The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine
                           The Homeschool Minute         
                 How do you write your schedule for the year?
August 21, 2013
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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,


How you write your schedule has to fit YOUR life and your family. I can give you all the ideas in the world, but if something doesn't work for you; it's not going to work for your family. If this area is a struggle for you, the first thing you need to do is pray about it and ask the Lord to guide you to a solution! Work together with the Lord and your family to find a way to keep write out a schedule that's family-friendly. And don't forget to leave some wiggle room for rabbit trails! Sometimes the best learning comes from those unplanned, unscheduled adventures. Here's some encouragement . . .

I heard you were struggling again. I think part of the problem is that you keep forgetting how big He is, how in control He is of the situation, and how He's using it right now for your good. He loves you. He's going to grow you.

You keep thinking He has forgotten you. You continue to fall back on your human understanding, that you are "going this trial" alone, that you are a failure, that because you fail, He has lost interest in you, that His patience has come to an end since surely He is tired of you. 

No, it's not over. And He never tires of His saints. In fact, He is constantly watching you, caring for you, loving you, Mama, and His compassion knows no end. His patience doesn't expire. His kindness has no boundaries. There is no limit to His goodness; who can even grasp it? No man can discern . . . measure the love He feels for you. His very heart holds it.

The trial is deep, yes, but His love for you is far wider, far deeper . . . I wish you could understand it. I wish I could understand it.

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" - Jeremiah 32:27

". . . so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." - Ephesians 3:17-19

Who can comprehend this love, Mama? Surely it is bigger than you and me. This present trial is a mere worm next to our great God and Savior, Jesus. Do you still think your troubles are too big to surmount? Is anything too difficult for Him? I think you know the answer; you believe His word. Know it so you can live it. And peace comes in the morning.


~ gena


P.S. Here's something that might help you get your schedule under control: the Schoolhouse Planners. There are five of them, one for everyone in the family. What you'll really like is the "Big Mama" planner that will help you keep your schedule straight. You can get all five planners when you join SchoolhouseTeachers.com for just $3 for the first month. Check them out here.


Marine science meets art education-on the white sands of
Navarre Beach. Book your vacation now to see top sculptors
from across the country compete.
The Familyman 

This should be short . . . since my idea of a schedule is to bookend the day with waking up and going to bed. But my wife has different plans, and she loves to go into the new school year with a finely detailed schedule, breaking her school day into small, bite-size, time chunks.


Here's the deal: I know that by lunch time on the first day, I will find my wife sitting on our green chair staring off into the distance. I'll ask, "How was the first day of school?" but I know what she'll say before she answers.


"I can't do it; my schedule doesn't work."


That's how schedules work. You write one out, throw it out, write another . . . tweak and tweak until you finally get a good one--one that works. Of course the school year will almost be over by the time you get to that point.


But that's the way real life works, and that's okay.


Cartoon by Todd Wilson  

So don't be surprised and threaten to give up just because your first schedule doesn't work. Get back in there, plan another schedule . . . and then tweak, tweak, tweak!!! Take comfort that you're not alone.


Be real,



P.S. I'm speaking tonight at the Schoolhouse® EXPO at 7pm EST. I'll be talking about the changing world of technology. The sad truth is that Xboxes, GameCubes, the Internet, MP3 players, and iPhones have changed the way we live, have fun, and interact. Children quietly glued to game monitors for hours have replaced laughter and creativity. They beg to play, whine when they can't, and even lie about the time they've spent on "the gadget." Teens and pre-teens spend most of their waking hours texting, chatting on Facebook, or "tweeting" on Twitter. Today's latest-breaking technology becomes tomorrow's obsession, demanding more time, attention, and sacrifices. 


Technology has become a powerful tool and "everyone IS doing it," but maybe you feel like you've lost control in your own home. Does the chill down your spine tell you that something is terribly wrong? Do you feel like a beast has invaded your home, but you don't know how to handle it? If so, then join me as we talk together about the timely topic of Taming the TECHNO-BEAST!



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Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring

Dear Friends,


What an impressive feeling of accomplishment it is to write one's schedule! It always looks so efficient on paper, doesn't it? At least, that was how I felt each year as I created a masterpiece of the intertwining demands of teaching my kids, feeding us all, keeping the house reasonably clean, and all of the other myriad necessities of life.


It only took about a day for it to come tumbling down, when, as they say, life happened. Children took longer to do their lessons (or advanced far more quickly than I had anticipated), refrigerators broke down, neighbors needed help, I got sick, and/or the chosen curriculum turned out to be a dud.


Each time it happened, I felt guilty.


UNTIL I began to recognize that the act of creating a schedule had actually provided me a road map of sorts, one that helped me better grasp where I was headed. What I hadn't foreseen when planning was all of the road construction/bridge out/slow for workers signs that would shape our days. It took longer, we made side trips, but we eventually got to our destination. My kids learned to read, learned to write, and learned to count. They studied history, science, literature, geography. We discussed God's ways, our ways, and how to love our neighbor. They made it to adulthood, graduated from colleges, and are successfully living their lives.


So, by all means, create a schedule. But let it be one that helps you steer your course through the realities of your very demanding life, not the kind that destroys your peace or your children's sanity.


And, now, for one brief bit of practical advice, one that I wish I had known when I used to make my schedule:


Brain experts say that optimum brain activity requires a regular "brain break," based on the person's age. The formula is to take the age, and add 2. So, if your child is 7, add 2. That means that every NINE minutes, your child needs a brain break. From age eighteen and above, a brain break is required every twenty minutes.


A brain break can be a quick snack, a quick stretch, a quick joke, a quick drink of water.


Believe me, this one is a life-changer!!


Happy planning, and remember, stay relational.



A division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine 

Don't finalize your schedule until you see what SchoolhouseTeachers.com has in store for you this fall, including:

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  • Computer Science/Programming
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  • Spanish with Carol Henderson
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As the new school year begins, it's time to examine our priorities as parents and teachers.
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Creation Revolution 
"Megalodon is an extinct shark that measured an estimated 60-70 feet long.  Since sharks' skeletons are made of cartilage, most of the fossil evidence we have of them is their teeth and Megalodon's teeth are most impressive.


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:

Preeschoolers and Peace

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



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