Tag Archives: history

{SQT} Awesome Online Elementary Homeschooling Resources


online homeschooling


Here in no husband land, we’re still narrowly avoiding the nighttime zombies and mama’s pre-dinner meltdown. I’m down to my last quarter box o’wine with four days to go. Can’t…hold…on…much…longer…. I’m seriously considering  dragging around a king-sized pillow drapped in one of his dirty t-shirts. I’m definitely not a poster child for moms that excel in the absence of a husband.

How about a quick post regarding online stuff, since I’m hanging on the computer all day hoping to catch my husband on Google chat???? Alrighty then… Here are seven of my favorite online resources.( If the thought of me carrying around a pillow has freaked you out, go ahead and skip back to Jen’s for more Seven Quick Takes. I’ll understand.)


1. Wikimedia Commons

Unless you’re a hermit, you’re probably very familiar with Wikipedia. It’s basically how I answer any strange question my kids shoot at me. But for images, including historical maps and photos, I’m all about Wikimedia Commons. With few exceptions, all the images are in the public domain. It’s a great resource for finding timeline images. Need a map of the U.S during the civil war? They’ve got it. A map detailing the path of the Oregon Trail. BOOM! It’s there. Pictures of trenches and soldiers during WWI? No problem. And it safe. A Google image search can turn up all sorts of crazy things I wouldn’t want my kids to find, but with Wikimedia, there’s less chance of surprise boobage. Plus, most pics will link to the related Wikipedia article if you have questions.

2. Timeline Index

If you’re studying a certain time period and want to find saints, scientists and other historical figures outside your textbook, check out Timeline Index and search by era or person of interest.

3. Spelling City

Enter in your child’s spelling list or select one of the many ones already listed by grade level, theme or curriculum. Then walk away and let your kids play games, write sentences and take quizzes on their words. I’ve used it as a stand alone program and as a supplement.

4. Studyladder 

I love, love, love this site. It’s one of the few I’ve paid for, though the free membership allows you to try lots of the games. Each of my kids has a profile and I can select games in all subject areas, even science, music and consumer math. Activities include downloadable booklets, worksheet and videos. Many subjects are aligned to Common Core Standards. Plus by completing parent selected tasks, kids earn points to outfit their online bedroom. My kids like changing their bedrooms, and avatars, on a daily basis. Currently, Byron is sporting a mustache and cowboy hat.

5. Starfall

For children just learning to read, there is no better free program than Starfall. It’s grown considerably since I started using it with Addie four years ago.  But the stories and games have engaged all of my children and  helped with their reading skills. Whenever someone starts getting burnt out on reading, I let them spend a week on Starfall and inevitably they come back refreshed.

For preschool and kindergarten printables my favorite sites are:

6. Making Learning Fun

7. First School 

First School can seem overwhelming in its complexity of choices but you could create an entire preschool program using nothing but their printouts. Make Learning Fun is a new favorite of mine that I discovered when looking for road letters for Fulton to trace. If you’re the type of mom who wants to find activities for your youngster at the last-minute or ease into schooling at your child’s pace without purchasing a ton of materials, these sites will be a blessing.

Did I miss any? What sites do your elementary aged children enjoy?





Filed under Curriculum, Homeschooling, Seven Quick Takes, Tips and Tricks

It’s all history

There are quite a few books out there that expound classical home education. When my oldest was 3.5, I read most of them, and together my husband and I decided to embark on the adventure of homeschooling. It hasn’t always been easy…in fact, I can’t think of any school day when I’ve settled down in bed at night and related to my husband how easy things went…but I digress.
We have continued on this journey, and with only a few stumbles, namely that one month I wanted to embrace unschooling, have stuck with methods most closely aligned to classical thinking.
Much of the writing, copywork, dictation, reading, art and geography, is tied into history (or Latin.) I have based our history program loosely on The Well Trained Mind model and “Story of the World” series. Namely we follow a 4 year, consecutive history cycle beginning with Creation and ending at around 1989.
I’m boring you with all the details because over the years, I hear a lot from Mom’s who don’t do history because they hate history or who don’t won’t to bore their kids with typical textbook history. The second reason for this blog is to have a place where families can access my history materials to use.
Now don’t be thinking this is some grandiose lesson plan laden with internet linked activities, colorful printables and suggestions for field trips.(See the title of my blog). It’s a bare bones timeline and list of reading suggestions that can hopefully make history a, dare I suggest, FUN part of schooling, even if you hated history growing up. Or maybe just less of a chore?
My husband and I love history, and so far our kid’s seem to be picking up on the enthusiasm. I can’t always get a daily shower, but with a little effort and planning my kids can do something related to history at least 4 days a week.
I should mention we all enjoy reading history and visiting historic sites; we’re not historic reenactors or volunteer museum tour guides. It’s a healthy love, not an all encompassing passion. You won’t catch me sewing up authentic pantaloons for our trip to Gettysburg anytime soon.
So keep your eyes on the downloads page for links to my timelines and  book lists. I’m hoping to get some sort of store display up too. (Yeah, I’m looking to monetize.I have five hungry kids you know.) Shoot me an email if you have any questions or suggestions. Want to argue over a date? Bring it! And just one note; my family is Catholic, so we’ve included many saints and Catholic sources. Please don’t let that deter you. The history of the Church is the history of Western Civilization.

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