Event description

A special educational event will be held in the two weeks following Family Camp in October—the 19th-30th— on the Big Sandy campus. Entitled Strong in the Basics, this will be a class covering all academic areas and focusing on what every home-schooled student should know by the time he or she completes high school. The course will cover all areas but will emphasize three: English, Math, and Bible. Topics in these three areas:

  • English: vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, writing (sentences, paragraphs, essays), literature, some speaking, and the valuable skill of proofreading – as much of that as can be fit in. (Correct spelling is important and will be assumed with all work.)
  •  Math: practice in basic functions, including fractions, decimals, ratios, and percents; practical applications, such as keeping a checking account and making change; working with weights and measures and the metric system. Also the basics of Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry and their practical applications.
  •  Bible: the 66 books (with correct spellings and pronunciations) and their groupings; the chronology of the Old Testament; harmony of the Gospels.

In addition to these three primary areas of emphasis, the course will also include Geography (U.S. & world), History, Biology, Chemistry, and Hymnology.

The whole course is strongly faith-based – acknowledging God as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe (Hebrews 11:3), and that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov. 1:7).

About the instructor: Miss Blair has been teaching homeschoolers for more than 20 years. She has a B.A. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and has been a certified hospital lab tech for many years. She works part-time at a hospital in Longview, TX. She also has an M.A. in Writing from DePaul University and has many years’ experience as an in-house and free-lance writer, editor, and proofreader. She lives in nearby Gladewater, TX, and you may contact her directly at [email protected].


Register for the 2020 Strong in the Basics (October 19–30, 2020):


Course: $200/student
Complete student package: $625/student (Includes meals, lodging, and course cost)
Parent package: $425 (Includes meals and lodging)


What is the daily schedule like?

Class will be held five hours per day, Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 12 noon, and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students should come prepared to work hard in class and to study diligently – 2-3 hours each evening.

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. each day will be a time of Bible study and devotions.

Is there a limit to the class size?

The class will be limited to 15 students, minimum age 13; no upper limit. Parents are welcome to sit in and observe.

What resources are required for this course?

Three books will be required; all are available used online very inexpensively. Recommended source: Abebooks.com.

  • A dictionary that has etymologies(word histories). The best paperback is Webster’s New World Dictionary, by Pocket Books. You may want to look for this one in a bookstore to ensure that it has etymologies.
  • A thesaurus – any kind. (Dictionaries with etymologies and thesauruses can frequently be found in thrift shops.)
  • The main textbook is Writers Inc: A Student Handbook for Writing and Learning, by Sebranek, Meyer, and Kemper. ***1995 or 1996 edition**ONLY.**  Abebooks has many copies of this book for less than $4, including shipping; look it up by the ISBN to ensure that you get the correct edition. ISBN: 0-669-38813-0 (paperback)   --or-- 0-669-38812-2 (hardback). ***Please ensure that you get the correct edition. *** This book is much more than an English textbook; it also has math, chemistry, geography, civics, history, and more.

The instructor has a limited number of each of these three books that are for sale.

What are the benefits for those who take this class?

Help in completing high school studies; revealing areas where more work might be needed; and preparation for whatever is next in life: further education, job/skills training, marriage/parenthood/becoming home educators.

What are the pre-class requirements and study?

  • Read through the book of Nehemiah several times. (Many of the writing assignments will come from this book.)
  • Be able to recite the books of the Bible in order.
  • Be proficient in basic math functions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Know the multiplication tables through 12 x 12. (#791 in the Writers Inc book)
  • Read at least at a 6thgrade reading level and be a reasonably good speller. Know the 8 parts of speech -- in Writers Inc, #702, with short definitions in the sections following.
  • Learn a short list of prefixes and suffixes – the first part of the Vocabulary studies, which will be sent to each student before the class begins.