Capitol Day Celebrates 30 Years in a Big Way

CapDay2015banner The 30th Oklahoma Home Educators’ Capitol Day is scheduled for Tuesday, February 10, 2015.  They are celebrating the longest running Home Educators’ Capitol Day in the nation with the theme “Continue the Legacy”.  To that end they have some big names coming to speak.  HSLDA founder Mike Farris will be speaking to homeschool families during the morning.  And Dr. Ben Carson is slated to speak at the Rally.  He will speak for 20 minutes.  You need to not only register to be there online at www.ochec.com but also plan to be there by 9:00am on Tuesday morning as they are expecting attendance to be at record levels and the capitol will close its doors when they reach the 4,000 maximum people allowed in the building.  There will not be the usual registration and assigned packets on-site as there is most years, but there will be packets available as you come in.  OCHEC volunteers are doing everything they can to assure that this event will run as smoothly as possible.  If you would like to visit with your legislator or have lunch with him/her be sure to notify him/her ahead of time.  Please plan to bring your family and attend the celebration!

Carson_Ben_PROMOPIC_smaller

That evening OCHEC is hosting a Gala event with Dr. Ben Carson at the Cox/Renaissance Convention Center in Oklahoma City.  The Gala Event is $150 a seat (minimum 2 seats) or $1500 a table.  If you would like to attend or know someone who would please visit www.ochec.com.  Dr. Carson will deliver a keynote presentation based on his book, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future.

Silent Movies from the Tulsa Theatre Organ Society

The Tulsa Theatre Organ Society will have a program, November 21st at 7:00pm at the Seminar Center of Tulsa Technology’s Broken Arrow Campus.  They will be showing the silent movie “IT” starring Clara Bow accompanied by their organ performance.  “IT” is a romantic comedy which tells the story of a shop girl who sets her sights on the handsome and wealthy boss of the department store where she works.  Because of this film, Clara became a major star of the highest magnitude, and as a result, became known as the “IT girl”.  Admission is free, free popcorn and lemonade as well.  Donations are accepted for the maintenance of the organs.

The next Silent Movie night will be in January on the 20th.  Same venue same time.

For more information on the Tulsa Theatre Organ Society and their programs visit their website: http://theatreorgans.com/SoonerStateATOS

Woolaroc Fall Encampment

I have been working to update posts on upcoming Fall events in the area.  I just realized that the Woolaroc Fall Encampment was/is this Friday and Saturday.  So if you are looking for something spontaneous to do tomorrow this is definitely an event worth driving for.  And if the weather tomorrow is like it was today you will enjoy a beautiful day!  Their website also has the below ad so it looks like this Cow Thieves & Outlaws Reunion will be going on there as well.  For more information check out their website: https://www.woolaroc.org

cow-slider

Homeschooling in Oklahoma

The following is my part of an ebook that was going to be written, one for each state, and put together and published.  The full ebook idea fell through so I thought I would take my part and post it here.  This is a nice overview of opportunities and resources available to Homeschoolers in Oklahoma.

Homeschooling in Oklahoma

Introduction

I am Rosanna Ward of www.nextgenhomeschool.com.  Not only have I been homeschooling since 2005 but I was also homeschooled myself.  I was home educated from 1984-1988, from eighth grade to graduation.  From graduation I went straight into Oral Robert’s University at the age of 16.   I have a degree from there in Recreation Administration.  My husband, Jason, and I have been married 22 years and we have four awesome children:  Hannah (21) and Virginia (19) were homeschooled from 6th/5th grade on and have both graduated.  Joel (9) began from the beginning.  Leif is a very active and curious four year old.  Yes, there is a big gap between Ginny and Joel, I like to tell people we birthed a business (or two) in those years and that was quite an endeavor.  We own and run Sapulpa Daylight Donuts – now in two locations.  The kids grew up in the business.  We bought our first shop in 1997 when the girls were three and one.  Joel has been his dad’s sidekick from his birth.  Literally.  Many mornings Jason wore Joel in his backpack in the kitchen while I worked the counter out front.  Homeschooling is perfect for us as it affords us a flexible schedule and more time as a family and the children get to learn, live and work in the real world.  They have all grown up around people and in the service industry and have more common sense and business sense than most kids their age and many adults for that matter.  I am currently homeschooling Joel and I also help my sister who is homeschooling her daughters (she has five but only four are school age).

Our Nextgenhomeschool.com blog is written by my sister in law Renee Gotcher, her sister Cristina, my sister Elizabeth, and myself.  We were all homeschooled and we all homeschool currently.  Renee is married to my brother who of course was also homeschooled.  The blog is written from that perspective but we all homeschool differently so the posts are varied and full of practical tips and encouragement.  Please visit us there and follow us both there and on Facebook.

Homeschooling in Oklahoma

Section 1

Oklahoma Homeschool Laws

“Oklahoma is the only state with a constitutional provision guaranteeing the right to homeschool.  The Oklahoma Constitution guarantees the home school exemption by stating that the “Legislature shall provide for the compulsory attendance at some public or other school, unless other means of education are provided, of all children in the State who are sound in mind and body, between the ages of eight and sixteen years, for at least three months in each year.” Okla.Const., art. XIII, s.4” www.hslda.org

This wording was added for the specific purpose of homeschooling.  In the 1907 Oklahoma Constitutional Convention it was discussed by several of the delegates and the wording was added.

The compulsory attendance ages have been changed to “over the age of five years, and under the age of eighteen years.” Okla. Statutes tit. 70, s 10-105 (A)-(B).  The required days of Instruction are generally 180 days (five of which can be teacher inservice days).  Technically, there are no required subjects but some courts have suggested that home education should be equivalent or comparable to public school.  Therefore it is strongly suggested that you teach math, language, language arts, science, and social studies.

The law does not require parents be certified teachers or use state-approved curricula.  Neither do they have to register or seek approval from state of local officials.  There is also no testing or home inspection requirements.

“Home schools are not regulated since the framers of the Oklahoma Constitution specifically intended “other means of education” to include home schooling and gave the state no authority to regulate that exemption from compulsory attendance.”  www.hslda.org

In order for an Oklahoma student to get a driver’s license they will need to take an 8th grade reading test (these are offered daily at the Tulsa Community College NorthEast Campus and likely across the state at community college and votechs).  Drivers Ed can be taken online or with a parent using qualified curriculum.  http://www.dps.state.ok.us/dls/ptde.htm

Oklahoma State High School Graduation Requirements:

English: 4 units

Math: 3 units, Including Algebra 1

Social Studies: 3 units

Science: 3 unites including Biology 1

Foreign Language: 2 Units of same foreign or 2 Units Computer Tech.

Arts: 1 unit or speech

Electives: 7 units

to equal 23 unites

These are not the best guidelines for homeschoolers.  It is more important to check the requirements of the college your student wants to attend.  Midwest colleges usually ask for an ACT test score.

For more information please check out these websites:

www.hslda.org

www.ochec.com – HSLDA and OCHEC work very hard year round to ensure Oklahoma Home school freedoms.  Please support their efforts.

www.oklahomahomeschooling.org

www.homeschoolfacts.com

www.homeschooling.gomilpitas.com

http://ok.gov/sde/oklahoma-high-school-graduation-requirements

Homeschooling in Oklahoma

Section 2

Field Trips

Oh man!  There is just no way I can list all of the field trip opportunities available in Oklahoma.  Cindy Downes at www.oklahomahomeschool.com has a pretty comprehensive list and I would highly recommend her Oklahoma scrapbook and her Oklahoma History online course.  I will give you as many as I can and some other websites to check out as well.

The Tulsa Zoo and Oklahoma City Zoo

www.tulsazoo.org and www.okczoo.com

and if you buy a family membership to one you can get a discount at the other plus many other zoos in the nation.  We get a membership every other year or so and use it quite a bit.

Jenks Aquarium

www.okaquarium.org

Offers over 200 marine and aquatic animal exhibits, plus a fishing tackle museum.  They offer homeschool education days.  You have to pre register for these so check out their website.

Tulsa Air and Space Museum

www.tulsaairandspacemuseum.org

This is a pretty cool museum located by the Tulsa Airport across from the zoo.  They have a planetarium and they also offer classes and an Aerospace camp.

Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa

www.gilcrease.utulsa.edu

Gilcrease houses the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West.

Children 18 and under are always admitted free.  The first Tuesday of each month all visitors get free admission.

Philbrook Museum in Tulsa

www.philbrook.org

Listed in the top 50, one of only five museums in the United States with a unique combination of historical home, art collections and gardens.  This is a beautiful home and garden with some great art!

Oklahoma History Center

www.okhistory.org/historycenter

This is located in Oklahoma City right across from the Capitol Building.  Focuses on Oklahoma’s history of geology, transportation, commerce, culture, aviation, and heritage.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

www.nationalcowboymuseum.org

Located in Oklahoma City this museum features an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts.

Cherokee Heritage Center

www.cherokeeheritage.org

Located in Tahlequah the center is home to the Ancient Village, Adams Corner Rural Village, the Trail of Tears exhibit, the Cherokee National Museum and the Cherokee Family Research Center.

Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum

www.jasminemoran.com

Worth the drive to Seminole.  This is a hand’s on interactive museum!

Harn Homestead

www.harnhomestead.com

A home built by William Fremont Harn in 1904.  This is a great living history homestead located right in the heart of Oklahoma City.  The have a one room schoolhouse, an old barn, and an old home with period furniture and tools – mostly interactive.

Woolaroc in Bartlesville and Fort Gibson both have a fall and spring encampment.  These are great events where you can take your kids to experience living history.

Round Mountain and Dripping Springs both have Civil War reenactments.  I think Dripping Springs is in the fall and Round Mountain is in the Spring.

The Castle of Muskogee hosts a Renaissance festival every weekend in May.

www.okcastle.com

The Medieval Fair is an annual event in Norman, Oklahoma

www.medievalfair.org

The National Weather Center which is in Norman has tours available.

www.norman.noaa.gov/visitor/nwctours/

Then there are the numerous pumpkin patches, petting zoos, and factory tours – like the Blue Bell ice cream factory. Yum!  Basically anything your children are interested in you can look around and you will find places to go to see and interact with great educational experiences.

For more field trip ideas check out these websites:

www.travelok.org

www.oklahomahomeschool.com

www.oklahomahomeschooling.org

www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org

Homeschooling in Oklahoma

Section 3

Social Stuff

There are so many families in Oklahoma that are homeschooling that it would be impossible to list all of the social opportunities available.  Also, as I live in the Tulsa area I don’t really know about the ones outside of my area.

If you are looking for Support Groups or Co-ops check out www.oklahomahomeschooling.org and/or sign up for Linda Duntley’s T.H.E. newsletter at www.tulsahomeeducators.com.

Also www.ochec.com has a list of Support Groups.  New groups are started on a regular basis.  Here are a few in my area:

www.chefok.org – Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Oklahoma.  CHEF has support groups all over Oklahoma.

www.cheersupport.com – Christian Home Educators Encouragement Resource

www.victoryhomeeducators.org – Victory homeschool

There are also numerous co-ops available around Oklahoma.  Here are two of the bigger ones in the Tulsa area:  www.victoryhomeeducators.org (connected with classical conversations) and www.ctctulsa.org

Many of the smaller private schools also offer classes to homeschool students.  Check out Augustine Christian Academy of Tulsa for instance.  My daughter played volleyball for Eagle Point in Sapulpa.

In the Tulsa area there are so many things for homeschoolers’ to do that you could literally be out socializing every day.

Many roller skating and ice skating rinks, bowling alleys, and swimming pools have Homeschool Days (if yours doesn’t just ask for one).  Also many community centers offer homeschool P.E. classes.  Bounce U even has a homeschool day as does Incredible Pizza!  There are drama classes, art classes, music classes, and dance classes offered specifically for homeschoolers. And homeschool park days abound!  If you can’t find one in your area, start one.  People will come.  Some parents started a free homeschool P.E. class at the local community center and by the 3rd year they were at capacity and have had to separate into two and sometimes three classes.

Homeschooling in Oklahoma

Section 4

Conventions and Book Fairs

My family went to the first homeschool convention in Oklahoma.  It was a National Homeschool convention and was held in Tulsa at the Mabee Center in 1984.  My mom says some of the big speakers of the time were there.  HSLDA was a new entity and Mike Farris was there.  Tim LaHaye, and many others.  All I remember about it (it was our first year to homeschool) was having to sing with a bunch of strange kids on stage one evening.

I also attended Tulsa’s second homeschool convention in 2011.  OCHEC (Oklahoma Christian Home Educators Consociation) has been hosting a Conference in Oklahoma City for years but it has gotten so large that several years ago they started hosting a conference in Tulsa as well.  Both conferences are usually at the beginning of May.  My sister and I have gone every year and thoroughly enjoy ourselves.  It is a great time of encouragement and refreshment.  The vendor hall is very large and quite fun!  http://nextgenhomeschool.com/2013/05/07/homeschool-conventions-part-1-ochec-tulsa/

Throughout the year Mardel’s Christian Bookstore and other venues host speakers that help and encourage homeschool parents.  The Teaching Them Diligently Convention doesn’t have a convention near us – I have attended one in Omaha, NE and in Dallas, TX.  They are well worth the drive.  For me, even as a veteran homeschooler, they were life changing.  Another national Homeschool Convention is the Great Homeschool Convention.  They have conventions in four locations as well throughout the year.  I haven’t been to one yet but I fully intend to attend one soon.

I also know that CHEF usually hosts book fairs near the end of the school year.  Some of the private schools like Holland Hall also have a used book fair.

We are lucky in the Tulsa area to have a great used homeschool consignment book store called Bibliomania:  www.bibliomaniatulsa.com .  There is also a monthly free book pick up called Book Benevolence.

Section 5

Education Supplies

Oklahoma has some great Educational supply stores.  I have relatives and friends in other states who would love to have the resources we have here.  The largest homeschool supply store is Mardel’s Christian Bookstore: www.mardel.com .  The owner of Mardel’s also owns Hobby Lobby which is a great place to buy science and craft supplies.  As I mentioned earlier Bibliomania is a great store to shop for used homeschool supplies.  In Sand Springs there is a store called Grace and Truth books which has great literature and other good Christian books:  www.graceandtruthbooks.com .  There are also some teacher supply stores – The Learning Shop and The Apple Tree.  And don’t forget about Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Staples, Office Depot, JoAnnes, Michael’s, and etc…  Most of these stores have educator discounts.  Check out their websites or call them for their policies pertaining to this discount.  Many of them require you bring in a letter stating who you are and that you are a homeschool educator.

There are several good online resources for school curriculum, books and supplies as well.  And if you are on Facebook look for homeschool swap pages in your area.

For online shopping, also check out these vendors:

www.amazon.com

www.cbd.com

www.mindware.com

www.jmcremps.com

and many more.

Let me know if this is helpful and also if you see any mistakes or think something needs added.  Thanks.

Educational Websites & Software

I will continue to add to this and reposting this post but for now here is a list of educational websites and software we have either used or checked out.  My son loves(d) Scholastic City,  Explode The Code, Timez Attack and Math Blaster! We also have all of the Freddie the Frog books and thoroughly enjoy them.  If you have any to add please leave them in the comments.  

 

MATH

Xtramath.org is dedicated to math achievement for all. Our goal is to develop effective, efficient, adaptive and intrinsically rewarding supplemental math activities and make them available for free.

math-drills.com has thousands of Free Math Worksheets for teachers and parents on a variety of math topics.

mathfactcafe.com – free printable math worksheets for elementary school and home use.  This includes generators for math drills, flashcards, counting, time, money, and more!

dadsworksheets.com – One Dad. Two daughters.  7,873 worksheets… and counting!

Timez Attack – http://www.bigbrainz.com

We want every student on earth to master their core math facts.  The National Mathematics Advisory Board emphasizes that automatic recall of core math facts is “critical” because students need to free up working memory to learn higher-order concepts. They also emphasize that most curricula fail to do so. That’s why we’ve spent the past decade building a truly high-end video game ensures automaticity, restores confidence, and teaches hard work. Check out our monumental research results or download our free demo today to see which facts YOU need to learn.

Rocket Math is a ten-minutes-a-day, paper and pencil, worksheet-based, supplemental, math facts practice curriculum. It is a uniquely structured curriculum for the sequential practice and mastery of math facts. 

  • Students learn 2 facts and their reverses on each worksheet in a carefully controlled sequence which enables mastery at an individualized pace. 
  • Students practice orally with a partner every day. 
  • One minute timings assess when students are ready to move to the next set of facts.  

Scholastic City – A software cd that may not be published anymore but my son loved so if you can find it it is worth trying!

Math Blaster – Do you have what it takes to save the Galaxy?

 

Language Arts

explodethecode.com 

Explode The Code®
Break through the code with online, 
data-driven phonics instruction

Online Features

  • Individualized instruction and reinforcement based on continuous assessment
  • Research-based instruction supported by auditory and visual cues to promote independent learning
  • Robust reporting features that provide ongoing progress monitoring
  • Engage students and provides online delivery available across school, home and extended day services—no installation required
  • Phonics curriculum spanning grades K through 4 in one comprehensive program, effective for grade-level and intervention instruction

VocabularySpellingCity provides spelling, vocabulary, writing and language arts activities for K-12 cross-curricular word study. We created the site to automate spelling tests, give students immediate feedback, and save teachers the time it takes to administer, grade and record the tests. We aspire to provide students with engaging games to motivate study and promote academic success. We aim to continually advance our services while providing helpful and courteous support

readingeggspress.com makes reading real books, improving spelling skills and building reading comprehension highly engaging for 7 – 13 year olds.  The site is packed full of hundreds of great online activities, books, and games. And it really works!

starfall.com opened in September of 2002 as a free public service to teach children to read with phonics. Our systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL). Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children.

readtheory.org program teaches students to think critically, draw inferences, understand scope and global concepts, find or recall details, and infer the meanings of useful vocabulary words.

bookadventure.com is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.

General

Clever Dragons is a unique combination of online learning, creative play, and optional, moderated social networking. From math, to reading, to science, to the arts, there are learning games your son will enjoy and motivational rewards to keep him learning.

Always Icecream was founded by parents who wanted a safe space for their girls to learn, play, and interact online. From math, to reading, to science, to the arts, there are learning games your daughter will enjoy and motivational rewards to keep her learning.

brainpop.com

allinonehomeschool.com – “This is my children’s school. I have put their assignments online so that they can work independently and so that I have the assignments saved for their younger siblings. Grade levels and courses include 180 days of homeschool lessons and assignments. It covers reading, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, math, history/social studies/geography, science, Spanish, Bible, computer, music, art, PE/health, and logic. It uses only free materials found on the internet.”

Time4Learning’s automated system teaches lessons in a sequence designed to build skills. It grades the lessons, tracks progress and keeps reports for portfolio usage.

Featuring over 3,500 content pages, MrNussbaum.com is one of the most popular destinations on the internet for parents, homeschoolers, teachers, and students.

kidsnationalgeographic.com

freddiethefrog.com is quickly becoming the mascot of music education for kids.  As thousands of kids in the U.S. have fallen in love with Freddie, one thing is clear–children are capable of learning music concepts earlier than we think. Freddie the Frog® products originated to provide an accessible and entertaining form of music education for use at school and home. I encourage you to enjoy Freddie’s adventures and to pursue other music education opportunities available in your area.

nga.gov

Khan Academy You only have to know one thing: You can learn anything!

Tedtalks – Ideas worth spreading

Youtube.com

 

 

Mardel’s Homeschool Workshop

mardel-christian-store

I will be teaching a Beginning Homeschool Workshop at Mardel’s on 52nd and Harvard next Saturday, August 23rd from 10:00am-noon.  This will be my first time teaching this workshop.  I am very excited about helping new Homeschool families and also very nervous.  

Topics I plan to cover are Oklahoma Education Freedom, Homeschool Mission, Learning Styles, Curriculum Types and Choices, Schedules and Routines, and Resources, Groups and Co-ops.  There will be handouts.

If you are just starting out or feel you need some help and direction I hope to see you there.