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Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #62
Inspiration, and Encouragement
January 8, 2004 /
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
Table of Contents
Part 3-B of 3-Part Series on
Computers: More on the Internet
Getting Connected to the Internet
Navigating the Internet
Communicating via the Internet
Viruses, Hoaxes, and Unwanted Visitors
Highlights-Jigsaw Party Plan Company
STEM Intíl Short Term Missions
Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote
We hope that you had a wonderful time of fellowship
your families and friends over the holidays, as well as a time of
reflection on God's Great Gift to us. We enjoyed many of the
family activities listed in our newsletter #60 ("Settlers of Catan"
board game is very popular with the older home schoolers
around our area!) and trust that you were able to use the ideas
to start your own family nights this year!
1. In This Issue
We conclude our 3-part series on computers
with more on the
Internet. We trust that this series will enable you to better
use this powerful and versatile tool in your home education.
2. It's Not Too Late To Start!
You and your family can read all of God's
Word through in
2004 by investing just 20 minutes each day. See several Bible
reading schedules at
3. We Invite You To Contribute
We (and 20,000 other home-school families!)
would love to
hear from you. See information on sending a contribution for
"Family Sketch," "Notes from Our Readers," or "Sunny Side Up" at
If you could use a little help in getting
started with school after
the holidays, see the practical encouragement and suggestions in
our newsletter #50 on "Troubleshooting Your Home School."
It includes sections on what to do if:
You Can't Seem To Get Started
Your Student Just Doesn't Get It
Your Student Is Unmotivated
You Can't Keep Up With the Housework
You Have a Baby or Toddler and Older Children
Stay warm and safe during this winter weather
Portland, Oregon, are not used to being snowed in!) and enjoy
learning with your family!
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 23-year-old, home-school family business.
Work and Play at Home!
Highlights for Children Party Plan Company
offers educational, fun toys,
games, puzzles, books and more for babies
* Great Home Business Opportunity!
* Earn generous commissions and discounted
* Learn more and share with a friend! Go to:
3-Part Series on Computers:
1: Learn To Use (Issue #58)
2: Use To Learn (Issue #59)
3: The Internet (Issue #61 & This Issue #62)
We have been discussing how systematic learning
practice can help you fill in the gaps of your computer knowledge
and develop new skills so that you can use your computer to its
Getting Connected to the Internet
There are four things that are necessary in order
to the Internet. The capacity and speed of each will determine
how quickly a website will load and, therefore, how pleasant and
time-efficient your use of the Internet will be. These four
factors will be working together, and any one could be a weak
link to slow down the whole process.
Of course, your needs will not be the same
if you only
occasionally use the Internet as they would be if you use it heavily
for business, education, and/or communication.
1. A Computer
The two elements that will affect your Internet
* The speed of your processor (ideally around 400 MHz or more).
* The amount of memory (ideally 64 or 128 megabytes or more).
2. Connection Device
There are several connection devices to choose
depending on local availability.
* A modem connected to a phone line.
If you use this method of connection, you will need a
phone line for Internet access or a way to share one line
between your computer and normal phone calls. There
several products that help you do that.
* A cable modem uses your cable TV wire to send data at very high
rates. This is a permanent connection with no need
to dial up.
* ADSL/DSL line allows your computer to be permanently connected
to the Internet using telephone lines.
3. Browser Software
Each website has a unique address that allows
you to find it
among the millions of others on the Web. The address is called a
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or sometimes a Uniform Resource
Indicator (URI). When you choose a new address by clicking on
link or by typing it into the address field, your browser sends a
request for that document to the Web and displays it on your
screen when it is found.
Browser software may be installed with your
system or can be downloaded from the Internet.
Be sure to use current browser versions for
internet experience. Most browsers are free, and upgrades only
take a few minutes to install on your computer. You do need
to be careful in transferring your e-mail files from one version
or browser to another so that you do not loose saved e-mails.
