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The Teaching Home
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement


Number 29                                        March 1, 2003
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

Table of Contents

  • 15-Part Series on Basic Skills
  •      Reading Comprehension: Application
  •      Skill-Building Activities
  • Bible Reading & Comprehension
  •      The Unique Aspects of God's Word
  •      How To Prepare Yourself To Listen to God's Word
  •      Bible Study Tools
  •      Bible Study Methods
  •      How To Study and Interpret the Bible
  •      Topical Bible Studies
  •      Textual Study
  •      Application
  • Recommended Resources
  •      STEM International
  •      Christian Book Clearinghouse
  •      Little Cottage Homeschool Books
  •      Birch Court Books
  • Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote


         What is more important than to teach our children about God and His Word? Use the information in this issue to do Bible studies with your family and to teach them how to study the Bible on their own -- a lifetime skill of utmost value!

         Let's continue to pray for our nation, president, troops, and all those in leadership around the world.

         May you and your family find the love, joy, and peace of our Lord through His Word as you study it together.

    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.

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    15-Part Series on Basic Skills
    by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

         Our 15-part series is written to help you evaluate your children's skill levels and help them improve in those areas. Topics include (with Newsletter #):
         1. Listening (#18)
         2. Word Analysis/Phonics (#19)
         3. Vocabulary (#21)
         4. Reading Comprehension: Facts
              (Knowledge, #23)
         5. Reading Comprehension: Inferences
         (Comprehension, #25 & #26)
         6. Reading Comprehension: Generalizations
              (Analysis & Synthesis, #28; Application, #29)
         7. Spelling
         8. Capitalization & Punctuation
         9. Grammar
         10. Writing & Penmanship
         11. Visual Materials
         12. Reference Materials
         13. Math: Concepts & Computation
         14. Math: Problem Solving
         15. Thinking Skills, Logic, and Speech

    Reading Comprehension: Application
         We have been moving slowly through our consideration of "Reading Comprehension" and related topics. In this issue we will consider application.
         Application is the use of previously learned information. It can be the use of facts or skills to solve a problem, as in math, or the application of a principle to one's life, as in applying God's Word to our lives.

    Skill-Building Activities

    Personal Life
         Have your child consider principles in a story and project the outcome (cause and effect) if he applied them to his own attitudes and actions. Have him ask:

    __ What do I want to do the same as (character in story) to
         become like him and have similar results in my life?
    __ What do I want to do differently so that I will not become
         like (character in story) and have similar results in my life?
    __ What can I expect to be like if I do the things that (character
         in story) did or have the same values and attitudes?

         Help your children make applications of their daily personal or family Bible reading and study to their lives. (See information on Bible Study below.)

    Language Arts
    __ Show your children how to apply the skills taught in
         literature textbooks or study guides (see Newsletter #26)
         to understand other works they are studying.
    __ Apply the knowledge of literary elements discussed in
         literature textbooks or study guides by using them in your
         own writing.

    Math & Science
    __ In math, can your child apply rules and methods he has learned
         to solve a new problem?
    __ In science, can your child apply concepts and theories he has
         learned to design or perform experiments and predict outcomes?

         Short-Term Missions:
         Your Family or Group Can Make a Difference

              "Thanks for the opportunity to be used by God in
         Jamaica. Our family won't be the same..." -- Minnesota
         home-school family. STEM International sends
         volunteers to evangelize, assist, and strengthen
         impoverished communities. Free informational DVD.

    Bible Reading & Comprehension
         The comprehension skills, addressed as part of our on-going 15-part series of basic skills, can be applied to Bible reading and comprehension. This is the most important book for Christian home educators to teach to their children.

    1. Knowledge (Newsletter #23)
         Knowledge deals with specific facts and the ability to recall them. It would involve observation, definition, and memorization.

    __ Teach your children what God's Word is and how it is unique.
         Perhaps you could do a topical study on God's Word.
    __ Teach your children Bible stories that will give them a
         background upon which to base future knowledge.
    __ Take advantage of your children's ability to memorize facts
         and have them memorize many Bible verses.

