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

Site Developed by
KARMAN Graphics and Design


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

Ergonomic Considerations

As you set up various work areas in your home, make sure they fit the needs of your family members, or can be adjusted for each one.

This will help your children learn healthy computer habits and develop good posture, while preventing pain, strain, or future health problems.

 •  Desk
Use a desk or table of the correct height to allow for work in the neutral position, forearms parallel to the floor with elbows bent at a 90-110 angle.

 •  Chair
Avoid rounded or curved seats that encourage slouched postures.

 •  Adjustments
If necessary, adjust the chair height with a cushion or pad on the seat to raise the height of the child in relation to the work surface or keyboard.  Use a back cushion, pillow or rolled-up towel for back support.

 •  Legs
The child's knees should be positioned at an approximate 90- to 120- degree angle.

 •  Feet
If feet do not reach the floor with heels on the floor, place a box or footstool under them.

 •  Monitor
The monitor should be directly in front of the child, 18-28 inches from the eyes, at or below the child's eye level.

 •  Wrists
The wrists should be straight when keying or using the mouse, not angled up or down.

 •  Copy Holder
Purchase a clip copy holder that mounts on the side of your monitor, a small document holder, or a copy board for the computer which will allow the child to look up at the work being typed instead of down at the table.

 •  Keyboard
Consider a small sized keyboard for younger children.

 •  Eyes
Reduce eyestrain with adequate lighting, no glare on the monitor screen (tip bottom edge slightly back), and frequent breaks to look at a more distant object.  Blinking helps keep the eyes moist.

 •  Eye Exercise: Palming
Learn to do this simple eye exercise to help reduce eyestrain.
1. Place your cupped hands over your closed eyes without touching your eyes.
2. Overlap fingers and rest on your forehead without putting pressure on your face.
3. Sit quietly for 1-2 minutes.  The more relaxed you become, the blacker the darkness you will see with your eyes closed.

 •  Water
Because your child's muscles need adequate hydration to avoid injury, encourage him to drink an adequate amount of liquids (a little less than the average of eight 8-ounce glasses recommended for adults).

 •  Breaks
Set a timer by the computer and have your children take a stretch break every 15-20 minutes.

For More Information

 •  Ergonomics for Computer Workstations with stretches and eye exercises.

 •  A short summary and stretches.

 •  In-depth information.

 •  Stretches you can do in your office by Mayo Clinic staff.

"Homeschool Groupons"

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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.)

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.

"The Teaching Home has been a part of my continuing education since I started homeschooling, and I have kept every issue.

"I often go back to old issues to find creative, helpful hints or inspiration."  – Meredith C., Florida

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Sunnyside Up

Allusive Antonym

I was explaining the meaning of the word fiction to our 2nd-grade daughter.

"If make-believe stories are fiction," I inquired, "then what do you suppose we call true stories?"

"Faction," she confidently responded.

Submitted by Carolyn N., Ohio.

Send your humorous anecdote to

God's Plan
of Salvation

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)

God's Word

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

The Teaching Home's
Unique Bible Reading Schedule

Features include:
•  Start any month.
•  Read 6 days a week
   (allows for church on Sunday).
•  Read 4 weeks per month
   (24 days per month).
Online at

Listen to the Bible Online.  Choose from six English versions (plus Spanish and other languages) at

Search God's Word at  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:

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.

Christian Music Online 24/7!

Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) when you tune in to these online stations:

 •  Old Christian Radio

 •  Abiding Radio


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Please help us make this newsletter better by letting us know what we are doing correctly, where we need to improve, and topics you would like addressed.

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Copyright 2011 The Teaching Home



  Part 4

    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.”

 •  Invite a Friend!  Encourage your friends and support group to sign up to receive these free newsletters.

 •  Use this content.  See "Free Reprint" information in sidebar.

 •  See Online Archives for Homeschool Foundations Series, Parts 1-3.

 •  See "Checklist for Starting a School Year."

 Homeschool Foundations Series,  Part 4 

Ready Your Home for School

1.  Clear Out and Clean Your Home
2.  Establish Daily Chores and Routines
3.  Set Up Your School Space
4.  Organize Your Home Library


•  Ergonomic Considerations

 Recommended Resources 

•  FergNus Services: "Jelly-Proof" Homeschooler's Journal
•  Judah Bible Curriculum: Self-Evident Truths
•  Birch Court Books: Teaching Aids for Parents
•  Logos Language Institute: New Downloadable Formats


Can you imagine how much easier your life and home schooling would be 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.

However, household organization will bring many benefits to your family, including:

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

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

 •  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.

 •  Less need for extra storage space.

