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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
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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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Sunnyside Up

Old Before Her Time
    As 3-year-old Heather and 7-year-old Jill were helping in the kitchen, Heather went on and on about things she planned to do when she was grown up.
    Finally, Jill replied, "You will have to be very patient, because it takes a long, long time to grow up. I know. It took me seven years!"
    Submitted by Connie R., Texas


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." (Eph. 2:8, 9)

See a beautiful, expanded Plan of Salvation online, available in 18 languages.


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In This Issue: Thanksgiving Activities
1.  Thanking God: Thanksgiving Day
2.  Thanking God: Throughout the Year
3.  Thanking Others: Thanksgiving Day
4.  Thanking Others: Throughout the Year


     Are you busy with Thanksgiving Day preparations with extended family, guests, food, and more?

     In this issue we offer you some ready-made, practical ideas for activities that will ensure that the reason for this season — giving thanks — is not neglected.

     All ages can join in and enjoy these fun and meaningful ways of expressing thanks!

     May the Lord bless 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.

Thanking God: Thanksgiving Day

"Count Your Blessings" Visuals

     Make a poster, cut out objects and write a blessing for which you are thankful on each one, and then tape or glue them on the poster.  For example:
 •   Poster of a tree with leaf cutouts
 •   Poster of a cornucopia with fruit and vegetable cutouts
 •   Poster of an umbrella with raindrop cutouts (showers of blessings)

Basket or Box
     Alternatively, decorate a box or basket to hold notes written by family members expressing thankfulness for various blessings, great or small.
     Throughout the year you can add more notes.  Review them occasionally or read one before each meal, as well as on next Thanksgiving Day.
     One family's tradition is to start a box on Thanksgiving into which family members put notes of thanks to each other — with specific things they appreciate about each other.  Then they add to this box until Christmas and open the notes to each other before they share their gifts.

Activity: "What I'm Thankful For"
(with Charades and/or Pictionary)
     Have Ready:  a whiteboard with dry or wet-erase pens, or a large pad of paper with felt markers.
     The idea is for everyone to tell what they are thankful for by using the rules of charades or pictionary.
 •   Everyone gets a turn as others guess.  This is not a points or winning game — just fun!
 •   The game can continue after everyone has one turn as long as there is interest.

Your Family Thanksgiving Service
 •   After your Thanksgiving feast, gather your family and friends for a time of:
 •   Singing hymns and songs of praise. See words and hear the music to many hymns of thanksgiving at Cyberhymnal.
 •   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 (many of the Psalms and Psalm 100).

Nature Friend Monthly Magazine Encourages Children To Appreciate
God’s Handiwork in Nature.

     This high-quality, beautiful full-color magazine contains 24 pages of:
• “Learning by Doing”: Science-related feature
• “You Can Draw” art lesson and photo tips
• Articles, stories, activities, puzzles
• Children’s letters, drawings, writings, photos 1-877-434-0765


Thanking God: Throughout the Year

1.  Private Prayer
     Talking to God in prayer throughout the day is how we can "pray without ceasing"  (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

2.  Modeling Private, Constant Prayer
     Since your children cannot know your constant and silent prayers to the Lord, you may want to occasionally say them out loud in their presence, such as "Thank you, Lord, that we have the freedom to home school and had such an interesting history lesson today."

3.  Family Prayers
     During your daily family prayer time, ask your children to think of one specific thing that happened that day for which they can thank the Lord.

4.  Singing Hymns and Spiritual Songs
     Throughout Scripture, thankfulness to the Lord is expressed not only in words, but through music.  "I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving" (Psalms 69:30).
     Learn (memorize) and sing hymns and songs of praise. Sing praises:
 •   Alone, either aloud or silently in your mind as you work or travel.
 •   As a family, at meals, devotional times, and in the car.
 •   Corporately, as a church congregation, choir, or ensemble.
 •   For others, such as at a rest home or rescue mission.

