My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II




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The math gene

It's probably no surprise to some parents that kids either tend to click into reading but then have a problem with math, or the other way around. In my experience the kid who just "gets" all of it at once is a special gift!

I was one of the kids who had a burning desire to read and write. I remember eagerly sitting in my 1st grade class with Miss Standefer trying to remember all of the sounds of each letter of the alphabet and coming to the conclusion that the sounds were always pretty similar to the name of the letter, and then trying to remember it all that way. Being the argumentative person that I am, even at that age, I remember resisting the fact that c and h make a totally new sound that doesn't make any sense, much like i g h t together all make the long i sound. It didn't make any sense, but reluctantly I resigned myself to accepting these laws if I was going to be able to eventually read books and spell correctly.

I did OK in math for a while. I really really struggled with long division and in fact put myself into a pre-ulcerative condition - complete with the upper GI x-ray experience. By 7th grade however, modern math was the norm and I had a text book that might as well have been written in a dead sea scroll language. I just didn't get it. I ended up graduating from my Catholic Jr. High 8th grade into high school, winning the "math award." Not because I understood math or could do it better, because frankly I still had no clue what I was doing, but because I spent lunches and afternoons with my math teacher and long hours with my poor grandmother at night trying to figure that crap out!!

In high school I took the math classes that were required for college prep and then very happily closed my math book vowing never to touch the vile things ever again in this lifetime.

And then I decided to homeschool.

It is with much delight and pleasure that I have taught my children with the Saxon Math series, particularly now that I have had at least one child make it into high school and another going through junior high. As I have read the texts in the past I have had "a ha!!" experiences over and over again. Believe me, I remind my little students how lucky they are to have wonderful math books that were written by people that really WANT you to understand how math works!! I revere my Saxon math collection and they'll probably be the books my kids are pitching behind my back as I'm moving into the nursing home!

Now my kids have been blessed differently in the math department. Calvin, the one who didn't read fluently until age 12, has always gotten math. Always. Even when I had to read the text to him, he understood the concept. Sam struggles a little more, but he gets about 90-98% on his daily work. Gabe however, doesn't have a mathematical bone in his body. In third grade we are still trying to memorize the math facts. I bought Math Facts Now over the summer. The first day he did it he worked for an hour to get 50 problems and there were tears. But he has been doing it every day and I have giving 60 problems with only 15 seconds to answer. He gets it done in about 15 minutes. I hope to get him down to only 3 seconds to answer and then move him over to subraction. At least now he thinks it is fun and is asking to do it!

It's too soon to see how Noah and Izzy are going to be in Math. Noah at six already seems to be able to see math concepts. He might end up like his paternal cousin Patrick who I believe is probably a mathematical genious. Pat actually got paid to think about math over the summer. A math job! The most mathematical job I ever had was giving change back for a $5 and passing out the burgers and fries! Clearly if Noah has any talent in math it will be from his father's side.

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