Internet Extras to Spice Up a Drab School Day

candlesThis morning, Michael is outside splitting wood until he begins his school. Our 4th grader gets her school done mostly before noon, but today we were a little slow getting things rolling, so I grabbed some inspiration from something our youngest was doing in the early hours to give incentive and excitement to the day….an “intellectual bribe”, if you may. 😉

We have so many wonderful resources available on the internet. A few clicks and we can travel the globe! I love to use resources like this to take textbook and workbook assignments to the next level, and bring them to life.

Katie loves to draw. Rarely will she watch something on the TV without simultaneously sketching. Today she brought me a sketch while I was setting up school online for our oldest on the Homeschool Planet site.  She told me she had drawn it with her mouth. Ah ha!

So while she was getting her chores done, I found this brief video featuring an interview from Joni Eareckson Tada, about her artwork. I showed it to Katie, and she loved it. I showed her some Pinterest posts showing her work. I also told her about a college friend of my husband’s who also does artwork with his mouth. This led into her live, online drawing lesson at 9am with Mark Kistler.

After this, we listened to today’s Keys for Kids Bible lesson and I printed off the key verse for her to do for cursive copy work. Katie then read our second chapter on Adoniram Judson. She had no real point of reference for where Burma was, so I showed her on a map. Then for fun, we looked at a short video from Animal Planet about Burmese cats.

We then moved on to reading our chapter from Mary Poppins, which was a peculiar one called “Bad Tuesday” where Michael had a particularly defiant and naughty day. The book kept talking about a terrible burning Michael had inside of him. I stopped in the middle of the reading and simply asked Katie to tell me what that feeling was.  Her reply? “Sin.” Yes. The day is full of teachable moments about spiritual things, if we look for them.

Our next subject was math, for which we use CTC Math online. I let Katie work independently on her lesson. She lost her Platinum standing (no mistakes at all) for this unit but that didn’t discourage her from asking to do another lesson voluntarily.  She’ll have a chance to regain her Platinum standing in the next unit. Today’s lessons were complete enough that I didn’t need to find a free worksheet for review.

Following math, we moved on to reading. Her story today was about a pioneer family making tallow candles. After her reading was completed, I let her look at this video about candle making on the Lewis & Clark expedition.

Then we moved on to language arts, and reviewed action verbs. We did the workbook exercise, and then I printed off this fun, free worksheet to practice more verbs.

For spelling, we are practicing her current list (from her reading workbook…the words correspond to her current story), using the free version of Spelling City. I enter and save her lists, and then she can learn definitions, and practice spelling using various free games on the site.

Finally, because she loves science (we alternate science and history, every other day) I usually save it for last. We are learning about plants and their various uses right now. Today we learn that plants can be “for enjoyment”, and we’ll look up all the state flowers and compile a list. I might have her do this with this free download for notebooking on the states. We are using this list (which links to actual photos) and  these free coloring pages.

For “wiggle breaks” (we do Wii Fit, trampoline, bikes, etc….for these, she gets up and dances around…she loves this and it helps keep the day sane) today, this was our play list:

Now, on to the 10th grade work! 🙂

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