Monday, February 27, 2012

Inexpensive School Textbook(Vintage) Reprints

Today I received three reprints of early 20th century English composition texts for eighth and ninth grade levels, available free at Google Books as a PDF. These freebies could be read on a laptop, but the student in question(the son) wanted a print book. They are excellent content and were less than $13.00 each as reprints. Many books are available for reprint via Qoop. When you find a vintage free books that you'd like in print, look for the Qoop button("Get Book in Print" pull down menu) on the left hand Google Books sidebar(at "About Book" link) The reprints are available in black and white print as paperbacks only, and will be the exact replica of the book(as seen) on Google Books.

Using Literature to Teach Science

A third grade booklist with PDF lessons plans and printables. See here.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Inexpensive Silk Drapes

Update: Here they are. I ended up just hanging them over the rod. I'm very happy with these. Two were long enough to doubled over the rod as curtains, and the other is being used as a swag. All were placed on an existing rod with two of my older off-white sheers in the middle. The edges are finished with an ornate gold trim.

I just purchased some vintage pure silk Indian saris(ebay) for under $15.00 each. Each piece is 43 inches wide and 4 yards long. I am hoping to made some curtains out of these by sewing them to the front of my existing thin white tab top curtains.

I think it will bring out the blue in our old Persian rug. Or it might look garish, either way, you can't beat the price! If I could have found it, powder blue would have been a better choice. Saris tend to be made in vibrant colors.

These old saris can be made into beautiful comforters and pillows. Something I recently learned about silk is that it resists dust mites; so they make great bed coverings for allergy sufferers.

Inky the Octopus, Recycled Art

I'm getting a lot of mileage out of empty toilet tissue rolls! Today, I made an octopus for my daughter from a T.P. roll with tissue paper "ink", which is tucked inside until pushed out through the roll from the other side. I made the "ink" by cutting strips from a folded rectangle of blue tissue paper(dollar store) and taping it onto the inside of the roll.

The printable penguin is from here. He is taped to another T.P. roll which I use as a stand for cut-and-paste play items.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Recycled Paper: Card Holder

Another use for those empty toilet tissue rolls - a flash card holder. This card was the word-of-the-day, which I left up (in our gathering place) as a visual reminder for periodic review.

All that is needed is two cuts, on either side, made across the middle.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Free Form Artistic Nature Journals

These are some of my favorite types of journals. They are born from the imagination, and you can draw from so many free resources, such as drawing instructions or free clip art online; or maybe cut-outs from seed and plant catalogs received in the mail. Natural items like pressed flowers can be glued over printed images and sealed with clear packing tape(dollar store). Information can be hunted down online or at the library, and copied neatly into the journal with colored pens. It's a very low cost way to study outdoor nature topics, or document your gardening progress; and produces a beautiful keepsake as well. Dollar stores often have bound journals which can be covered with images of your topic and sealed with contact paper. This one looks like it has a sewn fabric cover.

Printable Vintage(1911) Paper Doll House and Furniture

See link under pictures for originals. Simply click on pictures(at link) to enlarge and save.

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day Printable Paper Dolls: George and Martha

Click below pictures for original link to copy and save. The original link for Martha has the history written out. It's too small to read on the picture.

We just got back from our nation's capitol, and unbelievable(for a blogger), I forgot my camera!We spent a day in the National Museum of American History, and I saw the First Ladies dress collection . Well worth a visit to this museum if you get to D.C. . I didn't see Martha's dress. From the link:

"The exhibition features more than two dozen gowns from the Smithsonian’s almost 100-year old First Ladies Collection, including those worn by Frances Cleveland, Lou Hoover, Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. A section titled 'Changing Times, Changing First Ladies' highlights the roles played by Dolley Madison, Mary Lincoln, Edith Roosevelt, and Lady Bird Johnson and their contributions to their husband’s administrations."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Printable Vintage Robin Redbreast Stories, Kindergarten and Up

Kindergarten story about robins.
Click on images to enlarge and save, or follow to original link to copy and save(right click on images of pages).

We have had so many male robins congregating in our backyard lately.They've been feasting on berries and pecking the ground for grubs and worms. They are the earliest egg layers and are typically heralds of spring. I've only seen a few of the ladies, but enough to start some of the male birds singing.

More here: Anna Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study, The Robin. Simply right click on images of pages to save. or print.

"I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.—Gal. vi. 17 (AV).I wonder if you know the legend of how our dear old friend Mr. Robin got his red breast?" Story from The Children's Great Texts of the Bible, Volume 6, by James Hastings. Right click on the images of pages at the link to save or print.

The Robin and Other Parables for Children By Frederic Adolphus Krummacher. See here. Right click on the page images to save or print.

Audubon Society: Children Spending Too Much Time Indoors

"We find that children are spending less time outdoors, and their free time is really spent in highly structured activities," said Robert Martinez, president of the Connecticut Audubon Society. "They have very little opportunity for spontaneous interaction with the natural world."

Martinez said that just about all of those involved in conservation today and through history "developed a bond with nature" when they were children.

