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:
A merry and blessed Christmas to you and your family! If your kids are like ours, they’ll probably be begging to watch a movie or two over the Christmas break. Lately, however, we’ve been having a hard time finding good, clean movies that appeal to a wide spectrum of ages. Sometimes it takes us a full hour of searching before we settle on one.
A few years ago, we began the tradition of singing Christmas carols. It all started when Feisty and Sparky had roles in our parish’s Christmas pageant. Someone gave 6-year-old Sparky the role of Joseph, which was a terrible idea. During the rehearsals, our impish, irrepressible Sparky kept pretending to scold Baby Jesus. I was
terrified concerned that Sparky would scold Baby Jesus during the actual pageant, but he played the role perfectly, with a reverence and seriousness we never knew he was capable of. Phew! Anyways, the kids had to learn the songs, so we practiced the carols at home. And we all loved it.
In a few weeks, our youngest daughter is going to have her First Confession. Finally, she will get to join the rest of the family when we all go to Confession. More importantly, she will get to experience God’s incredible mercy and the abundance of graces that come through this wonderful sacrament.
To help prepare her for confession, I made a little booklet. I thought it would be beneficial if she had all the prayers she needed and an examination of conscience all in one little booklet — with beautiful art work, of course.
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.
Happy November! October was Down Syndrome Awareness Month… how did it go by so fast? Even though I’m a little behind the ball, I’d like like to share this little story with you:
It was the last game of our son’s basketball season, and his fifth-grade team was winning. Towards the end of the last quarter, the coaches called a time out. The teams huddled around their coaches and listened to their instructions. Then the players ran back onto the court to finish the game.
But something surprising happened. Instead of playing with their usual energy and aggression, the boys on my son’s team started fumbling. A player on the opposing team quickly got hold of the ball and tossed it to his teammate, No. 33. It was a strange move for a player who only had a few minutes left to close the gap on the score. You see, No. 33 was the least athletic kid on the team. He was the smallest. He was the slowest. He had Down Syndrome.
This year we are once again delving into the Middle Ages. This is my favorite time period in history because we witness the blossoming of Christendom despite barbarian invasions, the spread of heresies, the Crusades, a devastating plague, and division in the Church. Indeed, we can see the hand of God guiding the Church through all of this turmoil, raising up great saints to spread the Gospel. I just looove the Middle Ages.
When my oldest was a kindergartener, I wrote some super short stories to help her learn to read. I then used them to teach all my other kids to read, along with a variety of other phonics books. Variety is the spice of life, so it is good to give your emerging readers a mixture of books with which they can learn to read.
Are any of your kids memorizing the States and Capitals this year? If so, we have a great resource for you!
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: