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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
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The Teaching Home
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement


Volume II, Number 13                                 Sept. 5, 2002

Table of Contents

  • Back-to-HOME-School (Part 2 of 4)
  •      1. Teaching More Than One Child at a Time
  •      2. Separate Classes for Basic Skill Development
  •      3. Combined Classes (plus Examples)
  •      4. Covering All Your Bases
  •      5. Include Dad Too!
  •      6. Combining Both Students & Subjects
  • Sept. 6-8: National Days of Prayer and Remembrance
  • Grandparents Day
  • Jewish Holidays in September
  • Sunny Side Up (Humorous Anecdote)


         Are you all set for back-to-HOME-school with goals, plans, procedures, schedules, lesson plans, supplies . . . ?

         If not, join the club, but don't be discouraged! Many home-school families ease into the beginning of their school year.

         It is better to take some time at the beginning of the year to be sure your plans are realistic and attainable, than to become bogged down and overloaded later.

         Of course, our number one suggestion is to seek the Lord for wisdom, guidance, and strength! God warns us about laboring in our own strength and promises His provision for us in Psalm 127:1, 3:

         Unless the Lord builds the house,
              They labor in vain who build it;
         It is vain for you to rise up early,
              To retire late,
              To eat the bread of painful labors;
         For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

         In "Back-to-HOME-School, part 2" we will explore different possibilities of teaching several or all of your children at once -- dividing your work and multiplying your effectiveness.

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

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    * Find straight answers to help build healthy music standards in the book Harmony at Home.
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    * Visit Us Online

    Teaching More Than One Child at a Time

         If you are a veteran home educator, you probably already know how to conserve time and effort by teaching several of your children together in one class.

         There are many possible variations, and there may be exceptions and different combinations each year, but here are some general guidelines.

    Separate Classes for Basic Skill Development

         Subjects that depend on mastery of certain building-block skills (before others can be learned and understood) must be taught separately. Your children will need individual instruction and practice in these subjects.

         Beginning levels of reading, math, grammar, and penmanship would fall into this category.

         After the basics are learned, children of different skill levels can read together (or follow along in the reading) or review and drill basic math facts together.

         When one student is receiving individual attention, the others need to be prepared in advance to use their time constructively, working independently.

         Older children can take turns supervising young ones while Mother tutors the new reader, or Big Sister or Brother might do some of the tutoring.

    Combined Classes

         Subjects like literature, geography, history, science, Bible, and electives which do not depend on prerequisite skills for understanding, can be taught to the whole family together.

         Teaching classes to all, several, or most of your children together will save you much time and energy.

         Some home educators are able to have each child in an independent class by themselves for each subject, and if that works for them -- great! However, many find this format too much to handle.

         You may find some new benefits of home schooling your family together if you combine students for one or more classes. There is a group chemistry that comes from the interaction with other learners that can enrich the bonds of common experiences and provide motivation and enjoyment in learning.


         Here are a few examples of how you can do this:

         * Read together from an intermediate or higher level text book (depending on the ages of your children) and supplemental materials, stopping to explain words or concepts to younger ones and inserting your own thoughts that you want to teach to your children.

         * After your study together, children could be given different assignments or amounts of the assignment depending on their age and skill level. Older students can do extra reading or research.

         * Written or oral reports can then be reviewed at the beginning of your next class period.

         * Alternately, each of your children could read and study the same subject using different books, each on his own level. Then discussions and projects can include the whole family.

         * If you have a very large family with a wide rage of ages, you may want to have two group classes for one subject area: one for the younger group and one for the older ones. If they were studying the same content in each class, they could then combine some of the supplemental activities such as a discussion, project, educational video, or field trip.

    Learn More
         Two Teaching Home Back Issues contain Special Sections on teaching several children at once.
    March/April 1997: Multilevel Teaching (11 pages)
    Oct./Nov. 1991: Home Schooling a Houseful (16 pages)
    TTH Store: Sections on teaching several children at once.

    (Back-to-HOME-School is continued below.)

              Your magazine is not a one-time read-through
         for me. Even after several years of filing them, on
         numerous occasions I have retrieved articles to
         reread, sometimes to search for ideas and at other
         times to gain a fresh perspective. What a helpful
         resource, even years later!
              -- Louise L., Saskatchewan, Canada

    The Teaching Home Back Issues
         The Teaching Home Back Issues never go out of date. They are timeless classics, always applicable to your needs today.

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  • Each Issue Is Pictured and All Articles Are Listed.
  • Search for Topics Two Ways.

         Make your teaching easier, more fun, and more enriching by reading through The Teaching Home Back Issues.

    Back-to-HOME-School (Continued)
    Covering All Your Bases

         You may be wondering (hopefully, not worrying) how to cover all the subjects for each grade level when you combine different-aged students in one class.

         Most publishers cover any given subject several time throughout grades K-12, repeating subject matter three or four times. For example, American history may be covered, in increasing depth and detail, in kindergarten, 3rd, 7th, and 10th grades.

         A publisher's scope and sequence can show you this repetition and rotation of subjects (see links to three online versions below).

         All publishers will cover the major areas of a subject, but each may select different details to include. You do not have to worry about getting everything just so, because there is not only one "right curriculum" or scope and sequence.

    Free Online Scope and Sequence
    A Beka
    Bob Jones University Press
         For an example of how most textbooks repeat subject matter at different grade levels, see the site below and click on a subject such as "Heritage Studies."
    Alpha Omega Publications

    Include Dad Too!

         Dad might like to join in a class if your family would take time in the evening to read and discuss a subject with him, rather than watch TV or do individual activities. This could be very motivating for your children and an excellent way for Dad to have an opportunity to participate and teach in your home school.

    Combining Both Students & Subjects

         Another way to teach your children together is through a unit study.

         Teach the building-block subjects such as beginning reading and math separately. Other subjects such as literature, history, science, and Bible can be integrated around a particular theme (see link below for free sample).

    Unit Study Curriculum
    Konos Curriculum
         Konos offers a free download of a sample week of their curriculum. This will acquaint you with how a unit study works.
    The Weaver Curriculum
         (Note: This page may look blank, but scroll down.)
    Education Plus

         As you explore some of the above teaching options, you can design a plan that will help you work smarter, not harder. Your whole family can participate together in the joy of learning.


    Milliken Publishing Company
         Publishers of supplemental curriculum, math, and reading software and a full line of reproducible workbooks, since 1960. Check out our new Single User software products at Click on Milliken Store, then search on "Single User."

    Presidential Proclamation: September 6-8
    National Days of Prayer and Remembrance

         Excerpts from President Bush's proclamation:

         As we remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and the thousands of innocent lives lost on that day, we recall as well the outpouring of compassion and faith that swept our Nation in the face of the evil done that day.

         In designating September 6-8 as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, I ask all Americans to join together in cities, communities, neighborhoods, and places of worship to honor those who were lost, to pray for those who grieve, and to give thanks for God's enduring blessings on our land.

         I ask that the people of the United States and places of worship mark these National Days of Prayer and Remembrance with memorial services, the ringing of bells, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils.

         I invite the people of the world to share in these Days of Prayer and Remembrance.

         Read the complete text at

    Sunday, Sept. 8th
    Grandparent's Day

         The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide.

         Make Grandparent's Day last all year by:

    1. Recording your grandparents' accounts of family history, special memories, and advice to their grandchildren.

    2. Visit a nursing home. Offer to do a short, informal program of singing together, playing a musical instrument, or reading a poem.

         You do not need to be polished or professional for your audience to love seeing your smiling faces. They will appreciate a hug or hand shake and a few warm words of friendship.

    Play Time, Faith Time!
         Discounts up to 40% off Retail! Toys and games that plant seeds of faith in young hearts. Add Christian Values to your child’s play time with toys from "Best to You" that delight and capture young hearts for Jesus.

    Jewish Holidays in September

         There are several Jewish holidays in September. Annie's Feasts of the Bible pages have much information, Bible links, recipes, customs, links to Jewish sites.

    Sept. 7: Rosh Hashanah
         The Jewish New Year and the Feast of Trumpets.

    Sept. 16: Yom Kippur
         Day of Atonement, the most important day of the Jewish year. It is a time for us to consider Jesus as our atonement.

    Sept. 21-27: Succoth
         The Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) is a festival of thanksgiving.

    Sept. 29: Simchat Torah
         A festival of rejoicing in the Torah, marks the end of the annual cycle of readings from the Torah.
         This would be a good time to start (or restart) reading through the Bible in a year. The Teaching Home has an online schedule that takes you through the Bible in a year by reading just 15 or 20 minutes 6 days a week (allows for church on Sunday), four weeks per month. This gives you 4-7 days each month to catch up and stay on schedule. See complete information, and links to other reading plans at

    Audio Classics Audiobooks
         Charlton Heston, Walter Cronkite, and more bring to life history’s greatest events and influential thinkers. Learn about Plato, Socrates, The Revolutionary War, The Bill of Rights, The Civil War and over 135 more topics.

    Sunny Side Up: Reading Comprehension

         Our 6-year-old, Sarah, was becoming proficient at reading road signs. As we were traveling down the road, she suddenly exclaimed, "Dad, you went right past it!"
         "Right past what?" Dad replied.
         "That sign said, `Do Not Pass'!"

         Submitted by Cathy V., Ohio. You are invited to send a humorous anecdote too.

    God Loves You.

         Because we were separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus 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).

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