Oklahoma Homeschool Subscribers,
Hello everyone. I hope you are
having a great school year so far! My life has been extremely
busy now with my husband semi-retired and starting his freelance,
photography business. We've been doing a lot of traveling
doing photo shoots. Recently, we went to the Cattle Drive
and Rodeo in Pawnee; the Tulsa Tunnels tour; Lisa Watson's
Horse 101 class, and the balloon festival in Tahlequah.
I'm working hard on my Oklahoma
Travel Guide (new e-book),
an all-day seminar in October,
trying to learn Dreamweaver in order to build and maintain
websites, writing an article for the spring issue of the Old
and preparing to work on some nonfiction picture books for
kids that can be used with unit studies.
My hubbie and I also getting ready to take
the honeymoon we never had. In 1970, when we got married,
he was getting ready to go to Vietnam so all we did was drive
from Delaware to Texas for flight school. Then off he went
to Vietnam. So, now, 36 years later, we are taking our honeymoon!
We are going on a photo tour of Albuquerque, the Grand
Canyon, and Utah. Hopefully, I can keep up with everything
else at the same time!
Finally, those of you within driving distance
of Edmond, OK., be sure to tell your friends about the seminar
I'm teaching on October 7. It's from 9 am to 3 pm and includes
a catered lunch from Carrabas! There will be door prizes
too! And the first 20 to sign up and pay receive a free copy
of my new e-book, Oklahoma Field Trip Guide! To
register or for more info, check the seminar page.
all for now. I hope you enjoy this issue of the Oklahoma
a great September!
Homeschool Newsletter, September 2006 (Oklahoma Edition)
New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?
Readers: I need a favor from you this month! As you know,
I keep a listing of extracurricular activities (http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/extracurricular.html)
and academic classes (http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/academicclasses.html)
on my website. I am in the process of updating this info
for the 2006-2007 school year. I constantly get requests
from people wanting to be added to this list, but I only
include resources that have been truly helpful to Oklahoma
homeschoolers. Therefore, I need YOU to send me feedback
on these listings and/or to send new listings of resources
that you have had experiences with. If you've had a bad
experience with any resource on these lists, let me know
(please provide details) or if you are using a resource
that others could benefit from, please send that to me
also. Thank you for helping me to make this a resource
that homeschoolers can trust.
2. Updated info on Driver's Education
in Oklahoma: I've
updated the information on driver's education on my website
for the current year: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/extracurricular.html
James Audubon, American Artist & Naturalist,
exhibition at the Gilcrease Museum from September 17,
2006 to January 1, 2007. "Come enjoy the natural
world through Audubon's eyes as well as many personal
artifacts and photos of the artist." For your kids
ages 3+, you can sign them up to make "Bird Mobiles
with Audubon" on September 23 from 2-3:30 p.m. at
the museum. (Fee charged) For more info, visit the museum
at 1400 North Gilcrease Museum Rd. or call 918.596.2737.
2. Looking for a list
of Famous Oklahoman's? Check this
one out: http://www.50states.com/bio/okla.htm and http://title3.sde.state.ok.us/famousoklahoma/ and http://www.ok.gov/famous_ok.html. And here's a lesson
plan on Famous Oklahomans: http://www.eighthfloor.org/academy/lnymeyer/
3. “Forestry Tree Trunk.” A big travel trunk,
brimming with field guides, videos, posters, nature education
kits, and activity guides, is available for a two-week
checkout. To reserve the Tree Trunk call the state office
at 405-521-3864, ext. 296.
