Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

7-Quick Takes

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Join the other Quicktakers at This Ain't the Lyceum.

This was the week for back to school blog posts and articles, and quite a few about "Why we are not homeschooling."

Folks have their reasons, and I've given up persuasion.

However, I shudder slightly whenever I read something about putting the kids in "traditional" school. The school system we have today is "contemporary" or "modern."   It is not "traditional."

From time immemorial, children have learned primarily from their parents. Jesus was taught the carpentry trade by his earthly father, St. Joseph, and then Jesus taught his apostles via discipleship, not in a classroom.

For the most part at the beginning of the United States, folks that were literate learned at home, and they learned quite well - well enough to be able to read and understand the King James Bible and the Federalist Papers - something that some modern high schoolers and adults find challenging. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John and Abigail Adams and George Washington were all homeschooled. Even the patron saint of Catholic Schools, Elizabeth Ann Seton, was herself, homeschooled.

Our current form of education is courtesy of the Prussian education system brought to the US around 1840, and the establishment of the Department of Education 32 years ago.  There's nothing traditional about it.

This does illustrate how easy it is to lose our historical roots and perceptions in just a few generations. However, from an historical perspective, homeschooling is the norm, not the exception and homeschooling parents should feel very confident that by homeschooling their children they are following a time honored, centuries old tradition.

2. Josh Duggar, you are dead to me. 

3. The newlyweds are settling down and have adopted their first little pet.  She's a husky/shepherd mix and is super, super cute.  Of course the first thing my sister and I thought when we heard the breed was - "SHEDDING!"  But Calvin was brought up with a healthy mix of pet hair in his environment growing up, so he's used to it and I think Sarah has already bonded with this sweet puppy.  Can't wait to meet little Toledo!

4.  Every year, I put up stars in our dining room around our statue of Mary to celebrate Mary Queen of Heaven on August 22. The girls and I traced the stars and covered the with aluminum foil or sparkly paper and then hung them on the chandelier.  There they stayed, all through the fall and into Christmas and Valentines day until they came down on Ash Wednesday.

The girls enjoyed it.

My little boy didn't.  And as he grew older, the even embarrassed him.  He said they looked tacky.  So last year I ordered different stars. These were factory made and translucent - he still disliked them.

So this year I ordered some star ornaments from Factory Direct Craft. I'm hoping he will like those better!

August 2012 069

5. I will be spending most of tomorrow afternoon organizing books in the classroom.  I have been ruthlessly purging and rearranging. If it's damaged or dated, or just unusable - it's gone.  Everything else might end up in a sale next spring.

I never throw things out, so to have an entire trash can full of junk, is kind of freeing!

6. My computer keeps wanting me to update to windows 10.  I am running Windows 7 right now. The thing is, I like Windows 7, and I am not sure I'll like 10.  Besides, I have a printer and software that I don't think will work with 10, so I'm reluctant to try the update.

On the other hand, I really need to learn to use the latest versions of Office, especially Word.

7. I had a fascinating talk with a homeschool mom whose privately schooled oldest son just started college.  She told me the one thing that really fascinated her about the entire college admissions, scholarship, financial aid process was that they schools only cared about the ACT score.  Grades and transcripts were nice - but that score was paramount!  She said she spent hours talking to different schools and she started talking about academics, extra curricular activities, and leadership, but it always came right down to the ACT score when it came to talking about tuition.  She said towards the end of her search she basically just started with that.

What a shame that it's come to that when it comes to getting a higher education.

Nonetheless, I'm doing my own homework this year and reading  a lot of Lee Binz's stuff. Lee was able to get both of her homeschooled sons into college on full scholarships. So here's what I'm reading.


  1. My nieces have each received full ride scholarships on the merit of their grades and standing in their Catholic School classes. The last of the three begins classes on Monday. I wonder if her experience is a MidWest/ East coast thing?
    Several HS families have gotten full rides from Benedictine in Kansas on the basis of overall leadership and scores.
    I think your son will do GREAT. Makes sure to put that running on his applications. I've got my fingers crossed for a great scholarship.


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