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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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Wonders of the World


A Child's Geography

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


March 14, 2012

Going Places: Fun with Geography


Deborah's  Picture
Deborah Wuehler and family



As a homeschooling family for more than 15 years, we have taken the lion's share of field trips close to home, but we have also gone places far, far away. Now, if I was a prepared homeschool mom (I wish I always was, but I am not), I would have studied the region we were going to with my kids beforehand and written about it afterward.  


As you know, we homeschool moms can make anything educational, since we look at life through homeschooling-tinted glasses.  


Just this weekend, a Voice of the Martyrs newsletter came in the mail. A few of the kids were there when it was opened, and we read about a church in Indonesia that was being persecuted. Right away, we jumped up and looked at the big world map in the hall and searched for the city in Indonesia and talked about Christian persecution around the world. We then talked about where the children's grandparents came from and how they immigrated to the United States.  


Then dad jumped in with a geography lesson and showed us how the map on the wall was not correctly laid out. He got an orange and showed the kids how the map would really look if it were round, but opening the orange skin in such a way that it laid out flat but with many gaps, and that's why some maps show gaps at the top and bottom. He also showed them the timelines on the map and why there is an hour difference where Grandpa and Grandma live in New Mexico. Who would have known we'd do so much "school" in the hallway?  


Even if you do not have the time, money, or energy to go places far away, you can still have a lot of fun learning about them right at home. As you read aloud, whether it is a classic book, history book, missionary biography, or something that comes in the mail-whenever you come across a new place, just stop for a few minutes and point it out on a map.  


We spotlight the Smith family in the March digital issue as they share how they homeschool. Part of that is a postcard website that sounded really fun for the kids. Watch their short video and be inspired!  


In fact, one of the themes in this issue is geography. Here are a few of those articles:



So, even if you can't go places physically, you can really go places with the study of geography in your own home. And don't forget the most important geography lesson of all, found right in one of those many Bibles you own:


"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15


"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:19, 20




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Explore the truth in the Guide to Bread: Unlocking the Mysteries of Grains, Gluten and Yeast.




Welcome to!


Did you know that already has seven teachers in place who are providing daily, weekly, or monthly lesson plans and activity ideas? Have you met our teachers? We have Terri Johnson of Knowledge Quest providing geography lessons. Kim Kautzer, author of WriteShop. is our writing teacher. Diana Waring, a popular author and speaker, is our history teacher. Malia Russell of Homemaking 911 is our home economics teacher. Adam Andrews, director of the Center for Literary Education, is our literature teacher. Joy Sikorski, an award-winning musician, is our music/voice teacher. Andy Harris, a well-known author and college professor, is our technology teacher. Each week in The Homeschool Minute, I will highlight a different teacher and information about current or upcoming lessons.


Terri Johnson
Terri Johnson 

Are you looking for a fun unit study to inject some history and geography into your homeschool this week? This month in the geography section, Terri Johnson has written for our subscribers a five-day unit study about St. Patrick. This would be a great week to dig into his life with a fun study combining multiple subject areas. Each day of the week, Terri has chosen a specific subject area to learn about St. Patrick and Ireland. She covers literature assignments, research, writing, science, lapbooking, timeline activities, mapping projects, and even cooking in her lesson plans! Why not add some fun to your school week and celebrate with the whole family, with presentations about St. Patrick and an Irish dinner on St. Patrick's Day?


Kim Kautzer
Kim Kautzer also has a daily section where historical tidbits and activity suggestions are posted for every day of the month. It is so easy to log in to and get a historical tidbit to share with your students. Our writing teacher, Kim Kautzer, is giving daily writing prompts for our subscribers. With five active boys, I need quick and to-the-point writing prompts, and Kim provides them with just a click of the mouse on The dailies section also includes menu ideas and home economics prompts.


Each month, will grow in content and lessons, with additional teachers and contributors. is your online go-to source for your homeschool, whether you need a full curriculum or supplemental activities and ideas.


Tami Fox, Assistant, Editorial and Marketing

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
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Are you an organized, detailed networker? 


SchoolhouseTeachers.comAmerican Home Life International wants to equip and contract YOU to place international students in Christian homestays in your area! 


If you can fit paid work into your schedule and want to help minister to foreign students, check us out HERE! Or email:



Hey from Gena 

Gena Suarez
Gena Suarez

Gena Suarez, Publisher of TOS     


Gena is taking a break to concentrate on TOS business. Veteran homeschool parents will be filling in for her from time to time. This week's article is by Colleen Berry. Colleen  is a native Floridian, wife, and mother of two. She homeschools her children, Holly and Elijah, now in middle school and high school. She fills those few and unpredictable moments of "free time" with reading, scrapbooking, and family travel. She likes to write and to teach. She gave her heart to Jesus at the age of 3 and has a love for young children and teens. You are invited to check out her blog, Colleen's Quest, where she keeps curriculum reviews and thoughts about the Christian homeschool life in general.




Colleen Berry
Colleen Berry

Going Places: Fun With Geography


By Colleen Berry


One of the hardest things for homeschooling parents is to "unschool" themselves from traditional ways of learning. Since we received our education in a typical classroom, we forget that we are free to go outside. You can add fun and kinesthetic (hands-on) learning to any subject by taking field trips-near or far!


