Saturday, July 6, 2013

Homeschool Style Quiz & Curriculum Predictor

Take the QUIZ and let me know, in comments, if you think it predicts your style accurately.


Homeschooling Style Quiz: (by Dr. Chen - see below)
Use the following scale in answering the questions. Be sure to circle the number that corresponds with your answer.
1 2 3 4 5 6
That’s not me at all Rarely true, only 20% of the time Occasionally true, about 40% of time Often true, about 60% of time Usually true, about 80% of time Almost always true

Group 1A questions
I look forward to homeschooling 1 2 3 4 5 6
My husband wants me to homeschool 1 2 3 4 5 6
I love to study and learn new things 1 2 3 4 5 6
I enjoy reading aloud to my children every day 1 2 3 4 5 6
I find myself naturally explaining things to the children 1 2 3 4 5 6
I’m in the middle of reading a book (romance novels excluded) right now. 1 2 3 4 5 6
Average (total divided by 6) for 1A=______________

Group 1B questions
There is a show or movie on TV that I want to watch almost every night 1 2 3 4 5 6
I spend an hour or more each day visiting friends or chatting on the phone 1 2 3 4 5 6
My husband wants me to homeschool, but I dread it. 1 2 3 4 5 6
I can’t find time to read. 1 2 3 4 5 6
It’s very hard to find time to play with or read to the children. 1 2 3 4 5 6
I often feel guilty about not getting enough accomplished. . 1 2 3 4 5 6
Average (total divided by 6) for 1B=______________

Group 2A questions
The inside of my kitchen cupboards are clean and organized . 1 2 3 4 5 6
We all make our beds, put away our clothes and do our chores without a lot of problem . 1 2 3 4 5 6
I rarely misplace things. 1 2 3 4 5 6
I enjoy paying the bills, planning the details of a trip or organizing an activity . 1 2 3 4 5 6
The books in our personal library are categorized so that I can easily find them 1 2 3 4 5 6
The inside of our refrigerator is clean. . 1 2 3 4 5 6
Average (total divided by 6) for 2A=______________

Group 2B questions
Usually there is laundry to be done and piles around that need to be folded . 1 2 3 4 5 6
I have a hard time getting my children to do chores . 1 2 3 4 5 6
I want to teach my children but there are so many choices that I don’t know where to begin . 1 2 3 4 5 6
When my children ask me where something is it takes a long time for us to find it . 1 2 3 4 5 6
I don’t know what we will be having for dinner until it’s time to cook the meal. 1 2 3 4 5 6
I procrastinate a lot. 1 2 3 4 5 6
Average (total divided by 6) for 2B=______________

Group 3A questions
I like to plan things down to the last detail 1 2 3 4 5 6
I like doing craft activities or taking trips to the zoo or library with the children 1 2 3 4 5 6
I think a great way to learn is curled up on the couch with a book 1 2 3 4 5 6
I would let my children do their schoolwork on the floor if they wanted to 1 2 3 4 5 6
Kids can learn more about nature by walking around outside than they can from a book 1 2 3 4 5 6
I hated my textbooks and workbooks when I was in school 1 2 3 4 5 6
Average (total divided by 6) for 3A=______________

Group 3B questions
I like the idea of my children sitting at desks quietly working 1 2 3 4 5 6
It’s important for me to know what and how to teach my children each step of the way 1 2 3 4 5 6
I’m afraid my kids will have "gaps" in their education 1 2 3 4 5 6
I want my children to be at the same place in their subjects as the children in school 1 2 3 4 5 6
I like the idea of having just one book for each subject 1 2 3 4 5 6
I worry that I won’t be able to teach my children what they need to know. 1 2 3 4 5 6
Average (total divided by 6) for 3B=______________


Analyzing the Results:

The average from 1B, 2B and 3B must be reversed in order to analyze the results of this test.
6 becomes 1
5 becomes 2
4 becomes 3
3 becomes 4
2 becomes 5
1 becomes 6

After you have reversed the score for those 3 groups take a final total. Your total score should be between 6 and 36.
What your total score indicates:

6-12 total strongly suggests that you should use a homeschool program such as the Angelicum Academy or Seton HomeStudy. [I'd imagine that would apply to Our Lady of Victory, as well..maybe Kolbe, too. ]

13-18 total suggests you should use a program, but that you could add or change a small part of the program without a problem.

19-24 total indicates you would be comfortable using some type of lesson plan system that you can modify to suit your needs. Good options might be the lesson plans from Catholic Heritage Curriculum or syllabi offered by Mother of Divine Grace or SaintThomas Aquinas Academy. [Could Kolbe fit in here, too, as it also allows modifications?]

(BINGO!  This is where my test puts me.  But, I *feel* that I meet the description of 13-18 as I do use a program - MODG- but enjoy its flexibility to add in Seton, OLVS ,CHC books and other resources suggested by my mentor, Paola of EmmanuelBooks.)

25-30 total suggests you could develop your own lesson plans, but would need support and guidance which could be found in DesigningYour Own Classical Curriculum or the suggested curricula at Catholic Heritage Curriculum.  It would also be helpful for you to examine lesson plans that others have written before creating your own. [ Consider, MaterAmabilis, I would think.]

30-36 total strongly suggests you would have no problem creating your children’s educational program.

If your score "doesn't make sense" go back and recalculate making sure that you reversed the appropriate scores  as directed at the top of the page.

Quiz designed by Andrea Chen, Catholic Homeschool Mom of six, director of Mercy Academy Homeschool Program (http://www.mercyacademy.net), with a Phd. in Psychology.

It was put together based on her experience and knowledge of tests, measurement and homeschooling. This questionnaire has been tested on over 100 homeschooling mothers and found to be valid.

Do you agree?


Friday, May 17, 2013

Catholic Homeschooling Facebook Groups

Get connected to other Catholic homeschoolers on Facebook. There are a variety of groups.



I am seeing much more activity in the Catholic homeschool Facebook groups than I am seeing in the yahoogroup emails. If you are looking for support and Catholic homeschool info please consider these links to active groups. These communities are helpful and connect us to others like us across the map. 

+ Catholic Homeschool Moms https://www.facebook.com/groups/24164460379/ over 1,000 members

+ Catholic Homeschoolers of NorthEast (PA, NJ,DE,MD)https://www.facebook.com/groups/115513477358/ over 70

* Homeschool Delaware https://www.facebook.com/groups/118853418201199/ over 360 (secular)

+ MODG Moms https://www.facebook.com/groups/29412108736/ almost 200

+ Mater Amabalis(for Catholic Charlotte Mason approach) https://www.facebook.com/groups/materamabilis/ almost 200


+ Catholic Homeschooling Resources https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catholic-Homeschooling-Resources/137231707453 almost 700

+ Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschool FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Totus-Tuus-Family-Catholic-Homeschool/285307812834?fref=ts over 700


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Upcoming Catholic Homeschool Conferences - Spring 2013

A Catholic homeschool conference is a great opportunity to see inside the books, talk to curriculum providers, get advice and be encouraged by supportive and well-known speakers.

There are a few coming up that I highly recommend.

First, C.H.A.P.L.E.T. in New Jersey on April 13th.  Besides tables and tables of items for Catholic families and homeschoolers here are the speakers and their topics:


Maria Rioux 
Great Ideas for Small Minds:
Getting Started or Jump Started
Michele Quigley 
Time Management for Christian Mothers
Rev. Ronan Murphy 
The Rosary: The Devotion for Our Times;
A Devotion for Peace, Sanctification & Salvation
Marie Siobhan Gallagher 
Solving the “I Hate Math” Problem:
Insights into Overcoming Common Obstacles


More HERE.

