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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633  

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For 29 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Home-School Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Home-School Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short

References to Gardening in Scripture

Man's first food.

Genesis 1:29:  “Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.’”

God, the first gardener.

Genesis 2:8-9a:  “The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food.”

Man's first home and job.

Genesis 2:15:  “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.”

Ground cursed because of sin.

Genesis 3:17-19:  “Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.”

Promise of seedtime and harvest.

Genesis 8:22:  “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

Principle of sowing and reaping.

Job 4:8:  “According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity and those who sow trouble harvest it.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-11:  “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

Galatians 6:7-10:  “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

It is appropriate to ask God to give a harvest.

Psalms 144:13:  “Let our garners be full, furnishing every kind of produce.”

God wants us to work together in His harvest.

Matthew 9:36-38:  “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’”

John 4:34-38; 1 Corinthians 3:6-9.

Judgment of true and false Christians.

Matthew 13:24-43.

Condition of soil, protection from birds and weeds.

Mark 4:3-20.

Gardener should be first
to eat produce.

II Timothy 2:6

Character Qualities
Necessary in Gardening

1. Planning and action to prepare food in summer; gather in harvest.  Proverbs 6:8

2. Diligence in caring for his garden.  Proverbs 24:30-34, 10:5, 20:4

3. Faithfulness in continuing to do good.  Galatians 6:9

4. Patience in waiting for the crop.  James 5:7-10

5. Giving of his produce to honor God.  Proverbs 3:9-10

6. Thankfulness to God for the harvest.  Psalms 67:6; Matthew 6:26

2010 State Conventions

Unique benefits await you at your local, regional, or state home-school convention, conference, or book fair.

We urge you to attend!

Learn more about a major convention in your state by linking to the sponsoring organization's website below.

(Conventions that have already been held are not listed.)

Also find out how to get the most out of attending a home- school event in Newsletter #269.

States A-H
AL: May 14-15;AZ: July 23-24;
AR: May 14-15; 20-22;
CA: April 30 - May 1; July 16-18;CO: June 17-19;CT: June 11-12; FL: May 27-29;GA: April 30-May 1

States I-M
ID: June 3-5;IL: June 3-5;
IA: June 18-19; KS: June 3-5; KY: June 24-26; LA: April 23-24; LA: Nat. Black Home Educators: July 1-3;MA: April 23-24;
MI: May 14-15;MS: May 14-15

States N-O
NH: May 28-29;NJ: May 14-15;NM: April 22-24;NY: Long Island: April 30-May 1; Upstate: June 3-5;
NC: May 27-29;OH: June 24-26;OK: Eastern: April 27-28; Central: April 30 - May 1;OR: June 25-26

States P-W
PA: May 7-8;SC: June 18-19;SD: May 7-8;TN: Various Dates by Region;TX: July 29-31; Plus Various Dates by Region;VA: June 10-12;WA: April 22-24;WA: August 6-7;WI: May 20-22;WV: May 21-22;WY: May 7-8

NB:  May 28-29;ON:  April 23-24; QC:  April 30 - May 1

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(Use discount group number 299142 for $20 off your membership fee.)

The Teaching Home
Back Issues

Teaching Home Back Issues

Fifty-one back issues are offered online or by mail order.

The information, inspiration, and encouragement packed into each back issue never goes out of date.  They are always relevant, applicable to your needs today.

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Sunnyside Up

Making the Grade

Our preschool daughter was always present as I home schooled her older brother, who was two grades ahead of her.

A couple of years later when a friend asked her what grade she was in, she replied, "I've been at it all these years and I'm still in kindergarten!

Submitted by Becky C., Ohio.

Send your humorous anecdote to

God's Plan
of Salvation

1.  God loves you.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

2.  Man was separated from God by sin.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)

3.  The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.

He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

4.  We must personally receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

Bible Reading Schedule

Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.

See The Teaching Home's Bible reading schedule online at

Listen to the Bible Online

Choose from six English versions (plus Spanish and other languages) at

Search options at include Passage Lookup, Keyword Search,and Topical Index.

Christian Music Online

Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) 24/7 at Old Christian Radio.


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In This Issue

Gardening, Part 1

     1.  Why Plant a Vegetable Garden?
     2.  Gardening with Young Children
     3.  Learning About Plants
     4.  Spiritual and Character Lessons


   •  References to Gardening in Scripture
   •  Character Qualities Necessary in Gardening

Next Issue:  Gardening, Part 2

     Includes:  Planning Your Garden; Preparing Your Soil and Garden; Tending Your Garden; Keeping a Record; Harvesting and Beyond.

