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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 30 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

The Herald Angels Sing

by Charles Wesley

Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King;

Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"

Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;

With th'angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Christ, by highest Heav'n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;

Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th'incarnate Deity,

Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

Hail the heav'nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.

Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.

Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;

Rise, the woman's conqu'ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent's head.

Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;

Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Adam's likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:

Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.

Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:

O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

The Gospel in Charles Wesley's Christmas Carol

Read "The Gospel in Charles Wesley's Christmas Carol."

The above carol, Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing, includes references to Messianic prophecies pointing to the birth of the Messiah, as well as themes of what Christ did for us.

Scripture verses are given for words of the song, making for a meaningful study for your family.

Free Christmas E-books
and Unit Studies

Christmas Planners

Christmas Planner

"Tips for Organizing & Simplifying Your Way to the Christmas You've Always Dreamed Of" includes budget, scheduling, gifts, shopping, traditions, cards, decorating, baking, charity, plus printables.  24-pages.
•  Free pdf e-book.

December 2010 Homeschool/Family Planner

22 pages of printable forms.
•  Free pdf e-book.

Christmas Unit Studies

Christmas Holiday Helper

Living Books Curriculum presents picture study, copywork, and stories. 22-pages.
•  Free pdf e-book.

A Blessed Christmas Unit Study

This unit study is about the symbols of Christmas – each one pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ. The entire focus is on Christ, His character, our service to Him, and our opportunity to spread His light to others.  This 24-day study has been expanded with many activities.  49-pages.
•  Free pdf e-book.
•  Free online html version.
•  Free original, short (non-expanded) html version.

The Names of Jesus Unit Study

Each of 24 days you will study one of the Names of Jesus.  Includes Bible and character study, learning activities, a Christmas Journal, and more.
•  Free 149-page expanded version in .doc format.
•  Free original, short (non-expanded) html version.

Good Christian Men Rejoice!

This unit is a study of 15 Christmas carols and hymns with learning activities.
•  Free html version.

Christmas Around the World

Information, activities, recipes, coloring pages, etc.  Includes Japan, Australia, Egypt, England, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Mexico, Spain, Ireland, and Colonial America.  Not overtly Christian, but nothing objectionable.  46 pages.
•  Free pdf e-book.

Christmas Unit Studies

This index page links to many possibilities to include in your Christmas unit study, including links to resources, lapbooking units, coloring pages, learning activities, complete unit studies, and more.  Not overtly Christian.
•  Free online html version.
•  Christmas Unit Study - Bible.

Christmas Activities

Christmas Worksheets

Crossword puzzles, word search, etc. based on Luke 2:1-20.  Includes answer key.
41 pages.
•  Free pdf e-book.

Annie's Christmas Welcome Page

On this page you will find all my different Christmas pages listed.  Annie's Holiday Pages are written from a Christian Perspective!

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Then you will want to check out the Resource E-Mails that come to your mail box!

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Teaching Home
Back Issues

Fifty-one Back Issues
are offered for sale online.

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

It's There for the Taking

Hannah, our 4-year-old, was playing with one of our electronic educational games.  I knew she didn't understand it, so I asked here what she was doing.

Rather mater-of-factly, Hannah replied, "I'm getting my education."

Submitted by Janet B., Georgia.

Send your humorous anecdote to

Peace with God

For it was the Father's (God) good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him (Jesus Christ),

and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself,

having made peace through the blood of His cross ...

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,

yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death,

in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.

(Colossians 1:19-22)

God loves you.

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

Man was separated from God by sin.

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)

The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.

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

We must personally receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.

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)

God's Word

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

The Teaching Home's
Unique Bible Reading Schedule

Features include:
•  Start any month.
•  Read 6 days a week
   (allows for church on Sunday).
•  Read 4 weeks per month
   (24 days per month).

Online at

Listen to the Bible Online.  Choose from six English versions (plus Spanish and other languages) at

Search God's Word at  Options include Passage Lookup, Keyword Search, and Topical Index.

Christian Music Online 24/7!

Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) when you tune in to these online stations:

 •  Old Christian Radio

 •  Abiding Radio


We need your help!

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 In This Issue 

Christmas Bible Study:
Devotionals and Activities

1.   Be Devoted to the Lord
2.   Read the Story
3.   Study the Story
4.   Dramatize the Story
5.   Apply the Story of God's Love
6.   Sing about the Story


•  The Gospel in Charles Wesley's Christmas Carol
•  Free Christmas E-books and Unit Studies

 Recommended Resources 

•  Birch Court Books: Gifts To Delight and Enrich
•  Keepers of the Faith: Gems of Christian Literature
•  Sing 'n Learn: Hundreds of Audio Gifts


In this issue we present suggestions for focusing on the wonder of God's love for us and His provision for our salvation through the birth, death, and resurrection of His Son.

Since "Jesus is the reason for the season," we should not become so busy that we do not have time for Him.

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.

Gifts To Delight and Enrich

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Find Family-Safe Board Games at

1.  Be Devoted to the Lord

We show our devotion to the Lord by spending time with Him, listening to His Word and talking to Him in prayer.

Family Bible time, or devotions, should be a Christian family's first priority each day—not as a long or complicated duty, but as the privilege it is.

 •  Establish the Habit
Firmly establishing a habit of meeting together will greatly facilitate this time together with the Lord.  Set aside a time each day, perhaps while everyone is still at the breakfast or dinner table or before going to bed at night.

 •  Read God's Word
Let God talk to you by reading His Word.  You can read through the Bible each year in just 15-20 minutes a day (See schedules).

 •  Study God's Word
Take a few minutes to discuss what you've read.  Recall facts, test comprehension with questions, expand understanding by having your children paraphrasing what was read.

 •  Apply God's Word
Determine to do something about what you have read, such as share the truth with someone or change something in your life.

 •  Memorize God's Word
Memorizing and reviewing Bible verses together implants God's Word in your hearts for life!

 •  Pray
When you talk to the the Lord, thank the Lord for what He has done for you (come to earth to die for our sins); ask for forgiveness; and bring petitions for the needs of ourselves and others.

 •  Sing
Sing praises to the Lord through hymns and spiritual songs.

Suggestions for following this model at Christmas time are included in the rest of this newsletter.

2.  Read the Story

One of the most meaningful family traditions you can pass on to your children is reading the story of Christ's birth together.

Read and Discuss the Bible Story

 •  Read and discuss Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1:5-2:38.

 •  And/or listen to the Bible reading on an audio tape, CD, free online), or watch a video with word-for-word Scripture (Matthew: Visual Bible).

 •  Add explanations for your younger children as you read.

Compare Accounts

 •  Notice the different details given in the Matthew and Luke accounts.

 •  Read the accounts of Jesus' birth from "A Harmony of the Story of Jesus" which brings together all the relevant verses from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John rearranged by subject and approximate chronological order.

 •  Read about the incarnation of Jesus in John 1:1-18.  How does this account differ in viewpoint, etc.?

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see a list of melodies, hear samples, and order.

Classical Magic, Themes to Remember CD/Book
Lyrics set to 127 classical music themes teach both composer and composition. 4 volumes. Pre-K through high school. (This program has nothing to do with magic.)

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15% Off on Set of Four.  Uses the time-tested principle of repetition.  Bonus mini-course in music appreciation.

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Classical music and story books. 12 sets (each teaching a different character quality) plus teacher's guides.

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3.  Study the Story

Further study brings many rich truths to bear on the simple story of Christ's birth.

 •  Recall facts, test comprehension with questions, expand understanding by having your children paraphrase what was read.

 •  Explain and discuss the names given to the promised Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 and the character quality each reveals.

 •  Find and study the prophecies in the Old Testament predicting the coming of the Messiah and their fulfillment in the New Testament such as His virgin birth, Bethlehem to be the place of His birth, and His suffering.  Many are listed online here.

Doctrine for Children

Don't be afraid of the word "doctrine"; it simply means "teaching." Children can understand important foundational truths from Scripture, such as:

 •  The Virgin Birth: Jesus had no human father, only a mother. (Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:34-35; Isaiah 7:14)

 •  The Incarnation: Jesus is both fully God and fully man. (John 1:1-3, 14; 14:6-11; Colossians 1:12-18, 2:6-9, Isaiah 43:11, 45:21-22)

Why Jesus Came

Look up some of the following Scriptures, and discuss the reasons that Jesus came.

