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Table of Contents
Your School Year Off to a Great Start!
1. Educational Efficiency
How to achieve the highest level of educational
progress for the most students in the least time.
2. Lesson Planning and Preparation
How to plan and prepare for your school year.
3. Family Priorities and Schedules
How to create a time budget that will reflect
4. Additional Tips
How to keep things moving smoothly
and what to do if they don't!
Journals by Ferg N' Us Services
Money Camp Teacher
News Weekly Newspapers
Home Back Issues
Up: Humorous Anecdote
As we get started on a new school year this
fall, there are
steps we can take and patterns we can establish that will
contribute to a more successful and less stressful home-school
experience for the whole family.
In this issue we are looking primarily at
our use of time,
one of our most precious gifts.
May the Lord bless your family for His glory!
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 24-year-old, home-school family business.
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1. Homeschooler's Journal
2. The Homeschooler's
by Ferg N' Us Services
These award-winning systems of record keeping contain:
* Daily Subject Logs for 200 Days
* Field Trip Logs
* Check-Off List for Yearly Requirements
* Multiple Calendars
* Objective/Resource Pages
* Individual Library Lists
* Many more features.
These durable journals feature plastic "Jelly-Proof"
Wire-O Bound which allows them to lay flat -- a wise investment
for your children's records! http://www.fergnusservices.com
Other selections: "Considering God's
Getting Your School Year Off to a Great Start!
by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
How to achieve the highest level
progress for the most students
in the least time.
If you have four students, and you teach each
one five to
seven subjects separately, you could be teaching 20-28 classes
every day! There are more efficient alternatives.
You will need to decide how much time you
and your children
will spend on schoolwork each day or week. (Young students
should start with a very few, brief learning sessions per day and
gradually build up to three or four hours of study by their
teens. Additional "homework" can be assigned during high
Use the following suggestions to fit your
classes into the
time you have allowed for your studies.
You will find that it is not practical to
do all the usual
subject every day or even every semester. It is often better
do a few things well, than many things poorly.
You might select variations or different combinations
these ideas each year to make the most efficient use of your time
The most efficient way to teach several students
combine two, more, or all of your students in the same class for
one or more subjects.
You can choose textbooks or other resources
levels as long as they cover the same topics so that you can
coordinate everyone's study. Present the lessons in an amplified
manner with explanations that enable all your children to
History, science, Bible, and literature are
of subjects which can be studied as a family, each person on his
own level. Many activities, discussions, videos, and reading
aloud can be shared when everyone is learning about the same
topic at the same time.
Children can be given different assignments
or variations of
the assignment, depending on their age and skill level. Older
students can do extra reading, research, and writing.
You might find some new benefits of home schooling
family if you combine students for one or more classes. There
a group chemistry that comes from the interaction with other
learners that can enrich the bonds of common experience and
provide motivation and enjoyment in learning.
Combine Grade Levels
Even though beginning reading and math need
attention, most subjects can be taught to two or more students
together on the highest level the youngest can do. This works
because of the review and repetition from grade to grade found in
most curriculum plans, including textbooks.
For example, a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old
algebra together, a 5th grade language book could work for grades
Combine Both Subjects and Students
Teach two, more, or all of your students an
study together. In this method, most subjects are related to
series of themes or topics and taught together. Math or phonics
can be taught separately.
See the free sample week of Konos curriculum
yourself with how a unit study works. http://www.konos.com
You will need to set aside some time to work
student individually in order to meet his specific needs. A
beginner needs phonics and reading lessons, a middle-grade
student needs math concepts explained, and an older student
needs writing conferences.
You can't be in two places at once, so give
each child his
own turn for your undivided attention while the others work,
study, or play alone or with each other.
* Give older children their own lesson plan books so they
carry on with assignments while you work with
students. This helps them build self-discipline
management. See "The Homeschooler's
Journal" at http://www.fergnusservices.com.
