regular newsletters–past and current–are now online. The program gives children an awareness of the persecuted church “without going into the gory details.” Children will learn about forgiveness and faithfulness through real stories about Christians who were persecuted for their faith.


Change Collegian Network

Change Collegian Network is a national campus Christian ministry with conferences, local chapters, free Internet resources, and much, much more. According to the website, it has grown “from a ministry focused on equipping college students to evangelize and defend the faith, into a holistic campus ministry, incorporating Bible study, praise, worship, and group prayer.” The group can help you organize your own chapter if there isn’t one already near you; a chapter just began at Old Dominion University with only four students!


Jesus Film Project and Behind the Easter Story

Watch the entire “Jesus” Film (two hours) or the shorter “The Story of Jesus for Children,”– both free online. Your family may also enjoy “Behind the Easter Story,” a walk through Jerusalem and environs via a limestone model and actual on-scene footage from the Holy Land. This production is presented in two 26-minute segments.



Liberty Guide

The “Resources” section has biographical sketches with links to more; videos, articles, and links to like-minded websites.


Two Views of the Federal Reserve

DynaMinds Publishing produces and distributes financial education curriculum, books and games. They currently offer a free curriculum about the Federal Reserve Bank. It is designed to supplement the average high school or entry-level college economics course and aims to help teachers explain the role of the nation’s central bank in a new and multi-modal way. Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, it includes a DVD that provides an inside look at the role of the Federal Reserve , and an accompanying curriculum guide emphasizing key points teachers can highlight as students participate in scenarios that illustrate how monetary policies affect our economy’s well-being.

The von Mises–or “Austrian School” of economics is opposed to the Federal Reserve system. See their website for information.


Free Workbook for Teens: How to Buy Your First Car

How to Buy Your First Car is a free workbook to help teens gather the information needed to evaluate the pros and cons of purchasing a particular vehicle. Shopping for a car is an excellent opportunity to learn how to evaluate a major purchase decision, not just based on the cost of the item itself but also on the long-term cost of owning and maintaining it. The workbook guides teens through the process. There are also two downloads available for children ages 8 through 13–a country notebooking unit and a state/province notebooking unit.


Modules in Basic and Intermediate College Economics

A student who completes these modules will have a grasp of college-level Economics 101 or higher. They are independent, not for credit, and free of charge. There are numerous other economic resources available on the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) website. FEE also offers high school and college seminars in-person.


Foundation for Economic Education

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) has many free resources such as a newsletter, online library with multimedia, and more, to fill in the blanks in economics education most of us have.


Budget 101

Find ideas submitted by users in categories such as crafts, DIY, gardening, holidays, frugal living, gifts, and mixes. You can post questions asking fellow frugal folks for their money-saving solutions. There are many more along with a free newsletter.


A Recommended Reading List

This list comes from the Amy Foundation, a Christian organization whose purpose is to promote good writing that will have a positive influence on society. They say to “get started with a good story” (good reading is an essential foundation for good writing). There are other recommended reading lists and resource links at the bottom of the page. Some titles may not be suitable for your family.


Feed the Pig Savings Advice

Learn the why and how of savings–and have fun!–with help from Financial Literacy. There are videos, a free weekly e-mailed tip, various calculators, articles, archived tips, and podcasts.


Economics and Government: Stossel in the Classroom

Stossel in the Classroom now has a free 2013 DVD available to order or to stream from the website. The ad says the DVD includes 10 new segments on a range of topics with English and Spanish subtitles, and a teacher guide (in English and Spanish) with lesson plans, graphic organizers, activity suggestions, viewing guides, and vocabulary. Some 2012 DVDs are still available, as are streaming segments from previous years. Although his main topics tend to be economics and government, they touch on a huge list of side issues and subject areas.

Economic Thinking

Economic Thinking has developed seminars, workshops, guest talks, and books demonstrating the role of economic freedom, property rights, and the rule of law in enabling progress and prosperity in America and around the world. They recently developed an economic curriculum, “Economics in a Box.” Economic Thinking brings the leading scholars’ market-oriented ideas to students, parents, and teachers.


