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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
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Phone: 503-253-9633  

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                 Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
    From a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors   /

Table of Contents
 •  Home School Foundation Hurricane Response
 •  Orientation Week
     Goals and Purposes of Orientation Week
     20 Orientation Week Activities
 •  7 Ways To Make Your Home School
     Run More Smoothly
 •  Help! I Don't Have My Curriculum Yet.
Recommended Resources
     Michelin's 2005 Guide to America's Patriotic Places Student Wire Folding Music Stands
     ValerieBendt: Easy-to-Make Bible Story Puppets
     The Teaching Home Magazine and Back Issues
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     What are you doing for Orientation Week?
     If you hadn't even thought of having such a thing, don't
feel bad -- we didn't either for 25 years!  But recently we
decided that we could take a lesson from all the colleges and
universities that start their school year with an Orientation
Week, or O-Week as some call it.
     So . . . we did a Google search on "orientation week" and
gleaned ideas from the first 10 listings, adapted them to the
home-school setting, and added some of our usual start-of-school
routines.  We'll use college terminology to make this more fun
for you and your children and make the point that this is what
they are doing at the colleges.
     One college said that they had been planning the Orientation
Week all summer.  After gasping, "Guess we're starting rather
late!," we decided to go ahead and put together suggestions for a
Home-School Orientation Week schedule.

 •  Please feel free to use some or all of the following plan.
 •  Adjust and adapt it to your family.
 •  Make this a work-in-progress; prepare items as you go
     for "just-in-time" use.
 •  The order of events is not significant.
 •  Include Dad in as many events as possible.
 •  Invite another family to join you as appropriate.
 •  Start anytime you are ready -- tomorrow or in a week or two,
     when many colleges and universities begin their school year.

     When you are finished, we would love to hear how your
Orientation Week went!  What ideas did you use or add?  Can
you share your children's responses with us?

Please Help Us Spread the Word!
     We would appreciate help in getting the announcement below
to as many home-school families as possible.  Please forward it
by e-mail and/or print it in your home-school publication.  Thanks!

          The Teaching Home publishers plan to resume
     the publication of their print magazine, by the grace
     of God.  For complete information see

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

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


America's Patriotic Places:
The 50 Places
Every American Should See
Michelin Travel Publications' 2005 guide
describes 50 of the most significant, special
places that help define our country -- its
hopes and dreams, its history, and its future.
Use for instruction, vacation planning, and enjoyment. 108 Pages.


Home School Foundation's Hurricane Response
     In response to the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina,
the Home School Foundation (a division of Home School Legal
Defense Association) has established a Hurricane Emergency
Response program to help home-school families who have suffered
great losses.
     They will use contributions to this program to assist
families with replacing lost or destroyed curriculum and meeting
emergency needs.
     If you know of home-school families who need assistance,
please have them call 540-338-8899 or email
     If you would like to make a gift to help these families, you
may donate online at
     To offer to house home-school families displaced by Hurricane
Katrina, e-mail:

 •  Pray for those in need and for those seeking to help them.
 •  See "Help! I Don't Have My Curriculum Yet" (below) for
     suggested emergency resources.


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$9.99 each.  Add a travel bag for $5!  1-800-777-7871. has everything for the School and Church Musician!
Instruments, Music, Supplies, and Accessories


Goals and Purposes of Orientation Week
     Orientation is "introductory instruction concerning a new
situation."  It could accomplish some or all of the following
 •  Give a more "official" status to your home school.
 •  Help students (and teacher) to settle into the school routine.
 •  Start your year with a balance of fun and informative activities.
 •  Introduce the various studies and activities you plan for the
     coming year.
 •  Make your children feel settled and informed before the
     academic year begins.
 •  Stir curiosity and provide motivation for learning specific
 •  Inspire efforts to reach goals.
 •  Explain your expectations and procedures to your children.
 •  Provide a special opportunity to discuss all aspects of your
     family's life -- what you will be doing, why, and how.
 •  Establish your home school routine to smooth the way for your
     child's enjoyment of his study experience; if he is happy, he
     will study better!
 •  Stir your child's excitement about your coming year.

20 Orientation Week Activities

1.  Theme
 •  You might choose a theme for your orientation week or school
     year (such as "Study To Show Yourself Approved" or
     "Preparing for Our Tomorrows," etc.).
 •  If you are doing a unit study, you could use that for a

2.  Annual Opening Ceremony
 •  Make a fanfare with students gathering for the pledge of
     allegiance to the American flag, a prayer of dedication,
     a song chosen for your school or for this school year.
 •  Have a planning meeting beforehand, gather ideas your
     children want to include, and assign each child a part.

3.  Welcome by the President
 •  Have Dad make an official "Welcome Speech" after dinner
     as everyone sits in the living room.
 •  Dad can tell his family how happy he is to have them in his
     home school and why.  Read some Scripture.

