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A Homeschooling Meme!

September 20, 2011

Wow, I haven’t been tagged for a meme in a very long time. So long that I almost forgot what a meme was! Thank you kindly to Kimberlee of Pondered in My Heart for the generous nudge to write. :)

One homeschooling book you have enjoyed.

Gotta pick at least two. I think my favorites still (partly because of the way they impacted me at the time I happened to read them) are For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay and Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura Berquist. I think I’m really ready for a re-read of that first book especially. I’m also looking forward to reading A Little Way of Homeschooling and The School of the Family, both of which are waiting for me on my shelf!

One resource you wouldn’t be without.

Honestly, truly, I would have to say our parish. Not only daily Mass, wonderful sermons and twice-weekly school Masses (today three children in one family were baptized during the school Mass – what a beautiful thing!), but also free musical opportunities (through various choirs my kids sing in), school sports and other school activities like Chess club (which all parish children are invited to participate in) and, on the whole, what has become for us an extension of our family and an essential aspect of our children’s education – a loving group of people who have chosen to embrace us as we are (including things like our odd propensity for enjoying ancient music and Marian hymns, which they allow us to sing at Mass as a family on occasion) rather than consider us a threat to their way of doing things. I am so very grateful every day for this great blessing!

And… if you want a more bookish answer, I would say the old Catholic National Readers (basically Catholic versions of the McGuffey readers). They’re written for a different era and a different educational system, which is always refreshingly compatible with what we do around here. We don’t use them all the time, but when we do (which is generally for at least a few months of each year) I’m always reminded of a one room school house and an era that in some ways was simpler. The simplicity is evident in these books in the way reading, spelling, grammar, dictation and reading comprehension are combined and the students alternate between independent work and some simple feedback from the teacher.

One resource you wish you never bought.

It’s really hard to pick on one book, but I have learned over time that I really can’t stand scripted curriculum (though I understand that they are wonderful for those who like them) and that I am allergic to teacher’s manuals. (Achoo!) I like to be able to sit down with something (like the Catholic National Readers mentioned above) and just start using them without having to read over 5 pages of material just to get started. That’s one thing I’ve always liked about the MCP Math too.

One resource you enjoyed last year.

Our road trip! Traveling makes for wonderful educational opportunities I think partly because we parents are pulled away from the computer and the telephone and a lot of other worries. Our month-long road trip to California last year was fantastic.

One resource you will be using next year.

Next  year is too soon, ahem, far away, maybe we’ll talk about this year. Perhaps our favorite new educational resource this year is the fabulous Catholic liberal arts college that Ria is attending. She is completely smitten with TAC, and we really can’t blame her. Just last weekend, for example, the “Theologian of the Papal Household” visited TAC, gave a lecture, said Mass and visited with students, etc.  You can read more about Rev. Wojciech Giertych here.

One resource you would like to buy.

The new Catholicism DVD series from Fr. Robert Barron sounds fascinating, although we still have so many unwatched DVD resources around here at the moment that it would hardly seem reasonable. One DVD series we have very much enjoyed so far and need to get back to is Dr. Carol Reynold’s Discovering Music Series.

One resource you wish existed.

Inexpensive add-on space to our house for more elbow room (and messy project space) especially in the winter. Oh yes, that and a self-cleaning floor (really a self-cleaning anything!). One other thing I have learned about our family over time is that we don’t need any of those learning-to-be-creative-as-a-family-type-books. We exude creativity, or at least that’s the positive spin I put on the trail of artwork and projects that is generally to be found all over every available surface and overflowing onto the floors.

One homeschool catalog you enjoy reading.

Honestly, I’ve reached the stage where I really don’t enjoy reading homeschool catalogs anymore, though the one I used to enjoy reading the most was Michael Olaf’s Montessori catalog, which were part catalog and part book. UPDATE: Upon further consideration, I realized that I do look forward to reading the catalogs from CHC and Ignatius Press when they arrive in the mail.

If you’re reading this and haven’t yet done the meme, please consider yourself tagged and let me know in the comments box! Thanks Kimberlee!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 21, 2011 8:49 pm

    Thanks for playing! I’m so with you on the teachers’ manuals and scripted stuff(gesundheit!), and the thought of us spending money on a book to ‘encourage creativity’ is truly ridiculous. :-)Funny how the lure of the catalogs really wears off over time. You are certainly blessed with a wonderful parish!

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