Sometimes, life hands you a blog post. I had intended to write about something very different today, but last night a woman I like very much pm’d me on Facebook. Her daughter is about to start homeschooling her own littles, and she wondered if I could advise them where to go to get free curriculum. I started getting the list together for her, and I realized this list might benefit a whole lot of people, even veterans looking to spruce up their schooling plans. So rather than pm her back and keep all this yummy goodness between us, I thought it might be a good idea to share it with you, too. I’m cool like that.
Ah, winter. That’s definitely what January means here in the northern hemisphere. We even had a couple of snow flurries this morning right here in Indiana, where we thought (hoped?) winter would never come. But even though I hate being cold, I love winter for all its differences from every other season. The stark nakedness of the trees darkening the skyline, the promise of that beautiful hush of snow, when the whole world seems to hold its breath and quiet down to hear the flakes fall… hot chocolate, cozy sweaters, cuddling. The smell of wood smoke. If I haven’t made you fall in love with winter yet, stick around for this amazing Story Time. If anyone can make you love winter (besides me), it’s Jan Brett and her magical stories.
Halloween is over. It’s a little sad, but now we’re on the downhill slide to Thanksgiving, the one day a year I refuse to diet, so it’s all pretty good. This is the time when I start to plan the enormous feast we’ll have. I love to cook; have I ever told you that? It is one of my great joys. Many years ago, when it became obvious that trying to fit in both families by driving to Martin’s family over an hour away and to my family who are very close made for a miserable Thanksgiving for all five of us, we decided to just have Thanksgiving here. Unfortunately, my house is too small to fit either family in let alone both, so that decision meant we have to have Thanksgiving on our own. Sometimes it hurts my heart, but we make a big celebration of it anyway, and we don’t have to spend 2 hours on the road or be unfair to one family or the other, and we get to relax for Thanksgiving. Well, all the boys do. I am busy, busy, busy that day. But I like it that way.
I told you, I love to cook.
It is still autumn, though the days are shorter and it may be getting quite cold where you are. (Unless you’re one of my Australian readers, then you’re enjoying the slide into spring. Lucky.) It hasn’t gotten cold here yet; we’re still hovering between 60 and 70 degrees, which doesn’t bode well for deer season, so if the weather gods could do me a favor and have the temperature go ahead and drop in the next couple weeks? Thanks. With the time change the world is bright again at 7 a.m. instead of dark, but I know that will only last a few weeks. Then winter will set in, and a whole new set of adventures will befall us.
However, since it’s still autumn and Halloween is over but it’s not quite time for Thanksgiving, let’s do a Story Time about another autumn book.
So, I am seriously laying on my couch right now with a heating pad under my lower back, typing to you, my lovely readers, because even when I am down, I have a responsibility to you. See, a few years back, I got this brilliant idea to move a birdbath from one part of the yard to the other. A concrete birdbath. Now, I had purchased this birdbath on my own, transported it home on my own, set it in its original spot on my own. Yeah, it’s heavy, but I’m a pretty strong person, and I know how to lift correctly. Except, on this particular day, my scatterbrain was off in La La Land. I had recently started working at the library, and I had been working on my latest novel, Frog’s Princess, that morning, and my brain was infused with daydreams about how wonderful life is. It was not considering that whole ‘lift with your legs’ thing. When I went to move the bottom of the birdbath, it felt like someone pulled my spine in two. I had never had problems with my back, and this truly astonished me. I Did Not Believe I could be truly hurt. So I had to lay in the yard writhing in pain for a while. So putting pressure on my legs made it feel like that person was still dangling from my lower half, continuing to finish the job. Hurt schmurt. I could walk if I stayed bent at a certain angle. And I did. I even went to work that day. And worked my whole shift.
What a maroon, as Bugs would say.
I’ve had periodic back pain ever since. Usually not of the crippling variety. Now, I can’t tell you what I did this weekend to cause the crippling pain I’m having now. Nothing that I am aware of. Even so, my back has decided it does not want to support me right now, and nothing I do seems to be changing its mind. Weak. Lame. This sucks.
But enough about me!. It’s Hallo-Week! The best week of the year. And you may be wondering where to turn for free resources to present to your little homeschoolers. Well, I have them. Some of these you will find on my Pinterest Board, Halloween Awesomeness, so if you follow me on Pinterest, I apologize for doubling up. But you know by now how much I Love Halloween, and in school this week we are reading ghost stories from China and Japan (which ties in to geography rather beautifully, if I do say so myself). The rest of the week is All Halloween for us. To get us pumped about our Halloween Party on Saturday. And to pretend Halloween lasts longer than just one evening. Because it rocks. (And because yes, I can teach from the couch in a prone position. Poor Littles. They were hoping for a sick day. lol) All of the following resources are free.