4.  Review of Rules
 •  Write out your family's rules (even the obvious ones such as:
     Honor the Lord, Respect and Obey Parents, Be Kind to
     Siblings, Do Chores without Reminders, Pick Up after
     Yourself, etc.) and consistently require instant, willing
 •  Explain the principles behind your rules from God's Word.
 •  Add and explain appropriate consequences for each broken
     rule and consistently apply them.

5.  Reinforcement of Personal Habits
 •  Some of these (brush teeth, practice the piano, help with
     dinner) can be added to your chore chart.
 •  Younger children are usually motivated by stickers or stars
     to help them establish good habits.

6.  Tour of Campus
 •  Make a map of your home (or have your children make one with
     you) showing where study areas, school books, and supplies are
     (supposed to be) located.

7.  Notebooks and Supplies
 •  Help each child set up a notebook or section of a notebook
     for each subject.  In it he will keep his class syllabus (see
     below), assignments, notes, etc.
 •  You might need to take time during your orientation week to
     go shopping for needed school supplies.

8.  Information Technology
 •  Type up, tape to computer, and discuss rules for safe
     (supervised) use of the Internet (including the length of
     time your child can sit at the computer).
 •  Discuss principles of how to study:  concentration, preview,
     reading, note taking, review, drill of certain facts, etc.
 •  Show where to look up information in reference books in your
     home library or on the Internet.

9.  Volunteer and/or Part-Time Employment Opportunities
     (For a "Sense of Community and Volunteerism")
 •  This is where you unveil your Chore Chart (with or without
     allowance attached) or take time to make one with your
 •  Review expectations of exactly how and when each chore
     should be done.

10.  List of Leadership Opportunities
 •  Assign one of your children to be "Assistant Teacher" for
     each of your classes.  Your assistant can be in charge of
     books, supplies, special activities, videos, etc.  This will
     (hopefully) help you and get your child more involved.

11.  Issue a Spiritual Appeal
 •  Both Pensacola Christian College and Bob Jones University
     conduct Evangelistic or Revival Meetings as part of their
     orientation week.
 •  BJU's handbook explains that their rules are intended to help
     students by "promoting holy living by removing as much as
     possible the influences of worldliness and evil from a student's
     life while he learns to walk in the Spirit," so that the student
     may "develop in his likeness and usefulness to Jesus Christ."
 •  Dad and Mom could prepare one or more devotional times
     to share their goals for the spiritual growth of the family.

12.  Personal Goals
 •  Discuss goals and objectives with each child individually, and
     explain how they fit into the big picture of his future.

13.  Purpose, Goals, and Content of Classes
 •  Present an overview of what to expect from each class.
 •  Go over the list of classes, discussing the purpose of the
     class (how learned information will be used), the goals (what
     the student will learn) and the content (outline of topics).

14.  Preliminary Class for Each Course
 •  Introduce one of the year's courses each day during the week.
 •  Present a written syllabus that includes a course outline, book
     list, units/chapters, supplementary materials, assignments, and
     planned dates for units, tests, and activities as well as methods
     of assessment.

15.  Schedule
 •  Go over your schedule (or take time to write out your "time
     budget") and explain the times for classes, meals, chores,
     family devotions, and "Lights Out" (regular bedtimes).
 •  Post a copy of your schedule in several places where all can
     see it.

16.  Professor's Time
 •  Write out a list of activities for students to do when you
     are giving another student individual attention so that they
     can use their time constructively, working independently
     (e.g., older children can take turns supervising young ones
     or Big Sister or Brother might do some of the tutoring).
 •  Give older children their own lesson plan books so they can
     carry on with assignments while you work with younger
 •  Make a picture list of acceptable activities younger children
     can do when they are waiting for your help, such as puzzles,
     coloring, etc.

17.  Welcome Party
 •  This can be a dinner, a picnic, or a "reception" with a
     special dessert.
 •  This is a good event to share with another home-school

18.  Movie Night
 •  Find a video that will both entertain and stimulate interest in
     your upcoming studies, e.g., history, science, or geography.

19.  Photograph Session
 •  Take photos of each child and your whole school together.
 •  Frame and hang them.

20.  T-Shirts
 •  Buy matching T-shirts, with or without your school's name,
     motto, or logo.
 •  Wear them on Fridays and/or field trips.


Bible Story Puppets
     Patterns and directions for making 40 inexpensive
and durable felt hand puppets. Children enjoy acting
out Bible stories, thus aiding retention, vocabulary,
and language skills.


7 Ways To Make Your Home School
Run More Smoothly

1.  Catch Up on Basic Preparation
     Organization is the key for a smooth-running and successful
home-school experience.  See our last newsletters #128 and #129.

