OKHS Newsletter, November 2005


November 10, 2005

Dear OKHS Subscribers,

Hello everyone. I'm sorry I'm late with this issue. It's been a hectic month, but fun.

Part 2 of my interview with Homeschool Talk Radio aired on October 3. You can listen to the taped version by going to: http://www.homeschooltalkradio.com/.

I taught a workshop entitled, Homeschooling Simplified, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, on November 5, 2005. I had a wonderful time there with Vicki Mason and Jerry Johnston. Their church, El Shaddai, is the MOST HOSPITABLE church in the country! The workshop went well (except for some minor technical problems) and I enjoyed visiting with those of you who came. Afterwards my husband and I took a mini vacation to Red Rock Canyon State Park and Roman Nose State Park. (You can see some pictures on my blog: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/EmptyNestMom/41865/)

I also want to tell you about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. This is a beautiful, full-color, 200-page, quarterly magazine filled with lots of information for homeschool moms and dads. The magazine is available at local bookstores or online at: http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/

Finally, don't forget to cast your vote for the best homeschool speaker of the year and best curriculum of the year here: http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/excellence_awards/nominate.php

I hope you enjoy this issue of the Oklahoma Homeschool newsletter. Have a great November!


Oklahoma Homeschool Newsletter, November 2005 (Oklahoma Edition)


What's New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?

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Oklahoma History Resources:

1. Hiking the Wichitas, Now You can Find it! by Alan Thode. A Pocket Guide to hiking in the Wichita Mountains. This guide is well worth it if you like to hike. All ages.ISBN 1585972592.

2 . I added a Mammoth Coloring Page and Buffalo Coloring Page to Oklahoma History Online course. Also some new pictures in the Oil Boom unit showing an oil well currently being drilled in Edmond and an oil pump.

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Book Reviews:

1. Review of Blackline Maps of World History by Terri Johnson (Knowledge Quest). This resource will help you teach the geography of the world to your children in grades 1-12. You can use it as a stand-alone map study, along with a unit study, or as a supplement to a textbook. There are four books available: The Ancients (5000 BC - 400 AD), The Middle Ages (400-1600), The New World (1600-1850), and The Modern World (1850-2004). The complete set includes lesson plans and maps that cover the time period from 5000 BC to 2004 and permission is given individual purchasers to reproduce the maps for noncommercial, individual use.

The lesson plans include instructions for completing the map exercises and several questions to answer. Your children may have to research the answers in an atlas, a history book, or on the Internet. Doing so will help them learn important information about the country or historical event being studied. As Terri says in her book, "It only makes sense to study geography alongside history. In history, we learn about times, places, and people. Each aspect of historical study is important in its own right, but they cannot be studied exclusively of one another. For example, when you study the Norman Conquests, you learn that it took place between 1066 and 1087 AD and that it was the Normans of France who crossed the English Channel to conquer Britain. After reading about this event in history, why not have the student look at a map or globe to find out where it took place? Better yet, have him label and color a map drawn specifically of that region and for that time period in history. When children have visual cues, it helps to cement fact into their minds."

I LOVE the CD version! It includes everything in the book version, but is in pdf format. (You will need the latest version of Acrobat Reader to use it. This is free software that you can download off the Internet.) What I love about the CD is that it is convenient and stores easily. You simply insert the CD, open the file to the Index, click on the chapter you want to study, and you're instantly there! Now, you can print out the lesson plan and the maps you need for the day's lesson and then put the CD back on the shelf. How easy can it get?!

For those of you who like to put together your own course of study, this resource is a must! It will go exceptionally well with The Checklist. It's in timeline sequence, as is The Checklist. As you cover the history portion of The Checklist, you can use this resource for your children's map studies. After they complete their study, check it off on The Checklist as a record of what your children have covered.

I highly recommend this resource! Also available from Knowledge Quest is Blackline Maps of American History which includes 80 maps of US history (America's founding and development) as well as historical maps that depict battles and expansion, etc. and state maps which include capital, date of statehood, state bird and flower, and other important facts. I haven't seen this one, but it should be just as well done.

2. Review of The Elements. Most homeschool moms that I know are not particularly fond of teaching science. I guess it's a girl thing! But today, there are so many great resources that make teaching science easier that it should become more and more "girl" friendly! Here's one of those resources: The Elements published by EDGEucation Publishing. This resource is a fun way to teach your children about the 109 elements. Your children will be introduced to each element through a funny character to color and a short bio. The workbook includes test sheets and stickers to reinforce what is learned. A great introduction to the elements for all ages. Also available is The Elements Flash Cards. Colorful flash cards help children to memorize the names and facts about each of the 109 elements. For more info, check out their website at: http://www.edgeucationpublishing.com/ or email: EDGEucationPublishing@coxinet.net.

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Teaching Without Textbooks:

1. Log It. Log It helps motivate kids to become, and remain physically active, by allowing them to log their daily physical activity steps or miles. In addition to recording their steps or miles, they can participate in a virtual hike across the USA with their class, be involved in class competitions vs. other classes, set daily goals, view their own personal step log, and compare their steps with other kids of the same age and gender. Teachers can print certificates for their students. To enroll or for more info: http://www.peclogit.org/logit.asp

2. U.S. States Flash Cards (pdf document): http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf-JAVA/actCtrAttach/c00453179.pdf

3. Free Christmas Unit by Cindy Downes.

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Free Forms:

1. History & Science Unit Planning Form - works especially with with The Checklist but can be used with any scope and sequence. Plot your history and science units on this form that covers 1-12th grade. Keep in your portfolio as a handy guide to what topics you have covered and what topics you need to cover.

2. This is the time of year you need to remember this form for your friends who are thinking of homeschooling: Should I Homeschool - simple test

To access these forms, go to: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/forms.html. Scroll down the list to the appropriate title. You must have the free Acrobat Reader software (available at www.adobe.com) installed to print these forms.

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The Checklist & Multi-Level Teaching:

1. If you would like to see the notes from my Shawnee workshop - Homeschooling Simplified, you can download a pdf version from this page: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/speaking.html or directly by clicking on: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/Shawnee.pdf

2. Are you doing a Dinosaur Unit? Try some of these dinosaur activities/books on your boys (and girls). http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/dinosaurUnit.html

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Internet Resources:

1. Book Activity Ideas: This is great! A list of activities to do while reading children's book. Books are listed by grade level. http://www.theteachersguide.com/bookactivities.html

2. 60 Ways to Practice Spelling - I love this! http://teachers.net/gazette/DEC02/spelling.html or http://www.meridianschools.org/schools/elementary/Silver-Sage-Elementary/elementary-news/336/

Please feel free to forward this on to anyone who may be interested in subscribing. Please forward in it's entirety.

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Have a great day!


Cindy Downes


Website: http:www.oklahomahomeschool.com

Email: cindy@oklahomahomeschool.com

Cindy's Blog: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/EmptyNestMom

Oklahoma Blog: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Oklahoma/

Have you seen The Checklist? It's an assessment tool, lesson planner and K-12 Recordkeeper created for Christian Home Educators: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/checklist.html

Oklahoma History Online is now available! Check it out at: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/okhist.html

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes