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Copyright 2014
The Teaching Home
Box 20578
Portland OR 97294
Phone: 503-253-9633  

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KARMAN Graphics and Design


Since 1980 The Teaching Home has provided families information,
inspiration, and encouragement from a distinctively Christian perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Homeschool Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short


 Past Issue 

Newsletter #392
Listening / Basic Skills Series, Part 1.  Includes: Advantages of Good Listening; Principles of Good Listening; and 10 Listening Practice Activities. Applicable to both younger and older children.

2014 State Conventions

Learn more about a major convention in your state by linking to the sponsoring organization's website below.

States A-I
AL: June 19-20; AK: April 25-26
AZ: July 11-12; AR: None scheduled
CA: Mar. 22; Apr. 5; May 29-31; June 6-7
CO: June 12-14; CT (with MA): April 24-26
DC: None scheduled
DE: None scheduled; FL: May 22-25
GA: June 5-7; HI: March 14-15
ID: June 5-7; IL: June 5-7
IN: March 28-29; IA: May 15-17

States K-M
KS: May 29-31; KY: None scheduled
LA: April 25-26; ME: March 20-22
MD: April 25-26; MA: April 24-26
MI: May 15-17; MN: April 11-12
MO: None scheduled; MS: May 16-17
MT: None scheduled

States N-O
NE: March 28-29; NH: None scheduled
NJ: May 16-17; NM: April 24-26
NY: Downstate - March 14-15
NC: May 22-24; ND: March 20-22
NV: None scheduled; OH: June 20-21
OK: Oklahoma City: May 2-3;
       Tulsa: April 25-26
OR: June 20-21

States P-W
PA: May 9-10; RI: April 5
SC: None Scheduled
SD: None Scheduled
TN: Various Dates by Region
TX: July 24-26;
TX: Various Dates by Region
UT: March 21-22; VA: June 5-7
VT: None scheduled; WA: April 24-26
WI: May 29-31; WV: May 31
WY: June 6-7

What State Organizations
Can Do for You

A host of dedicated homeschool parents – just like you – serve the homeschool community in necessary and beneficial ways through state organizations.  These are some of the most obvious ways they work for you.

1. Help Protect Your
    Homeschool Freedoms

It is vital for a strong, state organization to constantly monitor proposed legislation that could threaten even the best homeschool law in the nation.

By joining your state homeschool organization, you can provide needed support.  You will be informed so that you can take part in any political action.

2. Supply Getting Started

Your state homeschool organization can supply getting started information including how to comply with your own state's unique laws.

3. Offer Events & News

Homeschool events inspire and inform (see articles in this issue).

State newsletters and magazines provide specific information and news for your state.

4. Network & Serve
    Local Support Groups

Your state homeschool organization may provide networking and leadership helps to local support groups as well as referring new homeschool families to them.

Home School Legal Defense Association lists State Organizations, (including U.S. Territories and overseas military support groups) and information on homeschooling internationally.

Order Now for St. Patrick's Day
and Easter

 •  Saint Patrick The Real Story of His Life & Times from Tragedy to Triumph by William J. Federer. DVD $11.21. Patrick was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland. He miraculously escaped, then went back as a missionary. He confronted Druid chiefs, baptized 120,000, used the three-leaf clover to teach the Trinity, and founded 300 churches, which in the next century sent missionaries to Europe!

 •  Order Easter tracts now to use in spreading the good news of our Savior's death and resurrection.

 •  Music and Video
A Christian Passover Seder, Kindle edition, $2.99
Handel: Messiah, DVD
Handel's Messiah, MP3, $3.69
The Gospel of John, DVD, Word for word from Scripture. $9.96
The Visual Bible - Matthew, DVD, Word for word from Scripture. $12.49

Save $20 on Your HSLDA Membership

Home School Legal Defense Association offers homeschooling families a low-cost method of obtaining quality legal defense that gives them the freedom to homeschool without having to face legal threats alone.

Use this link and discount group number 299142 for $20 off your membership fee.  (Be sure to enter the discount group number 299142 in the "Discount Group Code" area, not the "Coupon Code" area.)

Special Offers
Delivered to Your Inbox

Do you like Special Offers, saving money, and learning about new and useful resources for your homeschool?

Then check out the Resource E-Mails that come to your mail box!

This free newsletter is made possible by the fine suppliers who advertise in them and the Resource E-Mails.

Don't Miss a Newsletter!

We trust that you find this newsletter informative and encouraging.

•  See our archives of more than 200 newsletters online.

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Your e-mail address will never be sold or given to anyone, ever!

Teaching Home Back Issues

Fifty-one Back Issues
are offered for sale online.

The information, inspiration, and encouragement packed into each back issue never goes out of date.  They are always relevant, applicable to your needs today.

"The Teaching Home has been a part of my continuing education since I started homeschooling, and I have kept every issue. I often go back to old issues to find creative, helpful hints or inspiration." - Meredith C., Florida

Sunnyside Up

Onym Book?

One day I introduced Joshua, 9, to the thesaurus as part of his learning about the various reference tools in our home-school library. The next day I began review by asking, "Joshua, that's a thesaurus?"

"It's an onym book," came his prompt and confident reply.

"An onym book?" I questioned, puzzled at his reply.

"Yes, an onym book," he explained. "It's for synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms."

Submitted by Eunice H., Texas.

Send your humorous anecdote to

Peace with God

1.  God loves you.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

2.  Man is separated from God by sin.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)  For the wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23)

3.  The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.

He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

4.  We must personally receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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 1:12)

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. (Eph. 2:8, 9)

God's Word

Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.

The Teaching Home's
Unique Bible Reading Schedule

Features include:
•  Start any month.
•  Read 6 days a week
   (allows for church on Sunday).
•  Read 4 weeks per month
   (24 days per month).
Online at

Listen to the Bible Online.  Choose from six English versions (plus Spanish and other languages) at

Christian Music Online 24-7

Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) when you tune in to these online stations:

 •  Abiding Radio.  Choose from four stations: vocal, instrumental, kids, and seasonal (Christmas). Information for listening on many different devices.

 •  Old Christian Radio

Free Reprints

We encourage you to share our e-mail newsletters in the following ways:

1.  Newsletter.  Forward the entire newsletter to your friends and support group.

2.  Articles.  Reprint articles in an e-mail or print publication.

3.  The Internet.  Articles may be posted on the Internet by observing the copyright policies below and including an active link to our website:

Please observe the following copyright policies when you reprint our material:

 •  Editing.  Reprint articles unedited and in their entirety.

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 •  Copyright Notice and Link.  Add: "Copyright 2014 (or year published) by Reprinted by permission."

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Invite a Friend!  Encourage your friends and support group to sign up to receive these free newsletters.

 In This Issue 

10 Ways To Get the Most
from Homeschool Events

  1.  Features and Benefits
       of a Homeschool Event
  2.  Who Should Attend with You
  3.  Ways To Save on Registration
  4.  How To Prepare
  5.  Things To Do the Day Before
  6.  At the Convention
  7.  In the Exhibit Hall
  8.  Mind Your Convention Manners
  9.  Ways To Network
10.  Follow-Up Activities (Get the
      Last Bit of Good from the Event!)


   •  List of 2014 State Conventions
   •  What State Organizations Can Do for You

 Upcoming Topics 

   •  (Continuing) Basic Skills Series
   •  Doing Well on Achievement Tests
   •  5-Day Easter Unit Study

 Recommended Resources 

   •  Logos Language Institute Free Spanish Intro Audio Download
   •  Personal Prayer Journal for You or Your Older Child


Unique benefits await you at your local, regional, or state homeschool convention, conference, or book fair.  We urge you to attend!

Be sure to get the most out of any homeschool event with the practical suggestions and check-lists in this issue.

A Big Thank You!  goes out to the many homeschool leaders who give so much of themselves to make these events possible.

Please Pray.  The following request from The Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators applies to all state conventions:

"As you can imagine, the task of coordinating a major event is enormous.  So many individuals are involved and so much needs to be well coordinated for this event to bless and encourage parents who home educate their children.

"That is why we are asking for prayer partners to lift up the needs of the board, speakers, and volunteers to our wonderful Lord and Savior."

May the Lord richly bless your family for His glory.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a homeschool, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.

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1.  Features and Benefits
     of a Homeschool Event

The opportunities brought together in this once-a-year event can renew and expand your vision for teaching and training your children.

Each year is a new experience, and you will gain something each time you attend!

Homeschool events can broaden your horizons with new ideas, methods, materials, and approaches as well as reminders of the basics.

New homeschoolers, as well as veterans, will be encouraged, rejuvenated, educated and better equipped to homeschool!

1.  Keynote Speakers  are some of the best speakers in the country.  They will inspire and motivate you with the big picture of homeschooling.

2.  Workshops  are taught by a variety of speakers on topics of their own expertise.  They will give you practical how-to training in wide range of topics to make your teaching more efficient.

