Studying Art Makes Kids Smart

This just in!  Exposing children to art, in its many forms, can make them better thinkers. Art History is one of our favorite subjects, so we are happy to hear this news. I encourage you to visit a museum nearby – they often have days where you can visit for free. If there’s no museum in your location, try the library or even the Internet for art history ideas. I bet adults benefit from art as much as children!

Excellent Literature List by Grade

Excellent Literature by Grade Level

Reading good, quality literature is one sure way to help your child become a better student by boosting their exposure to well-written, masterfully-crafted sentences by classic authors.  These books can also help reinforce exceptional character traits.  Talk about what the characters in the story do to be kind, or how a certain character might have acted in a better way.  Discussion, not just reading, builds better comprehension and allows for excellent analysis of behavior skills.


Here’s just one of many lists out there, broken down by grade level:  Charlotte Mason book list.


Summer Learning?

Summer reading lists, book reports, essays, supplemental math.  What do you have your children do, if anything over the summer?

We homeschool, and do so year round.   Learning doesn’t end for us during the summer months, but it does lighten up considerably.   We also like to get a head start on the upcoming school year so we have wiggle room for lots of unexpected days off and field trips.  

Whether public, private, home school, or other – what are your summer learning plans?

The International Children’s Digital Library

Today I came across a website devoted to putting children’s books in digital form for all to read online.  The International Children’s Digital Library has the following mission statement:

The ICDL Foundation’s goal is to build a collection of books that represents outstanding historical and contemporary books from throughout the world.  Ultimately, the Foundation aspires to have every culture and language represented so that every child can know and appreciate the riches of children’s literature from the world community.

So far I’ve found books relevant to our studies of medieval history, including some of G.A. Henty’s books.

The ICDL was named one of 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning by the American Association of School Librarians.


Science Buddies

With award recognitions from Parents’ Choice, SPORE, the  American Library Association, SciLinks, and NAPPA, Science Buddies has everything you need for fun projects and experiments.  You can even learn how to set up your own science fair with organizational materials and forms.  There’s an “ask an expert” section, as well as a section on careers.

Best news?  It’s all free!    I encourage you to head over & check it out!



Jeannie Fulbright, author of several elementary Apologia science books and homeschooling mother, has the most inspiring newsletter.  I encourage you all to visit her site and sign up for the newsletter, but especially to read this month’s encouragement.

Here’s a quote from an article titled First Things First:

Our first priority should be training the hearts of our children to love the Lord, to love others and to really, really know God. We should be diligent in making “heart training” the important first in our day – a quest we purposefully and actively pursue, rather than just waiting and hoping for teachable moments to arise.

Jeannie reminds us not to let spiritual matters fall by the wayside as we prepare to start another school year filled with all kinds of academic & extracurricular pursuits.

New Time Traveler’s Available {WWII}

I love, love, LOVE supplementing our history studies with these Homeschool in the Wood’s Time Travelers series.  We’ve made beautiful lapbooks & had some fun hands-on learning projects to keep us active. I can’t say enough about Amy Pak’s graphics:   they’re well-done, neat, and classic.

Click the photo above to go to HTTA’s WWII product page.

Did I mention I love this series!?  The program comes with a timeline, notebooking & lapbooking activities, recipes, games, projects, and plans for a Victory Day celebration.  Next to the beauty of this curriculum, I love the price:  $28.95.

The series is recommended for grades 3-8.


{I’m not affiliated with HTTA in any way.  I just LOVE their stuff!  Check out the time lines too.}