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…

The Holy Eucharist: Model of Family Life

Priests are told by their bishop at the time of their ordination that they are to “imitate the Mystery you celebrate.” The priest is to imitate what he makes present on the altar. Grace works in our souls when we receive Christ in the Eucharist. By grace, if we imitate the Eucharist, imitate Christ in the Eucharist, we can be transformed. We are not only to receive the Eucharist, we are to imitate the Eucharist. All who receive Christ in the Eucharist should imitate Christ in their family life, in their homes. What instruction does the Eucharist give us for family life?…

Surviving Christmas

Sometimes it seems like the work for Mom is never ending in our large Catholic families. By Thanksgiving, the first quarter assignments have been completed and the homeschooling is clipping along nicely. Then Bang! Along comes the Christmas season, doubling the work load but halving the class time! It’s more than a little discouraging!…

Life as a Child of Seton

I live in Front Royal, Virginia, hometown of Seton Home Study School. Later this month, I will turn nineteen. I have been a Seton student all my life, and every one of my six siblings has used the Seton program. In May of 2013, I had the great joy and honor of graduating from Seton. It was such a wonderful feeling to finish one chapter of my life and look forward to starting a new chapter when I attend Christendom College this fall…

Easter Brings New Life

In the poem, The Ballad of the White Horse, King Alfred and all of Christianity seem to be lost to the Danes. It is a time of despair for every part of Europe. The only hope is Alfred’s faith in God, strengthened through a vision of Mary. Alfred fights a fierce battle using his God-given skills and is eventually victorious. The Ballad of the White Horse is the eleventh grade English requirement our oldest son, Benjamin, and I have been reading for Seton Home Study School. Our family can relate. We have had our own battle to fight, against all odds, and we have survived it only with and through the help of God…

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…

Virtual Views

On Facebook we posed the question “As the days are getting longer and warmer, what are your family’s favorite summer activities?” We thought our readers would like to read what parents shared:

We Homeschool for Life!

One afternoon, while I was sitting outside watching my last brain cell fly away hand in hand with my last nerve cell, my neighbor came by. She sat beside me and asked me the most-asked question of the century. She asked me why I don’t send my kids to school. Well, with no brain cells left, it was a hard thing to deal with. So I began to tell her my recorded speech. “We like the time we have together…they learn better…we have a wonderful support group.” Satisfied, my neighbor then asked the second most common question: “Why do you have so many children?” Sadly, the second question, posed by many well-meaning Catholics, asked me why I do everything that I do…what a deep question for a mother of four little ones with another on the way.

How to Teach Science in Your Daily Life – Part 2

Some time ago, we taught our 10-year-old daughter how nature recycles water through the water cycle. I explained to her that this means all water, even that which you exhale through your nose. A big breakthrough came the other day when it was raining. She asked me if some of the rain that was falling could have been the water used by John the Baptist when he baptized Jesus. In addition, she wanted to know if some of it came from the parting of the Red Sea. I told her that in both of these cases, we couldn’t prove it, but that there was a very remote possibility. I thought, great, this is learning at its best! That is, she extended and applied knowledge in a way that I hadn’t considered.

Holy Habits in the Home

Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, on Catholic radio discussed the challenges facing the young men in the seminary. Vocations to the priesthood are up in Chicago, due in no small part to men from countries such as Mexico, Poland and the Philippines who come here to serve the Church in the U.S. While all the seminarians are pious and enthusiastic, the local men face special issues. The men from foreign lands grew up in observant homes in vibrant Catholic cultures, while the Chicago men grew up … well, here.