Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration


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~ July 2014 ~

Dear Readers,

How's your summer so far? Mine's been crazy! It all started when my dad needed what he thought would be a simple hernia operation. But after he came home, complications caused him to go to the emergency room. We live about 60 miles away, so I went to stay with my mom while my dad was in the hospital. When I was there, my mom fell on the back patio and fractured her femur just below the hip. So I had to call 911 and got to ride in the ambulance, and both of my parents ended up in the hospital at the same time!

We were able to arrange with the nurses to wheel my dad down to see my mom before and after her surgery, which was nice considering the circumstances. My dad is back home now and finally starting to feel better (although he still can't get around), and my mom is staying at a health care center where she is getting physical therapy. I've been going back and forth between the two for the past couple of weeks. (If you could keep my parents in your prayers for a full recovery so they can get back together again soon... July 9th is their 54th wedding anniversary!)

I was finally able to come home to spend the 4th of July weekend with my family, and as my "welcome home" present (besides the chocolate cake the kids baked for me!), the pump on our well went out. That means we have no water and no evaporative cooler, when it's 108 degrees outside today. And I found out that while I was gone, my neighbor's house burned down! Like I said, things sure have been crazy around here!

Teri's Sig

Featured Article

Summer Reading

Long days, hot weather, and vacation time all provide abundant opportunity for reading - but with so many books to choose from, you don't want to waste time on mediocre ones. How to Choose a Good Book offers general guidelines on what to look for.

Some books are written in such a way that they are ideally suited for reading aloud. Such books utilize words, sentences, and figurative language in creative ways to enhance the plot development, bring the characters to life, and create a mood. I've put together a list of Read-Aloud Favorites that adults can enjoy reading and no child should grow up without hearing.

For some cool reading fun geared around summer getaway themes, check out my Summer Reading List. (Many of these titles are also on the read-aloud list!) You can download a printable copy for your convenience. It’s annotated and organized by age/grade. Take it along with you the next time you visit the library. Happy Reading!

Book of the Month

Citizens Rule Book

Citizens Rule Book

If you haven't already, be sure to order some Citizens Rule Books for your family and friends. My late father-in-law, a World War II Marine Corps veteran and printer from Boston, printed and distributed this pocket-sized booklet to inform American citizens of their rights. Family-owned and operated Whitten Printers of Phoenix, Arizona, continues to print and distribute this booklet. The pocket-sized book includes the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, plus quotes by our Founding Fathers and information for jurors. Only $1 each!

Famous Homeschoolers

Robert E. Lee

The largest battle ever waged in the Western Hemisphere was fought near the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, over the course of three days from July 1 to July 3, 1863.

Robert E. Lee, commander-in-chief of the Confederate Army, had concentrated his army around Gettysburg upon the approach of Union General George Meade’s forces. Although his strategy at Gettysburg failed, ultimately resulting in the South's surrender, Lee remains one of the best-loved and respected men in American history. A devout Christian, he was admired not only by his own soldiers, but by northerners as well because of his fine character.

Lee grew up on a Virginia plantation where he was taught by his mother; Lee's own children were also educated at home. Read more at:

Reading Between the Lines


Gettysburg (1993, PG) is a must-see movie! We have a family tradition of watching it every year at this time. It's the epic story of the three day battle that forever changed the course of the American Civil War. The movie was pretty much taken verbatim from the well-researched book, Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara; and director Ronald F. Maxwell invested painstaking attention to detail in the movie, creating a historically accurate depiction of the events leading up to and including the battle.

Gettysburg compassionately portrays the personal struggles of real men on both sides, and provides insight into what the war was about. It also features some of the most authentic Civil War battle scenes ever created, culminating with Pickett’s charge, the most courageous and heartbreaking infantry assault in military history. For the first time in 130 years, the actual site was allowed to be used as a movie set. In addition to an all-star cast, the movie featured over 13,000 volunteer Civil War re-enactors who came from all over the world, paid their own way, provided their own uniforms and props, and recreated the battles in front of the cameras. While filming during the summer, the re-enactors also experienced the same conditions as their predecessors. For example, the original soldiers had just marched for miles and had no water when they attempted to conquer a hill in 98-degree heat. Out of respect, the re-enactors who played that part removed their own canteens during the filming of the movie. Buy the DVD or watch instantly on Amazon.

P.S. Did you know that offers instant streaming of movies and TV shows via Amazon Prime? And at only $79 per year, it's cheaper than Netflix! Amazon Prime is even better because it includes unlimited FREE two-day shipping on millions of items with no minimum order size, as well as a Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owner's Lending Library. New customers are eligible for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, and you can cancel anytime. Click here to enjoy unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows!

Learning Links

The Birth of America (Fun facts about the American Revolution.)

Fireworks and How They Work (Learn about all the different styles of fireworks, how they work, what chemicals they're made of, and more!)

Ice Cream (July is National Ice Cream Month!)

In the Good Old Summertime

Summer Reading List

Summer Movies

Play it Safe in the Sun

Summer Safety

Solar Cooking

Family Travel Tips (How to make family travel more enjoyable for kids and parents alike.)

Freebie of the Month

Declaration of Independence
(Download a FREE copy of the Declaration of Independence. Read it with your family as part of your Independence Day celebration.)

How to Get the Most Out of a Homeschool Convention
(This 14-page special report includes a handy checklist!)

Here are some lists that will help with your summer travels!

Road Trip Log - This is what we use to keep track of our miles, times, and places wherever we go; then we save them in a family trip binder for future reference.

Camping Checklist - A vacation packing list that our family has used over the years, with space to add your own items.

Family Trip Plan - We start getting ready for our trip a week ahead of time, by following this list of things to do.

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

Quote of the Month

“If My people which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” ~II Chronicles 7:14

A Note From Teri...

Wishing you a Happy July 4th! As part of your Independence Day festivities, take a moment to reflect on what you and your family can do to stand for life and liberty. As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

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