* Make a list of acceptable activities younger children
do when they are waiting for your help, such
Instead of teaching all of your subjects every
your preparation and gain from your students' focus by teaching
fewer, but longer, classes each day. You can retain the same
number of hours of study each day and cover the same amount of
material during the year. Examples:
* Teach language arts on two days and math on three days.
* Study history for half the year and science for the other
Take a break to stretch, get a drink of water,
and rest eyes
at least once an hour whether or not you choose longer classes.
Read Aloud Together
A pleasant way to learn together as a family
is to read
aloud a wide variety of materials, including fiction, historical
fiction, nonfiction, biography, and poetry.
Stop to explain, question, look up, or discuss
items as you
read. See our series on the levels of reading comprehension,
including facts, inferences, analysis, synthesis, and application
in newsletters # 23, 25, 26, 28, and 29 at
Include Dad Too!
Dad might like to join in a class if your
family takes 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
participate and teach in your home school.
Take Advantage of Teachable Moments
Supplement and apply your formal studies:
* Use opportunities to learn or apply math, such as at
store or in the kitchen.
* Talk about things you see in nature or society as you
or walk and then look up more information
on them when you
* Learn new words, with correct pronunciation and spelling
from your family reading.
These small moments and many others like them
educational dividends because the context and motivation are
real, not contrived.
As you explore some of the above teaching options,
design a plan that will help you work smarter, not harder. Your
whole family can participate together in the joy of learning.
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2. Planning and Preparedness
How to plan and prepare for
your school year.
The kind, amount, and timing of your school
preparation depends on your chosen arrangement of subjects and
students (see above), your state or other requirements, and your
own teaching style.
A. Create Your Master School
Create a master calendar for the year that
days, vacations, start dates of major units, test dates,
holidays, field trips, and events.
You can choose the traditional nine-month
school year with
5-day weeks and three months summer break, or you can set up your
own year-round schedule that includes some of the following
* A four-day school week with three days off.
* Three, four, or six weeks of school, then one week off.
* Eight or ten weeks of school, then two weeks off.
Take into account the number of school days
or hours, if
any, that you are required to document according
B. Plan Your Study
Use one or more of the following suggestions
to plan your
study. Then record your plans in a lesson plan book or notebook
that can double as a record keeping system. See "The Home
Schooler's Journal" at http://www.fergnusservices.com.
For Texts or Other Books
Simply decide approximately how many pages
of a textbook
must be covered each day or week in order to finish it in the
time you have allowed for it.
For All Studies
List target dates for starting and ending
project you plan to complete this year, whether subjects, skill
levels, textbooks, chapters, or units.
For Each Element of Study
Write out details of activities, assignments,
you want to include, along with the estimated time they will take
and the dates for starting them. Link these to the subjects,
units, or textbook pages they go with.
For Each Class
Compile a syllabus (broad course outline with
materials, resources, major projects, etc.) for each class at the
beginning of the year. Add details, rearrange order, and/or set
assignment dates monthly or weekly as you go along.
C. Assemble Your Materials
Order, purchase, borrow, collect, or make
the materials you
will need for each subject, unit, or project well in advance.
You will want to become familiar with them in order to use them
* Collect all the library books and other materials you
need for your lessons at least one week in
* Set aside special labeled shelves and bins for schoolbooks
D. Be Prepared
Once a week, take an hour to plan the next
week's lessons in
more detail. Consult the overall plans you made earlier, adjust
as necessary, and write out assignments with page numbers and any
individual instructions for each student.
Spend a few minutes the night before or in
looking over the plans for the day and gathering materials for
the day's lessons.
God's World News
a Welcome Complement
to Your Curriculum.
These weekly current events and activity newspapers
today's news and discoveries to help you teach your children
to develop a Christian perspective on world events. Your
children will love the fascinating stories, colorful photos, and
engaging activities. http://www.gwnews.com/theteachinghome/
(Please use the special link above so that
your order will be
credited to The Teaching Home's affiliate account. Thank you.)
3. Priorities and Schedules
How to create a time budget
that will reflect your priorities.
If you have been thinking about all the things
important to your family, you are ready to place them in order
of priority and allot the amount of time each will take.
See articles about family mission statements
and goals in
our newsletter issues #80-82 in the archive at
Follow the steps below to create your regular
Step 1: List Everything
List all activities your family needs or wants
to do, along with
how often they are done and how much time they take each week.
* List separately each school class or regular educational
activity (e.g., reading literature aloud)
along with allotted time.
* Also include sleep, personal and family devotions, grooming,
chores, meals, studies, exercise, calls, errands,
current projects, reading, mail, paying bills,
school and other
planning sessions, and personal, family, and
* You might save Sundays for church, rest, family, and
* Always allow some extra time for slow-downs and transitions.
* Leave time for unexpected events and opportunities.
* Allow a time slot each week to plan both school lessons
other family activities for the next week.
Step 2: Budget Your Time
Add up the total time per week for all the
If your total is more than (or even close
to) the hours in a
week, start re-evaluating, prioritizing, trimming, or cutting out
some activities until you have a comfortable fit and good
Step 3: Create Regular Daily and Weekly Schedules
Now you can plan your family's daily and weekly
incorporate your plans and goals. Your time budget assures that
urgent demands don't steal time from the important things you
want and need to do.
* Post a copy of your schedule where all can see it.
51 Back Issues of
Teaching Home Magazine
Offered for Sale
Full of information, inspiration, and support
that never goes
out of date. These issues are relevant and applicable to your
needs today. http://theteachinghomen.goemerchant7.com
In each issue an average of 58 home schoolers
practical how-to articles, encouraging letters, and ready-to-use
Home has been a part of my
continuing education since I started home schooling,
and I have kept every issue.
"I often go back to
old issues to find creative,
helpful hints or inspiration." Meredith C., Florida
Finding What You Need
You can search by topic in our online store
to find which
of our 51 back issues contain articles on a subject you are
If you already have a library of back issues,
want to use the topical index of our last 39 issues
(1994-present) available online so you can quickly put your
finger on the articles you need.
4. Additional Tips
How to keep things moving smoothly,
and what to do if they don't!
Keep an Ongoing To-Do List
* Compile a master to-do list -- a single continuous list
replaces small slips of paper. Add items
to your list as
they come to mind.
* Transfer these activities to your calendar, schedule,
and weekly or daily to-do lists.
* Take a few minutes each evening to write down what must
done the next day on a dated page in your
and/or on your refrigerator to-do list.
Chores and Meals
* Make a chore chart and be sure everyone knows what to
when to do it, and how to do it.
* Plan seven menus and shop once each week. You can
arrange the order of your menus within the
week, one day at a time.
* Start dinner early, use a crockpot, or try once-a-month
Plan Each Week in Advance
In addition to your weekly lesson planning
schoolwork, plan the upcoming week's non-school activities
* Make lists of phone calls to be made, errands to be run,
details to be tended to, and set a goal or
* Evaluate anything that is bothering you and think how
can fix it.
* Coordinate your week with your husband.
Interruptions and Emergencies
* Remember that your family is more important than your
* Do not answer the phone during school time.
* Find a workable solution for repeated avoidable interruptions.
* Accept uncontrollable or unavoidable interruptions and
use them for learning opportunities.
* Devise a "Plan B" for accomplishing the most important
things on days when your time is limited by
developments, emergencies, late starts, etc.
Rely on the Lord's Promised Wisdom and Strength!
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;
and it shall
be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne
that we may
and find grace
to help in time of need."
Please Thank and Support
Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
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(below) as well as the ones in this issue.
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Christian Liberty Academy School System
Sunnyside Up: Ignorance
We had talked about school starting for several
Finally, the first day of school arrived. Hannah, our 4-year-old,
was excited about writing her letters and numbers.
When we were through for the day, Hannah said,
finished with school. What are we going to do tomorrow?"
Submitted by Janet B., Georgia
God Loves You.
Because we were separated from God by sin,
died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus
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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