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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

Ergonomic Considerations

As you set up various work areas in your home, make sure they fit the needs of your family members, or can be adjusted for each one.

This will help your children learn healthy computer habits and develop good posture, while preventing pain, strain, or future health problems.

 •  Desk
Use a desk or table of the correct height to allow for work in the neutral position, forearms parallel to the floor with elbows bent at a 90-110 angle.

 •  Chair
Avoid rounded or curved seats that encourage slouched postures.

 •  Adjustments
If necessary, adjust the chair height with a cushion or pad on the seat to raise the height of the child in relation to the work surface or keyboard.  Use a back cushion, pillow or rolled-up towel for back support.

 •  Legs
The child's knees should be positioned at an approximate 90- to 120- degree angle.

 •  Feet
If feet do not reach the floor with heels on the floor, place a box or footstool under them.

 •  Monitor
The monitor should be directly in front of the child, 18-28 inches from the eyes, at or below the child's eye level.

 •  Wrists
The wrists should be straight when keying or using the mouse, not angled up or down.

 •  Copy Holder
Purchase a clip copy holder that mounts on the side of your monitor, a small document holder, or a copy board for the computer which will allow the child to look up at the work being typed instead of down at the table.

 •  Keyboard
Consider a small sized keyboard for younger children.

 •  Eyes
Reduce eyestrain with adequate lighting, no glare on the monitor screen, and frequent breaks to look at a more distant object.  Blinking helps keep the eyes moist.

 •  Water
Because your child's muscles need adequate hydration to avoid injury, encourage him to drink four 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

 •  Breaks
Set a timer by the computer and have your children take a stretch break every 15-20 minutes.

 •  Stretches
International Children's Ergonomics Foundation offers a free downloadable stretch break for kids software at their website.

For More Information

 •  Ergonomics for Computer Workstations with stretches and eye exercises.

 •  A short summary and stretches.

 •  In-depth information.

 •  Stretches you can do in your office by Mayo Clinic staff.

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!

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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

That Letter Is Sure
To Arrive Too Late

When explaining to 9-year-old Rebekah why I had to quickly mail some letters to our senators, I told her it was because they needed to reach Washington by Friday.

Seven-year-old Michael commented, "Oh, I didn't know he was still alive!"

Submitted by Laura C., Ohio.

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

Listen to the Bible Online

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

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

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:

 •  Old Christian Radio

 •  Abiding Radio


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Copyright 2010 The Teaching Home



 Part 4

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 Back-to-Homeschool Series,  Part 3 

Ready Your Home for School

1.  Clear Out and Clean Your Home
2.  Establish Daily Chores and Routines
3.  Set Up Your School Space
4.  Organize Your Home Library


•  Ergonomic Considerations

 Recommended Resources 

•  Ferg N' Us: "Jelly-Proof" Homeschooler's Journal
•  Judah Bible Curriculum: Teach Biblical Principles
•  Raising Kids To Do Hard Things Seminars


As you prepare to go back to home school, we hope that you will look forward to this opportunity of teaching and training your children with anticipation!

Topics in our Back-to-Home-School series are taken from our Checklist for Starting a School Year.  We hope that these suggestions and reminders will help and encourage you!

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.

 Make 2010 The Year of the Bible
in Your Homeschool

We often hear:
     "America is based on Biblical principles."
But, just what are those principles?
     How can I learn them?
     How can I teach my children?
Judah Bible Resources for you:
The Third Alternative: Christian Self-government
• Judah Bible Curriculum - a Principle Approach Curriculum.
• Judah Bible Curriculum website

Take Bible class off the back burner this year!
     Are you less than confident teaching the Bible to your children?  Bible class should be the centerpiece of a Christian education!

Home Education - the perfect opportunity to give the next generation a comprehensive, practical, life-giving grasp on the Scriptures!
• Give your children a love for the Scriptures!
• Build in them strong, Godly character to last a lifetime.
The reward of education is when The Lights Turn On!

Education for Liberty
Judah Bible Curriculum

Box 122, Urbana IL 61803  /  217-344-5672

1.  Clear Out and Clean Your Home

Unclutter Your Home with the Four Box Method

If you haven't done so already, get rid of unused items in your home and store little-used ones out of the way.  This will make things a whole lot easier for you all year long!

The “Four-Box Dejunking Method” below is recommended by many experts to help you identify and dispose of clutter.

 •  Get four boxes and label them:
1)  Throw Away
2)  Give Away or Sell
3)  Storage
4)  Put Away

 •  Clear your home, room by room, and item by item.

 •  Make a decision about each item you pick up and place it in the correct box.

 •  Schedule time before you stop working each day to appropriately dispose of box contents.

In Newsletter #246, read tips about how to become motivated to get your house in order, plan your decluttering strategies, find a place for everything, and keep clutter out of your home.

Do a Thorough Cleaning

A thorough house cleaning from attic to basement may be easier to do during summer break.

 •  You might want to set aside a week, or a full or partial day each week, for cleaning until it is done.

 •  As you clean, continue using the 4-box method of getting rid of clutter.

 •  Find professional cleaning products and notes on how to use them at Don Aslett’s

 •  Clean each room and and deal with each and every item, nook, and cranny.  See a week-by-week, room-by-room cleaning plan.

 •  Clean as a team.  Assign each member of your family a chore (some may want to specialize) and see how much more you can do by working together.

2.  Establish Daily Chores
     and Routines

This is another foundational back-to-home-school preparation that will pay dividends by making your home run smoothly during school months.

Family Teamwork

Each member of the family can and should have responsibilities that make a contribution to the success of the whole family.

When you can, schedule chores so that the whole family is actually working together at the same time.  This is not only extremely encouraging to each one, but it also provides a good example of your attitude towards work and your diligence in doing a good job.

Teaching Life Skills

We can use chores as double duty – to keep our homes running efficiently and to teach our children responsibility and life skills.

Your children's training and practice in various life skills will grow as they work with you.  When able, children may take responsibility for entire areas, thus rehearsing for adult life.


Assign chores. A chore chart on the refrigerator makes sure everyone knows what their duties are, and checking off the jobs that are done provides motivation.

For a simple list of chores, read "Magic Minimum: Cleaning Secret of Organized Families."

"Service Opportunities Chart" from Doorposts will help you simplify chore assignments and teach your children biblical principles of work.


Describe chores.  Write out a 3x5 card with the name of the chore, what it entails, check points to tell if the job is completed, the estimated time the job should take, and what supplies to use.

Cleaning Supplies

Consider homemade, nontoxic, and low-cost cleaning products.  See recipes at

Also keep supplies close to the job, even if that means two sets of supplies (e.g., for the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms).


Take time to train your children how to do each job to your standards and on time.  Have your child watch you do the job as you explain it, then have him do the job while you watch and offer confirmation or correction.


 •  Read "Speed Cleaning Tips from Cleaning Pros."

 •  Read "7 Ways To Teach Responsibility through Chores" in Newsletter #45, "The Advantages of Habits" in Newsletter #89, and "17 Ways To Form Good Habits" in Newsletter #90.

The Perfect Organizational Tool
for Your Home School

     Keep your lesson plans and records in one handy journal.  Use for unit study and/or structured text method.

 1.  Homeschooler's Journal  (for one or more children) 
 2.  The Homeschooler's High School Journal  (per child) 

     These durable journals, with plastic "Jelly-Proof" covers and bindings that lay flat, include:
• Subject Logs for 200 Days
• Spaces for Assignments/Tests
• Field Trip Logs
• Multiple Calendars
• Objective/Resource Pages
• Individual Library Lists
• Lending Resource Log
• Check-Off for Yearly Requirements
Many more features    Low Cost – Only $10.95 each

 The Math Journal.   Keep math work together, place values aligned, and moreFree with your order of three Journals.

Ferg N' Us Services
See information and order at

3.  Set Up Your School Space

For Study and School Work

Determine what space you will use for school.  This may vary from subject to subject or from child to child, but might include:

 •  Kitchen table for math and writing.

 •  Couches in living room for multi-age classes or reading.

 •  Desk for older child's independent study.

 •  Computer stations.
The safest option is to keep Internet use in an open area, often frequented by family members, or be with your child when he is on the Internet.

See "Ergonomic Considerations" in the sidebar at left.

For Others in the Home

Also establish space where those not in school (preschoolers, husbands with a day off, etc.) can be free to enjoy themselves without disturbing students.

For Storage of School Supplies

Set aside space for school books, reference books, supplies, and records:

 •  Use shelves, drawers, or sturdy plastic crates or boxes

 •  Label clearly (with a child's name, subject, or item) so everyone knows where to return things

 •  Ensure spaces are easily accessible and ample enough to add more items without crowding.

Find many innovative and practical ideas in "Storage Strategies for Homeschool Families."

4.  Organize Your Home Library

Homeschoolers never have too many books; they just don't have enough bookshelves!

To organize your library, first go through all the books in your home and sort them:

 •  Throw away any books that are not worth saving.

 •  Instead of keeping boxes of old workbooks that your children have done, consider removing the cover and a few sample pages from each one, then staple them together and file them.

 •  Give away or sell duplicate books unless they are really great, hard-to-get books that you want to keep to loan out or save for your children’s future libraries.

 •  Check with friends who might want to trade curriculum.

 •  Sell books in a yardsale or on the Internet on ABE Books or

 •  Clean books as you go with safe methods that will help preserve them.

 •  Store like books together in different places in your home.  Examples:

- Children’s personal reading books in their bedrooms
- Reference books in your library or family area
- Current school books together by each child’s grade
- Bibles and Bible study books
- Other like categories together

 •  You might want to safely store books that your children want to take with them when they start their own families.

When you have completed work on your library you should be able to find and use your books better!

Raising Kids To Do Hard Things Seminars

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

     •  Denver, CO - September 17-18, 2010
     •  Dallas, TX - October 8-9, 2010
     •  Atlanta, GA - October 29-30, 2010
     •  Washington D.C. - Dates to Be Announced
     •  Orlando, FL - December 3-4, 2010

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


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