Saturday, April 19, 2014

Why Do We Homeschool? Catholic Mom

"Why do we homeschool?” Often when we begin homeschooling there is something that prompted us to begin. It may have been a child struggling with school, a negative socializing experience, or any number of issues. Once the mom begins, she may feel conflicted that her children will miss out on some great academic experience. She may moan, “I wish I had a real science lab” or “I could never have an interesting literature discussion like I did in my British Literature class.” So why are we doing “that”? Why are we homeschooling? Because we want to educate the whole child; we want to educate the child for eternity.
On occasion my twin nephews, who are six years old, will burst into song, “Father, I adore you.” And I lay my life before you. How I love you.” In a public school setting, I guarantee the teacher would not appreciate or encourage such a song. But in the home, this is a beautiful testament of my nephews’ childlike faith.

Too often we focus on the academics and overlook the whole child, building the character of the child, considering all aspects of the person. In his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Blessed John Paul II described Christ as one who “labored with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted with a human will, and loved with a human heart” (par. #4). We need to ask ourselves when we educate ourselves and our children, “Do we labor with Christ’s hands, think with Christ’s mind, act with Christ’s will, and love with Christ’s heart.” We sometimes become so consumed with educating our children’s mind, we overlook shaping their wills, teaching self-control of their drives and passions, training their hands, and nourishing their hearts and souls.

Because the child is a whole, integrated person, we cannot always compartmentalize when we will be educating their minds, their hearts, or their hands. While showing my daughters how to crochet, we might have a discussion on a topic that would form their character or is related to their academics. In practicing her violin or playing the piano, my daughter develops any number of virtues, such as perseverance, attention to detail, and listening to the soul.  When I ask a young child, “Please bring me a diaper or wash cloth” or another simple task; I am testing his will and encouraging his obedience. In the home, education is life.

What are we educating? The whole child.

The rest of the article was published on April 15, 2014 at Catholic

Previously published on July 22, 2013 at Catholic Lane

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

You Don't Know You're Beautiful

While assembling Legos, my seven-year-old nephew has been known to break out singing, “You don’t know you’re beautiful,” the words to the popular song by One Direction.  Of course, he doesn’t fully understand the meaning of the words. But, more importantly, do we comprehend that this simple statement, “You don’t know you’re beautiful,” applies to us, also?  Do we recognize to the depths of our beings that we are truly beautiful?

If we are beautiful, what makes us so? Is it charm, attractive appearance, the latest fashions? One of the most beautiful people to have left her lasting imprint is Blessed Mother Teresa. Now to look at her, you might wonder, “How could this shriveled, bent over, unassuming, little woman be considered beautiful?” She certainly is not physically attractive. Yet if we look into her eyes, we see a luminous beauty that radiates outward.

What is that beauty she radiates? Is it something unique to her? Is it something we wish to possess? While we dimly reflect this beauty at times, it is a beauty we are all capable of possessing; a beauty that comes from our human nature that we are all created in the image and likeness of God (CCC 41, CCC 1700).  And in a very particular way, we possess this beauty when we are baptized, having Christ live within us (CCC 1, CCC 1997).

Naturally, this has many ramifications. It is personified in the picture of Pope Francis kissing the severely disfigured man. It is how we treat one another. And how do we treat one another? Do others know we are Christians by our words and actions (John 13:35)?

When I would really like to repartee unkind word for unkind word, do I pause to reconsider? Sure that person gets under my skin, irritates me to no end, drives me bonkers, doesn’t know what he is talking about. . .! (Ahh, you can feel the temperature rising!) I should say, “I allow that person to get under my skin.” Do I want to engage in the same low base name calling that too often people engage in in the comment section on some websites and blogs? It makes someone pause to wonder if people understand civility. Unfortunately, it is too easy to hide under a pseudonym and not take responsibility for one’s words. Unable to intelligently discuss or argue the issues and facts, they attack one another’s dignity.

Choosing my words carefully when responding to another’s comments is just one of many opportunities for me to practice the art of charity to others. There is that person who cut me off while driving. Without question, I have a few choice words I would like to use. What about disciplining the child who refuses to cooperate and sasses back? When I am running behind and feeling the pressure of getting to an appointment on time, he brazenly announces, “I don’t want to get my shoes on?” I could get angry and read him the riot act or stay cool and let him suffer the consequences of his choices.

Beauty creams, tummy tucks, and sparkling diamonds promise women a dazzling beauty, but for a true beauty that radiates from the inside out, we can heed the words of Blessed Mother Teresa, “Do something beautiful for God.” This may translate into thinking about how our words reflect our minds, hearts, and souls.

Read the rest on Catholic Exchange, Feb. 26, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Prolife Movie In Theaters

Gimme Shelter is a prolife movie playing in theaters right now. I have not seen it, but a friend saw it and highly recommended it. You can read more about it at

Thursday, January 23, 2014

March for Life 2014

March for Life 2014. The media blackout is amazing. As always the media does not say or speak the truth.
The real story at

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What's Wrong with Common Core

Here are several links to examples of Common Core Curriculum

These two links address literature.

Common Core Sexualizes American School Children, Crisis Magazine, Mary Jo Anderson, Dec. 17, 2013

Catholic Common Core Removes Books Celebrating Same-Sex Parents from First-Grade Unit Plan
The Cardinal Newman Society, Dec. 18, 2013

I think it would be helpful in the discussion of Common Core to go and view some of the youtube videos of teachers using Common Core or talking to those who have had it imposed on them.

The links below address Common Core Math

Common Core Standards Math Lesson Example
Common Core Math Lesson 4th/5th Grade

In this video
the student had to answer the problem using pictures to solve the problem. In other words, she drew cubes for 1,000s, squares for 100s, sticks for tens, etc. She had to use these symbols for each number and then solve the equation. There were two addends: (Two numbers to add that were in the 1,000s). The student then did "stacking math" -- what we have learned to do when adding two numbers in the past--"stacking" the numbers on top of each other. The students are discouraged from doing "stacking" math. When the student added the 2 numbers using the pictures, it took her over 8 minutes and she had the wrong answer. When the student did the math in the traditional way (stacking math), she had the answer in less than 2 minutes and the answer was correct.

I would strongly encourage you to talk to those who are using it or view the videos, because Common Core math is not what they claim it to be.

Another example, people are "praising" it because it asks the "why." Children in First grade are not at a developmental stage to answer why.

In another classroom situation (the video example from above--
 the children are asked to make up their own problems for an answer. It is absolutely ridiculous. The children have no idea what they are doing. It is like watching the blind leading the blind. If you don't know something, how can you teach something?

In Common Core math, the teachers are instructed that wrong answers are okay.
The teacher in the 4th/5th grade video also says a wrong answer is okay. Parents have reported that an answer is wrong when the student writes the numbers for the answer instead of drawing the picture.

This is a real Common Core math problem. You will need to scroll down to Tito and  Luis are stuffed with pizza. 

Here is another real Common Core math problem. The background information is here.
The actual test is here.

Here is information on one Common Core math text.
Interactive Mathematics Program –key curriculum press
USOE Math book comparison

In this link, a mom expresses her frustration at the "correct" answer actually being wrong.
Here is another Common Core math question that makes no sense.

God Bless,