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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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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

Veterans Day
November 11

Veterans Day

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.

Teaching about Veterans Day

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made a Free Teacher Resource Guide for Veterans Day 2009 available online.

The student resources in this 33-page guide includes World War II history, origins of Veterans Day, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, America's wars, plus activities and coloring pages for younger students.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, says in the introduction:

"America has a sacred trust to care for those who defend her.  From the warriors who stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day to the brave men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan – our Veterans share a legacy of service that upholds the values upon which our Nation was founded: service to a cause greater than self."

Activities for Veterans Day

Besides teaching your children the history and significance of this holiday, consider doing one of the following activities.

1. Thank someone in your own extended family or church who has served (or is serving) in the military.  Send an e-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.

4. Encourage others to pray throughout the year for our military and those sacrificially serving.  See Veterans Day Call to Prayer Kit.

Veterans Day Video Resources

The following resources are available from, featuring economical and trustworthy, downloadable audio and video content for the Christian family.

 •  Why We Fight: World War II

 •  The Stilwell Road

 •  The League of Grateful Sons

 •  The Battle of Midway

 •  Big Battles of World War II

More Information & Activities
for Veterans Day

 •  Annie's Veterans Day Page with links to Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. Includes a study of the word "honor" and the Armor of God, plus crafts.

 •  Annie's Remembrance Day Page (Canada).

 •  Department of Veterans Affairs Official Veterans Day Website.

 •  Articles on Ethics and War on the Officers' Christian Fellowship website.

Am I a Soldier
of the Cross?

Am I a Soldier
of the Cross?

by Isaac Watts

Am I a soldier of the cross,
   A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
   Or blush to speak His Name?

Must I be carried to the skies
   On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win
      the prize,
   And sailed through bloody

Are there no foes for me to face?
   Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
   To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
   Increase my courage, Lord.
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
   Supported by Thy Word.

 •  Free 4-page Worksheet on this hymn by Beverly Schmitt at  Includes vocabulary, word pictures, writing mechanics, comprehension questions, Scripture references and discussion, information about the author/poet, history, geography, and activities.

 •  See a short biography of Isaac Watts, 1674-1748, and a list of 518 hymns he wrote on the Cyberhymnal website.

Song Writing Contest

The deadline for Jean Welles annual contest for original worship songs is November 15.

See complete information, read "How To Write a Worship Song," and listen to past contest entries at

for Thanksgiving

Recommended resources – Order now for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Tract

 •  A Prayer for Thanksgiving

From The Learning Parent

 •  Celebrate Thanksgiving Unit Study

 •  Thanksgiving Craft Package

 •  Landing of the Pilgrims

 •  The First Thanksgiving

From Children's Books

 •  Squanto and the First Thanksgiving

 •  If You Were at the First Thanksgiving

 •  Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims

 •  Pilgrims of Plimoth

 •  Mayflower Pilgrims

 •  Stories of the Pilgrims and Answer Key

 •  Mayflower Secret (Trailblazer)

 •  If You Sailed on the Mayflower

 •  Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton

From Vision Forum

 •  Thanksgiving Set (includes the following four items, which can be ordered separately)

 •  A Light Kindled

 •  Thanksgiving Primer

 •  Of Plymouth Plantation

 •  Landmarks and Liberty

From Steward Ship

 •  Complete Unit Study on Pilgrims (includes eight resources, which can be ordered separately)

From Sing 'n Learn

 •  Assorted Thanksgiving Resources

 •  Stories Of The Pilgrims, Audio Book On MP3 CD

 •  Legend Of Squanto, Pilgrim of The Heart from Focus on the Family Radio Theatre


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.)

Don't Miss a Newsletter!

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•  See our archives of more than 200 newsletters online.

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The Teaching Home
Back Issues

Teaching Home Back Issues

Fifty-one back issues are offered online or by mail order.

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

He Saw Right Through
That One

We were studying inventions and noted the many inventions around us.  When I mentioned windows, my one son said, "I know who invented windows."

Feeling rather impressed by my son's knowledge, I asked him who.

He replied, "Bill Gates!"

Submitted by Rachel K., Virginia.

Send your humorous anecdote to

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

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

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)


We need your help!

Please help us make this newsletter better by letting us know what we are doing correctly, where we need to improve, and topics you would like addressed.

E-mail us today!

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In This Issue

Overcoming Learning Obstacles

by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors, with contributions from Joy Marie Dunlap and Chris Ellyson

   1.  Your Response to Obstacles
   2.  Readiness
   3.  Prerequisites
   4.  Understanding
   5.  Pace or Depth
   6.  Discipline
   7.  Motivation
   8.  Various Other Problems


•  Veterans Day: November 11

•  Am I a Soldier of the Cross?

•  Resources for Thanksgiving

Recommended Resources

•  Keepers of the Faith: Christian Reading
•  HOMESCHOOLOPOLY: Homeschool Board Game
•  Logos Language Institute: Foreign Languages


Sooner or later every child runs into a roadblock on their road of learning. How will you and your child react? How will you know what the problem is? What can you do to help your child?

