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April 2014

by Mary Ann Kelley
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Literature, Art, Poetry, Giveaways, Blogging, and More

From the Editor

Follow us on Google+

TheHomeSchoolMom is focusing more energy over at Google+ and on Twitter and will be spending less time at Facebook. Although we have tens of thousands of followers on Facebook, our posts are only shown to a few hundred followers (but for several hundred dollars per post, Facebook is offering to show our statuses to people who already indicated that they want to see our posts in their feed – um, thanks but no thanks…). If you are on Google+, please follow +TheHomeSchoolMom. Our Twitter address is @thehsmom. We look forward to interacting with you there – we love feedback and we want to hear what is going on in *your* homeschool!

Last chances to win!

We have a few more chances to win great prizes in our Great Homeschool Giveaway. Just leave a brief review on TheHomeSchoolMom of a resources you have used – each review is an entry to win. You can leave your reviews here, and read all the contest details here. Current and upcoming prizes include:

Enjoy the newsletter!

Warm regards,

Mary Ann Kelley



Teaching Calendar

April 13, 2014 — Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday – 1743

April 14, 2014 — Passover

April 14, 2014 — Abraham Lincoln Assassinated – 1865

April 15, 2014 — Leonardo da Vinci’s Birthday – 1452

April 18, 2014 — Paul Revere Day

April 20, 2014 — Easter

April 21, 2014 — Patriots’ Day

April 22, 2014 — Earth Day

April 23, 2014 — William Shakespeare’s Birthday – 1564

April 25, 2014 — Arbor Day

April 28, 2014 — Maryland Admission Day – 1788

April 30, 2014 — Louisiana Admission Day – 1812

May 1, 2014 — May Day

May 5, 2014 — Cinco de Mayo

View the entire calendar »


Educational Resources

Glencoe Literature Library Study Guides

Glencoe, a division of McGraw-Hill, publishes free online study guides for many of the works of literature in their collection. From Animal Farm to Cyrano de Burgerac to Where the Red Fern Grows, the books featured have 20-30 page guides that cover author background, the meaning of the work, active reading activities, responses to the reading, and more.

Free the Slaves Education Pack Downloads

Free the Slaves works in poverty-stricken areas of the world to eradicate slavery using a wholistic approach. Education about modern-day slavery is part of their goal to “set the history books straight. Slavery did not end in 1865. Slavery is one of the most terrible human rights abuses taking place today, yet many people aren’t aware of it.” There are 5 downloads available at the linked page, and several films ranging from 2-10 minutes that expore modern day slavery.

Art for Kids

Rob is an artist dad (he worked for Ford drawing cool car art) that loves doing art with his 3 kids. He decided to share some of his how to guides online to help other families, and he has done it right. Art for Kids is easy on the eyes with a simple site design and has great tutorials and ideas (look under art supplies for tips on what to use and how – despite its name, the link is not a store). Kids will love his How to Draw a Minion tutorial.

National Poetry Month Resources

April is National Poetry Month, and is the place to go for all things poetry. The homepage linked above includes 30 ideas for celebrating, and the National Poetry Month page has more resources including a poster download. April 24 is Poem in Your Pocket Day, when “people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.”


Recent Blog Posts

Giveaway Week 5: Notebooking Pages Lifetime Treasury, Titanic Lapbook, and NaturExplorers

npc_150_treasuryOur 2014 Homeschool Giveaways event is underway and this week we are giving away prizes to 2 reviewers. The first prize is a lifetime Notebooking Pages Treasury membership, and the second prize is a Titanic Lapbook from TruthQuest History and a Bacteria Growing Kit from Lighthouse Educational Product. Read more »

Homeschooling and Moving

Homeschooling During a MoveMoving can bring wonderful opportunities — new jobs, new friends, and new possibilities — but it’s also stressful. Our homeschooling family has moved to new homes in new states a few times, and I’ve realized homeschooling through a move has some positives, some negatives, and some things to think about. Read more »

Parental Deschooling Part 3: Homeschool Networking

Parental Deschooling: Deschooling is not just for kidsWhile you’re in a deschooling period with your kids, I hope you’re doing some of the reading I suggested in Part 2 of this parental deschooling series. Another thing you’ll find beneficial is to begin networking with other homeschooling families.There are two basic versions of homeschool networking, online and IRL — in real life. Both are valuable in helping you with deschooling — the transition from school to homeschooling. Read more »

Featured Article

Kids Blog Their Unit Studies


What do you get when your child combines a unit study and notebooking with a blog?

You get the homeschool version of a Virtual Learning Environment (a fancy way of saying learning that is enhanced by the Internet).

Homeschooling parents can use what they already know about unit studies and notebooking to have their children create their own unit study blogs on specific topics — their own VLE’s.

To get started with helping your child create a unit study blog:

  • Use free blog sites like Blogger or WordPress.
  • Have your child blog a current unit study topic or academic focus
  • Consider helping your child make separate blogs for different subjects — just as notebooking addresses specific subjects with a notebook for each
  • Set the privacy settings to meet your needs — subject area blogs don’t need to be public to be effective

For example, a child doing a unit study blog on volcanoes might include:

  • A question list — things the child wants to know about volcanoes
  • A library list — books from the library about volcanoes. Maybe she could even note where she found the books on the shelf or how she used the library catalog to find books on the topic.

Read the rest »

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