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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633
  tth@teachinghome.com  

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"Weave Faith into Everyday Life"
is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.

A Bible Curriculum
for Every Member of Your Family
     FaithWeaver Bible Curriculum helps
learners of all ages -- infants through adults --
weave faith into their daily lives.  Discover
how it can make a difference in your family!
http://www.group.com

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                 Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
    From a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors   /   http://www.TeachingHome.com
_______________________________________________________________

Table of Contents
Preparing for Christmas
   Simplify: Less Is More
   Proclaim the Good News of the Birth of Our Savior
   Teach the Character Quality of Generosity
   God's Gift List
  How To Show Love and Generosity
Recommended Resources
     A Life of Faith: Books, Dolls, and Accessories
     Microscope Store: Teaching Compound Microscope
     Draw Write Now
     Audio Memory: Teaching Songs
     Jean Welles' Guitar Video Courses
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote

Greetings!

     We trust that your family will have a meaningful time of
celebrating Christ's birth.
     Regardless of objectionable practices of past and present
Christmas observances, Christian families can focus on the true
reason for the celebration -- God's love in sending us a Savior!
This is an opportunity to teach spiritual truths to our children
and to share the same Good News to our world today that the
angels proclaimed 2,000 years ago.

Christmas and Our Culture
    A poll released by Newsweek reveals some surprising
statistics on how Americans view Jesus and his birth.

   93% of all Americans believe Jesus really lived.
   82% see Jesus as God or the Son of God.
   79% say they believe Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit
     and was born of the Virgin Mary.
   67% of Americans think the entire Christmas story is
     historically accurate, including the virgin birth, angelic
     proclamation to the shepherds, the star of Bethlehem, and the
     wise men from the East.
     http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6650997/site/newsweek/

     As ambassadors for Christ, we can build on this foundation
of knowledge and belief by explaining to people why Christ was
born and how they can accept His free gift of salvation through
faith in Him.

     Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ,
          as though God were making an appeal through us;
     we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
          II Corinthians 5:20

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

Cordially,
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.



Always-Relevant
Teaching Home Magazine
Back Issues

     Many home schoolers have
found information, inspiration,
and support from the writers who have contributed to The
Teaching Home magazine over the last 23 years.  Fifty-one
Back Issues are offered for sale online.

     These back issue never go out of date.  They are relevant
and applicable to your needs today.
http://www.goemerchant1.com/index.cgi?ST=&Merchant=theteachinghomen

     In each issue an average of 58 home schoolers contribute:
   Practical how-to articles
   Encouraging letters
   Ready-to-use teaching tips.

          "The Teaching Home has been a part of my
    continuing education since I started home schooling,
    and I have kept every issue.
         "I often go back to old issues to find creative,
    helpful hints or inspiration." Meredith C., Florida


Traditional Role Models
that Today's Girls Love!
Beloved Christian heroines,
Violet Travilla, Elsie Dinsmore,
Millie Keith, and Laylie Colbert,
are now available as lovely vinyl dolls from Mission City Press.
See the full line of "A Life of Faith" resources for 8-14 year
old girls and find out how to start an "A Life of Faith Girls
Club" by visiting http://www.alifeoffaith.com.

Simplify: Less Is More

Finances

     The world's focus on commercialism at this season 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 spouse:
     http://www.family.org/fofmag/marriage/a0034682.cfm

Schedule

   Make more time during this Christmas week to devote to the
     Lord and His Word together as a family.

   Maintain a normal schedule, as much as possible to reduces
     stress and make your special times more relaxing and enjoyable.

   Schedule several smaller family celebrations, rather than one
     large one that builds pressure to "make or break" the "success"
     of your holiday.

Gifts

   Consider giving gifts one or a few at a time over several
     days -- on the model of the traditional 12 days of Christmas
     beginning with December 26 and ending on January 6 (Epiphany).

   If you choose the method above, you will be able to take
     advantage of huge savings during the after-Christmas sales.

_______________________________________________________

Teaching Compound Microscope:
An Indispensable Instrument
for Biology and Other Science Courses
     Model OMTM-85, a full-sized microscope
with dual eyepiece tubes, enables you to view
specimens with your students.  Six levels of
magnification; will last for years!  Learn about
and shop for many models of microscopes, including
cordless, at http://www.microscope-store.com.

Proclaim the Good News
of the Birth of Our Savior

     Christmastime is an excellent opportunity to include a
witness for Christ in your greetings to extended family,
neighbors, and co-workers.  Your presentation of the good news
of God's gift may take many forms:

Include the Gospel in Your Cards and Letters

   Add a sentence 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."

   Write out a verse such as John 3:16.

   Include Christmas tracts with all your Christmas cards.
     http://www.atstracts.org/christmas/tracts.html
     http://www.gnpcb.org/home/tracts
     God's Simple Plan of Salvation (in 21 languages):
     http://www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps.html
     Evangelistic Christmas quiz, e-card, gifts:
     http://www.livingwaters.com/christmas/

   Look for attractive cards with biblical Christmas tidings and
     a Bible verse.

   If you mail or e-mail an annual family letter or newsletter,
     include a personal testimony of the Lord's working in your
     life, your gratefulness for His salvation, and a Bible
     verse.

   Send a Bible, Christmas music and video to a serviceman
     overseas.  https://www.christmasbibles.org/

Go Christmas Caroling

     Everyone loves to hear the familiar Christmas carols.

   Go caroling in your neighborhood, in a hospital or nursing
     home, or to shut-ins.

   Go as a family or with another family or group.

   Include your testimony in just a couple of sentences between
     songs, briefly speak of the gospel message in the songs,
     and/or pass out Christmas tracts.

Give Christmas Goodies Plus

     Prepare a plate of goodies for your neighbors, friends,
and/or family.

   Include a Christmas tract, a Scripture portion, or an audio
     tape of a book of the Bible.

Resources
   Order free Gospels of John in various translations and covers
     (even a bilingual Chinese/English edition).
     http://www.pocketpower.org/code/products.php?group=Gospels

_______________________________________________________

Draw Write Now

Draw Write Now
-- Add Drawing
to Your Curriculum
Add drawing lessons to your curriculum --
draw and color with your children, then write
or have your children practice handwriting.
For sample lessons and free newsletter, visit the Draw Write Now
authors' site, http://www.drawyourworld.com.

Teach the Character Quality of Generosity
     Generosity is part of a group of character qualities
included in the broader category of love.
     "We love, because he first loved  us" (1 John 4:19).
     Explain to your children that we give gifts at Christmas to
show our love for others, just as "God so loved the world and
gave his only begotten Son."

Look at Why We Should Be Generous

   Because God has been generous to us (Eph. 3:19-20).
   Because God tells us to (Luke 6:30, 38; Romans 12:8, 13;
     Eph. 4:28; Isa. 58:10-11; II Cor. 9:7).
   Because we are stewards of what He has given to us.

     Study the characteristics of love and generosity and what
God says about them:

Love
     Wanting and doing the best for another, expecting nothing in
return.  Also: compassion, affection, concern, caring, empathy,
encouraging.
     See I Cor. 13; I John 3:17-18; Romans 12:9-10; John
15:12-13; Phil. 2:1-4.

Generosity
     Gladly and unselfishly giving self, time, talents, money,
and possessions. Also: sharing.
     See II Cor. 9:7; I Tim. 6:18; II Cor. 8:1-5; Heb. 13:16;
I Tim. 6:18.

Find Out What God Says about Giving

     Read and study Bible passages that encourage Christian
generosity.  Start with the following.
__ Deut. 16:17
__ 1 Chron. 29:11-17
__ Prov. 11:24-25; 22:9
__ Matt. 25:35-40
__ Luke 6:38
__ Acts 20:35
__ Rom. 12:13
__ 2 Cor. 8:2-21; 9:5-15
__ Gal. 6:6
__ Heb. 6:10; 13:16
__ 1 Tim. 6:17-19
__ I John 3:17

Discuss What We Should Give

   We must thoughtfully consider the needs of others in order to
     meet those needs in a practical manner.

   We can be generous regardless of our financial situation and
     our ability to purchase gifts -- we have much that we can
     give: time, attention, conversation, work, service, etc.

   When you give to those in need, do it in the name of the Lord
     so that He gets the glory and others are pointed to Him.

_______________________________________________________

You Never Forget
What You Sing!
Award-winning, catchy sing-alongs teach:
  Bible    Math Facts    Grammar
  Punctuation    World Geography
  States & Capitals    U.S. History.
Cassettes, videos, DVDs, CDs, books,
posters. Free Catalog. (800) 365-SING
Hear 40 samples at http://www.audiomemory.com
or buy CD sampler with 12 songs for only $5.

God's Gift List
     Talk to your family about those to whom God told us to give.
And remember everyone's greatest need is salvation.  The greatest
love we can share is the good news of the Gospel!

Our Family

     Sometimes we fail to show our love and generosity to the
ones we love the most.  Being aware of that possibility can help
us to be more considerate of them and watch for opportunities
to be lovingly generous.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ

     "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By
this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have
love for one another" (John 13:34, 35).

Everyone / Our "Neighbors"

     "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).

The Needy and Unlovely

     God loved us when we were unlovely to Him (Rom. 5:8).
He asks us to love and give to prisoners; widows and orphans;
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 25:34-46.)
     "Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and
those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the
body" (Hebrews 13:3).
     "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?
For even sinners love those who love them" (Luke 6:32).

   Look for someone that you would not naturally show love to
    and do so for the Lord's sake.

   Find a practical way to meet their need.

Those Who Have Done Us Wrong

     "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do
good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you" (Luke 6:27, 28).
     Only by the love of God flowing through us can we be
generous to those who have wronged or hurt us.  But that is the
Lord's way (Eph. 4:32).

   A simple card or small gift can make all the difference in a
     strained relationship by showing forgiveness and openness.

Christian Workers and Missionaries

     "The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of
double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and
teaching" (1 Timothy 5:17).

   Find out the needs of your pastor and the missionaries you
     support (maybe something above their regular support), and
     seek ways to meet them all year long.


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
     http://www.worshipguitarclass.com/lessons.html
Kid's Guitar Lessons for Ages 5-9
     http://kidsguitarlessons.com/home.html

How To Show Love and Generosity

     Discuss ways to meet the different needs of people.  At this
time of the year the message of Christ can be presented in a
practical way as you show God's love through your love.
     "Little children, let us not love with word or with
tongue, but in deed and truth"  (1 John 3:18).
     There are several ways that you may become aware of the
needs of others and give to them.  Here are some suggestions for
showing generosity at Christmas and all year long.

Provide Necessities

     Some people need the material necessities of life.
     "If a brother or sister is without clothing and in
need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in
peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not
give them what is necessary for their body, what use is
that?" (James 2:16).

   Prepare a basket of food for a needy family.

   Give clothing.

   Help pay for housing, utilities, or transportation.

   If you do not know someone that lacks these necessities, you
     may give through your local church, an example given to us
     in Scripture.  (See Acts 6:1-7.)

   You may give through an organization that ministers to those
     with whom you would not come into direct contact, such as
     a rescue mission, crisis pregnancy center, or foreign mission.

Send Greeting Cards or Letters

     A Christian card is a way to show thoughtfulness and love,
especially to those who are distant to us or not in our present
circle of intimate friends (remember to consider "God's gift
list" above).

   Find instructions to make cards using a variety of materials
     and techniques at:
     http://www.cardinspirations-usa.com/demo/index.htm

   Write a poem about Christ's coming and it's meaning to you.
     See poetry writing instruction and tips at
     http://www.essortment.com/in/Hobbies.Writing/

   Use your best penmanship to copy the words of a Christmas
     carol in your handmade Christmas cards and greetings.

   An "old-fashioned" hand-written letter can be (and usually
     is) kept and cherished for life.

   A printed or e-mailed family letter or newsletter sent out
     annually is a good way to catch everyone up on your news.

   Add a personal note or inquiry about the recipient with your
     card or letter to personalize it.

Reach Out and Call Someone

     It is always very warm and personal to hear a voice.  Your
call can give others a special lift at this time.
     Phone calls are very inexpensive now.  You can call a friend
across the country and have a 20-minute visit for under $1.  In
fact a call often costs less than buying and mailing a card.

   Buy a calling card (as low as 3 cents per minute) and use it
     just for these special calls.

   You can make a call instead of sending a card or letter, or
     in addition to your written communication.

   Schedule a block of time to make several calls each day to
     those who would appreciate hearing from you.

   Be sure to include those who may have been neglected in the
     past.

   As with all of these suggestions, do this throughout the year.

Spend Your Time

     Time spent together focusing on someone, his needs, and his
interests is a genuine act of love.

   Look for those who need friendship and companionship, and
     spend some time with them.

   Invite a neighbor in for a cup of tea.

   Visit a shut-in and take time to listen to him talk.

   When visiting a nursing home or shut-in, take a small gift.
     See suggestions for appropriate gifts at
     http://www.seniorworld.com/articles/a19991105153125.html.

   When visiting a nursing home or shut-in, take time to sing a
     few carols or hymns and read a Scripture passage.

Offer Hospitality

   Look for opportunities to have fellowship with another
     Christian family.  Share a meal, an outing, a study, a
     ministry, a sing, a workday, etc.

   Invite an unsaved family to your home between Christmas and
     New Year's.  Pray that you will be be able to make a clear
     presentation of the gospel to them and that they will respond
     in saving faith.

   Find a family or person who is in need or lonely and invite
     them to share a meal, an evening, or a day with you.

Do Acts of Service

     Serving the needs of another is often the best gift.

   Check to see if you can help a shut-in or your pastor by
     running an errand or doing something he doesn't have the
     time or ability to do.

   Help serve a meal at a rescue mission.

Give Meaningful Gifts

     It really is the thought that counts -- your gifts do
not need to be large or expensive to be valued as a
tangible expression of your affection.

   Small purchased or handmade gifts that show your
     thoughtfulness could include flowers, a pen or pencil,
     a hair clip or piece of jewelry, a pot holder, a tool,
     a wallet, an item to add to a favorite collection, framed
     photo, bookmark, handkerchief, favorite food, etc.

   Carefully selected books, books on tape, music, or videos
     can be accompanied by a note about how much your family
     enjoyed the same item and your hope that it will be
     meaningful to the recipient as well.

   Gift baskets can be personalized with a variety of items
     related to a theme and given to a whole family or to
     an individual.

   Copy and decorate a poem (Christmas carol or your own
     original poem) along with a related Scripture passage in a
     frame or on a bookmark.

   Festively wrap homemade foods and/or nuts and fruits.

     Whatever you do for others, both during the holidays and
throughout the year, do it with all your heart for the Lord.  You
will receive more than you give.
     "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
     "God loves a cheerful giver" (II Corinthians 9:7).

_______________________________________________________

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.

Library and Educational Services
     http://www.libraryanded.com/teach.htm
Piano for Life: Best in Piano Lessons
     http://www.pianoforlife.com
Gift of the Magi: Christmas Outreach
     http://www.firstchristmasproject.com
Math Fundamentals
     http://www.MathFundamentals.net
Calendator by Frigemates
     http://www.calendator.com

_______________________________________________________

Sunnyside Up: That Sounds Right
     To help our son, 6, learn the names of the months, I posted
a list beside the calendar. One day, after much contemplation, he
said, "I know why the last months end with  'ber.'"
     "Why?" I asked.
     "Because they're the coldest ones."
     Submitted by Cheri O., Nebraska

_______________________________________________________

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).
http://www.TeachingHome.com/about/Salvation.cfm

_______________________________________________________

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