Free printable voting lesson plans for Social Studies

U.S. General Election Day is always the first Tuesday in November. This year, it's November 4, 2014, says Holiday Insights. Teachers and homeschool parents, looking for free printable election lesson plans? Read on.Free printable voting and elections lesson plans for Election Day - Grand Rapids Holidays |


Free Printable Handwriting Practice Pages and Penmanship Lesson Plans - Bubblews

I grew up, as did most parents, in an age when handwriting was more important in schools. But now, with so much emphasis on computer, penmanship is barely touched on. Typing has replaced pen/pencil writing. As an educator, I'm not convinced perfect penmanship is vital. But basic legible writing is. Workplaces still rely on a lot of handwritten messages.

Parents, do you bemoan your kid's unreadable writing? How about links for free printable handwriting practice worksheets he can practice at home? Print manuscript, print and cursive practice pages. Use for spelling, phonics and reading too.  Free Printable Manuscript and Cursive Handwriting Practice Pages and Penmanship Lesson Plans

Free Printable Immunization Waiver Forms for School

Each U.S. state has its own laws regarding school immunizations and vaccine requirements. But parents have the right to waive immunizations and vaccines for their children. Schools cannot keep your child out if you refuse to immunize. Here are free printable vaccination waiver forms. has compiled links to free printable school immunization waiver forms on a state by state basis. Some forms are printed in other languages to help families of different ethnic backgrounds.

Why waive child immunizations? For one thing, the term 'immunization' is a misnomer. The correct term is vaccine. A matter of semantics? No. To refer to a vaccine as an immunization gives the impression that the child is protected carte blanche from getting whatever disease he is being immunized against. This is not the case. First of all, a vaccine simply puts the virus into the child's body. It the vaccine uses a dead virus, the potency is often in question. If the vaccine administers a dose of the live virus into the child's body, there are many more health risks.Some vaccines are used to treat extinct diseases, which simply perpetuates a disease that was eradicated ages ago.

However, my purpose persuade or dissuade parents from vaccinating their children. That is a personal family matter that each parent must decide upon for themselves. What I want to make clear is that you have the right as a parent to decide without fear of impunity from schools. Your child may not be allowed, by private organizations, to participate in activities without being vaccinated. Our daughter couldn't volunteer as a hospital candy striper without having certain shots. But p
ublic institutions like schools can't discriminate.

You will be discouraged, most likely, by your local school and health department for choosing to waive immunizations. Schools, doctors offices, medical centers and health departments rarely provide resources for parents to sign and print vaccination waiver forms. So I share these links.

Free Printable American Themed Crafts for Patriotic Holidays

Family Fun is a well-named magazine. Cover to cover each issue of family fun is loaded with recipes, games, crafts, activities and printables. Here is a list of free printable patriotic and all-American themed craft activities from Family Fun at Spoonful.

Begin here at the Printables home page. Why? Because Spoonful is well laid out and organized, but if I began by linking you to individual activities, you may miss out on the wealth of other crafts with similar themes.

For example, on the home page you'll find a link to '36 Cool Summer Crafts' and 'Best Ever Birthday Parties'. Some of the all-American patriotic crafts will show up on these types of pages, also.

Click to go to the Holidays printables pages. On the 'Holidays' menu, look for Patriotic and click it. On this page, you will find a free printable patriotic door hanger craft, 4th of July patriotic streamers and pins, All-American Word Scramble, Fabulous 4th of July fan, several fireworks and parade coloring pages and connect the dots activities, patriotic flag stickers, paper airplane, patriotic pinwheel, patriotic matching game, baseball glove craft. patriotic photo frame and how to draw a star patterns.

One thing about Spoonful is that the free printable activities are cross-referenced in several categories. Any parent, teacher or homeschooler really should just sit down and explore all the free activities. Free printables are cross-referenced by kind of activity: game, cut and paste, puzzle, paper crafts.

 And don't let the fact that these crafts are labeled 4th of July stop you. Use Free Printable Holiday.
crafts for any patriotic holiday or just for every day all American craft fun. For more holiday printables, visit me at

Free Printable Kids' Car Games, Activities, Puzzles

Are we there yet? This has to be the most oft-asked question from kids on car trips or vacations. When these questions start, it can make for a very long, tedious ride. That's why smart parents plan ahead in order to circumvent the complaints on car trips. Games make good boredom-busters and whining-stoppers. Here are free printable car games to stave off ennui and keep kids happily occupied on road trips.  Free Printable Children's Car Games, Activities, Puzzles

Free Cinco de Mayo Lesson Plans on Mexican History to Print

Cinco de Mayo, fifth of May, is more American holiday than Mexican, even though It commemorates the 1862 Mexican victory at Puebla. The defeat was pretty impressive given a small David Mexican army was greatly outnumbered by the Goliath French force. Learn more about this interesting historical event and ensuing holiday. Free Printable Cinco de Mayo Lesson Plans on Mexican History

