May 7, 2014 Edition 

Are homeschoolers dropping art and music?        

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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,


May your children rise up and call you blessed. That's in Proverbs 31 as you know. Sometimes you look at that and think, yeah right. It's hard to see all the monkeys who constantly make bad decisions and who you always have to pull down off the walls as being grown up and making responsible decisions. These kids are Mexican jumping beans, and I can't even imagine them right now as adults, in their 40s like me, one day. Productive with their own kids, loving the Lord and acting responsibly.

But God's word has principles that we can count on. Raise them up in the Lord. Hide God's word in their hearts. Obey Christ and make Him the Lord of your own life. The faithful prayers of a Mama like you ... it's not all in vain. It just isn't.

Wait on the Lord. He has a plan. He hears your cries, and He knows the longings of your heart. He also sees that your greatest desire is for your children to walk with him. No greater joy... no jewel or gold can come close to the value of having a child who clings to the God of the universe, the God over all gods, Jesus Christ.

He sees your desire for this. He will not disappoint. Keep praying, keep walking, and hold out for His plan. You will not be shaken. His hand is on your head, and He gave you these kids for a reason. Trust Him.

May they rise up--all of them--and call you blessed. And may they be blessed by the King of kings, the Lord of lords. May they follow Him all the days of their lives. What comfort! What blessing! Joy is in the morning, Mama. Keep walking.

~ gena

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If you're looking for art and music resources written in enjoyable and accessible ways, then take a look at


Brenda Ellis of ARTistic Pursuits brings Art Techniques lessons designed to help your children become visually aware of the wonderful world they live in and enjoy the process of putting ideas and images on paper.

If your teens are considering developing their artistic gifts into a ministry, check out Sharon Jeffus of Visual Manna and her Studio Art for Teens class. Don't miss the Student Gallery!


You want to expose your children to art but you aren't sure where to start? Why not try introducing it through a subject such as history or science? Check out biweekly unit studies on Everyday Easels.


Jerry Jennings, recording artist, performer, teacher, and author, delivers monthly Beginning Guitar lessons through videos and printed material.


Music is a language, and in order to fully appreciate it, one first needs to understand how it works. Michelle Martin's course introduces the basics of Music Theory and pieces of classical music which illustrate the concepts.


Nancy Blue's Beginning Violin class "Strings of Praise" will have you and your children learning to play the violin before you know it! Nancy's 33-week course includes video instruction and uses primarily the Suzuki method.


For a complete listing of all our art and music resources, visit our Site Content page on, where exploring art and music is as easy as Point. Click. Teach.


Don't forget our 19-Gifts Special! If you purchase a 90-day membership to, the curriculum arm of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine for $19, you not only lock in that rate for as long as you maintain the membership, you also receive 19 incredible gifts from Jim Hodges Audio Books, A Journey Through Learning, King Alfred's English, and many more. Stop by The Old Schoolhouse Store today for all the details and to lock in your super sale price. But hurry, this offer is only good until June 30, 2014!


One family. One fee. How do you Schoolhouse?


STL Ocarina

Looking for an instrumental music curriculum?
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The Familyman     
Todd Wilson
Homeschooling is all about the arts. My kids are always coloring, drawing, and creating. And singing? If I hear them sing "Let it Go" from the movie Frozen one more time, I'm going to scream. 


Now don't get me wrong. We don't officially teach art or music at our house, and we're okay with that. They get plenty of both on their own. Besides, teaching these subjects is not our particular expertise ... although we have music on in our house or RV almost constantly. 


Honestly, I just want them to enjoy those art forms. I have at least one son who will make his living with art. He's never had an art class, and yet he's in the top of the animation school he's enrolled in even though many of the students already have art degrees. He just spent his days drawing. 


I don't have any music kids right now, but who knows, we still have a few undeclared little kids. 


