Summer is here! And with it, mosquito bites, scraped knees, and an outbreak in tattle-taling. Being home all day with half-a-dozen kids, I have noticed there are five (yes, five!) different types of tattle-tales. Not all tattles are created equally. Here’s what they are and what we can do about them:
Having a repertoire of memorized poetry is something my kids secretly enjoy… although some would never admit it. Sometimes when the younger ones are reciting their poetry, the older ones jump right in, remembering the same poems they had learned in earlier years.
There are many good reasons for copying and memorizing poetry: The rhythm and rhyme of poetry is catchy and fun. As they get older, the kids learn to appreciate the imagery and the way poets play with words, rhyme, and meter. More importantly, it is an excellent way to fill our children’s minds with beautiful imagery and rich vocabulary. In a world so devoid of culture and beauty, memorizing poetry is one way to help our children appreciate that which is true, beautiful, and good.
It is usually about this time of year when the homeschooling catalogs start coming in the mail. I gather them into a big pile and, like a kid in a candy shop, I pore over the pages. I love browsing homeschooling curricula. There is so much promise and potential in new school books.
But I have learned that beyond glossy pages and full-color pictures, there are certain things that make for effective curricula. There are good books, and then there are great books. Here are ten criteria to think about when shopping for next year’s school books:
Do you ever have doubts if what you’re doing as a homeschool mom is working or making a difference? Here’s an article I wrote for Mercatornet:
George Washington, first President of the United States, was homeschooled. So were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the 3rd and 4th Presidents of the United States. Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, novelist Louisa May Alcott, and inventor Alexander Graham Bell were also educated at home, as were Laura Ingalls Wilder, Thomas Edison, Robert Frost, 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt (in fact 14 American presidents were home educated), scientists Edith and Agnes Claypole, and geneticist Francis Collins.
A little background….Mary and I met over 15 years ago in Tempe, Arizona when our husbands were in graduate school at Arizona State. We have been great friends for such a long time. God has blessed our families with kids who are the same age and sex and obviously, the call to homeschool. We now live in different states but try to get together several times per year. The kids disappear for the weekend, the husbands work on research, and Mary and I laugh, serve meals, and talk about all kinds of great stuff!
A few years ago we decided to meet weekly via FaceTime to work on writing. We wanted our oldest daughters especially to have more time together. What we didn’t realize was how effective our weekly meetings would be.
At a Viacrucis (Way of the Cross) in Monclova, Mexico, a boy with Down Syndrome comes out from the crowd to comfort the actor who is portraying Jesus…
Here’s a post by my husband:
The cacophony of blaring sirens, honking horns, and loud profanities is the deafening backdrop as you make your way through the sea of intoxication and into your destined oasis. The Holy of Holies stands before you. You genuflect and the cloud of sin in the air that you waded through drops at your feet. You now stand before God. After that brief moment of peace, you feel a strange state of euphoria and desolation as you realize you are surrounded by your friends posing in stain glass windows amidst a dilapidated building in desperate need of repair if only to plug the dripping holes in the vaulted ceiling. You wonder how long before her doors are padlocked like her friends’ down the street.
It’s a sight only too familiar for those stepping into an inner-city church in the Northeast. The Northeast has seen almost a 19% decline in the number of churches since 1965, and this past September, the diocese of Pittsburgh announced that they may reduce the number of Churches from 188 to 48. (The final decision is expected this month). The reasons cited for these closings are a shortage of priests, lack of attendance, and “money problems.”
For those of you living in the North East, how did you like all that snow on Easter Monday? It’s hard to believe that spring is here, but it really is here! Princess brought me some daffodils she picked from our front lawn – happy proof that warm weather is on its way and our school year will be winding down.
I always think about the next year’s curriculum in April. Planning curriculum in the early spring keeps things realistic. I’m still vividly aware of what we are doing well and what keeps getting pushed to the side. When I’m tempted to throw extra curriculum into the plan, the reality of this year’s juggling act keeps me in check. Spring planning also gives me a chance to create a shopping list so I don’t impulse shop at home school conferences (the curse of the curriculum junkie!)
Just in case any of you are doing some spring planning, I thought I’d share some of our favorite curriculum from this year.
Recent efforts in Ohio and Utah to protect the life and rights of unborn babies with Down Syndrome have many pro-abortionists up in arms. They are terrified that women might be forced to carry and deliver an intellectually disabled child they do not want.
As a mother of a baby with Down Syndrome, I am saddened by their outrage. While some of these people admit they are selfish, most are terribly misled. Many people just don’t know the truth about Down Syndrome. They have no idea what a gift children and adults with Down Syndrome are.
Do you ever have those days when a dark cloud seems to be hanging over you? Perhaps you didn’t sleep well the night before or health problems are gnawing away at your energy and patience. Maybe your kids are particularly ornery and you can’t get them to stop squabbling, let alone get them to do their school work. Or maybe you had a marital disagreement which has left you feeling deflated and depressed. It sure is hard to be joyful and kind on such days, isn’t it?
Here’s an excerpt from Evangelizing Our Children with Joy that describes the importance of being joyful even in the face of tribulations.