Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

~ November 2009 ~

Dear Readers,

It was déjà vu all over again when, after being so happy to finally get a job following nearly a year out of work, my husband was suddenly let go already at the end of October. Talk about a let-down! Well, despite the present disappointment and future uncertainty, I can at least say at this moment in time that it's nice to have him home. ;)

The month of November includes two holidays of special significance to Americans - Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day. Veterans Day was established to honor our veterans and to thank those who continue to serve by defending our freedoms and our way of life. Thanksgiving is a time when Americans pause to reflect on our beginnings as a nation, and to give thanks for the many blessings that we enjoy.

Most people probably know someone - a grandfather, uncle, father, brother, friend - who fought in a war or otherwise served in the armed forces. Be sure to take a few minutes out of your day to personally thank them for keeping your country and your family safe. We can best pay tribute by recognizing what they have achieved and joining them in their resolve to keep America strong and free.

In addition, the modern patriots actively serving in our armed services today surely deserve our appreciation, support, and recognition. Don't forget to include in your Thanksgiving prayers all those uniformed men and women stationed around the world, who will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday away from home - many in places that are hostile to an American presence - in order to defend the freedoms that we so often take for granted.

I pray that everyone can find something to be thankful for even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Wishing you many blessings and may you enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving!

Click Here for November
Holidays & Special Days

Freebie(s) of the Month*

Last month I gave you a printable list of Transition Words for older children. Now this month I've compiled a list of high-frequency words for beginning readers. Did you know that half of all written material is composed of just 100 words? Click on the link below to download the words along with some related learning activities: (6 pages)

Also, here is a copy of the original “1623 Thanksgiving Proclamation”: Proclamation.pdf It looks great printed on parchment paper.

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

Featured Article

Sole Providers

My son, Peter, is doing a service learning project for his college humanities class. The students in his group are collecting new and gently used shoes and socks for the homeless – in all sizes, including children’s. They hope to get 1,000 pairs of socks and 200 pairs of shoes by Thanksgiving. Then they will deliver the items to one or more agencies or shelters in the Phoenix area that serve the homeless.

In these economic hard times, homelessness is affecting people from more walks of life than ever before. Sadly, veterans are slightly over-represented among the homeless population compared to their prevalence in the overall population. While single homeless adults are more likely to be male than female, homelessness is rising among female heads of households. Homelessness is also becoming more common for children. Families with children are among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population.

Socks and shoes are a basic need that most of us take for granted, but they are precious items for the homeless. Homeless people can go through shoes and socks quickly with so much time spent on their feet out on the streets. Shoes and socks protect their feet from scrapes, cuts, contaminants, and the elements. However, footwear can be hard to come by for the homeless. Shoes are expensive, and used socks are not readily available at second-hand stores since people usually just wear them out instead of donating them.

Nevertheless, donating shoes and socks is something that many people can do, even if they’re not in the best financial situation themselves. Most people have a pair of shoes in their closet that they never wear anymore, or a pair of funky socks that they don’t particularly like, hidden away in a drawer somewhere. By donating something small, they can help someone else in a big way.

Something as simple as a pair of clean new socks or shoes may bring cheer to a homeless person’s day while making him or her feel that someone out there cares enough to think about them. For those who are making a sincere effort to improve their employment/ economic situation, they may be in great need of suitable shoes. A gift of shoes and socks will lift their spirits and show them that there is hope for a better tomorrow. At least we can help to make the lives of those in need a little easier and more comfortable.

For more information or if you would like to help by donating online, please visit A $1.00 donation will purchase one pair of socks, while a $10.00 donation will purchase a whole package of socks. Just think how good a homeless person will feel when putting on a fresh clean pair of shoes or socks provided by YOU!

Sole Providers

* * * SPECIAL OFFER * * *

In an effort to help my son with his project, I'm giving away two FREE e-books to anyone who makes an online donation of $10 or more!

Easy Money Gifts Gifts for all Occasions

1.) Just in time for the holidays, Gifts for All Occasions is jam-packed with a wide variety of ideas for gift exchanges, hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, gift baskets, homemade gifts, gifts for the whole family, gifts for babies, gifts for him, gifts for her, gifts for children, gifts for teens, gifts for grandparents, gifts for hospital patients and nursing home residents, gifts for the person who has everything, sentimental gifts for loved ones, and more! 22 pages of gift ideas!

2.) Easy Money Gifts features more than 50 easy, unique, and fun ways of giving money that will surprise and delight the recipient – while saving you time and money! This 40-page e-book also contains money facts, quotes, verses, and other monetary information of interest to homeschoolers.

Receive both e-books (a $10 value) FREE with a donation of $10 or more to The Sole Providers. Help us help the homeless, and get a couple of free e-books. That way we can all help each other!

