Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Freebie Faves

Some printables aren't worth the ink...but some are.  Here are the latest batch of my favorite newly found inkworthly freebies....


Muscular System Lapbook 

Free Skeletal Systems Lapbook

Cloud Types Worksheets

Language Arts

Character Guides
Huck Fin Character Guide
The Tempest Character Guide

New Free Curriculum
While I have NOT previewed these to see if they are inkworthy,  I always like to share updates on the latest full-length curriculum I've added to my Free Homeschool Curriculum List. 

Free Christian Biology Textbook 

Free Charlotte Mason Spelling Curriculum

Monday, October 24, 2016

Story of the Wolrd: Chap 2 - Two Kingdoms Become One

Post contains some affiliate links, through which I can earn commission.
Mostly for books, which I suggest looking for at your local library.

This section is about the Nile river, and about the king who united upper and lower Egypt into one Nation.  Because my son has a short attention span, we broke up the section into two parts to shorten it--and to shorten it a little more I crossed out a few lines here in there (this was one of our "Readers Digest Condensed Chapters *wink*).  We also did what we usually do--stopped and asked questions during the text and looked at pictures from other sources which we read.

We had a lot of resources for this and didn't use all of them, but I'll share some good resources we found to add visuals below.   Finding books on Egypt than contain good illustrations of the things mentioned in this chapter is EASY.  If you don't have the books mentioned below, you should be able to find something else in your local library that works.

DAY 1 (Paragraphs 1-4)
Farming on the Nile

Before Reading
Before starting the reading we looked at some maps of Egypt and then found where it was on a world map.

Paragraph 1 -2

These paragraphs can be supplemented with a map from the activity book, but we had a full color illustrated map I thought he'd enjoy more (from the Usborn Time Traveler), so in stead of coloring the map, I had my son find the Nile Delta on that picture. 

I like the colored map too because it showed a green area around the Nile, and pictures of desert outside that area, so I could ask my son where people could live and farm.  We also looked at an aerial picture of Egypt that showed how green that area around the Nile actually was.  Seeing real pictures really brings home the difference between the area near the Nile, and the desert surrounding it.   (More map/picture suggestions below)

Also, this is one of the places where I edited out a few lines (about the word Delta being from the Greek letter "D") to make it shorter for his attention span.

Suggested Online Pictures/Maps of the Nile
Aerial Nile Photo - Delta (what we used)
Aerial Nile Photo - Long
Illustrated Map
Egypt With Cartoon Landmarks 

Books With Great Nile Illustrations
The Usborn Time Traveler
Make It Work: Ancient Egypt
Egypt Insiders by Joyce Tyldesley**

**You can preview the illustration of the Nile in this book using  the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon

Paragraph 3 - 4

I found some books with some GREAT illustrations of Egyptian farming.  Here is the one we used...

But I wanted to share some of my other favorite illustrations from books we found at our library too...

This book uses dioramas to illustrate (and is full of crafts kids can do).  I like how this book showed the steps in farming the land, and talked about the three Egyptian seasons.


This book on pyramics had a nice picture with a Nile map AND farming illustrations, so if you wanted to cut down on the amount of resources you used, you could just use this one for both.


Silt Demonstration
This activity shows how flooding brought silt onto the Nile banks.  It's not amazingly exciting, but it does demonstrate the concept and my son enjoyed pouring the water.

white piece of paper
baking pan or dish (to catch water)

  1. Place a bowl on a piece of white paper on a larger ban, dish, or lipped plate. Fill up a small bowl half way with water, and add a little dirt.   Let the dirt settle. 
  2. Pour in water until the dish overflows.   Note the pieces of dirt on the white paper....in the same way the Nile deposits silt on the area around it when it floods.

Alternate Activities
  • Make a Shaduf - Egyptians used shadufs too, so if you haven't already made a shaduf for Chapter 1 (where they describe it) that could be  fit in here.
  • Have an Egyptian Meal - You can find a list of recipes and foods they had here. A fun things to talk about is how the foods they ate may have tasted different, because years of farmers choosing seeds from the tastiest plants changed what the plants.  For instance, initially no one ate the fruit of the watermelon, but would only eat the seeds...so historians believe that watermelon originally didn't taste sweet.  
  • Plant and Egyptian Garden - Plant a garden with food crops like the Egyptians planted (cucumbers, onions, garlic, raddish, peas, etc.  See full list here.).  
  • Do Lapbook activities (scroll down for suggestions at the bottom of this page)

Supplemental Reading/Extension For Older Kids
Nile River Unit - Dr. Dave's Science
This very readable printable unit on the Nile River by Dr. Dave's science makes for great extension reading to bring in some science (suggested for ages 4th - 7th, but I think a lot of younger homeschoolers might enjoy it too.)    The free sample of first 10 pages covers the Nile ecosystem and flooding, and the full package ($3) goes into more detail on about Egyptian farming methods, food, papyrus, and the damning of modern Egypt. 

DAY 2 (Paragraphs 5-9)
Upper and Lower Egypt Become One

Paragraphs 5 - 7
For these paragraphs we again looked at the maps we had of Egypt and Africa, and pointed out all the things they were talking about.   Here is a good topographical map that shows the mountains that feed the Nile, as mentioned in paragraph 7.  We also turned our map upside down when they mention that.  After this section I stopped to ask which part was Upper and Lower Egypt and why they were called that before moving on.

Paragraphs 8 - 9
We continued to use the maps for this section.  We also looked at the single and double crowns in the page about the Pharoah in the Usborn Time Traveler (you could find pictures of these crowns in almost any picture book about Egypt, or at the links below). 

Crown Image 1 - Black and White
Crown Image 2 - Black and White
Crown Image 3 - Colored
History Pockets has a great map showing all three crowns (pg 37)

We didn't do a special activity for this section, but you could make an Egyptian Double Crown.

Egypt Lapbooks

Lapbooks can be a great way to supplement Story of the World.  I actually like using a small blank-book in stead of the traditional folder method, and adding items from various lapbooks as we reach those topics in SOTW.  You can make your own books with folder paper and staples or use inexpensive blank books like these  (I also often see square blank books 5 for $1 in the Dollar Section of Target).

Free Egypt Lapbook 1
This one has a nice map of the Nile with an Egyptian border, graphics of King Narmer and the double crown, among other things.

Free Egypt Lapbook 2 - Homeschool Share
This lapbook has a lift the flap Nile item that would be a good fit for this chapter.

History Pockets
This is a great resource for using while studying Egypt.  Related to this chapter it has a map of Egypt illustrated with kings wearing the crowns of upper and lower Egypt, and excellent cut and paste activities for life on the Nile.  I was lucky to find this used at a local homeschool sale.

I'm sharing this at lots of great homeschool link-ups.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Coloring Pages and Favor Idea

Wanted to share a fun free fall coloring page I have to offer! Now doesn't that look fun to color? And they aren't just for kids! Grown-ups can have fun coloring too!

I also have one sectioned into smaller cut-apart boxes which would be fun for  party favors, trick-or-treat bags, or for a fun activity to keep the kids busy while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner.

Leaves to Cut and Share
(For non-commercial, personal use only.)

Here's how to turn this into a fun favor (or even something to give out to Trick-or-Treaters):

  1. Click on the image above for a larger, printable version. 
  2. Right click and save it on your computer.
  3. Print it.
  4. Cut out along the dotted lines.
  5. Cut out cardboard slightly larger than the picture (old cereal boxes work good for this) to make a solid surface for kids to draw on, and staple several leaf pictures on. Put these in a plastic or cello wrap baggie with fall colored crayons.  Ask kids to color each leaf differently, just like the fall leaves outsides are all different colors and shades.
  6. ALTERNATIVE IDEA: Take a couple crayons and a small rubber band (like the little ones used for hair-braids), then wrap each coloring paper you just cut out around the crayons and secure with the rubber band.  
Wha-la! A fun party favor that costs next to nothing!

These are just a couple of the coloring pages you can print for free from my site. See more here.

And here's some examples of them colored by my readers over at Scribbleprints...

 Beeb colored the following.  She didn't have crayons ready, so she used a 
purple sharpie and a pink hi-lighter to make her Psychedelic Leaves. 

Petra's son colored this leaf.  Love it!

Oh, and here's how I colored mine...

OK, ok...so that really isn't made from the print-outs. Actually, that's the original design which I sell on printed products in my shops. I made the black and white version afterwards especially for the coloring pages. Hope you enjoy it! Please be nice and only use these for personal or classroom use, thanks!

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Day Full of Emotions

What an emotional day.  Good emotions, some bad ones...some very mixed ones.

Today started with me having to get a ride to co-op because my car wouldn't start.  It was a new member who lived near me who drove us, and I really enjoyed getting to know her and her family on the way.  Thoroughly enjoyable conversation.

Today was the last day of a class I was teaching on ships and the sea today.  I used to live on a boat so it was a natural fit for me.   Today we were talking about sea life and I had all sorts of shells and even a whales tooth for the kids to look at, in addition to the array of library books I always bring for pictures.     It went GREAT!   The kids were really into it, asking all sorts of questions, and sharing what they knew.  They loved the experiment on blubber and buoyancy we did.  So happy about how it went, relieved to not have any more classes, and yet a little sad not to be continuing this.

So, after school I thought I had plenty of time to find someone to jump our car and get our battery checked out...but then realized we were going to a play with another group of homeschoolers tonight (I had mixed up the dates)! So, I scrambled to find neighbor who could jump the car,  and then took it to our mechanic to check the battery just to be sure (because even though I know I could drive it around and charge it, I've had too many time when after a battery died that it went out again soon afterwards anyways).  While sitting in their lobby I checked facebook, and a update popped up saying "You have memories today with your mom."  I clicked...usually it's something trivial, a picture of a cat or craft she shared.  Today, it was something for "National Daughter's Day" talking about how much I meant to her and how proud she was.  Tears came to my eyes.  My mom passed away several years ago.   And there she was, still telling me how much she loved me on facebook.  I had to step outside a bit, let a few tears fall unhindered before I pulled myself together and went back inside.

On our way home I stopped to get something in Walmart and in the supermarket isle a couple noticed my "I may live in Texas, but I'll always be a California girl t-shirt" and told me they were from California too (and that she had the sweatshirt version of my t-shirt at home.")  We talked for a long time (well, for a supermarket conversation) about what it was like being Californians in Texas.  It was so great talking with some other Californians...they moved here two years ago, and I moved here nearly 20 years ago, but our experiences were so similar.

Then, I went home, got the kids ready and left for the play:  Fiddler on the Roof.   This was another flashback, since the last time I had been was in high school, when our school did the same play.  Of course this one was more professional...with amazing props and a real orchestra pit.  But it was also a college play, and a dress rehearsal (they let our homeschool group come then for less)....so there was a few missed notes.  Still, the acting and singing overall was wonderful.  And so many things hit me deeper this time around.  While I had thought the "Sunrise, Sunset" song a little dull the first time, this time, with my youngest curled up on my lap and my older two sitting beside me, when they sang "Where is the little girl I carried...where is the little boy at play?" it made me teary (again...I think my mom being fresh on my mind was part of it).   The struggles Tevya went through about his children also I think seemed more fresh.   But I saw more hope in the ending than I had the last time...how they were leaving, but would carry on, and the beckoning the fiddler to come with.  Really, the first time I don't think I understood the symbolism behind the fiddler, precariously making music on the roof, at all...but now it came in loud and clear.

What a day.  What a cathartic, beautiful, emotional day.