Heart of Dakota
August 3, 2016 Edition 
Planning Your New School Year
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is YOUR trade magazine for family education. Stay subscribed to this newsletter because this is the place where we give FREE education gifts on a regular basis. Read the magazine anytime, 24/7, at www.TOSMagazine.com. It's the Family Education Magazine!
Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family
What are we going to do this coming school year? Do I really know what my kids need? Do they need more math, or more life skills, like menu planning? Have I neglected music or art or P.E.? Am I even qualified to do this thing called planning? I hope I am not the only one who feels this way.

Fortunately, planning doesn't have to be that difficult. Some of you plan years in advance what you will be studying and the curriculum you will use, so your yearly planning is a snap. Some plan during the summer for the next year. Some plan each morning, and some of you wait until the end of the day and write down what really happened. God can use all these methods as they are yielded to Him. Seek Him FIRST, and God will give you wisdom for each child, and strength to carry it through. And, we gain strength and confidence by staying close to His side, doing His will in His strength for His children.

If you need some basic help, here is a sample planning template (Jennifer Padgett).

In your planning, make pursuing God your family's main purpose. Don't just add God to your own cleverly devised plans. Our life is not our own to do with as we please, but to do what would please God. In the same way, our children are not ours to do with as we please, either.

Give God's Word and prayer preeminence in your school day, and He will bless your efforts in the academics. He has a way of filling in gaps with knowledge and wisdom that we know nothing of.

"Be confident of this very thing: that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

Here's how to select the right curriculum (Mary Hood), know the one essential ingredient (Zan Tyler), use notebooks for organizing (Beverly Dillow), and six other articles on planning for the new school year!


P.S. If you know someone new to homeschooling, our Homeschooling 101 Supplement has all the information necessary to start their journey, including planning templates.

Ready to be ORGANIZED?
Homeschool Record Keeping Made Easy
Create your school year and classes in under 5 minutes!

Simple to use 
Works on any device
Lesson plans emailed
Give pen/paper records
permanency and re-usability!
Track attendance, generate lessons, create transcripts and much more
1 Month Free Trial!
Raising Real Men    
Recently on social media, we saw a photo of the school day schedule a new homeschool mom had planned for her five-year-old . . . in 15-minute increments, noted in military time, from 09:00 to 14:30.

We wouldn't recommend that for a kindergartener--for the first reason, that's too much and too intense for a young child who's just being introduced to the idea of "school time."

But we have to admit that level of detail and precision simply wouldn't work in our home full of personalities and interruptions and opportunities. The only result we could predict would be disappointment . . . because we've tried that way. Maybe it works for you, but for us . . . not so much.

There are two key principles we think about dealing with planning. On the one hand, Jesus points out that no one undertakes a major project--like putting up a building on your farm--without a plan and a budget, lest he be unable to finish (Luke 14:28-30). On the other hand, the Bible also warns us that only God knows the future, and all our plans are subject to His overarching Plan (Isaiah 46:9-10 and other places) . . .

So . . . we plan with an eye toward flexibility and the possibility God may intervene!

Melanie developed her own planning style that worked for all eight of our students:
  • At the beginning, loosely plan the year, week by week
  • As each week passes, loosely plan the upcoming week, day by day
  • Hold to a broad hour-by-hour schedule
  • Be sure to build realistic breaks and "catch up" days into the calendar at the start
  • Don't fret if God changes your plan!
This last one may be the most important. We've had whole years changed--at the time, we thought "disrupted"--by new opportunities, job relocations, unexpected illnesses, and more. And guess what? Each time, we learned new things and built new strengths out of circumstances that didn't come from our curriculum choices.

Here's our last observation--we've graduated four sons now and sent them all to college. They've done great everywhere from tiny Christian colleges to Oxford University in England . . . and no one, absolutely no one, has ever asked, "Did you or did you not finish every page of your fifth grade textbooks? Well?"

Plan what you can, leave room for God to work, and enjoy the years with your kids--they pass so soon!

In Christ
Hal & Melanie Young
Do you have a struggling learner? We've had a few! Our workshop, "Surviving Struggling To Read," is super encouraging (and features one of our college-bound sons). What's more, we now sell the curriculum that broke the chains for our dyslexic son--Dianne Craft's Brain Integration Therapy and Reading Program! Check them out on our website at www.raisingrealmen.com/product-category/struggle/
Get Your Free eBook!

Someplace Called Special

In Someplace Called Special you can discover practical help to assist you with your own child's unique learning abilities/disabilities. This eBook is FREE for a limited time. Get yours now!

Building Faith Families

Steve Demme
Planning for Math 

When I was first hired to teach high school math, I was replacing a teacher who had only covered two chapters of a twelve-chapter book. He knew math, but was unable to control his classroom, or so I was told. I determined to complete the book and mapped out a plan which would cover all twelve chapters in nine months. We began in September, and by May, had finished the entire Geometry book. 

But I never mapped out the whole year when I was teaching my own children math, because I was no longer a classroom teacher, but a tutor. Classroom teachers move at the book's pace, tutors move at the student's pace.

1. Plan to assess your student's math abilities. Before I can teach them something new, I need to know what they know well now. Math is a sequential subject. Addition is used in multiplication, and subtraction is used in division. If there are areas of weakness in the basic concepts, algebra will be really difficult.

2. Plan to move at your child's pace. Most math curricula were designed to be used in classrooms. I wrote Math-U-See to be used by parents. If your child masters a concept quickly move to the next topic. If they need a few more days, take whatever time you need to keep them successful and confident.

3. Plan to trust your instinct. No one knows your student better than you. You and your spouse are uniquely designed to teach your child. Others may help, but you were created for this role. 

