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Biography: Resources on Julia Child

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015

Julia Carolyn Child (August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was born in Pasadena, California as Julia Carolyn McWilliams.  After receiving an education at both the Westridge School and Polytechnic School in Pasadena, Julia attended Smith College in Massachusetts. After college, she moved to New York City and worked as a copyright in the advertising department of W. & J. Sloane, an upscale home-furnishing firm. In 1937, she returned to California and spent the next four years writing, working and volunteering. In 1942, during WWII, Julia joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)and moved to Washington D.C., where she worked directly with the leader of the OSS, General William J. Donovan.  In 1944, Julia was assigned to a post in Kandy, Ceylon and then later to China.   It is in Ceylon that she met Paul Child, another OSS employee.  On September 1, 1946, Paul and Julia wed in Lumberville, Pennsylvania.  Their lives then took them to Washington D.C. and later to Paris, Franch in 1948. It is in Paris that Julia Child attends Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, studies under Master Chefs like Max Bugnard, and meets Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.  Together the three women, Child, Beck and Bertholle, write the world-famous cookbook  Mastering the Art of French Cooking.   This cookbook was first published in 1961. The Childs continued to move about Europe until they finally settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Julia’s first cooking show, The French Chef, debuted in 1963 and ran for the next 10 years. Julia Child spent the rest of her life cooking, baking, writing and starring in a variety of cooking shows. Julia went on to publish another sixteen cookbooks and starred in ten additional television series and specials. Julia Child’s kitchen which was designed by her husband, Paul Child, is now on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C..  This kitchen served as the setting for three of her cooking shows. To learn more about Julia Child check out these great resources:     The Julia Child Foundation At the Julia Child Foundation, you can learn more about Julia’s life (through a great timeline) and her accomplishments. Julia Child at the Smithsonian  Virtually tour Julia Child’s kitchen (available in both flash and text versions) at the Smithsonian.  Here you can, explore her kitchen, learn more about the cooking tools and gadgets she used and read stories about her life. Go behind the scenes of this exhibit at What’s Cooking?.   Learn more about this kitchen’s journey and how it went from a simple kitchen in Cambridge to a full-fledged exhibit at the Smithsonian.  Listen to audio clips by Julia herself, as she talks about her kitchen in Julia’s Stories.    Visit the Project Diary section to learn more about:  Exploring Julia Child’s Kitchen, Talking with Julia, Packing the Kitchen, Curating the Collection and Creating an Exhibit. In the Resources section, the Smithsonian also provides a  recommended children’s book list, which consists of cookbooks, fiction and non-fiction cooking themed books.   PBS: Julia Child View (and print!) Julia Child’s recipes online. Watch full episodes, clips and more in the Julia Child Video Collection. The Julia Child Video Library includes episodes from: In Julia’s Kitchen, Baking with Julia (38 full episodes), In Julia’s Kitchen with Mater Chefs (37 full episodes), Julia Child: Cooking with Master Chefs (16 full episodes) Cooking in Concert Series, and The French Chef. Take a Julia Child quiz to find out “Which Julia Are You?”.   Amazon Prime...

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American History: Revolutionary War (Liberty’s Kids DVD Series for $5)

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015

Liberty’s Kids: DVD Series Recommended for ages 6 – 11 I purchased the Liberty’s Kids: Complete Series DVD set last week at Target.  At only $7.50 it seemed like a great deal, although Amazon currently sells it for $5.00 (which is an even better deal!).  We’ve watched four episodes so far and both my kids love it. Liberty’s Kids explores Colonial life in America.  It was a series that was developed by DHX Cookie Jar and first aired on PBS.  The series follows the lives of two teenagers (Sarah and James), a former slave (Moses), and an eight-year-old boy named Henri.   Sarah is a British loyalist while James is colonist and an American patriot.  This series includes 40 half-hour episodes was produced in 2003.  Guest voices include Annette Bening, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Ben Stiller and Liam Neeson. Topics include: Slavery Thomas Jefferson John Adams The American Flag The Boston Tea Party Paul Revere George Washington Benjamin Franklin Benedict Arnold The Ratification of the Declaration of Independence The Civil War Liberty’s Kids.com free Find online games, coloring pages and more Go behind the scene into the making of this series Visit the Library Archive to learn about 36 different historical figures, historical objects and 17 historical places In the Parents and Teacher’s Section, you will find:  short plays developed for children, lesson plans, historical facts, teaching tips,  activities, and...

