Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

~ May 2009 ~

Dear Readers,

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Does that seem like a funny thing to say in a homeschool newsletter? Well, it's actually quite appropriate when you think about it, since all home educators have “A Teacher's Heart:


“The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom.” ~Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)

Would you like to read more great quotations about Mothers and Mothering, as well as Fathers and Fathering? How about quotes on Parents & Parenting, Teachers & Teaching, Study & Learning, Home & Family, Children & Childhood, Self-Education & Homeschooling, Wisdom & Knowledge? Find thousands of quotations on all of these topics and many more in my 420-page book, Learning for Life: Educational Words of Wisdom. This treasury of rhetorical gems makes a great gift! Buy one for yourself, a homeschooling friend, or to place in your home library. For every book you purchase, you will also get a FREE copy of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Spring 2009 issue, a $7.95 value. It's hot off the press with 184 glossy full-color pages packed with excellent articles including "How Do You Organize Chaos," "5 Ways to Organize Your High Schooler," "10 Burnout Busters," "The Well-Stocked Pantry," and "Should the Church Support Homeschooling?"

The Old Schoolhouse Learning for Life

Please click here for details.

This would make a wonderful homeschooling gift set for a friend...or for yourself!

Click Here for May
Holidays & Special Days

Freebie(s) of the Month*

A Mother's Day gift just for you! It's from my web page at Due to popular request I started selling printable copies of this poem for a nominal cost of $1.00 each on my website, but I'm offering it to my newsletter readers free of charge this month.

Ode to a Homeschool Mom
(Plain white background.)

Ode to a Homeschool Mom
(Decorative sepia-tone background image.)

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

Featured Article(s)

Etiquette for All Ages

The second week in May is National Etiquette Week. According to the legendary Emily Post, etiquette is today what it has always been: a code of behavior based on kindness, consideration and unselfishness. This is something that must never change. Manners, which are derived from etiquette, should be maintained even in an ever-changing world. Etiquette is for persons at every stage of life regardless of age, income, or position in society or business. Good manners are just as important for young children as they are for older adults.

In past generations, people of all ages were not only expected to behave properly, but they understood the value of demonstrating good manners and morals. George Washington’s first lessons in good breeding came from a book of precepts entitled Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, which listed 110 rules of behavior for young men. The Rules of Civility were originally compiled and published in 1595 by French Jesuits. In 1645, this code of conduct was translated into an English version called Francis Hawkins’ Youths Behavior, or Decency in Conversation Amongst Men, and was reprinted at least eleven times until 1672.

One copy of this English translation came into the possession of young George when he was 12 years old. Sometime before he turned 16, Washington carefully hand-copied the rules into a notebook, presumably as an exercise in penmanship. At the same time, these rules taught Washington the proper behavior that we call etiquette including how to dress, walk, talk, and eat. They also conveyed a moral message of humility and paying attention to those around you. The teenage Washington took these rules to heart, and he grew up to be one of the greatest men who ever lived.

Sadly, the current generation has fallen away from the Washington standard. Once we see how Washington acted and believed, it makes the habits and actions of many people today seem vulgar and embarrassing. We would be wise to take Washington's rules of civility into our hearts and internalize the values he strove after for all his days. Although some of the rules may seem a little silly and outdated in the way they are phrased, most are valuable and timeless lessons for us all.

Click here to download a copy of George Washington's Rules of Civility for your family, so your children can strive to be more like this great American patriot. Especially if you have pre-teens or teens, this document sets a great example for them!

Quote of the Month

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” ~Mark Twain

Famous Homeschoolers

Eric Demaine

He may not be Albert Einstein, but he's one of the most brilliant scientists in America today. Eric Demaine, a rising star in the area of theoretical computer science, had an unconventional educational background of homeschooling on the road followed by entering college at an early age. After graduating with a Ph.D. at age 20, he became the youngest professor ever hired to teach at MIT. You can read about Eric Demaine here: (Each month I will feature another famous homeschooler.)

Verse of the Month

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” ~Proverbs 31:30

Reading Between the Lines

Lights, Camera, Action! Highlights from the 2009 Christian Filmmakers Academy

The Christian film movement is currently booming as evidenced by the success of movies like Expelled and Fireproof. The Christian Filmmakers Academy aims to equip and encourage students to produce high quality films that glorify God while having sufficient box-office appeal to rival Hollywood. More than 500 students gathered for the 2009 Christian Filmmakers Academy in San Antonio, Texas, to seriously explore how to build a Christ-honoring replacement industry outside Hollywood. If you couldn’t attend but wish you had, Lights, Camera, Action! is the next best thing to being there. It’s a hefty CD album with over 22 hours of live conference audio recorded on location. The speakers include Doug Phillips, Geoffrey and Isaac Botkin, Stephen Kendrick, Dean Jones, and others who offer plenty of practical filmmaking advice as well as theological teaching. It's so refreshing to hear a group of movie makers coming together to focus on God's Word as their guideline! Lights, Camera, Action! features highlights from the academy, including a two-part lecture on cinematography; an analysis of how Christians should depict violence in film; a blueprint for how Christian filmmakers can rightly employ the Science Fiction genre; a look at the twelve most common mistakes of beginning directors, practical tips on how to improve a film in ten minutes; an overview of “How to Win the $101,000 Best of Festival Award”; a panel discussion with feature filmmakers including Stephen Kendrick of Fireproof; a special address by actor Dean Jones outlining why Christians should build an independent film movement outside Hollywood; and much more! There are 19 CDs plus a bonus DVD of lecture slides in PDF format. The CDs were interesting and enjoyable to listen to, despite the fact that these are audio-only so the visuals are missing, which is kind of ironic since it was a filmmaking event. Nevertheless, this is an excellent resource for student filmmakers. Lights, Camera, Action! is available at Vision Forum.

From Script to Cinema: Christian Filmmaking Essentials

If you would like a DVD series on the subject of Christian filmmaking, you’re in luck. Vision Forum has produced a 10-DVD set entitled From Script to Cinema, taken from a previous year at the Christian Filmmakers Academy in San Antonio. This DVD series is designed to assist in the education of aspiring filmmakers who enjoy filmmaking, screenwriting, and directing for the glory of God. From Script to Cinema is packed with 12 hours of formal classroom instruction from seasoned industry professionals, as well as interaction and discussion with Academy faculty and guest lecturers. Topics include: Biblical Worldview & Theology for Christian Filmmakers; Deformation and Reformation of the Arts; How to Write a Winning Treatment; Making a Short Film; Copyright and Trademark Issues for Filmmakers; How to Win an ENN and Jubilee Award; Behind the Scenes with Facing the Giants; and practical instruction on such diverse film techniques as lighting, camera-work, editing basics, animation, compositing, and production logistics. From Script to Cinema focuses on giving viewers an understanding of how to have a God-honoring worldview in the medium of film, and how that worldview will affect their filmmaking success or failure. It also includes a worldview assessment to evaluate your own current outlook regarding the topics of Culture, Government, History, Family, Law, Religion, Economics, and Education. From Script to Cinema would make a great unit study for a family of amateur filmmakers. Anyone who’s interested in any aspect of the entertainment industry, such as computer game designers, can learn something here too. Purchase this set and plan on making a summer project out of it! From Script to Cinema is available at Vision Forum.

Rent Faith-Friendly Movies Online at

Learning Links

  • Teachers and Teaching (The first week in May is Teacher Appreciation Week.)

  • The Power of Prayer (The National Day of Prayer is May 7.)

  • Mother's Day (It's YOUR day - you deserve it!)

  • Etiquette and Ethics (The second week in May is National Etiquette Week. See also the featured article in this newsletter.)

  • Make Your Own Museum (May 18 is International Museum Day.)

  • Physical Education (May is Physical Fitness and Sports Month.)

  • Bikes and Bicycling (May is also National Bike Month!)

  • A Salute to Soldiers (May is Military Appreciation Month.)

  • Memorial Day (A special day to honor our fallen veterans.)

  • My Products

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    My Websites

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    A Note From Teri...

    Spring is a great time for getting outdoors and studying nature. It's not too late to create a wildlife habitat for birds, butterflies, and other creatures in your yard! My fully illustrated 28-page Gardening for Wildlife e-book will walk you through the process of creating a wildlife-friendly yard and garden step by step. This month it's still on sale for only $4.95! Click here for details.

    Stay Tuned Next Month for a Special Summer Reading Issue!

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