Some Favorite Links
PROFESSOR ELLIOT ENGEL — He is professor emeritus of the University of North Carolina and offers his highly entertaining lectures on various famous historical and literary people in both audio and video formats. The thing about Professor Engel that my family has liked so much is that he tells you things that no one else knows and that you won’t find anywhere else. His lectures are interesting, entertaining and educational. We were introduced to him when we heard him live in our hometown giving his address on “The Mystery of Robert E. Lee.” I have never read or heard anything on Lee that was comparable to this night’s presentation. I was hooked on Engel from then on. It is almost a crime to do Shakespeare without listening to his audio of “How William Became Shakespeare.” I also recommend his book, A Dab of Dickens and a Touch of Twain, a fascinating treatment of the lives of various literary figures. Again, you will read here things you won’t find anywhere else.
Doug Elliott – Doug is a naturalist, storyteller, and expert in all things wild– from wild edibles and wild flowers to wild and entertaining stories. He sells both books and audio tapes suitable for an audience of any age. His presentations of songs and stories are hard to describe because they are so varied, but all are packed with fun, fable, historical tidbits, and oddities of nature you won’t read in any biology book. Enjoy him with your children while they are young. (He’s a homeschooling dad, too.)
www.freelyeducate.com — Wonderful homeschool site for the very best FREE online resources for your student’s education.
Knowledge Quest’s 5 Must-Have, No-Cost Resources for Homeschooling.
Greenleaf Press— On the sidebar of this wonderful site you can click to listen (for free) to one of my favorite talks by Rob Shearer –“A Walk Through Western History” –and the whole Greenleaf catalog for homeschooling history can’t be beat.
The Kahn Academy. Wow — I can’t say enough about this site as a course of study, or at least a back up, for any level of science, math, or economics. It’s too much to explain — go to the site to see who Kahn is and what he’s doing. Rave reviews say he has helped them through calculus when no one else could, explained a science principle that seemed obtuse to the student, etc. Kahn has been interviewed on numerous news shows explaining his mission and you can watch the videos on his site. He also has received numerous awards. It’s all free, all aimed at giving free education to the world.. I’m not kidding. Every educator should know about this site.
Kidpub.com — As the name insinuates, this site helps kids/teens get published. Very reasonable price. Even whole classrooms can publish a composite work and use it as a fund raiser. If you want to learn the ropes and do it yourself, though, check out my own publishing tools.
OpenCulture.com–free audio books plus much more
Owl and Mouse–free, interactive online geography that really teach.
TED Talks–TED is a nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment, and design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Various people are invited to talk at TED conferences twice a year and then the best of these talks are put online for public viewing.
Resources for a study in media and advertising and how it affects us:
The Evolution of Beauty–A very quick video short (1 min.), and it goes perfectly with the “Merchants of Cool” below. Don’t miss this one!
Merchants of Cool–This show is a must see for your kids. It shows the behind the scenes politics and coercive psychology behind advertising. Fascinating and eye-opening. Recommended for age 12 and above.
J.J. Abrams (creator of Lost) TED talk on technology & movies–a fun and insightful talk by a highly creative mind.
A few unique science sites:
Principles of Physics (animated demonstrations that are wonderful)
Richard Feynman was a Harvard professor, physicist, and Nobel prize winner (1965) with a great sense of humor. There are several brief videos of him on You Tube that consist of old interviews and lectures of his on various physics topics and conundrums. One of my favorites is his description of how a mirror works (it might surprise you). Here’s a link on what keeps a train on its tracks–there’s a lot more to it than you’d think. Here’s a link to the majority of his talks on You Tube.
The British Library –The “Learning Area” has interactive student activities and much, much more.
Bede’s World–on the Venerable Bede, “Father of English History”
www.librarius.com (for all things Middle English)—has “wave” audio files so you can actually hear the middle English spoken.
Librarius–University of Pennsylvania’s complete Anglo Saxon dictionary.
Luminarium–Renaissance era resources
Bible Gateway – You can read the John Wycliffe version from 1400 as well as Tyndale’s New Testament from 100 years or so later.
For more history links check out the King Alfred’s English student page. Links are shared chapter by chapter, but even if you haven’t read the book, the links follow chronologically from the time of Rome’s Emperor Constantine (the first Christian emperor) to the time of Shakespeare’s death in 1616 and a little beyond.