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Grammar: 8 Free Online Resources

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015

Whether you are writing or teaching grammar, everyone can use some grammatical help once in a while.  Luckily, there are several great resources readily available online  — and they just so happen to be free.     Grammarly free Grammarly has a free online tool that will check your writings for grammatical errors.  Errors are underlined in red or green.  Not only will it find misspelled words, but it also makes punctuation and word choice suggestions. You can also download an app that will run in Chrome and find all of your mistakes (for better or worse) in everything you write while in Chrome.  They also have downloads for Microsoft Office and Outlook. A free plagiarism checker is also available. They also have a blog where everything related to grammar is discussed, along with tips, quizzes, and trivia. Subscriptions are also available and they range in price from $11.66 – $29.95. Guide to Grammar and Writing free This guide to grammar and writing is sponsored by the nonprofit Capital Community College Foundation and is dedicated to the late Dr. Charles Darling (the creator of this online guide). A wealth of grammar information is contained on this site; charts, examples, and quizzes accompany each grammar lesson. This site contains over 170 online quizzes. Navigating the site is made easy by well-organized drop-down menus, a search box, and an extensive index. A FAQ section provides answers to a number of common grammatical issues, like “affect versus effect” and “beginning a sentence with the world and or but“.   Learn English Kids free British Council This site is created by United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities.  Learn English Kids has online games, stories, lessons and activities to help elementary aged children learn English. This site teaches spelling, writing, reading, and grammar. Registration is required to access certain areas of the website (registration is free). A variety of grammar rules is explained through short videos.  Printable worksheets and answer keys are included with each video (registration is required to access these worksheets). Contains printable grammar tests, quizzes and reference cards .  Grammar rules and brief examples precede the grammar test sections. Practice your English grammar with simple interactive online games. Learn English also has two other websites LearnEnglishTeens and TeachingEnglish. Onestopenglish  free & $ Onestopenglish.com is a teacher resource site, part of Macmillan Education, one of the world’s leading publishers of English language teaching materials. Grammar is explained in their grammar reference section.  These explanations are easy to follow and concise. You can also sign up for different weekly newsletters (lesson plan may be included). Registration is required to access this site and at least half of this site is for subscription members only (teachers/institutions). Online Writing Lab (OWL) free The Learning Center at D’Youville College This site is a good reference tool for teachers or older students looking for information regarding grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation. Use OWL to learn and review basic grammar rules.  The topics covered on this site include  sentence construction, common sentence construction errors, agreements and the parts of speech. Examples and online practice exercises accompany these mini-lessons. Online Writing Lab (OWL) free Purdue University At Purdue’s Online Writing Lab students and teachers can learn all about grammar and the mechanics of writing (among many other things). Grammar topics covered are spelling, numbers, adjectives, adverbs, appositives, articles, prepositions, pronouns, nouns and verbs. The parts of speech are covered...

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US History: Colonial Williamsburg (Free)