Vendor workshops are taught by exhibitors who explain their products, demonstrate their use, and provide teaching tips.

3.  Exhibit Halls  can save you time and money as you shop for curriculum and resources.  You will be able to examine, compare, and purchase a vast array of home-education products from many vendors in one place.

You can inspect new products and speak to authors or knowledgeable representatives to ask questions and learn more.

Often you can save money on convention discounts and/or receive free shipping.

4.  Networking  with other like-minded homeschoolers can offer valuable friendship and support for your entire family.

5.  Support Your State Organization  and the many services they provide home educators year-round (see "What State Organizations Can Do for You" in left column).

6.  Extras.  Check to see if any of the following are offered:
 •   Used Curriculum Sale – Earn money; buy for less
 •   Teens Track or service opportunities
 •   Children's Programs - more than just "babysitting"!
 •   Tapes of General Sessions and Workshops
 •   Goody Bags filled with catalogs and brochures
 •   Luncheon or Meeting for Support Group Leaders
 •   Graduation Ceremony
 •   Boxed Lunch or Snack Bar
 •   Special Hotel Room Rates

2.  Who Should Attend with You

1.  Spouse.  It is ideal for a husband and wife to go together to gather information, share perspectives, and focus on family goals and budget.

This is an excellent opportunity for fathers to better understand the issues involved in homeschooling and to talk to other homeschool fathers.

2.  Friend.  If it is not possible for your spouse to attend, a friend can help you in much the same way.

3.  Nursing Babies, of course, stay with Mom.

4.  Young Children.  Children might not be allowed and will be a distraction; either you will not be able to get all you can out of the convention, or you will not be able to give adequate care to your children.

5.  Teens and Older Children.  If programs are offered for them, you may want to consider this option. Also, it could be helpful to look at resources together with your older child to see what appeals to him.

Hotel Room.  If you need to travel far, you might take a room for overnight, to stow purchases, or to take a rest.

3.  Ways To Save on Registration

Check out these cost-cutting possibilities:

1.  Preregister.  This can save you money that you can spend on buying materials.

2.  Volunteer To Work.  A few hours or more can be a real help to the organization sponsoring the event, and you might be rewarded by a reduced entrance fee and/or other benefits.  You will also get to know some great homeschoolers while working with them.

3.  Join Organization.  By joining, you help support homeschool efforts in your area, plus you might receive discounts on your convention fee and other benefits.

4.  Special Rates for couples, grandparents, teens, children, pastors, and other full-time ministers.

Easy-to-Use Prayer Journal
Helps Make Prayer More Meaningful
for You or Your Older Child

Have you ever used a prayer journal?
     Or taught your children how to use one?

Features of this new Personal Prayer Journal include:
      •  Great for organizing your prayers.
      •  Calendar Section to remember to pray for events
      •  2 Pages a Day for Praise & Prayer Requests
      •  Answered Prayer Section at back of book

View helpful online video on how to use this prayer journal.

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4.  How To Prepare

The vast array of workshops and exhibit booths, combined with a limited time to take it all in, can be overwhelming when you walk into a convention unprepared.

On the other hand, if you go with a plan and focus on your purpose and priorities, you can spend your time, energy, and money more wisely and get the most out of the convention.

1.  Pray for the Lord's promised wisdom in all your decisions.

2.  Your Spouse and you should discuss your educational goals, plans, and budget.  (See Newsletter #376 on "Setting Goals for Your Homeschool.")

3.  Gather Information (check the sponsoring organization's website – see links in left column).  Obtain a convention schedule, workshops, speakers and their topics, list of exhibitors, and exhibit hall floor plan.

4.  Select and Prioritize speakers' sessions, workshops, and exhibitors you don't want to miss and conference tapes you might want to buy.  Make a list and/or mark your program and exhibit hall floor plan.

5.  Compare your agenda with that of your spouse or friend attending with you and see if you can each cover several different sessions and then share their content with each other.

6.  Research.  Check out publishers' and suppliers' catalogs (in print or online) to plan which materials you would like to examine.

7.  Shopping List.  Make a list of specific materials or the types of materials you will be looking for.  (See Newsletter #377 on "7 Steps to Choosing Curriculum for Your Home School.")

8.  Questions.  Make a list of questions to ask exhibitors, speakers, and/or other attendees.

5.  Things To Do the Day Before

Make these last minute preparations.

1.  Family Needs.  Spend some special time with your children and husband.  Prepare meals and make provision to meet other needs while you are at the convention.  Confirm child care arrangements.

