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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633  

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"Teach Your Children about the U.S. Constitution"
is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.

Educate & Celebrate:
Constitution Day, September 17
     Order your Constitution Day Package
by September 1 for $29.95 (reg. $140).
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                 Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
    From a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors   /

Table of Contents
Getting Your House in Order
 •  "How Can I Become Motivated
     To Get My House in Order?"
 •  "How Do I Plan My Work?"
 •  "How Can I Find a Place for Everything?"
 •  "How Can I Deal with Clutter?"
 •  "What Can I Do To Keep Clutter
     from Making Itself at Home in My Home?"
 •  "Who Would Want My Castoffs?"
 •  "Am I Finally Ready for 'Spring' Cleaning?"
 •  Online Resources
Recommended Resources
     Michelin's 2005 Guide to America's Patriotic Places
     Reading Made Easy by Valerie Bendt
     Keepers at Home Annual Calendar/Planner
     Doorposts: Character-Building Materials
     Elegance: Classic, Feminine Clothing
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     Along with the pleasurable pursuits of summer, there are
things that you can do now to make your life easier during the
coming school year.  One effort that will yield great dividends
is getting your house in order.  In this issue we share practical
step-by-step plans and ideas for doing just that.
     If you are already well organized, please look around and
find someone you can encourage by your help and prayer.  It
probably won't be too hard to find someone!

Please Help Us Spread the Word!
     We would appreciate help in getting the announcement below
to as many home-school families as possible.  Please forward it
by e-mail and/or print it in your home-school publication.
     We want to be sure our previous subscribers send us current
addresses, as the magazine cannot be forwarded, and we do not
want anyone to miss the first issue when we resume publication.
Thank you for your help!

          The Teaching Home publishers plan to resume
     the publication of their print magazine this fall, by the
     grace of God.  For complete information see

     May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business
operated in our home since 1980.


America's Patriotic Places:
The 50 Places
Every American Should See
Michelin Travel Publications' 2005 guide
describes 50 of the most significant, special
places that help define our country -- its
hopes and dreams, its history, and its future.
Use for instruction, vacation planning, and enjoyment. 108 Pages.


"How Can I Become Motivated
To Get My House in Order?"
     As the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 who "looks well to the
ways of her household," we, too, want to follow the principle of
I Corinthians 14:40, "Let all things be done decently and in order."
     Can you imagine how much easier your life and home schooling
would be this fall if all the extra clutter were eliminated from
your home and it were clean and organized?
     Although organization imposes limits on your behavior, time,
and belongings, it is an essential tool for achieving freedom,
peace, and plenty.
     Human nature tends to throw off constraints and to do what
we feel like moment by moment. The result is chaos in the home
environment.  Personal victory in the area of household
organization will bring many benefits to your family, including:

1.  A home that is a haven from the world for our families,
     friends, and guests.

2.  Fewer allergies, illnesses, and accidents due to a clean,
     safe environment.

3.  Possessions that are in good repair and easy to find when
     needed, saving the time, money, and stress of looking for
     things or buying duplicates of unfound items.

4.  Less need for extra storage space.

5.  A pleasant and efficient environment for work and study.

6.  The ability to practice hospitality and to open the door and
     say "Come on in!" to unexpected visitors.


Reading Made Easy
A Guide To Teach Your Child To Read
by Valerie Bendt
     This complete phonics curriculum contains:
 •  108 lessons (30-mins. each, three days a week)
 •  Christian content
 •  Instructions and dialogue (to read to your child)
 •  Writing, drawing, and hands-on activities
Read more and see samples at


"How Do I Plan My Work?"
     You can choose one of these strategies or combine them to
fit your family's needs.  You may want to start with a bang and
finish off a little each week, or work up to an all-out effort.

1.  Decide Where To Start

 •  By Rooms
     You can go through your house room-by-room in any order:
from "public" living areas to storage, more cluttered rooms first
or last, or perhaps a different room for each day of the week.

 •  By Categories
     Or you could deal with categories one at a time: all your
books and papers, all your clothes, all your media, all your
kitchen things, etc., and then finish up room-by-room.

2.  Schedule Your Time

 •  One or Two Weeks Concentrated Time
     Schedule one or two weeks to unclutter.  Wipe all other
activities from your calendar and do a systematic pass through
your entire house.  You probably will not complete everything in
one week, but it will give you a big boost.  You can follow up
with one of the following schedules.

 •  One Day Each Week
     Schedule one day each week to unclutter.

 •  An Hour or Two each Day or on Several Days each Week
     The consistency of even small efforts -- just 15 minutes to
1 hour a day -- will pay off immensely.  Or you could schedule
2-4 hours once or twice a week.

