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


Make Your Family's Christmas More Meaningful with Gifts
from Sing 'n Learn

Test Before You Buy!
Listen to samples online.

Perfect for Your Own Family
or for Gifts!

A Christmas Carol.  Dickens' story done by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre.  CD Was $18.97 / Now $5.97 each

Christmas In Wildwood.  From Paws & Tales. Produced by Insight for Living. Your whole family will treasure this collection of stories and songs reminding you that Jesus came to save and give us a life abundantly.  2 CDs $14.99

Color the Christmas Classics
With the carols playing in the background, color the illustration and hear the story of 13 Christmas carols. A great family holiday activity.  CD and Book Set

A Classical Kids Christmas
Carols and poetry combine to tell the story of Christmas.  Book/CD Set

We Sign Christmas Carols
Learn American Sign Language vocabulary while singing and signing Christmas carols.  DVD

See More Christmas Resources and More Than 700 Products Online.

$5 Off
When ordering $50 or more of our products, mention that you are a subscriber to The Teaching Home's e-mail newsletter, and receive $5 off your order.

It's not too late to order
for Christmas!


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    Use the link at the end of this e-mail to forward this issue.
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    Thank you!

10 Safe Search Sites
for Children
by Kim Komando

    Search sites like Google can give you millions of links.  But a significant number of potential search results are unsuitable for children.  Even seemingly mundane search words can bring surprises.

    Some search sites offer filtering of adult content.  Google, Yahoo! and MSN are a few examples.  By default, only image searches are filtered.  Changes that you make are saved to a cookie.  If you periodically clear out cookies, you'll lose your preferences.

    Search sites designed specifically for kids are better.  Most use human editors instead of automated Web crawlers.  Results approved by real people make Web searches safer.  Another benefit is the lack of advertising in search results.

    Following are 10 search sites built for kids.  Consider setting one as the start page for your Web browser.

The site features a large directory of educational sites.  They're categorized by subject.  Education professionals approve content added to the directory.

2.  Ask for Kids
Ask for Kids offers results from a database maintained by human editors.  The site links to puzzle games and kids' news sites.  You can also find links to a dictionary and thesaurus.  Homework help sites are sorted by subject.

3.  Awesome Library
This site provides sections for youngsters, teenagers and college students. All content is child friendly, as determined by human editors. An interesting category in the kids section is "Ask a Question." It lists sites that answer questions on subjects from grammar to dinosaurs.

4.  Fact Monster
The site offers an online dictionary, encyclopedia and atlas.  Another major feature is the homework help section.  Topics and tools are listed by subject.  Also included are biographies and important timelines.

5.  KidsClick!
KidsClick! sites are chosen by librarians for kids in grades K-7.  Children can browse the collection.  Controversial topics are allowed if sites are educational and age-appropriate.

6.  MSN Kids Search
This site is intended for kids 8 to 12.  It features a filtered subset of MSN's database.  Browse by category.  Included are kids' blogs.

7.  Pics4Learning
This site assembles pictures donated by teachers, students and amateur photographers.  Categories are suitable for use in student work or lesson plans.  The search has impressive accuracy.

8.  SearchEdu
SearchEdu uses Google to search sites with ".edu" addresses.  The results help you discover homework help from various universities.  The SearchEdu site also lists links to online calculators and references.

9.  ThinkQuest Library
Since 1996, software giant Oracle has held an annual competition called ThinkQuest.  Students 12 to 19 design educational Web sites in a dozen categories.  The winners are included in the ThinkQuest Library.  Anyone can search or browse the collection.  Categories include math, science, geography and health.

10.  Yahooligans!
The site is designed by Yahoo! for kids 7 to 12.  Human editors review and approve all content.  Yahooligans! offers games, videos, music and educational reading.

    Copyright 2006, WestStar TalkRadio Network.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted by permission.  Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about computers and the Internet.  To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit:  To subscribe to Kim's free e-mail newsletters, sign-up at:

"The Teaching Home
Back Issues"

The Teaching Home magazine back issues are still relevant and applicable today!
    Fifty-one Back Issues are offered for sale online.
    In each issue an average of 58 home schoolers contribute:
 •  Practical how-to articles
 •  Encouraging letters
 •  Ready-to-use teaching tips

Sunnyside Up

Distinguishing Features
    One day we were studying how God made each of us with special gifts and abilities. We are not carbon copies. In fact, no two people are exactly alike. He made us differently to have different purposes in the body of Christ.
    My girls, as with most siblings, have very different talents and personalities. I paused and asked my 5-year-old, "Why do you think God made you and your sister so different?"
    She hesitated, and then a light went on. Her eyes sparkling and her index finger pointing up knowingly, she said, "So we could tell us apart!"
    Submitted by Dale W., Florida

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." (Eph. 2:8, 9)

See a beautiful, expanded Plan of Salvation online, available in 18 languages.

Pass It On!

    This newsletter is copyright 2006 by The Teaching Home.
    You may pass this newsletter on in its entirety or by complete, individual articles by:
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Provided that you:
1.  Do not change the wording,
2.  Include "by Cindy Short and Sue Welch" (or other author)
3.  Add: "Copyright 2006 by Reprinted by permission."

 •  For reprints from The Teaching Home Magazine, fill out a Request Form.
 •  To advertise in this newsletter, request information.


" Deeply-Discounted Family Movies & 50% off Creation Books" is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.

In This Issue: Preparing for Christmas
1.  Planning Your Family's Celebration
2.  Proclaiming the Good News
3.  Following God's Gift List
4.  Giving Meaningful Gifts


     Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to teach spiritual truths to our children and to share the same Good News with our world today that the angels proclaimed 2,000 years ago — the "good news of great joy which will be for all the people, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!"

     We hope that this issue will provide some helpful ideas as you prepare to celebrate Christ's birth.

     May the Lord bless 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.

Unabridged Dramatic Recordings of the Classic G.A. Henty Historical Novels, Read by a Professional Storyteller!
     Accurate history, vocabulary enrichment, character development and improved language skills are just an audio book away.  Kids love listening to Jim Hodges' dramatic readings of G.A. Henty historical novels.  Ten titles with audio samples available online at or call (405) 391-5762.


Planning Your Family's Celebration

     The month of December is a time that can quickly get out of hand if early and careful planning does not focus and simplify your family's activities.
     Peace and goodwill can be overshadowed as unmet family expectations cause frustration, and an excess of good opportunities cause stress.
     As parents, agree on how much of your family resources, time, energy, and money you want to spend and how you want to focus your activities.
     Your plans will serve as guidelines that can be adjusted.  Eliminate some activities if things get to be too much or add others that come up if they seem to be worthwhile.  Consider the following:

1.  Budget
     Determine how much you can spend on all activities, decorations, and gifts, and do not exceed that limit.
     The world's focus on commercialism at this season is usually rejected in theory, yet Larry Burkett has warned that "Many families literally indenture themselves to creditors for a whole year just to buy some useless junk at Christmas."

2.  Calendar
     By listing all activities on a calendar, you can get an overview of how much time your family will spend outside of your home.
 •   Maintain a normal schedule as much as possible to reduce stress and make your special times more relaxing and enjoyable.
 •   A rule of thumb might be that you are in your home with Dad and the whole family more evenings than not.  This means that you would not go out more than two or three nights per week.
 •   Make more time during this month to devote to the Lord and His Word together as a family.  Read and discuss the story of Christ's coming to earth in Matthew 1:18-2:23, Luke 1:5-2:38, and John 1:1-18.  Explain the doctrine of Christ's incarnation, that Jesus is both fully God and fully man.  (John 1:1-3, 14:6-11; Colossians 2:6-9).

3.  Your Witness and Gifts to Others
 •   See sections below and decide what your family will do this year.

     After you and your spouse have set some guidelines for the above items, call a family meeting to explain your plans and get input from your family.


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     Prepare your students for college writing skills by using Hewitt’s Lightning Literature & Composition programs for Grades 7-12.
     Full-length novels, plays, essays, autobiographies, short stories, and poems are used to teach deep reading and composition skills.  High school courses include: American, British, British Christian, Medieval, Shakespeare, Speech, and World Literature.  1-800-890-4097


Proclaiming the Good News

     We can present the Gospel through the celebrations of Christ's coming to earth and His death, burial, and resurrection (i.e. Christmas and Easter).
     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:

1.  Hand Out Gospel Tracts
from American Tract Society; Good News / Crossway; God's Simple Plan of Salvation (in 30 languages); Evangelistic Christmas e-cards, etc.

2.  Include the Gospel in Your Cards and Letters
 •   Send cards with a biblical message and/or Bible verse, write out a verse such as John 3:16, or include Christmas tracts with all your Christmas cards.
 •   If you mail or e-mail an annual family letter, include a personal testimony of the Lord's working in your life, your gratefulness for His salvation, and a Bible verse.
 •   Send a Bible and Christmas carol CD to a serviceman overseas.

3.  Give Christmas Goodies Plus a Gospel Message
     Prepare a plate of goodies for your neighbors, friends, and/or family.
 •   Include a Christmas tract, a Scripture portion, or an audio tape or CD of a book of the Bible.

Give Your Children
an Excellent Art Education
with How Great Thou Art

     Choose from 14 curriculums that teach students of all ages the fundamentals of drawing, painting, color theory, and art appreciation. Written by Christian artist and art instructor Barry Stebbing.
     Quality supplies are available and make great gifts!
     See art gallery, sample lessons, and class schedules at


Following God's Gift List

     Talk to your family about those to whom God told us to give. Besides our own family, brothers and sisters in Christ, and everyone (our "neighbors"), God particularly asks us to show love to the following.

1.  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; Hebrews 13:3.)
 •   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 a need.

2.  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 loving 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.

3.  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 ways to meet the needs of your pastor and the missionaries you support with a special gift at Christmas.


Sick of Health Insurance?
     Christian families can deal with rising health care costs — without using insurance. As of November 2006, the monthly share amount has never exceeded $248 per family — even less for couples and singles. Call 888-2-OTHERS (268-4377).


Giving Meaningful Gifts

     Thoughtful consideration of the needs of others enables us to meet those needs in a practical manner. "Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:18)
     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.

1.  Provide Necessities
     Some people need the material necessities of life.
 •   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 or 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.

2.  Send Greeting Cards or Letters
     A Christian card or letter 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.

3.  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.

4.  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, take a small, appropriate gift, and take time to sing a few carols or hymns and read a Scripture passage.

5.  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. Pray that you will 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.

6.  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.

7.  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.
 •   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.
 •   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)


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