The Coming School Year

Education of our children is a major concern of parents. We are our children’s first and primary teachers and have the responsibility before God to give our children the education they need to grow into good Catholics and good citizens. This weighs heavily on me every fall as I look at the new curriculum I have chosen and ask myself if I chose rightly. Home School is ever-evolving and I with it. I have a teaching degree and classroom experience, but I have home schooled far more years than I ever spent teaching anywhere. I love it, the challenge and … Continue reading

Home School Days, wherein I rant

What to do when your first grader is NOT an early reader? What to do when readiness is slow to arrive? What do you do when well-meaning friends and family fuss because it looks like this child is going to be behind? You take a deep breath and evaluate. Learning style of teacher and pupil.  It is a constant question–what curriculum do I use? I used Seton for a very long time. It was not the first curriculum I tried back in the day more than twenty years ago when I first embarked on home schooling. I tried Kolbe (classical) … Continue reading

Easter!

CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!!!! I spent Lent this year discerning the directions I have been going, the use of my skills and talents and experience, and I’m read to implement some changes around here. First, I’m going to blog more Catholic Home Schooling. The reason for that emphasis is the diocese once more sent out wonderful Easter greetings in the form of an advertisement for the Parish schools in our diocese. But as always, ignoring the VALID CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WHICH ARE HOME SCHOOLS. CATHOLIC Home Schools get pretty much lip service or a slap in the … Continue reading

The Walls of Constantinople

I just watched a wonderful TED talk on the significance of the Walls of Constantinople to the West.  I enjoyed that this video is both concise and clear. The only criticism I have is that those fleeing Constantinople did not only go to Rome, but to many other major cities. It was not so much the crusaders who brought the culture and knowledge from Constantinople to the west as it was the Eastern Romans themselves. Most of our books call them Byzantines, but they knew themselves as Roman. Go watch the video. Use it as part of your Church History … Continue reading

Historical Fiction for U.S. History

Did you know that Louis L’Amour would scour libraries, court houses, and museums for original source materials such as diaries, old letters, records of all sorts, in addition to newspapers before writing his stories? Supplement a unit study with his books or build an entire unit study around them, Mr L’Amour’s intense research makes his stories a good source for educational enrichment. His westerns are Historical Fiction and better researched than nearly anything else in that genre.  Westerns are a form of Historical Fiction that often gets overlooked. As parent educators we have the opportunity to bring history to life for … Continue reading

Home School Our Way: So we begin!

Starting to do daily home schooling. I am taking advantage of the ipad and some apps that build skills that will translate to handwriting. I can see that the younger set want a turn with the fun educational programs. That is good, will give them a turn later. The main goal at the moment is to gently build a habit of schoolwork in the mornings. I will be pulling out the curriculum bit by bit and we will be using the workbooks in the various subjects. Right now, the preliminaries are being honed so that the math and language arts … Continue reading

Starter Book For Byzantine Studies

DAILY LIFE IN THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE by Marcus Rautman is a good starting place for anyone interested in the Byzantine Empire. Sections on every imaginable aspect of daily living can be found in this book and the author gives references for further reading by way of chapter endnotes and a Bibliography. The book includes nice clear maps, a glossary of terms, index, list of rulers and their years in power, timeline, and illustrations. Chapter titles and headings are bold and informational to make finding a specific bit of information easier for the reader. As an over-view of life in Byzantium … Continue reading

Destruction of Purity

Several friends were discussing the the changes in our education system which even the parochial schools are embracing. We discussed a book assigned to middle school children written in first person from the perspective of a pedophile and everyone felt that it was not appropriate reading material for a child who is barely entering puberty.  They were wondering what the agenda was that caused the writers of this program to select a book about sexual deviancy for children who do not yet have their own healthy sexuality set solidly.  We agreed that the pornographic sex education was just wrong and … Continue reading

Home Education: Teaching History

Teaching History in a Home School setting can be a challenge, especially when we are faced with teaching ages 11 and up through High School. Most of us learned what little history we know from textbooks that sucked the life out of the stories and bored us nearly to death. A few of us were fortunate enough to run across writers of histories who are anything BUT boring. Historians like Dr. Warren Carroll whose books (like the very short 1917, Isabella, and Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness, and the heavy duty Christendom series) challenged and delighted … Continue reading

BREAKING ANCHOR by Henry Melton

Oh my home school book loving friends I have run across a new to me author who is MARVELOUS! Henry Melton writes books with teen age protagonists who face real science fiction scenarios in the modern world.  The writing is fast paced, the characters well developed, and there is none of that anti-parent propaganda so popular in most modern youth books.  Themes in his books encourage communication between the generations, respectful relationships, learning about the sciences, and becoming active rather than passive in living. Breaking Anchor is the first of his books I read. I found in this book a … Continue reading