Sunday, June 7, 2015

Free Resources for Astronomy Study - Middle/High School

Here are a bunch of free resources I've gathered all about Astronomy!  I will be writing a separate post in this series for our week's intensive unit study plan once I've figured it out!

Here is June's monthly star calendar  (new each month)

Print a free copy of June's Skymap (you can adjust for whatever month you are doing this)

Online Star Map image 

All about moon phases with pictures at each stage 

A moon phase journal to fill out

Stars and Constellation Lapbook from Adventures in Child Rearing 

Space Lapbook from Homeschool Share 

Cindy Downes' Unit Study 

From SAS Curriculum Pathways:  FREE site for 6th through 12th grade, but you must register.

Planetary Motion activity 

Characteristics of Our Solar System 

Properties of Stars activity 


The scale of planets and stars video:

On Youtube there is a series called:  Crash Course: Astronomy.  There are 20 episodes.  (There may be references to the big bang theory, please preview.  I haven't watched them all yet)

10 Astronomy Videos from Intoxicated on Life blog 

Why isn't Pluto a planet anymore?  On Youtube:

This video is SO awesome!  Watch an astronaut on the ISS make herself some dinner - in microgravity! 


Constellation Hunt - an interactive game

Stellarium - used in planetariums to simulate the night sky

Free books on Kindle (there were others too - search 'astronomy free')

Astronomy for Amateurs 

A Field Book of the Stars

The Children's Book of Stars 

Astronomy: The Science of Heavenly Bodies 

History of Astronomy 

Myths and Marvels of Astronomy 


TONS of resources from Muses of a Mom! 

Printables for all ages 

Kids Astronomy Page 

Adventures in Space Mathematics from Nasa - geared toward 7-9th grade

June's Night Sky Discovery Guide from Nasa  (makes reference to "billions of  years ago")

Explore the solar system and beyond with these great space-focused documentaries.
Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery: Take a look back at some of the awe-inspiring images captured by the Hubble telescope in this film.

Supermassive Black Holes: While black holes are still largely mysterious bodies, you can increase your knowledge of them by watching this great documentary

3D SunThis documentary uses stunning 3D images of the sun to explain its history and phenomena.

Revealing MarsTake a look at the Mars orbiter in this film and some of the images of Mars that have been captured

Colonizing SpaceThis documentary will present some of the plans already in motion to take the first steps into the final frontier

Secrets of the SunLearn more about the star central to our own solar system in this film

International Space StationThis film will explain how the space station was built and is maintained and operated.

Saturn: Lord of the RingsThis documentary will allow you to learn more about this beautiful and mysterious ringed planet.

The Life and Death of a StarTake a look at how stars form, live, and ultimately die in this great documentary.


Cosmos for Kids lots of information

Planets for Kids 

Windows to the Universe 

I am linking with Weird Unsocialized Homeschooler's Weekly Wrap Up!! 

Weekly Home Wrap Up for June 6, 2015

Things went pretty smoothly this week.  Lots of history, biology, geography, literature, grammar, etc etc.  Not too much excitement though.  I've been reading a lot about "delight-directed homeschooling", which made me think that I need to get Emily excited about something.  She is very interested in astronomy, but she is not taking that class until next year.  HOWEVER, I've decided to do a one-week, in-depth unit study for astronomy!  We're going to ditch all other subjects for one week and everything will be astronomy related.  I will post this as it comes together.  I plan to do this the last week in June.  

Emily also finished the first week of her reading club through the Homeschool Association for American Military Families.  (Also open to civilians like us!) Pre-K through 12th grade.  

Still suffering with sciatica :(  Still can't find my camera :( T

I took the girls out for Slurpees the other day!  I even had one myself!  I brought them to 5-below to each pick out a little something from mom and then took them out for dinner! ( I also found a really nice learn-how-to-draw-type book for $3.50!  It will fit right in with art lessons.) This is a rare occurrence in our home, being a single mom I generally can't afford many outings - so this was a nice change! 

I've been reading a lot of dystopian fiction this week.  Not sure why.  If you want to see an in-depth post of what I've been reading and books I'm wishing for, you can see this post on my other blog! 


Some great stuff this week! 

From Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus:  Free Middle & HS Homeschool Language Arts.  These are amazing workbooks!  I'm so excited to have found the post today.  I will be printing out grammar sheets, etc for extra practice.  

SAS Curriculum Pathways:  Free curriculum for 6th-12th grades!  I am really amazed with all I found there.  There are single lessons that last from 60-90 minutes (I tried one out last night and it only took me 10 minutes- but then again I already knew about Christopher Columbus *smile*) This is just another wonderful free resource to either incorporate into your curriculum or use on its own! 

Discovery Education:  Free for the summer!  Streaming educational videos.  

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Our Week in Review

My sciatica has been acting up all week so we didn't get out of the house much.  Emme has been homeschooling in the evenings (this has just become our norm since I work outside of the home 3 of the days she schools).  She has been unenthusiastic all week. I think it's the biology.  I have the teacher's edition and this chapter has been exceedingly dull!  I am going to spend some time this weekend finding a way to breathe some life into this subject for next week.  

We've added some classes from The full course for art and sign language, plus pulling from history, grammar, etc. to blend in with our own curriculum.  

Em finished up the Edgar Allen Poe mini unit, reading Telltale Heart, Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven and Annabelle Lee. She enjoyed his writing.  She's a fan of earlier Stephen King books so we discussed how Poe influenced him.  King even won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for best novel this year with Mr. Mercedes.

We start our family book club on Monday!  The girls and I will each get a chance to choose a book (Jennah chose first with Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire) which we will each read and then have a fancy tea party with candles and finger foods when we discuss the book.  Jennah has been dealing with health issues and this has given her something to look forward to! 

My camera is missing - so no pictures this week!  It has to be somewhere in this small house.  My son will be doing yard work before the thunderstorms start.  We have plenty of cleaning to do today - the laundry and dishes never end!  

Emily and I will be taking an ASL lesson online today and tonight on Netflix we will be watching the second episode of Story of Us: Revolution.  

I finished three books this week.  Wayward Pines by Blake Crouch 3.5 stars (now a series on tv) and two mail-order bride books - The Lady and the Mountain Doctor by Misty M. Beller 4 stars and Colleen by Ashley Merrick 2.5 stars. 

I'm now re-reading Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible and Three Daughters by Consuelo Saah Baehr. 


Sunday, May 24, 2015

New Resources for our Homeschool : Schoolhouse Teachers

I signed up for the 30-Day $1.00 trial at SchoolHouse Teachers and we are going to try out a few classes to see if it is something that will enhance our homeschool. 

For our art class - we are going to try out the Drawing with Realism class.  Yes, we.  I'm going to try and draw too!  

"This video-based art class teaches your student key skills needed to draw a variety of textured objects with a high degree of realism. Though suitable for the beginner, it also offers challenges for more advanced students. A new unit focusing on a different object is posted each month and is divided into four instructional videos for your convenience" 

We have just started ASL lessons.  They offer a 16-week introductory course we are going to try together. 

"This sixteen-week class introduces students to ASL through videos and printable worksheets. Students have the opportunity to learn basic vocabulary and about the Deaf culture. " 

And since we have no set music curriculum - I plan to try out their History of Western Music.  

"This twelve-week course explores the history of Western music from ancient times through the modern day. Topics include the origins of music, musical styles from history, key composers and developments in musical history, and differences in various musical styles." 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Memorial Day with Teenagers

My teenagers know why we celebrate Memorial Day, but it boils down to us going over to their grandparents' house for a bbq and some red, white and blue dessert.  This year I am going to make sure they understand the importance of honoring our veterans and those who are currently serving. 

Has anyone in your family served?  

My grandfather was in World War II.  We will visit his grave with flowers (he was a big fan of flowers!  Especially hyacinth and tiger lilies!) and an American flag.

Do you have any local memorial sites? 

Our city library has a memorial right out front with the names of local soldiers who lost their life fighting for our country in Vietnam and the Korean War.

If you don't know anyone yourself, you can Celebrate Memorial Day with a Senior Vet: 

Online resources:  

The History of Memorial Day on Youtube 

I still make Emily do copywork.  Most schools do not teach cursive anymore, but I do!  I have used part of the poem "For the Fallen" to make my own cursive sheet.  

For copywork, memory work or poetry - here is a copy of "In Flanders' Field" 

There are many resources on Memorial  including:

*Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr's 1884 Speech "So to the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiam and faith is the condition of acting greatly."

*Poetry, such as Walt Whitman's "Dirge for Two Veterans" 

(United States Army Chorus on Youtube) 

*Presidential statements and speeches - including Ronald Reagan's Proclamation in 1981

*National moment of remembrance "Encouraging individual department and agency personnel, and Americans everywhere, to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all."

This next site from PBS broadcasts a live concert on Memorial Day - plus there are other videos and history information. 

I plan on using several of these resources to make Memorial Day more than a burger and some Jello this year!

Old Fashioned Pen Pals for a Modern World

I was just thinking about how no one writes letters anymore.  I have a couple of friends who live across the country and I don't even send them letters.  My best friend in the world lives almost 800 miles away and I shoot her e-mails when I could be sending her real live mail!

So why not have Emily (and Jennah my graduate) for that matter find a pen pal or two?  Maybe even one in another country?  Emily can certainly use the writing skills and who doesn't need a new friend?

Here are a few resources:

Homeschool Association for Military Families:  Civilian kids welcome too!  

This is a free program for homeschool kids ages 5-17.  You can choose to make a $5+ donation and you will receive a Pen Pal Starter Kit in the mail.  

The Student Letter Exchange has been around for 75 years.  You have to choose a minimum of 4 pen pals @ $1.25 each.  You select the country and the age of the pen pal.  

And what about you?  Do you want a snail mail pen pal for yourself?  Here is a site for adults to seek out someone to write to:  Old Fashioned Snail Mail Pen Pals 

Do you have any sites that you'd like to add?  Leave them in the comments! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Free Drawing Resources for Homeschool High School

Beginners may like How to Draw It - instruction on how to draw simplistic cartoon-style animals

Draw Space has 20 free lessons just for registering 

Drawing Coach has a lot of cartoon-type instruction that kids of all ages might enjoy

This post has free art teacher resources - a lot of good information 

Drawing Now has step-by-step guides to drawing things kids like - Manga, video game characters, super heroes, etc.