On August 24, 2021, Core Knowledge released new language arts materials for sixth grade. Although most of the material relies on additional books, included in the set is a reader on ancient Rome and another on social justice. The works are in draft form; I don’t know when the final versions might be released.
I’ll note as an aside that, in my view, the reading by Ida Tarbell on Standard Oil (in the work on social justice) is basically wrong. For a corrective, see Alex Epstein’s history.
Project Gutenberg makes available, at no cost to users, an extraordinary number of out-of-copyright books in various ebook formats. Here I round up links to famous works suitable for young (and older) readers.
Continue reading “Free Gutenberg Ebooks for Young Readers”
Ten-year-old Willie has a heap of problems. His grandfather and caregiver, distraught over the likelihood of losing his Wyoming potato farm, is bedridden. Willie’s doctor friend urges Willie to leave his grandfather to the care of others and abandon the farm. The local banker sees selling the farm as Willie’s only way out.
But Willie is not ready to give up hope. Can he work the farm himself? And can he raise the funds necessary to save the farm? That is the adventure that John Reynolds Gardiner takes us on in his 1980 short novel Stone Fox (paid link).
Continue reading “The Boyhood Adventure of Stone Fox”
It’s nearly Halloween! My five-year-old loves hearing spooky stories—just not too spooky. I thought I’d share some of our favorites.
For the youngest readers, Here Comes Halloween (paid link) is not scary at all; it’s about dressing up in costumes.
Two of my five-year-old’s favorites are Five Little Pumpkins and Five Black Cats (paid links). The stories are fun to chant in rhyme. “The second one said, ‘There are witches in the air!'”
Goodnight Goon (paid link) is a funny spoof of Goodnight Moon. “Goodnight claws and goodnight jaws. . .”
Although it’s only superficially about Halloween, Room on the Broom (paid link) is a standout. Julia Donaldson is a gifted author of children’s books, and Axel Scheffler adds colorful and fun illustrations. The story begins, “The witch had a cat and a hat that was black, and long ginger hair in a braid down her back.” The story is about making friends and coming to your friends’ aid. The short film at Amazon based on the story also is excellent.
When I was a child I loved listening to the Disney recording of Haunted Mansion (paid link). Featuring the voice of Ron Howard, the story follows a couple who enter a spooky mansion during a rain storm only to find themselves on a ghostly tour. It’s a little scary, but the ghosts expressly don’t hurt people. You can listen to the recording through Amazon prime or purchase the mp3 or CD (if you get the disk check around for the best price). Listening to the story with my child brought back many of my own childhood holiday memories.
What happens when children and their parents overstress themselves with activities? Grandparents gave us a book that my child loved and that, once my wife explained the story (she’d read the book to our child), I had to read too. The book is from the Franny K. Stein series (which I’d never heard of); the title in question is The Fran with Four Brains (paid link). It’s about one stressed out little girl.
Continue reading “Franny K. Stein’s Warning to Overstressed Families”
As discussed in my posts on preschool and kindergarten materials, Core Knowledge offers an enormous amount of educational materials for preschool through eighth grade.
I’m going to provide fewer links for the material for grades 1–8 than I did for preschool and kindergarten. I’ll still walk you through the material and link to the student readers that I find valuable.
Continue reading “Core Knowledge Free Materials for Grades 1 to 8”
I’m a big fan of Core Knowledge’s dozens of student readers, free as pdf downloads. But the materials are harder to use (at least for homeschoolers) at the preschool and kindergarten levels. Earlier I compiled relevant preschool materials; see my related post. Here I’ll walk you through the kindergarten materials and include relevant links to Core Knowledge. See also my post on materials for grades 1–8.
Continue reading “Core Knowledge Free Kindergarten Materials”
You may be aware of Core Knowledge, the educational program started by E. D. Hirsch Jr. Various charter schools, for example, base their programs on Core Knowledge (not to be confused with Common Core). And you may be aware that Core Knowledge offers an enormous amount of K-8 learning materials online at no cost to the user.
Last year I started downloading the student readers in pdf form. Volumes cover history (such as Ancient Greece and Rome), science, and literature. These are amazing resources especially for homeschooling families on a budget. I have an old Kindle reader (the kind with the button keyboard) dedicated to such educational books.
What I didn’t realize until recently is that the preschool level offer a lot of great material presented as “activity pages” rather than as “readers.” These offer content for parents to read with their children as well as simple activities.
Continue reading “Core Knowledge Free Preschool Activities”