For 27 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Families Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective. Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors _________________________________________________________________________________
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for the California Case
Favorable Development in
the California Homeschooling Case
by J. Michael Smith,
Thank you for your continued prayers for
the California homeschooling case, In re
Rachel L. Home School Legal Defense
Association has learned that the juvenile
court judge terminated jurisdiction over the
two youngest L. children in a hearing held on
July 10, 2008.
Two years ago, the children's
court-appointed lawyers had asked that the
two children be ordered to attend a school
outside the home. That request became the
basis for the court's February ruling that
homeschooling is illegal in California. The
appellate court later vacated its own
decision and set the case for rehearing. Oral
argument on the rehearing was held on June
23, 2008 and a decision could be handed down
at any time.
Mr. L's appellate attorneys with the
Alliance Defense Fund will be making the
appellate court aware of this new development
immediately. They will move to dismiss the
petition pending in the court of appeal on
the ground that the petition is now moot. In
other words, the children are no longer under
the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
Therefore, any decision by the appellate
court based on the two-year-old petition
could not be enforced against the L.
"This is a significant favorable
development toward preserving homeschooling
freedom in California," said Mike Farris,
Chairman and Founder of HSLDA.
For more updates and information on this
case, visit www.hslda.org.
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HSLDA offers homeschooling families
a low-cost method of obtaining quality legal
defense that gives them the freedom to
homeschool without having to face legal
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Olympic Prayer Bands
Would you pray for your persecuted
brothers and sisters during the Olympics?
If so, order your Olympic Prayer Bands online
– only $.50-$2 each, depending on
The Voice of the Martyrs, in partnership
with China Aid Associates, is offering
Olympic Prayer Bands for Christians in the
USA and in China to wear during the 2008
Summer Olympics, to be held in Beijing.
These prayer bands serve as a reminder to
pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters
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 forgive our sin and
give us eternal life.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son, that whoever believes
in Him shall not perish, but have eternal
life." (John 3:16)
"For all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "For the wages
of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)
"He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to
death for our sins and was raised to life for
our justification." (Romans 4:25)
"But as many as received Him, to them He
gave the right to become children of God,
even to those who believe in His name." (John
"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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1. Read Aloud Together
Reading is a pleasurable summer activity
with educational benefits. Reading
together as a family makes it that much
a book that will keep the interest of all
this time relaxed and enjoyable, but stop to
explain or discuss items that come up.
with expression at a slightly slower pace.
together before or after a family activity,
such as a meal, Bible reading, or bed time.
at the table, sitting together on the couch,
An alternative is to listen
together (at home or in the car) to an audio
recording of good literature, such as those
from your local library or Sing
2. Select Good Books
To help your children enjoy reading and to
benefit their character and education, select
their reading materials carefully.
Determine Reading Level
You can read aloud to your child at a
higher reading level than his own, but select
a more comfortable reading level for him to
read independently so he does not become
frustrated, skip over words, or have low
Identify Moral Elements
A standard that can be applied to
selecting literature is found in Phillippians
Story is based on truth and reality.
Christian character is reinforced.
Appropriate consequences are meted out.
Characters and story are pure. Sin is not
described, admired, laughed at, or rewarded.
Language is clean.
Beauty is portrayed (in illustrations as
Good Repute. Emphasizes what is good
or of Virtue. The material is moral and
edifying as well as of high quality.
We can praise God for what we are reading.
Read more about negative moral elements
and options in Newsletter
#23 and an article, "A Biblical Approach
to Objectionable Elements" on the BJU
Consider Variety and Other Criteria
or read to your child books that meet his
needs and interests and also stretch his
a variety of literature: historical fiction,
biography (including missionaries and great
Christians), nonfiction (even textbooks),
poetry, drama, and books set in different
time periods and geographic locations.
for books in a series.
books are usually best.
Watch your child grow by reading good
books this summer!
Catch up or Accelerate
Spelling, Fluent Reading and Vocabulary . . .
. . . quickly and painlessly with
phonics-based word family stories for all ages.
Just one textbook covers grade levels
1-12; remedial for all ages.
Examples: French ch -
"Charlotte looked chic in her
new chiffon dress and crocheted
sweater..."; wor - "Unfortunately, the
world judges Christ's worth by
the words and works of His
children and the depths of their
AVKO (Audio, Visual, Kinesthetic, and
Oral) Offers a Multi-Sensory Approach to
through Phonics and Word Families.
Spelling – the rules of
spelling without lengthy explanation. • Individualized
Keyboarding – typing plus
reading and spelling skills through patterns
rather than isolated key positions. • Let's
Write Right – reading and
spelling through penmanship. • To
Teach a Dyslexic – the readable
autobiography of Don McCabe, a dyslexic who
is a widely recognized expert on dyslexia and
Research Director of AVKO. To "try it before you buy
it," or for information on dyslexia, visit
our website for complimentary samples and
4. Keep Reading Logs
It is very encouraging, as well as useful,
to record all the books each of your children
younger children you can make a large or
small decorated poster and list the books
they read with a simple plus or minus mark
indicating whether you would recommend the
book or read it again.
and paste this
simple form (or make your own) on poster
board or construction paper and let your
child decorate it with his own art, stickers,
or photos cut from a catalog or
magazine. You can also find an image of
the book he has read on the Internet, print
and cut it out and paste on the chart.
older children, notebook
pages give space for more details such
- Book title and author
- Number of pages and date read
- Genre (nonfiction; present-day, historical,
fiction; biography; fantasy,
etc.), subject, or topic
- Overall rating (e.g., 1-5, with 5 =
and/or your child can discuss and add a
Christian worldview evaluation that might
include the positive or negative examples set
by the characters, whether good was rewarded
and evil punished, etc. See more on
evaluation of literature in Newsletter
book report can also be attached. Print
book report forms for fiction, biography,
fairy tale (fantasy or science fiction),
historical novel, mystery, non-fiction, and
These records will be encouraging for your
child to see how much he has read.
They will be valuable for you to ensure
that your child is reading a variety of
genres and positive Christian worldview
You will also be able to know which books
are good for your other children to read and
which books you can heartily recommend to
5. Form a Reading Club
or Have a Book Party
Your reading club can be an informal
meeting once a week, twice a month, or just
one Book Party. It can consist of
members of your own family or a group of
• Exchange recommendations
for favorite books and why you like them.
oral reports or speech and drama projects; do
an art project together. See "100+ Creative
Book Reports / Unit Study Activities" in Newsletter
a book party or presentation with each child
giving a five-minute book report (a
traditional report or an idea from the list
#26), perhaps dressed and acting as a
character in his book. Set up a table
to display books and projects. Refreshments
can include some suggested by the books.
Sharing your book with friends or family
will make it more enjoyable!
6. Read to Someone
Use your gift of reading to bless another.
someone older to read to as Jo and Amy in
Little Women read to their elderly
to a child. One of a child's favorite things
is to be read to - and it takes so little
time and effort.
you are not able to read in person, tape
record your reading and send it to your
grandmother, a shut-in, or even your little
cousin that lives across the country.
to read expressively and meaningfully:
- select something that is easy to
- read at an appropriate pace
- group words in natural phrases
- enunciate words clearly
- use appropriate intonations
- try to sound like the person speaking
in the story
- pre-read your selection while
practicing these skills
Teaching your child to read does not need
to be difficult—all you need are a few
phonics resources, patience, and enthusiasm!
8. Listen To Your Child Read
For a child that is still learning to
read, it is very helpful for you to sit down
with him and listen to him read a little bit
each day. He will profit from the
practice, and you can encourage him, catch
any mistakes he makes, and become aware of
gaps in his reading skills.
good books at an appropriate reading level
Note: Many of the library’s easy
readers may not be good for your child to
read; nonfiction books may be safer, but
watch for nonbiblical elements of evolution,
humanism, occultism, modern youth culture,
comprehension by asking questions and having
your child retell in his own words a portion
he has read.