The Homeschool Minute ~ Teachable Moments

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Teachable Moments
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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,

When you homeschool, you have the gift of time. Time to be a super model. Not the kind the world drools over. I mean the real kind-a model of the Lord your God. A super role model to your children, who are always watching. You’re not perfect, and you have been known to have a few melt downs yourself, but just a little news short here–you’re not alone.

The women of the Bible had all sorts of issues going on, too. And some of the men whom God Himself called “friend” or had His hand of protection planted firmly on their heads–some of those guys made some really big blunders. They at times displayed faithlessness, or arrogance maybe. Some got so fearful they were frozen at times, rendered to what they probably thought was useless to the Lord.

But He who sits on the throne had other plans for them. His ways are so much higher, they are unsearchable! Who can know the mind of God? He is merciful, and faithful and compassionate and loving. He created His own … and Mama you are one of them. You love the Lord Jesus with all your heart, soul and mind, even in all your frailties and disastrous days you sometimes have – we all have them. What sets you apart? You may blow it, but you realize it, you turn, you dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and you start over, recognizing all the while Who the One is who has built your faith to begin with. You worship that King of kings. You revere the Holy One, the only true God.

And your children see this. They see the messes and how you “clean them up.”

You are a super model, Mama. You really are. You use those teachable moments to show your children what it’s important and how to build their relationship with the Lord and with others. And it’s the Lord who has His hand on your head today.

May we be found faithful to the end.

~ gena

P.S. Check out these articles from the magazine about teachable moments:
I Don’t Have Time – Deborah Wuehler

Relational Homeschooling    

Diana Waring

Dear Friends,

 I remember the first time I heard someone talk about the “teachable moment. “John Taylor Gatto, who had recently won the New York State Teacher of the Year award, described to a group of homeschoolers the incredible impact of teaching a student something they REALLY wanted to know … when they wanted to know it. He said that when we find the teachable moment, it is easy to teach.

Well, believe me; I liked the idea of easy!!

But, how, exactly, does one get children to want to know their multiplication tables? And, honestly, do kids ever want to know how to conjugate a verb? Um … not in my house.

So, what’s a parent to do? My answer is to create “Buffalo Jumps” for your kids, opportunities for them to dive headlong into learning that is interesting to them. Intrigued by this concept? Read more about it on my “Learning Like a Buffalo” blog post.

There is another side to this, though, one that I have been pondering recently. In my walk with God, I often thought that if I “knew” something about prayer or faith or trust or patience, all I had to do was simply live out what I had learned from Scripture. For instance, when I faced an obstacle, I knew to pray. And I did. But in the past year, as we walked through the valley of the shadow of death with our grandson, I discovered something new, something I had never seen before. In moments of overwhelming pain and heartbreak, God gently led me to teachable moments-places where my heart was able to take in a certainty of His loving kindness and His faithfulness, despite the circumstances. These moments changed me.

I’m not sure how this all works. What I do know is that our God is closer to us and more compassionate that we can begin to imagine. I’ve been learning that I need teachable moments with God as much (or more) than my kids ever needed in school.

Remember, He is relational!


P.S. Speaking of the right moment for learning something new, if you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to buy something from my website, the month of June is a GREAT time! We are offering free shipping on all orders during the entire month of June. Use this coupon code–JuneNewsletterFreeShip–when you check out.

Newest classes are up!
Newest classes are up! Find Bible Adventures, Reader’s Theater, Growing in Homeschool Confidence, and Art Appreciation: South African Art on our
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The Familyman 

Just pulled in the driveway after a great weekend in Richmond, VA, at the HEAV homeschool convention. I’m telling you, if you don’t go to homeschool conventions, then you’re missing out big time. There’s just so much to see, hear, and be encouraged by.

Now we’re in recovery mode and scurrying to get things done (like this article). Tonight, my son, Ben and his new wife, Rissa, get home from their honeymoon, and tomorrow we hope to hear all the details of their fun-filled week at Disney World.

So far we’ve gotten a few measly pictures and a couple of short texts … and not ONE Facebook post.

That last fact makes me proud. I’m proud because they didn’t WASTE their honeymoon time posting on Facebook or texting others. They simply enjoyed being with each other, which isn’t the norm anymore. Now, folks go on vacations and retreats and neglect the people they’re with in order to add fodder to the Facebook cesspool for people they hardly even know.

I guess I’m proud of my boy because I hoped he learned that from me. I’ve tried real hard to show my children that some things are meant to be enjoyed as a family and only shared with those who are closest. That’s why I don’t write love notes to my wife or children on Facebook. I don’t post cute, handwritten notes from my kids on Pinterest or Instagram. They’re sacred and shouldn’t be soiled by sharing with the masses.

My son learned that from his pop. He may not realize it, but my example and my words sunk into his heart and head. You don’t do that through one lecture but by talking and demonstrating when you rise up and when you lay down and when you go on vacation and as you HOMESCHOOL.

Truth is every moment is a teachable moment whether you are teaching something or not. They’re watching you and learning tons.

Be real,


PS – This is the last day to get a Familyman T-shirt for your husband in time for Father’s Day. Order it by 2pm EST!!!!

A division of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine
Did you know? Every class is INCLUDED for members!
No limits has four new classes that debuted this week that can help bring fun and excitement to your teaching.

  • Art Appreciation: South African Art focuses on eighteen South African artists from the 19th-21st centuries. It begins by asking, “How do we look at art?” then goes on to explore the language and elements of art such as line, shape, mass, light, shade, space, texture, and color, as well as aspects of composition such as rhythm, focal points, and balance.
  • Bible Adventures is a series of illustrated Bible stories for elementary children. The full-color files are styled like a picture book and can be easily viewed on the computer. Each month, a new Bible story will be shared in three weekly installments. On the fourth week, a printable packet of related activity sheets such as coloring pages and word searches will be provided.
  • Reader’s Theater presented by Susan Brown is a series of 76 short scripts designed to be read by two or more students. Memorization is not required because the focus on this form of drama is on reading the work with expression rather than reciting it. They are easily adapted to both single-child households and small groups. These scripts are a wonderful tool to increase reading skills, comprehension, speaking skills, and confidence.
  • Growing in Homeschool Confidence by Willemien Kruger is designed to help parents grow in their confidence and know-how on home education. This is not only for parents who have already made the decision to homeschool, but for parents who are considering homeschooling and those who have just started. Even those who view themselves as longtime homeschoolers can benefit by this course as they seek to improve. Some of the topics explored include how to get started with home education, childhood development phases, learning styles, and developing a course of study.

Not a Member?

Try for thirty days for only $1. Keep it and pay just $12.95/month and lock in that rate for as long as you keep your membership, no matter how many new classes and features we add.

One membership to serves your entire family, regardless of how many children you are homeschooling or their ages. There are no per-child fees or additional fees for textbooks, and courses are not live, so you can start them at any time.

Summer Scavenger Hunt–Win Back to School $$

Did you hear the news about our Summer Scavenger Hunt? This is a chance for our members to win some great prizes–like Wal-Mart gift cards you can use for back to school or just about anything else! We’re giving away over $1,000 in gift cards. All you have to do to enter is complete our weekly scavenger hunt questionnaires. It’s great fun for the whole family! Get all the details and start your hunt today!

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Hey Mama,
How has your week gone? Are you thinking about the new school year already? I wanted to appeal to you to try something, to help support The Old Schoolhouse. Did you know we have our own curriculum site? It’s a membership site with about 120 classes–all different ones with a heavy emphasis on the arts and classics, plus the mainstream core classes like math, literature and history–good for preschool through 12th grade. The program gives a family one login so that all the kids (no limit) can use it. So just one price, that’s it, for the month–$12.95, and the first month is only ONE DOLLAR.
We want you to come try it, and be a part of thousands of other TOS families who are completing their homeschooling with Your kids can do chemistry, the Constitution/Bill of Rights,  film making, Renaissance History, spelling, art, creative writing and a hundred other electives and main courses, plus learn from teachers like Diana Waring and Michelle Miller! And we give report cards and achievement certificates at the end–support from day one until the end of every class, every semester, every year.
This members-only homeschool curriculum site doesn’t require you to buy books or other materials AT ALL. The small fee of $12.95/mo covers it all.
If you want to pay for the year in advance, it’s cheaper than monthly, just $139. But if you’re a member of HSLDA or HomeLife Academy, OR if you are a military family, there’s a huge discount (less than $84 a year).
As you consider your buying choices, please keep TOS’s in mind, too. We want you to become a member! You can keep all your kids’ progress reports, portfolios, and grade tracking in ONE spot this  way, plus take all the classes you want with your kids. At the end, print off the report cards and certifications as needed.
Thanks for your consideration. Not sure yet if you want to dive in for a full year? Try it for the first month–it’s only a dollar and you’ll have full access the whole month. Cancel anytime. Come join other TOS families and start lining up your new school year early. We are grateful to serve you, and can’t wait to roll out even more classes, coming soon.
From one Mama to another,

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“I liked that Todd Wilson and Diana Waring shared personal stories that demonstrate that they are currently learning and growing, too! That’s such a great model for us as homeschool parents.”


Lititz, PA

I am amazed at the number of times I open my Homeschool Minute newsletter and have the opportunity to read EXACTLY what I need that day! Thank you so much for putting a real face on homeschooling.”


 –Michelle Sager
Liberty Twp, OH 

“Only just this past week have I seriously checked into the content of the site … May I just say wow?!”

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Mason City, IA

“I really enjoy reading all the THM articles. I learn a lot from Todd Wilson’s column. [He’s a] funny guy who speaks the simple truth! Thank you very much!”


Brandon, FL

“I look forward to THM every Wednesday. I really enjoy Deborah’s articles. For some reason, it must be God, she always writes about what I am needing to hear. Her ability to put scripture and God in the middle of all her articles keeps me coming back. I recently have been enjoying the Youngs’ [articles] because I have a young man (10) in my house. The encouragement of the Youngs is fabulous. I thank God for parents like them that pave the way for parents like myself and my husband.”

–Racheal Fowler

 Glen Burnie, Maryland

So love reading TOS on my iPad from cover to cover every month!!!”  
–Leigh Anne McGrady
Dunwoody, GA

What I appreciate most about Todd’s column is that he never assumes he knows what is best for me… but he KNOWS that God knows & encourages me to find that & follow that. Thanks for all the encouragement over the years!”    

Kannapolis, NC

…I appreciate them both so much. I love Diana’s passion for teaching history in a fun and interesting way. And that she is all about relationships first. I love that about Todd as well, and that he always, always says it is okay to relax about the schooling.

–Mara Martin

Everett, WA

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