I’ve been super excited about posting all of the free resources we’ve found for Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations. But before listing all of this, I just want to remind us all that simplicity is key to making Foundations work. In fact, if you are new to Classical Conversations, read our post Classical Conversations for Beginners BEFORE looking at anything I have listed on this blog!
First and foremost, there is the Bible, around which all other subjects revolve. In the words of Leigh Bortins, in a:
- Good Christian Education: All subjects belong to God.
- Great Christian Education: All subjects glorify God.
- Classical Christian Education: Subjects are unified in their relation to God.
We’re using a classical model for education which can be easily represented as follows. To learn something, we must:
- Be able to read the words (Grammar)
- Know what the words mean (Dialectic)
- Put meanings into context (Rhetoric)
The Grammar Stage simply means input. We do this through repetition, intensity and duration. We seek mastery and depth on a few things, not survey and breadth across many. Our main goal at this stage is the memorization of key facts, including scripture! In light of our focus on memorization, I first want to provide you with The Scripture Memory System (by Simply Charlotte Mason), a file-folder method of memorizing that has been proven time and again.
The very useful program Anki provides a means of practicing on-line flashcards of the material to be memorized and automatically shuffles the memory work to a frequency that is needed, much like the hand-made file folder version at Simply Charlotte Mason.
Having said that, the Cycle 3 history and geography bring us back home to America, and because our third grader and kindergartner are totally excited about the people, events and places of the United States, we’ve already had a bit of a head start on some things… Which is why I wanted to post this, but please keep in mind to glean what will work for your family. Do not try to do it all, but focus primarily on 1) relating all subjects to God’s Word, and 2) memorizing.
Before downloading these, you may want to see my previous post on On-line Organization for Cycle 3. To see how you might structure your days at home, go to our previous post on Classical Conversations at Home. For those who are new to Classical Conversations, click here to see what a day in the life of our Classical Conversations Community is like.
We will be learning states and capitals. All three boys LOVE the Animaniacs version of this, to the tune of Turkey in the Straw:
- I like using National Geographic’s Xpedition Atlas for maps. You can print out any country with (to study) or without (to test) borders, and you can print out each individual state with or without details.
- Your Child Learns has interactive maps for study, quizzes for on-line practice of state capitals, map puzzles for memorization of state location and capitals, and instructions for printing megamaps from their site. It even has a cut and paste exercise for major geographical features in the United States.
- You can also print timezone and climate maps, along with maps of Indian reservations, congressional districts, and territorial acquisitions at http://www.nationalatlas.gov/.
- Download a free copy of the Amazing American States Sampler. It includes activity sheets along with some clever cartoons to help in memorizing the state capitals. Even though it’s a sampler, it contains quite a bit of information and is definitely a unique resource.
- To get an idea of the scope of our land’s resources, landmarks, and beauty, I’m hoping that we have the chance to complete Homeschoolshare’s Unit Study on How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA.
- Crayola provides great state coloring pages (search for the state you need) that you can print and make into a State Notebook. Let your children make their own flashcards to study the capitals (and other facts) by printing Crayola’s state fact cards.
- Donnayoung.org offers a worksheet to practice labeling the states. This is a rather extensive site that includes planners, calendars, and other planning documents, as well as worksheets and ideas for Art, English, Handwriting, History, Math and Science.
- For a more complete listing of U.S. Geography resources, visit our United States Geography Resources post.
Math-drills.com is a great website for math drill sheets on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, measurement, fractions, and a number of other math concepts.
The Toymaker has a fun skip counter and multipies.
|Play games to help with math facts memorization!|
For a list of picture books, early chapter books, and advanced chapter books that relate to American history, refer to another of our posts, American History Literature Resources. A couple of Newbery Literature unit studies that tie into American History are:
The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
In addition to the Homeschoolshare Unit Study linked here, you can also view our previous post on this study. Stephen really enjoyed this book (we actually completed it during Cycle 2 using Total Language Plus) and even wrote his own little book about having courage in the midst of facing his own fears.
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
We are planning to start out our 2011-2012 school year with The Sign of the Beaver before Essentials classes begin. In addition to the Colonial America and Native American tie-ins, it includes events in our timeline as well: The French & Indian Wars and The Treaty of Paris.
We used The Timeline Project from Brandenburg Studies (download free at Currclick!) to create a large timeline for the walls in our school room. As we memorized and studied each historical event/person, we posted a picture representing it. It helped to give us a better idea of when events occurred in relation to each other, and it was fun! We also used the following Homeschool Bits freebies in conjunction with The Timeline Project:
- U.S. Presidents Timeline Add-Ons
- Transportation Timeline Add-Ons
- American Music Timeline Add-Ons
- U.S. States Order and States Timeline Add-Ons
We are planning to start a Book of Centuries next year as well. To find out how to use a Book of Centuries and to download a free template, go to Simply Charlotte Mason. We will actually be using a Book of Centuries Timeline Notebook offered by Guest Hollow because it is broken down into decades for the past few centuries.