“Economics is Fun” Video Clips

Even if you didn’t think you liked econ, you WILL find yourself at least somewhat amused by this series from the Adam Smith Institute. The clips are very short (one- to three-minutes mostly), so there are no long boring lectures. Thus, you have an introduction that is super easy to stop, digest, and discuss with students (high schoolers or motivated younger students). The British accent, bow ties (or casual shirts), cutesy little props all help make this–as the title suggests–fun!


Economics in “The Homeschool Classroom” from von Mises Audio and Lectures

Find such titles as, “A Libertarian Gallop Through American History” and “350 Years of Economic Theory in 50 Minutes.” While you may not agree with all the conclusions, the lectures at the first link will give you a glimpse into Libertarian views and be fascinating discussion prompts. Enter “homeschool” in the search box (top right) at the second link for a much more extensive set of results for searching topics applicable to homeschooling on the website.



Free Copywork – The Lord’s Prayer

Get this free 18-day copywork printable and help your youngsters learn this classic Bible passage at the same time. In addition to the obvious penmanship exercise, the regular practice of copywork also improves vocabulary, dictation skills, and memorization. Choose manuscript or cursive.


Copywork Quotes for Older Students

Copywork is one way to combine several subject areas in one activity, in this case, penmanship, history, philosophy, debate and rhetoric (if you discuss the quotes and ask your students to defend their positions), spelling, grammar, and vocabulary. Here is a great list of historic quotes.

Prompted by item 3.4 on charity evaluations, your editor looked up “charitable” on You would probably be quite surprised at the plethora of information this word generated beyond a mere list of several alternate words. You can select for more common versus informal synonyms, relevance, complexity, and word length. Find the definition, audible pronunciation, and part of speech; in addition, see related terms and their synonyms (seven pages of them in this case!), numerous sample sentences, and the word’s origin and history. If you opt for free membership, you may sign up for a daily e-mailed word from and make lists of favorite words (share them with friends if you care to), and access the Word Dynamo sections for games to build vocabulary or just have fun! Word Dynamo deserves an entry all its own!


 iPad Apps for Struggling or Beginning Readers

Free and commercial apps are available to help your student read, write, spell, and even record drawings. Some apps are aimed at the youngest pre-reader, others may even streamline some processes online for you!

Little House Lessons

The old family favorite Little House series of books have a number of resources, from free projects and written work to entire unit studies.

Older students–and their parents–may be interested to learn more from digging up the story behind Rose Wilder’s trip to Russia. In her younger years, she supported the Bolshevik Revolution, but her travels there resulted in the Discovery of Freedom.

(Note: parents will wish to decide if some of the difficult subjects in Ms. Wilder’s life are suitable for their students.)


Link Literature with Activities

Author Eric Carle and his hungry caterpillar have lots of pint-sized fans. If there is a fan in your house, take a look at these suggestions from Crafts-N-Things for Children. Note the list of activities by age in the center column of the page and the holiday and seasonal lists below it. Try an internet search for activities related to your child’s favorite books or authors (Dr. Seuss + crafts +/- activities).


Tracing Lines Worksheets for Pre-writers

Simple exercises can help students who are pre-writers with fine motor skills–and free a little of your time.


More Than 50 Journal Jar Writing Prompts

Print up these colorful paper slips with writing prompts and pop them into a Journal Jar. Add to it whenever you come across more good ideas. Rotate them with other batches of prompts to keep the ideas from getting stale. Do you let the kids assign you a writing prompt? Do they see you writing– other than a shopping list?


Classic Children’s Books to Read Online

Save on books and even on gas for trips to the library and add a book to your child’s internet library. The classics section is most likely to feature suitable books.


Corner Bookmarks

Print these free corner bookmarks from Simply Charlotte Mason. Once you see the simple shape, it will be a quick step to an art lesson and making your own. Note also the free narration bookmarks.


Free Notebooking Pages Resource Center

Whether you use notebooking as a homeschooling style or not, students will appreciate attractive papers on which to do assignments or copywork. Grandparents will be thrilled to get examples of current work on nice paper too. The Notebooking Pages website has a good selection of free pages that are always available and has special freebies for those who subscribe to their newsletter.

By the way, if you are unfamiliar with “notebooking,” check out the information from the Homeschool Mom and Notebooking Pages. There are more sites listed and an Internet search will turn up others.


Book Adventure

Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to be quizzed on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.


Grammar Monster

The website offers English tips in categories such as punctuation, a daily grammar tip, confused words, parts of speech, and more. You can even submit a grammar question.


Word Hippo

What’s next? Now there is a website that will look up antonyms, synonyms, rhyming words, and much, much more.


100 Most Often Misspelled Words

Challenge yourselves (parents included) and see how you do with this list of commonly misspelled words–and learn the correct spelling. It’s part of your “one-time-only” first impression in writing.


Watson’s Complete SpellerOral and Written

Watson’s Complete Speller: Oral and Written, by J. Madison Watson is a marvelous book for educators that takes you back to 1878. It delves more deeply into the background of spelling and oral speech than most will want to formally incorporate into their teaching, but parts of it are useful for anyone, especially for use by educators as background. The sentences would make great copywork. It can be found free of charge as an e-book on Google Books. The rules and background are more detailed than the previously featured speller.


Vintage Speller – Three Thousand Practice Words by Westlake

Three Thousand Practice Words: With an Appendix Containing Rules for Spelling, Rules for Capitals, Etc., by James Willis Westlake, 1874, is available as a free Google e-Book. Webster wasn’t the only one who wrote spellers! If you love vintage school books or the art and science of spelling, you’ll love this volume. Spelling lessons are arranged alphabetically and are made up of upper level words. Part II is “difficult words” and Part III, “proper names.” Part IV, homophonous words in the form of dictation exercises, may be useful to many and entertaining to logophiles (and the general reading public). The appendix is almost another speller in itself with several more parts! Truly a rich resource for older spellers and their teachers who want to be excellent spellers.


The Online Books Page

On this site–a project of the University of Pennsylvania–you will find a list of links to over a million books available online. Parents will wish to screen first, as content and suitability will vary…but we will get you to read today!


The Hiding Place

Use The Hiding Place as your search term in the website search box to find a free study guide to the classic book by Corrie ten Boom (or click on the link below). After you finish the book study, view the film with family members who are, in your judgment, ready for this emotional story that contains factual WWII violence. You can download or print the study guides. By the way, did you see Corrie’s quote in Section 5, “Worth Repeating”?

Note: some books on the site may not be suitable for your family.


High School English Resources

Smarr Publishers offers many free resources on their website, including A Guide to Critical Writing, Grammar, and StyleMoping Melancholy Mad: An Introduction to Poetry, and A Research Project in Ten Lessons, all by Robert W. Watson.

The text, study guides, and answer keys for An Introduction to the Short Story by Robert W. Watson can be found at the second link.

A downloadable PDF of the student guide for Moping Melancholy Mad: An Introduction to Poetrycan be found at the third link.


Janice Campbell’s “Books Boys Like” List

Janice Campbell, who homeschooled her four boys from preschool through early college, suggests these not only as good books, but ones boys like to read.


Confusing Words Index

Here is a website designed to explain words often confused in the English language. Begin with the alphabetic index and browse through it, bookmarking the page for future reference. There is a free e-mail list along with a blog.


A Recommended Reading List

This list comes from the Amy Foundation, a Christian organization whose purpose is to promote good writing that will have a positive influence on society. They say to “get started with a good story” (good reading is an essential foundation for good writing). There are other recommended reading lists and resource links at the bottom of the page. Some titles may not be suitable for your family.


Specialty Dictionaries and Glossaries

This website goes into all sorts of professional fields and subspecialties to offer a selection of special dictionaries. It may be worth bookmarking for future reference.


Word of the Day for Children

Dr. Goodword’s Word Wizard Club is open to kids and English learners of all ages! Subscribe free of charge to the simplified word of the day features (reviews, puzzles, spelling helps) with Goodword Junior. Then explore the other activities of this new, online club for kids.


Classics-Based Writing – Condolence Letters

This is an introduction to a lesson in a paid subscription, but there are still great pointers to be gained from “Writer’s Toolbox” and what follows for this lesson. The lesson happens to be on writing condolence letters modeled on a letter by Abraham Lincoln. The introduction is at the first link; the second link is the Wikipedia article on the letter with the text of the letter. Get your FREE, one-year subscription to when you register for the convention and access this course–and lots of others–year round!


“Alt Codes” Chart for Special Keyboard Characters

Do you wonder why your computer is missing the cents symbol or heart that other computers seem to have? Here is a chart with both common and unusual keyboard characters and how to teach them to your computer.


Handwriting Day – January 23 – Penmanship Tools Online

With the rising use of texting, e-mail, and word processing software (such as Microsoft Word), students get less and less practice in the fine art of penmanship. Donna Young has many forms of handwriting tools from letter animations to printables for both manuscript and cursive to aid in developing proper letter formation. Why not celebrate Handwriting Day with a special note to a loved one or shut-in?


Free Automatic Bibliography and Citation Maker

Although students should know the basics without this handy gadget, it does make a good checker after they have done it on their own. It will come in very handy when you need to know how to correctly cite a rather obscure source such as a court case, online video, or digital file.


World Wide Words

Your editor is a logophile and has enjoyed this site’s free, weekly newsletter for years. The site’s British owner describes the site this way:

“The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or change their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least some part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, the background to words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.


Latin Phrase List

Find a very handy list of almost all the common Latin phrases likely to be used in literature in the Wikipedia compilation. Browse randomly (how about one a day?) or look up as needed in the alphabetical listing.


The “Long ‘S’”

Have you encountered old print texts (18th-century primary source material, for example) and wondered about the letter “s” that looks a lot like our modern “f”? Here is a brief explanation. An Internet search will turn up much more information if you are interested.

Be-a-Voice Network

Voice of the Martyrs offers an opportunity to write letters to, or on behalf of, our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world; speak to your own church or others about the needs of the persecuted; and focus on prayer for the persecuted church. See the website for all the details.


What Makes a Book Good

Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn, of Trivium Pursuit, suggest ways to determine if a book is suitable for children.

A free online spellchecker. Copy and paste a piece of text, click “spell check” and all the spelling errors will be highlighted. A pull down menu is used to give you suggestions with the most likely choices. It is amazingly accurate.


Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Purdue University has a website with over 200 free English resources useful to students and teachers from about seventh grade on up. Taking a quick look at the site will give you an idea of what’s there and if it will be of use.


Preparation for Playwriting Contest in April

Preparatory notes are already up on the NaNoWriMo website prior to their playwriting contest called “Script Frenzy,” which is in April. Your students may want to take a look in case they are more interested in writing plays or movie scripts than novels.


Preschool through Ninth Grade

See a variety of spelling games; some may be played online, and others require paper or a Scrabble board–lots of free ideas! There are also worksheets, word lists by grade, and lessons from preschool through ninth grade.



What is notebooking? Check the first link to read more. If you subscribe to the free newsletter at, you’ll have access to many free sample pages to try out notebooking. There are more sites listed and an Internet search will turn up others. Teacher and Student Resources

There is an extensive list of links to aid teachers, parents, and students.


New Curriculum from World Magazine Publishers – Sample Lesson

“Write with WORLD” is the two-year middle school writing curriculum developed by education and media professionals.” The developers say, “Learn about this groundbreaking curriculum that uses fascinating current events, insights from over 20 media pros, and a compelling Christian worldview to motivate and teach students effectively.” You can test drive it via this sample lesson.


Confusing Words

“Affluent” or “effluent”? “Effect” or “affect”? Confusing Words addresses those questions, as well as similar questions about the 3,210 words that are most troublesome to writers. Use the Confusing Words search engine to find the word in question, along with its definition, and to see it used in a sentence.


Dictations Online

Are your students ready for challenge? Select from the 63 graded dictations (read with a mild British accent–it’s easy to adapt with a little practice). Make sure your students know that a “full stop” in British usage is a period in U.S. grammar terms. It is also printed on the page. Listen to a complete read-through, then click on the spot indicated when ready to write. After a demonstration of an elementary level, children will get the hang of how it works. High schoolers may benefit from reading some of the books used in the upper level dictations such as 1984,Oliver TwistJane Eyre, and other well-known works of English literature. Parents will wish to choose passages that are suitable for their family.



