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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
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For 30 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Homeschool Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

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

   “Treat others
        the same way
   you want them
        to treat you.”
               Luke 6:31

Thanksgiving –
Just Around the Corner!

by David Barton

We are only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving, and unfortunately, its traditional message is rapidly being lost.

Secular textbooks now neglect or ignore the origins of this religious holiday, and many web encyclopedias fail to mention the religious aspects of Thanksgiving.

Wikipedia even amazingly asserts: "While it may have been religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday."

The decline in general knowledge about this holiday is a perfect opportunity to educate those around you who don't know, and to encourage those who do.

A perfect way to inform your friends, neighbors, and associates about this great American holiday is with a short simple tract (above) giving the history and religious character of this beloved holiday.

Order yours now in time for Thanksgiving!

You can also display a poster depicting the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving in America.

Share the true religious history of Thanksgiving with your church, school children, Sunday School class, family or friends!

Let's not only remember the real reason for Thanksgiving, but let's use this holiday as a means to help others learn to keep God at the center of our national Thanksgiving celebration!

God Bless!
David Barton

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Sunnyside Up

Practical Math

Nolan, our 4th grader, listened attentively while I tried to simplify the complex issue of money, budget, needs vs. desires, and debt.

After a lengthy explanation and illustration of the potential consequences of credit card debt, I asked our son if he understood.  He nodded thoughtfully and replied, "That's why you have to know how to count."

Submitted by Leigh T., N. Carolina.

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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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In This Issue

Good Manners

1.  Manners Demonstrate Character
     by Inge Cannon, Education PLUS
2.  Basic Manners
3.  Online Resources

Recommended Resource

•  Deeper Roots Publications: Bible Curriculum


In this issue we offer perspectives on the underlying attitudes of good manners, as well as specific suggestions and resources for teaching them.

Good manners are the outward demonstration of character qualities.

Parents.  As parents, we need to faithfully provide good examples, teach God's Word, discipline consistently, teach about character qualities and manners, and pray for our children.

Our goal is to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ and to be used to draw others to Him, not to earn praise for ourselves and our (hopefully) well-behaved children.

Our children.  Ultimately it is our child's relationship with the Lord, his own choices, and his spiritual maturity that will determine his character and manners.

The Holy Spirit.  With the wisdom, strength, and working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of both parents and children, genuine and lasting results can be achieved.

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.

See Your Children Move from Bible
Knowledge . . . to Spiritual Application

Deeper Roots Unique, Life-Changing Bible Curriculum includes:
   • Inductive study with application
   • Bible memory
   • Missions emphasis

To learn more and order, click links below. (Key: TG = Essential Teacher's Guide &  Free Sample portion pdf;
SW = Student Workbook;  hs = Home- school Edition)  For grades 7-12.

  7th: Discovering Our Amazing GodTG/hsSW/hs
  8th: Discovering Who I Am in ChristTG/hsSW/hs
  9th: Discovering Christ-Like HabitsTG/hsSW/hsBundle
10th: Discovering Christ-Like Character. TG/hs, SW/hs, Bundle
11th-12th: Rooted and GroundedTGSWBundle

Deeper Roots Publications
Free Shipping (USA zips) on Orders of $49.00+ thru 01/03/11
Use Promo Code: THFree4

Manners Demonstrate Character

by Inge Cannon, Education PLUS

Each rule of etiquette reflects an attitude or character quality which reveals an individual’s values and personal beliefs.

The following thoughts should help in determining which rules of etiquette or “social graces,” as they are often called, are important to your family.

“Others May; You May Not.”

It is a simple reality that God sometimes places limits on His servants, especially for the development of their lives as leaders.  Leaders live in goldfish bowls – everyone sees how and where they swim!

 •  Are you willing to set aside a personal habit or choice to help someone else grow in the Lord?

 •  Can you view this as a high calling from God rather than a straitjacket?

 •  Will you view the practice of details that sometimes feel needlessly “picky” as a means of demonstrating the character of Christ in your life?

Categories of Rules

It will be helpful to your children if you help them identify the category of each etiquette rule you are striving to learn and practice.  Much irritation of spirit can come as a result of not understanding these.

1. Convictions or Moral Directives

These rules deal with issues that are right or wrong according to the Word of God.  These may never be adjusted.  Etiquette rules in this category involve propriety between men and women, honesty in communication, integrity in ethics, and fulfillment of promises.

2. Efficiency Directives

These rules are for the convenience of a group.  This can be a family, work team, friendships, or any other unit of people.

Etiquette rules in this category deal with being punctual, organized, neat, etc., at work, in travel, during leisure activities, and with guests.

3. Deference or Consideration Directives

These rules deal with how others feel when I behave toward them in a given manner.  These etiquette rules enable a person to practice the “golden rule” in avoiding offense.

4. Reputation Concerns

These rules deal with the appearance of things and the associations which things have.  These rules involve setting minimum standards so that individual and organizational images are controlled.

As such, these are often the most difficult requirements of all, because people have so many opinions of what is best.  Just remember that God’s Word teaches us to “avoid every appearance of evil” and to be moderate or balanced in good things.

Etiquette rules in this category involve “above-reproach” honesty with money and things, chaperons to communicate propriety and protection in relations with the opposite sex, and dependability in fulfilling responsibilities.

Dos and Don’ts

It would be ideal if an exhaustive list of dos and don’ts could be mastered.  But life’s situations often involve judgment calls that seem to fall between the cracks of specified ideals.

Teach your children that it is a mark of maturity to evaluate the gray areas or questionable things by God’s direction with questions like these:

 •  Will this habit or activity build my life?

 •  Will it bind me in any way?

 •  Is it the best for me?

Rather than asking what is wrong with an action or activity, consider carefully what is right about it.

Spirit or Attitude

Every rule of etiquette for Christians should communicate the core message of what we believe and the Lord Whom we serve.

 •  The practice of chivalry or gentlemanly conduct – whether given by a man or received graciously by a woman – is really a testimony to what we believe about the distinction between men and women.

 •  The fact that we dress up for a worship service, wedding, or funeral allows us to show respect to the one being honored in each context.

 •  Simple table manners give us the opportunity to present ourselves in the manner that we would like to observe in others, for no one enjoys witnessing crude behavior during a meal.

Each of our actions demonstrates more than just our ability to learn rules and adopt habits.  The practices themselves clearly demonstrate our philosophy of life, for the true test of what a person believes lies in actions rather than words.

Successful training always involves:
     •  Instruction
     •  Reinforcement
     •  Correction, and
     •  Consistent example.

There really are no shortcuts.  Self-discipline is a lifelong exercise.

Excerpted from Etiquette PLUS: Polishing Life's Useful Skills by Inge Cannon.

See etiquette training materials from Ron and Inge Cannon's Education Plus: Etiquette: Privilege or Panic? a 90-minute audio workshop ($4) and the accompanying e-books: Etiquette PLUS: Birth - Age 10 (140 pages, $6) and Etiquette PLUS: Ages 11 - 24 (130 pages, $6).

Basic Manners

Home is the most important place to teach, model, and practice these basic manners from early childhood.

Always behave the way you want your children to behave – with respect, honesty, and consideration for others. They will learn the most from watching you.

Develop the habits of good manners by patient teaching, kindly reminders, role-playing practice, and praise when your children get it right!

See The Teaching Home's E-Mail Newsletter Archives for issues on Character Development, Part 1 and Part 2, and Forming Good Habits, Part 1 and Part 2.

1.  Courteous Words
     •  Please
     •  Thank you
     •  You’re Welcome
     •  Excuse Me
     •  Nice to Meet You
     •  May I?
     •  I’m Sorry.  Please Forgive Me.

2.  Table Manners

 •  Come to the table promptly when called, with clean hands and face.

 •  Put your napkin on your lap.

 •  Wait to start eating until after the prayer is said and the hostess (Mom) begins eating.

 •  Stay seated, and sit up straight without leaning on the table.

 •  Chew with your mouth closed, and don’t talk with food in your mouth.

 •  Don’t make negative comments about the food, but do thank whoever prepared the meal.

 •  Say, “Please pass the ____,” instead of reaching.

 •  Visit with everyone at the table.

 •  Don’t make rude noises, like burping or slurping; say, “Excuse me,” if the noise was accidental.

 •  Ask to be excused before leaving the table, and then offer to help clear the dishes.

3.  Kindness and Respect for Others

 •  Remember “Politeness is to do and say the kindest thing in the kindest way.”

 •  Be kind to all – family first – and especially look out for those younger or weaker than yourself.

 •  Take turns; don’t take the best and biggest of anything for yourself.

 •  If you bump into someone or walk in front of them, say, “Excuse me, please.”

4.  Conversations

 •  Don’t interrupt a conversation, or someone who is speaking to you.

 •  Look at the person who is speaking to you, or to whom you are speaking.

 •  Listen carefully and show interest by asking questions and making comments.

 •  When you speak, do so clearly and loudly enough (don’t mumble).

5.  Meeting and Greeting

 •  When you meet people, look directly at them, smile, and say, “Hello.”

 •  Learn how to shake hands and greet a person by name.

6.  Thank-you Notes

 •  For gifts, meals, and parties, send a written thank-you note.

7.  Telephone Manners

Consideration for safety as well as manners will affect your rules for the use of the telephone.

 •  Don’t allow a child to answer your telephone until he has learned and practiced (in role-playing) all your telephone rules.

 •  Home School Legal Defense Association recommends that you do not allow your children to answer the telephone during school hours.

 •  Teach your child not to give out any personal information to callers.

 •  Teach your child how to call 911 and give your address only in a real emergency.

 •  Turn down background noise before answering the phone.

 •  Speak clearly and identify yourself if the caller is someone you know.

 •  Ask, “Who’s calling, please?” if the caller does not identify himself.

 •  Say only, “She is not available at the moment” (not specifically where she is and what she is doing).

 •  When taking a message, include who it is for, who it is from, and a phone number (keep pens and paper by the phone).

 •  Say, “One moment, please,” and go get the person wanted (don't yell).

Online Resources

Judi, The Manners Lady

Judi Vankevich, The Manners Lady, offers a variety of resources to teach important life principles and good manners in a fun way on her website

 •  The Family Pledge Download and print this one-page reminder of respectful attitudes, words, and actions.
Download the Sports Pledge.

 •  The Manners Club Free online club.  Churches and homeschool groups can run The Manners Club as a VBS or a unit study!
Judi also presents programs and speaks to groups about manners.

 •  “It's Fun To Have Good Manners!”
Award-winning CD with 16 songs for children.  Listen to all the songs online.

 •  “Say Hello to All the World!”
Learn to say hello in 52 languages!

The Emily Post Institute Website

 •  Helping Children with Manners, including: Manners at Home, Telephone Manners, Table Manners, Being a Guest, and Manners on the Street

 •  Emily's Magic Words in American Sign Language (for toddlers).

 •  Table Manners for the 4-7 Year Old (What you can expect).

 •  Top Table Manners.


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