Picture books with repetitive, predictable texts are one of the most enjoyable and effective tools for teaching young children early language skills. Young children love being able to anticipate and chime in with repeated texts. Needless to say, I am always on the hunt for picture books with predictable texts because Junior finds them so engaging and because there is so much he learns from them. So I created a list of picture books appropriate for each month of the year.Continue reading “A Year of Picture Books with Repetitive Text”
Christmas and Nativity Themed Handwriting Tracing Pages
Tracing high-interest words is a meaningful and motivating way for my son to practice handwriting. So, I made these Christmas and Nativity-Themed Handwriting Tracing Pages for Junior. He definitely enjoyed these more than his usual handwriting sheets.
Take a look:Continue reading “Christmas and Nativity Themed Handwriting Tracing Pages”
Just Released! The Tale of Finegan Patches
I am so excited to share the news that my daughter Carolyn has just published her seventh novel. Set in the Dark Ages, The Tale of Finegan Patches is the story of an impoverished young serf and his epic battle against evil.
For centuries the sinister, blood-thirsty dragon Trepezard had lain asleep in his lair. But something mysterious has awaken him and his wrath. In one fiery breath, the dragon can burn entire villages. The peasants of Leatholin live in mortal fear of their lives. Yet the treacherous and corrupt lords and knights are too afraid to protect their people. Meanwhile, there are threats of the the wild and powerful invaders from the North. The situation is dire and hopeless.
Until one insignificant, simple-hearted farm boy sets out to fight the dragon.Continue reading “Just Released! The Tale of Finegan Patches”
Luna’s Magical Trip to the Moon
Here’s a sweet and delightful picture book for your little ones! My teenage daughter and her friends collaborated on it over the spring and summer.
Luna has always dreamed of going to the moon. One day, the opportunity arises in an unexpected way. At first, Luna is afraid to embark on her adventure, but she realizes that this is a once in a lifetime chance. On a daring quest to save the moon from Ash the fire-breathing dragon, Luna meets amazing friends and grows in self-discovery. With beautiful illustrations, this book will capture the imagination of young readers, while teaching important life lessons on kindness and courage.
Just look at some of these beautiful illustrations by Grace Gunther:Continue reading “Luna’s Magical Trip to the Moon”
Just Released: A Novel your Daughters will Love
Anne of Green Gables. Heidi. A Little Princess. These are classics your daughters should read during their childhood. But have you noticed they’re all about orphans? Even the Pevensie children of the Narnia series are often estranged from their family. Where is family life as it should be in the realm of children’s literature? Thank goodness for Little Women!
Here’s another novel in the heart-warming style of the classics, but this time it’s about a young girl and her large fun-loving, rambunctious family: Clara of Strawberry Fields.
Check it out:Continue reading “Just Released: A Novel your Daughters will Love”
What Prayer Might Look Like if You’re a Saintly Mom
Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful moms! I hope your children spoil you with lots of love and appreciation! Here’s my little bit of encouragement for all you moms who are seeking holiness in the midst of children, chores, and distractions.
St. Frances of Rome. Have you heard of her? She was a 15th c. wife, mother, and mystic. (I never thought it possible for mom and mystic to go together, but there you have it.) At the age of twelve she earnestly desired to become a nun. (She probably noticed that nuns tend to look serene, whereas mothers tend to look harried.) However, her father had already arranged her marriage. When she went weeping to her spiritual director about about it, he told her to stop seeking her own will and to start accepting God’s.
Reluctantly she married the wealthy nobleman her father had chosen for her. It turned out to be a long and happy marriage; she and Lorenzo loved eachother dearly. Between raising three children and managing a large, bustling household (castle, actually), Frances was very busy. But she never lost her desire for a deep contemplative prayer life.
For those of you who struggle to find time alone for prayer, I thought you’d appreciate this wonderful description of what St. France’s prayer life was like when her children were young:Continue reading “What Prayer Might Look Like if You’re a Saintly Mom”
25 Screen-Free Educational Activities for Kids
“Mom, I’m bored.” Have you heard that yet? It’s only been one week of closed schools… and it’s probably felt like a long one. Social distancing is tough on kids and tougher on parents. No school, no sports or extracurricular activities, not even playdates! How can we keep our kids occupied during this coronavirus season? Here are 25 (mostly) educational activities to keep your kids busy, engaged, and away from the screen:Continue reading “25 Screen-Free Educational Activities for Kids”
What St. Don Bosco and Hiroshima can teach us about COVID-19
Just a quick post today, because I really felt the need to share this with you. Many of us are feeling a lot of fear nowadays. As the coronavirus continues to spread, we worry about the physically vunerable members of our families, we worry about having enough supplies to last through a quarantine, we worry about being deprived of the sacraments.
As governments and institutions implement desperate plans to slow the pandemic, and as we isolate ourselves to do our small part in protecting the vulnerable, please keep in mind two very important lessons from history:
Continue reading “What St. Don Bosco and Hiroshima can teach us about COVID-19”
Raising Virtuous Children: Four Things You Must Absolutely Do
In the last post, I talked about ways to develop the four cardinal virtues: justice, temperance, prudence, and fortitude. These are the core virtues your children need in order to become spiritual athletes. The more a person practices these virtues, the greater his capacity for freedom, and thus the greater his capacity to fully love. In this post, I’ll share with you my favorite part of this talk: Four things you absolutely must do to raise virtuous children:Continue reading “Raising Virtuous Children: Four Things You Must Absolutely Do”
Homeschooling in the USA: Yesterday and Today
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.
Continue reading “Homeschooling in the USA: Yesterday and Today”