For 31 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Homeschool Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.
Co-Editors: Veteran Home-School Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short
10 Goals and Purposes
of Orientation Week
Orientation is "introductory instruction
concerning a new situation."
Orientation Week could accomplish some or all
of the following:
1. Give an official
start to your homeschool.
2. Start your year
with a balance of fun and informative
3. Introduce the
various studies and activities you plan for
the coming year.
4. Make your children
feel settled and informed before the academic
5. Stir curiosity and
provide motivation for learning specific
6. Inspire efforts to
7. Explain your
expectations and procedures to your children.
8. Provide a special
opportunity to discuss all aspects of your
family's life – what you will be doing,
9. Establish your
homeschool routine to smooth the way for
your child's enjoyment of his study
10. Stir your child's
excitement about the coming year.
8 Ways To Use
Our Orientation Week
1. Select only those
activities that would help your family.
2. Try something new
and see if it works.
3. Involve Dad in
plans and events as much as possible.
4. Ask your children
to help you plan some of the activities.
5. Take as little or
as much time as you need for Orientation Week
- from one day to two weeks.
6. Schedule which
activities you will do on which days.
7. Invite another
family to join you for some activities.
8. Make this a
positive, upbeat time.
Send Us Your Suggestions
If your family has a tradition or activity
to start school, please share it with us by
"Why Do We Have
To Learn This Stuff?"
The facts, truths, and principles revealed
in God's Word should form the basis for each
course of study.
The practical uses and applications of
acquired knowledge are also unique for
Mathematics reveals the consistency and
beauty of God's truth. It is used in
measurements of fair trade, in scientific
studies, and for producing all that is
necessary or helpful to mankind.
Accurate reading, writing, speaking, and
understanding of language is essential for
Through language we hear and proclaim
God's Word, we teach and learn from others,
we do business with each other, and we
maintain godly relationships.
God's standards for all we take in and
hold in our minds include truth, beauty, and
God created everything in six days about
six thousand years ago, and there was a
catastrophic worldwide flood in Noah's
time. These facts guide our
understanding of what we see in nature.
Our use of science must respect the
sanctity of human life and reflect good
stewardship of God's gifts as well as
compassion toward His creatures.
The Bible gives us the framework for all
of history, from the very beginning until the
prophesied end of the world.
God expects us to learn practical and
spiritual lessons from the study of past
events as well as see His hand in the affairs
and Social Studies
The Bible tells us we are all sinners who
came from Adam through Noah, that God loves
us all, and that we as Christians are His
ambassadors of the gospel to the whole world.
Our knowledge and understanding of peoples
is based on these facts and is useful for
Labor Day Holiday Helper is a free 18-page ebook provided by Living Books Curriculum.
In its pages you will find help to make this holiday meaningful: the history of Labor Day, poems, stories, copywork, a fascinating picture study by Ford Maddox Ford entitled, "Work," and quotes, such as:
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
Thomas A. Edison, Inventor and Homeschooler (1847 - 1931)
Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men by Bob Schultz available from Birch Court Books will help you give your son a healthy attitude toward work and equip them to develop excellence in their work habits. For boys ages 12 and up.
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We had just started 1st grade math and were discussing
what a mathematician is. "Someone who works with numbers"
was the definition we chose.
Then 6-year-old Calvin decided to demonstrate:
"Like two plus two . . . four! Three plus three . . . six!
Seven plus seven . . . [longer pause] . . . two weeks!"
Submitted by Anne O., Michigan.
Send your humorous anecdote to email@example.com.
1. God loves you.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
2. Man was separated from God by sin.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
3. The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.
He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
4. We must personally receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.
The Teaching Home's
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• Start any month.
• Read 6 days a week
(allows for church on Sunday).
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(24 days per month).
Online at TeachingHome.com.
Listen to the Bible Online. Choose from six English versions (plus Spanish and other languages) at BibleGateway.com/Audio.
Search God's Word at BibleGateway.com. Options include Passage Lookup, Keyword Search, and Topical Index.
Mobile BibleGateway Now you can take the Bible Gateway with you wherever you go with a new smallscreen-friendly site for use with your iPhone, BlackBerry, or other internet-capable mobile device: mobile.biblegateway.com.
Dictionary of Bible Themes
Now Available on Bible Gateway
The Dictionary of Bible Themes is a massive compilation of themes and topics in the Bible (over 2,000), carefully organized to make it as easy as possible to find the specific subject you're interested in.
It's extremely helpful for assembling a Bible study, researching Biblical teachings on a particular person or topic, or just exploring the Bible for your own benefit.
See the tutorial that shows you how to access the Dictionary alongside your Bible reading, along with some example Dictionary entries.
