The Homeschool Minute

Home Educators Encouragement Alliance     

 Hey . . . look! 

Expo to Go 3 Pack 


 Life and homeschooling  

got you frazzled?  

Let TOS help!  


Check out our

2011-12 Schoolhouse Planners!

 Schoolhouse Planners    

FREE GIFT with purchase of any planner.



Come see what your dollar can buy!  




HSB's FREE Classes  

Bundle up this winter with TOS New Homeschooler Bundles!  




2011 Freebie Directory 






Schoolhouse Store Digital Catalog 



"Thank you so very much! I so needed to read what was in today's newsletter and was encouraged by it indeed!" 


-Teresa, 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 nicely." 


-Krista, THM Reader  




First Class Co-ops

"I want you to know how much I appreciate the weekly Homeschool Minute. I absolutely

love it!!! It has given me such encouragement and direction. I look forward each week to see what the topic is."


-Carrie, THM Reader






"Happy birthday, TOS! Got our Spring issue this weekend . . . my first time reading it . . . all I can say is Wow! Wow! Wow! This is exactly what we needed! Thank you so much for all you do to encourage, educate, and support Christian homeschooling families all over the world!"

-Mary Joy, TOS Subscriber

If you like The Homeschool Minute, you won't want to miss a single issue of
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!

  Subscribe Now!



"Thanks for talking about being weary! I needed to hear that I am not the only one. Thanks for being so encouraging and for the wonderful resources. I just wanted you to know that what you do makes a big difference!"


 -Rebecca, THM Reader  





"I so much appreciate receiving these "minutes"! They take a short time to browse through, and I am almost always left with a good 'take-away' thought to chew on. I enjoy the good ideas and insights, and always the encouragement from Todd to enjoy life and not feel guilty or overwhelmed or pressured."


-Debbie, THM Reader


Schoolhouse Store Button

The Old Schoolhouse has MORE for you!


Check out these resources:



NEW to homeschooling?

We can help!

 Looking for Curriculum?

Free Stuff:

Who We Are:



Molly's Money-Saving Digest for July  

E-Book: Molly Saves In the Nursery - July 2011




Summer in the  Schoolhouse Store 

E-Book: WeE-book™- Beating the Summertime Blues  



Homeschoolopoly!™ Homeschoolopoly!™



Clean N' Flip Zone & Room Cleaning Combo 

Clean N' Flip Zone &  

Room Cleaning Combo


 Draw and Write Through History-Napoleon to Lady Liberty: The World of the 1800s


     The Old Schoolhouse Magazine


Happy Memories                                       July 6, 2011  



Deborah's  Picture  

Happy memories. Homeschooling has given my kids more happy memories than I ever had, I am sure. I was trying to remember times when my sisters and parents and I were all doing something together as a family. I couldn't think of much more than a few Christmases and a couple of other memories of laughing and playing with my sisters. Other than that, it was all school memories, many of which I'd rather forget (in the soon-to-be-released Summer issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, you can read all about my not-so-happy school days). I don't know yet, but I can almost bet my kids will remember a whole lot more.  


Because we homeschool, we have more family time. All of our field trips, educational experiences (and you know how moms can turn anything into an educational experience), arts and crafts, special projects, cooking, cleaning, times of reading aloud or sitting outside or on the couch just talking together will fill their memories. Happy memories at home. How many families have that freedom and privilege? It's those families that keep their children home where they belong, because home is where the heart is and home is where the happy memories will take a lion's share.


And home is where a real-life education happens and where our own godly principles are passed down to the next generation. And believe me, life happens in a flash, and the kids are grown before you know what perfect curriculum to use. Is it always easygoing and happy times? No. But we know Who to turn to, and we can all turn to God and His Word together as a family, seeking Him for His help and finding mercy and grace in our time of need. He is why we are home educating.


Another thing that helps is having like-minded friends coming alongside you to support you in your conviction of home education. And, we here at The Old Schoolhouse want to be a big part of that support for you. I just have to say that this Summer issue coming out is not only beautiful, but highly practical, highly encouraging, and highly interesting! I had the privilege of interviewing Guy Penrod (of the famous Gaithers) and his wife, Angie, and get to share with you the heart of this family. I was awed by their convictions and how they disciple their children, educating them in a Charlotte Mason philosophy. We have a fun lapbook on horses, a section on the history of homeschooling, research on home education and its many benefits from Dr. Brian Ray, and a new column from WND ( on current events. There are 17 ways to connect with literature, and an amazing article on couponing. This is one you won't want to miss.


Thank you for all your kind words about The Homeschool Minute recently. We are so blessed to come and spend a few minutes with you each week. Thank you for having us, and we pray God's blessings upon you and your families.



TOS Senior Editor 



July 6th through July 13th

Don't miss our outstanding sale on  

MP3s of all three Expo events  

 featuring dynamic speakers.

Gather all the the wisdom you need to homeschool with heart. Only $39!

Expo Promo - July 6th through July 13th Click here to learn more!


_______________to find out more!   

In place of Gena this week:

Oh, Happy Day!   

by Karen "Spunky" Braun    


Did you ever notice that, as adults, when we reflect back on our childhood, some of the memories that make us smile or laugh out loud are the ones that were NOT necessarily so happy when we were actually going through them?    


I remember our first family trip in 1972. I was 9 years old and finally going to Disney World. My parents, four siblings, and I packed the family station wagon (complete with paneling), hopped on Interstate 75, and headed south to a destination designed to make memories that last a lifetime. Unexpectedly, a terrible thunderstorm met us in Kentucky and hitched a ride on our bumper all the way to Orlando. The worst lightning bolt struck when we attempted to check into our hotel and were informed that our "confirmed" room was given away. "Get a sleeping bag and sleep under the stars," we were told. It was 2 a.m.! Where were we going to buy seven sleeping bags? My dad sat outside our packed car and cried. Oh happy day!


But nearly 40 years later, it's not Mickey Mouse that we recall with a smile, but the nameless clown that threatened to destroy our trip. 


I'm even starting to see this with my own children. When they take a walk down memory lane, they laugh about the "organic years" and the time I accidentally made my young son drink a whole glass of fresh carrot juice with ginger because he felt sick. He held his nose the whole time he gulped it down. Oh, happy day!


We're still not sure it cured his illness, but he never again complained about being sick! And 10 years later, that young son is now a Marine and the taste of ginger puts a smile on his face.


Without a doubt, we had our share of fun birthdays and trips to the zoo that were designed to make happy memories, and we succeeded. But for some reason, the happiest memories are the times we overcame adversity and grew closer together as a family. Oh happy day!  


~Karen "Spunky" Braun
or on Facebook at 




We need you!  


Would you mind taking a moment to fill out our 15 question survey? We are gathering data for an article on families who have homeschooled children in the military, or who have tried to enter the military, or you are a homeschool graduate in the military. We would love to hear your replies! Would you mind helping?  


We will feature the results in an upcoming issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Here is the link.



Todd Wilson The Familyman
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries

Hope you had a great Fourth with your family. My family had a great and exhausting time with grandparents and cousins. We all played hard, stayed up later than normal, soaked up the sun, watched fireworks, and lit some of our own. The Fourth of July is a great time for memory harvesting. Actually, I'm pretty much a memory expert. Not only do I have thousands of great memories on my shelf, but I've also kind of made it my field of study.
I want my children to have lots of great memories . . . because those memories serve as guides and reminders of what really matters. I know that as their lives get busy later on, and they're torn between jobs, busyness, and family, they'll choose family-not because I did such a great job teaching them about the importance of family, but because they'll have so many fond memories of campfires, movie nights, and sleeping under the Christmas tree. These memories reinforce what's most important.
I could share all kinds of things that a lifetime of collecting and observing memories has taught me, but let me just say this: The secret to creating great memories is SHOWING UP. Just be there with your kids, keep the distractions to a minimum, and memories will happen.
Now, if you're always too busy doing school, work, or your stuff, you'll miss out on some of the best homegrown memories ever. And that is sad.
So here's what I would do for a guaranteed memory-making summer moment. I'd clear the schedule, buy some super-cheap leftover fireworks, catch some lightning bugs, have a campfire, and play some games. I'm telling you it will be a night that will never be forgotten and will help your children remember what matters most.
Note to Dad: Everyone knows the best memories happen when Dad is there. So don't botch it by being too busy. You make it happen.


Be Real,


It's Just Common Sense

Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist 


Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant 


Perspective is a wonderful thing. We have gathered many happy memories over our years of homeschooling. Rather than just give you my perspective, I asked my children for some of their happy homeschool memories. All of their thoughts connected to things we did together, from the simple to the elaborate.


My daughter remembered reading Swiss Family Robinson aloud together over several weeks and then putting together a "Swiss Family Robinson" dinner, complete with an all-island menu of coconut, fruit, and other finger foods. We sat on the floor, used our hurricane candles, and watched the movie together. It was a perfect end to a great story!


My son always loved making and doing things, so one of his favorite memories was making a papier-mache angelfish when we studied the oceans. It was his favorite fish, and he took great care to make it as authentic as possible. It hung in his room for many years, next to the baseball trophies. Though it took time to complete, I would read aloud to them while they worked on cutting, drawing, painting, and stuffing their fish. What a delightful time!


One of my favorite memories, and theirs as well, is sitting under our tiny tree in the backyard. We would take a blanket (which we had to move as the sun moved to stay in the shade,) our schoolwork, drinks, and snacks out and enjoy the beautiful clouds, birds, and whatever else passed by. We could have done school more quickly inside, but it was a simple way to send the message that it was not just the work but also the time together that was important to me.


The common thread through these memories is not what we did, but that we did them together. I have always noticed that the Lord seemed to delight in giving me simple but special ideas for making our time together memorable. Cookie cutters to make sandwiches in shapes, a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows when it was cold, lying on our driveway at night wrapped up in sleeping bags to look at the stars-all of these have woven together to make a beautiful quilt of memories for us all.


~ Debbie



Homeschool Blogger Free Classes
Upcoming classes: 


  Is Math Straining your Relationship with your Children?


How to Make Sure Your Child Is Not Among the 34% That Struggle with Reading. 



Math Strains - Part 2


  Secrets of Great Spelling


  Kitchen and Courthouse: Bring Meaning to Life!


  Understanding the Big Picture in the Bible


  Latin: the Key to English


  Schola Publication - 3rd Webinar

Contest Central  

For the month of July, 2011   


Huge Sounds Like Learning Phonics Pack

(CDs, DVD, Letter Fun Lotto, and Short Vowel Fun)


The preschool years are delightful years of discovery and play. Barbara Milne has used her experience and training in early childhood education and children's music to create many products to aid the young child in learning through music and games. She developed the Sounds Like Phonics and the Sounds Like Learning series for Discovery Toys, though some are also available at, where she sells additional products.


Fingerplays and Fun is a charming CD that contains 14 bright and cheerful songs for toddlers and preschoolers. These songs include 13 action songs and fingerplays, as well as an alphabet song. Many of the songs are traditional children's songs, but this CD also includes six original songs written by Barbara Milne, who also provides the singing voice for the music. The Fingerplays and Fun CD comes with a lyrics sheet that includes the actions for each song as well as an alphabet poster that shows both uppercase and lowercase letters with picture cues that help the child remember the letter sounds. ( . . . )


Sounds Like Learning is a musical CD designed for babies, toddlers, and preschool children. Fourteen of the 20 songs are written by Barbara Milne, who sings all the songs on the recording. The quiet, soothing songs introduce beginning learning concepts, such as opposites, counting, months of the year, and letter sounds. The CD comes with a lyrics sheet as well as a poster that introduces the alphabet and its phonemic sounds.


Sounds Like Learning can be used in the home, a daycare, or the church nursery. It provides a peaceful background for napping or playing. When I played it as background music, my 4-year-old skipped to the music and sang along with the tunes she recognized. It didn't take her long to learn the other songs, just as Mrs. Milne intended. Although the CD appealed to my younger children, my older children quickly grew tired of it. It is very gentle and soothing, which helped to keep my younger children calm during school hours. ( . . . )


Read the rest of the review on all the products in the phonics gift pack here. Win this phonics gift pack for your family!



Email Deb with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line "Phonics Pack" for a chance to win* this set!


Expo to Go 3 Pack

*Disclaimer and Legal Notice:
The Old Schoolhouse
Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the July Contest Central contest running from July 1, 2011, to July 31, 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