This week, I have been reading the November issue of The Home School Magazine, which you can read, for free, at http://www.TOSMagazine.com, or with the free App, found at http://www.TOSApps.com.
I have been a longtime subscriber to this magazine, even before it went totally digital, and at first, I was very disappointed at no longer getting to read it as a print magazine. Although I do still prefer to read magazines in print form, I have come to enjoy the digital edition of this magazine, since I’ve learned how to navigate my way through the issues! 🙂
With 156 pages packed with information, the November issue has a lot to offer, whatever your preferred style of home education. As a very eclectic homeschooling family (we use lapbooking, Charlotte Mason style, unit study and unschooling), I always find articles of worth to my family. In this particular issue, one that really spoke to me right off the bat was the Editorial “It’s Time To Wake Up!”, by Deborah Wueler, Senior Editor, on page 14. I have actually had a very stressful several months, and have been feeling pretty much exactly as the author describes in her editorial. She talks about going through a season when we may feel “the enemy has had the upper hand in the boxing ring and we are down for the count”, which is where I’ve been for a while now. However, the reminder is there, in Deborah’s editorial, that the Lord is still right there, and He defeats the enemy, that He saved me, and continues to be there, if I just will let Him. Just reading this editorial has of course, not solved all of my problems, but it has reminded me that I don’t have to go it alone.
Another article that I thought particularly good for my own family was “Crunching Through The Cracker Crumbs” by Mary West, page 126. This article reminds me why I have in the past, used a list every time I need to clean, but also shows me that I don’t have to do exactly as this author, either. I have four boys, age 11 – 19, and they can help me, too. I do think it will be beneficial to all of us though, to write-up a simple chore list similar to the one in this article, showing what each person does, and when. I think it will make a difference in a lot of ways, and I’m glad I read this article.
There is a Special Feature section on the Amish people in this month’s issue. This section would be wonderful for the family who uses unit studies, or even if you don’t, I recommend it as perhaps an interesting unit study to use as a break from your normal educational routine. With articles such as “Just Plain Interesting: Springboards for Research on the Amish” by Karen Robuck, which gives a lot of information as a standalone article, it also provides a list of books about the Amish, websites about the Amish, and a nice list of unit study activities and questions for all students, from young right on up to and including teens and adults. In the same section, you will find “The Amish: Simplicity and Satisfaction Personified”, by Shannon Swanson. She has written a very informative article that gives just a taste of what a to a Lancaster County working farm might find as part of their time there. She will tell you about the schools there, the food, and even has a recipe for Amish Funnel Cakes that you can make yourself! Follow that up with Liz Lane’s article, “A Day in the life of a Young Amish Mom”, a very interesting interview with Rachel, a mother of five children.I found this to be the most interesting interview! In a lot of ways, Rachel’s life is like that of any other mom, she shops at Costco, I shop at Sam’s Club. I was surprised by that! This article also has two recipes, “Rachel’s Breakfast Muffins”, and Rachel’s Country Brunch Casserole”. They sound yummy! Finish up your unit on the Amish by reading the wonderful short story written by Tricia Goyer called “On an Amish Farm”. This story tells us about a day with Ellie, a 13-year-old Amish girl from Kentucky who is visiting with her aunt and uncle in Berlin, Ohio. On this day, a school field trip of non-Amish children is coming to the farm, and Ellie doesn’t want to go spend the time with them, because three years previously she had been badly hurt by ugly comments made by “English” children about how different she was. During her day hiding away from the school children, Ellie meet Madison, one of the school children, who has also been hurt because of her differences…and well, you’ll have to read the story to discover what each girl learns! 🙂
There is a section about poetry, and why it’s an “extra” that should be put at the top of the list when deciding what to include in your home educational journey… and article by one of my favorite authors, Karen Andreola, called “Old Fashioned Courtesy”, and “365 Ways to Simplify Your Life”, an interview with Patrice Lewis who, with her family, changed their lives completely to live the simple life.
There are articles for the Charlotte Mason home-schooler, the struggling home-schooler, the unit study home-schooler, the classical home-schooler, and even for the veteran home-schooler. Interested in music? Andy Harris, The Tech Homeschooler, will tell you about several free tools for creating and enjoying music.
With Christmas fast approaching, you’ll want to read the section on educating with toys, which includes the articles “Toys That Teach-Playing to Learn” by Lindy Abbot, and “Play Your Way Through Learning”, by Jan May. Follow those up with the “Last Minute Gift Directory”, beginning on page 102, for quite a few great ideas!
There are so many good articles, so much good information in this magazine, it would be impossible to give you all of them in a blog post. I will say that one thing I appreciate about the digital format of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is that the advertisements are linked to the internet. No more marking up my magazine or keeping a pad and pen nearby to write down the websites for products I want to check out, I can just click on the ad and away I go, only to come right back to the page in the magazine I was reading before becoming interested in a product. And speaking of pages, there’s also no more of being in the midst of a great article and suddenly seeing (to finish this article, please go to page 86). All the articles are completely together, no flipping back and forth anymore.
I like Haptoon, by Mike Halpin. It’s a nice little cartoon with a good Biblical message. This month the cartoon is a reminder that while we choose our country’s leaders, God has chosen us, as believers, to be His ambassadors to a lost world. I like having this cartoon in the magazine, it’s a fun little reminder that we need.
The only drawback for me is that my family uses only the KJV Bible, if your family is like mine, you will want to have your Bible along side while you read, as not everyone uses the same version. That way, you can look up any scripture used in the Bible version used by your family.
Over all, I really enjoy The Old School House Magazine, and especially enjoyed this issue. If you are a home educator, I believe you will enjoy it as well.
To read about more home education products, please pop on over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog at http://SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com, where you will be able to browse through a plethora of reviews written by other homeschooling parents who have looked at, and used with their children, a wide variety of curricula, games, and just about anything that can be learned from! Enjoy…and do bring your coffee, tea or something else, because there’s so much on the SchoolhouseReviewCrew site, I think you’ll be there for a while!
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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.