Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carinival (July 20, 2014)

Sunday Snippets

Time for another weekly roundup over at RAnn’s place. Why not join us with your own posts?

This week I posted my weekly goals, a short meditation on the Sacrament of Baptism and shared our curriculum plans for the coming school year.

Question of the Week

Were there any religious sisters in your parish when you were growing up?  Are there any now?  Which community (ies)?

I was born in NYC and our parish, Good Shepherd, was run by the Paulist Fathers. We moved around a bit, and I don’t remember if (or what) religious communities were on our parishes. Eventually, we moved to the Hazlet and Keansburg, NJ area, which used to house a lot of Sisters of Mercy. Nowadays, there are only two or three sisters left there. After marrying Michael, we belonged to different parishes, some which did and some which did not have religious communities attached to them. In our most recent parish of Eatontown, NJ, the Filippini Sisters are there, and they are wonderful! In the parish we belong to now does not have a community of sisters.

Revised Curriculum Plans for 2011-2012

We home educate year round and technically our new school year started in June; but, since I’ve seen a lot of bloggers sharing their curriculum plans I thought I’d share mine, too. We are using Catholic Heritage Curricula as our base program but Andrew is whipping through much of the curriculum already so I need to revise the curriculum a little bit. Plus, I am looking to integrate other programs and materials into our current plans.


Back when Andrew was in Preschool and Kindergarten, we were using CHC’s “Little Stories for Little Folks. They are cute little paper books that start off easy and gradually introduce more difficult words. Then Andrew started giving me a terrible time when it came time to practice his reading. Thankfully, things are much better now that Andrew picks the books he wants to practice with from the library. I also am still reading to him a LOT, especially chapter books. (Soon I’ll share some of our new favorite books.)


We are mainly sticking with Catholic Heritage for handwriting. Andrew is currently almost finished with the “Catholic Heritage Handwriting Series Level One“. When he is done we will move to the “What Do You Like to Do…” and then the “What Can You Do…” Easy reader and keepsake journal. These two books combine reading and writing. I’m also having Andrew do little writing projects such as handmade cards and spiritual bouquets for special occasions and practicing his name, etc.


We are using the “My Very First Catholic Speller” for our organized spelling lessons and playing Scrabble® Junior and other made-up games for enrichment and practice.


We are using the “MCP Mathematics Level A” for lessons; but, for July and August we are taking a break from the book and using flash cards I got at the dollar store to practice his addition and subtraction. We will go back to using the book in September. (My son loves using flash cards!) We also play games and take other opportunities (such as cooking and going to the store) to practice math facts.


We started with the “Faith and Life Series” text and workbook but we are just about finished with it. We are also working our way through the “New Catholic Picture Bible” and memorizing scripture verses such as these using the verses from my bible. We will soon begin working our way through the Baltimore Catechism and I’ll be enrolling Andrew into our local parish’s CCD program to prepare for First Holy Communion. I am also using “A Year with God” to celebrate the liturgical seasons.


We had been using the “Behold and See 1: On the Farm with Josh and Hanna“; however, except for a few fall and winter activities we are finished with the book. I’m not sure yet if I’ll go right to the CHC’s Second Grade Science book or use something else until next year. If you have any suggestions for science, I’d love to hear them!

History and Geography:

I’m not doing formal lessons for these subjects; but I am planning to incorporate some history and geography in the books we read. Also, since my husband is a truck driver, I sometimes put together impromptu lessons about the places Michael drives to.

Character Building and Miscellaneous:

We are using the character building cards that come with the first grade CHC lesson plans to practice manners, kindness, etc. for social studies. I am utilizing the library extensively to expose my son to art, art appreciation, poetry and music, although I’m not doing formal lessons for these subjects. As for physical education, I’m planning on signing my son up for karate (which he’s been wanting to learn) and get him involved with other sports.

What are your plans for your home education this year? And, if you have suggestions for science lessons, do share!

Getting Boys to Read Advice Update

Two months ago I asked for some advice on how to get my son to practice his reading. All the support and suggestions that I got from so many people in the comments, emails and calls were so helpful and overwhelming. I can’t tell  you how much that support meant to me. I was so relieved that I wasn’t alone in my struggles and gleaned so many useful tips. so THANK YOU to everyone for reaching out!

To update: Things have been SO MUCH BETTER!! First of all, I took a few days off of school just to regroup and take a break. A few days later, my son came to me and said, “Mama, can we use a different book for reading instead of the school books?” I said sure, and he picked out the book he wanted to read and the reading practice was like a miracle in action! He read through the book with no problems and when he came to words he didn’t understand, he tried his best to sound it out. WOW! I almost hit the floor! 🙂 From then on, I’ve let him pick the books he wants to read and we use them for reading practice. He still has his moments, mind you, but things are so much better than they were.

As for me, I’ve been able to relax a lot more and enjoy the process of teaching/reading my son. That’s made a big difference in both of us. Before, I was so concerned about making sure he was learning what he “supposed to” and being at the level I thought he should be – especially since he is more advanced in the math. I’m  not so worried about that any more. He will learn what he needs to in due time and that’s enough for me now. 🙂