Oklahoma Homeschool Subscribers,
hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, took some time
off from school, and are now ready to get back to work!
You're half -way there!
my experience, the next two months are usually difficult
for a variety of reasons. But don't give up! If things
get difficult, try changing something, either your
curriculum or your schedule. Nothing is sacred - do what
it takes to get back your momentum.
will be back in college on the 12th for the spring semester.
I find that I'm having to force myself to go back. I
keep thinking I can't do it anymore - I'm too old. What's
the point? Etc. I've decided it's just as hard
to go back to college at age 58 (almost 59 now) as it
was to homeschool! But I'm going to keep going. I believe
God told me to go, so I'm going to go. I'll be praying
for you and your homeschool; I hope you will pray
a Happy New Year!
Homeschool Newsletter, January 2009
New on the Oklahoma Homeschool Website?
NEW Homeschool Facebook Page:
I started a Facebook
page for homeschoolers called, 1
Super Bunch of Homeschoolers.
I hope you will join me! I'd love to see your faces and
put your faces to the names on my mailing list!
can even add your own photos or videos of your homeschool
activities, write on the wall, ask questions, discuss
curriculum or homeschooling, volunteer advice (nice only),
share an event, share a recipe, or anything else related
to homeschool. I hope it will be something that will
benefit you as well as help me get to know you. If you
don't have a Facebook page, simply start one, make me
your friend, and then you can join the group from my
page. Invite your friends too! Note: I will remove anyone
from the group who uses the group for anything but homeschool
recommendation for those who don't know - DO NOT put
anything up on Facebook that represents a password you
use. For instance, if you use your pet's name, date,
or a town in which you were born for a password - either
change your password or don't use that name or date on
Facebook (or anywhere else on the Internet). I make it
a policy not to use anything from my past for a password
now. It's too easy for people to find out. Instead, make
up some silly password for when you sign up for newsletters
etc., and make up a complicated password that you change
often for more important items.
NEW BLOG: How Do I Teach . . . ?
many of you know, I love to teach “out of the
love discovering resources that are simple and fun
to use, that meet the needs of kids of all
learning styles, and that focus on each child's unique
gifts and requirements.
am in the process of creating a new resource for educators
Do I Teach . . .” This
blog will feature tips on how to teach reading, writing,
arithmetic, science, and history. I plan on including
science lab ideas, composition projects, math enrichment
ideas, and hands-on history projects, as well as freebie
resources available on the Internet.
It will take a little while for it to get started, especially
as I am about to head back to school, but I'm excited
about this new project. I think it will be fun for me
and I hope a usable resource for you. If you can, stop
by the blog and participate in my poll. In addition,
if you sign up as a Follower, you'll be one of the first
to know when I add resources.
I updated my Special
Education section of the Web site.
I updated my Archeology
and the Bible unit.
Tower of Babel Pop-Up and Read by
Jon Taylor is a beautiful hardback book containing 22
pages of vivid color illustrations and large print text.
Although marketed as a pop-up book, there is actually
only one pop-up — a large two-page-wide
model of the Tower of Babel that pops up on the first
page and remains up throughout the book.
book is based on Genesis 11:1-9 in the Bible. It introduces
the reader to the Tower of Babel and provides a brief
explanation as to how we got our various people groups.
it is advertised for ages 4-8, I recommend reading it
as part of a family Bible study before reading the actual
account in the Bible. The vocabulary and subject matter
is too difficult for most four to eight year olds to grasp
on their own. On the other hand, your older children will
probably want more explanation than is given in this book.
an introduction to this passage of scripture, The
Tower of Babel does a great job. The beautiful color
illustrations and fun pop-up Tower of Babel will
keep your children’s
interest as you read and discuss the text together.
a more detailed Biblical explanation of the Tower of Babel
and our various people groups, I recommend the Answers
In Genesis Web site.
of Dinosaur Activity Book
by Earl & Bonita Snellenberger.
Wonders of God's World Dinosaur Activity Book by Earl & Bonita
Snellenberger is the perfect resource for teaching
your elementary-age children about dinosaurs. If it
is used during family reading times, it would interest
almost everyone in the family.
The book is a Bible-based textbook and activity book
all-on-one. I found the text extremely interesting and
discovered many things I didn't know about dinosaurs and
fossils. The text explains what a dinosaur is, how fossils
were formed, and how paleontologists reconstruct dinosaurs
from fossil fragments. It explains how scientist can misinterpret
fossil evidence and provides examples of specific instances
where mistakes were made. It also discusses dinosaurs in
history, both actual and mythical.
Activities in the book include mazes, puzzles, dot-to-dots,
crossword puzzles, tangrams, and coloring pages. Some activities
involve making a finger puppet or putting together paper
models. Children who like to cut, color and paste and make
their own booklets will love these activities.
only objection to the book is that the author does
not allow teachers and parents to make copies
of the worksheet pages for their students and/or
children. You would have to purchase a separate
workbook for each child. This will only discourage
honest teachers and parents on a budget from purchasing
the book for classroom use. If you fit this case,
I recommend writing to the publisher and asking
permission. Perhaps they will give it!
the way, this would make a great activity book to use
for a unit on dinosaurs!