4. Plan to do math regularly. A few minutes every day is better than chunks throughout the week. Think of learning math as if you were learning a new language. Regular study helps develop long-term retention of information. 

5. Plan to not measure yourself by your peers. Your students are never behind. Your children have been designed and created in the image of God. They are unique. Resist the temptation to push your students beyond their inherent capabilities. Let them move at their own pace.

If you follow these principles, plan on having a happy, confident, student.


Steve Demme and his wife Sandra have been blessed with four sons. He is the creator of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families. He produces a monthly newsletter, a weekly podcast, and other resources to strengthen and encourage parents. Learn more about these at www.buildingfaithfamilies.org.


Free Ebook!
Click here and get your free ebook:
7 Things You Should Know When Choosing Homeschool
from Excellent Quests.



Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those CONSIDERING homeschooling know about the enormous FREE info-pack which awaits them here: www.TryHomeschooling.com.
A division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Did you know? Every class is INCLUDED for members! 
No limits.  

Could you use a simple way to track your child's progress through his or her lessons? We are excited to share with you that we are in the process of creating a lesson plan for EVERY class on SchoolhouseTeachers.com! We have 24 ready and waiting for you and are creating more behind the scenes every week! Come take a look and keep checking back for new ones to be added!

Sign up and try us for 30 days for only $1There are no per-child fees or additional fees for textbooks, and courses are not live, so you can start them at any time. If you or someone you know is interested in teaching a class on our site, please contact Executive Editor Bonnie Rose Hudson at bhudson@theoldschoolhouse.com

TOS Article
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Click here to get access to FREE back issues of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.


Contest Corner 
For the month of August 2016 

It seems to me, as I work with the teenagers and children in my Bible classes, that Biblical literacy is at an all-time low. Children think that they know all about the Bible, but when we actually begin talking about the Bible, I realize that they have very little idea of the big picture. The details that they do know are ones that they often don't understand or don't know how they fit into the big picture of the Bible. Kenneth Berding is a college professor, who, in his struggle with the same issues, has created a curriculum and kit to try to help teens and adults grow in their knowledge of the Bible and the big ideas that it contains.

I received for review a copy of the Bible Fluency Complete Learning Kit. This kit includes a DVD set of Bible Fluency teaching videos, an instructional guide to allow for note taking from the videos, a workbook for deeper study, a set of personal-sized flashcards, a CD of songs to help memorize the flashcards, and a copy of Berding's book, Bible Revival. Although the kit is self-contained, there are additional downloadable worksheets and lesson plans on the author's website.

The kit does not come with clear instructions for use. However, use of the kit is fairly self-explanatory, and those needing more detail can download the teaching curriculum online. For my own personal use, I simply popped in the teaching DVD and watched the video for each section, taking notes in the instructional guide. Although the video length varied, they each averaged 20 minutes.

Then, I began learning the section of the songs that would go with that week's book of the Bible, and I would use the workbook to delve deeper into the materials for the week. The workbook includes more in-depth study of different chapters and verses from the Bible to explain the song stanzas. There are questions included as you go throughout the study. The flashcards, of course, helped with learning the songs that would give me the key cues for the
material in each book of the Bible.
(. . .)
(Read the rest of the review.)
YOU can WIN this awesome book!
TO ENTER: Email Heather at hmader@theoldschoolhouse.com with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Bible Fluency" for a chance to win* it for your family! 

Piano Mouse

Like Us on Facebook
TOS Twitter
Follow Us On Pinterest
Follow Us on Google _

Read the article 
in the Summer issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® 
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Read the 
Summer 2016
 issue free at  www.TOSMagazine.com 
or download the free mobile apps at

Current subscribers go here to access all back issues.

The Old Schoolhouse®
 has MORE for you!

Check out these resources:

Who We Are:

"I just wanted to thank you for the encouraging message of your email I received this morning.  It is so nice to be reminded that God has called me to homeschool and I should stay the course."

     --Tammy Mowell 

"I am amazed at the number of times I open my Homeschool Minute newsletter and have the opportunity to read EXACTLY what I need that day! Thank you so much for putting a real face on homeschooling."


 --Michelle Sager
Liberty Twp, OH 

"Only just this past week have I seriously checked into the content of the SchoolhouseTeachers.com site ... May I just say wow?!"  


  --Janelle Chille   

Mason City, IA 

"I really enjoy reading all the THM articles. I learn a lot from Todd Wilson's column. [He's a] funny guy who speaks the simple truth! Thank you very much!"


Brandon, FL  

"I look forward to THM every Wednesday. I really enjoy Deborah's articles. For some reason, it must be God, she always writes about what I am needing to hear. Her ability to put scripture and God in the middle of all her articles keeps me coming back. I recently have been enjoying the Youngs' [articles] because I have a young man (10) in my house. The encouragement of the Youngs is fabulous. I thank God for parents like them that pave the way for parents like myself and my husband."


--Racheal Fowler

 Glen Burnie, Maryland

"So love reading TOS on my iPad from cover to cover every month!!!"  
--Leigh Anne McGrady
 Dunwoody, GA

"What I appreciate most about Todd's column is that he never assumes he knows what is best for me... but he KNOWS that God knows & encourages me to find that & follow that. Thanks for all the encouragement over the years!"    

Kannapolis, NC 

"...I appreciate them both so much. I love Diana's passion for teaching history in a fun and interesting way. And that she is all about relationships first. I love that about Todd as well, and that he always, always says it is okay to relax about the schooling."


--Mara Martin 

Everett, WA 

Have you been blessed by

The Homeschool Minute™


The SUMMER issue of
Molly Green Magazine is available. Take a peek at our digital version below!
Molly Green Magazine

You can also get 
Molly Green Magazine on these free mobile apps: