Today, I’m sharing the free homeschool conference hand-outs I made for the conference I’m speaking at this weekend (Friday & Saturday). I also wanted to share some of the helpful homeschool resources we have here on the blog. Welcome to those of you from the conference and/or are stopping by for the first time!! It’s been so fun to meet and talk with so many of you!!
To my long-time, lovely readers… I hope these conference resources come in handy. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet you personally… maybe some day?! At some point, I have (the big audacious goal!) of recording my conference sessions and sharing that video with you here… I also thought I would reach out to see if some you want to do a zoom conference call where I do the conference session for you online. Fingers crossed I get that done! Stay tuned in the Homeschool Den Newsletter if I actually find the time to pull that together.
This week I was pretty busy getting ready for the conference… the kids were great about working on their own. And, I had plenty of help along the way (Boomer and Starbuck were rolling around in all the papers as I put things together!)!
Free Conference Hand-outs and other Homeschool Resources
Click here for the Free pdf: Homeschool Den Conference Booth Hand-Outs
If you are looking for more information about the packets we have available (that were on the booth table) you can visit our store here: Homeschool Den Store
Remember, we have TONS of free resources on the blog too from the free Curriculum Resource Guides to free Homeschool Planners (scroll below for links to those!)… and other materials that I covered with my kids, but are just free on the blog… Natural Disasters, the 3 Types of Rocks, various history notebook pages, grammar pages, spelling activities and more! I have some hints down below for how to find some of these free resources (since they are not in the store area for the most part).
- Science Resource Page – This page has a list of the science units, topics and hands-on activities we’ve done along the way including this free Solar System unit or these free Astronomy Worksheets (more for middle school students). 🙂
- History Resource Page –We have lots of free history resources that you won’t find in the store area– packets on Ancient China, the Civil Rights Movement, Genghis Khan, Marco Polo, world religions pages, Native American notebook pages (Sioux and Cheyenne; the Cherokee & Seminole Indians and the Trail of Tears), Gandhi, various U.S. Presidents… and on and on! – I need to update this page! For example, I was talking with someone about our free Samurai notebook pages but I know that’s not mentioned on the History Page (yet!!). Plus, our Modern Art packet is currently free too. 🙂 Anyway, the History Resource Page is s good place to start browsing for some of the free history resources we have available!
- Language Arts Page – I have tons of writing and grammar pages that are free here on the blog. These grammar checklists have been popular: Essay Writing Strategies and Free Writing & Grammar Checklists and so is this free Writing Resource packet. Plus, I’ve made practice pages that are free: their/they’re/there and its/it’s; the major comma rules and practice pages, free contractions activities, quotation marks worksheets, irregular and regular plurals… just to name a few!
- We also have various seasonal activities and printables as well, you’ll just have to use the search box to look for the holiday or season and you’ll come across all kinds of things tucked away here on the blog. (I have well over 2,000 posts!) This is another good post to visit: 50 Homeschool Freebies.
- Scroll down below for the resources by grade: Kindergarten-Grade 1; Grade 2-3, Grade 4-5; Grades 6-8 (I haven’t put one together for high school… yet. My son is 15 but I just need to find the time to get that written.
Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions about what we have available! ~Liesl
This year, I am giving two conference workshops.
1. Helping Students Become Independent Learners
My first session was about Helping Students Become Independent Learners. That was a wonderful topic to think about because I have a son who is in high school now. With the end of his homeschool years on the horizon, independent learning is definitely top-of-mind for us! We started the session brainstorming some of the traits that independent learners have… things like curiosity, self-motivation, the ability to self-assess, accountability, comprehension (and asking for help when needed!), and persistence. Before I went into the details of how we can encourage and nurture these traits, we talked about the fact that independent learning looks different at different ages. Then we went into some of the areas where homeschool parents can help kids retain and apply knowledge. We talked about
- engagement (which ties into motivation, right?!)
- sharing in the decision making process
- becoming leaders and teachers themselves
- self-evaluation – knowing their own strengths and weaknesses
The next section of the workshop looked at some habits that will help our kids grow and become effective learners:
- time & consistency
Finally, we touched on mindset & day-to-day strategies. We ended with how we as educators can help students build a framework for figuring things out on their own.
Learning is not a spectator sport.
I went over some of this conference session over on FB:
I still plan on going over the last section of this session: Routines, Expectations and Time and Consistency – just life got in the way! Stay tuned!
2. Chemistry for Kids: Building a Chemistry Program from Grades 2-8 (ages 7 to 14)
This second session was all about introducing kids to the wonderful world of chemistry! 🙂 I shared some of the activities and strategies I used as I helped the kids build a good foundation in chemistry!
At some point soon, I hope to put the Chemistry Workshop into a more in-depth packet to share with you all. In the meantime here is the free handout I gave to workshop attendees. It gives the highlights.
Click here for the free pdf: Chemistry Workshop Handout
Here’s the setup for my Chemistry Workshop (just before everyone came in). I had 59 slides and managed to get through them all AND all the hands-on activities in my allotted hour! 🙂 I hope to record this and share it as a video with you soon.
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- In each email, I try to highlight a half-dozen free resources tucked away on the blog plus seasonal printables that might be of interest.
