- Krista, THM Reader
"Keep up the great work! We need all the good tips and advice you ladies have to offer, but people like me need Todd's humor and reminders to relax
sometimes too. You're all doing a great job and balance each other out
If you like The Homeschool Minute, you won't want to miss a single issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine!
"I have never had a homeschooling article touch me in quite this way before. The info was good, the encouragement was valuable, and it was written with compassion, not judgment. Thank you again for making my job just a little easier!"
- Leissa, THM Reader
"I can't tell you how much I look forward to each one. They are chock full of great advice yet such a manageable length that I can easily digest each one. And I don't think you could find a more perfect mix of contributing authors than Nancy, Deborah, Todd and Ruth. I love how each of them brings his or her own perspective on the same topic. . . . Great nuggets of truth and a perfect balance!"
- Mandy, THM Reader
"I want to thank you for the encouraging and informative articles in The Homeschool Minute. I know that God is blessing you for taking time to share with others. There is strength in numbers, even if you can't see their faces, or squeeze their hands with understanding. Thank you from the bottom of my family's heart."
- Melody, THM Reader
"Thank you so much, Nancy, for the article about 'down-time.' It spoke to my heart, and I'm praying it through for this coming fall."
- Charity, THM Reader
"I love the new Teacher's Toolbox. Thanks so much for all of the wonderful ideas and resources. We have started the weather study, and all of my kids love it. "
- Carrie Ann,
|The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine |
How God Drew Me to Homeschooling -December 29, 2010
I can remember when I was teaching public school and constantly wondering what my 3-year-old was doing at preschool. So many times throughout the day, I'd think, "Wow, Joseph would love this" or "Wonder if Joseph's teacher is doing something like this with him?" or "I'm going to have to remember to do this with Joseph when I get home." Often I'd think that it would be so cool to bring Joseph with me to school so that he could learn along with the big kids and me. (God was planting some seeds in my heart.)
So after a while, my husband and I decided that I should be a stay-at-home mom so I could be the one to work with, teach, and have fun with Joseph all day, every day instead of the early mornings, evenings and weekends. I mean, what sense did it make for us to be paying someone else to teach Joseph while other parents were paying me (via the school district) to teach their children!
So I became a stay-at-home mom. Along came boy #2 and then before you know it, Joseph was five. Time had flown by. I couldn't believe that it was time to start sending him to school five days a week. Fortunately the way his birthday fell, we were able to hold him back a year. Another year to mature is always good you know.
But then the next year rolled around and we still weren't ready to send him away for school five days a week. But we couldn't wait any longer, we had to make a decision about school. We had never given serious thought to homeschool. Initially we were leaning towards a local Christian school. Everyone thought that would be the perfect compromise. However, we had known a few families that homeschooled. So as we began to consider our options, we threw homeschool in there along with private or public.
Even though I was a certified teacher, the idea of homeschooling was still daunting. My husband and I swayed between our three choices before God used an article in our local newspaper to reach us. The article was about a family who homeschooled their five children. Two of them were at the state university on full scholarships! A light bulb went off. It really helped quell the whole "Can they get into college?" question. But what came across in the article even more was the family's wonderful relationship. That got us to thinking back to the families that we had known who homeschooled and you know what? All of them had great relationships: the kind that we wanted to have with our children and the kind that we wanted our children to have with each other.
I did a little detective work and found the number for the homeschool mom from the article. She was so gracious and answered my questions. I think she could really hear my heart's cry that I wanted to be the one to teach my children. Not because I was a trained teacher, but because I was their mother. Realistically I knew that I hadn't learned anything in college that I couldn't have learned from magazines, books and other moms. I knew how simple it was to pick up a teacher's manual and follow along, and I also knew how much more fun we could have along the way if I didn't always follow the teacher's manual!
So that's how God led us to homeschooling. And truthfully it's that and so much more that keeps us going twelve years later.
Enjoy every minute,
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Database of biblically sound curriculum resources. Daily devotionals as a group. Holy Day unit studies and more!
|Mercy Every Minute|
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor
How the Lord Led Us to Homeschool
Our story starts 26 years ago as my husband and I watched our pastor's own homeschool family. His beautiful family consisted of 8 children who loved each other and were smart and pleasant children. Their teaching methods impressed us and planted the seed of home education in our hearts. After researching and finding that homeschooling was the best educational choice, we knew that when we started a family (seven years later), that we would homeschool. That pastor's family probably doesn't have any idea of the impact they have had on so many lives. Likewise, we may never know who is watching us and the seeds that we may be planting as we walk out our obedience to God in this life.
Chomping at the bit to start, I read every book I could find on homeschooling and started looking at curriculum. By the time we had a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old and a newborn, I was prepared to start. We joined a local support group and have been members ever since. It was my support group families who really rallied around me, taught me how to teach and what to teach, gave me advice (and curriculum!), provided like-minded fellowship, and showed me the godly path to follow in educating God's children. When I wanted to give up, they were there to encourage me. Oh yes, and there was this really great magazine that encouraged me and gave me the confidence to continue too. (Of course I am speaking of TOS--I loved it even before I was on the team, and I love it even more now because it is truly God's magazine!)
In those early days, when people asked me how long I would homeschool, I didn't really know, so I would say, "We are taking it one year at a time." Now, I say, "For as long as we all shall live!" Because after much research and prayer, I now believe the Scriptures clearly reveal God's design for the family, which is this: a father and mother whose purpose and command it is to teach their children. Not only that, but I firmly believe that learning starts at birth and ends at death, and in the middle is a life to be lived for the glory and the purposes of God alone. To send my young children to a public classroom where even God is not allowed to be, is simply not, nor ever will be, an option. I will always have them home where they belong.
I also know that I cannot teach my children anything of true importance if I am not sitting under the Master Teacher, Christ Himself. My hope is that as my children grow, they will be able to make that transition from having me as their main teacher, to having God as their own Master Teacher. For it is in Him that we have everything we need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3,4)
So from the birth of our oldest son, to the birth of our youngest son, and six children birthed in between those two, we have homeschooled and will continue to homeschool. Why? Because we make it our aim to please Him, we make it our goal to obey Him, and we teach His children His Word and His mighty deeds. That generations to come will show forth the glory of the Lord, and that they might teach their children, "showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done." (Psalm 78:4)
P.S. How did the Lord lead you to homeschool? I'd love to hear your story! I am pulling together several stories for a future article in the print magazine and/or other special projects. If you'd like to share with us, email me with your story (max of 500 words) with your name, city and state, for consideration. I can't wait to hear how the Lord has worked in your life to draw you to home education.
Our next Schoolhouse Expo is coming up May 16-20, 2011.
Be watching for details on how you can buy your ticket at the LOWEST price on January 27th!
| The Familyman|
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries
Hope you had a great Christmas/New Year? Sickness entered our camp on Christmas Eve, and we've been sick ever since. Talk about a plan changer.
Anyway, right now we're creeping out of the starting gate for the New Year so you might want to use hand sanitizer after reading my article.
Anyway, this is our homeschooling story:
A long, long time ago my wife and I were young, naive, and rested. We never really discussed our future kids' schooling options. I guess we both assumed we'd do what the rest of the world does and send our kids to school (public or Christian).
Then we had kids. Nothing changed much until we got to know the little boys and girls in the Midwest conservative town in which we lived. First, there was six-year-old Haley, whose house was used to dry marijuana from the ceiling and sweet, little four-year-old Mary. One day she was over at our house and my wife announced, "I'm going to have a baby." Mary looked up at her in complete matter-of-factness and asked, "Who got you pregnant?"
Oh, and then there was Justin, the six-year-old right next door who wrote the "f" word in big, chalk letters in the alley next to our house. Luckily, our four-year-old couldn't read yet.
That's when I thought, "There is no way I'm going to send my children off to spend a large chunk of their day with THOSE kids." Even though we were working hard to reach out to those neighbor kids, we knew our kids shouldn't have to be missionaries before being amply trained to do so. We didn't know much about homeschooling, except that my wife's sister had done it for a couple of years. but I decided we were going to do it.
Since then, our reasons for homeschooling have deepened and stayed the same. Homeschooling is what we do. It's part of our life--inseparable from our parenting and walking with God.
We started homeschooling because we thought it was best and we continue (no matter how much we'd like to quit) because we still believe it is best.
But that's just the beginning of the story, because it continues to be written even as we speak.
Be real and pass the sanitizer,
Take a look
at the WannaBe™ series!
These E-Books are a true bargain--jam-packed with intriguing, well-researched information and engaging activities for a complete unit study.
|It's Just Common Sense|
Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist
Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant
My plans were set. My son was five and my daughter was two. I had stayed home since his birth, but now he was school age, and it was time to go back to work. I enjoyed teaching, and my husband (also a teacher) and I never doubted our callings. God made us teachers, and it was time for me to get on with my life's work and second income.
Our neighbor homeschooled, and though I thought it had great educational merit, I never really considered it for us until I started imagining our active firstborn in a classroom. He loved to learn, and I realized we would lose the inquisitive, tenderhearted little boy. As doubt about my plan crept in I wondered, could this be God's leading?
During a quiet moment, I shared my growing concern with my husband. He listened closely and we talked a bit more. After a few days of prayer, he spoke words that changed our lives: "I believe we are supposed to homeschool." It didn't take long for me to discover that homeschooling was my true calling and that God's plan was perfect for us.
Read more from Debbie at www.debbiestrayer.com.
| Homeschool Freebies|
Molly Green, Econobusters
If you listened to my Hospitality webinar at the last Homeschool Expo, you will be familiar with the story of how the Lord drew me to homeschooling through an act of hospitality. Go figure! A couple at the church we attended were in the habit of inviting home one couple each week for a meal after the service. We were the lucky recipients that week. As the hostess showed me her home we walked by the "schoolroom." Naturally, I was curious as to why they would have a schoolroom, as I'd never even heard of homeschooling. I was immediately intrigued, began researching on my own, and eventually homeschooled my children as a result. I guess that just goes to show that you should never underestimate the value of an act of hospitality. We moved away from the area shortly after that, so that lady still has no idea the impact she had on our lives.
I hope each of you have had a chance to visit the blog and sign up for our free weekly A Minute with Molly newsletter. When you do, you'll receive a welcome email with a link to our newly revamped Digest, Molly Saves in the Office! for free! You'll also receive a free Menu Planning E-Book as well! Enjoy!
While every effort is made to ensure that the recommended sites are family-friendly, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and its writers do not own the sites recommended. Content and advertising can change without notice. Please exercise caution when viewing websites and review all websites before allowing your children to visit them.
| 1/12/2011|| Beginning Sewing Series - Part 3|
Kids and Teenagers with Focus/Attention Issues - What's up? How to really help!
| 1/25/2011|| The Greatest Hoax on Earth?|
| 2/16/2011|| Beginning Sewing Series - Part 4|
Calling All Cooks!
As a mom, do you find yourself getting bored with seeing the "same old, same old" on your dining room table? Although it is comforting to know exactly how to prepare those old faithfuls, do you ever wish for something new and different?
Meal preparation is something most of us are responsible for daily, and the TOS team thought it would be fun to include a menu (plus recipes for each entree) in a new column titled Lunchroom! The "same old" to you could be "new and different" to someone else! Therefore, would you share your menu idea with us?
You're not limited to lunch ideas; a simple menu for breakfast, lunch, or dinner would be welcomed enthusiastically. Ideally, we'd love to have an excellent photograph of the prepared dishes or at least one photograph of your favorite dish among the items within the submitted menu, but that is not absolutely essential.
What is absolutely essential is a generous heart (yours) and an investment of 15 to 30 minutes to type up the menu, ingredient lists, and instructions and send them to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's managing editor at this email address drees@TheHomeschoolMagazine.com. We will be waiting eagerly to receive your menus so that all of us can discover fresh ideas for the new year!
|Contest Central |
For the month of January
Whizizzle Phonics 1-2-3 and 4-5-6
Whizizzle Phonics, from Wiggity Bang Games, LLC, is a fun card game that helps to teach and reinforce phonics to your child. Two different sets are available with three decks of cards per set. Each deck covers a different phonics concept. The first set, 1-2-3, covers short vowels sounds in consonant-vowel-consonant words, long vowel sounds and silent e, and beginning blends. Set two, 4-5-6, covers ending blends, vowel brothers and the y vowel sound, and digraphs. You can buy one set for $12.95 or both for $19.95.
The game is for 2-8 players, ages 4 and up. Similar in play to UNO, the game involves matching (by sound) a card in your hand to the card that is face up in the discard pile. You can match the beginning, middle, or ending sound of the words. Once you've decided which card to play, you have to say the sound you are matching and the word on the card. There are also action cards, including Draw One, Leap Frog, Turn Around, and Change the Vowel. The person to discard all his cards first wins.
Read the rest of the review here. Win this set for your family!
Email Deb with your name and mailing address and the subject, "Whizizzle Phonics" for a chance to win* these games!