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
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
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
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.ochec.com – HSLDA and OCHEC work very hard year round to ensure Oklahoma Home school freedoms. Please support their efforts.
Homeschooling in Oklahoma
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Located in Oklahoma City this museum features an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts.
Cherokee Heritage Center
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
Worth the drive to Seminole. This is a hand’s on interactive museum!
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.
The Medieval Fair is an annual event in Norman, Oklahoma
The National Weather Center which is in Norman has tours available.
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:
Homeschooling in Oklahoma
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.
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
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
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.
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:
and many more.
Let me know if this is helpful and also if you see any mistakes or think something needs added. Thanks.
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.
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?
Explode The Code®
Break through the code with online,
data-driven phonics instruction
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Khan Academy You only have to know one thing: You can learn anything!
Tedtalks – Ideas worth spreading
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.
If you have elementary age students it is time to sign up for Braum’s Book Buddy and Pizza Hut’s Book It! There are a few other programs that offer rewards and incentives for education. I know Incredible Pizza used to hand out a book of coupons to teachers if you called and asked about it. I don’t see anything about it on their website but it is worth a phone call if you go to Incredible Pizza a lot. Near the end of the semester I will try to put together a more comprehensive post of companies that have good grade rewards.
My sister in law, Renee Gotcher, wrote a post on our Next Generation Homeschool Blog today about how Common Core affects homeschoolers. I am reposting it here with some information pertinent to Oklahoma Homeschoolers. Oklahoma legislators booted Common Core laws this summer thanks to strong grassroots efforts that involved many parents, teachers and homeschoolers. But the fight is not over. Common Core supporters have not given up. There is pressure from both outside the state and within, from politicians, teachers groups and others to reinstate Common Core Standards. We, as homeschool families, need to stay abreast of what is going on and continue to make our voices heard. The other side of this is, now that Common Core is out the window, Oklahoma standards are being rewritten. Parents need to be involved in this process if we want education in this state to get better. If we want local control of education we need to have local involvement. If you really want to follow and be involved in the fight find Linda Murphy on Facebook and follow her. She is a leader in this fight. Please read Renee’s post on How Common Core Affects Homeschoolers and then get involved.