Enough Mushiness. Love Is...
February 12, 2020
In This Issue:
Life, Love, & Faithfulness

Hey Mama,

Happy Valentine's Day! It's just around the corner, and everyone, I feel like EVERYONE seems to be a little extra sentimental. Right? Well, when I think of Valentine's Day, I don't fixate on the red hearts and gorgeous roses . . . oh, those things are nice! Sure. But I like to think of a different kind of LOVE—selfless, sacrificial, life giving.

Mama, I know what your kind of love looks like. You’re sometimes up before the crack of dawn to make sure everything is ready for your family. You put in long hours, sleepless nights, and tired days, sacrificing what you want for what your family needs.

You will spend two or three decades raising and mentoring your children. Maybe longer. Yes, decades. Few Mamas take a look at their 18-year-old child on his/her birthday and tell them to hit the road. The parenting never stops. The love, the heart talks, the helping out, the provisional things . . . it never really ends. Do you want it to end?

Then more decades pass and the roles shift. They don’t become opposite, but there are many similarities. His arms are the ones that hold you up. Her hands and heart are the ones that comfort you in your old age. The multitudes of children around you: grand and great-grand. They are yours. What a heritage!

And that's LOVE, Mama, in its purest form. ❤️ At The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, we remember this and want to encourage you along the journey.




And remember, Mama. . .

Whether you have one kiddo or 15, you have been granted such a gift. Remember when that baby was placed in your arms for the very first time? LIFE. New, precious life. And your own life was about to change forever.

This is a gift. There are days when you want to turn and run away. Stress is a beast. Kids stomp on your heart. SO ungrateful at times. But they will learn. They will get it someday, Lord willing, and He is faithful to water those seeds you have planted and tended. He is the Harvester. Don’t grow weary. Do not give up your convictions; do not drop that Biblical standard. Keep that bar high. Stand firm and train them up in the way they should go. Then let the Lord do the rest.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” - Proverbs 22:6.

He. Is. Faithful.
These kids are yours on loan from Him. So you can rest, knowing that He has a plan. Lay them at the cross tonight, right there at the Lord’s feet, in His loving hands. It’s not you doing it all. He is the Builder. He has this.

Let Him build, faithful Mama. Stay faithful to the end. Let Him do His great work. And, know you are loved. His hand is on your head tonight. 

- gena

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What Love Isn’t 

Love is not beautiful Victorian cards or flowers on a certain day of the year. It is not always a fancy restaurant or a romantic feeling. Instead of the mushy stuff portrayed everywhere, it probably looks more like faithfulness, unity, hard work, and commitment.

You have an enemy that is definitely against anything that has to do with real love. This season in your life, it is a roll-up-your-sleeves, stand and face the world, the flesh, and the devil together as you raise these children. 

What Love Is. . .

Love is death. Jesus showed us that. We must die to self in order to really love others. There is no greater love than this, loving expecting nothing in return. This is the kind of love that has nothing to do with how you feel but all to do with how you respond. 

We can use this one day—Valentine's Day—that is set aside and demonstrate the love of God to our children. Take the day off from school and instead discuss how you can show love to each other and others.

What the Bible says. . .

There are a ton of references to the love of God. Go over the Scriptures together that talk about love:
  • Read and study 1 John, chapter 4
  • Isaiah talks about the color red and the LORD’s love: Isaiah 1:18 says,“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
  • Read 1 Corinthians 13 together and discuss it.
  • Talk about Jesus’ life of love in the gospels. 

Going out on a date with your spouse may not be an option in your home in this season of your life. Believe me, I know. We waited at least 20 years to go out alone. Instead of resenting what you don’t have, make the best of what you do have. Enjoy your husband and children whether you get to go out or not. 

Remember, you are able to teach your children the extravagant love of God as you keep them Home Where They Belong. 

~Deborah

For those who struggle with feeling disappointed on Valentine’s Day and need encouragement to love past the hurt, please read The Death of Love.
Whether you started teaching from home on day one or you recently pulled your child out of public school, we are all in this together heading toward the same goal! We want to help you finish well by providing you half off a SchoolhouseTeachers.com Quarterly Membership so you can finish this quarter in style. New members can use code FINISHWELL to receive a membership for only $24.97 (now regularly $49.97). Lock in this low price to not only complete this school year in confidence, but all the years to come!

A New Perspective of Love 

Sometimes in the stress of daily life, when you’re surrounded by dirty diapers, grumpy children, and a sink full of dishes, romance seems to be something that happened “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” 

We need to change our perspective, though. What is real love? In the Bible, real love involves putting someone else’s needs ahead of our own. When you teach your children, you are showing real love to your husband. When he gets up before daylight and heads out to work in the cold and wet, he’s showing you real love. When one of you gets up in the night with the sick child so your mate doesn’t have to, that’s real love. 

And even the fun things—when you fix what he wants for dinner instead your own preference, that’s love. And when he happily chooses your favorite restaurant instead of his own, that’s love, too. 

Sometimes we need to remember that, before we start thinking about hearts and flowers and Valentine’s Day. Your mate may not be the most romantic spouse on the street but may actually be the one showing the most real love. 

So . . . is there any hope for romance? 

Sure! Though it may not look like it used to, and it may not look like the dream pictures in the magazines.

Spend the next couple of days looking for opportunities to show your mate how much you love them. Say it out loud. Reach out and touch your mate—put your hand on their arm and look into their eyes. Write a note. Do something they’ve been wanting you to do, like sit close on the couch and let them tell you about their day. 

Invest in the relationship! When you take those small steps that say, “I care about you. I like being with you. I don’t mind when you interrupt me,” you’re affirming and building the day-to-day bond you have. And when we do that, you’ll find romance becomes a lot more natural, a lot easier to find, and you won’t even need a sitter. 

If you’d like some ideas for starting conversations and stirring some of the old feelings, check out our free newsletter LoveBirdSeeds. And for something bigger, plan on our Come Away Weekend retreat in the mountains of North Carolina—coming this fall! 

Your friends,
Hal & Melanie
A box of chocolates will only last a moment, but a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine will last the whole year through! Treat your friends to the trade publication for homeschooling families! 120 pages of encouragement, advice, reviews, and resources will be delivered to their doorsteps quarterly with the gift of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.  Purchase an annual subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine during the I “Heart” TOS sale for $29 and get one for a friend for only $15! If you live internationally, buy one subscription for $59; get another subscription for $30. (Shipping is included!) To show our love this February, we are also giving one FREE back issue to every new subscriber! The I “Heart” TOS sale ends February 29.

MoneySmart Family: Making Frugal Fun!
Steve & Annette Economides,  https://MoneySmartFamily.com
10 Side Hustles to Bring in the Bucks

Who couldn’t use a little more profit—a few more of those green bills in your pocket? Most homeschool families are single income, and earning a little more each month could go a long way to fund a vacation, buy birthday or Christmas presents, or to sock away for curriculum or college.

Most of these ideas will bring in a little more monetary compensation each month, but a couple of them might just be the thing to replace a full-time salary and start a home-based business for your whole family to participate in.


We’ve been using the Swagbucks app and website for about five years. We make between $20 and $50 per month taking surveys and earning cash back from purchases. There are other ways to gain monetary rewards through Swagbucks— learn more!


It’s easy to turn your old tech gadgets into profit. Most families will be able to make between $75 and $300 reselling old electronics. Check out our list of 33 places that will take old cell phones and other technology, working or not.


Our grown daughter Becky played with clay when she was a pre-teen. She sculpted animals, farm scenes, and more. Today she has an Etsy Shop where she crafts custom pet ornaments and pet memorials. She makes several thousand dollars each year from a hobby started as a child. Is there a hobby in this list with earning potential for you or one of your kids?

We’ve listed these side-hustles from the smallest earning potential to the greatest. Join us over the course of the month to see which ones will bring in the big bucks and could help your family start a home-based business.

To learn more go to MoneySmartFamily.com.

Steve & Annette Economides are New York Times Best Selling authors, homeschool parents of five grown children, and family finance experts. They are passionate about living the frugal lifestyle and sharing the fun and freedom they’ve experienced. They have authored three books: America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money; Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half; The MoneySmart Family System—Teaching Financial Independence to Children of Every Age.

Steve & Annette’s enthusiasm about household finances has earned them appearances on Good Morning America, Today Show, Dr. Phil, CNN, Fox News, 20/20, Nightline, Yahoo Finance, People Magazine, and more.

Their message of Financial Hope is reaching millions around the globe. Visit them at  https://MoneySmartFamily.com.

MoneySmart Family is produced by  Economiser Publications, LLC .  This company is not owned by The Old Schoolhouse, LLC (TOS), and TOS is not responsible for the content produced by MoneySmart Family. TOS may not approve of or endorse all content, resources, and other companies promoted by MoneySmart Family in its columns. The views and opinions expressed in this column or newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TOS on any subject matter. The financial advice and recommendations promoted by MoneySmart Family are not a substitute for expert financial advice. You should consult a qualified financial adviser for financial guidance tailored to your individual needs. 
Are you trying to figure out how to assign separate classes to each of your students within  SchoolhouseTeachers.com ? Watch this  tutorial  to learn how to use the great Bookmark feature to organize course assignments!
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CONSIDERING  homeschooling know about the enormous  FREE  info-pack which awaits them here:  www.TryHomeschooling.com .
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Every class is INCLUDED for ultimate members! 
No limits.
Did you know that poetry is a popular writing form for expressing love? Now is a great time to teach it with four courses offered by SchoolhouseTeachers.com. We have something for every student and every grade with Poetic Elements, Many Facets of Poetry, Opening the Door to Poetry, and Experiencing Epics and Poetry. Not a poetry fan? Maybe your family would prefer one of our Shakespeare courses. Have fun with rhyme and form with SchoolhouseTeachers.com
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Congratulations to Judith, who won our December Contest Corner giveaway!

Contest Corner
for the month of February

Author: C.R. Stewart
386 pages
Juvenile fiction

The story of Britfield & the Lost Crown takes place in the United Kingdom. After escaping from the orphanage in a hot air balloon, the reader will follow along as Tom and his best friend Sarah are chased by Detective Gowerstone and his police force.

While caught up in the action taking them from Yorkshire to the shores of Dover, readers will be exposed to the rich geography, history, and architecture of England.

Along their journey, Tom and Sarah will befriend two professors. The professors will eventually help them on their way to discover if Tom’s parents are truly still alive and if he is, indeed, heir to the throne.
This novel also has a companion Study Guide, which is personally described by a homeschool mom:

I found the Britfield Study Guide to be well thought out and thorough. Available for free to teachers and homeschoolers, the study guide includes learning opportunities focusing on vocabulary, comprehension, and “Going Deeper” exercises which encourage learners to think beyond the story. Portions of the study guide also include “Learn More with Technology” which assists learners in becoming familiar with online research.

The study guide companion is an e-book that can be downloaded and printed. Containing vocabulary study, comprehension, and further in-depth questions, it is a comprehensive guide. It also includes suggestions for ways to enrich learning through further study of the people and places mentioned in the novel.

In addition to the study guide, the website also includes information and pictures about the locations mentioned in the novel to use in enhancing your study.

This is a short description and review of Britfield & the Lost Crown , but you can find links to 75 reviews from homeschool moms describing their family’s experience with this book and related resources on our Homeschool Review Crew site. 

ALSO visit this other excellent page of our site where you can ENTER THE CONTEST for your chance to win this book!
International Homeschool Day

Last year, we were able to covertly supply our International Homeschool Day event streams to underground Christian homeschool associations in an effort to encourage Christian parents and families in countries across the world.

This year, we were notified that a handful of these countries have passed pro-homeschool laws, not only that... but Christian homeschool leaders we have been working with were chosen to sit on government committees to see these laws come to fruition, protecting families and their God-given right to educate their children at home!

Get involved in this global movement and register today as we celebrate faith and family on February 29th:  www.InternationalHomeschoolDay.com
Missouri

Look What’s Happening!

Register now for the 2020 Homeschool Conference and Curriculum Fair! Hosted by Midwest Parent Educators, it will take place April 3-4, 2020 at the KCI Expo Center in Kansas City, MO. For more information, contact the MPE Office at 913-599-0311 or send an email to info@midwesthomeschoolers.org.
How do you balance discipling your children’s character while working through math lessons and field trips and laundry and spelling tests and so much more? How about this: The Homeschool Teaching Summit will refresh your excitement for the journey, equip you with practical management tools, and transform your vision for education and discipleship. Get ready to re-enter your homeschool week with confidence – your best season of Christ-like teaching is right around the corner! Learn from Andrew Pudewa, Rachael Carman, Mark Hamby, and 20+ more speakers during this free online event coming March 2-6, 2020. Learn more and register at http://homeschoolsummits.com/teaching2020tos.
The Winter issue of  The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
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