We educate our children at home. We love it. Wouldn’t trade it for the world BUT we are imperfect – we are different. All four of us and that can make things hard. If I did not say that we (I) get frustrated and sometime want to call it quits, I would be telling a great lie. Yet there are great resources out there for us. Many free like The Old Schoolhouse magazine.
I must say upfront that I have been so very blessed by this one. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine always, and I mean always, provides me with inspiration and a renewed dedication to our home education. And as the children get older, as it goes from training one to training two, to training three, the challenges increase and the struggles too some days. In case you do not know we currently have two sweet, very strong willed and very different boys ages 4 and 8. While one is very independent and focuses well, my oldest has a stronger will but between his attention span (or lack of many days) and his inability to sit still we must be extra creative in his learning. OF course I cannot forget our daughter who is 2 and adamant to be a part of all lessons. Thank God for being able to go to: http://www.theoldschoolhouse.com/.
Where do I start? I love that I can read their magazine online. I mean we have a small house and I am determined to have my own library (my way of saying I have too many books and still more coming haha). I love to read and I love having a plethora of resources. Which is how I feel about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I love being able to read it online; download and print anything I really want to keep. It’s a real space saver. Check it out for yourself, right here: www.TOSMagazine.com. And if you are on the go? Busy with your co-ops, dance lessons or karate. Whatever and wherever you go, take this one with you. Free app too: http://www.TOSApps.com. Definitely a win-win right?
Let me tell you have much this current issue of their magazine has helped me. I have a four year old who is struggling to learn how to read. We are plum out of ideas; he wants to learn but so far its not working. Momma is getting frustrated herself. Schoolhouse Magazine? Page 144 says “8 Reading Strategies that Work”. I am refreshed with a couple new things to try. Don’t give up. Simple words but so very powerful. Then on page 30 there is “Reading Makes Me Happy Now”, for my 8 year old son who doesn’t quite understand why mom reads so much and dreads that time of day. “Reading is as essential as air water and shelter. The love of reading sends our children out into the world with tools to continue learning…” This is such a wonderful truth. A classic and valuable piece of information and a reminder to some of us when, in the trenches, we consider “letting it go” just a bit. For a time or two maybe. Let us continue to seek opportunities to build and grow a love of reading within each child. For my little one, a beautiful piece “Creating Holiday Fun with the Littlest Ones” because frankly, its hard right? So much to do sometimes we forget to enjoy. To relax and soak in the beauty of the season; the precious moments as they come. Great ideas for handmade note cards (I need ideas because frankly crafty and I .. we are not close friends….haha). There is a recipe for trail mix – a healthy and yet sweet treat for those little ones; easy to grab a handful at home or on the go. The article even suggests gifting it; a nice little package that comes with a key. Its cute: cranberries for love; dried apple for health; nuts for, well nuts .. I love it. Really I do 🙂
Its great. And the magazine? It’s free. Truly. Although it may cost us because there are so many amazing products reviewed so thoroughly. I guess we know we are getting when we buy something reviewed by “The Crew”: http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/. We have been introduced to many truly amazing things, See the Light, Christian art DVD’s. My son has one and has had a wonderful time learning how to make Joseph and his coat of many colors. They are not all Bible based either (those are our favorites) but we have learned different art techniques along the way. All thanks to the Review Crew. And I don’t know where we would be if it were not for the Writing Strands that we read about and currently use. What a fun way to learn and write for my oldest who is always creating something new. He has a couple books “in the works” thanks to this program and maybe one day he shall be a little author too.
Truthfully – there is so much out there for all of us and there are so many who just don’t know where to turn and what to use. Really even the Old Schoolhouse Magazine has more advertisements than I would like in a publication. However they also have a crew that uses these with their children and provides honest answers. Why and how it works, or doesn’t for them. And I have to say that has saved me a ton of money in the 3 years we have been “officially” educating our children at home. I admit too, it has ended up costing us more than we plan at times too. I mean now and then there is a review for something (okay we don’t need it…its not a part of the plan) so amazing I have to get it. I have to find a place for it. And I do.
Home education has many different styles. I don’t think there are two homes that look the same. We manage things differently. That is what is so neat about it. We need one another. We need the resources and the tools to make it a success. It doesn’t have to be perfect. We are not perfect. And neither are our children. Let us remember to breathe in; to trust in Him; to never let go but to always keep our eyes on the Kingdom. We do this with His blessing (at least in our home) This is kingdom work not for the faint of heart. We need the faith and we need the right tools. if we do it for Him all things shall come together. There will be good days and bad days; some thing will work and some won’t. But let us remember in our journey to reach out to those we meet along the way.