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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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For 29 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Home-School Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Home-School Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short

Your Own Spiritual Life

In Deuteronomy 6:5-7, a passage that provides a model for teaching our children, we see that parents’ spiritual lives come first.


“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.”


“You shall teach them diligently to your sons

and shall talk of them when you sit in your house

and when you walk by the way

and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

As a parent, you are to love the Lord above all and put Him first in your life.  You will grow to love the Lord more as you spend regular time alone with Him in His Word and in prayer.

 •  Pray that you will know when and how to talk to your children about salvation and that they will accept the Lord as their Savior as soon as they are able.  Also pray that your family will grow in the Lord.

 •  Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) because Satan will target the family that seeks to train their children to love, honor, and serve the Lord.

 •  Call upon our loving Lord for help.  He has promised to give you the wisdom and strength that you need for this task.  (James 1:5; Col. 1:9-11)

Read more about the support we can find from the Lord, our family, and our friends in Newsletter #192.

7 Guidelines
for Child Training
and Discipline

Parents who do not have their children’s respect will have trouble getting their cooperation and obedience.

Gaining children's respect through proper relationships, discipline, training, and example should be a parents’ top priority, whether or not they are home schooling.

Home schooling can provide the incentive and optimum setting to accomplish this training and discipline.

Here are seven basic guidelines that will help you.

 1.  Get your child’s attention before giving him an instruction.

 2.  Your child should meet your eyes and answer, “Yes, Mother/Father.”

 3.  Require instant, willing obedience.

 4.  Be consistent.  Your children must know you mean what you say.

 5.  Affirmation should follow obedience; negative consequences are appropriate when a child disobeys or rebels.

 6.  Make clear rules and consequences and require your child to remember and obey them.  (See Doorpost’s “If-Then Chart.”)

 7.  Use Scripture to show your child the principles behind your rules.  (See Doorpost’s “For Instruction In Righteousness,” a topical reference guide for biblical child-training.)

Child Training Resources

 •  “What the Bible Says about Child Training” by J. Richard Fugate. Book, audio, video, and online excerpts.

 •  Videos, DVDs, and audio tapes by Dr. S.M. Davis deal with all types of family problems and biblical solutions.

 •  Doorposts offers sound and practical helps in applying Scripture to the discipline and training of your children.

Family Nights

One of the best things you can do with your children to promote family unity is to have a "family night" each week.  This can create a family tradition that will be remembered and cherished for years to come.

Establish a time each week to enjoy one another's company as a family.  It doesn't have to cost money or be very educational, just relaxing and fun.

 •  Choose activities to do together as a family such as: walking, hiking, playing board games, doing puzzles, arts and crafts, baking something special, or reading aloud.

 •  Set aside the same night each week and schedule other activities around it.  Since most outside events are scheduled on weekends, you might want to choose a week night for your family night.

 •  Use this time for positive activities only, not to deal with problems.

 •  Plan a special meal and/or dessert.

 •  Consider letting each member of the family take a turn selecting a meal or activity.

If you haven't already established family nights, or if they were not regularly observed during the summer, plan a family night for next week.  Your family will be glad you did!

What Do You
Do for Family Night?

Share your experiences and recommendations.  E-mail


HSLDA offers homeschooling families a low-cost method of obtaining quality legal defense that gives them the freedom to homeschool without having to face legal threats alone.

(Use discount group number 299142 for $20 off your membership fee.)

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The Teaching Home
Back Issues

Teaching Home Back Issues

Fifty-one back issues are offered online or by mail order.

The information, inspiration, and encouragement packed into each back issue never goes out of date.  They are always relevant, applicable to your needs today.

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Sunnyside Up

Home Schooling Makes Cents

It was the start of our second year as a home-school family.  Already our two daughters, aged 6 and 9, were beginning to show promise of becoming scholars.

Prudently, we opened the new year with a review of last year's basics in order to determine their grade standing, as well as to see if Mom and Dad had faithfully followed the lesson plans.

