Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine {A Review}

I still remember one of the first articles I read from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. It talked about the illusion of "me" time and how that time would be better spent not alone, but with God.

I related to the mother that said "me" time was not refreshing, but instead made her feel resentful-there was never enough of it and her focus was on that time even when she was just back to her family. That was when I knew, this magazine had something special, something that would inspire me and others.

Shortly afterwards, I had my own opportunity to write an article for the magazine. It was a true blessing to work with them.

This week, when I was asked to review The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s November Issue (it is published monthly), I was thrilled at the great privilege to review a magazine that I fully respect.

The November issue is filled to the brim with lots of practical advice and wisdom for homeschoolers focused on the Lord:

*parents-inspiration for those days when the daily grind gets you down, being positive where you are in your journey and with what you have, being a hero to your children, simplifying, organizing a cleaning habit, and filling up your own knowledge base
*homeschooling family life-home life, schedules, and struggling learners
*character building-manners, faithfulness, expectations, and gratitude 
*community-the impact of utilizing community resources, Amish values, sharing God's love by reaching out to others, inspirational lives, and creating your own Heroes of the Faith day
*the arts- a study of portraits, music in classical education, support for teaching music, framing to understand the Psalms
learning and teaching-focusing on how to learn, toys to learn with, Amish springboards, and free music resources

*writing-poetry's influence on writing, writing excellent reports, write poetry based on songs, incorporating the poetry into your school, and poetry recitation
*suggestions-curriculum and gift ideas

*Christmas-displays and de-cluttering

In our home, school is fueled by literacy. It is not uncommon to find a child curled up with a book and a blanket and sometimes a flashlight into the wee hours of the night, or you might see two heads bent over the pages of a beautifully illustrated picture book, or the whole lot of us piled on the sofa cuddling together with a stack of books to read through.

So it's no wonder I was drawn to the articles on poetry, immersion, memorization, and writing.
Jessica Halcy's realization..."I could NOT teach my children all the information they would need in life and furthermore, I did NOT HAVE TO teach them everything they needed." from The Gift of How to Learn speaks volumes to me about the desire I have long felt for my children to be interested in learning for learning's sake, no matter the topic. Just information is useless, true learning is in the application of what you've learned.

Amy Barr, Dari Mullins, and Maggie Hogan provide excellent tips for memorizing poetry and suggestions for how to incorporate poetry into our lives in Muses, Music, and Memorization, Pursuing Poetry, and Bringing Back Lost Arts. Around here we read poetry daily and do weekly recitations, so the articles really rang true for our family and the ideas have given me inspiration for how to keep encouraging poetic eyes, ears, hands, and hearts!

When I read Lessons from Moses: How to Teach our Children to Give Excellent Reports by Zan Tyler, I found myself reading whole sections aloud to my husband. Who had thought everything we needed to teach our children to write reports is to be found in Numbers? And The Music of Language: How Poetry can Benefit the Aspiring Writer by Amelia Harper explains how writing poetry can improve all other aspects of writing by helping "cut the 'dead wood' out of your work" and how "poetry helps you develop a feel for the rhythm of language."

Grab a cup of tea and dig in. Happy Reading!

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

Every issue of TOS is free and is also available through a free app at This review was written for .

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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