St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Life & Education ala’ mode–with a cherry on top

My recent tweet:

Curriculum shopping ::exciting:: …no really!  LOVE homeschooling :joyfulheart: :teachingmyown: :peace:

It could not be more true.  I love homeschooling my children. I consider it such an honor and privilege and natural extension of natural mothering.

There is one thing that has always brought joy to my heart, and plentiful rewards, and it has been that of homeschooling my own children.

I would not trade it for the world.

Yes, there have been difficult, challenging times. How could there not be after 19 years of this?  But long ago a wise homeschooling mother told me, “do not get caught up with the secular world’s ways, or the mothers who go the way of the secular world always feeling their children are missing something because they are homeschooled…..those that don’t find peace with homeschooling and don’t see it as an apostolate, a holy mission.....they will only make you despise what you are doing…”

I talk often to those who want to homeschool, love to homeschool, and Iisten to and read copious amounts of support and encouragement materials and resources surrounding homeschooling.  This way I nurture myself and fill myself up with the very tools and nourishment I need for my mission.

Nemo potest: You cannot give what you do not have.

If I speak negatively about home education in my own home, (which I never do), what does that do to my children? 

My husband has trusted me to the care and education of his children.

Our philosophy here is: institutionalized and public school are off our options list.  So, within that context, how we education our children within our set boundaries and standards, moves outward from that very determination.

So, as I begin my curriculum purchases for the year ahead, I delight in my heart and soul deeply and gratefully.   I am grateful to be here and have at this moment, time with my children to revel in their development and intellect.  Meeting each child where they are at, and bringing them forward in progress that reflects their personal best.

May God bless you and your children with the graces and joy you need to fulfill your mission.

Monday, June 09, 2014

A Productive Day in June

Although I’m suffering terribly from my seasonal allergies, today is a glorious day! Why?  Because we have completed our school year, and planned for the next.  This is cause for much celebration!

I can’t believe my 9th grade student has all As!..well, his Fine Arts (on line course) grade isn’t in yet from his teacher, but it’s likely to be an A- at least.  I could not be more thrilled with how this young man accomplished all that work load this year and got an A in the rigorous Algebra (Abeka) course.  The math enrichment teacher at our co-op mentioned how she was tutoring one student in Teaching Textbooks Algebra II, and how her Abeka Algebra I students were actually doing those same Alg II concepts. So, Abeka is tough.  And tough on grades also, as you really get quite a lot marked off of each wrong problem, more so than many other math courses.

So, onward, onward!

Next up: Jacobs Geometry for 10th grade, and we will enroll in the LS (learning support), classes for that through Mother of Divine Grace.  Enrollment for LS classes begins tomorrow, so I’d best be seeing to that.

We will do the next unit of Cambridge Latin Unit 2, which we are definitely looking forward to.  Unit one was Caecilius and his family, living in Pompeii….yes, a sad ending indeed! Unit 2 is when the Romans invade Britannica…or Briton. 

All other courses are the standard Modg 10th grade line up. 

I have a couple decisions to make with my rising 5th grade student who got all As on his assessment this year.  If that doesn’t do my heart good, as his autism spectrum disorder doesn’t seem to hold him back from performing well academically.  

This son really needs a lot of focus on language arts, therapeutically, so oral and written communication is essential for him as well as spectrum children in general that are high functioning, and had speech delays. It must include inferences, as these children tend to take everything quite literally. And they need one on one concentrated sustained work.  It’s slow, but my son is making progress in this area. 

So, normally Intermediate Language Lessons is used again at this stage,(and we use the workbook form) but I’m considering using the 4th grade edition of the Learning Language Arts through Literature book, or perhaps his grade level 5 one.  There isn’t a lot of difference between the two except for the literature used.  The thing is:  I want to get him interested and involved in the literature reading more.  So, the 4th grade lit choices may appeal to him more, but then again the 5th grade ones may also…should I toss a coin?!  And the books are on our shelves, so no problem there.  Modg recommended LLATL many years ago, until Laura Berquist discovered Emma Serl’s gentle grammar lessons, and switched over to her texts for grades 3, 4 and 5.  I know my consultant (and myself, as a consultant), won’t mind my using this older recommended resource for this son.  Grammar is something you need to do with your child, at least for it to be successful, so this is an area I involve myself in with my children no matter what in those younger grades, until around 8th grade/high school; and even then, we do Latin together, which furthers grammar study.

Then my decision between Abeka 5 math or Saxon 65.  I know Mark likes to cut to the chase on math.  I’m considering using Calculadder for some drill work (made fun).  He’s a great math student, and I don’t want that to end.  Abeka is rather diverse and “busy”, and moves at a clip.  He’s definitely needed more time on some concepts, so Saxon 65 may be my switching point. Although “visual” math does help him – the pictures and diagrams in color in Abeka have helped him a lot.  So, I need to pray about this one, and ask my God for a revelation!

I know I’m down to just two children, and have never had to teach more than 3 at a time, with a baby or toddler about…..but I have taught other people’s children in with my bunch for several months at a time, and that has given me a broader perspective of what it’s like to teach more children.  I am so amazed at my Modg families who are doing that every year….teaching 6 to 10 children unending.  God bless them.  What a message and a mission…and a mission with a message!!  I am very impressed.

God bless you with a wonderful day!

Thanks for stopping by ::smiles::

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Tuam mother and baby home: the trouble with the septic tank story - Social Affairs & News from Ireland & Abroad | The Irish Times - Sat, Jun 07, 2014

In case you didn't hear the real story......the headlines world wide were very misleading

Tuam mother and baby home: the trouble with the septic tank story - Social Affairs & News from Ireland & Abroad | The Irish Times - Sat, Jun 07, 2014

The Church and God and Man

I generally don’t enter into any deep or sensational blog posts regarding world religions and Faith beliefs, and maybe I could as a long certified religious education teacher, but I will say just a few things… (and then you can follow the links to the further information on the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings regarding the couple areas I’m addressing briefly). 

I am in much appreciation and  greatly admire the  Roman Catholic faith/church that has stood the test of time, (good and bad, mind you, because anything with longevity is going to have some ugly histories as well), but “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…”(Matt 16:18). As we approach Pentecost Sunday, and reflect on the gift of the Holy Spirit, given among us, signifying the birth of the Church, I am in even more awe and gratefulness for a church that remains unModern and non-politically correct, if I may say so, and yet up to snuff on current issues. 

Yes, it seems a contradiction in some ways, but not all modernism nor secularism is healthy or good for the people of God….no revelation there, eh?  If you just look around yourself with your Christian eyeglasses on at the media, writing, cultural trends…it’s so obvious that we as professed practicing Christians are at odds with our very environment.  Romans 12:2, John 17:15-17

After extensively studying Rome and Greece in our home schooling, in a cyclical manner as classical education calls for, we become more fully aware of the paganism and the gods and the One True God-lessness, we still have among us. Even Christians can thoughtlessly have their own gods; they can be the “things” of this world, we attach ourselves to all too strongly placing them first before God (idol worshipping)…..and just not acknowledging God as the one true God, and Jesus as His son, our Lord and Savior….well, some things don’t change, and here we are as Christians among it.

So, while I am not a theologian and don’t wish to pontificate in the least to you my readers, I will say this:  again, I am grateful for my particular strain of Christianity which is broad and guiding, not narrow minded but rather, firm in its stance against offences that destroy the dignity of man and God’s plan.

I direct your attention to other religions of the world that the Catholic Church believes and teaches and acknowledges “all that is good, and true and noble” in any Faiths; as they contain some of the Truth.  Or that they worship the same one true God; the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob… we do. 

And in regard to Creationism and Evolution, the church very eloquently and intelligently, does not hold a Catholic to one or the other.   The Church does not claim to know the entire truth of the origins of man, or the earth or it’s length of existence in time and eternity, however, the Church does distinctly say that however the earth and man and all creation came to be, GOD’s hand was in it…..He is the Almighty Creator. re: Evolution, again,  that if this was how God chose to create man in his likeness and image, HIS HAND was in it, infusing a soul in man (being the operative area of thought). We do not take God out of anything …He is the creator, the Almighty.  We are honest in admitting to both science and sometimes the word of God, that we don’t know it all.  There are those that claim they know it all.  but I am thankful as Catholics we are left to consider and discern these areas for ourselves, and be humbled by the fact, again, ONLY GOD KNOWS THE FULL TRUTH, we do not, and there is a tremendous area of TRUST in God, that is unfolded in the “not knowing.”

So, without further ado, I give you the more articulate and eloquent voice of the Church universal: 

Truth Cannot Contradict Truth: (full discourse by clicking on title)

excerpt: “In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation, on condition that one did not lose sight of several indisputable points.”

Vatican Council And Papal Statements On Islam (click on title for full discourse)

excerpt: “But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Rest, peace, loveliness in raising children and educating them….

…..yes, this is not a trick title heading! 

After home educating my own brood for going on the 19th year now, I do have something to say about anxiety and peace, and grace….grace in mothering and educating, which in my opinion are one in the same.

There have only been two books ~ever~ that have impressed and left their mark on me through the years regarding home education.  They are Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, A Guide to Catholic Home Education (Berquist), and Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home, (Foss).

Until, recently, those were the only two books, apart from my bible devotions that have sustained me for literally YEARS in my home schooling life.  But, I can honestly say, I am adding a third keeper to that short list. 

I firmly believe, if you don’t believe in something strongly and nourish that belief continually, you will fall for anything.  And so it is with home education.  Oh, how the grass can seem greener…….but you soon discover that pasture may not actually be suited to your taste either…..and you wander upon many pastures….without peace..

Really, what you need is peace, and a lot can be said for a solid but flexible curriculum (and if you desire, one that will be your school of record with transcript keeping). 

Teaching from Rest, by Sarah Mackenzie, may help you find that peace.  I am just starting to read it myself having downloaded the eBook and I know before it’s ended, I will be adding it to my support books to nourish myself along this journey.

While you’re at it, check out author and blogger Sarah Mackenzie’s lovely blog, you will not be disappointed:

Amongst Lovely Things

Principles of Classical Education | Circe Institute

Articulate reasons as to why I love classical education in our home schooling:

Principles Derived from the End of Classical Education


The purpose of Classical Education is to cultivate virtue and wisdom. The classical Christian does not ask, “What can I do with this learning?” but “What will this learning do to me?” The ultimate end of Classical Christian education is to enable the student (disciple) to better know, glorify, and enjoy God. Since we are able to know things with which we have a common nature, the more we are like God the better we can know Him. A student gives glory to God when he is like Him. Our enjoyment of God is derived from our ability to see Him and to see His handiwork.

In a Christian school, learning is not an end in itself.  Instead, the classical Christian teacher asks God to use his teaching, dispositions, and actions as an instrument in His hand to cultivate the students’ souls toward holiness.  In this sense, learning can be a means of grace.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

School’s Out….

Can’t believe I’m excited already for the new school year ahead, as it’s only been ONE day since we ended our school for the season…..but this is exciting to me – yes, our next unit of Latin …..

My high school son and I are just loving Cambridge Latin.  I don’t want to give away how Unit 1 ended….(spoilers!), but, the unit followed a family the whole year…and well, they lived in Pompeii…..(yes, I know)…..we wept.  And we learned more history that was beautifully integrated with pictures and facts, so what a great enrichment course.  And the Latin readings (stories), are fabulous.  They followed family life and goings-on, like any small town village.  Grumio the cook, Clemens the slave, and even Cerberus the family dog. 

So, yes, I’m shopping for next year’s items, before talking to even my own education consultant…..but we are so standard, because well there’s just everything to love about doing the standard courses with Mother of Divine Grace.  There has been little we have ever departed from through the years so I guess you could say we are rather generic, in our own unique way!

School’s Out for Summer!