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January 23, 2015

Even More Top 100 Educational Websites!



Every year, publishes our Top 100 Educational Websites. This list is informational, helpful, and a resource homeschoolers look forward to receiving.

Our 2015 list published on Monday!  Just some of the companies that made the list:

Drawing with Children/Monart Schools


Music Vision International LLC

HomeschoolPiano and


Picaboo Yearbooks

Bookemon, Inc.

MetaMoJi Corporation

Internet Marital Arts (IMA)

Songs for Teaching

Forest Trail Academy

Virtual Schools of Excellence

Halstrom Academy

 Freedom Project Education

If  you’d like to see the entire list, please click here.

January 22, 2015

World Book Product Review

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , , — dailynews @ 4:00 am



This is a product review.  All our reviews can be seen here.

Founded in 1915, World Book, Inc. is a leading publisher of authoritative, age-appropriate, and reliable educational materials for children and adults. You probably used World Book when you were a child—I know I did.

Now, World Book is online—it’s not the World Book of your childhood. It’s SO much more—and they offer a ton of educational content! On the World Book website you can browse by category (online and digital learning, encyclopedias, desk reference and children’s books), by subjects (activity, animals, geography, history, mathematics, reading, science, and more), by age, and by price—it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. And options you might not be aware of which include Incentive Publications (supplemental student resources and professional development titles for educators) and Bright Connections Media (colorful and creative children’s books).

I reviewed the World Book Online one-year subscription, which includes so much! Specifically—

  • Articles are written at your student’s level. Your child can choose which database works for him/her.
  • Five complete databases are available. These include—


  • World Book Advanced: Designed for high school and college students, World Book Advanced includes an online encyclopedia, multimedia, eBook, and primary source databases, fully integrated in a single search. And the primary sources are great!


  • World Book Student: This online learning website includes articles from The World Book Encyclopedia, a Biography Center, dictionary, atlas, an extensive multimedia collection, thousands of editor-selected websites, and much more. I needed to do a little research—and I found the info I needed–quick and easy! And I trusted the info, which is a HUGE plus.


  • World Book Discover: Designed for differentiated instruction, Discover includes reference articles, text-to-speech capabilities, learning and life skills activities, research tools, multimedia, and interactive video. The subjects covered are diverse, and include religion, how to do research, and life skills such as how to purchase a car. Really, a lot is covered here!
  1. World Book Kids: Based on World Book’s Discovery Encyclopedia, World Book Kids is a children’s learning website that includes thousands of easy-to-read articles, engaging images and illustrations, interactive games and activities, and teacher resources for children.
    I enjoyed the animal and science experiments sections quite a bit. Do you know what an Axoloti is? Or how to make your own wormery? I didn’t—but I do now! And the games and activities are fun. A child would really enjoy this portion of the site—just clicking on whatever is of interest.
  2. World Book Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos: Offers World Book’s editorial content, media, and interactive features in Spanish. Is your child learning Spanish? What a great resource for practicing his/her skills!


  • A consolidated layout that makes it easier to find research tools, videos, audios, and more in convenient drop-down tabs (it’s very easy to find things).
  • Illustrations, maps, audio files, videos, eBooks, primary source documents, and more.
  • A consistent cross-platform user experience across desktop, laptop, and tablets (very nice!).
  • Easy access on smartphones and tablets (because we all know our kids love their smartphones and tablets! Perfect for kids on-the-go!).

The World Book has been around forever (well, 100 years!), and that’s because WB provides accurate information, it’s easy to use, and in this day and age, it’s safe! You can’t beat that!

January 21, 2015

Experiencing Community in the Andes Through the Eyes of a Teen Homeschooler

Filed under: Travel — Guest Author @ 10:33 am

My name is Miro Siegel, a 15 year old co-founder, and my mother and I produce Project World School. And yes, while it is true that I am a co-producer of this event, I am writing this strictly from the perspective of an attendee, who had nothing but great experiences and amazing times, not only from the interesting and thought provoking activities, but from the deep friendships that were developed there.

Project World School

When asked what stuck with him the most, Alan (13 years old) responded “The memories of meeting the new friends I made there.”

My mother and I have lived out of the country for around 5 years now, and the whole point of the retreat was to share this immersive lifestyle with anyone interested. By bringing teens together, we created such an overwhelmingly positive community, and through the social aspect I had witnessed things I had never even considered before. All of the attendees of the 2014 Cusco event had an incredibly deep friendship by the end of the retreat, and we learned vastly more through each other than we could have in isolation.

Project World School

Whether it was from the deep cultural immersion, or just through a vital feedback loop, the retreat has left us all with many everlasting memories, all very unique to our own experience, such as our visit to the Andean ‘cuy’ (guinea pig) farm. And when we participated in the slaughtering and dissecting of our lunch, what was an eye opening experience to one, was a harsh learning opportunity to another, and we made sure to share those emotions, and console those who needed it.

Similarly, when we explored the ancient wonders of Sacsayhuaman, we spoke about alternative theories and possibilities. This sparked many friendly discussions and arguments, and through them we developed our own opinions, each differing from the last. From conventional to conspiratorial, all points of view were valued.

“I have a better appreciation of how big the world truly is and how diverse it is from place to place.” Said Samone (17 years old), when asked how she perceives the world differently after the retreat.

Project World School

There were challenges of course, it wasn’t all a walk in the park. In fact, it was more a walk on ancient trails, and strenuous sunny paths, that pushed our physical capacity at times. When we made our hike to Machu Picchu, we lugged around our packs and gear for around 6 hours through a plush, and humid cloud forest, only to finally reach one of the worlds wonders, where we spent another 5 or so hours under the hot, Andean sun, exploring the breathtaking, pre-historic relics. But above all,
we grew, by astronomical amounts, and learned our limits, and more importantly, our strengths.

And throughout the month, we all defined our strengths, our strengths in leadership, in independence, and the ability to support one another.

So, to really sum it up, I leave you with a quote by Wiley (16 years old), “I want to go everywhere, see everything. The world is great, guys.”

This retreat has opened many new possibilities and experiences, and for that I am grateful.

Thank you for reading.

About the author

Miro Siegel is the 15 year old co-founder and producer of Project World School. He lives in South America with his mother and enjoys the unschooling lifestyle. He’s been living on the road for the past 5 years, a third of his life and has traveled to 14 countries. Miro’s main passion is writing and literature and is currently working on a couple volumes of short stories. You can find out more about Miro at his website and

More of the Top 100 Educational Websites

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am




Every year, publishes our Top 100 Educational Websites. This list is informational, helpful, and a resource homeschoolers look forward to receiving.

Our 2015 list published on Monday!  Just some of the companies that made the list:

Read Naturally, Inc.

Essential Skills Advantage (ESA)

Nessy Learning


Reading Kingdom



Schola Publications Inc


Easy Grammar Systems

Language Lizard, LLC

A Book In Time

Gifted and Talented

Mother Goose Time

TestRocker, Inc

Memoria Press


And many, many MORE!

January 20, 2015

Top 100 Educational Websites

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am




Every year, publishes our Top 100 Educational Websites. This list is informational, helpful, and a resource homeschoolers look forward to receiving.

Our 2015 list published yesterday!  Just some of the companies that made the list:


Homeschool Buyers Co-op

Stubby Pencil


Standard Deviants Accelerate


Lesson Planet

ShillerMath: Montessori Math at Home

Kungfu Interactive Pte Ltd

McGraw-Hill Education/ ALEKS

How to Smile


Fascinating Education

Times Tales Multiplication Program

And many, many more!

We sure hope you enjoy our Top 100 Educational Websites of 2015!

January 19, 2015

Top 100 Educational Websites of 2015!




Every year, publishes our Top 100 Educational Websites. This list is informational, helpful, and a resource homeschoolers look forward to receiving.

Our 2015 list published today!

We sure hope you enjoy our Top 100 Educational Websites of 2015!

January 16, 2015

A GREAT Location – A GREAT Vacation!



This is a product review.  All our reviews can be seen here.


Northwest Florida and the Gulf of Mexico—a really idyllic area for family vacationing! Picturesque coastlines, white sugar sands, interesting wild life (I saw my first bald eagle, and I loved watching the dolphins in the ocean!), educational activities, and more—really, you can’t beat the area! But where will you stay? Hotels can be so expensive.

ResortQuest® by Wyndham Vacation Rentals provides top-quality vacation properties that are perfect for homeschooling families (I like having a kitchen, it saves on meals—and a home/condo is so much more comfortable than a hotel room). Some are even pet friendly (our dog LOVES the beach!). Plus, many have amenities (indoor/outdoor pools, fitness centers and direct beach access, to name a few—depending on the chosen location) and many have amazing views (I like being right on the sand, don’t you?).

Plus, there are so many fun/educational things to do in Northwest Florida. In addition to the beach, there are numerous water sport adventures. At the HarborWalk Village in Destin, you can strap on a water-propelled jetpack and shoot 30 feet above the water. You can parasail with a group of friends and soar up to 800 feet in the air three at a time, tandem, or by yourself. Want something a little tamer? Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park in Destin, was voted one of America’s best water parks by the Travel Channel®. Or you can visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park – where kids can see dolphins, alligators, sea turtles, penguins and more (of course, they might see some of these in the wild as well!). The Southern Star Dolphin Cruises are a blast—they’re certainly memorable—your kids will love them. The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station is very educational as is the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. If you have a need for speed, you can spend a day at Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway and enjoy all of the twists and turns of high-speed racing. Or, you can always play a round of golf – many courses in the area have received honors from Golf Magazine®, Golf Week®, Golf Digest® and Travel+Leisure®. Want more? At Milton’s Adventures Unlimited Outdoor Center, you can zip line through numerous platforms hovering over white sands and clear rivers. Also, we went snorkeling-which was a blast. Just being on….or in the water was so nice!

Plus, ResortQuest offers a Privileges program for their guests which includes discounts on many of the above activities, as well as on spa treatments, bike rentals, food and more. These benefits make a beach vacation even more affordable.

ResortQuest offers everything needed to create a memorable, idyllic, and educational vacation. And I have to say….I LOVE the beaches of Northwest Florida.

January 15, 2015

Educating Children with ADD/ADHD


calvert blog


Strategies for Educating Children with ADD/ADHD

Written by Crystal Pratt


Children with ADD/ADHD (hereafter referred to as ADHD) are creative, energetic, imaginative, and resourceful people. They have a wonderful spirit. You wouldn’t trade your child’s personality for the world. But sometimes, there’s school work to be done. Sometimes, you really need your child to sit still. Sometimes you really just want a few minutes of peace. Or is that just true at my house?

Learning doesn’t have to be a chore for the ADHD student. It seems to me to be such a waste to bore these wonderful minds when it just takes a little bit of creativity on our part to keep them going. In my eighteen years of being a parent to an ADHD child, I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. I’ve taught public school classrooms with students all over the ADHD spectrum. Regardless of the severity of their condition or the presence of medication or other therapies, I have found some strategies that really helped my ADHD kids to become better learners.

If you’re reading this article, you are probably already aware of the characteristics and symptoms of a child with Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder. You may notice impulsivity, inattention, hyperactivity, disorganization, hyper-focus, or forgetfulness. You may have noticed these symptoms even before your child was of school age. Then, when he or she starts school, you begin to have your concerns verified when you notice failure to complete assignments in a timely manner, disorganized work habits, or producing messy or careless work. However, homeschooling does not have to be a struggle for the ADHD child or the parent.

Some of the strategies I have found to be successful are:

  • Allow for breaks in the lesson or homework. Let the child get up and move around.
  • Ask yourself, is it really necessary for my child to be sitting to do his work? Will he get the same result if I allow him to stand to do his work?
  • Provide as many hands-on activities as possible.
  • Teach to your child’s strengths and talents.
  • Keep things in perspective. Remember that your child is not doing any of these things to misbehave.
  • Minimize distractions. I found that something at simple as asking my son write with a regular pencil as opposed to a mechanical pencil made a huge difference. He liked to distract himself by playing with the lead.
  • Develop a regular routine.
  • Give your student something to hold in her hands while you give instructions. Give her a piece of modeling clay or let her color while you read aloud. She will actually absorb more of what you say when she has something to do.
  • Use a written plan or contract with your child. This gives your child a concrete goal.
  • Place something for them to touch in their work area. A piece of Velcro works well. It provides the student something to focus on and keeps the impulse to wander around at bay.
  • Keep the work area free of mess. A messy area will tend to overwhelm the child. He’ll get the feeling that he doesn’t really know where to start.
  • Use binders for subjects to help your child keep her work organized. Organization is one of the toughest things that ADHD people come up against.
  • Most importantly, be flexible. One of these tips may work one day and not the next. You’ll need to mix things up to keep your ADHD child from becoming bored.

As parents, we know that just because something works with one child, it may not work with another. It’s always a great idea to keep a bag of tricks on hand. What strategies have you used to work with your children who struggle with ADHD?


Crystal Pratt is an employee of Calvert Education Services. She has been involved in education for 20 years. Crystal is a certified teacher, a writer, and a lover of all things that sparkle.

For more teaching tips and strategies for educating ADD/ADHD children, watch a recorded video of Calvert’s free webinar, Inspiring Struggling Students: Strategies to Support Students with ADHD

January 14, 2015

Cultural Jambalaya – Free and Online

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: — dailynews @ 4:00 am



Cultural Jambalaya offers award-winning, educational DVDs for teachers and parents, which include global images and narratives highlighting fascinating people and intriguing cultures. Supported by an online study guide, the videos are a resource for teachers and parents to engage students in a variety of subjects, including social studies, geography, history, diversity and language.

You can watch the videos online free of charge. The study guides are free of charge as well.

Just thought you’d like to know.


January 13, 2015

Writing Engaging History for Young Adults



Writing Engaging History for Young Adults

A Guest Blog Post Written by Dr. Leigh A. Arrathoon

Leigh is an award-winning author. One her websites is which offers both e-books and hard-copy books for homeschooling History and Language Arts, along with accompanying FREEstudy guides.


Social Studies were deadly boring! My teacher used to sit on top of his desk and argue current events with three students, while the rest of us squirmed in our seats. In college, I learned that history could be fun when you read diaries and private letters, but the textbooks were still unpalatable. The academic authorities for my own historical fictions would have been inaccessible to most teens. This is why I opted for adventure books when I was asked to write histories for the Michigan public schools in 1999.

My first attempt was a series for ages 8-10, called Jody’s Michigan Adventures. It was about a little boy named Kevin Murphy, whose mother talks him into writing down his sister’s imaginative accounts of their family trips. Kevin, who wants to become an historian, takes his mother’s advice to combine his analytical view of these excursions with his sister’s undisciplined tales of adventure. Kevin’s mother, of course, is teaching him what every fiction writer needs to do: to temper his unbridled imagination with logic and facts. The books were a big success for a tiny press. We sold over 100,000 copies.

I decided to make Kevin grow up and write about his teenage adventures from the point of view of an older man. And this was the birth of The Journals of Kevin Murphy. In these books (for ages 11-16), Katie, the little sister, is relegated to the background, although imagination still plays a major role. A good deal of Euro- and Native American History runs throughout the books, along with important life lessons, and language arts (French in Vol. I, Summer of the Bear;  Spanish in Vol. II, Son of Fireheart, Native American languages in all three books, and, of course, English). The surface of each tale offers an adventure in which the young reader can become involved.

In the award-winning Summer of the Bear, it’s the mystery of the Bearwalker; in Son of Fireheart, it’s the challenge of helping an Indian boy, whose only reading experience has been the Fireheart sections of the Spider Man Comics, to discover his true identity and to become a valuable member of the tribe from which he has been separated. And, in Vol. III, Eagle from the Dawn, it’s a spectacular trip across the Rockies, during which Kevin must learn to let go of his idolized horse, Tipyahlanah Kaupu (Eagle from the Dawn), so that he can pursue meaningful human relationships.

Of course, I would have loved for my young readers to be able to extract all of the history and language from these texts by themselves, but, as a teacher, I realize that it takes a facilitator to guide the child through the multi-levels of my texts. What I guess is that, at least the reader’s imagination is caught by the adventure, and his interest in the history is engaged. At the end of the day, we grown-ups don’t teach every fact we wish we could. What we are really doing is showing our children the best way to learn what they will eventually need to know and how to ask the right questions. That is probably the best result any teacher can expect.


Dr. Leigh Arrathoon is a Spanish instructor at Rochester College, which is a Christian school in Rochester, Michigan. She teaches French, Spanish, and English privately and on the internet. If you would like to know more about her, her complete biography is available on Amazon, where she has a number of electronic books and stories for sale, and on her websites: and ebooksandbooksinprintforkids3-25.comSummer of the Bear won the Michigan State History Award for books for Children and Young Adults in 2007.

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