Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

October Holidays & Special Days - Click Here!

~ October 2011 ~

Dear Readers,

Have you seen "Courageous" yet? I highly recommend that you do, and be sure to take the men in your household. Even better, encourage Dad to go with some Christian friends of his, so they can all be inspired and then help to hold each other accountable to the challenge this movie will bring. The latest film from Sherwood Pictures aims to do for fatherhood what their movie "Fireproof" did for marriage.

My family and I are huge fans of the Sherwood Baptist film ministry (“Flywheel,” “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof”), so we were looking forward to the opening day of their new movie with great anticipation. We went to the 10:30 am showing of “Courageous” on Friday, September 30, and it far surpassed our expectations. They sure packed a lot into this movie – including a positive reference to homeschooling!

“Courageous” is an amazingly well-done production, although it's kind of an emotional rollercoaster with scenes suddenly switching between really sad and really funny. There are also a few unexpected plot twists. While “Fireproof” is still my personal favorite, “Courageous” shows a big improvement in Sherwood Pictures’ art of moviemaking. Alex Kendrick has outdone himself as an actor in this one, too.

“Courageous” is a must-see – especially for dads! – because the moral of the story is for fathers to spend time with their family, take an interest in what their children are interested in, and live up to all of the responsibilities that come with fatherhood. It’s a bold movie theme for today's society, and hopefully a wake-up call for absentee (and "workaholic") dads to turn their hearts to home.

Fatherhood can be one of the most rewarding (and one of the toughest) jobs on earth. Juggling work and family responsibilities doesn't come easy - it takes some deliberate effort. We're not just talking about a father's physical presence but more importantly his influence as a male role model, authority figure, and spiritual head of the household - to serve and protect his family.

All parents – both moms and dads – need to make sacrifices for their kids of course. But this film will inspire male movie- goers in particular to rise up and be strong, godly men. Being just “good enough” isn’t, well, good enough. Our whole family - mom, dad, and sons (ages 11, 16, and 21) - enjoyed this movie. Now we can’t wait for the DVD!

Teri's Sig

P.S. Click here for Courageous resources that accompany the "Courageous" movie.

See also: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys and Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father's Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood

Featured Article

Homeschool Movies

It's been a surprisingly good season for homeschool-related movies, with "Courageous" as mentioned above, and this summer's "Soul Surfer," which told the true story of a home- schooled surfer girl. Also showing in theatres at this time is "Dolphin Tale," a family-friendly movie that features a home schooled character as well as two homeschooled actors.

The movie “Dolphin Tale” stars a boy (Nathan Gamble) who is homeschooled in real life, and a girl (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) who is homeschooled in the movie and real life. Homeschoolers will be pleased to know that “Dolphin Tale” has a positive homeschool message that is seamlessly woven into the plot. Based on a true story, though embellished with fictional human drama, “Dolphin Tale” is a heartwarming family film about Winter, a young bottlenose dolphin who loses her tail after getting caught in a crab trap off the Florida coast.

The character named Hazel lives with her dad (Dr. Clay Haskett, a marine biologist) and her grandfather (a crusty old sailor) on a houseboat where she is homeschooled. Hazel befriends a shy boy named Sawyer Nelson, who has been skipping school in order to visit the dolphin. When Sawyer’s mom finds out that her son has been missing school, he begs her to visit the marine hospital to see what he’s been doing. For the first time, he is actually excited about learning and he even offers to write an essay about his experience. Realizing the value in her son’s non-traditional educational environment, his mom pleads with Sawyer’s teacher to allow him to receive credit for his marine work.

It’s interesting to note the parallels between “Dolphin Tale” and another uplifting family film, “Nim's Island” (2008). Like “Nim’s Island,” the movie “Dolphin Tale” shows homeschooling in a positive light. The characters of Nim and Hazel are both cute, vivacious, independent, and smart. Each of the young female characters lives in an ocean environment and has a marine biologist dad. Both characters’ mothers died when the girls were little. Last but not least, the two lead characters are both played by homeschooled actresses! (“Nim’s Island” stars Abigail Breslin, homeschooled through Calvert School.)

Read more about the “Dolphin Tale” movie and its homeschooled stars at

Book of the Month

The LORD is My Shepherd: 23rd Psalm Unit Study

Psalm 23

At church recently, our pastor was doing a series on the Psalms. One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 23, "The Lord is My Shepherd." Although often reserved for times of trouble and fear, the 23rd Psalm is applicable to every day of our lives. A few years ago I wrote a unit study on Psalm 23. This 72-page unit study contains something for everyone from preschoolers to high school students as well as adults. It's ideal for family devotions, Christian classrooms, home schools and Sunday schools. I hope you will learn as much from doing this unit study as I did from making it. ;) Click here to view the e-book contents and to order. Only $4.95!

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

Teen Read Week, October 16-22

Teen Read Week is held annually during the third week of October. The purpose of Teen Read Week is to encourage teens to read for pleasure. This year’s theme is "Picture It! @ your library" which is great because it includes so much! You can read books about movies, photography, art, cartooning, or even a graphic novel or manga.

In addition, Usborne Books are a favorite source of illustrated books for all ages. The information in Usborne Books is presented in an eye-catching pictorial format to excite readers and hold their attention. The National Assessment for Educational Progress found that students who report reading for the fun of it score better on standardized tests. Usborne Books make reading such an enjoyable activity that your kids won't even realize they're learning!

P.S. Teen Read Week doesn't have to be just for teens only! So pick up a picture book of some kind and read it – just for fun! ;)

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.)

Make a Difference Day (The largest national day of helping others is held every year on the 4th Saturday of October.)

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 of the Month

Fire Prevention Week 2011 is October 9-15! Download my printable Fire Safety Activities including a fire safety quiz, word search, coloring page, and more (7 pages total): Safety Activity Pages.pdf

Do your kids like to dress up for Halloween or just for fun? Here is a copy of my "Costumes for all Seasons" booklet: Booklet 4.pdf

October & November Calendar - Print out these calendar pages and hang on your fridge, next to your computer, or keep in a binder. Includes a convenient list of holidays and special days, plus space for notes.

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

Quote of the Month

“And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” ~Malachi 4:6

A Note From Teri...

While we seem to be on the theme of movies this month, I would also like to recommend a video that was recently released by Ray Comfort's Living Waters ministry. It's a 33-minute documentary with lots of "man-on-the-street" interviews. The message is on how abortion can be compared to the Holocaust. Apparently this movie has been changing many hearts to pro-life! You can watch it for free here: (Caution: some scenes are not suitable for young children.)

You can also get the “180 Course.” It will equip you to quickly and easily help people see issues from another perspective, encouraging them to do a 180 in their views—both about the value of the unborn and about God. This resource contains a life-changing two-part video (Changing Hearts About Abortion & Changing Hearts About God); an in-depth 64-page Study Guide by Ray Comfort with Kay Arthur and Randy Alcorn; a pack of 100 “180” tracts; and a copy of Randy Alcorn’s book Why Prolife? Right now you can get the entire course for only $10. It's another way you can help make a difference!

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

P.S. Did you like this newsletter?

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 .