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

Durability In Children

Small children are durable. Perhaps not all small children, but certainly mine are very durable. They run full tilt, fall flat on their faces in the gravel, and if you compliment the speed they attained before the fall, they pop back up with a smile and take off again without any notice of the scratches on their knees. I am an older mom. I take these spills with what is apparently a degree of calm that shocks other people. I see persons leap up to rescue the poor fallen waif, when all I see is a perfectly normal learning experience. … Continue reading

Dealing with Mom Job Loneliness

I like the title up there, but truth is, I have never found a satisfactory way to handle the stress of loneliness while staying home with small children.  I enjoyed taking graduate classes and found that I could study genetics while sitting on the floor as the kids played around me. Getting out to class was really good for me and it helped me to feel very good when I was home with the little ones.  I currently have a special interest group I joined and that is fun too. But the truth is that finding ways to support your … Continue reading

The Down Side to the Mom Job

The Mom Job is great but even the most perfect vocation has its difficult aspects. For the mom who is at home all day with her beloved children, the biggest down side is loneliness resulting from isolation from other adults.  It may be hard to believe that a woman who cannot even use the restroom without a train of toddlers joining her in the room could ever be lonely, but indeed, it does happen. Some of us turn on our favorite television to have the sound of adult voices.  I particularly enjoyed EWTN and a smattering of cooking programs.  I … 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

Book of Jotham by Arthur Powers

The Book of Jotham by Arthur Powers is a powerfully written little book which I recommend with enthusiasm. I found it deeply moving, intense, and even jolting.  I cried off and on as I read it, want to read it again, and am recommending that EVERYONE who knows me, and anyone who reads this post run right out and get a copy and read it that same day! Historical fiction is rarely this alive, present, full of energy.  Do read it! The title character, Jotham, is a special needs person. There isn’t any sickly sweet idealization here. The physical realities … Continue reading

My View From the “cry-room” Pew

Hi, I am the mother of two difficult, energetic children, whom I bring to Mass so they can learn to be good Christians; we sit on a bench, not in a pew, that faces a tall glass window between us and the sanctuary where the privileged Christians get to sit. Today, my view through the window was of the back sides of several college aged young persons, in shorts– plaid shorts in one case, boat shoes, flip-flops and sneakers, hairy legs and their asses at my face level FOR THE ENTIRE MASS. Now, it is a LARGE church, with a … Continue reading

Progressing In My Vocation

I used to wonder how I would ever know what to do with my life. Many persons have asked this question. It is a huge struggle because each of us has many possible paths we could take and are generally young and inexperienced when we make some pretty major choices. I remember looking at the wide range of my interests and abilities and despairing of ever figuring out what I was expected to do with all of that!  Which way did God want me to go? Which way did I want to go?  Were they the same?  Were all decisions … Continue reading

THE WAY a movie about living

THE WAY, “Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, THE WAY was filmed entirely in France and Spain along The Way of St. James, also known as “El Camino de Santiago.” ” [from the back of the DVD case], stars Martin Sheen, father of the director/writer Emelio Estevez.  Its a family affiar of a film including cameos of several members of Martin Sheen’s family. I LOVED this movie about a grieving father, a fallen away Catholic, who walks the Way for his son.  The movie included some interesting people, each struggling with their own pain, who join the main character along … Continue reading

Sometimes the midafternoon sucks

Yeah, my title is crude. I’m at my desk unable to work because the Little Tiger, who is almost three, is throwing a temper tantrum over being forbidden to bring the outside slide into the house. I should get a prize for patience this afternoon. I ought to get a prize for parenting too! What a loud tantrum the Little Tiger throws. It began with a small rebellion. I told my child “No, the outside slide must stay out here.” The child did not like this and said so. Daddy said he could watch while he worked nearby. I repeated, … Continue reading