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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633  

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"Creation Illustrated  Bible Based Nature Journal" 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 #62
        Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

        January 8, 2004  /  Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

Table of Contents
Part 3-B of 3-Part Series on Computers: More on the Internet
     Getting Connected to the Internet
     Navigating the Internet
     Communicating via the Internet
     Viruses, Hoaxes, and Unwanted Visitors
Recommended Resources
     Highlights-Jigsaw Party Plan Company
     STEM Int’l Short Term Missions
Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote


     We hope that you had a wonderful time of fellowship with
your families and friends over the holidays, as well as a time of
reflection on God's Great Gift to us.  We enjoyed many of the
family activities listed in our newsletter #60 ("Settlers of Catan"
board game is very popular with the older home schoolers
around our area!) and trust that you were able to use the ideas
to start your own family nights this year!

 1.  In This Issue
     We conclude our 3-part series on computers with more on the
Internet.  We trust that this series will enable you to better
use this powerful and versatile tool in your home education.

2.  It's Not Too Late To Start!
     You and your family can read all of God's Word through in
2004 by investing just 20 minutes each day.  See several Bible
reading schedules at

3.  We Invite You To Contribute
     We (and 20,000 other home-school families!) would love to
hear from you.  See information on sending a contribution for
"Family Sketch," "Notes from Our Readers," or "Sunny Side Up" at

4.  Re-Starting?
     If you could use a little help in getting started with school after
the holidays, see the practical encouragement and suggestions in
our newsletter #50 on "Troubleshooting Your Home School."
It includes sections on what to do if:
     You Can't Seem To Get Started
     Your Student Just Doesn't Get It
     Your Student Is Unmotivated
     You Can't Keep Up With the Housework
     You Have a Baby or Toddler and Older Children

     Stay warm and safe during this winter weather (we in
Portland, Oregon, are not used to being snowed in!) and enjoy
learning with your family!

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

     Combine Work and Play at Home!
     NEW Highlights for Children Party Plan Company
          Highlights-Jigsaw offers educational, fun toys,
     games, puzzles, books and more for babies to adults.
     * Great Home Business Opportunity!
     * Earn generous commissions and discounted products.
     * Learn more and share with a friend! Go to:

3-Part Series on Computers:
     Part 1:  Learn To Use (Issue #58)

     Part 2:  Use To Learn (Issue #59)

     Part 3:  The Internet (Issue #61 & This Issue #62)

     We have been discussing how systematic learning and
practice can help you fill in the gaps of your computer knowledge
and develop new skills so that you can use your computer to its
fullest capabilities.

Getting Connected to the Internet
    There are four things that are necessary in order to connect
to the Internet.  The capacity and speed of each will determine
how quickly a website will load and, therefore, how pleasant and
time-efficient your use of the Internet will be.  These four
factors will be working together, and any one could be a weak
link to slow down the whole process.
     Of course, your needs will not be the same if you only
occasionally use the Internet as they would be if you use it heavily
for business, education, and/or communication.

1.  A Computer
     The two elements that will affect your Internet use are:
* The speed of your processor (ideally around 400 MHz or more).
* The amount of memory (ideally 64 or 128 megabytes or more).

2.  Connection Device
     There are several connection devices to choose from,
depending on local availability.
* A modem connected to a phone line.
   If you use this method of connection, you will need a separate
   phone line for Internet access or a way to share one line
   between your computer and normal phone calls.  There are
   several products that help you do that.
* A cable modem uses your cable TV wire to send data at very high
   rates.  This is a permanent connection with no need to dial up.
* ADSL/DSL line allows your computer to be permanently connected
   to the Internet using telephone lines.

3.  Browser Software
     Each website has a unique address that allows you to find it
among the millions of others on the Web. The address is called a
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or sometimes a Uniform Resource
Indicator (URI).  When you choose a new address by clicking on a
link or by typing it into the address field, your browser sends a
request for that document to the Web and displays it on your
screen when it is found.
     Browser software may be installed with your operating
system or can be downloaded from the Internet.
     Be sure to use current browser versions for a better
internet experience.  Most browsers are free, and upgrades only
take a few minutes to install on your computer.  You do need
to be careful in transferring your e-mail files from one version
or browser to another so that you do not loose saved e-mails.
Internet Explorer
Netscape Navigator

4. Internet Service Provider (ISP)
     An ISP is a service that connects your computer to the
Internet for a monthly fee.  Different plans offer either limited
or unlimited hours online.  You might want to consider an ISP
that offers filtered service.  Focus on the Family refers people to for information.

     Take Your Family or Group
     on a Life-Changing Short-Term Mission!
          Deepen your homeschool experience through hands-on
     missions -- evangelizing, assisting, and strengthening
     impoverished communities.  STEM Int’l organizes,
     trains, and leads volunteer teams on 1-2 week domestic
     or overseas missions. Any age, any time!
     Request a free informational DVD.
     1-877-STEMmin (Toll-free);

 Navigating the Internet
     How do you search through all the thousands of websites on
the internet and find the information you want?
     Following links from page to page without a particular plan
is called surfing.  Although this is fun and you can find
fascinating sites this way, you can quickly wander far from your
original purpose.
     If you are looking for a specific company, first try typing the
company's name with no spaces after www. and then follow with
.com into the address bar (e.g.,
Use .org or .net for organizations, and .edu for educational

Performing a Search
     Search engines, such as make finding
things on the Internet easier.  It is worth taking time to learn
how to do an effective keyword search as the amount of
information that these search engines provide can be
overwhelming. It is common to be provided with tens of thousands
of references to any given search term.
* Narrow your search to a specific phrase, including and/or
   excluding certain other words to target your searches more
* Explore the new features that search engines are adding.
     The results of a search is a list of websites with links to
the documents that match your search.  You can save time checking
out listings by noting:
* The description of the web page.
* The organization that is offering the information.
     Many websites offer a search feature within their own site to
help you find specific information.

Evaluation of Websites
     There are some websites that you will want your children to
use over and over, such as those with reference materials.  Here
are some things to look for:
* Christian worldview and values.
* Clear and well-organized graphics and text.
* Ease of finding information and navigating within the site.
* Sound educational content.
* Absence of inappropriate ads and pop-ups.
     Use your bookmarking feature to keep track of the sites you
have found and want to revisit.

Keep Checking
      Because content on the Internet changes frequently, you
will need to:
* Be alert and recheck sites that you have already approved for
   your children.
* Realize that a recommendation of a site might not apply to new
   material as it is added or to every site that is linked from that
   site.  (This is also true of the many websites listed in each
   issue of this newsletter.)

Websites That Recommend Websites
The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter Archives.  Hundreds
   of selected sites categorized by subject of newsletter.
Education World Site Reviews.
American Library Association.
Discovery Channel.  More than 700 website links.

5 Reasons To Visit The Teaching Home's Website
1.  To Buy Back Issues
     Search for specific topics in 51 Teaching Home back issues
     for sale online.
2.  To Contact Your State Home-School Organization
     Find and link to a home-school organization in your state
     that can provide you with legal information, support groups,
     publications, and conventions within your state.
3.  To Find Quality Home-School Curriculum and Supplies
     Link to 182 home-school suppliers; view or order their products.
4.  For More Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
    Read hundreds of pages of articles with practical home-school
5.  To Track Your Bible Reading This Year
     Find schedules for reading the Bible through in one year.

Communicating via the Internet
     There are several ways that you can communicate with people
around the world -- easily, instantly, without the cost of
long-distance telephone or mail delivery.

1.  E-mail
     E-mail (electronic mail) allows text messages and/or files,
images, or other types of attachments to be sent immediately
anywhere in the world at no additional cost!  It is possible to
have e-mail service without having access to the Internet.
     E-mail programs have many features that are not regularly
used by most people.  If you study and become familiar with these,
you will be able to do more with your e-mail, and do it faster
and easier.  Know all the options and make good use of them.
For example, learn all you can about:
* E-mail address books, setting up group mailings, etc.
* Formatting messages and adding images.
* Setting up file folders for storage of messages.
* Backing up your e-mail files.

2.  Instant Messaging
     Software, such as that offered by AOL and MSN, allows users
to contact friends on the Internet and communicate with them in
real time.  Instant messaging allows you to chat with only the
people you choose, send messages with files, and has various other
features.  Normally the software and registration is free.

3.  Discussion Groups
     There are several types of discussion groups on the Internet
where individuals can discuss a particular topic by posting and
replying to messages which are visible on screen to anyone with
access.  These may be moderated or unmoderated.
* Newsgroups.  Ongoing discussion groups on the Usenet system.
* Message boards and forums.  Posted messages and responses.
* Chat rooms.  Real-time exchange.
     You can set up your own message board for your church,
support group, etc. through the free service at:

4.  Telephone Service
     You can make free long distance phone calls from your
computer -- with or without a camera hook-up to see the person
you are talking to!  For information, see:

5.  Gaming
     Some online games can include players' conversations on any
topic either by typing or using a microphone and speakers or
earphones.  You should be aware of this if your child plays a
game online.
     If your child is interested in chess, he might want to join
the Internet Chess Club to play (and talk) online with other
chess players all over the world.

     Netiquette is a term used to describe the unwritten rules of
Internet courtesy.  Below are some examples:
* Follow the same basic rules you would in real life.
* Do not type in all uppercase letters; it comes across as if you
   are YELLING.
* Use proper punctuation.

Have your child take the excellent online course in netiquette at:

Viruses, Hoaxes, and Unwanted Visitors

     A virus is a program designed by a malicious person to
corrupt programs on your computer, alter the way they work,
and/or do certain unwanted functions.
     Viruses are so designated because they are contagious; they
spread and infect other computers.
     The impact of a virus can be simply annoying or it can be
very destructive, making your computer crash during certain
operations, deleting important files, possibly even rendering
your computer inoperable.

To Protect Yourself
* Install a reputable anti-virus program.
* Keep your anti-virus program updated continually to deal with
   new viruses as they are encountered.
* Set your anti-virus program to check any file before it is
   opened.  This effectively immunizes your system.
* Do not accept or open software or scripts on Internet sites
   or an e-mail attachment. if you do not know the sender or if
   you have not run it through an anti-virus program.
* Schedule regular scanning of your computer hard drive and media
   to check for viruses.
* Check to see if your ISP offers a service that scans for virus as
   well as filters out pornography.  See:
   (We recommend Sterling ISP in the Portland, Oregon, area

Recommended Anti-virus Software
   AVG Anti-Virus (a free, scaled-down version is also available).
   Norton AntiVirus.
   McAfee Virus Scan.

Where To Learn More about Viruses
Information on Viruses
Basic Computer Virus Course.  Free self-paced online course
   on viruses and hoaxes and how to be protected against them.
Virus Glossary. Learn how a virus, worm, and Trojan Horse differ.
Internet Security

     A hoax is a false warning about a virus that can trick you
into taking unnecessary actions or actually doing harm to your
computer system yourself.  An example is asking you to delete an
important system file by falsely warning you that it is a virus.
     Do not take action or forward a virus warning until you have
checked it out.  (It usually takes the forwarding of only one
hoax to embarrass a new internet user enough to learn this lesson
the hard way!)
     Verify a virus warning by checking either the Norton or
McAfee websites listed above.

Urban Legends
     These do not harm your computer, but take valuable time to
forward and can entrap you into spreading misinformation.  No
matter how touching or noble a story or how alarming a warning,
always check it out before forwarding it on to others.  An extensive
and well layed-out site is

Programs That Stop Pop-Ups and Protect Your Privacy
Pop-Up Stopper, by PanicWare. Free for Internet Explorer
   and Netscape; $29.95 for AOL.
Spybot Search and Destroy.
More at:

Anti-Spam Programs
These programs work by requiring the sender to physically see
and retype a code -- spammers cannot do this.

     Please Thank & Support Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
          These free newsletters are made possible financially
     by the fine suppliers who advertise in them.
          Please remember those that have advertised in our
     last issue (below) as well as the ones in this issue.

     Janome Sewing for Home School

    Christian Book Clearinghouse: CBC Online

Sunny Side Up: Counting Phonetically
     Our 5-year-old, Alisha, is so excited about learning to read
and spell. She was playing with magnetic letters on the
refrigerator and enthusiastically called, "Mommy, come see what
I did."
     Alisha was standing there looking rather proud of the fact
that she had spelled out all the names of our family and their
ages, including our Aunt Lisa.
     I said, "Honey, that is wonderful, but I need to show you
that forty-three is '43' not '4T3.'"
     Alisha looked quite concerned and asked, "Can't you hear
the T?"
Submitted by D. Jacobsson, Grand Rapids, Mich.
     You are also invited to submit your humorous anecdote.

God's Love for You
     A loving God is seeking a personal relationship with you and your
family through faith in Jesus Christ, His substitutionary death for
you, and His subsequent resurrection.
     "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" (John 3:16).

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2004 by The Teaching Home, Reprinted
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