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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
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     You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

     The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #44
     Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

     August 3, 2003 / Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

Table of Contents

  • Steps in Choosing Curriculum for Your Home School
        1. Learn about Different Methods and Materials.
        2. Assess Each Child.
        3. Set Goals and Objectives.
        4. Consider Pertinent Factors.
        5. Decide Which of Your Children You Can Teach Together.
        6. Match Your Needs with Available Materials.
        7. Order or Buy Basic Materials.
        8. Collect Supplemental Materials.
  • Recommended Resources
        Highlights for Children
        Nallenart's French Program
        NorthStar Academy
        The Teaching Home Back Issues
  • Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote


         August is back-to-(home)-school time! As home schoolers, we have a different list of back-to-school items to obtain -- we get to choose not only pencils and notebooks, but also the actual curriculum we will be teaching this year.

         As Christians, we have the wonderful opportunity of presenting each subject from a Christian philosophy and helping our children to apply their new knowledge in godly ways.

         This can seem like an overwhelming task or a joyful privilege. (See the perspective in the "Sunny Side Up" at the end of this e-mail.) We trust that our basic list of reminders will make it easier for you to think through decisions. But most of all we recommend that you ask our loving Lord for the wisdom He has promised to those who ask in faith believing that He will answer (James1:5).

    Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
    The Teaching Home is a 22-year-old, home-school family business.

    Combine Work and Play at home!
    NEW Highlights for Children Party Plan Company.

         Highlights-Jigsaw offers educational, fun toys, games, puzzles, books and more for babies to adults.
         Great Home Business Opportunity! Earn generous commissions and discounted products. Learn more and share with a friend! Click Here.

    Steps in Choosing Curriculum for Your Home School

         There is not just one right way to home school. One of the great advantages of home education is its extreme flexibility. Each family is free to choose from among many excellent options the educational philosophies, methods, materials, and schedules that best suit its needs.

    1. Learn about Different Methods and Materials.

         Fine Christian educational materials developed for Christian schools are available to home educators. New materials have also been developed or adapted especially for home teaching.

         Home educators can choose or combine elements of the following approaches.

    * Traditional Textbooks. High-quality textbooks are available from Christian publishers. These cover each subject in-depth and in a logical order of topics.

    * Worktexts. Some publishers have combined textbook information with exercises in consumable write-in books.

    * Classical Approach. Children progress from memorization of facts and development of learning skills to advanced logical reasoning and expressive use of language, giving them the ability to discuss their knowledge and beliefs.

    * Principle Approach. For each subject, teachers and students keep notebooks containing biblical perspectives and principles, factual information on the subject acquired from various sources, and personal applications.

    * Unit Studies. Theme-centered units integrate information from several subjects. Language arts and math need additional systematic teaching.

    * Books & Life Experiences. Other than basic teaching in the three Rs, much learning comes through reading good literature and nonfiction. Normal everyday activities supplement study and give it perspective.


    * Traditional print media includes textbooks, worktexts, books, unit studies, newspapers and periodicals.

    * The development of courses that use forms of electronic media has expanded the options available to home educators. They include audio, video, computer, and internet courses.


    Add French to Your Homeschool with Nallenart
         Nallenart publishes L'Art de Lire French Program, a fun, gentle introduction to the joys of language study. No prior knowledge of French is needed! Visit our Club Mimi pages for French lessons, links.

    Steps in Choosing Curriculum for Your Home School (Continued)

    2. Assess Each Child.
    * Take an inventory of each child's knowledge, skills, aptitudes, interests, learning or teaching styles, and character.

    * You can do this informally by simply sitting down and writing a few notes from your everyday observations beside each child's name.

    * Or you can use results from standardized tests, publishers' diagnostics, or your own oral or written tests.

         Alpha Omega Publications free online placement test.

    3. Set Goals and Objectives.
         Take time to think and pray about what you want to accomplish. This will give direction to your efforts and help ensure that your children will achieve excellence in education and character.

    * Write out or review your long-range goals and philosophy (fundamental convictions) for your children's education and training.

    * Include Bible verses and plan for both academic subjects and nonacademic areas such as character and life skills.

    * Set objectives for this year for each child that will move him toward your long-range goals.

    * You can use a publisher's scope and sequence or a list of concepts usually taught at each level helpful for ideas or a guide in choosing materials to fit your objectives.

         A Beka Book online scope and sequence.
         Bob Jones University Press online scope and sequence.

    * Discuss these objectives with each child privately, and explain how they fit into the big picture of his future.

         Read more: "Setting Goals for Excellence" at

    4. Consider Pertinent Factors.
         Consider the following factors for your family -- they may change from year to year as your children grow.
    * Your preferences in teaching.
    * Your children's learning styles.
    * Each child's developmental levels, strengths, and weaknesses.
    * Your knowledge, experience, and confidence.
    * Your family's resources of time and money.
    * The number of children in your family.
    * The legal requirements in your state for home education.

         Contact your state home-school organization for information.
         Consider joining Home School Legal Defense Association.

    NorthStar Academy: Christian Online Education
    * Uniquely designed for home learning in USA or abroad.
    * Grades 7-12. Full or part time.
    * Accredited. Diploma granting.
    * Core and elective courses to include advanced placement.
    * Extended school year for completing the program.
    * Use of all materials and orientation video provided and shipped to your door anywhere in the world.

    Steps in Choosing Curriculum for Your Home School (Continued)

    5. Decide Which of Your Children
    You Can Teach Together.

         Several of your children may share similar objectives. You may be able to combine them in the same class for your most efficient use of time and effort.

    * History, science, Bible, and literature are subjects that can usually be taught to several grade levels of children together.

    * Skill building subjects such as math and beginning language arts may be on different levels.

    * However, there is enough review and repetition from grade to grade that a 5th grade math text, for instance, could be studied by both a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old, depending on their individual abilities.

    * Lessons can be presented in an amplified manner with explanations that enable all children to understand.

    * Older students can do much of their work independently while younger ones receive necessary tutoring in basic skills.

         Example: You could read a Christian history text at an intermediate level to all your children, assigning age-appropriate projects such as oral discussion or a play for young children, extra reading or research for older children.

         Read more about "Teaching Several Children at Once" at

    6. Match Your Needs with Available Materials
         You can use a complete curriculum package from a publisher or put together your own components. Neither option will make you a "better" home schooler.
         Whichever curriculum or approach you choose, you can incorporate other methods into it.

    * Choose and list the methods and materials that you will use to meet your objectives for each child this year.

    * Textbooks or workbooks can be supplemented with unit studies, or vice versa.

    * Games, projects, computer programs, etc. can be added to any curriculum to cover all objectives.

    * For example, you may use a unit study curriculum supplemented with traditional science and history texts as reference books and library books for reading practice.

    * You might use worktexts for math and language and have your children keep "principle approach" notebooks for science, history, and literature.

    * You may emphasize the appropriate stage of the classical trivium for each child in his individual assignments.

    * You can rearrange the order of the units in your curriculum to conform to your children's current interests, or you could stimulate interest in upcoming units with a story or trip.

    * Reading aloud and discussing subject texts, a variety of informative, or enriching literature can complete and supplement any curriculum.

         There are other possible combinations of methods and materials. You are the best qualified to choose a mix that will be right for you and your children.
         Read more about "Combining Methods and Materials," including learning styles at

    Buy Teaching Home Back Issues Online

  • Select from 51 Never-Out-of-Date Back Issues.
  • Practical How-Tos & Teaching Tips.
  • Search for Topics You Need.
  • Find Information, Inspiration & Encouragement!
  • Each Issue Is Pictured and All Articles Are Listed.
  • Online Article: "How To Energize Yourself for Teaching This Fall"

    Steps in Choosing Curriculum for Your Home School (Continued)

    7. Order or Buy Basic Materials.
         A complete curriculum or components that you put together yourself can be obtained in the following three basic ways:
    * You may order texts and teaching aids directly from the publishers or through mail-order companies, through Christian bookstores, or online.

         See a list of 142 resources on The Teaching Home website at

    * A home-extension program offered through a local Christian school or church can provide teaching materials, testing, and counseling.
    * Materials, testing, and guidance can also be obtained through Christian correspondence courses.

    8. Collect Supplemental Materials.
         Build your family's reference library with educational resources that can be used repeatedly, such as:
    * Reference books (encyclopedia, dictionaries, thesauruses, Bible concordances, atlases, nature guides, etc.) and higher-level textbooks.
    * Time lines (or materials to make one).
    * Maps, globes.
    * Audio/visual aids such as pictures, charts, videos, and tapes.
    * Manipulatives for math or other subjects.
    * Educational games and software.
    * Various tools.

    Please Thank & Support Sponsoring Advertisers!
         These free newsletters are made possible financially by the fine suppliers who advertise in them.
         Please remember those that have advertised in our last issue (below) as well as the ones in this issue.

    Christian Freedom International
    Christ-Centered Curriculum for Early Childhood
    American Vision's God and Government
    God’s Design Science Books from R and D Educational Center

    Sunny Side Up: How True It Is!
         Each night my husband reads to us (currently from the Little House books), followed by a passage from the Bible. We then have a song time led by one of our children and close our time with everyone praying.
         On this particular night, it was 6-year-old Jonathan's turn to lead the singing. Everyone was tired and yawning, and some of us were sick. It had not been an easy day.
         Jonathan put it all in perspective and put a smile back on my face when, as we sang "Jesus Loves Me," he sang, "Little ones to Him belong. They are work, but He is strong."
         Contributed by Geri H., McMinnville, Oregon
         You are also invited to submit your humorous anecdote.

    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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