Learn to chart a path back to the basics in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse®
|Come Do Your Homework|
with TOS . . .
Click here to learn more!
"I've enjoyed the magazine, the emails that come out on Wednesdays, the website that has some great stuff on it, and now Schoolhouseteachers.com. Not only are they good resources and very encouraging, but the writers and the customer service people I've contacted for various things have been extra nice."
"I look forward to THM every Wednesday. I really enjoy Deborah's articles. For some reason, it must be God, she always writes about what I am needing to hear. Her ability to put scripture and God in the middle of all her articles keeps me coming back. I recently have been enjoying the Young's because I have a young man (10) in my house. The encouragement of the Young's is fabulous. I thank God for parents like them that pave the way for parents like myself and my husband."
Glen Burnie, Maryland
"So love reading TOS on my iPad from cover to cover every month!!!"
--Leigh Anne McGrady, Dunwoody, GA
"I love the new TOS app! So convenient. So quick. All the encouragement I need at my fingertips . . . any place at any time."
"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."
--Teresa, rural Kansas
Have you been blessed by The Homeschool Minute™?
We want to hear your testimonials! Is there a particular columnist who brightens your Wednesdays? Is there a resource you find useful?
Please email Cheryl.
Be specific as you share how THM has blessed your life, eased your homeschooling, or lightened your load.
Your testimonial could be featured in our next newsletter!
|The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine|
December 12, 2012
Slowing Down for Christmas
Deborah Wuehler and family
Thirteen days and counting. Is it possible to slow that down a bit? I wish it were. But the count goes on, and I must fit everything in. It could become a time of stress (and yes, today was no exception!), but it doesn't have to be if I would remain in a spirit of celebration in all I do and prepare. If my heart is stressed, I know that I need to have my "heart prepare Him room." Instead of celebrating the celebration, I need to slow down enough to focus on celebrating Christ.
How do we do that? We come to Him. Throughout the Scriptures, you will hear this plea repeated, "Come to me."
Before we sing "Oh, come all ye faithful" we need to come to The Faithful One and "adore Him, Christ the King." This adoration takes pause. In other words, we need to pause what we are doing throughout the day, and come to Him to offer our adoration. Even if you remain busy on the outside, at least your heart will be in the right place and your spirit will be slowed down enough to focus on the eternal. The red flag of stress should be the signal to bend the knee in worship.
Tomorrow, I will speak on celebrating Christ as I talk about a few Christmas hymns as well as some child-focused activity ideas for these last two weeks before Christmas. It's free! I would love for you to come say, "Hi" as we chat with each other there. Sign up here: www.SchoolhouseExpo.com.
Make this week be a true heart celebration of the One who set us free from sin and death. Pause, and turn your focus from the Christmas tree to the tree of Calvary. Believe it or not, you will find more hope in the latter than the former. And in this stressful time, you will meet the Prince of Peace.
Pausing to slow down with you,
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
TOS Senior Editor
Enjoy snow sports, wonderful food, and teaching from Jay Seegert on the compelling connection between science, history, and the Bible. Camp Forest Springs provides downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice-skating, downhill tubing and more.
Did you know you can practice slowing down for Christmas while schooling your children? SchoolhouseTeachers.com has many lessons this month that will help you do both!
You can spend some fun family time with your children while helping them learn basic math and reading skills with Teresa Evans' colorful board games. Everyday Games brings you a new game each day, games like Odd and Even Christmas Stockings and Find a Rhyme games.
Take time to help your child add a little science to your Christmas decorations! Help him understand the science behind why popcorn kernels pop and make a fun ornament in the process with Jason Lindsey and Hooked on Science!
Help your children, regardless of age; see what steps they can take today to help prepare them for college. Join Denise Ames' College Choice Guidance class and discover ways you can help your child see potential futures God may have in mind just for him.
On SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you will also find lessons that will help you and your family take the time to explore different chapters of the Christmas story.
Explore the timelessness of the Christmas story with wonderful suggestions from Michelle Miller's Reading List.
See the account of The Presentation of Christ in the Temple through the eyes of artist Giovanni di Palo with an Everyday Easels study.
And, help your children understand the painful chapters of the Christmas story, as well, by showing them how these chapters were not the end of the story. Spend some time with A Martyr's Christmas, this month's unit study in Asia: Its People and History. Help your family see that the painful times that came to Pastor James Ram in India and to Pastor Ramazan Arkan in Turkey were not the end of their stories, either.
New this week, you can purchase a one-year subscription to SchoolhouseTeachers.com for only $49! This special promotion makes it easier than ever to enjoy all that SchoolhouseTeachers.com has to offer. You will also receive a hot off the press PRINT issue of the TOS 2013 Annual Print Book which is more than 275 pages! The special also comes with the new, screamin' 2013 colors for the popular TOS Homeschooling with Heart tote bags--Chocolate Mint!
It's as easy as Point. Click. Teach.
This Christmas, give a gift that will help your kids dive deeper and grow stronger: the CEB Deep Blue Kids Bible. Created to engage kids with interactive features and full-color art, they won't be able to put it down! www.deepbluekidsbible.com/
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries
One of the greatest sounds in the world is the passing of a train. I used to lie in bed and listen as the train "clickety-clacked" its way past my grandparents' house. Now I live not more than 75 yards from a busy train track. We've laid pennies on the track (to find them flat the next day) and walked its rails, and at night I can tell which direction it's going just from the number of whistles blown.
I love those sounds. I love the whistles, rattles, and squeals. I love the sound of the engine gearing down, the slow wum, wum, wum of the giant steel wheels on the track, and the overall feeling of quiet as the train slows to a stop. Ahhh.
As the old adage goes, my fellow homeschooler, make like a train . . . and slow down for Christmas. You don't want to go screaming into Christmas; you want to gear down, apply the brakes, and wum, wum, wum your way into the most wonderful time of the year.
So, start right now as you read this email. Take a deep breath, hold it, and then slowly exhale (I mean for real). Then, make a mental decision to back off of school. You know you want to. Your kids have been asking and you can feel it in your bones. And I'm telling you, when you're bones talk . . . listen to them.
Instead of math, bake some cookies. Forgo regular reading and read a Christmas story or watch a Christmas DVD. Instead of your normal routine, let them have the day off . . . and then keep slowing down, all the while enjoying your children and the season. And don't you feel guilty for one second. I mean it!
P.S. Still haven't ordered the ultimate Christmas gift for your husband--The 2013 You da dad daily Calendar? Do it right now. Also, if you need something to help you slow down this Christmas, buy To Bethlehem--The Christmas Game for families.
P.P.S. My son, Sam (17) has released this year's animated Familyman Christmas short. We hope you and your children like it.
P.P.P.S. The Last Christmas--I've written a Christmas story just for you . . . and it's online . . . and it's free. In Charles Dickens' fashion, I'm going to release it as a serial . . . or just one part per day. I hope you enjoy it and will let others know about it as well.
My Father's World offers complete curriculum for pre-school through high school, combining Charlotte Mason, classical, and unit study education with a Biblical perspective. Teach multi-ages together using our simple, low-prep daily lesson plans combining Bible, literature, science, chronological history, geography, art, music, character development, and more!
Visit www.mfwbooks.com or 573-202-2000.
What a great topic! I'd like to consider it in two parts: "slowing down" and "for Christmas."
Okay. Slowing down . . .
Imagine yourself driving on back country roads where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. Everything is going just fine. You glance at your watch and think, "Okay, I have just enough time to get to Whoville by noon." And then a sign suddenly appears. The speed limit is now 30 miles per hour.
Are you with me so far?
Well, you might be extremely tempted to ignore the sign and keep going at your brisk pace--to get there on time.
Suddenly, a police officer is behind you, with siren wailing and lights blazing. Don't you just hate that?
"I am so sorry, officer, I really meant to slow down. Honestly, I did, but, you see, I-had-to-get-to-my-destination-on-time-and-I-was-running-out-of-time-and-I-wanted-to-slow-down-but-I-couldn't-because-then-I-would-have-been-late-and-the-world-would-have-ended!"
When we put the pedal to the metal and leave it there, our good intentions of slowing down don't actually result in any perceptible change.
I know this personally, because I intended to slow down in August, after a trip to the E.R., but I didn't actually slow down until my second trip to the E.R. It taught me that slowing down means slowing down.
Okay. For Christmas . . .
Why don't we expect to slow down for Thanksgiving or 4th of July or Easter or any other number of holidays? What is it about Christmas that speaks deeply to our hearts that urges us to pause and reflect, to consider and quietly cherish?
These weeks before Christmas are known as Advent. Think about how the advent, or coming, of the promised Messiah two thousand years ago is quite different than many images of Christmas abounding right now.
If we slow down, if we lay down the unrealistic expectations we labor under, it can provide us and our children the time to imagine and talk about the first Advent: what it would have been like for the Jewish people during the Roman occupation of Palestine, as they longed for their Messiah to come and set up His throne again in Jerusalem; what it would have been to know their Scriptures promised a virgin would conceive and have a child, that His name would be called Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace--all the while living under the yoke of foreigners who were oppressively controlling everything except the hearts and minds of the people?
Dear friends, as we consider the yearning of their hearts for the advent of the Messiah, it is a powerful moment to share with our children our own yearning for the second advent of this Messiah.
This quiet message cannot be heard by our hearts unless we slow down . . .
It is relational.
P.S. To better help you imagine with your children what it was like for the people who longed for their Messiah, you might enjoy my CD, The First Christmas. Receive it free when you purchase $25 or more during our 15% off sale, through this Saturday, December 15 at Diana Waring Presents.
Raising Real Men
Hal & Melanie Young
HAH! We're writing this in the van at 10 pm on the way back from the Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle performance, our fifth dress rehearsal or performance of some kind in four days. What in the world do we have to say to this subject?
Well, stress is often as much a result of heart attitude as it is circumstances. At least, it seems to be for us. In the past several years we have lived lives that from the outside seem like nothing but stress--stage IV cancer, life-threatening heart condition in a newborn, hospitalizations, and surgeries, not to mention our life-style traveling around the country speaking with tons of children in a fifteen-passenger van. We wouldn't trade with a soul, though. God's gifts and provisions and joy have been just too precious to miss! So, how do you de-stress? How do you slow down enough, at least in your heart, to get some joy back?
Spend time with God. There's no one too busy for that. Listen to an audio-Bible if you have to, but feed yourself spiritually every day from the Word of God, or you'll start to soul-starve. Then, pray. Every time you worry--whether it's if your loved one will live or your cookies will turn out--pray! If you respond to anxiety with prayer, the enemy will soon stop tempting you that way!
Do the next thing. Elizabeth Elliot once shared an old poem (Click here to read it on our site.) that changed the way we think about things. It says that when you can't figure out what to do, when you feel overwhelmed, to just do the next thing. Put one foot in front of the other and do the most immediate task. Don't take on all the dozens or hundreds of tasks in front of you; do one at the time. That's hard, these days, when we're so easily distracted, but do it.
Keep your eyes on eternity. It won't matter if our houses are perfect, or the cookies gorgeous, or we make every event, if we miss the opportunity to do the eternally important things--to talk to our children about the Savior, to read to our quickly-growing up little ones, to welcome a child on a stool in the kitchen, even if it slows us down. Our children need us. No one can take our place in their lives. Let's let discipleship be a priority this season.
Merry Christmas, dear friends!
Hal & Melanie
You can support our ministry during these lean months when we're not traveling by shopping in our Christmas Shop where you'll find classic, good toys and gifts--the kinds of things that will be around for your grandchildren. Click here to go there.
Our next stop will be the Exploring Homeschool Conference in Anaheim, CA on January 18th-19th. Join us there if you can--it's free!
Please Join Us For A Special
TOS Staff Christmas Party!
Time: December 13th 7pm (4pm Pacific)
Please join us for a special TOS Staff Party. We will hear from Angela Quigley and Deborah Wuehler about Christmas hymns, and we will be discussing Christmas traditions and even sharing Christmas menus.
Plus there will be lots of giveaways!
Have you ever wondered about the origin of your favorite Christmas songs? Angela will share some fascinating facts about the origins of our most loved Christmas hymns.
Do you ever wonder how to help your children really see Christ in Christmas? Deborah takes a look at several favorite Christmas hymns and will reveal what you and your children can learn from these great hymns and hymn writers.
will present an outstanding workshop:
"Spelling and Grammar and Latin, O MY!--
Coordinating your language arts subjects
into a seamless systematic study."
Join our Free Online Schoolhouse Expo on
Thursday, December 13th, at 7 p.m. EDT!
(6 p.m. CDT, 5 p.m. MDT, 4 p.m. PDT)
Check out all the details at
Reserve your FREE seat now---only 1000 available!
"A number of years ago, Dr. Russell Humphreys, a creation scientist, predicted that everywhere we look in outer space, that we should find evidence of water and/or ice. His prediction was made mostly on his understanding of Genesis 1 . . ."
Read more in the article Ice Found on Mercury Confirms Creation Prediction.
Need to add a little Christmas
into your lesson plans?
Read the article . . .
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
For the month of December, 2012
The Only True God . . . Knowing the God of the Bible (from the Quest series)
Part of the Quest series of the Explorer's Bible Study company, The Only True God . . . Knowing the God of the Bible is a 30-week Bible study aimed at Jr. and Sr. High students. The consumable workbook starts out with a note to parents and teachers, a note to the students themselves, and an introduction of the topic. The format of the daily lessons is explained and hints and suggestions, such as keeping a Bible journal and to pray as they study, are offered as well.
Each lesson is broken down into five days, with day one always including a review of what was previously learned. Throughout the week, there are memory verses, daily questions, and lesson notes. One of the sessions focuses on personal application, although the day varies. Day five ends with the student reading prepared notes about the lesson. That text includes vocabulary, explanations of why certain things were studied or referenced in that particular lesson, and a general summary of the week. Lesson 30, the "final exam," so to speak, is a fill-in-the-blank review of the entire book. Once completed, the soft-covered book is a keepsake reference book for years to come.
Read the rest of this review here.
Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Bible Study" for a chance to win* the book for your homeschool!