In MAY, there's the IHM conference in Maryland on the 17th and 18th. The speakers at this conference will be:
We are awaiting one more confirmation.
Fr. Shenan Boquet, before being appointed as President of Human Life International, came from the Houma Thibodaux Roman Catholic Diocese, where he most recently served as Pastor of St. Gregory Barbarigo Parish in Houma, Louisiana.

Since being ordained as a priest in 1993, Fr. Boquet has given hundreds of talks at conferences and in parishes on issues ranging from the dignity of the human person and the nature of marriage, to social justice and moral theology. He has given retreats and educational seminars on the Theology of the Body, Holy Scripture and various theological topics. Fr. Boquet has also appeared numerous times on EWTN and Ave Maria Radio, as well as in other media. He has served and continues to serve on numerous boards, including the Diocesan Priests Council, of which he remains Chairman.
Dr. Ray Guarendi is a homeschooling father, clinical psychologist, author, public speaker and a radio host. His experience includes school districts, Head Start programs, mental health centers, substance abuse programs, inpatient psychiatric centers, juvenile courts, and a private practice.

Dr. Guarendi has been a regular guest on national radio and television, includingOprah, Joan Rivers, Scott Ross Prime Time, 700 Club, Gordon Elliot, and CBS This Morning. He’s appeared on regional radio and television shows in over 40 states and Canada. He has been the program psychologist for Cleveland’s Morning Exchange, Pittsburgh 2-Day,and AM Indiana. He has written several books, including You’re a Better Parent Than You Think!Back to the Family and Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime.
Mrs. Mary Ellen Barrett is a home educating mother of seven children. Her column, “Life in Our Domestic Church,” is regularly featured in The Long Island Catholic. She has spoken at numerous homeschooling conferences on topics such as socialization and the challenges of raising a special needs child. In her popular blog,Tales from the Bonny Blue House, Mary Ellen writes about daily life and happenings in her Catholic home. In addition, she writes about the Catholic celebration of Christmas in her blog O Night Divine. Currently, she is working on two books, a book about life as a mom of a large family and an Advent Book of Days. Besides writing and blogging, Mary Ellen enjoys cooking, sewing, photography, and studying Theology.
Mrs. Laraine Bennett has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and is a freelance writer for many Catholic publications, including Catholic Match and the Catholic News Agency’s Catholic Womanhood Blog. She also designed an online temperament test for Catholic Match that has been taken by more than 60,000 singles.

Together with her husband, Art, she has co-authored three books on temperament:The Temperament God Gave You, The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse, andThe Temperament God Gave Your Kids, as well as a book on emotions, The Emotions God Gave You. They have lived in California and in Germany and currently live in Northern Virginia where they are parishioners at Holy Trinity Parish in Gainesville. The Bennetts have four children—one of each temperament type! They homeschooled for ten years, and have done many talks to local homeschool groups.
Mrs. Virginia (Ginny) Seuffert, a native New Yorker and mother of 12, has been homeschooling for over 20 years! While in New York, Mrs. Seuffert lectured, debated, and wrote a number of articles for the Pro-Life movement. After moving to Illinois, she became a founding member of the Network of Illinois Catholic Home Educators, helped establish the “Round Table” (a Catholic home school leadership discussion group), and became a founder and officer of the Catholic Home School Network of America.In addition to appearing on EWTN, she has been a guest on numerous radio shows, lectured at Catholic family conferences all over the United States and Canada, and has authored several articles on such topics as home education, teaching children the virtues, and household management. The Illinois Press Association awarded her first place honors for a column she wrote defending traditional family values in a local newspaper. The Seton Home Study School Newsletter regularly features her columns, and recently Seton Press published her first two books of a series, Ginny’s Gems: Home Management Essentials and Ginny’s Gems: 10 Essentials for Teaching Your Preschooler at Home.

