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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633  

Site Developed by
KARMAN Graphics and Design


For 29 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Home-School Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

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

St. Patrick's Day

At the age of 16, Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave.  There he found God while herding pigs.  After escaping, he returned to his home in Roman Brittan.  Later he returned to Ireland as a humble and brave missionary.

•  Read more about Patrick in the online article, "Will the Real St. Patrick Please Stand Up?," the story of St. Patrick's life taken from his Confession, which concludes:

"By the time of his death, Patrick had baptized tens of thousands and established hundreds of churches throughout Ireland.

Within a century, this once pagan land became predominately Christian, possessing such a vigorous faith that Ireland in turn sent out missionaries to Scotland, England, France, Germany, and Belgium.

"As an old man, Patrick looked back in awe.

"'Those who never had a knowledge of God but worshipped idols and things impure, have now become a people of the Lord, sons of God.'"

•  Read a shorter account online for children of Patrick's life—how he was not Irish nor Catholic, and how he used the shamrock to explain the Trinity.

•  St. Patrick's Breastplate: Read this poetic prayer, listen to and see it sung in an Irish setting, and study the vocabulary, geography, and comprehension questions.

•  Free 23-Page E-book from Living Books Curriculum, St. Patrick's Day Holiday Helper.

This e-book has a biography, rare illustrations for picture study, a recipe for soda bread, and an essay you and your children won't want to miss, "The Real St. Patrick," which begins:

"Most American Christians are unaware of the true story of St. Patrick.  He was one of the greatest missionaries of all time, evangelizing all of Ireland, and then training up leaders who went to a Europe that had fallen into the Dark Ages after the collapse of the Roman Empire.  Patrick's disciples re-evangelized all of Europe."

•  More information and activities:  Annie's St. Patrick's Day Pages and Love To Learn Place.

•  Confession of St. Patrick.  Read the complete work online, or order and view the video, "Confession of St. Patrick," from Audio Memory.

March Is Irish-American Heritage Month

In March we acknowledge the contributions of Irish-Americans to our nation (see the President's proclamation).

You may want to celebrate with an Irish meal:

•  Bake Irish soda bread.

•  Make Dublin Coddle (an easy and hearty stove-top casserole).

See the book How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill.

Easter Tracts

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

"He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification." (Romans 4:25)

2010 State Conventions

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

States A-H
AL:  May 14-15; AK:  April 16-17;AZ:  July 23-24;AR:  May 14-15; 20-22;CA:  April 30 - May 1; July 16-18;CO:  June 17-19;CT:  June 11-12;DE:  None scheduled; FL:  May 27-29;GA:  April 30 - May 1;HI:  March 12-13

States I-M
ID:  June 3-5;IL:  June 3-5;IN:  Feb. 26-27;IA:  June 18-19; KS:  April 16-17; KS:  June 3-5; KY:  June 24-26; LA:  April 23-24; LA: National Black Home Educators: July 1-3;ME:  March 18-20;MD:  April 16-17;MA:  April 23-24;MI:  May 14-15;MN:  April 16-17;MO:  None scheduled;MS:  May 14-15;MT:  None scheduled

States N-O
NE:  April 9-10;NH:  May 28-29;NJ:  May 14-15;NM:  April 22-24;NY:  Long Island: April 30 - May 1; Upstate: June 3-5;NC:  May 27-29;ND:  March 18-20;NV:  None scheduled;OH:  June 24-26;OK:  Eastern: April 27-28; Central: April 30 - May 1;OR:  June 25-26

States P-W
PA:  May 7-8;RI:  April 10;SC:  June 18-19;SD:  May 7-8;TN:  Various Dates by Region;TX:  July 29-31; Plus Various Dates by Region;UT:  March 19-20;VA:  June 10-12;VT:  No State Organization or Event;WA:  April 22-24;WA:  August 6-7;WI:  May 20-22;WV:  May 21-22;WY:  May 7-8

AB:  April 16-17;MB:  March 26-27; NB:  May 28-29;ON:  April 23-24; QC:  April 30 - May 1;SK:  February 19-20

Resource E-Mails

Do you like Special Offers and learning about new and useful resources for your home school?

