Monday, November 12, 2012

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Review: November Issue

I don’t know about anybody else, but it’s about this time of year “dazed and confused” becomes part of my every day countenance. I love the Holidays. I really do. But as I always seem to be perched on the edge of the proverbial cliff, (with my toes…which are sadly in need of a pedicure… barely clinging to the sides) I don’t need any more stressors and added activities to push me over the edge. I know. Sounds like a Bummer. And it always seems as if the ole’ Homeschool routine suffers the mosst.

“A Day In The Life of a Crazy, Over Extended Homeschool Mom”. Or ” I’m About At The Edge of My Sanity and I Have to Teach What Now?” These both could be titles of my current book. All of you Homeschool Mammas are waving that gospel hand in the air right now. Preach it! You know what I’m talking about.

Enter The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. The Old SchoolhouseMagazine is a lovely (and FREE) digital magazine filled with all the help and encouragement for the modern homeschool family. I recently curled up with my laptop and my favorite (sugar free) hot chocolate and opened up the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's November Issue. It was like sitting down with a friend.

First of all, the magazine is visually appealing. Colorful and beautifully laid out. I used to get it in a print copy, but The OldSchoolhouse Magazine is now riding the digital wave and even has a free app, which can be found at . The quality of the magazine hasn’t changed in the fact, there is even more content.

My favorite articles in this particular issue of The OldSchoolhouse Magazine are (not coincidently) concerning things God has been dealing with me about lately. There is much needed encouragement in “Refuse To Be A Victim: Avoiding the Self-Pity trap.” By Denise Mira. This hit me right where I live. Too many times I get caught up in what I don’t have or how hard it is to ____ (fill in whatever blank is appropriate for the day) or what curveball life has happened to throw me.  This article is so good I have been quoting it all week…mostly to myself.

This issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine also has focus on music and poetry. Which are two of my great loves. And ironically, two of the things I have had a harder time implementing into our homeschool. I am ashamed to admit this, but I am a former music teacher. For some reason I have had difficulty transferring those experiences and knowledge to our Homeschool. How do I incorporate music into my full curriculum in a broad scope? And how do I do this on a tight budget?  The November issue of TOS really gave me a lot of tools. From “But I Can’t Teach My Child Music” by Marcia Washburn to “Frugal Tips For Music Lessons” by Molly Green (TOS’ Frugal Guru) this issue is full of helps for those of us who need to step it up concerning our child’s music education. There is even a Techy’s take on the whole thing with “Free Music Software” by Andy Harris.

Something I love in general about The Old SchoolhouseMagazine (other than the fact it is FREE…I did mention that, didn’t I?) is that it is thoughtfully divided up into sections depending on the specific needs of the homeschooling family. There is The Charlotte Mason Homeschooler, The Classical Homeschooler, The Struggling Homeschooler (penned by one of my favorite’s, Dianne Craft). It helps the reader get right to the nitty gritty of it all. I immediately went to Dianne Craft’s article in The Struggling Homeschool section (appropriately titled "Homeschooling A Struggling Learner: Where I Find the Time?") before going back and reading the additional articles. I always find her advice to be so encouraging and practical.

Now just a little bit of additional advice. The OldSchoolhouse Magazine is full of advertisements. All helpful I’m sure, but you do have to get a bit of a handle on your impulses when looking at all the wonderful curriculum and helps (speaking from personal experience). I have used TOS quite a bit when shopping for curriculum, but  have to sit on my hands otherwise. But what a great resource in general to have.  It’s advice you can’t get just anywhere. It’s helpful to know that there are families who have been where you are and understand the particular needs of the Homeschool family and the lifestyle that comes with it.

As anyone who does Homeschool understands it is not just about academics, but the whole lifestyle of a family is involved. What I appreciate about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is that I cannot only find nuggets to help me with the academic aspect, but there are articles that address my spiritual needs and even practical homemaking concerns as well. 

 So with that in mind I am going to to off here and read  "Declutter Your Home In Time For the Holidays" by Malia Russell over again. Then I shall go forth and conquer! My dining room needs an intervention! And then my closets and probably my homeschool cabinet...the list goes on and on! I encourage you to download your free copy of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine today! Happy Reading!

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 or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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