‘Heresy Check’: One App I Really Want Made

For those of you about forty-years-old or older, you can probably remember a time when there was neither internet nor cable. There was no TV recording capability: if you wanted to watch Donny and Marie, you watched it Fridays at 8:00PM or not at all. If you were playing home video games in 1978, you were playing Pong. Yes, life was hard. And for young authors like myself, technology that would have assisted you in writing was almost nonexistent. Remember that this was an era in which a mechanical pencil was considered pretty cool. “Cutting and pasting” required scissors and Elmer’s. If you were lucky, you had a typewriter; if you were even luckier, that typewriter had a correction ribbon. For me, “grammar check” meant simply reading a sentence aloud and waiting for my Mom to correct me. “Spell check” worked like this: “Mom, how do you spell snickersnee?” Mom: “Look it up, Johnny!” (As an entire generation of kids observed—and an entire generation of parents did not—“looking it up” implies the prior knowledge of the spelling.)…

Teaching Active Boys

As a homeschooling mother of seven sons, and growing up as the oldest in a family with five younger brothers, I had a good amount of experience with active boys. Mothers of active children must learn pretty quickly about the ways such boys learn and about the ways to adapt teaching methods to active children, both boys and girls…

Your Questions Answered

Would it be okay to have two of my children in adjacent grades take the same courses whenever possible? My husband thinks each child should take all the courses at his own grade level.

Most busy homeschooling moms with several children like to have children in adjacent grades take some of the subjects together. This works easily with subjects like religion, science, and history. Depending on the children’s skills, other subjects may be combined if one of the children is a grade level above, or a grade level below in a particular subject. This happens most frequently with math, but also happens with spelling, vocabulary, phonics, and reading…

St. Clare of Assisi

Those in the Franciscan Order, as well as lay people who are in the Franciscan Third Order, will be celebrating the feast of St. Clare of Assisi on August 12…

Chaos Theory

At this time every year in America, most of us are required to attend at least one graduation ceremony. And commencement addresses seem intent on informing students that they will somehow stand out in the world—or even (gasp) to “change the world.”…

Your Questions Answered

As a working mother, I want to cover the most important subjects with my daughter, and have my mother teach the other subjects. Which subjects should I teach?

Consider having your mother teach the courses that she likes to teach. If she likes science or loves teaching English, have her teach those courses. Then you can focus on the other main courses: religion, reading, phonics, math, history. Have your child do the spelling, handwriting, and vocabulary with your mother. Of course, there should be no limit to the amount of reading. Your mother might want to take your daughter to the library once a week, but have her focus on biographies or other non-fiction books. The fiction books at the public library tend to promote the secular values of our current “culture.”…

Sts. Anne and Joachim: Parents of the Virgin

During my high school and college years, our family lived in St. Anne’s parish in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I have memories of the church being filled for the annual novena for the nine days preceding St. Anne’s July 26th feast day. My husband gave me my engagement ring in St. Anne’s church, and we were married there. When we return to Cleveland, we visit or attend Mass at St. Anne’s…

Organizing My Life

Appearing in various literary forms, writing about organization is all the rage; in fact, it has become a genre. (As I’m writing this, I typed in “organization” to Amazon. com “books” and got over 230,000 results.) For some readers, it is surely a source of help and consolation, yet somehow when I read these articles, I feel more frustrated than comforted. In fact, sometimes when I read articles about organization, I feel compelled to write rebuttals. But maybe the organizers and I can find some common ground. To all you organizers out there, can you please write an organization book for me? To help you get started, I have some questions…

Your Questions Answered

After talking with my home schooling friends at church, I would like to enroll in Seton, but my husband doubts my ability to do it.

If you don’t know already, you might want to pin down exactly what your husband thinks will go wrong. Is it a question of organization, or of teaching ability, or of having a baby while teaching older children, or of keeping the house livable while teaching? You might even find that doubts about your ability are really concerns over the children’s future, such as getting into college or playing on sports teams. Whatever the specific objection is, you might find a specific answer…

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Some of us have been in parishes where a copy of the miraculous picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help hangs and where the parish members join in a weekly novena to the Blessed Mother under this title. Some of us, as we visit an unfamiliar church, find on a wall a copy of the miraculous picture, whose history is miraculous as well…