The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner

Summer tends to be planning season in homeschooling households, and just in time for the formulating frenzy, The Old Schoolhouse has released its brand new 2009 Schoolhouse Planner.

E-Book: The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner

This planner offers far more than stability and structure for your homeschool days. As we all know, the role of mother, home manager, teacher, negotiator, etc. overlap throughout each day. And, likewise, the parameters of the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner stretch into these roles as well.

A sampling of what you will enjoy with this tool:

Calendars — including ideas appropriate for each month from July (starting in just a couple weeks!) through June 2010; yearly calendars up to 2012; along with recipes and resources appropriate for each month

Inspiration — from well known homeschool authors (including Jay Wile and Amanda Bennett), addressing topics pertinent to homeschool families.

Must-know lists and compiled charts — from presidents to cloud types to geographical terms, the periodical table as well as miracles and parables.

Record Keeping — fill in schedules (for two, three, four, and five children), grade tracking, field trip planning, activity managers, inventory sheets, goals, etc. This book offers 120 pages of homeschool related forms and schedules!

Household help — they don’t send a person, but all of these resources can help everything run more smoothly. This also gives you a place and format to compile essential information. They help you organize chores, medical information, schedules, menus, gardening, pets, parties, and budgets. Over 60 pages of these useful tools.

Each of the forms is made to either print and write on, or type right onto and print out filled in, whatever you prefer. You can save your changes for further modification, or to build on, or print and save the hard copy.

The only downside I have found is that if you want to keep more than one computer based copy of one of the forms, you would need to save the whole planner more than once on your computer. Since I plan on storing hard copies of the record sheets, this did not diminish its usefulness for me, but it was something I had to consider when printing out the various copies for each of my kids. However, if you own a copy of Adobe Acrobat (not Acrobat Reader, the free download, but a rather expensive software), it has the capability of saving individual pages in modified format.

I have big plans for organizing this summer and pulling together all the information and strategies that I need for the year ahead. This wonderful planner has given me the framework and tools to make it all a reality. I had already started before receiving the planner, but the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner has done a lot of the work for me, and now I don’t need to go searching all over the internet to get it done, making my precious planning time even more efficient.

And, since it is all in an ebook format you can print and reprint the various pages as you need to keep them visible around your home and keep your family all on the same page.

All of these resources, 375 overflowing pages, are packed into this one e-book for $39.00. You would want to purchase it soon to take full advantage of the planning and ideas available even to enrich your celebration and study of the Fourth of July, and to have all the information in place for the new school year.

Purchase the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner.

Read more reviews of the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner.

Used Curriculum Sale

Title: Used Curriculum Sale
Location: Johnsburg Library
Link out: Click here
Description: 10:00 – 12:00 Used Curriculum Flea Market
Sell some stuff, buy some stuff, ask lots of questions!
A limited number of tables, half tables and parking spaces are available by advanced reservation only. To sell at the used curriculum flea market please contact:
Kathy Wentz or leave a message at 847-497-4407. Please specify a table, half table or parking space when you leave a message.

12:00 – 1:00 Eat, Meet and Greet

1:00 – 4:00 Open Forum Q&A
Ask questions and hear real answers about the different homeschooling styles, curriculum choices, what has worked (and what hasn\’t!), legal information, where to find resources, and much more!
Start Time: 10:00
Date: 2009-07-18
End Time: 16:00

Book sales

If you missed out on the various book sales around the area the last couple months, here is your opportunity to connect with buyers and sellers of homeschool curriculum around the Chicagoland area:

Are you looking for materials for your homeschool?
Are you cleaning out old materials to make room for new materials?
Saturday, 6/13/09, there will be a special edition of Northern Illinois Homeschool Monthly devoted to helping homeschoolers in Northern Illinois buy and sell their used homeschool books, curriculum and items of interested to fellow homeschooling families.
If you have something to sell, please send a list of your items with prices, your first name, your e-mail address and your phone number by midnight on Friday, 6/12/09.

If you are looking to buy a certain book, curriculum or something your family needs that another homeschooling family might be ready to pass along, send your request with your first name, your e-mail address and your phone number to by midnight on Friday, 06/12/09.

Please note: The editor (Julie Schnepper) is not responsible for typos in your e-mail, money disputes between buyers and sellers or any other problems that might occur as you conduct business with other buyers and sellers.

Remember: The deadline is Friday, 6/12/09 at midnight!

Doorposts coupon!


Dear Friends,

Doorposts will be exhibiting at the Illinois Christian Home Educators’ Convention in Naperville, IL next week. If you are attending, we invite you to stop by our booth in the exhibit hall. And don’t forget to print out this coupon and bring it with you for $5.00 off your purchase. Feel free to share copies of this coupon with friends who might use it as well!

To browse our Biblical character training materials, visit We will have most of these materials available for viewing and for sale at the convention, including our new “Put On Chart.”

