Read the March issue of TOS Magazine before it goes POOF on April 1.
|Come Do Your Homework with TOS.|
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
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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|The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine|
March 21, 2012
Should I Go to a Convention this Year?
|Deborah Wuehler and family|
I have attended homeschool conventions for 15 years. Several years ago, I thought I did not need to go to a convention because I felt that I already knew what I was doing and what I wanted to do. I didn't want to go and be persuaded to change my ways or my curriculum. So I skipped a year.
Within months of the conference, I became discouraged and needed refreshment. Oh yes, that's why I went before; I was always refreshed and had my vision strengthened by attending. Although I knew what I was doing, I lost sight of why I was doing it. When we lose sight of the "why," then when discouragement or tedium hit, we crumble. Because, face it: We are doing a lot of work in the face of lots of opposition. It takes strength and courage to continue, and we can find both when we renew our vision by attending a convention.
Besides renewing our vision and drive for homeschooling, attending a convention has many other benefits:
- After researching online, I am able to actually look through a product and make the purchase right away if I decide it is a good fit. I can ask questions of the vendors and get answers in person to my curriculum questions.
- Seeing homeschooling in a bigger setting than just my dining room table helps me realize that I am not alone in this endeavor and there are actually thousands who have not "bent the knee" to public education.
- Rather than being ridiculed and questioned, as is normal for homeschool families, I am validated and supported in the convention environment.
- After praying for a certain child, or praying for the right product for that child, I have found many of my prayers answered through the teaching from inspiring speakers or through walking the aisles of the vendor halls. As I pray, the Lord leads me to the right places and people and answers my prayers for wisdom.
- My local support group spends a lot of volunteer time and energy, and I should support their efforts with my attendance. When I attend, I am not only being supported, but I am supporting the vendors and speakers and the vitality of homeschooling itself.
- Many husbands have fully "come on board" after attending a convention. And, there have been many instances when the speaker's workshops on CDs have been given to in-laws or friends and have convinced them of the benefits of home education.
- I find old friends and new, and I always leave conventions with joy in my heart and the courage to continue on, and of course a new book or two.
Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld, renowned author and homeschool conference speaker, wrote an article titled The Boom in Homeschool Conventions, in which he summed up the benefits of conventions this way: "I could write a book about these wonderful homeschool conventions, the families that attend them, and the fabulous entrepreneurs who offer their products to parents who truly care about their children's well-being and happiness. If you want to see the beautiful benefits of educational freedom, go to a homeschool convention. You'll love it!"
Let's support our homeschool conventions together, as we praise God and thank Him for the continued freedom to keep our children home where they belong.
"I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people." Psalm 35:18
TOS Senior Editor
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Bread provided 53%-75% of the daily intake for ancient civilizations. It nourished and literally sustained many generations. Yet bread is now considered to be unhealthy and even harmful. Wonder what happened?
Explore the truth in the Guide to Bread: Unlocking the Mysteries of Grains, Gluten and Yeast. www.VintageRemedies.com
Do you struggle with all the balls homeschool moms juggle? Wife, mom, teacher, chief procurement officer, bookkeeper, head chef, head housekeeper, chauffeur-and on and on the list goes. Let me introduce you to Malia Russell of Homemaking 911. Malia is an expert home economist, and she provides daily lessons in home economics for our SchoolhouseTeachers.com subscribers. Malia has a theme for each day of the week: Money-Saving Monday, Tidy Tuesday, Wisdom Wednesday, Think About It Thursday, and Feed Me Friday.
Malia says her prayer "is that this class will begin teaching the principles of economy in the home. That means that it will begin helping your student learn how to make the best economical and logical use of the resources at hand. Each lesson will have a beginner, intermediate, and advanced choice so that you can choose what is most appropriate for your student." While your students are learning home economics from Malia, they are helping you be more efficient in your role as a homemaker.
Are the trees and flowers near you starting to bloom? In our virtual classrooms at SchoolhouseTeachers.com, lessons are blooming, and on April 1, we will add new teachers, new lessons, and new activities. I would like to introduce you to one of our newest teachers who will join us on April 1, Cathy Diez-Luckie of Figures in Motion. Cathy is an internationally published airbrush artist, has illustrated three children's books, has been a contributing illustrator in reference books, and has been published in numerous magazines. She has created four books in her Figures in Motion series. In each book she provides movable action figures to captivate and engage children as they learn about the great leaders of history.
For our SchoolhouseTeachers.com subscribers, Cathy is going to choose a historical character each month, and she will provide four weekly activities for that character. For instance, in week one, Cathy will provide a stand-up cutout of the historical person. In week two, Cathy will give a fun assignment for the student to write a conversation that would have occurred between two historical people. In week three, Cathy will provide a coloring page based on the monthly character. And in the fourth week, Cathy will give subscribers a drawing lesson. Great fun, great material! Cathy brings history to life!
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Are you an organized, detailed networker?
American 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey from Gena
Gena Saurez, 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.
Should I Go to a Convention this Year?
By Colleen Berry
I'm always surprised when homeschoolers question going to their local or state homeschool conventions-even more so when they decide not to go. Sometimes, these are the same moms who worry about their effectiveness in teaching, struggle to decide on curriculum, and generally feel burned out.
Hebrews 10:25 says we should not forsake "the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but (exhort) one another." There are reasons we need to get together!
I have attended both local and state conventions, and I am always energized by them. I'm lucky that my state convention is also local for me. For a relatively low cost, about $40 per family, we can hear outstanding speakers, as well as see, hold, and purchase curriculum, minus shipping costs. Conventions also provide the opportunity to network with other homeschoolers and see that we are not alone. Our state convention is attended by more than 10,000 people-we are really not alone! Just that realization-"If they can do it, I can too"-is worth the price of admission.
Seminars, especially those taught by seasoned homeschooling moms and dads, remind me why I homeschool, the practical side as well as the spiritual side. Some speakers taught me new techniques for teaching a subject, some made me cry with their passion for family and faith, and others made me laugh over stereotypes and misconceptions, reminding me that there should be more joy in the journey. Some speakers are nationally renowned and bring to our attention issues that we face in the homeschool community, or the larger Christian community, that we might not otherwise have known. They share the bigger picture of homeschooling: how we can change the world.
Visiting an exhibit hall full of curriculum vendors can seem overwhelming-so many choices! But seeing and holding helps me choose. Trying to buy products online or at someone else's recommendation can often be like that proverbial pig in a poke: a big surprise. Looking at a book or text helps me see if it really fits my family's needs:
I can compare prices with other vendors on the spot and know what kind of deal I am getting. And, many times, I find wonderful things that I would never have thought to look for on my own.
When the convention is over, I am somehow exhausted and refreshed all at the same time. I type up my notes, often sharing them with moms who couldn't go themselves. I make lists of things I want to incorporate or change for my next school year. I make plans for how to best use the books and curriculum that I bought. And I look forward to next year's convention!
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries
Should you go to a homeschool convention this year? Does a one-legged duck swim in a circle? Of course you should go. As a dad who goes around speaking at conventions all over the country, I believe there is no better place to feel encouraged, challenged, and part of something big.
Where else can you go and be surrounded by people just like you and look at and handle a thousand different homeschool possibilities?
Mom, I know I don't need to convince you. Usually it's the husband who can be the sticking point. So let me talk to him for just a second: Your wife needs her batteries recharged. Now you might think otherwise, but you're wrong. In fact, ALL homeschooling moms need encouragement and refreshment in this journey, and a homeschool convention does just that.
So, Dad, can I put the pressure on you to take the bull by the horns and plan to go to the convention nearest you? Don't want to plan it all out? Then just tell your wife, "Honey, let's go to a convention this year."
I know it's not the most exciting thing for a guy, but it's not all about you. Sometimes you have to do what she'd like to do. She may say she doesn't need to go . . . but don't accept that answer. Insist not only that she go, but also that you accompany her. Go all out if you can. Stay in a hotel, eat out, stroll the aisles, and make it a weekend to remember.
Who knows? Maybe I'll see you there. You can view my convention schedule here.
P.S. This weekend I'll be at the Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville, S.C. First one to my booth with a local sightseeing idea gets a FREE audio CD of her choice.
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.]
Did you read about the solar storm last week? It could have caused a lot of damage to life on Earth, but it didn't.
Learn about solar storms and why this particular storm didn't cause more damage in the article "Why Didn't the Solar Storm Cause More Damage on Earth?"