The Importance of Art, Music, and Drama
June 24, 2020
In This Issue:
Mercy Every Minute  
The Electives Become the Careers

We have always exposed our children to a variety of extracurricular activities. From city baseball and soccer teams to homeschool drama; from jump rope classes to creation clubs, and from art classes to music to wool spinning—I can’t say we’ve tried it all, but we’ve come pretty close. Many of those activities have been a direct answer to prayer for specific needs of specific children. Some have actually become careers. 

One child’s American Sign Language class eventually became a career as a certified deaf interpreter. One child’s art classes and computer interests led to a career as the media director for a mega-church. So, don’t undervalue the extracurricular classes! 

The balancing act in all of this is learning what to decline and when to add another activity. We try to evaluate the benefit of the activity before just adding another thing to our schedule. We also check our schedule to make sure we still have time for our basic schoolwork. Before adding an activity, you may want to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Does my child have a bent for this activity already and would it benefit him further? 
  • Would it improve his skills or use his skills in a new way? 
  • Would it be an outlet for cooped-up energy?
  • Could we find a way to do the same thing at home?
  • Can more than one child participate?
  • Does it incorporate ministry or evangelism? (A huge plus!)
  • Does it give the child glory or could it also give God glory? 
  • Are parents and siblings welcome?
  • Does it fit with our educational themes and goals this year or can it wait?
  • Do we really have the time/energy to make this commitment? Or is it important enough to sacrifice time? 

Because we have had a large family, we have tried to incorporate as many children as we can in any extracurricular activity, or we have focused on one or two children per year for those extra activities. 

Whatever you choose, make sure your husband is in full agreement since many activities take up precious and sometimes limited family time. Is art, music, and drama important? Read the Bible and you will see all three of those played out time and again. 

Above all, we need to make sure we’ve prayed and asked for God’s guidance and wisdom. He says He offers it freely to all who will just ask! So, ask, and ask, and ask again as you keep His children Home Where They Belong.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” ~James 1:5



The Paper Airplane

SO many people have. . .

SO many opinions. . .

about SO many things these days. . .

And that can be SO frustrating!

In those moments of frustration, in those difficult, angry moments, it is usually the arts that bring us back. Whether it’s a composition played beautifully by skilled musicians; a story that swallows us emotionally set on a stage or a screen; a single image so masterfully rendered that it makes us slow our lives down to notice an exquisite, single detail; it’s usually the arts. The arts are a cool breeze that sweeps through us and gives us hope that there is more . . . more than the mundane. more than the “prove-able,” more than the mass produced, and more than I can control. Masterpieces engage us, music renews us, and drama reveals how we think. And when done well, they do it without an argument, without a fight on Facebook.

Very few things can deliver universal admiration like an artist who has spent years striving, failing, improving, and succeeding. Practicing the same task over and over, all the while knowing that perfection will always remain just out of reach (but it might be possible to get a little closer). And then with incredible effort, but as if spontaneously, that artist produces a creation that touches a piece of us we knew was there but had not thought of before. A paper airplane of inspiration thrown into the night sky by a humble artisan sailing along to reach the world with its message.

And for me, it is done 24 times each second. To me animation is the culmination of all these disciplines. A good cartoon includes artistic visuals, a well-crafted story, and beautiful music (and of course, a good laugh).

My name is Chad Stewart, and I’ve spent the last 30 years as a professional animator, working on films such as Disney’s Tarzan, Fantasia 2000 , and The Emperor’s New Groove (in hand drawn animation) and Stuart Little 2, The Polar Express and Surf’s Up (in computer animation).

My wife Kayla and I opened an online animation course for middle and high school students five years ago and have brought these principles (with courses in drawing, animation, story, and film-making) to over 2,500 students all over the world. If you are interested in throwing your own paper airplane, we’d love to teach you as well. Visit us at to learn more.

The Smiling Homeschooler’s Guide to Art, Music, and Drama

#1 - Music

I was in the school band . . . played the baritone saxophone. I got married, had eight kids, wore out a couple of stereos from non-stop listening but am too tired to have all our kids play an instrument or take music lessons. That’s just the way life is.

If all your kids play the violin, great. If your kids can’t carry a tune in a bucket, great. Quit feeling guilty about it and get on with living and enjoying life.

#2 - Art

If you like art and want to teach your kids art, then go for it. If you don’t like art and don’t want to teach your kids art, that’s just as okay. Don’t feel guilty.

#3 - Drama

You got kids? You got drama. Done.

Now, if you have a younger child who wants to be in a play or skit, let them make their own plays and skits at home. If you have older children who want to be involved in a local drama “thing,” let them . . . after carefully assessing the influences they’ll be surrounded by.

