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TOS June 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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The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


June 27, 2012

Science: To Dissect or Not to Dissect (Ewww!)


Deborah's  Picture
Deborah Wuehler and family


Deborah is taking a break this week doing more hands-on activities with her kids--which may or may not include dissecting something. 


If you're looking for an alternative to dissection for the squeamish, take a look at this review of "The Digital Frog" here. If you're trying to find a new science curriculum, take a look at all the reviews on this page.



Send questions and comments to: 




TOS Senior Editor 


Now you can learn to read the Bible in Hebrew!
Do you want to comprehend the original Biblical text first-hand? offers an online Biblical Hebrew program, accredited by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and taught by leading experts educated in Israel.


Schoolhouse Teachers  


Have you decided whether to conduct dissection labs in your homeschool or sign you children up for dissection labs at the local science center? From my experience, dissection labs can be done in your homeschool. It does help your student to have a lab partner. We've accomplished this two different ways in my family. For my oldest daughter, we had a monthly dissection lab that met at our house. We worked our way through the systems of the body. The more hesitant students picked lab partners who did not mind doing the actual cutting of the specimens. By the time we got to the study of the heart, the students were much more enthusiastic in lab, and I remember seeing several students with their fingers in the aorta during lab.


With my second high schooler, the students completed their dissection labs at co-op. I still noticed that the more hesitant students would pick a dissection partner who was not squeamish or afraid to use a scalpel. I think the one thing I would recommend is to find specimens that are preserved in odor-free chemicals. That helps the weak stomachs so much!


Do you conduct dissection labs with elementary students and middle school students? Personally, I have conducted dissection labs with all age groups. I partner older students with younger students, and I am careful to oversee the entire process. First, we dissect owl pellets and move on to cow eyes.


There is much to learn from dissection, and I highly recommend that you do dissections with all age students with proper supervision and equipment.


 ST Chemistry


Speaking of science: have you seen the lesson plans for Joey Hadja's Friendly Chemistry for June? You can see the highlights of his lesson plans on this page. His lesson plans include making a tasty atomic radius cake. I am intrigued and am going to try this with my children. While I am not doing a full school schedule this summer, I incorporate educational supplements from




Did you know now has copywork activities for both manuscript and cursive writing? Our members also have access to Michelle Miller's summer reading list, and she has a fantastic June reading list on art and art history. Print a PDF version and take it to your library! Our members can read the current issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine from inside the member website, as well as all digital back issues of TOS, going back several years.


Coming in July, writing teacher Kim Kautzer has a unit on poetry, specifically, writing metaphor shell poems. I am so excited to use it with my children!


Join now--it's as easy as Point, Click, Teach! Your first month is only $1.


Tami Fox

Director of Marketing 

Schoolhouse Teachers 

Home Science Tools offers complete dissection kits to make your labs easy! Choose from popular kits like frog, cow eye, and more. We also carry microscopes, chemistry supplies, curriculum lab kits, and other materials to make science convenient and affordable. Give us a call at  (800) 860-6272 or visit



Schoolhouse Expo

Not sure how to use apps in your homeschool? Wondering what role online learning should play in your kids' education? Trying to figure out how to use technology to teach your children?

Join our Free Online Schoolhouse Expo 

on July 31st at 7 p.m. EDT!


 Hear from Terri Johnson, from, and Andy Harris, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine's columnist from "The Tech Homeschooler," talking about implementing technology in your homeschool.

Also join us for a vendor workshop from Homeschool Buyer's Co-op, the nation's largest purchasing cooperative for homeschooling families. Find them at


For more information visit the Schoolhouse Expo page.


Don't miss this Expo!


There are only 1,000 seats available FREE!


Reserve your space today right here. 


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Learn anatomy and physiology the better, kinder way.  Our award-winning Digital Frog 2.5 includes an interactive dissection,
Digital Frog
 videos, animations, definitions, text-to-speech, quizzes, human anatomy comparisons and printable workbook materials. Covers all major body systems.
Purchase before Sept.15 and receive Cell Structure and Function free, follow the link or call 1-800-621-FROG
The Familyman
Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries  


Here's some summer advice: Let science happen.


Sometimes when you dissect things, you can't see the forest through the guts. All you see is a bunch of gross things, and you miss the coolness of the bug, frog, or crawdad.


Just today, my kids were huddled around a cool-looking beetle. If I had turned it into a dissection lesson, I would have ruined the moment, and they probably would have learned less than what they did learn just by observing what they could see on the outside.