Seated respectfully at their desks one morning, patiently listening to Dad's instructions, the girls prepared themselves for questions on the subject of health.

After several rather difficult questions had been answered correctly, I yielded to pleas for some that were easier.

"Okay then, Rosie," I said to our youngest pupil, "go ahead and name your five senses."

Responding with a confidence equal to that of knowing water is always going to be wet, she replied, "Nickel, penny, dime, and quarter!"

Casting a look to my now- hysterical wife to restrain herself, I decidedly ordered, "Tomorrow is teachers' in-service day!"  and it was held, much to the delight of all, at the zoo.

Submitted by Mark S., Oregon.

Send your humorous anecdote to

Bible Reading Schedule

Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.

See The Teaching Home's Bible reading schedule online at

Christian Music Online 24/7!

Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) when you tune in to Abiding Radio at

Also: Old Christian Radio.

God's Love for Us

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 forgive our sin and give us eternal life.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  (John 3:16)

"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)

"He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification."  (Romans 4:25)

"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)


We need your help!

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Back-to-Home-School, Part 4 of 5-Part Series

Putting First Things First –
Establishing Spiritual Priorities

 1.  Daily Devotions

 2.  Discipling, Training, Disciplining,
      and Nurturing Your Children

 3.  Bible Study and Memorization

 4.  Fellowship, Service, and Evangelism

     •  Your Own Spiritual Life
     •  Family Nights
     •  7 Guidelines for Child Training and Discipline
     •  Child Training Resources

Next Issue: Part 5 of 5-Part Series

Back-to-Home-School Orientation Week

Recommended Resources

•  Valerie Bendt Books: Reading Made Easy
•  Basic Christian Education: Bible Based Curriculum
•  Ferg N' Us Services: Homeschooler's Journals
•  Bsecure: Ultimate Online Family Protection


Topics in our Back-to-Home-School 5-part series are taken from our Checklist for Starting a School Year.

See parts 1-3 of our Back-to-Home-School Series in our online Newsletter Archives.

“Unless the Lord builds the house,
     They labor in vain who build it.”
(Psalm 127:1)

The most important thing you can do for your family this year is to establish spiritual priorities in your home.

Don’t let your many household duties, urgent physical needs, and educational activities overshadow your family's relationship with the Lord.

May the Lord bless 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.

Reading Made Easy: A Guide To Teach
Your Child To Read by Valerie Bendt

A Complete Phonics Curriculum
New: Four Accompanying Activity Books!

• 108 lessons (30 mins.
   ea., 3 days a week)
• Christian content
• Instructions and dialog
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• Writing, drawing, and
   hands-on activities
• Read full description and see samples at

1. Daily Devotions

Spend Time Together as a Family
with the Lord Every Day!

Be sure your family’s schedule includes daily time with the Lord.  Family Bible Time, or Devotions, do not need to be long or complicated.  Just do it!

 •  Set aside a regularly scheduled time each day, perhaps while everyone is still at the breakfast or dinner table or before going to bed at night.

 •  You can also read, quote, or meditate on Scripture with your family throughout the day.  For example, read a Psalm at the breakfast table, work on a memory verse after lunch, and have family Devotions with Dad in the evening.

Bible Reading

“And that from childhood
     you have known the Holy Scriptures,
     which are able to make you wise for salvation
     through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
     and is profitable for doctrine,
     for reproof, for correction,
     for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete,
     thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

(II Timothy 3:15-17)

Let God talk to you by reading His Word.  Reading the whole Bible through from cover to cover enables your family to hear God’s complete truth and helps prevent errors in interpretation and understanding.

 •  Teach your children to love and obey the Lord by helping them get to know Him and what He tells them to do in His written Word.

 •  You can read through the Bible each year in about 15 minutes a day – and you can start at any time.  (See schedules.)

 •  Take a few minutes to discuss what you’ve read.  Recall facts, test comprehension by paraphrasing, and make applications.

Most importantly, show your love for God and desire to know Him and respond to His message.  Your attitude will make a life-long impression.

Family Prayers

Teach your children to pray.

 •  Explain the ministry of praying for others as well as the comfort of casting our own cares on the Lord in prayer.

 •  Draw up a weekly prayer list or chart to help your family to be faithful in your ministry of prayer.

 •  Pray for political leaders, issues of concern, your family's goals, friends, unsaved people, items of thanksgiving, etc.

Learn Hymns and Sing Together

Music is a powerful influence in the spiritual lives of our families.  Learn and sing hymns together during family devotions, at mealtimes, in the car, or on special sing nights.

 •  Start by memorizing “Amazing Grace” or your favorite hymn.  Learn a new hymn each month, e.g., “And Can It Be,” "How Great Thou Art," “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” etc.

 •  Look for hymns that contain accurate theology and/or are based on Scripture.

 •  Read the background stories of individual hymns and their authors.  This will make their messages even more meaningful, e.g., “It Is Well with My Soul.”

 •  Explore the online Cyber Hymnal with 5,700 Christian hymns and Gospel songs, including lyrics, scores, background stories, pictures, history, and more.

Your Children’s Personal Devotions

As soon as your child can read, encourage him to read from God’s Word on his own at a certain time each day.  You could have him read it aloud to you for a while until he establishes the habit.

Sharing with your children what you have learned in your own personal devotions will encourage them as well!  Also teach him to:

 •  Think about what he has read.  Consider asking him to write notes in a journal.  He might look for attributes of God, instructions or good examples to follow, sins to avoid, etc.

 •  Do something about what he has read, such as share the truth with someone or change something in his own life.

 •  Pray.  Thank the Lord for what He has done; ask God for forgiveness; ask Him for what you need and to show you what He wants you to do.

Whatever else you do this school year, bring your family together to meet with the Lord each day!

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2. Discipling, Training, Disciplining,
    and Nurturing Your Children

Discipling Your Children

You disciple (teach and train) your children through your own example, your daily time together with the Lord, and your behavior throughout the day.

Your child’s salvation, spiritual growth, and right relationships with God and others give him with the inner ability to display the fruits of the Spirit (character qualities we want our children to have) – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

 •  Removing ungodly influences in your home will help furnish an atmosphere for godliness and diminish temptations.  Seek God’s wisdom and help, as this step can require courage!

Training and Disciplining Your Children

You might be tempted to think that it is self-serving to teach your children to obey and honor you, but it is for their own benefit.

You do yourself, your children, and their future families a grave disservice if you do not teach and require obedience and respect.

 •  Teach your child what God commands and promises about obeying and honoring their parents.  (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20)

 •  Have your children memorize pertinent verses (see above).

 •  Discuss ways of honoring parents in word, deed, and thought.  (See “For This Is Right” from Doorposts, containing Scripture and questions to help children evaluate their honor and obedience to their parents.)

 •  Establish child discipline and training, with husband and wife in agreement.

See "7 Guidelines for Child Training and Discipline" and "Child Training Resources" in the sidebar at the left.

Nurturing Your Children

Be sure to show your love to each of your children (and husband!) every day in tangible ways.  (See “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.)

 •  Tell them that you love them; leave a note for them under their pillow, etc.

 •  Thank them for something they have done or that you appreciate about them.

 •  Spend one-on-one time with them for a few minutes each day, or a longer time once a week (e.g., errands).  Be sure to listen to your child.

 •  Occasionally give small gifts.

 •  Acts of service define a mother's life, but sometimes a special effort can tell your child that you really love him.

 •  Physical contact, such as hugs, kisses, or pats on the back or shoulder.

A Family Night once a week does a lot to foster parent-child relations and is fun!  (See suggestions in the sidebar at the left.)

A positive atmosphere of mutual love and respect honors the Lord and helps your family grow spiritually.  It also makes teaching and learning more effective.

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Ferg N' Us Services
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3. Bible Study and Memorization

Bible Study

In addition to your family’s daily devotional time and Bible reading, you can further develop your children’s Bible knowledge and Bible study skills by adding a Bible class to your school schedule.

