Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

~ February 2010 ~

Dear Readers,

February is a short but busy month with Presidents Day and Valentine’s Day, plus Arizona Statehood Day where we live. February is also a popular month for homeschool birthdays! Besides George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the following famous homeschoolers were born in February: Ansel Adams, Thomas Edison, Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, Charles Dickens, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Did you know...? Laura homeschooled her own daughter Rose!)

Teri's Sig

P.S. Thanks to Maria Wieland for pointing out some broken links in the handwriting article featured in last month's newsletter. I updated all of the links so they should work fine now:

Featured Article

February is for Friendship

As the saying goes, “A true friend knows everything about you...and likes you anyway.” Friendship is a special gift. It’s a little part of yourself that you give to someone else. Every year around this time, friends and loved ones exchange cards, poems, flowers, candy and gifts. This month, be sure to let your friends know you care, and show them how much they mean to you. See if you can make a new friend too! For more friendly advice, go to:

Related Pages

Random Acts of Kindness

Valentine's Day

February 11 is Make a New Friend Day, February 12 is Kindness Awareness Day, and February 14 is Valentine's Day!

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Book of the Month

I have two special books to tell you about this month, in honor of Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays.

Citizens Rule Book
Citizens Rule Book

Washington's Birthday has a history as old as our country. It was celebrated publicly for the first time in the late 18th century, while George Washington was still President. The federal holiday honors the accomplishments of the man who has been referred to, for over two centuries, as "The Father of his Country." The Citizens Rule Book is a practical reminder of the values upon which our country was founded. Order some for your Presidents Day celebrations. Only $1.00 each!

Abraham Lincoln: The Boy, the Man
Abraham Lincoln: The Boy, The Man

Two hundred years after his birth, Abraham Lincoln is still considered one of the most influential Americans of all time. More books have been written about him than any other president. The 16th President is commemorated in music, poetry, and sculpture. His words are quoted by poets and politicians. His face appears on stamps, coins and bills. Mountains, cities, highways, and schools bearing his name dot the land. Lincoln's enduring legacy includes the famous Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. I sell a 160-page book called Abraham Lincoln: The Boy, The Man. This well-researched pictorial biography is perfect for homeschool history studies. It also comes in a bilingual English/Spanish edition! Highly recommended but hard to find and quantities are limited, so get yours while you can! ;)

Famous Homeschoolers

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams was an American photographer and conservationist best known for his black-and-white landscape photographs. A San Francisco native, Ansel was taught at home by his father and his Aunt Mary. The elder Adams initiated a classical education plan for his son that included English literature and algebra. He hired a tutor in ancient Greek, as well as a piano teacher. The boy’s lessons were supplemented with field trips to the nearby ocean, dunes, Baker Beach, and Lobos Creek. Father and son also enjoyed spending time together looking through a telescope. Ansel’s daily visits to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition to study the exhibits provided a rich source of informal learning about the world. According to William Turnage of the Ansel Adams Trust, “Ansel went every single day, and he learned more there than he ever could have in a year at school.” Adam himself said, “I am certain [my father] established the positive direction of my life that otherwise, given my native hyperactivity, could have been confused and catastrophic. I trace who I am and the direction of my development to those years of growing up in our house on the dune, propelled especially by an internal spark, tenderly kept alive and glowing, by my father.” Read more: (Each month I will highlight another famous homeschooler.)

Reading Between the Lines

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations

Do Hard Things is a book that should be required reading for all teens. It was written by Alex and Brett Harris, twin 19-year-old homeschooled boys from Oregon. These young men started a website, and an entire movement, called The Rebelution. Their book discusses God’s view of teenagers and how He used them in history. Did you know that the word “teenager” wasn’t even coined until the early 1900’s? Before that you were either a child or an adult. In this book you can read about the change that took place in our society that led to the creation of a new group called “teenagers.” Today, teenagers are often thought of as a generation in limbo – not yet ready for adulthood, but no longer children either. The Harris brothers argue that society has set standards and expectations so low for this generation that teens have just given up on - rather than living up to - their potential. Tragically, we live at a time where we expect very little of teenagers. But that is not the way it’s supposed to be. The truth is that teens CAN do hard things. In reality, the teen years are the preparatory years. They should be doing things that challenge them and prepare them for adulthood. They should be stretching their boundaries and striving to better themselves. High expectations, it seems, results in greater performance. The book calls all teenagers to examine what they’re doing with their lives and to do hard things for the glory of God. It’s a powerful message. This book is very well written and inspiring, even for adults well past the teen years.

Learning Links

Presidents Day

Abraham Lincoln Biography

George Washington Biography

Childrens Dental Health Month

George Washington's Farewell Address
Since 1862, there has been a tradition in the United States Senate that George Washington's Farewell Address be read on his birthday, February 22.

Freebie of the Month

Enjoy these free printables!

George Washington's 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior (Download this 17-page e-book for FREE! Includes Washington's original rules as well as selected examples for copywork and memorization, plus a writing activity.)

Washington Word Find - My favorite kind of word game! (I found 60; can you beat me?)

Presidents Day Quiz - Lincoln and Washington Trivia.

Valentine Cutouts - Write your own messages.

Arizona Trivia Quiz - Test your knowledge of Arizona!

(Requires Adobe Reader: click here for free download.)

A Note From Teri...

Have you heard of the Say What You Mean Convention hosted by JoJo Tabares? I'm one of the sponsors. It’s absolutely free and completely virtual so you can attend even in your PJs! This year’s theme is The Three Flavors of Communication: Writing, Speech and Conversation. Make sure to mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 3rd so you don’t miss the live events. Some of them will NOT be recorded! There will be a total of six live events, seminars and workshops throughout the day teaching various aspects of communication beginning at 8am PST/9am MST with an interview of Christian Comedian Michael Jr. on humor and faith. There will also be pre-recorded audios, freebies you can download, and the event ends with a live prayer chat! If you have attended the Say What You Mean Convention in the past, you haven’t seen anything yet! Check out the Schedule of Events page for seminar details and descriptions: See also the Freebies page for some great free downloads: And don’t forget to check out the wonderful Sponsors Page:

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

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