Escape Velocity Education

Other Subjects besides Reading and Math

Most schools include multiple subjects during a school year.
Generally these are broken out something like the following:

For each year a student will generally have at least a math, language arts, social studies, and science course. Some years will include other courses and some will not.

If you or your child have a particular interest in a topic, you can design a course or mini-course to investigate that material.

Language Arts

Learning to read

Learning to read is one of the two crucial skills that are absolutely crucial to an independent learner. As such, an entire page discusses  resources for acquiring this skill.

Spelling and Vocabulary

Grade Target Item Spelling and vocabulary resources
  •  McGuffey's Spelling Book

    If you prefer a   physical copy ,reprints are available from Amazon and other book sellers. This spelling book is a progressive and order development.

  •  K-12 Spelling

    This site has weekly word lists for 1st through 5th grades. It has become a bit ad heavy and too flashy for me to stay on the site long.

  •   Spelling Words Well

    This site has printable word lists.

  •   Reading Rockets

    This site claims to list 850 words which will account for 80% of the words that 1st through 5th graders use in their writings. It seems valuable for that reason, but does not break the word lists up into word families following any sounds or spelling rules.

  •  Learn That Word (Free/$$)

    This site coaches you as you learn spelling. It has both free and subscription modes.

  •   SAT Word Lists from

    These word lists are more targetted to improving your vocabulary than spelling. Each list includes 100 important vocabulary words.

  •  Wordlywise

    Wordly Wise is a set of workbooks for spelling and vocabulary. Wordly Wise partnered with Quizlet to provide  flashcards to review the material.

  • Michael Clay Thomson:Vocabulary

    This vocabulary sequence explains root words and stems to help the student acquire word meanings that were not explicitly covered.

    Are a few samples of this set. Non advanced readers or spellers might want to begin with a lower level of this series.
  •   Orthography by Elmer W Cavins

    This text targetted at seventh and eighth graders (from 1904) largely consists at word analysis. It discusses in detail word meanings and interactions between prefixes, suffixes, and root words.


Learning to spell goes hand and hand with learning to read and the ability to use standard spelling is critical to being accepted as educated. Some spelling lists promote "sight" words early on. These words should be skipped until the phonics rules to sound these words out are understood. Sometimes the correct phonics rule is actually a combination of knowing that the word is of non-English origin and then knowing the correct phonics rule for that language, but knowing the rule opens up the ability to spell correctly more than a single word.

As listed there are numerous freely available resources to develop spelling skills. Reading good literature that does not use non-standard spelling will help in this.


An expansion of both spoken and written vocabulary allows a wider palete of expression. Acquiring a robust vocabulary can be tackled at the same time as learning to spell or as a separate activity. Much as listening comprehension can be more advanced than reading comprehension in some students a spoken vocabulary may be larger than a written one at first.



These historical texts for typographic apprentices cover a lot of English grammar concisely. The basics of grammar, for example, is covered in a mere fifty-two pages.

6-College  Purdue Owl

Purdue Online Writing Lab

Purdue Online Writing Lab provides writing resources including many examples in correctly citing sources when writing papers.
High School and college
  •  American Literature Outline

    This text provides an overview of American Literature from the Early American and Colonial periods through contemporary literature.

  •  American Literature

    This site has selections available sorted into groups by author and genre.

American Literature

With excellent choices of poetry and prose, American literature includes offerings of interest to all.
k-6  1931 Test

1931 West Virgnina Elementary Test

This is worth a glance to see what was expected to graduate from elementary school in 1931 in West Virginia.

The penmanship prompt is worth keeping in mind today:

The longer I live, the more I feel the importance of adhering to the following rules:

'Hear as little as possible which is against others, and believe nothing detrimental to others until proved true. Never drink the spirit of one who circulates a bad report. Always moderate as much as possible the unkindness expressed towards others. Know that there are always two sides to every story'." -- Unknown

Social Studies

0-College Local library

Use your local library

It is especially easy at the younger ages to use the local library to get a mix of social studies resources.
One way to do this is to rotate through the non-fiction sections of the books.
One week you may check out a couple of biographies, the next you may pick a state and check out everything about that state.
By working your way through the sections you can pick up geography, history, and even some sciences all in small doses that the kids will enjoy.
Check out the book lists for kid's historical fiction suggestions as well.
0-College  Khan Academy

Khan Academy

Khan Academy has high school level courses for social studies in the following:
College  MIT OCW

MIT Opencourseware

MIT Opencourseware has many courses in their history, global studies, and other departments. Although this is listed as a college level resource, it can be easily tackled by an interested high school student or the material can be used as a starting point in coming up with your lower level unit studies.
College  OYC
  The American Revolution
  The Cival
  The Early Middle Ages
  Europe 1648-1945
  Epidemics since 1600
 Early Modern England
 France since 1871

Open Yale Courses

Open Yale Courses provides some Yale College courses free of charge. While no credit is awarded for these free classes, that should not stop you from checking them out.
1st - College  Age of Empires

Age of Empires is a computer game based on establishing your empire. However, if you have played the game and read the descriptions at the start then you will have found out a surprising amount about the empires that are portrayed. These or similar descriptions are on the Age of Empires history link.
0- College  History

This history site has numerous entries on the histories of various states. The site also provides full episodes of some history documentaries.
9th Grade - College  Anneberg Learner

Anneberg Learner has programs for the professional development of teachers.
However, many of these video presentations are equally relevant to the high school and college audience.
 Geography Games

Sheppard Software

The Sheppard Software site is loaded with geography games and is definitely worth a look.
 Geography Bee

National Geographic Bee Study Resources

Lesson plans and study resources are on this National Geographic site.

Foreign Language

There are some resources and methods that span many foreign languages. Repetition or lack of repetition in the individual language section does not reflect on the quality of the materials. There are many Foreign Language Service Institute Language courses that have been released to the public domain.

  •   FSI a site hosting some public domain Foreign Service Institute language lessons.
  •   Live Lingua another FSI language site. Also has one on one language lessons ($).
  • Yojik Website FSI information and more.

Language Apps
  •  Babbel
  •  Duolingo
  •  Memrise
  • Streaming

    There are many foreign language resources available for audio and video streaming. Some sites allow searching by audio and closed-caption language availability. Many libraries also have resources in various languages available for check out.


There are numerous resources for latin targetted at various ages.


American Sign Language






Other Languages

There are many other languages with materials out there. If you know of other materials, preferably free, that are not the Foreign Language Service Institute or duolingo, please comment on the language blog post that either is up or will be going up shortly and I will see about adding a section for those materials.



Environmental & Earth Science





Hobbies can bring joy and pleasure to learning and life and span all areas of interests. If you have particular hobby books of interest please feel free to share them.


Dog Breeds
  •  The New Complete Dog Book If you want to read about all the AKC registered breeds in one spot any version of this book will be a good reference.
Dog Training
Small and furry
  •  Gerbils Gerbils and hamsters make excellent first pets.
  •  Hamsters
  •  Guinea Pigs are also fun pets. Some guinea piggies actually sing. While hardy pets, they have delicate digestions and if the piggy refuses to eat for a day intervention might be warranted.
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