Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

December Holidays & Special Days - Click Here!

~ December 2012 ~

Dear Readers,

Can you believe Christmas will be here in less than 20 days? Are you ready? Ha! My family and I prefer to stay away from crowded stores during the holiday season. For example, we spent Black Friday and the weekend after Thanksgiving in the middle of the Mojave Desert, camping in our tent. However, that doesn't mean we don't buy any Christmas presents. I always order our stuff from which saves a lot of time, energy, and money. Looking for gift ideas? Be sure to check out my 2012 Homeschool Gift Guide! I've hand-picked a nice selection of homeschool-friendly items, many of which we have in our own home (or I have on my personal wish list!). Simply click through the Amazon links on my page, add to your cart, and you're done! It makes holiday shopping quick and easy, so you can spend the time on things that really matter. Merry Christmas!

Teri's Sig

Featured Article

Gifts that Keep on Giving

Rather than CONSUMING, many families have a holiday tradition of GIVING. They donate their time and talents, and/or provide monetary gifts to families in need. It's good to know that instead of spending $25 on a plastic toy that probably won't last long, for that same $25 you can give a gift that changes a life. Gospel for Asia and World Vision are two nonprofit Christian organizations through which you can share the true gift of Christmas - God's love.

Gospel For Asia publishes an annual Christmas Gift Catalog in which donors can contribute toward a wide variety of practical and much needed items to help poor people in Asia including mosquito nets, water filters, blankets, sewing machines, weaving looms, bicycles, water wells, tool kits, building supplies, solar-powered lights, radios, and even animals such as chickens, goats, pigs, lambs, and cows.

World Vision publishes an annual Christmas Gift Catalog in which donors can help poor families around the world by choosing a gift to give on behalf of your family or designated in honor of someone special. Choose from farm animals, clean water, clothing, medicine, and other necessities. Even children like the idea of being able to give the gift of live animals! When you give the gift of a goat or chickens, you can also receive a plush goat or chick for your own child.

There are many other ways of sharing God’s blessings with those in need, even in your own community. For example, maybe you can...

  • Provide a complete Christmas – including a tree, decorations, dinner, and presents (toys, clothes, or practical gifts) for a family down on its luck.
  • Fill a shoebox with small gifts and a card for someone who will be spending the holidays in the hospital.
  • Participate in a Christmas Angel, Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, holiday food drive, or similar campaign.
  • Collect blankets, shoes, socks, and warm clothing for the homeless.
  • Make a festive holiday centerpiece or decorative place mats for a senior center. You can print out paper placemats from your computer using Christmas clip art and a holiday border design.
  • Go Christmas caroling at a children's hospital or nursing home.
  • Anonymously leave a special poem, a small gift, cookies, flowers, potted plant, or holiday story at a the home of a lonely neighbor or an elderly person in your neighborhood. You can continue this daily or weekly throughout the month. (Do this for 12 days and call it the 12 days of Charity!)

Book of the Month

Easy Homeschooling Series

The perfect gift for a homeschool mom - or for yourself!
This wonderful set of books by a veteran homeschool mom will provide refreshing encouragement and practical motivation for the new year!

3 Books for $30 - plus FREE shipping!

1. Easy Homeschooling Techniques
2. Easy Homeschooling Curriculum
3. Easy Homeschooling Companion

Click here for detailed book descriptions!

Get ALL 3 BOOKS (valued at $57) for ONLY $30!*
OR purchase one or more individual titles - also on sale!

*And don't forget the FREE SHIPPING!

E-Books of the Month

nativity Story
The Nativity Story: with Nativity Activities contains an original 10-page rendition of The Nativity Story, KJV Scriptures from the Old and New Testaments, questions for personal study and family discussion, and a condensed version of The Nativity Story for use in Christmas cards or as handouts. Nativity Activities include: Nativity Quiz, Projects & Crafts, Nativity Vocabulary, Nativity Traditions, Host a Nativity Party, Nativity Music, Movies & Multimedia, Nativity Poetry, Nativity Word Search, Nativity Art, Nativity Word Scramble, Christmas Word Find, and more. Over 60 pages, only $4.95! Click here.

Gifts for all Occasions
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! Only $4.95! Click here.

Easy Money Gifts
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. Only $4.95! Click here.

Famous Homeschoolers

Wilson Bentley

Wilson A. Bentley, taught at home by his mother, had a unique hobby of studying snowflakes. He was the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885. In his lifetime, Bentley captured more than 5,000 snowflakes on film. Of course, no two were exactly alike. Learn more about "The Snowflake Man" at

Reading Between the Lines

Made in Heaven
by Ray Comfort & Jeffrey Seto

The simplicity yet intricacy of God’s brilliant handiwork – from atoms to snowflakes to insects to plants to humans – has long astounded and inspired engineers. Biomimicry, also known as biomimetics, is the science that seeks to understand and imitate these proven mechanics of design from the natural world in order to solve mankind’s problems. You probably don’t even realize it, but we are surrounded by scientific advancements that have been copied from God’s incredible creation. After reading Made in Heaven, you will never look at objects in nature the same way again!

Made in Heaven provides an exciting new perspective on science by highlighting man-made achievements that were first invented by God. In this lavishly illustrated, scientifically accurate book, an aerospace engineer and evangelist join forces to look at more than 30 ways we are borrowing God’s designs, without giving God the glory. Made in Heaven covers a wide range of inventions and discoveries that were inspired by the natural world, some of which may surprise you. Did you know…

  • The beauty of a butterfly wing helps protect against counterfeiters.
  • The glow of a cat's eyes inspired road reflectors.
  • The study of the human eye can lead to better camera lenses.
  • Velcro and barbed wire were inspired by prickly burrs.
  • The Kingfisher helped people break the sound barrier and invent better trains.
  • Our paper producing abilities were inspired by the humble wasp.
  • The mosquito gives clues on how to make the needle prick of an injection less painful.
  • Pinecones inspire researchers to look into clothing that adapts to temperature.
  • Swimsuits made with fabric that mimics sharkskin helps people swim faster.
  • Lotus leaves inspire clothing that stays dry.
  • Kevlar fiber is based on spider webs, and body armor is designed based on fish scales.
  • The Eiffel Tower was inspired by broken bones.
  • The healing power of the body has encouraged scientists to look into creating self-healing materials.
  • Moth's eyes and the geometric spiral pattern of sunflowers inspired the design of solar collectors.
  • Fibonacci numbers and Brewsters Angles are pointing the way towards sustainable energy sources.
  • A fly's ear, the lizard's foot, and other models from nature are inspiring improvements and new technologies in our lives.
  • Squids assist in jet propulsion, shrimp eyes improve DVDs, and there are many more examples!

Made in Heaven really brings the awe of God's creation and design into focus. The beautiful photography alone makes the book a must-have. While Made in Heaven may look like a kid’s picture book on the outside, once you open it up you will be amazed to find that it’s much more than just a few fun facts. It’s jam-packed with intriguing in-depth explanations that are suitable for high schoolers and adults. Each chapter is explained with close-up illustrations and technical diagrams – and even though it’s not dumbed down, the text is understandable for non-science majors. The book is up-to-date, too, with references to the latest concepts like bioengineering and nanotechnology.

Made in Heaven is an 80-page, full-color, 10" x 8" high quality hardcover book with glossy pages that appears more expensive than it actually is. (I paid $20 for an autographed copy – and even that was well worth it – but you can buy it for much less at Amazon.) Each chapter has a fully illustrated two-page spread. This isn’t the kind of book you can sit down with and read straight through – there’s way too much information to take in at once! – but it’s fun to skim around and look at what interests you, so every time you pick up the book you will gain new insights.

This educational book is perfect for homeschoolers and anyone who wants to discover fascinating facts about creation and how God manufactures complexity in nature. It does seem rather amusing that with all of our technology, God’s natural world is still much more advanced! The book concludes with a clear gospel message, and there is a glossary of scientific terms at the end. Made in Heaven is an excellent:

  • coffee table book
  • science book for homeschoolers
  • reference book for Christian school and church libraries
  • gift book for budding scientists and engineers ages 12 and up

God has already provided our greatest scientific achievements; it’s simply up to us to acknowledge His wisdom. I love science books that show what true science really is – the domain of Christians, not the stronghold of evolution. After being inundated with evolutionary thinking over and over again, it’s so refreshing and enjoyable to read books like this that show the world as God intends for us to see it. Unlike what secular humanists claim, Christians never have to sacrifice scientific accuracy or reason for faith – because the Bible is scientific and faith is reasonable! Made in Heaven encourages you to observe the amazing world around you and “look beyond the painting to see the Painter.”

About the Authors: Ray Comfort is the president of Living Waters Ministries and co-host of The Way of the Master with actor Kirk Cameron. Jeffrey Seto is an aerospace engineer with over 20 years of experience in experimental research and development.

Learning Links

  • Family Holiday Ideas (For many families, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the winter holiday season.)

  • Gingerbread Houses (A homemade gingerbread house makes an impressive centerpiece during the holidays.)

  • An Old-Fashioned Christmas (Celebrating family traditions is what makes families unique and bonds family members together.)

  • Merry Christmas & Happy New Year in Many Languages (Can You Guess the Languages? Translations provided.)

  • Merry Christmas (Jesus is the Reason for the Season... and Wise Men Still Seek Him.)

  • Christmas Carols (From the first angelic choir over Bethlehem, carols have rung joyously through the centuries.)

  • Let it Snow (Learn all about snow, as well as the Eskimo names for different kinds of snow.)

  • The New Year (Here's our chance to start over, to do it right this time, to accomplish something that we want to finish.)

Freebie(s) of the Month

The Candy Cane
Print this page, cut it in half, roll each half into a scroll, and attach to a large candy cane using a pretty ribbon. Makes a great stocking stuffer or Christmas party favor.

The Nativity Story
Print this page (double-sided) and make copies for inserting in Christmas cards, or give as handouts. This is an abridged version of my original 10-page story.

Keep track of your contacts and Christmas lists with these printouts: Contact List | Christmas Card List | Christmas Wish List

Want to know when things usually go on sale throughout the year? Print out an annual sale guide: Monthly Sale Guide

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

Quote of the Month

“Being found in human form, he humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~Phil. 2:8-11

A Note From Teri...

Sometime after the Christmas rush and before the New Year begins, it would be nice for the whole family spend some quality time together discussing goals, dreams, and the purpose of life. While you’re at it, why not write a homeschool mission statement! I've created an easy to follow step-by-step guide that explains how. If you're like many families, you may have noticed that the busyness of daily life seems to distract you from the principles that matter most. Your family can get back on track by preparing a homeschool mission statement to clarify your reasons for homeschooling and assist in guiding you from this day forward. "How to Write a Homeschool Mission Statement" is only $4.95 for 36 pages! View the contents and download your copy here:

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

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

Copyright © 2012 by Teri Ann Berg Olsen, To subscribe to this free e-newsletter, send a blank e-mail to and follow the instructions in the confirmation e-mail that you will receive, or sign up on the web at To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to . Questions? E-mail .