American history birds Blog/Site Updates children Cooking crafts education freebies experiments free-events free audio freebies free e-books gardening giveaways Great Smoky Mountains hands-on activities health holidays holler livin' local events and activities money saving tips nature nature-photos News notebooking old-time-radio photos recipes recipes and cooking road closures/delays science scripture Site Info snow summer Super Deals Tennessee The Ol' Hermit The United States Townsend travel info Unit Studies weather wildflowers winter
Updated August 28, 2012
Keep your children learning this summer with these fun lessons and activities:
- Internet4Classrooms Summer Learning -Free daily and weekly summer learning fun. Sign up to receive fun activities, links to great learning games, and other educational resources that will help you get ready for the school year. Grades Pre-K to 12.
- Sylvan Learning Summer Fun and Learning Guide -Fun activities for children in grades K-12. Activites include: Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk, Plant a Mystery Garden, Become a Reporter, Develop Your Own Weather Report and more. You might also be interested in Sylvan’s Family Fun Brochure, Math Booklet and Writing Journal. All resources are in PDF format and require filling out an information form to download.
- Thinkfinity Summer Learning -A collection of links to fun activities and educational resources created by some of the nation’s leading educational organizations. Includes hands-on and online science activities, math games, reading and writing activities, American history theme units and much more.
- Summer Travel: Education of the Road -Fun activities and lessons for students in grades 3-12 to turn their summer vacation into a learning experience.
- Summer Learning Across the USA -A 10 page excerpt from the workbook “Learning Across the USA”. Includes several states that have popular spots to visit especially during the summer. Each sheet includes space for students to fill in information they learn about each state. Older students can do independent research to find the answers. There is an answer key at the back, which can be used to teach the facts to younger students. Free this week from CurrClick.
- Backpack Buddies -2 free pdf downloads from Ohio State University:
Fun Summer Time Activities and Games consists of 12 activities for students in the 1st grade.
- Just Read, Families! -Free summer reading resources from the Florida Dept. of Education include a K-5 Summer Activities Calendar, a Middle School Activities Calendar -both with a month’s worth of daily activities- and a Summer Reading Activities Kit (PDF) with creative ideas for fun summer reading you and your children can do together while on vacation, at home, or on the road.
- Hot Activities for Celebrating Summer! -A collection of 7 summertime lessons for reinforcing summer safety rules, visiting some great vacation spots, building a roller coaster and more. Grades K-12.
- 101 Nature Activities -Activities and lessons created and collected from teachers, outdoor educators and the staff of Sanborn Western Camps to help children deepen their awareness and enjoyment of the natural world. Activities include nature scavenger hunts, nighttime activities, sensory awareness activities, games, hikes and much more. PDF download.
- Kidsgardening Parents’ Primer -Online guide for “taking advantage of gardening moments with your kids every week in your own backyard … and front yard and in the garage and at the windowsill and in the basement …. Turn your kids’ questions into fun discoveries and get garden-building basics too.” Be sure to check out Family Gardening Ideas for fun activities for each season of the year, and School Gardening for gardening curriculum; classroom projects; lessons and activities; and greenhouse guide and activities.
- Camping: A Complete Unit Study -Turn your camping trip into an educational experience with this fun camping unit. Includes activities for math, science and nature; reading list, vocabulary words and writing suggestions.
And don’t forget your public library! Most libraries have some sort of summer reading program for children and/or teens and include any or all of the following:
- reading contests
- writing contests
- hands-on activities
Plus, your library’s summer reading program is usually free!Happy teaching,
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to help keep this site up and running.
The Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) are up and starting to bloom…
A nice little patch of Mayapples
-they look like little umbrellas
-only Mayapples with two leaves will have a flower
“I don’t see any apples!”
- All parts of the plant, except the fruit, are poisonous
- Mayapple fruit was traditionally used to make jelly
- Supposedly, Morel mushrooms can be found near Mayapple patches (but I’ve never found any)
After our long cold winter, all the wildflowers seem even more beautiful this year. Here’s what’s blooming right now in our corner of the Smokies:
This one is not a flower, but it was pretty anyways:
It’s spring in the Smokies and the redbuds and dogwoods are all abloom…
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.
Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.
Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.
