December 2004 Newsletter


December 1, 2004

Dear Oklahoma Homeschool Subscribers,

I want to say a special thank you to those of you who kept me in prayer during these last few weeks. My Dad went home to be with the Lord on November 10th. I went to Delaware to attend the funeral and to help with clearing out my childhood home. Thankfully, I have a brother who lives nearby who will finish the process. I am now back home and getting ready for the holidays.

The good news is that my dad got saved two months previous at the age of 88! We had been praying a LONG time for this. Now I know that when I get to heaven, my mom AND my dad will be there to meet me. Thank you Jesus!

I hope you enjoy this issue of the newsletter and have a wonderful holiday season celebrating the birth of Jesus. I know I will!



Oklahoma Homeschool Newsletter, December 2004 (Oklahoma Edition)


  • What's New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?
  • Oklahoma History Resources
  • Teaching Tips - Art
  • Free Forms
  • Teaching Teens
  • Internet Resources for Teaching Art

What's New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?

1. Christmas Shopping List. For those of you who like to take advantage of Christmas to buy your children educational toys, I have created a list of recommendations. You can access it here:

2. Making the Most of Extracurricular Activities - an article about how to change your teen's extracurricular activities into credit courses:

Oklahoma History Resources:

1. Oklahoma History Book Recommendation: Up From the Ashes by Hannibal Johnson. This 32 page, colorful picture book tells the story of the 1921 Tulsa race riot from the viewpoint of a child. Excellent! ISBN 1571683852.

2. Oklahoma Theme Writing Paper. Available in thick or thin lines. Print in color or black and white. You can print these from my Free Forms page:

3. For those of you who have purchased The Checklist, you may not realize it, but there is a checklist for Oklahoma History in the back of the book on page 184. I put it there so that purchasers who live out of state could easily remove it from their copy of the book.

Teaching Tips for Art Class:

Don't get so busy with your major subjects that you leave out art. You never know when you might be raising the next Michelangelo or Frederic Remington. During our homeschooling years, I kept a special container of art supplies available to the children at all times. When they were “bored,” they were directed to the art box. Art is an important part of any curriculum, especially for the visual and/or kinesthetic learner. For the visual learners, you would be wise to incorporate art into your other subjects as much as possible. Here are some ideas of what to keep in your art box:

  • all kinds of paper both white and colored
  • scissors
  • glue
  • glitter
  • colored pencils
  • markers
  • crayons
  • water paints
  • acrylics
  • clay
  • pipe cleaners
  • cotton balls
  • popsicle sticks
  • old magazines to cut up
  • mosaic tiles
  • yarn
  • sequins
  • stickers
  • whatever else you can think of

Here's some art projects you can do during the holidays:

1. Christmas Advent Calendar:

2. Twelve Days of Christmas (coloring pages):

3. Christmas Crafts:

FREE Forms:

These forms are available free to Oklahoma Homeschool subscribers only, until December 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 (case sensitive):
For User ID, enter: (For Subscribers Only)
For Password, enter: (For Subscribers Only)

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.

Art - Excerpt from The Checklist. Use this form to keep track of your child's art and art history progress from K-12th grade.

Teaching Teens Art

For your teens who are interested in art, here are some ideas:

1. Curriculum recommendations:

2. Check out local resources for art classes. If you are concerned about what kind of subjects they will teach your child to paint or draw, be sure to ask to see samples of the projects they will be doing.

3. Don't forget to use the computer. My son loved art and the computer. I bought Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for him when he was twelve. These are programs that are used by the professionals in the industry, so they are expensive programs. However, he learned to use these programs on his own by studying the manuals and playing with the software. (If you need help, try Classroom in a Book: Photoshop and Classroom in a Book: Illustrator.). I let him do this during school time when his other work was done. Then he used what he learned to create free posters, newsletters, logos, tape covers, and more for nonprofits ministries in the area. This not only benefited the ministries he did the projects for, but this is one of the reasons he now owns his own computer graphics business and is doing quite well (much better than his dad!). If you want a better deal on these two products, purchase Adobe Creative Suite.

4. Have them read biographies of famous artists in the field in which they are interested. For interested, if they are interested in painting, have them read Michelangelo: Master of the Italian Renaissance, Benjamin West: The Boy Who Loved to Draw, or other famous painters. If they are interested in cartooning, have them read about Walt Disney (Walt Disney, An American Original).

5. Have them do a project on the art history and write a paper about some topic that interests them. Your child can earn high school credit for his art work if you add an academic component. For more information on changing activities into high school credit, check out this page:

Internet Resources for Teaching Art:

1. Famous Paintings for Students. Read about the artists, view their work, and then take a quiz to see what you learned.

2. Free lesson plans on color theory for Jr/Sr high: and

3. Free lesson in art history for elementary students:

4. Ideas for painting for elementary:

5. Art Pintura - Art Detective. Play a game while learning art history.

6. Mike Kistler's Drawing Lessons. Mike sells an excellent drawing course for kids. I recommend it for kids who like to draw. Click on 'drawing lessons' for some free lessons.

7. Portrait Investigation. Use paintings to find out about historical figures:


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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:

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes