We’ve compiled a list of online resources from those published in the weekly HEAV Update. They are sorted 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.

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Not every child is as talented as Monet, but all children can benefit from creating art. Some of the benefits of art are the development of motor skills, language, decision making, and art aids in visual learning, inventiveness, as well as improved academic performance. You can encourage your reluctant artist with these suggestions.


You can use these step-by-step instructions to teach your student to draw a scarecrow, turkey, and a pilgrim couple. They may want to paint their drawings and use them to decorate your holiday feast.



This sewing blog lists several household items sewers might find useful. Having the right tool will save you priceless time.



Watch this how-to video to learn to create a gift bag that may be more of the gift than its contents. Laura from SewVeryEasy gives step-by-step instructions to make these adorable bags.



The Kodak Moment of the Day features a daily photograph submitted by average people. Use this website to encourage your child’s creativity by looking through the photos in this collection. Have your child describe the photograph and ask what appeals to them. What would they change? Take a walk with a camera and watch their creativity take flight. Then submit their captured images for consideration.



Children will love drawing these simple objects using the step-by-step instructions. Click on each numbered step and watch the object appear step-by-step. With over twenty-five objects from which to choose, your child can create quite a few drawings.

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 the first link 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.

The second link has more than 150 sewing projects that take less than 30 minutes to complete, including a spit bib, secret pocket pillow, handwarmer, mini messenger bag, crayon holder, and many, many more.


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.


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!


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.
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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 JollyNotes.com


JollyNotes.com 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!


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 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.


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.


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!


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.

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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.

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Download free Christian books by authors such as A. W. Tozer, Andrew Murray, Brother Lawrence, Jonathan Edwards, and many more. Newsletter registration is required to download five free books.



This free book by Dr. William Evans, describes techniques for memorizing the Bible that are simple, clear, practical, and have immediate benefit. These techniques work with any text, poetry, prose, sermon, or recitation that you desire to memorize.



As busy homeschool parents, finding time for anything personal can be difficult. David Murray, pastor, professor, and author shares ideas in 20 Tips For Personal Devotions in the Digital Age to start, continue, or tweak your personal devotion time.


Oswald Chambers will speak directly to your heart in his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest and will challenge you to live a God-focused life.




Here is a guide designed to encourage you to pray daily, indeed, pray without ceasing. The list, with its corresponding Scriptures, includes such topics as what prayer is (and is not), who God is, prayer starters, why God will not answer your prayers, and much more. See the second link on the same website for a concise selection of Bible tools.


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).


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.


Oneplace.com – One-Stop Audio Broadcast Archives


Oneplace.com 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 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



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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


Gospel for Asia Free Resources and Prayer Page

www.gfa.org/resource  www.gfa.org/pray

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.



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.

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Convert currency, calculate tips, estimate pay, calculate monthly payments, and more at this helpful site. Employ these tools to teach your young adult about the cost of living.



Whether your student is sixteen or twenty-six, this list of potential interview questions will help prepare them for job interviews. Thinking through the answers to these questions before the interview will prepare the job candidate for unexpected questions during stressful interviews.

Liberty Guide


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


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.


“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.

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Shakespeare Study Guides

SparkNotes has created an online library of resources for Shakespeare’s works. Included at this site are “No Fear Shakespeare” with line-by-line translations into modern English, as well as SparkNotes study guides of Shakespeare’s most famous works. Parents should be careful to review all text for mature topics.




Teaching children to write does not need to be a tedious task. You can use these suggestions to walk them through the process of writing by daily oral learning of a text, creating a new version of the story, and making up new stories.



A resume is a summary of your work experience, education, and skills. It represents the job applicant before a formal interview. Creating an outstanding record of your accomplishments is critical. This website has resources to help you create an attention-getting resume.


Like Alexander Graham Bell said, “Preparation is the key to success.” It is never too early to start preparing. This blog post about writing college papers that will “dazzle your professors” can help prepare your student for their academic or business future. Writing well is a necessary skill for the 21st century.


Prefix and Suffix Worksheets

Learning the definitions of prefixes and suffixes and how to add them to root words will increase your student’s vocabulary. These free downloadable worksheets may help your child conquer these concepts.




Are you looking for ways to encourage your child’s natural writing ability? Why not submit their writing for publication? This site offers a list of resources through which your student can submit short stories, poems, essays, and even artwork for publication.



Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab, or OWL, is a wealth of information on writing. The writing process section covers topics such as a writing task resource list, starting the writing process, prewriting (invention), writer’s block, stasis theory, creating a thesis statement, developing an outline, reverse outlining, and proofreading. Each section is a link to additional information needed in the writing process.



Tracey le Roux, a homeschooling mom and retired pediatric occupational therapist (OT) shares her insights into handwriting issues with older children. Tracey encourages you to think about your child and the difficulties they have with writing and then leads you to practical solutions. The website is chock full of exercises and activities designed to strengthen fine motor skills. They are also available at a low price in convenient e-book format.



Unfamiliar words can be tricky to pronounce; HowJSay.com can help. Just type your word into the search box and hit submit to have the word spoken to you.


The Rhyme Zone will help you find not only rhyming words, but near-rhyming words, synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and more, taking some of the frustration out of learning to write poetry. Rhyme time also gives examples of poetry using your word choice and a rhyming word.


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 Thesaurus.com. 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 Dictionary.com 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).


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?


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.


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 schoolhouseteachers.com 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.


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 NotebookingPages.com, 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.


OurDictionary.com 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.


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.”

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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!


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.

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Are you ready for hurricane season? Do you have your hurricane preparedness kit ready? May 25, 2015, through May 31, 2015 is Virginia’s Sales Tax Holiday for items you will need to put in your kit. Download this official list of items eligible for tax-free status.



Hurricane season begins June 1. Use this Red Cross website to prepare for potential 2015 storms. Watch a video on how to assemble a hurricane preparedness kit for your home, or just clarify the difference between a watch and a warning. Forewarned is forearmed.



Everyone should be prepared with knowledge of basic first aid. The courses offered at First Aid for Free will prepare you for life’s little and possibly big emergencies. There are four first aid classes, Basic First Aid, Advanced First Aid, Pediatric First Aid, and AED. Registration is required to take the courses. Upon completion of each course, you will be able to print out a certificate.



The team at Greatest.com want to challenge you to make healthier choices. They have created a list of 89 swaps they think can change your life and make you a healthier you! In categories such as fitness, health, and happiness, changes range from easy to this may take some time to get used to. Why not try a few? Not all suggestions will be suitable for everyone.

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.


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.


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.

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This 13-lesson unit study on Mary, Queen of Scots covers the Renaissance and Reformation, and Mary’s childhood through her death and burial. There are links to online resources as well as suggested books for study and downloadable pages to create a lapbook. The topics covered in this study are historical and include murder, deceit, and adultery.



After your family has picked fresh strawberries, spend some time together learning about the history of the pie. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page to get a few facts about the strawberry and a recipe for Light and Luscious Strawberry Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce.



With 4,204 biographies, you are sure to find a biography of the person, character, or creature for your needs or at least one that interests you. From U.S. presidents to actors and activists, the short biographies and links for further research, common bonds, and related biographies will enhance your study.



Compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, this list of 100 documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965. Included in the list are The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The Virginia Plan, The Federalist Papers, The Bill of Rights, The Monroe Doctrine, and 94 equally important documents in U.S. history. Images of each document, as well as a transcript of the document, can be downloaded.



Children tend to enjoy hearing about “the olden days,” you know–when you were little and dirt was a new commodity. At dmarie.com’s Time Capsule you can recall the good ole’ days. Just click on the Quick Page button and type in a date of your choosing. In an instant, you will have for that date, the top news headlines, top songs for the year, the President, Vice-President, Academy Award winners, prices for the year, people who were born on that date, television shows, hot new toys, and the top books for the year.



History.com provides a short bio for all fifty states and the District of Columbia using videos, pictures, and text—and including information such as population, size, nickname(s), motto, tree, flower, bird, and other interesting facts.

Civil War Learning While Playing


Play games online (like a form of the old memory game) or try a project (make a drum). There are more to check out at the website from the Museum of the Confederacy.


Geoguessr Online Game


This online game sets you down in a random spot on the globe and you then figure out where you are. Use the clickable features to turn around 360 degrees for an overall view, to move forward on the road or turn and go the other direction, or to zoom in on items that may provide more helpful details. Look for clues such as road signs, terrain, flora, fauna, architecture, etc., and then click on the accompanying map to make your guess and see if you are correct (you can click and drag the map, as well as zoom in on locations, to make your guess more precise). To increase the learning factor of the game, look up locations on a search engine and find out more about them.


What Did They Eat? You Can Help Research, Too!


Are you ready to apply academics–or learn new skills–to food in historic settings?

The New York Public Library has digitized more than 17,000 historic menus containing over a million dishes. Visit the site and go to the “Catch of the Day” area to read about some of the seafood menus; look over “Today’s Specials” about unique culinary creations. Type words into the search engine (such as “baked Alaska” or “Chicago”) to get an idea of the database’s contents! Did you know that a visitor (that’s you) can help out by transcribing menus and geo-tagging the locations and places mentioned in the menu. Find the details on the website.


Reformation Day – October 31


Find links to activities and information on Martin Luther.


Online Maps Tell the Story of Buildings


See a gallery of interactive maps that tell the age of buildings in several major cities in the United States and abroad. Learn what led to building spurts and inaccurate results. What a fascinating potential local project for an ambitious student.


State Study

State Birds Coloring Pages

State Flags Coloring Pages

Why not work a mini unit study on U.S. states into the schedule this fall? These coloring pages are fun for the little ones while challenging enough for older children as well. Plus, they’d make great lap-books! Which state’s motto is “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence”?


U.S. History, Constitution, and Economics Courses


Register now for another free online class from Hillsdale College, “Economics 101,” which begins September 23. Hillsdale offers free, not-for-credit online courses taught by its faculty. These online versions are based upon those in the college’s undergraduate Core Curriculum, which all their students must complete prior to graduation. In addition to lectures, these online courses feature readings, study guides, quizzes, and discussion groups. There is also an opportunity to receive certificates of completion for each course. High school students and up, along with their parents, would gain a great deal from them.


Constitution Day – September 17


Plan ahead for this event! Find the usual Constitutional facts and resources as well as four new interactive quizzes with which to challenge yourself or friends. There are still the familiar treasure hunts, word finds, crosswords, and more! You can even order a free pocket copy of the Constitution.


Historic Sites in Virginia Tourism


Cooler weather will soon make it a bit more welcoming outside, so don’t miss the fantastic history outings Virginia has to offer. Explore the Virginia Tourism website for events and venues of interest and be sure to verify information with the organization before you make final plans. Occasionally, something out of date sneaks into the website.


Cato Institute Free Online Course


The Cato Institute is a libertarian organization that is now offering you an opportunity to listen, read, and study at your own pace. See if you agree or disagree with their positions. Have you seen the free Hillsdale College history and Constitution courses (an Internet search will find them)?


Around the World in 60 Days


Are you interested in some painless and downright fun geography? Get a free downloadable map, itinerary, passport, and stamps for “Around the World in 60 Days” from Focus on the Family andThriving Families magazine.


Hillsdale College Constitution and History–New Courses and a Podcast


Hillsdale College offers several free college level courses on the U.S. Constitution and history (manageable for younger students with adult guidance). Now those courses are joined by a podcast just one minute long. Anyone can find room to squeeze that in to learn as an educator and/or for students middle school age and up. Check their website and a previous HEAV item for more information.


Hillsdale College’s “Constitution Minute”


The Constitution Minute is a series of brief, informative radio messages designed to improve your understanding of the meaning and history of the U.S. Constitution.


U.S. Printables


Find free printables for U.S. symbols, maps, landmarks, and historic events, famous people, and multiple simple pages for each state.


Newly Revised – Confirmed Quotations from the Founding Fathers


David Barton continues his research to back up famous quotes, searching for their origins in primary source material.


Liberty Library of Constitutional Classics


Find a list of the classic books and other works on constitutional government, works without which no liberal arts education is complete—and works high schools and colleges consistently omit. Additional works cover topics in the areas of culture and comparative religions.


Student News Daily


Sign up for a free daily current events item with quiz and discussion questions from a conservative perspective. The website has editorial cartoons, quotes, a weekly opinion piece, and resources to help students learn to recognize bias in the media. If it has been a while since you visited the site, take a minute to see all the new features.


U.S. Constitution Catechism


This study aid was first published in 1828, coincidentally the year another classic–Noah Webster’s dictionary–appeared. Few people today realize that the question-and-fixed-answer style most familiar with teaching foundational doctrine to children in liturgical churches has also been applied to other subjects.

All About Presidents Notebooking Unit



“All About Presidents” is a detailed notebooking unit that can be used to research and report on the office of the President of the United States. A free president report unit, which can be used to report on the president(s) of your choice, is also available. Sign up for the free newsletter from TheHomeSchoolMom and get a free country unit study too.

[Note: This material is being shared by permission. Please direct friends to the website if they would like their own copy.]


Old Time Radio: “Adventures in Research”


Listen online or download mp3s of the old radio shows, “Adventures in Research” (both formats are free). More than 80 14-and-a-half-minute programs feature titles such as “America’s First Invention,” “The First Skyscraper,” and “A Sprig of Mint.” You’ll have to listen to discover the secrets behind the stories.


U.S. National Debt Clocks


The data is all here for a look at the U.S. National Debt in charts, graphs, and running clocks. Make sure you’re sitting down.


Introductory Videos


A dad, attorney, and formerly homeschooled student (grades 1 through 12) has created a series of short, animated videos on topics in law, government, and politics. The YouTube videos, approximately five minutes each, could be a useful teaser for lessons in social studies.


Flag Conservation Video


See a short video on how the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond conserved a Civil War flag. Visit the Museum’s website to see programs that might interest your family.


Vote Smart Voter Guide


This is a bi-partisan voting guide searchable by states, topics, and more.


Memorize the (U.S. Constitution) Preamble Kit – Available Only in September.


Get this free four-page PDF from Knowledge House by September 30 to help your students memorize it.


Revolutionary War Lapbook


Get a link to this free, unit-study lapbook on the developer’s website and see how she implemented it with her family. Check recent Updates for mentions of upcoming opportunities to visit Virginia historical sites such as Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown that are pertinent to this lapbook/study. The project is a great follow-up if you have already visited.


United States of America Half Staff Flag Notifications


A number of flag sales websites have the black nylon streamers to add the “half-staff” signification to flags you fly from fixed brackets on the side of your house. Please be prepared to honor our fallen heroes. You can look up “flag etiquette” and get the details of proper half-staff procedures for regular flag poles if you need them. There are several sources for e-mailed or social media notifications of “half-staff alerts.” See the links below for more information.


Cato Institute Free Audio Home Study Course


These audio presentations will interest those who desire to learn more about political science, especially from the Cato Institute’s libertarian perspective, but it does discuss a lot of general political science. It’s fairly weighty stuff, so parents may wish to listen with high schoolers, and possibly pause and discuss. College students and adults will likely do well on their own.


March is Women’s History Month


Here is an amazing list of women of great Christian faith you may wish to study during the emphasis on women’s history.


Hillsdale College Resources



View video of past Hillsdale events. Subjects frequently focus on history, the Constitution, and politics. See a recent program, “The 2012 Election: America’s Moment of Truth,” which is part of the free First Friday series held at the Kirby Center in Washington, D.C. See the center website for details if you wish to register for events, receive publications, or familiarize yourself with other free resources.


American Memory Timeline


“Primary sources are essential to the teaching of American history, but finding the correct sources for your students can be intimidating. The Library of Congress’ American Memory Timeline cuts through the clutter and organizes primary sources into eras and topics. Each section has a short overview and links to primary sources of different types, many with transcriptions.”

(Tip from the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Gazette. To subscribe, please send an e-mail to teachergazette@cwf.org with the subject heading “subscribe.”)


Presidents Day and Black History Month


See the Teaching Home archives, issue number 267 for items relating to the special history focus for February, Presidents Day, and Black History Month.


Big Blue Marble in Hi-Def


Challenge the kids to name as many features as they can of earth as seen from space in this high definition photo.


American Minute


The American Minute is a free daily e-mail (and website) with a short episode from history, usually with pithy quotes. The website also has audio versions for easy listening (perhaps while mom ducks out for a moment!)


Ancient Egypt

The British Museum’s website about Ancient Egypt, this site has 10 sections, including: Egyptian life, geography, gods and goddesses, mummification, pharaohs, pyramids, temples, time, trades, and writing. Highly interactive and informative.


Digital Egypt for Universities

This site offers 3D models of such things as the different tomb types from Prehistoric and Old Kingdom Egypt, pyramids, the Min Temple, and much, much more.


History for Kids

An online history and science encyclopedia for children, this site is currently published by Professor Carr, who holds a PhD in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is an associate professor of History at Portland State University.


Lewis and Clark

The website for the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, this site is dedicated to preserving the Lewis and Clark Trail and sharing information about Lewis and Clark and the Crops of Discovery.


Naval History


If your student is interested in specific, detailed information on aspects of naval warfare, this is a good place to start. This website is researched, written, and designed by Gordon Smith, who dedicates the website to the memory of his father, Ordnance Artificer George Smith, who was lost in the sinking of HMS Charybdis off the Brittany coast on October 23, 1943. Because he is in the UK, he has a British perspective of naval history. He covers the areas of Pax Britannica, World Wars I and II, and the Falkland’s War.


The Labyrinth Project for Medieval Studies

The Labyrinth Project, sponsored by Georgetown University, provides free, organized access to electronic resources in medieval studies. The Labyrinth’s easy-to-use menus and links provide connections to databases, services, texts, and images on other servers around the world. You can search for maps, audio and video materials for children, primary texts, and more.


Top 100 People in American History

Atlantic Monthly’s list of the top 100 most influential people in American’s history. Do you agree? Why or why not? This could be a good essay and discussion starter.


Voices of the Presidents


Did you know you can listen to 21 of the U.S. presidents, from Benjamin Harrison to the current president?


Codes, Ciphers, and Spies

The British National Archives online have a page with real codes from history to use in a game. Read about codes, code breakers, and spies through the centuries.

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A website dedicated to celebrating the creativity and imagination of Theodor Seuss Geisel. It’s an interactive site with videos, games, teacher resources, and a page for parents.


April Edition of “Knowledge House”


Get links to a free 50-page e-book of Edgar Guest poetry, a great quote of the month, free household notebook pages to print, and much more.


Paris Review


Welcome to the DNA of literature—over 50 years of literary wisdom rolled up in 300+ Writers-at-Work interviews, now available online for free. For the first time, you can read, search, and download any or all of over three hundred in-depth interviews with poets, novelists, playwrights, essayists, critics, and musicians whose work set the compass of twentieth-century writing and continues to do so into the twenty-first century.

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eLogic GalleryAristotle to the Present by David Marans



Get the free downloadable version of this logic resource and see a little bit of what our forefathers said about logic that made them include it in every course of study. The book is recommended by Trivium Pursuit; the quotes would make great copywork.


The Fallacy Detective News Archives


Brothers Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn, whose family is behind the Trivium Pursuit website, generate super, free resources to help parents teach logic. Check out the huge list of archived material for its potential as an informal introduction to logic.


Your Logical Fallacy Is…

“Your Logical Fallacy Is” is a useful tool for learning logic and reasoning. Logical fallacies are flaws in reasoning that are commonly used. Rolling your mouse over any of the icons gives the name and definition of the fallacy; clicking the icon takes you to a page with a more detailed explanation and examples.



The Fallacy Detective

Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn are the sons of Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn (www.triviumpursuit.com). They have been homeschooled all of their lives and live near New Boston, Illinois. They have co-authored The Fallacy Detective, a book on logic for children and adults. At their website, you can pester them with questions on logic, read interesting articles, read through message boards, and even sign up for a “Logic Loop” via e-mail.

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Has your child been begging for piano lessons, but you just are not sure about their ability to follow through—or their potential dedication to the task? Use these free online video lessons to teach them a few basics and to determine if they are truly ready for music lessons.

Making Music Fun


Making Music Fun offers many free resources and even has a “Homeschool Teacher Index” page (under “Music Library” near the bottom of the homepage). There is a section on composers with free printable coloring pages, word searches, and biographies. Use their free beginning lessons on music theory and instruments of the orchestra. The site has a free newsletter too. Material is geared toward elementary school students.


“Listening to Music” from Yale


This high school and college level course, via the “Open Yale” program, has videos, print notes, and books you may buy (or borrow from the library) if you wish. The professor helps students learn how to listen and understand Western music using a variety of musical styles ranging from Bach and Mozart, to Gregorian chant, to the blues.


Free Sheet Music


Free sheet music categorized by instrument or artist.


Free Gershwin Unit Study


Are you doing a composer study in your homeschool? Learn about George Gershwin in this free unit study from Mary, a former public school teacher, now a homeschool mom, who loves to teach about music.

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Teaching Scissor Skills to Preschoolers


Small children have a natural curiosity to try things they see their older siblings and parents doing. Cutting with scissors is one of those things. You can use these helpful suggestions to teach your preschooler this important skill.


Discovering the Five Senses with Popcorn

Learning about popcorn can be fascinating. You can use this mini book to discover our five senses.




Fine motor skills are necessary for coloring, drawing, writing, scissors skills, building with Legos and Duplos, and tying shoelaces. You can use these activities to develop strong fine motor skills in your preschooler.




The evidence your child has learned a concept is that they can teach it to another person. This nativity cube can aid your child in telling the nativity story. Simply download and print the story cube pattern. There is a full-color version and an outline version that your child can color. Assemble the cube per the instructions, then have your child roll the dice and explain the picture displayed. Printing the download on cardstock will make the cube more durable.




Your children will have fun creating and playing with these 20 paper plate animals. You will find instructions for a turkey, a chicken, a giraffe, and a koala, among other animals.




This sweet, seasonal version of the memory game is a great way to increase your child’s brain development. It is an excellent exercise for your child’s brain, improves concentration, enhances cognitive skills, boosts brain function, trains their visual memory, increases their short-term memory, teaches them to keep focus, and increases their attention.



This cute little turkey will make a great addition to your holiday décor, and your preschooler will be thrilled to contribute. This gobbler is made from brown paper strips, colorful feathers, orange ribbon, and scraps of white, black, yellow, and red paper.


This simple experiment can demonstrate the life cycle of a pumpkin. Will cutting the top off of a pumpkin and putting dirt inside cause the seeds to grow? Try this experiment with your little ones and see.


Little ones love to have books read to them and making the story last a bit longer with a book-themed activity can add to the excitement.


These cute turkey printables will encourage your preschoolers to practice the sounds for the letters of the alphabet. This printable includes 26 turkeys, one for each letter of the alphabet, and 104 feathers with pictures to match with the letters. The download is free with registration.



You can supplement your curriculum with these cute fall-themed worksheets. There are number recognition, letter recognition, counting, and reading number words worksheets, as well as skip counting worksheets included in this package.


Exploring Pumpkins


You can teach your child about the five senses using this downloadable worksheet. As they dictate their answers, you can complete the form. Why not build on this exercise by filling out a worksheet for a whole pumpkin, the inside of the pumpkin, and cooked pumpkin? You can download this free worksheet by placing it in the shopping cart and then purchasing it, or you can create your own using the pictured worksheet as a guide. A name and email address is all that is required to receive the download.

Pumpkin cookie recipe:

You can use the method listed in the “Mom’s Corner” to make your own pumpkin puree to use in this recipe.



Use these safety games to teach your preschooler potential dangers they might encounter. Your children will enjoy learning about safety with the online puzzles, coloring pages, a matching game, tic-tac-toe, and the “find the hazards” activity.



Leigh Ann Dutton at Keeper of the Home shares 10 ways to include your preschoolers in preparing, planting, maintaining, and harvesting your garden. Even the finickiest toddler will be thrilled to consume the fruit of their labor.



Use these printable “Itsy Bitsy Book” templates, to create easy-to-assemble booklets for each letter of the alphabet. Your child will trace the letter and color several pictures that will reinforce the beginning sound of each letter.



Challenge your first grader to think outside the box to solve these brain teasers. These puzzles are a fun way to introduce logic on an elementary level. Each puzzle has directions, a hint, and the solution.



Your emergent reader will love playing the Word Chain game as he changes a single letter at a time to create words in a chain to final word.


ABC Printables and Activities


Take a look at this great site (remembering not to overdo worksheets) for ABC printables, lessons organized by letters, and dozens of themes and activities. It is suitable for toddlers (18 months) through kindergarteners. Check the sidebars for more resources.


Discovery Boxes


Here are gorgeous photos with adorable babies engrossed in discovering things for themselves with items from themed Discovery Boxes. Some themes are magnetism, ramps and chutes, and tubes and beans–there are lots more! Just click on the picture’s title to go to the page that tells all about it.


Toddler-Made Christmas Ornament


For a quick, easy keepsake decoration, try this simple idea that uses a clear glass ornament and folk art paint.


15 Toddler Craft Ideas


Enjoy some crafts you might not have tried before via this selection on FaveCrafts.


Hanging Bird Treats


The birds will be thankful and your kids will enjoy this simple craft. An internet search will turn up more bird-seed crafts.


Pine Cone Toss


This simple game will not only help teach counting and other math skills, it’s great for developing hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and even sportsmanship. Besides, it will help get the pesky pine cones out of the way before mowing.


10 Mazes for Preschoolers


Among the ideas is making mazes with chalk (on the driveway or chalkboard), with blocks, or with masking tape. Enhance the maze with letters or numbers to follow. The author suggests that mazes are not just mere recreation, but are “about problem solving and figuring how to get to that end goal.”


Preschool Toolbox


See the printable fall play dough math mats (five kinds) and other resources the site offers. Lots of possibilities for extension activities will come to mind with these ideas as springboards.


35 Uses for Crayons Besides Coloring


What to do with all the crayons? Here are 35 uses for them besides coloring. Frame a photo, make luminaries, make a wreath, and many more ideas!


Toddler Bucket List


Find “25 Super Simple Activities: Bucket List for the Toddler Years” with loads of ways to occupy a kidlet while you teach. They’re also fantastic fun ways to spend time with junior.


“Drawing and Storytelling with a Purple Crayon”


Do you remember Harold and the Purple Crayon? This article is less about that exact book and more about using a well-known (or well-liked by you) book and teaching from it. Having your child make a drawing inspired by the book and then tell about it (telling his story aloud) is a great pre-writing activity. Try the suggested “complete the drawing” exercise from a paper you supply with a squiggle or shape on it. Look for more “Harold” stories in the library.


ABC Printables


“A, B, C” worksheets are free to print and will provide plenty of practice with letters. Works with a Windows operating system only.


Devotional Lessons for Preschoolers (and Up)


Check under “Age-Specific Faith Activities” for preschool-level ideas you can incorporate into homeschool or family devotions. By the way, school-agers, tweens, and teenaged kids have not been left out.


101 Amazingly Awesome Things to do with Your Preschooler


You may have come up with a lot of these ideas on your own–and dismissed them as being unworthy of your time. On the other hand, your child may indeed think they are fabulous if you leave what you are doing and spend just a few minutes of dedicated time with him (some activities are that brief). Besides, lying on a blanket looking at clouds can be restful. Now wake up and go spend time with the little one!


Preschool and Kindergarten: An Illustrated Field Trip


Demonstrating how they do “Preschool at Home,” one family photo-illustrates their field trip to a manatee sanctuary. Since the trip was impromptu, the mom was unable to prepare her usual pre-field trip activities, but she offers suggestions for what she would have done if she’d had more planning time. Take a look and see what ideas you can add.


ABC Fast Phonics


Here are some free, interactive phonics exercises that cover a bit of the basics.


Christmas in July–Hurry!


Well, okay, you can start to think about Christmas in July–that will count. Here is an idea for a quiet book or just a collection of activity pages; an older sibling could make (or contribute to) one for a younger sibling. Use felt or construction paper and stick-type glue–or any other you can add your creative touches to! The little pieces of felt aren’t terribly expensive even if lost, but do give an opportunity to learn to care for craft or game pieces with inexpensive materials. Crafts really do teach!


19 Easy Toddler Activities and Preschool Crafts


With ideas that range from traditional egg carton caterpillars to a glass xylophone (parents needed here!), you’ll find something fun to do with the younger crowd. Some activities are suitable to keep and re-use such as the indoor putt-putt set, homemade board games, and a teepee for hours of pretend play. Find an almost inexhaustible list in the left sidebar for even more possible things to make and do; choose ones that are suitable for your family. Categories for older kids will offer more playtime ideas, including educational activities.


Free HSLDA Membership for Parents of Preschoolers (and Younger)


The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is offering free membership to families whose oldest child is a preschooler. HSLDA has many free resources online, and its members get an added level of support through their ability to call or e-mail any of their educational consultants for personalized advice. If your oldest child is not yet five years old, you may be eligible for free membership for parents of preschoolers. Check the website for more and spread the word!


Unit Study – Beginning Money and Economics


Did you know children in this young age range can learn the beginnings of economics? Begin with vocabulary, add identification of currency with basic math, and finish with arts and crafts–you knew a homemade piggy bank was coming, didn’t you?


Summertime Bucket List: 50 Activities for the Kids


While the older kids are planning their trip(s)–see 3.4– the younger set could be occupied working their way through a summer playtime bucket list. Here are 50 activities that your kids will love. It helps that most items on this “to do” list are free or cheap and are done at home! The activities take varying amounts of time and supervision, so there is sure to be one that meets your needs at a given time. Try out fizzing sidewalk paint, a pill bug race, or make “dirt soup.” Be on the lookout for bits of things to go into a summer memory jar at the end of the season. Some children who are above kindergarten age may also participate happily.


Fathers’ Day Crafts


Here are some simple, kid-friendly crafts your crew could make to give Dad for Fathers’ Day.


Vertical Vegetable Gardening


Do you think you have too little space to garden? Do you think your junior gardener can’t handle a real plot of land and will simply abandon it to you for care? The idea pictured could allow several children to have individual “gardens” stacked in a small space as a manageable introduction to gardening. Get some expert tips for vertical vegetable gardening along with recipes! Having children grow vegetables themselves is sometimes suggested for getting young, picky eaters to try those nutrient-rich foods.


Age-Appropriate Kids’ Cooking Lessons


Believe it or not, the suggested lessons begin with two-year-olds! The ideas listed provide a good example of the amount of learning possible from everyday life activities. Lessons continue with age groups that go all the way to “senior chefs” (16- to 18-year-olds).


Coloring Pages and More


Here are a variety of Bible-related coloring pages and Scripture memory pages.


“Preschool for Free at Home”


For all the fancy curricula out there, homeschooling little ones doesn’t have to be pricey! This site offers frugal ideas, from checking out storybooks at the local library to learning days and months from a calendar.


More Than 40 Activities for Two-Year-Olds


Even somewhat older children will enjoy the fun as you spend some focused time with your two-year old. Some activities are silly and fun, others are ones that help them develop specific skills, and still others are creative in nature.


Seven Different Sets of ABC Pages and Other Activity Printables


Choose from farm-themed ABCs, ABCs and words, “Animal and object ABCs,” “Classic ABCs,” and other styles. There are also math sheets all the way up to simple algebra and geometry; puzzles (mazes, word searches, dot-to-dots, and more); coloring (some may not be suitable for your family)


Traveling with Toddlers and Preschoolers


With spring here, you will probably spend more time going to and from outings–and summer travel is right around the corner! Here’s a whole page full of suggested educational, fun, and diverting ways to pass the time in the car.


Printable Alphabet Activity Books


Attractive graphics that you can customize will make these little printables useful if you want hands-on booklets.


Making Musical Instruments


Choose any or all of these homemade instruments–if you have sound nerves and lots of ear plugs! These ideas are sure to spark some of your own, and Internet searches will turn up many more DIY musical crafts. You’ll enjoy happy music-making after you make the instruments–we love crafts with a purpose!


“Playing with Your 21-Month Old”


Wondering what to do with your toddler? See this post for photos–with captions!– illustrating some straightforward ideas of activities to do with your little one. See links at the end of the post about activities suggested for toddlers ages 13 months to two years.


Fun Phonics


This free, basic phonics program includes some U.S. geography as a bonus. Also, see links to other phonics sites. The reading booklets previously sold are free to download and print now.


Kids Learning Station Printables


Here is another stash of free printables with the usual early childhood categories: colors, shapes, numbers, letter, etc. The site offers additional areas such as music, weather, space, family, and the body, and has some sheets for older students too.

There may be some not suitable for your family.


Article: “Teach Me to Play”


The blog post relates a formal study that concluded, “Unstructured play positively affects social, emotional, and cognitive development,”–as if parents needed anyone to tell them that! There is a good deal more in the blog post sure to provide food for thought, even if you do not agree completely with the writer’s schooling approach.


Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss – March 2, 1904


Dr. Seuss’s birthday is coming up. There are plenty of resources on the web for any “Seussologist,” but you could start the day with green eggs and ham.


Dramatic Play Ideas


Skim through these suggestions from moms, home daycare owners, and commercial daycare operators to see if they spark new ideas for your little ones. (Note: Not all their suggestions will be suitable for your family.) Thrift shop bag sales (“All you can stuff in a paper grocery sack for $_”) are great sources of old clothes for dress up. Unneeded and long out-of-fashion styles from grandparents are a cost-free gift idea!


Easy Valentine Cards


See a clever idea for a finger- or brush-painted card suitable for young artists. There are also links to more cards at the bottom of the page.


Age Appropriate Chore List


Many parents wonder what household chores are appropriate at what age. Here is one mom’s list–beginning with babies!


Therapy Crafts and Kids Crafts



The therapy crafts are suggested for use by “diversional therapists, art therapists and occupational therapists”–but they are usable by families, too! The crafts and activities are especially designed for children with special needs or for one who is ill, but anyone could enjoy them. (Some activities are also highlighted for use by the elderly–a great way to include older grandparents whose activities are limited.) Find detailed instructions and the purpose of the individual craft.

The website has the usual assortment of crafts suitable for kids, but what makes the site special is the tidy materials list and “Craft Toolbox” that contains the time requirement, suitable ages, and an easy link to any comments.


Games for Playground Balls


Find simple directions for at least 10 different games to play with old-fashioned playground balls. Parents and grandparents will be able to teach a variety of different games to their families and neighborhood children. Find your family favorites–and have a ball! (Sorry–we couldn’t resist.)


The Kids’ Chalkboard


The Kids’ Chalkboard has many art project ideas, ABC and number activities, craft recipes, and loads of other educational and fun activities for preschoolers. There is also a helpful list of what to expect from a child of preschool age along with one state’s list of skills kindergarten children should learn. Remember, you know your child best and each child develops on a unique timetable.


Happy Birthday, Jesus (on a Great Site!)



Use any of the ideas suitable to your needs or beliefs to plan a birthday party for Jesus with your family, friends, co-op, or Sunday school class. Find songs, a Bible verse bracelet, a finger play, a story, and art. Finish off the gathering with snack time! The main website, which may be useful at other times, is at the second link.


Free Printable Advent Coloring Pages


This Advent series has pages suitable for any Christmas-season coloring. Note the additional links to more related printables at the bottom of the page. Those pages in turn have more resources linked.


 Homemade Marbles



This link is just one of many available online for homemade marbles. Use polymer modeling clay, regular pottery-type clay–or even the flour-salt dough variety to home make everything! Parents can research YouTube for videos showing traditional glass marble making and for visual demonstrations of making marbles at home.

See the second link for several marbles’ games variations.


How to Play Marbles


Marbles is a great, old-fashioned game that does not require batteries or electricity, and also has many variations. Games such as this teach fine-motor skills, and the importance of taking turns, following rules, and picking up (prevents falls, loss, and younger siblings getting them into their mouths!).


15 Colorful Activities Celebrating Fall Colors


While most of these varied art and other subject activities will appeal to the younger children, older siblings will be interested in some as well.


Learn the Colors of the Rainbow


Everyone remembers learning colors with Roy G. Biv. This simple game is fun to make and fun to play!


Indoor Bowling


Simple toilet paper tubes and paper muffin cups make an easy craft and a great rainy day activity. Charlotte Mason was a big advocate of handicrafts as teaching tools. They teach following directions; the ideas of supply organization, preparation, and clean up; and fine motor skills. Of course, some crafts can lead to lifelong hobbies with relaxing (or invigorating) creative outlets, thoughtful homemade gifts, or even paid crafting!


Sticky Note Hunt


Here are a few ideas for conducting a sticky note hunt for shapes, letters, colors, and words.


Learning Letters


See examples of and get directions for making quite a few attractive visual and tactile (kinesthetic) ways to make learning letters fun and easy.


ABC Fast Phonics


Designed to supplement more comprehensive phonics programs, ABC Fast Phonics is a free tutorial using cartoons and sounds to teach basic phonics concepts.


Tips for Bread Baking with Kids


Novice bread bakers will benefit from this list of well thought out bread baking tips. It’s a great list to read over before you embark on the Great Bread Baking Adventure!


Preschool and Kindergarten Curriculum (of Real Life Activities)

This article is chock-full of everyday, life-learning activities from arts and crafts, to nature, to playtime, to math and pre-reading activities you can work into your day.



Free “Ants” Unit to Download

Download a free “Ants Preschool Pack” from “2 Teaching Mommies.” See the other freebies they offer too!



Four Tips to Get Great Deals on Quality Children’s Books

The writer (a homeschool mom) suggests you find pickier sales, familiarize yourself with great books, think about what you need for this year, and go early and take cash. Read the whole short article for more information, including some of her favorite types of books and a couple of “don’ts.” You’ll save money and be a happier shopper.



“Smile Smarts!” Oral Health Activities

Smile Smarts! is an oral health curriculum for students in preschool through grade eight divided into age appropriate groups of materials. The lessons are flexible and come with lesson plans, support materials, hands-on demonstrations, activity sheets, and suggestions for even more oral health-related activities, such as career information in the dental field for older students.



The Gardening Tot


Aside from the fact that little kids love dirt (we did not need to be reminded, did we?), there is so much more to it that we grown-ups tend to overlook. Take advantage of their natural inclinations and help them create art, study nature, begin to learn scientific observation, not to mention learn how to grow their own food and flowers! Then top it off with fun-in-the-sun scavenger hunts, guessing games, and running around outdoors. What more could a kid want?


Could My Child Have Autism?


ScienceDaily, an online newsletter, carried an article that outlined 10 possiblesigns of autism-related delays to look for in babies as young as 6 to 12 months. Some experts believe interventions begun even in infancy can improve outcomes for a child on the autism spectrum, a condition most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 3. Look for links on the same page to related stories.


Household Math and Science Activities

http://members.tripod.com/~Patricia_ F/mathscience.html

Find lists of suggested activities in most categories of math and science. Some examples are to classify blocks by size or have a shape/color hunt. By the way, the best activities are where the child does the work–have him seek the item in question, rather than you getting them and asking the child to choose “which one is …”.


Typical Subjects of Study


See what many consider good topics for preschoolers and kindergarteners to study.


Even Kindies Learn about the Heart


Even if these ideas (many based on purchased curriculum) don’t “grab yer heart” (sorry–had to do that), there are loads of free printables, hands-on learning, and crafts ideas–many for little ones.


Dripless Honey Spread


Try this for a dripless honey treat or search the Internet for another version of the recipe for honey butter. Even little ones can learn kitchen tricks like lightly greasing a measuring cup before measuring sticky honey.


Special Needs Resources


Experts advise starting early when it comes to intervention for children who have special needs. Parents may find helpful information in the extensive list of links for homeschool-related resources for any special needs in the family.


Activity Kits


See suggested items for kits for travel, a “day at the office,” visiting grandparents, sick day, or restaurant. You can decide what to include and the slideshow will be sure to spark ideas of your own for kits for other uses.


Toddlers and Homeschooling


Wondering what to do with your toddlers while you homeschool your older children? Rachel at The Homeschool Post blog lays out a 6-part strategy in this article.


Free Alphabet Printables


Download a variety of traditional ABC worksheets, tracing pages, and much more from edHelper.


Virtual Zoos


All ages will enjoy visits to these virtual zoos when you just can’t get to one in person. There are nine from which to choose!


“Zooborns” Animal Babies


The Zooborns website has the latest news on animal babies from zoos and aquaria worldwide–and boy are they CUTE! Search the sidebar list of animals to see the babies from aardvarks to zebras or search by zoo. Check the list of baby animal names to learn what a baby eel is called. Find out what galagos, gerenuks, and gundis are. There are even free Zooborn apps for android and iPhone (great way to entertain a fidgety kiddo while waiting in the checkout line!).

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Reading and Phonics



In honor of Get Caught Reading Month, a literacy initiative begun in 1999 by the Association of American Publishers, you might want to implement some sustained reading activities in your homeschool. Read the article at the first website for a definition of sustained reading and why it is beneficial. Check out the second website for free downloadable reading logs and reading response sheets to enhance your child’s reading experiences.

Using Games to Teach


A recent issue of the (free weekly e-mail) “Homeschool Minute” put out by the Old Schoolhouse® Magazine covered using games to teach. In addition to a number of concrete suggestions and websites, there are important tips on how to do it constructively so you also have fun and build family ties while teaching. By the way, games go way beyond just the little ones!


Mnemonic for Cannon vs. Canon


“Cannons” go BOOM! See the double letters in the middle of each? “Canon” (as in law) can say, ”No!” See the “no” in the middle? Hope this little trick helps. The Holy Spirit can wonderfully enable us to teach–even inspiring parent-educators with little things such as this.




Dedicated to helping children learn to read, Starfall, has many resources for beginning readers. The website is offered free as a public service. It also provides writing journals and books at a very low cost, to be used with the website or separately.

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Division Worksheets

Division is a skill that might take a while to master. You can find teaching suggestions and worksheets for every skill necessary to master division at this site. The worksheets can be downloaded in black and white or color. You will find divisibility rules as well as instruction on dividing in other number systems.


Free Science Tests and Worksheets

This website has numerous free tests and worksheets with the corresponding answer keys for high school sciences. Registration (free of charge) is required to access the free content, and paid membership is required to access all the materials on the site. There is even a test-maker option where you can create tests of your own.


Human Body Videos

Human anatomy is a fascinating study. These child-friendly videos will delight your child and give you reasons to worship God for His creation. You can create a unit study by adding worksheets and activities based on the human body.

Worksheets on human anatomy

Activities for human anatomy




More than just converting imperial measurements to metric measurements and vice versa, other conversions are necessary for life. You will find calculators to help you with financial conversions, unit conversions, specialty conversions such as a square foot calculator and a Roman numeral calculator among others, as well as health calculators. This website also explains the necessary steps to determine the answers.



Not every student loves math or wants to do endless practice problems, but you can use these creative ways to encourage your struggling mathematician to not only practice their math, but finish promptly.



This resource from Kahn Academy will link to your students college board test scores and create a customized review from the problems missed. If your student has not taken one of the tests, there are diagnostic quizzes to assess your child’s weaknesses and create a custom study guide. You must register and create an account with Kahn Academy to access the material.



You can use this video to memorize the periodic table.


The periodic table is packed with information about the elements. It predicts properties of elements, even those that have yet to be discovered, it indicates elements that share similar characteristics and provides information used to balance chemical equations. This periodic chart also includes common uses for each element.  (The British spellings/pronunciations are used for some elements.)



You can use this STEM countdown to Christmas to supplement your science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum in your December schedule. These 25 activities are simple, frugal, and they do not require a lot of time. Most of these utilize household items. Please note a few activities mention Santa Claus in the titles and the 24th activity tracks St. Nick’s sleigh.


You can challenge your high school student to think through science concepts as they complete these activities in Physical Science. They can choose between creating a pinhole camera, an electroscope, or a mini barbecue, or explore physics concepts through cartoons.


Has your student hit a wall with a math concept and used all of the worksheets in the curriculum you purchased? No problem. You can create an unlimited number of worksheets on addition, subtraction, mixed addition and subtraction, multiplication, division, order of operations, pre-algebra, fractions, percentages, greater than or less than, odd or even, rounding, averages, exponents, factorials, telling time, as well as a prime number tool.


It’s impossible to practice math too much. Add a little fun to that practice and everyone is happy. These math games using dominoes can spice up what might be a tedious exercise.


Real life science does not always have the most convenient numbers with which to work. How do you handle incredibly tiny and extremely enormous numbers without writing all the zeros? The answer is we use scientific notation. The article, “Scientific Notation: 4 Questions To Help Students Understand,” helps explain the concept to your students.



This method for converting metric units may make it easier for your visual learners to grasp the concept. This method works with length, weight, and liquid capacity measurements.




Spreadsheets are a great way to process, report, and graphically display data. Use these free tutorials to learn how to enter formulas in Excel and make the task easy and enjoyable.



The Engineer Girl website was fashioned with middle school girls in mind, to encourage girls to consider pursuing careers in engineering. With categories like “Engineers,” “What They Do,” and “How to Get There,” your daughter’s questions are sure to be answered. If not, have her research and submit a question of her own in the “Ask an Engineer” section of the website.



Watch this informative video on human blood types and genetics.



Reinforce mathematics concepts in everyday life with these mathematics centered books. Linking children’s literature to mathematics, these books cover topics as simple as counting and coins to complex topics like Fibonacci numbers.



Download these free note-booking pages of the digestive system. Links to quizzes, videos, games, puzzles, and experiments on the website will enhance your study.



Even the youngest students can learn computer science with the lessons at Code.org. Lessons are broken down into grades K-5, 6-8, 9-12 (including an advanced placement course). Using videos and kid-friendly graphics your students will be coding in no time.

Repurposing Plastic Containers for Seed Starting


Need some green during these bleak cold-weather months? This site explains how to reuse commonly found plastic containers to start seeds indoors. Plant herb seeds for a handy kitchen herb garden or simply learn how to start seeds you will later transplant into your outdoor garden next spring. Just thinking about gardening may warm you up!


Jefferson Lab Presents Frostbite Theater


If you are unable to attend one of Jefferson Lab’s Physics Fests, you can still see Frostbite Theater presented by Jefferson Lab. Are you dying to know what happens to a carnation when it is cooled to 321 degrees below zero? Is it too humid to conduct your own static electricity demonstrations? Do you like to watch neat science videos? If so, then Frostbite Theater is for you!

Tune in and see air liquefy inside a balloon, watch film canisters blow their lids as trapped liquid changes to gas, learn how to build a cloud chamber, observe how nitrogen and oxygen react to fire, and much more! It’s a fun site that the whole family will enjoy.


Build Cool Gadgets and Watch Science Videos


SonicDadDotCom features a cool physics video on gyroscopes and videos on building (mostly ballistic) gadgets like a crossbow from Popsicle® sticks, a parachute, an indoor boomerang, and more!


Developing Scientific Vocabulary and Other Science Skills


The index page linked here is a gateway to myriad resources for developing scientific literacy, reasoning, understanding, problem solving, research skills, and resources for teaching science.


Wild Music


Play an audio form of the concentration/memory game (select a level), test your hearing and compare it to animals, and see if you can tell different thrush songs apart in this interesting web version of a traveling exhibit. Note: The site presumes Darwinian evolution.




Athletes will be fascinated to learn the role mathematics plays in the game of basketball. They will learn about the relationship between ball height and distance traveled with a linear chest pass, a U-shaped (parabolic) pass, and a V-shaped bounce pass. Use the classroom activities to create and interpret graphs.



On GeoGebra’s homepage, look through “About,” “Download,” “Community,” and “Materials” when you visit. If you like what you see, consider downloading the free GeoGebra app to use the 4,400 learning activities offered. You’ll find interactive geometry, algebra, statistics, and calculus software. Check the “Featured Materials” to see the newest materials, look over the “Best Worksheets” and the popular tags. Use the Community area to ask questions and share resources.


Homeschool Math


Get free worksheets, lessons, instructional videos, games, and more at this math site designed for homeschoolers.


Thirty Days Free Trial


AdaptedMind, an online math program, is offering a 30-day free trial of their innovative math-teaching method. Kids can watch teaching videos, earn skill points, and collect badges for skills mastered. Lessons can be customized for different learning styles and move at the child’s own pace. Check out some of their free videos to see how they teach math concepts.


Kids, Chores, and Allowance


Need some ideas having to do with kids, chores, and allowance? Lauren from Mama’s Learning Corner has compiled some great resources!




WebMath features help with a wide range of mathematical topics from practical everyday categories such as figuring a tip or the wind chill factor all the way to help with math from kindergarten through calculus. Among other functions of the site is a drop-down menu with huge list of math subjects. The website will answer math problems and show how the problems were solved.


Printable Tangram Puzzles


Strategy games and other puzzles are helpful in developing logical thinking and mathematical ability. For example, chess is famous for this. Tangrams help develop geometric thinking, logic, and spatial reasoning–and it’s a fun game. Allow free play and challenge your child to construct “pictures” with the pieces, either by matching the printed patterns or by using his own creativity. An Internet search will turn up many more tangram puzzles. Since the pieces could get a lot of handling, it will work best if you print the puzzle pieces themselves on card stock. Alternately, you could print paper pieces in the prescribed shapes to trace onto cardboard such as cereal boxes, or use commercial tangram sets.

Notes: Explain any spelling differences to your students as this is a British site. The Activity Village website is a fantastic resource, although not all material may be suitable for your family. Parents will need to supervise access.)


Free Printable Sudoku Puzzles


Find hundreds of Sudoku puzzles in easy, medium, and hard difficulty levels.


Snow School: Snowflake Science, Snow Math, Snow Reading, and Snow Projects


The title says it all. Find any number of projects related to snow–so take a Snow Day and learn too!


Printable Play Money


Use these free printables that (legally) replicate U.S. currency to play store or bank, or to work out real world math problems.




This site presents mathematical puzzles either for the deceptive simplicity of their statement or the elegance of their solution. Explaining how an answer is derived is more important than the answer itself. To this end, hints, answers, and fully worked solutions are provided, together with links to related mathematical topics. Further references are provided with many of the solutions. The puzzles are intended to be fun, with an educational element.


Favorite Ice Cream Flavors


See how to sneak a math lesson into a poll on favorite ice cream flavors. The blog post even includes suggestions to allow use with preschoolers and kindergarteners. If you need more people to poll, take a survey of your homeschool co-op, neighbors, Sunday school class, etc.


Art of Problem Solving


Alcumus currently offers free access to math problems and video lessons designed to challenge strong math students (for students about 10 years old and up). Subjects range from pre-algebra to algebra II.


Perseid Meteor Shower – Night Skies – Peak Is August 11-13





Go ahead and check for late meteors tonight–and consider signing up for one of the many available astronomy interest e-mails. Some linked below include EarthSky, Space.com, Stardate.org, and Astronomy.com.


Stormy Weather


We are reminded by recent weather in the U.S. that this time of year can bring severe storms. Parents know best when and how much info to present to their children, so review the resources and see if any of the many topics and resources meet a need in your home. The site recommends the material for students who are approximately eight years old and up.


Rip Current Awareness Week



We missed the dates (June 2 through 8), but it’s never too late to learn good safety information. Does your family know what rip currents are and why they are dangerous? Good spots to begin include the NOAA/National Weather Service page and the Red Cross rip current page.


Backyard Ballistics Teacher Resources


The website that accompanies the classic guys’ book, Backyard Ballistics, comes complete with a section of “Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities.” Do follow all recommended safety measures for a learning experience that’s a real blast (sorry, your editrix couldn’t help herself) and leaves the kids–and adults–eager for more.


Free Online Videos


Find hundreds of free-to-see online videos in the creation science field. Some are seminars and convention presentations, while others are full length DVDs you may choose to view online or preview before buying as a resource. More than one interpretation of creation is represented, so parents will wish to screen first.


NASA Kids’ Club


NASA has a neat site with several fun interactive games featuring brainteasers, space exploration, math, and other subjects.


Free Middle School Chemistry Curriculum


This free set of lessons produced by The American Chemical Society, Middle School Chemistry, is a school quarter-length (8 to 10 weeks) introduction that covers basic chemistry and scientific investigation. You can download each chapter in pdf form, complete with lesson plans and teacher’s manuals! Each lesson should take less than an hour.


NASA – Astronomy Picture of the Day


See the NASA astronomy picture of the day for inspiration and a reminder of what an awesome God it is we serve. Aside from simply enjoying the image and reflecting for a minute, the photo could serve as a writing or art prompt.


Make Oobleck or Gak at Home



Here are a couple recipes for fun. Make “oobleck” or “GAK” at home–but be prepared for a hard time getting the kids back to lessons! Some Internet searching will reveal potential science lessons for this fun stuff.


Old Time Radio: “Adventures in Research”


Listen online or download mp3s of the old radio shows, “Adventures in Research” (both formats are free). More than 80 14-and-a-half-minute programs feature titles such as “America’s First Invention,” “The First Skyscraper,” and “A Sprig of Mint.” You’ll have to listen to discover the secrets behind the stories.


Snow Science


See photos, movies, physics info, and more–all about snowflakes.


Free Issue of Creation Illustrated Magazine


Get a free sample copy of Creation Illustrated, a creation science magazine that bills itself as “The Christian answer to National Geographic.” Click on “Get a Free Issue.” The editors and publishers are a Christian couple who homeschooled their daughter.


Free Astronomy Classes and Lesson Plans


Select from a list of resources from NASA to Yale and for students from seven-year-olds to college age.

[Note: As ads may not be kid-friendly, parents will wish to check out these resources themselves. Hint: stop scrolling down when you reach “Suggested by the author.” Also, material may assume evolution, but parents can edit.]


Space Station Spotter


NASA has just initiated a new, free service that notifies you when the International Space Station (ISS) passes overhead in the mornings and evenings. Choose to receive either an e-mail or text message when a good opportunity to see the ISS occurs (not the hard-to-spot passes)–it’s great for kids.


The Science Mom (Has Math, Too)


Find science activities and experiments in a dozen or more categories, science fair exhibits, and an explanation of scientific principles. There are also a smaller number of math items.


Science Toymaker


Save money by making your own cool science toys–and learn too. Don’t tell the kids their Christmas presents are educational!


Eggstraordinary Science Eggsperiments


See the varied science experiments at your fingertips–all using eggs!


Hurricane Central


Hurricane Central, from the Weather Channel, can help your family track the storms and learn lots about them. See all the little features labeled around the page in small print, such as a storm encyclopedia, weather glossary, and preparedness information.


Visual Record – Every Hurricane and Tropical Storm Since 1951


See an amazing image that shows every hurricane and tropical storm since 1951. Read an explanation of how it was created.


Baby Flamingoes (and Other Animals)


The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. says a new baby flamingo has hatched. Read more and see the pictures in this article, then explore their other animal resources.


Free Monthly Supercharged Science Tele-Class



Every month, homeschool mom and engineer, Aurora Lipper, holds a free online tele-class for people who subscribe to her free newsletter, “Supercharged Science.” Enjoy the live interactive video class with Aurora, ask questions and learn in a fun, exciting way. Find out about the next one on the website. Subscribe to the newsletter at the second link. Explore the free experiments any time!


Wildlife Webcams

http://explore.org/ – !/live-cams/player/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls

Too hot to go outside? Thunderstorms? Take a break and watch some really cool bears–cooled by the Brooks River in Alaska! If that’s not enough, choose from the nearly 20 cameras available all over the world.


Answers in Genesis


A mega-site of scientific evidence in support of the Genesis Creation account, including a short chronology, articles, radio programs, resources, and lots more.


Pet Wiki

Pet Wiki is another addition to the “wiki” genre, with categories that include dogs, fish, horses, cats, reptiles, birds, rodents, and other pets.




PBS’s NOVA “scienceNOW”


There are teacher guides for programs in the subject areas of anthropology and archeology, chemistry, earth science, forensics, health science, life science, mathematics, oceanography, paleontology, physics, social studies, space science, and technology-engineering. View the episodes online and use any of the before and after activities.

