Sunday, August 27, 2017

St. Rose of Lima Feast Day: August 23: Our Simple Celebration


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On August 23rd, the Catholic Church celebrates another beautiful saint, Saint Rose of Lima.  She is the first person born in the Western Hemisphere to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and she is the patron Saint of Peru and all of South America.

Since one of our daughter's middle name is Rose, named after Saint Rose of Lima, we celebrated our daughter's "Name Day" in honor of St. Rose of Lima in a few simple ways.


 
Before I go into how we celebrated this Saint and our daughter, be sure to watch this beautiful video about her life from Catholic Online




In the morning of August 23, I set up and read from the Saints and Angels book that gave a brief summary of St. Rose's life along with the Saint Rose peg doll that I received last year in the wooden Saint doll exchange that I participated in.  I also went outside and clipped a few roses off our rose bushes that are planted outside our kitchen windows.


Our daughter, who loves her middle name, "Rose", ate off the "You are special today" plate at breakfast.  I try to remember to have my children use this plate on their 3 special days: their birthday, baptism anniversary and their "Name Day", which means the day we celebrate the Saint they were named after.  Each of my 5 children have a biblical first name and then we used Saint names for their middle names.

 
We didn't do a craft like last year, but everyone enjoyed the strawberries I cut into roses and the pancake and bacon breakfast. :)


We also listened to St. Rose of Lima Glory Stories CD.


In years past we have read from Saint Rose of Lima chapter book to learn more about our daughter's patron Saint. 
And recently I just picked up this book, Saint Rose of Lima: Patroness of the Americas, at a local library book sale for a great price.  Maybe when my daughter gets older she will enjoy reading this version. 
 
Summer 2016 we made a stop at The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton during our family vacation.  Inside the beautiful shrine there were stain glass windows and our little "Rose" spotted the stain glass of Saint Rose of Lima really quickly! (And there were many stain glass windows to view!) I hope and pray our daughter will always look up to Saint Rose as a holy hero and role model as she grows older and more mature in her Catholic faith. 
Celebrating St. Rose of Lima and our daughter's special day was another way our family tries to incorporate the liturgical year in our daily lives and grow to understand and embrace the truth, beauty and goodness of our Catholic faith. For other ways we have celebrated the liturgical year, be sure to visit my page A Slice of Liturgical Life.  Maybe one of my posts will inspire you in some way. 

God our Father, for love of You,
St. Rose gave up everything
to devote herself to a life of penance.
By the help of her prayers may we imitate
her selfless way of life on earth and enjoy
the fullness of Your blessings in heaven.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, Who lives and reigns with
You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen







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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Another (Home) School Year Begins with Traditions: 2017-2018



We started our homeschool year this year on Monday, August 14 and I'm just getting around to posting about our new school year traditions since the past 2 weeks have been busy with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, the Solar Eclipse T-shirt and cookie making and savoring memories of the actual solar eclipse day!  And in case you missed our curriculum choices for this year, be sure to visit Our 2017-2018 Homeschool Classroom and Curriculum.  

Cake Tradition 
On our first day we decorated and ate our traditional cross cake that represents the name of our school, Sacred Heart Academy!


First Day Photos
We also took our new school year photos with grade signs.  I can't believe my oldest is a senior this year!  A few years ago I stumbled upon 13 Free Printable First Day of School Signs that I have been using.  I don't think I have taken first day of school photos every year since I started homeschooling in 2005, but when I remember to do so, I think it's a great way to start the year.  


All About Me Sheets
We also filled out great Back to School Fun Pack free printables from Not Consumed that included Scripture coloring pages, All About Me and a Scavenger Hunt.  My kids enjoyed these!  You can get these printables for free by registering your email and getting the The Ultimate Homeschool Printable Collection downloaded to you.

Paper T-shirts
Our children enjoy filling out their annual paper T-shirts to add to our "We've Had a Tee-rific Summer" clothes line.  My kids draw or write some of their summertime memories from this past summer on the shirts.  They always love to compare their drawings from previous years that we leave hanging up through the years.  I got the pattern from a teacher resource book, but HERE is a link to a similar t-shirt pattern you can use if you would like.  As they use their creativity and draw pictures and write words about their summer fun, it's always interesting to hear some of the memories they have had over the summer.  Even my big kids do this simple activity! 


Charting Growth
My kids also enjoy seeing how tall they have grown each year so each August we measure their height and record it on the door frame in our classroom.  Our son grew the most of all the kids.  He grew 3 inches! 

Do you have any new school year traditions? Please comment and share!








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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary: August 15th



On August 15th, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.  For more information and history about what this feast day is about, be sure to read my post at Peanut Butter & Grace blog titled, Celebrate the Assumption with Some History and Crafts. (I am now one of many contributing writers at Peanut Butter & Grace.  If you aren't familiar with them, be sure to visit their site and "Like" and follow Peanut Butter & Grace Facebook page.)

Here's how we celebrated the Assumption this year:


Our family went to morning Mass (and not only because it was a Holy Day of Obligation) and it was wonderful that my husband was able to attend with us and get to work a little late.  We sang beautiful Marian hymns and as always, it was a gift to receive the Eucharist at Mass and pray as a family and parish community.


After Mass our family headed over to Duck Donuts for a feast day treat.  Yes, those are maple glazed donuts with real bacon on top that my son chose to eat. Our dozen donuts didn't last long!


Then my younger 3 daughters did an Assumption craft with a printout from Holy Heroes.  I even got in on the fun this time and made my own picture.  Can you guess which one is mine? ;)


To close I wanted to share this absolutely beautiful and encouraging post from Ginny at Not So Formulaic titled 15 Marian Quotes Perfect for Catholic Mothers.  Thank you Ginny for this wonderful list of wisdom and inspiration!  I especially like the quote from St. Therese of Lisieux! :)

Motherhood isn't easy, and Satan loves to steal our joy. When you feel lonely, burdened, and worthless in your vocation, run to your Mother Mary. Here are 15 quotes perfect for Catholic moms.
 Photo Credit: Not So Formulaic

It was another beautiful, blessed feast day in the Church and the best part about it was that I was able to spend it with my family as we honored our Blessed Mother.








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Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse Memories 2017



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Today was one of those days I think our children will remember forever, as well as millions of others!  I know I will!  We spent the day observing the August 21, 2017, much anticipated solar eclipse with friends.  My husband observed the skies from his work and my oldest daughter started her new job at a local grocery store so unfortunately she was unable to get outside to witness the event.  :(

Here are some of the memories of our day....


Before my oldest daughter went to work we took some photos outside with my kids' t-shirts they made last week.  My 4 year old was not very cooperative with the photo session, as you can see.  :)


It was a busy day so we didn't make the cookies I blogged about recently.  Rather my kids munched on mini Moon Pies all day. :)  They also munched on these unofficial solar eclipse snacks.  I NEVER buy soda, so this 2 Liter Sun Drop was a treat, though it did hurt to buy it.  ;-)  And I used the "Moon" filter on Instagram for the black/white effect.


Our area observed 96% moon coverage with peak time at 2:48PM and at 1:00PM there was just a little sliver of the moon taking a "bite" out of the sun.  I have many photos on my blog's Facebook page that I posted throughout the day.  Here are photos at the beginning as my children and a few friends looked up with their glasses.  It was amazing to see the orange sun shaped like a crescent moon because of the moon.  My kids and I were saying "How cool!" a lot!


Here are some photos my son and I took. As the moon gradually covered the sun at peak, we started to hear crickets and it did get cooler.  However, even at 96% coverage, the day was still relatively bright and sunny, which goes to show just how powerful the sun's light is!   It was so neat to see the tree leaves act as "pinhole cameras" during the solar eclipse.  This is a photo of the shadows of leaves on our driveway.


It was an amazing and memorable day enjoyed by all!

O LORD, our Lord,
how awesome is your name through all the earth!
I will sing of your majesty above the heavens

When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place—

O LORD, our Lord,
how awesome is your name through all the earth!

Psalms 8: 2,4,10

Will you be making plans to see the next total solar eclipse in 2024?  Here are the best cities to do that!  And you can start planning for solar eclipse 2024.

What was your solar eclipse experience like?   Would love to hear in the comments!








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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Solar Eclipse T-shirts, Cookies, and Links



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We just finished week 1 of our 2017-2018 homeschool year. But, we didn't start all our subjects as we ease into another year. 

I will be posting about our first week and new homeschool year traditions soon, but right now I wanted to share in the excitement of the upcoming solar eclipse happening on Monday, August 21, 2017!! I've enjoyed learning about this historical event with my family as we get closer to the date. My area will see 96% of the moon obscuring the sun which is exciting! If you want to see what your area will see by typing in your zip code, go to this site and find out. Cool site!  And you can See How the Solar Eclipse Will Look from Anywhere in the United States at TIME by again typing in your zip code.

It really is amazing and fascinating!  Here are some quick and easy special things we did and will be doing to help make this a memorable and exciting time for our family!  I then have listed several links you may be interested in that I have found helpful and informative through social media and/or the internet.


T-Shirts 
I knew when I stumbled upon this DYI: Make Your Own Eclipse T-shirt post it would be fun to do, but I wasn't sure how I would have the time to get the supplies and actually follow through with it.  Then in a local homeschool group's Facebook group, a Mom was organizing this project and after paying her for supplies she would buy them and families would meet at a local park to make the t-shirts. Yes!  It was a lot of fun and after my 5 children made their shirts, I realized it wasn't that difficult to do.   My big kids and little kids all enjoyed this t-shirt craft! 


My kids can't wait to wear these on Monday, Aug. 21 ! 

Cookies
When I was at the grocery store recently with my oldest daughter, we walked down the cookie aisle to see how we could make solar eclipse cookies.  I made one tonight to try it out and on Monday my children will make their own cookies as a fun way to celebrate this historic day.  They are so easy and quick to make! (and a bit on the sweet side ;) ) 

This is what I used to make them:
Mini Moon Pies (of course!)
Sugar cookies
White cake icing
Wilton red and yellow sprinkles

I cut the moon pie in half and cut a circle out of the center of the sugar cookie.
Then placed the moon pie top in the center of the sugar cookie and the moon pie with the marshmallow side on the bottom of the sugar cookie.  Then used white icing to make the white ring on the moon pie and on the sugar cookie.  I then sprinkled red and yellow sprinkles on top of the white icing that was on the rim of the sugar cookie.

So here are the T-shirts and Moon-Pie cookies side by side: 


Links
I have had the book, Someone is Eating the Sun ,for awhile now and I read it to my younger children this week.  It is a cute story of how animals think someone has taken a bite out of the sun and they run to tell all their friends as the day got darker and darker.  It wasn't until their turtle friend explained what was happening that the animals realized no one was eating the sun, but rather they were witnessing a total eclipse.  Unfortunately, it looks like this book is out of print, but maybe there are other books on this topic you can find. 



 
FREE Eclipse E-Book from Apologia
 
FREE Solar Eclipse Foldable by Science and Math Doodles

Watch: Teaching Students About the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse: An Animation for Science Teachers, Parents, and Kids! at McGraw-Hill Education

This is the best simulation you'll find of the upcoming total solar eclipse at Mashable

Weird Things Happen with a Total Solar Eclipse at Astro Maven Blog

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely) at Space.com

Eclipse: Who? What? Where? When? and How? at NASA

2017 Total Solar Eclipse at The National Weather Service

2017 Solar Eclipse at The National Parks Service...

How to See the Best Solar Eclipse in a Century at National Geographic

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse at National Geographic

NASA will be live-streaming the eclipse at this link

As someone who loves the Catholic liturgical calendar I found The "Great American Eclipse" and the Catholic Liturgical Calendar at GetFed a fascinating read! 

Another fascinating read: Striking Phenomena During This Centennial Year of Fatima at Roman Catholic Man


Will you be viewing the solar eclipse?  Are you in the path of totality? 

Have a great day on Monday, August 21, 2017 and be sure to be safe with the proper viewing procedures! 








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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our 2017-2018 Homeschool Classroom and Curriculum


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We will be starting our 2017-2018 on Monday, August 14!  Where did the summer go?


I am grateful we have a room in our home that is designated as the "classroom", but when we first started homeschooling in 2005, we used our dining room table in our previous home and didn't have a room just for school. (And really a "homeschool room" is not a necessity to have a successful and thriving homeschool experience.) In reality school work is done all over the house and even outside.  We just have all our school "stuff" stored in one room.

Not much has changed through the years with how our room looks and how I organize our homeschool books. If interested, take a little tour of the room and an explanation of our book baskets and foam boards where our curriculum is stored and stays organized .  I must say I struggle finding the "perfect" system for many things, but our book baskets have worked for us for several years now so that's one thing I'm not changing (yet).  Maybe it will inspire you and be helpful!



In year's past I have spent most of my summers discussing, contemplating, discerning, feeling sometimes a bit overwhelmed about curriculum decisions and praying about our upcoming homeschool year.  This summer I didn't spend as much time researching and looking at curriculum options because I have soooo much stored in boxes from the past 12 years of homeschooling.  So I spent time looking through my storage boxes. :)

I don't buy a "box curriculum", but rather I pick and choose from several different companies of what I think will work best for each of my children's learning styles and needs.  That's one of the beauties of homeschooling..being able to meet each child's needs with curriculum choices that I hope will help them thrive and become successful, but most importantly will help them grow closer to our Lord and His Church.

If interested, here are posts from previous years of what I selected for each child:

2010-2011 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 5th, 3rd, 1st grade and a 3 year old) 

2011-2012 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 6th, 4th, 2nd grade and a 3 1/2 year old)

2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 7th, 5th, 3rd grade and a 4 year old) 

2013-2014 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 8th, 6th, 4th, and Kindergarten grade and I just had Baby #5)

2014-2015 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 9th, 7th, 5th, 1st grade and a 1 year old)

2015-2016 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 10th, 8th, 6th, 2nd grade and a 2 year old) 

2016-2017 Homeschool Curriculum (my kids were 11th, 9th, 7th, 3rd grade and a 3 year old)


In this post I will just list the curriculum for each of my children with their ages, but I'm still tweaking things. I'm still working out all the scheduling details, but it may look similar to our daily routine from 2015 with some changes, of course.)

*I use baskets and foam board dividers with subject headings to organize each child's books as explained HERE.

*I use one basket for all the Teacher Manuals for the various subjects and the foam boards are used to divide each child's Teacher Manuals so that I can quickly grab them when checking over work.

 * Family Morning Time
After breakfast, we will continue to do things as a family on our living room couch before we head upstairs to start our other school work.  Here is an outline of Family Morning Time:

- Couch Catechism
- watch CNN Student News (free, daily, online 10 min. news briefs that my children look forward to watching each day, Mon.-Fri.  I know CNN is not a favorite news source for many families (including mine), but I really do like how CNN Student News shows are geared toward middle school/high school aged kids.  Note: you can always preview the shows before showing your children.)  
- Couch Conversations (if you have heard of "Morning Baskets" this is what "Couch Conversations" time is just with a different name that I made up.) :)   Here are some of the books I plan to use with our Couch Conversations.
The Harp & Laurel Wreath (learn poetry together)
The Story of the Orchestra

Now onto the curriculum for each child...

Daughter, Grade 12 (Senior Year!!!!!!)

Religion/Theology
* Couch Catechism with Mom and siblings
* Various service projects throughout the year with our homeschool group/church youth group
*  Daily Mass on Thursdays and Adoration on Fridays
*  Once a month Confession
*  Tea Times where we spend time as a family reading over the Gospel readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass and have a fun snack

* Celebrate the liturgical year with faith, food and fun
* Following Christ into the World by Anne Carroll (Seton)


Math:
* My daughter will be taking a Math course at our local Community College in the Fall and Spring with their dual enrollment program.  So her math class will count as both high school and college credit.  Juniors and Seniors in public/private/homeschool may apply and test into this program.  This will be a big change for my daughter and for me!  But, it's exciting too!


English

* My daughter will also take an English course in the Fall and Spring at our local Community College

  History:   
* My daughter enjoys history and reads various books through the year on different historical topics

Extra-Curricular Activities:
* Piano
* Cross-Country with homeschool league
* volunteer at local library
* sing in girls' choir and play bells at church
* member of church youth group and youth board 

* baby-sitter for a mom at our parish

* My daughter just got her first job at a local grocery store near our home!!!!! (This will count as a Life Skills/Time Management/Economics/Accounting course ;) ) 

Son, Grade 10



Religion/Theology
* Couch Catechism with Mom and siblings
* Various service projects throughout the year with our homeschool group/church youth group
*
Daily Mass on Thursdays and Adoration on Fridays
*  Once a month Confession
*  Tea Times where we spend time as a family reading over the Gospel readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass and have a fun snack

* Celebrate the liturgical year with faith, food and fun
* The History of the Church with workbook (Didache Series)


Math:
* Teaching Textbooks, Geometry


Literature:
* World Literature (Seton)

Writing/Cursive 
* IEW US History-Based Writing Lessons (With 13 year old sister. We didn't finish the book last year so I'm just carrying it over to this year)
* Continue with daily cursive practice using Seton's Better Handwriting for Young Catholics 2011 workbook edition

 History: 
* Christ the King Lord of History text with workbook
* Continue putting in dates and timeline figures in their "Record of Time": Timeline Notebook Binder (from Homeschool in the Woods) as they read about world history.

Science: 
* Physical Science or Chemistry (with a homeschool co-op group, still working on the details) 

Foreign Language:
* Spanish course with Rocket Spanish 


Map Skills:

Extra-Curricular Activities:
* Piano
* Soccer team with homeschool league in the Fall
* altar server at our parish
* member of church youth group 

*mountain bike team in the Spring

 Daughter, Grade 8

Religion:
* Couch Catechism with Mom and siblings
* Various service projects throughout the year with our homeschool group/church youth group
Daily Mass on Thursdays and Adoration on Fridays
*  Once a month Confession
*  Tea Times where we spend time as a family reading over the Gospel readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass and have a fun snack

* Celebrate the liturgical year with faith, food and fun
* Read various Saint books and apologetic books (ie: Saint Kateri: Lily of the Mohawks, The First Christians, Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons? )

Math:
* Teaching Textbooks, Pre-Algebra


Literature:
* Various Literature suggestions in All Ye Lands-World Cultures and Geography

Writing/Cursive 
* IEW US History-Based Writing Lessons (With 15 year old brother. We didn't finish the book last year so I'm just carrying it over to this year)
* Continue with daily cursive practice using Seton's Better Handwriting for Young Catholics 2011 workbook edition

History: 
* All Ye Lands-World Cultures and Geography text with workbook
Continue putting in dates and timeline figures in their "Record of Time": Timeline Notebook Binder (from Homeschool in the Woods) as they read about world history.

Science: 
* Finish Nutrition Science Complete Set from last year and Reignite Glow with Physical and Spiritual Health (my daughter has an interest in Nutrition Science and Health so we chose curriculum to match her interests)

Foreign Language:
* American Sign Language (ASL) course (still researching which curriculum to use)

Map Skills:
Maps, Charts, Graphs

Extra-Curricular Activities:
* Travel Soccer team with local league

* member of church youth g
roup 

Daughter, Grade 4
Religion:
* Couch Catechism with Mom and siblings
* Various service projects throughout the year with our homeschool group/church youth group
Daily Mass on Thursdays and Adoration on Fridays
*  Once a month Confession
*  Tea Times where we spend time as a family reading over the Gospel readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass and have a fun snack

* Celebrate the liturgical year with faith, food and fun
* Jesus Our Guide (Faith & Life 4)

Math:
* Rod & Staff 4


Reading:
* Pathway Readers

Writing/Cursive  
* Draw Then Write

 
* Continue with daily cursive practice using Pictures in Cursive Book B

History:
* Read aloud A Child's History of the World
* Continent Study Bags that I bought from a friend
Continue putting in dates and timeline figures in their "Record of Time": Timeline Notebook Binder (from Homeschool in the Woods) as they read about world history.

Science: 
* a friend of mine who used to teach school gave me a whole bag full of The Magic School Bus Science Club science kits on various topics so we are going to try to do these kits again throughout the year .

Foreign Language:

Map Skills:
Maps, Charts, Graphs

Extra-Curricular Activities:
* Gymnastics classes
*
sing in girls' choir at church

Daughter, Age 4
* My Little Patron Catholic Preschool Printables from SaongJai
* Letter of the week activities
* Various workbooks
* Read-alouds
* She will be going to the Good Shepherd Montessori program at our church one day a week for a few hours.
* I'm in the process of planning activities for her to do independently and with her older siblings as I work with my children on a rotating schedule. I've been looking through these books for ideas:
Catholic ABC's from Catholic Icing
The Preschooler's Busy Book
A Year of Fun Just for Three's 

I am currently sketching out our schedule with the curriculum I have chosen.  I've been busy jotting down notes and schedules as rough drafts trying to figure out what will work best for our family.  But, even when the best plans are made and laid out, it doesn't always go as "planned."  So we will see how it all goes.  

On the first day of  this 2017-2018 homeshool year, we will continue with our new homeschool year traditions that includes morning Mass, a Sacred Heart cross cake, draw on their "We've had a T-riffic summer paper T-shirts", measure everyone's height and fill out All About Me sheets.  So I'll be doing a post about these traditions that we do this week!

May you have a blessed 2017-2018 school year whether you are called to homeschool or not!








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