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"Gordon School of Art: New Masters Program"
is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.

        You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

        The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #57
        Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

        November 27, 2003  /  Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

Table of Contents
Christmas Unit Study
     Reading and Literature
     Language Arts
     Speech and Drama; Arts and Crafts; Music
     History and Geography; Current Events; Finances
Recommended Resources
     Family Time Movies
     Sing 'n Learn
     Borenson and Associates
     Historic Prints
Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote


     A wonderful opportunity lies before us at this season to
teach our children Scriptural truths of the gospel in the story
of Christ's incarnation.
     We can also bear the glad tidings of great joy to those
around us who desperately need to hear the message of Christ's
redemptive love and salvation.
    For this issue we have prepared Christmas unit study ideas
that you might want to use along with some of your own, to
supplement your other studies, or as your Bible curriculum for

Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 23-year-old, home-school family business.

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A Christmas Unit Study

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The Christmas Story
__ Read and discuss Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1:5-2:38.
__ Notice the different details in each account.
__ Make a photocopy of these two accounts, then cut and paste
     them together to make one integrated account, or copy the
     passages (see link) and do the same in your word processing
__ Read the Christmas story in John 1:1-18.  How does this
     account differ in viewpoint, etc.?

Prophecy Fulfilled
__ Find and study the prophecies in the Old Testament predicting
     the coming of the Messiah and their fulfillment in the New
     Testament.  Many are listed online at

All the Messianic Prophecies of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer.
Advent Foretold: A December Devotional for All Ages by Wanda
     Sanseri.  Features daily Bible readings centered on the
     prophecies and their fulfillment of the Messiah's coming, plus
     Christmas carol suggestions.
Handel's Messiah Family Advent Reader by Donna Payne and
     Fran Lenzo. Devotional readings in this gorgeous book feature
     the Scripture texts Handel used to create Messiah. It is filled
     with fine art and photographs; CD included.

Why Jesus Came
     Look up one of the following Scriptures each day in December
and discuss some of the reasons that Jesus came to be born on
earth.  (Read and check off in any order.)

__ To fulfill prophecy. Matthew 5:17; Romans 15:8
__ To fulfill and abolish the law. Ephesians 2:13-15;
     Matthew 5:17-18
__ To seek and save the lost as a shepherd. Luke 19:10;
     Matthew 18:11; John 10:1-30; Isaiah 53.6; I Peter 5:2-4;
     2:25; Matthew 9:36; Hebrews 13:20
__ To serve. Mark 10:45
__ To give His life as a ransom to redeem and free those
     enslaved to sin. Matthew 20:28;  Romans 6
__ To give more abundant life. John 10:10
__ To reveal the Father and to demonstrate the great love of God for
     all men. Romans 5:8; II Timothy 2:4; Matthew 11:27; John 14:9
__ To do the will of God. Hebrews 10:9
__ To preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God and bear witness to
     the truth. Luke 4:18-19, 43;  John 18:37
__ To bring judgment, fire, reproof of sin, and the sword of
     separation from ungodliness. Matthew 3:11-12,  10:34-36;
     Luke 12:14, 44; John 3:17, 8:15, 9:39, 16:8
__ To save sinners by bearing our sins and paying our penalty.
     Romans 6:23; Isaiah 53:5; I Timothy 1:15;
     I Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28
__ To be a faithful high priest and the mediator between God and
     man. I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17
__ To put away sin. Hebrews 9:26; I John 3:5; John 1:29;
     Leviticus 16:20-22; Isaiah 53:6; II Corinthians 5:21
__ To destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14;
     John 12:31, 14:30
__ To provide a pattern of holy living. I Peter 2:21;
     Matthew 11:29
__ To bring justice to the oppressed. Luke 4:18
__ To remove enmity and establish fellowship and friendship with
     man. I John 1; Romans 8:7; John 15;3-15
__ To sow and harvest the world's field. Matthew 7:37-8; 13:3-43
__  To heal. Luke 9:11; Isaiah 53:5; I Peter 2:24
__ To unite Jew and Gentile believers. Ephesians 2:11-19
__ To remove the veil and open the Holy Place to us.
     Hebrews 6:19-20; 9; 10:19-22
__ To nourish the spiritual growth and make fruitful all who abide
     in Him--the vine. John 15
__ To woo His bride and pay the price for her betrothal.
     John 3:28-9; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelations 19:6-9,
     21:1-9, 22:17
__ To demonstrate patience, humility, and obedience.
     Philippians 2:5-8; I Peter 2:21-23; Hebrews 5:8; John 6:38
__ To give rest to the weary. Matthew 11:28-30
__ To bring light to a darkened world. John 1, 8:12
__ To give eternal life to those dead in sin. Ephesians 2:1-6
__ To give living bread and water to the hungry and thirsty.
     John 6:27-58; Matthew 5:6; John 4:10-14
__ To give re-birth and adoption as God's children to all who
     receive Him in faith. Galatians 4:1-7; John 1:12
__ To conquer death through His death and resurrection.
     I Corinthians 15:20-22; Revelations 21:4; II Timothy 1:10;
     Hebrews 2:14-15

The Story of God's Love
     The life of Christ is the story of a loving God who is
seeking a personal relationship with you and your family through
faith in Jesus Christ, His substitutionary death for you, and His
subsequent resurrection.
__ Explain to your children that because of the incarnation, Jesus
     is both fully God and fully man. John 1:1-3, 14:6-11;
     Colossians 2:6-9
__ Discuss John 3:16 with your children.
          "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."
__ Compare receiving a gift to how a person receives God's
     forgiveness and eternal life by accepting it as an undeserved gift
     by faith.
          "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to
     become children of God, even to those who believe in His name"
     John 1:12; Romans 6:23
          "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).
__ Thank the Lord for His gift of salvation.
__ Memorize selected Scripture passages.
     (e.g., John 3:15-17; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8-9.)

Visualizing the Story of God's Love
     The story of God's redemptive plan for mankind is dramatized
in the following videos.  The first three also make effective
witnessing tools and come in many languages.

God's Story: From Creation to Eternity (video, DVD, audio
     cassette, CD, or view it free online).  Available in 62
     languages with dozens more in process of translation.
The Hope (video, DVD, or view it free online).  The story
     of God's love for man told from Genesis to Jesus Christ.
Jesus (video; also in 8 languages on one DVD). Story of
     Jesus' life on earth.
Matthew (Visual Bible, 4-video set). Word-for-word
     dramatization of the Book of Matthew from Visual
The Gospel of John (movie currently playing in theaters,
     video, or DVD). Word-for-word dramatization of the Gospel
     of John.

A Christian's Response: Evangelism
     At Christmas time, it is appropriate to include a witness
for Christ in our greetings to extended family, neighbors, and
co-workers.  Your presentation of the good news of God's gift may
be as simple as:
* A sentence added to your card such as "May you know the eternal
   love, joy, and peace that comes from trusting Christ the
   Savior, Whose coming we celebrate at Christmas."
* A verse such as John 3:16.
* Your personal testimony in your family's Christmas letter or
* A Christmas gospel tract, a Scripture portion, or an audio tape
   of a book of the Bible included in your card or plate of cookies
   to your neighbors.

Character Qualities: Thoughtfulness and Generosity
__ Teach your child to be thoughtful of those in need and
     understand how to meet their needs.
__ Give to those in need in the name of the Lord so that He gets
     the glory and others are pointed to Him.
__ Talk to your family about those God told us to give to:
     prisoners; widows and orphans; our "neighbors"; the poor,
     handicapped, hungry, thirsty, or sick; strangers, those in
     need of clothing, and those that cannot return our gifts.
     (See James 1:27; Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 25:35, 36.)
__ Discuss ways to meet the different needs of people.
     * Some need material things.  Give food, clothes, or money
        for housing, utilities, or transportation.
     * Some need friendship, companionship, time, or service.
__ See suggestions for gifts to take to a nursing home at

A Set of Teaching Home Back Issues
Makes a Most Appreciated Gift!

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     The practical how-to articles, teaching tips, encouragement,
and inspiration never go out of date in these back issues.
     Buy Teaching Home Back Issues online at

Reading and Literature
     Look for these titles in your public or church library,
bookstore, or online at the links we have provided below.
     At you can find new, used,
out-of-print, and foreign language books from more than 50,000
booksellers worldwide.

__ Discuss these books as you read them together and ask
     comprehension questions about facts, inferences, and
     generalizations, such as those listed at
__ Use a free online literature guide suggested below to define
     and discuss the literary elements of your book.
__ Use one of the 100+ Book Report ideas for one of your books.

Suggested Titles
Ben Hur by Lew Wallace.
     Historical fiction set during the life of Christ.  Several
     editions, audio, and video.
     Read the book online at
     Read about how and why Ben Hur was written at
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
     Many editions, audio recordings, and study guides.
     Free online study guide at
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
     Many editions, audio recordings, and study guides.
     Free online study guide at
Joel's Lamb. An original Christmas Story by Ruth Grant.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry.
     Several editions, audio recordings, and study guides.
Jotham's Journey by Arnold Ytreeide.
     Designed to be read each evening of Advent; includes a
     devotional thought, prayer, and instructions for making an
     Advent wreath.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. (ages 6-12)
A Little House Christmas by Laura Ingles Wilder.
     Books and videos.
A Christmas Collection and The Secret of the Fourth
     Candle by Patricia St. John, author of outstanding children's
James Herriot's Cat Stories.
     "Christmas & Other Stories" audio recording or "The Christmas
     Day Kitten" (reading level: ages 4-8).
A Treasury of Christmas Classics by Charles Dickens and
     others. A large print collection of Christmas favorites
     including "A Christmas Carol," "The Gift of the Magi," the
     entire text of Handel's "Messiah," and many other poems,
     prayers, hymns, and stories.
I'll Be Home For Christmas. Art by Thomas Kinkade with
     excerpts from "The Pickwick Papers," "Little Women," and
     "On the Banks of Plum Creek."

__ Write a poem about Christ's coming and it's meaning to you.
     See poetry writing instruction and tips at
__ Set your poem to music.
__ Use your best penmanship to copy the words of a Christmas
     carol in your handmade Christmas cards and greetings.
__ Add an original stanza to "Away in a Manger" or another
     Christmas carol.
__ Recite or read the words to a Christmas carol (a poem) with
     appropriate expression.
__ See the poem, "One Solitary Life" at

         Sing 'n Learn Make Learning Fun with Sing 'n Learn
        "You remember what you sing!"
     * Teach reading, geography, grammar, math, history,
        Bible memory, science and more.
     * Plus lots of audio books and printed resources.
     * Download a 20-page catalog containing hundreds
        of great home-school and educational products.
     Sing 'n Learn

Language Arts

Vocabulary and Spelling
__ Start with a short list; add new or significant words as you
     encounter them.  Choose a few of the following suggestions:

     Incarnation, angel, nativity, conceived, frankincense,
     myrrh, fulfilled, lamentation, manger, shepherd, reign,
     stature, espoused, salutation, magnify, decree, lineage,
     swaddling, tidings, Savior, multitude, glorifying, redemption.

__ Look up words on this free online Bible dictionary
__ Verbally test your students by asking them to spell and define
     the words and use them in a sentence.

__ Make cards and write in them to friends or relatives about
     what Christ's coming means to you; stamp or decorate
__ See how to make cards from many materials at
__ Write a newspaper article about the events surrounding Jesus'
     birth. See brief guidelines at
__ Make a simple illustrated book for children or a longer one
     for young adults about how and why Christ came to earth and
     why you are glad He did.

__ Have children copy or write as you dictate passages from
     Scripture or books.  Assign a couple of sentences for
     younger children; a couple of paragraphs for older ones.
__ You can also use these passages for typing practice.

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     * Also available: 26 lessons on the The Hands-on
        Equations® Instructional Videomanual.
     Borenson and Associates

Speech and Drama

Your Own Presentations
__ Tell the Christmas story using felt, puppets, or unbreakable
     nativity figures.
__ Volunteer to make your presentation to a Sunday School
     class or nursing home.
__ Include why Jesus came and what it means to you.
__ Read aloud a dramatic or meaningful passage from a book.
__ Make a video or audio tape recording, complete with sound
     effects, of your presentation.
__ Send a copy to friends or relatives (especially Grandparents)
     that you do not see often.

