For those of you using the Faith and Freedom Primer to teach your children to read, here is Part C of the Primer, adapted for children with Down Syndrome.Continue reading “Faith and Freedom Primer C – Adapted for Children with Down Syndrome”
A Happy New School Year to you!!!
Here’s a little gift for those of you who like to do picture study with your kids: a collection of eighteen Renaissance Art Masterpieces with a bit of background information and questions that encourage close observation.
Because exposing our kids to lovely art is so important.
Renaissance artists believed in the beauty and nobility of mankind – a belief so sorely lost in today’s society. All the more reason, then, to help our children study and enjoy the masterpieces of the Renaissance artists, which radiate with goodness and beauty.
So without further ado, here are some sample cards and what we’re doing with them:Continue reading “Renaissance Art Masterpieces for Elementary Students”
Here is part 2 of the Faith and Freedom Primer, which I adapted for children with Down Syndrome. The original book, published by Seton Educational Media, has three parts. This is the second part. You can find the first part here.
The Faith and Freedom Primer an excellent tool for teaching children to read high-frequency sight words with fluency. Once a word is introduced, it is used repeatedly throughout the book so you child does not forget it. Junior has learned to read all three parts of the primer, and he is now learning to read the next book in this series without any adaptations!Continue reading “Faith and Freedom Primer B – Adapted for Children with Down Syndrome”
Here’s a free resource for those of you using Tan’s Story of Civilization Vol. 2 this fall. It’s a BIG one…. 180+ pages! My friend Sue Clement and I collaborated on this project. We love Story of Civilization, but we wanted our kids to think critically about what they have learned and to have cumulative reviews.
This resource includes:
- vocabulary lists
- dates for a timeline
- book suggestions for each chapter
- map work suitable for older students (Gr. 5-8)
- critical thinking questions that encourage students to think beyond the page and to make connections with previously learned material
- cumulative reviews after every other chapter.
- And, of course, a complete answer key.
It’s a HUGE project, which took a lot of time. (I think we burned some Purgatory time working on it). So I hope your kids will benefit from it.Continue reading “Story of Civilization Vol. 2 Medieval World: FREE Workbook Supplement”
Once in a while I come across a pedagogical gem. The Faith and Freedom Primer is one of these. It is actually a combination of 3 smaller books, written in the 1950s to teach children how to sight read high frequency words. I’ve used it with all of my kids to teach them how to read sight words alongside teaching them how to decode phonetically. The book is a gem not just because it teaches children to read sightwords incrementally and systematically, but also because it portrays the Catholic faith and family life in a gentle and beautiful way.
Since Junior had been learning to read sight words with See and Learn Phrases, I decided to adapt the Faith and Freedom Primer according to the recommendations laid out by Natalie Hale, in her book Whole Child Reading. Junior would often pull the original primer off our bookshelf and pretend to read it, so I thought, “Why not adapt it for him and see if he can learn to read it?”Continue reading “The Faith and Freedom Primer Adapted for Children with Down Syndrome”
I hope you were able to attend some of the talks at last month’s Catholic Homeschool Conference. After 14+ years of homeschooling, I still find there is always something new to learn.
Browsing through some of the comments and chat feed, I was reminded that many parents really struggle with getting their kids to obey and/or do their school work:
“We started homeschooling last year The transition from public school (4 boys) has been challenging.”
“I’ve got two boys and am trying to homeschool them the last two years and it’s not going well… I can’t get them to do work.”
“Finding the right practical consequence is what I find hard to think of when they do disobey.”
“Obedience is one of the hardest things to master as a parent with children.”
Yes, I know. I’ve been there.
So, as an addendum to my talk on “How to Get Your Kids to Obey”, I’m sharing this big bad list of effective consequences. It really helps to know ahead of time what you’re going to do if your child flat out refuses to complete a math assignment, or argues about having to take out the garbage, or has gotten into the terrible habit of ignoring you every time you ask him/her to do something.Continue reading “The Big List of Effective Consequences (a.k.a. What to do When You Butt Heads with Your Kids)”
Several weeks ago, I read the book Whole Child Reading: A Quick Start Guide to Teaching Students with Down Syndrome and Other Developmental Delays. If you have a child with developmental delays, I highly recommend reading this book. It’s a fast, easy read with useful insights into how the brain works and many practical applications. The gist of the book is to go in through the heart by using stories and topics that are highly interesting and motivating to the student and then to teach to the brain by understanding how children with T21 learn best.
In the book, author Natalie Hale gives specific instructions on how to format and make your own books so that your kids can read with greater ease and success. So I began making books. I made personal books, because Junior, like most kids, likes to read about himself and his family. I also made books using words from the See and Learn Phrases kits.
Today I’m sharing some of these books:
Continue reading “Free Resources for Teaching Children with Down Syndrome to Read”
Dominic Savio is the kind of saint anyone could be best friends with.
Full of laughter and entirely down to earth, he was a normal teenage kid who easily won his classmates’ hearts and was voted second place in a popularity contest at school – not at all the stiff-necked and unapproachable person some may think him to be. Yet beyond the joy spilling out of his character lay an intensely strong ardor and uncompromisingly high set of ideals which continuously pushed him closer and closer toward his first and greatest Friend – God. He never flaunted his virtue but it shone through him everywhere he was.
The kids on the nearby, questionable streets of Turin cut short their profanity when they saw him coming. Bullies and troublemakers turned around almost unfailingly when their teacher strategically seated them near Savio. Even Saint Don Bosco himself often asked his pupil for advice and never regretted taking it. In Dominic Savio, the boys of the Oratory found an example of holiness whom they respected rather than disdained. They wanted to be like him.Continue reading “Just Released! A Novel About St. Dominic Savio, the Teenage Saint”
Just a quick little post to say…. (drum roll, please ….) It’s that time of year again! Time for the Catholic Homeschool Conference! And as I said last year, the conference is for ALL Catholic parents, not just homeschoolers.
From May 19 – 22 you can listen to live key note speakers such as Kimberly Hahn, Laura Berquist, Sarah Mackenzie, and Andrew Pudewa. In addition, you can tune into 60+ pre-recorded talks including one by yours truly 🙂 For free! I’m so looking forward to it!
Whether you’re homeschooling or not, I think you’ll benefit from the wonderful presentations. There will be talks on homeschooling, of course, but also on marriage, family life, and virtue and character development.
And here’s what I’ll be talking about…Continue reading “The Catholic Homeschool Conference is Back!”
Our school year is beginning to wind down. Yay! So this is also the time when I begin to think about the coming school year. And while my homeschooled kids take standardized tests to help me assess their overall progress, I also take time to think of the big picture.
After all, a real education is much more than just academics. Indeed, a real education entails educating the whole child. There are many great thinkers who ascribe to the idea that a real education is more than book learning:
- Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he has learned in school. – Albert Einstein
- Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- The primary goal in the education of children is to teach and give an example of a virtuous life. – St. John Chrysostem
- A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all of its students to become saints. – Pope Benedict XVI
While that all sounds good and true, what does it actually mean to educate the whole person, and how do we go about doing that?
Sitting in a rocking chair and musing over this while waiting for Junior to get sleepy, I envisioned this little diagram (Thank you, Holy Spirit!):Continue reading “Educating the Whole Child”