Monday, August 27, 2012

A Year of Grace


We all got up bright and early this morning to begin that daily ritual that comes with this time of year -- school.  Yes, here it is again folks, let's see if we can get it right this time, shall we! Maybe, however, you don't have a problem "getting it right," in which case I commend you and bid you adieu, because what follows is not for you!

This year we have 6 students in this house. Mrs. Tittlemouse is pretty much doing her own thing, as she is starting her senior year with Seton. (yes I said SENIOR year - what happened to that itty bitty baby girl - anyway let's not talk about that because I'll start crying). Last year was....let's just say less than picture perfect.  Moving and babies tend to interrupt the best laid plains and mine were..... well....  not in the best laid category to begin with. So with a firm resolve I spent countless hours trying to find a way to get everyone in this house to do their work simultaneously at the same time and still keep my sanity.  (Oh, do I still have that?) What, you ask, did my search turn up?  Tapestry of Grace
 We needed to pick up history at the renaissance so I bought the written and digital combo for year 2.  This program keeps all your students on the same topic with material that is appropriate for their level.  Some books are read to everyone, and their are projects that everyone can participate in as well. History is not the only thing covered - art, geography, literature and writing are all included. I am glad that I have both online and print versions.  I like to be able to physically hold the schedule, but there are so many components and the online version makes sure you know what resources you can use for each unit.  There is so much to this thing it would take forever to explain it all.  The best thing is that all the assignments are written out for you and there is  a section that teaches mom the material that is covered that week.  This is wonderful to me, I can't read every book for every level so this serves as my "cheat sheet" for the week. The only down side is that it isn't Catholic, so there are areas that need to be revamped,  that will add some work for us.  Using this program for the first time today went very smoothly even though it seemed overwhelming at first. With a little bit of discipline and lots of prayer I think we can make this year work!
Other than Tapestry we are using Write at Home for Mr. Tortoise.  He is starting high school this year and I don't want to be responsible for teaching his writing!  The neat thing about Write at Home is that they have a pay-per-paper so if you have just one thing you need looked over they will check it for you.
The younger set also has R.E.A.L Science Odyssey Chemistry.  This looks really cool - but it was back ordered so we haven't started it yet. We will also be using Simply Grammar: An Illustrated Primer for grammar and the new readers will use All About Reading.  We used this last year and  we all loved the little zebra puppet that comes in the set. Everyone is using Saxon math.
So that is a glimpse into what lies ahead in our school year. We'll read some books, do some math, eat some snacks and pray that everyone gets educated!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Saintly Thoughts to Ponder

Well I have spent the last 2 weeks engaged in home school websites and catalogs - I'm sure many of you can relate! I almost have our upcoming school year all figured out, and when I do I will be sure to reveal my plans to you!
In the meantime I wanted to post these two quotes that I read in my favorite book A Year with the Saints .  If you feel that I may be directing this to someone in particular, you would be right.  The person in question, however, would be me! Maybe if I put it here in writing, I will remember it better.

"Endeavor not to appear singular, but to be so.  This is done by leading, in all respects, the common life, doing all things that are enjoined, but with exactness in the time, place, and manner prescribed.   We must do common things not in a common matter, but in a manner more sublime and perfect than that in which they are commonly done.  This is to appear externally like all the rest and to be interiorly singular, which is a greater virtue and a treasure of merit."

-St. Bernard

St, Bernard of Clairvoux
Feast day Aug. 20

"Be not of those who think perfection consists in undertaking many things, but of those who place it in doing well what little they do.  For it is much better to do little and do it well, than to undertake much and do it ill.  Yes little and good , this is the best.  Therefore, if we wish to advance, or when we wish to give some special honor to Our Lord, we have to redouble not our exercises, but the perfection with which we perform them.

-St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales
Feast day Jan. 24

Excellent thoughts while planning our school year!