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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
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  tth@teachinghome.com  

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Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors

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    Christian worldview curriculum will challenge and enable your children to stand strong in their faith and defend truth!
 •  Understanding the Times    for High School Students
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See more at www.summit.org


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    Order your Constitution Day Package today for only $34.95 (reg. $140)

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Instrument Tuners
    The very best chromatic tuner metronome combo deal on the planet!

    MusiCity.com has everything for the Schooland Church Musician! Instruments, Music, Supplies, and Accessories


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    Choose from 14 curriculums that teach students of all ages the fundamentals of drawing, painting, color theory, and art appreciation.
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    See art gallery, sample lessons, and class schedules at www.howgreatthouart.com.


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Sunnyside Up



Vocabulary, Yes; Reading, No
    After teaching my kindergartner the letters b, d, f, g, and a, we were ready to make our first words. The first word was bag. The phonies program I was using said to discuss meanings along with the word. We talked about a bag being a sack.
     As soon as my husband came in, I asked him to come and see the word Laura had written. When he asked her what the word was, she very confidently replied, "Sack!"
     Submitted by Teresa F., Kansas


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God Loves You.

    Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Him as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
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Plan of Salvation


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In This Issue:  The Constitution

     1.  Celebrate Constitution Week, Sept. 17- 23
     2.  President's Comments on the Constitution
     3.  Studying Our Constitution
     4.  Online Resources
     5.  Studying Our Government
     6.  Biblical Principles: Basis for America's Laws
     7.  More Resources


Greetings,

     Constitution Day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

     It is important to teach your children about our nation's Constitution and how it affects our lives.  Constitution Week, September 17-23, is also a great time to study our government and our Christian heritage with your family!

     May the Lord bless your family for His glory.

Cordially,
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.


1.  Celebrate Constitution Week, Sept. 17- 23

     In remembrance of the signing of the Constitution and in recognition of the Americans who strive to uphold the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, the Congress has designated September 17 as "Constitution Day" and "Citizenship Day," and requested that the President proclaim the week beginning September 17 and ending September 23 of each year as "Constitution Week."

Resource: Constitution Day Package
     Includes:
 •   "A More Perfect Union," DVD, depicting the Federal Convention of 1787 ( See an online preview);
 •   Beautiful reproductions of the U.S. Constitution and the painting depicting the Convention
 •   30 student booklets including the founding documents plus quotes;
 •   A miniature version of the 24-image Freedom Gallery.
     $34.95 (reg. $140) 1-877-917-1787. Roots of Freedom

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2.  President's Comments on the Constitution
by George W. Bush
President of the United States of America

     The following are excepts from the President's 2004 Citizenship Day and Constitution Week Proclamation.

     Today, we marvel at the wisdom of the Framers who toiled through a long summer of learned and contentious debates.

     Their work produced a document that upholds high ideals, while answering the most practical questions of governance. The charter they crafted — with its separate branches of Government, enumerated powers, checks and balances, and later the specific protections provided by our Bill of Rights — guides our Nation and inspires others around the world.

Twin Foundations
     As the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia began working on what would become the United States Constitution, they grasped that a great democracy must be built on the twin foundations of
 •   National consent to a Federal Government
 •   Respect for individual rights.

Balance of Powers
     In creating our Nation's Constitutional framework, the Convention's delegates recognized the dangers inherent in concentrating too much power in one person, branch, or institution.

     They wisely crafted a Government that balanced the functions and authority of a Federal system among three separate but equal branches:
 •   The Executive
 •   The Legislative
 •   The Judicial.

     As a further check on central power, the Framers granted citizens the right to vote, giving them the power to express their political preferences peacefully and thereby to effect change in the Government.

     The Convention delegates ratified the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and submitted it to the States for approval.

Bill of Rights
     After much deliberation and discussion at the State level, the following two concerns emerged from among those who feared the Constitution's proposed centralization of Federal power:
 •   The threat of tyranny
 •   The loss of local control.

     To address these fears, our Founders amended the Constitution by adding a Bill of Rights.

     These ten amendments provided a series of clear limits on Federal power and a litany of protective rights to citizens.

     Today, our Nation celebrates the longest-lived written Constitution in world history.

