Knowledge House Newsletter

Homeschool Information... Ideas... and Inspiration

December Holidays & Special Days - Click Here!

~ December 2014 ~

Dear Readers,

Happy December! Only two weeks until Christmas, can you believe it?

On Thanksgiving weekend our family traditionally goes camping in the Mojave Desert. But this year we stayed home to do some work outside, still repairing damage from the flood we had in August. We also started putting up the Christmas lights along our front walkway. But when we went to plug them in, none of the outlets worked. They were all plugged up with mud. Doh! Never thought of that repercussion from the flood. It took a while but we finally got them working. It might not be a "winter wonderland," but I love seeing the sparkling lights at night. After our garden was inundated we got a bumper crop of tomatoes. I don't know what was in that water, but here it is the middle of December and we're still picking tomatoes! It's been so nice and warm, too, with a sunny high temperature of 77 degrees. My 14-year-old keeps saying he wants to move someplace that actually has four seasons. Ha!

I've gathered together lots of great educational gift ideas in my annual Homeschool Gift Guide, so be sure to take a look at it in this issue. Just do me one small favor, though. If you plan to order anything, please click through the links on my page. Shopping at Amazon saves time, energy, and money - and whenever you click through my Amazon links, even if it's to buy something else, it allows me to earn a small commission. Thanks!

Teri's Sig

Featured Article

STEM Gifts for Homeschoolers

This Christmas why not put some scientific knowledge underneath your tree? STEM toys enable students of all ages to learn, play, and discover while providing exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math concepts. Best of all, STEM toys can double as hands-on learning tools or as inspiration for a science fair project. Just don't tell the kids they're getting educational toys for Christmas, because they'll be having so much fun that they won't even notice. :)

2014 Homeschool STEM Gift Guide - Click Here!

Reading Between the Lines

Peace: Classic Readings for Christmas

Do you ever have trouble getting into the Christmas spirit? Like when times are tough or there's too much stuff going on and you're feeling stressed? I can empathize because it's certainly happened to me. But one thing I've noticed is that no matter the reason, it seems that the main contributing factor is a lack of PEACE.

The celebration of Christmas in the 21st century is wrapped in nostalgia and infused with hopes and dreams. The sweetest of these dreams is peace - peace between nations, peace between family members, and peace with ourselves. But the Christmas season is often a time of disappointment, as hopes and dreams go unfulfilled. We bake cookies and sing carols, but such comforts only hint at a still distant peace.

The gap between our hopes and reality leads to a quest for the real meaning of Christmas and the peace we all hope to know. The good news is that we can stop searching. Peace: Classic Readings for Christmas by Dr. Stephen J. Nichols features Scripture readings, devotionals, prayers, quotes, and carols inviting you and your family to enter into the true peace of Christmas.

“There is only one way to turn the dream of peace into reality,” says Dr. Nichols. “If we are looking for permanent and ultimate good will, love, and peace, we must look beyond our gift-giving, get-togethers, and office parties. We must look to no other place than to a manger.” It was Jesus Christ, the baby who was laid in that manger, who conquered sin and misery, establishing peace between God and man for all who trust in Him.

Peace: Classic Readings for Christmas, reminds us of the real meaning of Christmas, a cosmic event that reaches beyond December 25th and affects every life, every day, for all of time. It was Jesus Christ, the baby who was laid in that manger, who conquered sin and misery, establishing peace between God and man for all who trust in Him. Jesus is our peace (Ephesians 2:14).

My husband heard about this timely resource when he was listening to "Renewing Your Mind" with Dr. R.C. Sproul a few weeks ago. He wanted to get the book for reading to our family, but it would also be a wonderful gift for family and friends. Peace: Classic Readings for Christmas is beautifully designed and illustrated, and it even comes in a protective slipcase. I love the book's blue, white, and gold color scheme which looks both elegant and peaceful.

With its heirloom quality, Peace: Classic Readings for Christmas is destined to be a classic, suitable to be passed down for generations and enjoyed every Christmas season. The back of the book even has pages on which to record your own family's Christmas traditions.

The author, Stephen J. Nichols, is president of Reformation Bible College. He is also a lecturer in church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, and a teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries. The book is published by Reformation Trust Publishing, an imprint of Ligonier Ministries.

Books of the Month

Looking for unique homeschool gifts? May I suggest the following?
The perfect gifts for a homeschool mom - or for yourself!

Easy Homeschooling Series

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!

Learning for Life Book
Learning for Life

Learning for Life: Educational Words of Wisdom contains nearly 3,000 quotations by more than 1,000 people on teaching, learning, and the pursuit of knowledge. This treasury of classic and contemporary rhetorical gems will inspire you in your day-to-day teaching.

Book $19.95 ONLY $14.95 POSTAGE PAID!

Citizens Rule Book

Citizens Rule Book

Citizens Rule Books make great stocking stuffers! Only $1.00 each! Order a bunch for your family and friends. My late father-in-law, a World War II Marine veteran and printer from Boston, printed and distributed this pocket-sized booklet to inform American citizens of their rights. Family- owned and operated Whitten Printers of Phoenix, Arizona, continues to print and distribute this booklet. The pocket-sized book includes the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, plus quotes by our Founding Fathers and information for jurors.

Usborne Books Make Great Gifts!

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.

How to Write a Homeschool Mission Statement

How to Write a Homeschool Mission Statement

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" serves as a great mid-year refresher between semesters. Only $4.95 for 36 pages! View the contents and download your copy 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

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.)

  • Homemade Gifts from the Heart (Sometimes the best gifts you can give are those from the heart. They are always appreciated more than those from the wallet.)

  • 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

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

Quote of the Month

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” ~Agnes M. Pharo

A Note From Teri...

I always enjoy hearing from my newsletter subscribers, and recently I received a couple of nice notes that really made my day. I'm so glad to know my work is appreciated. Thanks for reading! :)

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Happy Homeschooling!

Teri's Sig

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

Copyright © 2014 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 .