Monday, October 22, 2012

Read Alouds for Grades K-8

I love books! I have a literal weakness for them--the hard copy kind not the electronic kind.  Every book in my house is a treasure and I try to teach my girls to be good stewards of their books.  While I am a book lover, I'm also a book snob.  Living books with beautiful written stories and with well chosen words just melt my heart but there isn't anything I can't stand more than junk "literature".  You know those books written to appeal to kids that are written in kid terms and don't have any character value whatsoever.  It's hard training my kids to pick the treasures from the junk.  I have a commitment to only read them books that have character value, books that challenge them and books that touch their heart.  It's not easy because junk "literature" is everywhere!  I am going to do my best to only list books that have value and that will enrich your time together.


First off, I would like to talk about reading more to your children.  There is nothing more precious than read aloud time.  There are some wonderful activities you can tie into your reading.  Creekside Learning (who is known for providing a superb living book list) has some ideas to make your reading time extra special.  Ten Ways to Read More to Your Child

101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up -- The books listed are picture books.  Chapter books are most often read for read aloud time but there is nothing wrong with a picture book every now and then. Personally, there are some listed that are not-so-great but overall it's a good list.

Read Aloud list for Mighty Girls -- I have listed this site in a previous blog post but it had to be listed again.  The books listed here are not about girly princess but girls that are strong and courageous.  Some of the books listed I've never heard of so I can't say whether all books listed are wonderful.

Top 25 Read-Alouds -- by Simple Homeschool.  I love lists by other homeschoolers.  You can relate to their struggles of finding good books.  Most listed here are good choices but personally, I wouldn't have listed Harry Potter (for faith reasons).  But to each his own.

101 215 Read Aloud Books for Elementary Aged Children -- This list started out as 101 which was fantastic on it's own but the writer let her followers add to the list and now it's a whopping 215 books.  Great selections with books you can't miss with your children (in my opinion).  I'm glad to see that they listed classic books here that other lists are missing.

Chapter Books for the Younger Kids -- I somewhat disagree with this title.  It's listed for ages 3-8 but I think children as old as 12 can enjoy some of these books.  I was so glad to see Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder; An Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye (I can't believe I didn't read this as a child.... but warning she does run away from home but for good reason); and the Grandma's Attic book by Arletta Carlson.

1000 Good Book List-- by Classical Christian Homeschooling.  Massive listing for books for K-12th grade.  Although it is for the purpose to make a reading list, I believe if you use the books from their level or go one level higher you can use those books as a read aloud. 

Reading Aloud to Your Children --  by another homeschool mom.  She made a list of books that she read to her son and has shared them on her blog.  While I think the books she listed are above MY children's grade levels, it can still be utilized in your homeschool.  She has grades 1-5 listed but I believe her list is for more like grades 2-8 but that's just me.  Although, if you're classical homeschoolers you may not need to make any adjustments.

Sonlight Curriculum-- You can't have a book list without at least looking at the books listed by Sonlight.  A few books have been recently disputed by homeschoolers (and for good reason) but you can't ignore their taste for lively literature.

The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease is a well known book for his study of reading aloud to children and his book list.

Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt is more written for faith-based families who want to read to their children not only for quality time but for character value as well.  Can't miss this wonderful book.

I hope that I helped you more than overwhelmed you with all these book choices.  Like I said before, junk "literature" is everywhere.  My 6 year-old is the worst about picking out junk to bring home.  She is like a magnet for those goofy illustrations and horrendous texts and story lines.  Some days I want to ban her from the library just to save from an argument or two but I know if I keep on keeping on and teach her the value of books, it will benefit her the rest of her life.  Don't give up the fight.  Demand good books. Read good books and spend time with your children.  It's so important.  Until next time!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Earth Science


Earth Science is the subject that I have the hardest time trying to teach. I can't classify rocks on my own.  I need a lot of help in this area.  It's the area of science I struggle with the most since I need to see, feel and touch science to understand it.  Some of these resources have been such a big help to me. 

My plans reflect a Christian perspective. Although some of the resources featured do not line up with my beliefs, I believe they make for some interesting discussion and using a Christian, young earth book along-side to show what God says and why he made it that way. 

Home Science Tools-- Earth Science Experiments.  This company feature Christian products for homeschoolers.

Geology and Earth Science Unit Studies-- for grades 3-8.  I have not personally looked through this in detail so I can't say for sure what to expect.

How Rocks are Formed Homepage -- Very cool.  Has animated models of how rocks are formed with visual learners in mind.

 Rocks and Minerals Station and Geology crafts by the Crafty Classroom.  I really like this set up for visual and hands-on kids.

4 2 Explore has earth science units by topic for homeschoolers
Coral Reef
Natural Disasters
Floods and Flooding

Geology Rocks--- Great book to use as a spine or supplement for earth science studies.  It's not free but you can get a copy very inexpensively right now. You can also check this out at your local library.

Let's Go Rock Collecting-- Great book for the younger set. Also not free.

We will Rock you---Rock Cycle Song Video.  Very cool.  Visual and auditory kids can easily catch on to the different rock types.

Backyard Rock Classification-- For the younger set.

Geology Unit Study by Cindy Downes.  This is for grades K-8th grade.  This free unit will last about 12 weeks according to her lesson plans.  It's all nicely laid out and labeled.  I like it when it's easy-to-use.

Kids Investigate Volcanoes on Squidoo

Earth Science/Rocks and Minerals Unit -- Great for K-6th grade.  This mom has listed a variety of resources and experiments. 

Earth Science Projects-- by the Homeschool Den.  Mostly crafty and hands-on for K-4th.

Old Earth Science Resources for grades K-5th grade

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Activities and Unit Studies

As the leaves turn from their summer green into their Autumn colors the weather turns cooler.  We enjoy apples and pumpkins with the season's change.  Long sleeves come out to play. Jackets and coats are lovingly pulled out for use and children go out to play.
Fall is my favorite season of the year.  Seeing God's creation change seasons and enjoying special outings is what makes it so special for me.  I hope this year you can make it special for your family.  There are so many activities and unit studies to be enjoyed in the fall.

Pumpkin School by Our Journey Westward is a great example of Living Math and what we can learn from pumpkins.  You will also cover science, language arts and history and geography.

Vintage Fall Coloring Sheets   These page are so cute.  I've always disliked giving kids cartoon-y coloring pages.

Autumn sheet to colorPrintable Autumn or Fall page 

 Easy Art Projects for Fall.  by Hodge Podge.  Most projects are with chalk pastel.  

Fall Books for Kids for PreK-3rd grade. Nice book list.  

Fall Book List about apples, leaves and pumpkins. K-3rd. Some of these books I hold with sweet memories.

Fall Fun Unit Printables by Homeschool Creations. PreK-2nd grade.  They also have a fall book list on the widget thing.  

Math with Candy Corn- Learn place value, estimation and other math skills with candy corn.

Free Vintage Fall/Autumn Nature Study, Literature and Poetry by Happy Hearts at Home.  Great for those who are CM homeschoolers and even if you don't follow that method.  It begins in 1st and stretched to fifth grade but I believe you can make this work in middle school as well.

Unit Studies and Nature Studies

Apple Unit Study on Squidoo

Fabulous List of Fall Freebies and Resources-- Links for notebooking pages, crafts, unit studies and more.

APPLES resources on Homeschool Share

All About Autumn Leaves Unit Study a fun study for PreK-6th grade.  That's right, someone has finally made fall fun for the older set.

Autumn Thematic Unit on Squidoo with free printables.

Apple Seeds and Apple Blossoms Unit Study on Squidoo with some Johnny Appleseed thrown in for good measure.

Oaks and Acorns Nature Study by Handbook of Nature Study Blog


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Math Dice Games


Games are great for the homeschool lifestyle.  Nothing solidifies learning a new concept or reviewing an old one like a game.  There are so many different kinds of games that can enhance learning but today I'm featuring Dice Games for Math. 

Math Dice Games are usually very inexpensive.  Most of the items that you need to make up a game are probably already in your home. 

Math with crazy mixed up dice- Practicing math facts with different dice can be fun.

Dice and Domino math games with Printable page by Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Introducing Math Concepts with Dice with fun ideas on using the different kinds of dice on the market.  Ideas are listed by concept.

It's getting dicey- a kindergarten teacher shares how she stores her dice and a neat way to keep the dice from rolling onto the floor when little ones are playing.

Free Dice Games for fact families and greater than/less than.

FREE Dice Games

Roll the Dice math game are addition and subtraction--not fact families.

Dice Math Practice for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Fractions

Math Fact Family Roll and Write

Count Down! Great practice for counting backwards and subtraction.

Roll the Dice Math Games on Squidoo.  Even has games for place value and geometry

40+ activities with dice --even dice printables

Also check out my Pinterest board: Math- Games and Manipulatives

Math Dice Jr.

Math games and dice to purchase

Big Tub of Math Dice

Math Operation Dice

Math Dice Games on Rainbow Resource

Count Down!  We love this game(s) in our house

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life Science Resources


Life Science. A topic in science that covers all living things.  This is usually covered in the elementary years but you can take what you need from the different sciences and use it for any grade. The different area include: human body, animals, botany and living and non-living things.

Mr. Q's Life Science Curriculum.  This is a whole life science curriculum for FREE.  There is a Parent Copy and a Student Copy you can download.  You can download the unit, the chapter or the whole text. 

Biology 4 Kids.  I know it's listed as biology but there are some things on this site that can be used for advanced life science lessons.

Zoom on the PBS website has science experiments for many areas of science. Scroll down to the "Life Science" section and you can click on an experiment and it will take you to a page with instructions for the experiment and also the results of the experiment submitted by kids who have tried them.

Free Human Body Curriculum for PreK-1st grade, 6th-8th grade and high school from Guest Hollow.

Home Science Tools has made a list of life science experiments for you to try out.

Life Science Unit Study lens on Squidoo.  There is a book list for all areas of life science.  Nicely put together unit.

Ms Nucleus Life Science Unit for Elementary Students. Not visually appealing to the eye but has some nice supplemental ideas for a life science unit. They also have a unit for SECONDARY STUDENTS. Check out the biological science and human biology links.

Squidoo has too many human body units to list here.  Check out the search page for all their human body lenses . You'll find unit studies, lapbooks and experiments.

Squidoo also has Botany and Plants Unit Study.

Human Body Units listed for K-8th grade

Life Science Unit created by a 6th grade teacher.

Living Science Book List for the different areas of life science.

Books on the Human Body

For more life science resources, check out my Pinterest boards

Science- Plants

Science- Animals and Life Science

Science- Human Body

Homeschool Science - This is my catch-all board for things that aren't dedicated to a particular branch of science

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Theme Days


I'm changing this month's theme a bit since October is always so busy for us.  I'm only going to feature 2-3 themes a week.  When I can I'll feature it in a blog post and link it later on this page for later reference. 

Week of October 1st

Week of October 8th 
Notebooks for Notebooking

Week of October 15th  

Week of October 22nd 
Money and Kids

Week of October 29th  
Teaching with Legos
Teaching with Books