So I wouldn't sweat the dissection thing . . . although there is a pretty cool frog dissection app (for the iPad) you might want to check out.


Change of subject: I'm starting to plan my big fall speaking loop. I may be coming your direction and would love to speak at your homeschool group or event.


Here's the deal . . . I'm trying to decide whether to do an east or west loop.


East Loop


If we go east, we plan to drive the Familyman Mobile through (or near) Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Richmond, Raleigh, Columbia, Charleston, St. Augustine, and Orlando. Contact me to see if it will work to stop at your location.


West Loop


If we head west, we'll start in Chicago and then travel down through Peoria, Springfield, St. Louis, Memphis, Mississippi, New Orleans, Gulf Shores . . . across the Florida Panhandle. Contact me if any of these stops will work for your location.


Be real,




Schoolhouse Freebie


This week's free resource is about Western Australia Day. You'll find a wide variety of lessons, activities, and printable pages at Join today!


Relational Homeschooling  

Diana Waring
Diana Waring


When my children were aged 10, 8 and 6, a friend wrangled an invitation for us to join her at a farm for a homeschool science field trip:  watching a butcher cut up a cow.  It was supposed to be a practical view of--as well as a fascinating glimpse into--the insides of a recently living creature.

My friend, who was of a scientific bent (she had already dissected a cow's eyeball at the kitchen table with her kids), was a fabulous salesman for this event.

"Diana, your kids will love this!  It's so cool to see things in person rather than just in pictures.  Several homeschooling families will be there, it's going to be great!!"

And you know, one of my kids did love it.  That was the one who would one day do a stint as a hospital corpsman in the Navy.  He was spellbound as he stood close to the butcher, happily holding everything handed to him, regardless of how gooey.

On the other hand, one of my kids hated it.  That was the one who would one day faint at the clinic when he was just trying to give blood.  He took one brief look at what was happening to that cow, and then fled to the safe haven of our car.

Though I hadn't realized it so concretely until that moment, what is one person's delight may be another person's nightmare--and vice versa!  We need to not only be aware of this, we need to honor these differences.  Why?  Because they were hardwired into our children by One who created them for His plans and purposes.

Allow for--and respect--the individuality of each one in your family.  That means, in case you missed it, not every child has to dissect the eyeball of a cow.  But then, not every child has to be kept at home when the cow is butchered. . .  Pay attention to what is good for your individual kids.  Relationally speaking, it's the wisest thing you'll ever do!

From one mom to another, stay relational.


P.S. We are on the final leg of our life-changing adventure.  If you have not yet taken advantage of our "Ho For Indiana" sale at our website, you've got until the end of June to get a 15% discount on EVERYTHING!  



Creation Revolution    


Do plants think and reason? Apparently evolutionists believe they do. Read the article "Smart Plants Make Desert Mice Spread Their Seeds" to learn about scientists' claim that the Ochradenus baccatus, or taily weed, forces desert mice to spread its seeds.


Contest Corner 

For the month of June, 2012  


Dive Into Your Imagination DVDs


Dive Into Your Imagination is a company dedicated to expanding your knowledge of the ocean and its amazing inhabitants! Annie Crawley, author, underwater cinematographer, educator, producer, photographer, and motivational speaker, is the talent behind this beautifully filmed DVD series.


Dive Into Diversity includes eight videos that cover the great diversity of the ocean. Designed for Pre K through 3rd grade, these have wide application even beyond these levels.


The eight chapter titles are:


1. Night Diving on the Reef

2. Dive Into Diversity!

3. Be a Submarine Pilot

4. Swim in a Kelp Forest

5. Invertebrates of the Sea!

6. Coral Reef Living

7. Vertebrates: Animals with a Backbone

8. Wacky, Weird, Crusty Crustaceans 


This is a beautifully filmed movie with appropriate music, and Annie energetically explaining what we are watching. She is clearly educated about her subject matter and is just excited to share it. That is infectious! (. . .)


Read the rest of this review about the two titles we have to give away from TOS Homeschool Crew Director of Product Reviews, Kate Kessler, at her blog: Under the Sky.


Win two of the Dive Into your Imagination DVDs for your family!



Email Deb ( with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line,  "DIVE" for a chance to win* these great DVDs!


Schoolhouse Planners 


*Disclaimer and Legal Notice:
The Old Schoolhouse
® Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the June Contest Corner contest running from June 1, 2012, to June 30, 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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