Friday, November 30, 2007

Children's Book Finds

We enjoy frequenting the library, and I always like to browse the stacks for interesting books to assign for reading. This week I found a nicely illustrated and well written book on Saints, Ten Saints by Eleanor Farjeon published in 1936. The reading level appears to be advanced fourth or fifth grade and up. Ds is really enjoying this one.

These books are a bit unseasonal, but in our area it's still warmish weather with our fall veggies still growing and producing.

Good Bugs and Bad Bugs in Your Garden: Back-Yard Ecology I thumbed through this book and it was really interesting. I still need to learn about this topic and the illustrations really help. After we read this book, ds should be able to help me in the garden with good bugs and bad bugs. The reading level looks to be advanced third or fourth grade and up.

At a lower reading level for ds, but still informative with nice vintage illustrations of a country farm, My Garden Grows by Aldren Watson

These two garden books go nicely together, and are perfect for fall as we harvest our last vegetables and prepare the beds for winter. It really doesn't get cold here until late January.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Easy Crafts for Christmas

These truly are easy and fun. They are frugal involving paper, glue, and glitter for the most part. Ramblings of a Crazy Woman has many ideas with pictures of her crafts for younger children. She has been busy! I linked to her November archives. I love the crafts with hand prints, one of which has a selection of poems to go along with the craft. It's worth a look, and great for those of us who are time and budget challenged. ;)

Fourth Grade Reading Lessons with Comprehension Questions Week V/Free Printables

Click and print:

Harry's Riches

Harry and His Dog

The Eagle

Consequences of Idleness

The Noblest Revenge

Week V Vocabulary List

Week V Vocabulary Quizzes

Selections are from the Revised Fourth Grade McGuffey's Reader(1920 edit.), free and in public domain.

Previous weeks here.

It's a Wonderful Life Free at Google Video

Google has movies now. Click here, Autumn Rose has it on her blog.

The Internet Archives also has It's a Wonderful Life on MP3(audio).

All are free and in public domain.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

More Free Educational Vintage Radio Programs

Homeschool Radio School has two free MP3 downloads this week:

Path of Praise: "Cavalcade of America" 1951, history of Thanksgiving.

And just for fun: Baby Snooks' Thanksgiving

Download instructions: Right click and "save as target". See download directions at bottom of page at site.

Click here. Both are in public domain.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Free Printable Math Word Problems

Free printable worksheets for math word problems(earlier post).

Vintage printable math books with word problems throughout for first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and possibly fifth grade and beyond. The books are not graded, are free and in public domain.

Free printable math problems for fourth and fifth grade.

Word problems for grades 5-12.

Algebra word problems.

Word problem strategies with problems for early elementary school math.

Word problem strategies for middle school with problem examples.

Ungraded, mentions that printable math problem worksheets appropriate for basic through intermediate.

HT to School Librarian in Action for some of these links.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Continuing with Free Fourth Grade Reading Lessons

Ds has two more lessons in his Pathway fourth grade reader and workbook. I will be sad to finish this reader. I've liked this wholesome series with life lessons. The stories are so cute! My favorite was Dotty the Salmon. The reading and vocabulary was challenging, but the stories kept ds's interest and it was enjoyable.

So, I'll be back to using the vintage readers from my homeschool library. I posted a short series of these a while back. I'll continue sharing beginning with Week V, only this time I'll be adding five lessons a week.

I won't be doing this for the entire school year as we still plan to use Rod & Staff's fourth grade reader which cover the New Testament. We school all year round, so there is no rush.

Works-For-Me Wednesday: Ringless/Hookless Shower Curtain

Ringless/hookless shower curtains are made of water resistant fabric(polyester), wash easily and are mold resistant. They hang nicely and don't cling to you in the shower. I can't tell you how much easier it is with this shower curtain to get it off and on for cleaning. The flexible ring makes it pop right on when you push it against the shower curtain rod. It comes off just as easily. Ringless or hookless shower curtains are economical because you never have to buy liners.

I got mine a few years ago at a close-out sale on QVC. They were difficult to come by then, but when I did a Google search for this post, I found quite a few available. This one looks a lot like mine, and it's reasonably priced.

See more tips over at Shannon's. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Free Printable Vintage Children's Thanksgiving Poems and Stories

These are in public domain. I've copied and pasted them to Google Documents. Just click and print.

Fourth Grade Reader:LANDING OF THE PILGRIM FATHERS poem with a vocabulary list and comprehension questions. Also from this reader, Thanksgiving Dinner at Plumfield by L.M. Alcott Book source here.

I'll add more as I find them. Please visit my homeschooling library blog for more free public domain books.

Thanksgiving(blessing poem), source: a vintage children's reader.

Printable at site:

From The Elson Primary School Reader Book Four, The First Thanksgiving Day, pages 50- 62, a play. It was too long for me to copy, edit and paste in plain text. If you switch to HTML(bottom right margin at text page), you can right click and save page, or try the download button(iffy).

Stories of Colonial Children, pages 43-50 cover the First Thanksgiving.Free and in public domain. Switch to plain text to copy and paste, download book(iffy), or switch to HMTL(bottom right margin) to right click and save pages. It may be in HTML mode already.

Historical Plays of Colonial Days, for Fifth Year Pupils. Free and in public domain. I've linked it to HTML mode so there are hyperlinks on the table of contents. You can switch it to plain text if you want to copy and paste. See page 39, Little Pilgrims, and a few others.

More here.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Free Downloads: Homeschool Living Books for the Ears

This picture is a sample of what they have for sale. Here is the free audio-program: Homeschool For the Holidays.

They also offer free weekly audioprograms. This week's free MP3: Tisquantum, Strange Friend of the Pilgrims.

Free downloads for playing MP3 audios on your computer. I downloaded the Windows Media Player 11 at the Microsoft site with no problems.

Easy Holiday Party Cake: Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Click on title.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Thrifty Multi-Purpose Shampoo/Soap: Dr. Bronner's All Natural Castile Soap

I purchased a one gallon bottle of Dr. Bronner's all natural castile soap in March of this year, and as you can see, I still have quite a bit left. I've been using it to bathe my baby/toddler, and since the soap is concentrated, all it takes is a little drizzle in this(see picture-purple bottle) recycled baby shampoo bottle. I add water to fill about half the bottle, and it's plenty strong enough to wash the hair and body.

I purchased mine from Amazonfor $28.00 with $5.75 shipping when they had a clear-out sale. The price has gone up, but I'll keep an eye on it and post if I see a sale. Dr. Bronner's can be found at health food stores as well; I just couldn't find the gallon containers around my area.

I got the peppermint version because it was on sale. It does sting the eyes a bit, so when I use it on the toddler's hair, I work it from the back of the head forward. I've not had any problems using it this way.

Dr. Bronner's soaps are made with organic oils and are certified to USDA National Organic Program standards. Essential oils are used for the scented soaps. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps contain no synthetic surfactants or petrochemicals, and are packaged in recycled plastic bottles. I heard that if you can find a store that carries the soap in bulk, you can reuse the bottle for refills. It's great stuff and thrifty! At this rate, I shouldn't have to buy baby shampoo or soap for years.

I've read good reviewsfrom adults using Dr. Bronner's soap. I just haven't tried it yet because I am still trying to use up a huge stockpile of free-with-rebate and deeply discounted shampoos which I've accumulated.

About Me

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: