Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

August Holidays & Special Days - Click Here!

~ August 2014 ~

Dear Readers,

I can't believe the summer is almost over already! I was living away from home for nearly a whole month while caring for my parents. We literally lost track of how many times my dad had to return to the hospital due to complications after what should have been a routine surgery. Just as I thought he was better and I came home for 4th of July weekend, when I went back to check on him he'd gotten much worse! Once again in the emergency room, it was rather alarming to see a bunch of frantic doctors and nurses suddenly come running in because his stats were so low. This time it was a pulmonary embolism. Now he is on blood thinning medication, and my mom is home recovering from her broken femur. We go in once a week to do their shopping and chores for them (like cleaning up the yard after a microburst hit their house last week!). The moral of this story is, anything can happen when you least expect it, so be sure to spend enough time with your loved ones while you still can!

Teri's Sig

Featured Article

Back to Homeschool

Itís that time of year to stock up on school stuff while everything is on sale! Even year-round homeschoolers will appreciate having a brand new set of supplies when moving up to the next grade. Get your kids involved in the planning process. Then go to the store as a family and let your children choose what they want from the wide variety of styles and themes that are available. This way they can express their individuality, and they will be more likely to enjoy using those items that they had a say in picking out.

Essential school supplies will vary depending on the type of curriculum and grade level. In general, however, if you have school-age children itís a good idea to always have the following basic supplies on hand: dictionary, thesaurus, pencils, pencil sharpener, erasers, paperclips, stapler, scissors, clear adhesive tape, masking tape, computer, printer, ink cartridges, and paper.

Preschool to elementary students will need: pencils, crayons, pencil and crayon sharpener, eraser, washable markers, safety scissors, white glue, glue stick, colored construction paper, drawing paper, notebooks, pocket folders, lined penmanship paper, math manipulatives, chalk, lunch tote (for field trips), and magazines with colorful pictures to cut out.

Middle to High School will need: pens, mechanical pencils, colored pencils, No. 2 pencils, fine-line markers, highlighters, ruler, scientific calculator, graph paper, three-ring binders, spiral notebooks (one for each subject), lined loose-leaf paper, pocket folders, composition book, journal, calendar, wristwatch, bookbag or backpack.

You might think your teenager has outgrown the crayons, markers, and other art and craft supplies, but older children still do research projects, science fair entries, book reports, skits and plays that require visual presentations. You donít want to find out that your supply closet is empty the night before a project is due, so keep some poster board, construction paper, and colored markers in there just in case.

One more thing - In addition to checking your inventory, this is a good time of year to have the kids test all of their glue sticks, white glue, markers, etc. to make sure these items haven't dried out just in case they need to replaced. There's nothing worse than being in the middle of a project and finding out that something doesn't work!

A long time ago I made a checklist of basic homeschool supplies that our family found useful, which you might want to download, print out, and adapt for your own use:

Book(s) of the Month

Well, a new school year is right around the corner! This is a perfect time to think ahead about how to make the most of those back-to-school days--especially if you homeschool.

Check out the special package Iíve put together for you - save over 50% on my exclusive Back-to-Homeschool set! These books will be a source of refreshing encouragement and practical motivation throughout your school year.

Easy Homeschooling Library

Learning for Life: Educational Words of Wisdom
Easy Homeschooling Techniques
Easy Homeschooling Curriculum
Easy Homeschooling Companion
How to Write a Homeschool Mission Statement

Click here for detailed book descriptions!

Get ALL 5 BOOKS (valued at $85) for ONLY $30!*

*Plus you'll get FREE SHIPPING!

OR purchase one or more individual titles - also on sale!

How to Write a Homeschool Mission Statement

How to Write a Homeschool Mission Statement

The beginning of a school year is an exciting time of opening new curriculum, planning your upcoming schedule, etc. You want this to be your best year ever, right? So while youíre at it, why not write a homeschool mission statement!

How to Write a Homeschool Mission Statement is an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide that explains in practical terms how to create, utilize, and display a homeschool mission statement. It includes: Examples, Discussion Questions, Worksheets, Keyword List, Scriptures, Quotations, Mottoes, Things to Do, and more!

Download your copy of How to Write a Homeschool Mission Statement, a 36-page e-book for only $4.95! (WAS $8.50)

OR get this e-book FREE in my Back-to-Homeschool set!

Learning for Life

Learning for Life: Educational Words of Wisdom

Wish you had the perfect quote (or quotes) to provide support for your family's homeschool mission? Well, look no further! Educational quotations can be a source of inspiration throughout your homeschool journey. Learning for Life: Educational Words of Wisdom is the only book of quotations compiled specifically with homeschoolers in mind. In fact, you will be delighted to know how many famous people from the past to the present agree with your educational philosophy!

Learning for Life is a 420-page treasury of nearly 3,000 quotations by more than 1,000 people on teaching, learning, and the pursuit of knowledge. The quotes are categorized by subject, covering both traditional and nontraditional forms of education. Many of these quotations are from Christian sources, harkening back to our schoolsí Christian heritage and reflecting a strong biblical perspective.

For more information, please visit my Learning for Life page:

Learning for Life is part of my Back-to-Homeschool sale!

Famous Homeschoolers

Did you know...? Two Pairs of Famous Homeschoolers Have August Birthdays!

William Clark and Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis & Clark Expedition were both born this month (August 1, 1770 and August 18, 1774, respectively).

Wilbur Wright was born on August 16, 1867, and his brother Orville was born on August 19, 1871. National Aviation Day is also celebrated on Orville Wrightís birthday.

Also, don't forget Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell in honor of National Inventors Month! Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb as well as many other things. Alexander Graham Bell is most famous for inventing the telephone, but he was also a teacher of deaf people.

Reading Between the Lines

Media Literacy

Media Literacy: Thinking Critically is an educational series of nine supplemental texts for middle school and high school students written by Peyton Paxson, J.D., Ph.D. The author specifically wrote these books to advocate for a more critical appraisal of media messages. The titles include:

  • Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about Video Games and Virtual Worlds

  • Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about the Internet

  • Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about Television

  • Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about Advertising

  • Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about Sex in the Media

  • Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about Newspapers and Magazines

  • Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about Visual Culture

  • Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about Movies

  • Media Literacy: Thinking Critically about Music and Media

Paxson has a B.S. in Advertising and an M.A. in English with a concentration in Popular Culture. He earned his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, and his Ph.D. from Boston University where he majored in American and New England Studies. Paxson is a Professor at Middlesex Community College in Boston. He teaches courses ranging from Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Principles of Correction to Contemporary China, Popular Culture and Society, and U.S. History after 1865.

As an educator, Paxson specializes in understanding the relationship between the media and the classroom. His books are written in an accessible, easy to read, well-organized manner. To support the valuable lessons on thinking critically about media, these small paperbacks include writing assignments, discussion questions, and other activities. My favorites are the ones on Movies, the Internet, and Video Games/Virtual Worlds, but I think all of these would be useful as independent study electives for teens.

The Media Literacy series is published by Walch Education and the books are available at

P.S. Paxson also wrote Mass Communications and Media Studies: An Introduction. This comprehensive yet concise book serves as a primary text for media studies courses at two-year colleges. Its focus is a broad survey of the media industry and the role that mass media plays in society. It covers the history of mass communication media, discusses the current state of each medium, and anticipates the future of mass media. Divided into twelve chapters, it can be used in either 16-week semesters or 12-week terms.

Learning Links

Summer Movies - Wind down the summer and celebrate Family Fun month with some popcorn, lemonade, and one or more of these movies. Some of them have summer themes and others just evoke the feeling of a summer adventure.

Meteors - The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks on August 12.

Meteorites - How to recognize a meteorite.

Lemonade - August 20 is Lemonade Day.

Monarch Butterflies - The Monarch Butterfly's fall migration begins around August 21.

National Parks - The National Park Service was established on August 25, 1916.

I Have a Dream - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave this famous speech on August 28, 1963.

Labor Day - Labor Day will be on September 1 this year.

Freebie of the Month

When my parents were both hospitalized this summer, and I was checking to see if they had any bills that were due and logging into my mom's e-mail for her, I got to thinking... what if something ever happened to me, would anyone be able to take care of my stuff? What about you? Do you have a blog, do online banking, buy from e-commerce sites, run an Etsy shop, or the like? Would your spouse know how to check your e-mails or log into your accounts if needed? I made a couple of lists for this purpose. Keep these lists updated and in a safe place in case of emergency, or if you forget what your own passwords are! Passwords | E-mail Addresses

Quote of the Month

ďOur greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.Ē ~Thomas Edison

A Note From Teri...

August is "National Back-to-School Month" as well as "Family Fun Month" - and what better way to finish up the summer than by spending some quality time together! As if you really needed an excuse to have fun as a family, right? But time flies and people lead busy lives. So take a break during the month of August to watch movies, play games, go hiking and biking, have a picnic or campout, and enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun before everyone becomes preoccupied with school activities and projects!

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

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

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