2.  Directions.  Make sure you know exactly how to get to the convention facility and what parking is available.

3.  Schedule.  Plan to leave in time to be early or on time.

4.  Pack items you will take with you.
 •   Directions and/or map
 •   Name badge or other proof of pre-registration
 •   Cash, checks, or debit card
 •   Highlighter to mark your program
 •   Backpack, tote(s), or small wheeled suitcase
     for catalogs, pamphlets, and purchases
 •   Steno pad or notebook and pens to take notes
 •   Return address labels to use in filling out forms
 •   Wrist watch to keep track of time
 •   Comfortable walking shoes
 •   Sweater or jacket for too-cold air conditioning
 •   Water, snack, and lunch (these may need to be
     kept and eaten in your car if the convention
     center does not allow outside food brought in)

5.  Sleep and Eat.  Get a good night's sleep and a good breakfast.

6.  At the Convention

Once at the convention, follow your plan.

1.  Schedule.  If you have not already obtained and marked a schedule and exhibit hall floor plan, do this first.

2.  Breaks.  Take breaks to rest your feet, reassess your progress, and write notes while your impressions are fresh.

3.  Speakers.  Don't expect to agree with everything a speaker says.  Compare everything to God's Word; accept and use what you can and let the rest go.

4.  The Unexpected.  Allow some free time to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity.

7.  In the Exhibit Hall

1.  Work Your Plan.  Use your prioritized plan of booth visits and your shopping list to do your "must see" visits first, then go through the exhibit hall finding and learning more new things.

2.  Talk to vendors about their products' methods, goals, and philosophy, and how to use them.  Refer to your list of questions.

3.  Purchases.  Use the parcel check or take your purchases to your room or car rather than carrying them around.

4.  Busy Exhibitor.  If the representatives are busy at a "must see" booth, go on and return later, or ask to be included in the discussion.

5.  Sleep on It.  If you are attending two days, gather information the first day, and then think and pray about your purchases before making them the next day.

6.  Also visit nonprofit and service organizations' booths to find out what they can offer you (e.g., your state organization).

7.  Give Feedback.  When appropriate, give a vendor a brief, clear, and focused comment about your needs, opinions, and experiences to help them produce better products and services.

8.  Mind Your Convention Manners

Observe these guidelines to show consideration to everyone involved at the convention.

1.  Convention Rules.  Follow the rules set out for the convention regarding food and beverage in exhibit hall (check if bottled water is OK), children, strollers, etc.

2.  Exhibitors.  Support the ones who help you.  Do not take up an exhibitor's time in counseling and explaining his products and then go buy the same product from another exhibitor or from a discount supplier.  Exhibitors help make the convention possible.

3.  Babies and Children.  Immediately remove a crying or disrupting child from a workshop or meeting.  Ask your child to give his chair to an adult if there is not enough seating.

9.  Ways To Network

1.  Meet and talk to other attendees; greet old friends and make new ones.

2.  Ask advice.  Get feedback on ideas and products and share opinions and experiences.  You may get your most valuable information and encouragement from another homeschool mom.

3.  Offer to help someone.  Hold a baby and give a mother's arms a rest; find a new homeschooler (it will be obvious) and give a word of encouragement; offer to help a speaker or exhibitor.

4.  Smile at everyone!

10.  Follow-Up Activities
(Get the Last Bit of Good from the Event!)

1.  Debriefing.  Have a debriefing discussion with your spouse or friend.  Discuss the ideas and products you encountered at the convention to help you sort through things, keeping some and discarding others, focusing on how to get the most out of your experience.

2.  Just Do It.  Return home with at least one new idea that will make a difference in your home school to put into practice.  Look over all your notes while they are fresh, and narrow down all the wonderful things you would like to do to no more than six.  Then prioritize your list and start on the first one the following week.

3.  Be Accountable.  Ask your husband or a friend to pray for you and keep you accountable to work on your goal.  The results may surprise and encourage you.

4.  Share the information you have gathered with your support group or someone who was not able to attend.  Let them know if you would recommend that they plan to attend next year.

5.  Clean Up.  Sort literature you received into four categories:
 •   Take action
 •   Save for future reference or reading
 •   Pass on to someone else
 •   Toss

6.  Thank Yous!  Write a thank you note to those who put so much effort into putting on the convention, a speaker that ministered to you, or an exhibitor that took time to help you.

We trust that these suggestions will help you get the most from your homeschool event!

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