I know I've been scarce and not blogging a lot, but I'm busy homeschooling. I have a new and huge appreciation for parents who homeschool many children of diverse ages. I'm just doing Kindergarten, with a 3 year old tagging along, and it's time consuming! Not in a bad way...I'm learning much more than I ever did when I was in school. I hope the kids are learning a small portion of what I have in just the last month! Now that I'm really "doing this," I can't imagine sending my kids to school. I just really like it. That isn't to say it's easy and some days I don't want to just find a sitter, but in the big scope of things, I feel most comfortable and pleased with it.
We are doing much of the usual Kindergarten stuff: phonics, reading, math, poetry, art and music and we are doing history. Right now we are learning about Mesopotamia and the people who lived there, like the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians. And we are learning about Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and currently Abraham and Isaac. We are using the Connecting with History (RC History) program. I really like it because it ties in our Catholic faith so well. And it emphasizes literature. It took a little planning, but I would say that 90% of the book list mentioned for the Ancient History portion I can get at the library, and the core books I purchase...since they happen to be bibles and other good resources to have on hand.
Ancient history is broken into 10 units. I took our school year by weeks, figured out how long I expected each unit to take, then split out the units over the year (with each unit taking 3-4 weeks). Then I split up the books I planned to use for each unit into how many days I had. Not too rough at all. Sonya Romens, who authored the series with Andrea Chen, has a rough breakdown too that can be used to portion the readings and such over the time alloted for the unit.
I went back and looked at Story of the World today and I was glad I picked CWH. I know many homeschoolers use SofW and like it and use it as a spine, but as a Catholic I really appreciated the Catholic backbone of CWH and thought SofW was a bit soft (one reviewer on Amazon called it condescending, but I wouldn't say that). But, comparing SofW to a history text used just a few generations ago, you find that what a 5th grader is learning today is what a 2nd or 3rd grader learned back then.
Sonya mentioned that her series is based on literature, which I know is another thing homschoolers like for a classical education (and along the lines of a Thomas Jefferson Education). I use books and other resources too that aren't in the book list. Since I have a son who can't sit still and doesn't do well if I do a lot of reading at this point, I like the activities in the book Sonya calls out in her book list - Old Testament Days.
Above are the kids dressed as people who lived in Mesopotamia. My daughter hated putting on her dress and cried non-stop while it was on, so I was lucky to get this picture of a fairly calm kid. My son isn't too thrilled with his tunic either, but I told him he only had to wear it for the picture. He did have fun making it, which is why I try to do hands-on things with him -- he's all boy.
Next we are creating a clay tablet with Grandma and Grandpa's name in cuneiform. And, we are learning about Sargon the Great...had never heard of him until this summer when I began planning the homeschool curriculum. By the end of the year, I almost think I could pass high school history!
To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.
~Cardinal John Henry Newman
2010 Cannonball Award
Father Solanus Casey
"Even suffering is part of the truth of our life. Thus, trying to shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of suffering, we risk creating, despite our good intentions, fragile persons of little generosity: The capacity to love, in fact, corresponds to the capacity to suffer, and to suffer together." ~Benedict XVI
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Fides et Ratio Encyclical
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.
Thank you everyone that voted for the Kneeler at the Cannonball awards!!
Words of Father Corapi, for all my politician friends and relatives and those who vote for them
"Catholic office holders, whether presidents, senators, congress men or women, or judges at any level must adhere to Catholic teaching or run the risk of separating themselves from the Body of Christ. In such egregious and chronic cases of gross moral evil such as instituting and perpetuating abortion and the structures of sin that surround it, it is quite probable that such Catholic officials are excommunicated in virtue of the acts themselves. A latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication is likely triggered when they vote for laws, funding, and structures that enable and perpetuate such obvious and egregious evil (Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canons 1364,1398; Canon 1329, par. #2). They are in turn forbidden from approaching the sacraments as the result (Cf. Catechism of Catholic Church #1463)."
"It is not morally possible for any Catholic to support abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, or same-sex marriage. There are no ways around this, no justifications whatever. Why? For the simple reason that the Church holds these things to be intrinsically evil. They are evil in themselves, and no circumstances or subjective conditions can ever change that."