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:


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Official "Catholic Through the Year" 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):

  •  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:

  • 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:

  •  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?  


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!


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
Celts (Usborne)
Nordic Gods and Heroes
Aztecs (Usborne)

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

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
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 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)  Here are the details:

As an Associate to Amazon, all links about when purchased, give me a commission.  It does not affect the price you pay for the product.  Thank you for your patronage.