Sole Providers

My Affiliates

American Vision

Quote of the Month

“I thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.” ~e.e. cummings

Famous Homeschoolers

Two famous and influential Brits were born this month, just 24 years apart. Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874. C.S. Lewis was born on November 29, 1898. Some may argue as to whether or not they were technically "homeschooled," but both were tutored at home before heading off to boarding school. Neither one liked his boarding school experience very much. Lewis was allowed to leave school and be privately tutored. Churchill was taken out of school and taught by two sisters for a while. Lewis went to Oxford and said, “The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.” Churchill quipped, “I began my education...right after I left college.” He learned a great deal through travel and self study. Click on the links below to read their bios:

Winston Churchill | Clive Staples Lewis

Did You Know...? During World War II, C.S. Lewis' BBC broadcast of a series (which later became the book Mere Christianity) made his voice widely recognized, second only to that of Winston Churchill. Also, Churchill offered Lewis the honorary title of CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 1951. Despite his appreciation for the proposed recognition, Lewis declined the honor because he preferred to stay out of politics.

Verse of the Month

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God...will guard your hearts and minds.” ~Philippians 4:6-7

Reading Between the Lines

The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters in an epistolary style, as a series of 31 letters providing moral lessons. In this devilish Christian classic, he portrays a typical human life with its everyday problems as seen from a demon's viewpoint. As such, the book is full of biting satire and dark humor. Wormwood, a junior tempter, has been given his first earthly assignment, to secure the soul of a young man. We get to see the situation from only his side, yet the human story is clearly read between the lines. As the letters unfold, we find the victim slipping out of the hands of Wormwood and his temptations. When Wormwood fails to keep his subject from becoming a Christian, Wormwood seeks the advice of an experienced demon, his Uncle Screwtape. Screwtape informs him that, although this is an alarming development, his "patient" is by no means lost.

Screwtape cleverly advises his nephew to be more firm and yet more diabolically subtle. Their correspondence clearly discloses the psychology of temptation from the other side. The letters address various aspects of the human soul and how the devil tempts that soul away from goodness and toward evil - not on a grand scale, but on a petty scale. They show how evil can seep into a Christian's relationships with friends and family, in his views on the church, even in his practice of prayer. Wormwood and Screwtape live in a peculiarly morally reversed world, where individual benefit and greed are seen as the greatest good, and neither demon is capable of comprehending or acknowledging true human virtue when he sees it. Although written in 1941 and set in London during World War II, the book's theme rings remarkably true today. Recommended reading for high schoolers and adults, and a must-have for C.S. Lewis fans and Christian libraries.

Did You Know...? C.S. Lewis dedicated The Screwtape Letters to his friend and fellow author, J.R.R. Tolkien. Former Monty Python comedian John Cleese did an audio recording of The Screwtape Letters, an excellent adaptation that received a 1999 Grammy nomination for best spoken-word performance. Focus on the Family produced a full-cast dramatization of The Screwtape Letters, in which the senior demon Screwtape is played magnificently by award-winning actor Andy Serkis (“Gollum” in Lord of the Rings). In addition, Walden Media, creators of the Narnia movies, recently purchased the rights to turn The Screwtape Letters into a feature film.

Read reviews and buy The Screwtape Letters on

Rent Faith-Friendly Movies Online at

Learning Links

  • Veterans Day (The history and traditions of this holiday, along with some activity ideas.)

  • The First Thanksgiving (The Pilgrims' 1621 harvest feast became a model for America's Thanksgiving celebration. This page includes Thanksgiving poems, recipes, and activities.)

  • Giving Thanks (The Thanksgiving holiday is a good opportunity to help your children reflect on what they are grateful for.)

  • First in Flight: Wilbur & Orville Wright (To celebrate Aviation History Month, read about these two brothers who built the first successful airplane.)

  • Teddy Bears (November 14 is National American Teddy Bear Day.)

  • The Gettysburg Address (President Lincoln delivered his famous speech on November 19, 1863. Download this PDF and practice reciting it.)

  • World Hello Day (Learn how to say "hello" in 37 different languages.)

  • My Products

    Learning for Life Gardening for Wildlife How to Write a Homeschool Mission Statement  Abraham Lincoln: The Boy, the Man Citizens Rule Book
    Psalm 23 Ben Franklin's Proverbs Easy Money Gifts Gifts for all Occasions
    My Websites

    Knowledge House

    Homeschool Patriot

    Little Brick Schoolhouse

    Homeschooling Teen

    Homeschool Hall of Fame

    Famous Homeschoolers

    Arizona Edventures

    A Note From Teri...

    Thanksgiving is a good opportunity to gather the family together to make a video as a gift to send to faraway relatives and friends. You can write an original script in which everyone has a part, or just follow people around like in reality TV. Another option would be to have a talent show in which one person sings, another recites a poem, etc. You might even dress up in costume. It's a fun and easy way to spend quality family time while sharing the holidays with distant relatives. If you can, edit the footage on your computer, burn it onto a DVD, and design a personalized label for it. Be sure to mail the DVD in a padded envelope so it won't get broken. You might also want to have a home video party starring your family. We never laugh so hard as when we're watching our own movies!

    Sole Providers
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