NEW: Photography Unit. Since my husband is
a photographer and several homeschooled students I
know are now entering the field of photography, I thought
it would be a great idea to do a unit on
This unit was written for teens in 7th-12th grade.
I hope you enjoy!
How to Create a Unit Study With a Library Book and
an Activity Book:
with The Checklist to
determine which topic(s) you are going to cover.
you have selected the topic(s), find
one or two activity books that correspond to the topic(s)
and that fit the interests, requirements, and grade
levels of your children. Look
for activity resources that include activities from
all learning styles so you can choose activities
based on your children's learning styles.
one book related to the topic to use as family reading.
you wish to integrate Bible into your unit, try
to find at least one Christian-based book or activity
that relates to the unit. This can be used as family
reading or hands-on activities, as appropriate.
the family reading book up into lessons. For example,
you might make each chapter a lesson, or if the chapters
are short, two chapters a lesson. If there are
no chapters, divide the book up by pages, as many
as you can cover in one day's lesson.
a list of hands-on activities from the activity books
that relate to
each chapter or group of pages from the family
reading book. These are the ones you will cover
for each lesson.
one day per week for reading, research and discussion
and another day per week for working on hands-on
at least one book related to the topic for each
child to read independently, based on reading level.
This will be read independently and, for older
students, can be used as the basis of a book report
due at the end of the unit.
the time limit of your unit according to the number
of lessons. For example, if you have ten lessons
and ten sets of hands-on activities and you decide
to do two lessons per week, then your unit will
last ten weeks. If you do four lessons per week,
then the unit will last five weeks.
your unit. Refer to my sample
schedule for scheduling ideas.
all there is to it! How easy is that?
Information and Resources:
The following article was written by Vicky Golightly from
the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
to provide Oklahoma residents with information about
you know of someone in kindergarten-grade 12 who cannot
read regular print course material? Have you had to enlarge
a student’s print books on a copier or read lessons
aloud? If your answer is “yes”, please permit
me to tell you about a program that might change the
way your homeschooled students learn.
The Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) Center at
the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
(OLBPH) provides Braille and large print textbooks and
other instructional materials/equipment to blind or visually
impaired students and also to those who cannot access regular
print due to a physical disability that prevents them from
turning the pages of a standard print book. We serve students
in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 who attend public,
private, and home schools.
AIM Center has over 21,000 items you can check out for
the duration of the school year. Have you taught a geography
lesson where a tactile map may have enhanced the student’s
understanding? Perhaps you need an English or mathematics
textbook book in Braille or large print. Or maybe you
could use bold line or raised line paper. What about
a talking or large print calculator? Do you need a Braille
or large print clock to teach a young student how to
tell time? Perhaps colored overlays in conjunction with
a light box are needed for a student with Dyslexia.
The AIM Center maintains a central repository of Braille
and large print textbooks/equipment, which are circulated
and reused by students as needed. We continually visit
with special education directors, teachers, school superintendents
and parents in order to provide students with accessible
curriculum. Still, often educators are unaware of this
more information, please contact Teresa Kruta, AIM
Center Administrator, at (405) 522-0982 or Vicky Golightly
at VGolightly@drs.state.ok.us. Please visit www.library.state.ok.us and click on the AIM Center to find the appropriate order
OLBPH also provides over 56,000 audio and Braille books
to people of all ages who cannot read regular print due
to a visual disability or who cannot turn the pages of
a standard print book due to a physical disability. These
books are available on loan and they are mailed to and
from the patron free. There is absolutely no
cost for any service offered by the Library. Reading
a print book along with an audio book often augments
comprehension. The Library’s leisure-reading audio
and Braille fiction and nonfiction books come in handy
for book reports or simply for entertainment.
have two mottos at OLBPH. They are: “Share Our
Vision That All May Read” and “Share Our Vision
That All May Learn”. We look forward to providing
the means to help you work with your children and young
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
4 Learning. I haven't seen
the whole curriculum, only the samples on the Web site,
but from the looking at the samples, this appears to
be a worthwhile resource for self-employed homeschool
parents, parents with new babies, parents with multiple
children at multiple grade levels, a temporary illness
or anyone else who needs a break now and then from
the teaching task. I don't recommend using it for extended
period of times as it is hard on the eyes. I
don't recommend anything taking the place of the parents,
but at $19.95 a month and no monthly contract, this
might make a super fill-in if needed.
Your Child Learn Math -
a printable resource from No Child Left Behind.
fun way to learn about Sabin and the polio vaccine - On
the Edge: Paralyzing Polio, a comic by PBS.
Founding Fathers - biographies of the delegates to the
teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.”
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
2009 by Cindy Downes. All rights reserved.
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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