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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: 

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

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 Nature Works Everywhere, which provides a variety of video lessons and activity guides for topics such as:

The site also has several How-To Garden Videos.

 

Here are some 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:

 

Here are some more ideas from KidsGardening.

 

Free Reader:

 

 

For Middle and High School Grades

 

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. 

 

 

Financial Literacy: Free Resources
Category: Math
Tags: financial literacy personal finance

Here are some free personal finance courses and resources. Scroll to the bottom of this post for some free, downloadable readers about money

Cash CourseSign up for free financial education courses.

Next Gen Personal Finance: Offers a free set of online lessons covering personal finance basics. The curriculum, published by the non-profit Center for Financial Capability, is presented in a series of units that include text and video resources, and activities.

Practical Money SkillsFeatures teachers guides and activities on money management for grades K - 12. Lessons for the earliest learners introduce money (what it is and how to earn it), then moves on to such topics as savings, loans, credit, budgeting and investing. There are 22 lessons for high school. 

CompareCards.comThis credit card comparison site has free lessons for middle school and high school students on the basics of credit, credit cards and investing.

BanzaiThis site teaches key concepts in personal finance by presenting students with a number of real life scenarios. Tasks to be completed include paying rent, understanding your paycheck (taxes withheld, direct deposit, gross and net income), budgeting for gas, groceries and other expenses. Three versions are offered: Banzai Junior (aged 8–12); Banzai Teen, (aged 13–18); and Banzai Plus (aged 16 and up).

Personal Finance Textbook

PDF Textbook Chapters:

Personal Finance Student and Teacher Resources from the OK Department of Education; includes free lessons and teacher guides

Financial Football: Players gain yards and score touchdowns by correctly answering financial questions. There are three age levels to choose from: Rookie (ages 11–14), Pro (ages 14–18) or Hall of Fame (ages 18+). For each age group, there are downloadable lesson guides with discussion questions, activities, quizzes and other exercises. Combined with the game, this seems like something that might work well in a group setting or homeschool co-op.

Live "Stock" AdventureA savings and investing game to download, played with a standard deck of cards.

Saving and Investing for Students - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission PDF e-book

  

History of Money and Banking

 



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