Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

September Holidays & Special Days - Click Here!

~ September 2014 ~

Dear Readers,

September is a time of change and reflection, whether going back to school or beginning college for the first time, to marking the end of summer and the start of autumn. My husband and I always look forward to our anniversary on September 25th. On the other hand, September 11th is a sad day of remembering all those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks. Speaking of which, Homeschool Library is running a series of posts this week on 9/11. Yesterday the focus was on unit studies and today it's multimedia materials. See all of the free resources at

Teri's Sig

Featured Article

NOTE: My husband has been playing Lumosity all summer and raving about it, so I asked him to write a review. Here it is!

Lumosity Brain Games

After listening to Pandora free internet radio for a year, I began seeing an advertisement for Lumosity. It is a web-based program for training your brain, developed by a team of scientists and backed by real neuroscience research. I decided one day to try it out. It is a free service where you get three games per day, with about twelve games rotating. If you pay for a subscription, more games and I assume more opportunities to play become available.

Lumosity provides a variety of short games that assist you to use your memory, hone your ability to focus attention, and force you to be flexible when interpreting what you see. The exercises are frustrating, but in a way that builds up your abilities. I compare it to sore muscles after a workout. It is now part of my daily routine and I find myself looking forward to it each day. It provides feedback showing my progress versus prior sessions.

One game is called Penguin Pursuit. You navigate a penguin through a maze using the directional keys on your keyboard. Your goal is to get to a fish so your penguin can feast. Unfortunately there is another penguin you are racing to the same goal. To make things more interesting, the maze keeps rotating so you are constantly re-evaluating which way your directional commands will move your penguin.

A second game involves switching between the meaning of a word and the color of the letters. A simple example is, "What color is the following word?": "YELLOW" (printed in black letters). The answer is of course black. So the game requires you to reach agreement with conflicting information. You are asked questions and the faster you answer, the more questions you will get within the allotted time. Your number of correct answers is tallied and you can see if you are making progress over time.

In a third game, you must concentrate on the center of the screen to identify a letter while your periphery vision detects the location of a bird. Both flash only for a moment. You must click on the bird’s location and also correctly identify the letter. Success means you get the letter which helps you identify a bird, which once done ends up in your “bird watching journal.”

These are only three of the dozen or so free games and there are 40 or more games if you sign up for the subscription. It takes about ten minutes to play through three games. I think it is time well spent each day. Think of it as a personal trainer for your brain. Challenge your cognitive skills at

Book of the Month

Celebrate Constitution Week, September 17-24! A thorough knowledge of the Constitution is more important today than ever. The Citizens Rule Book (legacy of my late father-in-law) contains the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and quotes by Founding Fathers. Consider distributing this handy pocket-sized booklet to family, friends, homeschoolers, co-workers, church members, community groups. Only $1 each! Order online at HomeschoolPatriot.

Famous Homeschoolers

Mandalynn Carlson

Mandalynn Carlson is a 15-year-old homeschooled actress, stand-up comedian, and radio personality. She has starred in several family-friendly faith-based films, and also hopes to someday produce her own. Read Mandalynn's biography and her exclusive interview with Homeschooling Teen magazine at

Reading Between the Lines

Fahrenheit 451

In Ray Bradbury's classic novel, firemen don't put out fires-- they start them!-- in order to burn books. (The title of Fahrenheit 451 refers to the temperature at which the pages in books catch fire.) But it's not a simple case of censorship. The most disturbing thing about this book is that, unlike many science fiction stories that deal with a frightening vision of the distant future, Fahrenheit 451 (written in 1953) is more relevant now than ever. Perhaps books haven't been banned yet, but technology has truly taken over and people live to be entertained rather than thinking deeply about important issues. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury predicted everything from earbuds and flat-panel televisions to political correctness and the desire to not offend every imaginable group and sub-group. Ironically, the novel's inclusion in schools and libraries is often opposed by various special-interest groups. Fahrenheit 451 does contain scenes of violence, suicide, drunkenness, smoking, Bible-burning and some bad language. Considering the context, however, this book should be okay for older high school students (15+). Read teen homeschool author Narrelle Gilchrist's insightful analysis:

Learning Links

Freebie(s) of the Month

Constitution Challenge - In honor of Constitution Week which is September 17–24, have your children memorize the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. I've put together a decorative copy of The Preamble, a memory activity, memorization tips, vocabulary, and Constitutional Quotations for Copywork (4 pages total).

Rules of Civility - To celebrate Children's Good Manners Month, have your children learn general courtesies, manners and morals the way George Washington did! Click here for a free copy of "George Washington's Rules of Civility" in a 17-page e-book.

September is National Preparedness Month. Would you and your family be ready in an emergency? Here are some helpful printables:

(All of the above require Adobe Reader: click here for free download.)

Quote of the Month

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.” ~Samuel Adams

A Note From Teri...

This month is my newsletter's 7th anniversary! To celebrate, I'm having a big sale on my exclusive homeschool book set! (Each title is also available individually.) These books will be a refreshing source of encouragement and practical motivation throughout your school year.

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

*Plus you'll get FREE SHIPPING!

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

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

Copyright © 2014 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 .