May 1 , 2007

Dear Oklahoma Homeschool Subscribers,

I'm sure you're looking forward to the end of the school year and taking time to just smell the roses. Can you believe it's so close? It's also homeschool convention time. I heartily recommend that you attend a homeschool curriculum fair in your area. They're fun and informative and well worth the money (See The Value of Homeschool Conventions.) Be sure to go prepared though or you'll spend a mint! Here's a list of conventions by state from Ann Zeise.

Lot's of news at my house. After looking and looking for a new home, we finally decided that we are staying in Broken Arrow. We just can't bear to pay the higher prices and real estate taxes of homes in Tulsa. The homes that we could afford didn't suit. The ones we liked, cost too much, especially since my husband and I are semi-retired. So, I am in the process of unpacking again! Didn't I do this last year?!

Keep my husband Bill in your prayers. He has developed cone dystrophy, a heritary disease of the eyes. The good news is that he will not go completely blind; however, he is losing his central and night vision. We are going to a low vision specialist this week to see what technology is available to help him deal with this condition.

Another News Flash - My daughter and I are going back to college together! I finally decided to go back and finish what I started and my daughter decided she would, too. (I'll be 62 when I graduate!) I sure hope this old brain can handle it. The first three thing I have to take is College Algebra - UGH!

My husband and I are also new care group leaders at our church, St. James United Methodist, in Tulsa. If you live in Tulsa and don't have a home church, join us on Wednesday at 6:30 pm. We're going to do a five-week Bible study on the Tabernacle in the month of May. Because of that, I've included some resources you can use to teach Bible to your children. I hope it is helpful.

Finally, my article, Travel Your way to a Good Education, is in the Spring issue of the Old Schoolhouse magazine. In addition to my article, there are bunches of other great articles including a Life on the Farm unit study, writing tips from Ruth Beechick, an article from Ken Ham on sheltering kids, and much more! You'll love this issue and you can purchase it locally at Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstores.

Have a wonderful spring!

Cindy Downes

Oklahoma Homeschool Newsletter, May 2007


What's New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?

NEW! Cindy's Mini Stores - So many of you on this list do unit studies that I decided to put together some mini-stores based on unit study topics. You can either get ideas from these mini stores and borrow from the library or feel free to purchase from my website. I do get a small referral fee on anything that you buy from my stores, but the prices are still discounted for you. Thanks for your support!

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Curriculum/Book Review:

I cannot, of course, write a review of my own book and be objective, but I can give you some information. If any of you that have purchased the book would like to write a review, please email it to me. I'd love to post it in my newsletter and on my website.

Oklahoma Scrapbook: A Travel Guide, Learning Tool, and Memory Book by Cindy Downes. If you are planning a trip in Oklahoma this summer, why not make it a fun "school day" also! It's easy if you know how to do it. Before you go, read some books related to your trip, do some research on the place you visiting, and don't forget to sprinkle in a few activities to spark their interest.

For instance, let's say you are going to go to the Express Clydesdales Center in Yukon. Topics to discuss/study before going could include:

  • Clydesdales
  • Blacksmith
  • Horse Anatomy
  • Horse Care

Some books that would be fun to read are:

  • Clydesdales (Majestic Horses) by Pamela Dell
  • The Blacksmith's Gift: A Christmas Story by Dan T. Davis
  • Galloping Across the U.S.A.: Horses in American Life by Martin W. Sandler
  • The Mystery Horse (Boxcar Children Mysteries) by Gertrude Chandler Warner

And these activities would be fun to do:

  • Write a report about Clydesdales.
  • Put together “The Visible Horse” by Craft House, available at education stores.
  • Parts of a Horse” quiz
  • Learn horse care with: My Horse Coloring Book (Dover Coloring Book) by John Green.
  • Make a horse treat and feed it to your favorite horse.

If you like these ideas, you'll love Oklahoma Scrapbook by Cindy Downes. This resource includes more than 150 travel destinations in Oklahoma along with book and activity suggestions for each destination. There are also places to put photos of your trip!