1. To Redeem Man

 •  To seek and save the lost as a shepherd. (Luke 19:10; Matthew 18:11; John 10:1-30; Isaiah 53.6; I Peter 5:2-4; 2:25; Matthew 9:36; Hebrews 13:20)

 •  To give His life as a ransom. (Matthew 20:28; Romans 6)

 •  To save sinners by bearing our sins and paying our penalty. (Romans 6:23; Isaiah 53:5; I Timothy 1:15; I Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28)

 •  To put away sin. (Hebrews 9:26; I John 3:5; John 1:29; Leviticus 16:20-22; Isaiah 53:6; II Corinthians 5:21)

 •  To give eternal life to those dead in sin. (Ephesians 2:1-6)

 •  To give re-birth and adoption as God's children to all who receive Him in faith. (Galatians 4:1-7; John 1:12)

 •  To conquer death through His death and resurrection. (I Corinthians 15:20-22; Revelations 21:4; II Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14-15)

 •  To remove enmity and establish fellowship and friendship with man. (I John 1; Romans 8:7; John 15;3-15)

2. To Reveal the Character of God

 •  To reveal the Father and to demonstrate the great love of God for all men. (Romans 5:8; II Timothy 2:4; Matthew 11:27; John 14:9)

 •  To provide a pattern of holy living. (I Peter 2:21; Matthew 11:29)

 •  To demonstrate patience, humility, and obedience. (Philippians 2:5-8; I Peter 2:21-23; Hebrews 5:8; John 6:38)

3. To Fulfill Prophecy and the Law

 •  To fulfill prophecy. (Matthew 5:17; Romans 15:8)

 •  To fulfill and abolish the law. (Ephesians 2:13-15; Matthew 5:17-18)

 •  To be a faithful high priest and the mediator between God and man. (I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17)

 •  To remove the veil and open the Holy Place to us. (Hebrews 6:19-20; 9; 10:19-22)

4.  Dramatize the Story

Your younger children may comprehend and remember the story of Christ's birth better through any of the following activities.

Make a Nativity Set

 •  Make a playdough, dough art, or clay nativity set. You could shape the figures like the "Little People" toys.

 •  See instructions for a nativity scene on pages 38-39 of Morton Salt's Free 42-page e-book, "Dough It Yourself" Handbook.

 •  Stuffable Nativity sets are great for very young children to play with.

Make and Use Puppets

Tell the story of Jesus' birth using felt, puppets, or unbreakable nativity figures.

 •  Easy-to-Make Bible Story Puppets by Valerie Bendt. Patterns and directions for making 40 inexpensive and durable felt hand puppets ($8).

 •  Sock puppet instructions here and here.

 •  Finger puppet patterns and instructions.

 •  Easy and inexpensive puppet stage ideas.

Act Out the Story

Help your children act out the story.

 •  They can play multiple parts and use stuffed animals as props.

 •  Costumes can be as simple as a scarf or bathrobe.

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Happy Reading!

5.  Apply the Story of God's Love

The story of the life of Christ reveals a loving God who is seeking a personal relationship with you. Through faith in Jesus Christ, His substitutionary death for you, and His resurrection, you can have forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and eternal life.

God's Love

Explain and discuss the following verses.

"Herein is love, not that we loved God,
    but that he loved us,
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
    (1 John 4:10)

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

"The Lord is patient toward you,
    not wishing for any to perish
but for all to come to repentance."
    (II Peter 3:9)

God's Gift

Compare receiving a gift to how a person receives God's forgiveness and eternal life by accepting it as an undeserved gift by faith.

"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 the wages of sin is death,
    but the free gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord."
    (Romans 6:23)

"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)

Our Response

Ask each of your children who understands if he has accepted this gift.

 •  Ask the Lord to help you lead your child to Him in saving faith if he has not been saved.

 •  Memorize some of the Scripture passages above or others that speak of God's love to us.

 •  Pray and thank the Lord for His love and gift of salvation.

6.  Sing about the Story

Music adds so much to our celebrations. It is also a way to teach and remind our family of spiritual truths.

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
    with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one
another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
    singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."
    (Colossians 3:16)

 •  Sing Together
Gather your family together to sing Christmas carols during your family devotional time or as an activity at some other time.

See words and music for 424 Christmas hymns and songs at Net Hymnal. Also look for the theme of Christ's coming in other hymns not usually considered Christmas carols (e.g., "One Day," "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," "That Beautiful Name," and "Ivory Palaces."

 •  Learn the Story Behind the Music
Learn the history of our Christmas music (see the link above for Christmas hymns).

 •  Read Song Lyrics as Poems
Some of these songs are quite profound in their doctrinal teachings and can be read as poems. In fact, we can sometimes appreciate the words better by concentrating on them without the music before we sing them.

 •  Listen to Handel's "Messiah"
Handel's Oratorio "Messiah" speaks of Christ's life, death, and resurrection:
Words and the Scriptures to which they refer
Open Score (complete words and music)
"For unto Us a Child Is Born" (listen online)
Low-cost MP3 of Handel's Messiah
Handel's Messiah DVD plus documentary and booklet


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