June 3, 2015 Edition 
Standing firm in your decision to homeschool
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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,

You homeschool them. And in doing so, anytime your children desire to talk about the Lord, they can. They can lift up His Name if they so desire! There are no bans on the name of Jesus in your classroom. If an opportunity presents itself - a teaching moment so God's word is able to be tucked away inside their hearts, you won't miss it.

It's a serious calling. And you have responded to that call. You have heard His voice and did not turn away. You know academics are highly important, life skills crucial, music and the arts fantastic. But none can even come close to that of teaching them His ways.

His ways are higher. Higher than any human system.

Faithful Mama, you are safe in His hand. He will continue to direct you. Stay the course. Do not turn away from that call. You answered. He will do the rest.

Isaiah 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

Daughter of the Living King, leaning not on your own understanding but instead continuing to lean on Him - in faith - may you have PEACE that you never even knew existed. Peace from above is yours. Never will He leave you hanging. He holds you tightly.

And His hand is on your head tonight.

~ gena


Family Academy
Family Academy empowers homeschoolers with critical resources. Homeschooling the High School is THE reference manual for high school. Able to Teach is an online course for parents who want to be effective home educators. Family Academy Online provides one-on-one support for parents and students, including help with learning challenges. 


Hey Mama! 31 Day Devotional
Are you a weary mama, or looking for a little encouragement?
This 31-day devotional will help you to stop and gain a little perspective
as you hang out with Gena Suarez, publisher of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. GET IT FREE through Saturday, June 6, 2015.

Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring

Dear Friends,


Looking at today's topic, I'd like to first veer way off-course with a story about what I am learning about jogging--and finish with an application to homeschooling ... and how YOU can make it to the finish line.


In March, 2014, I met an old friend in Canada whom I had not seen in years. I didn't realize that I was seeing her at first, because the person standing in front of me bore little resemblance to my old friend. Smiling at my disbelieving reaction when someone introduced us, Marion told me that her life had been changed by learning to run with the Couch to 5K (in 9 weeks!) mobile app. Losing more than 60 pounds and becoming physically fit will do that to you.


Well, I was all ears!! Eating out for months at a time as we traveled year by year had added pounds and decreased health, to the point that I was willing to try something totally outside my comfort zone. I told Marion that I had never been an athlete, and she assured me that she had never been one before, either. Her experience encouraged me to actually download the app, buy the running shoes, and go out the door.


Though the first month was very encouraging, the strain of traveling debilitated me once again, and I had to quit. I tried it again in August--and quit at my grandson's traumatic birth and death shortly after.


I really want to do this, though. I tasted last year what it felt like to run, to get strong, so I decided to try it again. This time, though, I am going to take it slow. Instead of 9 weeks to a 5K, I am attempting to do it in 18 weeks. I am paying attention to my body, not pushing it hard, but encouraging a steady, little by little growth in strength and stamina. And the finish line is becoming more and more of a reality to me.


So, how does this relate to standing firm in your decision to homeschool? Well, here are three lessons I am learning about accomplishing something near and dear to your heart:

  1. A role model is powerful. Seeing someone else do what you want to do gives you an assurance that you, too, can do this! If you don't have a homeschooling mentor nearby, my book, Beyond Survival: A Guide To Abundant Life Homeschooling, was written for that very purpose.
  2. Don't attempt to do too much too fast. Learning how to homeschool your kids is a huge learning curve, and if you don't recognize that, you could find yourself sidelined by frustration or find that your kids are utterly resistant. Here are blogs I have written that can help: Homeschooling How-To's.
  3. Take time to nurture your family and yourself. Burning out and giving up may seem like the only option when things are too hard. I've learned that taking time to recover, to recuperate, to reinvigorate can make all the difference. For more advice on this, click here.

And, as Todd Wilson constantly reminds us, look for a homeschool friend to join you on your journey.


Remember, stay relational!




Beyond the Mask

Beyond the Mask is a great way to bring history alive for your family.
We loved the story and were delighted to be able to see a
movie with a Christian worldview. Don't miss this movie!
- Paul and Gena Suarez, Publishers, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


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Newest classes are up! - Find the Fraction workshop, 
Everyday Spanish copywork, Middle Ages History, and
 Great Books Part 1 Literature on our Quick Links page. 

The Familyman 

It's a red-letter weekend at the Wilson home. Not only is our daughter Katherine (18) graduating from high school, but her oldest brother, Ben, is also getting married ... at our house this Saturday!!!


It's been an emotional and exhausting journey the last several weeks getting ready for the big day. I think I'm finally over the nightmare of wondering what we're going to do with cars for 480 people (we've got a plan and the space), but the emotion of knowing our first-born homeschooler is about to leave the nest can feel overwhelming.

He's definitely ready, and we couldn't be more thrilled with his bride-to-be. Rissa was made for him, and I think they'll complete each other in a wonderful way. It's just that marriage is so permanent and so ... grown up. This past weekend Ben was busy loading up all his stuff into boxes to take to their rental house. It was sad for everyone. Even his brothers were sobered by the thought that Ben won't live here anymore. And my son Abe (14) was sad to see that Ben was taking his desk because he really wanted it for himself.

The weird thing about all this is that "I'm ready." I remember thinking ten years ago about this day and welling up with emotion and tears at the thought of it, but now that it's here ... it feels right. This is the way God designed it and our oldest son is ready. It's still sad, and I'm hoping I won't embarrass myself at the actual wedding, but it's time, and they're going to do great.

I'm so thankful that we homeschooled our children. I can't imagine having missed out on all those growing up years of teaching, laughter, and tantrums. Even Ben said a while back, "I'm so glad I was homeschooled ... I would have missed out on so much had I gone to 'regular' school."

It makes a mother and father's heart swell with gratitude.

So Mom, you could put your children in public or private school, but you'd both be missing out on so much.

Be real ... and pray that it won't rain on Saturday!!!!!




PS - Need a great FATHER'S DAY gift for your man? Check out the NEW Familyman t-shirt. It's a great shirt at a great price and will let everyone know that your husband is proud to be a FAMILYMAN. Get it now. 

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Contest Corner 
For the month of June 2015


Lightning Literature and Composition, Grade 1,
from Hewitt Homeschooling


Have you been searching for a literature curriculum that uses classic books and poems to teach writing skills and literacy analysis? Well, look no further than Hewitt Homeschooling to fit the bill. Hewitt Homeschooling has been around for many years in the homeschooling circle. They strive to serve parents with students from kindergarten through high school with an emphasis on combining excellent academics with character development, by instilling a strong work ethic, and to develop a spirit of community service within the next generation. Firmly believing that reading great literature and then writing about it going hand in hand in preparing students for college-level reading and writing, 100 Crew members have had the opportunity to use several different curriculum over the last six weeks.

Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 1

The Lighting Literature series is available for elementary to junior and senior high students. By using a combination of novels, poetry, plays, and full length autobiographies to teach composition, literature, and other language arts skills by instilling a love of great literature in children.


Lightning Literature and Composition First Grade: Student Workbook and Teacher Guide - Children will expand their ability to read while improving communication skills. Concepts covered include Reading Journal Pages, alphabet and sentence puzzle pages, and dictionary pages. The Teacher's Guide provides scripted questions for the teacher to aid in student comprehension.


To see how our families used this and many other different grade levels, click here to read the reviews!


YOU can WIN a Grade 1 Lightning Literature and Composition teacher and student book set!


TO ENTER: Email Heather (hmader@theoldschoolhouse.com) with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Lightning Literature" for a chance to win* it for your family! 


P.S. Just a note from Gena - Hey, you made it all the way to the bottom of this newsletter! Thank you! I hope you enjoyed this week's letters. Don't forget to claim the HEY MAMA devotional book above or click HERE to grab it before it's no longer free in a couple days. Also - do me a favor? - Please write me note real quick, and tell me what you loved most about what Diana Waring and Todd Wilson shared this week. What do you appreciate most about them? We love to encourage you....and we love to be encouraged as well. Please share with us how you like our columnists. :-)  - gena@tosmag.com comes right to my inbox, privately. 


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Family Devotions: Passing on Faith to Our Children--Every Day
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