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The Teaching Home
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"Have Fun Teaching Your Children Valuable Reading Skills"
is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.

Is It a Game, or Is It Learning? -- It's Both!

Fun Reading Skill
Charts Include:
•  Sound Symbols Chart
•  Color Words
•  Number Words
•  Rhyming Words
•  Upper and Lower Case
•  Short Vowels
•  Long Vowels

     Start right now, by downloading and printing the charts at


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                 Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
    From a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors   /

Table of Contents
Veterans Day: November 11th
Creativity, Part 2:  Preparing for Creativity
     1.  Lay a Firm Spiritual Foundation.
     2.  Teach Your Child To Think.
     3.  Give Your Child a Wide Range of Experiences.
     4.  Cultivate Good Character Qualities in Your Children.
          Do You Have To Choose Between an Obedient or a Creative Child?
Recommended Resources
     Operation Christmas Child
     A Life of Faith Dolls, Books, Girls' Club
     Jean Welles' Guitar Video Courses
     Structured Writing Curriculum
     Math Fundamentals
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     As you consider why and how to teach your children to be
creative, keep in mind the broad definition and application of
that quality.

     You will want to develop creativity as a thinking process
or skill that can be used to:

 •  Solve problems, meet needs, or resolve conflicts
 •  Improve efficiency by saving time, money, materials, or effort
 •  Create, adapt, or improve tools or methods
 •  Use available resources to make a substitution for something
     you don't have
 •  Educate, persuade, or inspire people
 •  Produce arts and crafts that beautify our surroundings
 •  Honor and point others to the Creator

     In this issue we will look at some ways you can prepare your
children to be creative.  (Many of the ideas come from a special
section on creativity in the December 1992 / January 1992 back
issue of The Teaching Home.)

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

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business
operated in our home since 1980.


Dear Editors,
     Thank you for providing information regarding "Operation
Christmas Child."
     As a result, 23 children and their parents from our local
homeschool group prepared shoe boxes yesterday at our monthly
Arts & Crafts Club event, hosted at our home.
     I wanted to share this news with you and to thank you for
including us in this heart-warming event.
     Blessings to you,
     Gina W.,  Valencia, California

Operation Christmas Child:
Teach Your Children
the "Gift of Giving"
     Bring joy and hope to children
in desperate situations around the
world through gift-filled shoe boxes
and the Good News of God's love.  National Shoe Box
Collection Week is November 14-21.  Order your materials
online at


Veterans Day: November 11th
     Veterans Day honors all the men and women who have served in
 the United States armed services.  (Memorial Day honors members
of the American military who died in service for their country.)
     November 11 is the anniversary of the armistice that ended
World War I in 1918.
 •  The United States changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
 •  Canada celebrates November 11 as Remembrance Day.
 •  The United Kingdom celebrates November 11 as Armistice Day.
     Besides teaching your children the history and significance of this
holiday, consider doing one of the following.

1.  Thank someone in your own extended family who has served
     in the military.  Send a card.
2.  Visit a veteran's hospital or a veteran at a nursing home or
     invite a veteran from your church to dinner.  Listen to their
     story, ask them questions, and thank them for serving.
3.  "Adopt" and pray for a veteran without a family nearby or
     a young person currently serving in the armed forces.

Links for More Information & Activities
 •  Annie's Veterans Day Page. Links to Army, Navy, Air
     Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.  Study of the word
     "honor," many crafts, and Armor of God.
 •  Annie's Remembrance Day Page (Canada)
 •  Department of Veterans Affairs Official Veterans Day Website

They Are Not Just Dolls--
They Are Godly Role Models!
     Beloved fictional heroines, Elsie
Dinsmore, Millie Keith, Violet and Laylie,
come to life as lovely dolls. Faith-based
historical fiction books, dolls, accessories,
and girls clubs, help girls ages 8-14 imagine
and experience a lifestyle of faith!


Preparing for Creativity

     Creativity requires a certain background of knowledge,
skill, and experience (only God can truly create something from

     As parents, you can furnish your children with these needed
prerequisites in various ways.

1.  Lay a Firm Spiritual Foundation.

     A personal relationship with our Creator and a knowledge of
His wisdom through His Word is the best foundation for all areas
of your child's life, including creativity.

A.  Acquire Knowledge of God's Word.

     "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge"
     Proverbs 1:7a.

B.  Get Understanding of His Way.

     "Through thy precepts I get understanding."
     Psalm 119:104

C.  Ask the Lord for Wisdom.

     Wisdom is needed to use what we have learned and understood.
True wisdom comes from God alone.

     "For the Lord giveth wisdom:
     out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
     Proverbs 2:6

     "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
     who gives to all generously and without reproach,
     and it will be given to him."
     James 1:5

Learning To Play the Guitar
Can Bring Lifelong
Enjoyment to Your Child
and Blessings to Others

Jean Welles' video courses: a quick and easy way to play the guitar.
 •  Simple step-by-step, play-as-you-watch has vivid detail.
 •  No musical background, experience, or training is needed.
 •  Buy a complete package, including guitar, and save!
Worship Guitar Class for Ages 9-Adult
Kid's Guitar Lessons for Ages 5-9


2.  Teach Your Child To Think.

     Good thinking skills are the basis for creativity.

A.  Develop all Levels of Thinking.

     The following list of Bloom's six levels of thinking, and
the corresponding divisions of classical education, are discussed
in depth with practical learning activities in previous
newsletters, available online in our Newsletter Archives at

 •  Knowledge  (Newsletter #23)
 •  Comprehension  (Newsletters #25 & 26)
 •  Application  (Newsletter #29)
 •  Analysis  (Newsletter #28)
 •  Synthesis  (Newsletter #28)
 •  Evaluation  (Newsletter #30)

B.  Teach Reasoning and Logic Skills.

     The study of logic provides important principles of reasoning and
exercises in thinking.

Wikipedia free encyclopedia.  Online article on logic.
Summit Ministries. Online article on critical thinking.
San Jose State University.  The Logic Classroom.  Online logic lessons
Philosophy Pages: Logic.
Bob Jones University Press text "Better Thinking and Reasoning."
The Critical Thinking Co.  Online article and products.

C.  Model Thinking.

     Let your child hear you "think out loud" as you work through
a problem.  For example:

     If we went to Grandma's this evening, we would miss church.
     Church is a priority and commitment of our family.
     Therefore we cannot go to Grandma's this evening.
     Perhaps we can find another night this week that we can go.


A Neo-Classical Approach Makes This
Academic Writing Curriculum Innovative and Doable
     The Structured Writing Company's writing program uses
color-coded formulas to teach academic writing step-by-step.
     Once learned, the formulas help your student set up
different types of academic writing assignments while the color
codes effectively illuminate the different parts of each
     An extremely detailed teacher's manual compliments the
effectiveness of the student handbook.
     Get more information at


3.  Give Your Child a Wide Range
     of Experiences.

     Flashes of inspiration come from knowledge and experience
which our minds combine or put together in new ways.

A.  Include Your Child in Your Real-Life Activities.

     As your home-schooled children spend most of their time
involved with your family, they are exposed to a wide variety of
real-life experiences that contribute to their understanding of
the world.

 •  Provide opportunities for your child to use math, reading,
     and writing in everyday situations so that he understands
     the value of acquiring skills and then using them to solve
     practical problems.

 •  Let your child take stuff apart and put it back together (buy
     "junk" at a thrift store or garage sale).

 •  Teach your child to cook, work beside you throughout the day,
     and run errands with you.

B.  Add More Experiences Through Reading.

     Spend a lot of your family time reading aloud together.

 •  Reading good literature causes your children to imagine and
     create pictures in their minds.

 •  Ask questions that help your children visualize the events,
     settings, and characters of the story.

 •  Also ask questions that help your children recall facts and
     understand, apply, analyze, and evaluate what they read (see
     thinking skills above).


     Put the FUN Back into the Teaching
     and Learning of Mathematics!
     Designed for home schooling families.  The everyday
experiences and games described in this series complement any math
curriculum you use, or you can use them as your primary source of
instruction.  Also available are e-books and a free newsletter.


