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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
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"Home School Business Opportunity" is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.


The Teaching Home
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

Volume II, Number 18                                 Nov. 5, 2002

You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

Table of Contents

  • New 15-Part Series on Basic Skills
  •      Part 1: Listening
  •      Principles of Listening
  •      10 Listening Practice Activities
  • Veterans Day (U.S.A.)
  •      Remembrance Day (Canada)
  • Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote


    Have You Voted?
         This is a crucial and close election with much at stake for the direction and future of our nation!
         Your vote is an awesome responsibility. It will count even more because of the lower turnout of voters.

    Please Pray:
    * That all Christians will vote!
    * That Christians will vote prayerfully and wisely.
    * That integrity will prevail in the voting process.

    New 15-Part Series on Basic Skills
         In this issue we are beginning a 15-part series to help you evaluate and strengthen your children's basic skills in academics. These articles will discuss the topics, give you practical activities to do, and help you apply principles to everyday life.
         Not surprisingly, we, as home-school parents, can also benefit from improving many of these skills ourselves! (See article below.)

    Sue Welch
    for Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
    The Teaching Home is a home-school family business produced in our home since 1980.

    Build Your Back-Issue Library
    Visit The Teaching Home's On-Line Store
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         * Select from 51 Never-Out-of-Date Back Issues
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         * Each Issue Is Pictured and All Articles Are Listed
         * Practical How-Tos & Teaching Tips
         * Inspiration & Encouragement

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

    15-Part Series on Basic Skills

         You can evaluate your children's skill levels and help them improve in those areas where you see a need by using these practical ideas for learning activities.
         These 15 skill areas are similar to those that are included on standardized tests.
         This series is based on and expanded from an article by Dr. Harold Wengert in the October/November 1989 Teaching Home. Topics will include:

         1. Listening
         2. Word Analysis
         3. Vocabulary
         4. Reading Comprehension: Facts
         5. Reading Comprehension: Inferences
         6. Reading Comprehension: Generalizations
         7. Spelling
         8. Capitalization
         9. Punctuation
         10. Usage
         11. Visual Materials
         12. Reference Materials
         13. Math: Concepts
         14. Math: Computation
         15. Math: Problem Solving

    Part 1: Listening

         Listening is a foundational skill for obtaining knowledge and wisdom. After the purpose of the Book of Proverbs is stated in 1:1-7, the next verse reads:

         "Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
         And do not forsake your mother's teaching."

         Do not confuse listening with simply hearing sounds. Listening is an important skill and habit that must be purposefully developed by each of us and used in every area of our lives and throughout our lives.

    Academics & Work:
    * Listening is a prime way to learn.
    * Good listening helps you learn more efficiently.
    * Good listening helps you make less mistakes on the job.

    Interpersonal Relationships:
    * Listening improves your interpersonal relationships.
    * Good listening helps you understand others.
    * Listening is a wonderful gift to give to those you love.

    "Listening" continued below.

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    Principles of Listening

         These principles can apply to anyone in any situation and should be taught and modeled to our children.
         Have a goal to establish good listening habits for each family member.

    1. Prepare yourself to listen.
    * Pray that you can truly listen and understand.
    * Find a time and place that is conducive to listening.
    * Stop what you are doing and look at the person speaking.

    2. Listen attentively.
    * Eliminate or shut out distractions as much as possible.
    * Sit or stand near the speaker.
    * Listen quietly and don't interrupt.
    * Pay attention and concentrate on what is being said.
    * Listen reflectively; think about what you hear.
    * Don't be thinking of your reply while the other person
         is speaking.
    * Recognize what nonverbal language (facial expressions,
         gestures, and tone) is communicating.
    * If your attention wanders during a sermon or speech,
         change your position or breathe deeply.
    * Take notes if appropriate.

    3. Listen with an open mind.
    * Eliminate your prejudices or critical spirit concerning
         the speaker, his delivery style, or his subject matter.
    * Don't form rebuttals and argue mentally.

