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                   The Homeschool Minute
                      Economics - How about a lemonade stand?
June 19, 2013
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Tribute to a Homeschool Encourager  
Debra Strayer
Have you ever had a homeschool leader you looked to for encouragement and Godly advice? Someone you knew would give you the truth in a loving way? Debbie Strayer was one of those homeschool leaders that encouraged me for many years. We just discovered that she died unexpectedly this weekend.

 

Let me tell you a little bit about her as I knew her. She was a Homeschool Minute weekly writer for three years from 2009 through 2011. During that time, she shared so much wisdom and insight and very practical advice each time she wrote. I know she encouraged many of you, and we were so honored to have her among our staff for those years. I can't tell you how many times I would read her section of the Minute and just have to email her right away and tell her what a blessing she was to my life. She always exhorted us to love more, encouraged us to pray more, and spurred us on to good works in our own little homeschools. She had such a gift that way.

 

Debbie was a strong and compassionate leader in the homeschooling movement for many years, as she encouraged countless families to follow God's leading in home education. Bottom line: she loved God and loved others. May the same be said of us all--not someday, but this day.

 

She would probably encourage us today to pray that God would "teach us to number our days that we might apply our hearts to wisdom." Ps. 90:12

 

We miss her on this side of eternity, but we know that we will see her once again on that side. Until then, she joins that "great cloud of witnesses" and continues cheering us on our homeschooling journeys as we keep our precious children Home Where They Belong.

 

Join me in praying for the Strayer family.

 

~Deborah

senioreditor@TheHomeschoolMagazine.com

Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family

The children begged me to have their own garage sale and lemonade stand recently. I knew the amount of work that it would take, and my weekend was already full, so I agreed as long as they did everything themselves. I knew they needed to learn their own lessons, but I had to fight the temptation to get involved to help "make them successful." I would be there to give counsel if they asked, but it took a lot of self-control to stay completely out of the way. I had to laugh quietly to myself at some of their ideas of pricing their worn treasures and help them decide on a fair price for the refreshments.  

 

Their grandiose ideas of what they would do with all the money they were going to make were precious, as I kept my dream-crushing thoughts of reality to myself. By the end of the day, they made enough to cover their output of supplies and a couple dollars and loose change after that. I was afraid that they would be disappointed in their meager outcome, but to my surprise, they had such a great time together, that they were already planning their next sale. They had learned some business sense and had a good time setting everything up themselves and in such a responsible way. Had I been negative (or even realistic), they wouldn't have learned so eagerly all the lessons I wanted to just lecture to them.

 

Hmmmm. I think I learned something here, too. I made some correlations with how I teach academics to how they learned through this experiment. I saw that they enjoy learning by following through on their own ideas. Some of the things I feel they need to learn may not be received as willingly or gladly because I am merely lecturing or allowing a textbook to lecture them. I am praying about how to make this next year more memorable for them, as I would much rather they learn by doing. As I attend my local homeschool convention, I will be asking God for wisdom to show me how to implement more hands-on things this year.  

 

The problem with many of us is that we want to micro-manage everything our kids do--we even want to manage what they are supposed to learn from it. Then it no longer becomes memorable for them or something they want to retain. The learning experience they have is that they don't ever want to repeat that thing that was taken over or forced in. There is more to learn in running a lemonade stand than I thought!

 

Summer is a great time to set aside normal academics. Even if you school year round like I do, you can take the summer to ease up and provide some truly memorable learning experiences as a family. Or put down the normal academics and start those fun games and programs you never had time for during the year. Spend time with your children. It's the one thing you have to give that doesn't cost you a thing, and they will remember the most.

 

~Deborah

senioreditor@TheHomeschoolMagazine.com

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It's amazing how quickly things change. Just yesterday, I was thinking about the topic at hand. I was going to encourage you to let your kids have a non-parent controlled lemonade stand. Then I got a phone call.

 

I was just about to board a bus at the Chicago Midway Airport that would take me to the red lot to get my car when my wife called to tell me that Debbie Strayer (who used to write for The Homeschool Minute™) died suddenly.

 

"Oh, man," was all I could get out. It felt like a frying pan in the face. I had just talked to her a couple of weeks ago in Florida. As always, she was so alive and vibrant. In fact, she made me feel tired just listening to her. And now she's . . . gone.

 

Some friends of ours texted my wife and said they had spent the weekend with Debbie, talking about her future plans with her recently retired husband. Future plans . . . if only she had known. But nobody ever knows.

 

It's sobering actually. Not that I feel sorry for her. She is experiencing everything that she and we have hoped for since placing our trust in the ONE who conquered death, but I still feel sober. I guess it's just another painful reminder that you never know. You never know that when you say to your children, "Not today. Maybe tomorrow . . . " you don't get a tomorrow.

 

I leave you with that truth. If you're planning to do something with your family, then do it today, because you (or they) may be in heaven tomorrow.

 

Pray for Debbie's family and go love your children and spouse,

Todd

   
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Raising Real Men   
 
Hal and Melanie Young
In the past few weeks, we've lost two people who've given their time and energy to making homeschooling easier. Memorial Day weekend, Randy Miller of Miller Pads and Paper had a heart attack while setting up for the FPEA convention in Florida. If you've ever attended a homeschool conference, you've probably bought something from the Millers!

Then, just the other night, Debbie Strayer was unexpectedly taken home after a weekend of ministering to homeschool families at the Alabama convention. Debbie has impacted so many of us over the years through Learning Language Arts Through Literature, Homeschooling Today, and Geography Matters. What a loss! Please pray for the Millers and the Strayers whenever the Lord brings them to mind . . .

 

What Debbie and Randy both had in common is an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to bless homeschool families. That kind of sums up something known as "business as mission:" that you can operate as both a business and a ministry. After all, we should be Christians 24/7, when we're working and when we're not, so whether we're fixing cars or publishing Christian books, we ought to be doing it with the Kingdom of God in mind.

 

So what does that have to do with teaching economics this summer? As we travel around the country speaking, we've heard that many moms seem to have a lot of anxiety about their teens starting businesses. Hey folks, what better time to fail at a new business than when someone else is paying the bills?

 

Seriously, you probably ought to be looking for opportunities for your sons to fail. Huh? Yes, you heard us right. It's way better for your boys to take on new responsibilities and the risk of failure that comes with them while they are still at home and under your counsel. That usually means the failures will be small and easily recovered from versus the big, life-changing failures they can have once they're on their own.

 

We call that the Driver's Ed Model of parenting teens. First you teach them what to do, then you let them try it while you are right there (like when they have a learner's permit), then you send them off on their own. It makes for fewer accidents in life as well as driving, but it means you have to start letting go while they are still home and under your authority.

 

So, tell them to get busy this summer and start something new--and to do it start-to-finish as a Christian ought. It'll pay off in more than money.

 

Yours in the battle,

Hal & Melanie

 

For more on this topic, get our workshop recording, Checks and Balances: Teaching Your Children to Handle Money Better Than the Government Does. Also, check out Carol Topp's excellent series, Microbusiness for Teens

 
Announcement
     
Looking for a way to cool off in the heat of summertime?
Pull out your laptop and get busy typing the inspirations that come to mind as you think happy thoughts about . . . Christmas!

Yup, Christmas is only a few months away, and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is eager to publish your inspiring, educational, and FUN articles, recipes, family traditions, and unit studies related to the upcoming holiday season, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. What are your favorite family traditions? How does your family delve into learning about where Bethlehem is, why Joseph and Mary had to travel there, and what happened on the night when our Savior was born? What new recipes will you try for the first time during the holiday season? Could you share with our readers your secrets about buying (or making) the very best gifts for your family--and staying within the budget? What are your favorite holiday songs, and why? How do you celebrate Christmas where you live? How do you put Christmas ornaments on a . . . palm tree? How does your family honor Christ on Christmas morning?

We want to hear your ideas, ways to bless and delight the readers of our November/December 2013 issue with educational and "cool" ideas. Inspired? Then send your idea to Gena Suarez and help us celebrate in style!

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Announcement

The county fair was a fun time for the
Wilder family, but the awards they won
and the rewards for their labor came only
after months of hard work.
 


in the latest issue of

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

  

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Announcement
 
Creation Revolution

"As for the origin of primates, I firmly believe that they were created on Day 6 of Creation about 6,016 years ago in the Garden of Eden."

 

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Contest Corner 

For the month of June, 2013 

 

Until the Robin Walks on Snow

 

Until the Robin Walks on Snow, by Bernice L. Rocque, is an historical novella based upon an actual event in the family history of the author.  

 

This is the story of one immigrant family's struggle, and of the sacrifices of another family when, in 1922, an extremely premature baby was born on a farm in a small New England town. Bernice L. Rocque has taken what information she was able to gather from family members, and has woven it together with historical research about the area, the way people lived, and what they had available to them, into a gripping story.

 

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, "Until the Robin" for a chance to win* the book for your homeschool!

In this week's issue:

SchoolhouseTeachers.com

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Choosing a Home Business

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