And the biggest one, IHM's Virginia, the National conference is June 21st and 22nd in Fredericksburg. This is the biggie with too many speakers to print here and a warehouse full of vendor table after vendor table. You'll be surrounded by like-minded Catholic families.

If you're thinking about homeschooling or need a retreat to recharge for the next school year, this is where you need to be. In fact, for the Year of Faith, 2013 is a special year for Catholic homeschooling conferences. For the first time in history, there will be a national campaign to show support for Catholic homeschooling by having 10,000 people attend conferences during the Year of Faith. See 10kStrong.org

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Shroud of Turin Replica - Field Trip To St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church

It was a blessing of many facets to be able to see and touch an exact  replica...one of only 9 in the world....approved by the Vatican and touched to the actual.... of The Shroud of Turin!

A local, Ukrainian Catholic Church  hosted the event and our Pastor asked if the homeschoolers would like to join him on a tour and visit. The turnout was great and their hospitality was like a warm embrace amidst their sumptuous gold and jewel-toned soaked Church. The highlight, of course, was learning so much about this incredible object. but each of us also felt delighted to meet the fine pastor of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and learn about their Mass. We plan to pray the Mass with our new friends one Sunday.

Some members of my homeschool group and the pastors
I could link to many articles, books and DVDs to share with you info and studies on The Shroud of Turin. You can google it, too, if you'd like to read more. But I'd like to share something from a devotee. All my life, my Father ( a retired attorney) has had an interest in The Shroud and so I asked him to guest blog, once again, and share his findings. Hope you enjoy his analysis.

Another Guest Post
by my Dad

THE SHROUD OF TURIN: STILL HISTORY'S MOST CONTROVERSIAL RELIGIOUS ICON 

 The year was 1988. Peter Jennings was still alive. He had reached the pinnacle of T.V. News journalism. ABC's Nightly News with Peter Jennings was ranked # 1 and had the largest viewing audience of any of the competing 6 O'Clock evening news shows. He came on that night with a blazing headline. “Shroud of Turin is declared a fake”. I was personally astonished, having had some contact with members of the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project members, Dr. John Jumper and photographer Barrie Schworz. The 1978 report of STURP, as it was known, was very positive and encouraged belief on a purely scientific basis, that the shroud was the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

I listened carefully and heard that the Cardinals in Rome, who had temporary custody of the sacred garment (on loan from the House of Savoy, its owners for 8 centuries), had permitted a small “slice” of the garment to be submitted to radio carbon-dating testing. In the interests of creating a “triple blind” experiment, the small slice was, itself, cut up into 3 smaller slices. Each smaller slice was then sent to independent carbon dating labs around the world: one in Zurich Switzerland; one at Oxford University in London and one at The University of Arizona in America.


 Each lab did its independent testing and then converged to share their findings. All 3 found that the cloth, submitted for testing, could be dated somewhere between 1240 at the earliest and 1350 at the latest. It was, therefore, a thirteenth (13th) or fourteenth (14th)century artifact and not the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Jennings, never a fan of organized religion or religious groups, had a wonderfully smug look on his face . By characterizing it as a “fake” he had gone a bit too far because the proofs, that were offered, only established that the slices that were examined were not, and could not be, cloth of first century Palestinian origin. Nonetheless, as a supporter of the Shroud's authenticity, I was immediately disheartened. For the debunkers and cynics ( all my life I have challenged thoughtless debunkers and cynics on many subjects including UFOs) this became their triumphant chant. That's It. The whole shroud story is a fake and a “con job” --- gerber baby food---------- for the intellectual 'babies' who need to believe in mysteries and resist the relentless advance of science. Well, I did not believe in mysteries, legends, old wives' tales, folklore and the rest. I was a trial lawyer who had taken over 104 cases to a verdict in courtrooms and knew how to present a scientifically accurate case. Yet the evidence was truly scientific, verifiable and came from 3 totally independent testing sources who presumably had no personal or professional contact during the testing period. More importantly, they had no reason to fabricate a result . The 'true believers' were devastated and walked away.