For resources on the U.S. Presidents see our previous post on Presidents Day Resources.
Also check out this great sampler of Timeline Games, which includes timeline event cards from the American Revolution, Civil War, Space Exploration, Astronomy, Lewis & Clark, U.S. Presidents, Statehood, and New York City.
Anki may be used as previously mentioned to practice our vocabulary as flashcards. And I am planning to create handwriting practice pages for John 1:1-7 in Latin to practice over the course of the year. Go to The Amazing Handwriting Worksheet Maker and select the style, size, and format for doing so.
For even more ideas for Latin (including games), refer to our post on Free Latin Resources.
For a list of some free history books written in an understandable format for children, go to our previous post Supplementing CC on a Shoestring. There are several history books out there on the public domain as free pdf (or other e-reader format). Because we like to read literature, we listen to history books when audio is available. American History Stories Vol 1 & 2 by Mara Pratt are available as free audiobooks at Librivox. As we stated in our previous post, other audio and pdf downloads for use with American History can be found at Project Gutenberg, Google e-books, Librivox or Archive.org. For even more children’s literature, visit The Baldwin On-Line Children’s Literature Project (also called mainlesson.com), as well as Children’s Books On-Line.
- American History Stories Volume 1 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf audio downloads
- American History Stories Volume 2 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf audio downloads
- American History Stories Volume 3 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf
- American History Stories Volume 4 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf
See our post on History Readings for Cycle 3, which includes correlations for the Veritas Press Timeline Cards, Story of the World, A Short History of the United States, and American History Stories. And for more detailed lessons for Weeks 1-6, go to our post on American History, Timeline, and Literatures Resources Weeks 1-6.
We will be completing A Journey Through Learning’s free lapbook/unit study called “Overview of the 17th Century.” I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter to receive this resource (a $14 value). Click here for a sample. It contains topics such as: The Northwest Passage, Pocahontas, Church of England, Puritans, Mayflower Journey, Life of the Pilgrims, Squanto,Salem Witch Trials, and the 13 colonies. IT IS WONDERFUL!!!
We are hoping to also complete the free American Revolution Lapbook (click here for direct link to lapbook download) available on the Just Us blog. This can be completed in conjunction with reading Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, which would be a good book to read over a semester; it contains 12 chapters with 4-5 sections in each chapter.
And Homeschoolshare has a VERY COOL lapbook on the U.S. Presidents. They also have free resources for the American Revolution, the Civil War, Native Americans, Westward Expansion, and the Great Depression.
See our post on American History Literature resources for book lists that correlate with American History.’
Also refer to Homeschoolshare’s Multi-Age Chemistry Unit Lap-n-Note when you begin the last half of the school year. And download the Periodic Table in pictures from Keith’s Thinkzone, a resource that contains all sorts of neat puzzles and other resources for science, math, history, geography, art & music. Teacher Book Bag also offers a Periodic Table of Elements Card Kit on Currclick.
For even more ideas for Science (including games), refer to our post on Free Science Resources: Human Anatomy and Chemistry.
If you’d like to practice drawing but have no background in art, What to Draw and How to Draw It by E. G. Lutz provides step-by-step instructions on drawing a number of pictures, including lighthouses, birds (turkeys, chickens, roosters, cranes), and farm animals.
For a storybook about drawing, download Willie’s First Drawing Lessons by A Lady. It is an amusing story about some of the elements of drawing, but it uses nature to describe the straight lines, curved lines, and angles that we see all around us.
- For some great ideas on painting and craft projects, you can visit that artist woman. It is a great encouragement to see her work, which she posts step-by-step for those of us who are not so art-inclined.
- For more drawing resources, refer to our post Fine Arts: Drawing.
- For tin whistle (shudder…), I am SO ENCOURAGED to hear how BEAUTIFUL the tin whistle can sound. This piece is performed by Ryan Duns of Fordham University, who has also uploaded several videos, which make up an on-line video course for learning to play the Irish tin whistle.
- For artists, visit Nadene of Practical Pages for an art-era timeline, artist wall charts, a famous artist lapbook, and other great resources. This site does not match up with the artists we will be studying, but the resources are simply fantastic! She also offers many of the same type of resources for famous musicians, including Tchaikovsky. And her Bible resources are also fantastic!
