August Newsletter


August 3, 2004

Hello Oklahoma Homeschool Readers (Oklahoma Edition):

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and are ready to get back to school! Only a few days until many of you will be starting your new year. I've actually heard from a few of you that you've started already because the kids got bored. That's not a bad idea. When I was still homeschooling, I schooled year around (Grades 1-8th). We took off several times during the year instead of one big break in the summer. We still got our 180 days in and the kids didn't forget as much during the summer.

I'm very close to getting my first Oklahoma History book completed. It's called The Moundbuilder Adventure and is part one in a series of historical fiction read-alouds that I am writing to help you teach Oklahoma History. I'll let you know when it's off the presses.

After I complete book one, I'll write one or two more unit studies and then go back to finish book two. I just wish I had more time!
If you haven't had a chance to check out The Checklist, please take a moment to look it over. I've included 61 sample pages on my website to give you a good look at this updated product. The Checklist is an invaluable tool for those of you who don't like wasting time and money in your homeschool. It's a planner, recordkeeper, and a K-12 Scope & Sequence. Another favorite feature for those of you who do unit studies or multilevel teaching is that the new Checklist has been written to directly correspond with the unit studies available for FREE on the Oklahoma Homeschool website. Anyone who purchases The Checklist will be able to download updates to The Checklist as new unit studies are written.

What's in This Newsletter:

Oklahoma Activities:

1. Tulsa Community College is offering a variety of classes to homeschooled students. Check it out at:

2. Statewide. Stage Art Productions is a christian-based dance, tumbling, fitness, cheer and pom studio offering classes for home-school students at our studios or through our satellite program. Our classes consist of upbeat, modern, non-secular music only. For more information contact Kristy at 918.322.5244 or visit our website at

3. Hardesty Library (8316 E. 93rd St.) in Tulsa is hosting a Greek Games for ages 9-12 on Friday, August 13th, from 10-10:45 am. Using a question and answer format, students will learn about the Olympics and Greek mythology. Phone 250-7307.

4. Tulsa Area: ACT Workshop by Chad Cargill on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 5:30PM. Do you need help preparing for the ACT or need a few extra points on your ACT to win certain scholarships?  Or maybe you are a few points away from qualifying to get into college.  Then this workshop is for you!  This workshop is a practical hands-on instruction session developed by Chad Cargill.  Chad recently graduated from Oklahoma State with a degree in Industrial Engineering.  While in high school, Chad took the ACT 18 times and raised his score from a 19 to a 32.  This workshop is packed full of relevant, practical information on how to increase your ACT score as he did.  It shows you that the ACT is beatable and that each test will ask you the same questions just worded differently.  The workshop covers what will be on the test and how to master the techniques.  The workshop is not a practice test. It covers general ideas about the ACT as a whole and the individual sections of English (including what the test-makers are looking for and the relevant English rules needed for the test), Math (including exactly what formulas and rules you will need to answer virtually every question), Reading (including three strategies on how to best take the reading compre-hension section), and Science (including common question types and strategies to understand and beat the science reasoning section).  Don’t miss this opportunity.  It’s cheaper than other workshops, and it’s the most practical workshop that’s most importantly not just a practice test.
COST:      $35 per student pre-paid    or      $50 at the door
Chad has held three workshop at CTC. Students and parents were very pleased with his presentations! For more information check out Chad’s website at or call CTC at 918-664-9527.
(Please reserve your seat with CTC.  Save $15 by pre-paying before 4:00 PM on Tuesday, Sept. 28). 

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Safety Lessons:

Most schools require at least one or two lessons in safety each year. Here are some resources:

1. Tornadoes:


Earthquake & Tornado Drills:

Weather Chart (Printable) :

Printable lesson plan with activities (pdf document):
This download file offers a safety awareness kit on tornadoes that can be shared in the classroom, and also sent home with preschoolers to share with their families. It covers the basics of how tornadoes form, how to seek shelter, and how to put together a disaster preparedness kit.

2. Safety Lesson - Fires

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Filters for Movie Watching:

Here are two resources for families who like to watch movies but don't want the objectionable content. Check these out:

Clear Play: (filter)

Clean Films: (rent edited films)

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Preschool/Kindergarten Guidelines and Assessments

If you are teaching a 4 - 6 year old this year, be sure to check out the guidelines and assessments on the Oklahoma Homeschool website: You'll also find a blank report card form and diploma for this age.

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Does your child have trouble with handwriting? Be sure to read "Teaching Handwriting" on the Oklahoma Homeschool website: Also includes free, printable handwriting practice pages.

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Start the year off right by keeping good records. Find out how to prepare transcripts, keep a portfolio, and maintain a log book.

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Field Trip Guide

Start your year out right by planning your field trips. Read "Nine Steps to a Successful Field Trip" and use the free Field Trip Planning Guide to help you.

Have a great new school year!

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:

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes