"Piano for Life Instructional Videos" is the subject line
of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.
The Teaching Home
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
Volume II, Number 23
Dec. 19, 2002
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.
Table of Contents
15-Part Basic Skills Series
Skill #4 Reading Comprehension: Facts
Selection of Reading Material
Read the Bible Through in One Year
Recommended Home-School Products & Services
Moms for Life
Writing Assessment Services
Mentura Educational DVD Rental
Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote
Fire Safety Links
In this issue we resume our 15-Part Basic Skills Series.
The subject of reading comprehension is so broad that it will be
discussed in this and two more issues. Also addressed in this
issue is the important issue of selecting reading material.
As the new year approaches, we encourage you to read through
God's Word with your family.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
for Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a home-school family business
produced in our home since 1980.
Find Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
Buy Teaching Home Back Issues Online
Select from 51 Never-Out-of-Date Back Issues
Search for Topics You Need
Each Issue Is Pictured and All Articles Are Listed
Practical How-Tos & Teaching Tips
Inspiration & Encouragement
"The Teaching Home has been one of the most helpful,
comforting, inspiring resources I have used in my 15 years
of home schooling." Sandra B.
15-Part Series on Basic Skills
by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
Our 15-part series is written to help you evaluate your
children's skill levels and help them improve in those areas
where you see a need by using these practical ideas for learning
We have reorganized the list to combine two skills and add
two more. Topics include:
1. Listening - Vol. II, No. 18
2. Word Analysis/Phonics - Vol. II, No. 19
3. Vocabulary - Vol. II, No. 21
4. Reading Comprehension: Facts - This Issue
5. Reading Comprehension: Inferences
6. Reading Comprehension: Generalizations
8. Capitalization & Punctuation
10. Writing & Penmanship
11. Visual Materials
12. Reference Materials
13. Math: Concepts & Computation
14. Math: Problem Solving
15. Thinking Skills, Logic, and Speech
Reading Comprehension: Facts (Knowledge)
Reading comprehension is the process of connecting the words
that we read to thoughts that we think. It goes further than the
simple communication of an idea from one person to another.
In this issue we address the first of the three following
reading comprehension skills:
* Facts (Knowledge)
* Inferences (Understanding)
* Generalizations (Wisdom)
comprehension skills correspond to the stages of a
child's progressively developing ability to think and comprehend
as well as serving as a good model for learning any new material.
These steps also follow the sequence of learning proposed in
Dorothy Sayer's article, "The Lost Tools of Learning."
First facts, the fundamental data of various subjects, are
learned. This is the foundation, made up of "who, what, where,
Next these facts are logically analyzed through careful
reasoning. Ordered relationships connect the particulars
together and answer the "how and why."
Finally the derived principles are expressed in speech or
writing in an articulate and effective manner.
("Reading Comprehension" is continued below.)
Moms For Life
Toxic products are in your home -- get rid of them! We can
show you how! Teach others to do the same and earn an
at-home-income, completely from home. Homeschoolers say,
"Ideal!" Free information! No risk! http://www.MomSProfit.com
These activities give students practice in observing factual
details in their reading. They may be applied to any type of
reading material, including the Bible.
__ Use reading workbooks to efficiently build simple recall
__ Ask your child questions about factual details relating to
descriptions of people, places, and events.
__ Ask your child questions about time and sequence of events.
__ Read stories together that take several days to finish.
Start each day's reading with a recap of the events up to that
point in the story.
__ Have your child describe the similarities and differences
between characters and events.
__ Ask your child to find details that support a given topic
sentence or idea when reading or writing.
__ Have your child identify irrelevant details (apparently) not
contributing to the main point of the selection.
__ Discuss any illustrations. Do they accurately represent the
story? How do they compare to the way you pictured it?
__ As you read to your children, make a note of any quotations
you want to remember, new vocabulary or spelling words, items for
further research, and related areas of interest. Teach your
older children to do the same when reading independently.
Writing Assessment Services
Professional, personalized evaluations and tutorials.
Serving homeschoolers online since 1996. Mention The Teaching
Home when you place an order of $30 or more and receive a free
500-word evaluation -- a $15 value!
Selection of Reading Material
Several considerations are involved in selecting reading
material. Following are some criteria and suggestions.
1. Appropriate Reading Level
Selecting an appropriate reading level will help ensure that
your child will be able to comprehend the facts in what he reads
or what is being read to him.
* Very young children enjoy being read to: poems, rhyming
storybooks, and picture books. In fact they love having the same
ones read over and over again.
* Read aloud to your child at a higher reading level than his
* Select the correct reading level for your child to read
independently -- high enough to challenge him but not frustrate
him. Following is a simple way to help you select reading
materials on your child's ability level.
Five-Finger Reading Level Test
Ask your child to read aloud a page of average length from a
selected book. As he reads, press down one finger of your hand
for each word he misses. The number of fingers down lets you
know how difficult the material will be.
0-1 Mistakes - Easy. Choose easy materials for your child
to read alone for fun and to build speed in a slow reader. This
easy level also frees him to focus on new words or concepts. It
is a good choice for technical or difficult subjects like science
2-3 Mistakes - Challenging. Choose materials on this level
to stretch your child's reading ability and vocabulary. You
should be available to answer questions while your child reads.
4-5 Mistakes - Difficult. Use difficult reading materials
only when you will be reading with your child. Help him sound
out new words using phonics rules. Explain unfamiliar vocabulary
and teach him to use a dictionary. Expecting your child to read
alone at this level could lead to frustration, skipping over
words, and low comprehension.
2. Negative Moral Elements
One of the criteria of good literature for Christian children
is that it does not contain censurable elements including:
* Profanity, blasphemy, sacrilege.
* Scatological realism (specific reference to excrement).
* Erotic realism (detailed description of love making).
* Sexual perversion.
* Lurid violence.
* Erroneous religious and philosophic assumptions.
Another criterion is that whenever any reference is made to
these censurable elements or when any sin (such as lying,
stealing, cheating, hurting, disrespect, disobedience, etc.) is
included as part of the plot or report, it is used carefully and
in a way consistent with the godly purposes of preserving purity,
training in righteousness, and developing discernment.
The analogy of an inoculation can help us understand the
purpose of these elements as they are used in God's Word or
allowed in our literature selection.
1. The strength of the dosage. A very brief exposure to
mildly censurable material is enough. The reader's mind and
emotions should not be unduly swayed to sympathy with the
evildoer and his sensitivity to sin should not be dulled by
2. The strength of the recipient. Just as a child shouldn't
be ill or immature when given his inoculation, he shouldn't be
spiritually immature when exposed to censurable material.
3. The resistance of the donor. You should provide the
proper condemnation of evil so that no doubt is left in your
child's mind as to what is acceptable and what is not.
See complete article "A Biblical Approach to Objectionable
Elements (Christian Educational Censorship) on the Bob Jones
University Press website at
3. Positive Moral Elements
A good standard for selecting literature is found in
Phillippians 4:8, where God lists what our minds should
* True - Story is based on truth and reality.
* Honorable or Noble - Christian character is reinforced.
* Right or Just - Appropriate consequences are meted out.
* Pure - Characters and story are pure.
* Lovely - Beauty is portrayed (in illustrations as well).
* Of Good Repute - The emphasis is on what is good about things.
* Excellent or of Virtue - The material is moral and edifying.
* Praiseworthy - We can praise God for what we are reading.
When selecting excellent literature, look for:
* Non-fiction that is accurate, logical, thorough, and free of
* Quality, well-written fiction, with consistent style,
intelligent plot, clearly-described setting, convincing
characterization, and worthwhile theme.
* Books published before 1960 (they may contain better values).
4. Variety and Other Criteria
* Select or read to your child books that meet his needs and
interests and also stretch his horizons.
* Select a variety of literature including: historical fiction,
biography (including missionaries and great Christians),
nonfiction (even textbooks), poetry, drama, and books set in
different time periods and geographic locations.
* Books in a series.
* Unabridged books.
Pre-read books, ask trusted friends with similar values for
their recommendations, and see book lists (especially Christian
The Sept./Oct. '98 Teaching Home lists 192 books, each of
which have a Christian study guide available.
Rent Quality Educational DVDs
FREE Trial Subscription if you ACT NOW!
Subscribe online to Mentura, and rent high-quality
educational and faith-based DVDs from a huge library of titles
and subjects. Click the link below and receive a FREE 14 day
trial of this valuable service! (www.mentura.com)
Plan Now To Read The Bible through in 2003!
You can read through the Bible in one year with your family
by reading just 15 or 20 minutes a day.
The Bible should be the first book you read to your
children. You can also teach your child to read directly from
the Bible as early as the first grade by using phonics teaching
The Bible is different from all other books; it is God's
inspired Word to you and your family. It reveals God's love and
plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, His
substitutionary death, and His resurrection.
God's Word alone is the basis of a Christian's faith and
practice and therefore, it is the most important book that we can
The Bible also contains good literature, true history,
exciting adventure stories, and valuable character lessons.
Bible Reading Tips and Schedules
The Teaching Home's unique one-year reading schedule
* Start any month.
* Read 6 days a week (allows for church on Sunday).
* Read 4 weeks per month (24 days per month).
This gives you 4-7 days per month, counting the
Sundays, to catch up and stay on schedule.
Create your own reading plan with the following elements:
* Complete Bible (minus Psalms and Proverbs)
* Psalms and Proverbs
* Optional Second Reading of New Testament
For Bible reading tips and schedules see:
Please Thank & Support Sponsoring Advertisers!
These Free Newsletters are made possible financially by the
fine suppliers who advertise. Please remember those that have
advertised in our last issue (below) as well as the ones in this
issue. Thank you!
Unit Study Teaches about Tea and Hospitality from Magnolia & Ivy
Christmas Carols Sweet and Clear CD
New and Used Home-School Curriculum from Homeschool Bookworm
150 Hands-on Science Lessons from The Teaching Tank
Sunny Side Up: Fire Safety
I had spent the morning teaching our children about fire
safety, stressing how important it is to keep calm.
Later, as I was fixing lunch, 4-year-old Josiah asked if we
should call the fire department. Seeing this as a teachable
moment, I went on and on about how we should never bother the
firemen unless it was necessary.
A minute later Josiah asked, "Should we call the fire
Sighing, I went over it all again, explaining that if we
bother the firemen, they won't be ready to go to someone's house
where there's a fire.
A minute later Josiah calmly said, "But what about that fire
I turned around to see a dish cloth on the stove all in
flames! After lunch I taught our children (especially our
mild-mannered son) that a little excitement is okay during an
Sent by Cynthia Z., New Hampshire
You are also invited to submit your humorous anecdote.
Fire Safety Information, Lessons, and Games
God Loves You.
Because we were separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died
in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus Christ
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).
To Unsubscribe. Please reply to this message and type
Unsubscribe in the subject line.
Change of E-Mail Address. Please send your name, old e-mail
address, and new e-mail address.
Sign up for a Free Newsletter Subscription at
For Information on Advertising in this newsletter, reply to
E-Mail Newsletter Reprint Policy. This newsletter is
copyright 2002 by The Teaching Home. Permission is given to
forward or to print and distribute this e-mail in its entirety.
Individual articles from this E-Mail Newsletter may be reprinted
unedited in their entirety.
Print the following at the end of the article(s): "Copyright
2002 by The Teaching Home, www.TeachingHome.com. Reprinted
We do not give permission to post articles on a website.
Reprints from The Teaching Home Magazine. Fill out a
Request Form and note the reprint policies.