100 Famous Homeschoolers
This guest blog post was written by Megan Wendt, from Alpha Omega Publications
Limiting our list of famous homeschoolers to just 100 was a daunting task, but here they are – scholars, athletes, politicians, entertainers, artists, and many more notable names from past to present.
1. James Madison
2. George Washington
3. Woodrow Wilson
4. Andrew Jackson
5. James Garfield
6. John Adams
7. John Quincy Adams
8. Grover Cleveland
9. William Henry Harrison
10. Thomas Jefferson
11. Andrew Johnson
12. Abraham Lincoln
13. James Monroe
14. James Polk
15. Franklin D. Roosevelt
16. Theodore Roosevelt
17. John Tyler
18. Leonardo da Vinci
19. Charles Peale
20. Andrew Wyeth
21. Claude Monet
22. Grandma Moses
23. Alexander Graham Bell
24. Thomas Edison
25. Eli Whitney
26. Orville and Wilbur Wright
27. George Patton
28. Douglas MacArthur
29. Robert E. Lee
30. Stonewall Jackson
31. Agatha Christie
32. Charles Dickens
33. Robert Frost
34. C.S. Lewis
35. Beatrix Potter
36. Louis Armstrong
37. Taylor Swift
38. Whoopi Goldberg
39. Charlie Chaplin
40. Benjamin Franklin
41. Ansel Adams
42. Margaret Mead
43. Albert Schweitzer
44. Frank Lloyd Wright
45. Sandra Day O’Connor
46. Winston Churchill
47. George Washington Carver
48. Albert Einstein
49. Elias Howe
50. Joan of Arc
51. Bethany Hamilton
52. The Duggars
53. Sage Kotsenburg
54. Charlotte Mason
55. Michelle Kwan
56. Tim Tebow
57. Venus and Serena Williams
58. Amelia Earhart
59. Susan B. Anthony
60. Gloria Steinem
61. Abby and Zac Sunderland
62. Joseph Pulitzer
63. Condoleezza Rice
64. Colonel Harland Sanders
65. Louisa May Alcott
66. Jane Austen
67. Mark Twain
68. Robert Browning
69. Helen Keller
70. Clara Barton
71. Christopher Paolini
72. Carl Sandburg
73. George Bernard Shaw
74. John Philip Sousa
75. Hans Christian Andersen
76. Margaret Atwood
77. Irving Berlin
78. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
79. Laura Ingalls Wilder
80. LeAnne Rimes
81. Andrew Carnegie
82. Davy Crockett
83. John Burroughs
84. Robert Louis Stevenson
85. Walt Whitman
86. Isaac Newton
87. Florence Nightingale
88. Pearl S. Buck
89. Alyssa, Lauren, and Rebecca Barlow (BarlowGirl)
90. Justin Timberlake
91. Selena Gomez
92. The Jonas Brothers
93. Booker T. Washington
94. Jennifer Love Hewitt
95. Dakota Fanning
96. Ryan Gosling
97. Patrick Henry
98. Abigail Adams
99. Noah Webster
100. Sir Ernest Shackleton
Are your kids familiar with all 10o? If not, maybe it’s time for them to start googling!
Please click on the graphic below if you’re interested in the wonderful products offered by Alpha Omega Publications.
Gardening: A Summer Homeschool Family Experience
This is just one of the phenomenal articles in Homeschool.com’s virtual magazine Summer Fun
Includes #96 on Homeschool.com’s Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer list - Plant a garden—think sunflower playhouse!
Are you looking for activities and hobbies to do with your children this summer? Start a garden! It can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. There are many, many options when it comes to gardening. Gardening will bring many educational opportunities to your family, and will produce quality, nutritious food in the process! Here are a few tips to get you started.
Choose type of garden
There are different methods of gardening, and you need to decide which will work best for your family. Have your children research the different methods, and let you know which way they think would work best. Let them be very involved in the whole process. The more they do, the more they will learn.
