OKHS Newsletter - October, 2005


October 1, 2005

Dear OKHS Subscribers,

Hello everyone. I hope your school year is going great! This has been a busy month for me. My husband and I spent a lot of time training to ride our bikes in the MS150. We rode 78 of the 150 miles. Not bad for 55 & 58 years old! You can see photos and read more about that on my blog: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/EmptyNestMom/26376/.

I also go to go to Grandparent's Day at my granddaughter's school. That was fun. Check out photos at: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/EmptyNestMom/28153/

Part 1 of my interview with Homeschool Talk Radio aired on September 26. You can listen to the taped version by going to: http://www.homeschooltalkradio.com/. I am so honored to be featured on the same program as Jessica Hulcy! My interview starts about 2/3 way into the program.

And of course, I spent a good part of the month working on the OCHEC Update, this newsletter, my website, and the Pilgrim unit below.

Finally, I am coming to Shawnee, Oklahoma, on November 5, 2005, to teach a workshop entitled, "Homeschooling Simplified" or "How to Simplify Your Homeschool for Success"

Many homeschooling parents are committed to homeschooling, have the "best" curriculum money can buy, and are great disciplinarians, yet they're stressed out and ready to quit. Why? Usually, it is one of two reasons:

1. They're not using their homeschool time wisely

2. They're using curriculum and/or teaching methods not suited to their own family's needs and their child’s learning style, goals, interests, and abilities

In this workshop, I am going to show you how to simplify your schedule, your curriculum, and your teaching methods so that your children will learn what they need to know without you, the parents, burning out! You'll learn how to set priorities and goals, how to set a reasonable weekly and daily schedule, how to keep records, how to choose a simplified teaching style, and how to adapt curriculum to your child's learning style, goals, interests, and abilities.

The workshop is being held on November 5th at the Gordon Cooper Technology Center, One John C. Bruton Boulevard, in Shawnee, OK. from 9:00 am to noon, in the Seminar Center room. (Directions: http://www.gctech.org/about/drivingdir.htm)

Seating is limited to 300 (doors open at 8:30 am) and is on a first-come, first-serve. Get a babysitter and both parents come or leave one spouse home to watch the kids. No children will be permitted (except infants of nursing mothers).

There is no charge for this workshop because of the generous support of Gordon Cooper Technology Center, El Shaddai Church in Seminole, Vicki Mason, and Jerry Johnston.

I will be selling my book, The Checklist, at the workshop so you can save on shipping costs if you pick one up there.

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


Oklahoma Homeschool Newsletter, October 2005 (Oklahoma Edition)


What's New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?

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Oklahoma History Resources:

1. Ideas for Oklahoma History study from The Learning Calendar (http://www.thelearningcalendar.com/):

September 16th
The largest land run in U.S. history occurred on this day in 1893 in Oklahoma.
Design your own homestead! If you were awarded 100 acres for a homestead, what would you do with it? What crops would you plant? Would you have animals? Would you build a log cabin or another type of house? Draw a picture and write a story about homesteading in Oklahoma in the 19th century. Use your imagination!

September 30th
Will Rogers' first movie opened in New York on this day in 1918. The movie starring the popular cowboy was called Laughing Bill Hyde.
Besides acting, Will Rogers' was famous for his witty sayings. Visit this site to read some Will Rogers' quotes. For young buckaroos, print out our cowboy coloring page!

2. The Six "Countries" of Oklahoma worksheet. Have your child research the "countries" of Oklahoma and complete this worksheet for Oklahoma History. This is an excerpt from my Oklahoma Online curriculum (http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/okhist.html) and only available for a short time to subscribers of the OKHS Newsletter at: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/afreeform.html

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Book Reviews:

1. Review of World Landmark Books by Karen J. Thiessen

Unfortunately for me, I discovered Landmark Books after my children graduated. This is a wonderful series of books written in 1950-1970, that can be used as family read-alouds or assigned reading for children in 4th grade and up. According to Karen, there are 63 books in the World Landmark series (world history) and 122 books in the Landmark series (American history). They include biographies of famous people as well as historical events.

