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The Teaching Home
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"Edifying, Affordable, and Christian Summer Reading for the Whole Family"
is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying this newsletter.
You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #39
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

June 21, 2003
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

Table of Contents

  • 3 Year-Round School Options
  • 5 Summer School Options
  • 4 Summer Reading Suggestions
  • 6 Daily Learning Habits
  • Recommended Resources
  •     NorthStar Academy Christian Online Education
  •     Christian Light Education
  •     The Learning Company
  •     Teaching Home Back Issues

  • Greetings,

         This summer we plan to devote our newsletters to summer activities and preparation for the coming school year.

         Several of our suggestions refer to materials in past newsletters which you can access on our website at
         If you did not have a chance to use all of the good, practical ideas in these newsletters this past school year, you may have time and want to try some of them this summer.

         Have a wonderful time with your family this summer!

    Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
    The Teaching Home is a 22-year-old, home-school family business.

    NorthStar Academy
    Christian Online Education

    * Uniquely designed for home learning in USA or abroad.
    * Grades 7-12. Full or part time.
    * Accredited. Diploma granting.
    * Core and elective courses to include advanced placement.
    * Extended school year for completing the program.
    * Use of all materials and orientation video provided
        and shipped to your door anywhere in the world.

    Year-Round School Options
         Most home-school families continue learning during the summer, either formally or informally. Many families have chosen a regular schedule of study throughout the entire year with variously timed breaks.

    Sample Schedules

    1. A four-day school week with three days off.
    2. Three, four, or six weeks of school, then one week off.
    3. Eight or ten weeks of school, then two weeks off.

         Depending on the number of school days required by your state's home-school law (if any), all these schedules would allow several weeks of vacation time each year.
         Vacation days can be spaced out evenly, reserved for holidays or family vacations, or taken all at once in the summer or whatever season is preferred.

    Benefits of Year-Round School
    * Continuity of knowledge acquired and retention of basic skills.
    * More time to thoroughly cover a year's program and include
        enrichment activities.
    * Consistency of disciplined habits and productive use of time
    * More flexibility to include other activities with a shorter
        school day or week.
    * A more relaxed, but steady, pace during the whole year that
        reduces stress for student and teacher.

    Christian Light Education
    Complete Christian Worktext Curriculum for Grades 1-12

    * Bible based -- wholesome morals -- Godly character
    * Academically sound with above-average test scores
    * Mastery learning with continual review
    * Conceptual learning through all the learning levels
    * Easy to use; diagnostic tests available
    * Reduced shipping; support forum

    Summer School Options
         The home-school lifestyle of learning in the context of everyday home life ensures that your family will continue learning throughout the summer, whether you decide to adopt a year-round school schedule or not.
         You can take a very casual approach to your summer studies or make a class out of them. To create your own summer school course:
    * Do some research.
    * Get material (some is available free on the web).
    * List your learning objectives.
    * Assign levels of competence to be checked off.
    * Dive right in!
         For more information see article on course design at

         Here are some suggestions for you to choose from to make the most of your summer.

    1. Get a Head Start on Next Year.
         Select one subject, such as history, and study it using your textbooks and/or a unit study with your whole family. Whatever method or combination of methods you choose, include related reading, activities, and field trips.
         You may be able to do this with just one hour a day or one day a week.
         With one less subject to study next school year, you can have a more relaxed schedule this fall. You may be able to have shorter days or an extra day off each week. Also, the joy of learning together at a slower pace could provide incentive for your family's learning all year.

    2. Shore Up Weak Areas.
         A little extra practice in a weak area during the summer can make the difference between being even further behind when school starts or experiencing a breakthrough in a hard subject.
         Math practice is especially important; keep up skills with just three problems a day, selected from past work to review all skills.

    3. Explore New or Favorite Interests.
         Do you have a student that wants to explore a subject or area of interest more deeply than time allows during the school year? This is a good time to help your children learn how to discover more about their interests through supervised internet searches and/or library hunts.

    4. Add Electives.
         Summer is an ideal opportunity to spend more time in areas that may get crowded out by the basics during the regular school year.
         You may notice that many electives are named for the chores or activities that you will be doing anyway:
    * Home economics, cooking, sewing, home management, food
    * Landscaping, gardening.
    * Drawing, painting, calligraphy, scrapbooks, crafts.
    * Music and art appreciation and practice.
    * Foreign or sign language, speech, logic.
    * Shop, woodworking, car maintenance and repairs.
    * Home repairs or remodeling.
    * P.E., hiking, outdoor games with the family.

    5. Go on Lots of Field Trips.
         Enjoy God's wonderful outdoors and visit historical or other educational sites -- with just your family or together with another family.