If your kids don’t want to do drama and you don’t like drama, then don’t do it, have a great summer, and don’t feel guilty.

That concludes all my thoughts on art, music, and drama.

Be real,

Visit  to learn about our collections of conservative instrumental hymn arrangements beautifully arranged by M. Dean Kincaid for various skill levels. CDs also available.
Theatre: Experience for All Areas of Life

Did you know that involvement in the performing arts can help students develop communication skills, imagination, and confidence? As a director and drama teacher, I love watching homeschoolers blossom and put their theatre experience to good use in all areas of life! Three former students shared with me how theatre experience has helped them in life. 

Communication and relational skills are often developed in theatre. Stephanie, an introvert who is happiest at the piano or reading a good book, says she learned to connect and relate to others through a homeschool drama group.

She learned that the words we say are not as important as how we say them; therefore, actors must use body language and voice to communicate effectively. Stephanie is now a pastor's wife who homeschools her three children. She uses the communication skills she learned in her drama group to direct music, plan activities for her church, teach Sunday school classes, and organize homeschool events.

Theatre also develops imagination, and everyone can benefit from imagination! Elizabeth says, “[Involvement in theatre] expanded my way of thinking. I had to see things from someone else's point of view.” 

Today, Elizabeth uses her imagination as she homeschools four children with very different personalities—her ability to empathize with people is a joy. Creativity enabled her to launch a successful knitting business from her home and to keep life exciting and entertaining for her family.

Most importantly, performing builds confidence. Carolyn, now a college student, says theatre taught her, “Not worrying how people are going to perceive you and instead doing it for the One Who loves you the most.” 

Performers take a risk. It is not their writing, drawing, or math skills that are being scrutinized by the audience, it is the performer himself. As scary as that may sound, standing on stage and realizing, “I can do this!” transforms a student's self confidence. 

Theatre helps students grow in so many ways! 

Remember that theatre is a powerful tool. Your children's worldview will be affected by the performances they are involved in and the team they work with, so be sure to find a theatre group that shares your values. There are many Christian theatre companies across the country and acting and singing lessons are available online. 

It takes time and effort, but drama opportunities will help prepare your children for God's work—on stage or off!

Stephen Joseph Burke serves as Artistic Director of Shining Light Players. With his wife Alisha and their four children, Stephen produces plays and musicals at the Rex Theatre in Pensacola, FL, and through national tours. Stephen has written fourteen successful plays and directed over thirty productions. Stephen holds a MFA in Dramatics from Pensacola Christian College where he taught theatre for six years. He has acted professionally on the stage, in film, and on television. Stephen teaches online lessons in acting, writing, and directing for all ages. Visit for information.
 Give your family a lifetime of confidence, joy, and creativity with Beyond the Stick Figure Online Art School, easy-to-use, incremental lessons for students age 5-95! 
Active preschoolers and their parents love ’s Preschool Playground filled with videos, printables, crafts, and more! Code: LADYBUG secures a PreK-8 Quarterly Membership for only $27.97 (reg. $37.97).

Perseverance - Teamwork Inspire students with an amazing coastal search and rescue unit.
Stories – Art – Drama – Science, Grades 4-12
Trim Healthy Mama
Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett,
Fruit Juice: Good for You?

Staying hydrated is vitally important to your health. What you drink, however, is as important as how much you drink. The average person living in the United States consumes half of their sugar intake from beverages. Most people aren’t aware that this is even more dangerous to their health than the actual sugar they eat. Anything you put in your body in liquid form is absorbed faster into the bloodstream. Fruit juice can actually spike your blood sugar out of the safe zone because it no longer has the fiber from the actual fruit to slow it down.

Drinking juice is like chugging liquid sugar, even if it is natural fruit sugar. Straight juice makes your blood sugar levels skyrocket very quickly, which harms your body far more than even eating sugary food. If you think juice is a sugar bomb, sodas with their forty-plus grams of sugar per can (about ten to twelve teaspoons of sugar!) are like a sugar tornado whirling through your body, inflicting a lot of destruction . Energy drinks, sweet tea, fruit juice, sports drinks, sugar-sweetened lemonade, vitamin water, and all those smoothies/shakes have different forms of sugar. You’ll want to do your best to avoid them.

The Trim Healthy story started with sisters Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett who wrote a self-published book about food freedom and called it  Trim Healthy Mama.

The message caught on as people shared their health transformations with others, and now millions have reclaimed their health and slimmed down living the family-friendly Trim Healhy Mama lifestyle. Serene and Pearl have 19 kids between them and have homeschooled all of them.

The sisters, their husbands, and families all work together to run the Trim Healthy Mama company, turning a lifetime of experiences into a movement that is transforming lives every day.

