This video-based new resource from Khan Academy offers a step-by-step approach to college admissions from a variety of viewpoints. You will hear students from different socioeconomic, cultural, and academic backgrounds as well as from admissions officers from Yale, Stanford, University of Virginia, and more. Through student and dean interviews along with information from other experts, the program covers getting started, making high school count, exploring college options, applying to college, and paying for college. With Khan Academy's characteristic virtual blackboard, the program goes over the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and other financial aid information.
Each May, the College Board administers Advanced Placement exams for a variety of subjects. EdX, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is governed by MIT and Harvard, offers free interactive online classes and MOOCs from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many other universities. RiceX recently launched the first free online AP® classes through edX: AP® Biology, AP® Physics 2, and AP® Environmental Science. Visit edX to register or find out more.
Each October, a holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus ushers in debate about the man's character and accomplishments. Most people now know that Columbus didn't actually discover America, nor did he discover that the earth was not flat. Beyond that, there are 3 main issues with Columbus' activities in the Americas at the heart of the debate about whether Columbus Day should exist...
Zoe at Just English puts up lots of lists. This one includes 100 legal sites where you can download everything from classics to textbooks. The list is separated into the following categories...
If you have a child interested in history, consider letting them pursue that through historical societies or volunteering as historical interpreters at historical sites. This week's resource, while linked to an individual historical site in Virginia, is really just a link representative of the vast number of historical sites around the country that offer similar programs. Check out volunteer opportunities through the National Park Service and other historical sites in your area. In my area, we have a group specifically for kids called George Washington's Young Friends. Your area might have something similar, or you could look into attending a Civil War reenactment, which can be an interesting way to expose kids to history. Historical interpretation is a great way to get kids interested in history and to give a sense of time and place to the history that they read in books. (Just remember that if they aren't interested, pushing harder doesn't make it more interesting!)
"HipHughes History is a series of upbeat, personable and educational lectures designed for students and lifelong learners. Videos primarily focus on US History and Politics but span across World History and general interest. So sit back and enjoy the antics of HipHughes as he melds multimodality into a learning experience." HipHughes History is a YouTube channel with videos that cover both current events (presenting both sides of political issues) and historical events. Popular playlists include The Bill of Rights for Dummies, The Constitution for Dummies, and World History. Videos are geared toward high school students and occasionally use mild language, so preview for suitability for your family.
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art announced recently that "...more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use -- including in scholarly publications in any media -- without permission from the Museum and without a fee." As you are teaching your students about copyright with regard to their work, this is a great example of works that can be used for scholarly purposes without having to request permission or login. If you have questions about whether a use is scholarly, visit the OASC FAQ.
Free for iOS and Google devices as of July 1, 2014 (it is $4.99 for Windows devices and is only free on the other devices for a limited time), "My Incredible Body lets kids investigate, experience, and learn human anatomy in a fun, dynamic new way. Explore visually stunning, medically accurate 3D anatomy models. Learn amazing facts about how the body works. Fly through the different body systems, pausing to take a look around." The app does have sound effects and narration, so be sure the sound is on. While the app does have in app purchases for things like quizzes, in my exploration of the digestive system, I did not encounter any in app purchase opportunities.
Teach With Movies, a wonderful site for finding and reviewing movies in education, is now free for everyone. It was free when it was new, then it went to a subscription-based model, and now it is once again available at no cost. The site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Choose a subject (and for history, a time period) and a list of movies that have been evaluated will be shown. Each one links to a page with resources for using the movie in your studies, including the rating, possible problems, background information, discussion questions, and more.
In school and in life, the ability to evaluate sources is crucial for determining whether information is factual. The National Archives has put together a group of lessons and resources for teachers to Teach With Documents. Docs Teach includes ready to use activities as well as selected primary sources for teachers. Document Analysis Worksheet downloads will help students evaluate sources based on specific criteria.
The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project that showcases the most interesting and unusual out-of-copyright works available online through their curated collections of films, audio, images, and texts.
Science Notebooking shows how teachers are using notebooking to enhance their science curriculum at the elementary school level. Although the contributors are classroom teachers, homeschoolers will find many useful ideas and resources, including a free Interactive Science Notebook download.
As students move into high school writing, expectations are higher and the process becomes more complex. Student have to use well thought out organization, careful planning, concise expression, and relentless editing to produce quality writing. The Writing Center at UNC has put together a large collection of writing resources for college writing that are excellent tools for upper level homeschoolers.
The Kids Discover website offers a large selection of free downloads that can be used without a subscription (they also offer lesson plans specific to the magazine). The Infopackets are quality resource excerpts from the magazines that are multi-page PDF files. Printable Infographics are available on dozens of topics, along with topical articles on the website. Free registration is required to access the downloads.
G'Day Math offers mathematics courses to engage students and produce inquiring minds. Only one course is complete, but 3 more are coming soon. Quadratics, the currently available course, is where the practical application of math meets scientific inquiry. Tanton's Quadratics course is available as a complete, free online course combining video lectures and written lessons.
You Be The Chemist Activity Guides: Lesson Plans for Making Chemistry Fun are first-rate science resources available for free from the Chemical Education Foundation. YBTC offers 2 Activity Guides that contain "a variety of exciting science lesson plans, enabling educators to bring hands-on learning to students, inside and outside of the classroom. The Activity Guides are divided according to grade level, one for grades K-4 and the other for grades 5-8. Together the Activity Guides contain almost 1,000 pages of educator-reviewed experiments, activity sheets, supplements, and a resource guide filled with safety information, and much more."
Looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office but don't like Open Office? Give LibreOffice a try. Like Office, LibreOffice offers alternatives to Word (Writer), Excel (Calc), PowerPoint (Impress), Access (Base), and even Adobe Illustrator (Draw). Formula is an advanced math application.
Pulling from its own publications starting with the second ever issue in 1857 and continuing all the way through post-war reflection, The Atlantic's Civil War issue includes stories by Mark Twain, Henry James, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and more.
CareerShip® is a free online career exploration adventure for middle and high school students which provides free career, college, financial aid, and money management information and services.
We have 7 different notebooking units available for download along with both printable planner pages and a spreadsheet planner with transcript forms.
"Smithsonian's History Explorer was developed by the National Museum of American History in partnership with the Verizon Foundation to offer hundreds of free, innovative online resources for teaching and learning American history..."
Crash Courses is a YouTube channel that features crash courses in six subjects: US History, World History, Literature, Chemistry, Ecology, and Biology.
"Could Lincoln Be Elected Today?" is a resource for teaching critical thinking from FlackCheck.org, the political literacy companion site to FactCheck.org.
WatchKnowLearn is a wonderfully useful wiki for educational videos. The site has indexed approximately 50,000 free online educational videos in over 5,000 categories, making browsing and searching for the topics you want quick and easy.
Smarter Every Day is a YouTube channel created by a missile engineer in Huntsville, Alabama. His YouTube channel has dozens of cool experiments involving lasers, glass, macaws, hummingbirds, cats and space, honey, and a lot more on the Smarter Every Day YouTube channel.
Download TheHomeSchoolMom's free Pi Day Unit Study for some fun activities. You can learn more about pi at the official Pi Day website, then since Pi Day wouldn't be complete without pie, head over to Neatorama for some cool ideas for a pi pie.
A trading card game with gorgeous artwork and a focus on biodiversity, the phylo project aims to help kids to identify the nature life around them.
Do you want to encourage your children (or yourself) to journal but it's hard to stay on track? This Is Me Challenge is a website with writing challenges published on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month.
Evernote is your new best friend. Really. With apps/software for almost all platforms, Evernote is free and works with nearly every computer, phone, and mobile device out there.