Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

October Holidays & Special Days - Click Here!

~ October 2014 ~

Dear Readers,

Happy October! It's not easy to find autumn leaves when you live in the desert, but we drove to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon a couple of weekends ago and got to see a mix of colorful leaves amid the evergreen and spruce forest, with meadows full of deer.
Hope your family is having a fun fall season!
Teri's Sig

Featured Article

Becca McCann & The Essies

Becca McCann & The Essies is a Christian musical group made up of four homeschooled siblings: Becca (22), Meghan (28), Ryan (25), and Willie (20).

The McCanns are a down-to-earth family who live in a vintage farmhouse in the middle of a cornfield in Minnesota. On their website, the band members describe themselves as “songwriters / music makers / homeschoolers / chefs / film buffs / movie makers / but especially a family.” They have a younger sister, Stasia, and the McCann family also includes four other children adopted from China.

The band was named The Essies, which means “stars,” after Daniel 12:3: “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” Their upbeat style is a unique blend of pop, rock, and country.

Becca McCann & The Essies’ first album, four years in the making, was just released last month. Their self-titled CD perfectly captures the best family moments – campfires, summer nights, Christmastime, celebrations, sunshine and lollipops – and puts them to music.

***Check out Homeschooling Teen's exclusive interview & RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!!! You could win a free CD!***

Book of the Month

Great Books

Last week was Great Books Week - I know, I missed it too - but we should be reading great books all year round anyway!

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, Charles Dickens, or Mark Twain. They set the standard for great literature.

Great books are both engaging and entertaining. 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.

Great books are the books that stay with us long after we’ve put them down. They teach without preaching and leave us a little better than we were before we read it. Most of us probably have our own list of special books that have touched our lives.

For a list of great books that can be read aloud, click here: (This list includes great books for all ages, from preschool to adult.) Also, scroll down to "Reading Between the Lines" for a list of great fantasy books.

Famous Homeschoolers

Bethany Hamilton

The inspiring true story of Christian homeschooler Bethany Hamilton is an encouraging example for anyone facing a debilitating injury or other difficulty in their life. On October 31, 2003, the teen surfer survived a shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off. She overcame her injury and went on to become one of the top women surfers in the world. Bethany is an especially great role model for girls and young women.

Bethany’s autobiography is titled Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. Hamilton also has several other books credited to her name including Ask Bethany: FAQs: Surfing, Faith and Friends, Soul Surfer Devotions, Rise Above: A 90-Day Devotional, and the Soul Surfer Bible.

This is the perfect time of year to watch the Soul Surfer movie, because the story starts out in October just before Halloween. Viewers can sit in on a Sunday morning worship service at Calvary Chapel in Kauai, and later see how they celebrate Thanksgiving in Hawaii. The acting and cinematography are excellent. Dennis Quaid does a great job as the dad. By the way, actress AnnaSophia Robb (who plays Bethany) grew up in a Christian family and was homeschooled too! Bethany herself performed all of the one-armed surfing stunts.

Bonus features on the DVD include behind-the-scenes footage and a faith-based documentary, "Heart of a Soul Surfer," which focuses on Bethany's devout Christianity, her courage and faith in Jesus Christ, and her quest for spiritual meaning in the aftermath of the shark attack.

For a free downloadable scripture-based discussion guide to go with the movie, click here:

Did you know...? Bethany's turning point was a trip to tsunami-stricken Thailand where she volunteered with the international relief group World Vision. Out of her own pain, she reached out to help others. For more information about Bethany and her work with Christian charities around the world, visit and

Reading Between the Lines

Teen Read Week, October 12-18

Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). It began in 1998 and is held annually during the third week of October. Its purpose is to encourage teens to "Read For The Fun Of It." Teen Read Week's sub-theme for this year is Turn Dreams Into Reality @ your library, which encourages teens to pick up a mystery, sci-fi or fantasy title, or to explore a previously unknown genre or title. I recommend these classic Christian fantasies:

The Pendragon Cycle, by Stephen Lawhead. (A Christian retelling of the King Arthur legend.)

The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald. (C.S. Lewis credited MacDonald, who predated him, with having baptized his imagination. This book is free on Kindle!)

Tales of the Kingdom and Tales of the Resistance, by David and Karen Mains. (These allegories teach kids and adults the importance of trusting God as they unveil fundamental truths about good and evil.)

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. (An Oxford professor, Tolkien was instrumental in C.S. Lewis’ salvation. His books personify the victory of good over evil.)

Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis. (The author of the children's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia also wrote a more sophisticated science fiction trilogy, which takes older teens and adults through the battle between good and evil.)

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

Download 7 pages of printable Fire Safety Activities including a fire safety quiz, word search, coloring page, and more: 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

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

Quote of the Month

“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

A Note From Teri...

Did You Know...? Friends of Libraries groups have their very own national week of celebration, courtesy of United for Libraries (a division of ALA). The ninth annual National Friends of Libraries Week is October 19-25, 2014. Visit your library next week and see what they are doing to celebrate Friends of the Library.

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

P.S. Did you like this newsletter?

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