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Obsessive Mother’s Guide reviews The Old Schoolhouse


A lovely publication set before me for my review: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine: November/December Issue and it crosses my mind that Homeschooling parents don’t read homeschooling magazine for three reasons:

1) We don’t know they exist.

2) We think they have nothing to teach us.

3) We are intimated by them, thinking we’ll feel like failures in comparison to all the ideas that we should be, but are not, doing.

Spell broken.  Reasons erased.  I read The Old School House Magazine, cover to cover twice and have just “liked” them on Facebook.

It was relevant and relatable with not an inch of space I wasn’t interested in.  Besides the articles that gave me ideas, hope, and a pat on the back of what I am doing right, I found myself drooling over every advertisement. There is no homeschool section of Wal-Mart.  We are at the shopping mercy of shuffling past 300+ booths at a convention or word of mouth of other parents.  Tell me what’s great about your product.  I’ll put you on my Christmas wish list (and attend another session of Curriculum Addiction Anonymous). 

The connection with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine was far more than strictly common curriculum ideas.  The stories were heart-warming.  Deborah Wuehler’s brutal honesty in “Having a Holiday Heart: Seven Reasons to Celebrate (Even if you don’t feel like it)” caught my attention as she describes herself as “[having] little strength for celebration…depressed…anxious …sick…definitely not in the mood to celebrate”.  After taking you through the spiritual journey of Elizabeth, Mary, Zechariah, Simeon and Anna, she brings the article  home with this quote, “A yielded, expectant, obedient heart that worships will change the way we live and view our lives.”

Another article that captured my attention as well as my heart was “Show and Tell: Freedom from the Four Walls” by Jennifer Smeltser.  Ms. Smeltser “…believes [homeschooling] is worth every white hair that continues to sprout on [her] head.”  Her definition of homeschooling has given her “permission to take [their] learning outside [their] home and not feel guilty about the lack of table time we spend indoors.”  She shares, “It is amazing to realize we have been homeschooling for six years.  I consider myself a newbie because I am still trying to figure out what it is I am really doing.”

Relatable and relevant.

With your typical parenting magazine, I find half of the articles immaterial.  My child already is potty trained and never used a pacifier.  With The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, I drank in every topic: political, historical, religious, value imparting, reading tips, cooking, crafts, counseling, music appreciation, present and future concerns such as the college years…  I could go on and on. Literally 20+ articles that peaked both my intellectual and emotional interests.

Critiques if I had to give a few:  I would have liked to see more articles in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields like the “3D Modeling with blender” article by Andy Harris.  Also there were a great many dedicated to Christmas.  The build up to one day leaves you with high expectations leading up to the day and a hollow wanting after it.  Perhaps some: these are January holidays to look forward to… or an exposé on Hanukah would have rounded it out better.

All in all, an excellent publication, every morsel worth my time.  It is free to the public and would appeal to both mom and dad in the homeschool household.

-Karen Branch