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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 #70
        Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

        March 26, 2004  /  Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

Table of Contents
News & Views
     "Fab Five" Make Rare Appearance in Night Sky
     Americans Feel Disenfranchised
Answers to Our "Question of the Week"
     How has your family participated in political action?
Presidential Election (Internet-Based) Unit Study - Part 2
     Government and the Presidential Election Process
     Written and Oral Reports / Writing Activities
     Debate and Speech / Geography
     Vocabulary, Spelling, Penmanship, and Typing
     Additional Lesson Plans / Participation in the Political Process and Voting
     Conclusion: Election-Night Party
Recommended Resources
     Marvelous Math for Windows: Math Facts
     Parable Ministries: "The Case of the Empty Tomb"
     Schoolhouse Publishers: Revolutionary War Civics Project
     Pecci Reading Method: Phonics Reading Method
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     We bring you Part 2 of our Presidential Election (Internet-
Based) Unit Study in this issue.  When you've completed your
study, we would like you to send us (by e-mail) a photo of a
project or a report written by someone in your family to be
posted in a new unit study area on our website.

     When you submit a note of encouragement, teaching tip, family
photo and brief story, or humorous anecdote that is published in this
newsletter, we will send you a back issue your choice of The Teaching
Home magazine (see
We want to hear from you!

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

     Guaranteed:  When Used Consistently, Your Child
     Will Master His Math Facts or Your Money Back!
     * Combines operations, skip-counting, family-of-facts
        relationships, and pictures the problem as needed.
     * Keeps the student encouraged, on his level, reviewed,
        and progressing automatically.
     * Daily 15-minute sessions teach quickly and efficiently.
        CD is only $14.95!

News & Views

"Fab Five" Make Rare Appearance in Night Sky
     Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, known as the
naked-eye planets, will appear together in the night sky, giving
spectators a unique chance to see Earth's closest companions
in one easy sitting.
     The gathering will be visible every night for an hour after
sunset, beginning around March 22 and lasting about two weeks.
While other viewing opportunities will take place over the next
few years, both at dawn and dusk, this one is not to be missed.
(Thanks to Mary Ann Eagleson for alerting us to this opportunity!)

Update on Pledge Case
     Supporters of both sides of the issue made their views known
as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for and against "under
God" being in the Pledge of Allegiance on Wednesday.
     Some have expressed guarded optimism that a lower court's
ban will be overturned, but the Supreme Court is not expected to
announce its decision until June.
     Pray that the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will make the
right decision in this momentous case.

Americans Feel Disenfranchised
     The March 24th Citizen Link, a daily news update from Focus
on the Family, reported that according to a recent poll, many
U.S. citizens think their voice is lost in the political process
and some are giving up on the entire process.
     Rick Scarborough of Vision America said he understands the
frustration, but says there is no excuse for quitting on the
process -- for Christians especially.
     "You overcome just simply by tenacity," Scarborough said.
"Christians absolutely have a mandate in Scripture to be
engaged.  If godly people who hold biblical values would once
again engage, we could turn this nation around."
     To read the complete report and sign up for Citizen Link see

   Arrested . . .
   Tortured . . .
   Now the body
   of Jesus is missing!

     Enter tough-guy private detective, Jake Palestine, in the
"Case of the Empty Tomb."
*  Intriguing and entertaining book with a wonderful Christian
   message that older children, teens, and adults will enjoy.
* Great for Easter Reading!

Answers to Our "Question of the Week"
How has your family participated in political action?

     My life is so busy that I don't always get to read your
newsletters right away, and I was behind on reading once again . . .
so I missed your "Question of the Week" about participating in
political action.

     But today I read the responses you printed, and I want you
to know that I was very blessed!

     When I married my husband 15 years ago, he always joked
with me that in 2004 he would be old enough to run for president.
Well, that's obviously not going to happen!  But I'm not
overstating when I say that he always had an interest in the
political process and a desire to be involved.  And with him
leading the way for me, I began to enjoy it as well.

     We started out by supporting conservative candidates and
volunteering our time to help them.  We stuffed, addressed,
stamped, and sealed envelopes for mailings.  We made phone
calls to encourage people to go and vote for the candidates
when it was close to the election.  We went door knocking and
distributed literature for the candidates as well.

     We also prayed a lot for our elected officials to have
wisdom in their jobs and protection against the enemy and the
spiritual warfare that goes along with it.

     We have attended our precinct caucus (and are delegates to
the local and state conventions) every year for the past 12 years.

     As our daughters were born (seven of them!) we have included
them in many different ways to help them be aware of the
political process and how important it is.  Praise the Lord, they
all enjoy it very much.

     We are still actively involved, only now in a very different
way.  Two years ago in May (and after much prayer!) we announced
that my husband was going to seek election for the Minnesota
State Senate in our district.  Some people were very supportive,
and some were not at all.  To be frank, it was a long shot for
him, and we knew it.  We knew it would probably be a lot of work
and not a victory in November, but we were ready for that.  From
the beginning we planned to run two times and hope for a victory
the second time around.

     God had different plans for our family.  Many people prayed
for us.  My husband (and the rest of us!) worked very hard -- and
he won!  First he won the endorsement of the Republican Party,
and then he won the election in November.  We are so proud of
him, and he is making such a difference in St. Paul as a
Christian Minnesota State Senator.

     I can now say, because of personal experience, how helpful it
is when people help in any and every way they can in the political
process; there is no job too small!

       Our home was transformed into campaign headquarters.
My husband spent hours campaigning, and there were many nights
he was up until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. photocopying literature to
distribute the next day.  We spent weeks preparing mailings
to send to the people of his district.  The people who came to
help us were a blessing beyond words.  People helped for hours
with mailings, walked with us in parades, donated money to his
campaign, put up signs all over the district, made phone calls,
brought us meals and treats, mowed our lawn, picked up our
children to join them for fun activities, etc.  Every single
effort was appreciated and helpful -- and definitely a blessing.

     I also want to say that the importance of prayer support is
something that cannot be understated.  Many people were praying
for us, and I believe in my heart that the prayers are what got
us through!  Prayers for everything including winning the
election, protection over our family and marriage, wisdom,
strength, and rest.  We could not have done it without the prayer

     God bless the people who pray for those in elected
positions!  And God bless the people who volunteer their time to
help!  We are a family who has volunteered for others, and now we
are a family who is blessed by those who volunteer.  I can't
express enough how even little things help a lot!

     God bless you for making this topic an important one, and
for publishing it in your newsletter.  My heart is deeply touched
by the ministry you have, and how you are helping to make people
aware of the importance of the political process.

Cyndy Nienow, Cambridge, Minnesota

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Presidential Election (Internet-Based) Unit Study
Part 2

Part 1: Last Issue
     Spiritual / General Research / Reading, Literature, and Poetry
     History: Our Government and Past Presidents
     Art and Music / Field Trips and Videos

Part 2: This Issue
     Government and The Presidential Election Process
     Written and Oral Reports / Writing Activities
     Debate and Speech / Geography
     Vocabulary, Spelling, Penmanship, and Typing
     Additional Lesson Plans / Participation in the Political Process and Voting
     Conclusion: Election-Night Party

     This unit study is the conclusion of a 4-part series on government
and features the office of the president, including past presidents,
and the presidential election process, including the Electoral College.

Government and the Presidential Election Process

__ Study the presidential election process.
* An overview of the U.S. Government and the political system.
* Presidential election process in simplified terms.
* Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.
   Follow "Guide to Menus" for information on Electoral College,
   the 2004 election, and Electoral College Calculator,
* Ben's Guide. (Follow arrows at bottom of page.)
* Federal Election Commission.
* Primary process and dates, Electoral College information.

__ Make a Presidential Election Process Flowchart.
* Make a strip of monthly calendars taped together (on sale or
   print from Internet).
* Place on your wall or accordian-fold and place in your
* Include the steps in the presidential election process and the state
   primary dates.
* Look for printed news coverage of these events to add to your

__ Play educational board games.
* "Hail to the Chief," "Capital Hill Game," or "Road to the White

__ Study the political parties' platforms and candidates.
* The Republican Party
* The Democratic Party
* Links to all political parties.  Directory of third parties.
* Platform comparisons.
* Presidential candidates.
* Project Vote Smart.  Includes voting records.

__ Watch the national conventions on TV.

__ Study the reasons for our Electoral College.
* U. S. Electoral College.
* In Defense of the Electoral College.
* Danger of direct elections.
* Mathematical explanation of why we need the electoral college.
* Show your support of the Electoral College (sportswear).

__ See information and activities for grades 3-6.

__ Read information on national issues.

   New Civics Project
   Based on the Events
   Surrounding the
   Revolutionary War
   "Revolution" is a civics/history
   project for secondary level
   from Schoolhouse Publishers.
A user writes, "My son said, 'When I get done with school,
I'm going to work on 'Revolution'!  My boys are so excited
about 'Revolution,' they don't even realize they're doing school."

Written and Oral Reports
     Choose a topic and a method in which to present it.

__ Choose a topic, such as:
* One of our past presidents that you admire.
* The presidential office and duties.
* A brief biography and qualifications of a candidate.
* Convince your audience to vote and/or to vote for a particular
* Your idea of the perfect candidate and their platform.
* The presidential election process.
* Explanation of the Electoral College and your opinion of it.
* National issues.

__ Choose a presentation method:
* Written report, with or without visual aids.
* Oral report or speech for your family or group, with or
   without visual aids.
* E-mail your report with links to your friends.
* Tape your presentation (audio or video) and send to friends
   or family that do not live near you.

Other Writing Activities

__ Write a persuasive letter to a friend urging him to vote,
and to vote for your candidate.

__ Write a newspaper story about an event connected with
the election using the who, what, where, when, and why format.

__ Write a candidate and tell him why you want to see him
elected, what you are doing to help him, and what concerns you
would like to see him address.

__ Prepare questions for an interview with a candidate.

__ Make up a 50-word oath of office for a Christian President.

Debate and Speech

__ Watch candidates' speeches or a presidential debate
and the commentary that follows.  Then critique the content and
presentation of each speaker.
* Read a "Short List of Fallacies."

          Our children, ages 10 and 12, have been working
     on public speaking skills.  We plan to have them prepare
     the following three speeches:
          * A campaign speech.
          * A winner's acceptance speech.
          * A loser's concession speech.
          During the preparation of these speeches, we will have
     our children analyze and critique, according to their ability,
     these types of speeches as we have opportunity to hear
     them.  -- Submitted by Mary Beth Akers.

__ Stage your own debate on which candidate should be elected
or whether or not we should keep the Electoral College.
* See information at The National Christian Forensics and
   Communications Association website.

__ Learn more about presidential debates.

__ Create, perform, and record (audio or video) a radio or TV ad,
campaigning for the candidate of your choice.


__ Draw or obtain a map and label each state with its two-letter ZIP
code and the number of its Electoral College votes.
* See map filled out and answer questions.

__ Make a large poster-size map to color code with the results during
the election night returns (e.g., blue for Republican, red for Democrat, or
whatever your TV station is using).

__ Trace the campaign trails on a map of the United State by placing
color-coded dots where presidential and vice-presidential candidates make
appearances and speeches.

Vocabulary, Spelling, Penmanship, and Typing

__ Start with a short list of key words related to the
presidential election and add new or significant words as you
encounter them.
* Glossary for vocabulary words.
* These following links includes summaries of the Constitution.

__ Verbally test your students by asking them to spell and
define the words and use them in a sentence.

__ Do some online vocabulary activities.

__ Make your own crossword puzzle.

__ Copy or write from dictation:
* Bible passages on government (see last issue).
* Parts of the Constitution or the President's oath of office
   (Article II, Clause 8).

__ Use the passages above for typing practice.

     Help for the Child Struggling with Reading
          Reading Specialist, Mary Pecci, M.A., author of "At
     Last! A Reading Method for Every Child!," has designed
     a simplified phonics method that has proven successful even
     with difficult cases of learning disability. Vast references.
     Message Board Guidance.

Additional Lesson Plans
     These are free online lesson plans on various subjects.
* The Roles of the President
* Learning about the Presidency
* Who Should Be President?
* Using Political Propaganda During Elections
* Party Time. Your political beliefs and partisan leanings.
* PBS. 30 lesson plans.

Participation in the Political Process and Voting

__ Study our responsibilities as citizens: our duty to obey laws and
vote, influencing others, guidelines for lobbying, keeping informed, and
informing elected officials of how we want to be represented.

__ Visit a campaign headquarters and see what jobs are
available for people to do, such as distributing campaign literature
and yard signs or registering people to vote.

__ Find out directly from our Constitution who can vote
(Amendments 14, 15, 19, 23, 24, 26).

__  Help rally one million Christian voters who will pray and
vote to change our nation this year!
* Obtain bulletin inserts that set forth clear biblical reasons from
   the Founding Fathers on why Christians must vote in elections.

__ Look at voter registration information online or pick up
a registration form at the post office to see what is involved in
registering to vote.

__ Participate in a mock election.

Conclusion: Election-Night Party

* Start early with a prayer time that Christians will vote and
   that the Lord will be merciful to give us the best President.
* Since many or most votes may already be cast by evening,
   challenge those you know to pray hourly from the opening
   of the eastern polls to the closing of the western ones, and
   also for a clear and accurate vote count afterwards.
* See poll closing times.
* Arrange a potluck dinner.
* Display projects and/or listen to presentations.
* Watch the election night results.
* Color code your Electoral College map as the votes come in.
* Keep track of the Electoral college votes on a list, first in
   pencil as projected and then in ink as confirmed.
* Or use an online Electoral College calculator.

Important Note
     Prepare your child for disappointment if his choice of
candidate does not win.  Make sure your child understands
that God is still in control.
     "The Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And
bestows it on whom He wishes And sets over it the lowliest of
men." (Daniel 4:17)

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Sunnyside Up:  An Innocent Question
     Recently we had a primary election in our state of Ohio.  All
four children (ages 9, 8, 5, and 4) are excited about voting and
can't wait to go and "vote" (they come with me each time I vote).
     When we checked in with the registrar, she asked, "Are you
children learning about voting in school?"
     My daughter, Rachael, age 8, quickly replied, "Oh, no.
We're home schooled.  We don't have to learn in a classroom.
We're learning about voting by coming here and voting!"
     Submitted by Robyn Fry, Ohio

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" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

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