Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

~ March 2011 ~

Dear Readers,

It seems like “once a homeschool mom, always a homeschool mom.” I’ve found that homeschooling doesn’t have to stop when your kids go to college, although the process works somewhat in reverse. This time I’m the one who is learning a lot from my son. I can’t resist reading the books he brings home, checking out his assignments, and discussing things with him. I feel like I’m getting the benefit of the course without having to pay the tuition. ;) Peter is taking a Business and Society class this semester, and the textbook is actually quite interesting, covering the responsibilities of companies to protect the interests of various stakeholders including investors, employees, the community, and the environment. The book emphasizes business ethics and ethical decision making, with “Ethics in Practice” cases in every chapter. But what keeps getting to me is that all of these situations – even large scale problems like the Enron scandal – could be easily avoided if people would simply follow the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. This goes to show that the value of a biblical education cannot be overstated. :)

Teri's Sig

Featured Article

Think Green...

When I was a girl, my favorite color was green. I always liked Saint Patrick's Day because that was the only day I could go to school dressed in green clothing from head to foot without looking completely conspicuous. The other kids would take one look at me and say, "You must be Irish!" and I'd reply, "Nope, I just like green." Just as green has always been one of my favorite colors, spring is one of my favorite seasons. Spring arrives early in Arizona, where even the desert turns green at this time of year. Nurtured by winter rains, all of the dry, dead-looking plants come alive, and the ground is covered with a lush carpet of vegetation. No wonder the ancient Egyptians considered green to be a sacred, joyous color. Green is the universal color of nature and spring. Green signifies life, healing, renewal, hope, and GROWTH. Read my devotional article here. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Book of the Month

Patrick Henry Study Guide

Patrick Henry Study Guide

This study guide contains a biography of the famous homeschooled patriot as well as vocabulary, discussion questions, writing questions, research questions, an overview of rhetorical techniques and literary devices, additional assignments and study questions. Includes a copy of “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.” Practice your oratory skills by reciting it on March 23, the anniversary of Patrick Henry's famous speech. Makes a great Language Arts or American History unit study! 18 pages ~ only $4.95! Click here.

Famous Homeschoolers

Lila Rose

Lila Rose, homeschool graduate and President of Live Action, has been busy rallying pro-life activists while rattling the abortion industry and its advocates. Read all about Lila and her efforts to document Planned Parenthood’s abuses here.

(Each month I will highlight another famous homeschooler.)

Reading Between the Lines

March into Reading

Reading to and with your children is one of the best ways to encourage a reading habit that will last a lifetime.

Research shows that children who take to reading at an early age are more likely to make it a pleasurable habit throughout their lives and experience later success in reading and writing, with a broader vocabulary and deeper knowledge about people and the world. Studies indicate that, on average, children who read more than twenty minutes per day scored above the 90th percentile on standardized reading tests, while children who read fewer than ten minutes per day scored below the 75th percentile.

Further research suggests that simply adding an extra ten minutes of reading per day dramatically increases a child's exposure to words which can boost overall achievement. That is, if your child goes from five minutes per day to fifteen minutes, he or she boosts his or her exposure to words by over 200% and joins children who, on average, scored above the 75th percentile (whereas kids who read fewer than five minutes scored below the 50th percentile). Remember, every new word learned leads to another book that can be read!

Engaged readers regularly outperform disengaged readers, regardless of age or socioeconomic factors. Acquiring a core collection of books and reference resources is the first step in engaging kids to read. There is nothing like a challenging book to lift you up or take you to another world. And the "getting hooked" part is key. While incentive plans that reward kids with pizzas or certificates for reading a certain number of pages or books can certainly motivate reluctant readers, it's important to note that personal motivations to read have the most lasting value.

Usborne books are ideal for student centered learning and let children guide their reading time, making reading an enjoyable activity and not just another chore. The information in Usborne books is presented in an eye-catching format to excite readers and hold their attention. Text is enhanced with illustrations and organized into smaller "bites" to help with comprehension and make reading less overwhelming. Projects with step-by-step instructions accompany the science kits and activity books for hands-on experience. Questions and interactive pages encourage reader involvement and build thinking skills.

Usborne has many fact-filled titles that will enhance your curriculum, inspire your students, and serve instructional purposes. Usborne Books are a part of many major homeschool curricula (including Sonlight, The Well-Trained Mind, Weaver, etc.), but you can use them with or without other curriculum. Usborne books are popular with both homeschooling and unschooling families as supplemental reading material. Many of the books are suitable for a wide age span, so several family members can learn about a topic together. Best of all, you can find an Usborne book for just about every subject.

We’ve set up a Knowledge House eFair that makes it easy to get Usborne books. You will be able to see the top sellers, view the newest titles, and check out the internet-only sales (40-70% off!) and other special offers. This would be a great time to stock up on gift books for those spring and summer birthdays too! All you have to do is click through the link:

Learning Links

Saint Patrick's Day (Saint Patrick's Day, March 17th, is a national Irish holiday honoring Saint Patrick, the missionary credited with converting all the people of Ireland to Christianity in the 5th century.)

Pi Day Activities (Pi Day is March 14. A great day to learn math facts while eating pizza and pie!)

Albert Einstein Biography (This famous mathematician was born on Pi Day! A self-educated genius who did poorly in school, his real studies were done at home.)

Robert Frost Biography (Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874. He was educated at home and also taught his own children at home.)

Patrick Henry Biography (Tutored by his father and uncle, Patrick Henry grew up to be an eloquent orator.)

Freebie of the Month

"Give Me Liberty or Death" Speech - Print this out and practice your oratory skills by reciting it on March 23, the anniversary of Patrick Henry's famous speech.

March & April Calendar - Print out these calendar pages and hang on your fridge, next to your computer, or keep in a binder. Includes a convenient list of holidays and special days, plus space for notes. Throughout the year, I will supply two printable calendar pages in each issue of this newsletter, while always keeping at least one month ahead.

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

Quote of the Month

“A best friend is like a four leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have.” ~Author Unknown

A Note From Teri...

Here's an Irish Blessing for you...

“May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.”

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

Copyright © 2010 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 .