(Note that evolutionary content is included; parents may wish to determine if material is suitable for their family.)


Nature Study Resources


See many varied suggestions for books and Internet resources related to “nature study.”


Silent Nature Walk for Winter


Bundle up and remember outdoor studies during the winter. You might need to shorten the time in consideration of the weather, but the outdoors is still a great place to learn!


Eugenics Archive


How quickly we forget. As bioethicists (term used loosely) actually begin to suggest seriously that we return to such practices as forced sterilization and abortion, a look into our not-too-distant past may help. Maybe. Parents may use this for their own information or with mature students.


Celebrate Urban Birds



The Cornell Lab of Ornithology sponsors the Urban Birds websites. There are free educational resources, citizen-scientist projects, contests, free newsletters–even a gardening section–and more. Explore the website and see what’s there.


Volcano Webcams Worldwide  


Here are links to most of the known webcams covering the volcanoes of the world.


Supercharged Science Freebies


To get a free science experiment activity book, along with weekly science experiments emailed to you (all for free), simply visit:


The Animal Diversity Web


A database of animal history, distribution, classification, and conservation from the University of Michigan, this site includes a large searchable encyclopedia and a virtual museum.




This weather education site, from national TV meteorologist Nick Walker, is designed especially for kids, parents, and teachers and includes lots of information pertaining to weather and meteorology. There is a special section with music videos that feature Nick Walker teaching about weather.


American Association of Physics Teachers


American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) was established in 1930 with the fundamental goal of ensuring the “dissemination of knowledge of physics, particularly by way of teaching.” In addition to helping you learn more about traditional teaching methods, they can help you learn new teaching methods that use modern technology to entice your students with the wonders of science.


Invention Dimension


Read up on the inventor of the week and the featured links (both archived), play one of three games, take the trivia challenge (which changes monthly), or get the inventor’s handbook at MIT’s inventions website. If you submit your answers to the trivia challenge, you have a chance at the free t-shirt each month. The answers are all found in their archives.


Genesis Park


A website dedicated to presenting evidence that man and dinosaurs were created together. This site is a gold mine of information that is easily accessible through menus and lots of graphics.

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SOL Tests


This website includes the released 2004 SOL tests and has an archive of the tests going back to 2000. Test categories include: 3rd grade math and science questions; 5th grade math, science, and technology questions; 8th grade math, science, and technology questions; high school algebra I & II, geometry, earth science, and chemistry questions. To access the SOL practice tests or to play the $1,000,000 math-and-science quiz, click on the “Games & Puzzles” icon.

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United States of America



The American Fact Finder, Community Facts webpage provides statistics for population, median age and income, poverty, race, housing, and education among others. Information can be searched by the entire country, individual states, counties, cities, towns, or zip codes.



Find maps, facts, and photos from countries you never knew existed. The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. The flag and national anthem for some countries are available for download. Choose the country you want to learn about from the drop-down menu located on the right side of the page.

Contact Elected Officials via USA.gov


Use USA.gov to contact elected officials. Find e-mail and mailing addresses, phone numbers, and more for your local, state, and federal officials.


Flag Day

Enjoy this celebration of the history of our nation’s flag in historical information, flag etiquette, e-greetings to send, a flag archive, a quiz, crafts, and the pledge–plus more!



Memorial Day

Annie’s website has loads of holiday-themed pages of links, so bookmark this for other holiday resources. There are many history links, links to other Memorial Day pages–even BBQ links–all you need to enjoy the weekend with your family and teach your children why we observe Memorial Day.

By the way, be sure to check your local area for opportunities for you and your family to honor those who have died in service to our country. Some venues offer free or reduced admission to veterans, active duty service members–maybe even their families as well–on or near patriotic holidays.



Factory Tour USA


This site celebrates American imagination and industry. What better way to appreciate those qualities than to visit and tour America at work! The information on this site is maintained by many people throughout the United States who enjoy visiting American industry.

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For the Parents

“Ignite the Fire of Your Passion” Christian Marriage Series


Read about the Ignite the Fire Marriage blog series where three bloggers all write on the same topic on a given day, so you can read this post and then follow the links to see their unique take on how we can ignite the fire in our marriages.


Marriage Builders


What is the opposite of showing love? Dr. Willard F. Harley is the author of His Needs, Her Needs. He identifies the most common “love busters” in marriage (or any relationship): selfish demands, disrespectful judgments, angry outbursts, annoying habits, independent behavior, and dishonesty. At Dr. Harley’s Marriage Builders website you will be introduced to some of the best ways to overcome marital conflicts and some of the quickest ways to restore love.
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For the Family



Okay, you remember playing hopscotch, but do you remember the rules? What about four square or red rover; do you remember their rules? You can be the cool parent in the neighborhood when you introduce your children and their neighborhood friends to these classic outdoor games.



The strawberry crop should be ripe for picking. Picking strawberries is a great family activity that even the youngest child can do. Use this site to find a farm near you at and then use their numerous resources to get information on picking, preserving, preparing, and polishing off your harvest.



Nothing feels better than having a clean house, and springtime is just the time to dig in and deep clean. Homesite Insurance Company’s website has a list of areas homeowners often overlook, from window coverings to trash cans. Use this list to uncover potential blindspots in your spring cleaning regimen.



Summer will soon be upon us and so will the monstrous mosquitoes, unless we plant a few of these mosquito-repelling plants in the garden this spring.



Go ahead and get lost in that science project, play one more game of Rummy Roots, forget about time. Dinner will still be ready when Dad walks in the door if you use one of these recipes for a slow cooker. With recipes from main courses to beverages, sides to appetizers and snacks, your slow cooker will be put to use.



Who among us is not trying to eat healthier foods? Melissa at My Whole Food Life has collected 12 healthy salad dressings that are sure to liven up the most boring salad. Ranging from Honey Mustard to Italian Herb, Dairy-Free Ranch to Strawberry Vinaigrette, Vegan Thousand Island to Vegan Lemon Cashew, there is sure to be a salad dressing you will want to try.



Are you attempting to get your children to eat healthier foods? Spatulatta.com has 350 step-by-step videos of healthy recipes for you and your child to create culinary masterpieces. All the videos feature children in the kitchen.

Character Qualities Not Measured by Tests


Lee Binz, the Home Scholar, reminds us that schooling is about more than just academics. Read her short article to brush up on the character qualities we want to teach our kids. Are yours learning them? Congratulations to parents and kids alike! Any lacking? The new year is a great time for new efforts.


College4Kids Career Academies


Piedmont Virginia Community College offers classes designed to help kids explore various careers. College4Kids Career Academies, for students in grades 3 through 12, provide students with the opportunity to learn hands-on from PVCC instructors. Project-based classes allow students to explore career areas while learning new skills and having fun. For more information, see the website.


Merry Christmas in Many Languages


More than 100 ways to say Merry Christmas!


Hillbilly Housewife Crock-pot® Cooking


This helpful site is chock full of frugal homemaking tips, and this particular link will take you to the first of several pages filled with time- and money-saving recipes for your slow cooker. Some even include video instruction. If you’re looking for ways to trim the food budget and free up time during the busy holiday season, this might be a good place to begin.


Internet Scavenger Hunt


Whether you use a pre-written one from online, do it yourself from scratch, or blend the two, the internet scavenger hunt can be a good way to teach without the kids realizing it! Check out this page with its many variations, pick and choose what is suitable for you, and sit back (while keeping an eye on the computer) to see what the kids learn.


How Do You Say Thank You?


Isn’t it great that God does not need a translator? If you need a translator to help you say, “Thank you,” here is that phrase in more than 200 languages.


Winter Emergency Information for Children and Teens



With the weather so chilly so soon, it seemed a good idea to provide additional information on winter preparedness. Note the special sections labeled for children and teens.


Fall Foliage in Virginia


Find information on fall foliage tours, apple picking, and fall festivals. Virginia is blessed by four seasons–don’t miss this one! (Note: The Shenandoah National Park is temporarily closed due to the government shutdown.)


50 Activities for Autumn


Many of the activities involve a learning activity in addition to being just plain fun. For example, number 19: “Make s’mores on the patio with your kids–use a solar oven to warm them. Try experimenting and adding extra ingredients to your s’mores…” Here is your chance to research the many models of relatively simple, homemade solar ovens before the next power outage makes you really wish you had already done this one! Enlist the aid of the kids in the house. Perhaps the simplest is the foil-lined pizza box. Let the kids brainstorm the second part (added ingredients) and have fun with what could be some odd-but-tasty s’mores’ add-ons.


Parents: Not all activities in the list may be suitable for your family.

“How to Peel, Cut, Core, and Dice”


“How To Peel, Cut, Core, and Dice: 20 Tips & Techniques for Fruit and Vegetable Prep” is chock full of just the right way to handle the produce in your life without sacrificing the quality of expensive food or your fingers!


Printable Kids’ Daily Routine Checklists


Use these free printables for children’s chore or daily routine charts. Choose the boy’s or girl’s color scheme and select from the suggested tasks or insert your own.


Daily Housekeeping Schedule


Look this over to see if it or an adaptation of it will streamline how you organize routine housekeeping chores. A cleaner, less cluttered house in less time equals less stress and a happier household! This simple chart suitable for the fridge or bulletin board is divided into daily upkeep chores (dishes, laundry) in addition to tasks for each day specifically (Monday, bathrooms; Tuesday, bedrooms; Wednesday, kitchen, etc.).


“Lifeschooling” Video with Kirk Cameron


The website introduces the two-minute video with, “Actor Kirk Cameron allows the viewer a chance to look into his decision to homeschool in Hollywood. Following the video, you may walk away with a new perspective in mind–Lifeschooling.” He has other videos on the site too.


Plan a Trip (or a Virtual One!)


The process of trip planning can teach a lot, from research skills to budgeting one’s time and money. Children will learn to organize their thoughts in planning and their possessions for the trip. Planning builds anticipation, brings up questions, and maximizes learning. Enjoy!


Free Chore Charts


Download and print free charts of “15 Minute Chore Lists” from the Heart of Wisdom and “Bible Based Homeschooling–{On a Budget}.” Seeing goals and tasks on paper makes them real to younger thinkers and may help parents guide children to develop good habits/character.


Growing Wisdom YouTube Channel




This Massachusetts gardener has absolutely marvelous ideas, tips, and projects–even a lovely bird video–that may interest you. The whole family can get involved. Your editor watched a neat project to build a relatively inexpensive greenhouse for year-round growing, using rebar, heavy plastic, thin flexible piping, sand bags, and bags of soil ready for use. See the bird and greenhouse videos at the second and third links. Get growing!


The Grieving Mother


If you or any other woman you know is a grieving mother, please consider this warm, reverent, and comforting page within “Raising Arrows.” It tells the story of Emily Sophia who passed into the arms of Jesus at seven months of age. There are several links to solid resources which may help ease the burden of a woman who has lost a child–at whatever age. Many share your pain; may God be with you and give you peace.


Garden Activities with Kids



These two issues of The Teaching Home e-newsletter focus on a great addition to your homeschool curriculum–gardening! Both issues provide practical tips for getting kids involved in growing some of their own vegetables (it tastes better when you grew it yourself) and learning along the way.


Georgia Virtual Learning Shared Resources


The Georgia Department of Education offers virtual learning courses free of charge. Among them is this introductory Spanish course. The sidebar contains links to courses in German and French, as well as more advanced courses in Spanish.


Mother’s Day Recipes


Okay, Dad and kids, Mom’s big day is coming soon. Here’s one place with multiple categories to look for The Perfect Mother’s Day Recipe. Sift through (sorry–couldn’t resist) breakfast, brunch, and baking recipes; breakfast recipes for Mom and for kids; simple recipes and more. Planning ahead helps.


Garden Ideas


From planning a garden (hurry!) to inexpensive crafts the whole family can do, here are several categories of garden-related activities. They count as homeschooling too–bird watching is science; seed starting, learning about tulips, and growing strawberries are all applied horticulture–not to mention fun!


Free Courses on Coursera


This website offers free college-level courses, many of which offer a “Certificate of Accomplishment” if all assignments are done–it’s not credit per se, but is evidence to show a brick-and-mortar school ability and self-direction. As the courses are from secular institutions, parents should supervise closely. Courses are offered in several languages from schools all over the world, but one can narrow searches by language to find those taught in English. What a chance to challenge one’s mastery in a foreign language by taking a course in it! Some classes are do-able by students ages 13 and up, but the site recommends most are suitable for students at least of high school age. Many classes are offered in real time, so check right now for ones beginning soon! Lee Binz, the Home Scholar, recommends it.


Free Household Printables


Find more than 250 free printables to help you get your life more organized and running at its best. Areas covered include “Home Management Notebook,” holiday printables, and more. The site owner also solicits your ideas for more!


10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit


Grandparents.com offers suggestions for what everyone needs to carry in the car for emergencies. The obvious things like jumper cables, auto fluids, and water–for cars and humans–are joined by trusty duct tape, a first aid kit, and a few more items. Ask your kids if they think they know what the 10 things are. (There’s Life 101 sneaking into the game again!)


Ten Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs


There’s nothing thriftier than reusing what would ordinarily be trash. Here are gardening and other uses for the humble empty milk jug.


Produce Selection, Handling, and Storage


See these tips for selecting, handling, and storing produce to get the best and make it last. You’ll save money while you eat your daily fruits and veggies.


February 2013 Activity Calendar


Find a variety of family activity suggestions (one for each day of the month) including build a tower with candy hearts (fine motor skills), create a pipe cleaner sculpture, and much more.


Classic Games in Fabric



These are instructions for no-sew versions of hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, checkers, and dominoes, but one could always sew them. Since they are mostly composed of straight lines, an experienced sewer should be able to teach basic pattern drafting and sewing instructions for them. Even fairly young children should be able to help cut out and glue the no-sew variety. Why fabric? It’s quiet for one thing!


Free Travel Guide


Order your free 2013 Virginia Travel Guide to get the latest in tourist info on our beaches, scenic drives, small town treasures, and more. Note the additional publications available, including a coloring book.


