The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Labor of Love Subscription Special


Where can you turn to for Encouragement, Continuing Education, and Fun?

The Old Schoolhouse

The  Magazine for Homeschooling Families

This magazine is remarkable to me for being very well rounded.  Each issue offers homeschooling parents a little “Homeschool Convention”.  Just as a convention hosts a wide variety of topics, so does this magazine.  I love that each topic covered in the magazine has more than one article covering different aspects of that topic.  For example, in the summer edition, there was the topic of “Manners”. Then four articles focused on manners. From why manners are important to helping you teach manners to your children. 

I receive encouragement from reading about the struggles and triumphs of homeschooling parents. As I have chosen homeschooling my children as my main vocation, to me The Old Schoolhouse magazine is my continuing education.  I would recommend this magazine to any homeschooling family in a heartbeat!  Now that I have told you a little of why I like the magazine, read further to find out the amazing subscription offer from The Old Schoolhouse.


Homeschooling Is a Labor of Love

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is extending an extraordinary subscription offer to homeschool families. Receive a one-year print subscription for just $7.95 or a one-year plus current issue subscription for $12.95. One-year subscriptions start with the winter issue. the one-year plus current issue starts with the fall issue. Only 5000 of these special subscriptions are available from August 31 through midnight on September 15. Once the 5000 are gone, they’re gone! Hurry and grab this crazy price today!

Click here or on the picture above for more information.

I have written this advertisement in an effort to help The Old Schoolhouse advertise their sale. I will be receiving the MP3’s of their upcoming Homeschool Expo in exchange for this post.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pencils, Pens, Books and Computers?

     I have decided to join in on the TOS Homeschool Crew’s Blog Cruise.  This is where we have a topic to write about, and then you can click on the Blog Cruise button and go see what everybody else wrote as well.

     The topic this week is technology and how or if you use it in your homeschool.  I would have to unequivocally say YES! I use technology in our schooling. Technology to me is using electronic devices, programs and applications for those devices. 


     The main technological gadget we use is the computer.  Matthew and Sarah would rather type  than handwrite answers for reading questions.  Papers are written and edited on the computer.  Sarah has been teaching herself Power Point. She was told to keep a journal for a unit study and she decided to do the “journal” in Power Point.  A lot of research is done on the internet as well.  Sarah will take pictures of birds or caterpillars and will look them up to see what kind they are. They also use the computer for certain classes, like Biology and Chemistry.  As the CD-Rom versions of Apologia Science were cheaper than the textbook, they read the book and answer the questions on the computer.

     With Ben and Rebekah, they use computers as well, just not in the same way as the older two.  Both of them like to play games on the computer.  Sometimes these are games on a disk and sometimes they are internet games.  Ben’s favorite is Boy's Life, the Boy Scout website and Rebekah likes JCPlayzone a kid’s game site from Lutheran Hour Ministries.  Rebekah loves to send e-cards to grandparents from JCPlayzone.  We have also done unit studies together that are on computer. 

     For my part, I like the computer for school in many different ways.  I make up schedules, chore charts, menus, grocery lists that I can print out and easily tweak and print out again as needed.  I will pull up the Math U See's website to quickly make up worksheets for more practice.  The science for Ben and Rebekah has a disk that I can print off worksheets and tests.

     An accessory of the computer that I couldn’t live without is my printer.  It is a printer, copier, fax machine.  Well the fax part I could care less about, but the printer and copier is another story.  We have had our printer break down and we are lost without it.  Matthew and Sarah can’t print out their answers for me to check. I can’t do my menu or schedules or the million other things that I seem to need.


     I don’t consider an i-Pod  necessary school equipment, but it is nice to have.  After reading the book Johnny Tremain out loud twice now, when it was time to read it to Ben and Rebekah, I bought it as an audiobook so we could listen to it together. This has freed up time to allow for other read-alouds without killing my voice.I have found that i-Tunes University has some neat things on it  for Matthew, such as English classes. 

Television Resources

     The TV comes into play in school in various ways as well.  Since we use Math U See as our main math curriculum, we watch the lessons on DVD.  We also have NetFlix and are able to find documentaries that we can stream. We are able to stream these through our Wii.  

     Well, that is our technology in a nutshell.  We use technology everyday,along with using real books and paper.  I feel it is very important for my kids to know how to use and feel comfortable using various technologies.  My husband and I use these technology on a daily basis and know that as my kids go out into the world they will have to know and not be scared of new innovations.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fair Time

     It is time for the fair!  Around here we have been excited for a couple of weeks as we were getting projects ready to enter.  Sarah, Ben and Rebekah all had things they entered.  Sarah is an amateur photographer and had three pictures to enter. Ben made a can cozy out of duct tape. Rebekah had embroidered a picture, which we made into a pillow.  008

   Then the best part of all. On Saturday, we went to the fair to see how their entries fared. 

     What great excitement when we found out two of Sarah’s pictures had ribbons: a second and a fourth.


Ben’s can cozy with magnetic holder received an honorable mention.


Rebekah’s embroidered pillow had a third place ribbon.


And the fun didn’t stop there.  We were able to watch a demonstration on “How to Give a Chicken a Bath”, participate in the kid’s Tractor Pull, and milk a cow.  All great fun for kids that have never lived near a farm.










Even Matthew found something he enjoyed, The Navy Seal Challenge. Well, he enjoyed it all the way to the “I worked out too hard in 100 degree weather and got sick” part.  But once everything was out of his stomach he was just fine, and proud of how well he did.  Navy recruiters will soon be ringing our house.


All in all, we had a great day at the fair!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

October Schoolhouse Expo


It's back to homeschool time and registration is open for the online Schoolhouse Expo, October 4-8. It's five days of top homeschool speakers, fellowship, and fun door prizes.

Save $5 per ticket! Register between August 16 and midnight August 22, and you'll pay only $19.99. Plus you'll receive over $200 in free E-Books.

You'll be inspired by speakers including: Zan Tyler, Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright,Carol Barnier, Diana Waring, Todd Wilson, Davis Carman, Kim Kautzer, Lee Binz, and many more!

A special teen track is planned--the entire family will definitely want to listen to these special sessions. We've also planned a special focus on a topic that touches every homeschool--writing. Plus, an array of other topics that will inform and inspire you throughout your homeschooling years.

Don't forget, MP3 copies of each session comes with your LIVE event ticket.
Two special preconference shows on August 24 and September 21 with Dr. 
Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright, and Kim Kautzer!

Register starting 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 16.

The theme this fall is "Celebrate Homeschooling!" We're going to celebrate the unique blessings of homeschooling, the beginning of another school year, our families, and the freedom to tailor our children's education to best meet their needs.

If you cannot make the Live event,  then the October Expo To Go is just your ticket! You'll reserve MP3s from all of the workshops. This week only, pay just $14.95!

You can visit either of these links to get more information.

In exchange for my post advertising the Homeschool Expo, I am receiving the  Expo-to-Go MP3s..

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


     Now that we are in full swing for the school year, I thought I would share a little about how I schedule our day out. 

     For years, we functioned very well with our schoolwork without a formal schedule.  I would write out a loose, this is what needs to be accomplished today, schedule and it worked.  And then Rebekah started formal school last year.  For about a month, we had tears and “great big noisy fusses” every time I told her to do something.  She just couldn’t seem to handle the changing of subjects or being told to change to something new.  So I came up with a daily schedule for her, her brother Ben and Sarah.  Matthew was 16 by this time and generally has no trouble getting anything done.

Rebekah without a schedule



     Wonder of wonders, the first week of following our schedule, we had NO tears, and NO fusses.  I found out that Rebekah loves to know exactly what happens next.  She switches subjects beautifully now, because it is written down for her.  Ben and Sarah also follow a schedule and it works great for getting everything done each day.

    So here is our schedule for Ben and Rebekah:

7:30 am Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast and chores

9:00 am School starts with Worship

9:30 am Math

10:00 am Recess

10:15 am Handwriting

10:30 am Sonlight with mom

11;30 am Lunch

12;30 pm Reading

1:00 pm Language Arts and Spelling

1:30 pm Science

2:00 pm Workbooks

2;30 pm Unit Studies

    I have found that we just smoothly transition now. If I know that we will have to go somewhere during the day, I can go to Rebekah and tell her exactly what will be happening when and she can deal with the changes.  Life is so much better for all of us.  And best of all, no more “great big noisy fusses.”

Rebekah with a schedule



Sunday, August 15, 2010

School Time


     School is officially here. We started slowly last week, but now we are in full swing.  It is an exciting year, yet touched with a bit of apprehension. This will be my oldest son’s last year as he is 17 and finishing up high school.  We started homeschooling in 2001 and now I wonder “Where did all the time go?” and “Did I do enough?”.  So, along with my 12th grader, I have a 13 yr. old who is in 9th grade, an 8 yr. old in 3rd to 4th grade and a 7 yr. old in 2nd to 3rd grade.

   Our main focus this year for Sarah, Ben and Rebekah is American History.  This will be the third time I am going through Sonlight Core 3 and the second time for Sonlight 100,  (Sonlight is our main homeschooling program, check out their website with the button to the right for more information.)  Sarah is going to be in Algebra as well. She started this last spring and is being “tutored” through it by her  big brother. This is hilarious to me to listen to as I hear things coming out of his mouth that I said to him, such as “If I can’t read your writing the problem is wrong.” and “You can’t just drop the negative.”  This review of Algebra I is helping him as well as he is finishing up Algebra II.

          We will also be adding in new-to-us products that we will be reviewing through The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Homeschool Review Crew. (Check out the Review Crew button to the right as well.)  We already have a few items and have been having fun, using them.  Reviews on the items will be coming throughout the year.

     I am looking forward to it all. The reading, spelling, writing, math, science and more. My kids, well, they have mixed emotions, but they always rally in the end.  So, Monday morning, bright and early, breakfast will be eaten, chores will be done, and four kids and their mom will sit down for morning worship praising God for the opportunity of another school year.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The 2010 Schoohouse Planner


Frustrated by Planners that Plan


Look no further!

The 2010 Schoolhouse Planner is the solution you need.



This Planner is not just a school planner or household planner but an


With the ability to print just the sheets you need, your planner is tailored to your specific needs.Customize a planner for yourself and each of your children. Customize one for your meal planning and household chores. The options are endless.  With the Adobe Acrobat PDF format, you can make it your own, typewritten or handwritten.


A Planner that You Plan

Not One that Plans You!




12 Months of Articles and recipes

Calendar Pages

Miscellaneous Educational Information (great for student planners)

Curriculum Forms


Planning Sheets

Schedule Forms

Scores/Grade Recording Sheets


Log Sheets

Journal Pages

Unit Study Forms

Co-op Sheets

Convention Planning Forms

Preschool Forms

Alphabet/Writing Forms

Household Forms


Homekeeping Pages

Schedule Forms

Grocery/Menu Planning Pages





And Many More!!!



and includes a 7-day 100% money back guarantee!

The 2010 Schoolhouse Planner is only available from

The Old Schoolhouse Store

It is available as an E-book here.


It is available as a CD here.

As an Independent Contractor for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and a member of the TOS  Homeschool Crew, I use this planner daily and highly recommend it. I have written this advertisement in order to help TOS sell the planner.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Be Intentional

Brush your teeth. Wash your face. Pick up your toys. Be nice to your sister. As parents we have to Be Intentional about our children’s lives. We make sure they get enough rest, eat the right foods, learn proper manners. But what are we doing about teaching them a life of faith?

To nurture your child’s faith, you must Be Intentional. If it is not natural for you to mention God in conversation, start. Start small and easy, such as when waking your children say “Rise and Shine and give God the glory!” Sung is even more fun if you remember the song. Or simply say, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Make sure prayers before meals always occur, even when eating out.

Just as we make time for work, meals, school, activities, make time for praise to God. Be Intentional about devotional time, both alone and with the family. Alone, your devotion time fills up your spiritual tank, then a devotional time with your children teaches them faith is ongoing and active, not just a Sunday morning event. Parents are charged with teaching their children the Words of God. Deuteronomy 6 says 4"Hear, O Israel:(E) The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[b] 5You(F) shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And(G) these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7(H) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8(I) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9(J) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Believe me your child’s Sunday School teacher will appreciate children whose families reinforce lessons and biblical truths at home.

Look at Sunday School as a supplement or as group lessons for your children, not as their only religious education. Just as children do not attend school only one day a week, so faith is not taught one day a week. It takes parents who are Intentional about imparting their faith to their children. Fill your young child’s day with bible story books, bible songs and prayers. As your children get older, Be Intentional about praying for and with them. Are they having trouble with a friend? Do they have a test coming up? These are perfect times to pray with your child for God’s guidance and wisdom. Remind your children daily of their baptism, that they are children of God, forgiven and washed clean of their sins.

Yes, it takes time to Be Intentional. It may take some planning at first. Discouragement can be your enemy. But remember that nurturing your child’s faith is not a one day event but an ongoing process. Think marathon, not sprint. Keep your eye on the prize, Jesus and the eternal bliss of heaven.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Upcoming Reviews

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Review Crew I have a few upcoming items for review.  I am very excited about them.

1.  Math Tutor DVD’s  I am reviewing DVD’s for Pre-Algebra and how to use the TI-84 Calculator.

2.  Vocabulary Cartoons-SAT Word Power Book 1 by New Monic Books.  This looks like a lot of fun while helping you to remember vocabulary words.

3. Salem Ridge Press. These are Historical Fiction Books.  They look very interesting, Sarah and I looked at descriptions of them and are excited to read them.

Luke 10:41-42

“But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion which will not be taken away from her.”

This is me, anxious and troubled about many things.  When I begin to get overwhelmed this verse comes to mind, except I personalize it. “Jill, Jill, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.”

I then remember what is necessary.  Not my fretting, or stewing or worrying, but God’s Word. Read God’s Word. Sit in His presence. Pray. This becomes my good portion which will not be taken from me.