    4. Encourage the speaker.
    * Acknowledge by responses that you are listening and
         understand by maintaining good eye contact, smiling, nodding
         your head, or short comments like, "I see," or "Yes."
    * Ask questions if you do not understand.
    * Ask open-ended questions that lead to further sharing.
         (e.g., "Tell me more" or "Tell me about your day.")
    * Empathize; let the speaker know you understand his feelings.
    * Summarize and paraphrase back to the speaker what you
         heard; check to see if it was what was meant. Use "You feel"
         or "You mean."

    5. Assimilate.
    * Look for positive and helpful ideas or suggestions.
    * Determine what the main point is.
    * Recognize any underlying or outright plea for help.
    * Reply only after the speaker has finished his thoughts and
         you have verified that you understand them.
    * Evaluate facts, evidence, and logic.
    * Evaluate the message from a biblical worldview in the
         light of God's written word.
    * If appropriate, apply the message to yourself and/or plan
         to take any necessary action.


         Discuss these principles of good listening with your family and see how you can apply them as you:

    * Listen to God
    * Listen to your spouse
    * Listen to your children or parents
    * Listen to sermons and speeches
    * Listen to friends, relatives, and neighbors

         Listening to others builds relationships and leads to increased opportunities to influence others for good.

    "Listening" continued below.

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    10 Listening Practice Activities

         Use everyday activities to improve listening skills, and practice until good listening become a habit.
         Many of these activities can also be done by an older child with a younger child. This builds skills in both children.

         A Note about Learning Styles. You may have observed that your child prefers to learn, and learns most easily, through his sense of hearing, sight, or touch. If one of your children is weak in the auditory (hearing) avenue of learning or if he is a young child just developing learning skills, you can use the following activities to teach and/or strengthen his listening skills.

         1. When stories are read aloud, ask lots of questions about the story. (Note: Parts 4-6 of this 15-part series will address reading comprehension and provide useful questions to ask.)

         2. Give your child a reason for listening. Before reading a story, ask questions that are to be answered when you finish reading.

         3. Give oral instructions in your daily activities only once. Be sure to get your child's attention first and speak clearly and distinctly. This will encourage your child to listen.

         4. Ask your child to draw a picture or a map route using oral directions.

         5. Have your child do a series of physical actions based on a sequence of oral directions (e.g., hop two times, turn around, touch the ground, stand up, and reach for the sky). Start simply and add to the number of steps and the complexity of the directions.

         6. Have your child interview other family members and repeat the details back to you.

         7. Have your child read his own lessons aloud into a tape recorder and then replay the lessons. Both reading and hearing the lesson helps build listening skills.

         8. Have an older child listen to a short radio message or news broadcast and then write a summary of all or part of it afterwards.

         9. Practice listening to each other. For example, at the dinner table when one person is talking, have everyone pay close attention and then check up by asking questions.

         10. Have your child listen to a clapping rhythm and repeat it back to you.

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    Veterans Day: November 11th

         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. In the United States, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day. The United Kingdom celebrates November 11 as Armistice Day, and Canada celebrates November 11 as Remembrance Day.

         Besides teaching your children the history and significance of this holiday, you could do one of the following.

         1. Thank someone in your own extended family who has served in the military. Send a 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. If you know a veteran without a family nearby or a young person currently serving in the armed forces, "adopt" them and pray for them.

    Links for More Information & Activities

    Annie's Veterans Day Page. Links to Army, Navy, Air
         Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. Study of the word
         "honor," many crafts, and Armor of God.

    Annie's Remembrance Day Page (Canada)

    Department of Veterans Affairs Official Veterans Day Website

    Help hospitalized Veterans

    Internet Access to Names of Servicepersonnel. Along with
         the names of the 2,711,284 Vietnam War servicepersonnel and
         the 1,104,770 Gulf War servicepersonnel are more than 18
         million listings on servicepersonnel ranging from
         pre-Revolutionary War Service to the present. (You must
         download special software from their web page.)

    Sunny Side Up: Literal Math
         My husband told our 6-year-old son, "Chris, split these candies with your brother 50/50."
         Our oldest turned to his dad and asked excitedly, "There are 100 in here?"
         by Marilyn P., Oklahoma
         You are also invited to submit your humorous anecdote.

    God Loves You.
         Because we were separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus Christ 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).

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