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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

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Adventures in Geocaching -- And Other Geography Resources
Category: Academics
Tags: geography geocaching for kids world geography geography games

 

When geocaching on a road trip, or even around in your own neighborhood, you can use the activity to learn about the geography, history, culture, and plants and animals of an area.

Caches are sometimes placed near historical markers, and you can take the opportunity to read up on events of the past while you're looking.

There are also nature caches that ask finders to identify trees, leaves, or rocks in an area, or answer questions about a particular landform, like a mountain. 

And sometimes, locating caches requires you to venture down trails, some of which have markers that tell you about the local flora and fauna.

Smartphones have made it very easy to geocache, (get the free app). Here are some other free apps that can be used in tandem with geocaching, or by themselves to help make geography more interesting: 
  • Google Earth: While you're out geocaching, use the new Knowledge Cards feature of Google Earth to learn about the history, culture, natural wonders, and wildlife in your area.

  • Waymarking: This free site helps you pull up all kinds of unique and interesting places in your surrounding area. Put in an address, or search by one of hundreds of categories that range from the  ordinary to the bizarre, and everything in between. Some of the entries we pulled up around Santa Fe included wagon roads and trails, labyrinths, urban legends and superstitions, and weird natural formations. There was even a category showing locations for and information on penny smashers, (one of my daughter's interests).

Additional Geography Resoures:

Cultures and Geography, by traykay

 

Free Worksheets and Other Useful Printables
Category: Academics
Tags: free comprehension worksheets free writing worksheets free printable worksheets free math worksheets

Whether you're building your own curriculum as you go, or just need some extra material to supplement what you're already using, these sites can help. Free worksheets for multiple subject areas, mostly for elementary and middle grades: 

Multi-Subject: 

Math:

  • Math Game TimeListed by grade (Pre-K through grade 7) and by topic.
  • MathMasterGenerate your own worksheets, mostly for basic math; several Algebra and Geometry choices
  • Math ChartsThis site has visual aids for teaching math topics, such as fractions, percentages, measurements, skip-counting, Roman numerals, and more. Easy to print, one-page charts.

Reading and Language Arts:

  • K12 ReaderWorksheets for phonics, reading comprehension, grammar and handwriting; also has 36-week spelling programs for grades 1 – 5, with spelling lists and dictation sentences.
  • Free Phonics Worksheets: Consonant and vowel sounds; blends
  • Graphic OrganizersLots of printable ones, and online, interactive tools

For more downloads, visit this site's Worksheets page.


Self-Paced Lessons for Middle and High School
Category: Academics
Tags: middle school lesson plans teaching resources social studies lesson plans 7th grade science

(Photo by Erik Eastman on Unsplash)

The PBS Learning Media Middle School Collection features 40 self-paced lessons for grades 5 - 8 in the core subjects. Some of the topics include: energy, plate tectonics, nutrition, and Newton's law; civil rights, building the Erie Canal, and the Trail of Tears; language arts topics such as symbolism and personification; and math topics such as ratios and proportions, multiplying fractions, and graphing distance and time.

The slideshow lessons incorporate video and interactive activities. Learners take notes, answer questions (multiple choice, matching, drag and drop), learn new vocabulary, and complete writing assignments.

Each lesson also includes a teaching guide with an overview of the lesson, and a summary of what's on each slide.

 

More self-paced math, science, and social studies lessons for both middle- and high school are available at HelpTeaching.comMost of the lessons feature a short intro, video, worksheets, practice questions, and additional resources.

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