The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
                           The Homeschool Minute         
                  How do you pick curriculum?
August 14, 2013
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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family
Have you ever purchased curriculum because it claimed to have all you needed for your baby up through your high school student? Then, you find out that it's just too complicated or that you still need something more. Frustrating, isn't it? But, we choose to believe the "perfect curriculum" idea just in case it's really true this time.  


Instead of feeling like you're grabbing whatever sounds good at the time, let me give you some wise counsel I have gained.




I'm a broken record, aren't I!? The need for prayer, especially in relation to raising God's children, is imperative. God hears us. I have prayed for my kids for a love of reading, or to stop struggling in math, or for help in writing. I have prayed for the Lord to open doors of opportunity for them to hone or use their giftings. He has been faithful to provide as I have been faithful to pray specifically and earnestly and remain open to His direction. That is where we find peace.


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6, 7  (NKJV)




Find out what is essential and teach those things well. The kids may excel in Greek history, but if they don't know their times tables or cannot write a decent letter, it's time to go back to the basics.  


If you look at military basic training, you see that they cram into a few weeks everything they deem essential in becoming a good soldier. They require and reinforce unquestioned obedience, and they prepare them mentally and physically for possible future combat. Specialized fields come later. Ever thought of that in relation to your goals for homeschooling? I want my children to unquestioningly obey God's commands and mine. I want to prepare them for whatever their future holds.  


Peace comes in trusting the Lord. If we teach our children to be grounded in truth, and prepared for the future, then even when the heat comes, they will not be anxious.


Sometimes we feel like we don't have the right curriculum or enough subjects, or enough experience teaching. The cool part about all of this is that no matter what the teaching method or what kind of curriculum; God rewards our obedience, and home-educated children excel across the board. (www.nheri.org)*


Pray, talk to your spouse, and ask for God's guidance and provision as you keep the kids Home Where They Belong.





*Would you please consider asking your group to support The National Home Education Research Institute this school year? Expert, Dr. Brian Ray, is on the front line of research in home education and needs your support. NHERI does incredible research and publishes findings in trade journals and other publications. Here is a free fact sheet to share with your group.


Sponsor Article

"The Moon is Falling Down"

Little Beatrice Sandstrom Titanic Story


There were fireworks--distress signals--the night Titanic sank. To little one-year-old Beatrice Sandstrom seated in Lifeboat 13 with her mother Agnes and older sister Marguerite, it seemed like the "moon was falling down!" It was, indeed, the end of the world for many poor souls, but baby Beatrice would live to see another day.

The Sandstrom trio had been visiting relatives in Sweden and was on the way back to their home in San Francisco, California. They were among a party of ten from Sweden who boarded Titanic.


When word spread that Titanic had struck an iceberg and was in danger of sinking, Agnes could not believe it. Little Beatrice was unaware of the danger she was in, but her mother Agnes was, as their lifeboat jerked and swayed its way down the side of the massive ship to an uncertain fate 70 feet below.
Upon arriving in New York, the Sandstroms found brief refuge at St. Vincent's Hospital before continuing on to San Francisco. In August of 1912, just four months after the Titanic disaster, Agnes and her husband Hjalmar sold their house, packed everything they owned, and moved the family back to Sweden, where they all remained for the rest of their lives.

Beatrice did return to the United States in 1988 when she took part in a gathering of Titanic survivors. She was the tenth remaining survivor of the Titanic disaster at the time of her death on September 3, 1995, in Ostergotland, Sweden. She was 85 years old.

This is just one of 133 Titanic children's stories you'll discover when you visit Titanic Museum Attractions in Branson, Missouri, or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.



By First Class Maid Jaynee


Visiting the Titanic Museum Attraction is an interactive, hands-on adventure.


With the entire ship serving as a classroom, children are free to discover, explore, investigate and act upon the many interactive adventures that surround them:

  • Steer the ship
  • Climb Titanic's gradually rising decks
  • Enter a full size Titanic lifeboat
  • Try to tie ship knots
  • Talk to the Titanic Polar Bear
  • Take an interactive dive to the Titanic wreck siteSend SOS messages

The Titanic Museum Attraction engages youngsters in entertaining and educational ways.


The Familyman 
Here's the Familyman's Guide to Picking the Perfect Curriculum for Your Homeschool (drum roll, please): pick what you like and what works for your family.

If your kids like unit studies, but you don't . . . then don't use unit studies. If your kids like to read living books, and you do too . . . read living books. If you hate the math program you picked, then pick something else. If your best friend says, "You've got to use THIS curriculum because it is so wonderful and life changing," but it makes you tired just reading through the teacher's manual . . . then don't use it.

You know you and your family better than any pencil-

pushing-curriculum-expert or anyone else for that matter. So do what YOU like and what works for YOUR family.


One last thing: homeschooling is a process. We all started out using one thing and then changed as life changed. My wife loved one program with our first children, but got tired of it by the time she got to the younger children, so she changed. That's normal and okay.


Oh, one more last thing: each child is different. You already knew that, but sometimes you need someone like me to remind you. The curriculum that worked so well with three of your children, just may not work with your fourth child . . . so don't use  it.


So ask for wisdom, use your noodle, and pick what makes everyone happy (or almost everyone).

Be real,




American School: Offering the accredited high school
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Raising Real Men    
One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is that our children aren't very peer dependent. Now, their parents are a different story! We parents tend to be very peer dependent, but instead of worrying about whether we have on the right shoes or the latest style, we worry about whether we're using the best curriculum or doing the right extracurricular activities or what people would think if they knew we ate at fast food joints!

Peer dependence, though, just isn't a good way to choose your homeschool resources. Once a friend of ours asked us what curriculum we used and immediately went out and bought that one. There was only one problem: our children couldn't be more different. Our loud, dramatic children just loved the silly chants and active learning of that curriculum. Her mild, quiet children felt like, "Can we just die instead?" They are bright children and it's a good curriculum, but it was not a good match!  


So, if there isn't one best curriculum for everyone and just doing what your friends are doing doesn't always work, how in the world do you ever choose a curriculum?


First, look for things you think you and your children will like! Homeschooling means you aren't at the mercy of some committee in the state capital; you can use books you love and enjoy learning.


Choose easy-to-use curricula in hard subjects. If math gave you the willies in school, for crying out loud don't use a discover- it-yourself math curriculum! Instead, choose one that tells you exactly what to say and do. Don't save money on the subjects you dread. Make it as easy as possible for yourself.


Take into account your situation. If you have a child who loves for you to sit down and work through everything with them, a teacher-intensive curriculum will work well. If you are stressed out and spending a lot of time in doctor's offices or in the van, you need something your children can do more independently.


Spend what you can afford. We all want the very best for our children, but sometimes God limits our resources for a reason. Once we were feeling awful because we couldn't afford to do the things we'd wanted to during one son's senior year. Hal had been laid off and we decided to start our own business from home. We apologized to our son, but he quickly stopped us saying, "I'm so glad all this happened before I left home. I wouldn't trade anything for the time I've had with you, Dad." Yeah. Don't worry about things. Whatever the Lord provides for you will be just right.


Yours in the battle,


Hal & Melanie Young


P.S. We'd love to meet you face to face! We're speaking this week in central Kentucky, next week online in The Schoolhouse Expo, and the week after in our Boot Camp 9-12 this month. See our schedule here

We still have some dates available this fall to speak at your homeschool group or church--either in person or by webinar. Read more here!



Experience the Bible everyone's talking about! Kids will dive deep into scripture with the CEB Deep Blue Kids Bible. This engaging Bible offers full-color illustrations throughout with a wealth of notes, devotionals, Bible trivia, and other interactive elements to capture young minds. Now with two new colorful covers.

A division of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine 

Pink Notebook

Help! What do you do when your child's curiosity leads somewhere you didn't expect? After all, who knew the week-long unit study you chose on clouds would spark a fascination with meteorology? Or that the short story you read about British India would be the beginning of an adventure into the history of medical pioneers? You need more books, fast!


