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January 28, 2015 Edition 
I Want to Quit! (But I Won't)
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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,

  

Never give up ...

The trials you face today are the wise counsel you will provide tomorrow. Consider the young girl out there; you've not even met her yet. She may not even be out of her teen years right now. She's not part of your life ... yet. Ten years from now, she will be a Mama just like you, going through some of the same things you are now. Because you endured, because you got through these storms, you have strong character and knowledge of God's word. YOU will be that Titus 2 Mama. YOU will be that one she turns to for encouragement and counsel.

Get to know your Bible inside out. You will want to give correct counsel, able to rightly divide the word of God. No fluff! The pain you have walked through, and the testimony you will have of how GOD brought you through it, will be powerful.

Titus 2 Mama--that's you. Prepare for those upcoming conversations with young, Christian moms you will influence for the Kingdom. 

His Purpose. His Plans. His Reasons. God has it all in His hands, He knows what you are going through right now, and it's all very MEANINGFUL. None of it is random.

And you have a beautiful future in Him. Keep enduring. Persevere, Mama. It's worth every moment from an eternal perspective, and that's the only perspective that matters.

  

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

This week I would like to introduce Adam Andrews who will be writing once a month in place of Todd Wilson. Adam is one of our regular magazine columnists, homeschool dad of 6, and Director for the Center for Literary Education. He and his wife, Missy, homeschool their children in Rice, Washington. You'll enjoy his practical advice and common-sense approach to homeschooling!

 

~ gena

publisher@theoldschoolhouse.com

PS. Here are some other reasons not to quit!


"The Conversation that Saved our Homeschool" - Heidi St. John

"I Quit!" - Deborah Wuehler (with sidebar "25 Reasons Not to Give Up")

 
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Gena Suarez

Publisher

The Old Schoolhouse

publisher@theoldschoolhouse.com 

 

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Diana Waring

Dear Friends,

 

When it comes to homeschooling, have you ever felt like quitting?  I think if we could all sit around a table and talk together, we would be surprised at how much we have in common when it comes to this idea!  We would laugh with deep relief as we discovered we weren't the only ones harboring thoughts of an easier path ... And then, with the freedom that comes from being real, we could actually think honestly about why we homeschool.

 

For me, my decision to homeschool came when I was pregnant with our first child. A friend handed me a book about homeschooling, and I found the whole concept utterly entrancing! Pictures of perfect days with perfect children danced through my head. You probably know how long that image lasted! You're absolutely right; it popped just a few days of teaching my kindergarten student at home (with two younger children who kept me hopping). I began to discover that kids learn differently than I expected, they struggled with things I enjoyed, and they enjoyed things that were outside my comfort zone.  

 

And, being a novice homeschooler, I followed the model of school in my head.  We had a desk, an apple, an American flag. I knew when we would have reading, writing and recess. I had all my ducks in a row, but my son wasn't interested in ducks.

 

After a month of struggling with increasing difficulties, like making boring textbooks palatable, I was struck by the question my son asked.  "Mom, do we HAVE to keep doing this?" I quietly put all the kindergarten books away, and discretely went back to doing the things we had been doing before: reading fun books, playing with play dough, taking walks, cooking together, playing with music, and enjoying everyday life.

 

It took three years of trying this start-and-stop approach to homeschool before it dawned on me that he loved learning a LOT more when we quit doing artificial, formal school.  When he had a chance to really engage with material, to freely ask as many questions as he wanted and dig into answers, and to follow his interests down the rabbit trails, my son loved learning.

 

Which brings me back to the idea of quitting.  In the three years that I tried to force him into a narrow educational box, I felt like quitting every day. It was hard, it was distasteful, and I was failing miserably as a "teacher."  But, to my utter surprise, when we finally discovered the freedom to learn in ways that were appealing to my son, homeschool became an adventure and a joy.

 

And, who wants to quit when you love what you're doing???

 

Remember, dear friends, stay relational!

 

Diana

dianawaringpresents@gmail.com  

 

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The Art of Reading
 
Adam Andrews

Navigating the Dog Days of Winter

 

Now that the holidays are behind us, it's time to face the music. It's time to admit that the grand homeschool plan we made back in September lies in shambles on the kitchen table. We only got half as much done before Thanksgiving as we planned, and momentum for the rest of the year has pretty well petered out. The Dog Days of winter are here, and we sit cooped up inside with nothing but our own inadequacy to keep us company. It must be January--the wheels of the homeschool wagon are falling off again!

At these times, Missy and I both find it hard not to lose patience and take our frustration out on the kids. So we yell at them--out loud on occasion; in our hearts continually. This makes it worse, of course, because it represents yet another failure. Not only have we failed at school; we have failed at parenting as well. Not only have we failed to give them the schoolroom lessons they needed; we have also failed to provide them an example of godly character--of patience, kindness and self control.

If this has ever happened to you, take heart! It happens each January to homeschool moms and dads all across the country--and it's all part of God's plan to create strong families.

I shudder to think what kind of relationship I would have with my kids if all I ever did was model perfect patience and self control, and demand that they do the same. The truth is that it's only in mutual confession, repentance and forgiveness that my kids and I really love each other, and these things always come in on the heels of a temper tantrum of some sort.

If I present myself to my children only as an example of godly character, they will inevitably conclude that we have nothing in common. If, on the other hand, I share my own sins with them and walk in repentance, they will see not only that I am a creature as they are, but also that I am the same kind of creature, with the same specific weaknesses, in need of the same grace and forgiveness from God. Our shared sinfulness is a built-in platform for establishing real relationships. It's the only thing we really have in common.

It's funny to think that one of the worst things about mid-winter homeschooling might also be one of the best, but I think it's true. The impending failure of the grand September plan forces me to avail myself of the mercy that only comes to sinners. In the midst of my temper tantrum, I can stand with my children on the ultimate common ground: as objects of the undeserved, unfathomable and unceasing love of God.

Adam
adam@centerforlit.com 

 

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Contest Corner 
For the month of January 2015

 Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure (book and guide) 

  

Trouble with Treasure 

The fifth book in the Circle C Adventure Series, Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure is a glossy softcover book of 141 pages, with additional pages at the back displaying the first four books available in the series with synopsis. (. . .) With her usual wit, Susan K. Marlow continues to offer an excellent read to an age group often left to struggle between reading material that is too easy and subject matter that is too intense. This book finds Andrea Carter, the main character, placed in a dangerous situation during what should have been a vacation with her older brother and best friends. If you are new to the series, you will quickly get to know Andrea ("Andi") Carter, a tomboy growing up in 1880s California. 

The start of Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure offers a one-page letter from Andi that serves as introduction to her family and to the series. This particular adventure has the reader following Andi on a horseback ride into the California mountains hoping to pan for gold while her brother, Mitch, is traveling to a meeting on business. The story begins at home, where Andi and her friends meet the new local deputy, who actually puts them in jail over horseplay at a water trough! (. . .) As with other books in the series, the author consistently points to God, good morals, and the basic value of life. There is never a dull moment in any of the Circle C Adventures, and Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure reaches the high standard the series is known for. We enjoyed this book, as our family has grown to love the ever-exciting Andi Carter!

  

YOU can WIN the book and lapbook!

 

TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Andrea Carter" for a chance to win* the these two books for your family!

  

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