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The Teaching Home
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement


Number 30                                        March 7, 2003
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

Table of Contents

  • 15-Part Series on Basic Skills
  •      Reading Comprehension: Evaluation
  •      Spiritual Evaluation
  •      Music, Movies, Games, and Toys
  •      Teaching Discernment Through Literature
  • Recommended Resources
  •      Usborne Children's Books
  •      The Teaching Home Back Issues
  •      Builder Books: Discount Catalog
  •      Startwrite Software for Handwriting Worksheets
  •      Worship Guitar Class Videos
  • Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote


         One of the most important skills we can teach our children, in today's world, is how to evaluate everything they read, hear, or see in light of God's Word.

         You will find specific and simple questions in this issue that you can use to teach your children this essential evaluation skill.

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

    Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
    The Teaching Home is a 22-year-old, home-school family business.

         Usborne Children's Books Make Learning Easy and Fun!
         * Clear text with high research and educational standards.
         * Many colorful illustrations, photographs, maps, charts, etc.
         * Plus activities, humor, surprises, flaps, cut-outs,
         stickers, etc. "Teaching with Usborne Books" helps you
         select and use books in your home teaching. Also
         opportunities for home sales.

    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. Topics include:

         1. Listening (#18)
         2. Word Analysis/Phonics (#19)
         3. Vocabulary (#21)
         4. Reading Comprehension: Knowledge (#23)
         5. Reading Comprehension (#25 & #26)
         6. Reading Comprehension: Analysis & Synthesis (#28);
              Reading Comprehension: Application (#29)
              Reading Comprehension: Evaluation (#30) (This Issue)
         7. Spelling
         8. Capitalization & Punctuation
         9. Grammar
         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: Evaluation
         In this issue we will consider the last aspect of reading comprehension -- evaluation.
         Evaluation is the process of judging material on the basis of certain criteria and personal standards such as the following:

  • 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)

         The arts (visual art, music, and literature) need to be evaluated on two levels: their intrinsic value and their worldview message.
         Dr. Francis Schaeffer did a definitive work on this subject in his book and video series "How Shall We Then Live?" All high school students should be acquainted with these principles. (Type Schaeffer in the search box.)
         Capitalize on situations that provide opportunities to give oral and written judgments on stories, articles, and reading selections. Be willing to discuss these judgments with your child. Be sure to keep it in a biblical perspective.

         (See specific suggestions below.)

         Buy Teaching Home Back Issues Online

  • Find Information, Inspiration & Encouragement
  • 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

    Visit The Teaching Home Website for:
    Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Home Schooling.
    Articles on Home-School Basics.
    50 State Organizations with Links (Plus Other Countries).
    126 Classified Suppliers in Our Resource Directory with Links.

    Spiritual Evaluation

    * Each day as you read aloud to your children, encourage them
         to talk about the spiritual aspects of what you read.

    * Keep a list of discussion questions in the book you're
         reading. These can be used with Christian or secular fiction,
         biography, nonfiction, or videos.

    * Pick a few appropriate questions from the following list to
         ask each child:

    __ What does this story show about the character of God?
         In what ways does God reveal His power, love, justice, or
         other attribute?

    __ What did the characters do to honor or dishonor God?
         What was the result?

    __ What was the biggest problem the character faced?
         What action, if any, could have been taken to avoid this problem?
         What would you have done in this situation?
         How can the character overcome the problem?

    __ If the person in this story had known, obeyed, and trusted
         God, how would the story be different?
         Did any of the characters pray to God? What was the result?

    __ What talents or abilities has God given the characters?
         How do they use these?

    __ Do the characters exhibit any of the fruits of the spirit:
         love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
         gentleness, or self-control?

    __ Who or what does each character love most?

    __ How was God involved in this story?
         How do the characters know God is there?

    __ What Bible verses or passages relate to this story?

    __ What Bible characters were in a similar situation?
         How did they handle it? What was the outcome?

    __ If you could talk to the characters in the story, what would
         you say to each one?

    by Merri-Jo G., Delaware. Reprinted from The Teaching Home.

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    Music, Movies, Games, and Toys
         All media input needs to be evaluated in the light of the principles that are contained in the Bible.
         The following questions will help you and your child evaluate anything from a Godly point of view.

    __ What belief system and/or doctrines are evident or advocated?

    __ What values and philosophies are evident?

    __ Is supernatural power evident?
         If so, is it the power of the one true God of the Bible,
         or is it occult, witchcraft, psychic, satanic, or New Age?

    __ Are your imaginations and thoughts steered in a wholesome
         or unwholesome direction?

    __ Does it depict immorality; is it sensual or immodest;
         does it arouse lust?

    __ Does it glorify evil or violence?

    __ Is the language clean?

    __ Will it build godly character?

    __ Would Jesus look at it, listen to it, play with it?
         Would you, if Jesus were visibly standing at your side?

    (Adapted from article at

    For reviews on movies and videos see:
         Plugged In Film Reviews
         Screen It Entertainment Reviews

         Startwrite Software: The Handwriting Worksheet Wizard
              Startwrite Software lets parents create fun,
         meaningful handwriting worksheets for their children
         to practice handwriting. Features include: Italic and
         Italic Cursive fonts, stroke arrows, clipart, guidelines.
         Spanish and math fonts. On-line Download - Only $39.95.

    Teaching Discernment Through Literature

         You can sometimes use literature that contains objectionable elements to teach positive traits.
         If the material is not too explicit in it's depiction of evil and the moral tone is acceptable, then you can carefully teach your more mature students to discern as they read.
         The best way is to read aloud together and stop frequently to discuss these points as they come up.

    __ Ask your children what biblical principle would be
         illustrated or violated in what you've just read.
         What does God think of it?

         In examining the moral tone of any piece of literature ask these four questions.

    1. Do we sympathize with and admire the character in spite of his
         wrongdoing? This is dangerous, as our feelings of sympathy for
         a realistic character could cause us to compromise our biblical

    2. Does the plot encourage you to desire virtue and reject vice?
         It should. (e.g., The plot should make you want estranged spouses
         to be reconciled, not be with someone else.)

    3. Does the resolution of the story reward good and bring
         negative consequences for evil?

    4. Does the theme conflict with God's truth? If it does, how and
         where is the flaw? Obviously it will take a background of
         biblical knowledge and a degree of maturity on the part of your
         student before he will be able to adequately respond to this

    These thoughts were excerpted from an article in The Teaching
    Home that was based on an article by Bob Jones University Press at
    See more BJU Press articles on teaching listed by subject at

         Worship Guitar Class Videos, Vols. 1-3, by Jean Welles
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    Pray for Our Nation

    I exhort therefore, that, first of all,
         supplications, prayers, intercessions,
         and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

    For kings, and for all that are in authority;
         that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life
         in all godliness and honesty.

    For this is good and acceptable
         in the sight of God our Savior;
         Who will have all men to be saved,
         and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
         (I Timothy 2:1-4)

    * Pray for President Bush that he will continue to seek
         the Lord's guidance and strength to lead our nation
         and that he will be protected physically and spiritually.
    * Pray for other world leaders to know and follow theLord.
    * Pray for our troops that are deployed in the Mideast and
         for their families at home.
    * Pray that our nation will turn and truly be "under God."
    * Pray that the Supreme Court will accept the Pledge of
         Allegiance case and make a God-honoring decision.

         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
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    Sunny Side Up: History Survey
         I was quizzing our 5th grader on American history while our 7-year-old was working at his desk. At the question, "What was the Great Awakening?" he perked up his ears and had an answer.
         "I know that one! That's when John Adams rode through the town on his horse in the middle of the night to tell everyone the Civil War was coming!"
         Sent by Don and Gwen S., New York
         You are also invited to submit your humorous anecdote.

    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).

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