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015

Colonial Williamsburg This site is maintained by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  Colonial Williamsburg gives you a comprehensive look at what life was like during colonial times in America.  It is filled with images, audio clips, podcasts, slideshows, videos, live webcams, downloadable PDFs, games (for both adults and children), book recommendations, teaching resources, online collections,  and more. This site is broken down into eight main sections  History, Education, Publication, Research, Museum, Debate, Multimedia, and Kids. History Learn more about the people of Williamsburg (the founders, businessmen, housewives, servants, slaves etc.).  Some of the people profiled include  Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Martha Washington, Gowan Pamphlet (preacher), Gaby Burwell (slave), Catherine Blaikley (midwife) and John Montour (Native American interpreter). You can also learn about the clothing they wore, their gardens (past and present), historical places in Williamsburg, the occupations and trades of colonial people (apothecary, blacksmith, cooper, foodways, wheelwright etc.), and  The American Revolution (this is a separate website: www.ouramericanrevolution.org) Learn about fifes and drums (downloads, audio clips, videos, etc.) There is also an interactive map of the city which allows you to explore Colonial Williamsburg virtually. Education Learn more about in-person field trips, electronic field trips, downloadable lesson plans, and teacher resources. Read select articles from their Teacher Gazette E-Newsletter online or sign up here to receive a copy of this free, monthly e-newsletter. Learn about HERO, a  new multimedia library and e-learning environment sponsored by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  This is a subscription based service and homeschooling discounts are available. Publication Read the current Colonial Williamsburg Journal issue online. You can view and search old issues of this journal as well (going back as far as 1992). Shop for books, videos, DVD’s and music at their online store. Research Read about their current projects in their Current Project section, like the Market House Reconstruction project, the Capitol Ravine Excavation, and Project Archive. Learn more about archeology, history, architecture and historic trades in their Research Area. Visit other Online Resources, which include Virtual Williamsburg, The American Revolution, Slavery and Remembrance, Digital Library, eWilliamsburg and Principles of Freedom. Get visitor’s information on the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library or search for materials online and visit their digital library. Museum Learn about the museums of Williamsburg and their collections. Visit their Online Collection which includes images of architectural fragments, artwork, ceramics, costumes and accessories, furniture, glass, household items, maps, mechanical items, musical instruments, quilts,  textiles, tools and equipment, toys and more. Visit their Online Exhibits, which includes a Portrait of George Washington, Historical Threads: Three Centuries of Clothing, Conserving the Murray Sisters, Coins and Currency of Colonial America, Mapping Colonia America and more. Videos, slideshows, podcasts and downloads are also available. Debate This section is called The Tavern, where citizens debate.  What is The Tavern? “In 18th-century taverns, citizens exchanged ideas and opinions about the events of the day. The Tavern renews that tradition, featuring thoughtful commentary on current events and how they relate to American history and citizenship.” (The Tavern) Read articles and blog posts, watch debates and subscribe to The Tavern updates in the Debate section. Multimedia Downloads, slideshows, video, podcasts, audio clips, ePostcards, an online photo store and games are all available in the Multimedia section. View the city live through webcams (Multimedia section).  Live webcams capture video from outside The Raleigh Tavern, Merchants Square, the Capitol, the Courthouse, the Armoury and the Market House Reconstruction. Kids At the Kid’s Zone:...

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Mathematics: Khan Academy (Free)

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015

Khan Academy free Khan Academy is a non-profit organization founded in 2006.  The founder, Salman Khan, believed that everyone in the world should be entitled to a free education and from this belief Khan Academy was born.  Salman Khan has a BS in mathematics, a M.Sc. in electrical engineering and computer science and an MEng in electrical engineering and computer science from M.I.T..  He also holds a  Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. This is what you can find in their mathematics section: There are teaching tools available for both parents and teachers.  Parents and Teacher create their own logins to track student progress. They have Spanish, French, and Brazilian Portuguese versions of the site. Khan Academy produced Youtube videos provide students with live lessons Math lessons are broken down by topic and skill level.  Videos and interactive practice problems accompany lessons. Early math (K-2nd Grade):  counting, place value, patterns, addition, subtraction, measurement, geometry 3rd Grade:  addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, measurement, geometry, place value, rounding, expressions, and patterns. 4th grade:  addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, measurement, geometry, place value, rounding, factors, multiples and patterns 5th grade: arithmetic operations, fractions, place value, and decimals, algebraic thinking 6th grade: arithmetic operations, negative numbers, ratios, rates, percentages, properties of numbers, variables and expressions, geometry, data and statistics 7th grade: rates, proportional relationships, ratios, negative numbers (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) fractions, decimals, percentages, variables and expressions, geometry, statistics and probability 8th grade: numbers and operations, solving problems with one unknown, two-variable linear equations and functions, systems of equations, geometry, data and modeling Algebra:  Basics, Algebra I and Algebra II, Linear Algebra Geometry Trigonometry Probability and Statistics Calculus:  Precalculus, Calculus, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus,  Multivariable Calculus Visit the Mathematics Section of Home & Schooling for...

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Science: Visual Encyclopedia of Science

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015

    When this book first arrived in the mail a few years ago (I bought it used at Half.com), I was shocked at how small it was.  I was expecting a much larger, much more impressive encyclopedia for me to read to my five-year-old daughter (I was very ambitious when I first started homeschooling).  Instead, I received this six and a half inch book in the mail and it was smaller than my daughter’s barbie dolls.  Disappointed I shelved it away and went on to bigger and better books. Luckily, my daughter did not share the same sentiment.  A few months into our homeschooling year, I found Alice tightly grasping this book and very intently, studying its pages.  Of course, she was too young to read the book, but that didn’t stop her.  Inside it’s pages were pictures of planets, flowers, animals, the earth, weather, and inventions (among other things).    And best of all, it fit nicely into her cute little hands.  It was neither too large nor too heavy.  It was the perfect size for our little girl.  Now that she’s reading on her own these books have taken on a completely different meaning to her.  Whereas before I had to sit down and read them to her, she can now read some of the passages by herself.  Although she still needs me to explain different scientific concepts to her, these explanations are becoming less and less frequent.  For now she’s been looking at this book for so many years, all of it’s great scientific information is finally taking hold. What I’ve come to like best about these books (we have several Visual Encyclopedias by DK), is that the passages are concise and informative.  They contain easy to read summaries, relevant facts, and engaging illustrations, photographs, and charts. Book Facts Title:  Visual Encyclopedia of Science Publisher:  DK Publishing ISBN: 0756607000 Published: 2005 Number of Pages: 512 Topics Covered:  Chemistry, Physics, Earth, Weather, Space and The Living World (plants, animals, ecosystems etc.) Recommended Age Group:  Preschool – 6th Grade Printing Status: Out of Print Price:  Buy it used for under $5 at Amazon.com or Half.com...

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Reading: We Give Books (Free)

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015

We Give Books began in 2010.  As of today over 3, 782, 703 books have been read on this site. We Give Books contains a large variety of children and young adult books that can be read online.    You can filter this collection by age, genre and author.  You can also sort this collection by date and popularity.  Featured books, editor’s picks and classic book lists are also available.  In October 2014, We Give Books joined First Book.   We Give Books   free Registration required (free) This collection includes board books, picture books, easy readers and chapter books in both fiction and non-fiction. Book by popular authors like Rosemary Wells (Max and Ruby), Anna Dewdney (Llama Llama) and DK publishing are included in this collection. Books can be read online (there is no read-a-loud feature) Author information is included with each book (activities and worksheets are listed when available) The recommended ages for these books is 0 – 10 (board books are included in this collection) Activities, plans and other teaching resources Great resource for when you can’t get to the...

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Curriculum: Starfall.com Overview

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015

Starfall is designed for pre-kindergartens to second graders.  We purchased a membership several years ago when my daughter was in preschool.  This is one of the many tools we used in teaching her how to read.  To us, it’s a bargain at $35 a year.  Both of my children, Alice (second grade), and Cheshire (kindergarten) love the books, songs, games and activities that can be found at Starfall.com. Even without a membership, you can still access all of the same learning materials that helped launch my daughter into reading. Membership Details All memberships are valid for 365 days. Home Membership ($35) – This membership provides you with one account that can be used by different members of your immediate family.  After you become a member, you can “authorize” several computers at once so that multiple children can be logged into your Starfall.com account at the same time. Teacher’s Membership ($75) – One teacher and 6 students can use the account simultaneously; see website for details. Classroom Membership ($150) – This membership can be used for one classroom in a school; see website for details. School Membership ($270) – This membership covers one school campus; see website for details. Free Resources Some of the free resources available at Starfall.com include: ABCs: Short animated videos that teach the alphabet, vowels and how to sign the alphabet. Learn to Read: 15 basic and interactive books; these were created to teach the fundamentals of reading.  Each book is a part of a greater lesson that includes additional activities, movies, and games.  Reading is taught through both phonetic and whole language lessons. It’s Fun to Read and I’m Reading: Interactive books help children take their new found reading skills to the next level. Calendar and holiday activities and lessons The Homeschooling section contains free worksheets and books for kids to enjoy, like blank certificates, seasonal handouts, reading and writing journals, puppet templates, etc.. At the Teacher’s Lounge, you can download free ABC worksheets on how to write each letter (A-Z), number worksheets, lined paper, picture cards, sample lesson plans and more. Member Resources Some of the membership resources include: Learn pre-kindergarten to second-grade math skills (counting, time, addition, subtraction, days of the week, basic multiplication and division, geometry, and measurement). You children can learn and sing children’s classics in their sing-a-long section (Farmer in the Dell, Pat-a-Cake). There is also a section for nursery rhymes and historical folk songs. Read more books in the Talking Library (these books are also interactive and there is an option to have the books read aloud). Additional phonics lesson A variety of worksheets (reading, writing, phonics, numbers, math), picture cards, calendars, lesson plans, word find puzzles, color by number worksheets,  teaching guides, unit studies, animal kingdom printouts, writing rubric,  downloadable books, biographical information on famous Americans (Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Rosa Parks, etc.)  and more is located in the Teacher’s Lounge. Starfall Store Starfall also sells games, puzzles, stuffed animals, books, CD-ROMS, and more at their online store. Apps A free Starfall app is available at the Apple Store, Google Play and Kindle Fire (internet connection is required for an app to run). In order to access all of the app’s content, you need to be a Starfall member (there is very little free content provided in the app). At this time, they also have 10 additional apps that range in price...

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Science: Bring Zoo Animals into Your Home (Virtually)

Posted by on Mar 22, 2015

Are you learning about animals right now or do you want to?  If you can’t get to the zoo (and who can most days).  Visit these great virtual zoos online.  Our favorite was the Richmond Cheetah Cam –log on at night and watch them sleep (the cubs are adorable!). Virtual Zoo World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) There are over 600 animals in this virtual zoo. The virtual zoo contains mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and invertebrates. Choose animals by species, randomly from pictures, from the zoo map and from the different world regions. Animal names, scientific names, animal photographs, animal facts, zoo information (why zoo’s keep these animals? etc), distribution information (information on habitat, range, wild population, zoo population, etc.), and a map as to where these animals live in the wild can all be found in this virtual zoo. Live Zoo Cameras National Zoo (Smithsonian National Zoological Park) – Animal Cams View animals live at the National Zoo. Elephant Cam Asian Small-Clawed Otter Cam Clouded Leopard Cam Fishing Cats Cam Lion Cub Cam Naked Mole-Rat Cam Orangutan Cam Panda Cam Houston Zoo View animals live the Houston Zoo. Flamingo Habitat Giraffe Feeding Platform Giraffe Yard Chimpanzee Window Chimpanzee Yard Elephant Pool Elephant Yard Rhino Yard San Diego Zoo View animals live the San Diego Zoo. Pandas Apes Elephants Polar Bears Woodland Park Zoo View animals live the Woodland Park Zoo. Bear Cam Giraffe Barn Cam Savanna Cam Richmond Cheetah Cam A partnership between the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Metro Richmond...

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Audiobooks: Build an Audio Library using Audible© Sales & Promotions

Posted by on Feb 22, 2015

  When I can’t find it for free through Overdrive, ClickIt or Hoopla Digital (three online digital subscription services I use with my library card), or I want to own a copy for myself, I turn to Audible. Last year we went searching for an audiobook at our local library and when they didn’t own it, I turned to Amazon and discovered Audible.  Previously we used our local library as our only resource for all of our audiobook needs.  Audiobooks are expensive, and we were interesting in purchasing them for reasonable prices.  Since we are frequent Amazon customers and Audible is an Amazon company, when I noticed the three month free Audible trial, I immediately signed up.  Here is what we discovered: What is Audible? Audible is a subscription service for audiobooks, audio magazines, newspapers, radio and TV programs.  They have over 150K titles as part of their collection.   How Audible Works:   Audible offers several different types of plans: Audible Listener Gold: 1 credit per month.  Cost:  $14.95 per month. Audible Listener Platinum: 2 credits per month.  Cost:  $22.95 a month. Audible Silver Plan:  This plan is bi-monthly. Cost: $14.95 every other month and receive one credit bi-monthly. Audible Listener Gold Annual:  12 credits all at once for $149.50.  No monthly charges, though you are still a member, until one year from when you began this membership. How Credits and Membership Discounts Work: Nearly every book on Audible is worth “one credit” with a few exceptions.  A rare number of Audible’s books are 2, 3, 4 or 5 credits.  These mostly consist of book compilations or courses. An example of this is a German Language course:  “German Phase 2, Units 1-30:  Learn to Speak and Understand German with Pimsleur Language Programs.”  In comparison, the shorter courses consisting of 1-2 units are one credit. Audible Does Not Determine Credits Based On the Length of the Book.  One Credit Books Include:  “War and Peace”by Leo Tolstoy (61 hours and 8 minutes). “Complete Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (70 hours) “The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkein (19 hours) “Watership Down” by Richard Adams (15 hours and 51 minutes) “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway  (2 hours and  30 minutes).   Acquiring Audible Credits: Upon enrolling in a plan you receive at least one credit (more depending on your plan) and are eligible to purchase books at the membership discount price.  You may also take advantage of their promotional sales. Depending on the plan you select, you receive at least one credit every other month (silver), one every month (gold), two a month (platinum) or 12 credits all at once (Gold Annual)(For Gold Annual you are given your credits and billed at the same time for the entire year — you are not billed again nor do you receive credits again until the following year).  Since one credit is worth the same as a book that costs $0.48 or one that is $48.95, it makes the most sense to always use your credits for the most expensive books. Choose A Device to listen to Audible: You can listen to your audiobooks via Audible’s free app on your smarthpone, Kindle, Nook, tablet, computer, mp3, or other device.  Once you’ve made your purchase, tell Audible where to send it and begin listening to your audiobook on your...

