Oklahoma Homeschool Subscribers,
everyone! I hope you are having a great summer. It's been
a long time since I've written my email newsletter but I've
decided it's time to put it on my top priorities list. I'm
going back to a monthly issue of this newsletter beginning
September 1st. This will be the July/August issue. If you
know of anyone new to homeschooling that would like the email
newsletter, be sure to send them to my website to sign up:
News: My seasons of life keep changing - now I'm
getting ready to go into the retirement mode - actually my
husband is. Well, not retire really, just make a big change.
He retired from working at COTM in June in order to do what's
always been on his heart - photography. So besides doing Macintosh
computer consulting, he's been busy preparing to take on this
new venture. It's been an adjustment for him and me (he's
here 24/7!) but we're looking forward to using this new endeavor
to not only supply our financial needs during retirement but
to also use it for ministry. Last week we went on a field
trip with Lisa Watson to the Horse and Burro Adoption at Paul's
Valley. We took photos of her trip: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/FTCHorseAdopt.html.
That was fun. If any of you are taking a field trip and need
a "staff" photographer, let me know. We might be
interested in going. I hope to use our photos for articles
I will write for magazines or children's books so all attending
will need to sign a photo release.
change in my life is my new ministry. I'm now doing
hospice visitation. I have one "patient", a dear
lady of 93 years of age, who I visit weekly. She makes me
cookies! (Bad for the diet!) I am writing down all her memories
and going to make a little booklet out of it. After she passes,
I will give it to her family.
summer I also had the honor of being interviewed by The Old
Schoolhouse for their magazine. You can read the
interview in the summer issue of The Old Schoolhouse magazine
(available in July at most bookstores) on page 64. By the
way, this is my favorite homeschool magazine. If you haven't
read it, you should check it out.
I'm scheduled to do a workshop in Tulsa, next Saturday,
July 29 (9:00-3:00), and another workshop
in Edmond on Saturday, October 7th (9-3). For more
information about these workshops, check my website: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/speaking.html.
Be sure to let your new or almost new homeschooling friends
know about the one in Tulsa coming next week! There is limited
seating and it's almost here! I'd love to see some of you
all the newsy news. I hope you enjoy this issue of the Oklahoma
a great summer!
Homeschool Newsletter, July/August 2006 (Oklahoma Edition)
New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?
Revised Oklahoma History Online course. I spent
the summer updating the links and resources on the Oklahoma
History Online course. I think you will find it better than
ever. This is an ongoing project. I had eighty-nine families
signed up last year for the course and received all good
feedback. Check it out at: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/okhist.html
Recipes for Learning - I've added some new "recipes"
for learning on: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/recipes.html
Freebies - I added a couple of new Freebies to
my website: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/freebies.html
Field Trips - I added a few new field trip suggestions:
Don't forget to check out my blogs where you can
get news about Oklahoma activities and
tips on homeschooling early: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/EmptyNestMom/
with the Movies Review. If you do unit studies
or just like to enrich your homeschool program with videos,
you have to have this book by Beth Holland! This is another
resource I discovered at the OCHEC convention and immediately
purchased. Learning with the Movies includes a listing of
cinema movies and made-for-TV movies. The beauty of this
guide is that all the movies are organized chronologically
beginning with Bible Times and Ancient Egypt through 1900's.
you are doing a study on Rome, simple look through the section
on Ancient Rome! For instance, in the Rome section, she
has included Ben-Hur, Demetrius and the Gladiator, fall
of the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar, Jupiter's Darling, Quo
Vadis?, The Robe, Sign of the Pagan (about Attila the Hun),
and Spartacus. There is also some blank space for you to
list additional movies as you find them.
she has also included movies related to the Music/Arts (example:
The Agony and the Ecstasy which is about Michelangelo),
Biographies (example: Abe Lincoln in Illinois), Sports (example:
Brian's Song), Science/Nature (example: Apollo 13), Horses
(example: Miracle of the White Stallions), Medicine (example:
The Girl in White), Literature (example: A Christmas Carol),
Holidays (example: Miracle on 34th Street), and Family Films
(just plain fun).
movie listing includes its production date, Beth's star
rating, and the parental guidance rating (PG, G, etc). An
alphabetical listing is in the back of the book.
the Sword Review. I made another great discovery
at the OCHEC Homeschool Convention - a Bible study resource
called Balancing the Sword. So many times, parents ask me
what they should use for Bible study and I usually tell
them - the Bible! I know that seems obvious but parents
are so used to doing curriculum for everything that they
think they need a curriculum for studying the Bible. Unfortunately,
Bible curriculums are usually structured around someone
else's theology or philosophy so it's hard to hear what
God is saying to you personally.
the Sword is different. You simply read a chapter in the
Bible and then refer to Balancing the Sword for questions
about that chapter. You must also read the cross references
listed to find all the answers. The cross references follow
the theme of one verse throughout the Bible. By time you
get done reading everything, you've learn so much more about
the topic and all through reading the Word, not someone's
commentary. it's amazing what you learn!
instance, in the first chapter of Genesis, I learned:
God created light here on earth. There is no sun in heaven
- He is the light.
