Archive for September, 2011

St. John Mary Vianney

John Mary Vianney was born into a peasant family in the small town of Dardilly on 8 May 1786. His family was poor in material possessions but rich in humanity and in faith. Baptized on the day of his birth, as was the good custom in those days, he spent so many years of his childhood and adolescence working in the fields and tending the flocks that at the age of 17 he was still illiterate.

Realizing What We Have

Raising kids Catholic is what home schooling is all about for us Catholics.

Eight Isn’t Enough

As I started thinking about what to write about this month, I kept drawing a blank. That is rare for me. It’s not as though nothing important has happened since I last checked in with the readers of this column. On the contrary, on September 25, 2009, my wife and I were blessed with our ninth child on earth. I wanted to think of something profound to say, because new life deserves profundity.

Teaching Writing Skills

The first thing to realize when teaching a child to write is that writing is a skill. Obviously, the gift of a natural talent for writing is a significant factor in determining whether your child will be the next G.K. Chesterton, but it isn’t the primary factor. Even G.K. Chesterton had to learn the skill of writing. The nurturing of a budding Chesterton requires practice, patience and encouragement.

Questions We Are Asked – November 2009

What are some options I should consider for my daughter in 7th grade who is not doing well in her math?

Sometimes a student is not doing well because she is simply not interested in the subject. In this case, you need to try to make the course more interesting or more challenging. Finding interesting math problems on the Internet, or talking about the math you and your husband face every day might help your daughter to see the need for learning math. You might be able to encourage her to change the math problems to real-world situations. You also might consider giving her a reward, such as a dollar, for each assignment done in a specified amount of time.

Month of the Holy Souls

Since the month of November is the month to remember the holy souls in Purgatory,
it is only natural that our thoughts should turn to remembrances of loved ones who
have left this earth and gone to their everlasting home. For ordinary mortals, death
is a tragic ending, filled only with sorrow and pity, but for the Christian, death
is really birth into the true and eternal life. Though we cannot escape sadness
at the separation brought by death, we know the separation is only temporary.

Pope Benedict XVI, Message for World Mission Sunday

In truth, the whole of humanity has the radical vocation to return to its source, to return to God, since in Him alone can it find fulfilment through the restoration of all things in Christ. Dispersion, multiplicity, conflict and enmity will be healed and reconciled through the blood of the Cross and led back to unity.

Get Back in the Box

As a former college baseball coach and a lover of the game, I am frequently guilty of reducing life’s greatest lessons to a series of baseball analogies. I often tell my children that if they fail at various trials in life, they have to get up, dust themselves off, and get back in the box. Normally, I use this expression figuratively. This time, I mean it literally. When we fathers fall into sin, we have to get back in the box—the confessional box.

Helps for High School

Last month’s column talked about the importance of perseverance from a spiritual point of view. This month, we will tackle more practical concerns. Here are some real questions and my responses.

My 10th grade son is not staying on schedule. He just doesn’t have time to finish his work.

Counter Cultural

The home schooling apostolate is a truly counter cultural movement, a contradiction to the current self-obsessed culture. The home schooling apostolate is evidence of an attitude of service to others most in need of our leadership, our love, our spiritual help, our teaching.