Tag Archives: resource

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.


Why children need music education


While researching, I stumbled across this little gem, published in The Etude magazine in 1929, but still applicable today.

I admit, I had never heard of the author, even though a “well-known expert in music education,” but the essay rings true and fits well with Charlotte Mason’s writings about music. It is a call for “living, not merely existing.”

Schools seem to be in a constant state of crisis these days. Programs, labeled extraneous, are being cut, and sports, music and art are among them. More and more time must be devoted to “serious” study, so that our students can keep up with the rest of the world in mathematics and science.

…but is this the right way to go?

Not according to this author. (Or Charlotte Mason, for that matter, who was intent on exposing children to great thoughts, works of art, music, and literature, whether they were slated to become factory workers or doctors.) Come to think of it, hasn’t research shown that music and math are connected in the brain, and that learning music helps in other areas of academics? I can’t cite a study at the moment, but I know I’ve read about this in the past.

I guess I need to do more research!

This article is a good starting place for our consideration. It presents an impassioned defense of music education for all children.

Secular educators should resonate with the idea that “the birthright of the child is the means of developing developing all his faculties normally and naturally. Society owes him his opportunity for an education.” Meanwhile, those who are educating within a Biblical framework will appreciate this definition of education, as quoted by the author: “The true purpose of education is to cherish and unfold the seed of immortality already sown within us, to develop to the fullest extent the capacities of every kind with which the God who made us has endowed us.”

The author gives a rationale for music instruction and follows with some practical considerations. The child, ideally, is exposed to well-crafted music from its earliest days, learns music first by hearing, then by repetition, finally by expression, while learning to delight in sound, rhythm, and harmony. The author goes on to say,

Now that he has been given a big experience of the best of music and led to sense rhythm and its beauty, teach him that it is as readable and writeable as the language which he speaks. Lead him from the known into the unknown. Create within him the desire to read and write the lovely songs he can sing. Go one step further and help him set his own little original songs to melodies. For children live in a world of imagery and make-believe. Who knows where these dreams may lead, if rightly directed?

While I’d place much less emphasis on a knowledge of psychology than the author did, I appreciate much of what she had to say about the necessity of music (and I would go further, and add other fine arts to the equation) to the development of a well-rounded, fully functional person.

Who knows where these dreams may lead, indeed?



Falling notes graphic from http://www.webweaver.nu/clipart/music/notes.shtml

Rainbow graphic from http://www.free-pictures-photos.com/clouds/


Summer Boot Camp at Virtual Nerd!

Just heard that Virtual Nerd is offering  Math Boot Camp.

From the source:

To help students avoid the “summer slide”, we are offering boot camps in: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Algebra II. The five-week camps cost only $19! A pre-quiz will assess student’s knowledge, and weekly playlists will be assigned to help them attain a better understanding of the subject and build upon concept knowledge. Finally we wrap up with a quiz that assesses how far they have come! We hope you will share the good news. Get started today!

Sounds like a great idea!

I remember a math teacher telling me that, typically, the first third of a math textbook is review from the previous year, the middle third is new material, and the final third is material your usual student never gets to (it’s there for the math whizzes so they don’t run out of math before the school year ends).

Take a look at a math textbook with this in mind. They lose all that information over the summer?

Sounds like Virtual Nerd has come up with a solution to the problem.

Cleaning resource!

Stumbled across this site today while looking up berry stains — that is, how to get berry stains out of clothing. How did the berry stains get on the clothes, you ask? Not because we were berry picking, sad to say. (mmm, fresh U-picked organic strawberries… am going to have to organize a trip soon)

No, for some reason there was a packet of berry jam on the car seat, and someone sat down on it, and the rest is history.

Anyhow, after reading through the berry stain treatment, I did a little exploring and was very please to find information on cleaning with natural ingredients.

Virtual Nerd — homeschool-friendly new prices

Just a reminder that Virtual Nerd, the math tutoring video website, has instituted special pricing that makes the site more accessible for home educators.

There’s a 2-hour free trial so you can see how the website works. Check out the videos — for a test drive, look up that elusive math concept that you’ve been trying to explain to your student!

I love the way you can “drill down” through the lectures. You watch an explanation, but stumble on a step with an underlying concept. You click on the step, and get an explanation of that foundational material that you didn’t quite get before… and suddenly it all falls into place.

Anyhow, if your student is stuck and you can’t get past a math concept, why not check out the free trial, or even the one-day $5 deal, which gives you access to all the videos on the website for a 24-hour period?

Click here for more info.

Disclaimer: I’m an ambassador for the Virtual Nerd site, which means I’ll be periodically telling you about our experience with Virtual Nerd, as well as updates and special deals.

Schoolhouse Expo!

Schoolhouse Expo

Have you registered for the Schoolhouse Expo yet?


Well, if you register before April 1, you’ll save $5 and receive a free e-book, Creative Nature Study. That means that the conference, all the speakers and workshops will cost you less than $20!

If you don’t have time to attend in “real time” you’ll be able to listen to conference sessions on MP3. How convenient is that? (Very! Don’t know about you, but May is what we term “crazy month” at our house.)

Add to that over $300 in free e-book downloads plus door prizes and…

We interrupt this post to say with regret that it’s time to take the cat to his vet appointment. Will quickly finish up and include a link (click HERE) so you can check it out for yourself.

A list of speakers (from my email this morning):

  • Susan Wise Bauer, co-author of The Well-Trained Mind
  • Amanda Bennett of Amanda Bennett Unit Studies
  • Todd Wilson of Familyman Ministries
  • Davis Carman,owner and president of Apologia Educational Ministries
  • Andrew Pudewa,director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing
  • Diana Waring of Diana Waring Presents
  • Deborah Wuehler, senior editor for TOS
  • Gary Bates, CEO of Creation Ministries International-U.S.
  • Lee Binz, The HomeScholar
  • Mark Hamby,founder and president of Lamplighter Ministries
  • Kim Kautzer,co-author of WriteShop
  • Sue Patrick,creator of Sue Patrick’s Workbox System
  • Jill Novak,founder of Remembrance Press and publisher of The Girlhood Home Companion magazine
  • Heather Laurie,homeschooling mother to four special needs children
  • And more!

Disclaimer: Members of the TOS Crew were given free admission to the Schoolhouse Expo in exchange for letting you know about this great opportunity. Opinions expressed belong to this reviewer (and I’m really excited about this one!).

The Old Schoolhouse $8 subscription!

Hey, the Old Schoolhouse Magazine is offering a five-year subscription for $39, which works out to less than $8 a year!

Here’s the link: click here

The offer expires in about 3 days, so if you were planning to subscribe, don’t delay.