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April 20, 2016 Edition 
Geo x 3: Geography, Geology and Geometry
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Hey Mama,

We've been publishing TOS magazine for over fifteen years, and there are countless articles in our back issues to help you with all aspects of homeschooling. Simply enter the topic or subject in the search box at or in the free app available at Here are some articles to help you teach geography, geology, and geometry!

And remember ...

You are like Ruth, faithful.

You are like Esther, courageous.

You are like Martha, a servant.

You are like Mary, a student of the Lord.

You are like Deborah, brave.

You are like Eve, fruitful.


You are a Mama and a wife. A caretaker, cook, teacher, lover, tear-wiper, heart-keeper. It's a complex, complicated, grievous, joyful, nerve-breaking, headache-inducing, insane, crazy, precious, beautiful life. Your life.


The life God gave you. And sometimes you would like to blink and have it all go away. But then reality resurfaces, grace falls on you, and you know with all your heart that you'd never have it any other way.


There will be times you don't feel like a Ruth. Or an Esther or a Martha, Mary, Deborah, or anyone good and saintly. But you stand with Christ, and He is your righteousness. He is the One who builds your faith. He makes you stand. It never was you; it's all Him. So rest in that truth.

~ gena

Dr. James Dobson 
Dr. James Dobson
God Knows What He Is Doing
By Dr. James C. Dobson
Seven-year-old Chris Krebs was born with cerebral palsy and was profoundly retarded. One day he and his father, Greg, sat in a hospital lounge waiting for Mrs. Krebs, who worked at the hospital. Another man, shabbily dressed and emanating a peculiar aroma, was also waiting there. He looked like a bum or derelict. Greg went to the nurses' station and asked how much longer his wife would be. When he returned, he saw Chris sitting by the man. The man was sobbing, and Greg wondered what Chris had done to disturb him.
"I'm sorry if my son offended you," Greg said.
The man replied, "Offended me? Your son is the only person who has hugged me in the last twenty years!" Greg later said, "I realized at that moment, Chris had a more Christ-like love for this man than I did."
Although disrespect for the disabled or less fortunate is characteristic of our culture, we know there is no "junk" in God's value system. He loves every one of us the same. He sees our potential, and He uses each person to accomplish some part of His purpose. As His children, we're called to look at everyone through the lens of His perfect love.
When we show compassion and respect to the people who cross our paths from day to day, we are also likely to treat our spouse the same way. It all begins with a spirit of loving-kindness.
In my book, When God Doesn't Make Sense, I wrote about the burdensome situations in life that we can't understand. Some are painful or life-threatening, others are simply inconvenient or uncomfortable. We know that God could eliminate these problems with a whisper, but, instead, He allows us to struggle.
Why? One of His greater purposes is to reveal His power to us. This understanding comes straight from the apostle Paul who wrote, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels [clay pots], that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Corinthians 4:7, KJV).
Instead of accepting the irritations of life, many people struggle with what I call the "if onlys." "If only I didn't have diabetes (or deafness or sinus infections)." "If only I were not infertile." "If only I hadn't gotten into that bad business relationship (or lawsuit or loveless marriage)." "If only we didn't have a sick child." "If only we weren't so strapped financially."
Are you struggling with "if onlys" today? If so, release them to God. He has a perfect, loving plan for all of your life--even when life seems less than ideal. We may not see why God allows hardship in our lives, but we can be assured it is part of His eternal plan for our good. He asks us to accept His love and reach in humble dependence for His sufficiency.
From Dr. Dobson's book, Night Light For Couples
For over 30 years, Dr. James Dobson has been America's trusted source for psychologically-sound, biblically-based advice to help strengthen marriages, parents and families. For more practical help and encouragement, visit:

Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring
Dear Friends,

Geography. Geology. Geometry.
When you see those words, do you gulp and whisper, "Oh, my." Do they intimidate you at all? That would be a normal response, because so many of us did not have great experiences in school with subjects that were cold, hard facts to memorize.
But what if we look at them as something quite different? What if we start by defining these words in a way that makes them interesting, exciting, adventurous?
Geography is defined as "a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of Earth." Hmmmm.
Let's think about what that means:
At its most basic, to study geography means learning about mountains, deserts, volcanoes, oceans, rivers, deltas, swamps. It's what we would see if we were standing on that spot. Geography also means finding out about countries, states, provinces, cities, towns--all of the communities, cultures, and people on the Earth.
Okay. So, what if our first steps into geography looked like going outside in our own neighborhood? Do you see mountains? Are you in the desert? Is there water close by, whether large or small? Take a drive and see more of your surrounding area. Is it farmland? Big city? Forest? Prairie? Talk about these things, name them with your kids, look them up to learn more about them in a book, or encyclopedia, or online.
Then, take another step. Have your kids make a salt-dough map that includes what you've seen. Or, make a paper map with all the features that you saw on your drive. All the while, you are all learning the terms used in geography.
Suddenly, geography starts to feel like an adventure. What was a cold, hard fact to memorize has come to life through experience and activities.
Geology can be defined as "the science that deals with the dynamics and physical history of the earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the physical, chemical, and biological changes that the earth has undergone or is undergoing." Hmmmm.
Let's start with rocks, because it's not hard to find rocks to look at. Get a "Pocket Guide" for rocks and start exploring! Maybe you can find some local rock-hounds who will give you enthusiastic descriptions of various types of rocks. Visit any museum close by that has a display of rocks. Or, if you live close to any interesting rock outcropping or rock strata, be sure to go on a field trip to capture some of the amazing adventure of geology with your kids.
Geometry is "a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the properties of space."  Hmmmm.
Our world is filled with shapes and space, and geometry is the incredibly rich and elegant mathematical descriptions of these. It is practical and usable. It's historical and dependable. It's so much more than cold, hard formulas to memorize!
Play games with geometry--here's a fun online resource. Build a bird house using geometry (There are many online suggestions for this.). Read about the ancient Egyptians and how they used geometry (Check your library.). With just a little effort, geometry will blossom into an extraordinary adventure for your kids.
Remember, stay relational.

P.S. And, if you're wondering if there's a curriculum that will not only bring history to life, but will engage your whole family, be sure to check out this week's video.
Classical Historian
The Classical Historian teaches through Creative Games 
and the Socratic Discussion. Use Coupon Code TOS to 
receive 20% off your entire order!

The Familyman 
I'm feeling a little like Dorothy Gale skipping down the yellow brick road as it makes its way through the sinister-looking "homeschool forest."
Geography, geology, and geometry...oh my.
Geography, geology, and geometry...oh my.
Geography, geology, and geometry...oh my.
Along with that, I have the intense desire to use three word groupings, gatherings, and gangs.
But when it comes to geography, geology, and geometry, let me just say that some moms and kids love them, some like them, and some lament them. That's because homeschooling moms and children are created uniquely, unalike, and un-the-same. And that's OK.

You may find geography, geology, and geometry engrossing, engaging, and enthralling ... but you may also find it dull, dry, and dreary. The great thing about teaching and training your children at home is that you get to teach according to your strengths, skills, and specialties.
So you may not be excited, enthusiastic, and exhilarated about geography, geology, and geometry, and yet cooking, crafts, and reading (I know it doesn't start with the letter C.) make you smile, sparkle, and shine.
Homeschooling is about you and your children. It's about teaching with your (and their) strengths in mind, and letting God fill in the gaps, gulfs, and gullies. Ok, this is getting ridiculous. It's not about what experts say your children need, but about what you believe they need.
So have a great week ... laugh a little, learn a little, and limit your intake of "homeschool advice."
Be real,

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Contest Corner 
For the month of April 2016  
Nick Vujicic: No Limits, is an inspiring book about the life of Nick Vujicic, by Renee Taft Meloche. It is a 32-page, hardback book from YWAM's Heroes for Young Readers Series. Each double-page spread is beautifully illustrated with watercolor drawings.
The book is designed to illustrate the faithful design of a loving God in our lives regardless of our physical appearance. The story is written in prose form with each stanza being only four lines long. In this book, you will hear about Nick's struggle with school bullies and how he chose to deal with each one. Children and adults alike can identify with the impact each of these bullies had in Nick's life. As Nick grew and matured, both in spirit and body, he learned to deal differently with each bully and learned that, despite his physical differences and limitations, he was perfectly made for God's calling in his life. We, the readers, are encouraged to accept and embrace the life God has given us. Nick's example of Christian character is an encouragement to everyone who feels weighed down by the challenges of disabilities, mistreatment, feelings of inferiority, and more. (Read the rest of the review.)

You can win this book for your family!
TO ENTER: Email Heather ( with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "No Limits" for a chance to win* it for your family! 

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