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|The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine|
February 8, 2012
Fun Things to Do for Valentine's Day.
|Deborah Wuehler and family|
Valentine's Day is around the corner. This is a big day here in America and abroad. I don't always understand the history, as there are many stories about its origins, but I like to celebrate this "day of love" with family and friends.
With our co-op group, we always have a Valentine's Day party, where we make crafts of all kinds, eat snacks, and pass out our homemade or store-bought valentines. This is what our homeschool party will look like next week:
We will have a biblical devotion, followed by a reading about Valentine's Day. We will have age-appropriate crafts (card making with fabric, decorating heart cookies, duct tape roses, and several other crafts), and then snack time.
The kids then form a big circle, placing their decorated bags on the floor in front of them. They then step to the right so they are in front of another child's bag and start distributing the valentines that they brought until they run out (each child brings one or two dozen to share). Since the kids are all traveling around the circle depositing their valentines into the bags, all the bags get roughly the same amount of valentines in them by the end.
For our own family, some of our favorite Valentine's fun comes from having the children prepare a meal like a restaurant and serve Mom and Dad by candlelight. They all work together to set the table with candles, candies, and cards, and they hand us a menu of items to choose from for dinner (some very interesting and creative items end up on that menu!).
Some serve us, some are waiters bringing fresh water, coffee or tea, and others hover in the kitchen whispering and laughing during our "date." Of course, as the mom, I have had to walk them through some of the cooking and give them suggestions for making it special. It is priceless to see the looks on the faces of the neatly dressed, aproned waiters and waitresses.
Going out on a date with your spouse may not be an option in your home this Valentine's Day. This is a good alternative. Instead of resenting what you don't have, make the best of what you do have.
We now have the joy of going out once in a while, as our teens can babysit; however, we know the price of long years it took to wait for this time. Be patient. Enjoy your husband and children whether you get to go out or not. Love is not always a romantic feeling or fancy atmosphere. And for some seasons in your life, it is a roll-up-your-sleeves commitment to work and stand together and face the world, the flesh, and the devil together as you raise, protect, and shelter your children.
P.S: We always offer this help for those who struggle with feeling disappointed on Valentine's Day and need encouragement to love past the hurt. Let me know what you think.
Artistic Nature Magazine is more than just an enjoyable experience--it teaches art principles and nature science in fun, motivational ways. The editor, Joymarie, offers unique, easy, and effective methods to teach kids art, with detailed nature coloring pages and careful art instructions for each picture. Subscribe today at www.LightHome.Net!
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Hey from Gena
Gena Suarez, Publisher of TOS
Gena is taking a break to concentrate on magazine business. Veteran homeschool parents will be filling in for her from time to time. This week's article is by Amanda Jones. Amanda is a homeschooling mother of four blessings and devoted wife to Anthony. The family serves as missionaries in the United States and abroad through their web ministry and various facilitating projects. Amanda writes weekly on matters of faith and Christian growth at both KOGMissions.org and faithfulhomeschool.blogspot.com. Her greatest joy is serving the Lord and loving her family with all her heart!
I've always had a passion for holiday celebrations, Valentine's being at the top of my favorites list. When my children were in public school, we shared excitement making "mailboxes" for their class parties, then scribbling classmates' names on a stack of store-bought cards. When we made the decision to homeschool, I wasn't sure how we could still have that kind of fun. Would Valentine's celebrations still be exciting?
After entering the mission field, I was further challenged to consider celebrating this holiday differently. Yet God was faithful as he revealed this to me: The greatest commandment He gives is to LOVE. In order to implement His image in all we do, we must look at life measured with a heavenly plumb line, and suddenly we can find greater purpose and activity. Here's a glimpse of what I found:
To start, I gave the kids the option to make Valentine's mailboxes. I may not have a whole passel of pitter-pattering feet, but we few do enjoy ourselves heartily and they love making cards for each other! One year, they decorated paper lunch bags with cutout hearts, doilies, and drawings. With valentine receptacles prepared, we set out to compile a list of friends and neighbors who may feel blessed by a simple (and sometimes sweet) greeting. Then we really get to work!
Our favorite source of greetings is not the seasonal aisle at our local store . . . it is FamilyFun! What the kids don't devise and create on their own, FamilyFun's card and trinket ideas always fill in! One year, they made their father smile with a fishbowl made out of an empty (and clean) baby food jar with a foam heart fish dangling from the lid and a tiny conversation heart resting on rocks in the bottom. They even blessed the neighboring retired couple with pipe cleaner and candy kiss animals. Said neighbor still has the creations decorating his home office desk. And across the miles, they sent their grandmother hands and hearts to tell her they loved her. There are countless ways to show the love of Christ to people you know!
Small, simple, thoughtful acts of love teach the children how important it is to think of others whenever there's an opportunity. They will think of people you may never have considered. Seize these childlike hearts, pray together, and let the Lord lead you all to those who could use a sign of His love. There are no missing classroom valentines when the world is your classroom!
Our day doesn't end with craft activities and messages of love to others. No. We light the candles, set the good silver, and proceed to teach one more lesson. Single parents, don't stop here. Before Valentine's, God created love. He created man, and he created woman. He encouraged family. Sharing a special Valentine's dinner as a family shows children you love them enough to make the occasion special for them too. It isn't just about couples . . . it is most simply about LOVE. Our hearts invested on His behalf will help our children learn to love deeper, inside the family and out.
Many blessings to you and your family as you find fun things to do this Valentine's Day.
Note from Gena:
Hey everyone, we are looking for some good writers to join our Schoolhouse Star Contributors Team (Schoolhouse Writers Group). It's a volunteer position but has some incredible perks (like access to all the TOS e-products--you'll need them for review) as well as the occasional Starbucks coffee gift certificate and always credit/byline/bio for your writings. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with STAR in the subject line if you are interested. Hope to hear from you!
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries
Here's the secret about fun things to do for Valentine's Day: They're not always fun.
It sometimes seems like something that starts out as a fun idea turns sour. In my head, I imagine a day filled with red construction paper valentine cutouts and a house filled with love. I imagine a romantic candlelight dinner on a white linen tablecloth as my wife and I get lost in each other's eyes . . . and then I wake up to the reality of kids who are bickering over who got to hang the Valentine's decorations last year and how somebody doesn't like what we're having for dinner and why they would have rather had the candy someone else got instead.
Oh no, Valentine's Day isn't always fun . . . but it is so important. It's the one day each year that is set apart to let those in our lives know how important they are to us. And while a valentine scrooge might insist that we should be showing love all 365 days a year, I know some would kill to be shown it on at least that day.
So moms, go all out! Declare a school vacation, decorate with red hearts, make a special pink and white cake, buy those wonderful heart-shaped candies, and tell that family of yours how much you love them. It may not be fun . . . but it is important.
*A note to fathers: Dad, this is not one of those holidays that you get to coast on. You need to be part of letting your kids know how much you love them. You need to make some dinner plans (maybe not on the 14th) and take your bride on a date. Yes, you heard me right . . . a date. You show her that she's still your funny valentine.
P.S. Novel readers, I need your help. We're running a SUPER DUPER SPECIAL on one of our FAVORITE BOOKs. It's called The Injection, and it's a novel. We've had so many people say it is one of their favorite reads EVER, and we think it's about time to see if GOD might do something BIG with this book! So, we're offering it at a super duper LOW cost of $5 for the paperback version and just 99 cents for the NOOK and KINDLE versions. To see the video TRAILER and purchase your copy, click here.
If creation is scientifically sound, why are there so few scientists who believe in biblical creation? Actually, there are many creation scientists today, and there were many in the past-they just don't get the press that the secular scientists do.
Read Why Do We Not Hear of These Great Scientists Today? to learn about some of these great scientists.
For the month of February, 2012
This DVD features a grandfather telling his grandchildren stories about Jesus. The backdrop for the stories is a marvelous artist doing chalk drawings of Jesus and scenes from the stories. There are two stories: The Crossmaker and Jesus Loves the Children. The Crossmaker is about a little boy whose family makes crosses. He delivers the one to be used for Jesus and witnesses the crucifixion. He is crushed by guilt for his part but he meets the resurrected Jesus on the road and finds forgiveness and love. Jesus Loves the Children is the familiar Bible story about the disciples telling the children to leave Jesus alone, but Jesus tells them to let the children come to Him.
The background music is wonderful, and the chalk illustrations are spectacular. But there is much more on this DVD! There are more chalk drawing demonstrations and even a teaching session showing children step-by-step how to make their own chalk drawings. (...)
Read the rest of the review here.
Win this resource for your family!
Email Deb with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Crossmaker" for a chance to win* this great resource!
|*Disclaimer and Legal Notice:|
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the February Contest Corner contest running from February 1, 2012, to February 29, 2012. 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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