Homegrown Catholics is an excellent resource for religious education teachers, homeschoolers, and parents. Here you'll see all my lesson plans and project ideas on many Catholic subjects as well as school topics. If you would like to read about my adventures as a Home Educator, click on the St. Brigid's Academy tab above.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Joyful Mysteries for Homeschoolers

…as revealed to me during Adoration.

Christmas Holy Family2

1. The Annunciation: Mary said yes to be the mother of God, whom she  homeschooled and raised the best she could with God's Grace. I too said "yes" to being a mother and homeschooling little soldiers for Christ. So if I said "yes" to His calling for me, how can I have any doubt of my choice? So again, I say "YES." I will teach your little children to know, love and serve you - as you have asked of me.

Visitation12. The Visitation: Even Mary needed womanly companionship in her life. Someone to lift her up, and with Elizabeth pregnant also, they could share in those trials together. Homeschool and Stay at home mothers need companionship. It is in God's great design that we share our lives with each other. I am honored to have found beautiful friends who share many of my same joys and trials. Someone who lifts me up in my sad times, because she understands and prays for me - as I do for her. The visitation is about companionship, an essential part of happiness with homeschooling. 

Christmas Holy Family
3. The Birth of Jesus: God's gifts to us are plentiful. When the school day begins, I am called to bring my gifts to my children, just as the 3 wise men did. The gifts are my talents, my love and affection, my knowledge, my faith and so much more. I need to bring all that to the table each morning. Give of myself freely to my children to further enrich their lives as well as mine. What we do for them, we do for Jesus.
Three Wise Men

The Presentation

4. The Presentation: As parents, we need to offer our children up to the Lord. We need to be sure that their lives are lived for Christ, not to fulfill our own wants and shortcomings. We need to present ourselves to our children and be an open book to them. A living example of what they will someday become. Are we being that for them? Am I being a good example for my children? What materials are we presenting to our children - are they fully enriched in the teachings of the Church? When they are presented at the gates of Heaven, will God be pleased with the way we raised them and how they were taught and disciplined?

Finding Jesus in Temple
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple: Our children will stray, it is just in their nature to do so. I need to accept that, and move on. I need to stay calm when they tune me out or have a day where they just would rather play. Isn't that what homeschooling is all about? Flexibility? Why am I having such a hard time being flexible, when that is a big part of the whole plan!? I need to be confident that the Lord has a big hand in all of this, and if I slip, if they slip, whether we mean to or not, God will bring us back on track when the time is right. And I need to remember that they are just children - and I need to refocus my attention on what is truly a necessity and what can wait for another day.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

SAHMs are back in style!

from my ongoing Facebook discussion...

Being a stay at home mom (SAHM) [or Domestic Engineer - hehe] isn't as rare as you may think. It seems to be coming "back into style" from my experience. I'm amazed the criticism SAHMs and Homeschoolers get. I DARE them to spend 1 day in my shoes without bailing. It's a crazy, self-giving life and I wouldn't trade it for a million $ paycheck. We learn to live with less to have a better quality of life. I dare you to try it!

Those who work outside of the home have their own challenges and needs, but I personally wouldn't leave my young children in someone else's care unless we were stricken with poverty.

I've seen the village, and I don't want it raising my children!

I recommend reading "The Domestic Church: Room by Room." Chapter 4 discusses this exact thing. Who ever says that it is not a job, has never been a SAHM! A mothers work is worth more than a paycheck. Besides I get paid... in God's Graces, smiles, drawings, and some day grandchildren....for all my efforts!

From the book:

"A mother is the heart of her home when she is lovingly dedicating herself to her family... Any time that a mother deserts her children's care, she is opening wide the door to possible chaos and instability, and again - other people's values and morals - or lack there of - are thrust upon the innocent and impressionable children."

"Motherhood is filled with sacrifice, as we know, and one particular sacrifice is in putting one's own desires on hold for the betterment of the family."

This book is incredible as I read it along with my Catholic Women's Book Club, and I suggest it to you. It reiterates what I've been taught about motherhood, gives me confidence to continue my vocation, and gives me tips to make it a little easier.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Ten Commandments

I grew up in a very Catholic home, centered on faith, went to Catholic private school, etc. But for some reason, I feel like I am learning the 10 Commandments for the first time along with my 1st grader. Seton Home Study does such an excellent job of explaining how we could possibly fail at keeping these laws of God. I knew I would never "kill" someone, or commit adultery, so where does my life fit into these rules? God's insight on his commands is much deeper than our own. So here's how I've helped my daughter simplify these laws for her age.

1. There is only one God. Nothing and no one is more important than God.

2. Don't say "God or "Jesus" disrespectfully.

3. Go to church on Sunday and Holy Days, make it a family day, not distracted by work/chores.

4. Respect, love and obey your parents.

5. Don't kill or hurt yourself or others.

6. Be pure and modest.

7. Don't take what isn't yours.

8. Don't lie or keep serious secrets. Always tell the truth.

9. Be friendly and be sure to include everyone in the fun.

10. Appreciate all that you have.

We worked really hard on these, and I found some other tricks to help in memorization. Since God wrote the 10 Commandments with His own hands, let's use our hands to remember.

*1-3 is all about God, because he comes first. And 3 is like the Trinity.

*4 is about our family, because they come next.

*5 - when you hold your 5 fingers up, it's your choice to not make a fist and hurt someone.

*6 - hold up one hand of 5, then your thumb for 6. Focus on the thumbs up for being pure.

*7 - hold one palm open for 5, and your thumb and pointer for 6-7. It looks like you're holding a gun and holding out your hand to take something. This is a sign of stealing.

*8- you can take the 3 fingers on one hand of 8 and pinch your lips closed.

*9 and 10 are about our neighbors. Wiggle your fingers for all your neighbors, then spread your arms out to bring attention to all the wonderful things around you.


Image from here

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