 •  Learn Bible study skills and study on your own.  (See “How Can I Understand The Bible?” 33-page pdf booklet online or order a printed copy from Radio Bible Class.)

 •  Order Bible curriculum from a publisher such asDeeper Roots Publications, A Beka Book, Bob Jones University Press, or Moody Bible Institute distance learning college credit courses.

Bible Memory

Through Bible memorization, you can store God's Word in the hearts of your children for a lifetime.  These Scriptures will be remembered long after your children leave your influence and teaching!

Bible passages committed to memory allows us to meditate on God’s Word.  This keeps us from sin and from being pressed into the World s mold.  (Psalm 119:11, Rom 12:2)

Memorize Bible passages together by drilling verse cards, reading or reciting aloud, or writing and rewriting them.  (Read tips on “How To Memorize Scripture.”)

 •  Learn verses that show the plan of salvation, or teach basic doctrines and attributes of God.

 •  Learn larger Scripture portions such as a Psalm (23, 19, or 91), the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Lord's Prayer, the Armor of God, the Fruits of the Spirit, etc.

 •  Young children can learn "Be" verses – be kind, be obedient, etc. (see free 39-page pdf book online from Awana) and verses starting with each letter of the alphabet (see free 57-page pdf book online from Awana).

 •  Put together your own Bible memory and review program and make verse cards, or use a program that comes with a Bible curriculum.

 •  Take a few minutes before each meal and/or bedtime to say a Bible memory verse together.

It is easy to learn one verse each week in this manner.  This adds up to 50 per year, or a total of 600, when learned from K to 12th grade!

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4. Fellowship, Service,
    and Evangelism


“And let us consider one another
     to provoke unto love and to good works:
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
     as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another:
     and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
(Hebrews 10:24-25)

Fellowship with like-minded, spiritual Christians is essential for our spiritual lives.

The fellowship and teaching of your local church supplies important support for your spiritual life.

When like-minded home-school families spend time together, they provide needed support and encouragement for the whole family.


“So then, while we have opportunity,
     let us do good to all people,
and especially to those who are
     of the household of the faith.”
(Galatians 6:10)

Service to others is an important part of our spiritual lives in obedience to God.  Our service helps provide for the needs of others, gets our attention off of ourselves and onto others, and can make us thankful for God's blessings to us.

Some opportunities to serve include your church, support group, rescue mission, retirement home, meals on wheels, crisis pregnancy center, animal shelter, etc.  Working together as a family ensures that your children are safe and that the family shares a unifying goal.

Besides serving others, volunteering offers an opportunity to learn new skills and explore career possibilities.

Some of the nicest things you and/or your children can do to help neighbors or church members who are elderly, busy, or physically challenged, include mowing their lawns or cooking them a meal.


“Go ye into all the world,
     and preach the gospel to every creature.”
(Mark 16:15)

Our great commission to share the good news of salvation is both a command and a privilege.  It is also a natural outgrowth of our spiritual life.

 •  Pray that the Lord will direct you to a ministry and bring people into your life that you can witness to – and He will!

 •  Revolutionize your vision and methods of evangelism by listening to or reading “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.”

 •  Use tracts to spread the Gospel.  Read tips on why and how to use tracts online by Dan Southern, president, American Tract Society.

 •  Order tracts such as “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation” (in many languages); and Gospels of John (available from the Pocket Testament League in several English translations, as well as Spanish and Chinese, all with the plan of salvation included).

 •  Pray that the seeds of God’s Word you have planted will bear eternal fruit.

 •  Write out a 2-3 sentence testimony and practice saying it naturally.

Example: “When I realized that I had broken God's law and was a sinner, I gratefully accepted the free salvation that Jesus Christ offered me.” Then quote John 3:16 and extend an invitation by saying, “If you repent (turn from your sin) and trust in Him, God will give you everlasting life.”

 •  Teach your children about worldwide missions, the missionaries your church supports, and help them develop a heart for Missions (see suggestions in Newsletter #145).


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