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Archive for the ‘Language Arts’ Category

“Visuwords turns the dictionary into a neural network; it’s the perfect interface for writers, readers, and anyone who’s curious about the English language.

Type your word into the search bar, and watch it pop up in the center of your screen. Shooting off in all directions are other, associated words. Click on those words, and open an entirely new set of words and meanings. The site — which taps into Princeton University’s WordNet database — is the most fun we’ve had with a dictionary since looking up naughty words in grade school.” – – VSL

http://www.visuwords.com/

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What a great language arts lesson…..

“The Omnificent English Dictionary invites you to rewrite the definition of every single word in our language — in limerick form.

Thus far, the online database has published 48,000-plus poems (and that only takes it up to the D’s). Here’s an example sent in by frequent contributor Meg Beagle, for the definition of agasp:

 

I am, as they say, all agasp.
I ruined my Maidenform’s clasp.
Now going cold turkey,
Just one side is perky.
The other is out of my grasp.

 

Who needs a dictionary illustration after reading something like that? Limericks, of course, tend toward the racy, but the site’s keepers do trust you to stick within the boundaries of good taste. Nantucket, we’ve got our eye on you!” – – VSL

http://www.oedilf.com/db/Lim.php?Word=&button=Go

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I wanted to give my daughter some options with spelling – – different activites each day.  Here is the spelling activities page I made (in PDF Format) with Bonus Braille and Morse Code Alphabet Pages (also in PDF Format): Spelling Activities
BONUSES:
Braille Alphabet Card
Morse Code Alphabet

Most of the ideas came from several different spelling sites.  I didn’t make note of all the sites I visited – – so if you happen to recognize your idea…thank you!!  🙂

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 I tried to leave two comments on this site; however, I think the spam blocker, blocked them because of all the sites I listed.  So, I will leave this up for a while – – hope it helps someone!!  : )

Although the resources would be considered free, in all actuality, you do have to pay for shipping.  I belong to several on-line book swapping sites.  In all of them, you get points when you ship out books to others – – you can, in turn, use those points to get books for yourself.  The most common cost of mailing a book is 2.13.  Very good deal for a book.  Here are the sites:
www.bookmooch.com
www.frugalreader.com
www.paperbackswap.com
www.whatsonmybookshelf.com

A lot of the books I use for the swaps are from the thrift shop, library sales and what I already have on hand (that we have read and are done with). 

Here are some of my favorite Free (or nearly free) resources:

Audiobooks:
http://storynory.com/
http://librivox.org/newcatalog/
http://www.wiredforbooks.org/index2.htm

Classical Music/Composers:
http://www.classicalarchives.com/
http://www.squidoo.com/musiclapbook
http://www.classicsforkids.com/
http://www.highsmith.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Production/LSP/pages/2005_pdfs/lsp_mar05_lessons.pdf

Language Arts
http://www.spellingcity.com/
http://www.wowio.com
http://www.poemofquotes.com/articles/poetry_forms.php

Science
http://www.middleschoolscience.com/life.htm

History/Geography
http://www.studentsfriend.com/index.html
http://lunablog.net/2007/12/02/happy-holidays-the-first-free-lunablognet-homeschool-curriculum-is-on-its-way/
http://www.ourlosbanos.com/homeschool/history/americanpdf.html

Curriculum (with LOTS of FREE resources)
http://amblesideonline.org/index2.shtml
http://oldfashionededucation.com/index.html

Okay, there you have it – – my faves broken down…..hope this helps!!  : )

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 My plan was to start homeschool on Wednesday; however, I have an order that may not get here until the later part of the week – – so I was contemplating a (next week) Monday start up. The problem: Boo wants to start NOW.

For the last couple of months, I have read about different curriculum’s, put together a 20 week schedule and a daily/weekly schedule, decided on the books, etc. I was right on track….until, after some additional research, I reconsidering a couple of the decisions I had made early on.

I’ve been participating on postcrossing.com for about eight months – – and knew that I would integrate it into our geography studies; however, I wasn’t sure what else I would do (in geography). Then, on a trip to the thrift shop, I found “Around the World in Eighty Days.” Instantly, I knew I had found what I was looking for…..the problem was, it is a Great Illustrated Classic dumbed down version, which did not occur to me until I started researching some of the read-aloud sites. Plus, I had been reconsidering how I would approach Art Appreciation. I had already ordered three packs of six postcards through Dover – – I would use pack of cards for one six week study per artist. Then, I saw several artists that had both the six pack AND a twenty four pack of postcards – – mind gears are turning – – I decided to order one of the twenty four pack and two of the six pack for one artist. I would be able to present two to four cards per week for our artist study – – PLUS – – I would be able to use whatever duplicates (at least six) for geography, too (postcrossing).

Finally, I also ran across storynory.com – – they have the entire unabridged version of “Alice in Wonderland,” read by the wonderful Natasha!! How could I possibly pass that up?

I went back to Dover and purchased the unabridged version of “Around the World in Eighty Days” and “Alice in Wonderland,” one twenty four and two six pack of Paul Cezanne postcards, and several 60 percent off clearance sale classic books (Cinderella (.80), Mother West Wind’s Animal Friends (.60), Hercules (.40), King Arthur (.80), Native American Myths (1.40) and Dr. Dolittle (1.58).

So, what is a Mamma to do? She improvises.

For History, I printed off “The Stories of Albion and Brutus,” which we will read and discuss. Since it is the first story, we may not have a lot to discuss – – but, the boys will be here tomorrow, too and my Honey is a history buff….so, we’ll see. For Literature, we will read and discuss “The Ants and the Grasshopper” (from Aesop’s Fables). Then, for Language Arts, she will copy the moral of the story onto the lined section of this page and in the unlined section of the page, she will illustrate the story. (I can do two fables per page.) For geography and Language Arts, we will send a postcard to a postcrossing user, research the country we will send it to, she will learn how to address a postcard and we will decide what to write. For Poetry, she will read one poem from “A Child’s Garden of Verses.” In science, we will read the first section of Chapter one in the book, “Science for Modern Living: Through the Seasons,” (1950’s) which has to do with bird migration. Yesterday at Wal-Mart, I found a “Foamie” birdhouse kit – – so we will do that for art. Finally, in math, she will do a worksheet on magic squares and we will play the game: Re-Arrange. If there is time, we may play another math game.

Whew. That sounds like a lot – – but, it shouldn’t take more than a couple hours. I am pretty excited – – which is probably why I am having a hard time going to bed. But, it IS almost 2 AM, so should at the very least LAY DOWN – – and hope to get SOME rest!! : )

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SpellingCity is a new FREE Spelling Site.  I checked out the words under the “sample list” tab – – there seems to be enough to sustain most (if not all) of an entire school year. 

The site has some great games.  In the testing section, you have the option to have the word spoken AND you can have the word spoken in  a sentence.

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Storynory brings you a FREE audio book every week. Check out their archives while you are waiting patiently for new material!!  : )

 While doing some additional research, I found Wired for Books, which also has some FREE audio (and some video) stories for children.  (Three of the audio stories I am really, REALLY interested inare from: “Just so Stories” by Rudyard Kipling).

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