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The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


What It Means to Homeschool With Heart      -- February 9, 2011

Special Note from Gena Suarez

Time Sensitive Announcement


The Suarez Family

Hey Everyone,


Just a quick note if it's OK, before we get into the real meat here at this week's, The Homeschool Minute.

To start with, I want to say that I'll be joining the staff writers here starting in mid-Feb with a small column of my own. I look forward to sharing that minute with you each week! But I wanted to first point out two very important time sensitive issues going on right now at

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.


First, today is the LAST possible day you can get into the LIVE (online) Schoolhouse Expo at the lowest level, early-bird rate of only $19.50. After tomorrow morning at 9am eastern, the price goes up to $29. Keep in mind, when you buy your live ticket for this several-day event (all done from HOME with your family), it comes with FREE RECORDINGS so that if you miss a day, you'll still have all the sessions you can download at any time. It's yours to listen to forever, even at your support group meetings. Use them as classes if you want; we don't mind. So if you plan to be on the receiving end of some wonderful LIVE homeschool talks, including an entrepreneurial track for you and your teens, buy your family just ONE ticket today for $19.50 before the price spikes up tomorrow morning. No extra charge for teens or additional family members. $19.50 is the full-family price.


Secondly, please note that from this point forward the

Teacher's Toolbox (along with all of our available digital back issues - FREE) will only be available to SUBSCRIBERS of the magazine. Right now we just opened up our 19 Gifts promo and it's HUGE. There are only 5000 packages available and hundreds have sold within the first 24 hours of opening it up! You'll want to grab that special today, too, for $39 so that you not only have all 19 gifts, but your subscription will continue on for two more years, granting you free entry into the monthly Teacher's Toolbox (with all those free back issues of the magazine and a lot of other free resources). See this link for more details.  


Thanks for hearing these two announcements, so without further ado, let's open up your Homeschool Minute to Nancy Carter, TOS's beloved Director of Communications, and I'll see the rest of you next week when I join you back here in my new column.





Greetings!Nancy Carter Picture

Homeschooling is so much more than a method of education. It isn't a step-by-step process that automatically guarantees success. It's more like a work of art, or heart in this case.  

Homeschooling with heart means that you do more than just follow a process, you give of your own heart. You focus on your children, respecting their strengths and differences. Helping them to know God and His heart for them. Helping them to see how much He loves them and that they are a part of His master plan. Homeschooling with heart is about pouring out the love God has shown us into our children, and then helping them to seek after God and pour out His love on others.

In his article
Home Education: Learning for God, Clay Clarkson says, "Start with the spirit and the heart, and the mind will follow." Educating the WholeHearted Child, by Clay and his wife, Sally, was one of the first books about homeschooling that I ever read. I actually read it before I was even seriously considering homeschooling. A friend was nervously tiptoeing into homeschooling and kept sharing with me about the book, and as she explained what a whole-hearted child was, I decided that I needed the book. No matter how we educated our kids, I wanted them to love and serve God with their whole heart, mind, and strength. I was really blessed by the Clarksons' presentations at our first Schoolhouse Expo and encourage you to listen to their sessions.

I also encourage you to
buy a ticket  and join us for our next Schoolhouse Expo. Our theme for May is Homeschooling With Heart, and I think that the speakers are going to change how some of you think about homeschooling. I think they will give you a fresh vision for your homeschool and help you see the importance of your relationship with God and your children as you strive to homeschool with heart. Today is the last day that you can get the Early Bird price of only $19.50, along with the Early Bird bonus gifts

Homeschooling can be tough. Who am I kidding? Life in general can be tough! Whatever you're doing, don't forget how much God loves you and how He meets each of us right where we are. His grace is truly amazing.

Enjoy every minute,

P.S. Take a minute to read
1 Corinthians 13 for Homeschool Moms. It's absolutely wonderful.



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Deborah WuehlerMercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor

When I think of "homeschooling with heart," I envision the sincere desire of our hearts to please God; the seeking, knocking, and asking for wisdom as we obey His commands. I think of the words of principle and conviction found in the Scriptures relating to the heart. I think of the hearts of my children and how they are mine and not given to another because of homeschooling. I think of my own heart and the love and growth that have come on this journey. And, I think of your heart and I want to encourage your heart with the heart of God today.  


"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23


One commentary explains that the heart is the seat of our thoughts, our will, and our affections. Before I totally lose you, let me explain how this relates to us as homeschoolers. From our hearts proceed our actions or "the issues of life," as the verse above says. So in order to have the right actions, we need to have the right heart. When we are doing the action of homeschooling, it is coming from a heart convinced that homeschooling is what God desires.  


When we feel defeated in homeschooling, or when the enemy brings his lies that we are not qualified to homeschool or that we are ruining our children, what we don't need is another change of curriculum; what we do need is a change of heart.

The commentary goes on to say that "the heart is the depository of all wisdom and the source of whatever affects life and character." So in order to positively affect our action of homeschooling, we must deposit the wisdom needed into our hearts. Here are some practical ways to achieve that change of heart:


Ask-Pray and keep praying for wisdom and understanding:

"Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart." Psalm 119:34


Seek-with our whole heart:

"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies and that seek him with the whole heart." Psalm 119:2


"But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul." Deuteronomy 4:29


Knock- Knock until you find the door of support you need. One like-minded friend or group or resource can help us positively "change our minds" and, therefore, our hearts.

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; . . . for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." Luke 6:45


God rewards obedient hearts with obedient, joyful children walking in truth, which is our real heart's desire.


~ Deborah


PS. Did you all receive your Winter issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine? If so, what did you like best about this issue? If you would send your comments with your name, city, and state to, I just may get them printed in the next issue. We'd love to hear your encouraging words as well as your suggestions. We take them all to heart.


PSS. I will be speaking at the upcoming Homeschooling With Heart Expo, leading us in five days of devotions, much of it centering on the heart. You will be highly encouraged, because let me tell you, I am encouraged as I prepare these devotions! I can't wait to share with you and spend some personal time with you. I love the chat box that goes on during the Expo and all the words of affirmation to each other and the spontaneous prayers that go up for those who are struggling. You will love being a part of this exciting, inspiring time. I hope to "see" you there at the Expo; tickets are on sale now! 




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Todd Wilson The Familyman
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries

I think it was in the great Broadway musical "Darn" Yankees that the song goes:

You've gotta have heart
All you really need is heart
When the odds are sayin' you'll never win
That's when the grin should start

Of course, there is no great Broadway musical about homeschooling, and sometimes "heart" doesn't carry you through. In fact, there are plenty of times when my wife is homeschooling not from heart, but from the conviction that this is the best. BUT sometimes even that isn't enough.


That's when I come to her rescue (or should). I remind her of the truth that she once believed and will believe again . . . but doesn't believe at that moment because of tiredness, fatigue, discouragement, and walking through the valley of homeschool doubts.


Dad, can I bend your ear one more time? Your wife might try to homeschool with heart . . . but there are times when her heart is GONE and she needs you to be her heart, her defender, her compass, pointing her back to God's best and to God Himself. She needs you. Maybe we should rewrite the song for our homeschool musical.


"You've gotta have your man

He's so much better than SPAM . . ."


Okay, so maybe I shouldn't be writing songs.


Anyway, Dad, your wife is counting on you. Don't leave her without heart.


Be real,



Check your mail Sunday!

It's Just Common Sense
Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist
Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant


"Homeschooling is largely heart to heart. The methods and even the curriculum do not matter nearly as much as the relationship between child and parent."

                   Dr. Ruth Beechick, Heart and Mind


During one of my fear attacks many years ago (when I was sure I was inadequate to teach my children and possibly ruining their futures), Ruth shared the principle of heart-to-heart teaching with me, helping me put my task in perspective.


Ruth encouraged me to look past the goal of doing my job as a teacher and to get to know the hearts of my learners- what delighted them, what was intimidating, what brought out their compassion, what helped them be successful. As I learned to really observe them, the Lord opened up new paths of learning for us all.


Don't overlook the true power of your homeschooling time. What you do together, your attitudes about your children and your homeschooling speak volumes to your children. Do you have faith in your children and tell them so? Do you let them know that they are blessings to you, not an educational burden? These lessons of the heart will remain long after the schoolwork has been forgotten.


~ Debbie 

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Molly Green  

I think homeschooling with heart means homeschooling with a focus on heart issues. It means we search out and obey the

heart of the Lord for our children and family. It means that we focus on the hearts of our children. It means a focus on a love of God and developing character over academics. It means a focus on relationship over facts.


Of course, training our children and following God's will for our family requires that I constantly prepare my own heart through Bible study, community involvement, prayer, and devotional time.


One easy way to keep your heart in the right place is by subscribing to a free daily email devotional. Some you might like are The Upper Room, Christian Fellowship Devotionals, and Max Lucado.


Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.


But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.


And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3-5 (KJV)

~Molly Green


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Contest Central  

For the month of February, 2011

The Listeners-Tales of Young Americans Series


The lives of slaves depended on circumstances beyond their control. They had nothing to say about whom they would work for or where they would live. They never knew when they might be separated from their children or their spouses. Hoping to learn their fate, they sent small children to hide near the windows of their masters' homes to listen.


The Listeners is the story of three of those children. Bobby, Sue, and Ella May have to help work on the plantation and they each have their jobs, but when the night gets quiet and the master and the mistress start talking in the big house, the little ones have the most important job of all-they have to listen. They listen for their futures and they listen to find out what may happen to their parents. The children find out they will be getting a new overseer, and they are happy because the one they have is a cruel man. They bring this news back to the family. The family isn't so sure that this is good news or bad. (. . .)


As with all the titles in the Tales of Young Americans Series, this is a beautiful, moving book. It perfectly conveys the message that the lives of the slaves were not their own. There was no easy, carefree childhood for them. The Listeners portrays a difficult time in our nation's history in a stirring manner for children. This book is not to be missed and would be a perfect addition to any Civil War study.


Read the rest of the review here. Win this book for your family!



Email Deb with your name and mailing address and the subject "The Listeners" for a chance to win* this book!



Homestead Blogger
*Disclaimer and Legal Notice:
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the February Contest Central contest running from February 1, 2011, to February 28, 2011. You must be 18 years of age or older and follow all rules to participate. Entering the contest constitutes full and complete acceptance of, and a warranty that the entrant has read, understands and agrees to, all contest terms and conditions, including without limitation all of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC Contest Rules ("Official Rules") and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Writer Guidelines
 and Terms and Conditions for Submitting Queries. All Official Rules apply. Entry also constitutes full consent and unlimited permission for Company to print, publish, broadcast and use all intellectual property and personal information submitted as part of the Contest entry on the Internet and in any and all Company publications in accordance with the Rules. Entries become the sole property of Company and will not be returned. Employees and independent contractors of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, Contest sponsors, individuals or entities furnishing Contest prizes and their family members may not participate in this contest. Company reserves the sole, discretionary right to determine contest winners and to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the contest or the Rules at any time with or without notice or cause, subject to applicable law. See Official Rules for details.
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

For a full copy of the Official Rules, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine: Official Rules Request, PO Box 8426, Gray, TN 37615