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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Virulently anti-intellectual - discuss

Got my granddaughter with me and lots of other work to do today, plus another post I'm working on and the end of the college course I was taking - so I don't have time to tackle this head on just now but...

Long time reader Linds just commented that I come across as being "Virulently anti-intellectual"

I'm not sure what that means since this blog is all about the learning the kids and Mr. Pete and I try to do!   So what does it mean to be "Virulently anti-intellectual?"  and can ya'll give me some examples of where I have come across that way?

and remember - being pro-homeschooling and not so pro-public or private schooling isn't really the same thing.



  1. Knowing we have bumped heads more then a few times in the last twenty years….
    I am amazed that you are going to college again. You really ranted against college in more then one post. Maybe your priorities have softened? Maybe you think that you will only be "heard" with a BS (I am assuming in education) behind your name?

    I never thought of you as anti intellectual. I knew you were always doing what you felt was best for your children. I appreciate that you worked hard to bring your LD kids to grade level reading- which is no easy task. It probably would not have been accomplished in the regular school system.

    I feel it is a bit unjust to "blame" your oldest's failings on a virtual school- classes taken in the house- but take credit for his accomplishments. I also take a bit of offense that you ranted that the Catholic schools are producing pregnancies---and yet it happens to many people---doesn't it? Teens have free will and we cannot control another's urge to sin or not sin. It is an ageless problem/ happening.

    Things have changed a great deal in education since you started homeschooling. I see great movement in Catholic ed and homeschooling ed. Instead of finger pointing blame it is nice to figure out what does work and push it. That would be a pretty huge change in how you write.

  2. Janette, I have NEVER ranted against the idea of college or higher learning. Ever. I have railed against the cost and questioned the value. I've even sneered at certain courses and majors - but the idea of higher learning I have always appreciated.

    The college I'm taking classes from is the same one I got my associates from and it is online now - so I can take class from the comfort of my own home. And I've noticed that this school remains focused like a laser beam on results - it's a no-nonsense school.

    I NEVER blamed my oldest kid's problems on the virtual school. He had a LD before he attended there and we got him fixed up BEFORE he attended.

    Catholic schools are producing pregnancies - and for the hefty cost of $3000 a year. I think my family has proven that you can do that for a whole lot less! And yea, kids can have free will - but I'll never forget the mom who cried talking about how her daughter was pressured into giving oral at an 8th grade party of her fellow Catholic School students. Nuf said.

    I have to write about what I know. What I know is that with Common Core coming down the line we face even more teaching to the test than ever before- and that's not real education - at least not the way it should be. It's a way of choking the joy out of learning. I can't change stick my finger in the air and judge the winds of opinion. This blog is, what it is, but it's interesting that you and Linds are seeing things that aren't even there - which makes me wonder if I'm getting my point across clearly.

  3. I agree. If that is what you think you are saying, then it does not come across that way in your writing. At least to me.

  4. I guess it would help me more if you had a specific post that I could look at as an example. I know what's in my head and what I intentions were but without an example of how that came across I'm at a loss.

  5. I really don't have time to look through all the posts. Just reread your third sentence to see that you do not promote college. I don't know when you went on and on about college not being worth it. I remember cringing when I read it.
    You posted about your mother's degree being just a piece of paper in May. That piece of paper kept you fed and housed for many years.

    For the record, I don't think college is an end all, but I encourage higher learning. I encourage responsible ways of getting those degrees. I feel on line degrees are a waste of time for teens and twenties with no practical experience.

    I think, within most of our old group, that it doesn't seem to matter where kids go to school when it comes to sex. The constant Catholic school bashing is old. People do the best they can. In general, kids find sex, do oral sex, and when conservative parents find out, they are appalled. Basically, that is the world we have always lived in. My mother's best friend was pregnant at the altar. She is still married- 65 years later.

    I wasn't speaking about your son's LD being blamed on the virtual school- but his falling away from the Catholic teachings.

    Elena, I think the original commentor was wrong. You are not anti intellectual. You have your children read/ listen to amazing literature. They have had math tutors from the get go when you were stuck. They went head first into music and sports.

    I don't have any answers as to how best to raise a child. I have seen successful, loving, devoted people emerge from almost every schooling environment. I have also seem some of the biggest jerks make the largest mistakes out of "perfect environments". Your kids, my kids, Ruth's kids, Renee's kids all seem to be the loving ones. praise be to God! He has His way no matter what we do in the long run. Bashing one way or the other should have popped out at you as the wrong direction- about a year ago. It did me about eight years ago.

    And I do use your saint links when putting together things for my grandson- thank you :)

  6. This is what I wrote about my mother's degree - you're taking me out of context.

    I'm keeping this all in perspective. My mother had a master's degree from Michigan State. When I was going through her things after she died, I found her degree all rolled up and stuffed into a lock box with insurance papers and a lot of receipts. I'm sure mom would say that it was nice that she had her degree - it saved her from losing her summers to the endless required courses that other teachers had to take. And of course it opened doors for her.

    But her degrees weren't what had her a wonderful person and a kind and loving mother. She knew lots of stuff that she learned herself simply because she was such an avid reader! She was the kind of person you would want on your team for Trivial Pursuit ya know?!!

    Finding her degree sort of haphazardly put away like that reminded me that degrees, like money and possessions, can't go with you after death. When you get right down to it, it's just a piece of paper.

  7. Here is where I wrote about college debt

    which again is not the same as bashing the notion of higher education and advanced learning.

    Here is my "bashing" post on Catholic schools -

    Note that I speak fondly of what my Catholic school education was and then decry what it eventually became.

    I'm beginning to think you and Linds are both taking things entirely the wrong way.

  8. You asked to discuss. I told you what stuck out to me. If you don't want a discussion- don't ask. We will go back to silent comments.
    I enjoy 90% of your posts and will continue to read them.

  9. Don't take it the wrong way Janette. I've found the discussion very enlightening and surprising. I thought my meaning and intent was coming through one way and it's leaving my keyboard and coming across the monitor as something different!

  10. For what it's worth, Elena, I've been reading your blog for a long time and never thought of you as "virulently anti-intellectual" or anything close to it. But perhaps that's because I largely agree with what you have to say. ;) College, degrees, homeschool programs... they are all keys that open doors. Tools that we can use or not. The intellectual life may or may not be attached to them but certainly does not exclude them. And that's what I have taken away from your blog. I think some people will just read what they want to from your words... from the foundation of their own emotions and experience.

  11. Thanks Melody. In all honesty I'm not always the most focused reader when I'm reading something that I know is opposite to my world view. It takes me time to digest and really understand what I'm reading. So I totally get it.

  12. It was me and I don't really have the time to debate this today but I'll give it a shot. For the sake of full disclosure, I firmly believe that anyone who teaches their children from a religious foundation is inherently anti-intellectual.

    Your stance on gun control, immunizations, history from a non-white American perspective, and economics show that you are more wedded to an ideology rather than a desire for knowledge regardless of whether it's stamped with an elephant or a donkey.

    You state that Catholic schools breed pregnancy when multiple well conducted studies show that a large majority of students have and always will have sex and abstinence only education leads to more STIs and pregnancy. Countries such as Sweden that teach sex-ed have some of the lowest rates of pregnancy in the world. They are more concerned with the immediate health and well being of all of their citizens rather than holding to an ideology that clearly does not work.

    In essence ask yourself this: have you ever considered two viewpoints one typically liberal and the other conservative and after careful study and thought realized that you had been incorrect and altered your opinion even if it conflicts with the part line? If not, I would posit that you are more concerned with forming an echo chamber consisting of your malleable children to reinforce your own seemingly untested beliefs than you are with teaching them to strive for true knowledge no matter the source.

  13. Well yea Linds. You may recall me posting on a few occasions that I used to be a Liberal Democrat. I was raised in a union household in a GM run town. We had a picture of Kennedy on the wall next to the Pope! The first time I heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio I was so mad I almost drove my car off the road - so yea - I've "considered two viewpoints one typically liberal and the other conservative and after careful study and thought realized that I had been incorrect and altered my opinion."

    You know a lot about me. I know nothing about you, but I suspect if you blogged, and I read that blog, I would have already known your POV and understood where you were coming better. I get it now. Thanks for clarifying.

  14. TBH I don't think you really changed your views in that instance so much a rebelled against how you were raised as many people do.

    From an outsiders perspective it seemed to wanted your life a certain way and adopted an ideology that supported that. You wanted to be a wife and mother and have that validated. And that isn't really honoured in today's society (I'm not saying that I believe that it's valueless just that our culture may consider it so) I think you've adopted the party line a on many issues that are more political than logical. Being a religious conservative is a huge part of your identity that educating your kids more broadly is frightening for you.

  15. I was 31, I'd been married 11 years, my grandparents were dead and my mother lived on the other side of the country. It was a conversion, not a rebellion.

    I also expected to send my kids to school and go back to work or school - and again there was a conversion really of all my views - political, social and religious. And in all instances I listened to the other side, went looking for a compelling reason to stay in my comfort zone, but ultimately was persuaded that my original views were wrong.

    As for frightened - for cryin out loud- I blog under my real name! Doesn't seem to be the action of someone who was ashamed or scared of her circumstances.

    But what about you Linds? I'm more intrigued about where you live and your background. I'm going to guess from some of the things you write you might not even be in the USA. Am I right?

  16. Linds. One comment you might want to think about
    "Countries such as Sweden that teach sex-ed have some of the lowest rates of pregnancy in the world. " They don't have the lowest rate of getting pregnant- they have the lowest rate of a pregnancy continuing to live birth- and they also believe in "mercy killing" for those infants who make it to birth and are deemed unhealthy.
    In fact, one in four pregnancies are aborted in Sweden according to Swedish sources. They really are interested in only having a perfectly healthy population. That eliminates some pretty incredible people.
    Safe Sex? It is a myth!

    Last, Linds, homeschooling's largest growing group are intellectuals who have no real religious affiliation. They are looking for real learning. Two years ago the number of homeschoolers eclipsed the number of children in private (including Catholic) schools in the nation! You have missed the train ;)

  17. Never mind Linds84 - I knew we had talked about your background before but I couldn't remember the particulars. Found that in the comments here.


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