The January issue of
The Old Schoolhouse®
Magazine is here!
|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|
Janurary 2, 2013
Homeschool Encouragement for the Winter Blues
Deborah Wuehler and family
Did your schooling and schedule take a nose dive like mine did this last month? All those performances and parties and people and holiday plans took over the entire month! And it looks like we are going to continue our lack of school schedule through the next two weeks before we can buckle down again. I want my schedule back! I think?!
Some of you have already started the academics up again, and some of you have tried to start but are finding it very difficult. You are tired. You are a little restless maybe. And you just don't have what you need to see it through. You are stuck in the mid-winter blues. Don't be alarmed, it happens to most of us.
In thinking about winter, I am reminded that things are not always as they appear on the outside. As you look outside your window and see bare trees, remember that there is still life in those trees. God holds us even in the mid-winter seasons of our lives and produces new life from what has been dormant.
Is there seemingly no life in you or your homeschool, in your marriage, or in your walk with Christ right now? Hang on-there is still life in those bare winter trees. Don't give up; look up. The sun will shine again, but in the meantime, dig deep into God's reserves of fortitude and grace. Put one foot in front of the other and do the little things that bring big rewards.
Go ahead and hunker down and take it easy for a little bit until your energy returns. Use this "down" time to read aloud to the kids while they play or color or build. Have those fun devotional times together that you've been wanting to have. Make that project that's been on the back burner. Finish a puzzle even if it takes all day. Instead of getting out the books, get out the flash cards and make this a time of reviewing and playing fun games. Your energy will return soon enough and you'll be too busy to stop and play.
Maybe this is the time to take a day or two to get rid of chaos and organize those things that are out of control. Remember what bugged you before the holidays, and try to find out how to fix that before you start again. Or maybe you just need fresh encouragement and ideas to really get you going. (Hint: Read a couple great articles from the January issue of TOS!)
If you are like me and have a hard time getting back into the groove of things after the Christmas break, here is something to listen to on the subject.
Feel like you are you in a place of death in any area of your life? Ask the God who created everything from nothing. He not only defeats death, but produces life from it, as Jesus Himself exemplified.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a kernel of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24).
As you are blessed to keep your children Home Where They Belong, don't forget that nothing is impossible with God and with Him you can beat the mid-winter blues.
TOS Senior Editor
What keeps children turning the pages of the calendar through the Christmas season? Hope. Expectation. The promise of something special coming . . . But then comes January and February. Instead of flying by, the days can crawl quite slowly, one by one. How do you keep your children's momentum and interest going strong over the wintry months?
Try the same technique used by good writers--don't end a chapter without forcing the reader to turn the page and start the next one. SchoolhouseTeachers.com is full of ways you can do this for your family.
- Introduce a new problem, puzzle, or challenge. Jim Mueller's brand new physics class provides you the perfect opportunity! For instance, in his debut lesson on the site this week, he'll show you how to lead your student on exciting discoveries, including answering the question, "How many drops of water can you fit on a penny?" We will have a new, multi-tiered lesson from Jim on a weekly basis.
- Leave the reader hanging. Our Everyday Explorers series on the Schoolhouse Dailies tab uses this format every week. As your children explore one location in the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, they learn about the past and the present. Each adventure leads naturally into the next--with a generous helping of teasers thrown in. One adventure does not end before another begins.
- Fuel an air of mystery. Each weekday, under the Dailies tab, new and exciting assignments are unveiled. Kim Kautzer's Daily Writing prompts may have your child writing about the moon one day and their own backyard the next. Teresa Evans' Everyday Games may explore odd and even numbers with a math game about Christmas stockings on Friday and racing each other in a New Year's-dash math game on Monday.
- Encourage with the promise of something more. Each week, Jason Lindsey's Science class gets a new experiment to try at home. You might find yourself making Christmas ornaments out of a completed popcorn ball or making a rocket out of a tea bag!
The door to adventure is waiting to be opened. Point. Click. Teach. . . Discover!
And for a limited time, you can save more than 20 percent when you sign up for SchoolhouseTeachers.com, plus receive free gifts! Read more.
Bonnie Rose Hudson
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries
Christmas is over . . . New Year's is past . . . and the winter blues have set in. Even before I got out of bed this morning, my wife lamented the fact that there's nothing on the calendar except a long, boring stretch of school.
"I want to go to Florida for a month," she announced, half-joking but mostly serious. Unfortunately, we're not going to Florida for a month, and I'm pretty sure that for those of you who live in Florida, the winter homeschool blues find you there as well.
I'm afraid the answer to these blues isn't taking a trip somewhere . . . but merely remembering the truth. The truth is that these coming days with your children are the best days, and that homeschooling isn't a season to be endured but a relationship to be enjoyed. That's why I want to direct you to my good friend Diana Waring's Website this week. Diana has been there and done that and knows how to encourage homeschool moms.
In fact, this week the encouragement lady is offering a super deal on a truckload of homeschool encouragement. Diana is offering four audio downloads (including my favorite "Beyond Survival") AND an E-Book to start your New Year out right. What a deal!!!
So, enjoy the remaining days of winter vacation, check out those Florida flight prices, and order Diana's Encouragement Package.
Oh yeah . . . and be real,
P.S. We've got our own set of encouragement products designed to help you laugh your way through and enjoy the school year. Check out The Official book of Homeschooling Cartoons, Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe, and the hilarious homeschool novel-"The Homeschool Experiment." Order now!
Happy New Year! May this new year be filled with ever-increasing joy for you and your family.
Before I share a few thoughts about today's timely topic, we want to let you know about our Winter Kick-Off. Celebrate 2013 with 20% discount for the next 2 days or 13% discount for the following 3 days when you buy our reinvigorating, revitalizing, reminding-yourself-why-you're-doing-this downloadable collection of encouragement for homeschool moms! It begins today!!
Now, unlike homeschooling moms in the southern hemisphere who are just getting ready to start school (it is mid-summer there!), you are probably facing a wall of inertia at the moment. I mean, didn't you just give every ounce of energy into creating a fabulous Christmas experience for your family? Not only that, only a few months ago you launched a new school year for your kids! Whew!! No wonder an insurmountable wall of inertia is looming over you.
So, what's a mom to do? Here are three suggestions that come from my own struggles to get through that wall, particularly when January is so grey and tedious.
Here's the list:
First of all, Inspire. When facing obstacles of any sort, it has been remarkably helpful to read someone else's story about how they overcame the odds, broke through the wall, and achieved their goals. Inspiration provides that first step of getting our hearts to believe that it is possible to keep going. That is why we love stories of people like Joni Eareckson Tada and Corrie ten Boom, because they remind us that there is incredible blessing on the other side of our pain. So, I want to encourage you to read or reread another family's story of homeschooling, one that will inspire you! (If you aren't sure what to read, check out my Once Upon A Time E-Book, part of our downloadable collection.)
The second step is Analyze. Take some time--alone, with your spouse, or with an encouraging friend to ask yourself specifically what factors are weighing you down. Are you the Type-A driven homeschool mom who can never say "no," and who thinks that if maxing out is good then adding a few more pieces would be even better? (I can speak from experience on that one: simplify, simplify, simplify!) Do you have a child who is not thriving on that expensive curriculum, but you are determined to wring every bit of value you can out of it? (Simply put, which is more valuable, your child or the money you spent on the curriculum?) Are you suffering the exhaustion of trying to keep up with the homeschooling version of the Jones's? (Ah, dear one, no one keeps up with those guys. Did you know they don't really exist?) Write down the specific issues and then prayerfully and carefully consider your options. What can you put out with the trash???
Finally, Energize. As a Homeschool Practitioner, I am going to write you a prescription for beating the winter blues. Make lots of room in your heart, your mind, and your schedule to add in great doses of humor, fun, and games! It will provide an energizing zest for both you and your children, making each day easier and more profitable for all.
That's it! Happy New Year!!
Remember, stay relational.
P.S. Don't forget to check out our 5-Day only Winter Kick-Off discount!
Raising Real Men
Hal & Melanie Young
January. Melanie's birthday is in January and she always hated it. Everyone's broke after Christmas, and they're tired of parties, and the weather is awful even if they wanted to come. Ho hum. We tend to feel the same way about starting school back, don't we? The party's over. No more sausage balls. It's time to work. Ugh.
There's another way of looking at it, though, and that's the way we're going to approach it ourselves this year.
Remember all those plans we had in September? Are feelings of failure crashing around your head like they are around ours? No matter! Here's a chance to start fresh. Even if you got almost nothing accomplished in the fall, if you start hard now and don't stop until you're done, you can finish in time to start in the right place next year.
Is the weather awful? Good--there's less temptation to get distracted from home and school. We'll just drag our blankets downstairs, cuddle up, and start reading good books together! Who wants to go out in that mess anyway?
God is the master of redemption, of new starts, of forgiveness, of restoration. He's the one who ". . . will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten . . . " (Joel 2:25). That gives us hope in our homeschooling and parenting. Even when we fail, our Savior is there to stand in the gap for us. It's a good thing, isn't it? And it makes even January look like it's going to be full of grace!
By His grace alone,
Hal & Melanie
Join us in just a couple of weeks in Anaheim, CA, for the free Exploring Homeschooling Conference! Click here to find out more! http://www.raisingrealmen.com/anaheim
Not in that area? You can not only hear us speak, but ask us all the questions you like at our exclusive interactive online series for parents-Boot Camp 9-12: Getting Geared Up for the Teen Years www.RaisingRealMen.com/bootcamp and Marriage Retreat Online www.RaisingRealMen.com/marriagebootcamp. The next sessions start in just a few days, so sign up now at a $15 discount!
Living and Learning Together
on God's Path of Life
with Clay and Sally Clarkson
Clay Clarkson is the Director of Whole Heart Ministries, a non-profit family ministry he founded with Sally in 1994 to encourage and equip Christian parents. He is the author of numerous Christian home and parenting books and resources, including Educating the WholeHearted Child, Our 24 Family Ways, and Heartfelt Discipline. He writes online at WholeHeart.org, Disciplinology.com, PiecesofClay.com, and for others.
Sally Clarkson is the mother of four wholehearted children, a conference speaker, and author of numerous books, including The Mission of Motherhood, The Ministry of Motherhood, Seasons of a Mother's Heart, and The Mom Walk. Clay and Sally live in Monument, Colorado and have homeschooled their four children from the beginning.
Join our Free Online Schoolhouse Expo on
Tuesday, January 22, 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!
The Bible specifically mentions cheese 3 times--I Samuel 17:18; 2, Samuel 17:29, and Job 10:10. Read more in the article Say Cheese.
How can you help your children through life's tough lessons?
Read the article
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
For the month of January, 2013
The Crossmaker DVD
This DVD features a grandfather telling his grandchildren stories about Jesus. The backdrop for the stories is a marvelous artist doing chalk drawings of Jesus and scenes from the stories. There are two stories: The Crossmaker and Jesus Loves the Children. The Crossmaker is about a little boy whose family makes crosses. He delivers the one to be used for Jesus and witnesses the crucifixion. He is crushed by guilt for his part but he meets the resurrected Jesus on the road and finds forgiveness and love. Jesus Loves the Children is the familiar Bible story about the disciples telling the children to leave Jesus alone, but Jesus tells them to let the children come to Him.
The background music is wonderful, and the chalk illustrations are spectacular. But there is much more on this DVD! There are more chalk drawing demonstrations and even a teaching session showing children step-by-step how to make their own chalk drawings.
Read the rest of this review here.
Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with "Crossmaker" as the subject line for a chance to win* the DVD for your homeschool!