Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

November Holidays & Special Days - Click Here!

~ November 2016 ~

Dear Readers,

Happy November! I know it's a busy month getting ready for Thanksgiving, but don't overlook Veterans Day as a day of honor, appreciation, and respect for America's Veterans. People traditionally observe a moment of silence at 11:00 am on November 11th (Armistice Day) to remember the sacrifices of our armed forces in protecting our country.

My father-in-law, Charles Olsen, was in the 1st Marine Division, and fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. My husband, the third youngest of Charlie's seven children, grew up thinking the Marine Corps Hymn "from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli" was a lullaby! Sadly, my own children never got to meet him because he passed away just before my oldest son was born.

Charlie was known and respected by his fellow countrymen because of his devotion to God, family, and country. If only we had more patriots like this, maybe we could bring our nation back from the brink of disaster. He proved that one citizen can made a difference – as a printer from Boston he was personally responsible for printing and distributing over one million pocket-sized U.S. Constitutions across America.

Family-owned and operated Whitten Printers of Phoenix, Arizona, continues to print and distribute this booklet. It includes the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, plus quotes by our Founding Fathers and information for jurors. Three million copies now have been sold nationwide! Do you have one? They're only $1 each! Order yours at
Teri's Sig

Featured Article

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

The other day, a lady told my friend that she should read Little Women for its moral lessons. “It’s better than the Bible,” she said. Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that. But Little Women does include timeless truths about loyalty, patience, hope, love, treating others as you want to be treated, virtue over wealth, and so forth. Ever since its publication nearly 150 years ago, generations of readers have fallen in love with this wholesome tale of four sisters. If you didn’t get around to reading it when you were younger, you will enjoy the novel just as much when you are older.

Little Women was written by Louisa May Alcott in 1867, and it was published in 1868. She wrote it “in record time for money” after a publisher suggested that she should try writing a book about girls. The story takes place in New England during the Civil War, following the hilarious and heartwarming adventures of the March sisters as they struggle to pursue their dreams. The four girls are growing up under the guidance of their mother, facing Christmas without their father, as he is serving as a chaplain in the Union Army.

Little Women is actually a fictionalized autobiography of Alcott and her sisters, loosely based on Alcott’s own childhood experiences, so that’s what makes it so true-to-life. The story is set in a home modeled after her residence in Concord, Massachusetts. Louisa’s father was the character of Mr. March. Louisa’s mother, Abigail May, was the beloved “Marmee.” Louisa herself was the tomboy “Jo,” who has success earning money with her writing. Her real-life sisters (May, Elizabeth, and Anna) were the other March sisters (Meg, Beth, and Amy). Louisa’s experiences as a traveling companion to a rich young lady inspired the character of Laurie.

Raised by transcendentalist parents, Louisa was schooled at home by her father, Amos Bronson Alcott, a self-educated progressive teacher whose main objective was teaching children how to learn. Louisa and her sisters were fortunate to grow up in an intellectual environment in the company of great writers and thinkers. Their days were enlightened by visits to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s library, nature lessons with Henry David Thoreau, and theatricals in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s barn.

Home education is mentioned in Little Women, and it is not looked upon as anything unusual but just another way of learning. Some of the girls go to school but one of the girls, Beth, is quiet and shy, doesn’t care for social situations, and simply prefers to do her lessons at home. In chapter seven, Amy gets in trouble at school and the teacher humiliates her in front of the whole class, so her mother withdraws Amy from school to teach her at home too.

Little Women is a beloved literary classic, and one of the most popular books ever written for girls. The story was adapted for the stage, movies, and television. Two Little Women anime series were made in Japan in the 1980s. A Little Women musical opened on Broadway in 2005. An American opera version was performed internationally in 1998 and filmed for broadcast on US television in 2001. An audio dramatization was produced by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre in 2012. The “March Family Letters” is a 50-episode retelling of Little Women on YouTube.

Louisa May Alcott’s rich and realistic portrayal of the “All-American girl” has stirred the emotions of countless young ladies. Her novel represents the coming-of-age period in life when the teenage years overlap with early womanhood. Many of the trials of the characters in the book are relevant and timeless, as evidenced by its continued following and widespread appeal. The valuable life lessons and strong female characters of Little Women still resonate in today’s modern world.

Francesca Rossi, a graduate of the International School of Comics in Florence, Italy, has illustrated a beautiful new edition of Little Women for a contemporary audience, to be released on November 15, 2016 (see cover image above). Or if you are so inclined, you can read the entire book online. Read more about the Alcotts at

Book of the Month

Enjoy this FREE e-book, courtesy of the
Homeschool Patriot & Knowledge House!

The Thanksgiving Story

America's Thanksgiving commemorates the Pilgrims' harvest feast, part of the story of the settling of Plymouth Colony, an important period in American history. Since the Pilgrims' original feast was never repeated, it can't really be called the beginning of a tradition, nor did the Pilgrims call it a Thanksgiving Feast. Nevertheless, the 1621 feast has become a model for our own Thanksgiving celebration. Learn all about the first Thanksgiving, find out what else was happening at that time, read Thanksgiving poems, get authentic Pilgrim recipes, activity ideas, etc.

48 pages of Thanksgiving resources including:
-The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving
-The Mayflower Compact
-The First Ever National Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1777
-Continental Congress Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1782
-Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789
-Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1863
-The First Thanksgiving (from "Stories of the Pilgrims")
-Pilgrim Timeline
-Pilgrim Trivia
-Thanksgiving Links
-Thanksgiving Poems & Prayers
-Thanksgiving Quotations
-Thanksgiving Scriptures
-Thanksgiving Picture Study
-Thanksgiving Worksheets
-Thanksgiving Activities
-and much more!!!

Click Here to Download*

*Downloadable in PDF format, using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Famous Homeschoolers

John Philip Sousa

“The March King” was born on November 6, 1854. Musically talented and homeschooled as a child, he grew up to be a world-famous American band conductor who composed over 100 popular marching songs. Read his biography here. You can also download the following story written by Sousa himself: John Philip Sousa: Experiences of a Bandmaster* (Five entertaining anecdotes, good for reading to kids.)

*Downloadable in PDF format, using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Reading Between the Lines

Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure

What motivated the Pilgrims to come to America? What formula for success did they discover? More importantly, how can we apply these same foundational truths today? Monumental is a 90-minute documentary that follows Kirk Cameron across Europe and the U.S. as he seeks to discover America’s true “national treasure” – the people, places, and principles that made America the freest, most prosperous and generous nation on earth. Click here to read the whole story.

Learning Links

Let's Talk Politics - A simple guide to political parties and elections.

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 time to help your children reflect on what they are grateful for.

Family-friendly Thanksgiving Films - Some movies with Thanksgiving themes that the whole family can enjoy.

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.

World Hello Day - November 21, 2015 - Learn how to say "hello" in 40 different languages!

Freebie of the Month

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

Thanksgiving Proclamation - This 1623 Thanksgiving Proclamation was attributed to Governor Bradford (although it was most likely created sometime in the 20th century). It's fun to recite and it looks great printed on parchment paper, or print it on plain white paper and have the kids decorate it!

Thanksgiving Word Search - How many words can you make from the letters in “Thanksgiving”?

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

Quote of the Month

"I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot." ~Gary Hart

A Note From Teri...

A bushel of thanks to all my loyal readers. Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Teri's Sig

P.S. Did you like this month's newsletter?

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