Read along with Franklin
July 23, 2014 Edition 

What about PE?           

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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler FamilyOnce upon a time there was a young homeschooled boy who needed a release for his abundance of energy. His mother prayed and God answered in an unusual way: jump rope. For years, he would have his jump rope tied around his waist wherever he went. He could release that pent up energy anytime he needed day or night. Even at 21, he still jumps. I had no idea what would help him but my God did. Did you know you could pray about P.E.? Whenever and wherever you lack wisdom: pray. God provides the answers as we seek to obey Him in all that we do.  


What about P.E.? Physical activity is essential for our children, and we should heed the warnings about the lack of physical activity and resulting childhood obesity. (Here is one study 

on the physical activity and diet of homeschooled vs. public schooled children.)  


Finding P.E. opportunities should not be that difficult for homeschoolers. There are almost too many choices  

of physical activities in which to involve your children. There are short term commitments that only last a few weeks, to life-long physical activities. If there isn't something that suits your family in your area, consider starting something yourself. You could be the answer to another homeschool mom's prayer.  


Our homeschool group has participated in the Presidential Fitness 

program, learning and competing in designated skill sets like sit ups, curl ups, endurance run/walk, and push-ups. No matter the group activity, it's wonderful to see all ages having fun together out on the field. Watching an older child helping a younger one learn a sport or other physical activity is such a blessing.  


Skating, fencing, equestrian sports, cycling--you name it--it's out there for your child. If you can't afford any outside activities, plan your own homeschool P.E. group or play backyard games 

as a family. Creating obstacle courses and timing the participants has been a favorite backyard activity at our house.  


Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God!  


"For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall." Psalm 18:29


"And David danced before the LORD with all his might ..." 2 Samuel 6:14




P.S. Are you praying about this school year? Homeschool conventions are great places to hear from God for your school year choices. I will be speaking at the VHE Convention in Modesto, CA this weekend, and the TNG Conference in South Carolina in September. Come see me at the TOS booth. I'd love to pray with you!

Raising Real Men    
 What About Competitive Sports?

The important thing about homeschool P.E. is getting kids moving. One easy option for doing that is taking up a team sport--it keeps us accountable. Over the years, our six boys tried basketball, soccer, baseball, and finally football, which is where most of them settled in. Along the way we learned a few things that make a big difference in the experience for your kids and for the whole family.

First, understand sports and competition are not un-Christian! Paul frequently describes the Christian walk as a race, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race ..." and "I do not count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy ..." (2 Timothy 4:7 and Acts 20:24).  In our church life, we are told to "outdo one another showing honor." (Romans 12:10 ESV).   And it's okay to have winners and losers, too--and to work hard to win: "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it." (1 Corinthians 9:24)

But we need to approach sports like Christians. For example, Paul also told Timothy, "If anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules." (2 Timothy 2:5)  The writer to the Hebrews encouraged, "let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1)  When we compete, we play by the rules, and as we train ourselves for the competition, we watch to keep sin out of the game.

Avoid the common traps of pride and boasting. Teach your kids how to enjoy the game but don't allow bad sportsmanship. "Let not the mighty man glory in his might," God warns, "but [rather] that he knows Me ..." (Jeremiah 9:23-24) One of the things which God hates--is "one who sows discord among brothers." (Proverbs 6:19) Remember that God rules even over our competitions: "It is not of him who runs, but God who has mercy," (Romans 9:16) and last minute loss is just part of the game--not a cosmic disaster. Beware--sometimes we parents are more obnoxious than our kids! Don't be.

Make sure your sports don't overwhelm your family life. We struggled the year three boys played baseball on three different city league teams-with different schedules, we seemed to spend the season driving laps around town! We never did that again. It was much better when we found homeschool leagues which recognized the challenges of larger families and tighter budgets, and grouped practices and games close together. We appreciated their emphasis on sportsmanship, too. Ask your local and state homeschool organizations for suggestions or start one yourself! You can learn more about homeschool leagues
in this interview with Earl Pendleton of the Homeschool Football League. 

Sports can be a challenging but rewarding way to get your children active, make friends, and learn some teamwork and social skills at the same time. Don't overlook the possibility, but keep your eye on the ball--our goal is making disciples, not athletic stars!

Yours in the battle,
Hal and Melanie     

Why do boys love to compete? Why are they anxious to test out their strength? That's just one of the things we talk about in our book, Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys. It's the book we couldn't find in raising our six boys--Biblical and practical, too!
Click here to find out more about this award-winning book. 


The Familyman 

Let's just get right to the point. P.E. is "schoolified" playing. It is a break from sitting in a classroom and gives students an opportunity to play something and stretch their legs. Now I know some would say, "Au contraire ... physical education is more than play," to which I would counter, "Baloney."


How is playing dodge ball, wiffle ball, or kickball more than playing? Homeschoolers should be really good at playing. After all, it should only take a homeschool family a fraction of the time that it takes the institutional school to do book work and there should be lots of playing and free time left over.


Please don't call it P.E., though. Somehow that feels like we're playing "their" game. BUT if by state law you have to have P.E., count it all. Every time your kids run, skip, or walk ... count it!! This summer you should have gotten a whole year's worth of P.E. and then some.


That said, I just answered a question on this week's Familyman Show podcast about teaching our kids sports. So if you want more on this topic, check it out.


FYI: I'll be at The Woodland's this weekend at the THSC convention. First person to come up to my table and say, "Yee Haw" gets a free audio CD of their choice.


Be Real,



A division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

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You care about your family's physical, academic, and spiritual health. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and are here to help. Beginning September 2, Sue Gregg of Sue Gregg Cookbooks will teach a Whole Foods Cooking course for the entire family. She'll introduce us to the idea of whole foods cooking and then take us step by step through the process with plenty of recipes and tips along the way!


We also have Family Fitness and Family Nutrition to help you care for your family's health needs. Through videos, lessons, and printables, fitness expert Bethany Learn shares twelve weeks of lessons that teach you how to take better care of your body. In Family Nutrition , Jennifer Needham answers the question, "What makes food healthy?" and looks at how what we eat is connected to how we feel.


One of the incredible things about a membership to is that one fee serves your entire family, regardless of how many children you are homeschooling or what their ages are. There are no per child fees, and courses range from preschool to high school. You can try it for a month for just $3 or purchase an entire year for $139 and save over 10%. Try it today.


Announcement has a  
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Biology Video



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Contest Corner 

For the month of July, 2014  


Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation


We've all heard the term "Intelligent Design" in reference to creationism, but Jay Schabacker uses the term "Purposeful Design" to go one step further. It takes the concept of Intelligent Design and emphasizes the personal aspects of the way God created everything in our universe. His book, Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation, is a gorgeous book that not only tells the wonders of God's creation but shows the beauty and majesty of the world around us. The 94 page book retails for $18.95. (. . .)


This book is divided into seven chapters, each dealing specifically with a single day of creation. The chapters are packed with examples of how God's design for our world is perfectly arranged so that life can exist the way we know it. For instance, in Chapter 4, we find that the 23.5 degree tilt of the earth's spin axis allows us to have seasons the way we know them. In addition, several examples are given to show how the earth orbits the sun in a precise and repeatable way. The sunrise and sunset times for a specific day and a specific location are constant from year to year, only varying by two or three minutes. The builders of Stonehenge arranged the rocks so that the sunrise would shine through a specific hole in the site on the Summer Solstice (and only on that day). (. . .)


(Read the rest of the review!)


You can WIN these DVDs!


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


In this week's issue:

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner

Molly Green

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