Are You Ready To Start?
How To Use These Orientation
Establish Family Nights
TTH Back Issues
Make sure you are ready to start school.
It is better to start a couple of weeks later
than to try to start before you are prepared.
A. First, look
at the "Checklist
for Starting a School Year"
and Newsletters #187,
B. Also consult
your Evaluationof last year's school year or take a little
time to fill out the checklist
now. Use this input from your whole family
to help you make plans for this school year.
C. Above all,
pray together as a couple and as a family
that the Lord will give you His promised
wisdom, direction, and strength in all your
plans and activities as you start your new
|How To Use These Orientation Week
1. Select only
those activities that would help your family.
2. Try something
new and see if it works.
3. Involve Dad
in plans and events as much as possible.
4. Ask your
children to help you plan some of the
5. Take as
little or as much time as you need for
Orientation Week — from one day to
which activities you will do on which days.
another family to join you for some
8. Make this a
positive, upbeat time.
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One of the best things you can do
with your children to promote family unity is
to have a "family night" each week. This can
create a family tradition that will be
remembered and cherished for years to come.
Establish a time each week to enjoy one
another's company as a family. It doesn't
have to cost money or be very educational,
just relaxing and fun.
activities to do together as a family such
as: walking, hiking, playing board games,
doing puzzles, arts and crafts, baking
something special, or reading aloud.
• Set aside the
same night each week and schedule other
activities around it. Since most outside
events are scheduled on weekends, you might
want to choose a week night for your family
• Use this time
for positive activities only, not to deal
• Plan a special
meal and/or dessert.
letting each member of the family take a turn
selecting a meal or activity.
If you haven't already established family
nights, or if they were not regularly
observed during the summer, plan a family
night for next week. Your family will be glad
What Do You
Do for Family Night?
Share your experiences and recommendations
with us. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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• Practical ideas to
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|The Teaching Home|
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Teaching Home Back Issues
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Our children and I were reading about the
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As we were reading, we came to Captain
John Smith's new rule stating, "He who will
not work, shall not eat."
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that's where the Bible got that from!"
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Because we have been separated from God by
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rose to life again. If we trust Him as our
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give us eternal life.
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Copyright 2007 The Teaching Home
• Goals and Purposes of
• 20 Orientation Week Activities
• Birch Court Books: Making
Brothers & Sisters Best Friends
• Beyond Phonics: Revolutionary
• Goop Tales: Manners and Polite
• Christian Liberty Academy: K-12
Home School Program
A back-to-home school Orientation Week can
go a long way towards getting your school
year off to a good start! In this
issue we offer 20 activities for you to
Be sure to read "Are You Ready To Start?"
and "How To Use These Orientation Week
Suggestions" in the sidebar at the left.
May the Lord bless your family and the
coming school year for His glory.
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
Home is a home-school, family-run
business operated in our home since 1980.
10 Goals and Purposes of Orientation Week
Orientation is "introductory instruction
concerning a new situation." Your
Orientation Week could accomplish some or all
of the following:
1. Give an
official start to your home school.
2. Start your
year with a balance of fun and informative
3. Introduce the
various studies and activities you plan for
the coming year.
4. Make your
children feel settled and informed before the
academic year begins.
curiosity and provide motivation for learning
efforts to reach goals.
7. Explain your
expectations and procedures to your children.
8. Provide a
special opportunity to discuss all aspects of
your family's life -- what you will be doing,
why, and how.
your home school routine to smooth the way
for your child's enjoyment of his study
10. Stir your
child's excitement about your coming year.
Brothers and Sisters Best Friends:
Three homeschooled siblings wrote this
friendship guide. Each chapter includes a
Bible story, self-evaluation quiz, and cartoons.
Birch Court Books: Create a Curriculum or
Your Own Packaged Curriculum.
Common Sense Press, Beautiful Feet Books,
Draw-Write-Now, Key to... Workbooks,
CalcuLadder, and much more.
Free Media Mail
shipping with online order
Free catalog: 800-655-1811. www.BirchCourtBooks.com
20 Orientation Week Activities
Choose a theme and Bible verse for
back-to-homeschool Orientation Week or for
your school year (e.g., "Study To Show
Yourself Approved unto God," II Timothy
If you are going to do a unit study, you
could use its topic for your theme.
Or use your school motto or Family
Statement and Bible verse (e.g., "As
for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,"
Joshua 24:15 or a variation of it, such as
"Preparing To Serve").
2. Annual Opening Ceremony
Have a planning meeting beforehand, gather
ideas your children want to include, and
assign each child a part.
Gather your students for a prayer of
dedication and a song chosen for your school
or for this school year that reflects your
theme or school motto.
3. Welcome by the School
Have Dad make an official Welcome Speech
after dinner as everyone sits in the living
Dad can tell his family how happy he is to
have them in his home school and his vision
for your family and this homeschool year. See
#80 on how to
write your family's mission statement.
4. Review of Rules
Write out your family's rules and
consistently require immediate, cheerful
A few principles can cover most rules (e.g.,
Honor the Lord, Respect and Obey Parents, Be
Kind to Siblings).
Explain the principles behind your rules from
God's Word so that your children understand
that they are obeying God, as well as you.
Add and explain appropriate consequences for
each broken rule and consistently apply them.
See information about child training and
discipline in Newsletter
See the biblically-based charts at Doorposts.
5. Reinforcement of Personal
Some of these (brush teeth, practice the
piano, help with dinner) can be added to your
Younger children are usually motivated by
stickers or stars to help them establish good
Read about how to establish good habits in Newsletters
#89 and #90.
20 Orientation Week Activities (cont.)
It's not too late for poor spellers!
Catch up or accelerate spelling,
fluent reading and vocabulary
with Beyond Phonics.
Character-building stories provide the
necessary bridge between beginning reading
and higher-level spelling, between phonics
and the word memorization needed to apply
phonics principles with automaticity.
Written for teens and multilevel teaching in
homeschool families. Grades 2-12 in one
Example: -ture -
"Do you like stories of adventure?
Capturing the enemy? Nature?
The future? Other cultures? In
Scripture, you will find all this and
6. Tour of "Campus"
Walk through your home with your children,
showing them the locations of study areas,
reference and school books, supplies, and
free play areas.
Make sure there are properly labeled places
for all books and supplies.
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.
Pass out supplies to your children with any
instruction for their use (e.g., messy art
supplies) and their storage locations.
8. Information Technology
Type up, tape to computer, and discuss rules
for safe use of the Internet, including the
length of time your child can sit at the
Filtered Internet service is a good start,
but is only the first step in providing
protection for your children.
guidelines for safe computer use. Safest
keep Internet use in an open area, often
frequented by family members or be with your
child when he is on the Internet.
Discuss principles of how to
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
Familiarize your children with your updated
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.
See "Ways To Teach Responsibility through
Chores" in Newsletter
10. List of Leadership
Assign one of your children to be Teacher's
Assistant for each of your classes. Your
assistant can be in charge of books,
supplies, special activities, supplementary
videos, etc. This will (hopefully) help you
and get your child more involved.
20 Orientation Week Activities (cont.)
Goop Tales: Alphabetically Told
Goops Unlimited is
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children's character building classics,
Goop Tales: Alphabetically Told.
founder, Barbara Ross,
seeks to bring proper manners and polite
behavior back into the lives of contemporary
families with her
line of family-friendly and whimsical titles.
Introduce the Goops
— and good manners — to your family!
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11. Issue a Spiritual Appeal
Dad and Mom could prepare one or more
devotional times to share their goals for the
spiritual growth of the family. Examples:
Both Pensacola Christian College and Bob
Jones University conduct Evangelistic or
Revival Meetings as part of their Orientation
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."
12. Personal Goals
Discuss goals and objectives with each child
individually, and explain how each fits into
the big picture of his future.
Ask each child what he thinks should be
different in his life at this time next year.
See information on setting goals and
objectives in Newsletter
13. Purpose, Goals, and Content of
Present an overview of what your children
should expect from each class.
Preview the classes, discussing the purpose
of the class (how the information learned
will be used), the goals (what the student
will learn), and the content (outline of
See a list
uses and applications of knowledge in various
14. Preliminary Class for Each
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.
If you don't have all this information now,
write what you do have, especially for the
first unit, and leave space to add more
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 copies of your schedule in several
places where all can see.
Explain your Master Calendar and the
procedure to place an engagement on the
20 Orientation Week Activities (cont.)
Since 1967, the
Christian Liberty Academy has provided
families like yours with a flexible,
affordable K-12 home school
program that emphasizes godly education and
Our CLASS Plan
includes achievement testing, a complete
and personally designed curriculum, teacher
grading and transcript services, as well as a
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 and work
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 students.
Make a picture list of acceptable activities
younger children can do when they are waiting
for your help, such as puzzles, coloring,
17. Welcome Party
Plan a dinner, a picnic, a special tea, a
dessert reception, a pizza party, or anything
festive that your family would enjoy
This is a good event to share with another
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
family together, frame, and hang them.
Buy matching T-shirts, with or without your
family's or school's name, motto, verse, or
logo. These are great for field trips
and to build team spirit!