Monday, September 24, 2018

Educating the Special Needs Student...

You might think that you can't homeschool because you have a special needs child, but we're here to tell you that it's not only possible, but that many special needs students thrive in a homeschool environment.  As the teacher, you know your child's talents and weak areas, and are able to tailor instruction accordingly.  

Opening Reminder :  We will be open October 1st, from 8am - noon.  

But what about the questions that will inevitably arise?

Legal Information & the State Dept.
  1. OK State Dept of Education
  2. Comprehensive List of OK Special Needs Resources
  3. Special Needs Homeschoolers - Laws for Each State
Specific Therapies
  1. Speech Therapy / Articulation / Speech : Carry Over
  2. Occupational Therapy
  3. Teaching the Distractible Child
Tips & Tricks
  1. Tactile Math Tricks
  2. Learning with Games : Pt I & Pt II
  3. Science & Math for Struggling Learners
  4. Life Skills

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Amazing {FREE} Opportunities in Oklahoma!!

Do you know how many great opportunities there are for homeschooling mamas to get educator training right here in Oklahoma?  We've compiled a short list of some of the best (and most overlooked) ones for you to attend!   {Feel free to drop us a line with others that you know, and we'll get them added to this list....let's collaborate!}


Opening Reminder :  We will be open October 1st, from 8am - noon.  

We are considering opening on Saturdays for classroom teachers to attend....if you know of a classroom teacher who would like to visit our site, please have them contact us so that we can inform them of the date.  Thanks!

EDUCATOR TRAINING & RESOURCES
OERB's Classroom Training
OERB offers FREE petroleum-based curriculum for teachers and homeschoolers across the state of Oklahoma.  All levels of teaching are covered in their workshops, which are like a mini-retreat!  The classes offer hands-on curriculum for each subject that focus on the petroleum industry.  (ie, Core History teaches high school history from the viewpoint of Oklahoma's oil & gas past)  In addition to classroom training, you'll receive a nice lunch, some snacks, a goody bag, and a day off from the kids!

Ag in the Classroom
Similar to OERB, these FREE courses are offered based around the agricultural industry.  Each workshop covers all levels of teaching (whereas in OERB, you select your student's level), so you'll get information, curriculum, and goodies to use with all of your children together.  Additionally, there are numerous free lesson plans available on their website for you to use!

Oklahoma Nature Study
Learn about our diverse natural areas and state parks through real-life and virtual field trips.  You can download curriculum materials, and earn trading cards and certificates of completion.

Oklahoma Geological Survey
There are several opportunities available here, including visiting with a geologist, the traveling library, hands-on geology kits, a resource room you can visit, touring the Sarkeys Energy Center, and the traveling fossil kit (which is very nice!). 

Project Wet
Using water as a theme, Project WET provides hands-on activities to enhance the teaching of science, math, social studies, language arts, and many other required subjects. Project WET is primarily designed for teachers of grades K-12.  This training costs $20, but that training comes with supplies and curriculum.

Project Wild
Oklahoma Project WILD provides educators with the tools, training and resources needed to engage students in active, hands-on learning about wildlife and the environment. The activity guides are available only by participating in interactive, hands-on, fun workshops. 
Cool Beans - Soybean Board
While we haven't personally attended this one, it is a one-day workshop for middle and high school teachers focusing on soybeans and doing science experiments with bio-fuel.

Project Learning Tree
Focusing on forestry, biodiversity, and climate change, these workshops are offered online for educators.  (This training is NOT free.)  However, each month, free curriculum and student activities are posted on their site, and the activities change, so check back regularly!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Summer Event (and how we're helping local teachers)

We received some VERY big donations last week, which is AMAZING!!!   We are so grateful for the community of folks who are working together to help each other out.  😃

Within these donations were many items that are more appropriate for a classroom setting, including math manipulatives, games, classroom reproducibles, classroom posters, reading books (like for a classroom library), and a few other things that are more appropriate for classrooms than homeschool.

These items are still available for any of our homeschool families that come to visit (though they cannot be mailed, as they cannot go media mail rate), but we have such a surplus, and these are the types of things that classroom teachers need for their classrooms, so we decided to partner up with the local school district and invite public school teachers to come and pick out items that they need for their classrooms.

On Monday and Wednesday of our July opening dates, both homeschool and classroom teachers will be able to visit the Shack to 'treasure hunt.'  Depending on how well this event goes, we may open up the Shack to teachers again next summer. 

We will be closed in August for inventory and cleaning / organizing, but will open again in September (date TBA).

NOTE :  While it's true that Wings of Eagles bookstore has closed, they are still letting us use the space above them.  901 N. Jim Thorpe Blvd - there will be a square "Book Shack" sign on the doorway leading up the stairs.

Friday, January 12, 2018

FREE Resources for Home School

This is a really long list!  If you find a link that doesn't work, please let us know and we'll get it fixed.  Hope it helps!

Movie Based Curriculum

Whole Curriculum:
Discovery K12: http://discoveryk12.com
Philfour - https://philfour.com/classes/
Ambleside Online Ambleside Online
Old Fashioned Education An Old-Fashioned Education
(Preschool and some elementary) Brightly Beaming Resources
Puritan Homeschool Curriculum. Contains many subjects but is religious. THE PURITANS’ HOME SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Core Knowledge. Teacher jargon outline is at the beginning of each lesson. Scroll past this to get to the actual activity pages of the lesson. Core Knowledge Lesson Plans

Math:
Ray's Arithmetic Ray's Arithmetic - Google Book Search
CSMP Materials. Grades k-6. CSMP Materials
First Lessons in Arithmetic Math
NC Public Schools DPI Instructional Services: Mathematics: Grades K-2 Resources (2003 SCS)
Centre for Innovation (UK) Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching - Mathematics Enhancement Programme
Living Math History (Lesson Plans on Right side of Page) C1 Outline and Booklists

Math Drill:
(Online) Math Magician Oswego City School District Math Games
Printable Math Sheets Free Math Worksheets
(online) Math U See Math·U·See Drill Page
Math Worksheets to create and print http://themathworksheetsite.com/

Phonics:

Word Mastery http://donpotter.net...ery - Typed.pdf
(online) Starfall Learn to Read at Starfall - teaching comprehension and phonics
Blend Phonics Blend Phonics

Literature/Reading Guides and Units:
Novel Study Guides Novel Study Guides for the Classroom Teacher
Reading Units by Gay Miller. Awesome resource. Book Units
Garden Of Praise Reading Units. Many popular 2nd and 3rd grade reading level titles. Literature Based Reading Lessons
Glencoe Literature Guides. Lots of popular titles. Glencoe Literature: Literature Library
Literature Activity Guides by Nancy Polette. These are samples, but are in depth enough to test if your child understood the story. Literature Guides
SCORE Cyberguides. California Schools. http://www.sdcoe.k12...cyberguide.html

Free Books:
Classical Education Library Classical Education Library
Kids 4 Classics. Read Free Classical Literature Online at Kids4Classics
Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog - Overview - Project Gutenberg
Online Library of Liberty. You could spend a lot of time on this site. Online Library of Liberty - Groups
Google Books.Tons of books to read for free. Google Book Search
The Baldwin Project. Lots of free Classic books to print or read online.The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project...Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children
Planet ebook Free section. Lots of Classic literature available to print or read online. Free eBooks at Planet eBook - Classic Novels and Literature You're Free to Share


Spelling/Vocab.:
ZB Spelling Connections Spelling Connections - Practice Pages
Splashes from the River Free Spelling Course
Webster’s Spelling http://www.donpotter...g Book 1824.pdf
(online) Spelling City Online Spelling Program*-*SpellingCity.com
Merriam-Webster. Daily Buzz Word. Merriam-Webster's Word Central

Handwriting:
ZB Online Zaner-Bloser FontsOnline 0.6.4
Writing Wizard Make Handwriting Worksheets - ESL Writing Wizard
Custom Tracer Pages Custom Tracer Pages
Nice Writing Paper printables Patterned Paper Index [email protected]

Grammar and creative Writing:
Harvey's Grammar Elementary Grammar and Composition - Google Book Search
Young Novelist Workbooks. There is a workbook for elementary, middle and high school. Designed to go with national novel writing month, but can be used any time. Young Novelist Workbooks | NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program
English Banana Elementary Workbook. For individual pages go to: englishbanana.com - Print Your Own: Big Grammar Book > Free Worksheets for English, EFL and ESL Lessons For complete download go to: English Banana.com's Big Grammar Book - Reviews and free English Banana.com's Big Grammar Book downloads at Download.com
Scott Foresman Scott Foresman Reading: Teacher Resources
Kiss Grammar The KISS Grammar Site -- Main Page
Daily Grammar Daily Grammar Lessons Archive - Comprehensive archive of grammar lessons

History:
Scripted People of America History Lessons. Home School Curriculum | Free Home School Lessons for Beginners
Little City Kids. Kindy or 1st grade world history and geography. Little City Kids : Daily Lesson Plans
American Heritage. Uses teacher jargon, but is complete. Curriculum
Mosaic Introduction to World History Free Lesson Plans: Mosaic Introduction to World History Part 1: Myths, Maps, and Marvels
American History American History Curriculum

Geography:

Countries and Cultures around the world. Elementary age. Countries and Cultures of the World
Sheppard Software Geography (Online) World Maps - geography online games
Discover America State by State. Uses the C is for...... book series. Gale . Discover America Series . Find Out More . Student Activities
Outline Maps Outline Maps

Current Events:
TIME for kids. Time For Kids | Classroom
NY Times Learning Network. Updated daily and many archived lessons. The New York Times Learning Network

Science:
Engineering for kids ages 8 and up. Single subject lesson plans. Nicely done and easy to understand. TryEngineering : Lesson Plans
Earth Awareness Curriculum for Middle Schoolers NSTA Source Reduction Curriculum
Life Science Curriculum http://www.eequalsmc...ife Science.htm
Otter’s Science Homeschool Science Curriculum
K-12 Science Curriculum MSNucleus

Computer Science:
Blender 3D animation creation. blender.org - Home
Computer Programming Course Alice.org
Computer Training Courses Free Computer Training at GCFLearnFree.org
Computer Animating and Design Scratch | Home | imagine, program, share

Art:
Dick Blick Lessons Search ALL Blick Lesson Plans by... - BLICK art materials
Meet the Masters http://www.getinvolv...gram-Manual.pdf
A Lifetime of Color A Lifetime of Color - Lesson Plans By Grade

Typing
Online typing Course FREE ONLINE TYPING COURSE
Dance Mat Typing BBC - Schools - Dance Mat Typing - Home
Touch Typing (Online) online free touch typing program | keyboarding tutor | Free Typing Games
Kiran's Typing Tutor. Free Typing Tutor

Foreign Language:
BBC Languages BBC - Languages - Homepage
Elementary/Middle School beginning Spanish. The first book listed is a free download. National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center - Iowa: List of Standards-Based Thematic Units
Greek and Latin Textkit - Greek and Latin Learning Tools
FSI Language Courses FSI Language Courses
Live Mocha This is a social site, so you may want to monitor your kids closely on this one. Livemocha: Learn Languages Online - English, Spanish,French, Italian, Mandarin

Home Economics:
Future Christian Homemakers. FCH Lessons Index

Virtual Field Trips:
Take a field Trip. Take A Field Trip - UEN
Meet Me at the Corner Meet Me At the Corner, Virtual Field Trips for Kids

High School and College age-ish (Online):
HippoCampus Free Courses http://www.hippocampus.org/
Mixed Courses in many subjects Free-Ed.Net
Printable Courses in all subject areas. Not sure who funds this one, but I like how the curriculum is laid out. http://www.pass.leon...ject Areas.aspx
University of Berkley Courses. Tons of Free Courses available here. webcast.berkeley | UC Berkeley Video and Podcasts for Courses & Events
Yale University Open Courses. Nicely done and easy to access IMO. Online Video Lectures and Course Materials — Open Yale Courses
University of Washington free courses. OpenUW Free Courses
M.I.T. open Courseware. Tons of completely free courses in many subjects. Free Online Course Materials | Courses | MIT OpenCourseWare


Unit Studies/Notebooking:

A Journey Through Learning Inventor unit study and lapbook. Click on Free products. We enjoyed the lapbook. ajourneythroughlearning.com
H.I.P. Pocket Change. Several Lesson Plans revolving around money. H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Web Site - Lesson Plans
Various Unit Studies Free Homeschooling Unit Studies
Oceanography CurrClick - Christian Cottage - Oceanography - try me for FREE!
Various Subjects: S.C.O.R.E. Language Arts CyberGuides
3 Curriculums about Eyes Ophthalmic Heritage & Museum of Vision
Take a Cloud Walk http://www.nostudent...WalkMar31LO.pdf
Birds Notebooking pages CurrClick -Notebooking Nook.com - Nature Study ~ Birds ~ Notebooking Pages
Canada Unit Study Canada Unit Study

