Category Archives: Homeschooling

Create Your Own Cursive Writing Worksheets

I like creating cursive writing worksheets that are educational in their own right and that contain lots of capital letters. In years past, I have created PDFs of a few cursive writing worksheets and uploaded them to my blog. I used Worksheetworks.com to create them. It’s an extremely user-friendly worksheet creator, especially compared to the other ones out there.

However, when I go there now to create and download worksheets, they only give permission to the person who actually created them. So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to create a few “worksheets” for you here, on my blog. You’ll need to copy and paste this info into the worksheet generator on their website. If your individual lines are long, such as in the President “worksheet,” then it’s best to use landscape mode. If you don’t want twenty pages of content, it’s good to use a smaller font for the longer “worksheets” as well.

In addition to my worksheets, feel free to create your own. Their website makes it very easy!

Presidents:

  1. George Washington, 1789-1797
  2. John Adams, 1797-1801
  3. Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809
  4. James Madison, 1809-1817
  5. James Monroe, 1817-1825
  6. John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829
  7. Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837
  8. Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841
  9. William Henry Harrison, 1841
  10. John Tyler, 1841-1845
  11. James Knox Polk, 1845-1849
  12. Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850
  13. Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853
  14. Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857
  15. James Buchanan, 1857-1861
  16. Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865
  17. Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869
  18. Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877
  19. Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1877-1881
  20. James Abram Garfield, 1881
  21. Chester Alan Arthur, 1881-1885
  22. Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889
  23. Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893
  24. Grover Cleveland, 1893-1897
  25. William McKinley, 1897-1901
  26. Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909
  27. William Howard Taft, 1909-1913
  28. Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921
  29. Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1921-1923
  30. Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929
  31. Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933
  32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945
  33. Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953
  34. Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-1961
  35. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-1963
  36. Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-1969
  37. Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974
  38. Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-1977
  39. James Earl Carter, Jr., 1977-1981
  40. Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989
  41. George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993
  42. William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001
  43. George Walker Bush, 2001-2009
  44. Barack Hussein Obama, 2009-2017
  45. Donald Trump, 2017-?

Countries of the World

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (FYROM), Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City (Holy See), Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Periodic Table of Elements

1 Hydrogen H
2 Helium He
3 Lithium Li
4 Beryllium Be
5 Boron B
6 Carbon C
7 Nitrogen N
8 Oxygen O
9 Fluorine F
10 Neon Ne
11 Sodium Na
12 Magnesium Mg
13 Aluminum Al
14 Silicon Si
15 Phosphorus P
16 Sulfur S
17 Chlorine Cl
18 Argon Ar
19 Potassium K
20 Calcium Ca
21 Scandium Sc
22 Titanium Ti
23 Vanadium V
24 Chromium Cr
25 Manganese Mn
26 Iron Fe
27 Cobalt Co
28 Nickel Ni
29 Copper Cu
30 Zinc Zn
31 Gallium Ga
32 Germanium Ge
33 Arsenic As
34 Selenium Se
35 Bromine Br
36 Krypton Kr
37 Rubidium Rb
38 Strontium Sr
39 Yttrium Y
40 Zirconium Zr
41 Niobium Nb
42 Molybdenum Mo
43 Technetium Tc
44 Ruthenium Ru
45 Rhodium Rh
46 Palladium Pd
47 Silver Ag
48 Cadmium Cd
49 Indium In
50 Tin Sn
51 Antimony Sb
52 Tellurium Te
53 Iodine I
54 Xenon Xe
55 Cesium Cs
56 Barium Ba
57 Lanthanum La
58 Cerium Ce
59 Praseodymium Pr
60 Neodymium Nd
61 Promethium Pm
62 Samarium Sm
63 Europium Eu
64 Gadolinium Gd
65 Terbium Tb
66 Dysprosium Dy
67 Holmium Ho
68 Erbium Er
69 Thulium Tm
70 Ytterbium Yb
71 Lutetium Lu
72 Hafnium Hf
73 Tantalum Ta
74 Tungsten W
75 Rhenium Re
76 Osmium Os
77 Iridium Ir
78 Platinum Pt
79 Gold Au
80 Mercury Hg
81 Thallium Tl
82 Lead Pb
83 Bismuth Bi
84 Polonium Po
85 Astatine At
86 Radon Rn
87 Francium Fr
88 Radium Ra
89 Actinium Ac
90 Thorium Th
91 Protactinium Pa
92 Uranium U
93 Neptunium Np
94 Plutonium Pu
95 Americium Am
96 Curium Cm
97 Berkelium Bk
98 Californium Cf
99 Einsteinium Es
100 Fermium Fm
101 Mendelevium Md
102 Nobelium No
103 Lawrencium Lr
104 Rutherfordium Rf
105 Dubnium Db
106 Seaborgium Sg
107 Bohrium Bh
108 Hassium Hs
109 Meitnerium Mt
110 Darmstadtium Ds
111 Roentgenium Rg
112 Copernicium Cn
113 Nihonium Nh
114 Flerovium Fl
115 Moscovium Mc
116 Livermorium Lv
117 Tennessine Ts
118 Oganesson Og

