Monday, February 28, 2011

Grades K-12 Free Printable Short Classic Literature Excerpts with Worksheets and Audio(Human-read MP3)

Lit2Go: MP3 Stories and Poems

Click on banner, grades K-12 available. My son has been working through the chapter excerpts from Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz(seventh grade). This is a little break from our regular curriculum, and these free literature arts printables are just perfect for a change of pace.

I've added the banner to my sidebar.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Printable Short Story and Paper Dolls: Little Journeys to Faraway Lands - Norway

From Primary Plans, February 1909. Click here to print story, pages 16-17. Right click on image of the book pages and and "save as". Read-a-loud for the very young, readable by older children.

Norwegian paper dolls to color here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Make Your Own Rustic Floor Lamp

I've been thinking about making one of these beam floor lamps for the family room. Light kits are relatively inexpensive, and a post is easy to come by at a big box store, or maybe at a thrift store. We do have some reclaimed wood stores in a nearby city; however, their prices are more than I'd like to pay for rustic. See post here(image from link).


My sister and her family came to visit this week. We had a great time touring the area with them.

Pictured: The Casement Museum at Fort Monroe and Jamestown.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Primary Drawing Lessons, Learning Angles: Triangles and Rectangles

Primary Plans 1908, drawing lessons: triangles and rectangles, pages 8-10. To print or save, right click on the image of pages at link, and "save as".

Friday, February 18, 2011

Our Pet Snails, a cute site for young children who want to learn more about keeping garden snails as pets.

It was a warm day today, so we ventured out to pick tiny snails from underneath some rocks in the garden for our vivarium. I found this nice glass bowl(our vivarium) at the thrift for a quarter. I ended up cutting out the plastic in the top(pictured), kept the elastic, and attached some cheese cloth. After a few hours, these little snails were making stinky smells. I added some charcoal to the bottom to absorb odors. I lined the bottom with moss from the backyard, and added a pot shard for them to hide under.

To see snails, click to enlarge picture. Two were pretty active in the early evening, exploring the tank, much to the delight of my daughter. I have a feeling we may lose these little guys in the house! Tomorrow I show her a shallow rectangular plastic container which will be their assigned playground when out of their home.

Eighty-one Free Classical Piano Music Downloads

Beautifully played - 81 free selections via iTunes or MP3 and WMA(and sheet music). I listened to Debussy's Moonlight and Listz, Hymn of the Awakening while raking leaves to download more.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Free Children's Audio Story and Paper Dolls: Cinderella

Professionally narrated from England with read-a-long at website here. To download right click on the download link at site and "save as".

Click on image to enlarge and save/print(source here).

Another vintage Cinderella paper doll set here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to Sharpen Your Own Garden Pruners

It's that time again - time to prune the shrubs, bushes, evergreens, and trees. An easy tutorial on sharpening your pruners here.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Free Children's Audio Story and Paper Dolls: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

This free 30 minute MP3 from Candlelight Stories Audio for Kids is professionally narrated and sung with an original musical score and sound effects, a very nice freebie. You can listen to it as streaming audio and/or download it(right click on MP3 link and "save as"). I had to use a download manager(free) because of my slow connection.

Printable vintage Snow White paper doll
set(source here- larger images) and another here.

Click on images to enlarge.

Free Audio Podcasts: Journeys Into American History Podcast(Dramatized) - Old Time Radio

Journeys Into American History Podcast via

These have really good sound quality. You can listen online to streaming audio or download(right click on links at the site and "save link as").

Friday, February 11, 2011

Home Economics: What You Can Make From The Kimono Pattern

"The Kimono Pattern. - There are several garments that can be made from the kimono pattern. Some of these, a kimono, nightgown and apron dress, are shown in the pictures in Fig. 14. If you understand how the kimono pattern is put together it will be easy for you to make any of them. Did you ever make a dress for your doll by cutting the whole dress out of one piece of cloth? This means that the dress and sleeves are cut in one piece and that it is the type of pattern that we call the kimono pattern."

Read more.

From A Girl's Problems In Home Economics, by Mabel B. Trilling, 1926.
This book is designed for use as a text-book in the junior high school or the beginning high school grades. Free to read online via Chest of Books.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Indoor Gardening Update

My indoor winter cucumber experiment yielded little more than a few babies, but many pretty yellow flowers. I never did get a grow light or mini-greenhouse, and I'm sure if I had, they would have yielded more fruit. Still, this can be transplanted when the weather is nice and warm for an early harvest.

