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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

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Our Earth
Category: Science
Tags: earth science plate tectonics rocks and minerals atmosphere weather geology


CPO Earth Science: Full textbook and accompanying "investigations" lab book. For middle school.
Earth Science Concepts for Middle School: CK-12 Flexbook with 14 chapters covering: earth’s features, rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, water, atmosphere, weather and climate, landforms, natural resources, the solar system and beyond.
High School Earth Science: CK-12 Flexbook with 26 chapters on earth and space science, plus a glossary.
Glencoe Science Teacher Resources:
Include worksheets, activities, assessments and answer keys:

Earth Science Illustrated Guide: Contains maps, charts, graphs and diagrams, with associated explanations, illustrating key earth science and space concepts. There’s a glossary at the end. This download has 209 pages.

Earth Science Lessons for middle school from Oregon State University. Covers plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes, rocks and minerals.

Earth Revealed: Series of 26 half-hour videos on geology; for high school students.


Inside the Earth Webquest: Guide to various sites to gather information and fill out a Google document on earth’s layers, convection currents, drifting continents, sea floor spreading, and plate tectonics.

Earth Science Paper ModelsCut out and assemble 3-D models of volcanoes, landforms, fossils, planets, and other things related to earth science.

101 Earth Science Demos: Demonstrate concepts using just a few everyday items. The objective of the demo, procedure to follow, and science behind the demo is described. Five sections include geosphere, atmosphere, hydroshpere, space, and miscellaneous. This download has 106 pages.

Weather ProverbsExamine weather proverbs to determine their meaning, and the scientific principles they're based on.

Animations and Interactives: 
Journey to the Center of the EarthTravel to the earth’s core, with sights along the way.
Visual Lessons: For K - 12 on many earth sci topics.

History with Primary Sources
Category: Social Studies
Tags: primary sources primary source documents

Incorporating primary source analysis into your history studies is easier than ever these days due to a number of free sites with ready-made lessons and activities. Here are several for American history:

Write an Essay: At Zoom in, individual lessons guide learners in the study of different types of primary sources, such as speeches, letters, political cartoons, oral histories, audio recordings, and photographs. After weighing the evidence and different perspectives, students write an explanatory or argumentative essay. (One example: the benefits and disadvantages for young women working in America’s first factories). The lessons cover all the major eras of U.S. history.


Another site that presents conflicting accounts for debate, and prompts learners to respond with an essay, is Historical Thinking Matters.


Investigate a Historical Scene: Explore various case files to draw conclusions about historical events. What caused the Jamestown colony to fail? Who was responsible for the Boston Massacre? What was it like for children living during the Civil War? Through these and other investigations at Historical Scene Investigation, students become history detectives by analyzing evidence, searching for clues, and finally cracking the case.


Solve a History Mystery: At The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, explore the wars Americans have fought through primary sources. You can also play an interactive Who Am I game that presents you with a mystery character you identify using as clues a quotation and objects associated with that character.



Sharpen Critical Thinking with Interactives: Annenberg Learner presents a series of primary source-based interactives that target such critical thinking skills as analysis, and development of a thesis. The site also features an American History Course organized into 22 units, with videos, text, questions and activities. Each unit presents several broad themes that can be studied, and also includes associated primary documents, like old photographs and political cartoons, plus assignments to go along with them.


Use Guided Analysis Worksheets: These worksheets, developed by the Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration, provide questions for examining:

Visit the Library of Congress site for addtional primary source study guides.

Related Post: Learning History Through Role-Playing

Math: Beyond the Textbook
Category: Math
Tags: math math websites for kids math is fun fun math

Looking for non-traditional methods and materials for math instruction? These free sites offer creative math exercises and problem-solving activities that can help your children learn math concepts -- minus the dry textbook questions.

Relating Math to the Real World

RealWorldMath: This site enables students to take the math concepts they’re learning and apply them to a variety of tasks using information, images and tools in Google Earth. After downloading the Google Earth application, download lessons at the RealWorldMath site, and you’ll be able to open the files in Google Earth. One lesson gives students practice solving volume problems using some famous geometric places (the Great Pyramid of Giza; the Leaning Tower of Pisa; the World Trade Center site; and others). When you open the file, you can click on and fly to different locations and you’re prompted through the exercises.

Other activities inlude: calculating time zone differences; using historical data and solving cipher messages to find hidden U-boat longitude and latitude positions; finding area and circumference of circles after flying to various “crop circle” locations; estimating and measuring distances between landmarks; exploring mazes and labyrinths around the world. The site’s author also provides suggestions for using the activities in other subject areas, and additional resource links. There is a password-protected “Teacher” portion of the website where you can access lesson overviews, worksheets, and some answer keys. Fill out the form under the “Contact” tab and the author will send you the password.  

FoodMaster: The hands-on activities at this site use food and cooking to teach math (and science) concepts. You can download individual chapters and answer keys for grades 3 - 5, and labs for high school. Grades 6 - 8 materials are currently being evaluated, according to the site. Explore measurement and conversions, ratios and percentages, comparisons, etc. using a variety of foods. Many activities involve graphing and experimentation.

Problem Solving

MathCounts: Solve a variety of word problems: compare the value of two summer jobs; perform calculations with gift cards; explore percents and probabilities with ice cream, and more. There's an archive, where you can view past problems and answers. The exercises can be searched by topic (Moon Math; Pizza Problems) or concept (measurement, percents and fractions), with new problems presented each week. Also at the site are MathCounts Minis, videos teaching math concepts, with downloadable worksheets and answer sheets.

Math Maven Mysteries: This Scholastic site presents short story mysteries to solve, and in the process, you're reviewing key math concepts. Categorized by skill and diffifculty level, and the mysteries can be downloaded.

Math In Your Backyard

Maths Outdoors: It's amazing what math investigations can be done with just some sticks and stones: shapes and symmetry; angles and fractals; measurement, multiplication and many more. This site is full of a lot of great ideas, not just for exploring math concepts, but for educating outside in the other subject areas.

Careers Using Math

Math Apprentice: Interactive site that shows how math relates to different interests and disciplines. A player takes the role of an intern to explore eight businesses where math is used to solve problems. Enter a building, and an employee explains the math behind a particular job, and presents you with an activity. You can also read more about a career and explore math concepts used in each profession, (eg. learning the importance of shapes and angles when designing bicycle frames).

For additional real world math activities, check out this list of sites from Education World; and this Pinterest page.


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