Who is Raising Your Kids? You? or the Culture?

It takes a village to raise a child — so goes the African proverb. But what if that village, including schools, peers, media, and the culture at large, goes strongly and blatantly against your principles? What’s a parent to do? 

In her newly released book, Don’t Let the Culture Raise your Kids, journalist Marcia Segelstein gives parents a highly researched and in-depth look at today’s culture. She describes how it undermines parental influence and challenges traditional family values. More importantly, she offers excellent solutions, tips, and tools for parents who are fighting to protect their children from gender ideology, social media and gaming addiction, sex-ed in schools, pornography, and consumerism.  In this interview for Mercatornet, Marcia Segelstein shares some of her research findings and advice.

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How to be a Happier Parent

Here’s a special treat for you! I recently read a newly-released book, Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying. The author,  Betsy Kerekes, happens to be a homeschooling mom who has learned, (and I quote her) “If you don’t laugh, you cry, but laughing is more fun.” Isn’t that the truth! Here’s the  interview I had with her for Mercatornet. I’m sure you’ll appreciate her stories, humor, and her great perspective on dealing with parenting calamities.

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Helping Children Overcome Frustration

Question: How do you prevent frustration on your child’s part when you home school?

One challenging thing about homeschooling is that children do not hold back their emotions from their parents as they would (usually) do with their school teachers. In the absence of peer pressure, children feel less compelled to keep their emotions in check. Thus, in a home school, children are more likely to burst into tears or go into a fit of rage over a difficult math problem. This can pose a considerable problem for us parents, one that can cause us to feel inadequate and frustrated ourselves.

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Frustration-Free Homeschooling? … Not Quite

Here’s a question that came into one of the comment boxes:

How do you prevent frustration (on your part and your child’s) when homeschooling? What do you do when you get frustrated? We’re thinking of homeschooling and I’m very worried about my lack of patience especially with an easily frustrated child. Please advise, thanks.

Frustration is a part of parenting, whether or not you home school. We all get frustrated with our children. We can minimize our frustrations, though, and doing so often has to do with managing expectations. 

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St. Paul’s Letter to the Homeschoolers

1 Corinthians 13. It’s probably St. Paul’s most famous letter – the one we often hear at weddings.  Listening to it in church a few weeks ago, I realized that St. Paul could have written it (with a few tweaks) specifically for teachers and homeschoolers. In imitation of St. Paul then, here’s St. Paul’s Letter to the Homeschoolers:

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A Bright Consensus About Screens and Kids

Earlier this week, the NY Times published an interesting article: A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley. Essentially, there is a growing movement among the technical gurus of Silicon Valley to seriously restrict their children’s use of cell phones and tablets. Interesting, but not surprising. As my husband says, it’s pretty obvious that smart phones and tablets are not good for kids, especially when you see them so sedate and glued to the screen. Normal heathy kids should be running around, playing outside, and using their imaginations. Most parents would agree that we need to limit the amount of time our children spend in front of the screen; many parents struggle to do so.

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Screwtape Intercepted: An Angelic Letter for a Homeschool Mom #2

I hope you enjoyed last week’s Screwtape Letter for a Homeschool Mom #2. Screwtape is a nasty one, isn’t he? You’ll be glad to know that Bitterwench never did get the letter because, just like last time,  Martha’s vigilant Guardian Angel intercepted it. Here is Archangel Gabriel’s advice to Angel Fairlight:

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How Catholic Parents Can Reform the Church

It’s been a tough summer for Catholics this year, and I would not be surprised if by now you’re tired of hearing and reading about church scandals, church politics, and maybe even church in general. As we wait for our bishops, cardinals, and the Pope to shed light on how they will address these problems and “clean house”, we lay people can feel rather helpless. Especially as we watch our beloved Church get attacked from the outside and ripped apart from within.

But I have news for you… well not quite news, but an important reminder:

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Church Scandals – What’s a Parent to Do?

How have you been coping with all the recent news of church scandals and clergy abuse of minors? All this news makes me sick to my stomach. Part of me doesn’t want to think about it, much less talk about it. But that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? The silence, the covering-up, the pretense that sexual abuse by clergy isn’t really real.

But it is.

And while church officials talk about accountability and processes to protect youth and reform the system, we parents need to take the bull by the horns and talk about it with our kids (at least middle schoolers and older). If we don’t, they will catch wind of it somewhere else and feel confused and scandalized (as they should), and their faith may be seriously compromised. Here are three points to think about and possibly talk about with your kids:

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Helping Your Child to Practice Piano Effectively

Here’s a question that came in as a comment: How do you deal with piano practice? I find that if I let my children (8, 5) practise themselves, they’ll skip some scales and end up doing really shoddy work on their pieces. I find myself having to sit down with them every time in order to get good progress, and it’s really frustrating because I can’t do chores or help/play with/read to the younger ones. I’d really appreciate your advice, thanks.

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