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TOS May 2012

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Seasons of a Mother's Heart
Seasons of a Mother's Heart



The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


May 9, 2012

Moms Need a Break Sometimes


Deborah's  Picture
Deborah Wuehler and family


With Mother's Day around the corner, I wanted to say to my fellow mothers, "You have been honored with a high calling!" Mothers are created to meet every need of spirit, soul, and body in their little ones, and accountable to point them toward their Creator. There is no greater job in the Universe! But this job of motherhood is not always so glorious, and mothers need rest. Here is what I wrote last Mother's Day and it still resounds today: 


I have a splitting headache yet I have three sick children to care for. I have a child who is not cooperating. I have a toddler who wants me to play baseball, and teenagers who want to talk. It's after 7 pm and I need to make dinner. I have a house that looks like a tornado hit, and I don't know where to start, let alone when. I certainly don't feel very virtuous. And, nobody cares about any of it but me. At least that's how it feels sometimes, doesn't it? It feels like nobody cares about all that I do, about how I feel, or when I'll ever get rest. Welcome to motherhood. Doesn't sound all that glorious, does it?


The functions of motherhood are obviously important, but the main thing is that we give all glory to our God by how we respond to all these things that press on us. Giving Him glory in our everyday lives is what our children will remember and what matters for eternity. God will not say, "Well done-you were a good mother." But He will hopefully say, "Well done, you were a good and faithful servant and you made my Son known to those I gave you."


Whenever we place too much importance on our office as mothers and our sacrificial tasks, the danger is that our focus becomes skewed and our emotions entangled. We begin to feel we deserve to be treated well rather than the better focus of treating others the way we want to be treated. We feel we deserve recognition for our sacrifices rather than laying down our lives in response to the One who was made of no reputation and laid down His life for us. We feel we deserve celebration rather than pointing heavenward and saying that all glory must belong to Him, for there is no one who is good, not even one person.


If we make it through one day on our own strength, we feel the right to shout, "Bravo!" But more often than not, our strength fails and we come to the end of our resources before we come to the end of the day. But if His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses and the excellence of His power has filled our earthen vessels, we can not only make it through a day, but come out victorious and we shout "Hallelujah!"


So what is the danger of just one day of focusing on ourselves? For one thing, if all of these earthly "rights" of celebration are not met satisfactorily in our eyes, we are disappointed and sometimes even angry with those we are called to love and serve. However, if all is done for Him and through Him and with Him, then any day is worthy of celebration because it is He whom we celebrate. We can avoid all the trappings of anger and disappointment when we are not celebrated as we think we ought to be, and all the glory which rightly belongs to God is rightly given Him. For truly without Him, we can do nothing. We celebrate Mother's Day because of the God who made and sustains mothers.


Our Father in heaven cares about us and our need for rest, and He continually implores us to come to Him and find rest for our weary souls. But we must come.


A friend said to me today, "Plan the calm" and I couldn't agree more: plan the calm by planning to spend time with your Father. Then, you will be the virtuous mother you desire to be and God will get the glory.





P.S. In our new May issue, Kendra Fletcher of Preschoolers and Peace wrote a wonderful piece on rest for weary moms, right here



Times Alive

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Advertisement Corner 


Moms need a break sometimes.


Doesn't everyone know that? Is that a revolutionary statement? Of course not! While I don't know any mother who would argue with the statement, I know that we are often our own worst enemies.


Sure we know we need a break, but do we plan for them? Or are our days so filled with activities that we struggle to get everything done that we've scheduled?


I know that I am often guilty of thinking I can do way more than is realistic. And then I feel discouraged when I don't accomplish all that I planned. is here to help you take a much-needed break. The site offers a wide variety of lessons for you to use in your homeschool. Most require little to no preparation on your part. Many allow your students to work completely independently.


With doing the work for you, you'll have morePi time to study missionaries (with Diana Waring's Christian Luminary history lessons) and map work (with Terri Johnson from Knowledge Quest). What about music? Joy Sikorski is providing amazing lessons for the whole family. And there's art. (I hope I'm not the only homeschool mom who rarely manages to plan art projects for her children.) Everyday Easels has done the Piplanning for you. Why not give your high school student a break from his regular math work and let him try this month's project-and exploration-based lessons from David Chandler on pi? Or what about a Chocolate Economics lesson from Michael Sims? Have your middle or high schooler learn some real-world economics--and the added bonus, for you--lessons about chocolate! What mom can resist anything related to chocolate?


Speaking of needing a break, this month we've added more articles to the Homeschool Life page. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read The Trial Zone: Homeschooling Abridged to Nowhere by Sarah Sims. For some reason, my trials always seem smaller after I read about other people's trials. The Wows and Woes of Curriculum also made me, a curriculum junkie, giggle and then nod my head in agreement.


Did you know that if you have a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, you're eligible for a free membership to You can contact me for account information. If you aren't a member, join now! Using in your homeschool is as easy as: Point, Click, Teach! Our lessons are available to you 24/7/365. Your first month is only $1!


Come do your homework with us! 


Kristen Hamilton 



2012 CHEK Family and Homeschool Conference is June 22-23 in Louisville, KY. The conference will feature great speakers including Rick Green, Israel Wayne, Carol Topp and others as well as many of your favorite vendors. Visit for more information!

TOS Announcement

Do you want to strengthen your homeschool, marriage, and family?


Join our next Schoolhouse Expo on May 22, 2012, starting at 5:30 pm EDT!


Special Guests: Heidi St. John, Todd Wilson, and Deborah Wuehler.


AND it's all FREE!


For more information visit the Schoolhouse Expo page. 


We only have 1,000 seats available for this online webinar!


Sign up now before all the spots are taken!  


Schoolhouse Expo 

The Familyman
Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries  


Moms need a break sometimes? Who are we kidding? Moms don't need breaks . . . especially homeschool moms. They were created to live on a few hours of sleep a day, start early, and go late. They homeschool 365 days a year come rain, shine, or gloom of night. They are tireless--super moms!


Yeah, right. Of course you need a break sometimes, which brings me to my "I hope you're planning on taking a summer vacation" message. You know why you need to take a summer break? BECAUSE MOMS NEED A BREAK SOMETIMES.


In a few more weeks, you should be packing up your books, tablets, curriculum, and school mind-set and let the homeschool monkeys out. Because they need a break, too.


Just a quick note to you, Dad. You need to make this happen. Truth is, your wife does feel like she needs to be some kind of super, no-break-takin' kind of mom. You need to be her knight in shining armor and help her do what she needs to do. Try something along these lines: "You do an awesome job and you deserve a break today. I want you to take the summer off, because we all need it."


So enjoy the last couple weeks of school knowing that SUMMER is coming. Oh, and have a wonderful Mother's Day. They may forget to show you . . . BUT THEY LOVE YOU SO MUCH.


Be Real,



PS - The Familyman Mobile RV is about to blast off! - I'm not a huge fan of Facebook (wears me out), but I'm going to use that modern-day communication marvel to keep you updated on our RV travels. So if you'd like to see the good bad and ugly of 10 people in an RV, "Like" me (I hate saying that) on my Facebook page so you won't miss a minute. 





 Want to join the TOS Homeschool Crew?


The Blog Cruise 


Do you homeschool your children? Do you have a blog? Do you enjoy reviewing homeschool products? Do you want to be a part of a dynamic reviewing team?


We are now accepting applications for the remainder of the 2012 Crew year. It runs from June through mid-November, and we are looking for a few new folks to join our ranks. Are you interested? We are interested in you! CLICK HERE to fill out the New Crew Application form!   


Relational Homeschooling 


Diana Waring, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine columnist and history teacher, is author of Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest, and the History Revealed curriculum published by AiG. She discovered years ago that "the key to education is relationship." Beginning in the early 80s, Diana homeschooled her children through high school--providing real-life opportunities to learn how kids best learn. Mentored by educators whose focus was to honor Him who created all learners, and with an international background (born in Germany, a university degree in French, a lifelong student of world history), Diana has been enthusiastically received by audiences on four continents. received by audiences on four continents.