Here's a review from one Oklahoma Scrapbook customer:

I love this resource. It's well laid out and and easy to use. I like the fact that you group the destinations geographically. That way when we go to an area like the Tulsa area and want to stay a few days we have several places we can go. We used it today for the first time. We visited the Old Red Barn in Arcadia. I'm not much of a picture taker, but since having this resource I actually took my camera and found myself taking several pictures. I'll let my kids pick the ones they want to put on their pages. I'm very excited to be using this resource. Great work! Melissa Kamm (Edmond)

For more information and to see sample pages, go to Oklahoma Scrapbook.

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Teaching Without Textbooks - Bible Study Resources

Bible Study:

Reading Suggestions:

Free Unit Studies:


  • Science Videos: You can now buy my favorite science videos on DVD! I've been recommending Moody Science Adventures and The Newton's Workshop for a long time, but they've been very difficult to find. Now Moody has reissued them as DVD's! They also offer free study guides for The Newton's Workshop at

For more like these, see my Bible Curriculum Recommendations.

Don't forget! When you're done, be sure to add what your children did for Bible study to your copy of The Checklist!

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FREE Forms:

1. Bible Character Study Worksheet. Here's a form to use when studying a particular Bible character. (pdf document)

2. Creation Thematic Paper: I've included this resource before but since we're talking about Bible studies, I thought I'd mention it again.

3. Tabernacle Worksheet. Use this worksheet to talk about the various parts of the Tabernacle and how they apply to Christians today.

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Oklahoma Centennial Events:
cowboy with rope

1. Centennial Events for June.

  • Magnolia Festival of Oklahoma .June 1, 2007 - Jun 2, 2007, Durant. Durant has officially been recognized by the Oklahoma State Legislature as the Magnolia Capital of Oklahoma. The annual Magnolia Festival is the weekend following Memorial Day and is attended by tens of thousands of people each year and has a wide variety of family-oriented activities.

  • Oklahoma Pioneer Exposition. Jun 1, 2007 - Jun 3, 2007. Cleveland County Fairgrounds, Norman. This celebration of traditional agricultural events features a variety of farming demonstrations including tractor pulls, power parades, quilt making, bread making, canning, blacksmiths, etc.

  • Red Earth Festival 2007. Jun 1, 2007 - Jun 3, 2007. Oklahoma City. This festival represents nearly 100 tribes throughout North America. Visitors can sample the artistic spirit in the festival's juried art exhibition. The dance competition is a rare occasion when dancers from northern and southern tribes of the U.S. are seen together in one venue.

  • Yukon's Chisholm Trail Roundup. Jun 2, 2007 - Jun 3, 2007. Numerous re-enactors from the Old West, candle making, weaving, spinning, lace making, quilting, Dutch oven cooking, chuck-wagon cooking, beadwork, hatchet throwing, civil war battles, gunfights and native American dancing, are a few of the two-day roundup events. Activities include craft tents for kids, live musical entertainment, craft show, children's petting zoo, and more.

  • Okmulgee Pecan Festival. Jun 7, 2007 - Jun 9, 2007. A three day festival of activities including carnival, live music, arts and crafts, the 'Nutin' But Fun' kid's tent, food, and the world famous Okmulgee Pecan Pie. The pie will measure over 40 feet in diameter. Free admission.

  • Vici's The Great Western Trail Drive. Jun 7, 2007 - Jun 9, 2007. Vici. A three day event with paid riders helping cowboys drive 100 head of cattle approximately 13 miles each day along the original Western Trail used during 1874-1886. Each evening is filled with home cooked meals and entertainment reflecting the old west, such as Indian dancers, old country music and historical accounts from authors.

  • Muskogee Centennial Festival. Jun 9, 2007. A day long festival will be held at Spaulding Park. The coming of the Missouri-KA-TX Railroad in 1872 helped put the town of Muskogee, Indian Territory, on the map. This festival will include historic scenarios both static and theatrical, music and food from civic organizations and the schools.

  • Plymouth Belvedere Time Capsule Exhumation, June 15th, Tulsa. In June of 1957, a ’57 Plymouth Belvedere was buried as part of the Tulsa’s Golden Jubilee Week during Oklahoma’s 50th birthday. The car served as a time capsule and was buried near the southeast corner of the Tulsa County Courthouse. The car was filled with numerous items that reflected the culture and society of the time. Participants entered guesses as to what Tulsa’s population would be in the year 2007. On June 15, 2007, the car will be unearthed as a part of the Centennial events. Go to for more information. Contact: Paula Hale – 619-6098

  • Pawnee Bill Wild West Show. Jun 16, 2007 - Jun 30, 2007. Pawnee. In 1907, Pawnee Bill, to celebrate the birth of Oklahoma, gave a special “Statehood” Wild West Show in Pawnee. The show will be patterned after the 1907 Statehood Wild West Show. It will feature cast members from the original show and acts that were performed in the 1906-07 show season. Contact Person: Ronny Brown, 918-762-2513. Shows are performed on June 16, 23 and 30 2007. Click here for complete information.

  • Perkins' Oklahoma Celtic Music and Heritage Festival, Jun 16, 2007 - Jun 17, 2007. Public festival celebrating Celtic heritage (Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Brittany and Galicia.) Strong emphasis on first families in Oklahoma. Living history, pictorial history reflecting Payne County and early Oklahoma. Live Irish, Scottish and Welsh music, demonstrations and workshops.

  • Waurika's "Let's Celebrate!", Jun 16, 2007. The celebration will include an art show, exhibits from various periods and activities of Oklahoma life, arrowhead and spear tip knapping, gun fighters, Chickasaw dancers, buffalo soldiers and crafters. A western one-act melodrama follows.

  • Clinton's National Route 66 Festival. Jun 21, 2007 - Jun 24, 2007. Improvements to the city's infrastructure is necessary to accommodate the tens of thousands of visitors attending the festival. Clinton was chosen as the host for the Annual National Route 66 Festival to honor the state's Centennial. Activities include a golf tournament, classic drive-in movies, and a trade show. Highlighted is a large car show, art exhibit and a formal banquet dinner.

  • Colbert's Golden Harvest Days. Jun 23, 2007.Annual demonstration of antique farm machinery in the era of 1930 - 1950 includes combine wheat, thresh wheat, pick corn, chop corn into silage, bale hay, plow, disc, run a rock crusher and saw mill. Also includes tractor and horse demonstrations and free wagon rides.

  • Duncan's Grand Opening of Foreman Prairie House. Jun 23, 2007. Open House/Grand Opening of the Prairie House will have Miss Oklahoma in attendance. The Duncan Little Theatre will re-enact the 1907 mock wedding of the Twin Territories. "Made in Oklahoma" products for sale and free lemonade for all. Square dancing exhibits and Indian and Celtic displays.

  • McLoud's Blackberry Festival. Jun 29, 2007 - Jul 1, 2007, McLoud. The festival began in 1895 when the town was founded and by 1945, McLoud was hailed as the blackberry capitol of the world. The event includes a parade, carnival, ball game, tractor show, car show, arts and crafts, music and dance, queen and princess contest, and features McLoud famous blackberry cobbler, blackberry ice cream and blackberry jellies.

  • Chickasha's 'School Days', Jun 30, 2007. A forty minute, I Act Play depicting 'school days' from the 1920's through 1930's and what a rural African American school was like in Oklahoma. The play will demonstrate how lessons were taught, lunch time procedure, and recess games and activities. Performed at the site of the Verden Separate One Room School.

  • Tinker Air Force Base Annual Star Spangled Salute. Jun 30, 2007 - Jul 7, 2007. Tinker Air Force Base. Families will enjoy military static displays, air demonstrations from rare and unique aircraft, live musical entertainment and children's activities. At night the sky becomes a masterpiece of breathtaking fireworks, creating one of the largest patriotic displays in Oklahoma. Free admission.

2. Workshops of Interest to Homeschoolers near the Tulsa area. These workshops are taught by local teachers at the Apple Tree educational store on 41st between Memorial and Sheridan. I chose to tell you about these topics because they look very interesting and could be adapted for homeschool. Just remember that the teachers are going to gear these for a classroom. Go for the ideas and forget the classroom stuff.

  • 100 Ways to Celebrate Oklahoma! (Gr 2-5) Monday, July 23 (9:00-3:00) $37.00. Dr. Debbie Landry & Dr. Linda Wilson. Join Debbie and Linda for an energetic, lively trip through Oklahoma! Discover activities and links to every content area - at least 100 ways to celebrate Oklahoma. The life and times of Oklahoma - where we came from and where we’re going!

  • Western Art & Gilcrease Museum. (Gr K-12) Tuesday, June 26 (9:00-3:00) $32.00, Cathy Ambrose. Come and learn about the great American artists Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Learn a simple way to draw horses. At noon we will drive to Gilcrease and have a picnic lunch on the grounds (bring a sack lunch & quilt). After lunch we will tour Gilcrease to see the original works of these great artists. Please be aware that you will be traveling off-site to the museum. The Apple Tree, Inc. accepts no liability for any activities away from its facility at 7204 E. 41st Street.

  • Simple Science, (Gr. PK-1), Wednesday, June 27 (9:00-11:30) $20.00. Jill Davis. You don’t have to be Einstein to introduce your little ones to science! This workshop will focus on cheap and easy ways to integrate science into your centers, group times, and outdoor activities. Bring your make and take supplies and a camera.

  • Writing a Research Paper, (Gr. 4-7), Thursday, June 28 (9:00-11:30) $20.00. Pam O’Halloran. Pam will provide a variety of ideas and techniques to help students develop the skills to write a research paper to complement their scientific studies. Coordination of English and Science curriculums along with specific techniques will be presented.

  • Have Your Math & Eat It, Too! (PK-3), Wednesday, July 11 (9:00-11:30) $24.00. Teressa Blair & Dr. Debbie Landry. Delicious “hands-on,” edible math activities will keep your students engaged and leave them wanting more. This workshop will cover everything from one-to-one correspondence, sorting and patterning to addition, subtraction and fractions. This is a repeat of a past workshop with lots of new activities added.

  • Teaching the Kinesthetic Learner (K-5), Thursday, July 19 (9:00-11:30) $17.00. Frank Blair. Eighty-five percent of school age children are natural kinesthetic learners, but most lessons are taught auditorily or visually. This workshop will provide activities for teachers to use in their classrooms to reach those children who are constantly in motion and learn best while moving. This class got rave reviews in the past 5 years, so we asked Frank to repeat it...You won’t want to miss it!

  • Got Science??? (2-5), Tuesday, July 24 (9:00-3:00) $32.00. Lisa Iten. Explore physical, life, earth and space sciences in a day of projects and experiments. Topics include simple machines, matter, plants, animals, rocks, erosion, and much more. Lots of student samples. Bring your make and take supplies.

  • For a full list of classes, go to the Apple Tree website at:

3. For discount coupons and more info about these events, check

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Internet Resources:

1. Blue Backed Speller. Free download of the Blue Backed Speller.

2. Iraq War for kids.

3. CAST Book Builder. Create digital books that build reading skills for children, ages 3–10.

4. A new resource for printable worksheets from

5. Free Bible Worksheets

6. DLTK's Bible Activities

7. Children Bible Studies

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"Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is." — Gita Bhagavad

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Have a great day!


Cindy Downes

Have you seen The Checklist? It's an assessment tool, lesson planner and K-12 Recordkeeper created for Christian Home Educators:

Oklahoma History Online is now available! Check it out at:

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes