Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Janes Give Back!!

Welcome to"Janes Give Back to the Book Shack!" 

From February 14th - February 28th, Matilda Jane Clothing will be donating up to 30% of total sales to The Book Shack, a homeschool curriculum ministry.

To order and have a portion given to the Book Shack, follow these instructions.  It is important that you follow these steps.
  1. View the collection online at
  2. Click "shop now" and fill your cart.
  3. At checkout, it will say "Choose a Jane."  Select "Heidi Koski" as your Jane (she is the one donating the proceeds).
  4. Proceed through checkout as usual.
  5. Expect items to arrive 5-7 days after purchase.
Bundles & Bonuses!
Each month, MJ selects certain pieces and bundles them together at a discount rate off regular price.  Look for the "promo" tab on the left-hand side of the page, and click 'bundles,' to see this month's specials!  Pictured below is the "bonus" for the month.

What is Matilda Jane???
If you’re a mom of boys, like myself, then you probably haven’t heard of Matilda Jane.  If you have girls, however, you might be a long time customer!   

Now – don’t go reading that to mean that moms of boys can’t find something they’ll love at MJ….they have a wonderful line of clothing for women, as well as some beautiful household / homemaking items.

Why should you purchase Matilda Jane???
First and foremost, these clothes HOLD UP.  Every frugal mom knows how hard it is to find quality pieces that will last through the hand-me-downs.  
(One shirt at MJ may cost the same as two shirts at your-favorite-superstore, but the latter is going to fall apart after a couple of washings, while MJ will hold up through the laundry for ages!)
Small batch designs mean that you're not going to be dressed like everyone else.  Let your personality shine through!
A tip :  Purchase a size up...start the clothing's life as a tunic and then let it become a shirt as your daughter grows.
Another tip :  If you have more than one daughter, these pieces will last through a couple of sizes for the older and still live all the way through a couple of sizes of the next girl!
Did we mention that the clothing holds up FOR-EV-ER?
Oh yeah...and if you purchase during this event, they will donate up to 30% of sales toward the Book Shack's insurance and operating expenses!

A bit more about Matilda Jane…
In 2005, Matilda Jane Clothing’s founder Denise DeMarchis started what she called an “unpredictable clothing company” and began selling at art fairs across the Midwest. As an artist herself, she strove to keep the spirit of art fairs alive by moving the business to a direct sales model with an emphasis on building personal relationships. A new line of clothing is introduced twice a year in the spring and fall.

The widespread success of Matilda Jane Clothing enables the company to give back to communities. You can read about their various projects on the Matilda Jane blog. They’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity to build an entire subdivision in Fort Wayne, IN (where Matilda Jane is based) for families in need. Kids in the Changing the Face of Beauty campaign are also recent beneficiaries of Matilda Jane’s generosity, and the list goes on and on…

I personally like knowing that my Matilda Jane purchases support a local small business owner and that the greater company as a whole is generous with donating time and funds to various charities.

Monday, January 29, 2018

February News....NEW PAGE LOCATION!

Lots of different information today.....
  1. New Facebook page
  2. February opening
  3. Thank yous
  4. Requests

First, because of new Facebook regulations for how business page information will be disseminated (namely that it won't, unless we pay for every post), we started a Facebook group.  Everyone in the group will be shown every post.  

You can choose to "see first" or "get notifications" or simply just visit the group often....whatever works best for you and your family.  If you follow The Book Shack business page, however, you won't see anything, because it no longer exists.  You MUST be in the Book Shack group to get regular updates.  We'll still be doing blog posts, but they are not as often.  As a group member, you will be able to post in the group.  We expect courteous behavior from all posts.

Secondly, we will be open on February 9th...a Friday.  One of the questions we have for group members is, "Is there a day of the week that you are more likely to visit on than Friday?"  We are contemplating opening up the Shack for a second day each month, on a different day of the week.

Thirdly, we want to remember all of the people who have made this ministry possible.  Many thanks to the Boy Scouts, who built our bookshelves, as well as to members of the PRAHA and PCHEA homeschool co-ops, who shuffled these books around numerous times!
 Finally, we have one request for things that we need.  If you have large plastic mailers, such as the one shown below, we are using those to mail out books for families.  The one shown on the table is about 14" by 24"...but anything that will hold a few books and has some life left in it is helpful!   
To everyone who left reviews after visiting last month, we very much appreciate your support!  There's not really a way to leave reviews on a Facebook group, but if you feel led to give feedback of any kind, please email that to us or post it in a group post.  We appreciate all feedback, and will be glad to share it with others through a Feedback Page on our website.

Thank you, and we hope to see you next Friday!!

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:
Philfour -
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

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


Word Mastery - 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

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*-*
Merriam-Webster. Daily Buzz Word. Merriam-Webster's Word Central

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: - Print Your Own: Big Grammar Book > Free Worksheets for English, EFL and ESL Lessons For complete download go to: English's Big Grammar Book - Reviews and free English's Big Grammar Book downloads at
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

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


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

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. - Home
Computer Programming Course
Computer Training Courses Free Computer Training at
Computer Animating and Design Scratch | Home | imagine, program, share

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

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
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.
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 - Nature Study ~ Birds ~ Notebooking Pages
Canada Unit Study Canada Unit Study

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 Printables and Resources for Home, Homeschooling, and Classrooms
Free Forms Free Homeschool Forms & Worksheets by Cindy Downes
Highland Heritage Forms

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
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 |
Softschools Free Math Games and Online practice

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

Unit study/notebooking

Tanglewood: 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
and The Baltimore Project has lesson plans for various subjects for grades K-5
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

MATH - Full Curriculum:
MEP Math

Freely Educate -- science curriculum for k-12 (many sorts of activities).

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

January News & Spring Semester Openings

No automatic alt text available.
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.


  • 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, December 27, 2017

Free Field Trip Opportunity for Oklahoma Homeschoolers

The Oklahoma Hall of Fame is a fantastic resource for those of us looking to work on that Oklahoma history requirement.  Above is the visitor information for the museum, but you can find out more about the museum itself here.
They've incorporated technology into many of their exhibits, allowing students to research in the mode that they know and understand best.  Even better, the exhibits actually work...unlike many kids' museum digital features.  There's a wealth of information at their fingertips!  (And if you want to go old school, they have a paper archives section, too.) 

Within the museum are an event space, a large classroom, and a play area for the littles.  You can bring a group of students for class, and have a couple of the moms watch the littles that show up.

At the end of the field trip, there is a gift store featuring Oklahoma-themed also features all price points.  Your student can bring his one dollar and still find a memory to keep.

Interested in bringing your co-op on a homeschool field trip?  Use the information above to schedule one today!  (The easiest way is to go online and fill out the form.)   Find out more about the museum itself here.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Grand Opening Follow-Up!

We posted this (below) on Facebook has come to our attention that posts are not being seen by others unless they get some sort of 'interaction.'  If you see a post, please 'like' it, so that it will be shown to others, too.  Thank you!!!

If you are not on Facebook, please shoot us an email letting us know whether 9-12 or 12-4 is a better time slot for you for the January shack opening dates.

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 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.