Diana Waring
Diana Waring

When I began homeschooling in 1985, I was naively oblivious of the timecommitment I was taking on--twenty years! But that was focused almost immediately, as I discovered that being a homeschool mom tends to be a 24/7 career. Our kids are always there, always needing something to be fixed, explained, picked up, or cooked. Now, don't get me wrong--there are amazing benefits to this job that money can't begin to buy. But there are a few things that can make a real difference in whether you are able to finish what you have started. One of them is giving yourself permission to go "off-duty" at times.


For me, one of the lifesavers of homeschooling was the hour-long quiet time we had after lunch. Once the dirty dishes hit the sink, we would each go to our rooms to sit on our beds! (You're dubious, right? But your wrigglers are no wigglier than mine, and you are already training them to sit for meals and church and car rides. We just took one more step.) As long as the activity was quiet, each of us could do what we liked. For some, it was the perfect time to build with Legos, for others, it was a treasured free reading time. For me, I could rest, read, chat on the phone, or contemplate new thoughts over a cup of coffee--ALL BY MYSELF. If you can picture an oasis in the desert or see yourself in a Thomas Kinkade painting, you will know how much I valued this daily break. 


Once a week, I also had a time-out--an inexpensive date--with my husband, while a friend baby-sat. Sometimes we just walked and talked, other times we dined and discussed. It was refreshing, renewing, and often exactly what was needed to give me much-needed perspective for the job.


And, for a time, I was scheduling a once-a-month visit at a lovely tea shop with a homeschooling friend. What insight and encouragement came from those times, when we would discover that, as moms, our unique problems weren't all that unusual.


I know that nowadays, interaction with other homeschoolers is as close as your Internet connection.  But the luxury of tea served in a china cup with a precious friend to share it, and the mini-vacation aspect of a few hours away, still makes it richer and more deeply refreshing than our daily face-time with a computer screen.


Daily, weekly, monthly . . . taking time for restoration and renewal is time well spent.  It will pay huge dividends for you and your family because the old saying happens to be true: "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."


Stay relational!




P.S. If you are looking for a way to save time while increasing your kids' enjoyment of school, check out my web page. We've been hearing some amazing stories from satisfied (and refreshed) customers!!



Creation Revolution    


Saturn is one of the most intriguing planets in the Solar System with its rings and approximately 60 moons or objects that rotate around the planet. Titan, the largest of these moons, is changing scientists' estimates of the age of the Solar System. Read more about Saturn and its biggest moon in the article "Saturn's Moon Titan Yielding Evidence of Young Solar System."

Contest Corner 

For the month of May, 2012  


Amazing Science! (DVD)


It's pretty amazing to find a product that kids love and just want to keep watching and doing over and over. Especially when it's educational, and school related. This year has been a bit of a challenge with a Kindergartener who would rather ride his bike and build forts all day than do anything he thinks is school.


When we received Amazing Science to review, that all changed. His interest in school and learning has been sparked by a friendly Rocket Scientist and some really cool experiments. Amazing Science is one of the coolest things we have reviewed in the 4 years we've been cruising with the Crew. It's more than amazing!


This two volume set of DVDs has 23 experiments with high quality recording of demonstrations, step-by-step explanations of concepts, and easy to find materials for each experiment.  The teacher-host, Jason Gibson, has a very friendly dad-like conversational style, and an amazing way of explaining some pretty complicated science principles so even my Kindergartener can understand on his level, yet my high school student comes away with a deeper understanding. Mr. Gibson has earned advanced degrees in Engineering and Physics, worked as a Rocket Scientist for NASA, and has a passion for teaching Science and Math. Pretty cool that my school-phobic kindergartener has been turned on to school by a Rocket Scientist!


This two volume DVD set retails for $19.95 plus shipping, or can be downloaded for $17.99 for immediate use with no shipping charges at the website. You can see a little video trailer there of Amazing Science. They also have a whole bunch math DVDs to check out. (...)


Read the rest of this review from TOS Homeschool Crew blogger, Chris, at her blog: Armyof5


Win this resource for your family!



Email Deb ( with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Amazing Science" for a chance to win* this great resource!


Schoolhouse Planners 


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