November 04 Newsletter


November 1, 2004

Dear Oklahoma Homeschool Subscribers,

I'm sending this a few days early because of Thanksgiving coming up. Hope you find it helpful. Last month I 've spent catching up on some old projects. Most homeschoolers like a break from their usual routine during the holidays, so I wrote a Christmas Unit and added it to my website. I'll be adding more to it as we get closer to the holidays so check back again. Let me know what you think of it and if you would like more holiday-type units. I'm considering a Easter unit - let me know if that is something you would like.

I hope you enjoy this issue and have a great Thanksgiving!


Oklahoma Homeschool Newsletter, November 2004 (Oklahoma Edition)

What's New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?
Oklahoma History Resources
Teaching Tips
Free Forms
Teaching Teens
Internet Resources for Multi-Level Teaching and Unit Studies

What's New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?

Christmas Unit. A four-week unit for PreK-6th. Learn about Jesus, God's grace, John Newton, hymn writers, and Christmas celebrations using arts, crafts, recipes, literature, Bible reading, and the internet. (

While you are on the Christmas topic, check out the following activities to add music and drama to your homeschool portfolio:

1. The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. "The Night Before Christmas" from November 16th - December 30th. For more info:

2. Tulsa PAC in December (Check for more information. Get tickets early!)

• Brown Bag It: Tulsa Festival Ringers. FREE! December 1 at 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Bring your lunch and relax in the Performing Arts Center's Westby Pavilion, in Tulsa, while you enjoy the talents of Oklahoma's finest musicians. 40-minute concert. (This is wonderful! Get there early or you'll won't get a seat.)

• A Christmas Carol at the John H. Williams Theater in Tulsa. Various dates. (I haven't seen this but I'm going to try to go this year.)

• The Nutcracker. Chapman Music Hall in Tulsa. Various dates. (We loved this one!)

3. OKC, Civic Center Music Hall (Check for more info)

• Very Merry Pops - OKC Philharmonic. Friday, Dec 03 - Sat, December 04. 8:30. Join the orchestra as we put a brand new treat in your holiday season. Music takes center stage for an all new Christmas concert.

• A CHRISTMAS CAROL. December 3 - 19, 2004. Freede Little Theatre. This traditional version of Dickens’ classic brings to life the famous story of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim, helping us all to remember the value of compassion, giving and family during the most joyous of seasons.

• ChristmaSing - Canterbury Choral Society. 8 p.m. Sunday, December 5, 2004. Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre. Come in from the cold winds of December for Canterbury’s Christmas celebration, with hand bells ringing, audience singing, carols and holiday favorites.

Oklahoma History Resources:

1. Statehood Day Re-enactment. Sixteenth annual student reenactment of the inauguration of Governor Charles N. Haskell and the symbolic wedding of Ms. Indian Territory and Mr. Oklahoma Territory. Date/Time: Tue, Nov 16, 2004: 10:00am - 2:00pm. Location: Historic Carnegie Library, Guthrie OK., 402 E. Oklahoma, Guthrie, OK. Contact: Nathan Turner. Email: Phone: 405/282-1889

2. OKC: Oklahoma Firefighters Museum. WHERE: 2716 NE 50th; (405)424-3440. ADMISSION: $3.00 Adults, $1.50 Children, $2.00 Senior Citizens. HOURS: Seven days a week, 10am - 4:30pm. This museum features extraordinary turn-of-the-century fire engines that were once used in Oklahoma communities. Oklahoma's first fire station is displayed along with the finest specimens of firefighting equipment anywhere.

3. Bartlesville: Price Tower

WHEN: Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm. Sunday 12:30 pm - 5 pm. WHERE: 510 Dewey Avenue, Bartlesville, OK. AGES: All. Partially handicap accessible. COST: Donations Requested: $5 Adults, $3 Students, CONTACT: 918-336-6943. WHAT: Tower tours conducted Tues-Sat at 11 am and 2 pm. Sunday at 2pm. Reservations are encouraged. Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit, Bruce Goff Apartment and the Price Company Executive Office and Apartment. Reservations are required for groups over 6 and tours will usually be scheduled at times other than the regularly scheduled tours. Frank Lloyd Wright called this masterpiece the "tree that escaped the crowded forest" when he completed it in 1956. The Price Tower is Frank Lloyd Wright's tallest built skyscraper.

For more information on field trips and a free, printable Field Trip Planning Guide, check out my webpage at:

4. Some books to check out:

For the Prehistory/Native American Indian portion of Oklahoma History, check out some of the following (I found these at the library.):

a. The Choctaw by Emilie Lepthien and others in this series. "A True Book" series has a book about each of the Native American tribes. I recommend these for reading to K-6th.

b. The Seminole, the First People of Florida by Mary Englar and others in this series. "American Indian Nations" series has a book on the Iroquois, Apache, Creek, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Pueblo, Seminole, and Sioux. This is a colorful book that includes recipes and maps. I recommend reading it to 4th+

c. The Cherokee by Petra Press. "First Reports" series is colorful and easy to read. I recommend reading it to K-6th. Other titles in series: The Blackfeet, Apache, Iroquois, Maya, Pueblo, Seminole, Sioux.

Dust Bowl book: Driven From the Land, The Story of the Dust Bowl by Milton Meltzer. 112 pgs. Illustrated throughout with photographs. I recommend reading this to 5th+

Teaching Tips

1. Teaching History to Preschool & Kindergarten

You don't have to leave your PreK and Kindergarten children out of your multilevel history unit. Here are some tips to help you incorporate these younger children:

1. While you are reading your family reading selection, give your little ones a coloring page to color or let them play quietly with a toy (especially if you can find one related to the topic such a pilgrim doll during a pilgrim unit). Even though it appears they are not listening, they will learn something.

2. Involve your little one in the hands-on activities as much as possible. Have some items precut for your little ones to color and/or paste. Let them add glitter, string beads, count, measure ingredients, stir, etc. as they are able.

3. Read a book just for them that is at their level. Look for a picture book or easy reader that relates to the topic. For example, when teaching about the Pilgrims, read P is for Pilgrim, A Thanksgiving Alphabet by Carol Crane. ISBN 1585361348. While you are reading to your little ones, your older children can either listen or work on a school project of their own.

4. When it's time for some one-on-one teaching with the older ones, try to do that during nap times, quiet play times, when an older child can watch the younger, or when the other parent is home.

For more information on teaching Preschool & Kindergarten, check out:

FREE Forms:

These forms are available free to Oklahoma Homeschool subscribers only until November 15th. To access these forms, click on (or copy and paste it into your browser bar). When the password protect input form pops up, enter the following (omitted):

After you have entered the user ID and password correctly, Index of/subscribers will pop up. Click on subscribers.html which will open the web page where these forms can accessed. You must have the free Acrobat Reader software (available at installed to print these forms.

1. Early Settlement Checklist - Excerpt from The Checklist. Use this form to keep track of your Early Settlement/Pilgrim Unit for Thanksgiving.

2. Composition Form - Famous Person Report form. Use this form to help your beginning writer to write a biography about a person related to Thanksgiving or Christmas. Available first to Oklahoma Homeschool subscribers. Later it will be added to my Homeschool Forms Page:

Teaching Teens: History Curriculum Recommendations

It's been my experience that most homeschooled teenagers like to learn on their own. The best curriculum for these children is a good textbook adapted to a homeschool approach. My favorite textbooks for teaching history are the Heritage Studies series from Bob Jones University Press. I like the Christian content and find it more enjoyable reading than other curriculums. I recommend having your teen read the units on his/her own. You can then evaluate their learning in one or more of the following ways:

1. Have them answer the unit questions either orally or written out (have them type them on computer if they don't like to write by hand).

2. Have them write a report on one topic in the lesson.

3. Have them create a project to illustrate what they have learned. For example: a Powerpoint presentation, a map, a brochure, an art project, a poem, a song). Take a photo of (or record) the finished project and keep in your child's portfolio.

4. Have them research some particular point in the lesson (example, research the Mayflower Compact during the unit on Early Settlements) on the Internet, through books and magazines, and tell you what he/she learned. Have them write a brief outline of what they learned and their sources of information or once a year, have them write a research paper.

5. Give them the quizzes and tests available through Bob Jones (or other curriculum publishers). For teenagers who like to work with the family, you can still continue with your family unit studies. Add textbook reading (or literature on the high school level) for "homework" along with compositions and other projects that are strictly for the teens.

Other resources you could use along with unit studies (instead of a textbook) are: Barron's World History the Easy Way, Volume One & Two (or U.S. History the Easy Way) and/or The Handy History Answer Book by Rebecca Ferguson. These two resources cover all the history topics normally covered in high school. Barron's is a "read the lesson and take a quiz" approach. Handy History is a Q&A book written in prose that is quite interesting. You will not get a Christian perspective in these resources, but they are still worth checking out. For more information on history curriculum, check out my webpage:

Internet Resources for Multi-Level Teaching and Unit Studies:

For general information on multi-level teaching and unit studies, check out:

1. From Revolution to Reconstruction: This resource contains biographies, original documents, and essays of famous Americans.

2. Online Computer Lessons:

3. Thanksgiving/Pilgrim Unit Resources:

a. Colonial Times in America:

b. What do we Know About the People on the Mayflower:

c. Mayflower History Page:

d. Virtual tour of Plimoth Plantation (photos):

e. Crafts:

f. Coloring Pages:

g. Worksheets, etc:

h. Turkey File Folder Game (PreK/K):

4. Preschool Paper Crafts:

5. Museum Stuff. Find museums related to your unit of study. Did you know there are 147 museums in Oklahoma alone! List is by state, topic, and artist.


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Have a great day!

Cindy Downes

Have you seen The Checklist? It's a record keeper, a planning guide, and a K-12 Scope and Sequence created for Christian Home Educators:




Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes