Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

Click here for October Holidays & Special Days

~ October 2010 ~

Dear Readers,

It's Fire Prevention Week! Did you know that a smoke alarm unit should be replaced every 8-10 years? So if your smoke alarm was installed before October 4, 2000, you need a new one. “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!” is the official theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week, October 3-9. The campaign is designed to educate people about the importance of smoke alarms and encourages everyone to take the steps necessary to update and maintain their home smoke alarm protection. For more information about fire prevention and links to other sites with fire safety activities for kids, see

You can also print out my FREE Fire Safety Activity pages to finish up your school week. There are a total of seven pages including a fire safety quiz, word search, coloring page, and more! Safety Activity Pages.pdf

Featured Article

Make a Difference

Make a Difference Day, the largest national day of helping others, is held every year on the 4th Saturday of October. Research shows that volunteering not only helps others — it actually improves the emotional and physical well being of the volunteers! People who have spent time volunteering report that they receive much more satisfaction and joy out of the experience than they ever expend in inconvenience or effort. Volunteering teaches values like kindness, empathy, and respect while breaking down generational gaps and other barriers of misunderstanding. Beyond those more lofty benefits, volunteering can be a good way to meet people and develop friendships as well as providing insight into one’s own problems. It is something that everyone from students to retirees can do in their spare time. Volunteer work may be used to learn skills and gain experience to put on a resume. Finally, volunteering often provides networking opportunities and is a means to create new contacts that may help in your business or career. Volunteering is fun — and it changes the lives of all those involved. Do you volunteer at your church, in your homeschool group, or out in the community? YOU CAN make a difference!

Here’s my challenge to you for Make a Difference Day. There’s a good chance that someone you know - perhaps a relative, friend, neighbor, homeschooler, or member of your church - has been adversely affected by the economy. Of course, the homeless and those living in poverty always need help, and they are often supported by government aid or charity. But there are also many low income families and working poor struggling to make ends meet. Suffering in silence, they may go unnoticed and unassisted because they’re not completely destitute. Some of these people don't want to leech off the system and they're working hard to survive on their own, but they are feeling the stress and frustration. Such individuals try to provide for their families while living from paycheck to paycheck. Any unexpected costs (such as medical or repair costs) can significantly hurt their pocketbooks.

Many professional people who used to be high wage earners have been forced into low-paying jobs, sometimes holding one or more part-time jobs, which require nearly full-time commitment but are only classified as "part time." This means that they earn enough so they don't qualify for food stamps or unemployment, but it's still not enough to keep up with the bills, buy birthday presents, or purchase homeschool supplies. In addition, for part-time and low-wage workers, many of the benefits available to higher wage earners are out of reach, such as insurance and paid time off. Underpaid and overworked, they may not have the time, energy, or resources to make even simple repairs around the house. Look around you; do you know a deserving family who can use some help with their yard work, landscaping, exterior painting, or fixing the front step? If you know a family in this situation but aren't sure what they need, just ask if there's anything you can do. Trust me, offering to lend them a hand will really make their day, not to mention make a great family volunteer project.

Book of the Month

Easy Homeschooling Series

This wonderful set of books by a veteran homeschool mom will motivate and encourage you throughout the school year while giving lots of practical ideas that can be used daily!

3 Books for $30 - plus FREE shipping!

1. Easy Homeschooling Techniques
2. Easy Homeschooling Curriculum
3. Easy Homeschooling Companion

Click here for detailed book descriptions!

Get ALL 3 BOOKS (valued at $57) for ONLY $30!*
OR purchase one or more individual titles - also on sale!

*And don't forget the FREE SHIPPING!

Famous Homeschoolers

Noah Webster

In honor of Dictionary Day and Noah Webster's birthday on October 16, you can read his biography at

Reading Between the Lines

Celebrate “Books with Beat” from October 17-23

The theme of this year's Teen Read Week is “Books with Beat,” which encourages teens to read poetry, audiobooks, books about music, and more. Libraries around the world celebrate Teen Read Week with a variety of special events and programs aimed at encouraging teens to read for pleasure and to visit their libraries for free reading materials. But hey, who says it has to be for teens only!

Here are several “Books with Beat” for ages 4-8:

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin, by Lloyd Moss. (Learn about the orchestra through pictures and words that reflect the flow of music, in this Caldecott Honor Book.)

Story of the Orchestra, by Robert Levine. (Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music, and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! A wonderful introduction to classical composers and musical periods with information about the men, their music, and corresponding historical events. Includes a CD so kids can listen to the music they're reading about!)

Max Found Two Sticks, by Brian Pinkney. (In this Reading Rainbow book, Max learns that you don't need to talk to say how you feel - especially when you've got music!)

Meet the Orchestra, by Ann Hayes. (A charming introduction to a symphony orchestra, with poetic descriptions of the sounds each instrument makes.)

And here are several resources for ages 9-12:

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, by Paul Fleischman. (A Newbery Medal book; read these poems aloud with a partner, and make the different insects come to life.)

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village, by Laura Amy Schlitz. (This collection of lyrical medieval-themed monologues and dialogues is great for performance or for reading aloud.)

Orchestra! DVD (In this entertaining introduction to classical music, actor/comedian Dudley Moore and master conductor Sir Georg Solti team up to take us on an educational tour through the orchestra, section by section, including the piano as an orchestral instrument.)

Music From the Inside Out DVD (A 2004 documentary about what music is and what it means to the people who perform it. To make this film, director Daniel Anker spent five years with the Philadelphia Orchestra, including their tour in Europe and China. The official website at offers a curriculum guide for classroom use.)

Learning Links

  • Autumn Leaves (Activities and resources for learning about fall leaves.)

  • Autumn is for Apples (Learn a little bit about Johnny Appleseed and try some yummy apple recipes.)

  • Fire Safety (National Fire Prevention Week is held during the second week in October.)

  • Columbus Day (Columbus Day is named in honor of Christopher Columbus for his discovery of the Americas on October 12, 1492.)

  • Halloween (The history and traditions of this holiday, along with a few Halloween alternatives.)

  • Spooky Shakespeare (In this article, you will find a selection of scary scenes from Shakespeare’s plays.)

Freebie(s) of the Month

Check out my printable Fire Safety Activities (7 pages total): Safety Activity Pages.pdf

Here is a copy of my "Costumes for all Seasons" booklet: Booklet 4.pdf

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

Quote of the Month

“The natural laws governing the structure of the universe – harmony, proportion, balance, and rhythm – also govern music, dance, painting, poetry; I therefore urge making these art forms a foundation of educational method.” ~Plato

A Note From Teri...

Guess what! If you missed Fire Safety Week, you'll have a second chance during National School Safety Week (but we can call it Homeschool Safety Week!) from October 17-23. For other health and safety topics, check out this page:

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

Copyright © 2010 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 .