can hardly believe that it is almost 2008! How time flies
when you're in college! I'm so sorry that I haven't been
writing as much for the homeschool world as I had hoped,
but perhaps this semester I will do better. I'm
only taking two courses - Introduction to Public Relations
and Comparative Justice Systems. Four classes
was a bit too much for me with everything else I do (although
I did get all A's!). It will take me a year longer to finish
my degree, but I've waited this long; I guess another year
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I enjoyed
(and am still enjoying) my time off from school and had fun
being with family and friends whom I have neglected for the
past six months!
It has also given me time to do some work.
This newsletter features a list of FREE history resources
available on the web, reviews of two homeschool products,
a NEW unit study, some new resources for teaching Oklahoma
history, and some very interesting links to the Internet
that should prove to be very helpful to homeschoolers. I
hope you enjoy!
the rest of your holiday and have
a Happy New Year!
Homeschool Newsletter, December 2007 & January 2008
New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?
Resources on the Web - I put together a page of
links to FREE resources for teaching history. You'll
find reference sites, lesson plans, coloring pages,
biographies, recipes, and even quizzes. I hope you
Star-Spangled State Book and The Star-Spangled
Workbook by Joel F. King. Sometime
in elementary school, you'll want to teach your children
about the 50 states. The Star-Spangled Workbook and
State Book will
help you do just that. During the first 18 weeks, your
child will learn a little bit about each state and its
location on the US map. During the second 18 weeks, your
child will learn the state capitals, the postal abbreviation
of each state, and what states border each state.
method involved is reading information in the Workbook
(or the State Book) about each state, completing a
worksheet related to the lesson, and playing a "Geoquiz"
that will reinforce what the child has learned.
course consists of the Workbook and the State Book
(which contains a color version of the workbook as well
as 15 additinal pages of resources for learning about
the states). You can buy these separately or together
at a discount. (You could teach the course without the
State Book but the color makes it much more interesting
and you do get a few more quizzes and learning resources).
A reproducible CD is included with the Workbook so that
you can print as many copies of the Workbook as you need
for your family.
In: A Workbook for Reluctant and Eager Writers by
Sharon Watson. I LOVE this book! Finally, a composition
course that REALLY teaches your children how to write!
Most "Grammar and Composition" courses
spend more time on grammar than composition because they
are written for classrooms. it's difficult and time consuming
to evaluate writing, especially in a class of 20-30 students.
As a homeschooling parent, however, you CAN take the
time to do this and here is a resource that will help.
all kinds of writing: prewriting, opinion pieces, persuasion,
exposition, description, narration, and poetry. Because
it's easier for children to write their opinion, the
author begins by teaching students how to write an
opinion piece and persuasive articles. She takes the
student step-by-step, one lesson at a time. She covers:
brainstorming to choose a topic, listing reasons why,
choosing the right order, and then writing an introduction,
body, and conclusion to complete the project. The course
is designed to be completed in two years, but it can
be used for as short or as long as needed.
includes writing samples written by
her classroom students. She explains the good and bad
of each sample and then gives your child an opportunity
to critique the sample by answering guided questions.
After each lesson, Sharon includes additional writing
assignments for practice and a suggested writing schedule
to complete the assignment.
The teacher's manual includes information on how to evaluate
and grade your child's writing as well as course objectives,
a list of assignments for each category, information on
how to help a reluctant writer, 10-minute warmups (She
calls them Writing Plunges), and answer keys. By the end
of the course, your child will have learned how to write
an opinion piece, a persuasive paper, a cause and effect
paper, a science report, a biography, a book report, a
book review, a newspaper article, an essay, a compare and
contrast paper, a description, a short story (narration),
and poetry (haiku, cinquain, diamante, limerick, hymn,
poem, lyrics to a song).
I were homeschooling today, this would be one resource
I would not do without. Don't buy that traditional "grammar
and composition" textbook. Instead, buy this book
and a separate resource for teaching grammar, such as Easy
Grammar. Teach grammar two days a week; spend the other
three days on composition. You'll end up with accomplished
writers instead of students who know a lot of grammar but
Without Textbooks - Elementary Science Unit
I've just completed this 16-week, science
unit called, Science
and Scientists-An Introduction to Science for Elementary
Students to help you give
your children a brief overview of the major science fields
(Biology, Chemistry, Geology, etc.). In each unit, they
will read about two scientists who worked in the field,
as well as read about two specific topics related to
the field. They will also research the internet to learn
more about the topics and complete activities related
to the topics. I hope you will find this unit fun to
do and very informative.
don't forget! When you're done, be sure to add what your
children did for science to your copy of The
Famous Person Report Form. Use
Person Report form to write about each scientist studied.
More forms at: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/forms.html.
2. The Checklist excerpt: Scientists
(pdf document). Use this checklist to keep track of
the scientists you study.
in a Sod House
All about Sod Houses:
a sod house: Try building your own sod house just
as the early Oklahoma settlers did!
house from popsicle sticks.
in a Sod House game.
See a sod
house being built-Photos.
of 2-story sod house.
of early pioneers - Food.
are no renters here - Homesteading in a sod house.
a settler's home.
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
Literature Index . This is a great resource
for those of you who do unit studies. Type in a title
of a book or even a keyword and you'll discover resources
available on that topic. For instance, I typed in "Holes"
and found a lesson
plan based on the book, a book
of the author, a complete
analysis of the
book on Sparknotes, discussion
questions related to
the book, a list of characters
and themes related to
the book, pre-reading
and post-reading activities., more discussion
units that include questions
and activities related to each chapter, and more! Try
it out for yourselves!
super resource! Click on lessons. Select topic and
grade level from the lesson finder popup menus. Up
comes a list of lesson plans for teaching that topic.
For example, I typed in "weather" and found a fun Weather
& art lesson plan that teaches about weather.
3. Hargrett Rare Map Collection. Looking for old maps? A
map of the Civil War? Expansion of the U.S.? Try this
With Movies. Who doesn't like to watch movies!
Here's a way to watch movies and learn something at the
same time. Click on "movie indexes." You can choose the
movie based on a character trait such as responsibility,
based on a theme such as leadership, or based on a subject
such as world history. For a subscription fee, you can
even receive a lesson plan based on the movie including
a brief description of the movie, the benefits of the
movie, possible problems with the movie, activities/research
to do before and after watching the movie, and discussion
and Worksheet Generator from TLC. Choose a theme
such as animals. Pick an animal. Choose
how you want your page to look - with lines, without
lines, with instructions, etc. Click "create" and then
you have a worksheet page! Easy and fun. Creates simple
pages that are good for PreK-2nd+.
Finally, why not celebrate the end of your unit with
a party! Here's a list of ideas based on themes such
as science lab, dinosaurs, and pioneers (Boardman's
Party themes). A
really good book of party themes is Hit
of the Party.
It includes more themes that can be used with unit studies
such as a jungle theme (habitats), Under the Sea (ocean),
Journey into Space (astronomy), wild west (frontier unit),
etc. Another favorite is The
Penny Whistle Party Planner:
it includes parties related to Artists (art unit), beach
party (habitats), Orchestra (music unit), Space Fantasy
(planets), and more.
dares to teach must never cease to learn." — John
feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested.
Please forward in it's entirety.
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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: http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/okhist.html