Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: homeschooling resources

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Do your children ever get bored during their homeschool day? Do you feel like you need to liven up their school days with activities that keep their attention?

Here are 20 ideas from our education advisors to bring more fun into your homeschool classroom.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Edible Counting: Use cereal, raisins, or chocolate chips to teach your child how to count. Have him count aloud each time he takes a bite. Continue to add more treats as he learns to count higher. Counting will be fun—and yummy—as he eats his way through the numbers.

Walk the Line: Take a roll of paper towels and spread it on the floor, leaving the paper towels all connected. Then write alphabet letters or numbers in order on each square. Let your child walk on the line to learn the order, then split the paper towels up and let her put them in order.

Play with Magnets: Ask your child to place specific magnetic alphabet letters or numbers on the refrigerator to aid recognition.

Connect-the-dots: Use dot-to-dot pictures to help children count as they connect the dots.

Tell Me a Story: Have your child tell you a story that you can write down. Then ask him to draw pictures to illustrate the story.

Grades 1–3

Hands-on Math Skills: Let children practice addition and subtraction skills while playing. They can count Legos as they build or subtract candy from a bowl during snack time. Their limitless imaginations can provide hours of addition and subtraction fun.

Tower of Words: Use magnetic words or word cards to create fun poetry and silly sentences that help increase your child’s ability to construct sentences on her own.

Creating Classmates: Let your child bring a doll or two to reading class. Then ask her to read to this new “classmate.” Visualize It: As you read a story aloud, have your child draw a picture of what is happening in the story.

Finding the Order: Ask your children to do a simple task, such as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with step-by-step directions. Then take pictures of them doing each step and print the pictures. Ask your children to paste the photos in order and write directions that go with each step. This shows your child how a process is needed to accomplish a task.

Grade 4–6

Coupon Counting: Let your children clip a coupon and figure out how much money they would save if the coupon were used. Couponing teaches math skills and how to budget money at the same time. You can even let them use a coupon at the grocery store to buy a snack or special treat.

Storyboard Fun: Ask your child to choose a favorite topic that he enjoys. Then give him a stack of 3×5″ cards to use for creating storyboards or word clusters. In no time, he will learn to brainstorm and organize thoughts for his writing.

Be a Reporter: Let your child create her own newspaper. She can interview family members or friends for stories. After writing the stories, she can glue pictures next to each article.

Nature Scrapbook: Help your child scrapbook the natural habitat in your area. Include leaves, twigs, flowers, nuts, seeds, and bird feathers found on nature walks. After pasting each piece on a page of a notebook, let your child research and write about what he finds.

Dress Up Fun: Pick a day of the week and have children dress up like a person from history. That day’s lesson can be focused on a specific time period and how people lived during that era.

Grades 7–9

Time for the News: Record your children pretending to be anchors for the evening news. They can find stories their history or science books for the newscast. Make it even more fun by showing the newscast to the entire family!

Baking with Math: Let your children choose a recipe from a cookbook. Then tell them to double or half the recipe. They have to figure out how to adjust the recipe to the correct measurements. You can also give them 1 or 2 measuring cups (½ and ¼ work well) and tell them to measure everything with those cups to improve their understanding of fractions.

Taste of Culture: Choose a foreign country to study and let students make a dish from that country. As they share the dish with the family, they can share facts about the country. This helps them learn the culture of the country through the food.

Build a Diorama: As part of a book report assignment, ask your student to create a diorama of his favorite scene in the book. Use shoeboxes, cereal boxes, play dough, and other small pieces to create the scene.

The Play’s the Thing: Help children stage a play, based on a book they’ve read, for family members and friends.



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Enjoy this week’s roundup of selected stories from God’s World News—the unique Christian current events program for kids. Help your children learn to read age-appropriate news stories critically, to sift for the truth, and to relate knowledge and biblical wisdom to daily life.


Lincoln’s Land

A retired farmer in Charleston, Illinois, is selling his family’s 590-acre farm. It includes a 30-acre plot once owned by Abraham Lincoln. Read more:

Farm ground once owned by Abraham Lincoln in southern Coles County near Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site is set to be sold at auction on Tuesday. (Dave Fopay/Mattoon Journal Gazette via AP)


Skip the Checkout Line!

Store owners are shopping for a way to get rid of checkout lines since Amazon opened its first cashier-less store a year ago. Now stores around the world are adopting technology that can end checkout lines—and possibly shoppers’ privacy. Read more:

In this Jan. 22, 2018, file photo, a shopper departs an Amazon Go store in Seattle. Get ready to say good riddance to the checkout line. A year after Amazon opened its first cashier-less store, startups and retailers are racing to get similar technology in other stores throughout the world, letting shoppers buy groceries without waiting in line. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)


Too much toothpaste!

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded about 40 percent of children ages 3-6 use more than the recommended pea-sized glop of toothpaste. That could mean streaky or splotchy teeth when they grow older. Read more:

This Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 file photo shows toothpaste on a toothbrush in Marysville, Pa. A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, says too many young kids are using too much toothpaste, increasing their risk of streaky or splotchy teeth when they get older. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)


No More Doctor’s Office?

Doctors have used “telemedicine”—video calls instead of office visits—for years. It especially helps patients in remote areas. But the practice is becoming more mainstream to reduce the time and cost of in-person visits. Read more:

In this Jan. 14, 2019 photo, Caitlin Powers sits in the living room of her Brooklyn apartment in New York, and has a telemedicine video conference with physician, Dr. Deborah Mulligan. Widespread smartphone use, looser regulations and employer enthusiasm are helping to expand access to telemedicine, where patients interact with doctors and nurses from afar, often through a secure video connection. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)


Eel Smugglers Not So Slippery

Croatian police say two South Korean citizens were arrested after trying to smuggle about 252,000 live eels out of the country in eight suitcases. The slippery critters are a delicacy in Asian cuisine. Read more:

This Feb. 6, 2019 photo provided by Croatian Police on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 shows one of eight suitcases containing eels seized at Zagreb international airport in Croatia. Croatian police say two South Korean citizens have been arrested after trying to smuggle about 252,000 eels out of the country. The two aged 38 and 47 were caught with the young fish packed in 8 cases at the Zagreb international airport on Wednesday. (Croatian Police via AP)


Apple Fixes Eavesdropping Bug

Apple has released an iPhone update to fix a software flaw that allowed people to eavesdrop on others. Read more:

Grant Thompson and his mother, Michele, look at an iPhone in the family’s kitchen in Tucson, Ariz., on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. The 14-year-old stumbled upon a bug in the iPhone’s FaceTime group-chatting feature on Jan. 19 while calling his friends to play a video game. With the bug, a FaceTime group-chat user calling another iPhone, iPad or Mac computer could hear audio, even if the receiver did not accept the call. (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff)


“Army Strong” to Get Stronger

The U.S. Army is developing a new, more grueling and complex fitness exam that adds dead lifts, power throws and other exercises designed to make soldiers more fit and ready for combat. Read more: 

In this Jan. 8, 2019, photo, U.S Army 1st Lt. Mitchel Hess participates in a weight lifting drill while preparing to be an instructor in the new Army combat fitness test at Fort Bragg, N.C. The new test is designed to be a more accurate test of combat readiness than the current requirements. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)



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bob jones university success

Maybe the prospect of applying to college riddles you with so much nervousness that it makes your stomach turn. Or you’re just so excited for the next chapter of your life to start that your fingers can’t move across the keyboard fast enough. Maybe it’s a bit of both. Whatever you’re feeling, know that millions of high schoolers across the world are feeling the same exact way.

You might be confused about where to even start applying. You might be overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the task ahead of you. You’re not alone. That’s why we’ve broken down the college application process into manageable steps, to make it easier for you as you embark on this next part of your life.

Do Your Research

Before you begin applying to colleges, you have to know where you want to go. This may seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be.

First, consider what you’re looking for in a college. Would you like to live close to home or far away? How big of a school would you like to attend? What college is best suited for your major? If you can, try to visit some schools you’re interested in to see if you like the environment.

However, even if you’re unable to go, you can still do a lot of research. Check out school social media accounts and scour their website. Another good resource is online forums where students post about their experiences at the college. Try to piece together the life you might lead at the college and whether you will be able to prosper and grow there.

Make a List

At this point, you should start compiling a list of colleges you would like to attend. One thing to consider while making this list is having at least a couple of “safety” schools—universities that may not be your top option, but ones where you are likely to be accepted.

The key to safety schools—which should be obvious—is making sure that these are schools you would actually enjoy attending. Many students apply haphazardly to safety schools, not expecting their other plans falling through, and end up stuck at a college they don’t like. That’s why it’s important to research, research, research.

While you’re researching, it’s also a good idea to start looking for scholarships and grants to see if you qualify for any the school offers. The U.S. Department of Education awards an estimated $46 billion of grants and scholarships each year to high school students, a good portion of which tends to go unclaimed. Pursuing higher education is not a cheap endeavor, so it’s important to be diligent in your search.

Go Online

Once you’ve figured out which colleges you want to attend, it’s time to do the actual applying. Many colleges have you apply through websites such as the Common Application or Coalition. Others, like Bob Jones University, have you apply directly through their own website.

A lot of schools will also charge a significant fee just to apply. It’s a good idea to narrow down your list of colleges so it doesn’t get to be too much. Or look for ways to get the cost waived.

Be aware of the deadlines for applications. Some colleges have deadlines and others rolling admission, but it’s smart to apply as early as possible. The later you apply, the less financial aid you’ll get and the less engaged you’ll seem in the process.

Fill in Your Application

Once you’ve filled out the basic information, it’s time to start on the real application—the essays and the short answers.

The importance of the essays varies from college to college. But though the essays are significant, they’re not so much so that you need to agonize over them during every waking moment.

You don’t need to exhaust a thesaurus in order to write them, either. The entire goal of the essays and short answers are to see a glimpse of you as a person. To see what you’re passionate about, to see if you’d be a good fit at the university. That’s why it’s crucial to be articulate and sincere.

Get Everything In

This is probably the least exciting portion of the process—and unfortunately the longest. This is the part where you submit your high school transcript, your SAT or ACT scores, and your recommendations. It’s important to get all of these things in on time, as most colleges won’t even review your application unless they have them all in.

After you’ve done this, the only thing left to do is to review your application and submit. Then you can breathe.

Once your application is in, there’s nothing else to really do except sit back and wait. Though it’s excruciatingly difficult to be patient as you wait on the decisions, there is assurance in the fact that you can trust in God (Proverbs 3:5–6) because no matter what happens, His plans are the best for you (Jeremiah 29:11).

College, though it may seem otherwise, is not the end of the road. Even if you don’t get the answer you want, there are still a million paths to take sprawled ahead of you. Regardless of whether you get accepted into every college you applied to or none of them, your life is still in God’s hands and He is constantly molding you according to His will.

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By Andrew Redding for the Office of Admission at Bob Jones University, which is committed to providing an outstanding accredited Christian liberal arts education purposely designed to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning, loving and leading. Visit for more information.



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AOP online learning

Online Learning Opens Doors

As we dive deeper into an age of technology, it is encouraging to see how technology can be used for good in the education sector. Though it’s difficult to track, iNACOL estimates there are millions of students across the U.S. who use supplemental online learning and hundreds of thousands of students who attend a full-time online school.

Supplemental online classes allow students to catch up on missed work or go ahead in areas of interest, and online schools provide endless opportunities for students with unique lifestyles or complex family schedules.