    2. Comprehension (Newsletters #25 & #26)
         Comprehension is understanding the intended meaning.
    It is often tested by paraphrasing. (See "Bible Study" below.)

    3. Application (this Newsletter. See "Bible Study" below.)

    4. Analysis (Newsletter #28)
         Analysis is breaking down materials into their component parts and examining them. Relationships, structure, and hidden meanings are discovered. (See "Bible Study" below.)

    5. Synthesis (Newsletter #28)
         Synthesis puts the parts of the whole together again, but in a different way, to form a new whole.

    __ Do a unit study on a book or passage of the Bible. There is      complete, published unit study curriculum available from the
         companies listed below, or you can make your own following
         the guidelines in Newsletter #25.
         Education PLUS.

    __ Use some of the 100+ Creative Book Reports / Unit Study
         Activities in Newsletter #26 to report on a book, chapter,
         or portion of Scripture you are studying.

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         products limited. Offer ends 3/8/03.

    The Unique Aspects of God's Word
         There are both similarities and differences in the study of literature and the Bible because the Bible is not only a book, it is a unique book.

    * The Bible is the inspired Word of God; it is a loving God
         speaking His mind and final revelation directly to us.
    * God's Word is life transforming; it leads us to an intimate
         relationship with God, through Christ, for time and eternity.
    * God tells us to read, study, memorize, and meditate on His
         Word and promises blessings to those who do so.
    * God commands us to teach His Word to our children and talk
         to them about it throughout the day.
    * The Bible is authoritative and is the last word on all
         controversies of which it speaks.
    * God's Word is infallible (completely true and reliable) in all
         details; we can believe and trust all God's promises.

    How To Prepare Yourself To Listen to God's Word
    * Be eager to hear what God has to say to you each day.
    * Find a time and place without distractions to read your Bible.
    * Pray that God will give you understanding; He promised to.
    * Listen with an open mind; get rid of your preconceptions.
    * Be right with God; accept His salvation and confess your sins.
    * Be willing and prompt to obey all you hear.

    Bible Study Tools
         Bible reference books can greatly help you study God's Word.

    * Exhaustive Concordance (Lists all the verses that contain a
         certain English, Hebrew, or Greek word.)
    * Cross Reference or Chain Reference (Column or footnotes in
         Bible that list primary related passages.)
    * Bible Dictionary or Encyclopedia (Defines and explains items
         of biblical context or culture.)
    * Hebrew & Greek Lexicons (Defines Hebrew or Greek words and
         gives alternate translations.)
    * Subject Index or Topical Bible (Lists passages that are
         related to each topic.)
    * Interlinear Bible (Gives original Hebrew or Greek with an
         English translation line by line.)
    * Parallel Bible (Two or more translations side by side.)
    * Bible Handbooks or Surveys (Gives background information,
         themes, outlines, summaries, and brief commentary.)
    * Maps, Charts, Timelines.
    * Commentaries (Gives the thoughts of various Bible scholars;
         always check these against God's Word.)
    * Study Bible (Contains some of the above helps.)

         You can build your own Bible reference library book by book. Many of these study helps are available free online at:

         Save 15% - 50% on New and Used Curriculum
         at Little Cottage Homeschool Books!

              With one simple click on-line, you'll find great
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         We homeschool too, so we understand what you need!

    Bible Study Methods
         Bible study methods can be grouped into two categories:
    1. Topical Studies that gather information on a certain topic      from throughout the whole Bible.
    2. Textual Studies that seek to master one section of Scripture
         at a time.
         Both categories rely on the inductive study method which gathers and examines all the pertinent details and information on a given subject and then makes the necessary deductions to come to a conclusion. Hence, the whole truth is established.
         For both methods, record your study in a notebook or on a word processor.

    How To Study and Interpret the Bible
         The frequent reading of the entire Bible can help prevent error by having a broad perspective of the whole Word of God.
         A minimum goal would be to read through the Bible each year, which takes only about 15 minutes a day. You can start at any time (not only Jan. 1). For several Bible reading schedules see

         Rules for Interpretation
         The same rules of grammatical and literary construction and interpretation used in the study of literature can be used in your Bible study.
         Although most of the Bible is straightforward and clear, the following principles will help ensure that you come to an accurate understanding of God's words to you.

