Oklahoma Homeschool Subscribers,
you sometimes wonder, "Why
am I homeschooling? Am I really making a difference?
Or am I just ruining my kids?"
I remember thinking like this many times during my homeschooling
years. As a veteran of homeschooling who educated my children
from K-12th grade, let me give you three words of encouragement.
KEEP ON GOING!
many of you know, I've been back in college at a public
institution. At age 58, I wonder sometimes
why I am doing this. But I think one of the reasons I
am back in college is to be reminded how broken the public
system is. Yes, I've had some good teachers and they
do make the system better.
I also had WAY too many bad ones. It's not that they didn't
care - it's just that some had no ability to teach; others
were limited by the system in how they teach.
The only way I learned in these classes was by "homeschooling" myself
through the curriculum and by using alternative resources
that I found on the Internet and in bookstores. In some
cases, I learned more than was taught because what was
expected of the students was so little. (That was really
frustrating when I am paying my own money to learn from
ever think you're not qualified to teach your children.
If you love your kids and put their education as a priority
in your life, you will teach as well or even better than
many of those who have "credentials." Having
a "credential" does
not make one a good teacher.
does make a good teacher? I'll give you an example of
one from a class I had a OSU. My logic teacher, Mary
Gwin, was what I call a good teacher. She wasn't what
you would call a motivational speaker,
but you could tell that she loved teaching. She came
to class excited and energetic. You knew she
put effort into her lesson plans. Her lectures were organized
and her assignments were planned ahead.
Most importantly, she cared about the students in
her class. Because we lost class time for various reasons,
she was forced to go faster through the curriculum than
normal, and this left us behind. But instead of lowering
the standards, she went out of her way to help us catch
up. She lent me extra resources to study. She emailed
me extra practice problems and the answers. She stayed
after class to explain difficult concepts. There was
no excuse for me to not make a A, and I did!
what you do as a homeschool parent - every day! You love
your students because they're your kids. You seek out
other resources if the ones you are using don't work. You
sacrifice your free time in order to make sure your kids
learn. That's what makes YOU A GOOD TEACHER! Not a credential.
month, I've added a new unit study on Immigration; printable,
immigration-theme writing paper; and some fun internet
resources I've recently discovered. I
hope you enjoy this issue of the OKHS Newsletter.
a great February!
Homeschool Newsletter, February 2008
Books no homeschool library should be without - Primary
World's Great Speeches
edited by Lewis Copeland, Lawrence W. Lamm and Stephen
J. McKenna. Compiled into one resources are all the
great speeches of the ages - from Pericles and Socrates
to Winston Churchill.
edited by Gregory Suriano. A more complete representation
of American speeches.
That Built a Nation, A Young Person's Collection
of Historic American Documents
by Marilyn Miller. This easy-to-read book helps students
understand some of the great documents of our country.
Including in the book are The Mayflower Compact, Poor
Richard's Almanack, Common Sense, Declaration
of Independence, The Constitution and The Bill of Rights,
The Star-Spangled Banner, The Monroe Doctrine, Uncle
Tom's Cabin, The
Emancipation Proclamation, The Gettysburg Address,
The Fourteenth Amendment, I Will Fight No More Forever,
Chief Joseph, Twenty Years at Hull-House, James Addams,
and many more - 37 in
all. Each entry includes a brief history of the document,
information about who wrote the document, the response
to the document, photos and illustrations related to
the document, and the complete text of the document
(excerpts from the text of books).
Book Review: "What Really Happened in . . ." compiled by
Johnson has collected a variety of historical biographies
written by various authors and compiled them into books
according to time periods.
"What Really Happened in Ancient Times" includes biographies on Eve, Noah,
Gilgamesh, Imhotep, Daniel, Cyrus the Great, Eratosthenes,
"What Really Happened During the Middle Ages" includes biographies on St.
Patrick, Theodora, Alcuin, Good King Wenseslas, Eleanor
of Aquitaine, Joan of Arc, Johann Gutenberg, and Martin
What Really Happened
in Colonial Times includes
biographies of Pocahontas, Lady Alicia Lisle, James Cook,
Rachel Walker Revere (Paul Revere's wife), Admiral Lord
Nelson, Catherine Ferguson, Lucretia Mott, and Narcissa
The books are easy to read and written to interest students
of all ages, whether as a read-aloud or read alone
(recommended for ages 8+). These books are guaranteed
to get your children interested in history! The
biographies are written by current authors and even
some homeschoolers! Highly recommended. I'm looking forward
to reading "What Really Happened in Modern Times" coming
out in Spring 2008.
