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"The Liberty Letters Series" is the subject line of the e-mail
     accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.

        You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

        The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #67
        Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

        February 21, 2004  /  Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

Table of Contents
     Tips You Can Use Today
          When Your Child Is Doing a Long or Hard Chore or Assignment
          For Your Child's Birthday or Special Day
          Daily To-Do Lists
     United States Government, Part 2
          We are a Republic, not a Democracy / The Constitution
          The Three Branches of Government / How the Checks and Balances Work
          Distribution of Government Powers / How a Bill Becomes a Law
          Our Heritage of Freedom / Our Christian Heritage
     "A Moment with My Egg Roll, Please"
     Recommended Resources
          Highlights-Jigsaw: Party Plan Company
          The Teaching Home: Back Issues
          Doorposts: Beauty and the Pig
          Laurelwood Publications: New and Used Curriculum
          Christian Book Clearinghouse: Save up to 80%


     In this issue we continue our 4-part series on government.
We trust that your whole family will enjoy studying this subject and
understand our government's unique workings and heritage.

We would like to hear from you!
     Can you share a note of encouragement, teaching tip, or family
photo and brief story with the 20,000 other home-school families
around the world that read this newsletter.

     "Let us not lose heart in doing good,
     for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."
     Galatians 6:9

Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 23-year-old, home-school family business.

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Tips You Can Use Today

When Your Child Is Doing
a Long or Hard Chore or Assignment:
* Start it with him.
* Give him encouragement (hug, snack, help) or course correction
* Have him let you know when he is done so that you can view the
   job and praise him for it.

For Your Child's Birthday or Special Day
* Serve him breakfast in bed, while you sit and visit with him
   or talk over your plans for the day.
* Look through his baby book together, adding notes as you go
   and talking about how much you looked forward to his birth,
   enjoyed seeing him grow up, and love him now.

Daily To-Do Lists
* Transfer items from your master to-do list to your daily to-do
* Arrange tasks by categories such as errands, chores, and calls.
* Estimate the time necessary for each task and then double that
   time or add extra time to allow for the unexpected.
* Prioritize by importance from 1 to 10.
* Do not allow emergencies or interruptions to preempt items on
   your list unless they are more important than your current task.
   (Hint: Your husband and children's needs come first.)

Visit The Teaching Home's Website
1.  Buy Back Issues of The Teaching Home Magazine
     Search for specific topics in 51 printed magazine back issues
     for sale online.
2.  Find Quality Home-School Curriculum and Supplies
     Link to 182 home-school suppliers; view or order their products.
3.  Get More Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
     Read hundreds of pages of articles online with practical home-school
4.  Track Your Bible Reading This Year
     Find schedules for reading the Bible through in one year.

Government: A 4-Part Series
Part 1.  Introduction (Issue #66 -- Last Issue)
              Government: What and How To Teach
              The Biblical Basis of Human Government
              Forms of Government
Part 2.  United States Government (Issue #67 -- This Issue)
Part 3.  Our Responsibilities in Government (Issue #68)
Part 4.  An Election-Year Unit Study (Issue #69)
     This series is intended to introduce the basics of government and
provide a general outline for your studies.  Children of all ages can
participate at their own levels.

The Government of the United States of America

We are a Republic, not a Democracy
Excerpted from an online article by David Barton

     We have grown accustomed to hearing that we are a democracy;
such was never the intent. The form of government entrusted to us
by our Founders was a republic, not a democracy. Our Founders had
an opportunity to establish a democracy in America and chose not
to. In fact, the Founders made clear that we were not, and were
never to become, a democracy.
     John Quincy Adams said, "The experience of all former ages
has shown that of all human governments, democracy is the most
unstable, fluctuating, and short-lived."
     A pure democracy operates by direct majority vote of the
people.  When an issue is to be decided, the entire population
votes on it; the majority wins and rules.
     A republic differs in that the general population elects
representatives who then pass laws to govern the nation.
     A democracy is the rule by majority feeling; a republic is
rule by law.
     If the source of law for a democracy is the popular feeling
of the people, then what is the source of law for the American
     According to Founder Noah Webster: "Our citizens should
early understand that the genuine source of correct republican
principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the
Christian religion."
     Read the entire article at:

The Constitution
     The Constitution of the United States is the foundation of
our American Government.  As the supreme law of the land, no law
may be passed that contradicts its principles and no person or
government is exempt from following it.
     The Constitution set up three separate branches of
government to achieve what is called a balance of power to
prevent the abuse of power.
     Read the Constitution at:

   Beauty and the Pig:
   New from Doorposts!
   Learn different
   Bible study methods
   while studying Godly beauty.

Expanded studies teach how to:
* Use a concordance
* Do a word study
* Conduct a topical study
* Use marginal study notes
* Perform a character study
* Study a verse, passage, or entire chapter or book of the Bible
Also suggests 29 more related studies to practice these methods.

The Three Branches of Government:
Separation of Powers

1. Legislative Branch: The Congress
     The primary duty of the legislative branch is to make laws.
They can also impose taxes, appropriate money, and approve
treaties and appointments.
     The legislative branch is made up of the two houses of
Congress -- the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Senate is composed of 100 senators, two from each state.
This gives each state equal representation, no matter what its
size or population.
     The House of Representatives is made up of 435
representatives. Each state is allotted a number of
representatives based on its population as determined by the
federal census.  This gives representation of individual citizens.

2. Executive Branch:  The President
     The President is elected by an electoral college which
combines representation of the states and individual citizens.
(We will explain this more in the upcoming issue containing an
election-year unit study.)
     The President approves or vetoes laws passed by the
legislative branch and implements them, commands the armed
forces, negotiates treaties, sets foreign policies, and provides
leadership for internal affairs.
     Assisting the President are the Vice President, executive
assistants, administrative agencies, and members of the cabinet.
     The cabinet is made up of the heads of the 15 major
departments of the government, who were appointed by the
President and confirmed by the Senate.  The cabinet gives
advice to the President about important matters.

     The Cabinet
     Secretary of State
     Secretary of the Treasury
     Secretary of Defense
     Attorney General (Justice Department)
     Secretary of the Interior
     Secretary of Agriculture
     Secretary of Commerce
     Secretary of Labor
     Secretary of Health and Human Services
     Secretary of Homeland Security (newest department)
     Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
     Secretary of Transportation
     Secretary of Education
     Secretary of Energy
     Secretary of Veterans' Affairs

3.  Judicial Branch:
     The Supreme Court and Other Federal Courts
     The judicial branch oversees the federal court system,
which includes the Supreme Court, 11 Circuit Courts of Appeals,
90 District Courts, and several special courts.
     The duties of this branch are to interpret the laws passed
by the legislature and approved by the President and to try cases
involving federal laws.
     The Supreme Court is the head of the judicial branch. Unlike
a criminal court, the Supreme Court rules on whether something
is constitutional or unconstitutional -- whether or not it is
permitted under the Constitution.
     On the Supreme Court there are nine justices (or judges):
eight associate justices and one chief justice. The judges are
nominated by the President and approved by the Senate. They have
no term limits; they serve until they either retire or die.  The
Supreme Court is the highest court in the land to which an appeal
can be made.  Its decisions are final, and no other court can
overrule those decisions.  Decisions of the Supreme Court set
precedents in interpreting the law.
     Many believe that this branch is out of balance.
     Dr. James Dobson, Founder and Chairman of Focus on the
Family, says, "For more than 40 years now, judges have been
distorting our nation's founding documents . . . . It's high time
we raised our voices in protest of these reprehensible attempts
to deny us our liberties."  Read more at:

How the Checks and Balances Work
     The three branches of government are designed to keep each
other in check.  This is how it works:

1.  Between the Executive and Legislative Branches
     * Congress creates agencies and programs, appropriates
        funds, may override a presidential veto, and may remove
        the President through impeachment.
     * The Senate approves treaties and Presidential appointments.
     * The President may veto legislation, call special legislative
        sessions, recommend legislation, and appeal directly to the
        people who elect the legislators.

2.  Between the Judicial and Executive Branches
     * Judges, appointed for life, are free from executive
     * Courts may declare executive actions to be
     * The President appoints federal judges.

3.  Between the Legislative and Judicial Branches
     * Congress creates lower courts, may remove judges through
     * The Senate approves appointment of judges.
     * Courts may declare acts of Congress to be

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Distribution of Government Powers
     The following outline of the distribution of powers between
federal and state governments can alert one to whether or not
a government has a right in a certain area.

Federal Government
(Powers Delegated by the States)
* Regulate interstate and foreign commerce
* Make citizenship laws
* Coin money
* Set weights and measures
* Run the postal system
* Regulate copyrights and patents
* Establish lower courts
* Declare war
* Establish and support armed forces

Both Federal and State
(Powers Held by Both, Concurrently)
* Collect taxes
* Borrow money
* Set criminal laws
* Charter banks
* Take property for public purposes (eminent domain)

State Government
(Powers Reserved by the States)
* Regulate voting laws and procedures
* Make marriage and divorce laws
* Make corporation laws
* Make traffic laws
* Regulate intrastate commerce
* Grant extradition requests

How a Bill Becomes a Law
     This is how a bill becomes a law in our federal government.
(Most state legislatures are modeled after our national

1.  Drafted
     Although it must be introduced by a senator or congressman
(representative), the bill may be written by anyone.  Lobbyists
for different interest groups often submit input at this stage.

2.  Introduced
     Most bills can be introduced in either house of Congress,
although money bills must originate in the House of Representatives.

3.  Read
     Read by title, numbered, registered, and printed.

4.  Assigned to a Committee
     Each house has several standing committees, which review and
refine all the bills of that house.

5.  Discussed in a Public Hearing
     The committee usually refers the bill to a subcommittee,
which may hold a public hearing on the bill.

6.  Acted upon by the Committee
      The committee can kill the bill (prevent it from being
presented and voted upon), amend it, draft a new version of the
bill, or approve the original bill as it was written.

7.  Reported to the Whole House
     The committee reports the bill to the whole house (Senate or
House of Representatives), and the bill is listed on its calendar.

8.  Acted upon by the Entire House
     After debate, the house may either kill the bill, amend it,
or pass it as written.

9.  Acted upon by the Opposite House
     If one house passes a bill, then that bill is sent to the
other house for consideration.  In the opposite house, the bill
must again pass through steps four through eight.

10.  Examined by a Conference Committee
     If a bill passes both houses but in different versions, a
conference committee, composed of members of each house, may
be called to work out a compromise.  A compromise bill is then
reported to each house for approval.

11.  Delivered to the President
     Within ten days after receiving a bill, the President must
either sign it or veto it.  If he does neither, and Congress
remains in session, the bill automatically becomes law.  If he
ignores the bill and Congress adjourns before the ten-day
period expires, the bill is dead; this is the "pocket veto."
The President's veto may be overridden by a two-thirds vote
of Congress.

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Our Heritage of Freedom
     The structure of the United States government is the result
of sacrifices and contributions of varied persons and cultures
throughout history.  For example, our Bill of Rights was the
outcome of a progressive world-wide sense of the rights of
     Here are some of the contributions that are the building
blocks with which the great edifice of liberty has been erected
throughout the ages.

Ancient Civilizations
* The Jews had a complete and detailed system of law and justice
   based on the Law of Moses given by God.
* The Greeks contributed important ideas about order and justice.
* The Romans furnished parts of our concepts of duty, authority,
   and rule by law.

God's Word
* The Bible is referred to by our founding fathers as "the great
   political textbook" giving us our ideas of morality, justice,
   spiritual liberty, and the sanctity of law.

The Magna Carta
     This agreement between the king and his subjects was signed
by King John of England in 1215 at Runnymede.  It ensured:
* That the king could not levy taxes without the consent of a
   council of nobles (which would later become Parliament).
* That all freemen had the right to a jury trial by their peers.
* That people had the right to own property which the King could
   not seize without payment.
     These three freedoms are very similar to Amendments IV, V,
and VI of our Constitution.

The Reformation
     During the Reformation, many events took place that
dramatically affected the progress of liberty and, later, the form
of American government:

 * Wycliffe's translation of the Bible into English and
insistence that the common people had the right to read it
enabled people to rise out of the darkness of spiritual ignorance
and religious and civil tyranny.

* Martin Luther's 95 Theses and subsequent events impacted
the nature of civil and religious freedom including a return to the
truths of Scripture, the overthrowing of tyrannical empires, and
the value and responsibility of the individual.

* Gutenberg's invention of the printing press enabled individuals
to have the Bible and other literature in their own language at a
price affordable for the common man.  This helped break the
chains of darkness and illiteracy.

Religious Freedom
     Although it would be centuries before this belief would be
given full flower, there came to be a growing realization that
men ought to be able to worship God according to their own

* The Edict of Nantes granted the French Protestant Huguenots
religious liberty in 1598.  Although not fully enforced, it paved
the way for our First Amendment.

     Condensed from an article by Rea Berg in the May/June '94
Teaching Home.

Our Christian Heritage

      Many Americans do not realize the extent of Christian
influence on our nation's founding, especially since it has been
"written out" of public education textbooks.  Others either deny
our Christian foundations or seek to remove their memory or our
connection to them.

      However, this nation has a rich Christian heritage, and
Christian home-school families should be especially diligent to
thoroughly acquaint their children with it.

     We have probably heard the accusation that the Founders of
our country were deists. David Barton, head of WallBuilders, an
organization dedicated to the restoration of America's moral and
religious foundation, observes:

     "In many dictionaries, the terms 'deist,' 'agnostic,' and
'atheist' appear as synonyms.  None of the notable Founders fit
this description as their own writings show."

     Read the testimonies of Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin,
George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and
James Madison online at:

Wall Builders.  Online articles and excellent resources.
Christian History Textbooks
   A Beka Book.
   Much of the information in this issue was gained from American
   Government and Economics in Christian Perspective, a highly
    recommended textbook published by A Beka Books.
   Bob Jones University Press.
   Christian Liberty Press.
   Digital Learning Network.
Christian Heritage Week.  Promoting our nation's Christian foundation
   and many links to other sites.

     Please Thank and Support Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
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"A Moment with My Egg Roll, Please"
by Cindy Morrow, Georgia

     It had not been a great week with the girls.  That feeling
of being chronically behind, not doing any one thing well; not
being the the kind of Mom I want to be; and my house . . . sigh,
then being frustrated at myself for letting the temporal things
irk me.
     Temporal or not, I had to make a quick run to Sam's
Warehouse.  A strategic "get A, B, and C, then leave" trip.
     I had my youngest, then 10, and her cousin with me.
Delivering orders like a drill sergeant, I said, "Stay right by
me.  And don't ask, 'Can we . . . can we . . .?'  We're doing a
quick, run-in-and-out trip."
     So I'm clicking along and, sure enough, they get snagged at
a vendor: sample egg rolls.  The vendor is required to get
parental permission, so she looks to me and lifts her eyebrows in
     I slow down, trying not to be rude. I really don't have
time for this, I think.  But I say, "Sure, they may."  I pause,
but my body language is clear, I'm not stopping long.
     The vendor, an older woman in her 50's, asks Virginia,
"School's out already?"
     "No ma'am, we're home schooled."
     Vendor stops.  Looks at me.  Really looks before she says,
"Thank you.  Thank you for doing that.  I'm grateful for people
like you."
     Thank you?  In twenty years of parenting and home schooling
I've had people say all manner of things to me about home
schooling, but never "thank you."
     I hope I was finished shopping, because I went straight to
the cashier.  It took that long to compose myself; but I did buy
the egg rolls.
     My family looks at me strangely when we have stir fry and
I'm having a moment with my egg roll before I eat it, but I can't
get over it: she said "Thank you."

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" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

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