WordCount (TM) presents the 86,800 most frequently used words in the English language. According to the site, “Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance. The larger the word, the more we use it. The smaller the word, the more uncommon it is.”


Homeschool Writers 

A one-stop site for information on many of the writing contests open to homeschoolers. The site was created by a homeschooled girl at the age of 11. She crafted a chart to show such summarized information as due dates, ages, prizes, and topics. She has even added an e-mail reminder feature to let you know of approaching deadlines. There are also curriculum reviews and literature recommendations.


Type Phonetic Symbols for English

The website says, “This page allows you to easily type phonetic transcriptions of English words in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). You can edit your text in the box and then copy it to your document, e-mail message, etc.”



Recipes from 50 States

Enjoy a sampling of recipes from this yummy list that represents all 50 states. Whatever state you are studying or visiting will be all the more fun.


Mission Friends Curriculum

Here is a wonderful way to learn about others and become more aware of all God’s blessings to us. This free printable missions curriculum from the Lutherans has many applications for an elementary geography and missions exploration. Find 18 lesson pamphlets for different countries with maps, recipes, vocabulary, and more. In addition, there are bookmarks, dot-to-dot and coloring pages, “passports,” and printable copies of real country stamps from around the world. Start on the curriculum page and navigate to the other pages via the left sidebar.


Israel Video Network

See a variety of gorgeous videos that showcase the unique beauty of the home God gave to His chosen people. Some videos touch on biblical topics–one demonstrated carrying the Ark of the Covenant.


Christmas in Australia Unit Study

A Montessori teacher has assembled a list of links to help you explore Christmas “down under”–quite a change of pace. Sample Aussie edible treats, learn how they celebrate (it’s summer there, you know), and examine some maps of Australia. Do as much or as little as you’d like, and enjoy the time with your family!


Geography Awareness Week

The third week in November is designated “Geography Awareness Week” in the U.S. Although much of the observance is secular (evolution, globalism) and may not be suitable for children to use directly, parents can glean from resources on the Internet and make a special emphasis on geography. See how many places you can look up or find on the globe from news stories each day. The Joshua Project linked here is one way to look at the geographic and cultural features of an “Unreached People Group” each day–and pray for them. They can e-mail the item daily, free of charge. Many other Christian ministries and missions groups have similar prayer focus calendars, e-mail, or pamphlets.


Israeli Culture for Kids

This brief, one-page summary of Israeli culture is a starting point to introduce younger children to another country’s food, clothes, customs, and more. It is a brief overview with generalizations and is incomplete, but for young ones, it may suffice–and spark an interest in further exploration and study!


National Geography Bee

It’s never too early to prepare or just to have fun “playing” it at home! (Shhh…don’t tell the kids they’re learning.)


Geography: 50 States

This website is an awesome reference for a state study, trip planning or review, and more. Look up state nicknames, mottoes, birds, flowers, trees–even current events.


The National Library of Scotland

An online digital library of many Scottish-related resources, including maps, a timeline of key events in Scottish history, stories from World War I, The Murthly Hours (a book of prayer from 1280), and so much more.



A Special Treat that Anyone Will Love – Almond Butter Cookies

Here’s another vegan and gluten-free treat you can share with folks on a limited diet (if they can have sweets). Folks not on any restricted diets will never know these cookies use substitutes for the standard ingredients–we promise!


Medical Terminology Worksheets

More than ever, it is crucial that each of us becomes our own health-care advocate. Since moms are most likely to be the ones both teaching and taking children to the doctor, this is a natural subject to learn right along with the kids! Your young students will learn more than they realize when they get to quiz you. Studying common medical terminology is a natural part of vocabulary with its many Latin and Greek root words, prefixes, and suffixes. These 25 pages of free worksheets can be arranged any way you like, printed, or reviewed online.


Stroke Recognition – ACT F.A.S.T Video

Teach this easy stroke recognition sequence that even older elementary students can learn. Review and drill it regularly to add another tool to your self-care toolbox. Recognizing strokes early is key to limiting the damage they can cause. Note: You can remember another possible sign of a stroke with an extra “T” for “tongue.”

Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is crooked (deviates to one side) it could also be an indication of a stroke.

Also, since the video was produced in the UK, it uses their 999 emergency phone number. Make sure the kids remember to dial ours when they act out the scenario to practice. They’ll love role-playing and taking turns being the patient!


Toaster Fires and Four Family Fire Safety Tips

Learn from one mom’s experience about toaster fires and see her simple family fire safety tips.


Online First Aid and Online CPR Certification

This website offers certificates in both CPR and first aid after completion of online courses. Fees are modest if you wish a certificate, but the courses themselves are free. If you need certification, please ensure the institution with which you are dealing accepts online certificates; however, the education could help anyone become competent in this critical area.


Five Things You Need to Know about West Nile Virus

Learn what West Nile is, the symptoms, how to prevent it, how it’s treated, and the areas where it is prevalent.


Clubhouse Jr.‘s Olympic Fitness Challenge

To win a prize for participation, one had to begin around June 1 and mail accumulated points by August 31, but it should be easy enough to substitute any small “prizes” of your own for your family for dates you determine. Enjoy fitness ideas such as bowling, fishing, croquet–even walking the dog.


Nutrition and Health:  Caffeine Chart

Have you ever wondered how much caffeine is in your favorite drink? Here is a detailed breakdown–mostly about coffees, teas, and sodas. Many people (ordinary lay people who simply enjoy the drinks and medical types) have concerns about caffeine. This chart, as well as other information widely available on the Internet, can be a real eye-opener for you and your students who are studying health and nutrition.


The Case of the Contaminated, Reusable Grocery Bag

The infamous norovirus that has ruined so many cruises, struck a teen soccer team and some parents after one player became sick and contaminated a bag holding snacks, etc. Read the story that illustrates the imperative need to wash or wipe down reusable grocery bags regularly. The second link provides information on how to keep reusable grocery bags safe.


20-Minute Daily Exercise Plan

“A 20-Minute Daily Exercise Plan for People Too Busy to Work Out” proposes a six-day-a-week exercise plan for basic fitness. It rotates upper body, lower body, and core exercises, and includes explanatory videos.


First Aid: A Graduation Requirement?

Some parents have gone so far as to require the Boy Scout’s Eagle Scout requirements (whether or not their child is in Scouts–or a boy), thinking these are simply valuable life skills in which our young people are rapidly losing competence as we move toward an urban existence. If a child is not in Scouting, some substitutions may be needed (being consistently active in groups other than Scouting, for example). You may need to find assistance to fulfill some requirements.

Lifeguard training is part of the Boy Scout requirement! Junior lifeguards can train during the years from 11 to 14. Senior lifeguards begin at 15. At LEAST know how to recognize a swimmer in distress (It may not look as you would expect.), and do a rescue from poolside, without going into the water.

In-person classes are almost always better because you get to practice CPR on dummies and get direct feedback from trained instructors. Find Red Cross classes on this page, listed by zip code. The more training/equipment one is qualified to use, the better!

Although your kids may “know it all” when it comes to child care with wall-to-wall, 24/7/365 siblings, an official card for care-giving and babysitting (ages 11 to 15) can’t hurt.

Look for plenty of extra information in the sidebars of all the pages. Check with your local hospital;  they may know of other groups.


Get Kids in Action

Get Kids In Action, a partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Gatorade Company, aims to increase physical activity among children to reduce and prevent obesity. The website has one section for parents and another for kids. The kids’ section is heavy on Flash animation but looks to be interesting. The adults’ section includes resources to help your child maintain or reach a healthy weight; inspirational material on helping your child find healthy, fun activities; basic nutritional information that is relevant to kids; and straight talk on the myths and facts surrounding childhood obesity.


BBC’s Interactive Body

The BBC has a nice interactive website where you try to fit parts of the human body where they properly belong. It includes five different games about organs, muscles, senses, the nervous system, and the skeletal system. Also on the page is the “puberty demo.” Discover the changes that take place during puberty and understand the science behind them.

More Cool Sites

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