5.  Tell Others.
     Part of our giving thanks to God is to do it before others as a testimony of His goodness to all mankind and our appreciation of Him.
     This can be a simple phrase inserted into our conversations where appropriate, like, "I'm really thankful that the Lord loves and cares for me," or "I'm thankful that I can take my cares to the Lord in prayer," etc.

6.  Direct the Praise to God.
     "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth"  (Psalms 115:1).
     Teach your children by your own example that when we are praised by others, we should acknowledge the Lord's grace that enables us.  In this way we give the glory and praise to Him.


Sick of Health Insurance?
     Christian families can deal with rising health care costs — without using insurance. As of November 2006, the monthly share amount has never exceeded $248 per family — even less for couples and singles. Call 888-2-OTHERS (268-4377).


Thanking Others: Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day Activity:
Thanking Others Around the Room

 •   Write everyone's name on a slip of paper, fold it, and place it in a dish.
 •   Everyone draws a name and thanks that person for something that they have done this past year.
 •   Thanks can be just one sentence, either written or spoken.
 •   Go around the room reading or saying your thanks.


Thanking Others: Throughout the Year

     There are many people in our lives to whom we owe our gratitude.

1.  Parents and Other Family Members
     Model and teach your children the habit of noticing, appreciating, and thanking family members.  Not only is this right and proper, but it also motivates good behavior and a pleasant atmosphere.
 •   Thank the cook after each meal and the person who does the laundry for clean clothes.
 •   Thank children for doing their chores, for being kind to each other, for going beyond their assigned duties, etc.
 •   Thank Dad each night for working for the family.
     Besides spoken thanks, surprise one another with a note in Dad's lunch or under your child's pillows, etc.

2.  Friends
     These are those who love us and our family, encourage us, stand by us, and help us.  We might be tempted to take our friends for granted, but how it warms the heart to receive a note like:
     "Thank you for all your love, support, and friendship over the years.  Your family means so much to our family.  I just want you to know that when I say 'I love you guys,' I do mean it from the bottom of my heart.  One of God's greatest blessings is having friends like you!"
 •   Remember, too, your Pastor and fellow Church members.
     One church that we attended provided space on an attendance card in which to write a note of appreciation to a fellow church member.  Then the notes were placed in the offering plate and mailed to the recipient during the week.

3.  Those That Serve Us
     Even though the mailman, garbage collector, and newspaper carrier are paid for their service, they deserve and appreciate thanks.  This is why many people give them a small gift at Christmas.
 •   Include an attractive tract to enrich your gift with God's offer of eternal life.
 •   Remember also statesmen, authors, and teachers.

How To Write a Thank-You Note
     There are many ways to express your thanks to others: •   A Phone Call or a Personal Visit
 •   Thoughtful Gifts and Service
 •   Letters, Notes, and Cards
     A thank-you note is a very important expression of gratitude after you have been a guest at someone's house for dinner or overnight, received a gift, or been treated with special kindness and generosity.

1.  Write Promptly
 •   Part of the value of a thank-you note is that it is received soon after the gift or service.
 •   Procrastination often leads to an embarrassing lapse of time that can discourage you from writing at all.

2.  Use Appropriate Materials
 •   Choose a nice card or stationary.  You can buy a preprinted Thank-You card or make your own.
 •   See how to make cards from many materials.
 •   Keep a supply of cards or stationary on hand so that you are prepared to send a thank you immediately.
 •   Always use a pen (not a pencil).  Your child may need to first write out his message on plain paper and then copy it into the card.

3.  Be Specific
 •   Mention the gift or service by name when thanking the sender.
 •   Say why you like the gift and what you plan to do with it or how you will enjoy it.
 •   If you enjoyed someone's hospitality, tell them something specifically that you appreciated.

4.  Mail It!
 •   Follow through with putting an address and stamp on your note or letter and putting it in the mail.


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