Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

October Holidays & Special Days - Click Here!

~ October 2012 ~

Dear Readers,

Happy October! Our family went on a spur-of-the-moment vacation at the end of September. Joshua, 12, had been talking about Legoland and his favorite ride, the Volvo driving school, lamenting that he’d be too old for it by the time we got there again. (The ticket prices are so expensive, $52 for kids and $60 for adults, that we couldn’t afford to go there every year like we used to.) I just happened to look at the Legoland California website and saw that they were having a Legoland Homeschool Day on Friday, September 28 and those tickets were only $21! Around the same time, I was looking at the Smithsonian Museum Day website and saw that the Creation & Earth History Museum in Santee, CA was having a free day with special events including three talks by Ray Comfort on Saturday, September 29! So it’s like, we had to go! My husband works part-time and luckily has off on Friday. We left as soon as he got home from work on Thursday and drove across the desert from Arizona to the California coast. We camped in our tent at the South Carlsbad State Beach campground and ate out of our cooler to save money. We were gone for a total of 5 days (two of those were driving days). We only ate in one restaurant and ordered one pizza the whole time. (It helped that Krispy Kreme and Chick-fil-A had booths at the Creation Museum.) The main expense was gas at $100 per tank - and that was just in the nick of time before the price skyrocketed! It was nice to see 17-year-old Jonathan having fun on the rides with his younger brother. Jon and Josh both thanked us profusely and Josh said, "I’m glad I got to go to Legoland and the beach one more time while I was still a little kid!" See the end of this newsletter for a funny thing about Legoland Homeschool Day!

Teri's Sig

Featured Article

Great Books

"All books are divisible into two classes: the books of the hour, and the books of all time." ~John Ruskin

The first week of October was Great Books Week, a time to celebrate “great books.” But it doesn't need to be Great Books Week for you to read great books - you can read great books all year round!

What are great books? First and foremost, when we think of great books, we generally think of the literary classics. Few people would make a list of great books that left out William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, or Mark Twain. They set the standard for great literature.

Longevity is certainly an indication that a book is great, since people would not continue to read a book if it didn’t have value. The literary classics have been read and enjoyed for generations. But great books are being written today, too, and most of us probably have our own list of special books that have touched our lives.

Great books are the books that stay with us long after we’ve put them down. A great book engages the reader both intellectually and emotionally. It entertains as well as provokes thought. It teaches without preaching and leaves us a little better than we were before we read it.

Reading great literature will also inspire children to be good writers. Well-written literature demonstrates proper grammar and word usage. When new vocabulary is acquired from books they have read, children can incorporate it into their own writings.

Perhaps not surprisingly, many literary classics 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.

For a list of great books that can be read aloud, see: (This list includes great books for all ages, from preschool to adult.) What do you think makes a book great? What is your favorite great book?

Book DVD of the Month

Chemistry 101

I'm so excited to tell you about this awesome science DVD, I'm substituting it in place of my Book-of-the-Month! For the past few years I’ve been searching for a homeschool science curriculum on DVD. We have textbooks and CD-ROMs, but my boys think textbooks are boring; and just because a computer program is interactive doesn’t necessarily make it interesting. Science of all subjects should be fun! I was really hoping to find some video lessons that the whole family could watch together. We always enjoyed the Moody Science video series, but for the higher grades we needed something more formally structured like an actual course. Likewise, I wanted something that focused on the facts without wasting precious learning time on silly entertainment. Finally this summer I discovered the 101 Series by Westfield Studios and I highly recommend it! Read my complete review here.

Famous Homeschoolers

Gianna Jessen

Aborted...Survived...Homeschooled! Read her amazing story at:

Did You Know...? The movie October Baby was loosely based on the life of abortion survivor and pro-life speaker Gianna Jessen.

Reading Between the Lines

Teen Read Week, October 14-20

Teen Read Week is held annually during the third week of October. This year’s theme is “It Came From the Library… Dare to Read.” Find out what's lurking in YOUR library! Teen Read Week is a time to celebrate reading in all its forms – book and magazines, e-books, audiobooks and more. The continuing message of Teen Read Week is to encourage 12-18 year olds to “Read for the Fun of It.” Research shows that teens who read for pleasure score better on standardized tests and are more likely to succeed in the workforce. So visit your local library for free reading materials – and Dare to Read just for fun!

Learning Links

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

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 2012 is October 7-13! 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

We're coming up on the season for sending care packages to soldiers overseas and gift-filled shoe boxes to children around the world. If you find yourself at a loss for ideas on what to include, I've put together a couple of lists with lots of suggestions. Print them out, and you take a copy with you to store to check off items as you buy them. Keep another copy in your household binder for future reference.

Operation Christmas Child | Adopt a Soldier

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

Quote of the Month

“And though I have...all knowledge...and have not charity, I am nothing.” ~I Corinthians 13:2

A Note From Teri...

A funny thing about Legoland Homeschool Day. The park was open from 10 am - 5 pm and we wanted to get there on time so we'd be able to see everything before it closed. (Which is getting harder to do because they keep adding more stuff!) Anyway, we were entering the parking lot right at 10:00 and all these moms in minivans were whizzing past us! We were thinking, boy, California homeschoolers sure are fast drivers. Then my 12-year-old quipped, "They probably just have a car full of whiny kids and can't wait to get there." :D

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

P.S. Did you like this newsletter?

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