4.  Cultivate Good Character Qualities
     in Your Children.

     Good character and habits will provide your child with
personal resources with which to be creative.  (See Newsletters
#87-90 at

A.  Orderliness

     Clutter can kill creativity!  If your child cannot find
materials and work space, he cannot even get started.

     Also, a cluttered environment can distract your child from
focused thinking.

 •  Set, explain, and consistently enforce rules of cleaning up
     after oneself.

 •  Make sure projects are put away and tidied up after they are

B.  Persistence

     A half-finished project brings no satisfaction.

 •  Once a task is begun it needs to be completed to be a
     meaningful creative effort.

 •  Only discontinue efforts when you find a serious flaw in your
     work or a moral or ethical reason not to finish.  Otherwise,
     revise your plan and keep trying.  (Edison tried 1,000 times
     to create a practical light bulb before he succeeded!)

C.  Concentration / Attention

 •  Without the ability to concentrate, it is difficult to think
     through any problem.

 •  Require quiet, disciplined attention to assigned schoolwork.

 •  Praise your child when he sticks to a job until it is

D.  Courage

     Your child needs to have the courage to express an original
idea in order to be creative.

 •  Encourage your child to talk about his thoughts and ideas.

 •  Help your child to develop verbal skills
     Family discussions around the dinner table can draw your
child out.  (Make sure no one is "put down" even if his ideas
need some correction.)
     This will also enable him to become confident in putting
forth different opinions or solutions to problems and having them
evaluated in a spirit of acceptance and love.

E.  Initiative

     Teach your child to dream, imagine, and "think outside the box."

     Dreaming starts with imagining the desired result and works
to find a way to achieve it.

     Imagination is the ability to see how something might be and
how it could come about.

     Thinking outside the box is going beyond the status quo, the
usual, the expected.

 •  Value resourcefulness in your children.

 •  Show and teach your child to be proactive.  He does not have
     to let things just happen to him; he can think of
     preventative measures or solutions to problems and then
     implement them.

 •  Seek new perspectives on day-to-day activities.

 •  Be open to do different things and to do things differently.

 •  Recognize the value of finding new ideas and acting on them.

F.  Diligence/Industriousness

     Thomas Edison said, "Genius is one percent inspiration,
ninety-nine percent perspiration."

     Creativity requires a mind that is willing and able to work
its way through the problem to the solution.

 •  Teach your child that creativity involves work and that work
     can be satisfying and enjoyable.  (Adam and Eve were given
     work to do before the Fall; it is not a punishment!)

G.  Cooperation and Teamwork

     Teach your child to work with others to create.

 •  Your own family can act as a team to find creative solutions
     to anything that involves your family.

 •  Support and respect others when they come up with new ideas.

 •  Contribute to each others' efforts by providing
     encouragement, help, suggestions, time, space, materials,
     or anything else that is welcomed.


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

The Microscope Store: Quality Microscopes / Cordless Models
Calendator Reusable Calendar by Frigemates
Mr. Button Family Video: Christian Adventure DVDs


Do You Have To Choose
Between an Obedient or a Creative Child?
by Judy Smith

     Developing creativity has always been a high priority in our
family.  No matter what occupations or endeavors our children
will eventually choose, we know that creativity will be an asset.

     All the books and articles I read when our first child was
young emphasized a very permissive home environment to encourage

     However, when I began reading books on disciplining children
from a biblical perspective, they emphasized establishing
parental authority and teaching obedience, contradicting almost
everything I had read on creativity.

     Great, I thought. I have to choose between having an
obedient child and having a creative child.

     But as I read and thought and worked with our children, I
became convinced that it is possible to develop creativity
without sacrificing obedience.

     And after all, courtesy, respect for authority, and
self-control are also essential for success in any endeavor.

     Our primary responsibility is to raise children who will
honor and obey God.  That often demands a firm parental hand.
Yet at the same time, we can encourage our children's God-given
gift of creativity.


Sunnyside Up: Glorified Greeting
     We taught our 2-year-old "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
     I don't know if we are poor teachers or if it is our Texas
accent, but the next day our daughter was marching around
singing, "Glory, Glory, how ya' doin'? Glory, Glory, how ya' doin'?"
     Submitted by Christi A., Texas


God Loves You.
     Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus
Christ died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust
Him 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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