Then a series of aggressive challenges were mounted that assailed the legitimacy of the testers themselves. Those testers , after all, were hand-picked by the Catholic Church's cardinals in Rome and one could hardly believe that the Cardinals had a vested interest in destroying public confidence in a magnificent artifact that, for 8 centuries, had been regarded with the utmost solemnity, as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Well, then, who is to be blamed if, indeed, blame is to be found? Some of the backlash to the carbon dating test results must be characterized as religiously inspired retaliation and scientifically flawed. It is a sad fact that “those who want to believe in something, will believe in it no matter what the evidence. “ I never fell into that category. I was never so interested in seeing my inherited beliefs proven correct, that I would support bogus science or any chicanery. If it isn't true, I have no time for it. I cannot engage in silly self-deception.


 The most thorough rebuttal to the 1988 carbon dating findings came from a man who had been a member of the 1978 Shroud team. He was Raymond Rogers a research chemist, who had as much access to the garment itself as any scientist or person alive. The Shroud has BURN MARKS AND HOLES THAT ARE CONSPICUOUS TO THE UNTRAINED EYE OF ANYONE LOOKING AT IT. IT WAS SAVED FROM INTENTIONAL ARSON IN THE 13 TH CENTURY BY A FEW DEVOUT NUNS !!! The fact that it is intact at all is the “miracle”. People have pulled at it; tried to burn and destroy it; carried it through the streets of Lirey, France in the 13th century; displayed it on podiums thereafter. Its edges had become frayed . Those cherished souls, anxious to preserve the garment for posterity …..and cognizant of the fact that the frayed periphery of the garment could lead to further tearing of the garment....... commissioned the good women of that era (probably nuns) to sew a border around the periphery of the garment to protect it from further deterioration. That makes perfect sense doesn't it?

Well, if that is what happened, when the Cardinals decided to cut off a piece, along the periphery or edges of the garment, for carbon -dating-testing purposes they were, inadvertently, setting up the garment for test failure. To be fair to the church officials and Cardinals, they did not have direct knowledge of the Shroud's sensational history. It did not belong to the Catholic Church in 1988. It belonged to KING UMBERTO, PRETENDER TO THE CROWN OF FORMER KINGDOM OF ITALY, BETTER KNOWN AS THE 'HOUSE OF SAVOY'. In 1993, Umberto donated the Shroud to the Pope, John Paul II. 

Chemical detectives like Rogers* found that the remaining tiny segments of “slices” left over ,after the testing showed high concentrations of cotton. This was backed up by Chemist Robert Villareal, in a peer-reviewed presentation to Ohio State University's Blackwell center, published in Chemistry Today (August 2008). Without going into the technical nature of these presentations, suffice it to say that the existence of cotton in the tested sample is inconsistent with the fact that the original shroud is 100% linen.

 *Thermochimica Acta 415/1-2, peer reviewed scientific journal 189-194 (2005) “Scientific Method applied to Shroud of Turin” @www.shroud.com/pdfs/Rogers2 


Linen was the only ingredient of the original cloth . So where did the cotton come from? Cotton was discovered later than first century Palestine. We need only look back upon our own past history to realize that cotton was , along with tobacco, sugar and rice, one of the chief exports to Europe, from America, that made us wealthy and a desirable destination for generations of immigrants . A simple mistake was made by submitting a sample for testing which did not represent the original cloth. Presumably dedicated women , in the 13th century had sewn a border on the shredding Shroud to protect if from further deterioration . So we are back to square one !!! We can look at the Shroud with fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm.

That means that we can look at the crown of thorns, wounds on the hands and feet, lash marks on the dorsal spine, the piercing evidence of a lance thrust into the dead man's side. Is it a miracle of circumstantial evidence that every wound on this man's body conforms to the gospel accounts of the death of Jesus Christ? Then ….......there is the enigma of how the image was created .

