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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
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"Online Teaching Assistance Program" is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.

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     The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #54
     Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

     October 28, 2003 / Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
     Regarding links in this newsletter: We do not endorse all subject matter.

Table of Contents
     What To Do About Halloween?
     Reform for Today
          Church Reform through Bible Study
          Political Reform Today
          How Home Schooling Avoids the State Religion
          The Superiority of Evangelism over Political Action
     Reduce Your Family's Risk of Dying in a House Fire
     Recommended Resources
          How Great Thou Art: Complete Art Curriculum
          Operation Christmas Child: It’s Shoe Box Time!
          Educational Advising Ministries: College and Career Planning
     Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote


     October 31st is Reformation Day, commemorating that date in 1517 when protestant reformer Martin Luther challenged his fellow Catholics to debate his 95 theses regarding the sale of indulgences.
     Luther offered his points for consideration based on his conscience and his understanding of the truth, even though they were in conflict with powerful men in his church and put him in grave jeopardy. (For more information about the Reformation and unit study ideas, see our last newsletter at
     What can we learn from the example of these brave, although imperfect, reformers? Are there ways we can apply these lessons to our own lives?
     We trust that the suggestions below will be both thought provoking and practical for your family.

Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 23-year-old, home-school family business.

Complete Art Curriculum
Designed for the Home Schooled Student

     Since 1991, How Great Thou ART Publications has been teaching students of all ages in the fundamentals of drawing, painting, and color theory. Online catalog, art galleries, sample lessons and much more!
(800) 982 - DRAW (3729)

Reform for Today
     To thoughtful and dedicated Christians it is evident that reform is needed today in our churches and in our government. We have the freedoms and the power to help effect these changes -- freedoms and power that the Protestant Reformation leaders and the common man of that day did not have. But these abilities do us no good if we do not use them.
     Teaching our children God's standards for church and country and effective, godly ways to meet these goals, are important parts of our home education.

Church Reform through Bible Study

     The Protestant Reformation was aided by the printing press making God's Word available to the common people.
     One of the four main tenets of the Reformation, "Sola Scriptura" (Scripture alone) was the belief that God's Word, the Bible, is our complete and sole rule of faith and practice. This brought men to examine the Bible and see that their church needed to be reformed.
     So we must do today. Many churches are in need of reform in order to meet God's standards, given to us in His Word, for the doctrines and practices of the church. If we do not regularly read and study the Bible, we might as well be living in the dark ages before the printing press when most people did not have the Scriptures to study.
     Our example is the Berean Christians who, when they received their church's teachings, "searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" Acts 17:11.
     There is no better way to recognize the difference between pure doctrine and doctrinal error than to read the whole Bible regularly (at least once a year), stopping as needed to study questions or items of interest.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." II Tim. 3:16
     When you read and study your Bible:
* Be right with God and others.
* Be eager to hear and obey God's Word.
* Pray for understanding.

Simple Rules of Bible Interpretation
     Although most of the Bible is straightforward and clear, the following principles will help ensure that you come to an accurate understanding of God's words to you:
* Make sure your understanding of each verse or passage fits into the greater context of the passage.
* Use standard word definitions and grammar rules.
* Observe literary forms where they are intended.
* Explore backgrounds of history, geography, and customs.
* Compare Scripture with Scripture; it will agree with itself.
* Use clear passages to interpret unclear passages on the same topic.
* Look up difficult words in the Greek or Hebrew.

     Find several unique Bible reading schedules at

What To Do if You Discern Error
     You might find after careful study that some beliefs held by you or your church do not align with the whole of Scripture.
     When a doctrine is off just a little, it is like two lines drawn at slightly different angles from one point. The farther you draw the lines (or take the slightly errant doctrine to its logical conclusion), the further it gets from the straight line (or from pure doctrine).
     When you recognize any errors, you can correct them in your own beliefs and in what you teach your children. You can also follow the example of the reformers who first spoke up in their churches to try to effect reform, and when unsuccessful, left to find or form other churches with true biblical doctrines. (The Separatists and Puritans are examples of these two responses.)
     Of course it is important to approach these issues prayerfully, humbly, and lovingly.

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     Search for the topics you need; each issue is pictured with all articles listed.
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Political Reform Today
     There is a very real cultural war raging in our country today. Far from separating church and state, this battle attempts to force the state religion of humanism and atheism upon us along with all its applications to our personal and corporate lives.
     This threat to sweep our nation from its Christian beginnings to the depth of degradation demands our action. When we do not participate in government, we allow the ungodly to rule and promote immoral policies and practices.
     By the grace of God, we can influence or cause change in our nation's government through our representative form of government and our Constitutional freedoms.
     A Christian's participation in government and society involves in part:
* Studying and knowing God's principles and teaching them to our children.
* Voting in every election according to our conscience after diligent study of the issues or candidates.
* Calling and mailing government officials, media, and others to make our opinions known, make respectful requests, or express appreciation.
* Praying for those in authority.

