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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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For 29 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Home-School Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Home-School Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short






We the People of the United States,

in Order to form a more perfect Union,

establish Justice,

insure domestic Tranquility,

provide for the common defence,

promote the general Welfare,

and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Preamble to the Constitution for the United States of America





Parental Rights Amendment

Parental Rights:
Make a Difference During Constitution Week




J. Michael Smith
Home School Legal Defense Association President

In celebration of Constitution Week, ParentalRights.org has planned a major push in the campaign to amend the Constitution to include fundamental parental rights.

A major call-in blitz to Congress is scheduled during Constitution Week, urging members to cosponsor the Parental Rights Amendment.

1. Check ParentalRights.org's lists of 116 House cosponsors and 5 Senate cosponsors.  If your representative is already a sponsor, don't call them!  Consider mailing them a message of thanks instead.

2. If your congressman or senator is not on the list, go to the States Watch page and click on your state to find their contact information.

3. Call your congressman and ask him to sign on to cosponsor H.J. Res. 42, the Parental Rights Amendment, to protect parental rights and American and state sovereignty.

4. Call your senators and urge them to cosponsor S.J. Res. 16, the Parental Rights Amendment, to protect parental rights and American and state sovereignty.

5. Call or email friends and family and urge them to join you in calling their congressman and senators throughout the week.

Read more at www.hslda.org.

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."
– Samuel Adams





HSLDA


HSLDA offers homeschooling families a low-cost method of obtaining quality legal defense that gives them the freedom to homeschool without having to face legal threats alone.

(Use discount group number 299142 for $20 off your membership fee.)





Our Readers Write

Our Family Nights

In response to your request for Family Night suggestions, I would like to share my family's tradition.

We have set aside Friday nights as Family Nights. We try to schedule other activities around them. If something unavoidable comes up for a Friday, then we have Family Night on Saturday that week.

We always make homemade pizza (with individual topping requests) and have ice cream.

We take turns selecting the activity for the evening. Each person gets a turn to choose what we do, and there is no arguing with the chooser. This means that even if someone doesn't like what has been chosen for that week, she knows that she can choose something that she does like when it's her turn.

We usually end up playing a board game, a backyard game, or watching a movie.

We've also had some variety of activities, which have included each person selecting his/her favorite "Adventures in Odyssey" episode to listen to, going out for ice cream, and watching home videos of when the children were little.

We have enjoyed having the consistency and predictability of the Friday Night Family Night. We have also created some wonderful memories.

Submitted by Kathy D.



Thank You!

Hello!

I am happy to take this moment to tell you that I have truly enjoyed your newsletter.

I have found it encouraging, useful, thoughtful and helpful.

I have created unit studies from them, found some excellent websites, and it has helped me to stay on track.


Thank you!
Most sincere blessings,
Alissa



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The information, inspiration, and encouragement packed into each back issue never goes out of date.  They are always relevant, applicable to your needs today.

Order securely online.





Sunnyside Up




Spelling Test

Jessica, 6, was playing "school" one day.  Seated at the table with paper and pencil, she was writing a list of her most newly learned words.

After a bit she said, "Mother, how do you spell cat?"  I slowly and distinctly spelled c-a-t, delighted she would ask my help rather than misspell a word.

I realized the tables were turned, however, when she matter-of-factly said, "Very good, Mother.  Now try dog."

Submitted by Susan W., Texas.

Send your humorous anecdote to publisher@teachinghome.com.





Bible Reading Schedule

Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.

See The Teaching Home's Bible reading schedule online at TeachingHome.com.







Christian Music Online 24/7!

Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) when you tune in to Abiding Radio at www.AbidingRadio.com.

Also: Old Christian Radio.





God's Love for Us

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 forgive our sin and give us eternal life.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  (John 3:16)

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  (Romans 3:23)  "For the wages of sin is death."  (Romans 6:23)

"He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification."  (Romans 4:25)

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."  (John 1:12)

"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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Constitution Week: September 17-23

1. An Overview
    The Nature and Influence of the US Constitution

2. The Facts
    Studying the U.S. Constitution

3. Relevance
    Basis for America's Laws

4. Biblical Principles
    Basis for America's Laws

Sidebar
    Parental Rights Amendment


Recommended Resources

•  Hewitt Homeschooling: Lightning Literature
•  Living Books Curriculum: Start-up Pack
•  Logos Language Institute: Foreign Language Study
•  Candy 4WAY Phonics Program: Systematic Phonics


Greetings,

Constitution Day (September 17) and Constitution Week (September 17-23) commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

President Eisenhower proclaimed the first Constitution Week in 1956.

In December, 2004, Senator Robert Byrd attached a provision to the Consolidated Appropriations which mandated that all school districts receiving federal funding must instruct students on the U.S. Constitution on September 17th or the following week.

Home-school parents are not required by law to teach their children about the Constitution, but surely we see the importance of teaching our children about our nation's Christian heritage and Constitution, as well as how it affects our lives today.

You can also teach and show your children that they can be a part of history in supporting efforts to add the Parental Rights Amendment to our Constitution (see information in the sidebar at the left).

May the Lord bless 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.


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Hewitt Homeschooling Resources
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Home of the Parent-Administered PASS Achievement Test


An Overview

1. The Nature and Influence
     of the US Constitution

by Former President George W. Bush
Excepted from a proclamation.


Today, we marvel at the wisdom of the Framers who toiled through a long summer of learned and contentious debates.

Their work produced a document that upholds high ideals, while answering the most practical questions of governance.  The charter they crafted — with its separate branches of Government, enumerated powers, checks and balances, and later the specific protections provided by our Bill of Rights — guides our Nation and inspires others around the world.


Twin Foundations

As the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia began working on what would become the United States Constitution, they grasped that a great democracy must be built on the twin foundations of:

•   National consent to a Federal Government

•   Respect for individual rights.


Balance of Powers

In creating our Nation's Constitutional framework, the Convention's delegates recognized the dangers inherent in concentrating too much power in one person, branch, or institution.

They wisely crafted a Government that balanced the functions and authority of a Federal system among three separate but equal branches:

•   The Executive

•   The Legislative

•   The Judicial.

As a further check on central power, the Framers granted citizens the right to vote, giving them the power to express their political preferences peacefully and thereby to effect change in the Government.

The Convention delegates ratified the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and submitted it to the States for approval.


Bill of Rights

After much deliberation and discussion at the State level, the following two concerns emerged from among those who feared the Constitution's proposed centralization of Federal power:

•   The threat of tyranny

•   The loss of local control.

To address these fears, our Founders amended the Constitution by adding a Bill of Rights.

These ten amendments provided a series of clear limits on Federal power and a litany of protective rights to citizens.

Today, our Nation celebrates the longest-lived written Constitution in world history.




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The Facts

2. Studying the U.S. Constitution

The Constitution of the United States is the foundation of our American Government.  As the supreme law of the land, no law may be passed that contradicts its principles, and no person or government in the nation is exempt from following it.

•   Read, study and discuss the Constitution.

•   Read the Constitution along with explanations.

•   See Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Students.


Free Online Lessons

The Center for Civic Education offers free lessons for Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

These are beautifully produced pdf files with illustrated stories, questions, worksheets, activities, and teacher's guides. You may download and print them.  Audio guides are also available.

•   Kindergarten - study of authority. (30 pages)

•   Level 1-2 - study of authority. (34 pages)

•   Level 3-4 - Preamble to the Constitution. (10 pages)

•   Level 5-6 - Preamble to the Constitution. (12 pages)

•   Level 7-8 - the federal system of government. (12 pages)

•   Level 9-10 - the Constitution as a framework for the government. (14 pages)

•   Level 11-12 - involves students in critical thinking exercises involving fundamental principles of the Constitution. (17 pages)



The Signers

Be sure to include a study of the brave men who labored to "create a more perfect union" and crafted our nation's Constitution.

 •  See bios on all 39 signers of the Constitution.

 •  Read quotes from many of these founding fathers which testify to their faith.

 •  Look at nine visual interpretations of the Constitutional Convention, including the most well known painting, "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution," by Howard Chandler Christy and the chart which identifies the signers.


Ultimate Field Trips

 •  Join the celebration at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia September 17, 2009.  Many learning activities.

 •  Or join a virtual field trip of National Constitution Center in Philadelphia live on September 17 at 9:00 a.m

 •  Celebrate Constitution Week at the United States Capitol.  Many opportunities to learn about the Constitution.


Resources for Further Study and Application

 •  The Founders' Constitution, "The Oxford English Dictionary of American, Constitutional History," anthology of original historical documents.

 •  Civics Education Courses from Home School Legal Defense Association. Includes: Founding Fathers, Introduction to Constitutional Law, The Federalist Papers, Declaration of Independence, and more.

 •  The Federalist Papers Online.  One of the most important works on political theory ever written.

 •  Enlightened Democracy by Tara Ross.  Understand the Constitution and the basic tenets that undergird America's republican democracy.  Free Study Guide.  Colonial Press

 •  Naturalization Self Test.  Could your children (or you) pass the test to become a citizen? Test your knowledge of United States History and the structure of our government on this easy-to-use online question and answer interactive site.



Ideal for Christian Home Schoolers

    Logos Language Institute
is an evangelistic ministry which equips Christians
to witness and minister in foreign languages.

   • Intro packets
      in 21 languages
   • Low cost
      ($15-$23 each)
   • Simple,
      conversational
      method
   • Self-study books
      and tapes or CDs
   • Use alone or with another language program
   • 6-level program in Spanish
   • Everyday and spiritual / biblical vocabulary
   • Ideal for short-term missions, homeschool

Logos Language Institute
www.languagesforchrist.org   1-800-445-6467
Read Reviews by M. Pride, C. Duffy, plus testimonies.


Relevance

3. Current Issues
     Involving the Constitution

The First Amendment
and the "Separation of Church and State"

The First Amendment to the Constitution does not include the phrase "separation of church and state." Nowhere does it suggest that Christianity cannot be heard in the public square.

In fact, the first act of the United States Congress was to authorize the printing of 20,000 Bibles for the Indians.

Historian David Barton says, "The 'separation' phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson's explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today.  'Separation of church and state' currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant."

Read more by David Barton at www.christiananswers.net and www.wallbuilders.com.


Judicial Interpretation of the Constitution

The subject of constitutional interpretation is a valid and practical concern today that will reach into many areas of our lives for years to come.

Two competing viewpoints have emerged:

1.  To follow the original intent of the Constitution.

2.  To allow judges to interpret the Constitution as they will.

•   Read "A Tale of Two Constitutions" by David Barton as well as a variety of articles from Wall Builders on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built.

•   Read a discussion of judicial activism, "Judicial Philosophy," by Focus on the Family issue analysts.


Delegation of Powers

Is a federal health care program constitutional?  Read author and historian David Barton's answer in an Aug. 27, 2009, news article.



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    Candy 4WAY Phonics
For less than $10 you can own a Complete, Systematic Phonics Program.

Candy's 4WAY Phonics includes:
     • 100 Systematic Phonics lessons
     • 20 Leveled Color Story Readers
     • Lifetime Phonogram Charts
     • Flashcards   /   • Spelling Rules
     • 82-Page How to Teach Intensive Phonics e-book
     • Multisensory Vowel Charts  –  and so much more.


Biblical Principles

4. Basis for America's Laws

Excerpted and reprinted by permission from an article by Charles and Cindy Meek, www.faithfacts.org.

Christians believe that the Bible offers ultimate, objective, and absolute truth. There was a general consensus on this point in America from the earliest settlers until only very recently.

Thus it was natural for the early Americans to turn to the Bible for guidance as to how to make civil law.  This was the standard for law beginning with the Mayflower Compact all the way through the constitutions of all 50 states.


State Constitutions

For example, the first state constitution was the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639).  Read this document.

The framers of this document desired that every aspect of it be based on the Bible. This document was a model for other constitutions including the U.S. Constitution which followed it.  (See other Preambles to State Constitutions.)


Rule of Law

Another aspect of our system of government is that it is based on the Rule of Law.  This concept is a direct descendant of Hebrew law and the Ten Commandments.

Together with the concept of inalienable rights from God, these concepts helped ensure a way of life that respected the dignity of every individual.


The True Nature of Man

Another important aspect of America's constitution is that it has as its basis the distinctly Christian idea that man is basically sinful.  Every one of our founding fathers understood this truth.  The result was that the founders built into the Constitution an elaborate system of checks and balances.

This is evident in the horizontal plane of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.  It is also evident in the vertical plane of federalism - states' powers versus federal powers.

See a chart of the influence of Biblical thought on America's legal system with Bible references.


Resources for Further Study and Application

Newsletter #245: Christian Citizenship
Includes information and links:
• Biblical Basis for Human Government
• Our National Heritage
• Political Action
• Our Family's Contribution
• God's prescribed method of political action
• The only real way to influence our nation

American Heritage Series (DVD Set)
Historian David Barton tells the true story of our nation's Christian history.

America's Godly Heritage (DVD)
Clearly sets forth the beliefs of many of the famous Founding Fathers concerning the proper role of Christian principles in education, in government, and in the public affairs of the nation.

A Nation Adrift (DVD)
"A Chronicle of America's Providential Heritage" is the true story of how God's sovereign hand guided the founders of America.




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