World Landmark Books is a guide to the 63 books in the World Landmark series. Karen not only gives a brief overview of each book, but she provides information about the author, how to use the books in your homeschool, and ideas for how to locate them (many of these are hard to find). She includes a list of the books organized by title, author, publication date, chronological date, and by subject category. There is also information on the rarity of each book is so you can know what to expect in price.
Her evaluations are based on her Christian worldview which his a big help to me. There were several books on her list that I had not heard of which I quickly added to my "To-Buy" list. Others, although the titles sounded like books I would want to own (ie. Jesus of Nazareth, Martin Luther) were not added to my list because of her explanation of the author's worldview.

Karen has written a subsequent book entitled: Landmark Books, A Homeschooler's Guide which covers the 122 books in the American History series.

For those of you who use "real" books in your homeschool and want a Christian world view, this is a must-have addition to your library. I highly recommend it. You can purchase her book at: http://www.purejoypublications.com/

2. Review of The American History Teacher's Book of Lists by Fay R. Hansen

This 500+ page book is a must for anyone teaching American history. You'll find copies of many primary sources such as the Mayflower Compact, Bill of Rights, and Articles of Confederation; profiles of major people in history and government; timelines of events; and facts related to economics, politics, health, crime, and public education. Also included are listings of American authors, musicians, historians, craftspeople, and much, much more.

Keep it on your desk and you'll have a handy reference guide that can be used for lesson planning or to make quizzes, handouts, unit studies, and vocabulary lists. For example, if you are doing a study on World War II, there is a list of major battles, major weapons used, military casualties, military leaders, which countries participated in the war, major events, and America's relative economic position. There is also a copy of the Atlantic Charter of 1941, FDR's Address to the Nation, and a chronology of the development of the atomic bomb. More than enough to help you teach this topic and provide handouts to your students. ISBN 0130819271.

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Teaching Without Textbooks:

1. Free coloring pages from Junkertoons. Simply join the club (free) and you will get access to lots of free coloring pages good for your PreK-2nd graders to use for animal units. There are also a couple of pages on Egypt, Space, and archaeology that would be of interest. http://www.junkertoons.com/join.htm

2. Print out this paper for your child's report on a fall theme or field trip: http://www.starfall.com/n/N-info/onlineprintouts/seasonal/pickPumpkin.htm

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Free Forms:

Pilgrim/Thanksgiving worksheets. Print out this free free booklet to go along with the Pilgrims/Thanksgiving Unit below. Scroll down the forms page to Pilgrim/Thanksgiving worksheets: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/forms.html

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The Checklist & Multi-Level Teaching:

This is a great time of year to do a Pilgrims and Thanksgiving Unit so I've put together this resource to show you how to create a unit on Pilgrims/Thanksgiving using The Checklist. You can use this along with the Pilgrim Booklet above for a complete unit on this topic. http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/pilgrimCL.html.

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Internet Resources -Money, Banking, & Economics:

1. Consumer Reports for Kids: The range of learning opportunities include: (1) Reading, writing, thinking skills: Money Q&A's and reviews invite kids to form opinions and read other kids' contributions. (2) Charts and graphs: Toy test and other ratings charts motivate kids to read charts and bar graphs, compare and contrast, and organize information. (3) Life skills: Features analyzing ads and evaluating products help teach critical thinking, consumer skills, and media literacy. http://www.zillions.org/

2. It All Adds Up. A website is for teens who want to prepare for their financial futures. The web site contains online games and simulations to help students learn about credit management, buying a car, paying for college, budgeting, saving, and investing. http://www.italladdsup.org/

3. KidsBank. A fun way for children to learn about how savings, interest, checking and other banking things work. http://www.kidsbank.com/index_2.asp

4. My Own Biz. How to get started in business for kids. http://myownbiz.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/

5. Peanuts and Crackerjacks. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's educational unit on the economics of pro sports. http://www.bos.frb.org/peanuts/leadpgs/intro.htm

6. The Mint for Teachers. Ideas for teaching finances to children. http://www.themint.org/teachers/index.php

Just for a laugh - I found this Redneck Album on the TOS Blog and just had to share it with you all. What a riot! http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/ClassicalEducation4Me/21593/

Please feel free to forward this on to anyone who may be interested in subscribing.

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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