We lost our baby at 15 weeks. Just being pregnant and feeling the unborn baby move within me was such a blessing all by itself. The last day I thought I felt movement was the feast of St. Camillus de Lellis. He was an unusually tall man for his time which makes him quite an appropriate saint for our family. So this baby is our own Camillus. We know it doesn't fit with Galbraith, but he won't have to deal with that in heaven. :)
It was rather a traumatic loss with contractions and delivery of the baby's body at home. Then a middle of the night dash to the ER as the bleeding was unmanageable, followed by surgery with my marvelous OB. He respectfully examined the baby's perfect, tiny body with us. A boy. It was comforting to say our goodbyes with our doctor's most gentle help. Our hospital has a respectful means of disposition of miscarried babies so we felt peaceful with that option.
Unfortunately all this occurred in the middle of sickness in the house and we are all a little down, so returning to normal is much slower than we would like. We have had several delicious meals dropped off and Aunt Kari took the younger kids the entire first day so Kevin and I both could rest. The big kids have been doing the housework and taking care of the younger kids. We are so grateful for the abundant help and prayers. What a comfort they are.
We're grieving this baby and all our children we will not meet this side of heaven. And we are treasuring our children on earth, they are our comfort and joy. Each one is so precious. Our little army in heaven (part of the Church Triumphant) is praying us onward in our earthly walk with the Church Militant. We call that the Communion of Saints and it is one of the greatest comforts in recovering from a miscarriage. There is a lot of theology behind it but the most important thing to me is that our family, though divided between heaven and earth, is still united in loving God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Regina (7th) is our lone middle schooler this year. At St. Augustine's, the Middle and Lower Schools cover American History in the Modern History year. St. A.'s will also teach Literature, Composition, Taxonomy, Latin and, Schola. This is the grade St. A.'s students transition from one day a week in Lower School to two days a week in Middle School. They've hit the big time. :)
Dominic (5th) will begin Lower School!!!! His St. A.'s year will cover American History (which includes a great deal of literature and geography), Latin, Bible, Life Science (loads of hands-on activities) and, of course, Schola. I think he has had his backpack ready to go for months now!
Dominic is on the young end of the age range for Lower School and still struggles with fluency in his reading. This will be a challenge for us, so he and I will be working closely together to accomplish the work.
Come to think of it, this is Maria's (3rd) curriculum as well. She won't be doing Latin with Dom, and she will be in Seton Math 3 but everything else will be together. Dominic and Maria are nearly at the same level in most areas so grouping them makes sense and neither of them likes to work alone.
Schooling less independent students isn't always very linear. Moms attention gets diverted to a broken washer, a sick child or untangling an insurance problem requiring valuable time on the phone. Although I love my lists and checking the boxes, I do endeavor to let our interests go down a rabbit trail when a child indicates a desire. I have even enjoyed a little deviation from the plans on occasion. My main goal for this year is consistency but to use the inevitable real life distractions as a teaching tool when possible as well. And not to begrudge those rabbit trails. :)
We have two high schoolers this year, better known as Upper Schoolers around here. We are in Modern History in our four year history cycle. As always most of their curriculum is through our local St. Augustine's Homeschool Enrichment Program. St. A.'s Upper School covers History, Literature, Writing, Latin or Greek, and Schola (choir). Also Sacred Scripture and Philosophy for Monica (11th) and Logic II for Blaise (9th).
We have not penciled in any extra curricular activities yet. There are a few on the table. They would both like a job and I am sure they will be part of the annual (this-year's-yet-to-be-announced) Shakespeare production and participate in our wonderful parish youth group.
There are many significant steps in the path to adulthood in these years. Drivers ed, the discernment of college plans, social situations to navigate, and many new responsibilities for a teen. The school books are not necessarily separate from these events. All the details of high school come together to form much of who each teen will be as an adult. The goal is that the Catholic faith is their foundation and their compass, and the family is their comfort and support as they slowly head out to do God's will in their little part of the world.
Speaking of Fr. Hardon, I have never aspired to be a Marion Catechist. ' Those people' are much smarter, holier and surely have more advanced powers of concentration than I. However I loved Fr. Hardon before his death and even more so after his death, continuing to learn from him through his writing.
Fr. Hardon's massive legacy of writings and teachings are thorough and detailed. He wasn't the type of guy to give you lists, tips and bullet points, which I happen to love! Laura Berquist said that the Baltimore Catechism is Thomas Aquinas distilled. Well I have been waiting for Fr. John Hardon distilled. So I was delighted to find a list, a list! of tips from Father for spiritual growth!
As a catechist, and therefore teacher of the Faith to
others, you should have a deep understanding of the Faith yourself.
There is no better way of growing in your grasp of the Faith than by
meditating on the Apostles’ Creed.
Focus on one article of the Creed for each month of the year,
from January through December. Repeat the process each year. During
the month of January, for example, prayerfully meditate on the meaning
of the First Article. Ask Our Lord daily for the grace to better
appreciate what it means to declare, “I believe in God the Father
Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.”
Each day, if only for a few minutes, read a passage or two from the Bible which tells about God’s power in creating the world and keeping it in existence (e..g., Job 38, 39), or about the majesty of God revealed in the works of Creation (e.g., Psalm 8). Memorize short verses from Sacred Scripture which address God as Creator and Lord. The Psalms are filled with such acts of adoration.
Form the habit of frequently thanking God, if only in a word, for His countless gifts and blessings.
Make acts of humility during the day,
recalling and reflecting on the fact that, except for God, we would not
exist. For example, simply pray, "My Lord, You are everything, and I am
Several times a day, slowly and prayerfully recite the Glory Be to the Father..
When you make the Sign of the Cross, think of what you are saying – that you are making an act of faith in the Holy Trinity.
Daily recite a short prayer to your Guardian Angel.
Daily recite the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.
Cultivate the habit of often using the name Jesus
in silent prayer. When you get up in the morning and retire at night,
invoke His Holy Name. And during the day, learn to associate whatever
you are doing with a moment’s prayerful aspiration, pronouncing the
word, Jesus. If you do this, you will not only grow in your
belief that Jesus is indeed God Who become Man; you will experience the
spiritual power that is available to those who call upon Him in faith.
Dear Lord, help me teach my children how to live this life on earth, to face it's struggles and improve their worth in the Church and in civil society. May the result of my message to them be not just a lesson in a book, but their choice of right from wrong. I ask your guidance, Lord, to fill my place, to do my part in forging character and bringing Your grace to their hearts. Amen.