- For a glimpse of what it’s like to go to the symphony, view the on-line video Let’s Go to the Symphony available from Nashville Sympony’s website. Also visit Dallas Sympony Orchestra’s website for kids for games, an orchestra chart, a virtual toure, and other activities as well. Other sites I want to check out:
- Making Music Fun (with sheet music, composer & music theory worksheets, and practice charts)
- American Symphony Orchestra League
- Free Music Theory Worksheets
- Piano Teacher Resources (many are general enough for Tin Whistle)
- The San Francisco Symphony’s educational website for children
- The New York Philharmonic’s educational website for children
- Composer Notebooking Pages are available from homeschoolnotebooking.com.
- Before we study Classical Music, you must visit Musopen for free classical music recordings, sheet music, and music history. “Musopen is an online music library of copyright free (public domain) music. We want to give the world access to music without the legal hassles so common today. There is a great deal of music that has expired copyrights, but almost no recordings of this music is in the public domain. We aim to record or obtain recordings that have no copyrights so that our visitors may listen, re-use, or in any way enjoy music. Put simply, our mission is to set music free.” (Quote taken from Musopen website.)
- Last but NOT least is the Melody Lap-n-Note. Contains lapbook components on our national anthem, instrument families (along with a game!), composers, and much more! Though it is intended to go with the book M is for Melody by Luanne Angelo, much of this is stand-alone, and the answers can be found elsewhere if needed. This is a great resource for teaching orchestra and music to children!
I will post more detailed resources as the next school year approaches, but here is a sampling of what is in store:
Week 3: For a fun way to discuss the Boston Tea Party, download the 1773 edition of The Boston Tea Party by H.W. McVickar, free on google e-books. It is an illustrated poem that even young children will enjoy! You can also find other versions at archive.org. (I’ll have more resources posted like this at a later date…)
Week 6: For the Lewis and Clark Expedition, National Geographic and PBS both have great on-line resources, but Discovering Lewis and Clark provides the most extensive site on the Internet. It is what I call a “living website,” one in which suggestions are encouraged and updates are made based upon new articles and research. And check out Dynamic2Mom’s notebooking pages and mini-books to help you record your learnings as you study Lewis & Clark!
Be sure to subscribe or follow us to stay up-to-date on the free resources we’ll be using to supplement Cycle 3! Feel free to post your own resources in the comments section – I can include those in future posts if you’d like to share with others!
Veritas Press Timeline Cards
Story of the World
American History Stories
A Short History of the United States
|1||Columbus||R2||Vol. 3; Pg. 19||Vol. 1; p. 11-24||p. 3-4|
|2||Pilgrims||R8, R9, R10||Vol. 3; Pg. 61-64||Vol. 1; p. 55-69||p. 29-32|
|3||Boston Tea Party||R17||Vol. 3; Pg. 209-212||Vol. 2; p. 5-35||p. 85-88|
|4||Declaration of Independence||R21||Vol. 3; Pg. 213-217||Vol. 2; p. 72-75||p. 109-111|
|5||George Washington||R27||Vol. 3; Pg. 223-226||Vol. 3; p. 7-20||p. 152-170|
|6||Louisiana Purchase||R28, R29||Vol. 3; Pg. 278-281 & 297-302||Vol. 3; p. 27-28||p. 191-193|
|7||War of 1812||R31, Y1||Vol. 3; Pg. 309-313||Vol. 3; p. 43-44||p. 203, 208-219|
|8||Henry Clay & The Missouri Compromise||R32||p. 223|
|9||Compromise of 1850, Fugitive Slave Act||Vol. 3; p. 148-157||p. 280-282, 288|
|10||Polk||Y9||Vol.3; p. 128-132||p. 270-276|
|11||Abraham Lincoln||Y12, Y13, Y14||Vol. 4; Pg. 49-53||Vol. 4||p. 295-331|
|12||General Robert E. Lee||Y15||Vol. 4; Pg. 51-53||Vol. 4||p. 332-358|
|13||14th Amendment||Y17, Y18||Vol. 4; Pg. 53-56||p. 362|
|14||Tycoons||Y19||Vol. 4; Pg. 173-177|
|15||T. Roosevelt||Y22, Y23||Vol. 4; Pg. 161-167|
|16||Immigration to America||Y24|
|17||President Wilson||Y26||Vol. 4; Pg. 216-221 & 227-231|
|18||Pearl Harbor||Y29||Vol. 4; Pg. 305-309|
|19||NATO||Y30||Vol. 4; Pg. 223-227|
|20||Brown v. Board of Education||Vol. 4; Pg. 402-408|
|21||US Astronauts||Y31||Vol. 4; Pg. 385-389|
|22||September 11, 2001||Y32||Vol. 4; Pg. 477|
|23||Preamble to the US Constitution||R25, R26||Vol.3; Pg. 219-223||Appendix|
|24||Bill of Rights||R25, R26||Vol.3; Pg. 219-223||Appendix|
In other words, I’m scatterbrained and haven’t reached perfection yet. Fortunately for me (and everyone else), God is still working on me!