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 Glen Burnie, Maryland

 

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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

    

May 15, 2013 

 

Homeschooling & Technology  

 


Greetings!

Gena Suarez
Publisher of TOS 

 

Technology can be a mixed bag for your homeschool. On one hand online lessons like those from SchoolhouseTeachers.com can give you a lifeline to teach subjects that aren't your area of expertise or give your children an opportunity to work independently. On the other hand technology like Facebook or mobile phones can take over your life and rob you of time spent as a family. Prayerfully consider any technology you use and let the Lord direct what and how much to use. Now here's a word of encouragement for you . . .

 

Hey Mama,

 

I heard you are drowning. You thought you were going to wake up and start a fresh new day, lots would get done, and you'd go to bed tonight content that so much was accomplished. It's not looking that way, though, and the day is already underway and moving too fast.

Your first inclination is to go back to bed (or hide underneath it). I just wanted to drop in and encourage you. Don't hide; don't run away. God has your day ordained. He orders our day. He is not surprised at this one.

His word tells us to wait on Him, to take courage, to be joyful. I find that when I start to get overwhelmed, God's word is the place I need to be. He speaks to us through His work. Have a look . . .

Psalm 31:24
Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.

Philippians 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 

Psalm 94:19
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.

Isaiah 41:10
'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

 

 

Mama, get into the word today if you can. Read all of the above passages in context, and get to know the Heart of your great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is with you. He will never leave you.

Don't beat yourself up for the slow start today. Look, you have a bunch of kids and you live in a shoe. Do you think you're supposed to be super-woman or something? Come on.

-Know that it (whatever it may be) will not be predictable.


-Understand that your day's plans will blow up at least once a week (if not once a day).


-Give yourself a break; God smiles on you, so smile back.


-Say under your breath or in your heart, "Lord, I don't know what to do, but my eyes are on YOU."


-Accept that you are a child of God, walking this walk, obeying Him, doing your best. (In the words of Keith Green) "HE'LL TAKE CARE OF THE REST."

Embrace the madness, Mama. 

It's your crazy, mad, insane, overfilled life. Love it. He gave it to you.

Now get out from under the bed and go find your kids. Hug them and let's get on with the day.

 

~gena


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The Familyman

Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries 
 

Through the marvels of technology, I'm typing away on my phone in my RV, from a parking lot near Tulsa. I'm telling you, never before have we lived in a time like this. 

 

I think we've been doing this Internet thing long enough that you're pretty aware of all the benefits to homeschooling, AND I think we've been in this Internet age long enough to know the dangers as well.

 

What we didn't realize is that if we let our kids have a cell phone, life would never be the same again. I could tell you all the stories I hear every week from parents whose kids have been swept away in this wave . . . but you've heard the same. 

 

In fact, I'd guess that you have a child or two who you fear you've lost to their electronic device. We just didn't know!!!!

 

But we cannot be found guilty watching the paint dry. It's our job as parents to help our children navigate these waters (whether they want to listen to us or not). 

 

I could type all this out . . . but it's hard for me to write on a phone. So I'm just going to point you to our brand new Taming the Techno-Beast Student Workbook. Have your kids work through it on their own or with you. It's a great way to start getting a handle on 'the beast" . . . and you've got to start NOW. 

 

Be real,

Todd

 

P.S. First person to come to my booth at the Iowa State Homeschool Convention in Des Moines with an accurate weather report wins a free audio CD of your choice. 

 

 
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Diana Waring
Diana Waring

Relational Homeschooling

www.DianaWaring.com 

 

Dear in-the-trenches homeschool mom,

"You know, I don't know much about today's topic . . . But I'd love to connect you with someone who does!  Devin Dabney, a homeschool dad, has a lot of help for you when it comes to homeschooling and technology! Check him out here: www.connectedhomeschooling.com

 

With that said . . ."

 

Have you noticed that, when it comes to technology, there is ALWAYS change? If you get an iPhone, pretty soon there will be a new version with more bells and whistles. If you get a software program, it's only a matter of a time before you find out how outdated you are. There is such a pressure to keep buying technology, to keep updating what you have, to keep learning all the new things that come along the techno-superhighway. . . and that pressure can swallow all your focus, your money, your joy.

 

So, here's the deal. If you can step back for a moment and look at your life, here's what you will see:

  • your kids are the most important investment you will ever make;
  • your kids need YOU (your love, your care, your time, your heart) more than they need stuff;
  • everything else they need is pretty basic (food, shelter, clothing).

With that in mind, you can make some good choices.

Ask yourself:

  • "What technology can we afford?"

  • "What technology do we NEED?"

  • "What technology will help--not harm--our family?"

My final bit of non-techie advice concerning technology? Seek the Lord for His wisdom and provision for your family's techno needs. He knows what you're dealing with, He hears your heart, and He is a generous Father.

 

Remember, stay relational!!

Diana

 

P.S. We'll be in Des Moines, Iowa, this weekend! I'd love to meet you, so stop by and say, "Hi!"

 

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We started homeschooling when dinosaurs walked the earth. Well, not really, but it was before social media, websites, even email! It's amazing all the inspiration and help you can find these days.

 

Melanie's brother lives in China, so our children have cousins who speak Chinese.  

 

That motivated us to chose Mandarin as our homeschool's foreign language. There's just one slight problem. Uh, we don't speak Chinese!

 

That's where technology can really help us! Years ago, we had to find someone in our area who we could trade with or hire to help us with those strange subjects we wanted to do. Sometimes we bought tapes (yes, we're that old!) or books, but that didn't give you any feedback. These days it's much easier!

 

For Mandarin, we use ChinesePod to teach speaking. It's a subscription service that gives you access to hundreds of podcasts on all different levels. The earliest levels are mainly in English and explain simple elements of Chinese and the most difficult ones are completely fluent discussions of Chinese poetry and philosophy. You do have to exercise caution in your choice of lessons. We're not really interested in our guys learning to order a beer or ask a girl out in Mandarin!

 

We also love Skritter. It's an online program that teaches you to read and write Chinese characters. That's the hardest part of learning Chinese, but Skritter makes it fun. Using fuzzy logic (hey, look it up!), the program recognizes when you get it almost right, and helps you to do it just right. It's like a video game, kind of addictive. :)

 

The best use of technology in your homeschool is to help you do those things you just think you can't do at all! Let me tell you, if a couple of Southern-accented parents like us can do Chinese at home, you guys can do anything!

 

Yours in the battle,

Hal & Melanie

 

See you guys on the road! This week we'll be in Nashville, TN, at the Teach Them Diligently Convention, then NCHE in Winston-Salem, NC, kicks off our Great Western Tour. See if we'll be in your area by clicking here.  

 

Please pray for us--we're hitting the road for ten conferences all over the country between now and mid-August! That's a lot of miles to cover, and we have a terrible history of breakdowns and flat tires!

 

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Announcement 

  

Creation Revolution     

 

"One discovery made 10 years ago in the Atacama Desert in Chile has been used as proof of the existence of aliens. It was a six-inch long skeleton named Ata that looked like one of the aliens from Men in Black or some other alien movie."

Read more in the article Alien Skeleton is Human After All
 
Contest Corner 

For the month of May, 2013  

 

52 Weeks of Family Spanish

 

Learning a foreign language is a goal of most homeschooling families. And there are many options to choose from; ranging from traditional worksheet/textbook curriculums, to verbal immersion programs. 52 Weeks of Family Spanish, by Eileen McAree, follows more of a verbal approach and is meant to be used with the whole family. The small weekly lessons are practical and built into daily family life. This simple approach makes teaching Spanish to young ones fun and easy.

 

The sub-title of this book caught my attention right away: "Bite-sized weekly lessons designed to get you and your family speaking Spanish today."  (. . .)

 

Read the rest of the review here.

 

TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "52 Weeks of Spanish" for a chance to win* the book for your homeschool!