Planning/Forms/Papers/Worksheets:
Online Lesson Planner, Scheduler, and Tracker Homeschool Skedtrack - Online Lesson Planner, Scheduler, and Tracker
Super Teacher Worksheets. Lots of well done worksheets for all subject areas. Grade level 1st-4th. Super Teacher Worksheets - Free Printable Math Worksheets, Grammar Worksheets, Word Problems, Creative Writing Prompts, and More!
Donna Young DonnaYoung.org: Printables and Resources for Home, Homeschooling, and Classrooms
Free Forms Free Homeschool Forms & Worksheets by Cindy Downes
Highland Heritage Forms http://highland.hitc...om.au/Forms.htm

My Favorite Freebie Sites:
HSLaunchHomeschool Networking and File Sharing
Homeschool Helper Homeschool Helper
Homeschool Freebie of the day. If you Sign-up for the weekly email, you will receive additional free resources. Freebie of the Day
Currclick. They feature a free product once a week to download. It usually changes Monday afternoons. CurrClick - Curriculum in a click! Affordable curriculum, lapbooks, and homeschooling resources
Freely educate. Lots of great links here. Freely Educate
Hoagies Gifted. Tons of Free high school curriculum links. Hoagies' Gifted: (Free) Online High School Courses
Homeschool Share http://www.homeschoolshare.com/
Education World I really like the lesson of the day feature. Check out the Lesson Plans Page. Education World® The Educator's Best Friend
Internet Activities to coordinate with each grade and subject. Avon Maitland District School Board - Getting Students Connected
ScholasticOnline Activities and Interactive Learning for Students in Grades PreK-12 | Scholastic.com
Softschools Free Math Games and Online practice

Here is another for free audio books. Many coincide with Ambleside Online:
www.librivox.org

Unit study/notebooking
http://www.homeschoolshare.com/

Tanglewood: www.tanglewoodeducation.com for whole curriculum ideas, book lists for grades 1-8, a free phonics/reading program, and some free lesson plans.


Another to add for Math and Science Grades K-5 is http://pgcounty.scottforesman.com/
and The Baltimore Project has lesson plans for various subjects for grades K-5 http://www.cstone.ne...p/BCPIntro2.htm
A world history outline is available at http://www.smithlife...LessonPlans.htm
and Science plans for 6th grade based on the "Prentice-Hall Life Science" book at http://www.smithlifescience.com/.

MATH - Full Curriculum:
MEP Math
http://www.cimt.plym...mep/default.htm

Freely Educate -- http://www.teachengineering.org/ science curriculum for k-12 (many sorts of activities).

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

January News & Spring Semester Openings

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Drop-in FAQs
  • How can I find the Shack?
    • If you'll set your GPS for 900 N. Jim Thorpe Blvd, Prague, OK, it will take you to Wings as Eagles Christian Bookstore.  We are on the second floor, above them.  If you are without GPS, come to the cross-roads of Highways 99 and 62.  Go south at the stoplight for about one block.  You will see the bookstore on the west side of the road.  There is a small sign on the door that leads upstairs to the Shack.  Come on in!!
  • Why are you only open in the afternoon this month?
    • January finds us open for an entire week, as many families are kicking off their spring semester!  Due to us homeschooling our own children, on the months when we are open an entire week, the Shack is only open from noon - 3pm.  If you absolutely cannot come during this time, but need materials, please get in touch with a Shack coordinator via email (respond to this address) or through the Facebook page.
  • Why do we have to pay $10?
    • Each family pays a one-time fee (annually) of $10, which helps to cover our liability insurance.  Without the insurance, there is no Book Shack.  We have until the end of July to raise $400 (unless they raise the rate...).  This 'shopping fee' is good for the entire year and allows your family to drop-in every single month, if desired.  Most families leave with between $50 and $450 worth of curriculum and supplies.
  • Is there a bathroom?
    • No, we do not have a bathroom, but there is a Subway just down the block.

ISO

  • We are in search of another bookshelf for our children's readers section. 
  • We are also in search of boxes, such as Amazon boxes, that are sturdy and can be used for shipping.

Upcoming Dates

  • February 9th - 10am - 4pm
  • March 16th - 10am - 4pm
  • April 6th - 10am - 4pm

Upcoming Homeschool Convention
Win a family trip to the
Teach Them Diligently
Homeschool Convention
location of your choice!
Contest ends 1/17
Enter here

Register to attend the Teach Them Diligently Convention here.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Curriculum Spotlight : The Good & the Beautiful

***The Book Shack is in no way affiliated with The Good & the Beautiful.  It is just something we believe strongly in.***

One of the biggest challenges to your homeschool year is having the right curriculum.  Each family is different; each curriculum is different; and there's no 'right' curriculum - only the one that is right for your family.  


We are going to try to start bringing our readers information about various curricula so that they can make informed decisions about selections.  The first two will be the ones that we, the coordinators, use in our own homes the most, as we are most knowledgeable about them.  

Today we're talking about The Good & the Beautiful.  Being upfront, I'm going to tell you that we do not have TG&TB supplies at the Shack.  This is a new-ish curriculum and, since it's SO affordable, most families write in books and use them as consumables.  It is a fantastic option, however, if you have just a little bit to spend but still want a quality education.  As a bonus, the history and science can be used together with multiple children at the same time.


The company offers Levels 1-5 of their Language Arts curriculum absolutely FREE.  Also, if you'll watch their social media, there will be certain days where other curricula are free or at a steep discount (for the day only).


This video is about the History curriculum, but I liked it so much that I began to dig into their other products.  What we discovered was a streamlined curriculum that really fit our needs!  

As an even sweeter bonus, it is SO affordable, I'm even going to let the kids write in the books and not give it a second thought - because they're that affordable!  The older one can write in it, and I can buy a new one as the younger one advances.  (And 'affordable' isn't a word I often use beside 'curriculum'...)

The language arts programs cover several different subjects at once - including character, literature, geography, spelling, writing, reading, art appreciation, and grammar.  Both of my children - the advanced one and the special needs one - have benefited greatly from using this.  The readings are wholesome, clean, and full of teaching moments.  It is similar to the Lamplighter Books - old-fashioned at times, but so much better than the junk that's made readily available to impressionable minds these days.  

My husband and I have both commented on the change in our children's attitudes as we've made the switch in their readings.  It's a whole lot of small things that come together to create a beautifully-designed curriculum.

Levels 1-5 are available as free downloads, so that you can check it out and see if it's right for you, but I promise that it's a lot cheaper to buy their print version!  This is hands-down the most affordable curriculum we've ever seen.

If you do decide to download only, and then want to print it yourself later, we recommend the Homeschool Printing Company.  You can see more about that here (there is also a discount code).



In the classical style, this is a four-year program that wraps around to begin again after completion.  Each year comes with four different sets of printable pages, spanning kindergarten to twelfth grade, with age-appropriate work.  There are timelines, audio adventures, craft projects, and Charlotte Mason-style read-alouds.  

One of the things that makes this different from a traditional classical curriculum is that each of the four historical eras (Ancient, Middle Ages, Early Modern, Modern) is covered during each year.  Each year, however, a different aspect of that era is covered.  (ie, for Ancient : Year 1 = Egypt, Year 2 = Greece)  

The curriculum was created to be used together by the family, and this is the only thing that all of our students will be doing together this year.  As of Fall 2017, Years 3 and 4 have not been completed, but are currently in the works.

The children are both really enjoying the hands-on aspects, as well as the audiobook component (it all comes with the set...no surprise add-ons).  There is also a game for fun reinforcement of facts.  I love that it is one curriculum spine that can be re-used several times.  The accompanying workbook covers every level from preschool to twelfth grade....just print the correct grade level for the year.  The work is age-appropriate and comprehensive enough to count as a full credit.


When is handwriting not just handwriting?  When it pulls double duty by reinforcing other subjects!!  The handwriting courses include artwork, poetry, Bible verses, and quotes that support character qualities. The courses also help provide practice with drawing skills.

Interestingly, some of the very activities given in the handwriting books are the same ones that my son's occupational therapist have assigned as homework activities to improve fine motor skills!
The Good & the Beautiful also offers Science and Typing programs, but we have not used them, so I cannot speak on them.  Currently, the high school program is being written and projected to come out within the next year or two.