30 June 2004

Free Homeschooling Stuff

We have discovered a number of excellent resources that are great value – and they are free.

Homeschool Radio Shows
This weekly email provides a 30-minute radio show from the 50’s. These shows are a wide variety from “Adventures in Research”, “Lassie”, “Family Classics” and others. You just download them and play. You can also order complete MP3 CDs with lots of shows and audio books. The cost for these CDs are USD $19.95 which includes postage to US or Australia. We recently purchased the “Adventures in Listening” CD and have learnt about “The first skyscraper”, “Million Dollar Cabbages”, “Buring Rocks”[How oil shale was discovered], How ice cream was invented, outboard motors, and so on. Check out the latest here.

The best MP3 organizer is iTunes for both the Mac and Windows. It doesn’t cost anything, but organizes your music files very well, obtains tracks from CDs and writes your selected tracks to blank CDs. We have converted all of our music to MP3 or AAC (Apple’s music format) from CD, record and cassette. This is then organized by author, genre, album and other attributes, as well as creating multiple play lists – one for each family member.

Weekly Science experiments
Robert Krampf provides a weekly science experiment by email. Each experiment uses typical household items and the scientific principles are explained in layman’s terms and some humour. Amongst the more recent experiments, we have looked at balance, cracking knuckles, floating, caramel colour, weights and scales and lots more.
To join the list, send a blank e-mail to: krampf-subscribe@topica.com

Dover Samplers
Dover publishes and distributes a wide variety of fine books and materials, especially those aimed at children. They have one of the largest collections of topical colouring books I have seen. In order to show people how much they have, they send a weekly sampler which links to a page containing a sample of a selection from each of this week’s books. Each Friday we go to the Sampler page and save a picture of each of the samples into a folder. We now have a great variety of colouring-in pages, mazes, cross words, find-a-words, logic puzzles and more. Ariel was able to create a customized activity book for some of her friends using a collection of the pictures. Also, we bought some of their colouring-in books and were very happy with them. They all had fun using the King Arthur book. This is the most recent sampler.

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