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3.  Studying Our Constitution

     The Constitution of the United States is the foundation of our American Government. As the supreme law of the land, no law may be passed that contradicts its principles, and no person or government in the nation is exempt from following it.
 •  Read, study and discuss the Constitution.
 •   Read the Constitution along with explanations.
 •   See Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Students.

The First Amendment
     The First Amendment to the Constitution does not include the phrase "separation of church and state." Nowhere does it suggest that Christianity cannot be heard in the public square.

     In fact, the first act of the United States Congress was to authorize the printing of 20,000 Bibles for the Indians. Read more..

Judicial Interpretation of the Constitution
     The subject of constitutional interpretation is a valid and practical concern today that will reach into many areas of our lives for years to come.

     Two competing viewpoints have emerged:
 •   To follow the original intent of the Constitution.
 •   To allow judges to interpret the Constitution asthey will.

Related Online Resources
 •   Read "A Tale of Two Constitutions" by David Barton.
 •   Read more about the problems in our judicial system.

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4.  Online Resources

•   Naturalization Self Test
     Could your children (or you) pass the test to become a citizen? Included are such questions as:
    In what year was the Constitution written?
     What do we call a change to the Constitution?
     What is the Bill of Rights?
     Can the Constitution be changed?
     Test your knowledge of United States History and the structure of our government on this easy-to-use online question and answer interactive site.

•  Wall Builders
     Read a variety of articles from Wall Builders on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built.

•   The Federalist Papers Online
     One of the most important works on political theory ever written.

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5.  Studying Our Government

     The Teaching Home Newsletters #66-68 (which you can read online or printed for personal use) addressed the topic of teaching about governments in general and the United States government in particular.

     This series offers much practical information, Internet links for further study, and application for Christians. It would make an excellent study for Constitution Week.

     Following is an outline of what each issue contains.

Newsletter #66: Introduction to Government
1. What and How To Teach
2. The Biblical Basis of Government
3. Forms of Government

Newsletter #67: United States Government
1. We are a Republic, not a Democracy
2. The Constitution
3. The Three Branches of Government; Checks and Balances
4. Distribution of Government Powers
5. How a Bill Becomes a Law
6. Our Heritage of Freedom; Our Christian Heritage

Newsletter #68: Our Responsibilities in Government
1. The Spiritual Aspect of Political Action
2. Political Action
3. Guidelines for Any Lobbying Effort

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6.  Biblical Principles: Basis for America's Laws

     Excerpted and reprinted by permission from an article by Charles and Cindy Meek, Faith Facts.

     Christians believe that the Bible offers ultimate, objective, and absolute truth. There was a general consensus on this point in America from the earliest settlers until only very recently.

     So it was natural for the early Americans to turn to the Bible for guidance as to how to make civil law. This was the standard for law beginning with the Mayflower Compact all the way through the constitutions of all 50 states.

State Constitutions
     For example, the first state constitution was the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639). Read this document.

     The framers of this document desired that every aspect of it be based on the Bible. This document was a model for other constitutions including the U.S. Constitution which followed it. (See other Preambles to State Constitutions.)

Rule of Law
     Another aspect of our system of government is that it is based on the Rule of Law. This concept is a direct descendant of Hebrew law and the Ten Commandments.

     Together with the concept of inalienable rights from God, these concepts helped ensure a way of life that respected the dignity of every individual.

The True Nature of Man
     Another important aspect of America's constitution is that it has as its basis the distinctly Christian idea that man is basically sinful. Every one of our founding fathers understood this truth. The result was that the founders built into the Constitution an elaborate system of checks and balances.

     This is evident in the horizontal plane of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. It is also evident in the vertical plane of federalism — states' powers versus federal powers.

     See a chart of the influence of Biblical thought on America's legal system with Bible references.

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7.  More Resources

     Civics Education Courses from Home School Legal Defense Association, including: Founding Fathers, Introduction to Constitutional Law, The Federalist Papers, Declaration of Independence. www.hslda.org

     "America's Godly Heritage" video clearly sets forth the beliefs of many of the famous Founding Fathers concerning the proper role of Christian principles in education, in government, and in the public affairs of the nation.

     "A Nation Adrift, A Chronicle of America’s Providential Heritage" DVD is the true story of how God’s sovereign hand guided the founders of America.




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