4. Request the Discover
Fire Education pamphlet (3-6),
My Friend the Forester pamphlet (K-3, explores the field
of forestry), I’m a Tree pamphlet (K-4, identification),
and Important Forest Trees of the Eastern United States
field guide from Oklahoma Agriculture Food and Forestry,
5. Retro Tulsa Internet
Museum - pictures and memorabilia from Tulsa, OK. http://www.tulsalawyer.com/page46.html
6. More resources
like these in my Oklahoma History Online curriculum! (http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/okhist.html)
7. Centennial Hat
Making Workshop, September
11, 6-9pm at Pawnee Bill Ranch Site, Pawnee, Ok. Taught
by Martha Ray of The Oklahoma Historical Society, the cost
of the class is $17.00, and the class size is limited to
10 persons, payment is appreciated prior to the day of
the class. Participants are requested to bring their own
scissors, and at the end of the class will have a finished
1906-1907 era bonnet to take home! And, if you would like
a hatbox to keep your bonnet in, the Pawnee Bill Ranch
and Museum will be hosting our annual Hatbox Making Workshop
on September 12th, 2006! Contact: Brandon Reid
Email: email@example.com, Phone: 918-762-2513.
World History and Exploring
American History by Ray Notgrass.
Exploring World History comes in two volumes: Part I -
Creation through the Middle Ages and Part II - The Renaissance
to the Present. These are huge, spiral-bound volumes (900+
pages) that are created for use in high school but could
be adapted for use with all your children in a multi-level
The companion volume In
Their Words, Original Documents, Poetry, Stories, and
Hymns from World History is one of
my favorite parts of the Exploring
World History curriculum.
In this volume, Mr. Notgrass has compiled a selection of "original
resources from world history that range from the Code of
Hammurabi around 1750 BC to speeches by Ronald Reagan in
the 1980s. It includes significant documents, speeches,
excerpts from books, poems, short stories, fables, and
fairy tales. A special feature are many hymns from 200
AD to the twentieth century."
For example, during the lesson on the French Revolution,
you'll be reading A Tale of Two Cities as a family read-aloud
which you started at the beginning of the unit. During
this particular lesson, you will also read 'The French
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen' from In
Their Words. I like the way Mr. Notgrass incorporates historical
documents with historical fiction, the best of both worlds
- your kids will enjoy learning!
Exploring American History comes in two huge volumes also
(700+ pages): Volume I - Columbus to Reconstruction and
Volume II - Late 1800s to the Present. Again these could
be used for several years in a multi-level environment.
In addition to the American History textbooks, you will
also read from A Documentary History
of the United States which includes documents, speeches, and letters from American
history, The World's Greatest Speeches, and 100
Great American Poems.
Another feature I like in both curriculums is the writing
assignments. For example, during the lesson on The New
Deal in Exploring American History, you will read the lesson
in the textbook, read Franklin Roosevelt's Inaugural Address
in The World's Greatest Speeches, begin To
Kill A Mockingbird,
and work on a writing assignment from a list of choices
(example: Do some research and write a two-page biography
of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.) You would have to adapt
this assignment for younger children - perhaps using the "Famous
Person" form on my website (http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/forms.html).
The World History curriculum also includes a Nation Project
assignment where your student chooses one country on which
to research and write throughout the course of the study
along with or instead of the other assignments. Grammar
points are also included with each lesson, but this will
not take the place of a grammar curriculum. It is a good
The text of both curriculums is written in a prose style
that is easy to read, similar to the Apologia Science style.
The World History text is easier on the eyes as it is larger
print; however, the print on the American History is adequate
for you younger folks! Black and white photos and maps
are interspersed throughout the text to add interest. The
only thing that could make this better (however more expensive)
would be color.
For those of you who use tests and quizzes, he offers
an optional Quiz & Exam Book for each curriculum. I
highly recommend purchasing these also, even to those of
you who do not use tests, as they are wonderful resources
for discussion questions after each lesson.
The literature list in both curriculums is excellent;
however, some of it is too difficult for primary-aged children.
If you are teaching all grade levels, you may want to substitute
something else for family reading when the assigned book
is not appropriate for your younger children. Then have
your older children read the assigned reading on their
Scripture lessons are also included, along with questions
related to the reading. This curriculum is written from
a Christian point of view which makes it especially good
for families who want to incorporate Bible with their history
For those of you with high school students, this could
be used as a self-directed study for students who are motivated
to work on their own.
