Lesson Plans

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8 Free Middle School Math Activities

What makes kids “get it” is bringing math to real life. Middle schoolers aren’t thinking about balancing a checkbook or figuring out miles per gallon on their vehicle, but we can help them make those connections. Taxes are at least a few years away, and most have mastered counting back change. Understanding the practical applications for Math practice today can help
students apply their learning into adulthood.

Click the link below to read more!

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Free Sea Turtles Lesson Plan

This is a homemade Sea Turtles picture book project, designed with homeschoolers in mind. It’s fun, relaxing, and is a great way to assist children in learning about one of our planet’s most fascinating endangered species.

Click the link below to read more.

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How to Teach Perfect Writing

With the rapid expansion of the Internet, it is clear that the quality of English writing—both American and British—has taken a dive for the worst. “Netspeak” is obtrusively taking over most electronic communications, making good writing practices increasingly scarce. With such a strong influence the Internet has over the world today, it is no wonder it’s a struggle to help our children make good writing a habit. Even the most intelligent and successful business leaders seem small and insignificant when they distribute e-mails full of spelling errors and non-capitalized sentences. It’s more vital than ever to teach our children to write well before they are released into a relentless and competitive world.

The best way to learn to write is to practice. People learn best by making mistakes and correcting them for themselves. The following method of teaching writing enforces that very concept. It will work for established writers who need to polish their skills, and it will work for the struggling student too. Whether you are working with just one child at home or in a co-op class, you can teach anyone to be a better writer with a little patience and a lot of persistence.

Click the link below to read more.

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Now Available: From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Theme Unit

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When homeschooling multiple grade levels, theme units can be a real life saver. Even if you’re not homeschooling more than one child at a time, theme units are a really fun to use! Rather than students learning subjects individually, they learn about math, science, art, history and, of course, language arts, based on a particular topic or theme.

Theme units formed the basis of much of our homeschool curriculum, even in high school! I purchased some of them, but for the most part, I made my own. My favorite type of unit study (or theme unit) is based on literature. It’s such a delight to watch children learn a variety of different subjects while enjoying a great book.

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was certainly one of our favorite books and one of our favorite unit studies. There’s just so much to explore in this book!

For those of you not familiar with it, here’s the description from Amazon:

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere — to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along.
Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it? Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

Can’t you just imagine the possibilities?!?!?

This is such a delightful book and packed full of extended learning opportunities. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited to let you know that we here at Modern Homeschool Family have published our very first full-length literature unit study based on this book!

This unit study covers practical math, mapping skills, history, language and, of course, art! It’s hands-on and easily used with multiple ages!

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s inside:

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This 16-page unit study based on the classic story, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is sure to liven up your curriculum!

Since this is our first published unit study, I’m offering it to you, our faithful readers and homeschool friends for just a fraction of what you’d normally pay. If you want to get this unit study, just click the link below! If you like it, please let me know and we’ll create more for you to enjoy!

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Black History Month Ideas for Homeschoolers

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Black History Month is celebrated every February across the United States. Modern Black history typically begins with the 1800s and continues through to the present day. There are many different ways you can incorporate learning about Black History in your homeschool lesson plans. The story of the African-American population can best be understood through the events, icons and places that have helped to shape their culture.

This month-long celebration of African-American history is a great way to explore cultural diversity and provide opportunities for your children to exercise their creativity.

Here are several ideas for celebrating Black History Month for homeschoolers.

Pivotal Moments Timeline

With your children, draw a time line of important dates in Black history, like the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the beginning of Black History Month in 1970. Key events like the Washington, D.C., march of 1963, and the subsequent “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are also pivotal moments. Encourage your children to decorate the timeline with original artwork of their own.

Difference Makers

Another approach to Black history month is to feature key individuals in Black history. Have your children make a poster called “Difference Makers” and give short biographies on these legendary figures. Certain advancements in Black history were made by the sacrifices and accomplishments of brave individuals like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Abraham Lincoln.

Your children can can also create superhero biographies to highlight inventions and products created by prominent African-Americans. The scientist Benjamin Banneker is credited with America’s first clock, Henry Brown built the first fire safe and George Washington Carver is the creator of more than 300 peanut products. Have your children use a combination of images and texts to make a superhero style biography page for these individuals and their contributions.

Toward the end of the month, your students can design their own Black History Month superhero team and make comic book pages to describe their exploits.

Historical Sites

Black History Month can be further studied by exploring the places and locations which hold significance to the African American plight for equality and freedom. To highlight these focal points in history, make three-dimensional models of these buildings that catch the eye and invite further exploration. For example, the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York has hosted performances from some of the greatest African-American singers such as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Have your students research the unique structure and architecture of the Apollo Theater. Then, make cut-out versions of the theater. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have any of these places within driving distance, be sure to take a field trip!

African-American history is complex, nuanced and punctuated with hardships that can prove challenging to even the best educators. The goal of Black History Month is to create a lasting impression about the contributions of African-Americans to society. It’s not just for February! Encourage your children to embrace Black History month through their creativity and imagination.

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Fun and Easy Homeschool Science Experiments

Teaching science – it’s one of those things that homeschool parents either love or hate.  Whichever side of the camp you’re on, these fun and easy homeschool science experiments from Educents can add some creativity to your lessons!

Check out these science experiments, science freebies, and science books that will make science fun for everyone.

Science Projects - Educents Blog

Magic School Bus Polymer Group Pack

Seat belts everyone! Get ready to grow amazing polymers! Young Scientists grow super balls, snow, rainbow beads, crystal gels, and polymer flowers while learning about the importance and science of super-absorbent polymers.

This kit provides enough materials for 30 students and is great for the co-ops, science enrichment, boys and girls scouts, camps, and a Magic School Bus birthday Party!

Discounted Magic School Bus Polymer Group Pack on Educents

 

FREE – Osmosis: The Colorful Celery Experiment

Celery Experiment - Educents Blog

Are you teaching your kids about osmosis?
Perhaps it is a part of your science curriculum, or maybe you want to just do a little experimenting… The Colorful Celery Experiment is the perfect introduction to Osmosis. Your students will learn how water moves with this fun experiment.

It’s Science Time! Osmosis Freebie on Educents

 

Science Story eBooks – 50% OFF

BRIANIACSFollow Merrin and Pearl to combine science with adventure in Brainiacs.

Also learn about the nervous, digestive, immune, skeletal and circulatory system with a five part series from Human Body Detectives eBooks.

Human Body Detectives eBook Collection – 50% off on Educents

Magic School Bus Inspired Planet Study – 30% OFF

Plan games, worksheets, and coloring pages to expand your young astronomer’s understanding of space!

Planets

 

Discounted Interactive Planet and Lunar Study on Educents

 

More Science Resources

Looking for more inspiration for science experiments? Check out these resources:

  • The Young Scientists Club – Engage boys and girls around the world in an educational science adventure that lasts a lifetime.
  • Science printables for older kids – Teach With Fergy offers printable task cards, complete science units, PowerPoint lessons, and more!
  • STEM Mystery Books – Teach science and math with these books full of dozens of one-minute mysteries that kids love to solve!

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