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Free Curriculum @ Your Library with Premium Databases

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015

Free Homeschool Curriculum Resources with Your Local Library Part One We are always looking for ways to cut costs while still providing our children with access to the best academic resources.  Investing in your child’s education can get expensive quickly and finding quality free resources is key to reducing homeschooling costs without compromising your child’s academic experience.  Most public libraries offer free access to otherwise expensive commercial services that can help advance your child’s education without the accompanying high price tag. Using Your Library for Free Curriculum: Every library is different and not all offer the same access to databases and other subscription services, however, the following exceptional databases are frequently offered in most public libraries. Here are some of my favorite programs to explore and take advantage of with your library card: Hoopla Digital: Hoopla is an online digital media service available through a large number of libraries.  Patrons establish an account with their library card and can access e-books, audiobooks, films, documentaries, educational and instructional videos, and music albums.  All content is available without waiting, there are no holds.   Each user is allowed to check out 10 items per month (ten downloads).  Lending periods: TV and movies for 3 days, audiobooks for 21 days, and music albums for 7 days. The Hoopla app is available through iTunes or the Google Play Store.  You can download and access your content through Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 8 and 9, and Safari. Hoopla is available on any iOS device that run iOS 6 or newer, iPad 2 and newer, iPad Air and Mini, and Iphone 3-6.  It is also available with several Android OS devices that run 4.0 or newer, Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets, Google Nexus, Nook, Motorola Droiz Razr M phone, and more. Some of My Favorite Free Hoopla Curriculum for Students: Examples of Hoopla Digital’s Audiobooks for Elementary Students:  The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything by Maira Kalman Spanish In Minutes:  How to Study Spanish the Fun Way by Liv Montgomery Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll  Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola The Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz Brave Irene by William Steig Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik The Fox Went Out On A Chilly Night by Peter Spier The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde Examples of Audiobooks for Middle & High School: Non-Fiction The Decline of the Fall of the Roman Empire Spanish In Minutes:  How to Study Spanish the Fun Way by Liv Montgomery Classic Fiction: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Little Women by Louisa May Alcott The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson Vanity Fire by W.M. Thackeray The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan Moby Dick by Herman Melville The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre...

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FREE Educator Discount Card from Barnes and Noble

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015

    Homeschool Teacher Discount Cards with Barnes & Noble As a homeschooling parent I frequently purchase workbooks, books, study aides and more as part of our children’s education.   Curriculum is expensive, especially when purchasing for several kids.  We order a lot of our materials from Amazon, however, we still purchase enough materials from our local Barnes and Noble store. For study guides and other books, I often want to browse the selection in person.  A while back I  stumbled upon the Barnes and Noble Educator Discount card while visiting our nearby store and always one for a sale, I immediately signed up. What is the Barnes & Noble Education Discount Card? Barnes & Noble offers an Educator Discount card for teachers, including homeschooling teaching parents, allowing them a 20% discount on most educational purchases.  Card holders may also receive 25% off Publisher’s List Books during Education Appreciation Days along with other e-mail promotional specials. Who is eligible? If you are a homeschooling parent (or an educator at a public or private school) teaching pre-K through grade 12 you are eligible for the card. How do I apply for the card? You may apply for the card at a Barnes and Noble store.  The application can not be completed online. Are there any Fees Associated with the Barnes and Noble Educator Card? The Barnes and Noble Educator Card is completely free for those that are eligible.  There are no application or annual fees. What Proof do I need? If you are a public or private classroom teacher, you will need a valid school ID or pay stub.  For homeschooling parents, you will need to provide a copy of your Letter of Intent or your current HSLDA membership card, names and grades of children currently homeschooled, a completed application with your address and a valid photo ID.  Despite teaching in public schools for years, I only recently obtained a Barnes and Noble Educator’s Card using my current HSLDA member ID along with the completed  application and my driver’s license. What Purchases May I use with My Barnes and Noble Educator Discount Card? You may use your card to purchase workbooks, textbooks, study aides, educational toys, games and more as long as it is related to your child’s education.  Some exclusions apply including:  “Café items; Music; DVDs; Blu-ray Discs; Gift Cards; eGift cards; periodicals; textbooks; digital content (including but not limited to eBooks, digital magazines, and periodicals); NOOK® or NOOK related accessories; other hardware and electronics; software; Rosetta Stone product; downloadable audiobooks in MP3 or any other format; products or services provided online at BN.com via Barnes & Noble BookQuest LLC.” (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/bn-at-school/faq.asp?pid=29904) May I Combine Other Discounts and Promotions with the Educator’s Card? The B&N Educator’s Discount Card cannot be combined with other coupons or membership discounts. Does My Card Expire?  Your educational discount card is good for two years from activation.  After two years you may renew if you qualify (same qualifications as previously stated). How Long Does it Take to Receive My Card? Once approved you receive your card immediately.  Mine took only a few minutes to process and a short while later I used it to purchase a stack of Kumon books, a Peterson’s Egghead Vocabulary Study Guide and a few picture books. Is there a Limit to the Number of Purchases I May Use with this Card?  As of...

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Enhance Your Child’s Reading with Audiobooks

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015

  Using Audiobooks to Raise Your Child’s Reading Level  As a homeschooling mother of four, I spend a lot of time trawling through curriculum resources searching for ways to enhance my children’s learning.  One of my favorite ways to supplement reading, bring it to life and make it enjoyable for my kids is to add audiobooks to their reading.  Although I read to my children almost every day and we always have a few audiobook projects in the works — it never hurts to add in additional time with the audio version of the book while they follow along with the print version (e-book or traditional).   Audiobooks Model Correct Prosody Audiobooks have a wide array of subjects including fiction, non-fiction, plays, autobiographies and biographies, science, history and much more — we are never lacking in audio choices.  Some of you may be thinking:  I understand audiobooks are fun, but do they really count towards reading?  Yes, they do.  Audiobooks are a great resource that can be used to enhance your child’s reading comprehension, fluency and raise their reading levels.  Some people consider listening to the audio version of a book an ersatz substitution that shouldn’t be classified as “reading.”  While I do agree that audiobooks should not be used as a substitute for reading in and of itself, this incredible resource definitely has it’s merits and place in the literary world.  Audiobooks model correct pronunciation, intonation, reading prosody and offer endless listening opportunities.   Shortly after joining my college cycling team I learned to draft.  For those of you that are not familiar with drafting, it’s a technique used in cycling (and car racing) that allows the cyclist to exert less energy while gently pulled forward by the cyclist or cyclists in front of you (And the more cyclists in front of you, the better the draft).  Depending on which way the wind is blowing, you may line up your front wheel to the right, left, or directly behind the wheel in front of you to latch on.  The Texas sun can be brutal, add to that a New Yorker with little exposure to weather outside the northeast, and a thirty or forty mile practice ride in 102 degree weather could be rather draining.  I think of audiobooks in a similar way to drafting.  Does a thirty mile bike ride count when you are drafting from the guy (or guys) in front of you?  You bet.  Would you be in better shape if you were out in front leading the pack without any benefit of a fantastic draft?  Yes.  Does it still count as exercise?  Most definitely.  The same holds true for reading via audiobooks.  It’s phenomenal if your child reads epic novels day and night, already has flawless pronunciation and perfect reading prosody — but if not, don’t feel bad that he or she is human.  Instead, formulate a plan to add audiobooks to your child’s reading schedule and help them achieve a nice effortless pull forward — some easy help akin to the perfect draft. Signs Your Child Could Benefit From Audio Books Is your child often frustrated when he or she reads aloud?  Do they read too slowly, make too many mistakes and struggle with pronunciation?  If your child is complaining that books are boring, exhausting and a waste of time, consider adding audiobooks to your...

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