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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
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Portland OR 97294
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For 27 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors

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In each issue an average of 58 home schoolers contribute practical how-to articles, encouraging letters, and ready-to-use teaching tips.

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Sunnyside Up

It Could Be Catching

I was expecting our seventh child and wasn't feeling well, so I was trying to guide our children through their lessons from my position on the couch.

When our 3-year-old started to drink from the soda pop I had nearby, our 5-year-old stopped him, saying, "Don't drink that; you might get what Mon has!"

Submitted by Bonnie W., Ontario, Canada.

Send your humorous anecdote to

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 forgive our sin and give us eternal life.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

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Seasonal Tips

     1. Proclaiming the Good News
     2. Following God's Gift List
     3. Viewing with Discernment
     4. Current Movies
     5. Learning Online
     6. Keeping Safe & Healthy


In this issue we offer you six timely tips that we hope will be helpful at this season.

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.

¡Feliz Navidad!  Bonnes Fêtes!  Merry Christmas!

Teach Your Child a Language Today.

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     Save 20% at by using promo code: TH4 (until 12/31/07) 1-888-388-3535

1. Proclaiming the Good News

Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to share the same Good News with our world today that the angels proclaimed 2,000 years ago — the "good news of great joy which will be for all the people, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!"

Your presentation of the good news of God's gift may take many forms:

1. Hand Out Gospel Tracts

These tracts use Scripture to show that Jesus came to die for man's sin and invite readers to accept Him.

The True Meaning of Christmas

Christmas Blessings to You

The Gift

Wise Men Still Seek Him

2. Include the Gospel in Your Cards and Letters

 •   Send cards with a biblical message and/or Bible verse, write out a verse such as John 3:16, or include Christmas tracts with all your Christmas cards.

 •   If you mail or e-mail an annual family letter, include a personal testimony of the Lord's working in your life, your gratefulness for His salvation, and a Bible verse.

3. Give Christmas Goodies Plus a Gospel Message

 •   Prepare a plate of goodies for your neighbors, friends, and/or family.

 •   Include a Christmas tract, a Scripture portion, or an audio tape or CD of a book of the Bible.

 •   Pocket Testament League offers free copies of the Gospel of John with different cover designs and translations. 1-866-626-8106

Your Child Can Memorize
the Christmas Story from Luke 2

(word-for-word from KJV)
before Christmas!

   Learn Luke 2:1-20 fast and easily when attaching words to music. Hear samples: Sing the Word, Volume 2.   See more Christmas resources and hear samples:
Christmas Carols for a Child's Heart
The First Christmas by Diana Waring
A Christmas Odyssey from Focus on the Family
A Christmas Carol recorded by Jim Weiss
Color the Christmas Classics
Classical Kids Christmas (from Classical Kid's Collection)
700+ Audio Products / / 1-800-460-1973

2. Following God's Gift List

Besides our own family, brothers and sisters in Christ, and everyone (our "neighbors"), God asks us to love and give to prisoners; widows and orphans; the poor, handicapped, hungry, thirsty, or sick; strangers, those in need of clothing, and those that cannot return our gifts.

"Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:18)

1. Those Near You

Look for someone that is in need of love or the basic necessities of life and find a practical way to meet their need. You may give through your local church or an organization that ministers to those with whom you would not come into direct contact, such as a rescue mission, rest home, or crisis pregnancy center.

2. The Lowest and Poorest Caste of People in India

Gospel for Asia offers you the opportunity to give the Gospel as well as a practical gift to meet urgent needs of a Dalit ("Untouchable") family, showing them a tangible expression of God's life-changing love.

Send your gift online and be informed and inspired by watching the short online video.

GFA has more than 16,000 native missionaries working throughout Asia.