    * Proper attitudes and preparation (see above) are essential.
    * Study and stay true to the context of the passage.
    * Use standard word definitions and grammar rules.
    * Look up unique, important, or difficult vocabulary words in a
         Greek or Hebrew lexicon and/or an older English dictionary
         for use with KJV.
    * Observe literary forms such as imagery, figures of speech,
         types, symbols, parables, or Hebrew poetic form.
    * Use a concordance to look up related passages; Scripture will
         always agree with itself when correctly understood. Use clear
         passages to interpret unclear passages.

         Areas for Study
    * Backgrounds of history, geography, and customs.
    * Author (writer through whom God spoke) and his background.
    * Description and analysis of the characters.
    * Order of events.
    * Allusions (references to other literature, mythology,
         history, cultural items, historical figures and events).
    * Purpose of the communication and original audience.
    * What the passage reveals about God and about man.
    * The subject and theme of the passage.
    * Questions or related issues of interest for further Bible or
         other study.

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    1. Topical Bible Studies
         These include studies of a topic, word, doctrine, person, character quality, or nation.

    __ Use an exhaustive concordance and search out every paragraph
         in the Bible that contains a word related to your subject (e.g.,
         patience, endurance, forbearance, longsuffering).
    __ You may need to subdivide your topic into smaller areas, or
         add related areas.

         Character Studies
         For a study of a person, look for:
    * How the social and political atmosphere affected him.
    * His family and early training.
    * His accomplishments.
    * A crisis he faced and his response to it.
    * His character traits and their development.
    * His friends, their character, their influence on him, and
         his influence on them.
    * His relationship with God including prayer, faith, service,
         knowledge of God and his Word.
    * Faults or sins, their circumstances, nature, and effects.
    * His children.
    * Lessons from his life that will help to enrich your life.

         Word Study
    __ Study one word such as "faith," "repentance," or "love."
    __ Look up the Hebrew or Greek word(s) from which it is
         translated in a concordance and see how the word is used
         elsewhere in the Bible.

    2. Textual Study
         Take a portion of Scripture to study -- a section such as the major prophets or the Gospels, a book, a chapter, or a paragraph.

         Book Study
    __ Read the complete passage at one sitting to get the
         overview. Read it over several more times, at least once aloud.
    __ Divide the book into natural divisions and give each a
         descriptive heading.
    __ List the ideas presented chapter by chapter and make an
    __ What is the principal subject and lesson of each chapter?
    __ Choose key verses for the main themes and memorize them.
    __ Note the persons or main characters mentioned (see "Character
         Studies" above).
    __ Look for repeated words (including synonyms), items in a
         series, comparisons and contrasts.
    __ Look for key words that would indicate a reason, summary,
         result, or purpose (e.g., therefore, because, then).
    __ Summarize each chapter with a paragraph.

         Chapter Study
         Select a book and study the chapters in order. Follow the study methods used for a book (above).

         Paragraph Study
         In your Bible study, use the grammatical structure of a paragraph as the smallest passage to study. A single verse often does not contain enough context for good understanding.

    __ Determine the topic of the paragraph.
    __ How does it relate to the immediate context and to the rest
         of the chapter or book?
    __ What similar passages speak about the same topic?
    __ Summarize the paragraph in a sentence.

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         The study of God's Word is for the purpose of applying it to our lives. This list of questions will help you form specific applications.

    __ How does this subject relate to me and what I am going through
         in my life now?
    __ What did God directly tell me to do, or not to do?
    __ What good example was provided for me to follow or a bad
         example or error that I should avoid?
    __ What promise was given for me to believe?
    __ Is there a prayer for me to echo?
    __ What definite action will I commit myself to? (Write it down
         with a detailed plan or first step to take.)

    Sunny Side Up: Shur Thing!
         One day I noticed that underneath the title of his phonics book, "Phonics Is Fun," my son had written, "Shur!"
         Sent by Kathy D., Texas.
         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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