Archive for January, 2013

Home School Conferences

TN, Nashville—March 8, 2013 (Fri.)
IHM Tennessee Homeschool & Parent Conference

Nashville Expo Center – Wilson Hall
625 Smith Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203
2 pm – 8 pm
Info: 540-636-1946 or

College Prep – Choosing the Right College

Perhaps the biggest problem for many families lies in financing a college education. College is one of the largest investments in life. A vital early step would be to discover the scholarship and aid deals a college might offer to a prospective student. A talk with the college financial office is an important early step…

Doubts and Demons

A number of studies have confirmed that speaking in public is the biggest fear that Americans possess; in fact, the fear of public speaking surpasses the fear of death for many people. Perhaps the human condition is such that we all have fears that are inexplicable. For instance, I have been increasingly claustrophobic for many years. I don’t fly on planes; I don’t like closets; and I don’t go on elevators. This can sometimes be a real inconvenience; in fact, when my family recently rented a vacation spot with a penthouse on the 14th floor, I climbed the stairs. It even got to be sort of a game for my children. Lisa and the children would go up the elevator, and they would time me to see if I could beat my previous record of jogging up 14 flights…

Wisdom: The Fruit of True Education

In Lucretius’s famous words, “Nothing can come from nothing.” A hundred or a thousand or a million times zero equals zero. No person can think with nothing in his mind. A person cannot think with an empty mind that is not filled with substance. A mind requires food for thought. The purpose of a bona fide education is to fill the mind with the wholesome, nutritious food for thought that will allow the mind to think, to see the light of truth, and to possess wisdom—a wisdom that will protect a person from the craftiness of the world. Wisdom illuminates the unchanging truths about human nature and the human condition (“the way things are”), the first principles that underlie the structure of reality, the laws of Mother Nature, and divine truth…

On Time and On Task

Training the children to do their tasks on time and in a timely manner is no small feat, yet it can be done with planning, keeping to the schedule, and lots of family prayer throughout the day…

Your Questions…Answered by Dr. Clark

How important is it that I stay on the Seton schedule?

The Seton lesson plans set a schedule based on what we believe is realistic for the student to accomplish each day. In addition, the schedule is planned so that the student finishes the course in about nine months. However, a great advantage in homeschooling is for the parent to adjust the schedule according to the abilities of the individual child. If a child can do two days of math assignments in one day, let him do it. On the other hand, the same child may need to take two days to do one assignment in English.

New Year’s Resolutions

As we begin the new year of 2013—a year in which scores of Catholic organizations are suing the federal government simply to secure basic religious freedom—we can easily be anxious about the state of the world. Rather than look around us, perhaps we should look within ourselves and meditate upon our own spiritual life and that of our family…

With Seton on the Seas: Esprit – A McWilliam Family Adventure

Let us introduce ourselves – we are the McWilliam Family, Chay (Dad), Katie (Mom), & Jamie, our son. Since 2003, when Jamie was 6 years old, we have been cruising around the world on our 46-foot sailboat, Esprit. Over the last 9 years we have become known as the “Esprit” family. Keep in mind as you read our story that when we are on the boat we are together 24/7 in less than 500 square feet of space.

Fall Food Prep

Every fall, circumstances in the typical homeschool family line up to create a perfect educational opportunity. First, Mom is wistfully remembering how Dad grilled all summer as she tries to put some sort of well-balanced supper on the table with a toddler clinging to her legs. Second, the produce at farmers’ markets and grocery stores is both abundant and reasonably priced during and right after harvest. Third, the children really need to learn some practical life skills. Finally, in my own experience, children who moan about having to mop floors or take out the trash actually seem to enjoy meal preparation. All of these factors ensure that Mom can feel good about herself when passing on some kitchen responsibilities because she is training her sons and daughters in necessary adult skills…

G.K. Chesterton’s The Ballad of the White Horse

This 100th anniversary edition of Chesterton’s poetic version of King Alfred’s heroic defense of Christian England from the pagan Danes is an exquisite publication. It embellishes the famous narrative and provides it with the historical background of the event, explains the poetic elements of the ballad structure of the story, and offers maps and illustrations that bring history to life. The footnotes on each page explain every quaint or archaic word like “shaws” (thicket) and “hod” (container for carrying stones), explicate the allusions to philosophical references like “nihilism” and “existentialism,” and incorporate valuable pieces of historical detail (“The laws of Alfred were famous for their equable treatment of all of Alfred’s subjects”). In short, this edition makes Chesterton’s classic as lucid, graphic, concrete, and appealing as possible for readers…