Category Archives: Freebie!

Update: All-of-a-Kind Family resource

Awhile back, I published a link to a resource that you could use while reading books from the All-of-a-Kind Family series. This book series is set in New York city in the early 1900s, and paints a picture of Jewish family life and customs at the turn of the century, through the end of World War I.

From the resource website:

This readers guide to Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family series was created in celebration of the author’s 100th birthday in 2004. It includes historical context, background information about the author and the people upon whom the characters are based, extension activities, and read-alike suggestions.

Here is the updated link to the All-of-a-Kind Family Companion.


Free printables!

While perusing this week’s Subscriber Exclusive from Homeschool Freebie of the Day, I followed a link that led to a link that led to free printables from Life Your Way.

They have more than 150 free printables available for download here, including a room organizer chart (I don’t know about you, but with the change of seasons we’re moving our furniture around into new configurations) and a Home Management Notebook.

So if you feel the need to scratch that “get organized” itch, check out Life Your Way, and if you haven’t heard of Homeschool Freebie of the Day, take a look at that site, too, where every day there’s a new free download of PDF e-books or mp3 files or links to free resources.

TGIF (and an online music playground)

I’ve got to admit, I’m glad it’s Friday. I’m tired. As a matter of fact, I started to type TIGF. Now what would that mean?

Just finished writing a review of a music education enrichment program, Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music. Look for it to be published in the next issue of Eclectic Homeschool Online, along with an article about one of the co-creators.

At the Quaver link above, you’ll find information about the music education DVDs, but you’ll also find a website with free, music-related activities. There are arcade games (which we’ve spent a lot of time mastering, I’m sure you wanted to know), but there are also neat compositional tools all ready for exploring and creating music. Check it out!

Vintage Baseball at Fort Vancouver!


There will be two 1860s-style baseball games at Fort Vancouver this summer, July 16 and August 20. Here’s the schedule:

5-6 p.m. Period games (west of Bandsstand)
5:30 p.m. Whiskey Flats Band pre-game concert
6:00 p.m.
Howitzer firing
Rules of the game (they were different back in 1860)
First Pitch by City of Vancouver Elected Official

6:15 p.m.
Game begins between the Occidental Base Ball Club of Vancouver and the Sherman Base Ball Club of Fort Vancouver

There will be young ladies in hoop skirts and dashing gentlemen in the latest styles of the time, including the players with their woolen Base Ball uniforms. Come one, come all!

World Math Day!

World Math Day will be the first day of March.

Click here to go to the World Math Day page. From there you can click on a link to register. World Math Day is free! If you already have a Mathletics subscription, you don’t have to register to gain access to the World Math Day games.

Hope to see you there!

Homemaking schedule help

Here’s a handy homemaking calendar to help you with your resolution to keep up with the house in this new year. (Yeah, I make that resolution every year. Or would, if I made New Year’s resolutions. I don’t need to make resolutions anymore, I just consider the areas I need to improve as things in need of my attention and effort, any day of the year.)

Suggested Chore Schedule

The JustMommies Home Organization Plan offers suggestions for establishing daily tasks, plus weekly and monthly tasks that are updated daily. It’s a way to spread out the things you need to do to keep your house running smoothly, so that it’s not overwhelming.

Decluttering lists

The website offers a new focus area for decluttering every month. For example, on the list for January, with a focus on the Master Bedroom:

Clean out dressers and closets. Get rid of outgrown and unused clothing.
Clean baseboards.
Wash window treatments.
Clean windows.
Flip mattresses.
Clean doors including door knobs, molding, and trim.
Spot clean walls of any marks, scuffs, or handprints.
Sweep ceilings for any dust or cobwebs.
Clean air vents.

I look at that list and think, “It’s doable!” (How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.) Keep on keeping on, and by the end of the year you’ll have gone through your entire house, all the while keeping up with daily, weekly, and monthly chores.

Of course, I’ve had to add some things to the list. This cleaning and decluttering list doesn’t deal with the stacks of books and papers cluttering up our Master Bedroom, for example. (Do you have that problem? I am a paper packrat. *sigh*) And it really ought to include cleaning out under the bed. We have a couple of containers of out-of-season clothes under the bed that are supposed to be there, but where did all that other stuff come from? (Shoes, books, more paper… Got to sweep it all out and then I can deal with the dust bunnies.)

Can’t flip the mattress — there are springs sticking out on the side that’s facing down. Sharp springs. One of these years we’ll get a new mattress set…

The site has links to monthly calendars you can print out. The calendars include the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks (sounds overwhelming, busy, and cluttered, but really it’s designed not to be). This gives you an at-a-glance page to suggested chores for each day of the month.

Catch up days and free days are built into the calendar, but if you take a specific day of rest each week you’ll need to tweak the calendar a bit.

You can also assign specific chores — just write someone’s name on the calendar next to their daily or weekly chore and post where everyone can see it. (And remember, you might need to do some chore training, and you’ll definitely need to follow-up. You know the rule: You get what you expect when you inspect.)

If you were born without a homemaking gene (or didn’t learn along the way, before being put in charge of a home of your own), following this type of calendar could give you a jumpstart to more organized living. If you have more than a smidgen of organization in your bones, you can use the JustMommies calendar as inspiration for making your own calendar and tailoring it to your family’s schedule.

Either way, it’s a good tool for digging out from under a messy, cluttered house.

TOS Freebie: Get in the holiday spirit!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is giving away a free digital edition filled with stories and ideas.

I’ve just glanced through, but I’m looking forward to perusing at a more leisurely pace later on in the day, when I take a break. There’s so much here!

There are articles, recipes, activity pages, holiday ideas and crafts, and that’s barely scratching the surface. The issue is 176 pages. You can read it on your computer, or download a PDF file. As you can see from the cover, this is a lushly illustrated, full-color issue.

It’s really easy to use the digital edition. You can click on any item in the Table of Contents and you’re instantly there.

Here’s the link: Free 2010 Holiday Digital Supplement from The Old Schoolhouse.