Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

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~ May 2016 ~

Happy May!

Hope you had a nice Mother's Day weekend. It came too early this year for me. I wasn't ready for it yet because I had a birthday party, car troubles, and packrat problems to get over with first. May 9-13 is National Etiquette Week if you want to download a free copy of George Washington's Rules of Civility for the occasion. It's also National Bike Month AND Physical Fitness and Sports Month, so enjoy!

Teri's Sig

Featured Article

Driver Ed in a Box

Do you want your teens to simply pass the driver's test and get a license? Or do you want them to drive collision-free?

Driver Ed in a Box® is a comprehensive program for parents who are training or assisting in the driver training of their teenagers. The goal is to teach your teen the skills and habits of collision-free driving. These techniques were developed through years of working with driving training instructors, experienced fleet drivers, and driver education students. The concept was developed by a parent, Patrick L. Barrett, who also happens to be a nationally-known expert in the business of driver education.

In 1997, parents were given the option of teaching driver education to their own teens in Texas. Mr. Barrett’s son, Michael, was eligible to begin his driver training, so Mr. Barrett ordered the parent-led materials from the state. After spending several hours reading what the state of Texas had produced for parent-taught driver education, he said, “It’s a good thing I already know what I’m supposed to do, because nobody is going to figure it out from this.” That’s when he decided to create Driver Ed in a Box®.

First, Mr. Barrett produced an audio series to guide parents step by step through the process of safely training a new driver in the habits of collision-free driving. Next, he made a set of videos that actually show the process of parent/teen working together toward the goal of collision-free driving. At the same time, he wrote a textbook specifically made for parent-taught or guided driver education. Since then, he has revamped and updated Driver Ed in a Box® several times, so families will always have the best course possible.

Driver Ed in a Box® is the only private Texas-based program officially approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, and New Mexico Transportation Department. But students in all states will benefit from these lessons. Our family lives in Arizona and we’ve used the same Driver Ed in a Box® curriculum with all three of our boys. Last summer, the lady at the state motor vehicle department who took one of our sons out for his road test commended him on being the safest young driver she’d ever seen. Driver Ed in a Box® is a practical, no-nonsense program that really works!

Driver Ed in a Box® provides all the tools you will need for teaching your teen how to drive collision-free. Over 50 hours of in-car instruction are included for rural, residential, city, and highway driving with special emphasis on specific maneuvers. This program not only stresses the importance of driving safely, but explains in detail how to do that, from watching out for pedestrians to being careful around 18-wheelers. The full course also has a section on Social & Consumer Issues, which informs teens about how alcohol and drugs as well as emotions and attitude affect driving performance. The box contains: CD-ROM with 17 videos, audio series, textbook, student workbook, spiral-bound parent companion, driving journal, student driver sign, training mirrors, certificate of completion, and Advantage Safety Club membership.

NEW! Driver Ed in a Box® is out of the Box!

The Driver Ed in a Box® program is now available online. So you can access everything you need from any computer. Just log in and get started. Since it’s all online, it’s even easier to do! The online program is less expensive, too. (But it doesn’t contain the extra items that come in the box.)

See Also: Driving Test Review (100 questions with answers) NOTE: I made up this test based on the Arizona driving manual, so the laws may be different in other states but the rules of the road should be pretty much the same.

Book of the Month

Educational Words of Wisdom

Learning for Life

Treat yourself to this treasury of classic and contemporary rhetorical gems that will inspire and encourage you! Learning for Life contains almost 3,000 quotes by more than 1,000 people on teaching, learning, and the pursuit of knowledge - as well as a whole chapter of quotations about “Mothers & Motherhood.” Quotes are categorized by subject, covering both traditional and nontraditional forms of education. It’s like a conversation across the ages, full of rhetorical gems and sage advice! (Includes Bible verses, index, appendix & biographical notes.) Order your copy today!

Famous Homeschoolers

Chelsea Noble

Kirk Cameron has once again sparked controversy with his conservative views on the woman's role in marriage. But his wife Chelsea doesn't have a problem with it. Read an article at about this Christian homeschool mom who loves her job. She values the leadership that Kirk provides as a father and a husband, realizing that it doesn’t lessen her role as mother but rather “makes my job as a mom so much more wonderful because I can rely on him to lead.”

Reading Between the Lines

Surviving the Applewhites

In this 2003 Newbery Honor book, a juvenile delinquent named Jake Semple (with red spiked hair, piercings, and a bad smoking habit) is sent to stay with the Applewhites, a homeschool family living at Wit’s End in rural North Carolina.

The Applewhites call their school-at-home the Creative Academy. A banner on the wall states: “education is an adventurous quest for the meaning of life, involving an ability to think things through” (p. 27). Their learning style is more like unschooling, though, and the family is rather eccentric.

The mother is an author in the middle of writing a book. The father is a play director and scriptwriter. The grandfather is a craftsman. Hal, the older brother (15), stays in his room all day sculpting and painting. Cordellia writes and choreographs her own dances. Destiny, the youngest at age 5, is talkative and messy, with paint in his hair.

E.D. likes to study and collect butterflies, and she’s so organized that she already has her curriculum planned out for the entire year. However, E.D. is the only Applewhite who isn’t artistic so she feels kind of left out.

Nevertheless, E.D. eventually realizes that everyone in the family – including herself – is special in their own way.

The characters may seem self-centered, but they all pull together as a family to put on a play, “The Sound of Music.”

In the end, Jake also undergoes a major transformation and discovers his real talent.

Children and adults of all ages will enjoy reading about this creative family and their crazy life.

Homeschoolers especially will enjoy reading about other kids their age who share their schooling situation.

So if you’re looking for some light, fun, summer reading, this book would be perfect! The novel even includes discussion questions and activities at the end!

Buy Surviving the Applewhites at

Learning Links

Etiquette and Ethics - May 9-13 is National Etiquette Week.

A Salute to Soldiers - May is Military Appreciation Month.

Physical Education - May is Physical Fitness & Sports Month.

Bikes and Bicycling - May is also National Bike Month!

Memorial Day - A special day to honor our fallen veterans.

Freebie of the Month

Homeschool convention season is here! Download a copy of How to Get the Most Out of a Homeschool Convention. This 14-page special report includes a handy checklist!

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

Quote of the Month

“The mother’s heart is the child's schoolroom.” ~Henry Ward Beecher

A Note From Teri...

Wishing you all a wonderful summer of fun and learning!

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

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

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