Saturday, March 30, 2013
....perseverance is doing the small everyday things with faith; it is supported by the humility of beginning again when we go astray through weakness....
To persevere in our own vocation is to respond to the repeated calls the Lord makes in the course of our lives, even though there are obstacles and difficulties and, sometimes, the odd error, acts of cowardice and even defeats. As we contemplate these scenes from the Passion we consider our faithfulness in the tiny details of our own vocation. Is there any hint of a double life? Am I faithful to my own duties? Do I take care to ensure that my relationship with the Lord is sincere? Do I avoid becoming attached to material things -- being drawn to the thirty pieces of silver?
(In Conversation with God, Lent/Eastertide volume)
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Still my all time favorite and well used guide to home education.
This is my replacement copy after 19 yrs of use for the other one; I had given it away last year to a new rising home schooling mother. I missed it but it's wisdom needed to be shared! Copies are easy to find used and new with very low prices on Amazon. Kudos DYOCC! My bible of education in the home.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Highlights World's Afflictions in Message for Easter
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 8, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The resurrection of Christ gives hope to a world afflicted by natural disasters, disease and violence, said Benedict XVI in his Easter message.
After celebrating Easter Mass today, and before imparting the blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and the world), the Pope read a message in which he said that "natural calamities and human tragedies that cause innumerable victims and enormous material destruction are not lacking."
"Through the wounds of the Risen Christ we can see the evils which afflict humanity with the eyes of hope," the Pontiff said from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to the crowds gathered in the square below on a sunny morning.
Hundreds of millions more people, in 67 countries, followed the event on radio or television.
Benedict XVI said in his message that his "thoughts go to recent events in Madagascar, in the Solomon Islands, in Latin America and in other regions of the world."
"I am thinking of the scourge of hunger, of incurable diseases, of terrorism and kidnapping of people, of the thousand faces of violence which some people attempt to justify in the name of religion, of contempt for life, of the violation of human rights and the exploitation of persons," he said.
In particular, the Pontiff mentioned the several regions in Africa undergoing a "catastrophic" humanitarian situation, including Darfur and surrounding nations.
The Holy Father also mentioned the scourge of violence in Kinshasa in Congo, and in Somalia and Zimbabwe.
Benedict XVI said that "peace is sorely needed" in many places in the world, including East Timor, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
The Pope continued: "In the Middle East, besides some signs of hope in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian authority, nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees.
"In Lebanon the paralysis of the country's political institutions threatens the role that the country is called to play in the Middle East and puts its future seriously in jeopardy."
The Holy Father then added: "I cannot forget the difficulties faced daily by the Christian communities and the exodus of Christians from that blessed land which is the cradle of our faith. I affectionately renew to these populations the expression of my spiritual closeness."
The Pope continued: "By his rising the Lord has not taken away suffering and evil from the world, but has vanquished them at their roots by the superabundance of his grace.
"He has countered the arrogance of evil with the supremacy of his love."
After reading his message, Benedict XVI wished the world a happy Easter in 62 languages and imparted his blessing "urbi et orbi."
In English, the Pope said: "May the grace and joy of the Risen Christ be with you all."
In the afternoon the Holy Father departed for the summer papal residence at Castel Gandolfo, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Rome, to rest for a few days.
The Pontiff will return to Rome before his 80th birthday, April 16, and the second anniversary of his election as Pope, April 19.
Courtesy of Zenit.org
Saturday, March 23, 2013
"Greek and Latin languages are the means of the transmission of our culture. For centuries Homer, Plato, and the New Testament, Virgil, Cicero, and St. Thomas, have introduced young people into the meaning of being citizens of our civilization. Our children need to get to know them, too. There is no reason to be satisfied with the useful but jejune translations, which is all we can offer them now. White Europeans have a right to their culture as much as Afro-Americans and other people of color. The radicals who have run our educational systems since the 1890s have robbed us of our cultural heritage. It is time to revolt and take it back."
The Classics and the Traditional Liberal Arts Curriculum
Phew, I'm exhausted just thinking about it!
I don't think I EVER did as much at his age. He even bought his own car and pays his own registration and insurance. Naw....I definitely did not.
May God bless him on the rest of the journey ahead....
Friday, March 22, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
For students in graduating classes through 2013, this includes earning:
- Four credits in English language arts (One unit is generally equivalent to one school year),
- Half a credit in health,
- Three credits in math,
- Half a credit in physical education,
- Three credits in science, including one of biological sciences and one of physical sciences,
- Three credits in social studies, including half a year of American history and half a year of American government, and
- Six credits in electives, including either one unit or two half units in business, technology, fine arts or a foreign language.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Exchange: ..there were four little rabbits..and their names ...: ______________________________________ Listen to or read here: Tale of Peter Rabbit ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ T his year at our lo...
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Is this a trick question? Ha ha..no, it is a serious pondering. I read another blog recently (a Charlotte Mason affiliated one), and as much as I hold Charlotte Mason dear to my heart and use many of her methods, I was very disappointed by what I read to be advice on home schooling through high school in a Charlotte Mason manner. Basically, someone had written in to ask the question regarding their 14 yr old student and how reluctant this student was toward school, and could they [parent] mess up high school doing it the Charlotte Mason way…? The blogger pretty much answered, no, they really couldn’t. And then went on to describe a student led course of studies, not particularly formative or rigorous (not for college preparation anyway; more on that later) and to be honest, I cringed.
First things first. Realize that you have to be very active in home schooling your high school student. This isn’t the time to take a backseat and let them “be independent”, “be mature.” Yes, yes, you WANT THEM TO BE. I understand. But understand this, chances are like most high school teens, they will be neither of these in 9th grade.
A lot can change in three years; just because one year isn’t going well in high school, doesn’t mean it’s a wash…don’t throw in the towel. But use that year’s experience to re-group, re-think your courses and what needs to be done in both the student and the resources.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
From my blogging friend and fellow homeschooler, Allison:
Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschool: In honor of the month for St. Joseph: March is the month the church honors St. Joseph - the man closest to Christ. Today, March 10th, we can start a novena to St. Joseph to cu...
Monday, March 18, 2013
…I hear an old Mommas & Poppas song coming on!
Monday….can’t trust that day……
Well, Monday has gotten a bad rap (no song pun intended :)…but in some cases it is a welcome day for productivity!
Today, I embrace Monday as it is going to bring many closures to our school year, this early in the game of home school.
Mark has excelled academically this year beyond what I imagined. How I wish his autism would take a break with his sensory difficulties, social dysfunctions and irritability…*sigh…..poor kid. He does SO well in some areas, and so terribly in others. I can’t expect people to appreciate him the way his family does, and I look for some hard times down the road for him in the way of religious education; not all the teachers will be understanding or able to work with an autistic disorder student. Thing is, he appears very normal….but then, he has these quirks, and his voice modulation and demeanor can give off that something is different and/or wrong. I highlight this because it is so disheartening and such a feature of autistic disorders. It is the most challenging thing to work with. When he feels stress or anxiety over something, or he is overwhelmed with sensory processing….he can be a very misunderstood little boy, appearing to be badly behaved.
In the meantime……
Still, he will finish an extensively done science course and history course today, and we have done everything with full throttle, all the bells and whistles, activity pages, tests, quizzes, comprehension pages…done to the fullest. He still has memorization of Greek & Latin Root cards, Poetry, spelling could go on forever with WRTR so I can end it whenever we see appropriate and pick up with his spelling level next year…..He loves his Art, but we are nearing the end with that also. His math is meaty and challenging and he moves a little slower through it, but without difficulty getting nearly all As on most tests, and he has about a month left – so he will likely complete it in April. He has about two weeks or less of language arts and religion left. Then I will continue his Model Me Kids social skills curriculum as he really needs over and over what it has to offer.
Then my 8th grade son…wow, such a great year for him, like none before. I mean, he has done well enough battling through OCD/anxiety disorder, but this year, he has really progressed in many areas. His literature abilities have taken a leap! He is suddenly gifted in reading elevated language. He read and understood all the Father Brown Mysteries, G.K Chesterton, who isn’t easily understood by a 7th grader…after having read EVERY VISION SAINT book published! Lol…….which opened the way to further literature, including his phobia of “’what would be on the next page that he couldn’t control”….because I never imagined he would read Lord of Rings….kind of scary in some parts….but he did this year! And now he’s reading The Hobbit. I am so very pleased and blessed.