 

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More Cursive Writing Worksheets

CursiveSo I just noticed that people are still landing on my blog looking for creative writing worksheets. Back when I wrote my first one, my son was in second grade; now he is in sixth!! Anyway, I just created some of the worksheets I promised you, so here they are. (I don’t know what happened to the old ones I made, or why I never uploaded them.) If you want to create your own worksheets, there’s a link to the website on the post I linked to above.

Books of the Old Testament

Books of the New Testament

Months of the Year

Days of the Week

Names Alphabetical

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/31124313@N02/3921162736″>cursive-letters from the Karen Whimsey in the public domain</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Music-Themed Ideas for Core Subjects

In my last post, I mentioned a few ideas of how to work music into your homeschool day. However, all of those examples were only good for non-core homeschool hours. What should you do if you really need more core hours, but you want to work music in somehow? Here are a couple of  ideas.

Rhythm worksheets: You can replace number values with notes and rests and create math worksheets for all levels. Addition and subtraction are the simplest, but there’s no reason why you can’t do multiplication, fractions, and even algebra! (Tie notes together for larger values). Be really creative, and try to make the worksheet fun. These exercises will help your child learn to instantly recognize note and rest values.

Research paper (history, social studies, or language arts): Teach your child how to conduct research, take notes, and write a paper. They could choose a composer, a musical genre, the invention of an instrument, etc. If you look up music appreciation topics, you’ll see many good ideas to choose from.

If you need help teaching your middle- or high-schooler how to get from square one to finished paper, I teach classes for that in my hometown, and would be willing to teach it via email. If you would like more information, just email me, and I will get back with you. (My email address is included on the syllabus below.)

Write an Outstanding Paper Syllabus

Writing: Write the first half of a story using notes instead of letters as often as possible. Have your child finish the story on his own. Provide him with staff paper that you can print for free online. Try to create a good mix of treble and bass clef notes.

Spelling: Have your student choose the correct spelling of a word (from among 2 or more misspelled ones). Use notes instead of letters anywhere you can.

I am sure there are tons of activities like this floating around. Can you think of any more?

FreeImages.com/St. Mattox

FreeImages.com/St. Mattox

Non-Core Hour Ideas: Music

Okay, so we Missouri homeschoolers all know we need 600 hours of core subjects per year, but how do we fill the 400 non-core hours? Sure, you could just have your child reinforce core skills – we aren’t required that the remaining hours be something other than math, language arts, social studies, and science. But why do that to your children? Give them a much-needed break and allow them to enrich their lives by offering some creative topics for study. Some areas are rich with classes for homeschoolers. In our immediate area, we have gymnastics, archery, art, choirs, and bands. These are just the non-core offerings, and there may be even more that I am not aware of. Whether or not you have access to homeschool classes, almost every area will have a music teacher of some sort.

Putting your children into music lessons is a sure-fire way to fill some of that time. Here’s what I recommend: a 30 minute lesson once a week and 30 minutes of daily practice time. (Including lesson day, and here’s why: the sooner the student gets to the piano after his lesson, the better his retention will be – thus making it easier on him in the long run and improving his progress overall.) That totals an hour of music on lesson days, and 30 minutes on subsequent days.

If you would like to stretch those daily half hour sessions to an hour, I have come up with a few ideas for you. (If an hour or 30 minutes is too long for your child’s attention span, you can easily break the practice and extras down into 15-minute increments.)

Piano Play: Allow your child to sit in front of the piano and just make things up. Show him how to make simple chords (you can YouTube it or ask your music teacher) and improvise a melody. Or just let him experiment and see what kinds of sounds and rhythm he can come up with on his own. Children often enjoy this unstructured play time, and it can be a great stress reliever (especially if you allow them to express their emotions through the volume and tempo).

Flashcards/Theory: If you really want to get your children’s music lessons off to a flying start, flashcards are a great way to reinforce primary concepts. You can help your child make some (look for tutorials online), you can download them for free, or you can find an app that quizzes your music-learner. You could even go all-out and buy a pack. 😉 Spending time with flashcards each week will greatly increase a beginner’s sight-reading capability.

Listening: Choose some classical music (or any other genre they are interested in) and allow your child to soak it up as they eat, play, or do homework (best if there are no lyrics). I would even count contemporary music listening as non-core hours if I were making it a point to analyze it in some way after listening: what makes country music different from pop? What instruments, rhythms, or techniques does this specific genre use that gives the listener a clue to what kind of music he is hearing? If the student is advanced, you could even discuss chord progressions and voicing.

Singing: Find some songs on YouTube or a sing-a-long, and have your children learn the words and melody. This reinforces their memory skills and can be quite enjoyable. Also, you could look for songs that would benefit other subject areas, such as math, science, history, etc. (If you have several kids, they can play musical chairs while learning by rote. I use this technique with my choir kids, and it’s a great way to get them to sing the same words over and over and over again without showing the slightest sign of boredom!)

Make Instruments: Help your kids make a cigar-box guitar or a bean shaker. You can find tutorials online. Percussion instruments can be made from almost anything. Next, model rhythms for your child, and have them mimic you on their very own hand-crafted instrument. (You can play the same game with melodies instead of beats if you feel like singing, lol.)

FreeImages.com/Adriano Carvalho

FreeImages.com/Adriano Carvalho

These are just a few non-core activities off the top of my head. I’m sure there are many more that I am missing. Subscribe to my blog, and be on the lookout for ways to get music-themed CORE hours.

 

Can you think of any more non-core ideas? Leave them in the comments below.

Research Paper Tutoring

I have recently begun to reach out to my community as a tutor in a couple of different  areas. While most subjects work best with face-to-face interaction, I think that RESEARCH PAPER WRITING, since it includes deadlines, would be well-suited to an email course. Here is my reasoning for that: I am afraid that if students realize how friendly I am, they may turn in late papers, make excuses, etc.

Part of college prep is getting your student used to working within someone else’s parameters. It is important that they learn to follow instructions for page format, source stipulations, note-taking, draft requirements, length of final document, etc.

However, in these times we’re living in, I realize it is difficult for homeschool families (or anyone else) to squeeze even one more item into their budgets, no matter how much they believe their children really need the class. So, in lieu of offering weekly classes where everyone comes together to meet, this is what I have come up with:

I can create a five or ten week course that your child can take via email. I would help them every step of the way, from narrowing down a topic, taking good notes, avoiding plagiarism, arranging the outline, all the way through to the rough and final draft. I would charge $10 per project if the parents want to help their kids correct grammar and punctuation on the two drafts, and $15 if they wanted me to do it. (I don’t mind, but it is the most tedious part.) At the end of the class, I will send you a PDF copy of my ebookWrite an Outstanding Paper, for free.

The class could be taken one of two ways: via email or Eliademy (especially helpful if you want your college-bound student to get a taste for online classes).

