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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine


November 30, 2011

Thankful for Encouragement


Deborah's  Picture    

As this is our last week on the theme of thanksgiving, I must share a scripture with you that I found this Thanksgiving season. The Word of God encourages me so much (total understatement). To put it in better perspective, the words of God actually seem to breathe courage into my very life and soul. And believe me; I am in need of courage on a daily basis to continue living and moving in all the realms I do. I am thankful God loves me so much as to encourage me. Before I forget, here is that scripture:


". . . Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen." Revelation 7:12


Why did this mean so much, besides the obvious reference of thanksgiving in it? Reading from the beginning of that chapter to the end, you get a picture of the awe-inducing holiness of God within prophecy and a beautiful view of the throne of God in the midst of an innumerable mass of people, and you understand that God is not just an entity to whom we say thanks once a year. He is THE God of gods. The One we worship with all that we are. Here are those few verses before:


"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 7:9-12)


I was convicted in my heart as I wondered when was the last time I fell on my face and worshipped God in this way. Do I think I am better than the angels and the elders and the beasts who really understand the reality of the presence of God? No, definitely not better than they; I don't understand but a miniscule amount of God's extreme holiness and royalty. I am a servant who doesn't know whom she serves, but His Words encourage me and reveal Himself to me.


The main reason the Word of God encourages me: It reveals who I am, and it reveals who this God is that I say I worship. When I study the words of God, I begin to see the face of God, and "the things of earth grow strangely dim." When I read, I begin to hear the voice of God speaking to my heart and pressing me to come closer or stand strong in obedience. I see the character of God as I see Him sitting on His throne in majesty and I begin to participate in the beauty of worship. And, I see Him revealed as He walked among us along dusty roads seeking relationship with His children. This is not just what encourages me; it is life to my homeschooling soul and health to my homeschooling bones.


Need some encouragement for your sometimes beautiful and sometimes dusty road of homeschooling? Let this Word of God do its work of breathing courage into your life:


"My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." (Proverbs 3:1-8)


~ Deborah

TOS Senior Editor


Learn math and music while playing War, Texas Hold 'Em, Go Fish, Old Maid, and any card game. This specialized deck has reorganized a regular deck of cards and turned them into an educational resource. Learn and reinforce math and music while playing games rather than completing a worksheet. 


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Hey from Gena          Gena Suarez

Gena Suarez, Publisher of TOS     


Gena is away from THM this week, but she'll return soon. If you didn't get a copy of Gena's new book during our Black Friday sale, it's not too late. You can still get a copy FREE!

Simply place a $25 or larger order in the Schoolhouse Store and receive 
Heart and Soul Homeschool Mama . . . Becoming an Uncomplicated Homeschooler, FREE--a $17.95 value. You'll laugh and cry with Gena as she shares her ups and downs as a homeschool mama. Click on the image below to view the video trailer for this encouraging E-Book.


Take a break from your regular schoolwork and order 25 fun unit studies from the TOS Dollar Store for the kids to start working on over Christmas. That right there would qualify you for the the free E-Book. And remember, shipping is always free (U.S. only) in the Schoolhouse Store!



Creation Revolution 


Have you ever wondered why wolves still exist if dogs evolved from wolves? How did the original wolves that God created evolve into the different species of wolves and dogs that we see today? 


Read the answers to these questions and discover the role of genetic variability in the co-existence of wolves and dogs in this article: If Dogs Evolved From Wolves, Why Are Wolves Still With Us? 

The FamilymanTodd Wilson
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries  


You know the great thing about God's timing is that He knows exactly when we as parents need to be encouraged. Usually it comes after we've been in the parent trenches for a while; battling it out on the front lines day in and day out.


Like most (read--ALL) moms and dads, we look at our children and their behavior and think, "We've failed. We've ruined them. Where did we go wrong?" Sometimes we get so discouraged that we can barely see straight.


And then it happens . . . like a cool spring of water to a thirsty soul, God encourages us in just the right way. Sometimes it happens when you see a large group of kids or teenagers at the mall, museum, or park. They're acting cool, talking trash, and being as wild as jungle animals. Or maybe you overhear one of your kids saying something thoughtful or unselfish to a sibling that makes your heart smile.


It's as if God says, "Keep trying, your kids aren't as bad as you think."


He doesn't have to encourage us, but I guess He knows we need it, and He is good to give it.


For that I am thankful, and you should be too.


Be real, 



It's Just Common Sense 

Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist 


Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant  


You and the children have been sick. The house is a mess. You can't remember the last time you took a shower or even brushed your hair . . . and then the doorbell rings. At this point, there are only two kinds of guests: the ones you pretend no one is home for and the ones you let in. The ones you would let in at such a moment are the ones who keep you going.


The best kind of encouragement for me comes from people who truly know me and love me anyway. I am so blessed to have children who have become that kind of friend. They have seen me at my spiffed-up best and my sick-as-a-dog worst. They know the little things that delight my soul (an airplane flying right overhead as we pass the airport), and they try not to speak the truth to me without the kid-gloves of love. My husband has shown them his love for me, and they have learned well how to make me feel like the most blessed mother in the world.


I have dear friends who have shown me their unfailing support over the years, also welcoming the tired, weepy, or whiny version of me. I believe that truth does set us free, and having people who know the truth about us and love us anyway is great freedom. It inspires me to treasure these folks and pray for them and serve them whenever possible, just to try to show my gratitude. 


While those who are close are a treasure, there are so many gracious people in the homeschool world I get to see only briefly from time to time. Your generous encouragement makes such a difference. Thank you to all who have taken a moment to give me a hug, a thank you, or an email. These are great blessings that keep me going when it's time to leave home and go on the convention trail for many weeks or seclude myself in my writing cave. I have always been challenged by the Scripture that admonishes me to do good for those within my power to do so. I am always blessed by those who take the opportunity to go out of their way to encourage me.


Never underestimate your power to do good. A word of encouragement to your children goes a long way. We feel it is our job to see all their blemishes, so make sure to see where they shine as well. Remember that your children are not your educational burdens, they are your blessings. Try not to let a day go by without reminding them of that. 


~ Debbie     

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Contest Central  

For the month of November, 2011   


Point to Happy: A Book for Kids on the Autism Spectrum  


This is such a fun book! It is a large board book. We have a child living with us at present who has a probable diagnosis of autism, and we are looking for ways to improve her language and communications skills. This book comes with a pointer that reminds me of an old-fashioned back scratcher, but the handle isn't that long. It's a colorful plastic hand on a short extension to use for pointing.


The book contains large photographs of children in different moods and situations, different foods (apples, pretzels, raisins, pizza, etc.), and other familiar objects. The idea is to have the children point to what they are feeling, what they want, or what interests them. Just the act of pointing at the objects and connecting them in their minds helps them to learn to focus. We are just learning some of the ways of engaging this child, but I can see this book being a very helpful tool in this endeavor. It would be wonderful if Workman Publishing would come out with some similar flashcards (heavy cardboard like the board book) to accompany this so that the child could actually hold each one in his or her hand.


We will use this book a lot, and I recommend it to others who need this type of resource. It could be a useful tool in improving the communications skill of your very special child.


Read more Learning Styles/Special Education product reviews here.


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


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