He likely has another month of his math course left. We are keeping him in Abeka math because of the workbook format which four years back helped reduce his anxiety in transcribing, but made him still use a pencil which is a therapeutic fine motor skill measure and helps them make important cognitive connections. Abeka is no easy course of math and the Pre-Algebra book is very thorough, reviewing past maths, introducing Algebra in a very Algebra I way, and a unit of solid and plane Geometry, which they get in the Abeka maths each year, but in this book, much more deeply. This son is the best math student so far for upper grade math. So, I leave well enough alone. His standardized testing and assessments say it all.
He is nearing the end of science…which will be today. He is nearing the end of Grammar, which is the complex course of Basic Language Principles, and his Latin course, Our Roman Roots (which I highly recommend!!)…he is the first of my students to use this resource that is originally recommended by Mother of Divine Grace, and it is SO well done and between BLP and Roman Roots, his Latin study has come together perfectly. He has much more understanding and has learned SO much more this year with Latin, then with Latina Christiana programs over the last four years. I think using the two resources together of BLP and Roman Roots has made such a difference. He will be ready to start Cambridge Latin next year.
His Religion course will lead him well in April, which is an eclectic course of several sources, including Faith & Life, Baltimore Catechism 2, and C.S. Lewis A Case for Christianity, I’m amazed at how many summaries he’s written regarding everything for Laws (natural, church), to doctrines and apologetics. It’s quite the mini-theologian course!
Our Modg assessments are already uploaded for our family site for access, but I don’t plan on doing those until the end of April, into May perhaps. Freshly out of their subjects with some review helps them do well on their assessments. This year we will do standardized testing also.
It is nice to see us closing out some subjects and making progress. After home schooling for 17 years and being very involved in their subjects, the methodology and application and outcome…..I must say, it doesn’t get easier, but it does get MORE rewarding.
This year is especially rewarding and a blessing to me personally as I have put in the hard work for the last four years with my boys with more special needs. They are both highly intelligent, but accessing that intelligence and growing it and taming their disorders has been the challenge of my life! I pray for the wisdom and support (the support is the hardest to find as many are intimidated by this challenge, or think we are flat our crazy; why not just send them to a special school..??)….
God willing, we will see this through to the graduation of another student from our home school in the next four years.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Ahhhh…..indeed, SPRING is trying so hard to break through here in northeastern Ohio. Our forecast says, 1-3 inches of snow…..yes, we are not quite there yet with sunny days….but the birds are singing each morning in full force…so Spring is hiding out there…. little tulip leaves pushing through the ground here and there….ah yes, it’s really there just waiting to emerge.
It’s wonderful to embrace the seasons. My two oldest children are home from college on spring break. My oldest son is preparing to graduate from college in May; he only has about a month of school left. Unbelievable! Where did that four years go?!
Like I told my Mother of Divine Grace Moms Facebook page this morning, ….My highs this week, despite having two college students home on spring break (which is nice really), is that we have gotten all our regular school done..including my Modg consultation and Mike's LS class and made it to our local home school co-op. Lows this week,...just realizing the immense responsibility of it all ...mixed with joy and fears. That's honest. We are looking forward to Holy Week...we usually take off from school -- bake Easter breads and other food prep, go to last minute confessions, stations of the cross, attend the Triduum. I can't believe it's almost here.
Life just keeps moving, that’s the bottom line. You either move with it, or get pushed along with it! But we are made for Happiness; mixed with true friendship and the virtues, happiness we will find. My Aristotlean tip for the week :)
May God bless you this Friday of Lent….stay strong in your right choices, and forgive yourself for the bad ones….move on. Embrace a new way and new Life in Christ.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Brothers and sisters good evening.
You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have come almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.
First of all I would say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI.. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and Our Lady protect him.
Glory to the Father…
And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood . My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with help of my Cardinal Vicar, be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.
And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favour. Before the bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.
[The Protodeacon announced that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication receive the plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.]
[Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.]
I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.
Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon.
We will see one another soon.
Tomorrow I want to go to pray the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.
Good night and sleep well!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
It’s been the fastest Lent I’ve experienced for quite some time. As I’m attempting to cling to every sacrificial moment of it, there have definitely been some highlights and revelations I can take to heart for years to come.
Dougray Scott as Moses
In Lent I have always tried to do more edifying reading and movie/TV viewing. No, I wouldn’t count Downton Abbey has my more edifying viewing…however, there is much to be said about moral character development in that series!!…they do lean towards the Christian standard thank goodness, even with some of the more controversial events. I try to be an example to my children so they too will want to involve themselves in good quality literature, devotional reading and movie viewing. Parents do need to lead the way. I love to pass on a good movie pick to my oldest kids and lately those picks have been There Be Dragons, and October Baby – both set in very different times, but with very pro-life messages. Bring your box of tissues with you!! (I saw both on Netflix) I have special devotion to St. Josemaria Escriva, (There Be Dragons), and who can pass up an action packed movie with actor Dougray Scott?? Oh my goodness, he was the BEST Moses I’ve ever seen in the Hallmark version of the Ten Commandments. (sorry Charlton Heston!)There Be Dragons had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Truly amazing.
I have read a few good books this Lent, but the most monumental one I have encouraged others to read is “If Aristotle’s Kid had an Ipod”. It is written with such excellence and so wise and sound, I can just not say enough good about it. I am very grateful another friend of mine loaned it to me through her Nook eReader, to my Nook. What fun that’s been, and what a great thing to share edifying resources that will enrich us as mothers raising our children in very challenging technology ridden times. Aristotle would said that was great use of technology on our behalves :)
Lastly, I was able to attend our parishes’ Taize prayer service Sunday evening. What a beautiful contemplative service. The music is it’s own special music just for Taize, and the Icons displayed with all the candle lights was SO extremely relaxing and moving. After reading the Aristotle book above ^ I value how much more we need to provide QUIET contemplative time for our children, especially in larger families where silence isn’t usually found. This prayer service was so perfect for us, for me, if I may be so selfish to say so!!! We were fortunate and amazed that a very young woman with an fabulous trained voice sang for it, having gotten her from another area, as none of our regular cantors were available. She was SO good. And it was the first time she had sung the music! What a blessing to have taken the family to indulge in some much needed family prayer time together. If you have Taize going on in your area, I suggest you make an attempt to attend a service.
Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom;
Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom……..
Monday, March 11, 2013
I had to chuckle! My reply was: "Eleventh grade, if you're lucky" :-)
Truly, take heart. I'm sure others have more boys they are schooling at home, but as the mother of three sons (and one daughter, God bless her!)....I do have something to say about it.
I think some of the harder grades for getting boys more interested/involved in their school studies is from third through 7th grade. Those levels can be tough for active boys. I can't believe we've gotten as far as we have [with my 8 year old - third grader], as I have to pin him down constantly to stick to his work. He's a pirate, he's a warrior, he's a knight...he's a robot maker, he's a comic strip writer, he's Calvin with Hobbes :-)....he's a pain
However .....press him, I must into every bit of school I can squeeze out of him. He loves science and has moved quickly through the science text, and I've diverted him out of it on a couple occasions to read some rabbit-trail materials covering certain science-related topics he's been learning about; i.e., I found a couple neat books on our shelf (from an old Catholic school library closing - the one my husband attended), and they were: "Bufo: The Story of a Toad", written and illustrated by Robert M McClung (who wrote some great nature books, accurate, illustrated, for young people), and "Tiger: The Story of a Swallowtail Butterfly", by the same author. (these are 1953/54 copyrights, library editions 1970). He did find these interesting and it helped to keep him in the school mode. It's like sneaking in the school when they're not looking :-)
Boys. It's probably good my three are spaced out some. Or maybe it's just that I'm spaced out and it sounds better.
Space Avenger for 3 sons, 1 daughter and 1 ransomed sofa pillow :-)
Friday, March 08, 2013
Aquinas and More Catholic Store
The Catholic Store for Catholic Gifts Books, Rosaries and Missals
Thursday, March 07, 2013
One thing I will never regret is giving time to my children as individuals. Learning about them thoroughly, their strengths, their weaknesses, their learning abilities, their deficits…..and seeing to it that those deficits are addressed with helps, such as screenings, therapies and on going work; whatever it takes. Having the ability to tailor a program through homeschooling, to their special needs, be it giftedness or autism spectrum disorder or anxiety, has been a true blessing.