Free Printable Cinco De Mayo Lesson Plans and Coloring Pages

Cinco de Mayo sounds like the Mexican equivalent of the US Fourth of July, Independence Day. It's not. Cinco de Mayo, or Fifth of May is the day Mexicans remember the Battle or Puebla led by Benito Juarez. It's more of a US-Latino holiday than truly a Mexican one. Nevertheless, Cinco de Mayo is a great time to explore the culture, holidays, dress, customs, food, music and traditions of our American cousins to the south.  Free Cinco De Mayo Printable Lesson Plans and Coloring Pages

Free Printable Secular Easter Cards for Kids to Make and Share

I don't know about you, but I have had it with winter cold. We just got snow on April 13 in Michigan! If you teach or parent kids, you know how difficult a long winter can be. If you need fresh activities to get children through until it gets warmer, here are color-your-own Easter cards to make and share. I've listed websites to print free Easter cards for children to color; these are secular cards so that you can use them in any public or educational setting. Look for my upcoming article on free printable religious Easter cards for your church activities and celebrations also. Free Printable Easter Cards for Children

Catholic Lenten Fasting Ideas for Children

Ash Wednesday began the penitential season of Lent for Catholic and Orthodox Christians. During this 40-day period, we follow Christ's temptation in the desert, ending with Holy Week and passion, death and resurrection at Easter. During Lent we fast in imitation of Christ. Need some ideas to help kids enjoy a prayerful Lent? Here are tips to teach kids why and how we fast. Catholic Lenten Fasting Ideas for Children

Must-Visit USS Kidd Destroyer in Baton Rouge

I'm a former homeschool mom and if there is one thing I know, it's how to sniff out cheap, educational experiences! The kids are grown but we still think that way. On our most recent trip to Louisiana, my husband researched an inexpensive venue that was well-received by everyone. Well, I say "venue" but it was really a boat--a WWII naval destroyer!   Must-Visit USS Kidd Destroyer in Baton Rouge

Free St Patricks Day Lesson Plans and Printable Worksheets

As an Irish Catholic, whose church is under Patrick's patronage, I find the St Patrick's Day kitsch tedious. As so often happens with religious holidays, it's been turned into something completely unrelated. But the children's activities are at least cute. Here are printable worksheets with a St Patrick's Day theme.   Free St Patricks Day Lesson Plans and Printables

World Religion Teacher Skips Pagan, Mythology For Jedi

I'm a scrappy union girl, so solidarity with teachers is important to me. But lazy teaching still irks me. Being certified and unable to find work myself, teachers bungling a job I could do blindfolded colossally peeves me.

Case in point: our daughter's world religion teacher. He taught the major five--Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam. Cursorily and too fast if you ask me--class has only been in session for two months, pock-marked by snow days. Now he has time left, so he polled them on what to end with:

--Greek and Roman mythology

--Norse mythology

--or (are you ready for this? ) Jedi

Save Star Wars for play time; teach classics and real subjects, please.

World Religion Teacher Ignores Pagan, Mythology For Jedi

Children Need Non Imitative Montessori Style Art

 In third grade, my teacher faulted my drawing. I was never comfortable with art afterwards. I'm sure she didn't mean to hurt and I was too sensitive. But art is personal. And it shouldn't be associated with failure.

I began teaching in Montessori. Dr. Montessori wisely advises "follow the child." I liked that non-directive approach, especially in art. Exploring with children, I began to enjoy it again.  Why Children Need Open Ended, Non Imitative Montessori Style Art

Adventure Mystery Book Series Boys--The Three Investigators

Do you have trouble getting your son to read? Boys are more often reluctant readers than girls. I'm a teacher and it's not gender-biased to say that. So how to get them to develop a love of reading? Find books they like. Might I suggest, for tween boys mystery, action, adventure, horror, historical fiction, sci-fi, tech, graphic novels, how-to? Just make sure it isn't boring. Here are some suggestions.  Adventure Mystery Book Series for Tween Boys--The Three Investigators

Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Must Be Not Be Forgotten

January 27 marks Yom HaShoah, Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, Jews around the world honor those lost in the Nazi genocide of World War Two at the hands Germany's Third Reich killing machine.

Those who deny the Holocaust happened, I won't even think about. That monstrous egotism is beyond my ken. But even basically loving people will ask why Jews get to use the term Holocaust, like theirs was the only one. These people then cite other genocides of which sadly there are many. So here are websites with information, stories, archives, virtual tours, movies and voices of survivors to tell us why we must never ever forget.   Why Yom HaShoah Jewish World Holocaust Remembrance Day

Story Starters Get Kids Talking and Sharing

March 21 is World Poetry Day and April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. Teachers, why not celebrate in school by hosting creative writer workshops with students? Parents, you can do with kids at home or make activities part of a homeschool lessons. Here are free printable preschool story starters and picture cue writing prompts to get the ideas flowing.  Free Printable Preschool Story Starters, Picture Cue Writing Prompt

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education.