Online Security – Password Managers Are Not Enough


Most people know the standard tips for selecting passwords such as using upper- and lowercase letters in addition to other symbols (&%#). Since it is recommended you not reuse the same passwords, you’ll need a paper record booklet to record all of them–which could be lost or inaccessible. The same applies to online password managers which could go offline. Here is another solution.


Kim Komando Video – “How to Remove a Computer Virus”


Radio computer expert, Kim Komando offers advice in a video titled, “How to remove a computer virus.”


Grocery Lists


Save this site and see the various customized styles of shopping lists for use all year; see the top 10 on this page, but check out the sidebar for links to categories with all 45 specialized lists and menus. The lists will help you organize your shopping, pantry stores, and even improve your health! There are lined blank lists, itemized checklists, and lists written with diabetic or gluten-free diets in mind. Happy, Healthy New Year!


Spice Substitution Chart


What do you do when you have begun a recipe and discover you lack a certain spice? Sometimes it just isn’t convenient to run to the store. Here is a chart with possible substitutes. (The results will not be identical to those of the original recipe, but should be acceptable–even enjoyable!) The page also has links to an herb substitution chart and to a page of spice blends and mixes (with links to the recipes).


Winter Care for Houseplants


How easy is it to include horticulture with homeschooling when it’s right in the house with you? Check this article for tips on winter care for your houseplants. Many can be started with a cutting from a friend’s plant and potted very inexpensively. Some will grow in a glass of water! Internet searches will provide more information if needed.


Seasonal Stationery Printables




If you send out the famed family Christmas letter or just want pretty seasonal paper for a note, here are free printables so you can choose just the right one(s) for that particular use.


Top 101 Fall Crockpot Recipes


Here are 101 Crockpot recipes for main dishes and soups, beverages, desserts, and side dishes.


November 2012 Activity Calendar


This calendar has activities all the way from sailing paper boats in the bathtub to remember the Mayflower to candle making. You’ll find loads of ideas here!


“Teen Finishes His Own Mortgage-free Tiny House at Age 17″


Although this teen was not homeschooled, what a project this would make for a high school-age homeschooler (or family?)! The Tiny House Newsletter and website has followed this young man’s progress for a few years now. Some of these tiny houses (under 200 sq. ft.) can be built for only a few thousand dollars, depending on scavenged or salvaged materials and the features chosen. In the end, the teen will have learned a trade and have a place to live for the cost of miniscule amounts of utilities. Workshops are held all around the country, but some have embarked on the enterprise and self-taught along the way.


November is National Adoption Month


This past Sunday was Orphan Sunday. Russian Ministries, in partnership with the Home For Every Orphan, is one effort to place children in loving Christian families. See this website or do an Internet search for other resources to learn more. Pray for the 143 million children without families worldwide.


Hearty Fall Soups


Some are 30-minute soups, some are vegetable soups, and some are chicken soups–but we bet none are the standard soups you know!

Instilling Pro-Life Values in Your Children


These ideas for parents to help them instill pro-life values in their children are sure to have ones suitable for your family.


Stain Removal for Yucky Stains


Check out the best stain removing products and cleaning tips for yucky stains from Real Simple (some using less expensive homemade cleaners).


Sewing Simple Rainbows


This simple embroidery or basic sewing introduction is suitable for kindergarteners and up. To go along with the sewing project, review the biblical account of Noah and the Ark and remember that the rainbow is a constant reminder that God always keeps His promises!


Foods to Avoid Feeding to Dogs and a Recipe for Safe Dog Treats


See a veterinarian-reviewed list of foods to avoid. Instead giving your pet store-bought treats that have recently sickened pets and undergone recalls, try this simple recipe.

Keep an eye out for sales on organ meats and buy them when they’re cheap. Boil the gizzards, hearts, livers, etc., until cooked. Cut large organ meats into chunks for easier cooking if desired. Cool the meat on a plate until it is cool enough to handle, and then dice it into bits about the size of large peas. Spread the pieces in a single layer in baking pan or on a cookie sheet and bake overnight at your oven’s lowest temperature until the meat is dry and hard. Store the treats in a sealed baggie in the freezer, then use them sparingly while training your dog or as an occasional treat.

[This recipe from your editor was approved by the family’s vet.]


Geocaching 101


This really is a great introduction to the educational and fun hobby of geocaching. By now, most of us have heard the word, but many of us still do not know many of the details. This site will cover the basics for you and it does the job in a clear, organized way!


September is Preparedness Month in Virginia




Coming right up before you know it is September, Preparedness Month in Virginia. Hurricane season runs through November 1 and recent storms have shown us how an emergency can crop up any time with very little warning. State of Virginia websites have step-by-step, detailed information to guide families in preparing a kit for all sorts of emergencies. Kids can help a lot; make it a family project and a challenge, not a scary emergency! For a fill-in or downloadable family emergency plan worksheet, go to ReadyVirginia.gov and click on “Make a Plan.”


DIY Kids

What do you do if the kids have outgrown the “art-on-the-fridge” stage? Former Update editor writes, “DIY kids build portfolios of these things they make in the real world. Along the way kids learn new skills, use technology constructively, and begin a lifelong adventure of curiosity–and it causes them to spend time offline, too.”

See the website to learn more about DIY, explore the site, or join. The FAQ page may answer many basic questions. All facets of membership are currently free.




31 Ways to Use a Mason Jar in Your Kitchen

Whether you seriously want to replace plastics (like the author of the article), or just want to find creative uses for the jars we all have stashed somewhere, this article is for you! To start with, there are great ideas for gathering free jars and then many ways to use them. The traditional jars have much more to offer than just storage.



Top Ten Things Pro-Life Youth Can Do This Summer

See a list of pro-life things students can do this summer, from wearing pro-life T-shirts to organizing a prayer group. If you are 18, make sure you register to vote!


Homemade Energy Bites Recipe

Grind and mix a few yummy ingredients and freeze–no cooking!



Stop Yourself from Falling for Fakes!

This short article from Lavasoft gives some common warnings to help computer users avoid malware, phishing scams, and the like. Even if you already know these, perhaps a student in your family does not.



Window Washing Hints

Combine these “Hints from Heloise” with a tip from your editor’s hubby: he was raised using nothing but newspapers and water for window-washing and sticks with it to this day. Can’t get much cheaper!



What to Do About “Family” Assignments

In the homeschool setting, some families choose to skip these lessons, while others have a different approach. See the resources here if your family includes an adopted child! There’s a great, free download about tackling these assignments.



Three Big Rules Your Kids May Be Breaking Online

Failure to launch: Growing up in today’s digital age gives kids easy access to information. But that easy access reduces the time it takes kids to think through their actions and causes many of them to stumble. Check out this insightful article by Sierra Filucci—it’s filled with practical advice on keeping your kids safe in this internet age.



Do You Investigate Before You Donate?

Part of being thrifty means making charitable dollars go as far as they can. Here are two websites that can help.

One of the premiere groups founded to promote financial accountability among church-related organization, the ECFA, describes itself as, “Helping Christ-centered organizations earn [the] public’s trust through developing, [and] maintaining accountability standards and God-honoring ethical practices.”


A secular group, Charity Navigator, has earned a reputation as a thorough investigator with strict standards. You can check on a specific organization or search for organizations based on categories such as animals, education, religion, and several others. There are a million charities in the U.S., so if a charity is not listed, they may just haven’t gotten to it yet–it does not necessarily mean anything negative per se.

Do you know many telemarketer-fundraisers give as little as a penny (or less!) on the dollar to the group they are supposed to help?


Charity Watch is another good website.



Farmer’s Market Fun  


Enjoy a field trip/scavenger hunt at your next farmer’s market day! Suggestions are in the blog item.


Non-Edible Recipes Crafts-n-Tips


“NonEdibleRecipesCrafts-nTips” bills itself as the “ideal group for frugal folks!” Find pet treats; household cleaners; health and beauty aids; card-making, memory boxes, scrapbooking, and more.


Kids Cooking Activities


The whole family can enjoy fun with the kids in the kitchen. Our thanks to the submitter who added, “Cooking with kids increases their chance of a lifetime of eating healthy.” There is a free monthly newsletter, if you like. The site and newsletter have recipes, contests, tips, and other helpful things such as international recipes and science experiments!


Decorate a Shelter-Space


Frightening weather can frighten children, so enlist their help to decorate a safe place to shelter.


Pro-Life Student Resources


Among the pro-life resources and opportunities on this website are options that include using social networking tools (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and more) to promote life. See the page under “3. Act: Get started saving lives” that has job and internship openings. Other resources are listed under “2. Learn” to help students (high school and college age) and parents learn about the pro-life cause.


Crunchy Veggie Salad


Bacon, sunflower seeds, and raisins are some of the surprise ingredients in this Crisp Veggie Salad. Be sure to let the children at your house help measure and mix the goodies into the salad course for your next dinner. Include them and teach at the same time by talking about nutrition, preparation, cooking, and clean-up as you do steps for which they aren’t quite ready.




Supercook is a search engine that lets you search thousands of recipes by ingredients. You can save money on groceries by using ingredients you already have at home instead of letting them go to waste. You can also add variety to the menu with new dishes from familiar ingredients.


Gardening: Issues 275 and 276 of The Teaching Home



These two issues outline the practical, economical, and eternal lessons to be learned by family gardening. Spring has sprung and “time’s a wastin’!”


Plan It–Don’t Panic! (Six-Week Meal-Planning Challenge)


If you need some step-by-step help with menu-planning or just some motivation to get it done, this blogger did a series on her blog called “Plan It–Don’t Panic.”


“15 Foods You Should Never Buy Again” (Make Your Own)


See a list of over-priced, unhealthy, and easy-to-make foods with suggestions on how to make replacements that are much healthier and less expensive–and not hard at all.




What a great way to teach sewing basics and foster independence! Help each child who is old enough assemble his own kit and begin sewing on his own buttons; progress to repairing hems, mending very small tears, and other clothing maintenance.


Dave Ramsey Resources for Financial Literacy Month


Some of the links on this page of freebies include tips on teaching finances to kids.


April Edition of “Knowledge House”


Get links to a free 50-page e-book of Edgar Guest poetry, a great quote of the month, free household notebook pages to print, and much more.




This is a website for parents and teachers who want the best in education for their children. SuperKids provides reviews and ratings of educational software, practical and fun tools for online and offline use, news about important educational issues, and views of visionaries and policymakers.


Homeschool Radio Show


Although the name of this websites is Homeschool Radio Shows, it actually is useful for anyone. The Erskine family, a homeschooling family from Canmer, Kentucky, has taken old-time radio shows and dramatic performances and made them available for you to listen to for FREE on a weekly basis. In addition, they have other programs and materials from yesteryear available for purchase.


Birthday Party Ideas


BirthdayPartyIdeas.com provides a place where everyone can share ideas for children’s birthday parties in a very simple and organized format. If you are one of those people who likes to create birthday parties that are special and unique—parties that your guests and children will remember forever—then these ideas should help get you on your way.


Homemade Chalkboard Paint


See if these suggestions for homemade chalkboard paint work for you, or possibly inspire another DIY project with purchased chalkboard paint. One mom even made a whole chalkboard wall!

Food Safety News


Keep up on food recalls, alerts, and breaking news in the world of food via this free e-mail.


LiveBinders – Bookmark Organizer


This short introduction in the Homeschool Post blog explains LiveBinders, a free service that enables computer users to organize their bookmarks.


Internet Archive


This website offers a wealth of information in digital format, including text, video, audio, and much more. The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit founded to build an “Internet library,” with the purpose of offering permanent access to historical collections in digital format to researchers, historians, and scholars.

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For the Teacher

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network


The brand new Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network has free audio files to download or listen to live. Dads will enjoy it too. The site owners quip, “Poke a few sticks at the conventional and remind people constantly about the freedom to be found in the Gospel, while discussing what it means to ‘Homeschool in Real Life.’”


More than 200 Flashcard Sets!


Choose from 234 different sets of free printable flashcards that may help your students study. Virtually all subject areas are included from common ones within math and music, states and grammar, to beginning words and more. Some of the unusual topics include Morse code, semaphore flags, and dental anatomy (find these by clicking on “Miscellaneous flash cards” in the left sidebar).


Free Language Learning


Duolingo is a free online learning center with courses in French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, or Italian. Lessons allow you to read, type, listen, and repeat phrases so that you can learn to speak and write a foreign language at the same time. You can also sign up with friends and keep track of each other’s progress.


Homeschool-Friendly Colleges


Here is a list and some basic information about homeschool-friendly colleges and universities. Caveat: Being considered homeschool-friendly doesn’t necessarily constitute an endorsement of that school.




Thousands and thousands of videos organized by topics and subjects are free for the watching. Caveat: Common Core has crept into the site, so exercise care.


Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) e-lert Newsletters


Look at the many free services offered in the form of webpages and newsletters from HSLDA. Do you fit into one of the several special interest groups featured in newsletters or pages on their website? Some categories are struggling learners, high schoolers, toddlers to tweens, and more.





Welcome to this website, a community of families homeschooling boys. Snag a free chapter of the eBook Boyschooling: The Fine Art of Homeschooling Boys. It’s true, boys are different! Pick up ideas and resources dedicated to a godly approach to raising and homeschoolng boys.


10 Ways to Organize Craft and School Supplies


Stacie Nelson at Motherhood on a Dime suggests “10 Ways to Organize Craft and School Supplies” using recycled materials.


Flash Cards


If there are flash-card fans at your house, take a look at the selection of free printable cards (pre-printed and blank) on various subjects. These learning tools are used from preschool through graduate school, in both premade and homemade versions.


Free Unit Studies at Homeschool Share



Take a look at this sample study on ants to get a quick look at unit studies, then poke around the site to see more. The templates and ideas posted here are all authored by your fellow homeschoolers. Have you ever done a unit study with your family that you could share? Sign up for the free newsletter (second link) if you’d like to be notified about anything new.


Top 10 Categories – Rewards that Teach


In addition to the printables offered in this resource (lots of coloring, word searches and crosswords, and number puzzles), add an Internet search for “free logic puzzles,” another great category that will help strengthen thinking skills. Teachers have long rewarded early finishers with a worksheet containing a fun activity. The practice may translate well to the homeschool, but everyone will have to decide for himself.


