Thursday, June 16, 2016

Catholic Schoolhouse at Home for Beginners

As we wrap up our second school year using Catholic Schoolhouse and interacting with many educators on Facebook interested in the program, I thought it would be helpful if I went through and wrote out some of the things I have learned about how to use this program at home only or in conjunction with the Chapters.  I do not want anyone to start using or be confused on how to use this REALLY SIMPLE and amazing program. Even though I had five children at the time in our school, only my smaller children used this program.  My oldest was a junior in high school when we started and I didn't want to uproot him at this point so he completed his studies with Our Lady of Victory School but unenrolled. So my children at the time were ages 4, 6, 8, and 9 when we started using Catholic Schoolhouse.

Last year was our first year using Catholic Schoolhouse, we started with Year 1 so that we were following along in the Blog and the Chapters even if there wasn't a chapter near me.  We started mid school year because we ALL needed something different (burnout and all that jazz).  It was totally a leap of faith and after begging DH about doing this mid year, he agreed and we did it.  

BEST. DECISION. EVER!



Since it was our first time using it I decided to keep it simple and just follow the program.  We did, we loved it and this year continued on to Year 2 but this time I  went ALL OUT and got WAY TOO MUCH to do, some of which we didn't even touch.  Mid Year (it's like the Heavens open for me in January that I always have AHA moments during this time) I read Dorothy Sayers's The Lost Tools of Learning.  HA!  I should have read this FIRST!  Then I'd realized I was trying to do too much. We minimized and voila! found our happy medium!  We learned SO MUCH and had SO MUCH fun! So what do you need to do to get hooked like I am?  Here you go, an easy to follow, step by step approach to using CSH at home.:


STEP ONE: Read this First!

If you are new to Catholic Schoolhouse, before doing anything else, please read Ms. Sayer's free pdf article entitled The Lost Tools of Learning.  It really helped me grasp the bigger picture about what Classical Education really is and what I wanted for my homeschool and my children, to enjoy educating them. 

STEP TWO: Decide on the Year to Work on!

Here is the Scope and Sequence broken down by year.



STEP THREE: What to Buy?

As a new Catholic Schoolhouse parent, you only need the Tour Guide, the Timeline Cards, and the Music CDs.  You can build your ENTIRE curriculum around these three items.  If you want the Science experiments that line up with the Science memory work, get the Supplemental Science Guide. (If you are like me who never got around to doing hands on science, this is a MUST!).  If you want Art projects that line up with the History memory work, then get the Supplemental Art Guide. (If you are like me that left ART for the very last and never had time for it, this is also a MUST!). So in addition to this, please DO NOT think you need to spend more money or your sanity on other things that you may not have.  You will need to decide which Year you want to start with.  I highly suggest you do the same year as the chapters even if you are not in one yourself (or yet).

STEP FOUR:  Check your bookshelves!

You will be surprised to find you probably have many living books that line up with CSH already.  Add these books in gradually and do not be like me and over do it!  :) Keep it simple, one book per topic should cover things.  If you are set up in quarters, one read aloud per time period is fabulous.  Read it together and have LOVELY discussions with all your children.

STEP FIVE: Add math and Language Arts/Phonics
You will want to add a mathematics book of your choice and also a Language arts program and Phonics book of your choice.  Use what you already invested in or what you already have at home.  Chances are you will not need to switch out of this OR eventually decide you want to do something simpler as I did for Language Arts. You can also check out Kathy's "What Else Should I Use?" PDF


So the bottom line is you DO NOT need to supplement to this program if you don't want to with just one exception, you will want a Math book and a Reading program.  You can, however, just stick to the memory work and do your separate math and language arts and phonics lessons and you and your children WILL still walk away with an amazing classical education and an incredible love of learning.  

Make sure you follow my blog as I work through my series of blog posts on using Catholic Schoolhouse At Home.  Next time, I will be writing about What CSH at Home looks like.

Have a beautiful day!