You will find many practical suggestions for overcoming learning obstacles in this issue. We hope that you will find them useful and that the Lord will 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.

The Gems of Christian Literature on Sale Now!

    Are you looking for the absolute best in Christian literature?

    We have sifted through hundreds of old books to seek out the very best gems for you and your family to enjoy!

    These stories honor the Lord, edify families, and provide examples of Christian character for children.

Save Now!  Receive $1 off each already-low-priced book!

Keepers of the Faith

See the Reviews and Order Securely Online at   906-663-6881

Happy Reading!

1.  Your Response to Obstacles
     Your First and Most Important Strategy

When a problem arises, it is common for immediate reactions to be anxiety, frustration, or stress – for both you and your child.  Instead, follow these three steps as your first response.

1.  Don't Panic

In most cases there is no need for excessive worry.  It is normal for any child to run across things he does not understand right away.  If you expect this to happen from time to time, and know what to do when it does happen, your home school can be a less stressful experience for you and your child.

If your child senses that you deem this a major crisis, he may experience anxiety and a sense of failure which could contribute to a mental block against the subject in which he is having difficulty.

2.  Pray for Wisdom

God is there for us, waiting to show us the way to handle our problems if we will only ask and wait patiently on Him.  He promises to grant us wisdom if we ask it of Him.

     "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)

3.  Reassure Your Child

Pray with your child, asking the Lord to help you teach, and to help him understand, the problem material.  Tell him that God will certainly help you find a way to help him understand.

Teaching your child that, when facing any problem, he should first call upon our loving heavenly Father is an important spiritual and life-skill lesson.  The opportunity to teach and model this lesson is more important than the academic lesson.

Trusting the Lord can help both you and your child to regain calmness and confidence.

Your prayer together will also let your child know that you care about his problems.

Identifying and Overcoming Obstacles

Be willing to take whatever time is necessary to help your child over his learning hurdle:

 •  Especially if it is in an area of basic skills such as reading, writing, or math.

 •  Even if it takes weeks.

You will be further ahead at the end of the year if you stop to clear up an obstacle and then go on, than if you continued to struggle the entire time.

2.  Readiness
     Starting at the Very Beginning

Readiness is more likely to be an issue with children under the age of 9-12.

Identify the Problem

Ask yourself if your child is emotionally, physically, and neurologically ready to learn the material.

As an observant parent, you will know that the answer is not necessarily based on what other children are ready for at this age or even what else this child is ready for.

Work on the Solution

 •  You might wait and try again in a few weeks or months.

 •  Offer readiness activities to prepare your child for this new learning challenge.

3.  Prerequisites
     Building from the Ground Up

Some subjects, such as reading and math, are building-block subjects.  If your child does not have a firm grasp of earlier concepts, it can cause problems with all subsequent work.

Identify the Problem

To find out exactly where your child is having trouble and if it is a result of inadequate mastery of prerequisite knowledge or skills:

 •  Break the problem or concept down into its smallest parts.

 •  Test your child separately on each area.

 •  Work from the simplest step up to the most difficult.

 •  Take time to observe your child's reasoning closely.

Work on the Solution

Pick Up a Missing Prerequisite.  When you find the gap in your child's knowledge, set aside your scheduled curriculum and take time to master the missing concept or skill.  This will often include items such as:

 •  Basic math facts and processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

 •  Rules of phonics sounds.

 •  Sentence structure and grammar.

Review.  Going back over previously studied material can show you the concepts your child did not understand thoroughly, and can reinforce his skills as well.

The ONLY Homeschool Board Game in the World!

HOMESCHOOLOPOLY combines all the fun and
educational qualities of the old fashioned family favorite,
while celebrating the best of homeschooling.

Save 40% – Only $20.99 / Plus FREE U.S. Shipping!

(Sale price thru 12/15/09 is 40% savings off $35.99 retail.)

4.  Understanding
     Looking Beneath the Surface

Sometimes the obstacle may be a surprise to us; something that our child has misunderstood or failed to understand.

Identify the Problem

Talk to your child and ask him to explain to you, the best he can, what problem he is having and if there is anything that doesn't make sense to him.

Work on the Solution

When you know what is bothering your child, explain the concept(s) in new ways until he really gets it.


"Recently our daughter could not understand the concept of rounding money values to the nearest dollar. I decided to take time to elicit her perspective. She told me that it didn't seem honest to her to call $2.55 "three dollars."

"Realizing that she could not understand why we would round a dollar amount, I showed her how estimating the amount I spent while shopping allowed me to stay within our budget.

"She tackled rounding and estimation enthusiastically after that. It was as if the explanation had moved a gigantic boulder out of her path." - Joy Marie Dunlap

5.  Pace or Depth
     Enough Time; Enough Practice

Sometimes your curriculum or schedule goes too quickly without enough practice or review for your child to thoroughly understand and master the material or concepts.