 A MONOCHROMATIC IMAGE IN THREE DIMENSIONAL RELIEF THAT POSSESSES 
NO PROPERTIES OF PAINT 

 Monochromatic is one of those multi-syllabic words often found in technical treatises. In blunt English it means “ the whole thing is in one color”. That color is a faint shade of yellow, like a scorch burn on a linen cloth. Sophisticated image enhancing equipment from the labs of NASA ( Dr. John Jumper) conclusively demonstrated that the image is three dimensional. Why is this important and what does it mean? If you are lying on the beach with paint or some resin all over your body and someone covers you with a soft blanket there will be an 'image transfer” from your body to the blanket. However only the portions of your body that touch the blanket will transfer the image. The tip of your nose but probably not the portion of your neck just below the jawline. Your forehead but not the outline of your ear lobes. Your knees and feet but probably not the long shaft of your tibia bone. Certainly not bruises and contusions on your back !!! That is positively out of the question. If you performed this experiment (and both believers and debunkers have) what you would see, transferred onto the blanket, would be a mish-mash of smudges and smears bearing no intelligent resemblance to a human being or a human body. If you doubt me, TRY IT OUT YOURSELF !The image on the Shroud is darker and very clearly defined , where there is contact between the linen cloth and the dead man and yet much lighter on those areas where there would be no contact or minimal contact. This rules out the tenuous , highly debatable, theory that the image came from a “transfer' of image onto the linen cloth , from ointments and oils applied to the body.


 Then, as a last resort, there was the persistent claim ( still being hawked by some ) that the image on the cloth was painted there by a medieval artist. Eighteen scientists at Turin Italy in 1978 including the Jewish photographer Barrie Schworz, meticulously examined the Shroud for 4 consecutive days having extraordinary access to the garment . Not one saw a morsel of paint on the Shroud. One lone dissenter, banned from personal access to the Shroud, by King Umberto himself--- Walter McCrone-----claimed it was paint. To be sure he offered not a scintilla of credible evidence in support of his thesis. This tells us more about the integrity of the debunkers, than it does about the Shroud itself. There is no “respectable” evidence that the image on the Shroud was painted on.

(It is known that the blood type on The Shroud is AB, universal receiver  The same blood type as the myocardial heart tissue the consecrated host became , from 700 A.D., in the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, Italy.)

Afterwards, BBC documentary on The Shroud and refreshments in the Church basement
 My Personal “Clincher” 

There is one more dramatic finding that, for me, becomes the “CLINCHER”. I call it my “clincher” because it totally satisfies my own skeptical and inquisitive instincts. Travel Europe and look at every fresco or painting by every one of the old masters, who depicted the crucifixion of Christ. The Sistine Chapel. St. Peters in Rome . The Grand Cathedral of Seville Spain, St. Mark's in Venice.The Hagia Sophia in Instanbul Turkey built in the 6th century St. Patrick's in New York City. Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Raphael, Michaelangelo., El Greco, Bernini … gorge yourself ! What do all of them have in common ? ….. DRUM ROLL................. The crucified Jesus has nails driven into the palms of his hands. Look at the crucifix in your own church. Look at the crucifix that you wear around your neck, if you wear one . Look at every painting in every art gallery in the world. Nails driven through his palms. Now brace yourself. The man of the shroud shows dislocated and elongated wrists. So... what is the point ??? The Romans were barbarians. No one doubts that. Force and cruelty were the weapons used to keep subjugated and conquered people in line. They were there to be slaves for Rome and pay duty to Rome and nothing else mattered. Thus crucifixion was not only a punishment but a horrific way to keep people obedient to the whim of Rome. In order to keep their victims on the cross for the longest time so that the terrified subjects would “see with their own eyes the cruelty of Rome”, they had to make sure that the crucified man hung on the cross for a long time. They found that if they drove the nails through his palms, there was insufficient bone mass to hold him up and his hands “ripped through and he collapsed off the cross.”  Being efficient killers, the Romans adapted to changing circumstances and modified their crucifixion technique so that nails were driven through wrists where there was strong bone mass. This allowed the dying man to “hang better and longer” assuring the maximum impact of the event .



