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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 30 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

Enjoying Nature

"Great are the works of the Lord, they are studied by all who delight in them" (Psalm 11:1).

See Newsletter #254 for tips on enjoying and learning from nature, including "Seeing God in Nature" (Bible, spiritual life, worship) and "Study Nature" (science, Internet research, reading).

Letter to the Editor

Thank you for your newsletter on Christian citizenship.  The rationale for why we should vote can be taken a step further:

The American founding generation was a very Biblical people and believed from the Reformation that God is sovereign, that God is the top authority (Gen. 1).

This in turn means that the state, civil government, is not the top authority.

We believe that God gave man the institution of civil government (Gen 9), but we do not believe that Rom. 13:1 means that everything civil government is good and from God and must be obeyed.

Rather, in America, we believe that God gave civil government proper functions and boundaries that have to do with protecting the individual and his liberty, not controlling him (Declaration of Independence).

The trick for us is to keep civil government limited to those boundaries of protection.

Limited government is the genius of the American experiment.  The Founding Fathers attempted to limit civil government in various ways.

The American constitution is the law that governs the government, intended to control the state and leave the individual free.

This is the rule of law – the state is to obey this law.  This was a historical break from the rule of men – kings or politicians or bureaucrats.

An important limiting device is elections.

The people are to choose representatives of strong Godly character who will obey, i.e. uphold the constitution and keep the civil government within its proper functions and boundaries.  This is what they swear to do.

Biblical Christians are the chief ones who can understand this and elect this kind of leader to public service.

Therefore all Biblical Christians must vote, and must vote intelligently, always.

This will require an increase in personal character and effort among Christians.

We must always vote for the lesser of two evils, partly because we will never really have any other choice – Jesus is not running for office!

Our goal must be to put into office qualified people of strong Biblical character, to govern the government and then tackle the challenges of serving the people.

We may need to answer the call ourselves!

It is time for the American body of Christ to get serious about our civil government.

A further glimpse of the subject can be seen at Alternative.

Bill Burtness, Judah Bible Curriculum

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Sunnyside Up

Toad Overboard

Our 2-year-old son, Luke, was always required to wear arm floats near the pool.  We called them water wings.

One day Bethany caught a toad and gave it to Luke.  As he held the toad on the deck, that little rascal hopped out of Luke's hands and took a swim.

Luke began to scream hysterically.  Trying to calm him down, I said, "Luke, it's okay!"  Thinking he must be concerned about the toad possibly hurting his baby brother, I again reassured him, "The toad won't hurt us!"

Luke's screams were still hysterical as he exclaimed, "But, Mommy, he doesn't have his water wings on!"

Submitted by Sara S., West Virginia.

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)

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

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In This Issue

1.  Make the Most of Family Day Trips

2.  Creation Science Resources
     for Your Summer Trips


•  Letter to the Editor

Recommended Resources

•  Living Books Curriculum: Free Get Acquainted Pack
•  Hewitt Homeschooling Resources: Lightning Lit
•  Valerie Bendt Books: Reading Made Easy
•  Moody Publishers: The Moody Classics


It's time to ask your family, "Where would we like to go this summer?"

If you don't plan now and put it on your calendar, you may wonder this winter why you didn't get to the beach, park, mountains, etc. this summer!

In this issue we discuss a wonderful summer memory maker – the family day trip. Even though it may mean some extra effort, it is well worth it.

We would never give up the time we have spent traveling with our children!

May the Lord bless 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.

FREE for a Limited Time  ($97 Value)
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 I just can't thank you enough." - Sandi R., New Mexico 

Make the Most of Family Day Trips

Family day trips are a great alternative to an expensive vacation or one that is too long away from home or work.

Day trips can do much to bring the family together with fun activities.  And at the same time home educators can always find an interesting and enriching educational angle for each trip.

See an online generic unit study guide on travel, including language arts, math, geography, history, art, science, music, life skills, physical education, and Christian education.

1.  Destinations

Distance and Time

Day trips usually should be a distance that would enable you to spend at least twice as much time at your destination as round-trip traveling time (e.g., the maximum might be 2 hours each way in the car and 8 hours at your destination and/or stops along the way).

You might draw a circle using a 100-mile radius from your home and explore that area.

Here are a few ideas that are especially suited for family day trips during the summer.  Some are free, some will take gas money, and some may require an admission fee.

 •  Natural, scenic attractions such as the beach, mountains, rivers,water falls, lakes, hiking trails, and parks.

 •  Museums, planetariums, aquariums, and zoos.

 •  Historic sites, districts, buildings, and museums, as well as antique shops.

 •  Events such as ethnic festivals, state and county fairs.

Where To Go

Find suggestions and information for day trips from the following sources.

 •  Call your chamber of commerce or visitors' center for a list, information, and brochures on local and state attractions.

 •  Find a nearby conservation area; garden; arboretum; county, state, or national forest or park; or the beach.
Audubon Centers and Sanctuaries
National Forests
National Park Service

Also check out the Junior Ranger Program for more than 200 national parks with information, learning activities, and free e-books, some with curriculum.

 •  For State Parks in your state, search "state park" in Google.

 •  Visit these websites:
Fodor's Travel Guides Travel Guides
Online Highways Travel Guide
Virtual Tourist Travel Guides
National Register of Historic Places

 •   Ask other families what day trips they have enjoyed and getting information from them.

 •  Study your state's history this summer and visit noted places.  State History from a Christian Perspective

2.  Guests

Sometimes a family needs to spend time alone together, away from the bustle of a busy life. At other times, taking someone with you can be a ministry to them and make your trip more meaningful.

 •  Is there an older person in your family or church that cannot get out much and would appreciate a short drive in the country?

 •  Would another family like to caravan with you on a trip?

3.  Preparation

 •  Read ahead about your destination.  Check your library, online, or other sources. Even a few paragraphs can pique interest and motivate learning.

 •  Get complete information on your destination, including hours, admission, and directions.

 •  Do an hour-by-hour time line of your trip, figuring driving time, rest stops, etc.

Be sure you allow enough time, instead of cramming too much into too little time, which is counterproductive to an enjoyable experience.  If you allow extra time for travel, you will be able to stop and explore interesting things along the way.

 •  Pack everything you will need the night before, get a good night's sleep, a healthy breakfast, and an early start.

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Make the Most of Family Day Trips


4.  On the Road

 •  You can begin your trip with a short devotional time in the car as you start down the road. Start with prayer for your family to have a safe trip, be a witness and testimony (take along some tracts), have a good family time together, learn more about nature or history, and praise the Lord for His wonderful creation.

 •  Have someone read some Scripture or listen to the Bible on tape.

 •  Listen to and/or sing hymns or choruses.

 •  Allow some time for family visiting.

 •  As you travel, you may want to listen to music or a book on tape, such as those from the following:
Audio books - Sing 'n Learn
Unabridged Henty novels - Jim Hodges Audio Books
Books on tape from your local library

5.  At Your Destination

 •  Experience as much of the site as possible.

 •  Pick up any handouts or educational materials available.  Sometimes it is worthwhile to buy a book on the subject if someone is especially interested. This could encourage reading or other educational goals.

 •  Be sure you know what you may or may not remove from a nature area.

Wherever you go, be sure you know and observe posted rules, common courtesy, and safety.  Stay on the paths, no loud running around other people, no picking plants or removing wildlife, avoid poisonous plants, snakes, ticks, etc.

 •  See safety pointers at U.S. Forest Service.

6.  After the Trip

Follow-up activities are a valuable educational part of any trip.

 •  You can do a report of your trip by using one of the 100+ ideas for book reports or unit studies from our Newsletter #26.  These include activities in art, penmanship, written and oral reports, speech, drama, writing, and poetry.

 •  Follow up any interest with more reading or research at the library or online.

 •  Keep an account of your trips to add to your children's school records.

 •  Make a scrap book with photos and information.

 •  Plan a return trip next year if your family enjoyed it this year. Often children will enjoy repeated trips more because they are comfortable with the surroundings, feel at home, and know what to expect. Some summer events may become family traditions.

Reading Made Easy:  A Guide To Teach
Your Child To Read by Valerie Bendt

A Complete Phonics Curriculum
New – Four Accompanying Activity Books!

• 108 lessons (30 mins.
   ea., 3 days a week)
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• Writing, drawing, and
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• Read full description
   and see samples at

Creation Science Resources
for Your Summer Trips

If your family visits a national park, geological feature, or zoo, you will encounter evolutionary explanations.

Be prepared with a creation-science view of God's awesome works which show that real science confirms the biblical account of creation and a global Flood.

Even if you are not visiting these places this year, your family will enjoy studying about God's creation – and perhaps plan a future trip!

From Answers in Genesis

If your vacation plans this summer include a trip to panoramic vistas, breathtaking waterfalls, or geological wonders, you will no doubt be told that science has "proven" that these amazing features developed over vast amounts of time.

What you aren't likely to hear is that this "proof" is merely an interpretation of the facts based on an anti- God philosophy.

But that doesn't mean you have to go unequipped.

Free Brochures.  Answers in Genesis wants you to get the full story behind these amazing parks and wonders before you pack up to go.

That's why we're making available free online these Wonders of Geology brochures on some of the most popular (and misconstrued) vacation attractions in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

These brochures will show you the secular version of how these features formed, what the Bible teaches about these monuments to God's creative majesty and righteous judgment, and how the facts line up with what God's Word says.

Be sure to take these brochures along with you so that you and your family will have the complete story – and then use them to witness to others at these locations as well.

Simply download the free PDFs and print them out right now.  You can even print on both sides of the page for a brochure effect.

These two-page brochures are beautifully illustrated and clearly written.

They show that real science confirms the biblical account of creation, not the secular version of evolution and billions of years.

You can read these brochures online, print them, or purchase them individually or as a 10-pack set.  They include:

North America
     • Niagara Falls
     • Grand Canyon, Arizona
     • Petrified Forests, Yellowstone
     • Mount St. Helens, Washington
     • Dinosaur National Museum, Utah
     • Devils Tower, Wyoming
     • Caves: Kentucky and New Mexico

     • White Cliffs of Dover, England
     • Giant's Causeway, N. Ireland
     • Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia

More Creation Science Road Guides

 •  "Explore God's Creation as a Family Vacation" by Dave and Mary Jo Nutting with information on:
     Grand Tetons
     Dinosaur National Monument
     Grand Canyon
     Mount St. Helens
     Mammoth Cave and Carlsbad Caverns
     Niagara Falls

 •  The John Day Area of Central Oregon

 •  Yellowstone National Park and Adjacent Areas

Summer reading at its best –
The Moody Classics

     Of all the factors influencing our spiritual growth and development, pivotal books can play a key role.

     Learning from those who have walked the path and fought the fight brings wisdom and strengthens resolve.

     To this end, Moody Publishers is honored to introduce the next six volumes in this ongoing series of spiritual classics.

To view the entire Moody Classics collection, visit

Moody Publishers

Creation Science Resources
for Your Summer Trips


Guides for Museums, Aquariums, and Zoos

From Answers in Genesis

Don't go to the aquarium, museum, or zoo without these Bible-based teaching aids!

Zoo Guide

Make your next visit to the zoo more than just fun – make it factual and fascinating too.

Featuring more than 100 animals, our Zoo Guide includes beautiful pictures and explores the amazing facts and design features that point to our awesome Creator.

Spiral-bound. 220 pages. Info/Order.

Museum Guide

Make your next visit to the natural history museum more than just entertaining – make it factual and fascinating too.

Rather than being perplexed about the continual "millions of years" stories, you'll be enlightened with a biblical perspective on such things as coal, diamonds, "apemen," whale "evolution," dinosaurs, the origin of life, and more.

Along with the true history behind more than 100 common museum exhibits, this Museum Guide includes beautiful pictures and teaches you how to understand natural history from a biblical perspective.

Spiral-bound. 232 pages. Info/Order.

Aquarium Guide

With aquariums around the world using God's amazing creatures to teach evolution, Christians need information that gives them biblical truth.

From the odd-shaped hammerhead shark and the powerful killer whale, to the colorful angelfish and the deadly lionfish, the Aquarium Guide covers more than 100 of God's sea creatures and gives information about their features, their design, and much more.

Spiral-bound. 220 pages. Info/Order.

Another Christian Worldview Zoo Guide

Zoos are tremendously educational and entertaining, and travel helps children learn about history, geography, culture, and nature.

America's Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans & Families is co-authored by a Christian home-school dad.

It contains full reviews of the 60 best zoos in the USA, plus information about zoos, animals, and traveling.  See

Creation Science Museums
and Information Centers

KY/OH:  Creation Museum (Answers in Genesis), Petersburg, Ken. (seven miles from the Cincinnati Airport)

CA:  Creation and Earth History Museum, Santee

AR:  Museum of Earth History, Eureka Springs

FL:  A Key Encounter, Key West

FL:  Creation Adventures Museum, Arcadia

GA:  The Gallery of Creation: A Museum of Natural History, Social Circle

OH:  Akron Fossils & Science Center, Akron

TN:  Wyatt Archaeological Museum, Cornersville

WA:  7 Wonders Museum of Mount St. Helens, Silverlake

Canada  Big Valley Creation Science Museum, Big Valley, Alberta

England  Genesis Expo, Portsmouth

Bible Museums

See a list of Bible Libraries, Museums and Special Collections.

TX:  Dunham Bible Museum (plus online tour), Houston


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