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Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #57
Inspiration, and Encouragement
November 27, 2003 /
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
Table of Contents
Christmas Unit Study
Reading and Literature
Speech and Drama; Arts and Crafts; Music
History and Geography; Current Events; Finances
Family Time Movies
Sing 'n Learn
Borenson and Associates
Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote
A wonderful opportunity lies before us at this
teach our children Scriptural truths of the gospel in the story
of Christ's incarnation.
We can also bear the glad tidings of great
joy to those
around us who desperately need to hear the message of Christ's
redemptive love and salvation.
For this issue we have prepared Christmas unit study
that you might want to use along with some of your own, to
supplement your other studies, or as your Bible curriculum for
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 23-year-old, home-school family business.
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A Christmas Unit Study
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The Christmas Story
__ Read and discuss Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1:5-2:38.
__ Notice the different details in each account.
__ Make a photocopy of these two accounts, then cut and paste
them together to make one integrated account,
or copy the
passages (see link) and do the same in your
__ Read the Christmas story in John 1:1-18. How does this
account differ in viewpoint, etc.?
__ Find and study the prophecies in the Old Testament predicting
the coming of the Messiah and their fulfillment
in the New
Testament. Many are listed online at
All the Messianic Prophecies of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer.
Advent Foretold: A December Devotional for All Ages by Wanda
Sanseri. Features daily Bible readings
centered on the
prophecies and their fulfillment of the Messiah's
Christmas carol suggestions. http://www.christianbook.com
Handel's Messiah Family Advent Reader by Donna Payne and
Fran Lenzo. Devotional readings in this gorgeous
the Scripture texts Handel used to create
Messiah. It is filled
with fine art and photographs; CD included.
Why Jesus Came
Look up one of the following Scriptures each
day in December
and discuss some of the reasons that Jesus came to be born on
earth. (Read and check off in any order.)
__ To fulfill prophecy. Matthew 5:17; Romans 15:8
__ To fulfill and abolish the law. Ephesians 2:13-15;
__ To seek and save the lost as a shepherd. Luke 19:10;
Matthew 18:11; John 10:1-30; Isaiah 53.6;
I Peter 5:2-4;
2:25; Matthew 9:36; Hebrews 13:20
__ To serve. Mark 10:45
__ To give His life as a ransom to redeem and free those
enslaved to sin. Matthew 20:28; Romans
__ To give more abundant life. John 10:10
__ To reveal the Father and to demonstrate the great love of God for
all men. Romans 5:8; II Timothy 2:4; Matthew
11:27; John 14:9
__ To do the will of God. Hebrews 10:9
__ To preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God and bear witness to
the truth. Luke 4:18-19, 43; John 18:37
__ To bring judgment, fire, reproof of sin, and the sword of
separation from ungodliness. Matthew 3:11-12,
Luke 12:14, 44; John 3:17, 8:15, 9:39, 16:8
__ To save sinners by bearing our sins and paying our penalty.
Romans 6:23; Isaiah 53:5; I Timothy 1:15;
I Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28
__ To be a faithful high priest and the mediator between God and
man. I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17
__ To put away sin. Hebrews 9:26; I John 3:5; John 1:29;
Leviticus 16:20-22; Isaiah 53:6; II Corinthians
__ To destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14;
John 12:31, 14:30
__ To provide a pattern of holy living. I Peter 2:21;
__ To bring justice to the oppressed. Luke 4:18
__ To remove enmity and establish fellowship and friendship with
man. I John 1; Romans 8:7; John 15;3-15
__ To sow and harvest the world's field. Matthew 7:37-8; 13:3-43
__ To heal. Luke 9:11; Isaiah 53:5; I Peter 2:24
__ To unite Jew and Gentile believers. Ephesians 2:11-19
__ To remove the veil and open the Holy Place to us.
Hebrews 6:19-20; 9; 10:19-22
__ To nourish the spiritual growth and make fruitful all who abide
in Him--the vine. John 15
__ To woo His bride and pay the price for her betrothal.
John 3:28-9; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelations
__ To demonstrate patience, humility, and obedience.
Philippians 2:5-8; I Peter 2:21-23; Hebrews
5:8; John 6:38
__ To give rest to the weary. Matthew 11:28-30
__ To bring light to a darkened world. John 1, 8:12
__ To give eternal life to those dead in sin. Ephesians 2:1-6
__ To give living bread and water to the hungry and thirsty.
John 6:27-58; Matthew 5:6; John 4:10-14
__ To give re-birth and adoption as God's children to all who
receive Him in faith. Galatians 4:1-7; John
__ To conquer death through His death and resurrection.
I Corinthians 15:20-22; Revelations 21:4;
II Timothy 1:10;
The Story of God's Love
The life of Christ is the story of a loving
God who is
seeking a personal relationship with you and your family through
faith in Jesus Christ, His substitutionary death for you, and His
__ Explain to your children that because of the incarnation, Jesus
is both fully God and fully man. John 1:1-3,
__ Discuss John 3:16 with your children.
"For God so
loved the world, that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whoever believes in Him should not
perish, but have
__ Compare receiving a gift to how a person receives God's
forgiveness and eternal life by accepting
it as an undeserved gift
"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; Romans 6:23
"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
__ Thank the Lord for His gift of salvation.
__ Memorize selected Scripture passages.
(e.g., John 3:15-17; Romans 5:8; Ephesians
Visualizing the Story of God's
The story of God's redemptive plan for mankind
in the following videos. The first three also make effective
witnessing tools and come in many languages.
God's Story: From Creation to Eternity (video, DVD, audio
cassette, CD, or view it free online).
Available in 62
languages with dozens more in process of translation.
The Hope (video, DVD, or view it free online). The story
of God's love for man told from Genesis to
Jesus (video; also in 8 languages on one DVD). Story of
Jesus' life on earth.
Matthew (Visual Bible, 4-video set). Word-for-word
dramatization of the Book of Matthew from
The Gospel of John (movie currently playing in theaters,
video, or DVD). Word-for-word dramatization
of the Gospel
of John. http://www.gospelofjohnthefilm.com
A Christian's Response: Evangelism
At Christmas time, it is appropriate to include
for Christ in our greetings to extended family, neighbors, and
co-workers. Your presentation of the good news of God's gift
be as simple as:
* A sentence added to your card such as "May you know the eternal
love, joy, and peace that comes from trusting Christ the
Savior, Whose coming we celebrate at Christmas."
* A verse such as John 3:16.
* Your personal testimony in your family's Christmas letter or
* A Christmas gospel tract, a Scripture portion, or an audio tape
of a book of the Bible included in your card or plate
to your neighbors.
Character Qualities: Thoughtfulness
__ Teach your child to be thoughtful of those in need and
understand how to meet their needs.
__ Give to those in need in the name of the Lord so that He gets
the glory and others are pointed to Him.
__ Talk to your family about those God told us to give to:
prisoners; widows and orphans; our "neighbors";
handicapped, hungry, thirsty, or sick; strangers,
need of clothing, and those that cannot return
(See James 1:27; Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 25:35,
__ Discuss ways to meet the different needs of people.
* Some need material things. Give food,
clothes, or money
for housing, utilities,
* Some need friendship, companionship, time,
__ See suggestions for gifts to take to a nursing home at
A Set of Teaching Home Back Issues
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The practical how-to articles, teaching tips,
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Reading and Literature
Look for these titles in your public or church
bookstore, or online at the links we have provided below.
you can find new, used,
out-of-print, and foreign language books from more than 50,000
__ Discuss these books as you read them together and ask
comprehension questions about facts, inferences,
generalizations, such as those listed at
__ Use a free online literature guide suggested below to define
and discuss the literary elements of your
__ Use one of the 100+ Book Report ideas for one of your books.
Ben Hur by Lew Wallace.
Historical fiction set during the life of
editions, audio, and video. http://www.christianbook.com
Read the book online at
Read about how and why Ben Hur was written
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Many editions, audio recordings, and study
Free online study guide at
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Many editions, audio recordings, and study
Free online study guide at
Joel's Lamb. An original Christmas Story by Ruth Grant.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry.
Several editions, audio recordings, and study
Jotham's Journey by Arnold Ytreeide.
Designed to be read each evening of Advent;
devotional thought, prayer, and instructions
for making an
Advent wreath. http://www.christianbook.com
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. (ages 6-12)
A Little House Christmas by Laura Ingles Wilder.
Books and videos. http://www.christianbook.com
A Christmas Collection and The Secret of the Fourth
Candle by Patricia St. John, author
of outstanding children's
James Herriot's Cat Stories.
"Christmas & Other Stories" audio recording
or "The Christmas
Day Kitten" (reading level: ages 4-8). http://www.amazon.com
A Treasury of Christmas Classics by Charles Dickens and
others. A large print collection of Christmas
including "A Christmas Carol," "The Gift of
the Magi," the
entire text of Handel's "Messiah," and many
prayers, hymns, and stories. http://www.christianbook.com
I'll Be Home For Christmas. Art by Thomas Kinkade with
excerpts from "The Pickwick Papers," "Little
"On the Banks of Plum Creek." http://www.christianbook.com
__ Write a poem about Christ's coming and it's meaning to you.
See poetry writing instruction and tips at
__ Set your poem to music.
__ Use your best penmanship to copy the words of a Christmas
carol in your handmade Christmas cards and
__ Add an original stanza to "Away in a Manger" or another
__ Recite or read the words to a Christmas carol (a poem) with
__ See the poem, "One Solitary Life" at
Learning Fun with Sing 'n Learn
"You remember what you sing!"
* Teach reading, geography, grammar, math,
Bible memory, science and
* Plus lots of audio books and printed resources.
* Download a 20-page catalog containing hundreds
of great home-school and
Sing 'n Learn http://www.singnlearn.com
Vocabulary and Spelling
__ Start with a short list; add new or significant words as you
encounter them. Choose a few of the
Incarnation, angel, nativity, conceived, frankincense,
myrrh, fulfilled, lamentation, manger, shepherd,
stature, espoused, salutation, magnify, decree,
swaddling, tidings, Savior, multitude, glorifying,
__ Look up words on this free online Bible dictionary
__ Verbally test your students by asking them to spell and define
the words and use them in a sentence.
__ Make cards and write in them to friends or relatives about
what Christ's coming means to you; stamp or
__ See how to make cards from many materials at
__ Write a newspaper article about the events surrounding Jesus'
birth. See brief guidelines at
__ Make a simple illustrated book for children or a longer one
for young adults about how and why Christ
came to earth and
why you are glad He did.
__ Have children copy or write as you dictate passages from
Scripture or books. Assign a couple
of sentences for
younger children; a couple of paragraphs for
__ You can also use these passages for typing practice.
Algebra Child's Play!®
is a visual and kinesthetic
teaching system for introducing algebraic
to students in grades 3 to 8.
* Complete program for one student - only
* Also available: 26 lessons on the The Hands-on
Borenson and Associates http://www.borenson.com
Speech and Drama
Your Own Presentations
__ Tell the Christmas story using felt, puppets, or unbreakable
__ Volunteer to make your presentation to a Sunday School
class or nursing home.
__ Include why Jesus came and what it means to you.
__ Read aloud a dramatic or meaningful passage from a book.
__ Make a video or audio tape recording, complete with sound
effects, of your presentation.
__ Send a copy to friends or relatives (especially Grandparents)
that you do not see often.
__ Read or perform one of the following Christmas plays.
* You might want to shorten or adapt one.
* These plays can provide ideas for writing
your own play.
__ Create costumes and sets for your play.
Assorted free online Christmas plays
12 Voices of Christmas (book, audio tape, and drama script).
(Type "12 Voices of Christmas" in search box.)
Hear it or read it online at
Drama on Video
__ Watch a video, movie, or live play and critique it as to
historical accuracy, biblical truth, and literary
Ben Hur (video). Historical fiction set during the life
of Christ. http://www.christianbook.com
The Fourth Wise Man (video).
Scrooge & Marley (video). Based on the book "What If Jesus
Had Never Been Born?" this is a spin-off from
Dickens classic. Includes insight into the
church and state" issue. http://www.christianbook.com
Arts and Crafts
__ Use pencil, charcoal, colored pencils, pastels, paints, or
chalk to draw or paint a picture related to
__ See various craft ideas at
__ Draw, label, and decorate a map of the Roman Empire, Israel,
major roads, cities of Nazareth, Jerusalem,
Bethlehem, and Egypt.
__ Make and illustrate a timeline of events.
__ Create original illustrations for a story.
__ Paint a portrait gallery of people you read about.
__ Make playdough, clay, or fabric nativity set.
__ Copy and decorate beautiful passages of literature, poem, or
related Scripture passages for framing or
on a bookmark for
__ Make gifts of food. See ideas at
__ See free cross stitch patterns at
__ Learn the history of our Christmas music.
__ See stories on the following sites.
"Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas"
Color the Classics: Christmas (with accompanying cassette).
__ Practice and sing for shut-ins or at a nursing home or go
caroling in your neighborhood.
__ Include instrumental numbers and recitations.
in Elegant Christian and Early American Art
For the Home,
School, Office and Church, emphasizing the
Heroes of the Faith. Educational Resources
to compliment the
Home School Curriculum: Jonathan Edwards,
Pilgrims, Presidents, The First Prayer in
Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence.
Original Framed Bible Leaf Pages.
Call for Catalogue 877-313-9002.
History and Geography
__ Use a globe, timeline, and history book to place the events of
Jesus Christ's coming to earth in their context
of space and
__ Study Ancient Rome during the life of Christ.
__ View Passport to Praise: Holy Land (video).
Type "Passport to Praise" in search box.
__ The city of Bethlehem is a place where people live today.
__ The time of His birth was perfectly planned by God on many
levels such as the Greek language, Pax Romana
and the Roman systems of roads.
__ Use a Christian history textbook or other resources on the
times and places of Christ's birth, noting
people and events (e.g., who was living during
and the Roman empire).
__ Research the Jewish customs of engagement and marriage at the
time when Christ was born. Look up "betroth"
and "espouse" on
this free online Bible dictionary:
__ Read about and discuss the problems today with Christian words
and symbols being removed from public buildings.
__ Read and discuss the 27-page free online booklet, "Seasonal
Religious Expression on Public Property" at
The world's focus on commercialism is usually
theory, yet Larry Burkett warns that "Many families literally
indenture themselves to creditors for a whole year just to buy
some useless junk at Christmas."
__ Read and discuss with your family the practical alternatives
in articles at
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Sunny Side Up:
It Strikes the Young and the Old Alike
As I was collecting our children's chewing
entering the restaurant, I realized Zack, 5, didn't have his.
"Oh, Zack," I sighed, "Did you swallow your
"I threw it away, Mom," he replied. "I didn't
swallow it and get gum disease."
Submitted by E. Oursler, Missouri.
You are also invited to submit your humorous
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