Category Archives: Curriculum

Online and Distance Learning Options for Homeschoolers

I’m sorry that I have been AWOL, but we’ve had visitors, illnesses, and injuries around here and I’ve been struggling to catch up with everything.

Today I wanted to list all of the online/distance education options for homeschoolers that I know of. These programs are not free, which is why I will only devote one post to all of them and not discuss them in detail. My kids actually despise online/distance learning, so I really cannot comment much on these programs, but am only listing programs that have been recommended by other homeschoolers. To the best of my knowledge, all of these programs are available to students throughout the U.S. (in most cases, throughout the world). I also have tried to note any program that is affiliated with a religion. Still, be sure to do your research before paying any money.

It seems like I hear about another online/distance education program everyday, so I’m sure that I missed some. If you know of any that I missed, please e-mail me or note it in the comments and I’ll update this list.

Labels: Curriculum, Online Learning
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Fun and Free Computer Game Teaches Students About Molecular Biology

I just read about a neat game today – Immune Attack was created by the Federation of American Scientists. The goal of Immune Attack is:

You must navigate a nanobot through a 3D environment of blood vessels and connective tissue in an attempt to save an ailing patient by retraining her non-functional immune cells. Along the way, you will learn about the biological processes that enable macrophages and neutrophils – white blood cells – to detect and fight infections.

Immune Attack is free. When you go to the download page, they ask you to donate and register, but you do not need to do either. Scroll to the bottom of the page to download without registering.


Labels: Curriculum, Freebies, Science
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Free Curriculum for Teaching the Book of Virtues

The Book of Virtues, by William J. Bennett, is a massive collection of stories, poems, letters, speeches, and novel excerpts from every era and all over the world. He categorizes the stories and excerpts by the virtue each teaches – self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, and faith. If you find that to be a bit heavy-handed, you can just read them for the pure pleasure of reading good stories. Some of the authors and writings that are included are:

  • Icarus and Daedulus
  • Daniel in the Lions Den
  • Tolstoy
  • Robert Frost
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • The Girl Scout Promise
  • Aesop’s Fables
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales
  • Helen Keller
  • Henry V by Shakespeare
  • In Flander’s Fields
  • Letter from Birmingham City Jail
  • The Velveteen Rabbit
Though, I really like The Book of Virtues, I wouldn’t be mentioning it if I had not just learned of a massive free curriculum project for teaching the The Book of Virtues. T8ermomma is a Latter Day Saint, but the curriculum seems like it could easily used in a secular manner. I have not used it yet, but have read through much of it and only saw one religious item, which was simply a place to list church obligations. You can find the curriculum at the Shiver Academy blog, just go down about two-thirds of the way and it is on the right sidebar. The file can be downloaded by chapters as it is a whopping 18.93 MB  (992 pages)! Don’t let the size scare you, it is not intended for any one person to use it all. It also includes extras such as cover and lapbooking pages.


Labels: Curriculum, Freebies, Language Arts, Literature
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Teaching Engineering With Intel Freebies and Competitions

Hello everybody! This is my new blog, Homeschool Mo, which is about my homeschooling journey and various helps and hints I find on the way. I currently homeschool four children and have a baby. My oldest two children, aged 18 and 16, attend community college part time through a special high school program. My middle daughter (15) is homeschooled full time. My youngest son (11) attends a public school ALE part time, but does most of his academic work at home.

I have had a hard time finding a good balance in regards to teaching engineering skills in our homeschool. I want my kids to be as tech savvy as any public school student, but I also don’t want to push them to learn more than they will ever use. In addition, both of my sons are interested in engineering fields for careers. As my eldest is starting college full-time next year, I am wishing that he had learned more skills and done some computer/engineering projects that he could use to help him get into engineering programs, internships, and jobs. I am thinking that I will have my youngest son study engineering in a bit more depth when he is in high school. I have found some helpful freebies today from Intel that I thought I would post about.

Design and Discovery “is an academic enrichment curriculum that engages students in hands-on engineering and design activities that enhance knowledge, and problem solving skill in the areas of science and engineering. Design and Discovery is most appropriate for informal education settings with extended blocks of time for hands-on activities. “

The Journey Inside “is a collection of 35 interactive, online lessons for students to learn about technology, computers, and society. Many of the lessons utilize interactive, media-rich Flash* activities, virtual field trips, and videos demonstrating the ideas discussed to guide students to an increased understanding of the world of technology. Students, teachers, and anyone interested can work on the lessons and activities at their own pace to complete any or all of the six sections: Introduction to Computers, Circuits and Switches, Digital Information, Microprocessors, The Internet, and Technology and Society. Detailed instructional strategies written for the teacher extend the lessons and key concepts in ‘the classroom.”

In addition, Intel hosts an International Science and Engineering Fair and a Science Talent Search.


Labels: Academic Competitions, Curriculum, Engineering, Freebies
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff