Category Archives: Social Studies

Free Resources for Teaching U.S. History in Your Homeschool

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Continuing with social studies resources, my next topic is U.S. History. All of these resources are free, including the curriculums. As always, if you know of any great resources that I missed, please let me know.

  • All Hands on Deck! – The thematic unit All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard “Old Ironsides” uses USS CONSTITUTION as a vehicle to explore a wide range of disciplines including language arts, reading, math, science, art, and social studies.
  • America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty – is a lesson plan resource and supplement for Kindergarten-12th grade teachers of social studies, U. S. history, U. S. government, political science, economics, geography, speech, and/or related subjects. The resource consists of age-appropriate and modifiable lesson plans grouped into three separate books according to level: elementary, middle, and high school.
  • American History Curriculum from Guest Hollow – Year 1 and Year 2
  • A Constitutional Timeline – an interactive timeline highlighting our constitutional history
  • The First Thanksgiving – an interactive site for learning about the first Thanksgiving, also has printables, lesson plans, etc.
  • Foldables for Teaching U.S. History from Virginia Standards of Learning
  • Growth of a Nation (from AnimatedAtlas.com) – ten minute presentation illustrates the growth of the United States
  • The Jamestown Online Adventure – how well would you have faired if you were one of the first settlers of Jamestown? Find out in this interactive role playing game!
  • On the Trail of Captain John Smith – a fun animated version of the story of John Smith with interactive games
  • People of America – free homeschool curriculum for studying the groups of people who formed the United States of America
  • Plimoth for Kids – coloring pages, recipes, craft ideas, and more to help you learn more about 17th-century life for Pilgrims and Native Americans
  • Scholastic Teacher’s History Sites (usually include printables)
  • The Story of Squanto – Weekly Reader online animated version of the story with quiz and printable
  • The Underground Railroad – a pseudo-interactive story/game from National Geographic
  • U.S. President’s Book – book on the Presidents of the United States containing information on each presidents personal information, term of office, and personal quotes.
  • You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving – also from Plimoth Plantation, an interactive site for learning about the first Thanksgiving

     

  • Labels: Social Studies
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Free Geography Resources for Homeschoolers

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    I still have several subjects that I wanted to post resources for, but have really procrastinated with social studies and science, simply because there are an overwhelming number of resources for those subjects. I finally realized what I was doing and decided to break each subject into more manageable parts. Still, I’m sure I will miss many good resources, so please let me know of any that I do miss. I will be maintaining a page of social studies resources that I will update with each part as I go along.

    Labels: Social Studies
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Geocaching 101 Video

    Labels: High School, Social Studies, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Pushpin Map of Europe

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    Gohan has started studying Europe and I made the pushpin map for him to use. These work really well for him as he can focus on geography, free of the stress of having to spell and write the labels himself. If you would like to use these yourself, you need to simply mount an outline map on to foam board or cardboard. I have an outline map from the Trail Guide to World Geography curriculum, but good free maps can be found at infoplease, worldatlas, National Geographic’s Xpeditions Atlas (be sure that detail level is basic and country borders are on) and Eduplace. I use Mod Podge to give a protective coating to the map. Then print out the labels and wrap them around a pin. This time, I used glue tape to glue the two sides of the label together. I’ve also used regular glue and suspect that tape would work.

    Europe Map Pin Labels-1

    Labels: Apps, Blogging Business, Geography, Printables, Social Studies
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    South America Pushpin Map Labels

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    I made another pushpin map for Gohan. These work really well for him as he can focus on geography, free of the stress of having to spell and write the labels himself. If you would like to use these yourself, you need to simply mount an outline map on to foam board or cardboard. I have an outline map from the Trail Guide to World Geography curriculum, but good free maps can be found at infoplease, worldatlas, National Geographic’s Xpeditions Atlas (be sure that detail level is basic and country borders are on) and Eduplace. I use Mod Podge to give a protective coating to the map. Then print out the labels and wrap them around a pin. I glue the two sides of the label together, but you could probably use tape if you wanted.

    South America Map Pin Labels-1

    You can read my more detailed instructions more making a push pin map in this post.

    Labels: Apps, Blogging Business, Geography, Printables, Social Studies
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Christmas Printables Round-up

    There are a lot of good Christmas printables in the blogosphere and I thought I’d share a few that I have found.

    24357730-Doll-Xmas copybabalisme has another set of adorable paper dolls, this time Christmas-themed.

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    The Toy Maker has some gorgeous free printable Christmas toys.

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    Meanwhile, Canon offers this oh-so-cute pop up Christmas card.

     

     

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    Confessions of a Homeschooler has a whole free Christmas-themed preschool pack image

     

    Kids Printables has Christmas-themed thank you notes for kids to fill out.

    Education.com has this cute printable for kids to make Christmas tree centerpieces. Christmas Tree Centerpiece-1

     

     

     

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    Craft Leftovers offers this free Advent calendar (sorry I’m a bit late on this one, as the countdown already began)image

     

    Non Dairy Diary also has a cute house-themed advent calendar, which uses four houses

     

     

     

     

    imageGingerbread Snowflakes also has an advent calendar that doubles as a fun Christmas tree fridge magnet set.

     

    Education.com also has a print out to make your own winter wonderland to color. Winter Wonderland-3

     

     

    Labels: Freebies, Homeschooling in the Mainstream, Printables, Social Studies, This and That, Toddlers, Wrapping Up Our Week
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Cranberry Play Dough Recipe

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    This week, Dora and I made play dough. I got the idea from Counting Coconuts to have a monthly themed play dough. This month, I was trying to stay away from anything with ginger or cinnamon in it, since we did apple pie play dough in September and pumpkin pie play dough in October. I was having problems coming up with an idea, when my mom suggested cranberry. I was quite surprised, however, that I couldn’t find a single cranberry play dough recipe online. So I modified a basic play dough recipe and was quite happy with the results. The color of the dough turned out a nice light pink and it is free of artificial colors and scents.

    Ingredients:

    • Bag of cranberries
    • 2 cups of flour
    • 1 cup of salt
    • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

    Directions:

    1. Boil cranberries in a pot of water (unfortunately, I did not measure the water before I boiled them, but I think it was about 4 cups of water) until all of the berries have popped open. Pour out 2 cups of the cranberry-water, using a strainer to remove any berries. Allow liquid to cool slightly. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    2. Combine the dry ingredients in a nonstick saucepan. Add the oil and cranberry-water. Stir until smooth. Stirring constantly, cook the mixture over medium heat until it forms a ball (approximately 3 to 4 minutes).
    3. Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured cutting board and let it cool slightly. Knead the dough until it has a smooth texture.

    Labels: Academic Competitions, Arts and Crafts, High School, Social Studies, Wrapping Up Our Week
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Weekly Wrap-Up November 12, 2010

    Gohan recovered from his cold and though my parents were visiting this week, we stayed on task with him. This week he did:

    • Geography – I’m going to talk about this first, because I am really excited about what we did. With all my researching of Montessori methods for Dora, I kept coming across references to push pin maps. I never really found a good example of what one looked like and how they were used, but I used my imagination and came up with something that I felt would allow Gohan to do more map work independently, despite his learning differences. So I modified the mapping assignments for Trail Guide to World Geography, which we are using.
      1. I printed labels for every country in North America on to cardstock. Then I attached the labels to some sewing pins by gluing the two haves of the label together and wrapping it tightly around the pin. Push Pin Map Labels
      2. Then I printed out a copy of a blackline map of North America on to cardstock. I have one from the Trail guide to World Geography curriculum, but good free maps can be found at infoplease, worldatlas, National Geographic’s Xpeditions Atlas (be sure that detail level is basic and country borders are on) and Eduplace. I personally favor infoplease’s map as it doesn’t have a lot of extraneous writing around the map and you need as much space as possible for this activity.
      3. I glued the map onto a piece a foam display board.Push Pin Map
      4. I then covered the mounted map with two coats of Mod Podge (I actually first had to spray it with Preserve It! because our printer’s ink runs when it gets wet.)
      5. Then Gohan labeled all the countries by pushing the pins into the map.
      6. We will also label the capitals, major landmarks, and major sources of water.
      7. I uploaded a copy of the file with all of the labels here.
    • Outside classes – swimming, PE, art, guitar, Hands-On Science, CSI, Musical Theatre, Chess, and Math Lab (all are going great!)
    • Language Arts –
    • Literature – We finally finished  The Graveyard Book! I didn’t love the ending, but overall, I would give the book a B+.

      • A Workbook for Dyslexics has been getting more and more into the nitty gritty of phonics and spelling. He learned more about long vowel sounds and when to double letters when adding “ing” to a word.
      • Growing with Grammar continues to move along smoothly. It is the one aspect of language arts that seems to come relatively easily for Gohan.
      • Vocabulary – We started working in a new book, entitled Red Hot Root Words. I had a teacher who had me study Latin and Greek roots and I have always felt that was one of the most useful things that I learned in school. So I really want Gohan to learn them, but he was adverse to learning Latin, so this was the next best thing. The book is actually for 3rd-5th grade, but with Gohan’s language issues, is perfect for him.
      • Getty Dubay Italic – Gohan continues to do well with this program. We just ignore all of the sidebar notes and he just copies the actual handwriting exercises
      • Composition – We tried  National Novel Writing Month’s Young Writers Program, but it was just too much for Gohan, who really struggles with narrative at any length, without trying to keep track of a full novel. So I am back to the drawing board for that one.
    • Math – Gohan continues to work through Singapore 6A – Standards Edition
    • Science – Gohan has been having so much homework for his science class that he takes at the ALE, I decided that it was just ridiculous to continue doing a separate curriculum at home. So we dropped Awakening Wonder.

    I’m linking this post to:

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    Labels: Social Studies, Wrapping Up Our Week
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Free Election Day Vocabulary Lesson

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    I happened to stumble on this free Election Day vocabulary lesson on Learning Page. Learning Page has lots of great printables and worksheets. Membership is required, but it is free.

    Labels: Freebies, Homeschooling in the Mainstream, Printables, Social Studies, Spelling and Vocabulary
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Free Elections Lapbooking and Notebooking Unit

     

    Update – Thanks to Mary Ann from The Homeschool Mom for giving us the link of the original poster of this wonderful resource! Linda Ackert originally posted this at the Denver Homeschool Examiner.

    Here is a link to a free 85 page download, entitled “Elections for Lapbooking, Notebooking and General Study“. I wish I could tell you which blogger posted it, but I have not been able to figure that out. It is posted on Christian Home School Hub (though the download is not religious, as far as I can tell). Here is the description that I received:

    2010 is an election year and with primaries right around the corner, this is the perfect time to download Elections for Lapbooking, Notebooking and General Study. Use the download time and time again. This isn’t a Presidential election year but save the download and use it again in 2012 (or anytime your children/students are studying government and elections!)

    What will you find within the download? Pages devoted to help students begin and end their studies (through KWL – What I Know, What I Want to Learn and What I Learned), pages to be used if creating an election lapbook, vocabulary flashcards, maps, a good variety of notebooking pages appropriate for elementary through high school, timeline pages and more!

    Labels: Freebies, Homeschooling in the Mainstream, Social Studies
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff