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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10 Things I Have Learned about Homeschooling

In the spirit of Moms Mentoring Moms, I thought I'd share 10 things that I have learned about homeschooling over the past 13 years.

1. Socialization isn't THAT big of a deal. I'm still not clear on why our society thinks that the best way to socialize kids is to virtually lock them in with their peer group for six or more hours a day and to be totally dependent on that group for acceptance and affirmation! My kids have all been homschooled, but we have put them on city sports teams, let them play with the neighborhood kids, and have them participate with our church. I think socialization in measured quantities like this has produced good results.

For example, I just sent my 15 year old away for a long weekend to the Franciscan University Youth Conference. He only knew one kid in the group of 45 and other than that was really on his own. He came back and said he had a GREAT weekend, and he made lots of friends! The loner sitting on the bus Friday afternoon, came back Sunday night with new friends asking him to join their youth group and go bowling with them! I'd say THAT is good socialization!

2. The most important relationships your children develop will be with you and their siblings. Good people come in and out of our lives, but family is constant.

3. Assessment tests are really reading tests. No matter how you slice it, if the kid can't read he will do poorly on those tests. Even if his vocabulary is superb. Even if he is a math wizard! If he can't read, read fast, read well, he will not do well on those tests.

4. Testing isn't everything. I am deliberately NOT having my kids do standardized tests until late elementary, jr. high and high school. Before that time we do portfolio reviews which are an option here in Ohio. I want our home education to develop a love of learning and a freedom to learn at our own pace and our own schedule. There will be many years to "learn to the test." For the early and mid years I think a living education is much more important.

5. You have 13 years or so to educate your children. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and enjoy the journey. Don't let little set backs freak you out!

6. Still, all marathons eventually end. Have a list of the things that are really important and make sure that you have at least covered those before your child ends his formal homeschooling years.

7. Homeschooling goes a lot easier if the house is in relatively good order. My post on Managing the Home, Managing the Homeschool still gets a lot of hits with people looking for that information!

8. Now by order I don't mean "we're putting the house on the market and need to get top dollar" clean, or "featured on the tour of homes" clean. When you homeschool, kids are in the house 24/7. The place is going to look lived in! Order is relative. These years go by super fast. I can be super housekeeper when mine are gone, which realistically for me will be over the next ten years, (cept for Rosie!) I want to be enjoying movies, books, philosophy, parties, sporting events etc. with then NOW instead of fretting about the shine on my wood floors.

9. As soon as your kids can cook and do laundry - let them do it! It won't always be pretty but they'll get better with practice.

10. Encourage your kids to read and pray! This is the time in their lives when they have a great deal of free time, probably more than they are really aware of. Don't waste it! Especially for young men, they will never have this kind of time again in their lives to read, study and pray. If you can get them to see what a gift this is NOW, they will look back on this time with appreciation later.

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  1. I would say that you hit it right on with your list. Those are the things I too think are important (from the "solicalization" to testing- I never understood why).
    Good work Elena for putting a finger on it. Hope you don't mind if I copy paste to my dd (whom I am hoping will choose to homeschool my darling grandson).
    Janette<---"regular school" teacher for 25 years- home school supporter for much longer!


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