Using the Things in Every Day Life for School, Even the Newspaper!

Printed Aug 2010

So often we miss what is right in front of us. The other day I sat down and looked around my home. I thought about what we do every week. What from the average day can I incorporate into our school? How can I take breakfast and turn it into Science, Math, History, and Geography? My children do need book knowledge, but we should not underestimate the value of daily life skills.

Each day I try to find events and daily actions that can be turned into a lesson. I have been teaching this way for years! So, how on earth could I miss such an obvious tool? There were four of them right in front of me!

Before I go on, first I want to say that I am not being paid for this. In no way am I getting any gain for endorsing this particular product.

I grabbed the Christian County Headliner Newspaper and began pouring over it. I noticed that there were so many articles that were great school for my kids.

Science, History, Reading, Language Arts, Current Events, Government, are just a few of the subjects covered every week in this newspaper, which you are holding!

Now, I don’t just read the newspaper myself. The kids and I go through it together. We look at the date, talk about the editors and their job. We discuss local events. The rise in crime saddens us. We laugh at some of the editorials, and cry and pray for those that are in need. Emily, the Education editor, has brought back so many memories for me as I read about her upcoming wedding. Of course, this has sparked talk about spouses and weddings. The huge historical articles are amazing for us as well as the outdoors columns. Our heart goes out to all the families that have their homes listed in the foreclosure section.

If you don’t have children at home, do like my grandma does. She lives in northern WI. Every week she reads her entire newspaper with a pair of scissors and envelopes. My name is on one of those envelopes. As she finds articles that would interest us she cuts it out and puts it in the mail. She even receives this newspaper way up there. She talks to me about the happenings here in the Ozarks.

I just bought a subscription for my grandmother in Florida. She won’t read her local paper anymore. I asked her why, she told me there is nothing positive in it. I replied, “Oh Nanny, do I have something for you.” She plans on sharing the articles in the paper with the family down there, also!

The internet is great, but if you are like me, nothing beats the paper between my fingers. My computer broke down recently, actually, I sat on it. Anyways, I had no internet for two weeks. But, my paper came faithfully in the mail.

My kids like to make their own newspaper. They write it or type it. There are many different articles with interesting subjects.

Be sure to get a subscription to this newspaper, if you don’t have one already. Also, check out the new 20 page home school newspaper. I am sending in my money tomorrow for my year subscription to the quarterly paper.

Send a check for $15 to Kara DeBacker, Ozarks Area Unschoolers Homeschool Press, 5646 E. Division, Springfield, MO 65802. Her email is Be sure to put that you heard about it from Sheri Smith!

(Note from Sheri. This was not printed in the newspaper.)
It seems that many newspapers and tv shows have gone extremely liberal. Yet, here in the Ozarks, it seems to me that although the local media does print all the liberal agenda propaganda, they also print the conservative points of view.  That is the foundation of our Constitution, freedom of speech, even if we don't like it.  The Christian County Headliner News has been exceptionally open to my strange, yet intriguing lifestyle.  I homeschool six kids, travel full time around the country, and do lots of volunteer work.  Never have they tried to edit content out of my articles or tell me I couldn't say something.  Now, typically my articles are not "edgy" but still the openess to a different lifestyle -on the conservative side of life- has always been welcomed. 
They print articles that I am proud to show to my family.  History, science, human interest, are all topics that are covered every week.  Yes, there are sometimes points of view that don't agree with my own, yet, I need to read those.  I need to understand another point of view, consider that maybe I don't know it all or maybe I have been misinformed. 
Some articles I don't show to my kids; the ones about terrible crimes.  I glance them over, but typically don't dwell on them.  I don't do well with a lot of evil.  Reading about crimes is not my favorite, yet it must be reported.  We need to know what is going on in our community, good and bad. 
I enjoy my paper.  The feel of the paper between my fingers, sitting outside with a cup of coffee and reading the news and happening, brings a joy I don't get from the internet.  I do look at the news on line some.  There is something to say for speed and easy access, but every week I look forward to getting a paper...touch, sit, relax.

I recently took a pair of scissors to my newspaper and cut out some of clip art for my 3 yr old to glue to paper.  She just lovesssssssss glue!  And, this is one way for me to recycle my paper!


  1. Sheri, I completely agree with your opinion of the Christian County Headliner. They are a great bunch of people. We are involved in the Christian County 4-H horse group and the newspaper is always so gracious to include our activities in a very colorful way. I also wanted to add something about the community there. One day, while in town, we decided to take care of the tedious issue of renewing our license plates instead of doing it in Springfield as we usually do, out of habit. As I stood in line at the counter, looking around the office, I was tickled pink to see the scripture verse that had been hand printed on their white board. It was very meaningful to me to know that I live in a county that has the backbone to proclaim God's Word in such a real way. Needless to say, I will continue to take all of my licensing issues to that office simply to enjoy seeing their white board. We enjoy real freedoms where we live and I do not take a single one of them for granted.


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