Atommate: The Chemistry Card Game

     49 cards with names, symbols, and facts about 32 elements of the Periodic Table, designed by a Ph.D. chemist. Instructions for 7 games for ages 10+.
•  Beginning: learn elements' names and symbols.
•  Intermediate: combine elements for molecules, compounds.
•  Advanced: enhance understanding of simple reactions.
Reg. $12.95 / Sale $9.95, Free Shipping

3. Viewing with Discernment

1. Christian Review Sites

Check out a Christian perspective on any movie you consider viewing at one of these websites:

Plugged in Online

Christian Spotlight on Entertainment by

2. Decisions & Discernment

Hone your family's media discernment skills by reading "God's Own Words on Discernment," a study of Scripture such as Colossians 2:8, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy . . . "

Includes links to:

     That Was Then, This Is Now
     The Power of the Media
     Does Life Ever Imitate (Dangerous) Art?
     Which Nature Are You Feeding?
     Five Steps to Safeguarding Your Family
     Six Keys to a Healthy Entertainment Diet
     Confusing "Truth" and "Reality"
     Confusing "Tolerance" and "Love"
     Setting a Family Standard for Entertainment
     Getting Family Discussions Started
     God's Own Words on Discernment

Be sure to consider the "Family Covenant for God-Honoring Media Choices" which you can print and use for your family.

3. Evaluating Movies

Movies can be evaluated in the same way as books, although movies' greater visual impact might warrant more care in choices. Consider the following criteria:

 •   Truth (consistent with God's Word)

 •   Morality (upholding Godly standards of behavior)

 •   Accuracy (correct factually)

 •   Realism (portraying life as it really is)

 •   Validity (arguing logically without fallacies)

 •   Value (important, helpful, relevant, edifying)

 •   Excellence (skillful, thoughtful, thorough)

 •   Beauty (the choice and arrangement of words, images, and ideas are attractive, touching, moving, appealing to the senses, emotions, and mind)

See more in Newsletter #26.

4. Using Movies for Study

Movies can provide motivation and opportunities for study — even a one-day unit study.

 •   Book/Movie
Read and study the book associated with the movie to learn more. You can use ideas in literature study guides for book and/or movie. See ideas in Newsletter #30.

 •   Movie Nights for Kids
Discover 25 entertaining films that you can use to teach powerful lessons to your children. Each selection includes engaging activities, a plot summary, and discussion points.

 •   Movies As Literature
by Kathryn and Richard Stout, Design-A-Study. This complete, one-year high school English course uses classic movies on video/DVD to introduce and study the elements of literary analysis. Teacher's guide and student workbook.

Mr. Button Family Video: 6 Films - Just $17.97

Delight Your Children This Christmas
with Exciting, Christian Adventure DVDs!

   Six action-packed adventure films on 3 DVDs. Only $5.99/DVD! 5-3/4 hours of quality, Christian, character-building, family entertainment. These live-action dramas are a gift your family will enjoy all year.
   See a preview of "Lost in Silver Canyon" and order at

4. Current Movies

1. Amazing Grace – Now available on DVD

This story of William Wilberforce is an inspiring account of a Christian who made a great impact on the world.

For more information on William Wilberforce, see Newsletter #178. See information about the movie.

 •   Available at movie rentals or to buy.

 •   Amazing Grace, Audio Drama
The Inspirational Stories of William Wilberforce on a 6-CD set by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre. Hear a sample and buy online.

 •   Lesson Plans
Download free 28-page, online Educator's Guide Lesson plans, information, graphics, timelines, activities, questions and a "Faith Guide."

 •   "Lessons from William Wilberforce" Bible Study
Order a download of this six-session course that looks at how a passion for social change can change the world in which we live. Download First Lesson Free.

2. The Golden Compass – in Theaters

Much has being written and discussed about "The Golden Compass," a movie that introduces children to a series of three books by Philip Pullman. See free Sparknotes study guide online for an overview. says, "This film is an adaptation of part of an objectionable trilogy of novels (10 million copies sold). Titled "His Dark Materials," the books were written to be an influential atheistic counterpart to "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Lord of the Rings." They are aimed at children and were written by anti-God activist Phillip Pullman.

"Pullman said in an interview, "My books are about killing God."

Read articles by Mark Dinsmore and "Sympathy for the Devil."

Gifts of Learning for Christmas:

Starting Chess Kid Kit
Easy2Draw Horses DVD

   Visit our website for art gifts, more Kid Kits, plush toys, magnetic/dry erase boards, and much more.

