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

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For 30 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Homeschool Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

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

The Goal
of our instruction is love
from a pure heart
and a good conscience
and a sincere faith.

(1 Timothy 1:5)

Attention Dads

How Dads Can Help
with the Planning Process

Recently on Home School Heartbeat, host Mike Farris, HSLDA Chairman and General Counsel, shared how dads can support their wife at the start of the new school year:

Homeschool dads are often the first to say that home- schooling is a team effort.  But without a vision for how this looks on a practical level, dads can quickly lose sight of this ideal.

Dads, one of the first things that we can do is to come alongside our wives as they prepare for the new school year.

To start with, set aside a planning session with your wife.

1.  Discuss your homeschooling plans for this year together – what worked last year?

2.  What goals should you set for the coming year?

3.  Think through each child's needs as well as your homeschooling program as a whole.

4.  Map out a schedule that will help you to achieve those goals.

As you take time to plan this with your wife, don't overlook how important it is for her for you to have a listening ear.

You can support your wife well by simply being an objective observer – listening to her concerns with openness, offering your own perspective, and together coming up with practical solutions to avoid future problems.

If the details threaten to drown out the big picture, be the first to remind your wife why you began homeschooling originally: because it's the best for your children.  – Mike Farris

Read or listen online to this 5-part series of "How to Help Your Helpmate."

Farris discusses practical ways that dads can bring balance to the homeschool household.

•  Help with the Planning Process

•  Help with Teaching and Housework

•  Give Her a Break

•  Prioritize Your Marriage

•  Set Spiritual Goals

Home School Heartbeat

Produced by Home School Legal Defense Association, Home School Heartbeat is an informative two-minute daily radio program which draws upon HSLDA's considerable involvement and front line experience in the home schooling movement.

Home School Heartbeat began broadcasting in May of 1991 and is currently airing on over 600 affiliates nationwide.  (See Station Listings.)

Programs address a wide variety of topics – educational, legal and spiritual – all of which are of interest to any parent, whether they have made the decision to home school or are considering home education for their children. (See Home School Heartbeat Program Archives.)

Sign up to get Home School Heartbeat's daily e-mail transcripts and HSLDA E-lerts.

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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!

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(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.

"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

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Sunnyside Up

A Fitting Finish

I was helping our 4-year-old write a thank-you note.  We had worked through the body of the letter, and I asked him how he wanted to close it.

He said simply, "Lick it."

Submitted by Denise C., Oklahoma.

Send your humorous anecdote to

God's Plan
of Salvation

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 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)

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 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

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Choose from six English versions (plus Spanish and other languages) at

Search options at include Passage Lookup, Keyword Search, and Topical Index.

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

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Copyright 2010 The Teaching Home



 Part 2

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

 •  Use this content.  See "Free Reprint" information below.

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 Back-to-Homeschool Series,  Part 2 

Setting Goals for Your Homeschool

1.  Start with Your Family Mission Statement
     Don't worry – it's really simple and easy!

2.  How To Set Useful Goals
     Plus how and why to use your goals.

3.  Setting Specific Goals and Objectives
     Objectives are stepping stones to reach your goals!


  •  How Dads Can Help with the Planning Process
     by Mike Farris, HSLDA Chairman

 Recommended Resources 

•  CLASS: Godly Education & Academic Excellence
•  Doorposts: Goals for Daughters & Sons
•  Logos Language: Minister in 20+ Languages


Goals help keep your family focused on what is really important, rather than letting the immediate or otherwise good opportunities crowd out the best.

We trust that this Back-to-Homeschool Series will help you and/or a friend lay a good groundwork for a successful and enjoyable school year ahead!

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.

Christian Liberty Academy School System
Can Help You Succeed in Homeschooling!

    Since 1967, CLASS has provided families with a flexible, affordable program – offering Godly education and academic excellence for K-12.

    Our CLASS Plan includes:   • Books   • Teacher manuals   • Tests and answer keys   • Grading services and report cards   • Diploma and transcript.

    See our CLASS and Family Plan Comparison Chart.  Both plans provide curriculum best fitted for your child based on achievement test scores and other academic information, as well as a math email helpline, and an algebra tutorial, at no extra cost.

CLASS Homeschools

1.  Start with Your Family
     Mission Statement

Your family mission statement will outline your values, vision, and purpose.  This need not be a long, hard, or complicated procedure.  You can start with God's mission statement for us (Love God and others, Mark 12:29-31.) and expand on that.

As Christian homeschool parents, you already have a sense of purpose and direction for your family.  You can enhance this for yourselves and extend it to your whole family by formulating a family mission statement together.

A mission statement is a written declaration of your family's purpose in life.  It is a clear, simple, and succinct sentence or paragraph which a child can understand.

Your mission statement will then be applied to each area of your life and implemented by your goals.

Your family's mission statement:

 •  Will reflect your values, what you want to be, and what you want to do.

 •  Will determine the use of your time, energy, and money.

 •  Is used to initiate, evaluate, and refine all of your life's activities.

 •  Is a declaration of what each member of your family will live by.

 •  Should include your spiritual values, the fundamental truths and foundational principles upon which you will build your lives.

 •  Will enable each member see himself as part of a team cooperating to achieve a God-given task.

You Can Do It

Just because a mission statement is so important and awesome sounding, doesn't mean that it needs to be an overwhelming task.

You, no doubt, already have a purpose that your family operates under . However, it is valuable to take it out, look at it, and put it in so many words.

Writing your family mission statement together as a family can be an exciting and unifying experience.  And the rewards are sure to become evident as together your family follows your planned path into the future.

Our God-Given Mission Statement

God created us for a purpose and has written a mission statement for us in His Word.  Jesus condensed this into one sentence when He said:

"You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength,
and with all your mind;
and your neighbor as yourself."  (Luke 10:27)

Jesus added to this a specific command, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel." (Mark 16:15)

Paul described our mission, "We are ambassadors for Christ." (II Cor. 5:20)

This, therefore, is a good place to start.  A very generic Christian mission statement could be worded as, "Our family will love and serve God and others, and spread the Gospel."

Joshua simply said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Josh. 24:15)

Read a step-by-step guide and how to include your family in Newsletter #80.

Fine-Tuning Your Wording

After you have agreed on the main points, refine your statement by working on the wording of the phrases or sentences you will use.

 •  The wording should be appealing, meaningful, and easy to remember.

 •  Be sure you have included your purpose, what you want to be and do.

 •  Include verbs to add dynamism and describe what action you will perform in living your purpose.

 •  Make your statement simple, clear, short, and understandable to the whole family.

 •  Be creative if you wish by making your statement into a motto (e.g., "Love and Service Above All"), a poem, an acrostic using the letters in your last name (e.g., Short: "Serve God, Help others, Obey authority, Reach the lost, Teach our children"), etc.

Using Your Mission Statement

Make your statement a permanent and practical part of your family's life:

 •  Type or write out your mission statement and the Scriptures you based it on.

 •  Post your mission statement where all can see and be reminded of it. This can be decorated and framed to show its importance to your family and visitors.

 •  Make laminated copies of various sizes for wallets, notebooks, bookmarks, placemats, etc.

 •  Have everyone memorize and review your statement and verses.

 •  Refer to your mission statement and the Scriptures on which it is based whenever opportunities to apply them occur in your everyday lives.

WARNING: Daughters grow up quickly!
Do you have goals for your girls?

     "We realized that we needed a plan if we were going to make the most of the years God had given us with our daughters at home.

     "Our 'plan' turned into this book – a collection of projects and studies that will take you and your daughters to Scripture over and over, helping you truly disciple your daughters, as God molds them into strong and virtuous women for His kingdom."  – Pam Forster, from the preface

Polished Cornerstones covers 52 Biblical character qualities, giving you Bible studies, projects, discussion topics, and other assignments for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Start as young as 4 and use until your daughters are grown! Save 10% with coupon code GOALS.

Have boys? Plants Grown Up has similar material for sons.
Doorposts  |  (888) 433-4749  |

2.  How To Set Useful Goals

With your mission statement in hand, you now need to set goals.  These goals form the detailed plan that will enable you to fulfill your mission statement.

For goals to be practical, they need to be:

1. Specific and Measurable

 •  Describe in detail exactly what you want to accomplish.

 •  Use terms that can be clearly evaluated.

 •  Break down large goals into separate objectives.

 •  Set target dates for reaching each goal and objective.

2. Obtainable

 •  Set goals that are realistic, yet challenging.

 •  Adopting goals that God has already set for us in His Word will ensure that His strength and wisdom are available to us as we strive to meet those goals.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and without reproach,
and it will be given to him."  (James 1:5)

"My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
(II Corinthians 12:9)

3. Reviewed and Revised

Although your mission statement will always retain your basic values, vision, and purpose, you might want to fine tune it from time to time.

 •  At least once a year, evaluate your goals and your progress in reaching them.

 •  You can revise your goals if necessary.