Friday, November 13, 2015

{Catholic} Homeschooling through High School


Have you homeschooled through the high school years? My son is a senior this year and I have written an article of what I faced at the beginning and in retrospect, the successful experience he has had since we took on the challenge of homeschooling him through the high school years. This is our story. I would love to hear what you did different? What did you like from our experience? Please share with others as they too might be just as afraid of this journey as I was four years ago.

One of the scariest tasks I have had to endure is homeschooling our oldest child through high school.  He is currently a Senior and it is only early November and boy have we had a busy year!
One of the things that I worried most about was, ahem, the social issues.  I did not want him to miss out on Prom, and band, and any other great opportunity he might have had at the local public school.  So for the first time, my husband and I when finishing the eighth grade, offered him the opportunity to go to a brick and mortar school.  His reply was quick, short and to the point and completely convinced me that he was spot on.  He said, “why would I want to expose myself to things that would damage my soul?” and went on to list things that on a moral level, would not be healthy.  He was right and since we did give him this choice, we honored his very mature response.  I should add, at this point he had only been homeschooled for three years as he went to a Catholic School from Preschool until the fifth grade. So once I let it sink in that I had to figure out his high school curricula, I got started on researching what we wanted to do.  I had taught in the past for fifteen years but always avoided jobs at the high school level. 
Since he wanted to study music and I am not musically inclined, this was a bit of a daunting task.  In hindsight, I can tell you even an area where mom is not familiar with is definitely possible.  Through speaking with people and asking for help from those in our area we were able to supply him with ample opportunities to train, participate and perform in many areas of music he was interested in.  Here are the examples of what we did to make this happen for our son:

READ MORE

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Official "Catholic Through the Year" Blog Tour


WHAT IS THIS BLOG TOUR?

Catholic Sistas is pleased to announce The Official Catholic Through The Year Blog Tour
This blog tour is intended to spread the word about this budget friendly downloadable and printable Catholic planner. We will be hosting a giveaway throughout the tour as well, which will include a free calendar and your choice of any/all of our available bundles {Homeschool Lesson Planner, Household Management, or Catholic Blogger}. Scroll to the bottom to see those details, and good luck! If this if your first time hearing about this amazing planning and organizing tool, you’ll want to stop by our store and our sample pages to see what all the fuss is! 

______________________________________

I'm excited to share with my reader friends, Catholic Through the Year, Catholic Planner created by CatholicSistas.  It is a wonderful planner with many options and BUDGET FRIENDLY! The neat thing is that it is not just a planner:



My favorite aspects of this planner is the versatility of it and the options it has.  For example, in the calendar/agenda area you have a monthly planner: 


Also following are weekly planners:



CALENDAR details
  • 154 8.5″x11″ downloadable pages to print using your own home printer or take to a printer to have it professionally printed – your choice! {you can also adjust your printer to print it in booklet size, making it perfect for tossing in your purse}
  • print in COLOR or B&W — your choice
  • beautiful cover sheet
  • 2015/2016 academic and 2015 traditional calendar available
  • this liturgical planner was created using the standard guidelines of the Church calendar, both the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969 used in the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite {the Novus Ordo} and the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope St. Pius V and reissued by Pope St. John XXIII in 1962 used in the Extraordinary Form {the Traditional Latin Mass – TLM}
  • year at a glance
  • 12 month at-a-glance pages {two-page spread per month for maximum use}
  • weekly planners for each month, giving you plenty of customizable space to meet your family’s needs
  • includes a personal information page,
  • contact sheet for friends, family, & acquaintances,
  • multiple pages for note taking {or doodling, if that’s what you like to do!},
  • and a meaty section on prayer, including verses from Sacred Scripture, quotes from saints, & references pulled from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as a truncated list of common prayers.

In addition, there is a Homeschooling section, which includes Lesson plans:



An evaluation sheet to use with each child as well as a grade sheet for each subject:



A homeschool conference kit (created by yours truly, btw):


HOMESCHOOL details
  •  beautiful cover sheet
  • 48 pages total
  • 36 pages of blank lesson plans waiting for you to get ready for the school year! Verses from Sacred Scripture, quotes from saints, and snippets from the Catechism of the Catholic Church laced throughout.
  • grade sheet printable to print as many times as needed
  • an evaluation sheet to monitor your kiddo/s’ work habits, as well as yourself!
  • and a report card printable for you to print on card stock, making your homeschool reporting look professional!

There is also a Household Management Set which includes a Birthday & Anniversary list and a gift list:

A Monthly and Weekly Menu organizer:



Also a budget planner:



HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT details
  • beautiful cover sheet
  • 40 pages
  • a re-usable to-do list to keep track of what needs to get done throughout the day {lamination recommended}
  • 12 month of meals calendars, August 2014-July 2015
  • weekly meal planner printable to print as many times as you will use it through the year
  • daily cleaning list {lamination recommended}
  • weekly & monthly cleaning lists {lamination recommended}
  • fall & spring cleaning lists {lamination recommended}
  • 23 day organizing challenge which outlines different tasks to tackle
  • household tips sheet with some cool tidbits of information to make your life easier
  • around the house master project list
  • budget list for finances for all months of the year
  • birthday & anniversary list, by month
  • AND a gift list, with a breakdown to designate Christmas, birthday, or anniversary
For my friends who are bloggers, she has an additional Set just for bloggers to get organized and to build your sponsors:


CATHOLIC BLOGGER details
  •  beautiful cover sheet
  • 53 pages
  • additional cover sheets for each blogging month
  • goals sheet for each month
  • daily maintenance sheet to keep track of your posts and what you’ve done with social media, did you pray?, etc.
  • brainstorm sheet with room to spread out and jot down ideas, tags, categories, SEO, where to promote, time and supplies needed, and any offshoot post ideas
  • guest post sheet to keep track of details for those who wish to write on your blog
  • sponsor sheet to keep track of ads, $ coming in, and start/end date for the ads
  • AND a month of posts sheet to jot down all the post titles for the month, as well as recording numbers for all your social media
See what I mean? This Planner has it all oganized for you.  If you are anything like me, you need this in your life!  Even if you are not a stickler for schedules and planners, this will always help keep your life glued together.  Something you can always jump back to when things haven't gone as planned. ;)  Want to see more pictures?  


THE GIVEAWAY


As part of the Catholic Through the Year Blog Tour Contest, I am lucky to be able to give away an entire “Catholic Through the Year” downloadable planner! Not only will you receive the calendar, but you will also get the home management, blogger, and the homeschooling bundles as well!

Want to enter to win? Simply leave me a comment below on why you would like to win. Want to increase your odds with extra entries? Go to Raising Little Saints Facebook page and like the page and share the link to this post on your own Facebook page (or click share below!). You will receive 2 extra entries for doing so! The contest opens today and will end next Thursday, July 30th with the winner being announced Friday, July 31st.

Want a planner but don’t want to wait for the contest to end? You can order your very own planner, or any portion of it, at the Catholic Sistas website. Not only is this a great planner, but it is extremely affordable too. Check it out here.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to leave your comment below! Good luck!

WHO’S PARTICIPATING - GO VISIT THEM AND SEE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT CATHOLIC THROUGH THE YEAR

JULY 20 – Ashley Woleben at Between the Linens
JULY 21 – Jen Frost at Faith & Fabric
JULY 22 – Hilary Weston at Sweetness and Joy
JULY 23 – Sarah Reinhard at Snoring Scholar
JULY 24 – Michelle Fritz at Tales from the Side of the Tub
JULY 27 – Debbie Gaudino at Saints 365
JULY 28 – Erika Drain at Raising Little Saints
JULY 29 – Catholic Mom
JULY 30 – Kerri Baunach at Journal of a Nobody


JULY 31 – Barb Szyszkiewicz at Franciscan Mom

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Our 2015 Curriculum Selection using Catholic Schoolhouse

I am finally back on the blog!  I have been so busy the past two years working hard to build content over at Catholic Sistas's Homeschooling Series that I had abandoned this blog.  Sorry about that.  I did try to keep in touch through the Facebook page and Pinterest pins but I know it is not the same.  After much thought, I have decided to continue blogging about our new found love for Catholic Schoolhouse, a Catholic Classical approach to education.  It is lovely, think of the one room school house but in your home and Catholic!  I blogged about our decision to use Catholic Schoolhouse at Home last month over at Catholic Sistas under Raising Saints. 

This year we will be using Year 2 which involves Creation until the 1500's.  I am very excited to share my book selection for this year to come. 

This is the Year 2: Creation to 1500s Tour Guide.  This guide is a 24 week detailed guide to teaching History, Geography, Religion, Latin, Math, Language Arts, Fine Arts, The Orchestra and Art.

Here are the additional materials I am using to help me teach all four children
ages 5, 7, 9, and 10 together.:


The CSH History Cards are fantastic.  On one side there is a picture of a historical event, on the back is the title and a gist of the event.  While you can just teach from this I like to add activities and resource books for further investigation.  

My textbook spine for History this year will be Founders of Freedom from the Land of Our Lady series.  I am using Kolbe Academy's Answer key as well.


I use the History Pockets on our notebooking composition books.  :)  There is clearly much more in these books than what we will actually use.

This book has activities for the children to make and do.  I am using Classical Kids as a resource for lesson planning.  


Ancient Egyptians and their Neighbors: An Activity Guide


Additional Resources:

The Real Vikings
Barbarians!
Celts (Usborne)
Nordic Gods and Heroes
Aztecs (Usborne)


The Kingfisher Book of Ancient Worldfrom the Ice Age to the Fall of Rome



Pyramid
Tutankhamun
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt
Jason and the Golden Fleece
The Pharaoh and Ancient Egypt
Tut's Mummy: Lost...and Found
Discovering Ancient Treasures



See Inside Ancient Rome (Usborne)
Ancient Rome
Roman People



Ancient Greece: Facts, Stories and Activities
Illustrated Guide to Greek Myths & Legends (Usborne)
Ancient Greeks (Usborne)
The Greeks: Crafts from the Past 




The Medieval WorldWorld History: Medieval World (Usborne)
Castle: How It Works


Oxford Children's History of the World
A Child's History of the World
(warning: this book is from a Protestant perspective, I use it as a form of apologetics with my children)


Oxford Children's History of the World: The Ancient World






This is the Science (HANDS ON) Guide for year 2.  I love this guide because I do not really love Science BUT my children do and it helps me pretend like I do - hahaha!  Well I should say I do like to read about Science (as a Reading Specialist I better like that huh?) but the hands on part I am normally horrible on.  Since we started using CSH, we do hands on science!  YAY!  

Here are some of the resources I will be using for this coming year:

The Usborne Illustrated Dictionary of Physics
The Usborne Illustrated Dictionary of Chemistry


Hidden Stories of Plants
The Visual Dictionary of Plants
DK Plants
DK Tress
Handbook of Nature Study
The Reason for a Flower
Plants that Never Ever Bloom
Peterson First Guides: Trees


The Usborne Internet-Linked Library of Light, Sound & Electricity



Wonder Why: Stars Twinkle
Reader's Digest Pathfinders: Space
The Visual Dictionary of the Universe
The Usborn Internet Linked Library of Science Earth and Space
DK Visual Encyclopedia of Space




Another amazing product by CSH, Their Art Guide for Year 2, which follows what we will be learning in History!  Perfection!

Here are some additional resources for Art:

The Usborne Introduction to Art


Draw and Write through History: Greece and Rome
Draw and Write through History: The Vikings, Middle Ages and Renaissance 
Draw and Write through History: Creation through Jonah


The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
Meet the Orchestra

Meet the Orchestra: A guide to the instruments of the orchestra through star constellations and Greek Myths


The Story of the Orchestra




Kites Sail High: A Book About Verbs
Mine, All Mine: A Book About Pronouns
Fantastic! Wow! and Unreal!: A Book About Interjections & Conjunctions
Merry-Go-Round: A Book About Nouns
Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives
I and You and Don't Forget We: What is a Pronoun?
Dearly, Nearly, Insincerely: What is an Adverb?


To Root, To Toot, Parachute: What is a Verb?
Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What is an Adjective?
A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun?


Grammar Tales: Teaching Guide
Grammar Tales Readers Box Set


In addition to the individual Religion lessons, we will be using these books to compliment the Memory Verses/Songs that go with the CSH program:

Great Moments in Catholic History
Treasure and Tradition: The Ultimate Guide to the Latin Mass
Sermons
The King of the Golden City
The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark
Great Bible Stories
Read Aloud Book of Bible Stories
Bible History
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass


St. Benedict: Hero of the Hills
Saint Dominic and the Rosary
Saint Paul the Apostle
Saint Joan of Arc
Saint Louis and the Last Crusade (not pictured)



Aside from using Catholic Schoolhouse at home, we are adding a Math, Writing, Reading, Religion, Grammar, and Spanish text to our schooling.  I will present them to you one by one by grade:


My fifth grader will be working closely with my fourth grader with some exceptions. He is using Living through God's Gifts for religion, American Cardinal Reader Book Five for Reading, all the other books are the same as his sister, except that in Math he will be further ahead than her in this book....as well as the Intermediate Language lessons because he stated these last year. They do share books so they have to coordinate using them at different times of the school day.





My fourth grader's books, she is using Intermediate Language Lessons for Grammar, Ray's New Intellectual Arithmetic for Math, American Cardinal Reader Book Four for reading, Living for God for a religion and Learn Spanish with Grace for Spanish. She also uses All about Spelling (not pictured)

Lingua Mater: Intermediate Language Lessons
Living for God
Learn Spanish with Grace
American Cardinal Readers Book Four
Ray's New Intellectual Arithmetic
All About Spelling 4 (not pictured)






Writing & Rhetoric: Book 1, Fables
Writing & Rhetoric: Narrative I
Writing & Rhetoric: Narrative II





This is the set my second grader is using. For Grammar he is doing Primary Language lessons, for reading he is using American Cardinal Readers Book Two, for Math he is using Ray's New Primary Arithmetic with the Classical Curriculum workbooks which there are four but I bought only the first two and come mid year I will buy the next two. For Spanish he and my first grader are using the Coquito Classico books found on Amazon. For religion he uses Living by God's Law in preparation for FHC.




Ok this is my first grader's books. For Spanish he will work with my second grader using the Coquito book, for Math he too is using Ray's primary Arithmetic but using the Series One work books. For Grammar he is using Voyages in English 1 and 2, for Reading I use American Cardinal Readers Book One to read to him, and for Phonics he is using Little Angel Readers A-D, for a Religion he is using Living in God's Love. He is using All About Spelling 1 for spelling.

Little Angel Reader A & Workbook A
Little Angel Reader B & Workbook B
Little Angel Reader C & Workbook C
Little Angel Reader D & Workbook D
Living by God's Love
Coquito Classico Spanish
American Cardinal Readers Book One
Ray's Primary Arithmetic text
Classical Curriculum Arithmetic Workbook Series 1, Book 1
Classical Curriculum Arithmetic Workbook Series 1, Book 2
Classical Curriculum Arithmetic Workbook Series 1, Book 3
Classical Curriculum Arithmetic Workbook Series 1, Book 4
All About Spelling 1 (not pictured)


Using Catechism in Rhyme, I have written a 100 page handwriting, copy work, and dictation book for my children to use.  I also have it available for sale, if you are interested, contact me through Facebook or via email: RaisingLittleSaints (at) gmail.com.  Here are the details:



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