How to Use Google Chrome Apps for Education and Homeschooling

Use Chrome apps to create educational resource pages for your children.

The Google Chrome browser offers many free educational apps (similar to those on an iPad or Tablet) that you can add and arrange on pages in your child’s browser. Available apps range from basic education games to calculators, typing tutors, visual encyclopedias, and art tools. The following are some of my favorites. All are searchable on the Chrome Web Store, mostly in the Education, Productivity, and Utility categories.

I’ve created unique pages of apps for myself as my children’s guide and for each of my children to suit their individual interests. For example, my eldest daughter has a special collection of photo editing apps and math related apps, whereas my youngest opens her browser to early education websites and games.

Online Courses and Educational Games

LearnSprout can help you keep track of all your education apps, such as

  • Google Chrome edu appsKhan Academy
  • Academic Earth
  • BrainPOP Featured Movie
  • PBS Kids PLAY!

You’ll also find a variety of apps geared toward teacher resources and classroom management. For example, Edmodo allows you to set up a class group and share files with your students. My children enjoy having a private group just for us to keep track of our projects and share files and notes.

Encyclopedias & Reference

In addition to the popular Wikipedia and Wictionary, which are both represented in the Chrome Web Store, you’ll find

  • DOGOnews for Kids
  • World Digital Library
  • Biodigital Human
  • Planetarium
  • Edublogs, like Wikispaces for Teachers
  • Country Flags, flags of all countries on a 3D globe, handy for Flag Day


Calculators and Tools

You’ll find scientific calculators, conversion tools, and periodic tables, as well as Connected Mind, and other brainstorming tools.

Art, Photo, and Video Editing Tools

You’ll find numerous photo editing, video editing, drafting, drawing, coloring, and various other creative tools listed in the Creative Tools category under Productivity.

Organization and Productivity Tools

Most of us have heard of Evernote, the tool for organizing everything. Chrome has an Evernote app and extension. Other useful apps include

  • Writer, an online place to write that saves automatically
  • Typing Club, to work on your keyboarding skills
  • Sticky Notes, for quick notetaking
  • Springpad, for creating notebooks on various topics

You can use these apps to create unique pages tailored to your needs as your children’s guide and for each of your children to suit their individual interests. Visit the Chrome Web Store and you’ll likely find something for everyone.

Linking Verbs

Learn to recognize linking verbs in English sentences.

Linking Verbs – Tanja Batista

Michael Strumpf, founder of the American National Grammar Hot Line once wrote that verbs are the life of language. Indeed, these precious words expressing action, existence, or condition are a necessary component of sentences. We can form a sentence without a noun, but we can’t form a sentence without a verb.

In English, we can divide verbs into two general categories: linking verbs and action verbs. You may have already guessed that action verbs express action; the verbs danceworkrun are good representatives of this category. What about linking verbs? Linking verbs express states of being rather than action. If you have trouble identifying there verbs in sentences, please read on.

Linking Verbs (LV) Are Being Verbs

The most common linking verb is the verb be. This verb expresses a state of being rather than action. That’s why linking verbs are also called being verbs.

  • Johnny is (LV) a good singer.

If you look at the above sentence carefully, you can see that the linking verb is links the subject Johnny with its complement a good singerA good singer is a complement because it gives us more information about this person called Johnny.

  • Johnny (S) = a good singer (SC)

In grammarspeak, we call this complement a subject complement (SC). As you can see, linking verbs are just like equal signs (=) inserted between the subject and the subject complement. One more example:

  • Lulu will be (LV) angry when she finds out that someone has stolen her Cadillac. (Lulu = angry)

The sentence describes Lulu’s state of being when she finds out that her car has been stolen. The action took place when her car got stolen.

Now let’s take a look at some other linking verbs. The verbs seem, appear, remain, and stay also express a state of being. For example:

  • A jail sentence for drinking beer in public places appears harsh. (A jail sentence = harsh)
  • He remained silent. (He = silent)

These verbs are similar to the verb be because they simply add shades of meaning to the basic concept. We could easily use forms of the verb be in place of the verbs appears and remains: the meaning of the sentence would stay the same. For example:

  • A jail sentence for drinking beer in public places is harsh. / He was silent.

Sensory Verbs in the Role of Linking Verbs

Sensory verbs express information we receive through the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and so forth. The verbs seehearlooktastesmell, and feel are good representatives of sensory verbs. When you’re dealing with this category of verbs, remember that sensory verbs may or may not act as linking verbs in sentences. When a sensory verb links the subject with its complement (SC)—which always tells you more about the subject—then the sensory verb is in the role of a linking verb:

  • The lasagna smells delicious! (The lasagna = delicious)
  • My eyes feel sore. (My eyes = sore)

As we can see, the sensory verbs smells and feels tell us more about the subject. They act as an equal sign (=) in the sentence.

