Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

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~ October 2016 ~

Dear Readers,

Happy October! I hope you and your family are enjoying the wonderful autumn weather! As 19th-century novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in his journal, “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” (Passages from the American Note-Books).
Teri's Sig

Featured Article

National Fire Prevention Week

October 9-15 is "National Fire Prevention Week." This is the third year of the National Fire Protection Association's three-year effort to educate the public about basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety.

The key messages of the NFPA's campaign are to test all of your smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button on the alarm, and replace batteries (never buy cheap dollar store batteries) at least once a year or when the alarm's low battery signal begins to chirp.

However, age matters when it comes to your smoke alarms. Your safety could depend on whether your smoke alarm is up to date. The 2016 National Fire Prevention Week theme is: "Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years." If you're not sure how old the smoke alarm in your home is, check the manufacture date on the back of the alarm.

Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep? According the National Fire Protection Association, “almost three of five (60%) reported home fire deaths in 2007 to 2011 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.”

Smoke alarms save lives! Visit NFPA's Fire Prevention Week page for more information about smoke alarms and other fire safety activities.

Book of the Month

Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms, by Tim Tebow

Have you ever questioned God’s plan? Wondered why your life has unraveled in an unexpected direction? Struggled with a setback, broken dream, or heartbreak? Many of us have been on the receiving end of rejection or disappointment. And while traveling hard roads is not easy, when we are grounded in truth, we can endure the tough times.

Shaken is a powerful book in which former homeschooler and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow combines never-before-told stories from his life with biblical teachings on anchoring your identity and self-worth. He passionately relates his own journey through disappointment, criticism, and intense media scrutiny. In addition to practical wisdom from Scripture, this moving book also features insights from others who have impacted Tebow in life-changing ways. Read more about it at!

Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms will be released on October 25, 2016. Pre-order yours now at!

Famous Homeschoolers

Bethany Hamilton

On October 31, 2003, 13-year-old Bethany Hamilton lost her arm to a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing in Hawaii. She says that because of her faith, she never doubted that she could continue surfing and fulfill her dreams. Bethany is now a 26-year-old wife and mother of a 1-year-old son, so her message has matured a bit, but she still enjoys surfing and speaking about her faith in Christ.

Bethany and her husband, Adam Dirks (a Christian youth minister), are involved in many charitable efforts. As a motivational speaker, Bethany continues to inspire others through her life story. She is also working on a film project to encourage young girls to participate in sports.

The inspiring true story of Christian homeschooler Bethany Hamilton, as told in the movie Soul Surfer, is an encouraging example for anyone facing a debilitating injury or other difficulty in their life. 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.

This is the perfect time of year to watch Soul Surfer, 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. By the way, 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 “epiphany moment” was a trip to tsunami-stricken Thailand where she volunteered with the international relief group World Vision. In 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

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, Soul Surfer Devotions, Rise Above: A 90-Day Devotional, and Ask Bethany, Updated Edition.

Read more about Hamilton's younger years at

Reading Between the Lines

Teen Read Week, October 9-15

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 in October, the same week as Columbus Day. Its purpose is to encourage teens to "Read For The Fun Of It." The 2016 Teen Read Week features a multi-lingual theme celebrating diversity and highlighting multi-cultural literature. Here are some of my favorite books in this category, not just for teens but for all ages:

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message, by Jake Swamp. This beautifully illustrated "Reading Rainbow" book is a special children's version of the Thanksgiving Address, a message of gratitude that originated with the Native people of upstate New York and Canada and that is still spoken at ceremonial gatherings held by the Iroquois, or Six Nations. (Ages 5-11.)

Freedom's Pen: A Story Based on the Life of Freed Slave and Author Phillis Wheatley, by Wendy Lawton. Phillis Wheatley was a little girl of seven or eight years old when she was captured in Gambia and brought to America as a slave. But she didn t let her circumstances keep her down. She learned to read and write in English and Latin, and showed a natural gift for poetry. By the time she was twelve, her elegy at the death of the great pastor George Whitefield brought her worldwide acclaim. Phillis became known to heads of state, including George Washington himself, speaking out for American independence and the end of slavery. She became the first African American to publish a book, and her writings would eventually win her freedom. Author Wendy Lawton inspires young girl readers by portraying the life of a girl who makes God an active part of her life and makes a difference while she's still young. (Ages 8-12.)

Seekers of the Lost Boy, by Taryn Hayes. Set in Cape Town, South Africa, this young adult novel explores the history of apartheid through the eyes of a homeschool family. The Christian gospel message is masterfully woven into this unique tale, along with vivid descriptions of South African life. (Ages 10-16.) Read a review of this book at

Iraq: The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq, by Jeanette Winter. When war threatens to destroy Alia’s precious library collection, which includes rare editions, she bravely works to move 30,000 volumes to safety. This true story reminds us how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know no boundaries. (Ages 4-7.)

How would you like to have access to a free online public library of children's books from around the world for kids 3 to 13? You can, if you just visit the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL). The Library's books include books selected and digitized by The Library of Congress, as well as children's books selected by international librarians and new books from publishers and authors. The ICDL Foundation's goal is to build a collection of books that represents outstanding historical and contemporary books from throughout the world. Ultimately, the Foundation aspires to have every culture and language represented so that every child can know and appreciate the riches of children's literature from the world community -- by making the best in children's literature available online free of charge.

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

"I like to say that identity comes not necessarily from who we are, but from whose we are. I am a child of God. My foundation for who I am is grounded in my faith. In a God who loves me. In a God who gives me purpose. In a God who sees the big picture. In a God who always has a greater plan. Who am I? I am the object of His love. That’s a big deal." ~Tim Tebow

A Note From Teri...

Check out this music video in which Manny, a 13-year-old homeschooler, thanks the police. He came up with the words pretty quickly (3 hours off and on), music (1 hour), and putting it all together on iMovie (3 hours).

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

P.S. Did you like this newsletter?

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