I would like to open this opportunity up to not only my local homeschoolers, but anyone who would be interested here as well. Folks could pay for the course via PayPal (all you would need is my email address). Let me know what you think! Comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Christ-Centered School Subjects

Last week, someone asked me what I liked the most about homeschooling. It took a little bit of thought on my part, but I would have to say that I like being able to prioritize whatever I want. I also enjoy being able to teach the different subjects around a particular theme. Some folks call them unit studies, but I have never tried those in the traditional sense. Nope. What I am talking about is taking a Christ-centered approach to homeschooling. I have gotten a lot more serious about this over the summer, since Ian revealed to me his desire to be a missionary. All of a sudden, I’m in panic mode. I only have seven years left to train him!! I feel like I’m very far behind.

In an effort to help him learn as much about the Bible as he can, without sacrificing his other studies, we have been trying to come up with some creative ways to incorporate the skills he will need as a missionary into his daily homework. Here’s what Ian and I have come up with so far:

For writing and spelling practice, I use a dictation method. If you’re interested, you can read about it here. However, this year, instead of reading to him from literature books, he has asked me to read from the Bible. He can practice his handwriting and his spelling this way. I thought it was a pretty cool idea, so I agreed.

In an effort to get him to write even more, I have begun to show him what sermon notes would look like. I wrote down a few notes from the Bible chapter we had read together earlier that day, and I let him practice giving the tiny sermon (more like a Sunday School lesson at this point) to me and Jesse. I’m going to get him to the point where he can write his own outline as he reads through a chapter, and then expand it to draw from other passages to support his main idea. He’ll be using cross references (thanks for the idea, Pastor Mike!) and a topical index (I still have to purchase one though), and he’ll also be learning how to deliver a speech.

Science always makes us think about God, no matter what we’re studying. I’ve always told Ian that science is the study of the way God thinks. I read a great quote in a chemistry book a couple of years ago. It said: “Human beings, especially scientists, but also philosophers and theologians, are always suspicious. They have a deep down feeling that things are not just put together randomly, a strange intuition that, underneath it all, there is a conspiracy going on, a great conspiracy of order. That is why chemists started to wonder, and wonder (as Aristotle said long ago) is the beginning of all science.”

For Bible right now, we are reading Begin, a book for new believers that has key passages from Genesis, Exodus, John, Romans, and Revelation. We read a chapter each day and discuss. We are also reading a biography written by a man who (along with his family) was a missionary to the Philippines. This man also happens to be our pastor! (Thanks for the great stories, Pastor Doug!)

So those are the Christ-centered ideas that I have so far.

Here are a couple of extra things I am thinking about to prepare him for his future: Eventually, when I can afford a Rosetta Stone program, he wants to learn Urdu. It’s nice being homeschoolers because his options are so much better. I don’t think Spanish or French or German would serve him well in the mission field he has chosen.

The last idea I have had is to get him tabla lessons. Indian raga have always been fascinating to me, so I was thrilled when I discovered that Pakistan uses the same ones as Northern India.

Do you all have any more ideas? Either for creating Christ-centered studies or for preparing for missions?

Bible Memory Book

It was my turn to teach Children’s Church this week, which I’ve only done once before. While looking for an object lesson, I remembered a method that a former Children’s Church teacher of mine had used to help the class memorize a Bible verse. So I decided to try it with our class. Here’s what you do:

Write the memory verse out on a dry erase board. Have the class read it several times. It helps if you use a sing-song voice because they get the rhythms in their heads. Then, once they know a few key words (like nouns or verbs), erase them two or three at a time. Keep going until you have erased the whole board. The kids really like this activity because it challenges them! I only had three boys in my class at the time, and they were competing with each other to say the words first.

Bible Memory BookIt went over so well, that I thought I would use the same technique at home to help Ian begin to memorize verses on his own. At first, I contemplated purchasing a white board, but I really couldn’t justify the five dollars. So I took a notebook that I already had laying around and taped an envelope into the front cover. I wrote out this week’s memory verse, only three words per line, spacing them out so they were on the left hand, in the middle, and on the right hand of the page. I also skipped every other line. After that, I cut out a bunch of pieces from cardstock that would be large enough to cover any word that could be written in a space but not large enough to overlap the other words.

Now, he has the ability to recreate Sunday’s activity with any verse he wants! I am going to dedicate the entire notebook to memory verses, and have him review them occasionally. What do you think?