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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

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Buggin' Out
Category: Science
Tags: bug insect insect identification pictures of bugs insects for kids

 

For budding entomolgists and nature detectives, these free insect investigations help take the learning outside: 

Bug HuntingTop tips for conducting great bug hunts with your "little trekkers," with info on basic bug kit; where to look for bugs; basic study questions; and how to set up a trap.

Field Guides: Essential for comparing illustrations with actual crawlies and flying beasties discovered, and for learning fast facts. Here are a couple you can download for free: 

  • Orkin Guide: Has color photos and basic information on common insects, like bees, wasps, mosquitoes, flies, ants, etc. 24 pages.
  • EPA Bug Book: This more comprehensive garden guide contains pictures and information on good and bad bugs, bug control tips, homemade bugspray recipes, and plants that attract good bugs. 52 pages.

Free Online Books: 

 

 

                        

Field Studies:

Basic Insect Observation Worksheet

Build a Bug Habitat Download

Build a Model Bug Download

Cricket StudiesResources for capturing, keeping, and studying crickets, with data worksheets, ideas for experiments, and sample two-week lesson plan.

Science In Your Garden
Category: Science
Tags: science for kids garden earth science life science

If you’re looking for some hands-on activities to study earth and life science, head out to a garden. It’s a living lab that affords all kinds of opportunities to observe science concepts in the natural world, such as:

 

  • interdependence in an environment

  • life cycles and changes

  • adaptations and biodiversity

  • human impact on the environment.

While in the field, kids get a chance to be the scientists by asking questions, making observations, and coming up with explanations for what they see based on evidence. They can define problems they may encounter in a garden (eg. a plant-damaging pest), and gather additional information to brainstorm solutions.

For an idea of the kinds of investigations that can be done in a garden, visit LifeLab, a Santa Cruz-based non-profit organization that hosts field trips and summer camps at their garden classroom. Or go online to download their free garden exploration units for grades 1 - 4. Each unit - Pondering Plants, Soil Stories, Garden Pollinators, and Garden Habitats - includes six lessons.

Additional free resources available at the LifeLab site:

 

Here are some more ideas from KidsGardening, like creating a biosphere in a bottle.

 

For Middle and High School Grades

 

Nature Works Everywhere has a variety of free gardening lesson plans and videos, including, How Dirt Works, and activity guides on Habitats, Living Systems, Soil, Water, Food and Carbon, and others. These guides and others can be found on their Resources page.

 

From the Ground Up, The Science of Soil has free lesson plans and labs on a variety of soil topics including composition and nutrients; there are also free family activities for testing your soil, careers in soil science, and a garden guide.

 

Learn about diversity by tallying how many different species live in your neighborhood. 

 

”Homeschooling

US Presidents and Government
Category: Social Studies
Tags: election 2012 presidential election 2012 election 2012 candidates government lesson plans civics lesson plans

capitol-570653_1280.jpg

Presidents: ​Activities and Study Resources: 

The U.S. Presidency: PBS Learning Media site with 60-second Presidents video collection, presidential portraits and biographies, and information on the duties and powers of the President, first ladies, speeches, and teachers guides on select presidents and first ladies.

Air Force One: Inside and Out

More Resources from Awesome Stories

BrainPop Vids on U.S. Presidents

​Presidential Lapbooks

Infographic: ​​Presidential Residences

Free Readers: 

The Executive Branch (30-page download on the powers of the Presidency)

Presidents of the U.S.  (52-page download)

Watch this video for a plain English explanation of the U.S. electoral process. Use this "How to Watch a Presidential Debate" worksheet to examine various aspects of debating, such as the setting, techniques of persuasion, favorite phrases, rehearsed responses, camera cutaways, and post-debate analysis. 

Civics and Economics Units This download correlates with the Glencoe textbook, ​Civics Today: Citizenship, Economics & You. Covers 7 units on: citizenship, foundations of American Government, the US Constitution, branches of government, voting and elections, state and local governments, law. Includes suggested pacing, worksheets and graphic organizers. 111 pages.​

Shmoop Videos: 

Games:



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