STL Ocarina
November 19, 2014 Edition 

A Homeschool Thanksgiving 

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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,


Will you have a houseful of guests for Thanksgiving or will you be traveling? Whatever your plans, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to thank the Lord for all He has done for us, to just enjoy being together with family, and to take a break and fill the house with the yummy smells of home-cooked treats!


And remember ...


Just a quick reminder. It's so important to open every day up with thanksgiving--not just on Thanksgiving day--and give praise to the King of kings. It's because of Him that we even woke up this morning. It's through Him that we find our joy, gain wisdom, and live our lives to bring Him glory.

No conflict is too difficult, no circumstance too great, no web too tightly woven to start off your day worshiping the Lord Jesus. Put it all aside. The stresses, the sadness, the busy-ness, the problems, the bustling plans--just for a moment. Are they really bigger than He is? Should they take priority? Not at all. HE is our first priority. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and praise, even now. Eyes up.

Eyes up, Mama.


~ gena

PS. Here's a little unit study from the magazine to help teach your children about gratefulness:  "Give Thanks! A Unit Study About Gratefulness" by Donna Rees

PSS. Off topic a little, but have your kids ever wanted to learn how to play the ocarina? See the banner up top? Click it. It's a little video. What do you think?


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Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring
From 11-27-13 THM 
Homeschooling with Babies and Toddlers

Dear Friends,


The first thing on my heart is to wish you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!


And, actually, that is a great introduction for this week's topic. I know it is so much easier to stand on the sidelines and say, "Be thankful for your little ones now, they will grow up SO fast," than to personally do all the work of caring for babies and toddlers. It is MUCH more difficult to actually be thankful when you are in the midst of the challenges.


I remember endless days, sleepless nights, exhaustion, rounds of colds and flu (passed between siblings), and the deep longing to get to the everyone-out-of-diapers stage! I would watch families with older children walking sedately with their parents as my highly energetic wee ones charged through life, and wonder if I would ever live to see the day ...


Before I tell you that I did live to see the day, let's return to that demanding time and share some other memories that co-exist with the previous paragraph.


I remember the awe of holding each baby that came to our family, the precious times of doing nothing but rocking that little one to sleep. There were times of pure bliss and contentment as I would sit in the night and nurse my baby, with no one else demanding my time and no one else needing me in quite such momentous ways. I would watch each stage of growth of my babies and toddlers with a delighted enthusiasm, thinking that "THIS is definitely my favorite stage of babyhood," only to find the next stage even better.


If I could go back and have a chat with myself in those early motherhood days, I would gently and tenderly say, "Oh, Diana, these are among the most precious times of being a mom. Enjoy them, savor them, don't wish them away or miss their fleeting moments." I would probably add a final encouragement to get as much sleep as possible, eat well, exercise, and don't take on any more demands than is absolutely necessary.


Homeschooling with babies and toddlers means that, for a time, you might need to do LESS, not MORE. Instead of ramping up the schedule, pushing everyone to hurry up so it can all get done, consider slowing down so that everyone has time to adjust to and enjoy the new life.


Dear friend, if YOU are in this stage, where you have babies and/or toddlers, may I encourage you to enjoy and savor your life right now? Would you hear the sympathetic tones of an older woman who understands the challenges you face? I hope so, because if I could go back and do it over again (with the same energy I had in my twenties!!!), I would do it in a heartbeat--enjoying the priceless blessing of these little ones.


May you have a splendidly relational Thanksgiving!





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The Familyman 

As homeschoolers, we have so much to be thankful for. I mean we get to spend all day, every day with our kids. No, I'm serious ... stop laughing. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to enjoy that special gift. In fact, we get to enjoy them and the gift of being with them the whole time leading up to Christmas.


This is the season of good smells, warm feelings, and family. My youngest children are outside right now playing in about two inches of snow instead of sitting at their desks. It's awesome, and they're filing away good memories to be brought out and remembered years later.


That's the great thing about Thanksgiving and Christmas; they allow us to remind our children of what's most important and "family" is the means to do that. My kids can hardly wait until we start our family advent nights. For four weeks in a row, we set aside one night out of the week to read a portion of the Christmas account, read a Christmas story, make a Christmas craft, and drink sparkling grape juice along with a special holiday snack. It's my kids' favorite part of the season.


We believe in family time and special nights, that's why we've worked to help take the guesswork out of having your own family nights. We've selected simple pre-packaged family crafts for your children. Each unit has everything ONE child will need to make FOUR crafts (have three children, get three kits). We have also written inspiring, original Christmas stories in book and audio format (instant downloads, too) to point your children to the real meaning of Christmas.


We've also re-designed and improved our already awesome Christmas board game - To Bethlehem, to make the fun ... FUNNER!!!


You have so much to thank God for ... and so much to celebrate! Get started right now so you have your family supplies in time to begin.


Be real,



PS - We even have some of last year's crafts at a discounted price.


PPS - Looking for a great gift for your husband that has the potential to change his dad-life? Get the dad-famous You 'da Dad Daily Calendar.



This planner is full of calendars, lists,  
and charts--all to help you keep  
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Now you can buy one and get one free!



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Have you ever wondered how skyscrapers can rise so high, yet not fall over? Have you ever wondered how bridges can span such great distances or how the piers were built in the middle of a river?


Find answers to these questions and more in Introduction to Architecture with Tammie Bairen. We're spotlighting this new class with a course preview video. Take a look at what you will discover!

Intro to Architecture
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One membership to serves your entire family, regardless of how many children you are homeschooling or their ages. There are no per-child fees, and courses range from preschool to high school. If you've never had a membership to the site before, you can sign up for a Homeschool Welcome Basket and a free thirty-day trial. You can buy a monthly subscription or purchase an entire year for $139 and save over 10%. Try it today.



STC Thanksgiving Freebies
Our newest freebie is live! We have FREE Thanksgiving Fun and Pilgrim Puzzles for all ages. There are activities for the littles as well as the big kids. Come check it out! 

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Contest Corner 
For the month of November, 2014



The Great Katie Kate Offers Answers About Asthma  


The Great Katie Kate Offers Answers About Asthma is the third book in The Great Katie Kate series. In this book, written by Dr. M. Maitland Deland and illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin, the Great Katie Kate appears to three children, Julie, Andrew, and Claire, and helps each of them navigate their new asthma diagnoses. She explains to each about types of asthma triggers, testing and medications the doctor has prescribed, and why it is so important to follow the doctor's directions. She also helps them remove Worry Wombat, a characterization of the very real fears and concerns they have, from their lives. List price for this hardcover book is $14.95.


With a houseful of asthmatics, we are no strangers to nebulizers, peak flow meters, and controller and rescue medications.  We found this book to be a great resource for the younger children, and a nice refresher for the older ones. It explains the process of diagnosing asthma (including possible tests that a doctor might do,) followed by a variety of treatment plans. The Great Katie Kate uses medical words such as bronchi, spirometry, and nebulizer, but then explains them in kid-friendly terms. This way, when parents and doctors discuss the child's condition and care plan, the terms being discussed are familiar and less intimidating. By explaining the diagnosis and treatment processes in a simplified manner, this book empowers young asthmatics to help be active in their own care. (. . .)


Read the rest of the review!


YOU can WIN this book!


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

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