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- A bit of chit-chat. Links to the week’s new posts. Links to various printables. And other things as I think of them.
Chemistry Posts that might be of interest:
- Chemistry for Kids Part I: Matter is Neither Created Nor Destroyed, Acids & Bases
- Chemistry for Kids Part II: Mixtures, Chromatography, Oil & Water
The set I originally purchased was the Molymod Organic Chemistry Molecular Model – Teacher Set. (affiliate link) It is considerably more expensive than some of the new sets on the market.
For the conference session I purchased this set which I think works just as well: Molecular Model Set Biochemistry Organic and Inorganic Modeling Students Set. (affiliate link) It is about half the price of the original Molymod sets and I think I would choose this set because it functions well for our homeschool needs at a fraction of the price. (When I bought this kit, it didn’t come with the molecule reference sheet you see below right. Remember, I have a number of the moelecules we built in the free chemistry workshop handout above.):
For very young kids: Amber’s Atoms. (affiliate link)
Amber’s Atoms is a really cute way to introduce kids to the elements.It introduces kids to the first 10 elements of the periodic table. The illustrations are really pretty. It’s a really engaging way to introduce chemistry in it’s simplest form. Each element has a large picture of the atom (showing the nucleus and electron cloud). The target age range is 2-5, but if you are introducing your kids to chemistry (and going into more detail) it might be worth it to get this for a 6 or 7 year old. You can have a really good discussion about the number of electrons and so forth. ?
We used Real Science-4-Kids Chemistry pre-Level I (affiliate link) as our student text for my daughter ED (who was 7 and in Grade 2). I used it for my other two kids as well when they were in 2nd Grade.
I’ve found the RS4K student textbook to be the perfect introduction to chemistry. It introduces concepts like atoms, molecules, elements, molecules, compounds, mixtures, and complex chains of molecules (and proteins), but in an age-appropriate way.
Another great chemistry book for kids is Explore Atoms and Molecules with 25 Great Projects. (affiliate link) It has a lot of wonderful hands-on activities for kids just learning about chemistry!
For educating myself about chemistry, I really recommend this book: Understanding Basic Chemistry Concepts. (affiliate link) I have read it and used it as a resources numerous times! You can borrow it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. (Ooops, for everyone in the workshop this morning I forgot to mention this one, but I would definitely recommend this as a resource for you as the educator!)
The gorgeous chemistry books I had on display were The Elements and Molecules. (affiliate link) The pictures are amazing and they are fabulous as a reference tool if you think your kids are especially interested in chemistry or if this is a topic that you’ll come back to most every year as we have.
Microscopes for Homeschoolers: At the end of the Chemistry Workshop, we went off on a little bit of a tangent about microscopes. I thought I’d write that down here again. We got one used from a homeschool family and it doesn’t have any information (brand name or anything), but it is a dissection microscope. Ours seems like it is pretty good quality; is made of metal. It has upper and lower illumination (ours plugs in, but some have a battery source you can take it outside to a stream or something and look at the cool bits under a microscope slide). I have prepared slides that we used during our Cell Unit.
- We have this Prepared Slide Set – Intermediate (affiliate link) and we also have the beginner set as well.
It has suited our needs, though ours is not powerful enough to see single-celled organisms. I am guessing ours is similar to this one — AmScope SE306R-P-LED Forward-Mounted Binocular Stereo Microscope (which has pretty good reviews over on Amazon). (affiliate link)
These are some of our Chemistry Packets:
Chemistry Packet — The Periodic Table, Bohr Diagrams, Valence Electrons and More! A fun, hands-on way to introduce kids to how the periodic table unlocks many secrets about the elements of our world! This includes the chemistry card and Bohr Diagram cards that I showed you in the chemistry workshop.
Free Homeschool Planner and Discovery Journal. I tend to change up my homeschool planning pages regularly as our needs change, so this packet of materials has steadily grown in size! There might be something you can use there! ?
Free Homeschool Planning Guide: I recently updated our (free) yearly homeschool planner to include a step-by-step guide on the homeschool planning process. This 50+ page packet is not as much a traditional Homeschool Planner as a tool for planning out the coming year. It includes some of the questions to ask yourself (and your kids!) as you start planning out the coming year. It has you consider how the school year has gone, what can go better, if your homeschool style is working or if it needs to be tweaked, what subjects your kids need to cover.. and more!
Homeschool Science Checklist (K-8)
This is a checklist I put together of the various science units I hope to cover in the elementary and middle school years. It’s free to download and print out over at this post: Homeschool Science Checklist
If you are new to our blog, you might want to check out these free resource guides, which I put together to help answer questions like… Where do I start? How do I know what to teach? What units did you kids do when they were in __ Grade?
Creating Your Own Homeschool Curriculum: These are some resources I made that might be helpful as you create your own homeschool plans. These are somewhere between 30 and 50 pages and are FREE to download:
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts. You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well.
Again, if you are interested in joining our Homeschool Den Newsletter, feel free to subscribe here. It’s a great way to hear about our latest packets and to learn about many of the hundreds of printables & other materials we have tucked away on the blog!
Happy Homeschooling, everyone!! ~Liesl
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.