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

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Table of Contents
5-Part Series: The Geography Connection
This Issue:
Part 1.  The Geography/People Connection
     Learning About the Peoples of the World
     Loving the Peoples of the World
Future Issues:
     Part 2.  The Geography/Science Connection
     Part 3.  The Geography/History Connection
     Part 4.  The Geography/Arts Connection
     Part 5.  The Geography/Present Connection
Recommended Resources
     Rhea's Education Days
     Beyond Phonics Spelling
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     In our 5-part series, we will be exploring the connection
between geography and various other disciplines of study.  For
example, geography and history are intimately related to each
other; we can learn and understand more about each subject by
studying them together.

     National standards for geography, proposing the essential
geography knowledge, skills, and perspectives students should
have, were published in 1994 in the book "Geography for Life."
Eighteen standards are grouped into these six categories.
      •  The World in Spatial Terms
      •  Places and Regions
      •  Physical Systems
      •  Human Systems
      •  Environment and Society
      •  The Uses of Geography
     These standards are elaborated by grade level at

     Most of these standards will be included in our 5-part
series, although organized somewhat differently.  We will be
presenting a distinctively Christian perspective that will:
 •  Differ in parts from the secular humanistic and "politically
     correct" perspective.
 •  Include God's view of the world and its peoples, along with
     our responsibility to them as revealed in Scripture.

     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.


Learning about the Peoples of the World

     Our motivation, as Christians, to learn about the various
peoples of the world, and how and where they live, is so that we
can be prepared to "make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19)
and build up the body of Christ around the world.

     The following three mega websites provide an enormous amount
of information on the 271 countries of the world.
     You can teach a lot of geography by spending just 10-15
minutes each day in the following way.
 •  Start with selected portions of the featured country of the
     day at the Operation World site.
 •  Then look at the World Factbook site, Library of Congress
     Country Studies, and the additional links on the Operation
     World site.

1.  Operation World
     Operation World provides information on all the countries of
the world from a Christian perspective and offers specific, daily
prayer requests that cover the whole world in a year.
 •  Operation World Website
     A significant portion of Operation World content is
     available online.  The "Pray Today" section features a
     country and includes information, prayer requests, and web
     links for more information.
 •  Operation World (Book)
     This prayer handbook contains concise information on every
     country and specific prayer requests in a calendar format.
 •  Operation World CD-ROM
     Contains the full text of the Operation World book (in both
     web browser and PDF formats), plus the huge Operation World
     database and additional information from the World Factbook.
 •  Window on the World (Book for Children)
     The two volumes of "You Can Change the World" have been
     revised and combined in one book for use in families with
     children.  It includes information and prayer requests for
     many countries and peoples of the world.
     Order these and other resources online at

2.  Free Online CIA World Factbook
     The United States Central Intelligence Agency publishes the
World Factbook in several ways (see homepage):
 •  Free online (a low bandwidth version is also available)
 •  In zipped format for you to download (instructions provided)
 •  In printed form
     The online World Factbook is huge, fascinating, and easy to
use!  Don't miss the Rank Order pages and Flags of the World.
Note that the same information is found on other sites, but this
official government site is easier to use and does not have ads.
     The World Factbook is not from a Christian perspective, and
you will notice the inclusion of inaccurate "politically
correct" concepts such as references to an "already overcrowded
globe."  (See "Population Distribution" below.)
        The following information is given for each of the
world's 271 nations, dependent areas, and other entities (e.g.,
oceans and the world as a whole).
 •  Introduction, historical background, and flag
 •  Geography (map, location, area, climate, terrain, natural
     resources, land use)
 •  People (population, nationality, ethnic groups, religions,
     languages, literacy)
 •  Government and Economy
 •  Communications and Transportation
 •  Military and Transnational Issues

3.  The Library of Congress Country Studies
     A description and analysis of the historical setting and the
religious (with beliefs and practices described), social (family,
communities), economic, political, and national security systems
and institutions of countries throughout the world.
     At present, 101 countries and regions are covered.  Notable
omissions include Canada, the United States, France, the United
Kingdom, and other Western nations, as well as a number of
African nations.
     Although not as up-to-date, much information is given in a
more expanded and narrative manner than the two websites above.


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Learning about the Peoples of the World
     The study of this aspect of geography includes the following areas.

1.  Origins
     Anthropology is the study of the origin and cultural
development of humans.  Secular anthropology differs seriously
from biblical anthropology.
     The Bible tells us that God created one man (Adam) and one
woman (Eve) from which we are all descended, and that through
their disobedience, sin entered into the world.  Furthermore, all
mankind was destroyed in a global Flood from which only Noah and
his family were saved.  Thus, we are all descended from Noah. Our
knowledge and understanding of peoples is based on these facts.
     Read articles online such as, "Anthropology and Apeman" at
     The background section of each country's listing in the
World Factbook gives a brief historical overview of the
settlement of that country.

2.  Races
     "The Bible tells us how the population that descended from
Noah's family had one language and by living in one place were
disobeying God's command to 'fill the earth' (Genesis 9:1, 11:4).
God confused their language, causing a break-up of the population
into smaller groups which scattered over the earth (Genesis
     "Modern genetics show how, following such a break-up of a
population, variations in skin color, for example, can develop in
only a few generations." (from Answers in Genesis website)
     Read articles about where the human races came from and how
the theory of evolution has contributed to racism and violence at
     Maps showing population density and race in United States

3.  Population Distribution
     Overpopulation is a myth.  "Six billion people live on
planet Earth. That sounds like a lot of people. However, they
could all fit into an area the size of England (which is slightly
smaller than the state of Oregon), with more than 20 square
meters each (an area about 12 feet by 15 feet).
     "Many of us live in cities, so we have the impression that
the world is bursting with people. However, much of the world is
sparsely populated."  (from "Where Are All the People?" at
     World Map showing Urban Population

4.  Religion
     As you teach your children about the false religions of the
world, you can point out that they all are based on works that
man must do to gain salvation, whereas in reality, Christ has
done it all for us and offers free salvation to all.
     Learn about the major religions of the world: Biblical
Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism.
     The Library of Congress Country Studies website explains in
some detail the religions followed by country at

5.  Social and Cultural Behavior
     The Library of Congress Country Studies website includes
much information in these areas.
     As you study the customs of the world, teach your children
to differentiate between what is morally wrong according to God's
standards (e.g., immodesty) and what is simply different from our
own culture (e.g., dress styles).
     Other cultural considerations include:
 •  Are their customs and traditions tied to their religion or
their nationality?
 •  How far can foreign missionaries go to fit into the customs
     of that country?

6.  Languages and Literacy (Education)
     The World Factbook lists the three most commonly spoken
languages (spoken as a first language) worldwide as:
     Chinese, Mandarin 13.69%
     Spanish 5.05%
     English 4.84%
All other languages are each spoken by less than 3% of the total
world's population.
     Read about Babel and the beginning of languages at

     The work done by Wycliffe and others who translate the Bible
into native languages, and teach the people to read it, is a
vital part of missionary work, as is printing and distribution of
these Bibles.

SIL International Ethnologue: Languages of the World
     This online encyclopedic reference work catalogs all of the
world's 6,912 known living languages.  A country page contains
descriptions of all the languages spoken in that country.
     The statistical summaries section offers a summary view of
the world language situation.  Specifically, it offers numerical
tabulations of living languages and number of speakers by world
area, by language size, by language family, and by country.
     The language families and language maps are fascinating and
informative for those with interest in this area.

Say Hello to the World
     Hear and learn to say "hello" and other basic words in more
than 100 languages at

7.  Economics
     Most of the world's people are poor.  The World Factbook
lists the gross domestic product per capita rank order of 232
countries with a high of $62,700 for Luxembourg and a low of $400
for East Timor.  The United States ranks the fourth highest with $41,800.

     The Library of Congress Country Studies website offers a
good overview and explanation of the economic situation of
various countries.

     See a map of world economic classification of countries.
     These facts should be explored in terms of how our
lifestyles compare with those of other peoples so that we and our
children can develop gratitude, compassion, and sharing.

8.  Politics
     Review the different basic forms of government -- monarchy,
constitutional monarchy, dictatorship, communism, socialism,
democracy, and republic at

     National holidays, usually celebrations of political
independence, for most countries are listed in date order at
     If you are not using the Operation World daily prayer
calendar, another way to become acquainted with the countries of
the world is to spend 10-15 minutes introducing a country on its
major holiday.  You can then assign more research for your
children according to their ages and interests.

     Read the constitutional documents for 91 countries online. is an encyclopedia of leaders, nations,
dependencies, international and religious organizations.
Included are detailed chronologies, maps, and past and present
national anthems and flags.


Master spelling quickly
with word family stories.
     Examples: "God's design is a sign
of His love"; "Take money for the
monkey"; "Leonard's leopard is in


Loving the Peoples of the World

Our Great Commission
     Just before our Lord Jesus ascended to heaven after His
resurrection, He gave His disciples the following instruction,
known to Christian believers as The Great Commission:
     "Go and make disciples of all the nations, and lo, I am with
you always, even to the end of the age." Matt. 28:19
     God's response to people's greatest need is to send
missionaries to them with the Gospel of salvation.  Missions is
simply His love taken to them by us, His ambassadors.  If we can
see people through God's eyes and love them as He does, we will
want to entreat them to be reconciled with God (II Cor. 5:20).
     We need to show our children that whatever they do in life,
their first and most important job is to spread the Gospel -- the
Good News that forgiveness and eternal life are gifts from God,
waiting to be received.

Sending and Going
     God expects us to both send missionaries and go as
missionaries ourselves.  This is not an either/or command.  We
can help send others to minister the Gospel in other places, but
we still must go to our own neighbors as well.

Going:  Starting in Your Neighborhood
     The following details of Jesus' Great Commission give us a
strategy for completing it:
     "You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem (your own
city), and in all Judea and Samaria (your state and neighboring
states), and even to the remotest part of the earth (all the
world)." Acts 1:8
     Missions begins in your own neighborhood.  In fact, if you
have a real concern for the lost across the world, you will want
to reach your own immediate "world" with the Gospel where you are
right now.  Take the following steps with your children.
 •  Be a good testimony in word and deed on your street.
 •  Learn how to explain God's plan of salvation with Bible
     verses (see sample at the end of this newsletter).
 •  Learn how to give your own personal testimony in a few short
 •  Pray regularly and personally for your neighbors.
 •  Get to know and befriend your neighbors; maybe plan a block
     party for the summer or organize a neighborhood watch.
 •  Give your neighbors the Gospel in the form of a tract or
     Scripture portion, perhaps with home-made goodies at Easter.
 •  Remember that your "neighbors" can include anyone you come in
     contact with in any way.

Multi-Lingual Tools for Witnessing
    The following resources may be helpful in giving the Gospel
to people who do not speak English as their first language.
 •  God's Simple Plan of Salvation (in 21 languages)
 •  Free. Gospel of John (in several translations and languages)
 •  Inexpensive videos, DVDs, and books in 36 different languages.
 •  Scripture in languages around the world
 •  An online, searchable online Bible in over 35 languages.

Sending:  Being an Active Part of the Team
     The Apostle Paul wrote,
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent?
Romans 10:13-15

     Sending out missionaries is a vitally important part of
God's plan to save the lost.  However, it involves more than just
mailing a check every month, like paying a utility bill.
Missionaries need a support team.
     As your family becomes involved in the following activities,
you and your children will gain a greater understanding of
missionary work and a deeper concern for the lost.  This will
prepare them for any ministry God leads them to in the future.
     The number of missionaries you provide support services to
will vary according to your family's time and financial resources
and the ages of your children.
 •  Teach long-term commitment by being faithful to one or a few
     missionaries for life.
 •  Support the missionaries your local church body supports as
     well as missionaries that are long-time family friends.
 •  Consider supporting a native missionary.  They are already on
     the field, know the customs and language, and have had very
     fruitful ministries. Gospel For Asia.

1.  Be Informed
     As a member of your missionary's support team, the better
informed you are, the better you can fulfill your position.
 •  Learn about the people your missionary is reaching.
     TIP:  Place missionary photos or prayer cards around a wall
     map and mark the country where they serve.
 •  Learn about your missionary and his work.
     Receive, read, and discuss all his prayer letters.
     TIP:  Keep prayer letters in a notebook.
 •  Get up-to-date information from your missionary's website.
     (If he doesn't have a website, offer to provide one.)
 •  Attend missionary meetings as a family.
 •  Assign reports on a particular missionary, his country, or a
     problem he faces.
 •  Read missionary books and biographies or watch a missionary
     video as a family.

 •  Top 20 Missionary Biographies
     Books and movies about the five missionary martyrs who were
speared to death by members of the Waodani (Auca) tribe in
Ecuador 50 years ago in 1956.
 •  Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot.
 •  Jungle Pilot by Russell T. Hitt.  The story of Nate Saint.
 •  Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot. Jim Elliot's life
     Audio book read by Elisabeth Elliot
 •  End of the Spear by Steve Saint.  His life with the Waodani.
 •  Beyond the Gates of Splendor (documentary movie on DVD)
     Also available to rent or in some public libraries.
 •  End of the Spear (Movie playing in theaters)  Movie review
     Much information is available at

2.  Communicate
     The more you communicate with your missionary, the more you
get to know him and the better support you can provide.
Communicate with your missionary regularly through:
 •  E-mail.  If available, this is low-cost and usually easily
     accessed any time.  Send plain text and don't fill his box.
 •  Phone calls.  If available, international calls are now
     low-cost.  This makes a very personal form of communication.
     Be sure to check time differences and make arrangements for
     a convenient time for you to call.
 •  Letters.  These take longer, but are a good way to
     communicate!  You can also send photos and audio or video
     tapes if your missionary can accept these through the mail.
     A Cautionary Note:  Care must be taken when writing to
     missionaries in a "closed" country.  Get guidelines from
     your missionaries and write as if your letter will be read
     by government officials who do not desire Christian workers
     in their country.

3.  Pray
     Pray regularly for your missionaries' needs in the following
areas, (perhaps one each day) as well as their specific requests.
 •  Spiritual life and relationship with God
 •  Physical and emotional health and needs
 •  Family's spiritual life and family relationships
 •  Ability to communicate; mastery of a new language
 •  Fruitful ministry: souls saved and lives changed
 •  Also pray for the Lord of the Harvest to raise up more
     missionaries to reach the lost.

4.  Give
 •  Support your missionaries financially.
 •  Make giving to missions a family function.
 •  Send your missionary, or his college student, a care package
     on special occasions.
     It is important to first confirm with the missionary what is
     needed and how a package must be wrapped, labeled, and sent.
 •  If your missionaries are home schooling, find out what
     materials they need, either new or used.

5.  Enlist Others
 •  Be an advocate for your missionaries.  For example, make sure
     others are praying for them.
 •  Submit special or urgent prayer requests or needs of your
     missionaries to your church.
 •  Tell others about your experiences with supporting
     missionaries and get them involved too.
 •  Make a bulletin board for your church with captions, pictures
     of missionaries and mission activities, and maps.
 •  Provide bulletin inserts about your missionaries.

6.  Go
 •  Go on a short-term missions project to visit and help your
 •  Consider whether the Lord would call your family into
     missionary service using the experience and skills you have.

Preparing To Go
     We can prepare ourselves and our children to be ready for
service on the home or foreign mission field if the Lord leads.
Many middle-aged adults are finding that the Lord can use their
skills and experience.
 •  Know and love the Lord, His Word, and His will.
 •  Know and love people; develop a genuine concern for their
     eternal welfare.
 •  Acquire useful and practical skills and knowledge; anything
     and everything can be used to serve the Lord and others.
 •  Learn a foreign language.  Even if you go to a country that
     speaks a little-known language, most countries use a more
     common language as their trade language.  Also, learning one
     foreign language usually makes it easier to learn another.
 •  Pray to be shown the Lord's will and to be allowed to go
     wherever you are needed.

7.  Welcome Home
 •  Provide for housing, transportation, and other needs when
     your missionaries are home on furlough.
 •  The best way for your family and your missionaries to become
     acquainted is to invite them into your home for a meal and
     visit when they are in your area.

Resource: Adopt-A-Missionary by Diana Armstrong
     This book offers practical ideas to support missionaries.


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Sunnyside Up:  Plural Item
     Our 12-year-old son was given a list of items to pack for a
trip.  I decided to check his packing and was puzzled by the four
rolls of toilet tissue in the bottom of his suitcase.  Upon
questioning, he produced the list with the word "toiletries"
     Submitted by Becky M., Saskatchewan, Canada


God's Plan of Salvation

God loves us.
     "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).

We have been 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).

The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's
only provision for our sin.
     "He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins
and was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25).

We must personally receive Jesus Christ
as our own Savior and Lord.
     "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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