1 Chronicles 16:31-33
Anything can be a learning experience and the great outdoors is one big classroom.
We happened upon this little feller last month after a rain…
(to see a bigger picture, click on the image)
Homeschool Freebie of the Day is doing something a little different this week:
Well, this week we’re doing something a bit different at Homeschool Freebie Of The Day — bringing you ONE great resource that is so big, we had to divide it into SIX separate ebooks: THE GIANT HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY
This is a HUGE (940 pages) and absolutely wonderful teaching guide full of hundreds of nature study lessons, activities and discussion questions. It is a complete multi-year nature study curriculum that you can use for years to come. It is so big (over 100 megs in size) we had to divide it into six manageable ebooks for you. Here’s the rundown:
Monday, January 18th: THE GIANT HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY, PART I – TEACHER’S GUIDE & OVERVIEW plus THE GIANT HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY, PART II – BIRDS & FISH In PART ONE, you get a very helpful and practical teacher’s guide, including an overview of the purpose, scope and style of the handbook… how each lesson is set up… what nature study should do for your children… how to to tie math, art, geography, gardening, agriculture & science into your nature study, and more. Each lesson begins with a "teacher’s story" which can be read to students along with suggested activities & methods, followed by great discussion questions. In PART TWO, we jump into the actual lessons, this time devoted to birds & fish. As you’ll quickly see, these lessons are wonderfully written, blending history, humor, a bit of poetry, and a delightful sense of wonder into these nature studies. Over the rest of the week, then, we’ll bring you the rest of the book:
Tuesday, January 19th: THE GIANT HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY, PART III – AMPHIBIANS, REPTILES & MAMMALS
Wednesday, January 20th: THE GIANT HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY, PART IV – INSECTS & INVERTEBRATES
Thursday, January 21st: THE GIANT HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY, PART V – PLANTS AND TREES
Friday, January 22nd: THE GIANT HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY, PART VI – EARTH, WATER & SKY
Get them all on their respective days at Homeschool Freebie of the Day and if you subscribe to their newsletter you’ll receive the weekly line-up by email plus an extra “subscriber-only” freebie each week.
If you’d rather have a paper copy of this book, it may be purchased through Amazon:
You might also be interested in:
Some ice formations we found in the holler last week…
These form from plant stems and dead wood.
Needle ice emerges from dirt.
“Frost flowers” form when the water in the ground –or plant stem or dead wood- is above freezing and the air temperature is below freezing. The best time to see them is after a heavy, soaking rain followed by a freeze.
If you live in a dry climate, you may not ever see these –but maybe you can create your own…during freezing temperatures, place outside: a pot of wet soil or a piece of dead wood that has been soaked in water.
To learn more about frost flowers:
Ice Ribbons, Ice Flowers, Frost Flowers or whatever they might be called –Web page by Dr. James R. Carter, Professor Emeritus, Geography-Geology Department, Illinois State University
We have bears here in the Pawpaw Holler, but we hardly ever see them close to the house because our dogs keep them run off –most of the time.
Coming home this afternoon, about a 1/2 mile from the house, we rounded a curve and there was this black thing coming up over the bank.
It was a bear!
He wasn’t huge, but he wasn’t that little, either. Lacy says he’s a yearling and probably weighs about 100-125 lbs.
Our presence didn’t seem to bother him; he just looked at us a time or two and slowly continued on his way around the mountain –probably going to Rocky Top and get in their dumpsters.
Hope you all enjoyed these; I’m sorry the picture quality isn’t any better, but I wasn’t getting any closer to him than I was -plus I may have been a tad excited, Abby and Daniel sure were!
“Oh no, they’ve got me again.”
“If I could just wiggle a little to the left…
…I got a leg out! Now, a wiggle to the right…
…aaack -I almost got away, but they’re too quick! Hey, don’t squeeze me so hard!”
“Finally…I hope they get warts!”
You might also be interested in:
Lacy has been repairing our flood damaged roads and he graded a little more than gravel yesterday evening -apparently it didn’t see the tractor and the tractor didn’t see it.
This is a 40 inch Timber Rattler –the second biggest one we’ve seen up here. The biggest one we saw was 54 inches long.
Do you know why snakes have no legs?
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: Genesis 3:14
Blessings and watch out for snakes,