2.  School Time, Interruptions, and Emergencies
 •  Set a daily starting time for your school work and stick to it.
 •  Limit outside activities, other than Sunday, to one day a
 •  Do not answer the phone during study; use an answering
     machine or voice mail.
 •  Find a workable solution for repeated avoidable interruptions.
 •  Accept uncontrollable or unavoidable interruptions and use
     them for learning opportunities.
 •  Prioritize your plans and devise a "Plan B" for accomplishing
     the most important things on days when your time is limited
     by unexpected developments, emergencies, late starts, etc.

3.  Simplify Meals
 •  Plan five or ten simple, healthy menus for school days (save
     special menus and cooking for non-school days).
 •  Serve meals at regular times.
 •  Use minimum preparation.
 •  Plan seven days of menus at a time and shop once each
 •  Start dinner early, use a crockpot, or try once-a-month

4.  Weekly Planning
     After setting your year's plan and goals, and monthly
calendar, choose one day a week to plan the upcoming week.
 •  Make lists of phone calls to be made, errands to be run,
     details to be tended to, and a goal or two from your ongoing
     master to-do list.
 •  Evaluate anything that is bothering you and consider how you
     can fix it.
 •  Coordinate your week with your husband.

5.  School Planning
 •  Once a week, take an hour to plan the next week's lessons in
     more detail.
 •  Consult plans you made for the year and month, adjust as
     necessary, and write out assignments with page numbers and
     any individual instructions for each student.
 •  Collect all the library books and other materials you will
     need for your lessons at least one week in advance.
 •  Each day, spend a few minutes the night before or in the
     morning looking over the plans for the day and gathering
     materials for the day's lessons.

6.  Record Keeping
 •  Choose and use a record keeping system that meets your
     needs and/or your state requirements (e.g., a
     checked-off plan book, a journal, or a grade book).
 •  Have a routine for handling papers.  Do they need to be
     filed for documentation, or a few saved for a yearbook
     and the rest tossed?

7.  Get Started and Keep Going
 •  Be prepared to handle opposition or lack of immediate success
     through prayer, adjustment, and perseverance.
 •  Make adjustments as needed.
 •  Make a daily quiet time with God top priority.
 •  Pray for wisdom, guidance, and strength (Prov. 3:5-6).
 •  Enjoy this privilege of investing your life moment-by-moment
     in the lives of your children!


     "The Teaching Home has truly been inspiring to me over the
years. I have been getting it since I started home schooling in
1987. It has been worth far more than the amount I've paid for
subscriptions. I'll always treasure my past issues."


The Teaching Home
Packed with Information,
Inspiration, and Encouragement

A Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
 •  Receive Practical How-tos for Academic and Character Training.
 •  Educate Yourself and Gain Confidence with In-depth Information.
 •  Discover Fresh, Ready-to-Use Ideas for Learning Activities.
 •  Glean Inspiration and Encouragement from Our Readers' Letters.
 •  Energize Yourself for Teaching that Is Easier and More Enriching.
 •  Explore a Wide Range of Teaching Methods and Materials.

Build Your Reference Library
with Never-Out-of-Date Back Issues!
51 issues available (while supply lasts).  See a complete listing
of articles for each issue and use search feature for topics.

Easy & Secure Online Ordering


Help! I Don't Have My Curriculum Yet.
     If you have not ordered, received, or purchased curriculum
for this school year yet -- or if you (or someone you know) is a
victim of the disaster wrought by Hurricane Katrina -- you can
get started with these emergency resources.
 •  For the 3Rs you can use simple pencil and paper to write
     words or math facts for your child to read, copy, and learn.
 •  Purchase drill flashcards (cheap at thrift stores).
 •  You can buy inexpensive workbooks with answer keys at a
     local teacher's supply or learning store.
 •  For history, science, and literature, you can borrow books or
     videos from your public, church, or home-school library;
     then read and discuss them together.
 •  For geography, you can practice locating on maps or globes
     all the places you hear or read about each day.
 •  Add a geography research project using the internet or
     library to learn more about unknown places (or to follow up
     interests related to your history, science, or literature
 •  Play educational games.  Many are available at thrift stores.
 •  Print free worksheets by grade and subject at:
 •  AO-HELP -- Ambleside Online Helping Hands Emergency Learning


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.

Bright Minds: The Critical Thinking Co. ~ At Home.
Kinetic Books Company:  Physics Help for Home Schoolers
Roots of Freedom: Constitution Day Package 1-877-917-1787
     Order item #DVD174 at
Michelin's 2005 Guide to America's Patriotic Places
Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class
AVKO: Multi-Sensory Approach to Language Arts
Bechtel Books / Speedy Spanish
Keepers at Home Annual Calendar/Planner


Sunnyside Up:  Spaced Out
     Our daughter, Anne, was reading a story aloud to me.  At
one point she read the same sentence three or four times.  I said
nothing and waited for her to notice.
     Anne paused and then mumbled to herself, "Hmm, wait a
minute."  Suddenly she looked up smiling at me and said, "I was
lost in place!"
     Submitted by Elizabeth C., Georgia


God Loves You.
     Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus
Christ died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust
Him 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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