I will also never regret being myself and never feeling pressured to keep up with family members, the neighbors or you know, the Joneses, so to speak. Not feeling the need to compete with others, compete with incomes, clothing, or whatever else might be a temptation, is a true freedom; just being me in the Lord and using the gifts and inspirations to raise my unique family the way our Lord is guiding me to do so is very satisfying contentment. I feel very blessed to have been generous in my advanced maternal age with having children without much difficulty. Considering I didn’t give birth to our first until well into age 31, and our last at age 43, I definitely consider this a blessing.
It’s a lovely place to have lived enough life and raised children enough into adulthood that you can help to mentor others in both education and mothering. There were those that came before me, helping me along the path of motherhood and homeschooling and they will forever remain special in my heart as they provided encouragement, strength and guidance to me, a newcomer on the scene. I have never professed to know it all, or to need no one. I am not island. My family is not an island. I believe God calls us out of the confines of family and into society to connect with others (for evangelization purposes of all kinds). Much has changed over the last 20 years in my raising children, but what remains the same is mothers are still in need of encouragement and true friendship outside of their households. Aristotle talks about “speculative” discussion, and that is the kind of wonderful fulfilling discussion mothers and others can have with one another that helps them to rise above and be refreshed in mind and soul and strive for the greater good.
May God bless all those special families carrying burdens and wanting to make changes. Relieve them of those burdens, grant them peace and guidance and truly help them know there is a special path just for them, and bring people to them into that path, that can help lead them to peace and happiness.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Monday, March 04, 2013
My blogging friend Chris has nominated me for this awesome award, so I am very honored! But there is a bit of work to be done to accomplish this…I’m not sure I have all my ducks in a row…but I will give it a try!
Liebster is German for: “sweetest” “kindest”, “nicest”, “dearest”, “beloved”, “valued” “endearing” and “welcoming”…..phew!….that’s a lot of nice words there!
The award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
And there are questions to answer…and others to suggest for nomination, so let’s get to work!
Rules for the Liebster Award:
1. List 11 things about yourself
2. Answer the questions the nominator has posed for you
3. Nominate 11 up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers
4. Create 11 questions to ask the nominees
5. Go to the page of each nominee and tell her about the award.
And so, let’s begin!
1. 11 things about me: I was born in San Diego, I was born with a dislocated hip, I have played guitar for over 30+ years, I love coffee, I use to smoke!, I have a crowned tooth with a music note etched on it, I love witch hazel and use it everyday on my face, I auditioned for Mattel toy commercials when I was a child, I lived in Arizona for a year, I lived in Utah for 14 years, I watched every X-files episode ever made.
I grew up in southern California
I loved Salt Lake City when we lived there. I would love to live there forever.
My favorite book hands-down is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, ever since I first heard it read aloud in 5th grade.
My favorite movie is The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton most certainly inspires me; she was a mother before she was a foundress of a religious order.
My hobby would be cross stitching, although I have little time for it at this point in my life.
I began my blog out of a spiritual expression need. To fulfill for myself and give to others.
My fairy tale wedding would be the one I had :) I wouldn’t have changed a thing!
If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be Harrison Ford…no wait…Paul Newman….LOL
Louisa May Alcott …although I adore Jane Austen too…oh please, don’t make me choose :)
My idea of a relaxing dinner with the family is just about anywhere…but Bob Evans, the Olive Garden, or K of C suits us fine! Eating is relaxation to us!
OKAY, MY NOMINATIONS: (I will be plugging them in here shortly…stay tuned….)
Annette at: Nettie’s World
Megan at: True Daughter of Mary
Barbara at: Praying for Grace
Krystin at: My Clones in Action
John at: Never Give Up
Laura at: Homeschooling with Joy
Margot at: Bliss on the Hill
Monica at: Equipping Catholic Families
Marc at: Evangelizing Catechesis
Kelly at: Musings on Film
Maria at: Four Blessings Academy
11 Fun Questions:
1. What's your favorite color?
2. What's your favorite cheap product?
3. Your favorite devotion?
4. Your favorite Saint?
5. What Season are you?
6. What number sibling are you? or only?
7. Were you a convert or cradle?
8. If you could get to any place in the world easily, where would it be?
9. What's your favorite flash back cartoon?
10. Were you baptized as a baby, child or adult?
11. Are you steak or chicken?
Nominees read the rules way above! Good luck and God bless!+
"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matt 714
 Barnes' Notes on the Bible - commentary:
"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30
Sunday, March 03, 2013
God bless them all; they are the salt and light we need. May God always supply us with much needed priests.