The Homeschool Minute

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The February issue is going AWAY to make room for March. 
It will no longer be online to read if you are not a subscriber.
Read it  here before it is GONE!


TOS February 2012

Watch for the big unveil tomorrow, March 1!
Don't miss the excitement!

Homeschool Dollar Store

The Winter Warehouse Wipeout is only $29--for just another week.
Click below to order today!
TOS February 2012

(U.S. only--Canadian orders slightly higher)

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We (the whole family) just love reading The Homeschool Minute 

While we always love and value what the ladies have to say on the various topics, we just LOVE what Familyman Todd Wilson has to say about "keeping it real". He's always very refreshing and keeps us in stitches. Please pass along the thanks to him!
Homeschooling for 11 years and loving it. 

--The Szymanski Family 





I'm bawling this morning. I know lack of sleep is part of it. But this Homeschool Minute is great. I have to confess to you that I nearly didn't open it. The last time the Homeschool Minute addressed this issue, it made me feel inadequate and then just angry. I know I should have written to you then . . . .This issue is phenomenal. Thank you for addressing struggling readers in such an understanding way.

--Debra Brinkman, Yoder, CO




This was JUST what I needed today. I'm sitting here crying over the first and last articles . . . I'm not sure I got past the tears in my eyes for the ones in between. (Okay, I just looked back, and they were advertisements I'd already had a chance to see the video of before, etc.).  

Just had to touch base with you and say thank you. They usually don't tug at my heart quite this much, but these have somehow struck a chord with me today. I appreciate your  

sending them.


Thank you so much. How timely! . . . You all work so hard year round to make our world such a better place! Thank you!! :))

--Beth Lilly, Bristol, PA



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If God is so Good

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


February 29, 2012

In Times of Grief


Deborah's  Picture
Deborah Wuehler and family


Grief comes in many forms and through many trials. Whether you are grieving the passing of a loved one, or grieving because you will not be having any more children, or grieving the loss of friendships because of a move or a misunderstanding, or grieving over a rebellious child . . . various times in our lives find us in grief.


Sometimes it feels as if we are the only ones who experience the levels of grief we do. It is true that no one knows our sorrow like Christ. He not only is acquainted with our grief, He says that he bears our grief and carries our sorrow, as proclaimed in Isaiah 53:


"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."


We also see that good things can come even in grief packages. In fact, as we continue with the verses in Isaiah, our promise of the gift of salvation was wrapped in that bow of grief:


"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:1-6


Wherever you see death, you see the promise of new life. Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it bears no fruit. When we stop to look at death and corresponding life, we begin to understand a bit more fully the reality of heaven and the brevity of earth. And our focus becomes clear for why we are here.


Times of grief can draw us closer to the Lord through having fellowship with Him in suffering and knowing that He will wipe away all tears from our eyes. This song from Jeremy Camp has been playing through my mind lately:


There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears.
There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face.
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always.


The truth of those lyrics is found here in Revelation 21:4: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."


In our joyful times, and in our grief, we thank God for Who He is, what He has done in us, and what He will do. The things you are going through now, the things you are doing now, will one day be called the "former things" that will pass away, and we will indeed see Jesus face to face. I know you can't wait for that day, but in the meantime, hang tightly to Jesus through every season of life. He is with you.



P.S. In just a couple of days, we will release our March issue, in which Sheila Campbell talks about not only the illness of her son, but also the death of her husband, and then the death of her son. Read Sheila's story in our Gardening section: "Bloom Where You Are Planted." 


Relax, Enjoy, And Learn Spanish! Let R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish teach you and your family how to learn Spanish and interact in fun and interesting ways.  Includes an Easy-to-Use Curriculum with Home Educator Tips, Daily Planning Guide, Idea Sections for Spanish use outside of class time, Activity Book and Audio.  




Join us for a free Schoolhouse Expo event:

Exploring the Earth and Sky 

March 5 from 6-9:30 p.m. EST!


You'll enjoy great speakers, door prizes, and more!


GoogleEarthWant to know how to make geography come alive? Interested in using Google Earth in your homeschool and not sure where to start? Andy Harris, the TOS Tech Homeschooler columnist will show you how to use this great tool to make learning fun.


ReadingDo your kids find star gazing fascinating? Wish you knew how to teach astronomy? Learn how to study the night sky with Jay Ryan from Classical Astronomy. Discover what you and your kids can see when you're sky watching in March.


Registration is limited to 1000 live attendees. Registering does not guarantee you a seat, so show up a bit early on March 5th (6pm EST) to grab one of 1,000 available live "seats."


Don't wait--sign up now 




Creation Revolution 


Before you glue something together, you usually have to make sure all parts are dry. Glue just doesn't work on a wet surface.


Someday, it may be possible to glue together objects that are wet with the help of a tiny soybean-shaped bacterium. Read more about the adhesive produced by this bacterium in the article Nature's Underwater Superglue.




TOS has entered the digital age with gusto! Now you can not only read the magazine on your desktop, laptop, and Android-based smartphone or Apple mobile devices, but now you can connect with TOS on many social networking sites. Choose one or all of these ways to get homeschool advice, encouragement, and support from TOS:

Follow The Old Schoolhouse® on Pinterest! You'll find pins to educational apps, helpful homeschool websites, and more--all nicely categorized by topics! Look for us here. Share the link with your friends and ask them to follow us, too. See you at Pinterest!

Are you a Google+ fan? Now you can join TOS on Google+. Find us hereEnjoy all the TOS news and camaraderie you've enjoyed at other social networking sites, but with more privacy and content control. Add us to your circles!

Own a Kindle Fire? The wait is nearly over! Our developer has just informed us that the new Kindle Fire app will be out soon! You'll be the first to know when the app is available if you follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, or our Homeschooling with Heart blog.

Connect with TOS today!




Hey from Gena 

Gena Suarez
Gena Suarez

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 Candace Allgood. Candace is a stay-at-home, homeschooling wife and mother with five beautiful (and busy) children. In 2008, God answered a prayer for a home business through Sonbeams, a website devoted to helping families raise up their children in the ways of the Lord. Ministering to children has always been a calling and is something that never grows old! Find out more online at




Candace Allgood
Candace Allgood


Have you ever had a time of grief, a time when you mourned the loss of something dear? Maybe you felt empty and alone, or could see no light at the end of the tunnel. If so, you aren't alone.


Even our Lord experienced grief and wept when Lazarus died. But let's look past that: Do you remember what happened next? He called to Lazarus, He raised him from the dead, and God was glorified through it all.


I've realized several things about grieving as a Christian, besides the blessing of knowing that I'm never alone:

  • These times cause me to cry out to the Lord and receive a comfort like no other.
  • I've realized how much I need the Lord-HE is my strength and my portion forever.
  • I've been blessed by the body of Christ reaching out and ministering to me.
  • I've found myself continually in His presence, either in prayer or song, seeking and worshiping Him.
  • I've seen times of grief be a testimony that brings honor and glory to the Lord.
  • God enables us not to focus on our own loss but to see past that--to see Him glorified.

In 2006, I faced one of the greatest losses in my life. Just two short weeks after learning we were expecting our third child, and just three days after seeing this child's heartbeat for the first time, I had a miscarriage.


There are no words to describe the pain my heart felt that day. My husband held me, but I felt alone. There was something within me that he couldn't relate to; this child had lived within me, and I felt so empty now that my child was gone.


Ladies shared comforting words with me, but then our conversation would be over. I found comfort holding my two little ones close, but then I would think of the child my arms would never hold. Nothing filled this void, and I couldn't see life ever being normal again.


But the Lord drew me outside late that afternoon, lifting my eyes to the beautiful colors streaming through and around the clouds. He spoke to my heart and gave me an unexplainable peace that everything was going to be okay.


My precious baby was in His arms, receiving a love like no other from the Father. I found comfort knowing my baby was Home just beyond those clouds and waiting to meet me with open arms one day!


Just four years later, I miscarried a second time. Once again, God was my Rock. I can say that I am grateful for the testimony He has given us to share with our children and others-that although we might not understand the hard times and grief we face, we can have peace in knowing that nothing happens outside of God's will for us.


Hebrews 13:5 promises that He will never leave or forsake us. Psalms 23 assures us that God is with us in the valleys and will bring us comfort. Matthew 5:4 says, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted," and Psalms 55:22 tells us: "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee."


What a promise! He WILL sustain us.


~Candace Allgood

The Familyman
Todd Wilson
Todd WIlson

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries  


In Times of Grief


I'm not going to say much, because in times of grief there is not much that can be said. But I think Charlie Brown unknowingly said something very profound. His lips got all squiggly and, in agony, he said, "Good grief."


I think maybe he's right . . . maybe grief isn't all bad. In fact, maybe grief can be good, not that it feels good or that we should run to find it (it finds us easily enough), but maybe the grieving times are when God's mercies are the sweetest. And those are the words and truths contained in the song "Blessings" by Laura Story. I hope these words encourage you as they have me and so many others.


(skipping intro)


'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops,

What if Your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?


We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear.

We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.

We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love,

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough.


And all the while, You hear each desperate plea

And long that we'd have faith to believe.


When friends betray us,

When darkness seems to win,

We know that pain reminds this heart

That this is not, this is not our home.

It's not our home.


'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops,

What if Your healing comes through tears?

And what if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You're near?


What if my greatest disappointments

Or the aching of this life

Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life,

The rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are Your mercies in disguise?


Are you grieving? Go listen to this song.


Be real,




P.S. How would you like to spend a whole week of R&R with your family, OUR family, and a bunch of other homeschooling families? This summer I'll be speaking at two top-notch homeschool family camps, one on the New Jersey beach and one at the headwaters of Chesapeake Bay. Both camps offer all kinds of fun stuff for your kids, plenty of family time, no cooking or cleaning for an entire week, and encouragement from a nationally known, stellar . . . and humble speaker.


I'm telling you, there is nothing like being surrounded by like-minded people while you enjoy your family. This is the stuff that memories are made of. Both camps are running great discounts, so check out the links below.


 June 4-10 --Harvey Cedars, Harvey Cedars, N.J.


July 1-6 --Sandy Cove, North East, Md.

Contest Corner 

For the month of February, 2012  


The Crossmaker


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!

2011-12 Schoolhouse Planners  

*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.

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