Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I love curriculum fairs...I get giddy when I walk into the vendor hall. I found some really great new ideas for next year and a few old stand byes. Next year will be a new venture into the homeschool world as my daughter stays home for grade 9. Highschool, a whole new world! Exciting and feels like starting first year again. For grade 5 son, I found a great new art program and for him that's huge. I also found a 4 season nature journal curriculum to completement the science we'll be co-oping with 2 other boys from our group. It looks like fun too. One huge disappointment was penmanship. I've used quite a few programs over the years and was saddened to find nothing new in the world of penmanship for boys. My son being the artist that he is, can reproduce anything and make it look nice, but, he can't read it. He's having trouble making it make sence in his mind, so I'm going to make up my own program for him. One letter at a time.
And for highschool we begin a Hobbit study and Romeo and Juliet study. It'll be a full year. I'm going to handle it by staying on terms instead of semesters. I don't like semesters anyway, not having math every semester is a disaster. So exciting times of planning ahead.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
I'm absolutely floored by this...I don't normally side with Bill O'Reilly but this time, he's quite eloquent. As for Bill Maher? Why isn't he being asked to leave his job the way "the guy" did when he spoke rudely about the girls basketball team last year? I guess Oprah wasn't all over this one. Too bad.
I have to say...we've bought into this whole idea of tee shirt theology a few times. Our kids have many and even the one pictured in my last blog. And although one must be careful, its great to see the kids wearing them boldly. In fact at the dollar store one day, my daughter was wearing the one in the picture and the cashier leaned over the counter to say "He died for my space too!" And with a wink and a smile, she finished the transaction. My daughter left there feeling connected to her Christian world outside of church and home. It was a lovely experience. I'm sure there will come a day when there will be a tough reaction to her faith and she'll have to use her apologetics skills but until then, I'm okay with the shirts. What I'm not okay with is complacency. Its about relationship, religion is the way we choose to express the relationship. Anyone want to weigh in on that?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
So Much for T-Shirt Theology
By Amy Welborn
At the heart of the Pope’s speech last night was call to the bishops to take stock of the realities of American culture, be realistic about the Church’s weaknesses, and get to work.
A slew of recent studies and surveys confirm what everyone involved in Catholic ministry knows: Catholic identity is very fluid. Catholic views and perspectives on most issues aren’t generally marked by Gospel-centered counterculturalism. Catholic young people are just not absorbing whatever it is they’re being taught.
In my years of involvement in Catholic education, it was clear that concern was starting to mount about all of this. Those of us in parish or school ministry knew that our students weren’t being taken to Mass by their parents. We knew that the chances were high that the young parents bringing their children for baptism hadn’t set foot in church since their wedding, and before that their confirmation. We could see it spinning apart. In the hopeful days after the Second Vatican Council, the belief was that now that the evils of rote memorization and the fear of Hell had been dispensed with, intentionality would rule the day when it came to faith, and everyone would be so much more fully engaged.
But it didn’t seem to be working, and instead of intentionality, minimalism and a stripped-down version of cultural Catholicism in which even the “culture” part seemed to be missing defined the mass of those we worked with. I knew things were bad when one parish religious education director said to me of her hopes for the children of her parish: “If they can come away with the feeling that church is a good place, a happy place, they’ll remember that, and when they get older, they’ll come back.”
So, in the mid-80’s “Catholic identity” became the new buzz word at workshops and conferences. Talk about how great it is to be Catholic. Bring up our rich, interesting heritage. Talk about some saints. Wear T-shirts if necessary.
On the surface, it may seem as if this is what Benedict’s message is all about. But it’s really not, for it goes deeper.
Last night, Benedict was direct about the problems. He talked about “Catholic identity,” but it’s clear that what he means goes beyond “Cool 2 B Catholic” bumper stickers.
“As I just mentioned, one of the great challenges facing the Church in this country is that of cultivating a Catholic identity which is based not so much on externals as on a way of thinking and acting grounded in the Gospel and enriched by the Church’s living tradition.”
He was also direct about how the Church is to blame for this. Bad preaching and inadequate teaching. A failure, ultimately (and this is a constant Benedictine theme) to help people connect the defining questions of their lives with the answers found in Christ, and the Church as the place to find Christ and be nourished by him.
“The goal of all our pastoral and catechetical work, the object of our preaching, and the focus of our sacramental ministry should be to help people establish and nurture that living relationship with “Christ Jesus, our hope”
Now that’s Catholic identity.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Yep, that's me. I've been touring some blogs today on the subject of Lovely Laundry. I can't see it. Really. I can't find anything lovely about laundry. I have two boys. I love them. They smell. My daughter does her own laundry. I love her, I never know when she smells. I always have Mount Laundrymenjaro to climb and I never ever have moments of peace and tranquility while doing it. Am I missing a ministry moment? I don't think so. I'll be fine. My family will be fine. And I can feel quite lovely without loving laundry. Mind you, with a laundry room that looks like this, I might find a way to love laundry a bit more. So to all my friends who find laundry lovely, God Bless you. I find organizing lovely. I find other ways to express lovely. Laundry, just ain't it.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
These are some clay projects my youngest made this year. We're studying Pioneer Life so he built a clay log cabin and we're also studying Botany so he made a clay flower. We're loving the clay as an option for enjoying tactile experiences. Fun fun fun...
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Do you know what today is? 40 years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. Now as a white, Catholic, almost 40 year old Canadian girl, what does that have to do with anything in my life? Everything. Martin Luther King Jr. has been a part of my life for my whole life. I've never not knowen who he is and how important he was and his legacy still is. In his honor, I highly recommend watching Amazing Grace The Movie...although it isn't at all about him, it certainly is about his Dream.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
California's home-schooled headed for public schools? Sacramento, California -
A three-judge panel from the 2nd District Court of Appeals made it illegal on February 28 for any parent to home school their child, unless they have a teaching or tutor credential. Upon hearing the ruling, school districts officials began demanding that police take immediate action. So yesterday, throughout the state, judges secretly began swearing out and signing arrest warrants for any parent who was suspected of home-schooling their children without a teaching credential.
Setting up a special task force virtually overnight, SWAT teams and truant officers armed with arrest warrants and automatic weapons began rounding up wayward parents, and against their will placing their child in protective custody and enrolling them in public schools throughout the state.
Originally thought to be a logistical nightmare, distinguishing home-schooled children from that of the public school system, officials quickly learned they could gather up a list of suspects from last year's contestants, finalists and winners of the National Spelling Bee Contest, unusually high SAT scores and any kid who passed a random drug screen and/or pregnancy test.
"Also, we followed home any polite, courteous or well adjusted child," said Dug Martinez, SWAT Commander. "Oh, and any kid we caught actually doing their homework at the library."
In the early morning predawn darkness, SWAT teams and truant officers began their statewide sweep, crashing down the front doors in quiet peaceful suburban neighborhoods, but mostly in rural areas.
"After the California Superior Court medical marijuana ruling, the three-judge panel of the 2ND District Court of Appeals had to do something to try to restore the proper checks and balances to the political system that has been inadvertently eroded by that ruling," said a political scientist. "So they did what anyone would do in their situation, they pointed the finger at a minority group to draw away public attention from themselves."
"Also, they must have thought the ruling against home-schooling would bring in badly needed federal education dollars to the public schools for the upcoming recession, securing the liberal vote for the elected incumbency from the teachers' union," said a legal analyst from the Cassandra Institute Foresight School of Law.
"Overall, we netted a pretty good raid," said Officer Martinez. "We arrested the parents. Put the kids in protective custody and enrolled them in public school. We confiscated a whole bunch of high quality, up to date learning materials, too."
Listed among the home-schooling educational material seized by police: copies of "Plato's Republic; The Prince; The Magna Carta; The Federalist Papers; The Declaration of Independence; The Constitution and The Bill of Rights."
"You know until today's raid, I never even bothered reading this stuff myself. Let alone read it to my kids," said Officer Martinez. "I just found out we've alienated these good people out of at least three of their inalienable rights. Now, that ain't right."
The home-schooling learning materials will be held in the evidence locker to be used at trial, unless a plea bargain is reached, then they will be properly disposed with, according to Officer Martinez.
The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.
Written by Robert W. Armijo
Story written: 11 March 2008
OH MY NAME!!!!!! I was driving my son to school (yes one does leave the hermitage) and just about rear ended the guy in front of me when the price of gas caught my eye. I don't usually care too much about this stuff because you gotta get it, gotta pay it, they got us! But this is crazy!!! $1.123 For Real!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
My sweet blogger buddy at Aduladi & Co. posted a great post today on homeschool moms and expectations and the like and it is really funny, but also at the core, what most homeschool moms feel at one point or another. Its interesting how peer pressure can creep into something a special as homeschooling. Trying to keep up, keep up 'appearances'...oh yeah, it creeps in. But, at the end of the day, if we're doing it because God told us to, then it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, or what grade our 9 year old is really in or if the highschooler should skip a grade or that our last years banana fly experiment is still fermenting in the front window. Really all that matters is we invite God into our school efforts every day and rest knowing that the tears (ours and the kids) will come because we are human, and not everyone, homeschooled or not is academically inclined...and homemade granola in biodegradable baggies (although noble) is okay not to make! Lets support each other simply by raising a glass of water, cuppa Joe or sip of tea and say...way to go sister friend! You are making a difference and you are loved by an unseen family of people just like you! So here's to you moms!