Why Should I Keep Homeschooling Through Transitioning Grades?
July 17, 2019
In This Issue:
Remember the “God Factor”

Hey Mama,

Did you forget? Your great God and Savior is sovereign. Things can appear one way, and by all human logic and understanding you may be seeing or hearing an insurmountable “no,” or believing something to be a “done deal.” But we cannot forget the “God factor.” It changes everything.

It upsets the apple cart. It removes the bars and chains and uproots strongholds. It overturns the already-made, hard-core decisions. And it creates a new way, forges new paths, illuminates what’s true and final, giving strength and direction to those who are truly His.

Remember this when friends and family (or your own doubtful thoughts) whisper that you can't keep homeschooling through the transitioning grades—with God's help, you don't have what it takes to teach a child to read or to continue on for middle school or (best of all) high school!

And that's why we're here, too. The writers from T he Old Schoolhouse® Magazine want to encourage you through every grade. You CAN do this!




And remember, Mama. . .

Continue to pray. The Lord is not asleep, and He loves to hear from you. Bring your petitions before the throne room; He listens to His own children. Walk in obedience to His Word so your prayers are heard. Be humble in the way you live out your life. Mentor your children in Christ. Love your husband. Be slow to anger, quick to forgive. Take seriously the mandate to LIVE for Christ. Do not be discouraged when your prayers are not immediately answered. Remember His timing, His plans. It may feel like you are getting a “no” right now (and maybe you are), but His ways are so far above our own; you don’t know what He is doing or the full scope of plans He’s made for you even regarding this current issue. Wait, Mama. Wait. But don’t give up, either. Keep praying. He hears.

Your great God and Savior has beautiful plans. His thoughts towards you are warm because He works out all things for the good of those who love Him. Never forget who you are to the Lord: His much-loved daughter. Daughter of the King . . . that is you, Mama.

We serve a God who isn’t restricted by boundaries or the word “no” when He wishes to respond or act. He then does so in His own timing, on His terms alone, and according to His perfect will, not swayed by those who presume their “no” is final. HE is final. His Word is paramount. Circumstances do not dictate God’s carefully made plans.

We worship a God who loves and cherishes us and who also fiercely defends us. This is a wonderful truth, and it produces an obedient, grateful heart. I long for eternity. I love my Lord and cannot wait to tell Him to His face, if I can even lift my eyes at that time . . . can you imagine that day? Thank You, Oh, Lord. I Praise Your Holy Name.

And worshipful Mama, walk confidently in His care and love for you, in HIS perfect plans for you. “No” is only “no” when He says it’s “no.” Meanwhile, as always, His hand is on your head today. THAT will always be a “yes.”

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will” (Proverbs 21:1).

- gena
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Why Should I Keep Homeschooling Through High School?


Society might tell you that a traditional school setting is better for your high school homeschooler, but today’s edition of “The Homeschool Minute” offers several reasons why you should keep homeschooling through high school.

At the top of the list is safety. Your home is a safe haven where your children can learn effectively at their own pace. Your family has the flexibility to do school whenever and wherever it is convenient for you, and your children will learn in a completely safe environment, free from the distractions and concerns that, sadly, are found too often in traditional school settings today.

A common myth is that students must go to a traditional school to participate in extracurricular activities that will help them stand out when applying for college or a job. That’s not so. Many states and school districts have policies which allow homeschooled students to participate in fine arts, sports, and other clubs at local schools or even attend dances and graduation ceremonies with their friends.

Finally, if you’ve been homeschooling for years and it’s worked for you, why change a good thing? High school courses may be harder to teach than courses in elementary or middle school, but choosing the right curriculum with a supportive staff can ease the burden and ensure that homeschooling through high school will be successful for you and your family.

American School offers accredited high school courses in print or online formats. They can be taken individually to supplement an existing homeschool program or collectively to earn American School’s accredited high school diploma.

Hundreds of courses are offered in core subjects and elective areas, including career and technical courses. Students work at their own pace and may contact their instructors whenever they need assistance. Tuition includes study materials from leading curriculum providers, including online courses from Edmentum and Rosetta Stone, and monthly payment plans are available for students in full-year programs. Visit www.americanschool.org to learn more about American School!