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

These free newsletters are 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!


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 threats alone.

(Use discount group number 299142 for $20 off your membership fee.)

The Teaching Home
Back Issues

Teaching Home Back Issues

Fifty-one back issues are offered online or by mail order.

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

Order securely online.

Sunnyside Up

Historical Record

One day our three children were exploring the field in back of our house when they ran in, saying excitedly, "Look, Mom, we found a funny looking black CD."

I felt suddenly older, but we had a great study of the history of the record and phonograph.

What the children had found was a 45 RPM phonograph record.

Submitted by Charlotte H., California.

Send your humorous anecdote to

Peace with God

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)

Man was separated from God by sin.

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)

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)

We must personally receive Jesus Christ as our 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. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

Bible Reading Schedule

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

See The Teaching Home's Bible reading schedule online 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

 •  Old Christian Radio

Free Reprints

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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:

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In This Issue

Achievement Tests, Part 1
Help Your Child Get His Best Score!

   •  Standardized Tests and the Christian Worldview
   •  What Achievement Tests Can and Cannot Do
   •  Common Standardized Achievement Tests
   •  3 Ways To Prepare Your Child for a Test

Upcoming Topics

   •  5-Day Easter Unit Study
   •  Learning through Gardening

Recommended Resources

   •  Hewitt Homeschool Resources: PASS Test
   •  Timberdoodle: Spectrum Test Prep Series
   •  Raising Kids To Do Hard Things: Seminars
   •  Moody Publishers: It Starts at Home


It's not too early to start preparing for your children's yearly achievement tests!

Home-school parents who work closely with their children every day usually know quite accurately where their children are academically and in many other areas.

Standardized achievement tests, however, can affirm both your child's learning progress and your teaching ability.  This objective evaluation can encourage both of you, as well as provide confirmation of your success to other family members, friends, and the state, where required.

Contact your state home-school organization or Home School Legal Defense Association to check your own state's laws and confirm:

 •  If your child is required to be tested and at what ages or grade levels.

 •  What tests are acceptable and who can administer the test.

 •  If and when you need to report your child's test scores.

 •  If there is another method of evaluation permitted, such as a portfolio of your child's work or an educator's appraisal.

We trust that the information in this and our next newsletter will help you make wise decisions in this area of your child's education.

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 home-school, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.

In-home, Parent-administrated, Low-stress
Untimed Alternative for Achievement Testing

Hewitt Homeschool Resources Offers
The PASS Test for Grades 3 - 8

     The PASS Test (Personalized Achievement Summary System) was developed for home schoolers and includes many great features in addition to being parent-administrated, low-stress, and untimed.

     Get complete information on our website, or call 1-800-348-1750,
M-Th, 8:00-4:00 Pacific time.

Hewitt Homeschool Resources

PASS is officially accepted in AK, GA, NH, NY, NC, and WA.
Some states have no specific testing requirements.
Also check with your independent school district.

Standardized Tests
and the Christian Worldview

The ACSI/SAT Custom-Made Test

Steve Deckard, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Institute for Creation Research states, "One aspect of education where evolutionary theory has had a stranglehold is standardized testing.  This is especially true for standardized science achievement tests.

"These tests have been written from a secular, humanistic, and evolutionary world view. Because of this inherent bias, young people educated in evangelical Christian private or home schools which teach creation science are at a distinct disadvantage.

"This situation is changing.  Association of Christian Schools International, in cooperation with the developers of the Stanford Achievement Test series, introduced in the fall of 1995 a special Christian School Edition of the Stanford Achievement Test.

"The ACSI/SAT Christian School Edition is known as a custom-made test.  The non-core questions use a Biblical and traditional-values approach with illustrations, examples, and stories." Also included in the ACSI/SAT is a Bible Assessment subtest.  (Read more.)

Home-school families may have access to the ACSI/SAT by:

•  Testing at a ACSI-member Christian school.

•  Your support group can become an ACSI member if it has a paid administer and meets other criteria (call 800-367-0798) and can then order the tests.


Inge Cannon, of HomeSchool Transcripts, observes, "As the culture moves in the direction of secularism and away from any demonstration of Biblical values, Christians will find the gap between what they are teaching and what the tests measure to grow increasingly wider."

Inge goes on to recommend that home schoolers:

•  Take only the basic battery (reading, math, language arts) and avoid the additional tests that make up the complete battery (science, social studies, and at lower levels, the environment) if they must take a standardized achievement test.

•  Strive to change state home-school laws to reflect this option or to allow for other forms of evaluation.

Achievement Testing Time!
Spectrum Test Prep Sale – Only $6.25 each

     The Spectrum Test Prep series offers children a comprehensive and sequential way to practice the content areas on the following standardized tests: CAT/5, CTBS/4, ITBS, Form K, MAT/7, and SAT/9.
     Each workbook includes:
   • Actual test questions
   • Tips for clearer writing
   • Tips on test preparation
   • Strategies for answering different kinds of questions
   • Full-length practice tests and complete answer key
     List price - $9.95 / Sale price - $6.25 (You save $3.70!)

Timberdoodle  ·  800-478-0672
1510 E Spencer Lake Rd, Shelton WA 98584

What Achievement Tests
Can and Cannot Do

Remember that a standardized achievement test cannot measure the sum total of your child's progress.  It is only one assessment tool with limited value.

What Achievement Tests Can Do

•  Measure your child's ability to recall certain facts, basic skills, and concepts common to the grade tested.

•  Compare your child's scores with other students' scores.

•  Assess your child's year-to-year development of learning, if the same test is used for several years.

•  Help you determine your child's academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as the effectiveness of your curriculum, teaching methods, or emphasis, when results are combined with your own observations.

What Achievement Tests Can't Do

•  Tell you if your child has achieved academically to the level of his ability.

•  Measure your child's intelligence or the many other skills and abilities not on the test.

•  Replace your own informed evaluation of your child's knowledge and skills, gained from your daily observation of his work and more thorough and frequent review questions.

Raising Kids To Do Hard Things Seminar
Is Coming to a City Near You in 2010 !

Gregg Harris will offer the simple approach he and his wife have taken in raising Alex
and Brett Harris,
the bestselling authors of Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations.

     • Portland, OR - March 19-20, 2010
     • Chicago, IL - April 23-24, 2010
     • St. Louis, MO - May 14-15, 2010
     • Denver, CO - September 17-18, 2010
     • Dallas, TX - October 8-9, 2010
     • Atlanta, GA - October 29-30, 2010
     • Washington D.C. - November 12-13, 2010
     • Orlando, FL - December 3-4, 2010

Raising Kids To Do Hard Things
Get complete info at
Register Online    (503) 313-8106

Common Standardized
Achievement Tests

Following are the most commonly used standardized achievement tests.  For more information about each test, see the test publisher's website links below.

Check with your state or local home-school organization for local sources of tests and testing services.

1.  California Achievement Tests (CAT/5, CAT/6)

Published by CTB/McGrawHill.  California Achievement Tests, Fifth Edition (CAT/5) and TerraNova, The Second Edition

•  California Achievement Test, 1970 Edition (more demanding than recent editions) is available from Christian Liberty Academy School System. (CAT/6)

2.  Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS).  Published by Riverside Publishing.

•  ITBS and other tests and assessments available from Bob Jones University Press Testing and Evaluation.

3.  Stanford Achievement Tests (SAT), Tenth Edition.  (Not to be confused with the SAT college entrance exam.)

SAT 10 and Stanford 10 - Abbreviated Battery are now published by Pearson.

•  SAT and other tests and assessments available from Bob Jones University Press Testing and Evaluation.

•  ACSI/SAT 10 may be available from ACSI or ACSI-member schools.  (See "Standardized Tests and the Christian Worldview" above.)

Comparison of the Stanford and Iowa Achievement Tests

BJU Press notes that both tests are top-rated, nationally standardized tests that evaluate thinking, and neither is more difficult than the other.

•  Stanford evaluates listening skills through grade 8; Iowa through grade 2.

•  Stanford tests are administered untimed; Iowa tests are timed.

4.  Personalized Achievement Summary System (PASS) Tests

The PASS Test was developed specifically for home schoolers.  As other achievement tests, it estimates student achievement in the subjects of reading, language, and math.

Parents may administer this untimed test in their own home.  A pretest places your child in the correct test level.

•  Available from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources.

5.  Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, TerraNova (CTBS).  Now called TerraNova CTBS.  Published by CTB/McGrawHill.

•  Available from The Sycamore Tree.

6.  Metropolitan Achievement Tests, Eighth Edition (MAT 8).  Previously published by Harcourt Assessment (see note in #3 above).

It Starts at Home
A Practical Guide to Nurturing Lifelong Faith

     Reports state that over 50% of evangelical kids walk away from Christianity as adults.

     The authors of It Starts at Home provide a clear purpose, an effective strategy, and a simple plan to nurture a lifelong faith in children.

   • 120-day assessment, plan,
     and ideas included.

   • See sample pages.

List price - $14.99 / Sale price - $10.11 (Save $4.88/33%)
Pre-order now and book will be delivered in April.

Moody Publishers

3 Ways To Prepare Your Child
for a Test

It is wise to prepare your child for a test and teach him some basic test-taking skills.

1.  Teach Subject Matter

The desire to do well on a year-end test can provide added accountability and motivation for learning throughout your school year.

You will choose the material you teach your child based on more important criteria than passing a test. In fact, much of the most vital information you want your child to learn will not appear on a standardized achievement test.

(See Newsletter #81 about setting spiritual, academic, social, and life skills goals and objectives.)

However, be sure to include all information the test will cover in your curriculum.

•  Create or buy study aids for teaching and reviewing key facts and information that needs to be memorized such as flashcards, checklists, outlines, and summaries.

•  Check out the audio resources carried by Sing 'n Learn that help your children learn and review basic information.

2.  Provide Perspective

•  Don't overplay the test's importance.

•  Help your child approach his test with confidence and a positive attitude of doing his best.

•  Explain that this test is to show how much he knows and that he is not expected to know everything on the test, although he might know most of it.

3.  Administer Practice Tests

A practice test will increase your child's self-confidence and reduce his test anxiety.

•  Use a practice test to familiarize your child with testing formats, directions, strategies, and sample questions (not exact questions) similar to those found in the test.

•  Use the practice test written specifically for the test your child will be taking.

Benefits of Practice Tests

A reader writes, "I have found it not only helpful, but almost essential to go through practice tests with our children well in advance of the test itself.

"We always find something just a little different from what we studied, and this gives us time to prepare.

"Two different tests are even better, for the same reason, and help children become more at home with different wording and formats."

Sources for Practice Tests

Practice tests are available for various standardized tests at different grade levels from the following suppliers.

•  "Achieving Peak Performance" by Curt and Jenny Bumcrot

•  "Test for Success" and "Better Test Scores" Bob Jones University Press Testing & Evaluation

•  "Spectrum Test Prep" from Timberdoodle Company

•  Various products from Sycamore Tree

•  Free Online State Practice Tests

Selecting a Testing Administer

A reader writes, "Our children do very well in a private testing situation in the administrator's home.

"Ask your local Christian home-school support group leaders who is qualified to administer standardized tests in your area.

"Arrange a brief get-acquainted interview in the test-giver's home.  Look for someone who is patient and kind with young children and who believes in home education.  Then make an appointment for the test.

"Have your child take his test early enough to retake it if necessary after you see the results."


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