Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Home From New Jersey Safe and Sound

The New Jersey conference was wonderful. Even though I'm entering my fifteenth year of officially homeschooling (unofficially, my twentieth year since I figure I've been homeschooling since my first born left the womb) I still need that shot in the arm that you get from conferences. Just being in the same room with hundreds of Catholic homeschoolers gives me the reassurance I need to get through the next year.

Of course, I got to meet and chat with Danielle Bean, Susie Lloyd, Margot Davidson, and Rachel Watkins which was awesome. The Catholic homeschooling community is blessed with so many faithful and dedicated women that it really warms my soul, as well as humbles me. I heard that Danielle's talk was fabulous. I just went to the CHAPLET website to order her tape but I don't see them there for sale yet. I'll email the conference organizers for ordering information and let you all know how to do that. It's nice to have a few conference tapes in the car when you need a shot in the arm.

Also fun was meeting a few blog readers and webinar attendees (Hi Noelle!). It's neat to be able put names with faces. The biggest surprise was getting to visit with my friend MacBeth Derham. I had mentioned to MacBeth that I'd be at the conference but I didn't really expect her to come all the way from New York! It took me a minute or two to realize who she was as she stood there in front of my table. It was so unexpected.

The best may have been hanging out with my dear, old friend Monica. Old as in we've been friends for 13 years. Not old as in our age -- we're still very young. Well, at heart anyway. It was great to meet Monica's family for the first time as well as her menagerie of animals, including the indoor chicken. Though, somehow, I didn't get to meet the pet rats. What a shame.

Monica and I decided that CHAPLET should invite me back next year so I can fly in a few days early and I can see the sites. I have to go back at least so I can get my picture next to the Liberty Bell and eat real Philadelphia cheesesteak . . . and meet the pet rats. (Though the conference is in NJ, I flew into Philly.)

The only bad thing is that there just is never enough time to visit with all these great homeschoolers and friends. Well, there is one other bad thing -- one of the little people who live in my house misplaced my camera the day I left for the conference so I have no pictures to share with you. So, I guess I really do have to do this all over again next year!

Monday, April 27, 2009

PSN5: Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice

To read past library recommendations, or to join the email list, visit: Pope Saint Nicholas V.

Check to see if this title is already in your library's catalog. If it is, put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right away. This can usually be done online at your library's website.

Title: Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice
Author: Rev. Joseph F. Classen
Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor
Date Published: March 2009
ISBN-10: 1592764762
ISBN-13: 978-1592764761
Price: $14.95 Softcover (10.17 Amazon)
Review: (If you know of any online reviews of this book, please leave a comment and I'll put it here.)

Product Description:

When you read Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice . . . you ll [be] entertained by a master storyteller, an everyman who's dedicated his life to serving God.
-- Kathy Etling, Outdoor Author

Whether you are looking for a better understanding of nature, or a deeper understanding of God s plan as well as His love for us, I highly recommend Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice.
-- Jay Houston, Author and Founder of The Outfitter Network and ElkCamp.com

Father Joe Classen, author of the popular Hunting for God, Fishing for the Lord, will be your guide on a new expedition where deep love for the great outdoors and good humor intersect with spiritual truth, in a manner that will appeal to you regardless of your faith tradition.

Drawing upon a wealth of stories from his experience as a hunter and angler, Classen provides powerful and insightful connections between real life and God s plan. Whether he is connecting the dangers and pitfalls of the outdoors with the many obstacles that can derail your faith life or providing clues on tracking your own path through unchartered wilderness, Classen is an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable guide in this must-have book for any sportsman or nature lover!

About the Author
Father Joseph Classen was ordained to the priesthood in 2003 and is serving in the St. Louis Archdiocese. Along with his priestly ministry, Fr. Classen is an accomplished and passionate outdoorsman, which was the inspiration for his first book, Hunting for God, Fishing for the Lord Encountering the Sacred in The Great Outdoors.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Celiac Disease and the Eucharist

The National Catholic Register did a very nice article on celiac disease and the Eucharist. They interviewed me because, as many of you already know, I have a son with celiac disease. I think the author did a very nice job.

When Gluten Won't Work

Something for all of us to reflect upon as we go to Mass today. How many of us take for granted the Body of Christ?

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

I'll be leaving in a few hours for the CHAPLET conference in New Jersey. I hope to see some of you there. Not only will I be there, but so will Danielle Bean, Susie Lloyd with her new book, Rachel Watkins of Little Flowers Girls Club, and Margot Davidson of mater et magistra.

There are a good number of Catholic homeschooling conferences this weekend. Please pray for all those attending, volunteering, speaking, traveling, and so on.

I will not have my computer with me so I'll be out of touch until Sunday. Though I did pre-post one more Christopher West YouTube for tomorrow. I hope you like these and I pray that Christopher and Ascension Press continue to make them. Theology of the Body may be the greatest gift given to us by Pope John Paul II.

Christopher West: The Playboy and The Pope

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Homeschooling Math and Science: Free, Fun, and Phenomenal

The webinar went great yesterday. Between the new lightening fast Internet connection and my new fancy schmancy headset, the audio and video worked like a dream. The content wasn't too horrible either.

If you couldn't join me yesterday live, you can join me today (or any day) virtually. The webinar was recorded and is available to one and all for free viewing or download. So go and watch. Then go and tell all your friends.

Bringing Joy to Your Math and Science Lessons

Thanks again to the sponsors who made it all possible:
Living Math
Ecce Homo Press

Christopher West: How Can the Body Have a Theology?

Monday, April 20, 2009

PSN5: Guide to Pirate Parenting

To read past library recommendations, or to join the email list, visit: Pope Saint Nicholas V.

Check to see if this title is already in your library's catalog. If it is, put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right away. This can usually be done online at your library's website.

Title: GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING: Why you should raise your kids as pirates and 101 tips on how to do it
Author: Tim Bete
Publication date:
New Edition, February 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1-58385-291-0
ISBN-10: 1-58385-291-3
Category: Parenting/Humor
Type: Paperback
Size: 6 x 9, 124 pages
Cover price: $12.95 US (Retail), Amazon price: $11.01

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Finding Joy in Your Math & Science Studies

I'm redoing the math/science webinar. If you missed the first one and you'll be around on Monday at 2:00 PM Eastern then come join me.

I've rented a small (very small) office in town for my Homeschool Connections work. The Internet connection is awesome so my previous problems with audio and video glitches will now be nothing but a memory.

I hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Free Homeschool Science Webinars

Kris Correira of At Home Science fame has developed a series of free webinars to help homeschoolers teach science. These should be way fun as Kris will be performing live experiments you'll be able to see on live streaming video. All brought to you by Homeschool Connections.

Enroll now for the first in the series at: Science At Home: Static Electricity
In this first webinar of the Hands-On Science series, Kris Correira will explore the power of static electricity and share how you can bring the same science experiments to your home either for fun or for homeschool.

Kris Correira is a homeschooling mom to 3 boys. She works part time as a physician assistant in an busy emergency department and a paramedic instructor at a community college; she is also a volunteer science teacher for her local homeschool co-op. She has inspired a love of science in her children through lots of hands-on learning and science books without any textbook or curriculum. See what experiments she has for fun hands-on science homeschooling.

Spread the word!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2009 Steubenville Youth Conference

My teens and many of their friends have attended these conferences sponsored by Franciscan University of Steubenville. The kids love them; they are absolutely amazing. My teens come home totally on fire about all things Jesus and all things Catholic. Not only are they life changing but loads and loads of fun. Just watch the YouTube and you can see the joy in the faces of the kids.

Franciscan University offers these youth conferences all over the country throughout the summer. For more information visit: Franciscan Youth Outreach. See if your parish or a nearby parish is organizing a bus. If not, then why not organize your own group?

Monday, April 13, 2009

PSN5: Bless Me Father For I Have Kids

To read past library recommendations, or to join the email list, visit: Pope Saint Nicholas V.

Check to see if this title is already in your library's catalog. If it is, put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right away. This can usually be done online at your library's website.

Title: Bless Me, Father, For I Have Kids
Author: Susie Lloyd
Publisher: Sophia Institute Press
Date Published: March 2009
ISBN-10: 193318440X
ISBN-13: 978-1933184401
Price: $14.95 (Amazon price $13.89)

Product Description:
The uninterrupted life is not worth living
Got questions about Catholic family life? You've come to the right place! As a lifelong Catholic, devoted wife, diligent homeschooler, and mother of seven, Susie Lloyd knows lots of people who just might have the answers for you. Susie herself is too busy to give advice: busy giving home haircuts and finding missing socks; busy teaching her teen girls to drive, cook, and diagram sentences; busy praying for divine protection while she races off to church (late) in her full-size van. But every so often, Susie finds a few moments to share the wit and wisdom she s gleaned from:

Teaching her kids about the Facts of Life Somewhere there must be a book which can aid me in my duty. In it there would be many pages devoted to birds, bees, and flowers. None involving kegs and station wagons.

Quelling her teen girls' phobias Top of the list is frumpophobia: fear of being seen in a skirt when every other teen at the party, except the statue of Mary, will be in jeans. It gets worse if your dad thinks it would be lovely not only to wear the skirt but a veil as well.

Handing on Catholic customs When I was small, my mother taught me to say a Hail Mary whenever I heard an ambulance. It's really a beautiful habit and habit is the word -- I don't know how many people I've prayed for whose car alarm was going off.

Getting older Some people tell me I could be my teens older sister. These people are usually 103 years old and wear their glasses hanging from a chain. But I ll take it.

Strangers who question the size of her family What's funny is, the people who call you nuts really expect you to act sane, and not like this: Nuts? Children, would one of you be a good girl and get the gun out of Mommy s diaper bag?

Enduring her children's music lessons Piano recitals are a time-honored way of gaining a plenary indulgence, provided we hold no attachment to murdering the piano teacher.

Joining a homeschool co-op None of us wanted to quit homeschooling; we just wanted somebody else to do it for us.

As she did in her beloved first book, Please Don't Drink the Holy Water, in these pages Susie Lloyd will charm and edify you with her offbeat -- but always pitch-perfect -- take on the joys and challenges of raising a Catholic family in today's world.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Living Books, Homeschooling, and Math & Science

The math and science webinar went well last week. Oh, there were a few glitches (I'm always my worst critic) but the attendees loved it. If you weren't able to make it there, you can still attend the recorded event -- for free no less. You can watch it, download it, and even email it to friends.

However, before I tell you the details of the webinar, I have a few people to thank.

I'm really excited that Living Math was one of our sponsors so that Homeschool Connections could bring the math & science webinar to you and other homeschoolers for free. If you visit the Living Math webisite, let Julie know how much you appreciate her generosity and all the other wonderful things she does for homeschoolers.

The Living Math's website full of loads of tips and reviews to help you bring a true appreciation of math to your homeschool. There is also an accompanying Yahoo Group that is a vibrant email list that has provided me with a ton of help and inspiration.

If you're planning on purchasing some living math books, please consider linking from the Living Math website as it helps Julie keep the website running.

I am also happy to let you know about our other sponsor: Ecce Homo Press, publisher of the ever popular Little Flowers Girls Club and Blue Knights Boys Club materials, the Glory of America series, Little Women Hospitality Program, and more. They are also the publisher of my book For the Love of Literature which was the inspiration for this series of webinars.

The other Homeschool Connections sponsors include:
mater et magistra

Now for information on the newest recorded webinar:
Bringing Joy to Your Homeschool Math and Science Lessons:
Literature isn't just for reading! You can teach math, science, language arts, and more using living books. This is the third in a series of three talks on the topic of teaching through real books.

Have you ever said out loud, "I hate math!" Or, "Math was my worst subject!" Was science always a tough subject for you? Do you struggle wondering how you can bring the fullness of the subject to your children? If so, you've come to the right place.

In this talk Maureen Wittmann shows you how to let go of your math and science phobia and keep from passing it onto your children. Math can be fun and interesting. Really. You just need to look at it in a new light. Science can go beyond the kitchen experiments and come alive in a child's imagination. Really.

Maureen brings lots of books with her for show and tell. You'll leave this online seminar loaded with book titles, fresh ideas, and practical tips. You won't want to miss it!

Maureen is the author of For the Love of Literature: Teaching Core Subjects Through Literature published by Ecce Homo Press, available from your favorite bookseller or maureenwittmann.com.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Will I See You in New Jersey

The time is fast approaching for this year’s 2009 CHAPLET Homeschool Conference.

I will be one of the speakers there this year (along with Danielle Bean and others) and I can’t wait to meet … you!

Rumor has it that even Susie Lloyd will be there, signing copies of her awesome new book, Bless Me, Father, For I Have Kids.

The conference will be Saturday, April 25 2009. Come on! It’ll be fun!

See here for registration and other details.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Time Management for Moms 101

UPDATE: The webinar went great and you can watch the recorded event for free: Time Management for Moms 101. Look for the chat and video icons in the top right corner after the recording starts to view everything.

I'm am so very excited to announce that Michele Quigley of Family Centered Press is going to be giving a FREE webinar: Time Management for Moms on Thursday May 14, 2009 at 11:00 Eastern time. Should be awesome so make sure to register and write it in your planner.

If you don't know Michele (if that is possible), she produces those ever-so-lovely planners for Catholic moms, dads, and students. We all use them here at my house and I highly recommend them. Though, you do need to order them early. Michele only prints so many since they're date sensitive and they seem to go fast since they're so beautiful as well as functional.

Michele is also co-author of the free Catholic Charlotte Mason curriculum Mater Amabilis. Thank you Michele for all that you do!

Now, for the sound bite on Michele's free webinar:

Effective time management is the key to getting the most out of your day and avoiding burnout. As moms we have an office that never closes and an inbox that never empties, whether we work outside the home or not.

Michele will share her strategies for prioritizing tasks, overcoming procrastination, improving concentration and dealing with frequent distractions.

Note: Cross posted from the Love2Learn blog.

Monday, April 06, 2009

PSN5: Saint Paul by B16

To read past library recommendations, or to join the email list, visit: Pope Saint Nicholas V.

Check to see if this title is already in your library's catalog. If it is, put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right away. This can usually be done online at your library's website.

Title: Saint Paul
Author: Pope Benedict XVI
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Date Published: March 27, 2009
ISBN-10: 1586173677
ISBN-13: 978-1586173678
Price: $14.95 (Amazon price: $10.47)

Product Description:
St. Paul is one of the most important figures in Christian history. As Saul of Tarsus he vigorously persecuted Christianity, even collaborating in the death of Christianity s first martyr, Stephen. His encounter with the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus changed Paul s life, the Christian Church, and world history. More than anyone else in the early Church, Paul saw the universal nature of the Christian message. He became the Apostle to the Gentiles and the Teacher of the Nations . As the human author of half of the New Testament, Paul is a figure who cannot be overlooked by anyone who wants to understand Jesus Christ and Christianity.

In this book, Pope Benedict XVI, a profound spiritual leader in his own right and a first-rate theologian and Bible commentator, explores the legacy of Paul. Pope Benedict follows the course of the Apostle s life, including his missionary journeys and his relationship with the other apostles of Jesus such as St. Peter and St. James, and Paul s martyrdom in Rome. Benedict also examines such questions as: Did Paul know Jesus during his earthly life and how much of Jesus teaching and ministry did he know of? Did Paul distort the teachings of Jesus? What role did Jesus death and resurrection play in Paul s teaching? What are we to make of Paul s teaching about the end of the world? What does Paul s teaching say about the differences between Catholic and Protestant Christians over salvation and the roles of faith and works in the Christian life? How have modern Catholic and Protestant scholars come together in their understanding of Paul? What does Paul have to teach us today about living a spiritual life?

These and other important issues are addressed in this masterful, inspirational, and highly-readable presentation of St. Paul and his writings by one of today s great spiritual teachers, Pope Benedict XVI.

The Apostle Paul, an outstanding and almost inimitable yet stimulating figure, stands before us as an example of total dedication to the Lord and to his Church, as well as of great openness to humanity and its cultures.