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Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch,
Co-Editors / http://www.TeachingHome.com
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.
Michelin's 2005 Guide to America's Patriotic
MusiCity.com: 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
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
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
when many colleges and universities begin
their school year.
When you are finished, we would love to hear
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
to as many home-school families as possible. Please forward it
by e-mail and/or print it in your home-school publication. Thanks!
Home publishers plan to resume
the publication of their print magazine, by
of God. For complete information see
May the Lord bless you and your family for
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
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
They will use contributions to this program
families with replacing lost or destroyed curriculum and meeting
If you know of home-school families who need
please have them call 540-338-8899 or email
If you would like to make a gift to help these
may donate online at
To offer to house home-school families displaced
Katrina, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Pray for those in need and for those seeking to help
• See "Help! I Don't Have My Curriculum Yet" (below) for
suggested emergency resources.
Student Wire Folding Music Stands
Now in Designer Colors!
The standard desk design, durable finish,
and years of
trouble-free service. Retail Price $19.95 / While Supplies Last
$9.99 each. Add a travel bag for $5! 1-800-777-7871.
MusiCity.com has everything for the School and Church Musician!
Instruments, Music, Supplies, and Accessories
Goals and Purposes of Orientation Week
Orientation is "introductory instruction concerning
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
• Start your year with a balance of fun and informative
• Introduce the various studies and activities you plan
• 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
family's life -- what you will be doing, why,
• Establish your home school routine to smooth the way
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
• You might choose a theme for your orientation week or
year (such as "Study To Show Yourself Approved"
"Preparing for Our Tomorrows," etc.).
• If you are doing a unit study, you could use that for
2. Annual Opening Ceremony
• Make a fanfare with students gathering for the pledge
allegiance to the American flag, a prayer
a song chosen for your school or for this
• 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
home school and why. Read some Scripture.
4. Review of Rules
• Write out your family's rules (even the obvious ones
Honor the Lord, Respect and Obey Parents,
Be Kind to
Siblings, Do Chores without Reminders, Pick
Yourself, etc.) and consistently require instant,
• 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
dinner) can be added to your chore chart.
• Younger children are usually motivated by stickers or
to help them establish good habits.
6. Tour of Campus
• Make a map of your home (or have your children make one
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
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,
reading, note taking, review, drill of certain
• Show where to look up information in reference books
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
• 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"
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
11. Issue a Spiritual Appeal
• Both Pensacola Christian College and Bob Jones University
conduct Evangelistic or Revival Meetings as
part of their
• BJU's handbook explains that their rules are intended
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,
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
class (how learned information will be used),
the goals (what
the student will learn) and the content (outline
14. Preliminary Class for Each Course
• Introduce one of the year's courses each day during the
• Present a written syllabus that includes a course outline,
list, units/chapters, supplementary materials,
planned dates for units, tests, and activities
as well as methods
• Go over your schedule (or take time to write out your
budget") and explain the times for classes,
family devotions, and "Lights Out" (regular
• Post a copy of your schedule in several places where
16. Professor's Time
• Write out a list of activities for students to do when
are giving another student individual attention
so that they
can use their time constructively, working
(e.g., older children can take turns supervising
or Big Sister or Brother might do some of
• Give older children their own lesson plan books so they
carry on with assignments while you work with
• Make a picture list of acceptable activities younger
can do when they are waiting for your help,
such as puzzles,
17. Welcome Party
• This can be a dinner, a picnic, or a "reception" with
• This is a good event to share with another home-school
18. Movie Night
• Find a video that will both entertain and stimulate interest
your upcoming studies, e.g., history, science,
19. Photograph Session
• Take photos of each child and your whole school together.
• Frame and hang them.
• Buy matching T-shirts, with or without your school's
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. http://www.ValerieBendt.com
7 Ways To Make Your Home School
Run More Smoothly
1. Catch Up on Basic Preparation
Organization is the key for a smooth-running
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
• Limit outside activities, other than Sunday, to one day
• 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
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
3. Simplify Meals
• Plan five or ten simple, healthy menus for school days
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,
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
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
• Consult plans you made for the year and month, adjust
necessary, and write out assignments with
page numbers and
any individual instructions for each student.
• Collect all the library books and other materials you
need for your lessons at least one week in
• Each day, spend a few minutes the night before or in
morning looking over the plans for the day
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.,
checked-off plan book, a journal, or a grade
• Have a routine for handling papers. Do they need
filed for documentation, or a few saved for
and the rest tossed?
7. Get Started and Keep Going
• Be prepared to handle opposition or lack of immediate
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
• 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'
• Energize Yourself for Teaching that Is Easier and More
• 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
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
local teacher's supply or learning store.
• For history, science, and literature, you can borrow
videos from your public, church, or home-school
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
• 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,
• Play educational games. Many are available at thrift
• 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
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 http://www.RootsOfFreedom.org
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,
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
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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