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Saturday 31 August 2013

As of today...

....there are 21 new home schooling posts put on in August. I hope you can find them all. plus the list of the older ones I put on Friday.

If you have questions, please ask this coming week, as I hope to finish the series by September 8th, the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here are some paintings concerning that great event.

Thank you. Supertradmum

Rot at the Top

Terrifying New World Order for Parents

HSLDA has warned that the behavior of German authorities is a foreshadowing of what American parents should expect if the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child ever is ratified in the U.S. Its concerns are detailed at the website Parental Rights.
Swedish courts have ordered Dominic Johansson to be permanently separated from his parents, Christer and Annie Johansson.

Bertone Out. Parolin In

Any Vatican watchers who want to comment, feel free to do so.

Just for your information...

...this is a Ramen noodle blog. You can figure this one out, dear readers.....

Traditional First Communion Dresses

And, Zelie's Roses site is worth visiting.  Here are some of her creations. She does work for international customers and her prices are amazingly low. She does the matching veils as well.

The Modest Little Black Dress  And, now for something completely different.

Because my family did societal things, my mother and myself, at an older date, had the little black dress. Now, ours were more modest. But, even, today, there is room for such a dress in a wardrobe. Here are some modest versions and a website of an excellent Catholic seamstress.

My mother had more than one. One was made of taffeta, which is hardly seen. In fact, one of the sad things about clothes since the 1980s, had been the disappearance of fine cloth. Many types of cloth common in the 1950s-1980s are gone.

Sad. And, just because of dryers. Here is a website showing modern, modest clothes and here is the seamstress' website.


Good on', Britain

"It is very clear tonight that while the House has not passed a motion, it is clear to me that the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action - I get that and the government will act accordingly," he said. Cameron

Too bad he did not say that about the people not wanting ssm. 

From The Melkite Catholic Patriarch

and another Christian leader speaks out

Home Schooling and Character Training Part 21:3-The Goal

Before I launch into my character and virtue training for young children, here is a review of some very basic definitions from the CCC. By the way, all of this is from my studies, research, meditation, and years of experience, based on the great minds of the Church and Dr. Montessori.

1833 Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good.

1834 The human virtues are stable dispositions of the intellect and the will that govern our acts, order our passions, and guide our conduct in accordance with reason and faith. They can be grouped around the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance

1804 Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good.
The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.

1810 Human virtues acquired by education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever-renewed in repeated efforts are purified and elevated by divine grace. With God's help, they forge character and give facility in the practice of the good. The virtuous man is happy to practice them.

1811 It is not easy for man, wounded by sin, to maintain moral balance. Christ's gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues. Everyone should always ask for this grace of light and strength, frequent the sacraments, cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and follow his calls to love what is good and shun evil.

Now, one needs not define the virtues except in simple terms, such as looking at the life of Christ.

I am referring to 0-6 ages in this part of character formation, as I believe with the Jesuits, that one if basically formed by age five.

So, the first thing is to determine how all the virtues can be taught in daily actions of home schooling, as well as being taught. I would concentrate on the hidden life of Christ (do not use private revelations, please), but merely explain that Jesus, like any child, was obedient to his parents, reading the Finding of the Lord in the Temple at some point. But, because this is the longest process, I am showing you the goals before the process.

But, my emphasis is not on religious curriculum that is in a workbook but on daily life which forms character and enhances the virtues.

This is a mind-set. Now, Dr. Montessori in her forty years of experience and watching children noticed working patterns. These working patterns incorporated these observations-initial work,  false fatigue, great work and rest, in a phenomenon which happened to all children working in her environment. Now this pattern is connected to the normative child's capabilities, which I repeat here. Now, parents, bear with me as this part of the postings is long.........but let me get you started here. If this list shows the normal child's capacity, what is that list saying about the life of the virtues? About the child's character building? The first thing is to respect what God is doing in the child, in His child. These adorable creatures are only loaned to us.

What you are doing with the child is cooperating with grace.

I thank this site for the summary of these four Montessori traits from her books, as I do not have my Montessori books with me.

Now, these things will happen if the parent is setting up the optimum home schooling environment for character building. 

And, when I first studied these 40 years ago, I saw the overlap with Benedictism and the rule of Ora et Labora. 

I realized immediately the inspiration of the seeking of the knowledge, which I have written about much on this blog,and the pursuit of God. Remember this book is one I have read so many times it literally fell apart. 

Seriously, if someone would like to find me a new one, I would appreciate it. 

So what one is seeing is that there is an overlap of spirituality, which is a natural cause and effect, of finding God in work, in prayer and in study. When I set up home schooling, I chose the Benedictine model, although, as you saw in the list yesterday, one can choose the others-Jesuit, Dominican, Ursuline, Salesian and so on......I hope this character building through work and study is beginning to sink in. For this chart, I stop and write the main virtues connected to the character traits. But, I shall go more into details.

Now, I am showing you the end product, as it were; next posts will be on how to get there on how to make these grow.

I am adding the list of virtues to the skills of the normalized child. These are the goals of character building which the child is created to do by God in a natural process. One is not imposing, but guiding.

1) Love of work

The first characteristic of the process of normalization is love of work. Love of work includes the ability to choose work freely and to find serenity and joy in work (The Absorbent Mind, p. 202). 

And I add; virtues of love, honesty, wisdom, peace, diligence, patience, zeal, perseverance. prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope, rectitude, obedience, reverence, humility.

(2) Concentration

To help such development, it is not enough to provide objects chosen at random, but we [teachers] have to organize a world of 'progressive interest' (The Absorbent Mind, p. 206)

And I add; virtues of peace, patience, diligence, temperance, purity of mind and heart, faith, hope, integrity, obedience, zeal.

(3) Self-discipline

After concentration will come perseverance . . . It marks the beginning of yet another stage in character formation . . . It is the ability to carry through what he has begun. The children in our schools choose their work freely, and show this power unmistakably. They practice it daily for years.(The Absorbent Mind p. 217) 

And I add; virtues of perseverance, honesty, diligence, temperance, justice, prudence, obedience, purity, courage (bravery), self-control, rectitude, integrity, love. 

(4) Sociability. 

There is only one specimen of each object, and if a piece is in use when another child wants it, the latter—if he is normalized—will wait for it to be released. Important social qualities derive from this. The child comes to see that he must respect the work of others, not because someone has said he must, but because this is a reality that he meets in his daily experience.(The Absorbent Mind, p. 223).

And I add; virtues of kindness, generosity, patience, , mercy, humility, compassion, forgiveness, selflessness, justice, charity, forbearance, integrity, bravery, love, faith, hope. 

By the way,  The Children's Book of Virtues, and The Book of Virtues are fantastic, but for older children, around six or seven. I just let my son read those on his own and we discussed some of the stories. These are a must for the home schooling family.

Next will be the practical steps on how to encourage this type of normal, Christian character in a child. I think some of you will see where I am going with this in the home schooling environment.

Love this letter. Love this priest

Homeschooling Part 20 The Rational Child and Virtues 2

Too many parents have been taught that there is a head-heart dichotomy. Not enough parents understand that the darkening of the intellect is a result of sin.

The intellect and the heart bring one to God, and for the child, both grow together. The idea that a child is not growing intellectually while even in the womb has long been proven false by both science and psychology. Now, the formation of the child and the teaching of the virtues must involve both the heart and the head.

This idea that religion is merely picked up by example has never been  a Catholic idea, but a Protestant one. When the Protestant Revolt threw out tradition and over a thousand years of approaching Faith through Reason, Christianity was doomed to weakness.

The virtues inform both the heart and the intellect and some virtues specifically perfect the intellect.

I shall take the virtues one by one and help the parents who are following this series see that as parents part of their role is not merely loving the child but passing down the Faith both in theory and in practice.

What the Protestant Revolt did and what Satan is doing daily is separating Faith from Reason, heart from intellect.

What has been created in the minds of many contemporary parents is a skewed idea of the normal child.

A normal child develops his character by cooperating with grace in the same manner as an adult does. But, the child is actually more sensitive to his surroundings and to the movements of grace because he has not sinned as much, not because he does not have concupiscence, but because the habits of sinned have not become ingrained.

The habits of virtues, therefore, can be taught more readily to a child than to an adult, who must first be purified of sin, imperfections, the tendencies toward sin and a corrupted imagination.

One can see why early formation in the virtues is key to becoming a saint.  And, this formation does not happen automatically, but under certain conditions.

Order is a sign of a normal child, a child who has been allowed to develop the virtues at an early age. Disorder is a sign of a child who has been denied the opportunity for growth in the virtues. I am not referring to physical or mental illnesses in this or any posts.

The signs of the normalized child were outlined first by Dr. Montessori and some may be surprised by the list.  Now, I must add a distinction here for the sake of clarity. Baptism changes us. It takes away Original Sin, but there is more. I remind parents that we are all born in sin, with a fallen nature, and literally slaves to sin. Here is a list from the CCC as a reminder of the consequences of baptism. I repeat them here to emphasize that in teaching children, there will be a difference in children who are baptized and those who are not.  The entire person is given the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity in mind, soul, body. This makes a difference in formation.

By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.66 In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam's sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification: 

- enabling them to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him through the theological virtues; 

- giving them the power to live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit; 

- allowing them to grow in goodness through the moral virtues. 

Thus the whole organism of the Christian's supernatural life has its roots in Baptism

 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation.83  Sections 1263- 1272, with some omissions.

I have highlighted the sections pertinent to this post. Remember that personality and character grow together, and that it would be a violence to the child to interrupt the flow of graces given to become the adult he is to become, through Christ and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Notice how the giving of the infused theological virtues, faith, hope, and charity, and of the cardinal, also called, the moral virtues or intellectual virtues. The source of these virtues is sanctifying grace. I shall go more into detail in the next posts.  Here is a brief note from my perfection guru, Garrigou-Lagrange on this subject.

In conformity with tradition and with a decision of Pope Clement V at the Council of Vienne,(5) the Catechism of the Council of Trent (Part II, On baptism and its effects), answers: "The grace (sanctifying), which baptism confers, is accompanied by the glorious cortege of all the virtues, which, by a special gift of God, penetrate the soul simultaneously with it." This gift is an admirable effect of the Savior's passion which is applied to us by the sacrament of regeneration.
Moreover, in this bestowal of the infused moral virtues, there is a lofty fitness that has been well set forth by St. Thomas.(6) The means, he observes, must be proportioned to the end. By the infused theological virtues we are raised and directed toward the supernatural last end. Hence it is highly fitting that we should be raised and directed by the infused moral virtues in regard to supernatural means capable of leading us to our supernatural end.

In each of these categories, I have placed virtues for the parent to be aware for the sake of helping the child, who is the main creator of himself. With grace, love, the proper environment  character is formed and that involves the mind, the heart, the soul.  I shall continue this in the next several posts. There are subcategories of virtues aligned with the main ones listed above, and all of these can be encouraged in the young child. The cardinal virtues are called such as they are "hinges" like on a door, cardo, in Latin, in Summa de bono,  by Philip the Chancellor, found on this site. 

A child without baptism can develop natural or human virtues, which are good and salutary, but he cannot develop these or have these elevated without grace. Without grace, the life of the virtues becomes anemic, almost impossible to follow, and finally, dies under sin. Now, the signs of the normalized child, character traits which have been enhanced by grace, are these discovered by Montessori:

1) Love of work

(2) Concentration

(3) Self-discipline

(4) Sociability. 

As one who is Montessori trained and one who has worked in several schools, including my own, I can say that I have witnessed this normalization over and over and over. Grace helps the child in these key areas of character development. To be continued....

By the way, parents, if you have not read this book, do so. I taught it along with another of the author and cannot recommend it to highly.