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Are you addicted to busyness? 


Read The Busy Homeschool Mom in the  September issue of TOS magazine. 


  TOS September 2012


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September 19, 2012

Home Ec Is for Boys Too! (Right?)



Deborah's  Picture
Deborah Wuehler and family


Last week we talked about teaching girls the lost art of keeping a home. But what about the boys? Should we teach them Home Ec, too? I think so! Boys need to know how to take care of themselves, so that they can also take care of others.


My two oldest sons have made the transition out of our home and into a rented room near the university they are attending. They have to do their own shopping, cooking, mending, cleaning, and laundry. They do not sweat any of those tasks as they have been a regular part of their upbringing since they were very young. In fact, it is easier now because they only have two to take care of instead of our household of ten. But they have also learned that taking care of homes can serve greater purposes. The elderly woman they rent from now has two boys who willingly take out her garbage cans, water her plants, and wash her car without being told to do so. They look for ways to bless her, and that will reap eternal rewards.


Managing a household is not a simple job, and all the children need to learn that. The tasks are endless, the pay slim to none, the rewards are not always immediately evident, the hours are more than full-time. But I am learning that if I am to be training my young ones, boys included, in home economics, and I want them to have good attitudes about it, then I must plan to put more joy into it myself. I need to be able to hold forth the true rewards of serving each other.


Too often, "Home Ec" has been stressful and no fun. Let's plan to put more fun and joy into serving each other, and our extended loved ones, and at the same time, teach the children that in everything we do, we do it heartily as unto the Lord and not man.


As we go about our daily tasks, let's teach the children about work; let's purpose to pray more, smile more, and learn to serve others with joy--all with the worthy goal of  becoming more like Christ!


We can choose to stay hurried and worried and stressed out, or we can purpose to be cheerful in our work as we raise up future homemakers, college students, and ambassadors for Christ.


Definitely an area I am still working through and I know that the upcoming year will be a good time for lots of focused practice!



TOS Senior Editor


PS. Today I had my 14-year-old son go around the house and write down what needed to be cleaned, vacuumed, swept, folded, etc. on strips of paper to put in a hat. He and my 12-year-old son each chose 3 strips, the two younger girls chose 2, and my 4-year-old son chose one. They really like this, and it helps the monotony of housework to mix it up a bit sometimes.


"Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:22-24



Schoolhouse Teachers Corner 


Does your son roll his eyes when you ask him to help around the house? Would he rather eat his socks than help you cook a meal because "cooking is for girls"? Get ready to show him just how fun some of this stuff can be!


Let's take a closer look at the job of cooking. Ask him about a cattle drive from his favorite Western. Who is cooking for the drovers? Is it women, or is it the men themselves cooking their meal at the end of a long day? Or, how about his favorite war-time story? When the soldiers on the battlefield need dinner, do they all go out to a nice restaurant where someone else cooks and serves their meal? No, the men on the field eat the rations they brought, or they cook what's available. And, if they are back at the base in the mess, chances are it isn't a woman cooking their dinner!


Boy in kitchen

Is he still not convinced? Take him on a trip through the pages of his Bible. He's sure to spot David and many of the prophets preparing their own meals. And, the best example of all? A story in the twenty-first chapter of John. Astonished disciples find Jesus on the shore with a breakfast prepared and waiting for them. Not only did Jesus cook the meal, he served it to his friends. has tools to help get your son started in the kitchen! He can join Pieter and Joseph from Everyday Explorers and make some Empire State Snacks--a tasty smores recipe using Empire apples from New York. Or, he can practice his cooking skills with Ditch the Desk activities. Let him try his hand at building the house of the Three Little Pigs or making tasty fish snacks out of pound cake!


If your son would like to try serving the family a meal, you can find new recipes every month that will satisfy almost any appetite on This Month's Menu.


So stop by and discover the ways your son can have fun in the kitchen too!


Not a member? Join now! It's as easy as Point. Click. Teach.


Bonnie Rose Hudson

Editorial Assistant 

Character Concepts Curriculum

Scripture Stickies are stickable Bible verses that help you memorize and meditate on the Word of God. Peel off the backing and use like a sticky note. Custom orders, Scripture of the Month Clubs, favors, gifts and more! Enter coupon "TOS" at checkout for special savings and free shipping! 
The Familyman
Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries  


Before we discuss the topic of whether Home Ec is for boys, would someone explain to me what Home Ec is? Back in the day before a bunch of experts decided moms and dads weren't smart enough to teach their own children, there was no such thing as Home Ec . . . instead it was simply called home and it was the place where children learned the focus of their instruction.


Back then, kids were trained so that one day they could run homes of their own. And I guess even back then, boys, although not the primary homemakers, needed to know how to take care of themselves and their families.


And so it continues. That's why my boys, as well as my girls, have one day a week for which they're responsible for all the family dishes (all day), have to vacuum and pick up, and do their own laundry. We don't call it Home Ec . . . we call it home.


Now I still believe that girls and boys are different. They have different gifts and different responsibilities. My boys are expected to do things their sisters don't have to do and my girls are responsible for things my boys aren't required to do

 . . . but everyone needs to know how to care for the needs of their home . . . including dads.


Be real,



PS. If you live near Detroit, I'll be speaking in Utica, MI, on Friday, September 21.



Schoolhouse Freebie

This week's free resource is more writing prompts for your elementary school student.. You'll find a wide variety of lessons, activities, and printable pages in



This school year, use The Terrestria Chronicles to challenge your young readers to love and serve Jesus Christ. This series is historically accurate in terms and depiction of medieval life, and is a life-changing allegory perfect for family devotions, classroom use, or individual reading. Also available in ebook format.

Character Concepts Curriculum
Character Concepts Curriculum--Character Training That Works

Save 30% on first order--code TOS4, exp 9/26/12.

Ready-to-use, Bible-based tools that 

touch young hearts.


Relational Homeschooling  

Diana Waring
Diana Waring


Dear Friends,


I love this week's topic. And, as so often happens, I have a story.


When Bill and I were married, I found to my surprise that he was completely out of his depth in the kitchen. That didn't matter because I adored cooking, so I happily sauteed and sauced and roasted my way through several cookbooks that we had received as wedding presents.


I was content with the "his" and "her" spheres until my third month of pregnancy. When that number rolled up on the calendar, I became so sick, so violently affected by the smell of breakfast, lunch, or dinner, that I could no more walk into a kitchen and start cooking than I could build a rocket ship and fly to the moon.


And that was when things got pretty grim. When it came to making meals (beyond boiling hot dogs!), Bill was helpless, and I was hopeless. Actually, I'm not sure how we survived those three months. All I know is that when my son was born, I decided I was going to teach him to be completely at home in a kitchen!


So, fast forward several years and two more children. I had the knowledge of how to cook. I had the desire to teach them all to cook. And, a few years prior, I had been the enthusiastic chef at gourmet cooking classes, so I had the experience of teaching others to cook! There was, however, a fly in my soup pot. Do you know what it was? I had to release control of my kitchen to children who were:


- messy

- slow

- awkward

- distractible

- lacking in skill


Wow. I really hadn't realized what a control freak I was until my kids invaded my kitchen--at my invitation. It required a stretching and a grace and an oh-so-slow development of patience for this fastidious cook!


But, you know, that extremely stretching experience was worth it. My kids learned to cook--in fact, in many ways they surpassed me. And, for what it's worth, my two daughters-in-law bless my name now as they enjoy the delights of being married to men who excelled in Home Ec!


Remember to stay relational.




TOS Announcement 

Find the best homeschool resources with The Old Schoolhouse Directories. Check out all our directories and look for new ones monthly inside TOS magazine.
TOS Directories--the place to find great homeschool resources.

Raising Real Men  

Hal & Melanie Young


If Mopping Floors Isn't Manly, Why Do They Call Sailors Swabbies?

"I never ask my son to do housework! That's a woman's role, so the girls do that. He only does outside chores," a friend once said. Uh oh! Melanie thought, I'm sunk. We didn't have any girls back then, just a not-so-neat dad and a houseful of very active and thoroughly messy boys.

Actually, though, we've found plenty of Biblical warrant for men doing "women's work" as the old saying calls it. What we might call housework, men did in Scripture. Men cooked for themselves, family, and colleagues (Genesis 18:7, 27:4; 2 Kings 4:38, 2 Chronicles 35:14-15). They were bakers (Genesis 40:1, Hosea 7:4). They were weavers, tailors, and even made decorative textiles (Exodus 35:30-35, 39:1). They were laundrymen, or at least, washed their own clothes (2 Kings 18:17; Leviticus 11:40 (ASV); Leviticus 14:8 (ASV)). They might even be caring for a baby or young child (Numbers 11:12, Isaiah 29:22-23 (NKJV)).

So, how do you get them to work around the house?

Make it manly. Mom, you look cute and domestic in a gingham apron with lace trim; your son will not. How about a Tabasco apron, instead? Buy the heavier gloves without flowers on the cuff. Get cleaners which smell powerful--pine oil and bleach beat lilac when the guys are working. Instead of asking, "Honey, please make the kitchen pretty for me," you'll get a lot more response if you say, "Son, rescue me from that kitchen! I need you to conquer that nasty mess!"

Give them a goal. Boys, like their fathers, tend to focus on one thing and overlook the rest. Be specific--your goal may be "Three full loads, washed, dried, and folded" instead of "Wash some clothes." Make it a challenge: "I can finish the dishes in fifteen minutes."

Inspect, don't just expect. If they know you probably won't check on them, they probably won't finish the job. We're all sinners--follow up!

And be sure to explain that housework is mission essential. On a ship or in an army, there are tasks which just have to be done--troops have to be fed, sailors have to have uniforms, the decks need swabbing to keep them safe for action--to make the fighting possible. (Did you know canned food was invented to supply Napoleon? After all, he's the one who said "An army marches on its stomach"--. . . that is, it will only be as effective as its logistical support.)

Your family has a mission, too, and every job is important. David rewarded the soldiers who guarded the baggage, not just the swordsmen and archers (1 Samuel 30:24). Make sure you really appreciate the housework--no matter who does it! 


Hal & Melanie Young





Struggling with getting food on the table?


Do your budget and lack of time affect your families' meals?


Could you use some practical homemaking tips?


Join our Free Online Schoolhouse Expo on Thursday, September 27th, at 7 p.m. EDT!

(6 p.m. CDT, 5 p.m. MDT, 4 p.m. PDT)  


Home Economics and Bulk Food Preparation

with Malia Russell and Molly Green


Plus a vendor workshop presented by Janome America. Join their online communities for more information about their premium sewing machines, sewing tips, projects, and lessons at and

Check out all the details at   


Reserve your FREE seat now---only 1000 available! 





Age-appropriate entrepreneurship tips--from PreK through high school.


Child holding money
Read the article
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.


Creation Revolution    


Would you call a wasp for help if you were in trouble? Some plants do that with a chemical signal for help. Learn how wasps come to the rescue of the black mustard plant in the article "Plants Call Wasps to Protect Them from Butterflies."

Contest Corner 

For the month of September 2012  


Rainbow Sentences App from Mobile Education Store


Mobile Education Store designs apps to assist elementary-aged children build language skills. In the beginning, the company created apps to assist children with high functioning autism, but it became apparent that these apps could be used with any child building the foundations of language. 


We were given Rainbow Sentences for iPad for review. Rainbow Sentences is useful for helping your student understand the Ws of writing--who, what, when, where, and why. Using color-coded visual cues, this app is useful for beginning readers and writing right up through mid-elementary-aged students. (. . .)


Three levels of play are offered, each one adding more parts of speech to the next. The way the app works is by presenting a picture, with a sentence describing what's happening in the picture. The scrambled words of the sentence are below the picture, with blanks to form the sentence above the picture. With a simple slide of the finger, your student moves the words in the word bank below up to the appropriate place in the sentence above. (. . .)


Read the rest of the review at this wonderful Schoolhouse Review Crew blog, Ben and Me.


You can win this App!



Email Deb ( with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Rainbow Sentences" for a chance to win* the App for your homeschool!



Schoolhouse  Free Apps


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September 1, 2012, to September 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
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