Night time is the beginning of the Jewish day. We once
walked in darkness but now we are in the Light.
God gave stars as signs for seasons, days, and years.
These will remain as long as the earth remains, but will
disappear at the Day of the Lord. A star was used to show
the location of Jesus at His birth. Man uses stars to
interpret the weather, but most are unable to interpret
the signs of the times.
God wants us to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth,
and subdue it using its vast resources in the service
of God and man. God gives dominion to whom He chooses
for His purposes.
are two volumes. Each of the two volumes cover all 66 books
of the Bible but with different questions so you can go
through the Bible two times using the two books. You can
do it from Genesis to Revelation or start anywhere in the
Bible that you want to. Although it is based on the KJV,
it does not seem to require that you use that version. I
use the Amplified and The Message and had no problem.
are given permission to make copies of the questions for
your own family so you can give each child a blank sheet
of questions to answer. (I would probably do this orally
as a family - maybe once in a while writing the answers
to keep in my portfolio as records.)
it out. This might be just what you are looking for!
some sample pages here: http://www.balancingthesword.com/PDF_Files/Samples_of_Both_Volumes.pdf
Music Biographies Back in Print!. Some of my favorite
biographies which were written in the 40's and were out
of print are now back in print - the Great Musicians series
by Opal Wheeler. Some of the titles include:
Teaching Kids about Money.
about the history of money before computers, how the digital
revolution changed the world, and download free lesson
comics on money from the Federal Reserve. I just received
my copies and they are really fun! Order them here: http://www.ny.frb.org/publications/result.cfm?comics=1
you do that, visit Dave Ramsey and find out the truth
about debt! http://www.daveramsey.com/
While you are there, visit Junior's Clubhouse: http://www.daveramsey.com/etc/cms/index.cfm?intContentID=2630
Forensics in the Classroom - FREE Unit. Court TV
has made available Forensics in the Classroom - free units
based on forensic science for middle - high school students.
Cafeteria Caper: The cafeteria at Park Haven H.S. was
trashed, and the evidence left behind bears a suspicious
similarity to the initiation rights of an underground
club. Students conduct an enzymes test, as well as hair,
blood and DNA analysis to find out who’s responsible.
Magic!: Who snatched Magic, the award-winning pooch, from
his master’s home? To find out, students perform
handwriting analysis, a pH test and paper chromatography.
Celebration: A city’s football victory prompts some
excessive celebration, and police are called. Students
must run a gunshot residue test on various clothing samples
from people at the scene in order to determine who may
have fired a weapon.
Car That Swims: A car is found at the bottom of a river.
How did it get there and to whom does it belong? Students
must use footprint casting and scientific reasoning to
see through a young girl’s shaky explanation and
get to the bottom of the story.
Beware: A makeshift chemistry laboratory, strange vials
of liquid, and a money-hungry landlord all combine to
create this puzzle. To solve the mystery, students will
first use a flame test to determine the contents of the
vials, then a Kastle-Meyer test and fingerprint matching
to find the owner of the lab and uncover the plot.
download these free units, go to their website at: http://www.courttv.com/forensics%5Fcurriculum/
out the free forms on my website. I recently added the Bible
Character Study worksheet: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/forms.html
Checklist & Multi-Level Teaching:
you are thinking about trying some multi-level teaching
with units, be sure to read through my webpage on the subject:
you are still wondering what curriculum to use, be sure
to go through my Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing Curriculum:
Technical Training Resource - Computer, Website Design,
and more. Last week, I decided that I wanted to
learn Dreamweaver so that I could do more with my website.
In the process, I discovered Lynda.com Online Training.
This is a GREAT program. I've gone through 10 lessons so
far and learned SO MUCH! It is well worth the price. I am
doing the monthly program.
you have kids who want to learn website design, computer
animation, digital photography, audio, or presentations,
you need to check this out. Courses in all kinds of software
are available including: Acrobat, CORELdraw, Excel, Filemaker
Pro, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, iTunes, Garage Band, Quark,
Windows XP, and much more. The cost is $25/month for unlimited
access. You can't beat that. If you want to enroll for the
year, it's $375 (this price includes the exercises). For
those of you who have several children spaced out, you might
want to purchase the CDs so that you will have them from
year to year. There is an educator discount available, but
I haven't found out if it's available to homeschoolers.
Even without the discount, this is a great deal and well
worth the price.
Since I already knew something about website development,
I didn't need the exercises. They would be worth having
if I hadn't had previous experience. In that case, I would
have enrolled in the yearly program or purchase the CDs.
I may still do that if I decide to take another course.
Book Cover Creator: http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/bookcover/
feel free to forward this on to anyone who may be interested
you'd like to be added to the Oklahoma Homeschool Newsletter
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NOTICE: This newsletter is ©Copyright 2006 by
Cindy Downes. All rights reserved.
POLICY. Your name and email address will always remain
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a great day!
Oklahoma Blog: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Oklahoma/
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