Signs of spring have begun here. I am forcing forsythia, and the daffodil greens are showing. Joy! :)

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

Make a Girl's Ribbon Snail Hair Clip

See here for tutorial.

(Image from site)

Homemade Cold Porcelain

We'll be making these snails for our shells next week with some homemade cold porcelain(very easy).

(Image from site)

Update, 2/7/11:

Here are ours, made this afternoon. I am hoping I made the dough moist enough and that they don't crack. We'll see tomorrow. The round thingy is a flower pot with a door, upon request by the little one. She made the baby snail and helped with the two others.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Young Child's Vintage Saint Valentine's Day Short Stories(Theme: Kindness)

This is a really sweet story with kittens and forest animals who treat Elaine, who is sick, to a very special Valentine's Day.

Print or save by right clicking on the images of the pages at the links. The book is in public domain and is a downloadable PDF as well.

Elaine's Valentine
"Tell It Again" Stories
By Elizabeth Thompson and Emerson Dillingham

Here is another from an easy reader: The Story of Saint Valentine.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Easy Homeschool Learning for the Preschool/Kindergarten Crowd: Snails, Chicks, and Ladybugs

Lately, I've been greeted every morning with requests for snail related learning materials(with a sprinkling of lady bugs and chicks). I think someone is ready for spring!

The internet(Google image search) had a lot of good free printables. I watercolored the one with the hen and chicks; my daughter(age five) did the others, and cut them out herself(mostly). She decided they needed glitter as well.

The library had some early learning books on snails, including what happens to bugs and snails in winter. Click on picture to enlarge and see titles.

An on-hand basket of shells(collected and dollar store), and a shell identification book from my adolescence, has filled my daughter's day with many hours of fun. She has named the snail shells and made a house for them. They even had a picnic with a watercolored free printable of lettuce which I shrunk to wallet size with Picasa.

Snails mentioned in the Bible:

"As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away." ~ Psalm 58:8

The Snails of all species in the Holy Land are in the habit, not of hybernating in winter, as they do in our colder climate, but of shutting themselves into their shells, and remaining dormant during the dry season. Few Snails can remain long in an active state without moisture. In order to prevent the evaporation of the moisture of the body, all those molluscs which have a thin or semi-transparent shell secrete themselves in dry weather under stones, like the shell-less snails or slugs, or else among moss and under leaves... The chinks and crevices of the limestone rocks are especially favourite hiding-places for many species, while those of the deserts, for instance, where they can find no such screen from the sun's rays, are provided with solid, colourless, and lustreless shells of enormous thickness, the calcareous substance of which prevents evaporation as they hang with their mouths glued on to the desert shrubs.

But, notwithstanding the care they take to secrete themselves, the heat often does dry them up, either by a long-continued drought, or by the sun's rays penetrating to their holes. Thus we find in all parts of the Holy Land myriads of snail-shells in fissures, still adhering by the calcareous exudation round their orifice to the surface of the rock, but the animal of which is utterly shrivelled and wasted—'' melted away,' according to the expression of the Psalmist. It
is very probable that this circumstance has supplied the metaphor for the passing away of the wicked in the passage quoted above. ~ The Natural History of the Bible(free and in public domain)

Easy and fun delight driven learning! And I didn't have to spend a dime.

A few resources we used:

Google: snail coloring pages, mazes, and worksheets; and look here.

Snail identification and external anatomy page here.

Vintage images to color here.

Snails(symbol of the Immaculate Conception)in Christian art. It was thought that snails reproduced asexually.

Saints and Snails: Saint Lydia
A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay." So she persuaded us.
—Acts 16:14-15 World English Bible

and Saint Jerome

DIY Rustic Wood Table

We(my husband and son) built a custom table for our indoor garden project today. Built from lumber costing about $16.00, the table measures about 38"H x 4.5L x 22"W. We had the wood pre-cut at the store - one piece for the legs cut four ways, and one piece for the top, cut in half. The two pieces of wood underneath hold the two pieces of the top together in the middle. We had some scrap wood on hand for this.

We've started with an onion in some water...more kitchen scrap gardening to come. : )

This table was actually a perfect height for a kitchen island. We may make another!

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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: