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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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"Learn To Speak a Foreign Language"
is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.

The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #75
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

May 1, 2004  /  Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

How To Make a Strong Finish for Your School Year
     1.  Concentrate on the Basics.
     2.  Determine Level of Competence Needed.
     3.  Review What You Have Learned.
     4.  Save Some for Summer.
Current Events
     National Day of Prayer, May 6
     Constitutional Amendment on Same-Sex Marriage
     Petition To Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage
Recommended Resources
     I Want To Be a Work at Home Mom
     Doorposts Proverbs Illustration Contest
     Marvelous Math–Windows Free Math Fact Software
     The Chemistry Guy: Science Experiments on DVD
     Homeschool Cookbook
     Watkins Home Business
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     End of School Year.  Is the beautiful spring weather
distracting and the countdown to the end of your school year
making you worried?
     Cheer up!  We have some practical suggestions for making a
strong finish, instead of just fizzling out.

     Tell Us What Is Special about Your Mother.  Send us
a paragraph about your mother -- a favorite memory or a quality
that you would like to emulate.  We will print these in our
Mother's Day newsletter next week.

     May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.

Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 23-year-old, home-school family business.

   Moms Helping Moms,
   because we love our kids.
   * Make sure your children are
      not harmed by the ingredients
      in their personal care products
   and the cleaners you use around the house.
* Then become a work at home mom, helping others
   do the same.

Current Events

National Day of Prayer, May 6
    The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding
of the United States when the Continental Congress issued a
proclamation setting aside a day of prayer in 1775.
     President Bush commented in his National Day of Prayer, 2004
Proclamation, "Prayer is an opportunity to praise God for His
mighty works, His gift of freedom, His mercy, and His boundless
love. Through prayer, we recognize the limits of earthly power
and acknowledge the sovereignty of God.  Prayer leads to humility
and a grateful heart, and it turns our minds to the needs of others."

Questions and Answers
Re: a Constitutional Amendment on Same-Sex Marriage
     Michael Farris, Chairman, Home School Legal Defense
Association, has thoroughly covered this crucial issue in an
online article at
     This is excellent material for your high school students to
read and discuss with you.

Sign the Petition
To Help Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage
     The American Center for Law & Justice writes, "Existing
state and federal laws may not be enough to stop activist judges
and local authorities from marrying same-sex couples. It is now
time for a constitutional amendment to define and preserve
marriage as between one man and one woman."
     You are urged to sign the ACLJ’s nationwide petition campaign
online at

Home-School Conventions
     Unique benefits await you at your local, regional, or state
home-school convention, conference, or book fair.  We urge
you to attend!
     For information about your state convention, go to The Teaching
Home's website (link below) and link directly to the state organization's
website.  Upcoming
state conventions:
May:  AR, IL, MI, MS, NC, PA, WV, WI, WY, NB, QC, Germany
June:  CA, CO, CT, ID, IA, MO, MT, NJ, NY, OH, OK, VA
July:  AL, AZ, CA, KY, SD.  August:  NV, OR, TX
September: England. Various Dates: TN, TX, NZ

Never Out of Date:
Teaching Home Magazine Back Issues
     Many home schoolers have found information, inspiration,
and support from the writers who have contributed to The
Teaching Home magazine over the last 23 years.  Fifty-one
back issues are offered for sale online.

How To Make a Strong Finish for Your School Year

     What do you do if your school year is almost done -- but
your studies are not?
     If you are like many home-school families, you are nearing
the end of your school year.
     If you are like many home-school families (and public school
teachers!), you are not near enough to the end of your books to
reasonably finish them by the end of May.

What Not To Do
     1.  Do not panic.
     2.  Do not feel guilty.
     3.  Do not envy those who are on schedule.

What To Do
     1.  Talk to the Lord and your husband.  Lay out the
situation and possible solutions.
     2.  Relax, take a deep breath, and consider some of the
following suggestions.
     3.  Then write out a four-week "Let's Finish Strong" plan.

1.  Concentrate on the Basics.
     The three Rs (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic) are basic
skills.  They are building block skills used in all other
subjects.  These are also the skills that are usually tested on
standardized tests at the end of the year.
     Other subjects are also important, even essential in the
long run, but they can be postponed for the short term in the
interest of solidifying basic skills.
     Find specific goals and practical how-to help in our
15-part Basic Skills series online in our Newsletter Archives:
     Teach Reading with Phonics


Doorposts is sponsoring a drawing contest
for children and young adults (ages 6-18).
     This fall we plan to publish a new book entitled, "Hidden
Treasures" designed to be used along with Scripture reading
during family Bible times.  It will include at least one illustrated
proverb from each chapter of the Book of Proverbs.
     The Contest is to do a drawing that pictures a situation
illustrating the meaning of a proverb.
* Deadline: Postmarked by June 30, 2004
* Questions:  E-mail questions to
* For complete rules, judging, and prize information see:

How To Make a Strong Finish (continued)

2.  Determine Level of Competence Needed.
     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 with many
details presented in their curriculum.  If they have heard that
there is such a thing as reverse osmosis, it can be reviewed,
restudied in depth, or looked up later as needed or desired.
Additionally, they will not appear or feel ignorant if the term
or topic comes up in a conversation.
     When time is at a premium, spend more of it on something
else that must be learned more thoroughly right now.

     Other parts of your curriculum need to be understood more
thoroughly.  Examples are the overall timeline of history,
principles of science, structures of literature, concepts of
mathematics, etc.  Your child might not need to be able to recall
the birth and death dates of all the reformers, but he should
understand what the Reformation was about, the general time
period, and main ideas of some of its prominent leaders.

     Some information needs to be memorized.  This includes
the main essentials and building blocks for any discipline.  For
example, instant recall of math facts (addition, subtraction,
multiplication, and division), is necessary for skill and
progression in all future math.
     Other examples are phonics sounds for reading, spelling
rules for spelling, and grammar rules for writing.
     Although "rote memory" has fallen into disfavor as a
learning tool, it is essential to the introductory phase of most
subjects.  This coincides with what is known as the "grammar"
stage in classical education.  A mastery of basic facts is one of
the tools with which the student may reason and express opinions
in later stages of his education.
     The discipline of mastering specific information has been
largely set aside in modern education systems.
     There are many ways to memorize material.  However, the
drill method is best for math facts to give an instant recall
without going through various steps of association to get to the
final answer.  Drill and "overlearn" these.  Overlearning is a
technique that helps "lock in" information you need for instant
recall, such as math facts. Once you've learned something, keep
reviewing it in spaced, short periods to achieve overlearning.
     Good, computerized drill programs (in a game format or
straight facts) are useful for memory aids.

Print Out Free Triangular Math Facts Cards
Improving Your Memory: 20 Memory Techniques
Games for Memory Work, Drill, and Review

A Beka Scope and Sequence
The Typical Courses of Study by World Book
Standards and testing by state.

Download Free Trial Math Fact Software – Marvelous Math–
Windows.  Like a personal tutor with flashcards in hand and a smiling
face! Works until May 15.

Homeschool Science Experiments on DVD - K5-8th Grade.
Developed specifically for Homeschooling - Free online demo.

What Your Kids Would Really Like To Do With You
Want to have a ton of fun with your child - in the kitchen?  Find out
what kids love most at

Why not start your own Watkins business?  Excellent
products, residual income, great discount, fun family biz!  Visit (code MR6296) Low to no start-up cost.

How To Make a Strong Finish (continued)

3.  Review What You Have Learned.
     Review is a powerful learning method that pays big dividends
on your teaching investment!  Doing a review at the end of your
school year can be encouraging as you and your children see how
much you have learned.  You will save yourself a lot of work
re-teaching the same information this fall if you do reviews of
selected material throughout the summer as well.
     Review what you have learned by looking back over the
material you have studied. This is also a good check on your
child's understanding and mastery of the material. Reviewing is a
step that you should do periodically to reinforce the information
you have learned.
     Reviews can take only a short time. After each review your
recall will last longer until the information is firmly logged
into your long-term memory.  Below is a minimum schedule of
regular reviews; some topics and students might require more.
     10 minutes after learning
     1 day after learning
     1 week after learning
     1 month after learning
     6 months after learning
     Flashcards (bought or home made) are helpful for reviewing
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 made), and
posters also provide review aids.
     Rhodes College offers study skill tips at

4.  Save Some for Summer.
     If you choose to concentrate on basic subjects and skills
during May, you may want to postpone some other subjects, such as
science, history, or electives, to finish during the summer.
     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 a more
relaxed schedule, more time to devote to the subject and related
interests, and the focus of concentrating on just one subject at
a time.
     Summer would also be a good time to add unit studies, field
trips, supplemental reading, and software to enhance these

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

     Piano for Life Exclusive Discount

     Grapevine Studies Bible Curriculum

     Structured Writing Company

     Foundation for American Christian Education
     Homeschool Cookbook

Sunnyside Up: A Nose for a Bargain
     One day after spending the morning learning about our five
senses, our kindergartner and I went to the grocery store.
     As we approached the bakery department, Danielle exclaimed,
"Umm, Mommy!  Something smells like it's on sale!"
     Submitted by Susan S., Nebraska.

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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