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     The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

August 3, 2011       


Chatting and Texting: What's a parent to do?          


Deborah's  Picture   

What's a parent to do when her children start texting on the phone and chatting online? This is what a parent is to do: Set down some good rules. Before being allowed these privileges, a child must be old enough (at our house it's over 16) and must agree to comply with our boundaries.


Here are 10 rules to consider:

  • A child must be mature enough-able to handle himself in a godly manner with others and honor and respect toward parents.
  • A child must show responsibility-shows a record of completing schoolwork and chores in a timely manner.
  • A child must spend more time with God and family than chatting or texting with friends. It's too easy to spend time with others rather than being a blessing to your own family.
  • A child must not waste time that could be used for a better purpose-set a time limit for chatting and a limit on the number of texts a day.
  • Make sure there are parental guards in place (you should be allowed to see what your children are writing and with whom).
  • A child must not text in public when with family and friends.
  • No texting in church or at any other meetings or during family time.
  • If it takes too long to text someone and a phone call would be shorter, use the phone.
  • No texting or chatting during school hours.
  • Don't use rude slang. Let your text and chat speech be gracious and pure.

Moms, do you text too much? How about chatting? Are you escaping to the virtual world because the real world is too hard? You can make it easier by limiting your time chatting and texting and instead getting something done to lighten your load. If you look to online/phone friends before you look to the Lord, something needs to change. If you read your messages before you read your Bible, something definitely needs to change. If you are meditating on what someone said, or on what you are going to say, more than you meditate on the Word day and night, something drastically needs to change. I am always challenged to keep a godly focus and balance my time wisely. There can be so many "good" distractions that keep me away from what is better. Let's do like Mary and choose the better thing.


Not all chatting and texting is bad; in fact, most is just fine. A lot of ministry goes on there that couldn't happen in person. We just need to have the same kinds of rules and limits on ourselves that we have for our kids and make sure that all we do, we do for the glory of God.



TOS Senior Editor 


P.S. Oh yes, and if you are going to do something good online, check out our free digital Summer issue right here. Click on this issue's editorial titled, "What I Learned in School, and What I Could Have Learned at Home." There is encouragement and support as you continue to keep your kids home where they belong.  


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In place of Gena this week:

What's a Parent To Do?     

by Karen "Spunky" Braun      


If there is a single image that defines this generation it is of a teenager with earplugs in his ears strutting down the street to his favorite music while intently texting his friends about the latest Facebook status of a mutual friend. And the friend may be someone he has never actually met IRL (in real life), but a virtual friend--that is a friend of another virtual friend. Eventually, he strolls in the door without hearing the greeting of his mom and plops down on a laptop to continue the chat.  


The teen is in a virtual world and most parents are searching for what to do.


If you are like any parent, your first temptation is to grab his phone and drop it from the Golden Gate Bridge (after the teen has been detached, of course) and then praying afterward that your little darling doesn't jump in to retrieve it.


But taking away the technology or restricting its use rarely works. Why?


Because technology does not create character; it exposes it and builds upon it.  


The problem is not the cell phone or Facebook; it's the condition of his heart. A foolish heart will act foolishly but a wise heart will act wisely.


"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child" Scripture says. So while your teen has the body of an adult, he may still carry within his heart some of the foolish tendencies of a child. That foolishness is often exposed when we place an adult device like a cell phone into his hands. As parents, we're surprised and increasingly frustrated because our child never acted this way until he got the phone. Don't be misled. He didn't act foolishly because he didn't have the opportunity NOT because he didn't have foolish notions. But introduce an opportunity and the foolish notions have an outlet and the heart is exposed.


"When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things"  1 Corinthians 13:11 (NASB version)

Our desire as parents is to train our children to become self-regulating adults and that includes the responsible use of phones, computers, and whatever device is dreamed up next. But how?


This space doesn't permit a lengthy answer to that question, but I'll submit to you one idea--model the responsible use of technology in your home. Your teen may be just as frustrated with your "checking out" when they need you to be present for them. How many times since you sat at your computer today has one of your children asked you a question only to hear the "in a minute" for the fifteen thousandth time?


So before you throw your child's cell phone off the bridge; ask yourself, would your child like to do the same thing to your computer?  


If you would like your child to be present for you, then become a parent who is present for your child.  


For added thoughts please read Spunky's poem, Mom's on the Computer.  


~Karen "Spunky" Braun 




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Creation Revolution is creating a revolution in the way people view the world and live their lives. By disseminating the most recent news and research from organizations that promote creation science and intelligent design, we are incrementally overcoming the destructive results of the Darwinian/evolutionary worldview (atheism, abortion, euthanasia, socialism, etc.). Our mission is to show the world that there is a God who created the world and that He has a beautiful plan for His creation. Read our article Big Brains Do Not Evolution Make.  


4 Music Games in One!
is our first product introduced for students studying any instrument! It includes four card games-already proven in our studios-using universal symbols, note values, rests, and time signatures. They're based on four fun card games you already know; instructions are included, of course.

Todd Wilson The Familyman
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries

Okay, I have gobs of thoughts on the subject . . . lots. In fact, I wrote a little booklet that you need to buy right now that deals with this exact topic. I'm too hot and tired to say much now. Just pulled in from Houston after driving all night in 107-degree heat . . . without any AC. I'm wilted and pooped.  


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It's Just Common Sense

Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist 


Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant 


Like everything new, advancements in technology can feel like an invasion. Since I consider myself technically challenged, I always have to be carried into the next development in communication. Young people are not so. Even though we joke about our children having to set up our computers and remote controls, the truth is that they enjoy and understand technology.


Having said that, parents remain parents. We must learn about the things that interest our children and the things that will affect them. Building a foundation of trust is the key to addressing all the other challenges of relationships, including peers. Communicating with others doesn't have to be viewed with suspicion if we take the lead and focus on the priority of trust that makes all aspects of media, social and otherwise, work in the context of family.


How do we build that trust relationship? Encourage honesty. Model honesty. Don't ask your children to answer the phone and tell others you are not home when you are standing right there. Don't take the easy way out, even in small things. If you know you should put the cart back, don't leave it in the middle of the parking lot. Don't expect your children to do what you say. Expect them to do what you do. This foundation of transparency is key if you want your children to be honest with you, especially about their words.


Words have power, particularly words in print. The words we speak are remembered for a while; the words we write can be remembered forever. The Internet lends a new power to this understanding. Casual words spoken privately can be shouted from a virtual rooftop. Help your children understand Internet safety and how words can be retained and used in ways they didn't intend.


Honesty and openness in a relationship is a gift and a protection. Help your children understand that your desire is not to limit their enjoyment of communicating, but to offer wisdom and protection. Shared respectfully, this can be a tool of building something much more important: your lifelong bond of friendship.


~ Debbie



The Five Fathers of Music is a wonderful music history program about the great composers Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Gershwin.

With biographies, poems, teaching games, testing games, worksheets and listening activities, it is a hands-on, visual and auditory program for Reading Age up to 8th Grade.


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Contest Central  

For the month of August, 2011   


Andrea Carter and the Family Secret


Andrea Carter and the Family Secret Lapbook With Study Guide


Set in the San Joaquin Valley of California in the fall of 1880, Andrea Carter and the Family Secret is the third book in the Circle C Adventures series. This softcover book of 140 pages provides another installment in the story of 12-year-old Andrea Carter. References to Andi's previous experiences will likely lead a first-time Circle C Adventures reader to her other books and will refresh the memory of seasoned fans. The story line of the book stands alone and is not dependent on the other books in the series, although references to Andi's previous adventures will likely influence a reader to seek out those books. The series is enjoyable reading for students in the "tween" years, those in upper elementary grades and lower teenage years. Although the series is not written exclusively for homeschools, it is written by a homeschooling mother who understands the need for clean, quality reading materials for children. Additional (optional) resources are available through Susan K. Marlow's website: (Read the rest of the review here.)


This review is for the Lapbook With Study Guide that is designed to be used with the chapter book, which must be purchased separately. Designed for children from second to sixth grades, this lapbook is available in several formats. This review is for the printed format, which comes in a thin plastic bag with sticky closure strip. Prefolded lapbook file folders are also available for $1 each. Three file folders are necessary for this lapbook, but they do not have to be prefolded or brightly colored. Standard manila file folders will suffice. You will also need scissors, markers, pens, brass brads, a stapler, and glue to assemble the product.


Included are 47 pages of lapbook components, informational text pages, and instructions for assembling the lapbook. A "Things to Know" page explains the folding patterns for lapbooks, placement of the mini-booklets, and lapbook assembly choices. All necessary instructions are included. Several pages of diagrams are included to show how to make the three-folder lapbook, including detailed, color-coded diagrams specific to this particular lapbook. (Read the rest of the review here.)


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Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the July Contest Central contest running from August 1, 2011, to August 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.

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