Using the Lesson Plans

I was as clueless as a newborn babe when I decided to homeschool over twenty years ago. Virtually no one was home schooling in those days, at least no one I knew. There were not many materials to choose from, and I had no idea where to start. My first year I was going to be teaching a 4th grader, 3rd grader, 1st grader and kindergarten student, and I had a toddler and a newborn. I was a high school graduate, with only one year of college, and no classroom experience. What to do?


For nearly the whole of 2009, Seton has been occupied with matters of accreditation. In order to maintain accreditation, a school must perform a self-evaluation every five years and must write a self-evaluation report which is submitted to the accreditation agency. After the report is submitted, an evaluation team is sent by the accrediting agency to confirm that the report is accurate and complete.

Love Story

Whether it comes in the persons of Odysseus and Penelope, Romeo and Juliet, or Jamal and Latika, from the ancient Greeks to modern times, every society has glamorized love stories. But the greatest love story I ever saw didn’t take place in the movies, and it didn’t take place in books. The greatest love story I ever saw took place in my church.

Questions We Are Asked – December 2009

Do you recommend using the printable daily lesson plans online? I am not sure of the advantages.

All enrolled families receive the paper copies of the lesson plans with the textbooks. However, some parents like to print out a list of all subject assignments for the day on a single sheet. The printable lesson plans, available on our website, make that an easy option through a cut and paste process. However, it is important for parents to be involved in the process of teaching their children, and not simply hand over a daily assignment sheet. Obviously, some subjects require more parent involvement than others, depending on both the assignment and the needs of the student.

Mary, Mother of God

Christmas is a time to reflect on the incredible willingness of the Son of God to hide His divine glory (but not give up His divinity) in order to become a man in this earthly world. He became a man because He desired to sacrifice His life for us, a sacrifice that opened the gates of Heaven for us so that we may attain eternal happiness with Him. The fact that He allowed Himself to be born of Mary and to grow up as a child was also part of the infinite love He has for us, a love that reached to His sufferings and death on the Cross.

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.