Whether your children plan to attend college or join the workforce, a high school education is critical for their future success. By making the right choices and keeping in mind the reasons listed in this edition of “The Homeschool Minute,” you can feel confident that your children will receive an outstanding high school education as you continue to homeschool them through high school.  
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Homeschooling Middle School – Hard but Worth It!

When families tell us they’re thinking of putting their kids in school for middle school and beyond, we feel sad. Honestly, homeschooling middle school is hard—in many ways, harder than homeschooling high school! But these are some of the most important years of your entire parenting experience—and you don’t want to miss out!

So, what’s going on during those years? Changes— tremendous changes! Before your cute little guy turns into a big strong man or your wisp of a girl into a lovely grown woman, they have a tidal wave of hormones—a couple of years before you see physical changes. Those external changes are the result of those hormones!

That hormonal blast puts our kids on an emotional rollercoaster, and they invite you to join them! Don’t get a ticket for that ride. The careening rush of anger, tears, and sarcasm are enough to make anyone want to quit, but putting them in school won’t improve things. It’ll just join up their drama with a bunch of other kids’.

Meanwhile, their brains are remodeling into their adult version. Connections literally unravel so that they can re-form. When you are trying to teach math and they look at you like you’re an alien, you’re tempted to say, “Your brain is full of mush!” Well, you aren’t far wrong. 

At the same time, they are developing new ability to analyze what they are learning (that’s fun), but the part of the brain that governs executive functions (like focus, priority-setting, and good judgment) is undergoing dramatic changes of its own. That makes school harder. It also makes it harder for them to resist bad influences, and it makes it harder to make good decisions, too.

The combination of emotional craziness and intellectual change usually means that they struggle with spiritual doubts, too. They’ll need your guidance and discipleship more than ever before!

And that’s why you need to keep homeschooling during the transitional, middle school years. During those years, frustrating and annoying as they can be, our kids need us more than ever! They need us to transition our parenting to what they’ll need as young adults. They need us to help them gain perspective. They need us to protect our relationship with them and set the stage to make the teen years great.

If you’ve got a child who’s changing and making you a little crazy, don’t give up—get help. That’s why we wrote No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope. Use the coupon code THMJuly15 to get 15% off!

Your friends,
Hal & Melanie
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Because He Does All Things Well

Dear Homeschooling Parent, Colleague, FRIEND…

I so understand how and why you may feel overwhelmed about the middle and high school years. This is a time when many of us begin to doubt ourselves, question the academic abilities and preparedness of our students (and ourselves!), and feel uncertain about the future. Thankfully, there is such good news!

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Yes, all things! The grades, the transcripts, the high-level math and science courses, even foreign language. You can do all the things—because HE can do all the things (and He does them all so well)!

First, take a moment to breathe and to review—or perhaps to outline for the first time, if you are new to homeschooling—your goals for your students and how your homeschool journey will help to equip them for the future that God has for them:

1. Relationship. Homeschooling affords us the best possible opportunity to examine and strategize (and build into the school day) ways to improve our relationships—all of them—the ones we have with each other and the one we have with the Lord. If we are wise, we will prioritize “relationship” above all other things. Remember that relationship is the focus of the two commandments that Jesus identifies as most important! (Mark 12:30, 31)


2. Character. Very little of what we do academically will matter in the long run if our children do not learn to value and embody good character traits. Brilliant and powerful people with multiple degrees can easily ruin their own lives and those of others, absent good character. Homeschooling allows us more time to patiently and lovingly teach (in gracious and positive terms) what good character looks like. Conflicts, mistakes, and other everyday issues are our constant training ground. If our children were at school all day, they would be taught rules, but would they learn truths about godly character? A person with good character requires few rules, and rules are made to be broken by one who has bad character.

3 . Academics. Many families are exiting public (and even private) schools because of a shift in dynamics within the classroom. They desire greater academic freedom for their students. They want for their children to know how to think, not what to think. They seek to instill within their children a passion for learning and for life that transcends facts, figures, names, and dates. The experience that they envision for their families is holistic, personalized, practical, affirming, and truly beautiful. They want what you have available to you right now. Take heart!