Recommended Resources

   •  Birch Court Books: Games and Resources
   •  Morning Star Christian Books: Praising God
   •  Moody Publishers: Love Languages of Teenagers
   •  Basic Skills: Practice Tests


Gardening with your children provides opportunities to teach and train them in several areas such as life skills, academics, character, and spiritual life.

We hope this gardening series encourages your family to enjoy the many benefits of working and learning together in a vegetable garden this spring and summer – a full-size garden, a small patch, or just one or two plants in a container!

May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.

 Find Family-Safe Games  at
11 different games and expansions of the Catan game series!

New Bible Teaching Resource,
Award-Winning Science and Nature Study

 New!   What's in the Bible 13-DVD series from the creator of VeggieTales with music, animation, and puppets.  Now available: #1 Genesis and #2 ExodusMore info / order.

Great Science Adventures.  A "100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum" for K-8.  Series includes The World of Plants and The World of Insects and ArachnidsMore info / order.

Pocketful of Pinecones.  A homeschool mother's diary shares her ups and downs plus practical guidelines for nature study.  Heartwarming and encouraging!  More info / order.

Birch Court Books
Free Media Mail Shipping with $20 Purchase  /  Free catalog.  /  800-655-1811
N7137 County Hwy. C, Seymour WI 54165

Why Plant a Vegetable Garden?

Your family might consider gardening to realize some of the following benefits:

1. Economy

You should be able to save money on some foods.

However, you should set up a gardening budget that includes supplies, tools, and water.

Hopefully you will break even or save money— especially after you have invested in tools that, with good care, do not need to be replaced each year.

2. Health

Vegetables, especially fresh, pesticide-free vegetables, can furnish a major boost to your family's health.

Choosing and growing their own vegetables, as well as the superior, fresh taste of home-grown produce, can entice children to eat more of this sometimes neglected food group.

3. Constructive Use of Time

Today, most children do not have the opportunity to spend enough of their time in useful employment.

Gardening offers a valuable opportunity to use their free time this summer in a constructive way.

The accomplishment of growing food can encourage a child that might be experiencing difficulties in other areas.

4. Sharing

In Ephesians 4:28, God says that we should work with our hands, so that we will have something to share with someone in need.

Sharing fresh vegetables with your neighbors or with older people, who cannot grow their own, is a practical way to show God’s love to others.

5. Exercise

Gardening is an excellent way to keep your family active.  Working outside in fresh air enhances the health benefits of exercise.  Read more.

6. Family Unity

Working together can facilitate family unity as you accumulate common experiences.  This also gives each individual a practical way to contribute to the family.

7. Other Lessons

Gardening will furnish circumstances in which you can formally (through a unit study) and/or casually (as you “walk in the way”) teach lessons in all areas: life skills, character training, academic, and spiritual.  (See specific suggestions in the articles in this newsletter and our next issue.)

Unit Studies

If you want to take a more formal approach to your lessons in gardening, or want to augment your own lessons, consider one of these unit studies.

 •  Gardens Unit Study.  Written by Amanda Bennett for homeschoolers.  Available on CD-ROM or download with links to info on the Internet. Contains both elementary and Jr./Sr. high levels. Info and order.

 •  Botany Unit Study.  Written by Kym Wright for homeschoolers.  Learn all about plants from the roots up.  160-page printed or e-book; also 50 flashcards. (6th-12th grade).  Info and order.

 •  Gardening Unit Study, Principle: Christian Character by Dana Hanley.  Free e-book.

 •  Gardening Unit Study by Donna Sweet. Christian study with links to info on the Internet.  Free online.

 •  Unit Study on Plants.  Ideas for incorporating several subjects into the topic of gardening.  Free online.

Teach your children to praise the Lord –
in the words of Scripture!

To Him Who Sits on the Throne:
Praising God with the Scriptures

     Compiled by Mike Thomas,
Baylor University, this 240-page book is the most comprehensive collection of praise scriptures ever assembled.

   • 2,085 verses (KJV)

   • From 57 books of the Bible

   • Illustrates 87 of God's
     character qualities

Order now for only $7.95

Morning Star Christian Books  /  E-mail

Learning About Plants

Botany, the study of plants, is a natural and major area of study when gardening.

Good sources of information abound in your own textbooks, library books, Internet sites (follow the many links in this newsletter), seed catalogs and packets.

This learning opportunity provides exceptional motivation – the need of immediate and practical information for a hands-on project.

Depending on your child’s age, read about and explain what the plants in your garden will need in order to grow and produce (see below).

Basic Plant Requirements

To survive, all plants require the following in varying amounts.  The range for each variety of plant can be wide or narrow.

Read about each specific variety that you plan to plant (usually in a seed catalog or packet) to find out the optimum range of each factor for the plant to thrive and produce.

1. Light is the energy source for plants.

2. Warmth allows life-sustaining chemical reactions.

3. Water.

4. Soil nutrients in the right balance.  For more complete information, read article at

Free Online Resources

The Great Plant Escape is an extensive, interactive website for children that teaches about plants with simple text and learning activities, including Facts of the Case, describing plant structure, parts, life cycle and growing plants indoors; Plant Glossary for children and a Teacher's Guide.

Botany: Plant Part and Functions contains more advanced information on plants.

What's Their Love Language?
Have Your Teen Take the Quiz

The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers

• Learn to analyze your teen's love language.

• Get practical tips on showing your love in a way that that really matters to your teen.

• Explore issues in your teen's life, including anger and independence.

• Learn how to set boundaries that are enforced with discipline and consequences.

What's Your Teen's Love Language?
Have Your Teen Take the Quiz at

List price - $14.99 / Sale price - $10.11 (Save $4.88/33%)
Pre-order now; book will be delivered to you when it arrives.

Moody Publishers

Gardening with Young Children

by Joy Marie Dunlap

(These suggestions can also be helpful for a beginning gardener of any age.)

Your most enthusiastic gardeners might be your youngest children. With a few precautions, they can enjoy this exciting and meaningful activity all summer and into the fall.

1. Keep it simple.

2. Give your child his own small garden plot. Even a container pot or planter box will do.

3. Let your child choose just a few appropriate plants.

4. Limit time for garden chores to attention span and ability.

5. Garden organically so children can pick and eat fruit. (However, wash vegetables first because of germs and parasites.)

6. Buy child-sized tools. Adult-sized tools are too awkward and frustrating for children, and toy tools break.
For example, see real tools sized for young gardeners.

7. Have fun!

Free Online Resources

Kids Gardening Primer.  10 chapters cover age-appropriate projects, motivation, design, garden structures, theme gardens, plants kids love, small gardens, maintenance, safety, and short projects.

Organic Gardening with Kids includes “Top Tips for Novice Gardeners,” plus suggestions for best flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs for kids to grow.

My First Garden. A guide to gardening for children.

Gardening with Children. Outdoor and indoor activities for kids about plants, nature, and insects.

Introducing Young Children to the Garden
by Joy Marie Dunlap

Three-year-olds love to help with a vegetable garden by poking seeds into soil which an older family member has prepared for them.

We have given our small children little garden plots at the edge of the lawn, where they can water their own plants with a child-size watering can without endangering the rest of the vegetable garden with their trampling feet.

Young children are thrilled to discover one of God’s greatest miracles as the soil produces a growing plant and finally food.  Even if their garden plots do not produce much, this is an important first step in their gardening education.

As each child shows increased maturity and faithfulness, we increase the size of his garden plot. This gives our children incentive to develop their gardening habits.

Read more articles by Joy Marie Dunlap at

Achieving Peak Performance
Test Preparation & Practice Tests

     Achieving Peak Performance,
now available for grades 1-10, answers questions and concerns of both students and parents in a simple and easy-to-use way.  It can be used to prepare students for most standardized tests.

     Two books for each grade:
   • Practice Test - for Students
   • Action Plan - for Parents
(includes: learning objectives, test strategies, practicing for success, and practice test answer key)

Now available as an e-book for only $10!

Spiritual and Character Lessons

Many scriptures speak about planting and growing food to illustrate man's relationship with God and other spiritual lessons.  These can become more understandable and meaningful to your children as they practice gardening themselves.

Look up these verses and discuss them in your family devotional time.  Keep a list of other verses you find and put them in your garden journal or notebook.

See “References to Gardening in Scripture” in the sidebar.

Character Qualities

Many character qualities are needed, and thus can be developed, in gardening.  By being aware of these you can watch for them in your child.  Commend or encourage him in these areas and read related verses when applicable.

See “Character Qualities Necessary in Gardening” in the sidebar.

Teach Your Children Faithfulness
in Caring for Garden Plants

by Joy Marie Dunlap

Children need to learn the value of faithfulness in gardening, as in any other area of life.

A preschool child may need help in caring for his tiny vegetable plot.  However, older children should learn to take initiative and to be faithful in weeding, watering, and pest control.

I encourage faithfulness and give our children a means to compare how garden yields are affected by diligence (or the lack of it) by giving each child a separate vegetable garden.  Those children who neglect weeding and watering see first hand that their plot yields fewer vegetables than do the plots of the other children.

Each of our children takes pride in how many tomatoes or squashes his garden gave us this year.  I encourage them all by complimenting their vegetables at harvest time, thanking each grower individually at meals, and taking pictures of each child with his garden produce to put in a family album.

Read more articles by Joy Marie Dunlap at

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