"I exhort therefore,
     that, first of all, supplications, prayers,
     intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority;
     that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life
     in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable
     in the sight of God our Savior;
Who will have all men to be saved,
     and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
(I Timothy 2:1-4).
Issues and Organizations
     Here is a partial list of current issues you may want to consider for prayer and/or action, along with organizations that you can contact for information.

Defending Traditional Marriage
Supreme Court Ruling on "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance
Public Display of the Ten Commandments
End to Partial-Birth and Other Abortions
     Note: We can praise the Lord for the passage of the
     Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and pray that the U.S.
     Supreme Court will not strike it down.
Elimination of Pornography on the Internet
Judicial Tyranny

Political Action Organizations
     National Right to Life.
     Concerned Women for America.
     Focus on the Family's Citizen Link.
     Family Research Council.
     Eagle Forum.
     American Family Association.
     The Center for Reclaiming America.
     America's Christian Heritage Week.

Home-School Issues
     State Home-School Organizations.
     Home School Legal Defense Association.

It’s Shoe Box Time!
     You can teach your children the joy of giving and the true meaning of Christmas through Operation Christmas Child -- a simple project that encourages children, families and groups to fill empty shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and necessity items for a needy child a world away.
     For drop-off sites, to order free materials or for more information about the project, call 1-800-353-5949 or visit

How Home Schooling Avoids the State Religion
     Home schoolers have already taken their children out of harm's way by removing them from the largest state religion propaganda machine -- the public schools. Remember this the next time you wonder why you are teaching your children at home. This is why the Puritans left England and then Holland.
     However, we need to go beyond simply avoiding the false "state religion," and actively and diligently teach our children God's truth. Bible should be an important and thoroughly taught subject in our home school, as well as related subjects such as Bible study methods (including rules of interpretation), Bible doctrine, missions, and personal evangelism.
     Furthermore we should teach all subjects from a Christian perspective. This will take more thought, research, and work on your part if you do not use Christian textbooks which have already integrated a Christian worldview into each subject.

The Superiority of Evangelism over Political Action
     Political action can sometimes accomplish great good in advancing both freedom and morality in the world. But its effects are limited to this life, which is but a breath compared to eternity. If we gain the whole world (a perfect government on earth), but lose the souls of the perishing around us, it profits nothing.
     Our religious freedom is meaningful only if we use it to seek truth, follow conscience, teach our children to follow the Lord, and seek to bring the spiritually lost to salvation.
     This world is not our home; we are ambassadors on a mission -- the ministry of reconciliation between God and man.
"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,
     as though God did beseech you by us:
we pray you in Christ's stead,
     be ye reconciled to God."
II Cor. 5:20

Comprehensive College and Career Planning
Tutorials and Curriculum

     Get the help you need finding the right college and scholarships, identifying your career purpose, and understanding admission and financial aid. Online tutorials and individual advising available from Educational Advising Ministries. or Call 717-581-7835

Reduce Your Family's Risk of Dying in a House Fire
     "In many of the house fires where lives are lost, an operating smoke alarm could have made a difference. A smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a house fire by 50 percent," said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. FEMA offers these fire safety tips:
* Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
* Test all smoke alarms monthly.
* Vacuum over and around smoke alarms regularly.
* Replace smoke alarms after 10 years or as recommended by the manufacturer.
* Post emergency numbers on your telephone and make sure your children know how to dial them.
* Organize and practice a family fire drill.
More information:
For children:
Carbon monoxide:

Please Thank & Support Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
     These free newsletters are made possible financially by the fine suppliers who advertise in them.
     Please remember those that have advertised in our last issue (below) as well as the ones in this issue.

Operation Christmas Child. 800-353-5949
Christian Book Clearinghouse: Save up to 80% on Christian Books
McCourt Mfg.: Student Desks. 800-333-2687
Sing 'n Learn: Hundreds of Audio Learning Products

Sunny Side Up: It's That Season of the Year Again
     Our first subject each day is Bible. We started in Genesis with the intention of reading through the Bible a chapter a day. My boys were thoroughly enjoying the Old Testament stories. When we reached 1 Kings, almost every chapter began with the introduction of a new king and gave the number of years that he had reigned.
     I guess I didn't realize how repetitive this information was or that I had not defined all the unknown words for our children. One day, toward the end of the book, my then 6-year-old gave a big sigh of apparent boredom and said, "Mom, it sure does rain a lot in 1 Kings!"
     Contributed by Patti Gelineau, Tennessee
     You are also invited to submit your humorous anecdote.

God Loves You.
     Because we were separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
     "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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