Remember: Sensory verbs are not in the role of linking verbs when they are followed by an object. For example:

  • With her delicate fingers, Sabine touched Sean’s chin (O).

Sean’s chin is not a subject complement; it’s a direct object. Sean’s chin doesn’t tell you more about Sabine, does it? You can’t say that Sabine = Sean’s chin. That would be ridiculous. Sabine went into action and touched Sean’s chin. The sensory verb touch therefore functions as an action verb (AV). Remember: If sensory verbs don’t act as an equal sign in the sentence, they aren’t linking verbs. One more example:

  • The wine tastes (LV) great. / We taste (AV) the red wine.

Linking Verbs and Subject Complements

Linking verbs always connect the subject and the subject complement. Subject complements can be realized by adjectives, nouns, pronouns, gerunds, participles, and so forth.

  • am nice (adjective). / I am a dancer (noun). / The winner of the contest is you (pronoun). / The speech sounds convincing (present participle). / His hobby is collecting stamps (gerund).

Let me finish the article with a little tip. If you are unsure whether the verb you’re dealing with is an action verb or a linking one, replace the verb with the appropriate form of the verb be. If the form of the verb be fits nicely into the sentence, then you’re definitely dealing with a linking verb.

Preschool Boat Theme

The following article includes children’s songs, crafts, felt activity and other ideas surrounding a boat theme for any early childhood setting.

Boats are a wonderful theme to include into a transportation preschool lesson plan or be the focus on its own. The topic of boats has many possibilities for an early childhood curriculum.

Introduce a Boat Theme at Group Circle Time

Begin a theme about boats together as a group. Ask children questions and record their answers. During this process, the children are honored for their ideas and additionally will learn from each other. Ask questions like:

  • “Who has ever been on a boat?”
  • “What kind of different boats are there?”
  • “Do some people work on boats?”
  • “Cars need engines and roads to drive, so what do boats need?”

Having images available of different kinds of boats is a great way to continue the learning process.

Boats Around the World

One possibility for a boat theme is to look at boats around the world. By looking at all different boats, children can offer ideas and learn about how the boats are different and how the boats are the same. Boats are used for fishing, sailing, transportation, sightseeing and so much more. A boat theme could easily correlate with a geography lesson.

Children’s Songs about Boats

When singing songs about boats, the classic action song “Row Row Row your Boat” is still enjoyed by young children. The following song looks at how there are many types of boats and the suggested tune is “Old Macdonald Had a Farm”:

Boats are big and boats are small

All around the world.

Some have sails that are so tall

All around the world.

They glide up a wave, and down a wave

Up a wave and down a wave.

Boats are big and boats are small

All around the world.

Boats with motors are so fast,

All around the world.

Hands will wave as they past,

All around the world.

They zoom over here and over there,

Over here and over there.

Boats with motors are so fast,

All around the world.

Fishing boats are in the sea,

All around the world.

Catching fish for you and me,

All around the world.

They fish up north and down south

Up north and down south

Fishing boats are in the sea,

All around the world.

The next song can be sung with boat felt pieces to use on a felt board. The song suggestion is “Five Little Ducks”:

Five sailboats went out one day

Over the waves and far away

With the wind they begin to rock

One sailboat returns to the dock

Four sailboats…

Preschool Crafts for a Boat Theme

The following suggestions are open-ended projects in that the material is provided for the children and they can use their own imagination and choose how to create individual boats.

1) Boats from Paper Shapes

Material Suggestions:

  • Paper shapes such as triangles, half circles and rectangles
  • Straws
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Stickers
  • Blue construction paper for the backdrop
  • Felt pens
  • Glue sticks

2) Floating Boats

Provide children the following material to create boats that might float. Provide a tub of water to test the results. The process of trying to make the boats float would lend itself to a lesson about why things sink or float.

Material suggestions:

  • Styrofoam meat trays/bowls
  • Plastic Tupperware
  • Modeling clay
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Straws
  • Triangle paper shapes

Snacks for a Boat Theme

With a boat theme, many snacks could easily be turned into sailboats with the addition of a triangle shape attached to a toothpick. Some suggestions for the boat are bananas, celery sticks, deviled eggs or even a bowl of cereal.

There are many more ideas that will float out of this article. A boat theme is truly a fun and easy topic for young children to explore.