Final Thoughts for all serious people

The carbon dating tests done in 1988 were not, and are not, correct. They do not date the Shroud of Turin to the 13th or 14th century. They date the snippet of cloth that was cut by Cardinals, unfamiliar with the garment's mending history. That cut of cloth came from the border of the Shroud , not the main body of the Shroud. That keeps the debate alive as to the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin.

The image was scorched onto the cloth.  If a medieval painter painted the Shroud (preposterous for other reasons) he would not have placed the dead man's hands so that they cover his genitalia. That conformed to the Jewish custom of personal modesty for the burial of any Jew, even a convicted criminal . Da Vinci, Raphael, Michaelangelo, El Greco, Caravaggio , displayed both male and female genitalia in their paintings and their magnificent sculptures. A medieval artist would NOT have painted a dead man with stretched, elongated wrists. He would have painted what he had often painted, as a medieval artist: A DEAD MAN WITH NAILS DRIVEN INTO THE PALMS OF HIS HANDS. Only in the 20th century did we find out that the Romans drove nails through the wrists for the grisly purpose of keeping the dead man hanging on the cross for much longer periods of time. A medieval painter simply could not have known this. He had no scientific capability , in the 13th or 14th centuries ----nor do we have it, even today-- to transfer a monochromatic image onto a linen cloth ,in precise 3 dimensional detail , from the corpse of a dead man. The man whose image is on the Shroud was crucified by Romans, first century A.D. , not duplicitously painted onto a linen canvas by an artist in the 13th or 14 th century .


This dead man is JESUS CHRIST. 
The Shroud is a “snapshot” of his resurrection
From inside his dead body, by a sudden internal burst of heat and blazing white light, he transferred , onto his burial cloth, a perfect 3 dimensional image of his crucified body
 That is more than what I believe. That is what I know to be the scientific truth.


Thank you, St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church for a day we'll not soon forget.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back To Home School Mass


Dear Catholic Home School Families of Delaware,

You are invited to attend a Back to Home School Mass 
Photo by Don Blake of The Dialog
with Fr. John Grimm, at Holy Spirit Church 
on Tuesday, September 4th at 5:30 PM.  

Come and join the Catholic Home School community as we pray for God's blessings to be upon our families as we begin another year of school.

Feel free to forward to anyone who would be interested in this event.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Here's Why Homeschooling Has Gone Mainstream

by Librado Romero/The New York Times for the article The Gilded Age of Home Schooling

Studies show homeschooled kids, on average, are better educated than public school children.
By Susan Schaefer July 21, 2012 SOURCE

 A few months ago at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, I saw a mom showing a well-behaved 8-year-old boy flashcards with Chinese characters on them in Panera. Homeschool alert!

I figured this woman was either a very conservative Christian or a crunchy granola type. Being annoyingly curious and inappropriate, as is my M.O., I struck up a conversation with her. She wasn’t either of those stereotypes. She was very nice and talked to me for a while about her experiences homeschooling her kids. I learned that homeschooling is way more organized than I thought and very in vogue at the moment.

In 1980, home schooling was illegal in 30 states. Now, it is legal in all 50 states with about 1.5 million to 2 million children being homeschooled in the U.S., roughly 3 percent of school-age children nationwide, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics.

In the same study, it was found that between 1999 and 2007, the number of homeschooled children rose 77 percent.The actual number may be even higher because not all parents who homeschool report information to the government. However, the general consensus is that the stigma associated with homeschooling is gone as it becomes more and more mainstream.

