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                 Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
    From a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors   /

Table of Contents
Teaching Your Children To Be Thankful
 •  The Character Qualities of Joy
 •  Teaching About Thankfulness
 •  "To Be Thankful, You Must Be Thoughtful"
 •  "Count Your Blessings":
     Activities for Thanksgiving Day -- and Beyond
 •  Provide Examples of Thankfulness
 •  Establishing the Habit of Thankfulness
Recommended Resources
     Gift of the Magi: Christmas Outreach
     A Life of Faith Dolls, Books, Girls' Club
     Math Fundamentals
     Jean Welles' Guitar Video Courses
     Calendator by Frigemates
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     Our celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday can be a
reminder and impetus to teach our children the important
character quality of thankfulness.  In fact, we can make
thanksgiving a way of life, not just a one-day event.

     Gratitude is related to the character quality of joy.  A
life of thankfulness is a life of joy!

     May your family enjoy a time of rejoicing as you contemplate
and thank God for the blessings that He has heaped upon us,
praising Him for Who He is and thanking Him for what He has done.

     Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
          Make known His deeds among the peoples.
     Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
          Speak of all His wonders.
     Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
          For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
     1 Chronicles 16:7-9; 34

     May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business
operated in our home since 1980.


Teaching Your Children To Be Thankful
     Thankfulness is an attitude, an attribute, even a
worldview.  If your child adopts a grateful mindset and maintains
it throughout his life it will contribute to your child's:

 •  Relationships with the Lord and others.

 •  Happiness; causing him to be content with what he has and not
     complain about what he doesn't have.

     Thankfulness, or gratitude, belongs to a group of the
following related character qualities:

The Character Qualities of Joy

1.  Contentment
     "Choosing to be satisfied and at peace with what God has
provided, without complaining."
 •  Also: cheerfulness, hope, peace.
 •  See I Tim. 6:5, 6, 8; Phil. 4:11; Heb. 13:5.

2.  Gratitude
     "Recognizing, appreciating, and acknowledging favors or
 •  Also: appreciation, gratefulness, thankfulness.
 •  See Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 2:6-7; I Tim. 4:4-5; I Thess. 5:18.

3.  Joyfulness
     "Delighting in the service and presence of God regardless of
 •  Also: zeal, enthusiasm, heartiness, eagerness.
 •  See Ps. 100:2; Rom. 12:11; Prov. 15:13; Ps. 35:9.

They Are Not Just Dolls--
They Are Godly Role Models!
     Beloved fictional heroines, Elsie
Dinsmore, Millie Keith, Violet and Laylie,
come to life as lovely dolls. Faith-based
historical fiction books, dolls, accessories,
and girls clubs, help girls ages 8-14 imagine
and experience a lifestyle of faith!


Teaching About Thankfulness
     Thankfulness needs to be taught.  It does not come naturally
to fallen human beings.

1.  Teach What Thankfulness Means
     Start by explaining the following to your children.  This
provides direction and motivation for your study of this topic.

 •  What gratitude or thankfulness is and how and why it is a
     part of the character quality of Joy.

 •  Why it pleases and honors God.
     "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of
praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to
His name" Hebrews 13:15.

 •  How it will make them, and those around them, joyful.

2.  Teach What God Says about Thankfulness
     You might want to do this during your regular daily Bible
and devotional time.  Depending on the time you want to take and
the age of your children, address all four qualities of joy (see
above) at once, or just one or two each day.

 •  Read and discuss the material presented above on Joy.

 •  Look up and read the scriptures suggested for each
     characteristic.  Using a concordance, look up other references.

 •  God commands us to be thankful.
     "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which
indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful" Colossians

 •  Consider the results of unthankfulness in Romans 1:21:
     "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as
God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations,
and their foolish heart was darkened."

3.  Memorize Scriptures.
     Memorize, review, and meditate on specific verses or
passages related to thankfulness.  See those given above or use
those selected from your own study.

 •  Hold hands around the Thanksgiving table and
     Quote Psalm 100 and/or your selected memory verses.
     Sing an appropriate hymn or chorus of praise and thanks.

