For 27 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Families Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective. Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors _________________________________________________________________________________
It's an election year.
What better time to study
the election process!
Election Unit Study
• Purchase Electing America's
Leaders - $15
• Sign up for the 4-week, online
Election Unit with Jessica Hulcy. Get more
information about the election process than
most adults know! - $30
• Watch 4 one-hour, weekly
lesson-planning, information- giving sessions
covering Godly leadership, forms of
government, two-party system, electoral
process, campaigning, and more.
Set aside a day or more to do the
necessary task of gathering, filing, and
recording the year's schoolwork. The
can find your records easily.
children have meaningful memorabilia.
get more space for more books and materials.
might even be able to sell books you don't
need anymore for cash to (you guessed it) buy
Gather up all your schoolwork for the
year, then sort and dispose of everything
1. Sort, File, and Dispose of
samples of work for each child in each area
of their studies to put in their permanent
some samples to grandparents (with the clear
understanding that they are free to toss them
after enjoying them for a while).
each child a certain amount of space in which
to keep what he wants.
out the rest.
2. Sort, Store, or Dispose of Books
some books for younger siblings.
some books for reference.
some away (to a family who needs them, your
support group's library, or a thrift store).
some with another family.
some at a local, used curriculum sale.
3. Keep Various Records
You might need to keep a record or a
portfolio of your children's studies to
comply with your state's laws or an umbrella
organization, as well as for your own
Choose any, or all, of the following
options. Depending on their ages, your
children may be able to help you with some of
the date and student's name after he finishes
each concept on your scope and sequence chart
or list of educational goals.
For reference, see the scope and sequence
charts provided online by A
Beka Books, Bob
Jones University Press,
Book, or your
state's testing preview site to view what
material is suggested to be known by each
lesson plans as records, checking off and
dating each assignment or objective as it is
See lesson plan books at Birch
Court Books and Builder
track of the hours spent on each subject
if you are required to do so by your state
law, or wish to for your own information
(e.g., for a high-school transcript). Homeschool
Transcripts carries many resources to
help you produce professional high-school
Copies of records of family projects,
unit studies, field trips, etc. for each
child's individual file as applicable.
a journal for each day of a unit study,
briefly listing books read or activities
all books read by the family or individual
students, including the title, author, and
publisher. (A brief description of
contents and your personal evaluation will
make this list more valuable to you and your
children in the future.)
Print online form for book
list and various
forms for book recommendations, reports,
and a record of reading different
artwork and writing assignments in a notebook
photos of art, craft, and science projects
and activities such as plays, costumes, and
field trips. You can use a computer
scanner or digital camera to create a CD
containing these photos as well as pages of
school work, compositions, etc.
your records in a labeled box for the year or
for each child.
4. Compile Your Home-School Yearbook
Create a yearbook by placing photos,
sample work, and other memorabilia in a
ideas for a homeschool yearbook and links
to more ideas and samples.
or digital photos can be composed into a
digital photo album or put onto a CD and
copied for each of your children and other
relatives. see Creative Memories' digital
5. Make Sound Records
Tape record some of your family's answers
to the evaluation questions below (especially
the positive ones!) as a sound recording of
your school year.
AVKO (Audio, Visual, Kinesthetic, and
Oral) Offers a Multi-Sensory Approach to
through Phonics and Word Families.
Spelling – the rules of
spelling without lengthy explanation. • Individualized
Keyboarding – typing plus
reading and spelling skills through patterns
rather than isolated key positions. • Let's
Write Right – reading and
spelling through penmanship. • To
Teach a Dyslexic – the readable
autobiography of Don McCabe, a dyslexic who
is a widely recognized expert on dyslexia and
Research Director of AVKO. To "try it before you buy
it," or for information on dyslexia, visit
our website for complimentary samples and
Evaluate Your School Year
Use this checklist, or make your own, to
see what went right and what went wrong this
year so that you can adjust for next year.
This needs to be done now, while things
are fresh in your mind!
You might want to discuss these items as a
family and/or do a private interview with
each member to get a complete picture.
Be sure to include your husband and each
child for their individual perspectives. You
will need to adapt the questions for each one
(e.g., Dad: Do you know what our children
learned this year? What would you have liked
them to learn that they did not learn?).
Please do not let this evaluation
discourage you! Rejoice and thank the Lord
for what went well, and learn from weak areas
so that you do even better next year.
What did you like best
about our home school this year?
What did you like least
about our home school this year?
What did you learn?
What would you have
liked to learn that you did not?
Were basic foundational
skills of reading, language, and math
improved, mastered, reviewed, and practiced
Were specific facts
connected to the big picture of overall
knowledge through the use of a globe, maps,
timelines, charts, and related information?
Did we use a variety of
teaching methods and materials, (e.g.,
textbooks, workbooks, unit studies, hands-on
activities, computer software, library or
supervised Internet research, field trips,
oral and written reports)?
Were thinking skills
taught and encouraged by the types of
discussions we had (e.g., comprehension,
knowledge, analysis, synthesis, application,
and evaluation; see Newsletters 23, 25-26,
educational resources available and their use
encouraged and modeled (e.g., reference
books, DVDs/videos, audio tapes, educational
games, software, and supervised Internet use)?
Was there enough good,
supplemental reading done as a family or
Were there time,
resources, and encouragement available to
pursue individual interests?
Did your family read
God's Word and pray together daily?
Were Bible study skills
and knowledge increased?
Were Bible reading and
memorization given at least as much
importance as academic studies?
Were subjects taught
from a Christian worldview?
4. Character Development
development an important part of our school
(e.g., honor and obedience to mother and
father as teachers and parents; kindness to
siblings; diligence; truthfulness; and
attention to details in studies)?
Was child discipline
maintained in a simple, straightforward, and
kind manner? Were the rules and consequences
clear and consistently carried out?
Were there enough
positive motivations and negative consequences?
5. Life Skills
Were life skills
included in our training and related to
academic subjects (e.g., budgeting, cooking,
shopping, driving, cleaning, organizing,
scheduling, repairing, maintaining a house,
yard, and car, voting, finding information by
phone, letter, or supervised Internet use)?
Was the schedule
realistic and easy to keep? Too strict or too
lax? Was doing schoolwork a regular, daily
habit (along with chores and personal grooming)?
Did we have a good
balance between group and independent study?
Were the classes we did
as a group interesting, and did they allow
each student to learn?
Was mother available
for individual help when needed? Was there a
need for alternative activities or procedures
when she was busy with another child?
Did we care for our
toddlers and babies in the best way for them
and for our studies?
Were the settings for
our studies appropriate and conducive to
learning (e.g., dining room table, couch,
Did we have enough, not
enough, or too much independent study? Were
there enough time, space, supervision, and
help available for these studies?
What got bogged down
that could have gone more quickly?
Was there enough
organization and planning for space,
materials, schedule, and chores?
Were there enough
varied experiences or too many outside
activities? Were our supplemental and outside
activities worth the time and effort?
Was the atmosphere of
our home warm, loving, and supportive?
7. Bottom Line
What do you want to do
the same next year?
What do you want to do
differently next year?
Use Your Evaluation To Plan Your Next
Use your evaluation outcomes to make
general, broad plans for next year and for
your summer studies. You can do
specific and detailed planning later; this is
just to be sure you include the valuable
input from this year's evaluation.
Make quick notes beside certain answers on
your evaluation forms. Then set dates
for your comprehensive planning for next
year, allowing time to purchase and become
familiar with any new curriculum.
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children's knowledge and character through
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