Turn to Michelle Miller's Monthly Reading Lists on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Every month, Michelle explores a different topic, from science to photography to history and beyond. Her lists include short descriptions of the books as well as suggested reading levels, so you can find great books on many subjects with a quick print and trip to the library.


For an in-depth analysis of classic stories by authors including Marguerite Henry and C.S. Lewis, turn to Adam Andrews' Literature units on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Adam leads you through the characters, literary devices, setting, and much more, opening a whole new world for your students.


Join today: your first month is just $3. After that, $12.95 a month serves your entire family. Or save 10% by purchasing a yearly membership: just $139.    

Take a look at  the SchoolhouseTeachers.com  
Fall 2013 class line-up!

Order your ticket today! You don't want to miss this week-long LIVE EXPO EVENT . . .




August 19-23, 2013

1:00pm-8:00pm (Eastern) / 10:00am-5:00pm (Pacific)


    Special Guest Speakers:
  • Ray Comfort, LivingWaters.com
  • Dean Butler, Almanzo from Little House on the Prairie
  • Todd Wilson, The Familyman
  • Jessica Hulcy, KONOS
  • Diana Waring, History ALIVE!
  • Jay Wile, Author & Speaker
  • Hal & Melanie Young, Raising Real Men
  • Kim Kautzer, WriteShop
  • Antony Kolenc, Author, Speaker & Lawyer
  • Any many more!
Don't miss out on this week-long  
LIVE Schoolhouse Expo Event!

All attendees get the recordings FREE,
in case they miss any of this live event.

 Buy your ticket HERE!



 Be encouraged, enlightened, and 

educated with the all new 

2013 Annual Print Book
published by 

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine


Just $15! 

(includes shipping in the U.S.)  


You'll get a year's worth of homeschool support in 

over 275 pages in this full color one-of-a-kind print
magazine for homeschoolers, by homeschoolers. 

 This is a magazine you'll refer to again and again.  



that will be mailed to your physical  

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 Click here to learn more!



 So what do you do with the social worker or police on your doorstep?

in the latest issue of

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.


Creation Revolution 
"Squids, cuttlefish and octopi have specialized color cells known as chromatophores (chromato referring to color and phores referring to bearing - color bearing).  Scientists have been studying chromatophores for some time now, trying to figure out the secrets of how they actually work."



Are you a new homeschooler and aren't sure how to begin or a long-time homeschool parent looking for new, fun resources? For only $25, gain access to a library of over 175 E-Books or audio books for homeschool support and encouragement from popular  homeschool publishers and TOS.

Contest Corner 

For the month of August, 2013 

Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing and Treating Your Child's Learning Problems


Jane Healy has spent years researching children's brains, their learning styles, and their thinking. She distills down

volumes of scientific research, and makes it practical and applicable to parents who are struggling to decipher the reasons their child is not learning like he should, and what they can do about it.


The book is divided into three parts. The first part goes through various types of learning differences, defining them and differentiating them. She discusses the problem of the over-diagnosis of learning disabilities and syndromes that parents deal with today, and looks at each type of disability or syndrome, listing the characteristics and giving examples. She covers everything from ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) to PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder) to dyslexia to the autism spectrum. For each disorder, she addresses the questions "What is it?" "Where does it come from?" and "What do we do?"


The second section deals with prevention. Healy discusses the way the brain works and develops, and the various things that can cause damage and disruption to the brain's development, both in utero and during early childhood.  


(. . .) The third section is the "What can we do?" section. Healy tackles the issues of cleaning up our children's environments (chemical toxins, media, food choices, stressors, sleep habits, activity schedules, and personal habits) and reevaluating what we need to remove, what we need to add, and the effects these factors have on the brain's function and learning ability. (. . .)


To read the rest of the review, click here.


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

In this week's issue:


Take a look at what's new for Fall 2013 at SchoolhouseTeachers.com



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