For more details about this event, visit For a complete list of the conventions we’re attending in 2009, visit

Thanks and God bless,

Daniel Forster

Doorposts, 5905 SW Lookingglass Drive, Gaston, OR 97119 (888) 433-4749

The Old Schoolhouse Summer Reading Program

The following is a message from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine:

It’s hard to believe that so many months have passed and it’s time to kick off our SECOND ANNUAL SUMMER READING SPLASH! We had so much fun last year and hope that you and your children did as well. We’re looking forward to another summer filled with lots of reading and great books! (This reading program is open to ANY homeschooled student – you do not have to be a TOS magazine or E-newsletter subscriber in order for your children to participate.) As a matter of fact, we are so passionate about getting children to read, we’d love for you to share this information with EVERYONE you know! Please forward this e-mail to all your homeschooling friends and share the news about the Summer Reading Splash!

Over the next 3 months, we’ll provide lots of great information and creative ideas for encouraging your children to read. Below, you will see (in more detail) what all we have available to you NOW. As the summer progresses, we will add more resources to Splish’s blog. You’ll want to check back often! In the coming weeks and months, we will be offering several freebies and downloads to enrich your family’s reading fun!
Summer is a fantastic time to promote reading to your child(ren). Take a break from your regular studies and just spend some time reading to and with them. We are looking forward to another fun summer and hope that you will encourage your children to participate. Please continue reading below to learn more about some of the awesome things we have planned for the summer. Then, go pick up a book and READ!

Set Reading Goals

We will be providing you with downloadable record-keeping sheets; these are available in two formats- for younger students and older students.

We encourage you to help your children set attainable reading goals this summer. Let your children take an active role in helping to set their own goals; they will be more eager to read if they are doing it for themselves! At the end of our 10-week program, you’ll have opportunity to share your child’s reading logs and he/she will automatically be entered in a drawing for free books!

Kick-Off Contest

This year, we have decided to kick things off with a fun coloring contest! We have two coloring pages – both featuring our mascot, Splish the frog – one for older kids and one for younger kids.

To enter the contest, click here. Download the appropriate coloring page(s) and print. Then, follow the rules for submitting your entries. (Be sure to read the entire page.)

The winning entries will be “popping up” throughout the summer on Splish’s blog. And, the best part … we’ve got a great prize package of summer reading material for the winners as well! So, get those crayons, markers, and colored pencils out and get to work!

All submissions due by June 16th.

We hope that you will encourage your children to participate in the SECOND ANNUAL SUMMER READING SPLASH, not only by reading books this summer, but by playing along in our weekly scavenger hunts. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Splish and the rest of your friends at The Old Schoolhouse(r) Magazine

Keepers at Home and Contenders for the Faith

A couple years ago I started looking for a program that would allow me to mentor my growing girls on a spiritual and practical level. I wanted some type of Christian Girl Scout experience.

In looking around, I came across a company called American Heritage Girls that looked rather interesting. It is a “nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.” It sounds like a well organized, exciting program. However, as I looked at the expenses involved it would cost at least $75 per student per year without even considering books and uniforms. That falls out of the affordability of most homeschool families I know that might have some interest in joining a club with us. They probably offer a great program, a solid framework to fit into, easy to start up, and lots of support for the coordinator if needed, just not right for my family and situation.

I continued my search.

Then I came across another club, also designed with young Christian girls in mind. The Keepers at Home club developed by the Keepers of the Faith organization. After looking over the materials, objectives, framework and flexibility of the program I knew this was what I was looking for.

I ordered a couple of the handbooks and the director’s guide and began studying the program in earnest. As fall approached I realized that I had stumbled upon a great thing and other homeschool families might want to jump in on this also. I sent an email to my homeschool group expecting one or two other families to begin this journey with. Well, by the time of our first meeting in November we had 9 families with a total of 20 children!

I love the heart of this program, to raise godly girls prepared to be godly keepers at home. I love the flexibility also. We meet only once a month. You could meet once a week, but our schedules are too busy to add something that often. Once a month we get together at my house and have explored decoupage, stenciling, prayer, pets, baking, and letter writing. We begin with a devotional time, then the kids have an opportunity to share any projects they have worked on since our last meeting, and then have the lesson or project time.

The book for the club is simple, but packed full of ideas for learning, discipleship and mentoring the young girls into adult hood. The book costs about $15, but is used for the duration of the program. The ideas (over 100 of them), depending on how quickly you go through them, could easily last you for 8-10 years and many could be repeated at greater depth as the girls grow older.

We set our club cost at $40 per child for the year including the book and sash. Next year for returning students they will only need $25 for the year to cover all of the projects and activities that we offer. This easily fits in my desire to mentor my girls while keeping a frugal, simple lifestyle. We all look forward to club time each month and have had great opportunities to grow our relationship through crafts and projects with spiritual significance.

There is also a club for boys, Contenders of the Faith, which we are looking to incorporate even more next year for the boys that have joined our group as well. These are great programs that offer a framework and concepts to build into the lives of our children.
And, while the end result is priceless, we don’t need to break the bank to get there. This wonderful program has definitely worked for us.

Barnes and Noble Reading Program

I hope you already take advantage of any summer reading program at your local library, and now you can also enroll your child in a reading incentive program through Barnes and Noble.

A very user friendly program that anyone can enjoy . . . Simply go to Barnes and Noble’s Summer Reading Program and print out the summer reading journal form. Students must simply read 8 books, write them down, and bring in the form anytime between May 26 and September 7. Couldn’t get much easier than that!

While there you can check out their Eduator’s Kit with more ideas for getting and keeping your kids in a book. The theme this summer draws on  Rick Riordan’s series, Percy Jackson & the Olympians.

The form has these books listed as available as a reward for participating:

Grades 1 & 2:

Abe Lincoln’s Hat by Martha Brenner
Biscuit Takes a Walk by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Camping Out by Mercer Mayer
Curious George: Piñata Party/Jorge el curioso y la piñata by H. A. Rey
Fancy Nancy: The Dazzling Book Report by Jane O’Connor
Little Bear’s Visit Else by Holmelund Minarik

GRADES 3 & 4:

Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith
Clarice Bean, Don’t Look Now by Lauren Child
The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter
Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon by Judy Donnelly
Pick of the Litter by Bill Wallace
El ratoncito de la moto by Beverly Cleary
Soupy Saturdays with the Pain & the Great One by Judy Blume
Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Plum Fantastic by Whoopi Goldberg

GRADES 5 & 6:

The Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles
Beacon Street Girls #1: Worst Enemy/Best Friends by Annie Bryant
Ben and Me by Robert Lawson
Lady Margaret’s Ghost by Elizabeth M. Jones
Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Schooled by Gordon Korman
Sounder by William H. Armstrong
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin

Apologia Notebooking Giveaway!

Apologia has become synonomous with engaging, high quality science in the homeschool community. Now, a new product is available in conjunction with these great books (Read on, post your own blurb, and have a chance to win one! Taken from Jeannie Fulbright’s blog):

Apologia is now producing notebooking journals that accompany each of the elementary science books. Both Botany and Astronomy are now available.

These journals are beautiful, spiral bound notebooks that will save you time and money. You won’t have to print and keep up with your child’s notebook pages, buy and maintain page protectors, or purchase and compile binders…everything that makes notebooking time-consuming and labor intensive for mom. Also, your child will adore having their own notebooking journal.

Each of the notebooking journals includes:

  • A daily schedule for those who like to have a plan or would like their children to complete the book on their own
  • Templates for written narrations, the notebooking activities and experiments
  • Scripture Copywork, with both print and cursive practice
  • Reading lists and additional activities, projects, experiments for each lesson
  • An appendix with beautiful, full-color, lapbook-style Miniature Books
  • Field Trip Sheets to keep a record field trips
  • A Final Review with fifty questions the students can answer either orally or in writing to show off all they remember and know at the end of the course.

See the sample pages here:

and . . .


Jeannie is giving away four Astronomy Notebooking Journals and four Botany Notebooking Journals to bloggers who post about this on their site. Visit her blog to learn more about this contest.

Carole Joy Seid Seminar

Title: Carole Joy Seid Seminar
Location: Elmhurst, IL
Link out: Click here
Description: A Literature Based Approach To Education

West Suburban Community Church
825 N. Van Auken
Elmhurst, IL 60126

$45.00 advance (postmarked by October 2nd)
$53.00 after October 2nd, or at the door

Michelle 630-748-1242;
Karen 630-279-2647;
Start Time: 9:00
Date: 2009-10-17
End Time: 17:00

May Curriculum Sales

Book/Curriculum Sales

This time of year used curriculum sales fill the calendar. Some have already passed, but here are some that you have not missed yet. These offer a great opportunity for new homeschoolers to look through a variety of books and talk to real homeschooling moms that have used and loved (or not loved) these various materials. Many veteran homeschoolers rely on these sales to keep homeschooling affordable and also enjoy passing along books to another family to enjoy.

Mark your calendar for these events:

Calvary Christian School
Rummage sale and used curriculum sale to raise money for Life For The World, Inc. orphanage in Haiti
Thursday, May 7th
1:30 – 4:00pm
Calvary Christian School
9516 Kennedy Ave., Highland, IN 46322

Used Curriculum Sale
Friday, May 8
9:00 am – noon
MorningStarCommunity Church
8S101 Barnes Rd., Aurora, IL 60505

Teaching Homes for Christ
Used Curriculum Sale
Friday, May 8
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Water’s Edge Bible Church (gymnasium)
209 S. Oakwood Ave., West Chicago, IL 60185

2009 Curriculum ReSale & Kids’ Sale
Monday, May 11
6:00-8:00 p.m.
College Church Commons Building,
332 E Seminary Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187

Used Curriculum Sale
Monday, May 18
Glad Tidings Church
2325 N 1st St., Dekalb, IL 60115