Other times, your curriculum might not include enough depth. Your child might need more information in order to truly understand the subject.

Provide More Time

 •  Slow down and take more time for each lesson.

 •  Try cutting your lessons in half and mastering smaller chunks of material each day.

 •  Schedule a series of separate lessons to supplement the problem area.

 •  Take one concept at a time until your child is clear in his understanding.

Provide More Material

 •  Use visuals such as globes, maps, timelines, books, and videos.

 •  Incorporate experiments, demonstrations, and hands-on projects.

 •  Check out library books that simplify and illustrate concepts.

 •  Use a different curriculum that teaches the concepts more slowly and thoroughly.

 •  Discuss concepts with your child.

Provide More Practice

 •  Use flash cards and math manipulatives.

 •  Use learning games of all kinds.

 •  Buy a reproducible worksheet course and make multiple copies of worksheets for extra practice.

 •  Design your own activities or worksheets which reinforce concepts.

6.  Discipline
     Is It a Factor?

There are two mistakes that can be made when you consider discipline as a factor in your child's learning problem.

 •  Assuming that discipline is an issue when it isn't.

 •  Assuming that discipline is not an issue when it is.

Identifying the Problem

 •  If your child outright refuses to try to work through his problem, then overt rebellion is being manifested.

 •  If your child finds all kinds of excuses why he cannot work on his problem, then passive rebellion may be at work.

 •  If your child is genuinely trying to work on his problem with a good attitude toward you, then discipline is probably not a part of the obstacle.

Work on the Solution

If your child's problem is unwillingness to submit to your instruction and obey you, it is very important for you to work on and resolve this issue.

Basic child discipline can be quite straightforward.

 •  Read together what God says about the parent/child relationship so that your child knows that he needs to obey the Lord by honoring and obeying you.

 •  Give clear instructions for your child to obey along with your Scriptural, moral, or practical reasons when appropriate.

 •  Be lovingly consistent. Don't let your child's temporary discomfort from negative consequences prevent you from correcting him. You are doing him a great favor by helping him to obey the Lord. He will also gain the good and long life promised to children who honor and obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).

Don't Just Learn a Foreign Language –
Learn Words Used To Share the Gospel!

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

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

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

7.  Motivation
     Wind in the Sails

You might be able to help your child over a learning obstacle with the right kind of motivation.

Our newsletters #93 and #94 listed and expounded on the following "15 Ways To Motivate Your Child To Learn":

  1.  Appeal to Spiritual Motives

  2.  Clearly Define Goals

  3.  Reveal the Purpose of the Study

  4.  Set the Stage

  5.  Enable and Recognize Success

  6.  Capitalize on Learning Styles

  7.  Give Incentives

  8.  Get Your Child Involved

  9.  Know and Use Your Child's Interests

10.  Provide Variety

11.  Be a Good Example

12.  Maintain a Positive Relationship

13.  Employ Accountability

14.  Utilize Teamwork

15.  Make Careful Use of Competition

See complete articles in our Newsletter #93 and Newsletter #94 in our archives.

8.  Various Other Problems . . .
     . . . and Suggested Solutions

If your child is having unexplained problems, you might consider the following possible solutions:


 •  Have his eyes checked to see if he needs glasses or vision training.

 •  Have a general health check-up.

 •  Follow good habits such as:
Regular and healthy meals and snacks.
Daily outdoor exercise, such as walking.
Adequate sleep and rest.
Enough water to keep hydrated.

Study Area

Your child might do better if he is able to concentrate with less distractions such as noise, clutter, movements of other people, or visual distractions.

 •  Also make sure your child has adequate light and a comfortable place to sit and write.

 •  Sometimes it helps if you sit with, or near, him in order to encourage him to keep working or answer questions as they come up.


You might find that your child will do better overall if you switch to a different curriculum for all his subjects or just selected subjects with which he is having difficulty.  Consider a program that uses another primary method of delivery such as:

 •  Textbooks (with or without workbook)

 •  Worktexts (text combined with workbook)

 •  Unit Studies

 •  Computer Programs

 •  Video Classes

Grade Level

Your child might profit from going back a grade level in a subject that is giving him constant problems.  It is always better to get a good foundation than to keep pushing on with incomplete understanding.

Learn How To Learn

A short course in learning how to study and learn might provide your child with the resources to tackle many learning challenges throughout his life.


 •  Study Guides and Strategies

 •  Sites to Promote Academic Success

Learning Style

Consider presenting a difficult concept in your child's preferred learning style (auditory, visual, or kinesthetic) or switch to a different one than has been used.

Different Teacher

Perhaps Dad, an older sibling, or even an extended family member could take a crack at teaching an occasional tough concept or subject.

Take a Breather

Sometimes a child may get so tied in knots over a problem that your best solution is to simply leave it alone for awhile and come back to it later for a fresh start.


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