Geography is a great subject to take on the road. Our family has been blessed over the years to take some amazing journeys. We walked on the Great Wall of China. We touched the southernmost (Key West, Florida) and northernmost (Barrow, Alaska) tips of the United States. We followed the Gold Rush Trail up the West Coast from California to the Yukon. We wiggled our fingers in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans. We saw the amazing volcanic devastation and regrowth at Mount St. Helens. We took a semi-submarine ride in the Caribbean. My children ran wild on the historic Yorktown battlefield. They licked glacier ice in Juneau, and they could have tasted the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine (but they declined). They experienced the daily life of settlers, American Indians, and soldiers in Jamestown and Williamsburg.


Our next adventure will be in Washington, D.C. As we do before any trip, we'll check out library books about the history and culture of the places we will visit. We will pore over AAA guides, maps, and travel brochures. We will research the weather conditions so we know how to pack. We will find out about the topography-will Mom need Dramamine for mountains or sea? (Yes, she will!) We will look for places to stop that showcase the plants, animals, food, and flavor of the region.


On the drive or flight, our kids color and label the counties, states, regions, or countries we visit (or fly over) on basic outline maps. They've learned to read road maps, so they don't have to ask, "Are we there yet?" On long trips, they've played the license tag game: trying to find one from every state.  


There are families who do more: They shove their textbooks (or laptops) into RVs and travel the country while they learn for months or years at a time. Realistically, not everyone can afford to be world travelers. But, even on a shoestring budget, you can visit the areas around you: Take day trips to national parks, hiking/biking trails, lakes, rivers, oceans, museums, battlefields, fisheries, and factories. All of these are active learning spots where you can teach about topography, resources, population, maps, culture, and so much more-all integral parts of geography.


It's one thing to read about the International Dateline, another to fly over and "lose a day." Use travel days to build not only a real education, but wonderful memories for life.


The Familyman
Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries  


Oh . . . I love going places, and I know my kids do as well. One of the perks of being the Familyman is that I get to spend a big chunk of the spring and summer traveling around the country with the whole Wilson gang in our Familyman Mobile, our big old RV. Actually, I'll be firing up the beast as you read this (pray).


My kids have been just about everywhere in this great country of ours, but in all our travels I've NEVER used the word "geography." Somehow that word "schoolifies" a good thing, and it certainly doesn't increase the impact of the experience.


In fact, I've never made my kids write about where they've been or what they've seen. I don't ask them to give oral reports or verbalize what they felt. We just do things together as a family and then talk about what we saw in the same way you might talk about a baseball game your kids just played in. It's just fun.


Now to be honest, some of them still couldn't find Arizona on the map or tell you whether Minnesota was north or south, but who cares. The important thing is that they got to experience a slice of America WITH their family, and that is life changing.


So, go somewhere.


Be real,






Easy Classical's Geography With History brings history to life! This five-part geography series integrates the topics covered in each of Easy Classical's history schedules with the 18 standards developed by the Geography Education Standards Project. Coupon Code-10% discount: TOSmag    
Contest Corner 

For the month of March, 2012  


The Boy Who Changed the World


Do you believe that every single thing you do matters? I do and always have. It's a concept I've been trying to teach my children since they were very small. Whether it's picking up a piece of trash in the street or donating allowance to a family in need, it's all significant in God's eyes. Everything we do has the potential to affect someone else in either a positive or negative way.


I was so thrilled when chosen to review The Boy Who Changed the World, by Andy Andrews, since I'd already seen such amazing reviews on a couple of blogs. Just by looking at Philip Hurst's gorgeous cover and artwork throughout the book, I knew this was going to be a great story to share with my kids, who are 11, 9, and 5.


New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews tells the story of Norman Borlaug, an ordinary boy with a big dream. Though it seems impossible at the time, as he stands amidst his family's endless rows of corn, he dreams of feeding the world's hungry. Eventually, his childhood dream becomes a reality, but not without a lot of hard work and help from many others who'd paved the way. Norman's success can be traced all the way back to a kindhearted man and his wife, who rescued and raised a slave's child as their very own. You'll definitely want to read the book to discover all of the characters who played an important role in helping Norman become the boy who changed the world.*


Win this resource for your family!



with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line "The Boy Who Changed the World" for a chance to win* this great resource!
[*Our website is being revamped, we'll let you know when and where you can read the rest of the review. Thanks for your patience.] 


Creation Revolution    


Ever wonder why spiders never stick to their webs? They walk and sometimes run across their webs and never get stuck. Watch their prey touch the web, and they are instantly snared.  


Scientists have asked the same question and have been studying spiders to discover why they don't become entangled. Read "Spider Webs-Why Don't the Spiders Stick to Them?" to learn what research reveals about a spider's ability to resist the adhesive forces of its web.



2011-12 Schoolhouse Planners  

*Disclaimer and Legal Notice:
The Old Schoolhouse
® Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the March Contest Corner contest running from March 1, 2012, to March 31, 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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