First of all! If you live in California, and are homeschooling, and aren't enrolled in a charter or private school, don't forget to fill out your California Private School Affadavit You can do it online, it takes only a few minutes, and the deadline is October 15.
This week my family started a new 2-month term -- I am calling it the All Souls Term to remind me and mine to pray for the members of the Church Suffering. If you remember, I choose a patron saint for each 2-month term. Here is the first term and second term.
Saint's Name Generator to find a patron for the term, I drew St Bernard of Clairvaux. Though his saint's day is August 20, he was a close friend of St Malachy of Armagh, and even wrote a biography of him. Paddy's very good friend Malachy (youngest of Chari) was born in October, and I was one of the first people outside the family to see him : ) so that is a neat connection.
Pretty much Bernard's whole family were Saints or Blesseds, so he might be a good saint to pray for in regard to one's efforts at raising a family.
I have a book around the house called The Family that Overtook Christ that I got a long time ago as a new Catholic. I usually have my kids read it in 8th or 9th grade. I don't think Kieron has read it yet, and since this year we are on the Middle Ages it might be a good time.
If you want to see an example of Bernard's writing, here is a passage on our Guardian Angels, who we celebrated this week (October 2).
In this, therefore, brethren, let us affectionately love His angels as one day our future coheirs; meanwhile, however, as counselors and defenders appointed by the Father and placed over us. Why should we fear under such guardians? Those who keep us in all our ways can neither be overcome nor be deceived, much less deceive. They are faithful; they are prudent; they are powerful; why do we tremble? Let us only follow them, let us remain close to them, and in the protection of the God of heaven let us abide. As often, therefore, as a most serious temptation is perceived to weigh upon you and an excessive trial is threatening, call to your guard, your leader, your helper in your needs, in your tribulation; cry to him and say: “Lord, save us; we perish!”
I was going to write about the books I am using with the boys, but this is already getting long, so maybe in another post. I will say that I am happy with how things are going. We had a LONG break from formal academics -- I think close to a year now. The kids are not complaining, so I think they were ready to get back to some studying.
I usually pray quite hard about what direction to go in during a particular season. Last year I planned to mostly unschool, and that is what we mostly did. This year, I really really wanted to do a poetic curriculum -- a Circe-style curriculum.
But I came up against some of my limitations here, and the limitations of our situation. Basically I need to have lots of things the kids can do mostly on their own, that are simple to pick up and go with. Because we are doing a lot of picking up and going.
Now that I am thinking about it, it is much like the Avilian Method, again. We are doing the 4Rs in a very streamlined way (ie using workbooks and textbooks for spines) and then just adding readings and other activities on to that base.