August 31, 2016 Edition 
Spelling Makes Me Smile and Sing and Celebrate!
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 It's the Family Education Magazine!
Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family
Does teaching spelling make you smile, sing, and celebrate? Or does it wear you out as you shed a few tears? And just why are wear and tear spelled the same but sound so different? Seems like a lot of "wear and tear" on this old homeschool mom!

Sometimes spelling success comes through hard work over many years, and sometimes it comes naturally to your student. Some are born spellers and some are naturally gifted at other things. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you can cater to each child's ability or developmental levels. If they need extra help in spelling, we have the time and a multitude of resources available to help.

With any subject from Bible to math to language arts, what seems to work for me is a little word that does a big job in my homeschooling: consistency. Be consistent several days a week, several months a year, and these students grow up knowing how to spell well enough to live in this adult world and even succeed.

Do not be anxious about your child that needs extra help in spelling, or the fact that you never feel like you have the right program or curriculum to succeed. Let that anxiety (or any anxiety) be your signal to pray, try something new, and trust the Lord. Be consistent, and enjoy those children as you keep them Home Where They Belong.

"Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6, 7).


Helpful articles from back issues of the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine:
Is Spell Check Enough? by Dianne Craft
One Year Free_

Raising Real Men    
Spelling is just one of those things. I think you have to be born with it. Some of our kids never misspelled a word. Ever. Whether we did spelling or not. There's not much point in talking about spelling for your natural spellers, because they'll be fine no matter what you do, or even if you don't teach spelling at all!

Some of our kids, though, misspelled every other word. One of ours couldn't spell words years below his grade level. It was hard for him to communicate. His spelling wasn't just "creative," it looked like a different language!

We sought out Dianne Craft at a conference where we were both speaking, and she gave us some excellent advice. Taking her advice and adding some twists of our own gave us a plan that actually worked! For example . . .

I bought a pack of 8½ by 11 inch card stock, a pack of thick markers, and one of thin markers, too.

Then we Googled the one hundred most common words in the English language. We had to start somewhere and we wanted it to count.

Each day, we'd asked him to spell words from that list. If he couldn't spell the word, we'd write it in large letters on a piece of cardstock--one page per word.

As Dianne advised, we'd write the parts of the word he missed in a bright color. If possible, we'd make a picture out of it or tell a story. The brain stores symbols (like letters) on the left side, but sounds (hello, phonics!) on the right. Colors and pictures helped him to store the written word on the right side of the brain, where the sound of the word is stored, and stories helped him remember it better.

Then we'd give him the card and he'd hold it up high in the air and study it, spelling it aloud and talking about the picture or story.

Next he would close his eyes and try to bring an image of the card to mind, spelling it in his mind. Then he'd look again and see if he was right. Then he'd try to spell it aloud.

It was amazing the progress he made. Before long, he mastered that list, and we added to it.

The final bit of spelling learning came for our son when he got online to compete against other kids in our church on, an online Bible memory program. Typing the words again and again helped him much more than writing them ever did. He laughs now that if it's in the Bible, he can spell it. If not, too bad!

That's way better than we ever dreamed!

Last night, we started our first live session in this fall's edition of Boot Camp 9-12, an online class for parents of preteens and young teens to help them make the teen years great! It's not too late to join in! You can watch the recording of last night's class and join us live next week. Check it out here. 

Your friends,
Hal and Melanie
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
Sing and Learn Theology

"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before his presence with singing" (Psalm 100:1-2).

One of my favorite memories from home educating our children was our regular family worship time. In addition to reading the Bible, praying, and discussing what we read, we also sang hymns. Beginning the day in the inspired Word, then singing songs of praise, set a wonderful tone in the home. I loved hearing different members of the family humming the tune or singing the chorus throughout the day.

While there are many new and inspired songs of praise, there is something special about the time-tested hymns which have shaped the worship life of the church for hundreds of years. They are deep and rich in theology, accompanied by melodious and uplifting tunes.

Elisabeth Elliot's family (the Howards) would go through a hymn book in a year. Number 1, January 1. Number 2, January 2. She shared how the Holy Spirit quickened hymns she had learned in her youth to encourage her in the deep valleys of her personal life. Her first husband died in the jungles of Ecuador by a native's spear and her second perished from cancer.

In my personal valleys, when life is tough, and God seems distant, it is then my theology and what I know about God helps me through these dark days. David, one of my personal heroes of the faith, was an anointed worshiper, in addition to being a mighty warrior. The Psalms, which he penned in the Spirit, have been my primary source of comfort and hope when I am tempted to despair.

For those of you who are interested in singing hymns in your home, I have developed a resource called Hymns for Family Worship, with 62 hymns, three (3) CDs of piano accompaniment, along with the history of each hymn. You may order them here and find them in the Store.

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the LORD" (Colossians 3:16).

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      

Applecore Recordkeeping System is free with your membership!


Applecore is a safe and secure, deluxe online recordkeeping system equipped with attendance record, scheduler, report cards, and more. Keep all of your most important homeschool data in one place and access it anytime! The silver plan is free for membersClick here for complete details for Applecore Recordkeeping System.


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:
A division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine  
Did you know? Every class is INCLUDED for members! 
No limits.    

It's a full spelling curriculum for K-12th grade! Schoolhouse Spelling on is presented based on age and skill level. There are Charlotte Mason Mondays, fun games and reviews, vocabulary, and more! Take a closer look:

* Preschool Spelling is presented to help students learn letter sounds and how they go together to make words. Students who are more advanced may want to memorize the spelling, but that is not required at this age. Worksheets are provided to make the lessons fun for younger students.

* Lower Elementary Spelling List One is presented to help younger students learn to spell many basic words they will encounter in their beginning reading classes.

* Beginning with Lower Elementary List Two and continuing through high school, some vocabulary is taught, along with the spelling. Worksheets with a variety of activities and puzzles are presented to enable the student to work with the words and become familiar with them while learning to spell them.

Sign up and try us for 30 days for only $1. There are no per-child fees or additional fees for textbooks, and courses are not live, so you can start them at any time. Join during our back to school BOGO event and save even more! If you or someone you know is interested in teaching a class on our site, please contact Executive Editor Bonnie Rose Hudson at

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. (. . .)
YOU can WIN this awesome book!
TO ENTER: Email Heather at 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!  

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 
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 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 still available for FREE online. Click the graphic to read it cover to cover! 
Molly Green Magazine 

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