you believe Christmas is almost here and school is almost
1/2 done for the year! Unbelievable! Time is going way too
fast for me. Probably for you too! Just remember, you don't
have to stress out over the holidays. Take it a little easier
and then make up time by doing an occasional Saturday or over
the summer. I used to school year around, taking off from
Thanksgiving through New Years! We did reading and math during
this time and lots of hands-on stuff. I combined several short
days into one day for my log book, so I still got to count
a few days of this time towards my 180 days of school. It
worked great for us. Maybe it will for you, too.
issue has a two Christmas units that I have written and two
free forms, as well as a couple of book reviews. I hope you
enjoy this issue of the Oklahoma Homeschool newsletter. Have
a great December!
Homeschool Newsletter, December 2005 (Oklahoma Edition)
New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?
New Forms: See below to download the
Country Report Theme paper and Revolutionary War Theme
Field Trip Cruisers. I've added photos from my
trip to Arbuckle Wilderness, Great Salt Plains, Oklahoma
City National Memorial and the Railroad Museum. Check
them out at: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/FTCruiser.html
Oklahoma Travel Guides. If you're like me and love
to learn Oklahoma history by traveling, check out my new
listing of Oklahoma Travel Guides. I've included my favorites
that I use when hubbie and I go picture taking for our Field
Trip Cruisers. http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/teachOKH.html#travel.
Cozy Grammar Review.
Let me proceed this review with some facts: My maiden name
is Edwards. My favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice. I've
read every Agatha Christie mystery written and I love Earl
Grey tea. So, how could I not love Cozy Grammar!
Grammar, produced by Splashes from the River, is a video teaching
resource. Splashes from the River produces several video courses
that teach basic grammar, intermediate grammar, punctuation,
and essay writing. This review relates to the Basic Cozy Grammar
main character in this video is the author, Marie Rackham,
an active, full-of-life, senior citizen and retired school
teacher who lives in British Columbia. In her preface, the
author says, "I wanted to get out of the classroom -
to present grammar in an everyday setting. The coziness of
a home, the familiarity of a garden, the fascination of a
beach, and the ever changing moods of the Pacific Coast weather
combined to make a stimulating, but non-threatening, setting
for teaching a potentially dry and boring subject."
can assure you that she did exactly that. She used the beautiful
setting of her home in the Pacific-Northwest to teach basic
grammar skills. For instance, in the first lesson, she teaches
about the kinds of sentences while welcoming you into her
home and drinking tea. In the second lesson, she teaches about
subjects and predicates with a demonstration of chopping firewood,
building a fire, and then relaxing in front of it. She illustrates
nouns by having a dinner party with friends. She uses name
plates to teach personal nouns; she sets the table to show
common nouns; she serves the meal while teaching collective
nouns, indefinite nouns, pronouns, etc.
thoroughly enjoyed her slightly English accent, her somewhat
"stuffy" English ways, the beautiful scenery, and
the background music consisting of piano compositions from
composers such as Bach, Chopin, and Beethoven. The experience
was pleasant and relaxing, as well as informative. After viewing
each segment, there is a worksheet to complete that reinforces
what has been taught, as well as tests to be given as needed.
are a few segments that may bother some Christian homeschooling
families. One is the segment where Marie is having a dinner
party and she pours red and white wine in her guests glasses.
The other is when she uses a buddha and yin/yang symbol to
talk about adjectives. These incidents are brief and I think
so minor to the program that they shouldn't present a problem
for most families, no more than seeing them in a TV ad or
at the mall. I would use these segments as talking points,
highly recommend this series for children who are visual and/or
auditory learners. I would begin the Basic Grammar course
with children who are reading fluently and ready for formal
grammar instruction. The course is simple to use and is an
enjoyable way to learn grammar, especially for those who dislike
the traditional textboook approach.
I think most teenagers are will think this series is a little
too "cheesy" for them. I don't believe you'll find
many of them volunteering to watch it. However, I have an
idea! Why not assign your older teen to watch it with your
younger child to "help him" learn grammar. That
way your teen can save "face" and it would give
you time to work one-on-one with another child or do housework
while this is going on!
suggestion for this company is that they should create additional
sets of Cozy Grammar with new actors and call them, "Wild
West Grammar" for the western folks and "Shopping
Mall Grammar" for the metropolitan type. That way everyone
can enjoy watching them as much as I did!
pricing and more information, log onto to their website at:
Ancient History Portfolio & Timeline by Barbara
Shukin, Review. During the years I ran a support group, we
would have portfolio night, where everyone brought their portfolio
to show off. Of course, the winners were always the ones who
were scrapbookers! Their portfolios were beautiful, colorful,
and exciting while ours were dull, practical, and boring.