How To Use Your Mission Statement
and Goals

Your goals are the daily applications of your mission statement; you can make these valuable tools work for you in various ways:

1.  To Remind You of Your Goals

Write out your mission statement and goals and post them where your family can be reminded of them daily.

You might want to have more than one copy printed or done in calligraphy and framed to show the importance they have in your family's life.

2.  To Help You Decide What To Do

When decisions or disagreements arise concerning proposed actions or the use of family resources, refer to to your mission statement and goals.  This keeps your family focused on what is really important, rather than letting the immediate or otherwise good opportunities crowd out the best.

Of course, for a Christian family these should be in keeping with God's Word, which is the final authority for our faith and practice.

3.  To Help You Decide What To Do First

Prioritize your goals in importance and chronological order to help you make decisions.

4.  To Govern the Use of Your Time

Yearly, monthly, and weekly goals need to be translated into the activities on your daily schedule.  We cannot reach our goals if we do not set aside adequate time in which to work toward them.

The Importance of Small Goals

Small, daily goals can be reached by established routines, chores, and habits.  Their importance is crucial for two reasons.

First, these small steps are the only way to reach your long-term goals and fulfill your family mission statement.

You cannot climb a mountain without taking that first step, and then the next, and the next.  Likewise, your family's mission statement cannot be realized without translating it into:

 •  Specific goals

 •  Plans for reaching the goals

 •  Action

Second, seeing these practical, incremental steps as part of fulfilling your mission gives meaning to what might otherwise be considered the mundane or unimportant details of daily life.

Logos Language Institute is an evangelistic ministry which equips Christians to witness and minister in foreign languages

     • Ideal for mission trips, homeschoolers
     • Over 20 languages to choose from
     • Self-study notebooks and cassettes/CDs
     • Low cost
, from $15-$23
     • Intro packets – use alone or with another program
     • Complete 6-level program in Spanish

          The Logos Method, developed by university professor
     Dr. Mike Thomas, is unique in its emphasis on:
     • Repetition    • A simple, conversational approach
     • "Leveled learning" in small pieces
     • Reinforced by listening to native speakers
     • Integration of spiritual/biblical vocabulary

Logos Language Institute   1-800-445-6467

3.  Setting Goals and Objectives
     for Your Home School

Goals form the detailed plan that will enable you to fulfill your mission statement.

You might start by asking, "When our children leave our home to begin their own families . . ."

 •  What kind of people do you want them to be?

 •  What values do you want them to embrace?

 •  What knowledge do you want them to possess?

 •  How do you want them to behave?

Take time to think and pray about all aspects of your children's teaching and training and write out goals for each area.  This will give purpose and direction to your efforts and help ensure that your children will achieve excellence.

1.  Break these general goals down into objectives for each child to reach each year.

2.  Plan detailed objectives for each month or week close to the time for implementation.

3.  Discuss these objectives with each child, and explain how they fit into the big picture of his future.

4.  Revise goals and make them more specific as individual strengths or callings appear.

5.  Set an example by working toward your own personal goals and welcoming evaluation.

Long-range goals for your children's education and training might include the following.

Spiritual Goals

1.  Goal:  Knowledge of God and His Word

Consider your responsibility for your children before God; He commands you as parents to teach your children His Word, the most important thing they will ever learn.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.

These words, which I am commanding you today,
shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your sons
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house
and when you walk by the way
and when you lie down
and when you rise up.
     (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)


 •  Read, teach, and discuss God's Word in many situations when you are together throughout the day.

 •  Systematically study God's Word together (perhaps in a formal Bible study curriculum) and help your children memorize and meditate on God's Word.

2.  Goal:  Salvation and Spiritual Growth

Your children's salvation is your first priority. (See ideas of how to Lead Your Child to Christ.)

Then follows spiritual growth through loving dedication and obedience to God, knowing and speaking to God in prayer, Christian fellowship, and ministry to others.


 •  Make personal application of Scripture and guide your children's behavior through example, teaching, discipline, and training throughout each day.

 •  Teach your children that God's Word is the final authority for our faith and practice and teach them how to look up what God says about any given thing using Bible study tools such as a concordance.

3.  Goal:  Character Development

Ranking higher than academic training in importance to Christian families are character qualities, good manners, and discipline.


 •  Train your children in these areas and minimize the harmful influences from outside your home.

 •  Model your own dedication to God, good character traits, disciplined habits, and enthusiasm for learning.

Academic Goals

The reason Christians want their children to be well educated is so that they have the skills and knowledge to better serve God and others, as well as to appreciate and enjoy God and His creation.

4.  Goal:  A Christian World View

We want our children to view all they are learning, as well as all of life, in the light of Bible truth.  The facts, truths, and principles revealed in God's Word should form the basis for each course of study and the standard for evaluating its content.

The practical uses and applications of acquired knowledge are also unique for Christians.  (Read more about teaching each subject from a Christian worldview.)


 •  Use Christian curriculum with a built-in Christian worldview in all subjects and/or interpret all educational materials in the light of God's Word.

5.  Goal:  A Solid Foundation in the Basics

Basic skills (reading, writing, math) must be thoroughly mastered and then retained through review so children can acquire, use, and communicate knowledge in other subjects.


 •  Emphasize basic skills.

 •  Slow the pace or add more practice if necessary for a child to master a skill, rather than trying to build on a shaky foundation.

 •  Use excellent, time-tested methods (such as phonics to teach reading), as well as unique materials written especially for use in homeschooling.

6.  Goal:  An Excellent, Well-Rounded Education

The reason Christians want their children to be well educated is so that they have the skills and knowledge to better serve God and others, as well as to appreciate and enjoy God and His creation.


 •  Provide your children with a variety of real life experiences that build the background knowledge for academic learning as your children accompany you throughout the day in many situations in real life.

 •  Give each of your children individual attention and meet his unique needs.

 •  Learn and accommodate your child's readiness to learn new concepts, his abilities or difficulties in various areas, his personal interests, and his tendencies to learn best by either sight, sound, touch, or movement.

 •  Show relationships or connections between facts in the same or different subject areas and in previously acquired knowledge to help your children understand and remember what they are taught.

 •  Make available a variety of educational resources and reference materials.

 •  Use your child's curiosity, needs, and interests to motivate learning, and you can stimulate new interests through reading, conversation, questions, and family activities.

7.  Goal:  Confidence and Independent Thinking

We want our children to have the courage, good sense, and strength of character to think and make decisions for themselves based on Scripture, truth, and logic, rather than follow the crowd and the latest trends.


 •  Encourage your children to develop confidence and independent thinking away from the peer pressure to conform and in the security of their own home.

 •  Give your children time to explore new interests and to think.

Social Goals

8.  Goal:  Family Unity

God's goal for us is to have a home filled with love, joy, and peace where each member of the family relates to others as He intends.


 •  Experience unity, closeness, and mutual enjoyment of one another as you spend time together working, studying, and playing.

 •  Take advantage of flexible scheduling to accommodate parents' work and vacation times and allow time for more family activities.

 •  :Learn teamwork as each member of your family makes a contribution to the success of your home school.

9.  Goal:  Social Skills

Social skills will enable your children to show love to and serve others.  These skills include understanding others, communication, cooperation, managing conflict, leadership, and lovingly meeting the needs of others.


 •  Practice social skills in the context of normal family life and under your guidance in groups of friends, families, and your local church.

 •  Avoid negative socialization by peer pressure to allow your child to develop confidence in interacting with people of all ages and stations.

"Do not be misled:
Bad company corrupts good character."
     (I Corinthians 15:33)

10.  Goal:  Life Skills: Practical Preparation
       for Adult Life

The skills needed to prepare your children for the practical responsibilities of everyday life include such things as financial skills, running a home, cooking, shopping, driving, repairs and maintenance, voting, researching information, and keeping one's body fit and healthy.


 •  Give your children training and practice in these skills as they work with you throughout the day.

 •  When able, give your children can take responsibility for entire areas, thus rehearsing for adult life.

Set Specific Objectives for Each Child

After you have set and reviewed your long-range goals for your children's education and training in all areas of their lives, you are ready to determine specific goals and objectives for each of your children for the coming school year.

Break down goals into objectives to be reached this year, quarter, month, or week, leaving details to be planned closer to the time for implementation.

Take an inventory of each child's knowledge, skills, aptitudes, interests, learning style, and character in light of your goals for him.  You can do this in several ways.

 •  Informally.  Simply write a few notes from your everyday observations of each child on a notebook page.

 •  Testing.  Use results from standardized tests.

 •  Free online diagnostic and placement tests from Alpha Omega Publications.

 •  Scope and sequence.  Check off the skills or knowledge that your child has attained. Free online: A Beka Books, BJU Press, World Book, or your state's testing preview site.


 •  Daniel/Language arts - Learn to read this year.

 •  Jane/Life skills - Learn to make a main dish each month.

 •  Ryan/Math - Learn times tables.

 •  Kayla/Character - Be loving and helpful to little brother.

These specific goals will take your children towards the long-range life goals you have set for them.


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