If you're a member of the Central Arkansas Library System (do you know a Little Rock homeschooler who isn't?!), you might find some of their online references helpful. I'll highlight just a couple that we use. To access these, go to their Millenium Web Catalog and select "Reference Databases A-Z". Have your library card number handy; you can store it in your e-mail inbox, for example, or on your computer's desktop so that you can just copy and paste.
Britannica for Kids (Encyclopaedia Britannica) — An online encyclopedia designed especially for younger students. Includes Compton's Encyclopedia and other resources. We use this for research projects, and it even has an audio option that will read the text aloud.
Bookflix — An online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks from Weston Woods with related nonfiction eBooks from Scholastic to build a love of reading and learning. Intended for use by PreK to 3rd grade students. All three of my little students like this! Includes classics --like Chrysanthemum, Bear Snores On, I'm Dirty, Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom, Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel (some of them read by stars like Meryl Streep or Steve Busconi)--and some less known stories. The pairs of fiction and nonfiction also have online activities and questions for each book!
References we haven't used yet that I've just discovered:
Kids Search (Ebscohost) — Articles and other reference materials for students in grades K-5.
Middle Search Plus (Ebscohost) — A database of fulltext magazines, biographies, primary source documents and images, all intended for middle school and junior high students.
Novelist K-8 — (Ebscohost) — Includes information on many titles popular with students in grades K-8, arranged by instructional unit, theme or topic. Teachers can find appropriate fiction to complement classroom instruction.
World Atlas (Facts on File) — Provides printable maps and flags as well as statistical information for states, countries and regions around the world.
Student Research Center (Ebscohost) — Articles, primary source documents and other reference materials for researchers in grades 6-12.
Science Online (Facts on File) — Provides printable diagrams and illustrations, as well as more than 1,100 science experiments, thousands of biographies, definitions and essays on major topics and issues in science and technology.
Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages
Primary Search (Ebscohost) — A database of fulltext magazines intended for elementary school students.
How exciting is that?!