Oh, if I had only know about Barbara's book, I could have
given them a run for the money! It may not be scrapbooking,
but when finished, it IS a work of art!
has put together a mini portfolio for history. She has designed
each page so it's neat and orderly and then gives you all
the ideas you need to complete the boxes. The assignments
include reports, narration, vocabulary, copy work, and timelines.
You can look at her website for color pictures of sample portfolios
created these resources to be used "by an individual,
child or adult, and will become a unique record of the student's
"journey through history", a beautiful history book
of the student's own making, something to refer to later as
the student's interests grow and expand, and above all, something
recommend this resource for those of you who have children
who are Read/Write and Visual learners (especially if they
love to make booklets) and for moms who would like help in
creating a portfolio of your child's history work.
and the Magic Picture Frame
by Michael S. Class, is an innovative book that will stimulate
your child's interest in history. Although written for ages
12 and up, this can easily be used as a family read-aloud
for younger children.Your child will be transported back to
the time of important historical events using real photographs
of "Anthony" superimposed on historical photos of
the people he visits including Charles Lindbergh, Lou Gehrig,
Thomas Edison, and Dr. Jonas Salk. While on these "visits,"
Anthony learns about the Apollo Moon Mission, The Great Depression,
Immigration, Polio Vaccine, WWII, the Holocaust, and more.
Real quotes from real people make the story come so alive
that you almost believe Anthony is there!
in the book is a list of books, movies, museums, and music
related to each topic as well as footnotes that are lessons
in themselves. I also like that the author chose to include
references to God and Bible scripture rather than make this
author, Michael Class, wrote the book to encourage "young
people to become productive, honest, thoughtful, moral citizens—and
to contribute in a positive way to American society and the
world." He has done an excellent job of fulfilling this
mission. I highly recommend this book for everyone, even adults.
Great Lives CDs. This series of CDs is a must for
your auditory learner, but will be equally enjoyed by all.
Each CD is professionally done and well worth the investment.
Great Lives searches "stories from the finest biographies
- many of which are no longer in print - and brings them together
into an easy-to-listen-to audio CD." Each month you will
learn about someone new such as Gandhi, Alexander Graham Bell,
Mary Bethune, and Abraham Lincoln. Subscription: $8.95/month.
Teaching Kids About Money. Here are some free resources
for teaching elementary-age kids about money:
60 Ways to practice spelling: http://teachers.net/gazette/DEC02/spelling.html
Reading Readiness Tool. Try this Reading readiness
tool to help you determine if your child is ready to read:
Report Theme Paper, wide lines (pdf document)
Report Theme Paper, thin lines (pdf document)
War Theme Paper, wide lines (pdf document)
War Theme Paper, thin lines (pdf document)
access these forms, go to: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/forms.html.
Scroll down the list to the appropriate title. You must have
the latest version of the free Acrobat Reader software (available
installed to print these forms.
Checklist & Multi-Level Teaching:
Free Christmas Unit by Cindy Downes: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/christmasunit.html
NEW UNIT STUDY by Cindy Downes: Handel's
Messiah - a Short Unit based on The
Border Paper. Try this resource for creating your
own border paper for handwriting and creative writing projects:
Narnia Unit Study. Here is an excellent unit study
for the Chronicles of Narnia: http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/e_newsletter/Unit_studies/Unit_Studies_E_Newsletter_11_01_05.php
2006 Educator's Calendar - FREE from
Multiplication to Music (Classical Math to Classical
Music) by Fred & Sarah Cooper is to the answer to learning
the multiplication tables, especially for auditory learners
who like classical music. Learn the time tables (2-12's) while
singing along with classical music written by Mozart, Beethoven,
Handel, and more. Each song is sung four times. The first
three times with answer; the last time your child has to sing
the answers on his own. Purchase at SingNLearn: http://singnlearn.org
Free Trees. You can get free trees from Free Trees
and Plants.com. Order now for your spring botany and gardening
unit. All you have to do is pay shipping. Check it out at
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a great day!
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: