Thursday, November 20, 2008

BFS Assignment #110 {Computers Help People Help People}


Intro: Computers Help People Help People(Marketing credit: IBM)

There are many ways computers help us.  It is a wonderful way to stay in touch with family far away, “meet” other christian women around the globe, and it can be such a blessing with homeschooling.


Share some of your favorite homeschooling sites.  The only “rule” for this assignment is that you have to list at least one “free” site.  If you feel led, share your curriculum choices with us.  I always love to learn what is out there that I don’t already know about. 


I was on vacation last week and am still trying to get things caught up, so I am late getting this done!  Here is a list of some of the FREE websites that I've used over the last couple years as supplements to our homeschooling.  I have almost always been able to find the printable I needed, the activity or experiment that would be perfect, and lots of information.


  • Science Explorer - fun experiments and demonstrations for even the youngest kids.  Bubbles, ooze, salt volcanoes, etc. 

  • The Science of Baseball - fun way to see some practical application of science.

  • The Science of Cooking - recipes along with explanations of the chemistry involved in making (and enjoying!) candy, bread, pickles, etc.

  • Weather Questions - I used this site a lot last year when teaching meteorology to my kids and to a co-op class.  The author speaks out against the global warming hysteria too.

  • How Stuff Works - I think this is a favorite site of many homeschoolers!  I've found so many interesting things there!


  • Purple Math - when we don't understand something in math/algebra, we check here.  The explanations are clear and very helpful.

Social Studies

  • Founding Documents - view text of historical documents online, there's a long list that includes the US Constitution, the Federalist Papers, the Magna Carta, etc.

  • Mr - kid-friendly site with world history (some references to an evolution worldview, but those are confined to the "prehistory" sections)

  • Digital History - I found this site fairly recently and am still finding out what it offers.  Ther's an online textbook, interactive timelines, and tons of links and helps for teaching US history.

  • - history and social studies lesson plans and links.  TONS of great stuff, including the very cute clip-art by Philip Martin.  (Just ignore the Cro-Magnon unit.  LOL)


  • Educational Resources and Lesson Plans - listing of websites with lesson plans and educational activities, sorted by subject (Science, Geography, Literature, Music, etc) and by topic.  The listings include the grade level the lesson is intended for as well.  I usually try this site before googling, and have found some real gems.



  • TGHomesoft's  Homeschool Tracker  (I can't get the link box to work right now, but I do have a link to the Tracker in my sidebar) - this is a tool I couldn't manage without.  Record-keeping of all kinds made easy.  I have been using the Premium version for a couple of years now (which is only $30 - a great deal, and well worth it once you've got kids in middle school or high school, in my opinion) but there is also a free version.  I used that for a few years before upgrading. 

The library is our other free resource that I couldn't manage without.  We have our internet service through the library (it's dial-up, which is our only option other than satellite, but it is CHEAP!!!), and I love that our library system has an online catalog and account info.  I can search for books, renew them, and request them online.  There is also a "My List" feature where I can keep a personal list - or several sub-lists - of resources that I want to remember, but don't want to sign out at the time.  The inter-library loan system can be accessed online too.  I really feel bad for homeschoolers that don't have a fabulous library system like ours!


My resources for personal encouragement and commisseration with other homeschool moms include online communities too.  Of course there's Homeschool Blogger, through which I've "met" so many wonderful homeschoolers.  I drop in at The Homeschool Lounge occasionally as well, but I just don't have enough time to get super-involved there.  I participate in an email group and a couple of online message boards with other homeschooling moms.   And what better way to find websites that are helpful than from other homeschoolers online!  I bet I got several of the above-named sites from someone in the blogosphere or message board world. 


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