Archive for May, 2010

The Constitution and Ants in our Pants

We’re trying to learn about the Constitution, but mostly we have ants in our pants. This is our last topic of the school year. We still have another week to go on it. We could do more, but I feel like I’m torturing the kids 🙂 We don’t stop or ease up on school in the summer; they just know that space comes next and can’t wait.

This is the space shuttle they built in the bedroom.

They put their little brothers in our long pillow cases to turn them into rockets.

See what their minds are on? It’s not the Constitution. They see the books on the shelf. They’ve seen the lapbook pieces printed out. I got everyone new binders to put all their finished papers in. But they have to wait, at least one more week.

Here’s what we’ve been doing:

We did a loose first week taking a couple of online tours of the White House, looking at our books on the White House and our government and watched a short video on forms of government. We also started to look at the Constitution by reading the preamble. There are links for the White House tours and to read the preamble for different ages on the Links blog. Of course, all the links here are also on the Links blog on the Government page. Links to All Things Free for Homeschoolers

We did a week on the who, what, where, when, how of the Constitution. I printed out a great lapbook from HERE which includes lots of links and a board game!  But my kids asked not to do the lapbook, so it became preschool fodder. My daughter asked to do notebooking pages instead (which is preferable anyway since each one requires paragraph writing) and my son asked to do digital lapbooks instead.

You can see his digital lapbook from that week HERE. Writing with paper and pencil is hard for him, but he loves the computer and will do these eagerly. The program does cost money (and is MUCH improved from the free trial version), but we received it as a gift and I am thankful for it. He will have done four on the Constitution by the time we finish this coming week. He’s finishing second grade by the way.

Here’s the link to the Digital Lapbook site to order and to download a trial version.

We used this site as a base for reading about the Constitution.

We listened to this short audio story about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Our second week we looked at the Branches of Government. My son made a digital lapbook and they played this fun game where you have to beat Oppressor Sam by restoring the branches of Government to their rightful place using your Constitutional knowledge.

We did a week on the Bill of Rights. We read them HERE and learned more from this power point presentation. And we played the Bill of Rights online game. They both wrote on their assignments that they thought the first amendment was the most important of them all.

(If you don’t have Power Point, you can watch these by downloading a free program. You can find this on the Links blog on the General Resources page under Software.)

This coming week we are going to learn about bills becoming laws. We will do this interactive learning activity. I will have my fourth grader read this power point presentation. I will have them both write a bill proposal of sorts.

And finally they will play this mock election online game.

There are a ton more links on the Links blog for all ages. We aren’t diving into Economics at all, but my second-grade son and I have had fun playing the Lemonade Stand game. Start with the one just called “Lemonade Stand.”

So, that’s all for now. Another week and then I will probably give in though there is more we could do. We’ll see. Hope you are having a great week.

May 30, 2010 at 10:25 pm 3 comments

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Publishing My Book

…I started the Links to All Things Free for Homeschoolers blog. And since doing that, I’ve been meeting homeschoolers online whose husbands have recently lost their jobs.

When the publisher contacted me and I read about my book being published in hardback with a cost of about $17, my heart sank. I want you to read this book, but I couldn’t ask you to spend $17 on it, even if it is worth it. I wouldn’t spend $17 on it. Our family is on our way to spending less than $100 on our homeschool this year (paper and pencils and all).

So, I’ve decided to self-publish the book. I am thankful for the affirmation from a publisher (I’m human!), but this way I will be able to offer a free download of the book. It will also be available in soft cover as well. I know it’s always easier to have a real book in your hands, but I don’t want to have people not reading it because of cost. The book was a gift to me, and I want to give it to you.

But now I am left with doing this on my own. I would love any help you can offer. I’ve had someone offer to edit the book. (I’ve never met her.) But I need someone who can do a cover design. Does anyone do that who is willing to help?

The book will be published as soon as the editing and cover are done. The rest of you can help by reading the book and telling others about it. If you have a blog, please write about it after you’ve read it, and maybe I will be able to get  a button for the book that you could put on your blog.

I’m finishing up the homeschool materials  I’ve made to go with the book. How much Christian literature do you get to use in your homeschool? I have more than 130 pages of lessons, lapbook pieces and notebooking pages to go along with it.

May 23, 2010 at 7:28 am 3 comments

Early American History Curriculum — FREE

This covers from the early explorers through the Civil War, basically 1492 to 1865.

There are 20 pages here. It is made so that all of your children can study together. There are choices for readings and for activities for all age levels. You’ll need to make some decisions about which readings and activities to do. I tried to include reading levels, number of pages, etc. to help you along.

I put in a guide for how long to spend on each main topic, but it is just guideline!

I hope this is helpful to some of you. EVERYTHING you need is free. ALL of the books are free, available online.

Please let me know if you ever come across links that go to the wrong place or that aren’t working, etc. I have been able to fix everything pointed out to me so far so don’t just assume the link can’t be used. Let me know about it!

Find the download HERE.

May 15, 2010 at 12:51 am 2 comments

Language Arts Curriculum — Free

I have put together a curriculum of sorts of language arts. It covers grammar, writing–creative writing and nonfiction writing, poetry including poetic devices, spelling, vocabulary and copywork.

This is one size fits all, although made for children who are already proficient at reading and writing. I can’t tell you what exactly to do each day. I don’t know your children or your family. I laid it out so that you can hopefully easily work your way through the different parts and easily choose what you’d like to do. Take a look and you’ll see.

All of the materials you’ll need are available on the Links to All Things Free for Homeschoolers blog in the English section. I will be posting this over there too.

Language Arts Curriculum

Please let me know if this is of value to you. I was thinking I could tackle Early American History next since I’m so familiar at the moment with what’s available. It would take a form probably similar to the grammar section of this curriculum.

May 4, 2010 at 8:22 am 3 comments


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