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Spring Fun Ideas                                   April 13, 2011


Nancy Carter Picture 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  

Ecclesiastes 3:1

I am so thankful for spring. The mild temperatures and beautiful, sunny days remind us of how God gives new life and beckons us to go outside and soak in His creation. It's a beautiful time to laugh and play with your kids, learn about nature, and focus on the One who wisely reminds us that for everything there is a season.


This spring our family is enjoying a new horse, making plans to do some camping, playing backyard wiffleball, flying kites, playing in the creek, going geocaching, preparing for baby kittens, doing yard work and whatever else needs to be done around the farm, and trying to take advantage of each beautiful day.  


I hope you'll talk to your kids and make a list of some things that you all would like to do this spring. Here's a link to a few ideas that I mentioned last year.


Enjoy every minute!


~Nancy Carter 

Nancy Carter
THM Editor





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Deborah WuehlerMercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor

Spring has brought a lot of fun to our house. Two-year-old Jacob loves to check the chicken coop for any fresh eggs-and transport them to the kitchen-all by himself. Mercy, 8, and Hope, 6, have to chase the chickens down to put them back in the coop. A few days ago, Joshua, 13, Caleb, 10, and Mercy searched under the woodpile for alligator lizards. The lizards get scared and sort of just "drop" their tails, so Hope gathered three writhing lizard tails and was keeping them in a special container to watch. The boys caught and released several lizards and learned how to grab them without getting bit. Another search through the woodpile, and Mercy found a field mouse that she just had to keep for a few days in a cage with food and water and shavings until yesterday, when the dear little thing got out and hid in the girls' room. They had to take turns laying across the entrance of the doorway while the other searched for the mouse. Once it was found, we decided to let the mouse go back outside to its proper home.


Sunday found us bringing tadpoles home from the pond by the church to add to our 10-gallon tanks. And, of course, on the drive home we just had to stop four times along the highway to pick up swallowtail butterflies that were hurt. My husband, Richard, is our resident entomologist and has a thing for all things insect and buggy. Years ago, I cringe to say that I would have sighed every time he stopped to look at another insect. I have, I think, learned to appreciate that these years when the kids are still highly interested are few and go fast, and now my sighs flow in a different direction. Not only that, but my husband has taught the kids more about God's world in real life lessons than I or a textbook ever could have.   


Some quick spring-fun ideas:

  • Take a book-on-tape outside and let the kids listen while they do their math or other book work.
  • Take a read-aloud or a pile of books and a big blanket to a park or backyard and have reading time there (don't forget the picnic!).
  •  Go on a nature walk and count birds' nests, flowers, or a certain type of tree. Stop somewhere and draw one of the things you've counted. You'll need pencils, erasers, and drawing pads. Having good field guides is helpful (Peterson field guides are on my shelf).
  • To get the spring cleaning done, do minimal school in the morning, have the kids help with chores and spring cleaning in the afternoon, and then have a treat of a family movie night or trip to the creek or park, or a family walk around the neighborhood.
  • Take a week's break from electronics and let the kids be creative with all the art supplies you've been saving for another time. Let them create their masterpieces outside.

I am not always the outdoors type, but spring is so beautiful I just have to acquiesce to it. Everything is alive and in bloom and just bursts with shouts of a brilliant Creator; a Creator obviously in love with His creation. Let the kids know just how much God loves them by showing them what He's provided for their health, their knowledge, and their enjoyment. For truly, He gives us "richly all things to enjoy." (I Timothy 6:17).



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Gena Suarez

Hey from Gena

Gena Suarez, Publisher of TOS   


Spring Fun Ideas-Good topic, especially since it's spring. Spring is weird, though. Last week, we went to San Antonio, Texas, and I'm telling you-that wasn't spring. That was "summer's inferno," and I have the sweat stains to prove it (not that anyone's interested). Now we are back home in Johnson City, Tennessee, and it's icy, freezing, blistery COLD. Rain and wind and brrrrrr; get me a parka. So which is it, Spring? Will you simply mimic summer in some parts, winter in others? Make up your mind already. I wanna see tulips.


So I guess it's like this. Wherever you are, even though it might be SINO (spring in name only), you're home with your kids. Play like spring's here forever. Get outside and swim or something. Or not. If you are in Johnson City, Tennessee, let's all get together and have HOT CHOCOLATE and shiver together. At your house. (Mine is a MESS after traveling. I'm serious; it's a fat disaster, but I'm not about to clean it tonight.)


Back to this post. I am supposed to give you "fun ideas" for spring. Sorry, I have zero ideas for you right now. I'm thinking about hot chocolate and a roaring fire. There's an idea. We could roast marshmallows. Do it outside if you can. But if it's SINO where you live, oh well. Bye.





Todd Wilson The Familyman
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries


Greetings from a Walmart parking lot in Louisville, Kentucky. We've officially hit the road, and other than a leaky spot over the shower, the Familyman Mobile is running well. Last weekend, we enjoyed the heat in Montgomery, Alabama, and this weekend we'll be enjoying the bone-chilling cold of Duluth, Minnesota, at the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators' annual convention. The first person to come to my booth and tell which lake is known as Gitchigumi gets a free book.


Spring is a great time to be on the road. In fact, I think springtime is about the best time of year for families. The weather just screams for moms and dads to do something outdoors with their kids.


You could take the easy way out and just send your kids out on their own, or you could go for the gold and do something with your children outside. Need an idea? Here are a few for starts:

  • Take a family bike ride
  • Make the first trip of the season to Dairy Queen
  • Have a family basketball game
  • Fly kites
  • Plant some flowers
  • Clean out the landscape or clear the yard of sticks
  • Tune up the bikes
  • Take the family to a park with some KFC

That should get you started. The important thing is to do it together.


I've got to go and start the teeth-brushing routine.


Be real,



P.S. You can get a bird's-eye view of life on the road at my RV blog.



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It's Just Common Sense

Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist 


Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant 


Some of my children's fondest memories of homeschooling occurred in the spring. Since we lived in Florida, the best times to be outside were spring and fall, with sunny skies and mild temperatures. So off we would go, schoolbags and lunch coolers packed, ready to do school or find school outside.


Now, before you think that's too hard, let me make it easier. On some days, we would just get blankets or lawn chairs and do school outside, under our tree. If food, bathrooms, or other things were needed, they were just steps away. But those few steps often made for a magical transformation. While we did our work, we would pause to enjoy a bird, a breeze, or the clouds. I made it a point not to rush things or harp about staying focused. To me, this was one of the most abundant blessings of homeschooling: showing my children that God can transform a regular day into pure encouragement just by doing simple things to enjoy Him, His creation, and each other.


When we went to a park to do school, I made my schedule light enough to include nature walks, art, taking pictures, or whatever we came upon to learn. Again, the discoveries and joy of being around God's creation were confirmation to my spirit that these moments were making a lasting impression. My children's spirits were wide open to me and to the Lord, and my most important educational point was being made clearly. Learning is about real life, and real life is about learning. Thank you, Lord, for such precious memories.  


~ Debbie 

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Contest Central  

For the month of April, 2011   


History of Holidays


Each year I try to make some attempt to incorporate holiday themes into our lesson plans, but I rarely do anything that leaves any real, lasting impression. Very little of these mini-units could even qualify as teaching. And so I was excited to find Amy Pak's unit entitled History of Holidays from Homeschool in the Woods ( This CD-ROM allows you to make an actual lesson for holidays instead of the typical coloring page or crossword puzzle, and the lessons are more fun than any word puzzle ever thought of being. Each holiday lesson shares history and actual hands-on activities that can be enjoyed by all ages. Best of all, it is created by Amy Pak, who is well-known for her high-quality art and educational helps. The activity creations aren't the kind that get stuck to the refrigerator and then discarded a month later; these are treasures for notebooking and for keepsakes. . . .


Most lessons include one or two pages of text, providing background information and history for the holiday to be studied. The Christmas unit includes four pages of text, and these include a chart comparing Old Testament verses of prophecy with New Testament verses that fulfill those prophecies. Each holiday is beautifully shared, and though the study is geared toward elementary-level students, I had students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade who thoroughly enjoyed the lessons. . . .


Read the rest of the review here. Win this CD-ROM for your family!



Email Deb with your name and mailing address and the subject, "History of Holidays" for a chance to win* this CD-ROM!


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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the April Contest Central contest running from April 1, 2011, to April 30, 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
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