Each of these curriculums would be excellent resources
to use along with my Multi-level Planning Guide for History
For more information, check their website at: http://www.notgrass.com/
Spelling. Here's my version of a spelling review game based
on the board game Battleship that I saw on the Internet.
Theirs was too easy, so I made it a little more difficult.
First, create your own battleship playing board grid by
marking a large piece of white paper into grids and labeling
the grids with letters across (A, B, C...) and numbers
down (1, 2, 3...). From your current spelling list, write
one spelling word in several of the grid spaces. Be sure
to leave some spaces blank. You will need one board for
each player and each board should have the same words,
but in different spaces on each board. To play, each player
takes turns calling out coordinates and trying to spell
the word correctly. For example, the 1st player calls out
a coordinate such as C-3. If there is a spelling word on
the grid, the player tries to spell the word correctly.
If correct, the 2nd player must cross out the spelling
word on his grid and the 1st player calls out another coordinate.
He continues until he no longer spells the word correctly
or chooses a blank grid. Play continues with the 2nd player
calling out a coordinate. Play continues until one player
has no more words on his grid. The winner is the one with
spelling words left on his grid. The game is a combination
of luck and spelling skills.
fun, interactive lesson on writing letters that your kids
might enjoy. It's all done online. When the letter is complete,
it can be printed on your personal printer and mailed.
Try it out at: http://readwritethink.org/materials/letter_generator/.
You can also find a postcard generator (http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/postcard/)
on this site.
you're doing a unit on oceans or marine animals, you'll want to check out the fun activities on
this link: http://www.familyeducation.com/printables/package/0,2358,1-16995,00.html?wtlAC=FE_Your-Child_0-6_2006-08-11,email-h/.
While you're at it, check out the online videos at Ocean
a lab experiment to find out the value of whale blubber:
Finally, check out the free
educational resources at Monterey Bay Aquarium including
Critter Cards (http://www.mbayaq.org/lc/activities/critter_cards.asp),
coloring pages (http://www.mbayaq.org/lc/activities/coloring_pages.asp),
Sea Searchers Handbook - 168 pages of activities! (http://www.mbayaq.org/lc/teachers_place/resources_seasearchers.asp),
and even Bird Bingo (http://www.mbayaq.org/lc/activities/coloring_pages.asp)!
- download and print out a free Noah's
Ark poster from
Lincoln Resource. If you are planning on doing a study
of Abraham Lincoln, you'll want to bookmark this new website:
Abraham Lincoln's Classroom. You'll find quizzes, maps,
cartoons, articles, and much more all related to our 16th
your auditory learners:
• Try this website for free insect sounds while doing a unit insects: http://mushinone.cool.ne.jp/English/ENGitiran.htm
• Here's one for nature sounds: http://mushinone.cool.ne.jp/English/naturesound/naturesoundNS.htm/.
• Morning worship for musically challenged! http://junior.apk.net/~bmames/hymnsjs.htm
• Popular songs in American History: http://www.contemplator.com/america/
• Science songs for teaching: http://www.songsforteaching.com/sciencesongs.htm and Greg Crowther's science music: http://faculty.washington.edu/crowther/Misc/Songs/music.shtml/.
• Music of early England, France, Spain, etc: http://www.jsayles.com/familypages/earlymusic.htm
• Learn about the instruments: http://www.si.umich.edu/chico/instrument/.
