If Each Day Were Christmas

Let us relive for a few moments that wondrous night. Imagine Mary and Joseph bending over the Infant Jesus. He smiles up at them extending His little arms and demonstrates in the silence of this Church of the home, “This is how much I love the entire world. Although they did not have room for Me tonight, I will still love the world and one day I will again stretch out My arms wide on the cross to prove how much I love them in spite of their rejection. I will make sure that they know there will always be room in My Sacred Heart for all who repent.”

It’s a Wonderful Life

It seems no Christmas season is complete without a family viewing of the Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life. But maybe we’ve never really considered the implications it has for us home schooling fathers.

Sacramental Life

Of the seven Sacraments instituted by Christ, three of them—Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders—may only be received once. Two of the others—Matrimony and Anointing of the Sick—maybe be received more than once, but at least are received very infrequently.

Questions We Are Asked – December 2010

My fourth grade son sometimes has trouble taking online tests. Do you think he is just too young to do the tests online?

Seton students have taken hundreds of thousands of online tests over the years. The system has proved to be a great time-saver for families and for Seton.

He Comes

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

Letter to Seminarians from Benedict XVI

When in December 1944 I was drafted for military service, the company commander asked each of us what we planned to do in the future. I answered that I wanted to become a Catholic priest. The lieutenant replied: “Then you ought to look for something else. In the new Germany priests are no longer needed”. I knew that this “new Germany” was already coming to an end, and that, after the enormous devastation which that madness had brought upon the country, priests would be needed more than ever.

The Goldilocks Factor

At Seton we are often asked how many hours the actual schoolwork should take. The home school literature is brimming with advice on this very subject. I read once that no home schooler should spend more than three hours a day, three days a week, three weeks each month on formal schoolwork. With the possible exception of a super smart and self-motivated child in the early primary grades, that is simply not enough. On the other hand, some parents tell me that they start right after breakfast and work all the way through to suppertime. That is just too much. Like Goldilocks, we home schooling parents want to find the amount of time that is not too much, nor too little, but “just right.” Experience and common sense will show us just what that is for each child.

Questions, Answers, and Errors

Occasionally, when people ask me about this column, they wonder if I’m making this stuff up. So I thought I would take a few moments and answer the more frequent questions. Here they are.

Home Schooling Tips

Editor’s Note: We recently asked on our Facebook page for home schooling tips from our families. Here are some of the tips they gave us:

Questions We Are Asked – November 2010

My son in 4th grade is struggling. I started him early in school because he was so eager, but now he seems to be overwhelmed.

Many children are eager to learn at a young age, four years old, even three years old, so parents start their kindergarten program early. They may start with just phonics or math, whichever is of most interest. As they progress in the first few grades, they continue to do well. However, by fourth grade or sometimes in fifth grade, it is not unusual for certain signs of immaturity or a slower rate of learning to show up. When this happens, we often recommend that the student repeat the same grade level but with different books.