Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

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~ October 2017 ~

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 8-14 is "National Fire Prevention Week." In a fire, seconds count!

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme of “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have a home escape plan.

Here are this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone present, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Visit NFPA's Fire Prevention Week page for free downloadable activities, teaching materials, and additional resources.

Book of the Month

This Book Isn't Safe

In this new book released last month, YouTube star Colin Furze instructs fans and curious young inventors on how to build ten wacky inventions.

Despite the title, he includes plenty of safety tips and instructions on how to use some basic tools. Packed full of awesome illustrations, this book will inspire kids ages 8 and up to have fun with science.

This Book Isn't Safe also contains behind-the-scenes stories about some of Colin's greatest inventions, along with top secret tips and tricks straight from his invention bunker (a shed in his yard in Stamford, Lincolnshire).

Manny, a 14-year-old homeschooler, says This Book Isn't Safe "is one of the coolest books I’ve ever read! So cool, in fact, that I made a book review on it and built some projects that were inspired from the book."

Manny also made a video about it! Check it out at this link:

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 27-year-old wife and mother of 2-year-old son Tobias, and she is expecting her second child in March 2018. So her message has matured a bit, but she still enjoys surfing and speaking about her faith.

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 8-14

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 be regular readers and library users.

The 2017 theme is "Unleash Your Story" in which teens are encouraged to tell their own stories as well as find stories, biographies, autobiographies, folktales, and more in their local library. Like the story of Bethany Hamilton above, or this one by Tim Tebow...

Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms 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.

Find more inspiring stories about real homeschoolers (and submit your own) at!

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...

Got Rats? Get Rid-a-Rat!

I don't know about where you live, but in our area packrats are a big problem. Especially at this time of year, when they are looking for warm places to nest. If you have trouble with rats getting under the hood of your car, I wholeheartedly recommend getting one or more Rid-a-Rats to keep them away. Learn more at

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

P.S. Did you like this newsletter?

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