__ Read or perform one of the following Christmas plays.
     * You might want to shorten or adapt one.
     * These plays can provide ideas for writing your own play.
__ Create costumes and sets for your play.

Assorted free online Christmas plays

12 Voices of Christmas (book, audio tape, and drama script).
     (Type "12 Voices of Christmas" in search box.)
     Hear it or read it online at

Drama on Video
__ Watch a video, movie, or live play and critique it as to
     historical accuracy, biblical truth, and literary merit.
Ben Hur (video). Historical fiction set during the life
     of Christ.
The Fourth Wise Man (video).
Scrooge & Marley (video). Based on the book "What If Jesus
     Had Never Been Born?" this is a spin-off from the Charles
     Dickens classic. Includes insight into the "separation of
     church and state" issue.

Arts and Crafts
__ Use pencil, charcoal, colored pencils, pastels, paints, or
     chalk to draw or paint a picture related to the Christmas
__ See various craft ideas at
__ Draw, label, and decorate a map of the Roman Empire, Israel,
     major roads, cities of Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Egypt.
__ Make and illustrate a timeline of events.
__ Create original illustrations for a story.
__ Paint a portrait gallery of people you read about.
__ Make playdough, clay, or fabric nativity set.
__ Copy and decorate beautiful passages of literature, poem, or
     related Scripture passages for framing or on a bookmark for
     a gift.
__ Make gifts of food.  See ideas at
__ See free cross stitch patterns at

__ Learn the history of our Christmas music.
__ See stories on the following sites.
     "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas"!%20The%20Herald%20Angels%20Sing
Color the Classics: Christmas (with accompanying cassette).

__ Practice and sing for shut-ins or at a nursing home or go
     caroling in your neighborhood.
__ Include instrumental numbers and recitations.

     Specializing in Elegant Christian and Early American Art
          For the Home, School, Office and Church, emphasizing the
     Heroes of the Faith.  Educational Resources to compliment the
     Home School Curriculum:  Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley,
     Pilgrims, Presidents, The First Prayer in Congress, The
     Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence.
     Original Framed Bible Leaf Pages.
     Call for Catalogue 877-313-9002.

History and Geography
__ Use a globe, timeline, and history book to place the events of
     Jesus Christ's coming to earth in their context of space and
__ Study Ancient Rome during the life of Christ.
__  View Passport to Praise: Holy Land (video).
     Type "Passport to Praise" in search box.
__ The city of Bethlehem is a place where people live today.
__ The time of His birth was perfectly planned by God on many
     levels such as the Greek language, Pax Romana (Roman Peace),
     and the Roman systems of roads.
__ Use a Christian history textbook or other resources on the
     times and places of Christ's birth, noting influential
     people and events (e.g., who was living during that time
     and the Roman empire).
__ Research the Jewish customs of engagement and marriage at the
     time when Christ was born.  Look up "betroth" and "espouse" on
     this free online Bible dictionary:

Current Events
__ Read about and discuss the problems today with Christian words
     and symbols being removed from public buildings.
__ Read and discuss the 27-page free online booklet, "Seasonal
     Religious Expression on Public Property" at

     The world's focus on commercialism is usually rejected in
theory, yet Larry Burkett warns that "Many families literally
indenture themselves to creditors for a whole year just to buy
some useless junk at Christmas."
__ Read and discuss with your family the practical alternatives
     in articles at

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Sunny Side Up:
It Strikes the Young and the Old Alike
     As I was collecting our children's chewing gum before
entering the restaurant, I realized Zack, 5, didn't have his.
     "Oh, Zack," I sighed, "Did you swallow your gum?"
     "I threw it away, Mom," he replied. "I didn't want to
swallow it and get gum disease."
     Submitted by E. Oursler, Missouri.
     You are also invited to submit your humorous anecdote.

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