Math Mammoth

          The Homeschool Minute

September 18, 2013
                         Brought to you from the makers of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


                             How do I choose from so many spelling programs?

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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,


There are a lot of spelling programs out there! But that's a good thing if you have a bunch of children with different learning styles. A great place to check out reviews on spelling programs (and other homeschool stuff) is at Just type "spelling" in the search box. When you read a review from the Review Crew, you're reading reviews from families who actually tested the curriculum with their kids. You'll also find spelling reviews here. Scroll down to find them. Check them out!


Now here's a question and some encouragement for you . . .

Did you know? Some of the sweetest days you will ever have, haven't even happened yet. The time in your life you laughed so hard you could barely breathe--that day isn't here just yet. And the way you look at your child the day they get married . . . you never felt such joy. That day will come.

So, SO much is around the bend, around a corner, down the road. Happiness waits for you. Wild, wrecking-ball kind of crazy joy is upon you. Laughter at what you never dreamed would happen, new, upcoming small feet and hands to hold, the rains that will pour down hard outside while you are snuggling with someone inside, those rains are not yet here. Those future snuggles have not yet come, but they will. Don't you know that God has good plans for you? He works ALL things out for GOOD to those who love Him. And you love Him with all your heart. He will bless you, Mama. Your obedience to His word is not forgotten. He misses nothing.

Beauty is rising, and tomorrow you will lay eyes on it. You will laugh freely; your heart will be light again. Your tears will be of jubilee. The best is coming.  


Bear up now, because it's just a season. He allows life to ebb and flow, trials to come and go, but there is a common thread through it all: a truth, an absolute, that He is God and on the throne no matter what happens. Nothing shakes Him. And you too will not be shaken. Your sweetest, most cherished memories you will ever experience . . . they probably have not yet even happened. Keep walking, Mama. He is right beside you.  


~ gena


Fine Christian Piano Course 
 No teacher necessary Complete course in 6 levels--step-by-step starting at beginning and teaching all fundamentals necessary.

Detailed lesson plans and instructions help parents tutor. Rich with Christian songs. Can be used over and over. Ideal for homeschoolers.

The Familyman 

If you don't know this about me by now, let me just begin by saying I'm a lousy speller. It wouldn't matter what program I used or how many times I spelled the word I'd still be a lousy speller. 


So I'll leave all the advice to the spelling police, like Diana.  I'll let my words be directed to all the dads. 


Here's the deal, dad, you've got to give your wife the best tools to teach your children and the best tools cost more. 


The thing about spelling programs is that it takes a few spelling programs under your belt before you find one that works. 


Now it may not make a lot of sense to you since we're talking about a fairly straight forward kind of thing. After all they're just words that you can take from any book. But to your wife it feels like a big deal. So you need to treat it like a big deal, one that you need to give your wife the freedom and the funds to solve.  


So don't be cheap, like I would tend to be.  


Be real, smile, and open up your wallet,




Take the struggle out of spelling with this multisensory program
that is easy to learn and easy to teach!
All About Spelling

100% guarantee and lifetime support!

Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring

Dear Friends,


Do you ever wish that someone would just wave a magic wand and, POOF, the perfect curriculum would suddenly be sitting on your table????


I know I did.


Why? Well, frankly, because it is time-consuming and frustrating (and expensive!) to keep trying curriculums that promise the moon and give you the trash.


So, here are my thoughts about how to find curriculum (whether spelling or math or history or science or literature or foreign language or . . . :)


First, look at your kids.


I know you have done that a million times since the day they were born, but I mean look at them like a birdwatcher looks at a bird. Pay attention andstudy their unique habits and habitats. Do they like to curl up with books? Do they like to tinker in the garage? Do they constantly play piano or play Legos or play ball? Find out. Consider and journal what you discover.


Notice what causes their eyes to light up and what causes them to grow dim. Do they love when you sit

down with them or when they can do somersaults down the hall or when they have friends around or when they play with the dog? Do they enjoy this subject or that subject, this curriculum or that curriculum, this time of day or that time of day for learning? Find out. Consider and journal what you discover.


Second, look at your options.


Is the curriculum you are considering from the 1800s? Is it the hottest new item in the market? Is it somewhere in between? Did your sister loan it to you, your friend recommend it, or the speaker rave about it? Is it free, cheap, expensive or outrageous? Find out. Consider and journal what you discover.


Does it invite your kids into the process of learning--welcoming them with dignity and respect--or does it make them feel stupid and inept? Does it appeal to you or to them (or both)? Is it based on good educational theory or is it someone's idea of how kids should learn? Find out. Consider and journal what you discover.