Here's the deal: don't let anyone tell you that you need to add more to your already busy day. If you want to teach art or music ... or underwater basket weaving, then do it. If you can't stomach the thought of adding more ... and it's not that important to you, then don't. 


You're homeschoolers and can do what you think is best ... and you don't have to feel guilty about it. 


Be real,




Visible Music College
At Visible Music College, you aren't learning to be an artist. You are an artist, learning. Music, ministry, life: this is where the three intersect. Our accredited bachelor degree programs in music, music production or music business place equal emphasis on spiritual, professional
and academic. Learn more at

Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring

Dear Friends,


Good morning! As I contemplate today's topic, the strains of classical guitar music (John Williams [Guitar] Radio on Pandora) soothe my heart and mind. Looking up from the desk in the hotel room, I see a lovely artistic photograph of stones on a shore. Creativity is welcomed in this environment. Good discussions, thoughtful insights, and a delight in being alive are deeply impacted by this beautiful music and eye-catching art.


Let me offer a contrast from yesterday. As we prepared to leave our previous hotel room (we are traveling between conventions this week), I was once again struck by the soul-less emptiness of a room that lacked the beauty of art. The one unremarkable piece hanging there was not able to overcome the utilitarian ugliness of the room. A few hours later, we stopped for a quick lunch at a restaurant. Once we were seated, the blare of unappetizing music was so pronounced that it became an unwelcome intrusion. Leaving the premises was a blessed relief!


So, in one experience, music enhanced creativity and delight, while in the second experience, music debilitated and crushed. The art in one place enriched, while the art in the second left us in visual poverty.


What does that have to do with today's topic? I believe that art and music are creative gifts from our artistic and musical Creator. To help our children grow in their love and understanding of these two areas will enrich their lives, and, if they are gifted as artists or musicians, to enrich the lives of others.


There are SO many ways to do this! Don't feel less than others because you don't paint or play an instrument. Instead, begin learning about the masterpieces in art and music with your kids. Discover the fascinating lives of the creators of these masterpieces as you delight in the beauty of their work. Try your hand at painting, drawing, sculpting, cartooning, graphic designing, and photography. Take the adventure of singing rounds, folk songs, hymns, and your favorite tunes. Pull out that old guitar, dust off the piano, buy a reed for the clarinet in the attic, and let your kids begin to discover the one-of-a-kind invigorating experience of making music.




Remember, in all of these endeavors, stay relational!




P.S. This is a passion of mine, and my out-of-the-box curriculum shows it. Experience amazing art, architecture and music in Ancient Civilizations & the Bible; Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries; and World Empires, World Missions, World Wars. (


AND, delight your kids with the music of America in my new book & CD sets: America, Westward Ho!, and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Coming soon! (




How can parents introduce  
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Contest Corner 

For the month of May, 2014  


Writing Fiction in High School by Sharon Watson


Whether teaching writing skills to a high school student or reviewing existing skills, the process of teaching writing skills can be daunting. Sharon Watson, a veteran homeschooling mom, co-op teacher, and literary workshop facilitator, has taken the dread out of polishing up those writing skills. Schoolhouse Review Crew members had the opportunity to use and review two of Sharon's premium curriculum items: 


The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School

Writing Fiction in High School


Through the Writing with Sharon Watson curriculum, students find a conversational-style instruction that turns writing from a subject of dread to a subject of delight.


Writing Fiction in High School is written in the same conversational-style as Watson's non-fiction curriculum. It is designed to help teens who love to write stories and want to influence the world as Christians learn to be more powerful and effective writers. Student's learn about and have the opportunity to practice with the various literary elements involved in storytelling and experience critiquing their own stories and stories of others. There is even a manuscript tract for students who have already written a short story or novel manuscript to be able to edit and improve on that existing work. The student workbook, containing over 300 pages of instructional text and activities, is available for $25.05; and the, teacher's guide is available for $19.95. Read the Crew reviews here!


You can WIN Writing Fiction in High School!


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



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