• The Sound of Mathematics (for your students who love math!): http://www.geocities.com/vienna/9349/
1. News Report Form. One way for your children to learn
about current events is to have them select a news item
from TV or print and then write their own news report about
the topic. Print out the free News Report Form from my
website as a guide: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/forms.html
2. Subject Assignment
Maker from Teachnology. With this
resource, you can create a blank worksheet on which to
write in what you are going to cover or what you want your
children to do for "homework." Change the names
of the subjects and print the form. Try it out: http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/homeweek/
Checklist & Multi-Level Teaching:
1. Thanksgiving Unit. Now is the time to start planning
for a Thanksgiving Unit. This is a good way to not only teach
about the holiday, but also to teach early American history.
Try my free Pilgrim/Thanksgiving unit for starters: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/pilgrimCL.html.
2. Here's some additional
resources for a Fall/Thanksgiving/Pilgrim unit:
3. Do you have an
artistic child - visual learner? Check
out the History Scribe (http://www.historyscribe.com/s-whatis.html).
This resource could be used with any lesson plan or unit
study. The one on Colonial History could be used with the
Pilgrim/Thanksgiving unit above as well as your other units
on Colonial America.
4. Important dates in September and recommended
The Great Fire of London, September 2, 1666
U.S. Treasury established, September
2, 1789 (Money,
Money, Money: The Meaning of the Art and Symbols on United
States Paper Currency)
Ferdinan Magellan begins his trip around
the world, September 20, 1519 (Ferdinand Magellan: And the First Voyage Around the World)
California became a state, September 9, 1850 (State Shapes: California)
National Peanut Day, September 13 (George Washington Carver (Heroes of the Faith series))
World Trade Center destroyed by terrorist, September
11, 2001 (The World Trade Center)
Elias Howe patents sewing machine, September 10, 1846
(Elias Howe, Inventive Boy (Childhood of Famous Americans series))
Planet Neptune discovered, September 23, 1846 (Neptune
Day O'Connor become first woman Justice of
the Supreme Court, September 25, 1981.
William the Conqueror invades Europe, September 29,
1066 (William the Conqueror (A First Book))
College Preparatory Resources. Some of you are getting
your teens ready for college in the next year or two. Check
out these resources to help you:
Oklahoma's Official Guide to Preparing for College: http://www.okhighered.org/student-center/publications/
Test out of college courses and save time and money! Check
out these lesson plans for CLEP testing preparation: http://ClepPrep.tripod.com/
For ACT/SAT test-preparation resources,
For a list of colleges that accept homeschoolers, check
out this website: http://learninfreedom.org/colleges_4_hmsc.html
For a list of colleges in Oklahoma: http://www.univsource.com/ok.htm
OSU online courses: http://www.osuokc.edu/onlinecollege/guidelines.htm
2. Art Activities
from National Gallery of Art . Here's
a fun, online art resource for making a collage inspired
by Henri Rousseau, mobiles, 3-D Twirlers, and more. http://www.nga.gov/kids/zone/zone.htm
3. Number songs. A fun way to teach your Auditory Preschoolers
about numbers: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems72.html.
Check out the other learning songs on the same website.
4. Easy Bake Oven Mixes for Kids: Really easy recipes
for kids to make! http://www.budget101.com/kids.htm
5. A new resource
for Family Edited Movies. You have to
own the movie first. Then you hire this service to edit
it for you at $10 each. They edit for language and s*x
content. If they already have it edited, they send you
an edited copy without you sending yours in; however, you
have to keep your copy in case they are called to produce
these for copyright infringement purposes. Check it out
6. Free Math Games to download and print, including multiplication
7. Are your children
going to participate in a science fair this year? Check out this resource for ideas: http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/
8. Do you have a potential
surgeon in your family? Then
check out Ed Heads where you can perform a virtual knee
or hip surgery! http://www.edheads.org/. It made me a little
queasy - guess I'll never be a surgeon!
9. FREE! Downloadable McGuffey
"The secret of my success? It
is simple. It is found in the Bible, 'In all thy
ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths [Pr. 3:6].'" — George Washington
feel free to forward this on to anyone who may be interested
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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
completely confidential. I do not sell, loan, or share any
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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