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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
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• See Online Archives for Homeschool Foundations Series, Parts 1-3.
• See "Checklist for Starting a School Year."
Homeschool Foundations Series, Part 5
Back-to-School Orientation Week
• 20 Activities To Get Your Homeschool
off to a Great Start!
• Our Readers Write: Family Traditions
To Start the Homeschool Year
• 10 Goals and Purposes of Orientation Week
• 8 Ways To Use Our Orientation Week Suggestions
• "Why Do We Have To Learn This Stuff?"
• Systematic Mathematics: DVD Math Curriculum
• Basic Christian Education: Bible-Based Curriculum
• Living Books Curriculum: Charlotte Mason Education
• Deeper Roots Publications: Bible Curriculum
A Back-to-Home-School Orientation Week can help get your school year off to a good start!
In this issue we offer 20 activities for you to consider – whether you've already started school or not – and eight ways you can use these suggestions (see sidebar).
May the Lord bless your family and the coming school year for His glory.
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
Home is a homeschool, family-run
business operated in our home since 1980.
20 Orientation Week Activities
See Sidebar for:
• 10 Goals and Purposes of Orientation Week
• How To Use These Orientation Week Suggestions
• "Why Do We Have To Learn This Stuff?"
a theme and Bible verse for your
back-to-homeschool Orientation Week and/or
for your school year (e.g., "Study To Show
Yourself Approved unto God," II Timothy
you are going to do a unit study, you could
use its topic for your theme.
use your school motto or Family
Mission Statement and Bible verse (e.g.,
"As for me and my house, we will serve the
Lord," Joshua 24:15 or a variation of it,
such as "Preparing To Serve").
2. Annual Opening Ceremony
a planning meeting beforehand, gather ideas
your children want to include, and assign
each child a part.
your whole family for a prayer of dedication and
a song chosen for your school or for this
school year that reflects your theme or
3. Welcome by the School Principal
Dad make an official Welcome Speech after
dinner as everyone sits in the living room.
can tell his family how happy he is that each
one is part of his family and home school.
Then he can present and explain his vision
for the family and for this homeschool year.
#313 on how to write your family's mission
4. Review of Rules
out your family's rules and consistently
require immediate, cheerful obedience.
few principles can cover most rules (e.g.,
Honor the Lord, Respect and obey parents, Be
kind to siblings, Do your work cheerfully).
the principles from God's Word that are
behind your rules so that your children
understand that they are obeying God, as well
and explain appropriate consequences for each
broken rule and consistently apply them.
information about child training and
discipline in Newsletter
• See The 21 Rules of This House by Gregg Harris, posted on his blog.
the biblically-based charts, such as the "If-Then
Chart," at Doorposts.
5. Reinforcement of Personal Habits
of these (Brush teeth, Practice the piano,
Help with dinner) can be added to your chore
children are usually motivated by stickers or
stars to help them establish good habits.
about how to establish good habits in Newsletters
#89 and #90.
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2. Order Materials Separately. Parents buy individual PACEs or courses; maintain their own records.
6. Tour of "Campus"
through your home with your children, showing
them the locations of study areas, reference
and school books, supplies, and free-play
sure there are properly labeled places for
all books and supplies.
• Read about seven supply items that make planning and organizing your homeschool easier – and fun!
7. Notebooks and Supplies
each child set up a notebook or section of a
notebook for each subject or unit. In it he
will keep his class syllabus (see #14 below),
assignments, notes, etc.
out supplies to your children with any
instructions for their use (e.g., messy art
supplies) and their storage locations.
8. Information Technology
up, tape to computer, and discuss rules for
safe use of the Internet, including the
length of time your child can sit at the
service is a good start, but is only the
first step in providing protection for your
guidelines for safe computer use. The
safest option is to keep Internet use in an
open area, often frequented by family
members, or be with your child when he is on
principles of how to
study: concentration, preview, reading,
note taking, review, drill of certain facts,
where to look up information in reference
books in your home library or on the
to your children the benefits of working
together, each doing his part on time and
going the second mile. Find and memorize
your children with your updated chore chart
(with or without allowance attached) or take
time to make one with your children. See
expectations of exactly how and when each
chore should be done.
"7 Ways To Teach Responsibility through
Chores" in Newsletter
10. List of Leadership Opportunities
one of your children to be Teacher's
Assistant for each of your classes. Your
assistant can be in charge of books,
supplies, special activities, supplementary
videos, etc. This will (hopefully) help you
and get your child more involved as
• Your older children can also help teach your younger one.
A Reader Writes
I have received The Teaching Home for many years, decades actually, from
the hard copy issues (which still have a place on our bookshelf) to this
current e-mail format.
We have taught our six children through high school and a couple through some college level material.
As our children have matured, they have expressed gratitude for many aspects of their homeschooling experience. One such experience was their responsibility of teaching a younger sibling.
This responsibility was not only for academic subjects, but also life skills (cooking, cleaning, changing a tire, preserving the garden harvest) for both our sons and daughters.
Having to impart understanding and skill to another person requires a high level of mastery of the subject as well as investment in the student.
It was a character training environment for both of them! It also has played
a part in their love and concern for each other as adults.
Thank you for the volumes of wisdom you have shared. May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to guide and equip you. – Christine L., Vermont
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11. Issue a Spiritual Appeal
and Mom could prepare one or more devotional
times to share their goals for the spiritual
growth of the family.
Pensacola Christian College and Bob Jones
University conduct Evangelistic or Revival
Meetings as part of their Orientation Week.
handbook explains that their rules are
intended to help students by "promoting holy
living by removing as much as possible the
influences of worldliness and evil from a
student's life while he learns to walk in the
Spirit," so that the student may "develop in
his likeness and usefulness to Jesus
These are great goals for Christian
homeschool families to adopt.
12. Personal Goals
goals and objectives, individually and
privately, with each
child and explain how each goal fits into the big
picture of his personal future.
each child what he thinks should be different
in his life at this time next year.
information on setting goals and objectives
13. Purpose, Goals, and Content of
an overview of what your children should
expect from each class.
the classes, discussing the purpose of the
class (how the information learned will be
used), the goals (what the student will
learn), and the content (outline of topics).
"Why Do We Have To Learn This Stuff?" in the
sidebar at left. It lists practical uses
and applications of knowledge in various
14. Preliminary Class for Each Course
one of the year's courses each day during the
a written syllabus for each course that
includes a course
outline, book list, units/chapters,
supplementary materials, assignments, and
planned dates for units, tests, and
activities as well as methods of assessment.
you don't have all this information now,
write what you do have, especially for the
first unit, and leave space to add more
over your schedule (or take time to write out
your "time budget") and explain the times for
classes, meals, chores, family devotions, and
Lights Out (regular bedtimes).
copies of your schedule in several places
where all can see.
your Master Calendar and the procedure to
place an engagement on the calendar.
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SW = Student Workbook; hs = Home- school Edition) For grades 7-12.
7th: Discovering Our Amazing God. TG/hs, SW/hs
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16. Professor's Time
out a list of activities for students to do
when you are giving another student
individual attention so that they can use
their time constructively and work
independently (e.g., older children can take
turns supervising young ones or big sister or
brother might do some of the tutoring).
older children their own lesson
plan books so they can carry on with
assignments while you work with younger
your collections of educational audio and
video resources (such as those carried by Sing 'n Learn) to be used for occupying students'
children practice their music (guitar or piano: Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class) or art (How Great Thou Art).
a picture list of acceptable activities
younger children can do when they are waiting
for your help, such as puzzles, coloring, educational games,
17. Welcome Party
a dinner, a picnic, a special tea, a dessert
reception, a pizza party, or anything festive
that your family would enjoy together.
is a good event to share with another
18. Movie Night
a video that will both entertain your whole
family and stimulate interest in your
upcoming studies, e.g., history, science, or
• See the DVDs offered by Franklin Springs Family Media that set forth a vision for the fullness of a God-honoring family life.
19. Photograph Session
photos of each child and your whole family
together, frame, and hang them.
matching T-shirts, with or without your
family's or school's name, motto, verse, or
logo. These are great for field trips
build team spirit!
Our Readers Write
Family Traditions To Start
The Homeschool Year
Our Yearly Scavenger Hunt
Our family has enjoyed homeschooling for over 20 years.
Our first day of school starts with a scavenger hunt. Each clue our children find leads them to a new item we have purchased for them and another clue.
School supplies, pencils, markers, sharpeners, but also books and crafts that go with that year's subject of study, are cleverly hidden throughout the house or yard.
As I go through the exhibit hall at our annual homeschool convention, I look for books, art supplies, hands-on projects, games etc., for example paint-able nesting dolls for our Russia Unit Study.
Our children have looked forward to first day of school with eager anticipation, building excitement for the studies to come.
As this summer comes to a close, our last child to homeschool is already asking if we will still do a hunt, though just for her. Of course we will; I have been collecting so many cool things!
Submitted by Rosemary, California.
Suggestion: "Open House" for Your Family
How about a few days, or the night before school starts, Mom holds an open house night for your family.
Dad could take the kids out to dinner, or somewhere, for a few hours while Mom sets up the school room for the year. When Dad returns, the kids get to "meet the teacher" and explore the school room.
This would probably work best for first year homeschool families or very young children. It might get a little redundant for older children.
Submitted by Stephanie B.