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Read it here to discover how (or if you should) use technology in your homeschool.


TOS May 2012

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Thanks ever so much. I love the encouraging articles! I really loved the list of 25 all in one place. Nice to have this little bit of "free" encouragement in my mail. I don't have funds to subscribe or purchase frills and with also working more than half time I don't have time to search it out. May God bless you exceedingly.


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Spelling Intervention



Beverly Adams-Gordon
Spelling Power



The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


May 30, 2012

Best Ways to Teach Spelling


Deborah's  Picture
Deborah Wuehler and family


Hi friends! I am on a mini-vacation this week, but since the subject is spelling, I thought I'd let you look at some of the product reviews our readers and reviewers have written about after trying them with their children in their own homeschools. Here is a partial list about spelling from the thousands of reviews we have on every subject on our website:


Since we have only a few more weeks left of spring, this is not only a good time to talk about spelling, but a great time to think about spring cleaning and organization if you haven't already. Our current issue has several articles you can read easily right here:

Praying for God's blessings on you all,


TOS Senior Editor 



Classical Christian Education for All! Teaching students how to think, not what to think, shapes the mind for a lifetime of learning and enlightenment. Memoria Press, home of the Classical Core Curriculum, cultivates wisdom and virtue through the liberal arts, great books, and celebrated thinkers of Western tradition. More at 1-800-862-1097 or


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In my ten years of homeschooling I have seen at least ten different ways that people teach spelling.  Everyone seems to have a way that works best for them.  In our homeschooI, I chose a very traditional approach with my older two children; we used spelling workbooks and took spelling tests. I am sure that method works very well for many families, as it did for ours. 


The trouble with teaching spelling comes when you have a child that needs to learn how to spell in a different way.  Then you are on the hunt for any method that will help your child.  Such was the case with my third child.  He was a very phonetic speller.  He would use the workbooks, spell everything correctly, and two weeks after a test, misspell the word.  Nothing he was learning was staying in there!


After many agonizing attempts, and more than a few shed tears,Tiles we landed on a method that works for us. We use flash cards in combination with grammar rules. We started with flash cards that are big, bright, colorful and silly; and they are just what my right-brained child needs to see his spelling words in his mind's eye, and help them to stick in his long-term memory.  This year we have added grammar rules into our spelling lessons. 


Rules such as "some words never change" help us to recognize how to correctly spell words like sheep, deer and moose, because they do not change their spelling when they are used as a plural. Does your child misspell plural words? Do they mix up the usage of -s and -es at the ends of words? Understanding that when a word ends in ch, sh, s, x or z, we use -es, gives them clues to look for within a word to help them spell words right. has a daily grammar section that will help your child improve more than their writing skills.  It can also help them as they are learning to spell. Stop by today and visit the Schoolhouse Dailies tab.  It is full of material that is updated each day to help you foster a love of learning in your homeschool.  We provide the lessons; all you need to do is Point, Click, Teach. Join now for only $1!


Come do your homework with us! 


Julie Coney


 Schoolhouse Teachers


"Yes, Yes, Yes, I cannot say enough about Heritage History . . . itHeritage History is like having a history library in your own home...I'm thrilled with this product . . . I was so impressed with the website and their Classical Curriculum CDs."  Homeschoolers are excited about Heritage History . . . see for yourself!


Are you struggling to teach art and art history?


Join our next Schoolhouse Expo on June 26 at 6 p.m. EDT




Special Guests: Jessica Hulcy and Pat Knepley


Jessica Hulcy, co-author of KONOS curriculum, the first curriculum written for homeschool, is an educator and author. Mom to four grown sons and "Grandear" to grandchildren, Jessica lives with her husband Wade in Texas.


Master artist Pat Knepley from See the Light produces integrated Art Instruction DVDs that integrate art and art history with Biblical principles.


For more information visit the Schoolhouse Expo page.


Don't miss this Expo!


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The Familyman
Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries  


Spelling? Not to profane the good name of the editors here at The Homeschool Minute, but my only advice about spelling during the month of June is "TO NOT TO."


You have no business even thinking about spelling or anything else that has to do with school right now. Take off your teacher hat and wear your fun mom hat. You should have the books packed away and the sprinkler out. 


You need a break and so do your kids. Instead of spelling, you should be thinking about picnics, park trips, and vacations. Just let your kids have fun, and if they happen to write a note . . . don't correct it. Summer is a time for misspelled words and family fun. 


So go have some summer fun and . . .


Bee reel,




Free Weekly Activity


Enjoy reading The Button Box and have fun with these activities with your preschooler free from


Schoolhouse Teachers  

Relational Homeschooling  

Diana Waring
Diana Waring


It never occurred to me how closely spelling was connected to reading and then to writing until my middle child brought it home to me.  Michael was my Energizer Bunny--runner/wiggler/climber--who was always looking for a new physical adventure and a chance to spread his wings.  Now don't get me wrong, he loved books as well.  That is, he loved for us to read him books: when he collapsed into bed at night; when he could chortle with joy because we read funny books out loud; when anything interesting in the pictures or the read-aloud stories piqued his curiosity, especially anything about animals or foreign places.


However, reading was difficult.  When I say difficult, I mean e-x-c-r-u-c-i-a-t-i-n-g-l-y s-l-o-w.  Everything else about this boy was fast, but when it came to language, w-o-r-d-s went into s-l-o-w



Until he was ten.


Then, suddenly, it all began to speed up.  Within three or four months of his first solo book reading, he was inhaling a three-hundred page book about a man who captured animals in Africa for zoos.  He now had a voracious appetite for books, and I sighed in relief.


Until he began writing.


Michael seemed to have a mental block when it came to spelling. It caused him to cringe in horror whenever we asked him to write something, whether sentence or story.


I had absolutely no idea what to do about this new, seemingly insurmountable problem.  That is, until I met up with a good friend, Wanda Sanseri, at a homeschool convention.  As we chatted about Michael's struggle, she introduced me to her work   on this subject.  She described tutoring a 16-year-old boy in spelling successfully--not only did he learn how to spell, but he didn't feel humiliated because it wasn't childish--using phonogram cards and interesting exercises.  Knowing Michael the way I did, knowing how much he would enjoy this, I became quite excited to try it out.


We first gave Michael a test to determine his current stage of spelling.  Sigh.  My 12-year-old son was at a first-grade level in this frustrating subject.  He was as dejected about that as I was. 


Until I gave him the good news.


When I told him we were going to play with cards that would give him a chance to decipher the structure of the English language, he became interested.  As we played with the phonetic building-blocks of words, pulling them apart, learning their origins, and putting them back together, he was more and more enthused.  The joy, the absence of frustration, was as important to the process as was the curriculum.  And, within six months of about five to ten minutes per day of playing with words, he was up to a sixth-grade level.  Neither of my other two struggled with this subject.  They had other things that challenged them.  But, for Michael, using this approach--in small daily doses, with a spoonful of fun--was just what he needed.


With perfect serendipitous timing, this weekend we have met another wise, experienced homeschool mom who is addressing this issue through a book, curriculum and videos.  This is Denise Eide, who is capturing tremendous attention from teachers of reading and spelling.  Check out her material, "The Logic of English," here.


Remember, no matter what the challenge, stay relational!






Creation Revolution    


It's difficult to detect high-energy photons. Even when they're detected, it's hard to pinpoint where they originated.

The solution to this problem? Lobster eyes! Discover how lobster eyes are being used as a pattern for a photon x-ray detector in the article "Astronomers Model Revolutionary X-Ray Detector After Lobster's Eyes."

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!


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® 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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