Free Online Homeschool Planner


A Simple Plan is an online lesson planner designed to help you organize and plan every school year. You can plan lessons, make assignments, keep grades, schedule events, and do much more! Some features include a calendar, a lesson planner, book lists, reports to print, and more.


Free Unit Studies Index


Have you thought of trying unit studies, but didn’t want to buy one? Do you want to learn as a family, gently keep up skills (or learn new ones during “summer vacation”), or get the most out of a trip? Look over this extensive list of free unit study plans arranged alphabetically. Some suggestions are for one age/grade, but cover multiple subjects within the framework of one topic. Others include activities to draw in multiple ages as you all learn about different subjects connected by one topic.


Charlotte Mason Methods That Don’t Look Like “School”


These methods can be used with children who are not ready for formal testing, those not old enough for formal lessons, or just as a break from pen-and-paper tests and lessons. They work well for sick days, vacations, and summer. Who knew LEGO castles, modeling clay, and geometric or cookie cutter shapes could help with story-telling? How about enjoying family theater night (yes, parents have to do a skit with homemade costumes, too) or drive-time stories of how you once did something Laura Ingalls Wilder did in the book you just read to them?

Want more? Plan a menu, follow a budget, shop for, prepare, and serve a Father’s Day dinner. Design and produce your own gift wrap from brown paper or white butcher’s paper using art media of your choice. Have each child draw or write a paragraph for a Christmas in July family letter. Brainstorm for more ideas with an older child playing family secretary; take turns at it if you have enough children. Even coming up with the ideas becomes a lesson!


Virginia Tourism Website


As summer nears and many families will seek a day outing or longer to see some of our home state, some folks may have come from another area and not be aware of the many places–some very close to home–to see. Check the Virginia Tourism website and subscribe to their free newsletters to see a representative sample of spots to see. Sites are divided into such categories as historic sites, family, outdoors, and such. Explore the site when you have time to get the feel of it and become acquainted with the options and filters. Start with the banners and work down–then go!


Free Download in May – Homeschooling for FREE & Frugal


Download a free copy of Homeschooling for FREE & Frugal/Saving You Money for the Homeschool Life! That one won’t need much explaining either! The e-book has over 60 pages of resources, thoughts from fellow homeschooling families, practical tips drawn from their real life experiences, and encouragement as you pray for wisdom to squeeze a bit from the budget for “just one more book.” Ha!


Free Curriculum Planner


The “Little Learning Lovies” website has a 40-week and/or full year curriculum planner free to download. Get it while it’s available; we don’t know how long it will be there. If the offer has expired, do look around because there is quite a bit free for the downloading! Look for “Free!” at the bottom of “Categories” in the left sidebar. Also, at the time of this writing, a farm-themed memory game is free to download. Whatever you get free, you will need to go through the registration for new customers (or log in as a returning customer if you are), add the item(s) to your cart, and complete checkout. It will not charge you anything as long as it shows $0.00 as the cost.


Free Financial Freedom E-book and Phone Consultation


Focus on the Family is among those sponsoring a free e-book and phone consultation to help you on your way to financial fitness. Talk to someone who understands and can help you with a free debt analysis and financial fitness book based on biblical principles.


Virginia Birds List


Do you know what birds are found in Virginia? Start by printing this handy list (check off birds as you observe them), gathering your birding gear, and getting outdoors–with the kids!


How to Load Your Dishwasher Like a Pro


Do you want clean dishes with less work? There really is a professional video that demonstrates the way to load your dishwasher to get the best results! You’ll find out how to make the machine do its job–instead of you having to rewash by hand.


The Virginia Home Education Magazine – Free!


A quarterly magazine published by Home Educators Association of Virginia, this publication is full of encouraging articles for homeschool families.


The HEAV Update – A Free Weekly Newsletter


The Virginia Homeschool Update is a free, weekly e-newsletter for Virginia homeschoolers. Find out about homeschool and educational activities across Virginia, learn about cool educational websites, and more!


Free Educational Apps for Kids


Here is a very large list of free apps for Android and iPad in categories such as science, language (English and others), and math. Some individual listings have as many as 50 apps! If you have mobile devices, they can entertain and educate while you are waiting around–or you could get radical and have them take a book!


Online Timers to Help Manage Time


Choose from ten different types of timers, ranging from a “Do-nothing-for-two-minutes” break (great for prayer, too) to a traditional chess clock. Check out the others and see if any can help you manage your day. By the way, one helps limit Internet time!


Winter Studies and Lapbooks


Choose from numerous resources related to winter. See recommended books, lapbook and booklet ideas and examples, activities and puzzles, and a good teaching video on lapbooks. If you have ever wanted to try lapbooks, this page can help you experiment with them.


“Best Way to Save Money Homeschooling”


The Homeschool Buyers Co-op allows homeschoolers from all over to band together and get great discounts usually only available to large group buys–because when co-op members join together, that is what they become! There are also free resources you’ll see when you explore the site.


World Alphabets


Older students may appreciate a glance at the alphabets of the world, past and present. The artistry is amazing!


Spanish Word of the Day


For a gentle introduction to the language, listen to a new Spanish word each day and hear it used in a sentence as well. You could keep a card file of learned words to review from time to time for mastery.


Reverso Free Translation


Here is another free word or text translation website to try.


Create a Home Library


In the blog post “Library for Children {free},” the author describes how her family assembled a child-friendly home library from the books they already had on hand.


“Short List of Books We Could Not Do Without”


While many other book lists suggest curriculum or books for different ages to read, Trivium Pursuit offers a list of reference books they consider essential. Note the comments below the original blog post to see what other homeschoolers might add.


Classical Curriculum List


This suggested curriculum list for a classical style education could be useful to many, whether or not you are using the classical method.


College Entrance Requirements for Homeschoolers

This link to a page in the College Guide allows readers to select from about 30 colleges and universities to see at a glance the entrance requirements the institutions set for homeschoolers.

Our thanks to Mary Blount, editor of the H.E.A.R.T. Newsletter (of Williamsburg), in which the link was shared.


Free Online Text-to-Speech MP3 Maker


Use this free online text to voice device to create an MP3; listen online or download it to a portable device.


Autism Resources – Timberdoodle and HEAV

Timberdoodle’s Autism Center includes a blog, resources, product reviews, and more from a long-time homeschool company.


Your own Home Education Association of Virginia resource pages on special needs have many helpful links for you. Let your homeschooling friends know about it too!


You may also shop on HEAV’s site for pertinent books (and get a discount if you’re a member). Be sure to click on “next page” to see the additional materials.



Sheppard Software

This website has grown over the years to now include many broad categories: USA, the world, animals, language arts, health, science, math, preschool, and brain games. Categories have subsets such as SAT and medical jargon under language arts.



Free Digital Homeschool Planner


The Homeschool Planner Plus is a free spreadsheet-based customizable planner that tracks an individual student from elementary through high school. The course planner lets you see at a glance what you are covering from year to year, while the report cards and transcripts can be used as a permanent grade record. Also included are a reading log, attendance sheet, and a course details-assignment sheet. Site owner Mary Ann Kelley encourages feedback atmaryann@thehomeschoolmom.com.


Homeschool Freebie of the Day


Check the site each weekday for a free resource related to homeschooling. Sign up at the website for a free reminder e-mail, which will contain an extra item not posted on the website. The daily item is usually not available for additional time, so do check daily to see if you can use it.


Five Ways To Homeschool Free


Ask friends for extra materials; Google for “Homeschool Free” or “Free Homeschool Curriculum;” check the library (for more than just books); volunteer for homeschool groups, co-ops, or conventions (there are often freebies, discounts or first pick of leftovers at used curriculum sales); join a homeschool group which lends materials.

Read the whole article for more details.


Homeschool Enrichment Magazine


This is a magazine for homeschool families, published by a homeschool family! Each issue is full of articles that address not only curriculum and graduation requirements, but that also encourage you in your Christian walk and give advice on how to enrich your homeschool experience.


Bookmarking Service


I have six or seven computers that I use during the week. I use this website/service to make my bookmarks accessible to me as I go from computer to computer. But what takes this to the next level, and makes it useful for even those fortunate enough to work on just one computer, is the “social networking” aspects. Using a “TAG” system, you can see others’ bookmarks for the same topic. What makes eBay, Amazon, and Google such smash hits is the “social” aspects of the technology, through which the user can rely on the opinions of others.


Valentine’s Day Resources


Find links to websites for Valentine’s Day.


World War ll Resources


Find resources on World War II. I must warn you that you can stumble upon some weird people. Just because a person has TAGGED sites relating to “gardening” doesn’t mean they don’t have other interests that are of no interest to you. However, the really great website links I have found using this service are well worth the occasional weird link.




BrainPOP is a website which features hundreds of educational topics covering English, math, science, social studies, health, and technology, all correlated to national education standards for grades 5-8. A subscription costs $79 per year, but anyone can participate in two activities per day at no charge.

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This is the time of year to start that garden you have always wanted. Find frugal ideas for gardening from starting plants with seeds to organizing a plant swap at this site. You will, no doubt, save money by planning, planting, tending, and harvesting your garden using their suggestions.



Use the Free Stuff Finder at Cha Ching on a Shoe String to locate free items in categories such as Free Beauty Stuff, Free Birthday Stuff, Free Baby Stuff, and How to Win Stuff.



Yearly (and sometimes seasonally) family photographs are a must, but the cost of hiring a professional can be prohibitive. Sarah Titus shares her tips for capturing the perfect moment on a budget. Her practical suggestion will help you create the perfect photo-shoot!



Tis the season, “fa la la la la.” No, not that season – used curriculum sale season. Victoria at Snail Pace Transformations has a two-part article on finding great deals at used curriculum sales that can help you plan and execute successful shopping trips to purchase next year’s materials.



Are you having trouble letting go of items you no longer use? You can get inspiration for repurposing those items and more with Twisted Sister’s “50 Creative Ways to Repurpose, Reuse, and Upcycle Old Things.”

Moving Tips


Does the new year include a move for your family? Here are some tips that might make it easier for you, including questions to ask yourself and practical tips.


Selling Your Old Cell Phone


Did you get a new cell phone for Christmas? Here is an article from CNET with tips on selling your old mobile devices.


20 Things the Rich Do Every Day


So what do the rich do every day that the poor don’t do? To start, the rich avoid junk food (think how much they save in medical and dental bills!) and the rich get regular exercise (another great health habit). Find more in the article on Dave Ramsey’s blog.


Money Saving Mom Website and Newsletter


This well-established website describes itself saying, “Money Saving Mom® is an upbeat and encouraging blog dedicated to helping you find money-saving coupons and deals, inspiring you to wisely manage your time and resources, and challenging you to live your life with intention and purpose.” Skip around the website and see if it seems useful to you and then subscribe to the newsletter. It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at anytime.


Thrifty Christmas Yard Décor


This is just the beginning of the ideas on a crafty website where your worst problem will be choosing what to do first. This craft uses your old plastic milk jugs to make colorful yard lights!


DIY Photo Coasters


Trying to come up with an inexpensive, yet thoughtful, gift to make and give for Christmas? Here’s a tutorial explaining how to transform photographs into coasters using plain, white ceramic tiles.


Free Printable ABC Sheets


Cute little animals to color and letters to trace make a nice piece of (very informal) stationery to occupy little ones, and then you can mail them to far-flung relatives. Have everyone who is with you this Thanksgiving write a brief word to the recipient after the kids color the pictures. This is a great project for youngsters who not yet ready for regular lessons still like to “do school” alongside older siblings.


“Homeschooling on a Shoestring”


Vicki Bentley has an article up on the Home School Legal Defense Association website with advice for parents of toddlers to tweens. She notes that while it is technically possible to homeschool with only a Bible and a library card, she suggests a number of other great ways to economize that are somewhat less drastic in the cost-cutting department.


National Split Pea Soup Week – Begins November 11


Split pea soup is healthy, inexpensive, filling, and easy! How can you pass this up?


Free E-book – Nine Ways to Transform Old T-shirts


Use the ideas here to make use of old T-shirts (or free ones given out as promotional items), learn sewing skills, and perhaps make gifts.


Good Cheap Eats – Soups and Stews


Organize a recipe swap with other homeschool moms to get the best fall food. Find some inspiration here at the Good, Cheap Eats website.


Feed the Pig – Savings Advice


Learn the why and how of savings with help from Financial Literacy–it’s even fun! There are videos, a free weekly tip, various calculators, articles, archived tips, and podcasts.


Affording the Homeschool Life



Find these friendly, helpful folks on Facebook and on the blog (second link). The owners say, “Affording the Homeschool Life” is a group for homeschool families to share tips, tricks, and resources for all frugal living topics. Feel free to post questions and please join in the conversation.”


The Best Time to Buy Anything During the Year


Lifehacker offers their guide to the best time of year to purchase specific types of merchandise less expensively, from computer monitors to carpet.


Apple Recipes


It’s apple season! Take advantage of lower prices and better quality by buying fruit in season. Here are some wonderful ways to enjoy this healthy and delicious fall fruit!


Soap Dispenser Refills


If you love foaming soap but are not such a fan of the price, see this blog on ways you can refill the dispensers inexpensively.


Live Dirt Cheap


Live Dirt Cheap has coupon sources, tips, recycling ideas, and more ways to help your family save money.


Homemade Laundry Detergent


“Living on a Dime” has tons of potential money-saving ideas for helping almost anyone trim the budget. Homemade laundry detergent is one idea many homeschoolers–and others–count on weekly (daily?).


DIY Greeting Card Kit – A Simple Gift for Giving or Sending


With commercial cards having gone way up in price, it is more common than ever to think of that very practical arts-and-crafts project, the homemade card. This short and illustrated blog post lists ingredients for you to pre-assemble in zip-top bags. The writer suggests keeping the bags near another homemade helper, the card occasion notebook (or as we call them, our “paper brains”). The article includes a link to free printables–one to track thank you notes and another to a birthday calendar. Cleverly done kits might even be suitable as gifts, especially to older relatives on limited budgets. Be sure to include stamps, address labels, addresses, and fill out the calendar as well as you can.