Finally, ask your kids.


By now, you should have been able to narrow down your search to a couple of choices. So, invite your kids to look to look at one, try it, and take it for a spin around the block. And then ask them what they think. After all, they are the ones who are getting the education.


And, remember, stay relational!





Dig in and enjoy an awesome selection of products in the Homeschool Business and Entrepreneur Directory
in the September/October issue of TOS magazine.
Discover ideas for back-to-school, online learning, colleges, freebies, toys, special needs, travel, and other great homeschool resources in the TOS 2013 Print Annual Book directories.

A division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

According to the calendar, October is right around the corner. That means it's time to unveil five new classes on!

  • Beginning October 1,
    will include the Schoolhouse Preschool, a special section set aside just for your toddlers and preschoolers. In addition to exciting and encouraging material from the Homegrown Preschooler team, you'll find activities, printables, achievement certificates, and so much more! Watch for more information in the coming weeks!

Also beginning October 1, you'll find new classes from:

  • Michele Peterson, who will teach an eight-month course on photography. Learn how your camera sees and how to create the image you want to capture.
  • Jennifer Needham, who will teach Family Nutrition. Jennifer wants to help your family learn why certain things are good for your body and other things aren't.
  • Ed Sobey, world traveler and explorer, who invites your students to join the Tinkers* Club and invent something new every month! (*Tinker: a person who enjoys fixing and experimenting with machines and their parts.)
  • Greg Shone, who returns with his second year of French language study for your students. All of Greg's first year remains on the site for easy review.

Join today: your first month is just $1.  

After that, $12.95 a month gives your entire family access to the complete site, including the Schoolhouse Preschool. Or save by purchasing a yearly membership: just $99 (price goes back up to $139 Nov. 1).


Need some advice and ideas on how to teach your struggling reader?
Spotlight on 5

Take a look at this month's Spotlight on Five!



The 2013 Annual Print Book is
almost sold out! 

The price will go up to $19  
(includes shipping) as of Oct 1.

 Be encouraged, enlightened, and educated with the

2013 Annual Print Book
published by 
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


Just $15 until Oct. 1! 

(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  

home address or POB.


 Click here to learn more!



Why Does My (Active) Child Have Dyslexia? And Can It Be Cured? 
- By Stephen Guffanti, M.D.
TOS Article
For centuries, people thought, as my mom did, that dyslexia was a visual problem that caused people to write and read words backwards.
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.


Creation Revolution

"To begin with, the basic law of biology states that life cannot arise from non-life, yet evolution requires that life came from non-life." 

Read more in the article
You're Not Weird, You're A Martian.    

Contest Corner 

For the month of September, 2013   

We have two contests going on right now!


1st Contest  


Go here and read an interview from an enthusiastic homeschool mom. Please leave a comment (below the contest rules) about the interview or ask a question in the comments section and you will be entered in a drawing to win a level of your choice from from All About Learning Press, over a $100.00 valued giveaway. Please, one entry per person. The drawing will be on September 30th and the prize will be shipped direct to the winner from All About Learning Press by mid October.

2nd Contest 


Chess is Child's Play, is a 26 chapter, 302 page book written by Laura Sherman and Bill Kirkpatrick. It helps you to teach your children chess by breaking it down into small and simple steps. It can be used to teach children beginning at age 2 all the way up. It even taught me how to play chess. Each lesson has a mini game to go along with it to help cement in the learning of the game, which also makes learning chess fun!


The preface is full of the many benefits of playing chess. They range from sportsmanship to problem solving, self-confidence, greater patience and focus and so much more. The lessons are a chapter, a few pages long, that you the parent read and then teach your child through games how to play chess. The games start off very simple to help you learn each piece's name and how they can move. Chess manners are discussed as well. As you work your way further through the book the lessons build on each other and get more complex. Before you realize it, you know how to play chess, as does your child. You both will have a great time along the way as well.


While we do own a few chess boards our family had no prior chess experience. This book has made teaching chess easy. We were able to work on it 3 nights a week learning chess. Each lesson and game took about 15 minutes to master. I like that I am able to teach them together and then they can play the simple games together until the next lesson. We are all learning together, even me. My 3 children who range in ages 7-13 have all been able to learn together. (. . .)


(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, "Chess Book" for a chance to win* the book for your homeschool!


In this week's issue:

Writing Tales

Birch Court Books, Inc.

Yellow House Book Rental

Take a look at what's new for Fall 2013 at



Three Principles for Writing Instruction 

in the latest issue of

The Old Schoolhouse®

TOS Magazine

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or download the free mobile apps at

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