 •  This tradition can be expanded for every day of the year.
     When growing up, our family held hands and sang "Thank You,
Lord" before prayer at dinner every day.

4.  Talk about Thankfulness in the Context of Daily Living.
     Throughout the day there are a multitude of opportunities
for your children to hear you say aloud, "Thank you, Lord, for .
. ." or for you to talk about something for which you are


Gift of the Magi:
Christmas Outreach . . .
in a Box!
Beautifully stained Christmas treasure box holds:
 •  Trace gold, genuine frankincense and myrrh
 •  Booklet explaining their connection to the Gospel
Only $9.95; Size 3-1/2 x 2-1/4 x 2-3/8 inches.


"To Be Thankful, You Must Be Thoughtful"
     This is what our father taught his large family of 11
children.  It is easy to take for granted the many gifts that God
has given to us unless we stop and think about them.

1.  Consider Others
     One way to think about your own blessings is to consider
those who have less, as articulated in the proverb "I complained
because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet."

     In America today we can find many people that have more than
we do.  This tends to make us and our children discontent.  (In
fact, the secular media's featuring of the rich and famous,
combined with commercials that are intended to make you crave
more, is a good reason to turn off your TV for good.)

     On the other hand, your family can find those around you
that have less than you do in terms of physical, family, and
spiritual blessings.  Looking farther from home to the poor of
Africa can show us the relative luxuries even the poorest of us
possess (e.g., water!).

2.  Our Response
     Besides providing a reminder to be thankful, let these
examples prompt a practical compassion in your family as you find
ways to share your blessings.

 •  The best blessing you can share is the good news of God's
     love and forgiveness.

 •  Especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas times, rescue
     missions appreciate gifts that enable them to provide meals
     and/or beds for the homeless.

 •  Look for someone in your church that doesn't have family
     nearby and invite them to share your Thanksgiving feast or
     other meals with you.

3.  Thanks for What We Do Have
     The example of looking at a glass of water as being either
half empty or half full illustrates the two ways that we can view
our lives.  Teach your children:

 •  Instead of dwelling on your problems, look at your blessings
     and thank the Lord for them.

 •  Instead of looking at how bad a situation is, look at how
     much worse it could have been and thank the Lord it wasn't.


     Put the FUN Back into the Teaching
     and Learning of Mathematics!
     Designed for home schooling families.  The everyday
experiences and games described in this series complement any math
curriculum you use, or you can use them as your primary source of
instruction.  Also available are e-books and a free newsletter.


"Count Your Blessings"
Activities for Thanksgiving Day -- and Beyond
     There are many ways to do this each day; the following are a
few suggestions for Thanksgiving Day.

1.  Thanksgiving Tree
 •  Draw a leafless tree on a piece of butcher paper or
     posterboard.  (You can also open up a paper grocery bag to
     use as a large piece of paper.)
 •  Cut out leaves from colored paper and write (or have young
     children draw) something for which you are thankful on each
 •  Tape or glue them to the tree.

2.  Continue All Year Long
 •  Decorate a box or basket to hold notes of thanksgiving.
 •  Add to notes all year long and review them occasionally, as
     well as on next Thanksgiving Day.

3.  Your Family Thanksgiving Service
     After your Thanksgiving feast, gather your family and
friends for a time of:
 •  Singing hymns and songs of praise
 •  Recounting to each other the blessings of the Lord
 •  Thanking Him together in prayer
 •  Reading or quoting Bible verses or passages on thankfulness
     and God's blessings.


The Reusable Calendar --
Calendator by Frigemates
     Post all your family's plans,
activities, special days, and holidays
in a central location -- the fridge!
This cling vinyl calendar is durable,
colorful, and easy-to-use with 72 reusable images and dry
erase pen.  See more at


Provide Examples of Thankfulness
     The most powerful influence on your child's character is
example, for better or worse.  You can help your child by
providing good examples of thankfulness and avoiding or pointing
out examples of unthankfulness.

1.  Parents
     The example you set is primary.  As your children observe
you being thankful throughout the ups and downs of your life,
they will be more likely to become thankful themselves.

2.  Companions
     "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts good morals'" (I
Cor. 15:33).

 •  Television
     Children who watch a lot of commercials on TV, especially at
this season of the year, will probably develop intense desires
for things they do not have, rather than being thankful for what
they do have.

 •  Friends
     Like-minded friends who show a spirit of thankfulness can be
a positive influence on your children.

3.  Examples in Scripture
     God has given us many examples in Scripture of right
behavior for our edification and of wrong behavior for our

 •  David is the most prominent example; he wrote hundreds of
     verses in the Psalms that show forth his thankful heart.

 •  Job, in the midst of his loss and misery, and Paul and Silas
     in prison, are prime examples of praise and thankfulness
     amid suffering.
     "But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing
hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them"
(Acts 16:25).

4.  Examples in Stories and Literature
     Look for and comment on examples of contentment, gratitude,
and joyfulness (or their opposites) in your children's and your
family's reading.

 •  Family Read-Aloud Time
     Spend an hour at a time reading uplifting literature aloud
as a family on a regular basis.

 •  Include Evaluation
     Follow your reading with a discussion of the character
qualities displayed or other spiritual principles.

Learning To Play the Guitar
Can Bring Lifelong
Enjoyment to Your Child
and Blessings to Others

Jean Welles' video courses: a quick and easy way to play the guitar.
 •  Simple step-by-step, play-as-you-watch has vivid detail.
 •  No musical background, experience, or training is needed.
 •  Buy a complete package, including guitar, and save!
Worship Guitar Class for Ages 9-Adult
Kid's Guitar Lessons for Ages 5-9


Establishing the Habit of Thankfulness
     Help your children establish and maintain the habit of

1.  Start with the Attitude
     If your children assume that they "deserve" certain things,
they will not be thankful for them.

 •  Help your children understand our dependency upon God for
     everything we are and have.
     "For in Him we live and move and exist" (Acts 17:28).

 •  Teach your children what God says about being content with
     only food and covering.
     "But godliness actually is a means of great gain when
accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the
world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have
food and covering, with these we shall be content" (I Timothy

 •  Explain that anything God or others do for us, or give us, is
     an occasion for our thankfulness.

2.  "Please" and "Thank You"
     Include thankfulness in the basic rules of courtesy that you
set for your family.

 •  Teaching your young child to say "Please" and "Thank You"
     whenever he asks for, or is given, anything is a practical
     way to teach him to be thankful and to show it.

 •  Start by saying it for him at appropriate times, even before
     he can talk.

 •  A gentle reminder and later (or for older children) a pause
     while waiting for them to say "please" or "thank you," if
     consistent, will soon establish the habit.

 •  You might review this rule with your older children to good
     advantage as well.

 •  Make sure your children thank others outside your home when
     they are given something, are wished something (e.g., "Happy
     Birthday" or "Have a good day"), or have a service performed
     such as opening a door or being served a meal.

3.  Reinforcing the Habit
 •  Discuss good examples of thankfulness, such as how good it
     makes you feel to receive a prompt and handwritten Thank You
     card from a friend.

 •  Have your child keep a Thankful Diary in which he writes all
     the things he is thankful for and checks off those for which
     he has expressed thanks.


Please Thank and Support
Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
     These free newsletters are made possible financially by the
fine suppliers who advertise in them and in the accompanying
e-mail.  Please consider those that advertised in our last issue
(below) as well as the ones in this issue.

Systematic Mathematics: Modular Math Instruction on DVD
Print To Learn Phonics Charts
Microscope Store: Teaching Compound Microscope
Audio Memory: Teaching Songs


Sunnyside Up: Cubist Referee
     I found out in an unusual place -- at a baseball game -- that
our son's art education was sticking.
     Coaches, players, and parents on both teams became
frustrated at the umpire's erratic calls. A pitch practically in
the dirt was called a strike, and one flying over the center of
the plate and striking the catcher's mitt was called a ball.
     As we walked away from the game shaking our heads, out son
summed it up for all of us when he commented, "He had a strike
zone like Picasso."
     Submitted by Martha B., Washington


God Loves You.
     Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus
Christ died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust
Him 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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