I was recently invited to do a review of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (November/December issue), so here we are :).
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is a magazine specifically geared toward homeschool parents – right up my alley! I’d never read it before, but I have been following their blog for a couple of months, and they always have loads of good things to say there, so I was confident the magazine would be great too, and I was not disappointed. I especially loved the Christian focus of many of the articles. Providing a Christ-centered education for my boys is of utmost importance to me, especially as we begin to enter the Advent season, and there were so many great pieces that not only provided ideas for keeping Christ at the center of our lives, but why we must do so.
I particularly loved the article Having a Holiday Heart: Seven Reasons to Celebrate (even when you don’t want to). Pulling examples directly from the Gospel of Luke, the author offered food for thought on the breakdown of the word “holiday” (holy day) and the fact that every day is holy to God, and therefore should be holy to us, even when we’re having a “down” or “off” day, and how each participant in the original Christmas story had a celebratory heart, even in less-than-ideal circumstances.
The article on using the public library to create your own homeschool curriculum was a fascinating read for me as well. I’ve been homeschooling my boys since Day 1, and only this year (Seahawk is in 4th grade, and Munchkin is in 2nd grade) feel like I’m doing something “right.” Things like this article serve as great reminders for how to put together a simple unit study without spending a dime. Always good for people on a budget! The emphasis in this month’s issue was science and history/social studies, and was Part III, so I’m very interested in going back to the past issues and catching up on the series.
We all know that the holidays are coming – can you believe Thanksgiving is next week already?! So the piece surrounding the history of our traditional holiday foods was excellent in both timing and content. Did you know that even hares and dormice were stuffed in the early days? Me neither. Or that stuffing (or dressing, depending on how you cook it) was traditionally a way to use up leftovers, not as its own dish? Kind of reminds me of a quilt (which is another of my passions, as you know) – in the early days, quilts were a way to use up extra fabric, but now there are specific “quilting fabric” sections in the stores. How far we’ve come. Those are just two of the interesting food histories touched on in the article. There are also histories for pumpkin pie, gingerbread, turkey, fruitcake, and candy canes.
Even the ads in the magazine were fascinating to me since this is the first year I’ve really thought about homeschool curriculum (beyond just the workbooks for every subject that my kids hated). I don’t use any purchased curriculum, except for our math books (the one holdover from our workbook days), but it’s still interesting to see what other people are using. And I’m not opposed to purchasing something if I think it would be a good fit for my sons. I spent the first three years of my homeschooling not having a clue what I was doing, which wasn’t good for them or me, but now that we have a bit of a system down, I’m feeling open again toward traditional curriculum (my last experience, the infamous “workbook period” of our homeschool, while necessary for my own confidence boosting, was not of the “super positive” variety).
The magazine is available for free online bi-monthly; I’ll definitely be reading it again! I wish I’d known about it years ago, but as the saying goes, “better late than never.” I barely scratched the surface of what’s in there in this review. For any of you who are experienced homeschoolers, newbie homeschoolers, considering homeschooling, someone considering going the homeschool route, or even just parents of kids (of any age – articles cover educating children from elementary through college prep years) I definitely recommend checking it out. With well over 150 pages, there’s bound to be something in it for you.
For more information on the Schoolhouse Review Crew, click HERE (and I highly recommend visiting their site, too – even if you don’t have any intention of homeschooling; the current post is about creating your own Christmas traditions, which is a topic dear to my heart this year, and I’ll touch on it in a future post). To read this month’s Old Schoolhouse Magazine, click HERE. For a list of mobile apps the Crew offers, click HERE.