Different methods include: raised beds/square foot gardening, vertical gardening, tilled rows, and container gardening. Or if you have the funds and the time to learn, you could try hydroponic gardening.
If you decide to build garden boxes, let the kids help as much as possible. This will help teach math and construction skills!
Choose a location
Most plants need at least 8 hours of sunlight a day, so make sure your garden spot receives plenty of sunlight. If you don’t have a location that gets full sun, have your children find out which plants grow well in part shade. Also, be mindful of pets. You may want to build a small fence around your garden if you have dogs or free ranging chickens, as they could destroy your young plants.
Choose type of plants/seeds
Are you going to use heirlooms or hybrids? Which plants need to be started from seeds? Which should you buy as plants?
Have fun and make art with the garden!
Make a teepee out of cane poles, or some sort of tall stick, and plant green bean seeds around each stick. As they grow up the poles, they will form a green bean teepee! This is something we will be doing this summer.
You can also plant sunflowers in a square, leaving space for a door, and they will grow into a sunflower playhouse. This will amaze and thrill your children. What’s more fun than playing in a house made of sunflowers?!
Another fun tip: you can take the in-tact bottom part of an organic head of lettuce, or celery, and put it in a bowl of water. Place in a sunny location and change the water every day or two. It will start to grow. Once it grows a bit, you can plant it in your garden. This is a lot of fun for kids to do!
Consider having your children keep a garden journal to keep track of which plants you grow each year, how well they produce, things you learned, what worked well and what didn’t, etc. This will help you to plan better for next year’s garden, and will really help increase the educational experience for your children. They may become master gardeners in a few years!
If you have several children, it may be fun to give them complete control over one vegetable each. They would have full responsibility for caring for those plants; planting, weeding, watering, and picking the produce. If they’re old enough, or if applicable, they could also be responsible for preserving their vegetable, by canning them, dehydrating them, or freezing them. They could learn all 3 methods, and find out which method works best for their particular veggie.
Gardening provides endless opportunities to learn! These include:
- Hard work
- Working together as a family
- Research skills
- Planting and caring for seeds/plants
- Responsibility; the garden must be cared for regularly, or it will die out.
- They learn where food really comes from, and gain the ability to provide for themselves.
- Math; you need to plant things certain inches/feet apart from each other.
Easy plants for beginners include:
- Peas (require support)
- Green beans (require support if they’re pole beans)
Alix St. Amant is a stay at home wife to a wonderful man, and mother to two sweethearts. She spends her days teaching her children about Jesus, keeping her home, blogging, and increasing her knowledge of herbs and essential oils. She is an herbalist, and has a passion for natural, healthy living, and loves to share that knowledge with others. She is also passionate about natural childbirth. She runs a small business out of her home selling her natural remedies, supplements, and body care products. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
Happy Father’s Day homeschool Dads!
Soaking Up Sun Science—Safe and Fun (and free)!
Includes #2 from Homeschool.com’s Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer list!
Never look at the Sun directly—we all know that important warning. But if we can’t look at the Sun, how can we know what our very own star really looks like? The new DIY Sun Science app for iPad and iPhone, funded by NASA and created by UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, lets kids and adults safely explore the Sun’s ever-changing appearance (# 46 of Homeschool.com’s 101 Things To Do This Summer list—learn about the Sun!) and investigate the Sun just like a scientist.
With this app, you can construct a solar oven to melt s’mores (#30 on the list), discover the Sun’s dynamic features like sunspots, use a prism to examine the spectrum of sunlight, and detect solar storms that affect Earth’s technology. You can also measure the Sun’s size from the Earth, design a UV detector to see how the Sun’s ultraviolet light can make things glow, and discover how solar gases rise, cool and sink like air does in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Plus, the DIY Sun Science app includes live images and videos from NASA space missions such as the Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Want to soak up more sun fun? The DIY Sun Science app builds off of Howtosmile.org’s popular digital library for hands-on STEM activities. You can check out 170 Howtosmile.org Sun science activities from NASA and other sources.
“Nearly all life on Earth depends on the Sun. The Sun’s energy is critical to human existence, from food we eat to energy we use to power our societies and economies,” says Chris Keller, who managed the app’s development. “The Sun is constantly changing, and some solar events can damage the technology we desperately depend on. That makes understanding our Sun and being able to predict these destructive solar events more critical than ever.”
DIY Sun Science is the second DIY app from the Lawrence Hall of Science, following DIY Nano, which lets anyone investigate how nanotechnology can affect our future, with topics ranging from inventions of medicine to how gravity affects tiny objects. Another free app you can download for summer learning!
Deborah Lee Rose is a writer/editor at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence of Science and helped create the free DIY Sun Science App. She is also the communications specialist for Howtosmile.org.
On June 21st All Around This World, a global cultures and world music program for kids and their families, will release All Around This World: Africa, a double CD set consisting of 32 songs drawn from most every corner the dramatically diverse continent of Africa. Jay Sand, All Around This World’s founder and lead teacher sourced and adapted the songs from two dozen nations, reaching from the Algeria in the north to South Africa, from Ethiopia in the east to Guinea in the west, from the northewestern islands of Cape Verde to “megadiverse” Madagascar off the southeastern coast. Below, Jay suggests 7 engaging ways to experience African music and culture with your family.
– Shake your shoulders with the eskista!
The eskista, Ethiopia’s most popular traditional dance, gives the legs and hips a rest and instead relies on intense shaking of the shoulders. Join Jay in dancing the eskista to All Around This World’s adaptation of the1980s Ethio-jazz hit, “Nanu Nanu Ney.”
– Meet the Maghreb [Sample of a typical Explore Everywhere post (pdf)]
In this post we briefly meet North Africa and introduce the concept of the Maghreb, then leap firmly into marriage by participating in the unique Berber Imilchil Marriage Festival, even though we are not Berber, not in Imlichil and not at all interested in getting married. Background and step-by-step instructions | A “Try This at Home” video version
– What’s your name in “drum?”
Nigeria’s “talking drum” is a uniquely expressive hourglass-shaped percussion instrument whose pitch the musician can control by squeezing or releasing ropes attached to both ends. Because of these changes in pitch the drum can “talk,” and it sure has a lot to say! This video will invite kids to translate their own personalities into a series of tones and “talk” them to each other on a drum.
– Swirl your hips and yell KWASSA!
Kwassa kwassa!! The energizing Congolese dance known as the “kwassa kwassa” inspires dancers to move their hands in circles, following the motion of their circling hips, while their legs jiggle and sway. Dance along with Jay to All Around This World’s version of Kanda Bongo Man’s soukous classic, “Sai.”
– The Gumboot Code
“Gumboot dancing” developed as a literal survival mechanism for African workers enduring the deplorable conditions in Apartheid-era South African mines who would communicate each other in rhythmic codes by slapping and stomping in their hip high boots. Join Jay for a simple start.
– Off the northwestern coast: Cape Verde
Celebrate Carnival in the Cape Verde islands, a former Portuguese colony that was a common maritime rest stop on the route of the slave trade between Africa and the Americas. Despite that dark distinction, Cape Verde also provided a conduit for Portuguese music and culture to travel to Brazil.
– Off the southeastern coast: Madagascar
Leap like Malagasy lemurs
Madagascar is a massive island off the southeastern coast of Africa that is considered “megadiverse,” not just due to its extreme biological diversity but also because of the multiple African/Indian/Persian/French influences present in its culture. Here Jay shows you how to poke around the rapidly disappearing Malagasy forest like an odd little lemur, the aye aye.
The All Around This World:Africa double CD set will be available online on June 21st. You can join Jay on an African adventure today by subscribing to “Explore Everywhere,” All Around This World’s always-online daily learning program, currently digging deep into African lessons. Until June 21st, support Jay’s “1000 Classroom Campaign.” Pledge just $25 to enable him to give year-long subscriptions to Explore Everywhere to 1000 School Classrooms or Homeschooling Groups worldwide.
All Around This World: A Global Music and World Cultures Experience for Kids and their Families
Website | Twitter @AATWMusic | YouTube | Pinterest | Facebook | Spotify
Learn about the world through music everyday, wherever you are. Subscribe to Explore Everywhere!
Homeschool Challenge – Go the Day without Electronics
This is just one of the amazing articles in Homeschool.com’s virtual magazine Summer Fun
You can see Homeschool.com’s Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer list here.
For many kids, SUMMER means freedom. Freedom to sleep in and hang around most of the day. With the way technology is evolving, we don’t see many of them without electronic devices of some sort. It’s easy to see how they can become so involved in them. As adults, we have the same problem with putting down the phone or stepping away from the computer.
Now here goes the “when we were your age” part…. We didn’t have the option to sit inside all summer. I’m not sure about your neighborhood but in mine we were told to go outside. We would wake up, race out the door to see what friends were already out there. You knew when you had to go in b/c the street lights would come on or your parents would yell your name. I would always be jealous of the kids that got to stay out a little later.
Fast-forward life to today. The kids I would sit for in the summer (and even my own) would complain there was NOTHING to do when they were told to go outside. Mind you there were 2 acres of land (including the neighbor’s yard), every piece of sporting equipment you could imagine, bikes and plenty more to do. Yet after 15mins, I would find them sitting on the porch looking miserable with their cellphones in their hands.
After the 1st week of summer, I could no longer take it. The fix… I sat each kid down and had them give me 10 things they’d like to do (less kids, increase the amount) and I sorted them onto colored paper. Categories included places to go, things to make (snacks/crafts/meals) and things to do. I rolled each paper up and picked from them during the week. Everything on the list was also free of electronics and you could not use one during the time. Each day we did a few of the activities BUT they still had video games/TV time.
As the next couple weeks passed, I noticed the kids expressing more excitement about going outside.
Go The Whole Day Outside and NO Electronics
I will admit I did use my phone to take a couple of pics (capture the memory, don’t interrupt it). Some of the things we did outside… set up targets around the yard with different obstacles for a nerf gun target challenge, relay races, s’mores by a fire, water balloon fights, and different sporting games like basketball and soccer. At one point the kids wondered off into the woods to build a fort. Yup I really just said that. The kids were now actually BEING KIDS and not zombies.
In this fast moving world, we tend to loose site of the little things. I can tell you it was just as tough for me to cut down as it was for them.
This summer I encourage you to pick at least 1 day, where you go outside for the day and just ENJOY it without the distraction of any electronics. Make and capture memories to look back on.
One day the kids will be gone and all you will have are the memories.
The World’s Safest Potato Launcher
This is just one of the amazing articles in Homeschool.com’s virtual magazine-Summer Fun
Let me show you how easy it is to take a few simple items and turn them into a fun and educational toy that is easy and safe enough to perform by any child.
The materials you will need to create this potato launcher are very simple:
- Three feet (~1 meter) of 3/4″ (1.9cm) PVC pipe
- Several large potatoes
- Sandpaper (medium-coarse grain)
- 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9m) wooden dowel rod with a ½” diameter (1.3cm)
- Safety goggles
Complete the following procedure to construct your potato launcher:
1) Use the sandpaper to grind the inner walls of the PVC pipe at both ends to a mild edge.
2) Put on your goggles and head outside!
3) Place a potato on the ground and stab it with one end of the PVC pipe so a plug is created in the tube. Repeat this on the other end of the pipe.
4) Hold the launcher in one hand and the wooden dowel in the other. Aim the launcher towards an open area and never in the direction of a person.
5) Use the dowel to quickly push one end of the potato plug up towards the other.
6) The potato on the opposite end should propel through the air with a loud pop!
How does this happen? The easiest way to explain the science behind this explosive conclusion is by looking at four concepts that will change the way you look at the natural world:
- Atoms: Everything is made of atoms.
- Density: The amount of atoms within a specific area of an object.
- Diffusion: Areas with lots of atoms tend to move to areas with fewer atoms.
- Law of Conservation: Atoms cannot be created or destroyed, only rearranged.
These four simple concepts can be easily applied to nearly every scientific explanation that you encounter, including your homemade potato launcher. Let’s take a look inside your PVC tube to see what is really going on.
Air is trapped between the potato plugs within your PVC launcher. This cylinder of air is made up of billions of atoms of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and many other elements. As you push one end of the potato plug towards the other, the volume of this cylinder becomes smaller.
As the atoms are forced closer to each other the density of this cylinder increases. The atoms within your PVC are already bouncing around and against each other very rapidly. When you decrease the amount of space they can travel within a volume of air, they begin to bounce off the walls of the cylinder even faster. This is what is known as the pressure of a gas. And, volume has an interesting relationship with pressure…
As the volume of a gas decreases, its pressure will increase!
This means the pressure inside your PVC launcher is increasing as you drive one potato plug towards the other plug. As you drive the plugs closer and closer together, the pressure continues to rise until… BOOM! The end plug is forced out of the launcher and into the air. The loud POP you hear is the sound of air diffusing back into the tube, filling up the volume of air that was forced out of tube along with the potato plug.
No atoms are harmed during this process. But they are moved around in such a way to generate enough force for your potato plug to fly across the yard. This follows the Law of Conservation of Matter which states that atoms cannot be created or destroyed, only rearranged into different forms.
Now go outside and start slinging some potatoes pieces around the backyard. Who said science can’t be fun?
During the day, Scott McQuerry (aka – Mr.Q) is your average, everyday high school science teacher humbly going about teaching the masses for the past decade or so. He loves hearing from families who use his Classic Science Curriculum and looks forward to providing many more resources in the years to come. Check him out at The Lab of Mr.Q – www.eequalsmcq.com.
This is a guest blog post from Opportunities For eLearning
Three Concerns Every Homeschooler Faces
As students transition into high school, homeschoolers face growing concerns regarding 1) more difficult subject matter, 2) access to extracurricular activities, and 3) college admission requirements. One way to help meet the increasing demands of a high school curriculum is through the use of online virtual schools.
Opportunities For eLearning is a virtual high school that allows students to work at their own pace while maintaining a safe learning environment. This allows each student the necessary time to master course material in any given subject. With live tutoring sessions, OFeL’s highly qualified teachers and student advisors are dedicated to helping every student find the inspiration that pushes them to graduation.
To ensure that students benefit beyond a classroom setting, OFeL provides an experiential learning program to support social growth and provide a well-rounded high school experience. OFeL offers students access to field trips, camps, and volunteer opportunities. Not only do these experiences provide students with unique learning opportunities, they also look great on college applications.
As students progress through the program, they are provided resources to help them achieve their post-secondary education goals. OFeL’s program includes AP and dual-credit courses, SAT/ACT prep classes, and free college tours ensuring that every student who wants to be is college ready. OFeL is committed to providing its students with everything they need to be successful.
Make Freezer Bag Ice Cream!
This article is also featured in our Summer Fun magazine!
When summer rolls around our favorite treats almost always involve ice cream. We don’t always have ice cream on hand and since we live in a rural area we don’t have an ice cream man who comes by to see us. One of our favorite things to do is make this easy and tasty Freezer Bag Ice Cream. Not only can we customize our own flavors easily, but we can burn off some extra energy shaking these bags of ice cream until they freeze. This is a great way to reward kids for a great job cleaning or a day of hard work and a fun way to work together in the kitchen.
To make your own you’ll need a few things you likely already have on hand. For more fun you can pick up some mini candy bars, sprinkles, fresh fruit or syrups to create a personalized flavor in each bag.
1 Quart Freezer Bags for each flavor
1 Gallon Freezer Bags for each flavor
2 Cups Crushed Ice per flavor
½ Cup Rock Salt per flavor
1 Cup Whole Milk or Half & Half
¼ Cup Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Mix “Ins” as Desired
Small Hand Towel to hold bag in while mixing if it gets too cold for your little ones’ hands
Let your kids decide what flavor ice cream they want to make and add 1-2 tablespoons syrup to create a different flavor, or stick with classic tasty vanilla. Mix in candies, fruit and sprinkles are best added after ice cream is made.
- In small bowl mix together milk, sugar and vanilla
- Place ice and rock salt into gallon freezer bag
- Pour milk mixture into quart freezer bag and seal bag
- Place quart freezer bag into gallon freezer bag with salt/ice mixture
- Seal gallon bag and shake for 5-6 minutes or until it begins to harden.
- Serve straight from bag
Not only will kids enjoy making their very own ice cream flavors, they will have fun shaking the bags to see who can make theirs first. This freezer bag ice cream is a fun activity for hot days, and a great way to get the kids’ creative juices flowing.
Make your own favorite flavors and create fun new flavor combinations to share with the family.
Katie Hale is a homeschooling mother of one, freelance writer and blogger at You Brew My Tea who enjoys the simple things in life and finds joy in the world around her as the ultimate classroom.
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This article includes at least 5 suggestions from Homeschool.com’s 101 Great Summer Resource: Things To Do This Summer list. Can you guess what they are?
The article is also featured in our Summer Fun magazine!
Summer reading isn’t just a form of fun and learning—it can inspire kids of all ages to explore new ideas, new adventures, and new worlds no matter where they’re spending their summer. Whether the goal is to read one book a week, or as many books as possible, summer reading is a free activity that can spur kids to try all kinds of new things.
Longer days mean more time to read, or to be read to, even after busy days filled with family outings, camps, swimming, classes, picnics, barbecues and any other kind of summer activity you choose. My summer goal growing up was to read every book I could borrow from the children’s section of the local library. That wouldn’t be possible today! But the huge selection now of both fiction and nonfiction for kids means any reader can find SOMETHING they like. With libraries across the country offering summer reading incentives like free museum passes and pizza, kids can rise to the challenge and celebrate their reading accomplishments, whether they read their books in bound versions or on an e-reading device.
Here are two weeks of ways to make summer reading fresh, fun and inspiring at home, on vacation, or anywhere!
1. Dive into a favorite series of novels and read them ALL.
2. Read an adventure book and see a summer blockbuster movie based on the story.
3. Read a book or magazine about science, and visit a science museum or try hands-on experiments at home (You can find thousands of hands-on activities at Howtosmile.org).
4. Read a book about where you’re traveling on vacation, or where you’d like to travel someday.
5. Pretend you can go back in time, and read a history book about a time in the past you wish you could visit.
6. Pretend you can go forward in time, and read a science fiction book about a time in the future you wish you could visit.
7. Read a cookbook and whip up a new recipe—you can even set up a book-themed summer bake sale or picnic.
8. Read a book of songs and learn to sing some of them.
9. Read a book of poems and learn to recite some of them.
10. Read a book about an animal species, then visit that kind of animal at a zoo, aquarium, wildlife center, farm or even a pet store.
11. Read a book to your own pet or your neighbor’s pet!
12. Read a book about a new sport and take a swing at it.
13. Read a book of jokes or riddles and try them out on your family and friends.
14. Write your own book!
Deborah Lee Rose is the internationally published, award-winning author of 14 children’s books, including Jimmy the Joey, Someone’s Sleepy (also a downloadable song by Tom Chapin), Ocean Babies and All the Seasons of the Year. Visit her at deborahleerose.com. She is also writer/editor for the national STEM activity website Howtosmile.org. Her favorite summer book growing up was E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web, because the story takes place in the summer and is about a spider who is a writer.