We skip out on our Saxon math books this week to do fun Halloween math. This post isn’t about My Worksheets, it’s about other awesome blogs and their worksheets. So here are some links.
This worksheet is awesome. It’s a witches’ brew recipe that your child has to multiply by different numbers to make it serve more people. FUN!!!!
Math Drills has a bunch of Halloween Math Worksheets including skip counting, ordering numbers, patterns, and geometry.
Kidzone has worksheets separated by grade, including this awesome graphing workseet.
TLS Books has both math and language arts worksheets with a Halloween theme including count and color sheets like this one.
Classroom Jr. has worksheets for 3rd through 5th grade, like this cool one with bats.
(Whew. Ever tried to type while flat on your back with a laptop on your stomach? This Is Hard! haha)
TLS Books has both math and language arts worksheets with a Halloween theme (did I say that already?) including alphabetizing Halloween words.
St. Aiden’s Homeschool offers this very cool Missing Punctuation worksheet about the Salem Witch Trials.
I fell completely in love with this free download for journaling and more from Thistle Dew. You have to scroll down quite a bit to get to it, but it’s worth it. And it looks like Kim has one for every month, so I will be returning to her blog frequently and with much pleasure.
Squarehead Teachers has a couple of Halloween Parts of Speech worksheets along with some other fun activities.
If you’re littles are studying French, check out the French Halloween Lapbook at Here’s an Idea (the printables are not free, but the ideas are). And a Free Halloween Bingo game from the same sweet lady. If Spanish is the language they’re learning, there’s a selection of Spanish Halloween worksheets at ABC and 123 and a cool skeleton parts worksheet from SpanglishBaby, apparently now defunct or moved, but you can save the image on Growing Up Bilingual and it still prints out just fine. Just right click on the picture, select Save Image As… and save it to your computer. Then you can print it out.
Technically, I guess you could do that here on my blog, too. However you want to do it. 🙂
Creekside Learning has a post containing 25 Halloween Science experiments , which should make everyone happy.
Three Boys and a Dog has a week-long skeleton unit that we will definitely be enjoying this week.
Frugal Fun for boys has directions for this Awesome Candy Corn Catapult that the Littles can’t wait to build.
These science projects from Fantastic Fun and Learning have the fizzies if your littles like them.
Here’s an interesting History of Witches and Their Broomsticks from Made.In.Transylvania that even has directions for making your own broomstick.
There’s also an intriguing article about Forensics in History related to the Salem Witch Trials that Littlest will particularly enjoy. Plus, since we’re studying forensics in science right now, it is Perfect! Grab this free Salem Witch Trials Lapbook from Beautifully Bohemian to go with it.
Hub Pages has a good article about the history of Halloween. There are also a Close Read History of Halloween from Panicked Teacher and a What Is Halloween/ Printable from BusyTeacher. Click on ‘request the worksheet’ to download 9 pages of different types of lessons. There are other free printables on BusyTeacher, too, so browse around.
Arts and Crafts
Crushing hard on these Ghost Rubbings from It’s About Time, Teachers.
Free Teacher Worksheets has a bunch of cool printables for cutting and pasting practice, like this Dracula page.
Buggy and Buddy has directions for these gorgeous Blow Art Halloween Trees that Everyone should try.
O…M…G… Lit Mama herself can’t wait to do this Spider Web Art from Learn with Play at Home.
Who doesn’t crush hard on Cindy’s The Art Curator for Kids site? If you don’t, it’s because you’ve not yet been there. She has created this gem––100 Ghost stories of China and Japan, which has art lessons, language lessons, and cultural lessons. We are definitely grateful for it this week.
Just a couple things here, because they’re fun and cooking is a good way to practice math and how to take care of yourself when you’re a grown up.
The recipe for these Easy-Peasy Chocolate Crescent Witch Hats is available on Pillsbury’s site.
Yummy Mummy Truffles? Yes, please! Get the recipe at Mod Podge Rocks.
Marshmallow pops kids can make themselves are over at Better Homes and Gardens. Too stinkin’ cute.
All right, lovelies. I’ve given you a portion of the stuff I’ve found to make this Hallow-Week fun and memorable for your littles. The rest is entirely up to you. I’m going to get this laptop off of my belly now.
P.S. I just know you’re forgiving me any type-o’s. Due to the circumstances. 😉