4. Internet Service Provider
An ISP is a service that connects your computer
Internet for a monthly fee. Different plans offer either limited
or unlimited hours online. You might want to consider an ISP
that offers filtered service. Focus on the Family refers people
Your Family or Group
a Life-Changing Short-Term Mission!
homeschool experience through hands-on
missions -- evangelizing, assisting, and strengthening
impoverished communities. STEM Intíl
trains, and leads volunteer teams on 1-2 week
or overseas missions. Any age, any time!
Request a free informational DVD.
1-877-STEMmin (Toll-free); Teams@STEMmin.org.
Navigating the Internet
How do you search through all the thousands
of websites on
the internet and find the information you want?
Following links from page to page without
a particular plan
is called surfing. Although this is fun and you can find
fascinating sites this way, you can quickly wander far from your
If you are looking for a specific company,
first try typing the
company's name with no spaces after www. and then follow with
.com into the address bar (e.g., www.TeachingHome.com).
Use .org or .net for organizations, and .edu for educational
Performing a Search
Search engines, such as http://www.Google.com
things on the Internet easier. It is worth taking time to learn
how to do an effective keyword search as the amount of
information that these search engines provide can be
overwhelming. It is common to be provided with tens of thousands
of references to any given search term.
* Narrow your search to a specific phrase, including and/or
excluding certain other words to target your searches
* Explore the new features that search engines are adding.
The results of a search is a list of websites
with links to
the documents that match your search. You can save time checking
out listings by noting:
* The description of the web page.
* The organization that is offering the information.
Many websites offer a search feature within
their own site to
help you find specific information.
Evaluation of Websites
There are some websites that you will want
your children to
use over and over, such as those with reference materials. Here
are some things to look for:
* Christian worldview and values.
* Clear and well-organized graphics and text.
* Ease of finding information and navigating within the site.
* Sound educational content.
* Absence of inappropriate ads and pop-ups.
Use your bookmarking feature to keep track
of the sites you
have found and want to revisit.
Because content on the Internet changes
will need to:
* Be alert and recheck sites that you have already approved for
* Realize that a recommendation of a site might not apply to new
material as it is added or to every site that is linked
site. (This is also true of the many websites listed
issue of this newsletter.)
Websites That Recommend Websites
The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter Archives. Hundreds
of selected sites categorized by subject of newsletter.
Education World Site Reviews.
American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/Content/NavigationMenu/ALSC/Great_Web_Sites_for_Kids/Great_Web_Sites_for_Kids.htm
Discovery Channel. More than 700 website links.
5 Reasons To Visit The Teaching Home's Website
1. To Buy Back Issues
Search for specific topics in 51 Teaching
Home back issues
for sale online. http://theteachinghomen.goemerchant7.com/
2. To Contact Your State Home-School Organization
Find and link to a home-school organization
in your state
that can provide you with legal information,
publications, and conventions within your
3. To Find Quality Home-School Curriculum and Supplies
Link to 182 home-school suppliers; view or
order their products.
4. For More Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
Read hundreds of pages of articles with practical
5. To Track Your Bible Reading This Year
Find schedules for reading the Bible through
in one year.
Communicating via the Internet
There are several ways that you can communicate
around the world -- easily, instantly, without the cost of
long-distance telephone or mail delivery.
E-mail (electronic mail) allows text messages
images, or other types of attachments to be sent immediately
anywhere in the world at no additional cost! It is possible to
have e-mail service without having access to the Internet.
E-mail programs have many features that are
used by most people. If you study and become familiar with these,
you will be able to do more with your e-mail, and do it faster
and easier. Know all the options and make good use of them.
For example, learn all you can about:
* E-mail address books, setting up group mailings, etc.
* Formatting messages and adding images.
* Setting up file folders for storage of messages.
* Backing up your e-mail files.
2. Instant Messaging
Software, such as that offered by AOL and
MSN, allows users
to contact friends on the Internet and communicate with them in
real time. Instant messaging allows you to chat with only the
people you choose, send messages with files, and has various other
features. Normally the software and registration is free.
3. Discussion Groups
There are several types of discussion groups
on the Internet
where individuals can discuss a particular topic by posting and
replying to messages which are visible on screen to anyone with
access. These may be moderated or unmoderated.
* Newsgroups. Ongoing discussion groups on the Usenet system.
* Message boards and forums. Posted messages and responses.
* Chat rooms. Real-time exchange.
You can set up your own message board for
support group, etc. through the free service at:
4. Telephone Service
You can make free long distance phone calls
computer -- with or without a camera hook-up to see the person
you are talking to! For information, see:
Some online games can include players' conversations
topic either by typing or using a microphone and speakers or
earphones. You should be aware of this if your child plays a
If your child is interested in chess, he might
want to join
the Internet Chess Club to play (and talk) online with other
chess players all over the world.
Netiquette is a term used to describe the
unwritten rules of
Internet courtesy. Below are some examples:
* Follow the same basic rules you would in real life.
* Do not type in all uppercase letters; it comes across as if you
* Use proper punctuation.
Have your child take the excellent online course in netiquette at:
Viruses, Hoaxes, and Unwanted Visitors
A virus is a program designed by a malicious
corrupt programs on your computer, alter the way they work,
and/or do certain unwanted functions.
Viruses are so designated because they are
spread and infect other computers.
The impact of a virus can be simply annoying
or it can be
very destructive, making your computer crash during certain
operations, deleting important files, possibly even rendering
your computer inoperable.
To Protect Yourself
* Install a reputable anti-virus program.
* Keep your anti-virus program updated continually to deal with
new viruses as they are encountered.
* Set your anti-virus program to check any file before it is
opened. This effectively immunizes your system.
* Do not accept or open software or scripts on Internet sites
or an e-mail attachment. if you do not know the sender
you have not run it through an anti-virus program.
* Schedule regular scanning of your computer hard drive and media
to check for viruses.
* Check to see if your ISP offers a service that scans for virus as
well as filters out pornography. See: http://www.filterreview.com
(We recommend Sterling ISP in the Portland, Oregon, area
Recommended Anti-virus Software
AVG Anti-Virus (a free, scaled-down version is also available).
Norton AntiVirus. http://www.symantec.com
McAfee Virus Scan. http://www.mcafee.com
Where To Learn More about Viruses
Information on Viruses
Basic Computer Virus Course. Free self-paced online course
on viruses and hoaxes and how to be protected against
Virus Glossary. Learn how a virus, worm, and Trojan Horse differ.
A hoax is a false warning about a virus that
can trick you
into taking unnecessary actions or actually doing harm to your
computer system yourself. An example is asking you to delete
important system file by falsely warning you that it is a virus.
Do not take action or forward a virus warning
until you have
checked it out. (It usually takes the forwarding of only one
hoax to embarrass a new internet user enough to learn this lesson
the hard way!)
Verify a virus warning by checking either
the Norton or
McAfee websites listed above.
These do not harm your computer, but take
valuable time to
forward and can entrap you into spreading misinformation. No
matter how touching or noble a story or how alarming a warning,
always check it out before forwarding it on to others. An extensive
and well layed-out site is http://www.Snopes.com.
Programs That Stop Pop-Ups and
Protect Your Privacy
Pop-Up Stopper, by PanicWare. Free for Internet Explorer
and Netscape; $29.95 for AOL. http://www.panicware.com
Spybot Search and Destroy. http://www.safer-networking.org
These programs work by requiring the sender to physically see
and retype a code -- spammers cannot do this.
Thank & Support Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
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are made possible financially
by the fine suppliers who advertise in them.
those that have advertised in our
last issue (below) as well as the ones in
Janome Sewing for Home School
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Sunny Side Up: Counting Phonetically
Our 5-year-old, Alisha, is so excited about
learning to read
and spell. She was playing with magnetic letters on the
refrigerator and enthusiastically called, "Mommy, come see what
Alisha was standing there looking rather proud
of the fact
that she had spelled out all the names of our family and their
ages, including our Aunt Lisa.
I said, "Honey, that is wonderful, but I need
to show you
that forty-three is '43' not '4T3.'"
Alisha looked quite concerned and asked, "Can't
Submitted by D. Jacobsson, Grand Rapids, Mich.
You are also invited to submit your humorous
God's Love for You
A loving God is seeking a personal relationship
with you and your
family through faith in Jesus Christ, His substitutionary death for
you, and His subsequent resurrection.
"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).
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