3.  Enlist the Help of Family and Friends

 •  Ask your family and friends to support you in prayer if you
     are struggling to become more organized.

 •  Talk to your family about the benefits of an organized home
     and pray together that the Lord will help each one to let go
     of unneeded items and develop habits to maintain your home.

 •  Train your child to do cleaning chores and help him become
     consistent in doing them.

 •  Seek the wisdom and guidance of your Heavenly Father
     above all.

4.  Be Realistic
     There is a fine balance between a challenge and unrealistic
expectations.  In the long run, clutter and disorganization can
only be effectively overcome by constant and consistent effort.
It takes time to establish new habits and routines.
     Set your eyes on your goal, and even if you make only slow
progress each day and week, you will be delighted to see a real
difference in your home and life sooner than you might expect.


Organize Your New School Year
with the "Keepers at Home"
Annual Calendar/Planner
     Keep all the facets of homemaking
and homeschooling together in one place.
 •  All you need in a day planner and more.
 •  Complete school planning and lesson plans.
Two sizes (8.5 x 11; 5.5 x 8.5) fit in most binders.
More useful tools for Mothers at


"How Can I Find a Place for Everything?"
     Before you start the major dejunking process described
below, take some time to plan a place for everything you want to
keep.  This is the foundation of a neat home:  "A place for
everything and everything in its place!"
     Budget your space, much like you would budget your money or
your time.  Consider the amount of space you have to work with
and what you want to do with it.
     This is a new way of thinking about your space and
belongings -- not simply where can I put everything, but what do
I need and where do I need it.

7 Steps To Finding a Place for Everything

Step 1
     Start by making a list of the functions your house is used
for (e.g., sleeping, cooking, washing, eating, playing, visiting,
making things, entertaining, studying).

Step 2
     Decide the best use of each room as you match it to one or
more of the functions.
     This is also a fresh approach to organizing your home.  For
instance, two or more children could share a room with bunk beds
and free up a room to be used for a your school work and library.

Step 3
     Next, write the name of each room at the top of a page and
list the uses of that room and what items should be in that room
for those needs.

Step 4
     Now assign a space in each room for the items needed there.

Step 5
     You will need some general storage space as well somewhere
in your house for miscellaneous items that don't fit anywhere
else or are being saved for later.  This could be either unused
space in the rooms, or a separate area in the attic, basement,
shed, etc.

Step 6
     After you know exactly where each item belongs, print copies
of your list.  Post them throughout the house (inside cupboard or
closet doors), and distribute them to family members.  You can
also place labels on shelves and in drawers and closets, etc. until
habits are firmly established for putting things where they belong.

Step 7
     Now you are ready to remove clutter and unneeded items from
your home.

     One way of getting started might be to check your list for
needed items and "go shopping" among your stuff, find them, and
put them away.  The balance can be discarded as suggested below.


Free from Doorposts:
"How I Can Promote Peace
in Our Home" Mini-Chart

     Help your children peacefully
resolve disagreements with Scriptural
instruction and principles.
     Download your free mini-chart at
Use code: 05SS10 to receive 10% off your entire order of character-
building materials until September 5th!


"How Can I Deal with Clutter?"
     Dealing with clutter is an ongoing challenge.  The "Four-Box
Dejunking Method" below is recommended by many experts to help
you identify and dispose of clutter.

1.  Get Four Boxes and Label Them:
 •  Throw Away
 •  Give Away and/or Sell
 •  Storage
 •  Put Away

2.  Make Your Decisions.
     As you go through the items in your current work zone, force
yourself to make a decision about each item you pick up and place
it in the correct box.  Indecision is often the biggest problem
in dealing with clutter.
     Refer to your master list of items needed for each function
and space assigned for those items.  Ask yourself questions like
 •  Can I do without it?
 •  Do I have room for it?
 •  Can I use something else in its place?
 •  Can I borrow or rent one if I rarely need it?
 •  Do I have too many of these?
 •  Could someone else use this more than I would?

3.  Finish Up.
     Be sure to schedule time before you stop working each day to
appropriately dispose of box contents.

 •  Relocate "Put-Away" items in their correct places.

 •  Place "Give-Away" items (in labeled bags or boxes) into your
     car to take to their destination (e.g., donation center, church,
     support group, friends or relative's house).

 •  Put "Storage" items, as well as items for your summer yard
     sale or eBay sales, in clearly labeled boxes in your storage

 •  Throw away the rest.  Use large trash bags for non-garbage
     throw-aways, rather than overfilling your garbage can.  Some
     serious dejunkers even rent a small dump box.


