Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrating 10 Years of TOS Blog Hop

When I moved to Oklahoma with my family in 2007 we didn't know anyone in the state except our children, my Mom (who moved with us), and my husband's new employer. I knew homeschooling was widespread in Oklahoma, but I had no idea how to make the homeschooling connections I needed.

When I found The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine in a local Mardel I was really excited by the contents. Truthfully, the ads drew me in. I had no idea where to find or buy curriculum. I didn't know my options and seeing all of those pretty glossy pictures of countless options filled me with hope. That hope grew bigger as I began to read the contents and find quality articles from moms just like me, real moms who felt scared by this awesome responsibility but forged ahead anyway because they were determined to follow the will of God in their children's education.

Ultimately, I found a resource that I never expected would impact not only my homeschooling, but my life as a whole. It was more than a magazine. It was a community. This was a huge comfort to me being 10,000 miles from my friends and the majority of my support system.

I began visiting the Homeschool Lounge, I started a blog on HomeschoolBlogger, and my support system grew. My understanding of homeschooling blossomed and my confidence developed.

Eventually I applied and was selected to be a member on the Maiden Voyage of The Homeschool Crew. This was an opportunity to review several curricula in exchange for an honest review. It was a year of experiment and flexibility that taught my children how to learn in any circumstance and with any materials they were given. We found the best fits and we had some fits, but the experience was one I wouldn't change for anything.

Once the year on the Crew came to an end I had caught the review fever. I signed up for review programs with every Christian publisher I could find. I also tried for a slot as a TOS product reviewer. All of these opportunities allowed me to review and test over $4,000 worth of great homeschooling materials for free. The kids tried out Latin, started studying guitar, and learned a million other things I could not have offered them without this wonderful blessing.

Last September I began working as an Independent Contractor with The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. I'm constantly in awe at the hearts and minds (not to mention the talent) of my fellow co-workers. They are a beautiful, and Godly group of people who are passionate about this calling we have to homeschool our children.

TOS is like a family to me. I have been blessed so much by the TOS homeschooling community. My gratitude for this resource is immeasurable. That's why I feel enormous excitement when I see that The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is celebrating 10 years in publication. I want to be the annoying relative wailing the "Happy Birthday" song with embarrassingly loud enthusiasm.

Thank you TOS! Happy 10th Anniversary!

If you have a special TOS memory, come share it in the TOS Blog Hop.

If you haven't joined the TOS family yet, it isn't too late. Come celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine!

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