4. Interests. Whether your student has a particular interest in sports, arts and crafts, music, woodworking, hunting, fishing, or any other pursuit, you may find (as my family and I certainly have!) that opportunities within the homeschool community, or from your local parks and recreation department, local individuals and groups, etc., far outnumber those to which your student would have access if he/she were in school all day. Over the years, my children have participated in homeschool sports, swimming lessons at a Christian camp, martial arts, private art and music lessons, homeschool camps and clubs, and even internships with professionals from the homeschool community. Some of these hobbies later become marketable skills, opening doors to new occupations or self-employment. Since you control your own calendar, your availability is increased for any such worthwhile activity.

Second, brainstorm with your spouse and your children. What are their goals, and what is their vision for the coming year? For middle school/high school? What programs or curricula have they loved? Which subjects, expectations, or requirements need to be reconsidered or revamped? Have they heard of some opportunity that sparks interest? What new hobby would inspire them?

Third, consider how you might meet as many interests as possible. Your homeschool can allow you the flexibility and the autonomy to seek the approaches, curricula, manipulatives, schedule, and settings that work best for your student. The variety of resources available to us has never been more incredible! Online classes, videos, curriculum publishers, and apps abound, and many of these are now designed specifically for (even by!) homeschool families. Regional, state, and local support groups, co-ops, and live classes can enrich your student’s journey and meet needs as well.

As with everything, cover your homeschool in prayer. “The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it” (1 Thess. 5:24).

As you collaborate to create a unique and individualized education for each child, you will discover a few really nice developments. Homeschoolers routinely get so adept at thinking outside of the box that we become entrepreneurs, authors, inventors, coaches—movers and shakers. We are active in our communities and in politics. We organize activities and events to benefit our children and other people’s children. We give, we share, and we encourage. Homeschoolers are pretty awesome! 

Final thoughts:

  • As you continue to homeschool, you continue to exemplify a zeal for lifelong learning for your child. 
  • As you teach valuable character traits to your students, you continue to grow in character yourself—and to model intentionality for your child.
  • As your students observe your resourcefulness, they will learn to be resourceful.
  • Your industry and frugality will pay off exponentially as your children—and later, their children—employ industry and frugality.
  • Problem-solving and conflict resolution are some of the most important things you will teach. Do it well! (Read Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury. Read it aloud together).
  • The days are long, but the years are short.
  • When you know better, you do better.
  • Colleges love homeschoolers! 
  • You don’t have time to worry.

Cheers!

- Caryn Hommel 

Caryn Hommel, homeschool mom and author, earned a degree in Spanish Language and Literature from  NCSU  and taught Spanish in public schools for ten years. Her successful experience with  Total Physical Response (TPR)  and  Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS)  motivated her to develop  Excelerate SPANISH , a unique DVD-based curriculum to help other homeschoolers to benefit from wonderful, brain-friendly approaches to foreign language instruction.
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Change, Transition, and a Mission

Middle school-aged students are going through lots of changes: physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Their bodies are starting to mature, requiring them to sleep more (rejoice in this . . . your kids won’t get up at the crack of dawn anymore!). They have to fuel these changes, so they may eat more (particularly boys as their muscle mass increases). Studies have shown that this is the time when the brain finishes its rapid development from birth, enabling middle schoolers to better understand abstract ideas. They are learning to process bigger issues, reason more, and challenge more. This is a good thing, folks!

But it means that you will greatly benefit from lots of opportunities to discuss these changes. What better way to do that than by keeping them at home and homeschooling! As they ask the bigger questions, you are there to dialog with them. As they begin to develop a faith of their own, you are more available to talk about those topics. 

You can also emphasize the importance of building character. You can allow them to make mistakes and learn from the consequences in a safe environment. You can adjust their schedule so they are able to get the rest they need. And most importantly, you can build your relationship with them as they grow and mature into adults! 

What about academics? This is the perfect time to include your students into your school planning. Homeschooling affords the ability to explore interests. They can start to volunteer, job shadow, write a blog about something they enjoy, start a small business, build skills in music, art, and sports. The sky’s the limit when you homeschool, as compared to the inside-the-box, often one-size-fits-all approach that most schools have to utilize.

We only have our children in our homes for a short time. What a valuable and blessed opportunity to pour into this next generation: our greatest mission field!

Sherri Seligson and her husband David homeschooled their four children for 21 years. Before being promoted to motherhood, Sherri worked as a degreed marine biologist at Walt Disney World. She has authored Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Marine Biology, General Science, instructional video courses for Apologia’s science curricula, and more. Sherri is an international conference and retreat speaker. Using transparency, truth, and humor, she encourages moms on their homeschool journey and teaches families the importance of studying God’s creation. 
Who’s the Best of the Best in Homeschool Curricula and Products? The Old Schoolhouse® wants to know! Cast your votes for the Excellence in Education Awards by August 15, 2019, to receive a $100 gift certificate for digital products* in our Schoolhouse Store. You’ll also be entered in the drawing to win a Kindle Fire Tablet! Take the survey today and see the results revealed in the Winter 2019 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

* not applicable to SchoolhouseTeachers.com memberships
Maine

Look What's Happening!

Homeschoolers of Maine is hosting a Barnes & Noble Bookfair (In Store and Online) and Homeschool Mini Conference on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at Barnes & Noble in Augusta, Maine. (Shop online to support HOME through August 19.) For more information and a conference schedule, please visit their website: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/events/barnes-noble-bookfair/
Texas

Look What’s Happening!

Texas HOME Educators is inviting you to attend the Summer Summit on August 3, 2019 at Midway Baptist Church in Kountze, TX. The four sessions of the Summer Summit are faith, friendships, food, and fun. These four f's are the ingredients for a happy homeschool mom. Contact Susan Reed, susanmreed22@gmail.com for more details!

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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No limits.
Could your teen use a short but academically challenging course to add to his transcript? This summer, why not try a high school intensive? We’ve assembled a list in our Summer Resources Center of courses that are short enough to be done over the summer but intensive enough to be challenging. Your teen could consider: 

  • Christian Values in J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Great Books, Part One and Part Two
  • Selected Works of Charles Dickens
  • Worldviews in Literature
  • The Constitution and Bill of Rights
  • Introduction to Theology, Part One and Part Two
  • Reading Religious Affections
  • Study of Original Sin by Jonathan Edwards
  • Christian Discipleship
  • Advanced Music Theory

Plus, we have Writing the College Admission Essay, SAT-Math Test Prep, Money 101, College Choice Guidance, and Career Exploration, and more to help them get ready for the next step.

If you haven’t joined SchoolhouseTeachers.com, come give us a try! If you or someone you know would be interested in teaching or writing for us, let us know. You can email me at bhudson@TheOldSchoolhouse.com. Discover the wealth of materials available right at your fingertips at SchoolhouseTeachers.com. 


Bonnie Rose Hudson
Director of SchoolhouseTeachers.com
A division of The Old Schoolhouse ® Magazine


in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Contest Corner
For the Month of July



Color Thru History™ - The People of Early Civilization  is a Learn & Color Book where students learn about the top historical figures in early civilization while coloring. This 96-page workbook has thick pages with a blank page opposite the coloring page so that whatever coloring tool you choose to use you do not have to worry about bleed-through. You can buy books individually or subscribe to receive the monthly selection of Learn & Color Books.

Learn & Color Books launched in 2018 to develop coloring material for children and adults . Learners of all types can benefit from this workbook. Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC said, “ Coloring utilizes both hemispheres of the brain, right and left. When we are thinking about balance, color choices, applying coloring pencil to paper, we are working on problem solving and fine motor skills…”. Because there are no assignments, questions to answer, or tests to take students can relax and enjoy learning about each historical figure and then coloring something related to their life.

For the life of Abraham section, you see the time he lived and a description of the main points of his life. Here’s part of it: “ Abraham, born Abram, was the tenth descent from Noah. He married Sarai, who was barren…God makes Abram three promises: a relationship with God, uncountable descendants, and land…Sarah conceived a child, whom they named Isaac…Abraham is known as the Father of Israel.” The page that the summary is written on is in brilliant, full color with pictures and a map. The timeline is at the bottom of the page. Opposite this page is the coloring page that has a written text in bubble letters that says, “ I will bless those who bless you.” Once all the coloring pages are complete the coloring pages can be taken out and you are left with a great history book.


YOU can WIN this book for your homeschool! 
 
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