the Heart of Your Child" is the subject line
of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.
Four Books To Help You Parent Your Child
the Heart of Your Child by Diane Moore
Pure Kids in an Impure World by Richard and Renee Durfield
the Wild Child by Miles McPherson
Wonderful Way Babies Are Made by Larry Christenson
Do you enjoy this free newsletter and
find it helpful?
If so, please forward it on to your friends
and/or support group, and let
them know that they can sign up at http://www.teachinghome.com/SignUp.
Table of Contents
5 Steps to a Strong Finish for Your School Year
Step 1: Plan Your Finish
Step 2: Record
Step 3: Evaluate
Step 4: Prepare To Plan
Step 5: Celebrate and Share
NorthStar HomeSchool and Independent Study
The Teaching Home Back Issues
Jackson Hole Bible College
Softbasics Free Math Tri-Pak Software
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote
As the end of your school year draws near,
don't just fade away,
perhaps in discouragement over perceived failure to reach all your
goals. Instead, make a strong finish through the five steps suggested
in this newsletter.
May the Lord bless you and your family for
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Sisters and Co-Editors
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
State Home-School Conventions
The Teaching Home's website (below) lists
events, dates, and links to complete information.
May. AR, FL, IL, NJ, NC, WV, WI, WY / NB
June. CO, CT, ID, IL, IA, KS, MT, NY, OH, SC, SD, TX,
July. AL, AZ, CA, KY, TN / NZ August. OR,
Read "Getting the Most Out of Home-School
5 Steps to a Strong Finish
for Your School Year
The five activities described below are all
of finishing a school year. Whether or not you were able to
accomplish all you had intended to this year, these steps will
help you benefit from what you did accomplish.
Step 1: Plan Your Finish
What do you do if your school year is almost
done -- but
your studies are not?
What Not To Do
Do not panic, feel guilty, or envy those who
are on schedule.
What To Do
Talk to the Lord and your husband. Lay
out the situation
and possible solutions.
Then write out a "Let's Finish Strong" plan
for 2-4 weeks.
1. Concentrate on the Basics.
The three Rs (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic)
"building block" skills. Other subjects are important, but they
can be postponed for the short term in the interest of
solidifying basic skills.
Find specific goals and practical how-to help
15-part Basic Skills series online in our Newsletter Archives:
• Teach Reading with Phonics http://Vol19.notlong.com
• Spelling http://Vol32.notlong.com
• Grammar http://Vol34.notlong.com
• Writing http://Vol37.notlong.com
• Math http://Vol38.notlong.com
2. Determine Level of Competence
Keeping in mind the relative importance of
the vast amount
of knowledge you have to teach will help you prioritize your
focus and schedule
Your children need only a casual acquaintance
details presented in their curriculum. When time is at a
premium, spend more of it on things that must be learned more
thoroughly right now.
Other parts of your curriculum, such as overall
history and major concepts of science and math, need to be
understood more thoroughly.
Some detailed information needs to be mastered.
includes the essentials of any discipline, such as instant recall
of math facts and operations, and the rules of phonics, spelling,
Good computerized drill programs (in a game
straight facts) are useful for memory aids.
• Print Out Free Triangular Math Facts Cards
• Softbasics offers free math facts and concepts software.
• Improving Your Memory: 20 Memory Techniques
• Games for Memory Work, Drill, and Review
3. Review What You Have
Review is a powerful part of learning.
Reviews can be
accomplished in a series of short periods.
Flashcards (bought or home made) are helpful
factual information. Write the word or information to be learned
on one side and the definition or explanation on the other.
These cards can be used while sitting at the table waiting for
lunch or in playing board games (each player must answer a card
on his level before a turn is taken).
Laminated quick review guides (bought or home
posters also provide review aids. http://www.barcharts.com
Rhodes College offers study skill tips at
4. Save Some for Summer.
If you choose to concentrate on basic skills
at this time,
you may want to postpone other subjects to finish during the
For instance, you might take one or more days
a week during
June to read and discuss history in a leisurely fashion. Do the
same during July for science, and August for music and art.
You might find that your family greatly enjoys
relaxed schedule, more time to devote to the subject and related
interests, and the focus of concentrating on just one subject at
Summer would also be a good time to add unit
trips, supplemental reading, and software to enhance your studies
or for a child to pursue a personal interest.
Start a School
With Just One Teacher!
With NorthStar HomeSchool and
Independent Study (HIS) program,
churches, small schools, and parents
can start their own junior and/or senior high school with just
one teacher (or adult supervisor)! Please visit
or call 1-888-464-6280
today to learn more about this exciting opportunity!
Step 2: Record
Set aside a day or more to do the necessary
gathering, filing, and recording the year's schoolwork. The
rewards are that:
• You can find your records easily.
• Your children have meaningful memorabilia.
• You get more space for more books and materials.
• You might even be able to sell books you don't need anymore
for some extra cash to (you guessed it) buy
Gather up all your schoolwork for the year,
then sort and
dispose of everything appropriately (suggestions follow).
• Select samples of work for each child in each area of
studies to put in their permanent files.
• Send some samples to Grandma (with the clear understanding
that she is free to toss them after enjoying
them for a while).
• Give each child a certain amount of space in which to
what he wants.
• Throw out the rest.
• Store some books for younger siblings.
• Shelve some books for reference
• Give some away (to a family who needs them, your support
group's library, or a thrift store).
• Trade some with another family.
• Sell some at a local used curriculum sale, a garage sale,
online. (e.g., http://www.HomeschoolBooksale.com)
You might need to keep a record or a portfolio
children's studies to comply with your state's laws or an
umbrella organization, as well as for your own benefit. Choose
any or all of the following options.
__ Record the date and student's name after he finishes each
concept on your scope and sequence chart or
• A Beka Scope and Sequence
• The Typical Courses of Study by World Book
• Standards and testing by state.
__ Use lesson plans as records, checking off and dating each
assignment or objective as it is done.
__ Keep track of hours spent by subject if you are required to do
so by your state law or wish to for your own
(e.g., for a high school transcript).
__ Copy records of family projects, unit studies, field trips,
etc. for each child's individual file as applicable.
__ Keep a journal for each day of a unit study, briefly listing
books read or activities done.
__ List all books read by the family or individual students,
including the title, author, and publisher.
(A brief description
of contents and personal evaluation will make
this list more
valuable to you and your children in the future.)
__ Place artwork and writing assignments in a notebook or file.
__ Take 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
as well as pages of school work, compositions,
__ Place your records in a labeled box for the year or for each child.
__ Create a yearbook by placing photos, sample work, and other
memorabilia in a scrapbook.
__ 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.
ATCO School Supply http://www.atco1.com/catalog.asp?section=23
Never Out of Date:
Teaching Home Magazine
Find information, inspiration, and support
from 51 back issues of The Teaching Home.
Step 3: Evaluate
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
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
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
Please do not let this evaluation discourage
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 did you not learn that you would have liked to?
__ 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 studies?
__ Did we use a variety of teaching methods and materials,
including textbooks, workbooks, unit
activities, computer software, library
or supervised Internet
research, field trips, oral and written
__ Were thinking skills taught and encouraged by the types of
discussions we had (e.g., comprehension,
synthesis, application, and evaluation).
__ Were the following educational resources available and their
use encouraged and modeled: reference
books, videos, tapes,
educational games, software, supervised
__ Was there enough good supplemental reading done as a family
__ Were there time, resources, and encouragement available to
pursue individual interests?
__ Were Bible knowledge and Bible study skills increased?
__ Were Bible reading and memorization given at least as much
importance as academic studies?
__ Were subjects taught from a Christian worldview?
__ Was character development an important part of our school
(e.g., honor and obedience to mother
as the teacher and parent;
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
__ Were life skills included in your training and related to
academic subjects (budgeting, cooking,
cleaning, organization, scheduling,
repairs, maintaining a house,
yard, car, voting, finding information
by phone, letter, or
supervised Internet use)?
__ Was the schedule realistic and easy to keep? Too strict
too lax? Was doing schoolwork
a regular, daily habit (along with
chores and personal grooming)?
__ Were the classes we did as a group interesting, and did they
allow each student to learn?
__ Did we have a good balance between group and independent
__ Was mother available for help when needed? Was there
for alternative activities or procedures
when she was
__ Did we care for our toddlers and babies in the best way for
them and for our studies?
__ Were our class settings appropriate and conducive to learning
(e.g., dining room table, couch, individual
__ Did we have enough, not enough, or too much independent
study? Was 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?
__ What do you want to do the same or differently next year?
A Quality Program Combining
Outdoor Recreational Activities
and Solid Biblical Teaching
Jackson Hole Bible College is a one-year,
in-depth study of the scriptures with a
creation emphasis that gives a Biblical foundation and Christian
worldview with transferable credits.
• Located in the beautiful Jackson Hole valley in Wyoming.
• Excursions to Yellowstone, Mt. St. Helens, and Grand
are included in the one-year study.
• Enjoy being a part of a very small student body.
For more information see http://www.jhbc.edu.
Step 4: Prepare To Plan
Use your evaluation outcomes to make general,
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 your evaluation.
Make quick notes beside certain answers on
forms. Then set dates for your comprehensive planning for next
year, allowing time for purchasing and becoming familiar with any
Step 5: Celebrate and Share
A celebration gives a nice closure to this
section of your
studies and ends on a positive note which will help propel you
forward into your next scheduled studies or activities.
1. Praise the Lord!
Together as a family, thank the Lord for your
the opportunity and freedom to home school, and for the guidance,
wisdom, and strength He provided this year.
2. Plan an Event
• Invite neighbors, friends, or relatives to an open house.
This can be combined with another family if
of schoolwork, projects, and art.
Give oral, musical,
or dramatic presentations.
• Have a party, dinner, or picnic with another home-school
family or families.
• Take an educational field trip or an outing just for
your family or others.
3. Find someone else that you can encourage and help.
Reach out to another family that is home schooling
considering beginning. Point them to the Lord to find the
guidance, wisdom, and strength that they need. Offer moral
support and/or practical help.
Softbasics Math Tri-Pak Software (USA only).
free software to help your children, age 6-13,
achieve mastery of math facts and concepts.
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.
Boston Test Prep Online SAT Program
NorthStar Academy and NorthStar HomeSchool
Praiseworthy Books: A Guide to Newbery Medal Winners
Bright Beginnings: Complete Christian Preschool Curriculum
The Third Alternative: Christian Self-government
When our son Aaron was 4 and his sister Kimberly
was 6, they
liked to play "mud pies" or just dig around in the yard with a spoon
or small spade. Unfortunately they didn't always remember to
their things away when they were finished.
One day as we arrived home from being out
and about, I
noticed Aaron and Kimberly had once again failed to pick up after
playing in the dirt. As we pulled into the driveway I remarked,
"There is a spoon in the driveway! Who left a spoon in the
Aaron, in his 4-year-old innocent voice, answered,
the driveway? Spoon in the driveway? I've heard of a fork
the road, but not a spoon in the driveway!"
Submitted by Pam Clements
God Loves You.
Because we have been separated from God by
Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust
Christ 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).
To Unsubscribe. Please reply to
this message and type
"Unsubscribe" in the subject line.
Change of E-Mail Address. Please
send your name,
old e-mail address, and new e-mail address.
For Information on Advertising in this
E-Mail Newsletter Reprint Policy. This
copyright 2005 by The Teaching Home. Permission is given to
forward or to print and distribute this e-mail in its entirety.
Individual articles from this E-Mail Newsletter may also be reprinted
unedited in their entirety. Please include "by Cindy Short and
Welch" and print the following at the end of the article(s): "Copyright
2005 by The Teaching Home, www.TeachingHome.com. Reprinted
Please Note: We do not give permission
to post articles on a website.
Reprints from The Teaching Home Magazine.
a Request Form and note the reprint policies.