Without Textbooks - Immigration
Timeline (all ages)
Island History. (4th+)
of Liberty Facts (all ages)
the Trail of the Immigrant - photos
and text that tell the story of immigration. (gr 4-12)
of Ellis Island Watch videos, listen to interviews,
view photos as you take an interactive adventure at Ellis
Island. (all ages)
Immigrant Landed on Ellis Island -
15-year-old Annie Moore in 1892. (all ages)
photos from Ellis Island. View slideshow. (gr. 4-12)
about Immigration. (all ages)
Read about the Statue
of Liberty. and Statue
of Liberty Handbook (gr 6-12)
Poem about the Statue of Liberty (all ages)
Read about the Gilded
Age. (all ages)
Books to Read
Voyage by Edith Tarbescu tells the story of the
journey of two immigrant Jewish girls' trip to America.
32 pgs. (K-4)
of Freedom) By R. Conrad Stein (K-6+)
Island by Carol Highsmith. Words,
photos, and descriptions of Ellis Island. (5-8+)
Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island by
Ellen Levine. (K-6+)
at Ellis Island by Sally Isaacs. See
what it was like to be an immigrant disembarking, and
what you would do if you could go on to America, of if
you were kept behind. (K-6+)
American Immigration by Dana Wilbanks. Explores
U.S. immigration and refugee policy from a Christian
perspective. (gr 6-12)
Activities to Do:
Island Junior Ranger Booklet (gr. 4-6)
of Liberty Cutout Activity. (gr. 4+)
of Liberty Color Page and Color
Page 2 (K-4)
of Entry: Immigration - Online Activity (gr. 4-12)
Statistics. (gr. 5-8+)
Use Teaching with Document Analysis
Worksheets to analyze the primary documents viewed in this unit.
fun: watch The
movie with Charlie Chaplin). All ages.
Moscow on the Hudson with Robin Williams, 1984. Rent.
& Assemble New York Harbor. (gr. 4-12)
a family tree. Include immigrant information, if available.
the poem written by Emma Lazarus.
to and sing along with "Give
Me Your Tired, Your Poor"
and songs about the Statue of Liberty.
test for Immigrants and see if you can pass!
art and photos of the Statue of Liberty.
Activities to Do:
Life: Immigration. Includes reproducible activity
pages for math, vocabulary, reading comprehension,
critical thinking, geography, writing, drama, and arts
and crafts. Grades 4-8.
And don't forget! When you're done, be sure to add what
your children did for the Immigration unit to pgs. 98
- 100 in your copy of The
Thematic Paper. Use
writing paper to write
about the Statue of Liberty or Immigration. Here are some
ideas to get you started:
a biographical report on Frederic-Auguste
Barthold or Emma
Write a poem about the Statue of Liberty or immigration.
a letter to someone "back home" about your immigration
Write a diary entry about landing at Ellis Island.
Homeschool Moms Information Network. Ellen
Latimer edits an excellent Homeschool Mail List. On this
list, you can learn about events happening in Oklahoma
that homeschoolers would be interested in, there are files
chock full of information about homeschooling, contests,
book reviews, classes, articles of interest, health & wellness,
encouragement, homeschool resources, and MUCH MORE!
a statewide organization providing encouragement and
support to those who endeavor to faithfully train and
educate their children at home. Check out its Web page
for information about Capitol Day on February 12, the
BIG homeschool convention on May 2-3, and the Leader's
Retreat in July. It also maintains an extensive list
groups located throughout the state. Sign up
for the Informer
the OCHEC e-newsletter, too!
achieves: Applications for the 2008 Tulsa
Achieves class will be accepted beginning January 2008.
Oklahoma History Online by
Cindy Downes. An online, multi-level curriculum for
teaching Oklahoma History.
Oklahoma Scrapbook: A Travel Guide and Memory Book for
Exploring Oklahoma by
For more info and learning materials about Oklahoma
history, check my website at: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/teachOKH.html
Timeline. Create your own timeline with
this handy tool!
Mammoth. Free worktexts and worksheets for
3. Free audio books:
Douglass - Free audio download of the
life of Frederick Douglass.
Badge of Courage - Free audio download
of the book, Red Badge of Courage.
Bible Courses - I am taking the "Know Why You Believe"
course myself. Highly recommended!
main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition
of facts but learning how to make facts live." —
feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested.
Please forward in it's entirety.
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NOTICE: This newsletter is ©Copyright
2007 by Cindy Downes. All rights reserved.
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a great day!
Web site: http:www.oklahomahomeschool.com
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
History Online is
now available! Check it out at: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/okhist.html