One of the awesome things about being a book reviewer is being able to touch base with the authors of the books I review. Yesterday I posted my review of Strange Gods : Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life. You can find that review here. I was really excited when Elizabeth Scalia, The Anchoress, agreed to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions. So without further ado….here is my latest author interview at the Catholic Book Blogger. Continue reading……..
Is love or fear the better motivator?
Last week’s post on the Final Judgment (and Mr. Darcy and St. Therese) reminded me of two opposing views I’ve read in books about homeschooling. Some authors say that loving your students is the best way to motivate them to learn. Others say a healthy fear of the teacher is more effective. Here’s my take on the love versus fear debate.
The Machiavellian argument Niccolo Machiavelli famously wrote in The Prince:
“Here a question arises: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse. The answer is, of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved.”
Focus on a child’s fear of his parent(s)–whether it is called fear, respect, or discipline–seems to me to be particularly Protestant. I mean no disrespect to my non-Catholic fellow homeschoolers, but many conservative Protestants have a somber view of humanity. Calvin taught that man was totally depraved. Fundamentalist Christians generally believe that man’s nature is bad since the Fall. Thus a child has a naturally rebellious spirit that must be tamed.
Ruth Beechick was one of the early homeschooling experts among “Bible Christians.” I gleaned much from her book Heart & Mind:What the Bible Says About Learning. However, her works have the typical Fundamentalist shortcomings, most based on an overly literal interpretation of Scripture. Since “[t]he fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 3:12), she believes that education must start with discipline. Without a healthy fear (she says), children won’t be motivated to learn anything.
Read more at Contemplative Homeschool.
Catholic Book Blogger Giveaway
This weeks giveaway at Catholic Book Blogger is sponsored by Ave Maria Press. They are offering a copy of the book Strange Gods : Umasking the Idols in Everyday Life by Elizabeth Scalia (otherwise known as the Anchoress in the blogosphere). See the complete details by visiting my blog here.
God, Mr. Darcy, and St. Therese
Are you afraid of standing before God on Judgment Day? Does the thought of facing Him make you fear death? Even if you’ve committed mortal sin in your lifetime, you only have to fear God in one circumstance–if you die unrepentant, or with no intention of confessing your sin as soon as possible. Here’s how my husband, St. Therese, and Mr. Darcy taught me to think of the Final Judgment with peace.
My husband and I met through Single Catholics Online (now Ave Maria Singles). After emailing and talking on the phone for several weeks, we decided to meet in person. As I was preparing for our first date, my hands shook from nervousness. I told myself, “There’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Dan.” We had gotten along great in our conversations. We already knew a lot about each other. We were friends. We were old enough to have been completely genuine with each other, rather than acting a part. What did I have to fear? If it wasn’t God’s will for our relationship to deepen, it wouldn’t happen, but I knew Dan would not reject me as a person. Most (I’ll admit–not all) of my nervousness disappeared at these thoughts.
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.
Catholic Homeschool Support Groups on Facebook
Get connected to other Catholic homeschoolers on Facebook. There are a variety of groups.
I am seeing much more activity in the Catholic homeschool Facebook groups than I am seeing in the yahoogroup emails. If you are looking for support and Catholic homeschool info please consider these links to active groups. These communities are helpful and connect us to others like us across the map.
+ Catholic Homeschool Moms https://www.facebook.com/groups/24164460379/ over 1,000 members
+ Catholic Homeschoolers of NorthEast (PA, NJ,DE,MD) https://www.facebook.com/groups/115513477358/ over 70
+ MODG Moms https://www.facebook.com/groups/29412108736/ almost 200
+ Mater Amabalis(for Catholic Charlotte Mason approach) https://www.facebook.com/groups/materamabilis/ almost 200
+ Catholic Homeschooling Resources https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catholic-Homeschooling-Resources/137231707453 almost 700
+ Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschool FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Totus-Tuus-Family-Catholic-Homeschool/285307812834?fref=ts over 700
Did I miss any? Please add to comments.
Catholic Book Blogger Giveaway!
Do You Love Me?
A reflection on John 21: 15-19
Do you pray with the Scriptures? When you read them, do you allow a word or an scene from the passage to speak to you in your heart and draw out from you a prayer? It is essential for each of us enter into prayer in this way. Yet, it is a direction that many “voices” – from the world, and from your own ego – will dissuade you from; because it will reveal your idols, your weaknesses. The Lord seeks to lead us out of those “Egypts” in each one of our souls. To do so demands much; it demands a love that endures all things, hopes all things and to be completely truthful, I do not have that love yet. That is important for me to understand, not for me to despair but so that I can live in His truth, endure in His light and be drawn up into a more perfect love by following His voice.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21: 15-19
Heidi@Journey to Wisdom
Book Review: Anselm Academic Study Bible
In my 17 years as a converted Catholic, I have used a number of Catholic Bibles. I can honestly say that the newly published Anselm Academic Study Bible has become my go to Bible for research and study. I have already used it often to look up scripture referenced in the books I review.
This Bible comes in at a hefty 2143 pages plus an additional 16 pages of study aids. The scripture itself is the New American Bible Revised Edition. Before even getting to the scripture itself you get 97 pages of essays/articles. The Formation of the Bible; Geography, Archaeology and the Scriptures; and Sacred Scripture in the Catholic Tradition are just a few of the titles you will find in this section.
Continue reading here.
If God is willing…
” Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain’; whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that'” (James 4:13-15).
This passage from James the Apostle can almost seem silly. Should we really preface every statement of intent with “God willing?” I used to ask myself this question. That changed in the summer of 2002.
I was a new mom, struggling to adjust to sleepless nights and no time to myself, when it became clear that I would have to return to work. Never in my life had I considered being a working mother. In fact, I’d had many discussions in which I had said, “There is absolutely no way I would work when I had small kids.” But circumstances were against me. I had no other choice, if my family were not to starve or otherwise fall apart.
Eating my words
Going back to work was perhaps the most difficult thing I have ever done. What would people think? Would they call me a hypocrite? Would they think I was a closet feminist?
As I read Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence by Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, I had to face the fact that God’s will–at least His permissive will–could be different from mine on such a major issue. I had to let go of my will. When I did, I found a measure of peace.
Jacob and Esau contemplative homeschool unit
I have been blogging lately about my method of contemplative homeschooling. Here is an example of a unit I did a few years ago with my boys on Jacob and Esau.
The best way to start these units is for you (the parent) to meditate on the Scripture passage you will study with your kids. In this case, prayerfully read Genesis 25:29-24, 27:1-40. Since this passage is long, you could spread your meditation over 2-3 days or choose a smaller portion of the text to meditate on. Identify the main elements or themes of the story that speak to you and use them as part of your studies.
The themes I chose for this unit were twins, telling the truth, and comparing and contrasting. (I created this before I began starting each unit with my prayer time.)
Narration: Read “Esau and Jacob” from The Golden Children’s Bible aloud. If you have a different Bible, use only the parts of the story that correspond to the sections of Genesis noted above. Have your kids narrate it back and you write their narrations. Children 10 and up can write their own.
Copywork/memorization: “The Truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.