Truth be told, I actually do like planning the curriculum for our homeschool. My husband accuses me of this and I deny it, but just between you and me, I do find it fun. Tedious at times, a lot to wade through, but I feel like a kid in a candy store. There is so much I didn't learn as a child, not just my faith as well as I should, but I now know who Sargon the Great was.
And the real kicker is we just finished Kindergarten. What will I learn next year?
I do know we will cover the Crusades, from a Catholic point of view so that's exciting. For our 20th anniversary, as a history tie-in that I was interested in, I bought my husband the 20-CD set EPIC: A Journey Through Church History. A little bit about it is:
The epic story of the Catholic Church spans thousands of years. With an unlikely beginning in a remote outpost of the Roman empire, the Catholic Church now claims more than one billion living members. The persecutions, martyrdoms, conquests, and triumphs all came together to shape Western civilization as we know it today.
Our identity as Catholics means that we are the inheritors of the deeds of holy men and women who for 2,000 years have built a great civilization and spread the Gospel throughout the world. Church history is not just the recitation of popes, people, places, and events; it is a story of adventure, intrigue, rebellion, reform, and devotion.
*Learn about the major people, places, and events of the two-thousand years of Church history.
*Learn the true story of the Crusades.
*Understand the rationale for the medieval inquisitors and the Spanish Inquisition.
*Discover the revolutionary character of the Protestant Reformation.
*Know the real story of the confrontation between Galileo and the Church.
*Discover the massive persecution of Christians in the twentieth century.
*Learn about the workings of the Holy Spirit throughout Church history
But, back to the homeschool stuff.
One of the books I recently purchased is The Founders of Freedom, by Neuman Press. This great history series was published in the 50s by Benzinger (who publishes a dreadful religious ed program) and is now being republished by the local Neuman. Great series. I also purchased a wonderful book from the University of Dallas Library called, Great Moments in Catholic History, by Rev. Edward Lodge Curran, 1938. It's perfect for my kids, having a short page per topic of interesting Catholic History. For example, the Oxford Movement. I haven't read about it yet, so I can't tell you much more than it touches on one of my favorite converts, Cardinal Newman.
I also bought several Vision Books on the saints. My "collection" started with just one, St. Joan, the Girl Soldier, but when I recently visited another homeschooling friend -- yes, to talk curriculum, I was reacquained with this great series. It was originally published in mid 50s through the 60s and is now republished by Ignatius. There are 72 titles, kind of like Nancy Drew, and so far I only own eight. A meager number, but I'm keeping a look out for others. Right now we are reading Kateri Tekakwitha before bed to the kids. And, the friend I mentioned above also told me about Encounter the Saints, by Pauline Press. Of course, I had to buy some of those too. I forget just which ones I ordered, but they should show up any day soon.
Oh, then there are Bethlehem books, but all my homeschooling friends know about them! Bought a bunch of them, along with the saints books, all pretty cheaply used at online dealers. Am now waiting for the conference to see what I can find used there.
The MN Catholic Home Educators Conference is the weekend after Memorial Day. I think I have most of all the books and resources selected for next year, but then it's really a never ending process!
See you at the conference.