Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

February Holidays & Special Days - Click Here!

~ February 2014 ~

Dear Readers,

February may be a short month but it sure is a busy one! February 11 is Make a New Friend Day, February 12 is Kindness Awareness Day, February 14 is Valentine's Day and Arizona Statehood Day, and February 17 is Presidents Day.

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. (Laura was taught at home when she was unable to attend school due to distance or weather, and she homeschooled her daughter Rose!)

Teri's Sig

Featured Article

Nye Ham Debate DVD Pre Order today!
Evolution vs. Creation

Uncensored Science: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

Did you watch the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye last week? It was a must-see for our family since we're former Bill Nye fans and current supporters of Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis ministry. Our kids always used to watch “The Science Guy,” but I was really ticked off when Nye lambasted creationist parents a couple of years ago, proclaiming that teaching ideas contrary to evolutionary theory is damaging to children and society. Seriously? Sorry, Bill, I beg to differ. Evolution has done a tremendous amount of damage by teaching kids that they are nothing but animals and offering no real reason for existence.

But anyway, back to the debate. First of all, I’d sure like to know what music they were playing at the beginning while we were waiting for the debate to begin! It sounded really beautiful and heroic. I was glad to see that the debate started on time without any glitches, especially since I understand they were under a “Class Two” snow emergency - and yet the auditorium was still packed! I must admit, Nye was a good sport for even venturing inside The Creation Museum given his position on the subject.

The debate was much more high-tech than I thought it would be. I had pictured more of an old-fashioned style debate with two guys standing on a plain stage behind wooden podiums, but the folks at The Creation Museum outdid themselves technology-wise. The stage was professionally designed with an orange and black color scheme including custom banners, huge video screens, and a pair of lecterns sporting Mac laptops. Bill and Ken were each allowed to show slides and videos to help get their point across, which made the debate not only more informative but even entertaining.

This event was significant because it offered the public a rare opportunity to hear a live debate between a prominent creationist and a popular evolutionist. They debated on the topic “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?” Since none of us were there at the time, no one can know for sure what happened in the past except through conjecture, circumstantial evidence (which can be wrong), and eyewitness accounts. The Bible contains the only eyewitness account of the creation of the earth. The Bible is real history!

Creationists and evolutionists both have the exact same facts to look at - rocks, fossils, bones, etc. - which means that what it really gets down to is how you interpret the evidence based on your worldview and prior assumptions. So for most of the debate, Ham and Nye were talking past each other because they weren’t on the same page, and didn’t even address the other’s questions.

Bill had his ready-made talking points, continually sticking to his theme that it takes “real” scientists (who believe in evolution) to make advances in modern technology. When Ken showed examples of the great accomplishments of real scientists who also happen to be creationists, such as Dr. Raymond Damadian who invented the MRI, it either went over Bill’s head or in one ear and out the other.

I didn’t like it when Nye kept saying “Ken Ham’s creation model,” as if it was something that Ken had made up. But I think where Nye really went wrong was in dismissing the validity of scripture because of it being translated so many times over the centuries. If he had studied any Biblical archeology, he would know that the modern English Bible translations of today compare very well to the oldest known copy of the Hebrew Bible in existence.

On the other side, Ham seemed unfazed by Nye’s statements. He just kept hammering on his own main point, that there is a difference between observational science and historical science. He also managed to fit the gospel message in there several times. So while I wouldn’t say the debate was a success because Ken Ham “won” the argument, I don’t think that was his main goal in the first place. What he really wanted to do was introduce the gospel to millions of people, and that’s what made the debate a real success.

If you missed the February 4th debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, you can watch it here: (I believe this will be freely available online for a limited time only, so watch it soon.) Pre-order your DVD copy today!

Book of the Month

Citizens Rule Book

Citizens Rule Book George Washington is fondly called "The Father of his Country." As President of the Constitutional Convention, Washington was the first signer of the U.S. Constitution. The Citizens Rule Book contains the complete text of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. This booklet 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 Over 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. If you like Abe Lincoln, you will love Abraham Lincoln: The Boy, The Man. This 160-page pictorial biography is perfect for homeschoolers, and it comes in a bilingual English/Spanish edition! Limited quantities.

E-Book of the Month

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.

Famous Homeschoolers

Famous Homeschoolers of Arizona

Some grew up in Arizona, others moved there later in life, and a few were just passing through. They all left their mark on the state. Each of them was homeschooled or self- educated! [Read the full article at Arizona Edventures.]

Did You Know...?
Arizona celebrates its Statehood Day on February 14. The 48th state was admitted to the union in 1912.

Reading Between the Lines

Curriculum Review: Dynamic Literacy’s WordBuild

Reviewed by Janice Campbell.

I love the study of words. Words are the building blocks of communication, and the more of them you know, the more likely it is that you will be a good writer and speaker. In addition, words are just plain fascinating!

For many years, I used and recommended vocabulary programs based in Latin and Greek roots, and I still like those programs. I realize that roots-based programs seem inaccessible to some people, so I’ve found an alternate program that’s amazingly user-friendly, highly effective, and fun. It’s WordBuild: A Better Way to Teach Vocabulary, and the entire program is contained in two comprehensive levels. WordBuild is “based on morphology, the study of the units of meaning in words. Just as phonology is the study of the sounds that make up words, morphology is the study of the meaningful pieces of words. A mastery of phonics helps students “sound out” unfamiliar words; a mastery of morphics helps students “mean out” unfamiliar words.”

The first series, Foundations, contains two levels and is designed to be used anytime after phonics have been taught. This level focuses on building words by adding prefixes and suffixes to words the student already knows. The second series, Elements, contains three levels and moves into the teaching and manipulation of Greek and Latin root words. After five years of study, the student should have not only a vast vocabulary, but also the tools to decipher virtually any word they encounter in the future.

[Read the rest of the review at Homeschooling Teen.]

Learning Links

Childrens Dental Health Month

Presidents Day

Abraham Lincoln Biography

George Washington Biography

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(s) of the Month

Remember when you were a kid and your classmates sent each other handmade paper Valentines? But there's always a sad person somewhere who doesn't have a "Valentine." This year why not give your friends, colleagues, and neighbors a Valentine greeting that lets them know how much God loves them! I've created a Valentine gospel tract for you to download. It's actually two pages that you can print double-sided and fold over, so the recipient can open it up and read the message inside. The main text also works as a stand-alone Valentine handout if you'd rather just print that page only. Make as many copies as you wish!

Valentine Gospel Tract - inside page
Valentine Gospel Tract - outside cover

Valentine Cutouts - Write your own messages on these Bear Heart Notes.

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

Presidents Day Quiz - Lincoln and Washington Trivia.

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

Quote of the Month

“May this Valentine's Day be filled with love, understanding, and contentment as you journey through life with those you hold dear.” ~Darly Henerson

A Note From Teri...

It's almost time for The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)! The 2014 GBBC will take place on February 14-17. The GBBC is an annual 4-day event that engages bird lovers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. It’s free, fun, and easy! Everyone is welcome to participate - from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. Scientists use the observations from the GBBC to help get the “big picture” about bird populations. Learn about birds and bird watching, find birding activities for kids, and get more information about the GBBC at

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

P.S. Did you like this month's newsletter?

Copyright © 2014 by Teri Ann Berg Olsen, To subscribe to this free e-newsletter, send a blank e-mail to and follow the instructions in the confirmation e-mail that you will receive, or sign up on the web at To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to . Questions? E-mail .