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Games for Learning from MIT:
Playful Approaches For Building Cognitive Skills and Exploring Science and Math
- Games play an important role in the learning process: they provide a safe,
creative environment in which children learn to experiment, collaborate and
problem-solve. We work with educators to make sure our games tie into their math
and science curriculums. The games we develop can be played on computers or
mobile devices, and are used both inside and outside the classroom.
Home School Resources Compiled by a
Parent - Compiled by Sarah Avery Wojtowicz; Includes Internet Resource
Listings, Organization Information, Curriculum Links, Special Needs
Resources and Unschooling Information.
Hub - Kids Hub is a fun interactive learning center for
elementary and middle school students.
Articles Related to Home
In Florida, Virtual School Could Make Classrooms History
- Thousands of Florida students may ditch public elementary and
middle schools next year in favor of online classes at home -- an option
that could change the face of public education. A new law that takes effect
next fall requires every district in the state to set up an online school
for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. They won't have to get on
the bus -- or even get out of their PJs -- to head to school at the family
Free Virtual Field Trips Bring the World into Any
When virtual field trips began, most of such journeys were underwhelming,
but recent technology has allowed the development of impressive -- and free
Blue Zones Quest encourages healthy behaviors through scientific
exploration of cultural practices,
GoNorth! brings students to the North Pole via dogsled,
Windows into Wonderland explores the geysers and hot springs of
Yellowstone National Park, and
National Geographic: Lewis & Clark traces the famous explorers' path
from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.
eBay Prohibits Textbooks for Homeschool Teachers -
A new policy by Internet trading behemoth eBay that bans
homeschool teachers' texts from its auctions is prompting a tirade of
complaints from the company's faithful customers.
Textercise Books are sold as a
series of illustrated Master copies in paper format or in .pdf format which
can be copied back to back then mid-stapled to make workbooks. When a
purchaser buys a set of Textercise Book masters they can produce as many
individual books as they wish. The books combine the formal qualities of a
textbook with the more informal qualities of an exercise book to produce a
“Textercise Book” with spaces provided for pupils to record their answers to
the questions asked, to make comments and even to record points made during
class discussion. Book topics include: Manners Bullying, Jobs and Career
Information, Business and Science. They come in Standard and Simpler
formats. Textercise is located in the UK, but ships internationally.
Students Have Opportunity to Take Michigan Merit
Examination, Obtain Free ACT Scores (PDF) -
Home-schooled students in Michigan this coming spring will be able to
take the Michigan Merit Exam, the state’s new high school assessment that
includes the national ACT college entrance exam.
'Unschoolers' Can Learn -
or Not - As most schoolchildren are sitting
down for their morning classes, Taylor Gavin is just rolling out of bed.
"Sometimes I get up at 8, sometimes not until 9 or 10. It just depends," the
talkative 11-year-old says. The Gavins are "unschoolers," a small branch of
home-schoolers with parents who reject the structured and authoritative nature
of today's education system. Some call it "discovery learning" because of its
laissez faire attitude.
The U.S. Department of Education's
Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM) Web site allows educators to quickly
search over 40,000 materials by school subject, grade level, activity type,
target audience, stakeholder group, and price. You can look for third grade
lesson plans on fractions and decimals, for example. To get started on your
search, go to http://thegateway.org/.
Hybrid Schools Blend Teaching at Home and in Class -
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, children file into the tiny classrooms
at Victory Academy, where teachers lead lessons in math, reading and foreign
languages. On Mondays and Wednesdays, however, those classrooms are empty.
The school's 48 students are taught at home. [Login/registration required.]
K-8 Web-based Learning a Slam-Dunk With Pupils -
A devoted sports fan, teacher Mark Anderson wanted to find a way
to bring the excitement of a big game into the classroom. While watching
college football on TV one day, he found his answer.
Online Courses Help Boost
Advanced Placement Results - More students
are taking--and passing--Advanced Placement (AP) exams in every part of the
country, as college-level work in high school becomes increasingly common,
the College Board reported Jan. 25. Many state education officials attribute
the gains in participation at least in part to online courses that expand
the reach of advanced-level instruction.
Tighter Monitoring of Home-school Students Rejected -
A move to tighten state control over the testing of home-schooled
students was rejected by a South Dakota Senate committee Thursday after
critics said the measure is not needed.
Lawmakers Want State to Monitor Home-school Tests -
Two state lawmakers want to ensure that home-schooled children
meet the same standards and take their tests under the same conditions as
those in formal school settings.
Rural Schools Turn to E-learning - Across the
country, E-learning has changed from a technological curiosity to an integral
part of rural public school education, offering more class options to students
and even educating teachers. Forty-three percent of the nation's public
schools-and nearly one third of the country's 48 million public school
students-are in rural communities. Now, with the spread of advanced technology
that aims to close the "digital divide" and make public education more
equitable, groups of isolated schools in more than a dozen states--including
Minnesota, North Carolina, and Oklahoma--can share qualified teachers in
subjects like physics, advanced math, and foreign languages.
& Product Reviews & Recommendations by Home Schooling Mom, Penny Ray
Ray: I was a home schooling mom long before I thought I
was. You see, my daughter regressed into autism around the
time of her first birthday. We began early intervention in
the public school system when she was 19 months old and we
have always supplemented at home what the public school was
doing, always feeling that what the public schools offered
was not enough. During this time, I looked for unique
products that would help me help my daughter learn at home,
(there are many catalogs that sell products for individuals
with disabilities and special needs) and one place I never
thought to look was home school materials. When I finally
gave up on the public schools to begin homeschooling my
daughter full time in January of 2008 (my daughter was 8 ˝
years old at the time), I began looking at home school
materials and learned that I had missed an incredibly rich
treasure chest of innovative, creative products and
materials. I suspect if I had known the extent of the
materials available, I'd have made the leap to full time
homeschooling much sooner. I hope to introduce other parents
of children with developmental delays to products that will
help them, whether they are full time home schoolers, or
home schoolers who supplement with services from a public or
Penny's Book Review:
Penny's Book Review:
All About Spelling
Penny's Book Review:
Penny's Book Review:
MotherBoard Books "Let's Make A Web
Penny's Book Review:
Trigger Memory Systems
Penny's Book Review:
Rime to Read
Penny's Book Review:
Penny's Book Review:
Penny's Book Review:
And Then Mama
Said..."It Takes Time To Learn To Read"
Spears Art Studio
Comprehensive and Customizable—they’re
two words I used to describe another recent item, and yet,
these words summarize the Spears Art Studio as well.
Tales of Glory Nativity Set
Flip Laundry For Kids: A Fun Step-by-Step Laundry System!
- This cute, sturdy, spiral bound, 8.5" X 5.5"
flipchart walks children through the process of doing
laundry by breaking it down into step-by-step instructions.
Complete a step and flip the page. The fun simple pictures
make it easy! Makes laundry FUN! Complete a task & flip the
page. Boosts self-esteem and organizational skills.
My Days... My Pictures - This is another
adorable book that when finished by your child, will be
priceless! Sturdily wire-bound with cute and colorful
covers, this book covers an entire year. As the author and
illustrator, your child will rightfully be extremely proud
of their very own book. You as the parent, will consider it
one of life's greatest treasures and for 3 cents a day that
is quite a bargain!
Parent Success Cards
Parent Success Cards are a boxed set of 50 double-sided
high quality cards that contain 100 affirmations and
reflections for parents, produced by Horizons Developmental
Remediation Center, a center that provides RDI (r) or
Relationship Development Intervention consultation to many
parents of children on the autism spectrum. The cost of
$24.95 is similar to the cost of a book about autism,
parenting, or one you might find in the self-help section of
the bookstore. The cards are the size of an oversized
playing card, and can be displayed (one at a time) in a
refrigerator magnet picture frame. When my cards arrived, I
immediately sat down with the cards and read every one, and
found that several spoke to me in a big way. (I suspect that
several were written with me in mind! *grin*) The
reflections are beautifully written and the cards just as
beautifully presented and are designed to prompt thinking
and growth. The thoughts on them provide a nice balance
between the "big picture" and "what can I do right now?".
Since my set of cards arrived, I have held several of the
reflections in my mind, reflecting on where my attitude and
actions need adjustment, a prompting ideas for new journal
entries (when I have time to write). The same quotes would
be attractive printed in a parent journal or a
week-at-a-glance calendar form. I plan to post one card a
week on the refrigerator door for encouragement and
reflection or an occasional kick in the pants. If you're
looking for encouragement, reflections, affirmations, and an
opportunity for growth in your journey on the remediation
pathway, I recommend the Parent Success Cards! The
only negatives involve the actual printing on a few of the
cards. A card or two has copy printed too close to the edges
of the card and a smaller font might have been used. I have
to work a little harder to read the one striped card (there
is something visually distracting about those stripes!). And
some of the font/color combinations make a three or four of
the cards more difficult to read than the others, and I
suggest that a simple and bold font be used on any dark blue
or burgandy background when the 2nd edition is printed.
The Schoolhouse Planner ($39,
247 page e-book, from The Old Schoolhouse)
The Schoolhouse Planner is more than a school planner; it is
a comprehensive tool for planning a year of anything and
everything related to your household and home school. Users
can download and type into the document and print only the
pages needed. There are calendars (year at a glance,
monthly) ready to print, and with each monthly section, TSP
includes information and resources for academics, teaching
helps and ideas and recipes. TSP includes any form you might
need for planning or recording data for home or school,
including annual plans and yearly goals, progress reports,
nature reports, financial planning, Bible study, important
date planning, book and audio/video logs, grade reports,
gardening planning, gift planning, and chore charts and
housekeeping schedules, grocery lists, pet schedules, you
name it and it’s there—the list goes on and on. (When I said
the book is comprehensive, I meant it!) There are chore
pages that use symbols instead of words for pre-readers or
children who use visual schedules.
If you need a framework on paper as a way to organize your
days and plan your school year, this product has all the
tools. The digital copy allows purchasers to print only what
they will use. The $39 price tag seems expensive to me in
light of printing costs, particularly for those who will
choose to print most of the 247 page book (toner and printer
paper are not cheap!), however, I believe this one is so
comprehensive, this will be the only planner you’ll buy.
Allergy alert: For those of us with a child on a special
diet, know that many of the the recipes included contain
milk, eggs and wheat.
Old Schoolhouse Digital Magazine ($16.95/one
I have to admit to being resistant to technology when it
comes to reading material on a computer screen or new
devices (like the Kindle). I subscribed to the print version
of this magazine for the first time this year, and dove into
my first issue with enthusiasm when it arrived a couple of
weeks ago. This particular issue has a special emphasis on
home schooling a child with special needs and the content
has been very helpful for me as I begin to implement a
Charlotte Mason philosophy more at home. If you’re home
schooling (and/or supplementing public school specialized
education services) a child with special learning needs,
this issue is packed with information and ideas from
families who walk in our shoes. The digital version looks
exactly like the print version I received via US Mail, and
is surprisingly (to me, the techie skeptic) easy to
navigate. There is a guide to getting started opposite the
cover page, and the navigation tools are user friendly. Open
the table of contents and you are able to jump to an article
with one click of the mouse, which is much faster than
flipping through a print magazine. Product information is
important to me as I learn about new materials that would
work well with my child’s learning style, and I’m happy to
report that the links to the advertisers are quick, too,
requiring just one click of the mouse to learn more about
any product in the magazine. The cost of the digital version
is cheaper than the print version, and the idea of storing
the electronic version on a flash drive as opposed to
storing a year’s worth of print copies is appealing to me as
I work to get organized at home. I sense that I may enjoy
and soon prefer the digital version of the magazine.
Reviews of Interest:
Heads Up Helping! Teaching Tips and Techniques for Working
with ADD, ADHD, and Other Children with Challenges
Support Groups in Michigan
Flint Kids -
All inclusive group that offers programs, classes, play groups and
field trips for children that are both homeschooled and school bound.
School Building Connections - Connecting Homeschoolers in West
School Building Connections is a ministry of the Home School Building
(HSB). The purpose is connecting homeschoolers in West Michigan with
the support, information, activities, and events to help them meet
their home education goals. HSB Connections consists of three media,
the website, an email list and a monthly print publication.
School Building Connections
Burlingame Ave. SW
phone (616) 532-9422
Home School Building facility, including 14 classrooms, gymnasium,
library, lounge, and offices, currently serves as host to some 1000+
students each week through supplemental classes offered by a number of
independent home education associations in West Michigan.
Additionally, HSB provides a comfortable meeting place for many area
support groups. The gymnasium, which is large enough to house two
full-sized basketball courts, serves as the home for many homeschooled
basketball and other sports teams. The Home School Bookstore, an
on-site retail curriculum store, allows year-round access to a wide
selection of homeschool curriculum and supplemental materials.
Families Learning and Schooling at
Home (FLASH), Natalie Valle, 21671 B Drive North, Marshall,
Michigan 49068 616/781-1069
Older Homeschoolers' Group, 9120
Dwight Drive, Detroit, MI 48214; Lynn Family, 313-331-8406
Hillsdale Area Homeschoolers, 5151
Barker Rd, Jonesville, MI 49250; Linda Kline, 517-287-5565
HELP-Michigan, 125 E Lincoln,
Negaunee, MI 49866, 906-475-5508
Home Educator's Circle, 1280 John Hix
St, Westland, MI 48186, 313-326-5406
Families Learning and Schooling at
Home, (FLASH), 21671 B Drive North, Marshall, MI 49068; Natalie
Celebrating Home Under Rome -
Catholic Homeschoolers, (CHURCH); Rachel Mackson, 517-349-6389;
The Homeschool Support Network, PO
Box 2457, Riverview, MI 48192; Jackie Beattie, 313-284-1249
Christian Home Educators of Michigan,
(CHEM), PO Box 2357, Farmington Hills, MI 48333, 248-380-3611
Belleville Area Homeschool
Association, (BAHA), 17719 Odyssey, Belleville, MI 48111; Cheryl
Restoring Education And Cherishing
Christian Home Educators of the Blue
Water Area, (CHEBWA);
National Support Groups
Alliance for Parental Involvement in Education, , PO Box 59, East
Chatham, NY 12060; Seth Rockmuller or Katharine Houk, 518-392-6900;
Alternative Eduction Resourch Organization, 417 Roslyn Rd, Roslyn
Heights, NY 11577; Jerry Mintz, 516-621-2195
American Homeschool Association, PO Box 218,
Tonasket, WA 98855;
Catholic Home School Network of America, (CHSNA), PO Box 6343,
River Forest, IL 60305; Katie Moran, 330-652-4923;
Family Unschoolers Network, , 1688 Belhaven Woods Ct, Pasadena, MD
Growing Without Schooling, (GWS), 2380 Massachusetts Ave Suite
104, Cambridge, MA 02140, 617-864-3100
Homeschoolers for Peace, PO Box 74, Midpines, CA 95345
Jewish Home Educator's Network, 2122 Houser, Holly, MI 48442; Lisa
Hodge Kander; firstname.lastname@example.org
Moore Foundation, PO Box 1, Camas, WA 98607, 360-835-2736;
Muslim Home School Network and Resource, , PO Box 803, Attleboro,
MA 02703; MHSNR@aol.com,
National Association for Mormon Home Educators, , 2770 S 1000 W,
Perry, UT 84302
National Association of Catholic Home Educators, (NACHE), PO Box
787, Montrose, AL 36559
National Handicapped Homeschoolers Assn., , 5383 Alpine Road SE,
Olalla, WA 98359; Tom & Sherry Bushnell, 253-857-4257;
National Home Education Network, , PO Box 41067, Long Beach, CA
Rose Rock Inclusive Global Homeschool Network, , 805-942-4465;
Free Resources for Home Schoolers
is a huge collection of professionally produced instructional
materials for you to download and print. Lesson plans, books,
worksheets, and much more can be found on the site. Some items require
a free membership to view or download.
The Alabama Virtual Library - The
Alabama Virtual Library provides all students, teachers, and citizens
of the State of Alabama with online access to essential library and
information resources. It is primarily a group of online databases
that have magazine, journal, and newspaper articles for research.
Through the AVL, an equitable core of information sources are
available free to every student and citizen in Alabama, raising the
level of excellence in schools and communities across the state.
TestPrepReview - TestPrepReview.com is a free service "created
to provide free practice test questions for students in a variety of
career situations." Includes online review for ACT, SAT, GED, LSAT,
GMAT, MCAT, ParaPro, Nursing, and many more.
Collection of Games, Experiments, Projects and Diversions For
Parents & Teachers
Free Online Teacher/Educator Clipart Gallery -
Discovery School now makes it easy to add graphics to your
next project, whether it's for home or school. Choose from hundreds of
original clip art pieces, including animations!
For Teachers: "The Net's Best resource for Teachers" includes
teaching resources, clipart, plus insect, dinosaur, ocean, and animal
Homeschooling/Asperger's Syndrome Site "Kids
Who Are Different"
English Teacher "educators can take advantage of online technology
to share ideas and to benefit from the work of others. Beginning
teachers can find guidance; experienced teachers can find inspiration.
Think of it as the faculty library and faculty workroom on a global
scale. Because the most important part of teaching isn't the
- Free printable and reproducible charts for use during infancy,
the preschool years, kindergarten, and other learning stages. Use the
charts provided to help you get more organized in your life and
Curriculum and Plans for Education (SCoPE) Site - The Sample
Curriculum and Plans for Education (SCoPE) Site offers practical
classroom support to all Michigan education professionals. The site is
unlike any other teacher resource now available on the Internet.
- A quality educational site offering 5000+FREE printable theme units,
word puzzles, writing forms, book report forms,
math, ideas, lessons and much more. Great for new teachers,
student teachers, homeschooling and teachers who like creative ways
Home School/Educational Associations
Home Schooling Curriculum/Resources
Place for Help in School - HIS Place
for Help in School is a site with unique, high-quality resources
expressly designed to help parents of children with special needs. You
will find links to educational resource sites for many disabilities,
links to sites for legal information about special education students'
rights and advocacy, and practical help both in links to suppliers and
in tips for teaching and working with the special learner.
My Homeschool Store at
and sell used curriculum. No fee to list; sellers pay 10% commission
on sold items only. Search by keyword, subject, age.
Schoolhouse - Combines smart teaching ideas with web
publishing, video conferencing and other online tools that bridge
geographic gaps, allowing young people around the world to learn
together. Global SchoolNet is a growing international network of
educators, who engage in online project-based learning activities.
Program Connects Classroom and Home Instruction Through Immersive
Learning for 3rd - 6th Graders - What is
Experiencia? Experiencia is pioneering a proprietary learning system,
Immersive Learning™, that enhances and connects classroom and home
instruction with vivid learning experiences at interactive simulation
sites. Experiencia programs transform teaching and learning by brining
theory and best practices to life.
Resource from a Parent: "A viable K-12 education
is available beyond bricks and mortar to any parent or family who
might want to access it. For an example, visit
K12 Online Home School."
CLiMB - Clarifying Language in Michigan Benchmarks -
A Resource Developed by Teachers for the Michigan Department of
Education. Provides clarifications, resources,
instructional and assessment examples for five content
areas: English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts.
To view the Michigan Benchmarks,
click here (PDF).
A graphic organizer is an instructional tool
used to illustrate a student or class's prior knowledge about a topic
or section of text; specific examples include the
K-W-L-H Technique and the
Anticipation/Reaction Guide. Other organizers include the Spider
Map, the Series of Events Chain, the Continuum Scale, the
Compare/Contrast Matrix and several more. You can learn more about
these specific examples by
Curriculum resource site
Second grade resources, math and language
"Banking on our Future" the first online/offline financial literacy
- Nature games, rubber stamps with nature and ecological themes.
99V Phonics, Reading, & Writing Programs - Children with autism,
ADD, dyslexia, and learning disabilities have benefited from the Sound
It Out Land CD-ROM. They respond wonderfully to the sing-along
teaching songs, colorful talking characters, and engaging reading
Thinking Books & Software - For over 40 years, Critical Thinking
Books & Software has created and published the largest selection of
quality critical thinking products for K-adult education.
Doctor Memory Children's Educational Products - The products
introduce and demonstrate powerful methods of memorization that can be
applied to other subject matter and everyday life.
Education Magazine - Presents free online newsletters, discussion
boards, a networking list, and selections from the magazine, including
articles, interviews, columnists, resources, reviews and more!
Homeschoolanswers.com - Home School curriculum for the busy parent
Teacher Network - "Michigan Teacher Network supports Michigan
educators in the successful use of technology by providing easy access
to information and materials that have been carefully evaluated for
quality, relevance, and effectiveness."
Geographic Society - Catalog of geography resources and several
Stone Soup - This
site contains articles, essays, poetry and artwork by kids!
Written Expression Story Starters from Mark Shinn, Ph.D., contains
over 100 story beginnings for your homeschooler to complete. These
gradually increase in skill level. Click here to view this pdf
Schools Thrive, But Not For Everyone - Virtual
public school, which received the approval of the Arizona Legislature last year,
sounds much easier than it is, according to a Scottsdale parent whose daughters
are being educated that way. "It's not for everybody," Siamak Ghaffari said.
"There's an extensive amount of material. Just because you're sitting at home
doesn't mean there isn't work to do."
Cyber School For Kids Logs
In - Virtual academy is state's first for
Testing Rules Sock
Colorado Cyber School - A dispute erupted when the ratings
came out on the Branson Alternative School. State officials marked
Branson down as one of the worst schools in the state, but angry
supporters blame brick-and-mortar rules for artificially depressing
the online school’s results.