Thursday, July 31, 2008
I've just got to add this blog to my blogroll -- Ask Sr. Mary Martha. If you haven't seen it yet, then head right on over now. I mean this very moment. She's hip and happening, and so Catholic. You'll see what I mean when you get there. Be prepared to laugh.
-- don’t bid on something where the rating is less than 98%;
-- if it is lower than 100%, read the negative feedback;
-- if you can, bid at the last minute (literally – set a timer and bid when there is less than one minute left);
-- as far as Teaching Company items, you might want to check with Michele, Lorri, me (so we are not bidding against each other – hahahaha).
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
If you've been to a homeschool conference, you just may have met Mary. She's the one with tons and tons of used books. A virtual goldmine. A huge temptation for those of us with book-addiction issues.
Recently, Mary has taken on the task of bringing back to print books of old. She is currently working on a series of saint biographies -- In The Footsteps of Saints. Make sure to check them out. And if you see Mary at the homeschool conference tell her I say, "Hey."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Love2Learn: Favorite Resources for Catholic Homeschoolers and others who "love to learn"
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
As for the kids:
TD1, "Bye Rose, I'll miss you!"
Princess Rose, hugging TD1 with all her might, "Oh Patty, I shall miss you horribly. I love you, I love you, I love! I miss you already. How will I get through the week! I love you with all my heart!
TD1, "Bye Sparky, I'll miss you!"
Sparky, as he walked away, "Yeah, whatever. See ya."
Friday, July 25, 2008
And let me know if you're familiar with any other YouTube clips I should check out and share with readers.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Last night, Rob and the kids were swimming in the pond and a river otter swam right past Princess Rose. You should have seen all the kids running up to the house to tell me. They were so excited.
They've actually seen an otter before -- in our creek at the old city house. But this was different. It wasn't a distant sighting, but a close encounter.
I uploaded the picture so you could see what the kids saw. However, I didn't take it and it's not our otter. I found it via Google Images. Here's the photo credit. Click on the picture to learn more about otters at Wikipedia.
As a side note, I still haven't found the cord to the camera. I've found 8,000 other cords, many of which I have no idea what they belong to, but not the one to charge my camera and upload pictures to the computer. So, I buckled and ordered a new one.
FYI, if you own a Kodak Share digital camera and go to four different stores you won't find a replacement cord. You'll be told it's only available directly from Kodak. Sigh. I did find it at amazon.com for $10 cheaper than kodak.com. It should be here any day and I can start sharing real life pictures from the Wittmann adventures.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Now if I can just find where the world map is still packed so I can turn this into a school project!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
One place I turned for help was 4-H. They have a lot of resources available for education in the out of doors. For example, I found an 80-page guide titled The Walk: Taking Your Youth Outdoors for Environmental Stewardship and Learning. After clicking on the hyperlink, scroll down to find it. You can print it off on your home computer for free. You can three-hole punch the paper or get fancy and comb bind it. If you live in Michigan it's very possible your 4-H office offers the bound book for free, so it'd be worth a phone call to save on printing costs.
Also helpful were these study sheets to be used in wildlife identification. These I printed off on three-hole punch paper for the kids to put in their nature notebooks.
Tree Study Sheets
Wildflower Study Sheets
Rock and Mineral Study Sheets
I hope to share more with you as we move forward with this study.
ADDENDUM: The Walk is not available free from the extension office after all. It's a $14 book. So, it is cheaper to download and print.
Monday, July 21, 2008
The kids and their friends have sighted foxes before, but this was my first.
I so don't miss living in the city. This place is just way too cool.
I didn't take this picture, but this is what it looked like walking in front of my pond. Photo credit. Though this is a fall picture. Our fox's coat didn't appear so full.
I also have a few planning forms at the Catholic homeschooling website. Click on downloads.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Interestingly, The American Conservative, Pat Buchanan's magazine, supports my assertion: Food for Thought.
Similar articles in the same issue:
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Hi, I bought your book, The Catholic Homeschool Companion, at a homeschool conference. My question is about the article titled “Using Saxon Math Effectively” found on pages 17-26. In your article, you refer readers to many math literature books. Trusting a fellow Catholic, I just assumed the referenced books would be of Catholic standards or at least with nothing contrary to our faith in them. So it was with great shock and disappointment that when I requested the book, “The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures” by Malba Tahan from our local library and found such non-Catholic material on the very first page in the very first sentence. The first sentence of this book states and I quote, “In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful!” This is not Catholic nor is it something that I would expect to find any Catholic writer to refer readers to be helpful in their homeschooling. And it certainly isn’t something I want to read to my children and instill in their minds. I was just wondering what your reasoning was for including this particular book as acceptable material and will I find any more books referred to throughout your book that are unacceptable to the Catholic faith?
First, I respect the writer's opinion and I appreciate that she wrote to me to get my side of the story. I do think she makes a very good point. I disagree that The Man Who Counted is contrary to our faith, but I should have been more clear in the book's description about the references to Allah and Islam and I should have given a stronger warning.
Note that I also recommend The Man Who Counted in For the Love of Literature and it remains one of my very favorite pieces of math literature.
I first discovered The Man Who Counted on MacBeth Derham's website. MacBeth is a wonderfully dedicated Catholic homeschooler. I've also seen the book reviewed positively on a host of Catholic homeschooling blogs and websites, as well as Heart and Mind Magazine.
Being a math geek, I fell in love with it. The number puzzles presented in real life situations is a great way to get kids excited about math. Even the non math geeks will love it! So much better than dry textbooks.
Mathematics, by its very nature as a universal language, is a discipline that has benefited from the insights of many cultures, especially the Arabic cultures. While we should not promote other faiths, we can surely take the good work of people from other faiths. We can find the good, the true, and the beautiful. Have we not done that with math all along? Our very numbers are Arabic; Roman numerals are terribly cumbersome. Then there are all of the advanced mathematical endeavors they pursued. Algebra is an Arabic word. We've even been able to learn from the Mayans in the area of mathematics.
Interestingly enough, the author of The Man Who Counted is a good Catholic man from Brazil. In the original book (written in Portuguese) the last chapter tells of the protagonist finding Christian Truth. This was left out of the English (British) version, which is no less than a mortal sin in the profession of scholarly translation as well as a mortal sin period imo.
Also interesting is the fact that Arab speaking Christians refer to God as Allah.
These are all things I point out to my children when reading The Man Who Counted. I see this book as historical fiction as well as a math book. And then there is the whole apologetics angle -- teaching about Islam and Christian Truth.
The opening phrase can be skipped. I sometimes use the black marker method and black out offensive phrases. This is why I recommend parents pre-reading their children's books. Even good orthodox Catholics can disagree on what makes a good book.
One final note, it would be impossible to give my children a solid education if I only used books by Catholics, completely free of error. It would mean leaving out Dickens and Lewis. It would mean skipping Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. The important thing to me is to present these books to my children baptized in the Catholic Faith -- giving them Church teaching on issues that come up as we read. Issues they will be faced with when they go out into the real world.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
TG! magazine is a Catholic magazine for teen girls (12-18). We have articles on faith, life and fashion, including: Rosary reflection, Saint Stories, Ask Father, Make It Your Own (MIYO), and more.
I am just getting ready to launch my inaugural issue in August and could
use all the help I can get in promoting it. You can reply to:
firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our website (still under construction)
Thank you & God Bless!
Editor-in-Chief, TG! magazine
I promise to share more as time goes on. In the meantime, go check it out!
Now I just need to think of something interesting to blog about.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
If you don't know Joan, she heads up Ecce Homo Press. She is a gift to all of us Catholic homeschoolers.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel pray for Joan, Baby, and all the Strombergs!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
As an experienced homeschooler and author, Maureen Wittmann has a lot to share about the joys and challenges of being a homeschooling parent. This interview comes live from the playground, and talks about the advances in homeschooling as well as the challenges facing homeschoolers today. Maureen also shares about her excellent reference books for children who love to read.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Do we honor our marriages in the same way we honor the other sacraments? Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, etc.?
Do we give our spouses the same kind of love and respect we give to the Eucharist?
Something to think about today.
Friday, July 11, 2008
It does seem lately that an awful lot of Catholic homeschooling families are under attack. Serious attack. Medical issues, addiction, financial problems, death.
We're doing God's work and that makes the evil one less than happy.
Let's all devote time each day to pray especially hard for our fellow homeschoolers.
"Mom, what's the name of the book you're writing?"
"The working title is 100 Books for Kids Who Love to Read."
"And you're including American Chillers. Right."
"Because they're not exactly great literature. "
"But they're scary."
"They're not even good literature."
"But they're scary."
"I don't think they're any good."
"But boys will love them. They're scary."
Let this be a lesson to all of you. Make sure you double check what your children are checking out at the library. Even if your 18-year-old son calls you on the cell phone from home to tell you he can't find the keys to the car to get to work and you realize that you have them in your purse and you need to rush the kids out of the library so he doesn't get fired. Your youngins may come home with over ten American Chillers titles.
I guess I better start searching out decent literature that's also scary. Poe may be a bit too much for a 10-year old. Any suggestions?
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Adoremus Books is offering a discount for online orders. Use Discount Code AOB88 for 10% off entire order and FREE shipping. This code is good till 9/1/2008.
For the Love of Literature is their current featured book at the website. I've had the opportunity to meet the owners of Adoremus at a number of homeschooling conferences and they run a great business. Their customer service is top-notch. They sell loads of homeschoooling curriculum in addition to their Catholic line of books.
Princess Rose: "Sometimes."
SB: "I think about it aaaaall the time. I think it'll be the most wonderful place. It'll be like feeling all the love of everyone we know. Only all at once."
Motherhood can also be a deeply profound experience.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Well Lorrie and any other regular readers, the internet guy is coming out on Monday to put up the satellite. I should hopefully be up and running by late afternoon. And if everything goes as claimed, it'll be at lightening speed.
I hope I find the cord to my digital camera by then as I've got all kinds of pictures I'd like to share with you all. It's in a box around here somewhere.
Update: Still no internet. There is a glitch. We may have to go with DSL. And still no power cord for the camera. I'd like to record the transformation the house is going through, but the cord is hiding somewhere in a box. St. Anthony help!