Online learning benefits many students across the country and around the world. To learn more about these benefits, we asked two students at Alpha Omega Academy, the accredited online school of Alpha Omega Publications, how online learning opens doors for them.

Online learning opens doors…to travel.

Malorie Lucas is a 6th grade student who travels around the country with her family in a fifth wheel trailer. They usually reside in Louisiana, but the family has traveled all over the United States. Malorie’s favorite place she’s visited is Lake Jackson, Texas, not far from the Gulf Coast.

Going to an online school has allowed her to easily balance school with travel because her curriculum all comes with her easily on her laptop! Malorie enjoys science because it’s interesting and fun, although she admits it can occasionally be difficult to find the space for everything she needs for science projects.

Overall though, online learning has opened the door for her to do her school when and where she wants loves, and she loves that that her online school allows her to see the U.S. with her family and visit new places.

Online learning opens doors…to achieve dreams.

Annabelle Hampton is a barrel racer from Arizona. She practices 3-4 hours every day to prepare for rodeos, which she participates in almost every weekend.

A senior at Alpha Omega Academy, Annabelle she enjoys math because she views the problems like puzzles that need solving. She loves her online school because of the flexible schedule. She can work ahead on her schoolwork, so she can take days off when traveling to rodeos.

Annabelle got into barrel racing at the age of nine when she started riding her neighbor’s horses and fell in love. She now competes in pole bending, goat tying, and breakaway roping. She was also named the Arizona High School Rodeo Queen.

“Online schooling has given me the time needed to run for Miss Arizona High School Rodeo Queen and represent our state at nationals in Rock Springs, Wyoming,” Annabelle said. “I feel very blessed to attend a school that allows me to achieve my dreams.”



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Genesis Paradise Lost DVD

In spite of our arduous work to homeschool our children and train them in the ways of God, sometimes we hear them state, “I am not sure that God is real. Maybe the scientists and atheists are right. Maybe this religion and Bible stuff are just fairy tales that people use as a crutch.” What do we tell them?

Perhaps it is not only what we tell them, but also what we show them.

As homeschoolers, we are committed to diligently teaching God’s Truth to our children in every facet of life. Sadly, our 21st-century culture stands in stark opposition, loudly screaming from every venue any information that denies God and His ways. Eight years ago, three producers embarked upon a journey to put forth a high quality, cutting-edge, film countering lies pressed upon men—lies intended to squalsh the very first chapter God wrote to mankind.

The result—GENESIS: Paradise Lost.

The riveting CG-filled film boasts many awards already: including Best Documentary, Best Cinematography and Visual Effects, Best Director, Dove Approved for All Ages, and a Prestigious 4 out of 4 Stars by MovieGuide. But that’s not why TTD chose this production as our Movie of the Year. The team of three producers, including Ralph Strean, Bill Harrity and Eric Hovind didn’t spend years on this project to win awards.

Eric and the Creation Today Team invested in this resource to answer the culture-war challenge we all face amid a rapid moral decline. God in His infinite wisdom knew the battles we would face and He addressed them head-on, right out of the gate in Genesis 1:1. Recognizing the power of God’s Own Words coupled with the dynamic influence of film, the GENESIS: Paradise Lost producers uniquely incorporated interviews with top scientists, historians, and theologians all corroborating the divinely inspired Book of All Time. That’s why TTD chose GPL as our Movie of the Year.

Due to its place in fundamentally grounding the lives we have been entrusted to shape, TTD hopes you will join us in using GENESIS: Paradise Lost in the education and evangelistic outreach of our families. Discounted copies can be purchased through our registration page and picked up at the convention.

Join Eric Hovind in his 2019 sessions which offer solid scientific facts and authoritative words from Scripture to propel you and yours in your faith-walk with our Creator God!

Experience Eric’s Dynamic Sessions at a Teach Them Diligently Convention near you!

Paradise Regained Amid a Rapidly Degenerating Culture – From the Genesis: Paradise LOST Small Group Curriculum, LOST!

What Do You Tell Your Children When They Question the Reality of God?! – A powerful journey into the reality of God and what He expects, from Eric’s own testimony.



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homeschool schedule

The Perfect Homeschool Schedule

Many folks new to homeschooling struggle with this dilemma while adjusting to their new lifestyle. My roll as a homeschool mentor mom reminded me of this all too common and nagging issue.

I picked up the ringing phone as a new homeschooler breathlessly launched into a detailed account of how she spent every moment of the last six hours with her first grader. When she finally ran out of air, I told her to relax and take a breath. We talked about how homeschooling is a marathon not a sprint.

We discussed ways she can create a schedule that fulfills her child’s educational requirements without exhausting both of them by 3rd grade. I could hear the tension easing out of her spine and shoulders as the rapid pace of her words slowed to normal.

I’ve seen it over and over again. Moms new to homeschooling are terrified they will fail their children, fail to meet the expectations of others, and fail to live up to the best laid plans of their hearts.

We fall into the trap of thinking success grows out of having the perfect homeschool schedule. More often than not, we see another family who seems to have it all together and ask, “What is your schedule like?” We think success will follow if we fall in step with their daily patterns.

Well, here’s a thought – when is life ever flawless? If ‘normal’ adult life does not zip along without complications, we can expect that this new way of living life will have its share of complexities as well.

The rhythm of your day did not look like your best friend’s, your fellow church member’s, or  the teacher in your child’s former 3rd grade classroom before you started to homeschool. It surely won’t be any different now that you’ve begun homeschooling!

It’s okay to think about the rhythm of your own family life and craft your school day schedule around the unique needs and rhythms of your life.

Our good friend Amy, of Raising Arrows, has an idea for those of you struggling to find freedom in your homeschool schedule. After reading her post, we at Homeschool Launch know you will feel empowered to think more creatively and confidently about finding your homeschool schedule. We hope you’ll feel empowered to find your own path instead of trying to match the pace of another homeschool family.

Let us know if you use a 4-day week in your home? What led you to use that schedule? What unique way have you found to build your schedule around your family’s needs? Let us know in the comments below.

 This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

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homeschool winter ideas in january

January can be one of the hardest months to get through schooling. By now the hoopla of the holidays are over and we are staring January square in the face. The Christmas tree is finally down, and it’s time to settle back into our homeschooling schedule. The grunts and groans are not only coming from the kids, we feel it too.

One of sport’s greatest strategies is to play each player to his strengths. If Harry can hit well, don’t put him as catcher. If Tom can run, put him in the outfield. Let the New Year work for you by switching things up:

  • Add something new to your homeschool.
  • Do something different.
  •  Switch up the schedule.
  • Play to the strengths of being inside more.
  • Start (or join) a co-op or a book club.
  • Make tents and as a reward, let them do their school work underneath it.
  • Have a Hot Chocolate Dreaming Party next to the fireplace.
  • Plan a slumber party in the living room on a Friday night and talk about family bucket list living This term has expanded in recent years to include goals for certain time frames, such as before I grow up, etc. Kids love to feel that their contributions count and what better way to bond together as a family than to help each other fulfill dreams.
  • Maryalice Leister at encourages families to write down their list so they will have options ready at a moment’s notice. Put their dreams in a jar, write them on a poster, or attach clothespins onto a bucket.

It’s true our kids would much rather be outside building a snowman than studying books. Why not play to its strengths? Study snow, measure snow, taste snow, make snow cones, snow forts, snowmen, chart weather patterns, study Alaska, Iceland, Sweden.

One of my favorite January boosts is to have a Snowman Party! We decorate the house by hanging homemade snowflakes and paper chains. We make fun snowflake stars and bake snowman treats. We invite friends over to share in the fun! Before you know it January will take on new meaning and everyone can settle happily into the New Year.

FREE full download of Snowman Party Directions

New Millennium Girl Books Author-homeschool writing books


Jan May is author of New Millennium Girl Books: Christian mid-grade novels for girls and interactive creative writing books that hook even the reluctant writers! She is also a fifteen year homeschool veteran and creative writing teacher. Jan enjoys igniting creativity in children and believes that given the right tools and encouragement, any child can write and love it! Check out her blog.


This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.


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hot chocolate candy cane january

That can mean only one thing. It’s time to relax and evaluate for the new year ahead.

Somehow, we have to pull ourselves back from the great holiday blitz and go on homeschooling. One of the things that helped me most was to realize it would take a little time to adjust — just like back at the beginning of the school year.  It was o.k. to take a deep breath and relax.

Reading aloud makes a cozy winter language activity.

The rhythm can create a feeling of  peaceful re-entry. Pick a book about a winter adventure or new beginnings. Introduce a series that will invite your children to read the other titles in the series, on their own time,  just for fun.

The new year is a perfect time to take inventory of what we accomplished this past semester.

Make special individual time with each child, hot chocolate in hand, and chat about what they learned academically and in real-life skills. Give each child  new journal to record their progress and write down goals for the new spring semester.

It’s a good idea for mom to create a journal too.

Include what worked and what didn’t. No matter how optimistic our beginning-of-the-year goals, failing to reach a few is okay. We learn best through trial and error. Innovation comes from failure. Did you know that Kellogg’s Corn Flakes was invented when a pan of boiled wheat was left in a baking pan overnight? Sounds like homeschooling to me!

Pray and ask God for creative ways to accomplish what you could not.

When I realized my 6th grade daughter was behind in math, I needed to be honest myself. I did not have the time to think through algebra with her. A huge weight dropped off my shoulders when I could admit she needed a tutor. Many teenagers in other homeschool families make perfect tutors. They’re happy about the income and most are open to bartering.

There are plenty of free homeschool checklists online.

Too often we want to keep pushing forward when a little evaluation can yield a better result. Checklists cover social skills, practical living skills, character qualities, and spiritual growth as well as academic milestones for each grade. I use evaluation lists to help me think through my objectives, but I implement them loosely.

Children are not wired the same and develop at different paces. If my child isn’t good at something now, I know in two to four months, he or she will catch on just fine. By backing off for a month or two, then reintroducing a concept, I found my children caught on after all.  All children have their own gifting and learn in their own way. Striving to fit them precisely into a curriculum scope and sequence will only led to tears and frustration. For you and them.

Below are a few points to help evaluate the fall semester:

  • Has your child mastered concepts he was taught in each subject?
  • What special projects did they complete?
  • What books did they read?
  • Are they growing in their extracurricular interests and skills?
  • Do children follow instructions better?
  • Are any of them moving towards self-government?
  • Are they learning to control emotions?
  • Can your preschooler or K5’er sit still longer? Pay attention longer? This was a huge accomplishment for my son!
  • Is your schedule working for you?
  • Can you work smarter and not harder anywhere? If it’s easier for the kids to do math in the morning because you are freshest, then-do it!
  • Are you doing too much? Too many outside commitments?
  • Are you doing enough? Is there a child who is bored and needs to be challenged more?
  • Could you use a mom-time of refreshment? Can you build in some necessary self-care somewhere? Don’t feel guilty!
  • How are chores going? Is it time to graduate someone to more responsibility?
  • Has Bible time been a priority or has it fallen through the cracks?
  • Can I implement hands-on activities to liven a subject up?

Most companies complete inventories. Like them, doing an evaluation can give you a good perspective of how much ground you’ve gained or where you lost ground.  Taking an inventory of your homeschool progress can help refine your focus and objectives. Above all else, you can rest easy knowing learning comes in all forms,  Homeschool children are absorbent sponges and are probably further along that you think!

For a special evaluation treat,  try a hot chocolate snowflake-float with vanilla ice cream and a peppermint stick as you relax and evaluate for the new year.

Blessing to you on your new year!

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.


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Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on

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