"What Can I Do To Keep Clutter
from Making Itself at Home in My Home?"
     To prevent clutter from accumulating again, try one or all
of the following suggestions.

1.  Hold Your Ground.
     After a particular area (as small as one counter top or
drawer) has been cleared, do a daily clutter check of that area
to make sure no clutter is permitted to return.

2.  Put Everything in Its Place.
     Each member of your family needs to know where every item
belongs.  (Review your master lists!)
     Keep eliminating stuff until everything fits in the space you
have available, rather than wishing for something you do not have --
more space for more stuff!

3.  Build Good Habits.
     Work hard on the habit of returning items to their homes.
     One suggestion is to have an attractive basket or other
container in a corner of each room for items that need to be put
away in another room.
     At a designated time each day (e.g., before dinner, bedtime,
or free time) have each person check the containers and put away
his own belongings and things that he has used.

4.  "One Comes In, One Goes Out" Rule.
     When you buy a new item, another item must be discarded,
recycled, sold, or donated.  This keeps the sheer number of items
below the clutter point.  It can also save money as you consider
if you really need or want to buy a new item badly enough to
release one you already have.

5.  Don't Buy It.
     It is more cost effective to rent some seldom-needed items
or to borrow them from your public, church, or home-school
library.  This is another way to keep down the volume of material
in your home and storage space.


End-of-Season Sale:  Save up to 35%
Elegance -- Classic, Feminine Clothing
Check out our sale prices!  Quantities limited.

     You will be delighted with our beautiful,
modest clothing! Ladies, girls, and maternity
clothing too. Buy online, request a catalog,
or join our e-mail list.


"Who Would Want My Castoffs?"
     Ridding your home and life of clutter is enough reward in
itself, but you may also realize other profits.  Items that could
still be of use to others can be disposed of in several ways:

1.  Give Them Away
     Give them to people you know that could use them or donate
them to your church, mission, Goodwill, or Salvation Army.

2.  Sell Them in a Garage or Rummage Sale
     (See "Yard Sale Tips" at

3.  Sell Them Online
 •  My Homeschool Store.
 •  abeBooks.
 •  eBay.
     Suzanne Himka, a home-school mother, has written an article
with detailed information on how to sell on eBay at:


"Am I Finally Ready for 'Spring' Cleaning?"
     Did you miss spring cleaning this year (or maybe the last
several years)?
     Of course, if you are really well organized, you have been
keeping your house neat and clean all year.  But those of us who
always seem to be a little behind probably need to do a good,
thorough house cleaning right about now.
     If you followed the steps above for dejunking your house,
you are ready for the next step -- discover a new level of
clean.  It is amazing how easy it is to clean a house with the
clutter out of the way.  In fact, your house might even be cleared
up enough so that you can hire some help for the scrubbing!
     Afterwards, enjoy the fruits of your labor as your family and
friends live and fellowship in your clean and orderly home.
     For valuable tips on efficient ways to clean anything, see
the online resources listed below.


Online Resources
     These websites contain a wealth of practical and encouraging

The Organized Home
     Many pages of free information about how to organize,
unclutter, simplify, and clean your home, including:
 •  Several articles on decluttering.
 •  Many detailed articles on cleaning.
 •  Much more!

The Fly Lady
     The FlyLady takes you by the hand and gently leads you step
by baby step through her housecleaning and organizing program.
 •  FlyLady.Net Table of Contents
 •  "Declutter 15 Minutes a Day - 5 Great Tools That Make it Easy!"
 •  "How To Declutter"

Don Aslett's Cleaning Center
 •  "Clutter's Last Stand" and other books by Don Aslett.
 •  Articles on dejunking and cleaning.


Please Thank and Support
Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
     These free newsletters are made possible financially by the
fine suppliers who advertise in them and in the accompanying
e-mail.  Please consider those that advertised in our last issue
(below) as well as the ones in this issue.

Systematic Mathematics
Rhea's Entrepreneur Days
Sing 'n Learn: Auditory Products


Sunnyside Up: Love, Joy, Peace . . . Hugs, and Kisses
     The question was, "What is the first fruit of the spirit?"
Ben, who didn't know, turned to his younger sister and said,
"Well, Jenny, what is it?"
     Jenny was a lucky guesser and said, "Love?"
     I exclaimed, "That's right!" and Jenny beamed.
     So when I asked, "What is the second fruit of the Spirit?"
Jenny enthusiastically and confidently yelled out, "Hugs and
     Submitted by Cindy W., New York


God Loves You.
     Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus
Christ died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust
Him as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
     "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).


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