"That bond is a lifelong experience," he said. "If they don't forge that bond early enough, then where are we going to find the next generation of conservationists?"

"When I was a kid, it was easier to find vacant lots, to go exploring, to follow a brook and to go on an adventure. It's getting harder and harder for kids to do that today." Read more here.

It can't be good for children not to get a lot free time in the fresh air and sunshine.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Recycled Mixed Media Children's Art

These items were made by layering leftover craft table scraps. With a little guidance, a young child could put together a fun piece of art with odds and ends.

Save those little hole punch circles. They make great eyes, fruit, decorations, etc. in art projects. The scraps used in these projects were tissue paper, ribbon, colored paper, hole punch circles, recycled stickers, newspaper, old doodles and painting projects destined for the recycling bin, and recycled cardboard pieces. I had some metallic paint that I stippled over the heart with a sponge paint brush to give it an edgy look. Generally the shapes of the leftover scraps dictate the direction of the project. It is sort of like looking at clouds, they take on shapes in your imagination. With a little extra shaping with scissors, the pieces are glued onto each other, layer by layer, to create your special one-of-a-kind art.

Basic art supplies we generally have on hand are tempera paints, soft beeswax crayons for heavy coverage of large areas, colored pens and pencils for detail work, glitter and glitter glue, scissors, tape, hole punch, glue, and zig-zag scissors. We get most of our supplies from dollar stores. Ribbon, yarn, string, buttons, and fabric pieces(or any art supplies for that matter) are collected by the bag from thrift stores, who offer these items very inexpensively. Multi-colored construction paper and index cards; and tissue paper are all purchased at the dollar store.

Crafty Early Learning

A few images from this week:

My six year daughter has discovered the joy of Beatrix Potter. This week she was drawing and narrating stories to me from her favorite,"The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin". Many narrations were altered versions of the story with minor tie-ins like a squirrel eating monster. Nothing like a bit of creative story telling from a six year old for entertainment.

I found a free downloadable mini-unit study with the illustrated "Tale of Squirrel Nutkin" included at CurrClick. This has a elementary level vocabulary word exercise suited for older children, about third grade and up. There is also a little nature study, sequencing, and reading comprehension.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Inexpensive Children's Educational Software by Operating System

I finally found a place online which sells children's educational software by operating system. I've bought inexpensive software before that would not work on 64 bit Windows 7, even with the work-around. This is so handy! And the prices are good with free shipping and 10% off with the coupon code MONKEY.

Operating Systems include:

Windows 7( 32 or 64 bit)
Windows Vista
Windows XP, 2000, Me, 98, 95
almost everything, see product details

Macintosh 10.5 or later
Macintosh 10.3 or later
Macintosh OS X, OSX Classic

I bought Reader Rabbit Learning to Read and JumpStart software for my daughter.

Click here to go to Children's Education Software Online, click on your operating system and then grade level. I saw some algebra and geometry Speedstudy software programs which I may get for my son next year.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Algebra Helps

I did well in algebra in high school and college, but it has been many years since I've worked any algebra problems! I picked up Painless Algebra (Barron's Painless Series)(for me) at the library which covers very basic algebra, but does not pass into the more complex covered in an Algebra II class such as algebraic fractions. My son is working on these now through Christian Light Education grade nine mathematics. So I ordered a few highly rated advanced algebra books off There are so many wonderful self teach books nowadays. I wish they had been published when I was younger!

So here is what I ordered which includes help with those nasty algebraic fractions which is covered in ninth grade Christian Light Education beginning Algebra. It's covered again in the eleventh grade Algebra. I was surprised to see this in ninth grade. We'll use these two as a review for me and as a cross reference for my son.

The Humongous Book of Algebra Problems: Translated for People Who Don't Speak Math


Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide, Second Edition

Early Childhood Education: Exploring Occupations - Medical

This is a really cute idea for a DIY medical kit - doctor/nurse play, although I'd have to nix the pill bottle idea because my curious little girl would eventually learn to open safety caps! She'd treat it like some sort of Rubix cube puzzle, and move onto real pill bottles once she has mastered the toy one. Click on "source" link below picture for original post.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Hands-on Early Math Toys

Math addition and subtractions animal blocks:

I purchased these for Christmas this year. They were well worth it for fun hands-on homeschool learning!

Marble maze put together blocks:

Friday, February 03, 2012

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Coffee Filter Hearts

These were made with bingo/do-a-dot markers and coffee filters. See blog link under image for instructions.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

3D Geometry Paper Model Templates

We could have used this site for seventh/eighth grade math! See here for free template downloads.

Picture Pie, Fun with Circles

Ed Emberley's Picture Pie (Ed Emberley Drawing Books)

From the library...lots of fun with this book. The pies are divided into eighths and puzzled together like a tangram. Circles are made by tracing around a cup and then are cut out. The circle is folded in half, then again, and again to make eight even slice folds. The child(or adult) cuts along the folds, and can make various pictures with the slices. The instructions for the pictures are simple to follow and range from easy to difficult. There is something for everyone in this book.

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: