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I had so much fun presenting “B is for Brick” at the Kansas Catholic Homeschool Conference!
This was a brand spankin’ new talk, created just for this event. It’s about the ways our conversation with kids can help build the ‘interior arch’ that supports them against burdens both internal and external. I had to do a lot of thinking and praying about what I wanted to say (it’s all in the Free E-book you can download from Motherheart Press), and then I wound up adding more into the talk itself (always happens!) Ask for the audio if you missed it.
Thanks to all who smiled, nodded, laughed, gave me your email addresses and feedback, stayed to talk more, or responded in any way. This post, by the way, is very much open to comments, so thanks in advance for those.
I have a few more bricks for your collection, from mine:
Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.
You are not going around in circles, but growing upward, like a tree, in spirals.
Christ makes you more truly and fully who you are. Today, you are more fully realized than ever before!
It’s not a great idea until it’s well-expressed.
Unless it moves through you, it doesn’t get to you.
I’ve tagged some of my brick-y-est posts ‘Brick’ so you can find them easily with the search bar.
Then I collected my favs into another freebie you can get at Motherheart Press, which is just me, inviting your participation in the work of the Joy Foundation.
This is a shameless plug for my own book! I’m so excited that Angelico Press has published Souls at Work, and I have high hopes that it will be a blessing to readers. Someone has asked “What kind of book is this?” and it’s hard to put it into a typical category.
It is ‘self-help,’ because I enjoy talking to people who enjoy self-improvement. It is ‘educational,’ because I look at the world through the lens of the classical Trivium and suggest this as a model for self-educators and for teachers. It is ‘Catholic spiritual direction,’ because I strongly believe that your interior life will be much improved by taking on reality in all its forms – art, persons, subjects, buildings and more.
It is ‘poetic,’ because it is meant to give you entrance into my own lived experience, and so is written with a richness of vocabulary and diction that is sadly missing from many 10-bullet-point books. It is ‘hard,’ because it invites you into the adventure of working out your salvation in the rough and tumble tensions of things that are difficult for you. It is a ‘workbook,’ because I ask you to do the work of writing it for yourself (!), or, at least, responding to its questions to make it truly your own.
It is ‘dangerous,’ because there is no true growth or education possible apart from venturing into the unknown territory of the Real World with only our imperfect realization of Christ to guide us. It is ‘Catholic,’ because it is deeply indebted to and respectful of the Faith, and is predicated on my own love for Christ and His teaching magisterium…without being at all a work of theology.
What else? A fountain of youth? Yes. A great conversation starter? Yes. A fun romp through science, art, literature, architecture, and more with, not an expert, but an interested fellow student? Yes. A help in understanding relationship dynamics? Yes. A new perspective on the new evangelization? Yes!
So, as one who is obviously totally unbiased about this book, I highly recommend you get a copy and share the news that it is available. THANKS to all who take the plunge and wade into this ‘invitation to freedom’. Together, Catholic writers and readers must discover what it means for an artist to be, not a law unto herself, but a member of the Body of Christ. I so look forward to your response to this book. Please tell me what kind of book it is when you know!
Thanks to Anna Duran and the Catholic Education Resource Center and Crisis magazine for these reflections from Mitchell Kalpakgian on Louisa May Alcott’s Plumfield as a great model for educators. I’m pretty sure I’m a home educator because of Louisa . [Read more…]
If I could make one book required reading for Catholic parents and educators, it is Stratford Caldecott’s Beauty for Truth’s Sake. In six succinct chapters, he leads readers from the history of education’s disintegration to a vision for its restoration and ‘re-enchantment’. Caldecott’s proposal to return wonder, beauty, integrity and, thus, enchantment to the sphere of education calls for a reawakening of some ancient sensibilities. [Read more…]
You may not think of yourself (or me!) as ‘an intellectual,’ but you should still read this book! Sertillanges does a great job of proposing intellectual development as a) integral to a Catholic spiritual life, b) within the capacity of most every person, and c) enjoyable. He gives suggestions for life-long learning, self-discipline, balancing study with ‘real life,’ and more.
Good: Give to college students Better: Read, take notes, and give to teens Best: Read slowly with friends and older kids, add refreshments and conversation, linger.
I enjoy any chance to give a synopsis of The Intellectual Life, with recommendations for parents seeking their own educational enrichment, or for parents presenting this topic to teens. The intellectual life is very closely integrated with the spiritual life, and with the life of work and home.
Here is the talk from the 2017 KS Catholic Home Schooling Conference
Handout (quotations from the book)