Repurposed Containers


Meet needs for little to no cost by recycling what you already have. Explore more than a dozen of your editor’s favorite finds from the world of blogging. Do you know the old saying, “Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without!”?


Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free


Nothing says we all can’t enjoy some wonderful and different foods found searching for recipes on sites that cater to special diets. Expand your hospitality possibilities! Here is one place to start.

Women Auto Know


Women may prove easy targets for unscrupulous repair shops or tradesmen, as numerous undercover camera investigations have shown. Women Auto Know takes aim at one area of fix-it know how. Become familiar with its resources now and you will be a tougher target when you have a break down or need to perform regular maintenance.


Free Software Blocks Ads



Not only are online ads incredibly annoying, they tempt you to blow the budget as you conduct your normal computer activities. Compatible with Firefox and Chrome, “Ad Block Plus” comes to the rescue. Read reviews and evaluations from CNET’s editors and from your peers, other day-to-day computer users, and decide if these free programs are suitable for you. Additional research of other Internet sites is recommended.


“What if I Had No Money for Curriculum?”


One mom wrote how she would manage with “just an Internet connection, printer, and Kindles.” Even if you do buy curriculum, check her website suggestions to see if any may be useful.


“What if I Had No Money for Curriculum?”


One mom wrote how she would manage with “just an Internet connection, printer, and Kindles.” Even if you do buy curriculum, check her website suggestions to see if any may be useful.


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.


G. A. Henty Classics Free for Kindle


G. A. Henty books are popular with many homeschoolers. Now you can get a number of them free for Kindle. It could be a good way to try out some of his books free of charge–even if you are a “real” book fan.


Grow Food from Kitchen Scraps


Grow some vegetables from scraps left over in the kitchen. Plants that can be grown this way include celery, green onions, and potatoes. See the short article for more and the how-tos that go with it.


Reuse Soda Can Tabs


It may sound a little odd, but here are seven ways to reuse what would usually be mere trash. Ideas range from practical picture or art hangers to crafty bracelets! While on that page to see the ideas, note articles linked at the bottom of the page on reusing hangers, tissue boxes, and pie tins. Teach the art and science of clever reuse to your children early.


Clothes Mending Guide


Make items feel like new when you repair rips, missing buttons, and misaligned zippers with these mending instructions. Mending has gone out of fashion–but it saves lots of money!


50 Ways to Save Money


This blog post presents 50 ways to be frugal in a general category in addition to groupings for groceries, household, personal, and entertainment. There are a few links to other posts too.


May Issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine


Remember to take advantage of the generosity of our friends at The Old Schoolhouse Magazineand see the current issue of this well-known magazine. There is sure to be something for everyone. And don’t forget to claim your free subscription to SchoolHouseTeachers.com–brought to you by TOS–when you register for the convention!


Ten Things to Do This Summer for $1 or Less


Some of the activities on this list may be new to you–such as tour a local factory or make homemade snow cones! Be sure to check the comments for more thrifty ideas and maybe share a few ideas of your own.


Learning A-Z Teacher Appreciation Online Open House – Register Now; Open House Is May 3-7


Learning A-Z will once again open their paid websites for a free week to honor teachers, but each subsection will only be open for a day or two. The sites cover six aspects of reading, writing, math, and science.


20 Do-It-Yourself Homemade Art Supplies


These art supplies may not only be thriftier than their store-bought cousins, but they’re often available 24/7 since you may well have the “recipe ingredients” already.


Recycled Backyard Projects


Now that it is spring, our thoughts naturally turn to the growing plants outdoors—and indoors! Recycle an old dustpan into a bird feeder. An old Altoids tin becomes a simple and inexpensive gift for the garden enthusiast in your life. Convert a cardboard box of your choice (they used “Animal Crackers®”) into an indoor planter. Get more ideas from the Birds and Blooms “Recycled Backyard” page.


Freely Educate


Freely Educate is great site for parents, homeschoolers, and other educators to find a wide variety of quality, free educational offers. New ones are posted most weekdays.


Mr. Printables for Kids


Find such categories as stationery, learning, activities (games, puzzles, coloring, and more), parties, holidays, crafts, and more! These resources will come in handy in so many areas of life.


Top 10 Thrifty Homeschool Blogs


Check out these 10 blogs for ideas–all selected by other homeschoolers–as the Top 10 Thrifty Homeschool Blogs.


Museum Memberships


The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Passport Program begins its new year of shared admission on April 30, 2013. Read up on the program details that allow family members to join one museum and get free general admission to other participating museums. Grandparents are sometimes happy to contribute to the effort and can take the kids to a fun and educational spot during visits. Check with the museum you contemplate joining to see if they offer membership reciprocity with other museums, historic sites, and zoos (AZA). Current lists are at the site.


Free Financial Freedom E-book and Phone Consultation


Focus on the Family is among those sponsoring a free e-book and phone consultation to help you on your way to financial fitness. Talk to someone who understands and can help you with a free debt analysis and financial fitness book based on biblical principles.


Homemade Baby Gift: A Hankie Baby Bonnet


This sewing tutorial shows how to turn a gorgeous hankie from an estate sale, yard sale, or Grandma’s attic into a beautiful baby gift for as little as $.25–if you are able to discover a bargain. Create a future heirloom as well as a cherished gift. Crafters may find a hobby or business opportunity.


Ten Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs


There’s nothing thriftier than reusing what would ordinarily be trash. Here are gardening and other uses for the humble empty milk jug.


Saving Potato Water


Who knew that saved potato water (water you boiled potatoes in) could be saved and used in bread and rolls, soups, and other dishes–even in chocolate cake? Read more in this short tip.


PVC Pipe Bike Rack


Here are directions for a bike rack that even younger children can help assemble. Organize that jumble of bikes in the garage and get ready for warmer weather and family outings.


Uses for Recycled Magazines


Here are links to tutorials on making jewelry, furniture, crafts, and more, all from old magazines!


Repurpose a Playpen or Crib into an Indoor Laundry Rack


If you have an old (and possibly unsafe) wood slat playpen or crib, here is one way to get more use out of it–convert it into an indoor clothes drying rack with these directions.


Produce Selection, Handling, and Storage


See these tips for selecting, handling, and storing produce to get the best and make it last. You’ll save money while you eat your daily fruits and veggies.


Back to Basics Mini-Challenge


Check out these 10 categories to see if any appeal to you. Some will certainly help save money (using more dry beans) and some might encourage you to eat more healthful foods, protecting that precious commodity – your good health.


CurrClick Freebies


If this page doesn’t work, simply go to the homepage by clicking on the logo of this downloadable curriculum site and looking lower along the left sidebar for the “Free” symbol. The site always has lots of smaller free items and sometimes big ones! Sign up for their newsletter and get reminders about the freebies! Don’t miss CurrClick at the convention this June!


Free Block-of-the-Month Quilting Course


Parents, would you or your children like to learn to sew or quilt with structured lessons from your own home? Would it be even better if they were free? You will get a whole month to do one block, and will have a small quilt suitable for a small project (wall hanging or pillow) at the end of the year.


Homeschool Co-op and Free Homeschool ID


Many discounts for educators or tickets for students require valid identification as a homeschooler. Two of the best ways to obtain a homeschool ID card are to join HEAV or HSLDA. If a need arises before you have a chance to do those, you may print your own free ID card via the Homeschool Buyers Co-op or buy a professionally made version from them. The Co-op is a way to save money by arranging to join quantity discount buys too.


Free Printable Word Search Puzzles (Adults and Kids)


Choose from dozens of themes for word search puzzles. There are separate levels for adults and children. Some puzzles can be worked online without printing.


Save on Groceries When You’re Sick


In this blog post, “Living on a Dime” site owner, Tawra Kellam–who has health issues–passes on a number of useful tips for feeding a busy family even when you don’t feel like cooking.


Cabbage Recipes


Cabbage is a less common source of Vitamin C and a relatively inexpensive food, so this lady collected over 200 cabbage recipes. They require varying amounts of time, effort, and other ingredients to complete, but do use cabbage. Sort through the categories and find some you like. Steamed, sliced cabbage with a little butter, salt, and pepper is the cheapest form, and a super-easy veggie to serve!


Turn Paint Chips into a Dry Erase Calendar


Turn an old picture frame and paint chips into an inexpensive, reusable monthly (or weekly) calendar. You’ll need 35 chips, a 12″ x 16″ frame, and a dry erase marker to create your own version.


Free Printable Calendars for 2013


Pick and choose to customize whatever style of calendar pages you need. If one month has a unique schedule (such as an expected baby or a long road trip), you can print just that month in a different style that meets your needs.


Last-Minute Gift – Skateboard Sling


Directions say this sewing project is simple enough for beginners. Whip one up–or let a learner try it–and make a snowboard or skateboard carrier.


31 Days of Giving on a Budget


This particular day happens to discuss helping even the youngest children give to others. The other 30 days have additional ideas to help families give even when budgets are tight.


Bookshelf with Planks of Wood and Two Ladders


If you need more shelf space and lack the time or skills to build, try this. As the title suggests, you’ll need ladders and wood!


31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas


Some ideas will be quite obvious (make a budget and stick to it), but there may be some that will be new to you and help you find a little extra money.


Free Printable Grocery Lists


Shopping without a list can be disastrous on the budget! Download free, printable grocery lists for any occasion, and never be caught “open-handed” again.


Free (Bad) Apps Can Steal Your Data


Read Kim Komando’s recent article warning about malware masquerading as free apps and learn about security for your mobile devices.


Sale Candy Makes Inexpensive Holiday Wreaths


Get your free candy Christmas wreath PDF e-book from Living On A Dime® and take advantage of any sale candy you come across. Site owner Tawra Kellam says it may only cost $2 to make the sweet treat and decoration–if you can resist eating the candy as you are making the wreath!


Found Object Art as Centerpiece


Use a found object art activity as your Thanksgiving centerpiece and you have a thrifty tip that will let the kids showcase their talents and help the budget too.


Jan Brett Freebies


Subscribe to Jan Brett’s newsletter (or just visit her site) for fabulous, printable material from seasonal coloring pages and full-color bookmarks fancy enough to give as greeting-card gifts (print on cardstock), to teaching material for younger kids and drawing lessons sophisticated enough for adults! A famous children’s author/illustrator, Jan keeps sharing new resources year after year and offers access to older, archived items.


Free Christmas Planner



Yes, it’s time to jump in now for a “mostly Frazzle Free Christmas.” (Sign up now to be alerted earlier next year and get the full eight-week version.) You can download an e-Book, checklists, and printables free of charge. Be sure to tell family and friends so they can relax and enjoy the moments more fully. See the second link for their Facebook page.


$5 Dinners


This popular website features inexpensive–and in this case, cook and freeze ahead–meals for a family dinner. Back to school times can be hectic; it could be a good time to make some dinners ahead and be ready for a no-time-to-cook evening.


One Harvest Food Ministries


One Harvest essentially fills the void left by the end of Angel Food Ministries with their discount food boxes. To find a location near you, click on “Locations” on the red banner. The search feature may work best if you enter the town and full state. Try “Norfolk, Virginia” to see results in the entire Hampton Roads area.

If you don’t find one in your town, try nearby towns to which you are willing to drive. Also, your church may consider becoming a partner (host) site. Click on “Become a Partner” to join the effort to bless people with a lower-cost food source. There are now sites in several southern states, including Virginia and North Carolina.


Free Thanksgiving Worksheets and Printables Galore!

Use some of the serious educational material (especially the last three in the listed set of resources in the site), coloring sheets, games, and loads more on many age levels. Great as a filler or to keep kids out from underfoot. Enjoy!


Find labels, place cards, menus, and a traditional kids’ Thanksgiving placemat to print.


Get a selection of free Thanksgiving-themed recipe cards, notepads, and shopping lists to enrich your holiday. Why not tie up a small bundle of recipe cards with your Thanksgiving recipes and give them to guests?





Mom, Tawra Kellam, although not a homeschooler, is an expert on stretching a budget in a frugal family with kids. If you haven’t visited her site before–or if it’s been a while–check out all the areas of life she covers in their own well-organized categories. There is something there for everyone!


Free Printable Family Trees


There are a dozen or so choices of styles and numbers of generations in these free family tree templates.


Free Printable Road Trip Games


Download and print the games, see the travel bag tips, and a bit more to make your travels more fun.


Free Medical Reminder App


If you need regular medication, or a family member does, this free app will help remind you. It can also remind you of appointments and other health-related needs. Reminders can be sent by e-mail, text messages, and voice calls.


Frugal Easter Ideas


See sales tips, do-it-yourself egg dyes, ways to use leftovers, and ways to minister to others; this set of articles has much to choose from.


Price Comparison Shopping Site


Find useful cost comparisons of all categories of consumer goods on one handy website!


“Tips to Help Save on Gas”




First, a look at the car, then the driver: check tire inflation, dispense with unneeded vehicle weight, and plan errands. Next, keep the gas tank at least half full of fuel at all times. Then, alter your driving style to minimize braking, avoid the left lane–and keep your speed down. See the article’s full edition for a discussion of air conditioning vs. open windows. Consider gas reward credit cards, but read the rules carefully and always pay the full balance if you choose that route (sorry about the pun). Also, read the article for details on how much shopping around makes sense. Lastly, check fuel price websites such as AAA’s. Some sites, such as Gas Buddy’s, have phone apps too.


Free Virginia Travel Guide


Request a free copy of this 226-page Virginia Travel Guide via the website. You may see other offers too.


Easy Custom Skirts for about $10


Follow the easy pattern and directions in the photo-tutorial for a customized, warmer-weather, high-low linen skirt. The fabric can cost as little as $10. If you use lightweight fabric, just tack in a simple lining to the bottom edge of the inside waist area, or wear a slip. There are more skirts under this post, which you can also make exactly the length and size you wish, and in a fabric you choose. The website has a good selection, or you can visit your favorite store.


25 Ways to Save on Groceries


While you may do many of these thrifty things in your home, some may be new. Consider trying out a new idea. Challenge your children to critique these ideas or add more of their own.