    "Summer Activities & Studies," a 12-page Special Section in the May/June 1996 Back Issue of The Teaching Home is available at

    The Learning Company
    Laugh-Out-Loud Learning Adventures!

         Give your child a learning advantage with award-winning software that is as entertaining as it is educational!
         Journey with your child through learning adventures that challenge, encourage and motivate -- all while building skills in math, reading, problem solving and more.
    * Call our friendly educational specialists at
    * Visit our Homeschool Solutions web site at today!

    Summer Reading
         Is there ever enough time to do all the reading you want to do with your family?
         A more relaxed summer schedule can provide extra time to engage in this pleasurable and educational pastime and perhaps form a habit that will continue all year.

    1. Read God's Word First of All!
    * Read the Bible or the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs
        through in a couple of months this summer.
    * Divide the number of pages you want to read by the number
        of days you will be reading; then read that number of pages
        each day.
    * Take turns reading aloud as a family or follow along while
        listening to a recorded tape or CD of the Bible.

    2. Read Together as a Family.
    * Read aloud with expression and at a slightly slower pace.
    * Read before or after a meal or your family's Bible reading.
    * Read before bedtime or rest time.
    * Read while you work or travel by taking turns reading or by
        listening to an audio tape.
    * Read at the table, sitting together on the couch, outside, in
        nature, or with a flashlight under the stars.
    * Read instead of watching videos or TV or playing electronic
        games. Turn them all off for a while this summer -- for a
        month or a week, or for certain days each week.

    3. Read a Variety of Books.
    * Books that are uplifting and contain worthy characters to
    * Poetry. Find an old hymnal and read the words as poetry (as
        they truly are).
    * Plays. Assign characters; double up if necessary.
    * Christian and missionary biographies.
    * Accurate historical fiction.
    * Nonfiction on a subject of interest or a topic related to a
        book of fiction you are reading.
    * See "Selection of Reading Materials in Newsletter #23

    4. Add an Enriching, Related Study to Your Reading.
         This is a good time to show your children that research and study can be fun.
    * Have a dictionary nearby to look up a word.
    * Find a location on a map or globe.
    * Locate the time period of a book on a timeline.
    * Research a topic or question raised by your reading.
    * Use 100+ Creative Book Reports and Unit Study Activities
        in Newsletter #26
    * Ask questions that test your child's recall, understanding, and
        application of the materials being read.
    * See Newsletters #23, #25, #26, #28, #29, and #30.

         Buy Teaching Home Back Issues Online

  • Select from 51 Never-Out-of-Date Back Issues.
  • Practical How-Tos & Teaching Tips.
  • Search for Topics You Need.
  • Find Information, Inspiration & Encouragement!
  • Each Issue Is Pictured and All Articles Are Listed.


    Daily Learning Habits

         These activities can help your child retain the skills gained during the past school year and give him a big boost for the coming year. Each of the following academic habits can be done in a few minutes per day.

    1. Bible Reading and Memory
    * See Bible Reading above.
    * Take a minute or two before each meal to say a Bible memory
        verse together.
    * Do the same with good poetry or hymns.

    2. Basic Math Facts
         All success in mathematics depends on instant recall of the basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).
    * Drill the basic math facts to learn them thoroughly.
    * Review them often.
    * Print practice sheets.
    * Print Triangular Math Facts Cards.

    3. Vocabulary & Spelling
    * Learn a vocabulary and/or spelling word every day.
    * Read the word, then pronounce and spell it together.
    * Write it out and place it where everyone can see it.
    * Define the word and use it in a sentence.
    * Review the words often.
    * For vocabulary words see:
    * For spelling words see:
    * See more on vocabulary in Newsletter #21
    * See more on spelling in Newsletter #32

    4. Writing
    * Ask your child to write a sentence or paragraph every day.
    * Have him make a journal entry -- maybe in a special Summer
    * Have him write a report of something interesting he has
        learned which he could read to Father at dinner.
    * For more on writing see Newsletters #36 and #37 at

    5. Globe, Map, and Time-Line Study
    * Have a globe, map, and time-line available in a central
    * Locate times and places that you encounter in your reading,
        in the news, in missionary prayer letters, or on food or
        clothing labels.

    6. Reading Aloud Together
    * See Reading article above.

    Please Thank & Support Sponsoring Advertisers!
         These free newsletters are made possible financially
    by the fine suppliers who advertise in them.
         Please remember those that have advertised in our
    last issue (below) as well as the ones in this issue.

    Florida Space Research Institute
    Kumon Math & Reading Centers
         (Call 1-800-ABC-MATH)
    Flash Cards for Your Computer
    Laurelwood New & Used Homeschool Curriculum

    God Loves You.
         Because we were separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
         "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).

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