The school year has just started, but some home
schoolers are already feeling overwhelmed.
Before you despair, read on for some practical ways
to get off the starting line and regain your confidence.
Bear in mind that everything doesn't need to fall
into place at once just because it is September.
Most schools spend a while in review each year
before studying new material, and they also have to
take extra time to accommodate the many achievement
levels of their students.
Be encouraged — the efficiency
of home schooling will allow you to catch up easily.
Reading Made Easy:
A Guide To Teach Your Child To Read
by Valerie Bendt
Complete Phonics Curriculum:
108 lessons (30 minutes each, three
days a week)
Instructions and dialog to read to your
Writing, drawing, and hands-on
Read more and see samples at www.ValerieBendt.com.
Also Available: Unit Studies Made
Easy, Making the Most of the Preschool
Years, Frances Series Study Guide, Making
Books and Puppets
Can't Seem To Get Started?
Something always "comes up" time after time that
interferes with your home schooling.
Either the day or the hour you wanted to start comes
and goes with nothing happening. You have multiple
interruptions, and little or nothing is accomplished.
You keep thinking you'll do better tomorrow, but
you're beginning to feel like you're swimming
upstream against a current stronger than you.
1. Get a Perspective
Realize that's exactly what you're doing —
swimming against the current!
By choosing to teach your children at home from a
Christian worldview, you are taking a stand against
the spiritual darkness of the world today.
Thousands of other Christian home-school families
have faced and overcome the same struggles with the
2. Arm Yourself
As Christian soldiers, you can expect resistance, or
even attacks, from your Enemy. Prepare for
spiritual combat as directed in Eph. 6:10-18:
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Put on the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to stand against the wiles of
Make your quiet time with the Lord a priority as you
read His Word and pray for your family's specific
Cast all your cares upon the Lord for He cares for
you (I Peter 5:7).
Ask the Lord for His promised wisdom (James 1:5).
Count on the Lord's presence and help (Hebrews 13:5-6).
3. Start — Slow and Steady
Make plans to begin. Set an easily attainable goal
for your first day or week.
Start with just one subject and introduce one new
class into your schedule every few days over a week
Begin with Bible; then add the basics (3 Rs).
Consider concentrating on fewer subjects at a time
(e.g., study science for half a year and history the
See suggestions in Newsletter
4. Eliminate the Unnecessary
Remove any activity of lesser importance that keeps
getting in your way. This may include eliminating
good opportunities for extra activities in favor of
the best use of your family's time and energy.
5. Don't Give Up
Persevere towards your goal, even when you get
behind. Return to your schedule after each
interruption. Do not waste time or
energy crying over spilt milk!
And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
by Tara Ross
Understand the Constitution and the basic tenets
that undergird America's republican democracy as you
never have before and learn a little history along
Free Study Guide Also Available.
Can't Juggle Students and Preschoolers?
You truly believe the needs of your littlest ones
are as important as the education of your older
ones, but you can't be everywhere at once.
1. Identify Your Children's Needs
Identify each of your children's needs for your time
Also identify which needs could be met by someone
else (e.g., You must nurse the baby and hug the
toddler frequently, but an older child could feed
the toddler lunch or read him a story).
Make sure no one is left without attention longer
than he can reasonably be content. A moment with
you at the right time is worth more than several
minutes when it's too late.
2. Be Prepared
Provide alternative activities for each child to do
when you are needed by another child.
Make a list of alternative activities and have
supplies handy (e.g., a box of toys; learning games,
puzzles, or coloring books; school assignments; or
3. Do More Things Together
Your baby may be happy on your lap while you read
history lessons to your older children and your
toddler plays with Legos on the floor.
Teach subjects like Bible, science, and history to
all your children together. Assign extra reading
and work for your older children; explain more and
supplement with picture books for your younger ones.
4. Take Advantage of Naptimes
Whether your little ones nap on schedule or not, be
ready to drop everything and do phonics or math with
your beginning students or needed one-on-one
tutoring with your older students whenever this
"prime time" occurs.
5. Let Your Students Teach Each Other
Your children can help each other. For example:
An older child can drill flashcards with a younger
A younger child can practice reading to an older
An older child can help a younger child with math.
Look for opportunities to teach your
children concepts or discuss their studies while
you are doing something else.
Teach and practice math while cooking or cleaning.
Practice reading signs when you go on errands.
Talk about things on your walks
These mini-lessons can either replace or
accelerate regular lessons. You will find that
informal teaching at opportune moments accumulates
into a respectable store of knowledge over time.
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Can't Keep Up with the Housework?
When you attempt to teach your children their
lessons, you find your housework falling further and
further behind. You know both
school and housework are important, but there don't
seem to be enough hours in the day.
1. Make Simple Meals
Make simple, nutritious meals (e.g. stew in a crock
pot or toasted cheese sandwiches and veggies) on
school days and save your special menus for the
weekend or for company.
Teach your children to make one meal each week (even
if it is the same one every time!).
2. Cut Down on Laundry
Are you washing clothes unnecessarily?
Make sure your children don't throw clothes in the
wash that are clean enough to wear again instead of
hanging them up.
Spend just 15 minutes each day, or longer once a
week, to de-clutter. Nothing makes your house
to keep neat and clean. See suggestions in Newsletter
4. Find Something New
Look for some new tools, containers, or procedures
that can save you valuable time.
See suggestions at: The
, Fly Lady
, and Don
Aslett's Cleaning Center
You might be amazed at how much your children can do
(almost as well as you). And the younger they are,
the more excited they'll be about helping.
Take time (out of schooltime if necessary) to
train your children to do chores to your
standards and on time.
Read "7 Ways To Teach Responsibility through Chores"
6. Prevent Messes
Train all family members to pick up after
themselves, plus a little extra, whenever they leave
7. Schedule Time To Do Your Housework
Set aside certain hours in your daily or weekly
schedule for housework. Accomplish what you can
within that time, then move on to your next
activity. You can pick up where you left off next
time "housework" is on your schedule.
Follow the same scheduling procedure with
schooltime, errands, free time, etc. Otherwise one
"priority" can eat up all your time, leaving no room
for other important needs.