Their new Trim Healthy You homeschool curriculum is now available at .

Trim Healthy Mama is produced by Trim Healthy Mama LLC. This company is not owned by The Old Schoolhouse, LLC (TOS), and TOS is not responsible for the content produced by Trim Healthy Mama. TOS may not approve of or endorse all content, resources, and other companies promoted by Trim Healthy Mama 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 nutritional, health, and exercise advice and recommendations promoted by Trim Healthy Mama are not a substitute for medical advice. You should consult qualified health professionals for health, nutritional, and exercise guidance tailored to your individual needs.
Plan the upcoming school year with ease using the Schoolhouse SmartMama™ Planner ! The 2020–21 new and improved digital planner is available in The Schoolhouse Store for only $29! Looking for more than a planner to help you with the upcoming year? Become a member today and receive access to the 2020–21 planner in your Member Dashboard for no extra cost. Stay organized all year long! This new and improved digital planner has editable components that will save time and effort with intuitive features, interactive budgets, and a page-spawning feature that lets you customize to your unique number of children. Keep assignments, reading logs, attendance charts, chore charts, prayer journals, and more in one handy file. Print your planner pages or save information directly on your device so you and your children can access it at any time!

How do you plan on showing your patriotism this July 4th? Will you don your red, white, and blue? Will you fly Old Glory high for the whole world to see? Though July 4th celebrations may look a little different this year, the reasons to celebrate remain strong: freedom and independence! Americans across the nation remain triumphant in the values that hold the country together and continue to celebrate its heritage.  The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine  is joining in this celebration from  June 22–July 15 !
Are you looking for more weekly encouragement and ideas? We have a team of homeschool moms who share their heart on a wide variety of topics. Some write about fun ideas of things to do, food to make, and places to go. Others tell of obstacles, struggles, milestones, and everyday life while going through this homeschooling journey. By receiving our weekly e-mail, you will not miss out on any of the great articles that are shared on our blog.  Head over  to receive your first e-mail on Saturday.

Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those 
CONSIDERING  homeschooling know about the enormous  FREE  info-pack which awaits them here: .
Did you know?
Every class is INCLUDED for ultimate members! 
No limits.
At , we value creativity. That’s why we offer twenty courses in digital and studio-based art to encourage your kids to develop their artistic talents! We also offer drum , guitar, violin , and voice lessons, not to mention the music theory classes. And to round out the lineup of our creative arts courses, we also have How to Write and Produce a Play , Reader’s Theater , and Simply Shakespeare . Let us help you!
in the summer issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.

Look What’s Happening!

Florida Parent Educators Association is hosting the 2020 FPEA Homeschool Convention on July 23-25 in Orlando, Florida. Register online or contact Sharon Rice at for more information.
Congratulations to Toini S. who won our April Contest Corner Giveaway!
Contest Corner
for the month of June

Omano OM118-M3 Monocular Compound Microscope

Microscope, LLC

Every young scientist needs a microscope as a tool for discovery. . . Now that I have a middle-schooler who thrives in science and wants all the tools, I knew we needed to invest in a more quality microscope.

This microscope has a beautiful, sleek design and looks like any high-quality microscope that you would see in any school or science class. It felt very professional, durable, and user-friendly. The magnifying power is from 40X-400X. There are three viewing capabilities that rotate with ease. The eye-piece also rotates at a 45-degree angle effortlessly and is convenient when sharing the microscope between multiple students.

Though this microscope is recommended for K-12 and described as an introductory microscope, I would say that this is one of the higher-end introductory microscopes that I have seen.

There are optional add-ons for expanded use that include digital cameras with Windows or Mac operating systems that come in 1.3 or 3.1 megapixel resolution, as well as a reticle or a smartphone adaptor. We did not review these items, but I can see how they would be beneficial depending on your needs.

I highly recommend this microscope. The quality and design will surely please any budding scientist. It's an excellent value for the dollar amount and a perfect addition to any homeschool.
This is a shortened review of the Monocular Compound Microscope . Read the complete review on our site and get more details on how great this would be for your science learning.

You’ll also want to go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN the OM118-M3 40X-400X Student Compound Microscope Gift Package (includes book and 5 prepared slides).
The Summer issue of  The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
is now available for FREE online!
Click the graphic to read it cover to cover! 
Read the SUMMER 2020 issue free
or download the free mobile apps

Get the print issue here .

Current subscribers go  here   to access all back issues.
We Want Your Feedback!
If you liked today's  Homeschool Minute , please email the editors and tell us what part you liked most. It's a huge blessing to receive feedback! 

Please add  to your email contacts so that our emails to you don't land in spam.