 •  A pleasant and efficient environment for work and study.

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

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 homeschool, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.

The Perfect Organizational Tool
for Your Homeschool – since 1991

     Keep your lesson plans and records in one handy journal.  Use for unit study and/or structured text method.

 1.  Homeschooler's Journal  (for one or more children) 
 2.  The Homeschooler's High School Journal  (per child) 

     These durable journals, with plastic "Jelly-Proof" covers and bindings that lay flat, include:
• Subject Logs for 200 Days
• Spaces for Assignments/Tests
• Field Trip Logs
• Multiple Calendars
• Objective/Resource Pages
• Individual Library Lists
• Lending Resource Log
• Check-Off for Yearly Requirements
Many more features    Low Cost – Only $10.95 each

 The Math Journal.   Keep math work together, place values aligned, and more$2.00 or one Free with every three of the Homeschooler's Journals.

FergNus Services
See information and order at
Wholesale Vendors Welcome  Phone (315) 287-9131

1.  Clear Out and Clean Your Home

Declutter Your Home with the Four Box Method

Getting rid of unused items in your home and storing little-used ones out of the way will make things a whole lot easier for you all year long!

The “Four-Box Dejunking Method” below is recommended by many experts to help you identify and dispose of clutter.

 •  Get four boxes and label them:
1)  Throw Away
2)  Give Away or Sell
3)  Storage
4)  Put Away

 •  Clear your home, room by room, and item by item.

 •  Make a decision about each item you pick up and place it in the correct box.

 •  Schedule time before you stop working each day to appropriately dispose of box contents.

Resources To Help You Get Your House in Order

Newsletter #246.  Read tips about how to:
 •  Plan decluttering strategies
 •  Find a place for everything
 •  Deal with clutter
 •  Keep clutter out of your home

The Organized Home.  Many pages of free information about how to organize, declutter, simplify, and clean your home at, including:
 •  Cutting clutter
 •  Cleaning
 •  Getting organized
 •  Household notebook - instructions and free printables

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

Don Aslett's Cleaning Center.  Clean like a professional – quick and easy – with information and products from Don Aslett's Cleaning Center.
 •  Demo videos
 •  Articles
 •  Book, Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time To De-junk
    Your Life!
by Don Aslett.

Do a Thorough Cleaning

A thorough house cleaning from attic to basement may be easier to do during summer break.

 •  You might want to set aside a week, or a full or partial day each week, for cleaning until it is done.

 •  As you clean, continue using the 4-box method of getting rid of clutter.

 •  Find professional cleaning products and notes on how to use them at Don Aslett’s

 •  Clean each room and and deal with each and every item, nook, and cranny.  See a week-by-week, room-by-room cleaning plan.

 •  Clean as a team.  Assign each member of your family a chore (some may want to specialize) and see how much more you can do by working together.

What parents need to pass down to their children about God, government & America!

 Self-Evident Truths 
 The American Philosophy of Government 

New Resource

•  Give your children a comprehensive life-long understanding of the Biblical roots of the American philosophy of government.

•  Learn from the Bible and the American founding documents.

•  Study the Biblical worldview of government written in simple terms for you to digest.

e-Book, downloadable pdf format - Only $7
Read an excerpt at
•  YouTube video: The Three Philosophies of Government

Judah Bible Curriculum

2.  Establish Daily Chores
     and Routines

This is another foundational block that will pay dividends by making your home run smoothly, especially through the school months.

Family Teamwork

Each member of the family can and should have responsibilities that make a contribution to the success of the whole family.

When you can, schedule chores so that the whole family is actually working together at the same time.  This is not only extremely encouraging to each one, but it also provides a good example of your attitude towards work and your diligence in doing a good job.

Teaching Life Skills

We can use chores as double duty – to keep our homes running efficiently and to teach our children responsibility and life skills.

Your children's training and practice in various life skills will grow as they work with you.  When able, children may take responsibility for entire areas, thus rehearsing for adult life.


Assign chores. A chore chart on the refrigerator makes sure everyone knows what their duties are, and checking off the jobs that are done provides motivation.

For a simple list of chores, read "Magic Minimum: Cleaning Secret of Organized Families."

"Service Opportunities Chart" from Doorposts will help you simplify chore assignments and teach your children biblical principles of work.


Describe chores.  Write out a 3x5 card with the name of the chore, what it entails, check points to tell if the job is completed, the estimated time the job should take, and what supplies to use.

Cleaning Supplies

Consider homemade, nontoxic, and low-cost cleaning products.  See recipes at

Also keep supplies close to the job, even if that means two sets of supplies (e.g., for the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms).


Take time to train your children how to do each job to your standards and on time.  Have your child watch you do the job as you explain it, then have him do the job while you watch and offer confirmation or correction.


Read these online articles for more information and tips.

 •  "Speed Cleaning Tips from Cleaning Pros."

 •  "7 Ways To Teach Responsibility through Chores" in Newsletter #45

 •  "The Advantages of Habits" in Newsletter #89

 •  "17 Ways To Form Good Habits" in Newsletter #90.

Teaching Aids for Parents –
for a Great Start to Your School Year!

Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children's Literature by Elizabeth Wilson.  Excellent resource describing 100s of books – all well written and consistent with Christian values. $15.99

Addition; Subtraction Math Gear Fast Facts. Master math facts with these fun spinning wheels for age 4+ $7.99 ea.

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Only 20 minutes a day; phonics based. Each lesson is scripted and includes everything for the student's daily work. Ages 4-6. $19

States and Capitals Songs CD by Audio Memory. Plus a poster map of the US to label and color. $12.95

Success with Unit Studies by Valerie Bendt. The five R's of Unit Studies: Research, Reading, Writing, Recording, and Reporting. For veteran and new homeschoolers. $7

Birch Court Books
Free Media Mail Shipping with $20 Purchase  Free catalog.  800-655-1811
N7137 County Hwy. C, Seymour WI 54165
Find Family-Safe Games at

3.  Set Up Your School Space

For Study and School Work

Determine what space you will use for school.  This may vary from subject to subject or from child to child, but might include:

 •  Kitchen table for math and writing.

 •  Couches in living room for multi-age classes or reading.

 •  Desk for older child's independent study.  (See suggestions for setting up an office for your teen that sends a message that study is serious business.

 •  Computer stations.
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 the Internet.

See "Ergonomic Considerations" in the sidebar at left.

For Others in the Home

Also establish space where those not in school (preschoolers, husbands with a day off, etc.) can be free to enjoy themselves without disturbing students.

For Storage of School Supplies

Set aside space for school books, reference books, supplies, and records:

 •  Use shelves, drawers, or sturdy plastic crates or boxes

 •  Label clearly (with a child's name, subject, or item) so everyone knows where to return things

 •  Ensure spaces are easily accessible and ample enough to add more items without crowding.

Find many innovative and practical ideas in "Storage Strategies for Homeschool Families."

 NEW!    All programs are now available in instant downloadable formats – PDF text & MP3 audio! 

Best for Witnessing in Another Language!
Ideal for Mission Trips / Homeschoolers

21 Languages – Introductory Study Packets

Notebook & Audio with:
• 200+ everyday and
  witnessing phrases
• Plan of salvation
• Scriptures

• Use alone or with another foreign language program.

• Low cost: Printed Notebook & Audio CD Set - $15-$19
  PDF text and MP3 audio downloads - $7.50 each

Spanish – Introductory Study Packet & Complete 6-Level Program to become fluent in Spanish for ministry.

The unique Logos Method by Dr. Mike Thomas features:
• Repetition of short phrases
• Simple, conversational approach; no grammar required
• "Leveled learning" in small pieces
• Reinforcement by listening to native speakers
• Integration of spiritual/biblical vocabulary
Listen Audio Program Sample #1 and Sample #2.

Logos Language Institute   1-800-445-6467

Homeschooler: "Your program is fun, and it works."

Preparing for next mission trip: "The phonetic rendering makes it easier to get the pronunciation."

Short term missionary: "Secular studies cost much more and don't have the witnessing information."

4.  Organize Your Home Library

Homeschoolers never have too many books; they just don't have enough bookshelves!

To organize your library, first go through all the books in your home and sort them:

 •  Throw away any books that are not worth saving or giving away.

 •  Instead of keeping boxes of old workbooks that your children have done, consider removing the cover and a few sample pages from each one, then staple them together and file them.

 •  Give away or sell duplicate books unless they are really great, hard-to-get books that you want to keep to loan out or save for your children’s future libraries.

 •  Check with friends who might want to trade curriculum.

 •  Sell books in a yardsale or on the Internet on ABE Books or

 •  Clean books as you go with safe methods that will help preserve them, e.g. turn books upside down so the dust won't sift between the pages before vacuuming or using a duster.

 •  Store like books together in different places in your home.  Examples:

-  Children’s personal reading books in their bedrooms
-  Reference books in your library or family area
-  Current school books together by each child’s grade
-  Bibles and Bible study books
-  Other like categories together

 •  You might want to safely store books that your children want to take with them when they start their own families.

When you have completed work on your library you should be able to find and use your books better!


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