“The Old Schoolhouse” magazine or TOS, published by Paul and Gena Suarez (thehomeschoolmagazine.com), has been a part of my homeschooling life for many years. I’ve always found it to be a magazine of substantial depth as well as breadth, and my take-away from the magazine has probably been greater than from any other periodical I’ve read, homeschool or otherwise! Currently, TOS is published in a print version once yearly, but you may access it each month (free!) in its digital form either on your computer or electronic devices by Apple, Android or Kindle Fire. I’ve often thought that reading an issue of TOS is kind of like attending a homeschool conference, only from the privacy of your own home! Each issue contains well-written articles on subjects as varied as:
- Homeschooling styles (classical, hands-on, eclectic, and so on)
- Homeschooling different age groups (pre-K, elementary, middle and high school)
- Technology & homeschooling
- The purpose and focus of our homeschool and parenting
- Tips for teaching different subjects
- Community resources
- and much more than I can address here!
Recently I spent a couple of weeks reading through the July/August issue of TOS. I am a fairly new convert to digital magazines; I’ve always preferred the print version of almost anything to the electronic one. However, TOS’ digital versions won me over! I’ve tried the magazine on both iPad and PC; the magazine is very easy to read and simple to access on both. I must say that I preferred the app version only because it’s more comfortable for me to sit on our couch reading the iPad than at our laptop desk….not because one version is better than the other. The major difference between the two (other than my physical comfort) was that you can see/access the table of contents to the left on a sidebar with the PC version which enables you to jump to any article immediately (as well as search for words/articles and get help). With the TOSApp, you can read the magazine in either landscape or portrait version simply by turning the device one way or the other.
I found some extremely timely and helpful articles in the July/August issue of TOS. While it’s pretty difficult for me to select only a few of my favorites to share with you, here are some that were especially meaningful to me as I’m planning the upcoming school year:
- As a homeschool mom of one boy, I’ve struggled off and on for years with how to teach PE. We’ve often relied on swimming lessons, exercise bike, mini-tramp and group hikes simply because we don’t have enough family members to field a baseball team! There is a wonderful article, “Exercising Character” by Nanci Smith that addresses not only the importance of the personal discipline of exercise but also provides numerous ideas and curricula (some even for free) that you can implement in fun ways together, regardless of the size of your family.
- I’m always looking for ways to integrate art into my homeschool, so Pat Knepley’s “American Independence in Art” not only reminded me of some favorite paintings but also informed me of ways art was used in the early days of our nation to instruct and remind Americans of the lives of those who sacrificed so much for our country’s foundation. It can certainly do the same for us and our children today.
- There’s an entire Spotlight on Foreign Languages in this issue! Teaching a foreign language can feel intimidating to many, but there’s never been a time when more resources were available to easily integrate them into your homeschool. Here, you can read about how Dad can help with teaching a foreign language; how to include Latin and/or Greek in your lessons; the importance of Spanish and how to begin it; and technology resources to help you along. I’d like to use some of these tips to further our own foreign language work. For me, the desire to teach languages is always present, but the actual doing of it….well, that’s another matter! 🙂 I’m hoping to make this the year we actually start AND finish one!
- I enjoyed the enrichment articles as well; “Living History Museums” and “25 Unique Field Trips Across the U.S.” reminded me to take advantage of those opportunities when I can…as well as informing me of neat ones I’ve never heard of but will add to our list!
- Deborah Wuehler’s editorials are always thoughtful, encouraging and often funny; this month’s “I’m Done With Homeschooling! When You’re Ready to Send the Kids Away” is a great resource for…..well, you know, one of THOSE days!
All of these wonderful articles, plus MANY others, can be accessed totally free, either for your PC/Mac (TheOldSchoolhouse digital magazine) or for your Apple/Kindle Fire/Android device (TOSApps). In addition, past issues of TOS are also available at the same sites.
“The Old Schoolhouse” Magazine really addresses the entire life of a homeschooling family. As rich, full and instructive as TOS is, it’s also very encouraging and even comforting to read. It’s almost like sitting down with a kind and loving homeschooling expert in the comfort of your own home, with a mocha latte and a chocolate chip cookie beside you. You always come away from reading it with a greater sense of purpose and calling, with new tools and ideas as well, for your homeschooling journey.
You can read other great reviews by from Schoolhouse Review Crew members by clicking here!