Birch Court Books: Create a Curriculum or Enhance Your Own Packaged Curriculum.
   Common Sense Press, Beautiful Feet Books, Draw-Write-Now, Key to... Workbooks, CalcuLadder, and much more. Free Media Mail shipping with online order of $20.  Free catalog: 800-655-1811.

5. Learning Online

1. Visual Dictionary Online

From the image to the word and its definition, the Visual Dictionary Online is an all-in-one reference. Explore the 15 major themes to access more than 6,000 images and see words like never before.

2. The Library of Congress

Looking for information? Start at the mega website of the Library of Congress — the largest library in the world, with over 134.5 million books, recordings, photographs, maps, and manuscripts in its collections. Through its website, it provides access to resources, services, and over eleven million of its multimedia primary sources.

 •   The Virtual Reference Shelf is a directory, listing selected web resources in hundreds of areas.

 •   Ask a Librarian is an online reference service from the Library of Congress. Send a question and receive an answer by e-mail.

 •   Or you can Chat with a Librarian online Monday-Friday, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

3. Ancient Rome Reconstructed Digitally

Archeologists and computer experts have created a digital reconstruction of ancient Rome. It shows the city in A.D. 320, the peak of its power. About 7,000 buildings are included. Visitors can explore the interiors of 30 of them. The project cost $2 million and took 10 years.

Order Now for Christmas (Just $21.99)!

Gift Pack: 5CDs / 30 Bible Stories

Beautifully and professionally dramatized stories of Noah, David and Goliath, Queen Esther, the Good Samaritan, and Zacchaeus.

Listen for free online to the story of Queen Esther by clicking on this image. Purchase the set of 5 audio CDs for the special price of $21.99 with no shipping charges. Call toll-free:

6. Keeping Safe & Healthy

1. Avoid Poisonous Plants and Decorations

Protect your young children and pets from plants brought into your home for decoration, such as lilies, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, mistletoe, and Rosary Pea (Jequirity Bean).

Hazardous decorations can include angel hair, bubble lights, fireplace color crystals, wrapping paper and ribbons, snow sprays, etc. Read more.

See more tips for keeping your pets out of danger during the holiday season. ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, 1-888-4ANI-HELP.

Print out "First Aid for Poisoning" to keep by your phone.

Quills Up - Stay Away! is a free online poison awareness program for young children featuring Spike, the porcupine puppet.

2. Protect Your Family from a Fire or Carbon Monoxide

A smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a house fire by 50 percent.

 •   Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially near bedrooms.

 •   Test all smoke alarms monthly.

 •   Vacuum over and around smoke alarms regularly.

 •   Replace smoke alarms after 10 years or as recommended by the manufacturer.

 •   Post emergency numbers on your telephone and make sure your children know how to dial them.

 •   Organize and practice a family fire drill.

More information. Activities for children.

 •   If you have any nonelectric source of heating, cooking, or clothes drying (i.e., gas, oil, or wood), you need carbon monoxide detectors, either separately or included on your fire alarm.

3. Stay Well by Washing Hands

The simplest and most effective thing that you can do to keep from getting sick yourself, or spreading your sickness to others, is to wash your hands well and often.

How To Wash

 •   Wet hands with warm water and ordinary soap.

 •   When you don't have access to soap and water, use non-alcohol baby wipes. Use of antibacterial soap can promote growth of more virulent germs and viruses.

 •   Teach your children to scrub all parts of their hands for 20 seconds. (You could teach them a hand-washing song that lasts that long to sing.) Handwashing curriculum.

 •   Dry hands well. In a public restroom, turn off tap with a paper towel or back of wrist, and open door with a paper towel or a corner of clothing.

When To Wash

 •   Wash hands immediately upon returning home after being out in public or playing outside.

 •   Wash hands before preparing food, eating, or handling clean dishes.

 •   Wash after using the toilet, changing diapers, sneezing, coughing, blowing nose, and eating.

 •   Poster showing how to cough, sneeze, and wash hands.
Hand washing poster #1 and #2.

 •   For Older Students:
Chemistry: How soap works.
History: Why handwashing is important.

Read "Teach Your Children How To Prevent and Treat a Cold or Flu" in Newsletter #176.


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