Student News Daily


A tutee’s (one who is being tutored) mom sent me this website that I think will be beneficial to teaching history. Student Daily News is a website that posts current event articles from around the world. is a non-profit current events website for high school students.Our goal is to build students’ knowledge of current events and strengthen their critical thinking skills.This is done by providing comprehension and critical thinking questions along with published news articles and other current events items from various news organizations.We provide resources that will enable students to become informed viewers and readers of the news.

There are several categories that constitute the site and you can either check the website at your convenience or sign up and have the articles delivered to your email box.

There is a Daily News article

Daily Best of the Web

World Events

Media Bias


News Quizzes

Political Cartoons

I love the features at the end of the articles.  There is  a quiz about the article and background for your student to have some knowledge in order to read the article and explain anything that might be needed to understand what is being read.

Here is the link to check it out. CLICK HERE




calendarAh, yes! Planning is something that we need to do when homeschooling so that we can accomplish what we subjects we have determined to study. Some people thrive at this while others dread it. Depending upon what the task is, I can look forward to planning or I can dread it and stop dead in my tracks. So, how do I help myself gain momentum and complete the task of planning?

) I deliberately choose things I am almost certain to complete in order to gain the mental fortitude I need to tackle the harder things. Let me give you some examples. My plan today consists of things that begin with P. No, I am usually not this clever!

  • Panera (I am going to meet a gal to pick up a Mystery of History book that I am purchasing from her. I WILL NOT go in the store and pick up that free birthday treat that is awaiting me! I’ll see how that goes!)
  • Portfolios– I have several families to review their work.
  • Portfolio Notes I have to schedule time to write notes for the families.
  • Plan meals (only a week at a time for my small family)
  • Purchase groceries
  • Prepare dinner

I try to estimate how much time each of these is need in order to be completed and usually add one more thing to do on my list for good measure. lol

Panera– 30 minutes

Portfolio reviews– 3 hours

Portfolio Notes- 1.5 hours

Plan meals- 30 minutes

Purchase groceries- 1 hour

Place groceries in their proper places (Sorry, I had to an alliteration!) 15 minutes

Prepare dinner- 15 minutes

TOTAL— 6.5 hours That’s a good day right there!:)

The most difficult task on my list is the portfolio notes because I like to think over what I am going to say an review notes one more time. It also takes me a terribly long time to type. But, I guess that is better than hand writing them (maybe… lol).

Make a list of 5 things you would like to get completed today and write them down. Remember, keep them manageable. Check at the end of the day to see how well you did. Of course, if you have a large project, just do that for the day. Break it up into 5 smaller tasks and I am sure you will feel that you can cross that off your list. If you don’t get it all done, carry it over to the next day and do not feel guilty!

Have a great week!

~ Lisa


Online Study Helps


Did you know that if you wish for something to go from short term memory to long term memory that you need to practice, practice, practice? Think back to when you first started to learn something, whether that was learning to tie your shoes, type, or learn a skill such as cooking, it took repeated times before it became “automatic”.

I remember the first homemade spaghetti dinner I made for my husband included Italian breadsticks. I hadn’t worked with yeast before so I didn’t know what the bread should look like when it was ready. I followed the directions and let it “rise”. After the prescribed time I took the dough out of the bowl, and began making the bread sticks. For some reason the dough still looked to be the same height as when I had originally begun. As I put them in the oven I thought maybe they would rise a little more from the heat. Well…when they came out of the oven they looked the same as before they went in, but since I was a new baker I thought that was what they were supposed to do. I proudly laid the breadsticks on my new husband’s plate along with a plate of spaghetti and sat down to eat my spaghetti dinner too. We each took a bit of the breadstick and about broke our teeth! They should have been called “breaksticks” instead! Of course, I had to throw the entire batch away, but I did learn a lesson. I would have to practice making the dough again and again to get them “just right”.

That pathetic and funny story is a reminder to me of teaching a new concept to my students. When my students first come to my classroom they don’t know all the countries and capitals of the world and where they are located. But, they can learn them so when I say, “Cuba”, they will know it is off the eastern coast of the United States and its capital is Havana. Through repetition, facts and processes can go from ignorance (as in my breaksticks), to knowledge, to automatically remembering (automaticity).

If you are like me, your eyes gloss over and you don’t think you can take looking at the 8×8 flashcard  with your son or daughter one-more-time!  I am here to offer help (and relief) for your children to practice those facts that are foundational for learning through online games or . I am including websites for older students as well since they are in need of these helps as well.

Elementary/ Junior High

sheppardsoftware is a website that I refer many parents to because it has fun games that provide drill.

Fun Brain has reading and math games that your child can play and for a reward on a job well done can play other games afterwards

ABCya! has games from preschool through fifth grade that include phonics, reading, math, logic, social studies and  keyboarding, just to name a few!

Studyladder is interesting because it provides online lessons and worksheets as well as drill. Areas of study are: math; English; science, health, safety; and language.

Junior High/ Senior High

quizlet is a great tool to use to create flashcards, but it also has a wonderful feature to be able to use a variety of ways to review. You can even have your student take a quiz that automatically grades it. You can record this for a grade if you choose.

studystack is a flashcard creator, but you can also use other cards that have been created. There are many subjects to choose from and several ways to play. Some of those ways are hangman, crossword puzzles and letter scramble.

studyblue (high school/ college) can be used to create flashcards or search for sets other people have created. They are ways to share flashcards with others and there is a free version, as well as two pay versions.




Doodling, drawing on the paper, writing words in the margins, do you have a child like that? Do you think that this is a sign they are not paying attention? I just read that this is actually a terrific way or remembering. It involves more senses and interaction with what is being said or read and it has a name! Sketchnotes.

Sketchnotes are particularly beneficial to someone who has ADD or a hard time paying attention. It is the idea you are capturing key concepts and big ideas and recording them visually. Some benefits to this type of notetaking are:

  • The spontaneous marks make you think about the subject.
  • It engages all learning modalities: visual, auditory, reading and writing, and thinking.

One of my sons always had a hard time focusing in class with lectures or in church when it came to sermons. He said that making doodles on his paper helped keep him engaged. It looks like now the science backs up what he already knew to be true. It’s great that we can homeschool and allow our children to find what works for them.

If you are intrigued by this, I have a great website by an artist that gives you exercises to practice this technique. I am not an artists, but based upon the advice he gives and the drawings he has made available on his blog, I think I can draw these with some practice. Okay, a lot of practice.:) Click here to learn more ->SKETCHNOTES


Free Entrance Days National Parks


With the flexibility of homeschooling we can take advantage of going on vacation in August when other families are preparing to go back to school. The National Parks are celebrating with Free Entrance Days in the National Parks! If you have a fourth grade student, there is a special offer for them to have a free annual pass. Find a park that is close to you and go and enjoy the wonderful outdoors!

Information taken from the National Parks website: The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and we want everyone to join the party! On 16 days in ’16, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone.

Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates in 2016:

  • August 25 through 28: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 24: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

National parks are America’s Best Idea, and there are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day. The fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite, especially one of the 127 national parks that normally charge an entrance fee. The others are free all of the time. Plan your visit and enjoy our country’s history and nature.

The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Fee-free days make parks accessible to more people. However, national parks are always economical, with entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. In addition, any fourth grade student can get a free annual pass through the Every Kid in a Park program, and active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability can also get free passes. For more information about the variety of discounted passes available, please visit the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass page.

** National Parks in Ohio are Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Wayne National Forest