Thursday, January 23, 2014

Daybook January 23rd, 2014

Outside my window...
Cold very Cold! I think I saw that it was  6 degrees out.  It is a good time for staying indoors and getting a lot of school done…..plenty of warm blankets and hot chocolate today. 

I am thinking...
about our school year.  It has not gone very well.  I chose to go with the onlinepublic charter school and I am regretting it horribly.  It is just not working.  I thought having all of it packaged in one place with all the teacher help would free me up for concentrating on the Liturgical Year and Religious Formation.  Unfortunately what it has done is to tie me to my desk and computer with online meetings , logging attendance, evaluations, and more.  The kids have been tested to death.  First there are benchmark testing, Aimes Web teacher evaluations and testing, State testing practice test, and State Testing.  All of this is in addition to very rigorous course work.  The online classes with instructors do not consist of lessons from the course work but a preparation for testing.  And I cannot even begin to tell you how unhappy I am with the common core standards!  With all of this the things we enjoyed the most seem to get left off the radar………….like living the liturgical year, read aloud time, tea time, and even family prayer is suffering.  Religious education and memory are always being put on the back-burner.  I have not even posted to my own blog.  The kids are unhappy and I am unhappy!  This has been the worst year I have had in my 18 years of homeschooling.

Last year was so peaceful.  I planned my own as always.  We used these wonderful History Plans and Papal Lap book.   Why on earth did I make this switch?  Now I am faced with do I scrap it all and go back to our own mid-year?  Or do I finish what we started.  I usually finish what I have started, and then change but this is so unbearable.  Please pray for this intention because for once in my life I am not clear on what I should do.  I do know this much…………what we have been doing goes against everything I believe in regarding the education of my children. 
I am thankful... 
my new 12 passenger van.  Oh how we have needed a new vehicle.  Our old vehicle was only 8 passengers and with the possibility of adopting 4 more we really needed a bigger one.  It was literally falling apart as I drove it.  We got such an incredible deal from a good Catholic man who owns a dealer about 30 min from us. 

Our Secular Franciscan Fraternity will be having two new professions on February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation.  What a glorious day it will be for them!  Congratulations Jessica and Chick! 

I am creating…

a meditation for this weekend’s pre-profession retreat for Jessica and Chick.  My talk will be  “In Humility and Poverty with Simplicity” .  Hopefully, I will be ready.  J 

Celebrating the liturgical year...
so much coming up.  St. Francis de Sales tomorrow, the Conversion of Saint Paul on Saturday, Saint Angela Merici on Monday, and our dearly loved Saint Thomas Aquinas on Tuesday………..and I have nothing planned.  My husband and I will attend a special evening event at our parish for St. Francis de Sales since he is the parish patron.  I pray I can get something together for Tuesday…….after all St. Thomas Aquinas is one of my children’s patrons. 

On Life Changing Events……. 
we are in the process of a home study with the intent to adopt a sibling group of four.  I cannot say much about this at this time.  Please pray for us.  This was a major decision for us. 
I am hoping...

to find another bunk bed by next week.  Eric and I are moving into the smallest room in our house to make room for the children we will be adopting.  Lots of shuffling going on here.  We turned the basement into a family closet and laundry area like the Duggars to make room in the bedrooms.  With no dressers, there is so much more space for beds.  Everyone’s clothes will be in the family closet with the exception of my husband Eric.  His will be in our room.  We’ve had the closet in place for two months now and I honestly love the system. 
I am praying...

for their birth-mother.  She did not voluntarily give her children away they were taken away.  My heart aches for her.  I pray for healing, peace, and grace.  Please pray for her too.

I am reading...

20 Secrets to Success with your Child by Erin Brown Conroy  I bought it after listening to her talk on Homeschool Connections.  They had a wonderful Refresh Conference that I listened to recently.  It was a great reminder of why I am homeschooling.  Unfortunately what I am doing is not achieving the goals I had hoped and seems so far away from my original purpose for doing this………..  I really need to pray.

I am pondering...
Like Mary, may we nurture the light born within us at Christmas. May we carry it everywhere in our daily lives. – Pope Francis

Something I want to Share...  
This one is for you Jessica………… It is a picture of the kids Papal Lapbooks we did last year courtesy off Jessica at Shower of Roses.  We did it as a Coop with another family.  Friday’s were such a joy.  Speaking of Jessica she recommends a new book “Our Holy Father the Pope” in this post.  I ordered it and mine came today…………so beautiful!  


For the remainder of my week...
§ Prayers much to pray about!
§ Choir and Strings this afternoon
§ Saturday’s Pre-Profession retreat

Another picture to share…
Our parish Seminarian reading to my kids.........
for more daybook entries visit Peggy


  1. Oh! Your charter school experience sounds absolutely awful! If I was in your situation I have a feeling I wouldn't be able to last the whole year, and I, too, always try to finish what I start...

    We are using a local (home-based) charter school for our children, but it sounds very different from how you have described yours. However, I do have friends that have left the charter we are in too, due to too much testing etc. I think the saving factor for us has been that our "ES" (the teacher/tutor I have come to the house once a week) is actually another Catholic Homeschooling Mom from our area who I have been friends with since I began home-educating. She taught Math and Science at the tiny private school (5-10 students) that some of my siblings attended for High School and has been such a blessing for us. She makes sure that she keeps the paperwork to a minimum for me and that we actually accomplish real school work when she is here. (She was here for a few hours this afternoon and completed a PAL Writing/Reading lesson with my 1st grader, taught 2 Saxon Math lessons to my 3rd grader and 2 to my 6 & 7th graders, and reviewed/edited the four older children's writing assignments for me.)

    We don't have attendance to log. I can choose my own curriculum. We do have a "work sample" collected each week, but even that hasn't been hard. Testing has been the biggest challenge, but mainly because my children had fallen really behind in Math when we were using Teaching Textbooks. I am glad that we discovered that through our state testing, and switched curriculums. They are going to have to learn testing skills eventually, for when they need to take the SAT, so I try to look at the time spent with testing as practice for that. However, my thoughts on that might change when they implement the Common Core testing in our state next year. sigh.

    Anyways, I will most definitely pray for you and your decision.

    May I ask what type of 12 passenger van you purchased? We are hoping to get one sometime in the next year or so.

    And THANK YOU for sharing the pictures! I loved seeing them! And I am so happy to hear that you like the book! :)

    1. Thanks for the prayers, I certainly wish we had a charter option like yours. It sounds ideal! I would give anything to pick my own curriculum and to have a Catholic Teacher would be wonderful. This common core is awful! A few of the kids teachers are not very Christian. They don’t come to our home. The classes are done in an online classroom. I have had to take issue a few times with tone of voice and certain words used. They have corrected it for the most part but I still listen in. I was very upset at the beginning of the school year with one of the teachers. She held an introduction class and posted what I felt was a very inappropriate picture of herself wearing a very low cut dress.

      You know my oldest son Tony graduated from this same school. We used it for his highschool and had him take Theology classes with our associate pastor. I really loved the K12 curriculum. Easily adoptable for a Catholic which made it a good highschool option. It was a good experience back then. His teachers were Christian and those who were not were at least respectful. There were not the demands made especially regarding standards and testing. Many of his fellow Catholic Homeschooling friends attended the same school. He graduated with honors and had no problem sliding right into the rigorous work and life in the Seminary. He graduated in 2008 and the school has changed a lot since then. In fact our state standards have changed a lot since then. Sigh….. My husband are in agreement that the tempo of our house needs to change. After spending sometime in Adoration on Friday before the storm, I came to the conclusion that I had to realign my priorities and make sure that Our Faith was coming first! If I can’t work something out with the school, I’ll need to scrap this. We both had a lot of peace coming to this decision.

      Our Van is a 2009 Ford F350 like this one . They have an excellent rating. Ours is fully loaded and only had 27,000 miles on it. The condition including the interior is as if it was new. We live in Central Ohio and the person who sold it for us went all the way to Pennsylvania to get this for us. He’s a good Catholic man who owns a dealership in a larger city. He comes from a family of 11 and understands the challenges so he really searched hard for the perfect deal for us. It took a while to get used to driving for me because it is so big, but I love it. We did not ask for all the bells and whistles…we just wanted something affordable. I never dreamed we would find something affordable and with all the bells and whistles. We had been praying for a long time and God really came through just as my old van was falling apart right under me. I was think yesterday that for humilities sake I should probably get in my old oil leaking van and drive it around the block.  I’ll pray for the perfect deal for you too. Let me know when you get one. I’d love to know what you got.

  2. Love the pictures! Have a blessed week.