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     The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


Seasons Change             September 21, 2011


Deborah's  Picture  

I just got off a plane from visiting my parents in New Mexico, where we celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Fifty years of marriage sounds like an eternity for some of us, doesn't it? I realized in a few short days how quickly seasons changed for them and, consequently, for me also. I remembered growing up in my parents' house, emerging into adulthood under their care, and then making a home of my own. My own children came, and with them the conviction to keep them home under my nurture and care. And I have become acquainted personally with the fact that time marches onward with no compassion.  


Being intertwined in my own seasons now, I finally see the beauty in each one-some from the other side. Babyhood is so precious that its charm lasts a whole lifetime. The toddler season is the most curious, cute, and cantankerous season but passes in a flash. Those elementary years are longer but full of the realization of personalities and creativity and capacity. The teen years are fast and furious and full. And now, I am watching the advent into adulthood. Truly, seasons change, and just as I love the sights, sounds, and smells of spring, summer, winter, and fall, I also love every one of these seasons of homeschooling life.  


The one thing that is constant is change. The change begins slowly but ups its pace dramatically as time elapses. And everything is beautiful in its time. The other thing that is constant is God. We must not let go of the fact that God is just as much in control of our seasons of life as He is in control of the seasons of nature. He guards, protects, provides, and sustains through each season of our homeschooling life. Ask, seek, and knock until you know this God fully.  


Hold tightly to those children as you keep them Home Where They Belong, for they will not always be with you. Their time with us is short, but their time with or without God is eternal. Remember what is important. Be thankful for each day with your children and know that whatever season you are in, God will make everything beautiful in your life, your homeschooling, and your children's hearts in His time.   


"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. . . . He hath made everything beautiful in his time."  

Eccl. 3:1; 11



TOS Senior Editor   


P.S. We here at TOS understand changing seasons. We have big changes coming up soon, and we'd love for you to come along with us through to the next season. God has gone before us and prepared the way, so we are following His footsteps as He opens yet another season before us. Join us as we go forward. Let's chat about it! Come and talk to me and many other guests this Thursday at our 10-year Schoolhouse Birthday Bash on Facebook. I'd love for you to come visit with me personally at these events; both are free and fun. "See" you there!


September 22, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST   

Schoolhouse Birthday Bash Facebook Party

September 29, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST   

Meet-and-Greet With the TOS Family of Columnists   


FREE registration!   




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Hey from Gena   Gena Suarez 

Gena Suarez, Publisher of TOS  


Seasons change. Yes, they do. Look back, 10 years ago. What season of life were you in then? Were you homeschooling; was that word even in your vocabulary? Were you sad, depressed, lonely, ecstatic, happy, thrilled, complacent, or what, 10 years ago? How does the current season differ from your life a decade ago?


Sorry for all the questions, but I like to keep that perspective, lest I get too nearsighted and think things will never change. My life is crazy right now, but 10 years ago it wasn't this busy by a long shot. I wonder what it'll be like during the next 10 years? I'll still have two kids I'm homeschooling. I wonder how busy I'll be, how much in the Lord I will have grown, and what this walk He has called me to will look like.


I will say this: I look back over the last 10 years and see the Lord's hand in my life, protecting us, caring for us, getting us through. He gets us through. Some seasons are horrid; you might even be going through one of those right now. But I'll tell you what: Remember that He is with you during the good seasons and the bad. Whether times are tough now or better than last season, He is with you. Walk with Him, stay in the Word, and obey Him. He is faithful and will never leave us. He is mighty to save. 





P.S. Stop by the Homeschooling with Heart blog and enter to win a one-year digital subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, or a digital copy of the 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner. All  you have to do is leave a comment about what you like about TOS magazine, or leave a comment about my interview that's right there on the blog. Winners will be randomly selected.




Birthday Bash Events  

TOS Birthday Bash  

YOU are invited to the . . .  


The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine's  

Schoolhouse Birthday Bash -  

as we celebrate our tenth  

birthday and announce exciting  

developments coming in 2012!    


 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Join us for the Schoolhouse Birthday Bash blog hop September 20-30th!  


Enjoy interviews with our Family of Columnists - your favorite homeschool experts! You'll hear from homeschooling veterans, artists, Classical educators, special needs experts, and many more.  Learn more here.


 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Join us for our Schoolhouse  

Birthday Bash Facebook Party!   


Thursday, September 22nd -  

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m (EST)   


Just stop by the TOS Facebook page during the event for meaningful fellowship with featured columnists, TOS staff, and homeschooling friends. We will have lively chat, homeschooling tips, freebies, and of course some fabulous giveaways!


You can RSVP on our Facebook event page! 


 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~    

The excitement continues at our online Meet & Greet with the TOS Family of Columnists webinar event.


Thursday, September 29th -

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (EST)  


Hurry and register now for an evening filled with guest speakers, freebies, and more door prizes-this event is open only to the FIRST 1,000 registrants.


You can RSVP on our Facebook event page! 


 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We have fabulous door prizes lined-up from our generous  

sponsors for these events  

including full curriculum programs.


Keep watching this week as we release information on all of the door prizes and freebies that will be offered at each event!


We will post announcements on the Homeschooling with Heart blog, so bookmark it so you can stay tuned! You can also read our announcements at the TOS Facebook page and on Twitter @TOSMag.


We look forward to sharing fellowship and encouragement  

with you during our  

Schoolhouse Birthday Bash!





Psychology. It's the study of God's grandest creation: the human mind. It's also the most worldview-challenging class your children will take in college. Are they prepared? Whatever you think about psychology, the time to deal with it is now. Finally, there's a Christian perspective.    



The Homeschool Minute on  

The Homeschool Channel


Did you know we have partnered with  

The Homeschool Channel to produce the  

daily radio special - The Homeschool Minute?  


(AFR radio broadcasts to begin soon, nationwide!)

Visit and 'Like' The Homeschool Channel's Facebook page on Facebook for the latest in homeschool videos!



Creation Revolution

When Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835, he encountered a number of strange animals.  There were the giant tortoises, some measuring more than four feet across and flightless cormorants.  But the one animal that Darwin found most repulsive is also one of the most unique to the islands.


Continue reading Darwin's 'Imps of Darkness'.        


Todd Wilson The Familyman
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries

I don't know about you, but I'm NOT ready for the seasons to change. Normally, I like the crisp mornings, the vibrant colors, and the smells of fall, but I'm not ready this year. Where did summer go? Maybe it's life on the road that shortens the season, but I think the more likely culprit is age. It just seems to me that the older I get, the faster the seasons change.


Errma Bombeck is right about time going faster, comparing it to the toilet paper roll spinning faster the closer you get to the end.  


I don't like changing life-seasons either. What happened to my little boy who was our guinea pig when we began homeschooling, who is now finishing up his final year? I used to be the newly married guy; now I'm that old guy who has been married more than 20 years. The seasons are changing too fast . . . and I DON'T LIKE IT!


I like the way things are NOW . . . I don't want them to change.


But, things are going to change whether I like it or not, so I BETTER LIKE IT.  


You better too. So go enjoy some hot chocolate, make a fall craft, and hug your growing child like you mean it . . . and before you run out of seasons.


Be real,




Captivating Math and Science Lessons! AIMS

Kids can't help but be interested in math and science when they are given the chance to actively explore these subjects. "Telling" is not our style; we believe in "doing." Please visit our website for sample activities. Grades K-9.   

It's Just Common Sense

Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist 


Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant  


The changing of seasons often brings rejoicing. Winter turns to spring, and new life seems to abound. Spirits are lifted, and all things seem possible. The boy who couldn't read now reads with ever-increasing volume and confidence, making the struggles of the past a faint memory. The frustrated toddler who couldn't communicate settles down with his new ability to use his words. The high schooler who seemed chaotic suddenly finds a purposeful path that was previously covered by the clutter of adolescent life. God is good, and hope is restored.


Sometimes the change of seasons leads us into a new place of trust. I know that when my youngest child graduated from high school, I began a new and, in some ways, more challenging journey. Just like all the years of trusting God for finances, direction, or provision in homeschooling or the healing of a sick child, the growth doesn't come until your feet hit the pavement. Walking it out is the only way to get to that next place of trust and confidence in God. So it would be with my walk after Ashley graduated. I had to rely on God, not only for purpose, but also for promise-the promise that the emptiness I felt would not be a permanent part of me.


Though I felt I went from a glorious fall, bursting with color and coziness, into the loneliness of winter, I could tell there was a challenge in this pain. I had given my heart freely to my children as a homeschooling mom. I could do it no other way. If this was the price for the 16 years of close daily partnership with my sweet children, then okay. It was worth it. I would say without hesitation that I wouldn't change a thing. I was blessed.


So where does that leave you? No matter what new season you enter, God has gone before you. He has made the rough places smooth, placed provision there for your arrival, and dispatched His angels to protect you. Whether you face a struggling reader, a newly arrived high schooler, or just the ongoing struggles of making ends meet, God has seen your path. He has prepared not only what you need, but also greater blessings than you could ask for or think of. He has gone before you and is now ready to take every step with you, or for you. How can I be so sure?


He let me see the next season of blessings that was waiting ahead.


~ Debbie



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Contest Central  

For the month of September, 2011   



Signs & Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy




Our family receives more materials for review than we sometimes know what to do with. Oftentimes, we'll just skim the pages to get a general idea of the curriculum's general usability and quality. If it makes the basic grade, it's good to go. If it's superior, sometimes we'll even adopt it into our own homeschooling program. We found something superior. It's a beautiful book on astronomy from a totally Christian perspective, called Signs & Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy, by Jay Ryan, and our family is so impressed with it. Why? Because we're learning! And we're on the edge of our chair doing so.


The author quotes ancient sources throughout the entire manuscript, tying in centuries of knowledge and understanding. For most people today, the sky has lost its appeal. It's gone flat. Our culture has no time, no desire to study astronomy the way scholars have throughout the ages. What happened? Where have the deep thinkers gone? Astronomy is fascinating; it opens up new worlds--literally! It explains time and dates, light, seasons, and dimension. One important aspect of this book is that it puts to rest the various "pagan influences" in astronomy. It incorporates biblical explanations and sends old superstitions packing. (Read the rest of the review here.)


Win this book for your family!



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



2011-12 Schoolhouse Planners  

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