As for why more parents are homeschooling, it is not surprising that the highest percentage listed religious and moral instruction (36%), the next most popular reason being concerns about the school environment (21%), followed by dissatisfaction with academic instruction (17%).

There is also a trend toward co-op homeschooling where small groups of parents take turns teaching the children and/or hiring tutors to assume some of the responsibility. The image of homeschooled children spending their days sitting at the kitchen table are long gone. Today’s homeschooled are out and about with many museums offering programs to homeschoolers as well as other hands-on activities, such as nature centers. There are endless websites dedicated to non-traditional learning opportunities in addition to websites offering support and resources for homeschooling families.

I can teach a classroom of 28 5th graders who, between them, cover every learning and behavioral issue under the sun (note to my former colleagues: I said I could, I didn’t say I was good at it), but the thought of teaching my own boys scares me to death.

I always believed it was better to leave their academics in the capable hands of those who did not give birth to them, thus eliminating the emotional turmoil involved in getting them to open a book. But statistics indicate that this might not have been the wisest choice. According to the Homeschool Progress Report 2009: Academic Achievement and Demographics, homeschoolers, on average, scored 37 percentile points above their public school counterparts on standardized achievement tests.

Almost every study touches on a few other facts. It seems homeschooled kids are far from isolated from peers, do well in social situations, and are more likely to be involved in their community. The education level of the parents had little effect on the success of their children, as did state regulations, gender of the student, or how much parents spent on education. 

Speaking of spending per student, in public school about $10,000 is spent on each student, each year, as opposed the $500 spent on the average homeschooled student. This number sounds a little fishy since the last time I took my kids to the aquarium I spent $74 on three tickets. Bad puns aside, when I began this article I was dead set against homeschooling, as are many certified teachers. But, after doing research, I’m not so sure. Maybe the public school system could learn something from the homeschool community.

Friday, June 15, 2012

IHM National Catholic Homeschool & Parenting Conference 2012


IHM CONFERENCE NEXT FRIDAY AND SATURDAY!

This conference is an opportunity to hear dynamic and well-known Catholic speakers and be surrounded by those who love the Catholic faith! It's also great Catholic shopping...all under one roof.


Every year I am excited to be surrounded by so many who share my goals and to also find motivation to stay the course. 


I am hoping to tweet from the conferences using the #Hashtag  #IHMVA12 .



Oh...and did I mention it's FREE?


THE EVENT: The Eleventh Annual Immaculate Heart of Mary National Homeschool and Parent Conference

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, June 22nd and 23rd, 2012 (Friday, June 22nd from 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.) (Saturday, June 23rd from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

NEW LOCATION! WHERE: Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center 2371 Carl D. Silver Pkwy. Fredericksburg, VA 22401

WHO IS INVITED: All adults, not just homeschooling families. All religious are especially welcome. We love children, but must restrict attendance to young adults (13+) and nursing babies only. 

SPEAKERS: Over 20 speakers, many nationally known!
Speaker BiosSchedule of talks/description of topics - Teen Program & College Fair

VENDORS: Many Catholic vendors invited! Please note vendor area opens at NOON Friday and will stay open throughout the conference. http://www.ihmconference.org/national/vendors/ 

FEATURES: Rosary, Family Consecration, Scapular Enrollment and Confessions! NO PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED! ADMISSION IS FREE!! PARKING: FREE and CONVENIENT!! CONTACT: Please email info@ihmconference.org or call 540-636-1946.

WEBSITE: www.ihmconference.org for additional conference information, including complete vendor listing, driving directions, hotel accommodations, speaker schedule, etc.

TAPES: All talks will be available for purchase. Orders for CDs and MP3s will be taken at the conference and shipped afterwards.

USED BOOK SALE! Here's your chance to pick up great deals on used books! We are bringing almost twice as many used books as we have had in the past..about 4,000 books! Hope to see you there! Please spread the word. Thanks and God bless!