October 19, 2016 Edition 
The Joy of Teaching (Have you lost it? Perish the thought!)
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Hey Mama,

Whether you are teaching, wiping up messes, changing dirty diapers, throwing in the tenth load of laundry today, or desperately trying to get something ready for dinner, always remember that your joy comes from the Lord.

"But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You" (Psalm 5:11, NASB*).

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him" (Psalm 28:7, NASB*).

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness" (Psalm 30:11, NASB*).

"O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days" (Psalm 90:14, NASB*).

Look up. Your great God and Savior will never leave or forsake you. Even in your darkest hour, He is there. And when joy comes in the morning, He rejoices alongside you.

Never. Will. He. Leave.

The one ever-present friend you can count on is Jesus Christ. He is faithful, and He never changes. Get into His Word and read. Get to know the God of all time and space and beyond.

His hand is on your head tonight.

P.S. Read this article for practical ways to discover joy "in the midst of life," Finding Joy in the Lord.

*Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB),
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation 
Used by permission. www.Lockman.org


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Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring
Dear Friends,

Does the phrase "the joy of teaching" make you feel frustrated? Is it one of those sayings that leaves you feeling guilty and left out? I totally understand!!
So, maybe we can restate the phrase in order to find a practical way to improve our day-to-day homeschooling. Instead of the word, "joy," let's consider "enjoy."
Name one thing that YOU really enjoy. It could be sewing, cooking, gardening, drinking coffee, whatever . . .
Next, take a few minutes to think about whether you have ever NOT enjoyed that one thing.
For example, if you chose sewing, was there a time when you were feeling so pressured, with so many demands, that the outfit you were sewing became a grit-your-teeth-and-get-it-finished project?

Do you see where I'm going with this? What circumstances allow you to enjoy what you love? And what circumstances make it very unpleasant?
Now, take a few minutes to write down in a journal or lesson planner the things that make it easy to enjoy something you really like and the things that make it unpleasant.

Okay. Your list may look something like this:

Enjoy-I enjoy when I have enough free time to finish a project. Also, I really enjoy drinking coffee in my living room when everything is tidy.
Dislike-I really hate when I feel pressured to get something done. Also, it's so unpleasant when my kids are bickering.
Once you have your list written down, think about how this insight can help you enjoy homeschooling. Remember, the list is going to reflect what's important to you.

So, with my example above, I might suddenly realize that if the kids and I pick up toys at night, before going to bed, then starting school in the living room the next morning would be far more enjoyable for me as a teacher. Having a tidy house would, in this example, provide an environment where I feel more relaxed and more creative--which will have a positive and significant effect on my kids.
Or, perhaps, I realize that the feeling of being pressured by all the demands of running here and running there are overwhelming my joy at being a homeschooler. So, I might look at all the demands to see which ones are priority and which ones can be put off to another time. Creating more free space in our day-to-day schedule can make a huge difference in how much I enjoy what I am doing.

This exercise will help you create the environment where you can ENJOY homeschooling!
Remember, stay relational.
P.S. Are you struggling with homeschooling? Are you trying to understand why your kids won't get with the program? If so, please check out my playlists of video blogs at  www.facebook.com/dianawaring/videos.

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Contest Corner 
For the month of October
Written for ages four and up, and designed to complement most reading curricula, The Reading Game is a supplemental resource for beginning or struggling readers.

The Reading Game includes the parent/teacher guide, six sets of memory playing cards, six sets of picture flashcards and six storybooks. Playing is fairly straightforward. Each set of cards is color-coded and is divided into six smaller sets of ten cards, for a total of thirty word cards per color set. Each subset is numbered, so you know exactly which cards to use as you advance through the game.

The Reading Game is basically a progressive memory game. Ten cards at a time, children will play memory in order to match and read five sight words at a time. After the student masters two sets of cards, or ten words, they read the matching captioned flashcard to practice reading the words in context and to recognize capitalization and punctuation. This continues through the entire color set until they've learned thirty words and can read all three flashcards that use those words. Then they are ready for the story book! The stories (and the words utilized in the stories) build on each other, so it is important to go in the correct sequence. By the end of the game, students have learned 180 words, many of them which are on standard sight word lists. (. . .)

I think this is a great alternative to drilling with flashcards, and I really love how the game allows children to progress at their own pace. There are also free materials online for parents and teachers to utilize. I can see this game being valuable for families, small groups and co-ops, tutoring, and classrooms. -Review by Brittany Rutherford

YOU can WIN this resource for your homeschool! 
TO ENTER: Email Kathleen at kconway@theoldschoolhouse.com with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "The Reading Game," for a chance to win it for your family! 

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