Traditional Catholic Homeschooling

My mother had her teachers credentials from Illinois, but only taught philosophy for a short time at Toronto University before she married my dad.  She also was trained in the Montessori school paradigm.  She strongly believed that each child learns differently and at a different pace.  She also did not believe children were to start studying till they were in 1st. Grade and that they would catch up very quickly when they are older.

IMG_4862A few of the 17 Children, 2 more were adopted after I moved out.  

Once she married my dad, she stayed at home and homeschooled us through grammar school, way before it was allowed or popular.  In order to not get in trouble in those days with the school district, since we were not in school, my mother would advertise as a private school and have other children come and study with us.  No one ever studied with us.  I then went to Catholic high school for 3 years and finished at the public high school.  From there I studied 2 years at Cabrillo College and graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa Ontario Canada.

Since there were 17 of us children to start with, and my dad was working, my mother had to organize all the studying, (and most of the time it was very disorganized).  We also traveled a great deal, (twice lived in Mexico building schools for the poor and another time in Fowler building a Catholic Church), so it helped that we were homeschooled.  Nevertheless, the routine was pretty much always being disrupted, as many on you who are homeschooling now see happen all the time.  Life is just one big succession of interruptions.  

We older children helped the younger children do their reading and math.  I remember a lot of homemade flash cards with math and vocabulary on them.  I also remember that I learned mostly on my own working in the workbooks.  So what I am getting at is that children survive fine in chaotic homeschooling environments because they are basically smart.  But that is if you will not allow them to waste their time on TV, Video games and computers.  They learn to play, but not to read, write or add.  We were never allowed this.Common-Core

Today, the morals, the immodest dressing, the homosexual agenda in and the common core curriculum in the public schools, makes Catholic homeschooling seem to be the only option, (other than a good Catholic school, which is very rare today).  But even there, many do not teach Catholic teachings and you also have the huge added expense of tuition.  1917 Canon law had that all parishes were to have parochial schools.

Many orthodox people do Charter School homeschooling because it is free, the books are free and they also get money for extra-curriculum activities.  There is also a limited amount of supervision by the charter school staff, so that the busy mothers do not have as much to do.  But the text books are from the public school and they will soon have common core as part of the education.  And in this system, there are no Catholic religion classes or Catholic material in the other areas of learning, like reading and history.

Many families avoid Catholic homeschooling because the programs and  books cost money and the parents have more of the responsibility to make sure their children are keeping up with the assigned school work.  But in these Catholic courses, there are religion classes, always going deeper and better with each grade.  They also have Catholic themes in all other subjects as well.  For this reason the Catholic homeschooling programs are the best option, as costly and difficult they may be.world

Many mothers are concerned about public schools and would like to homeschool their children, but are afraid to do it, because of all the responsibility and they feel that they are not educated or qualified enough to be able to teach their children.  Although they are rightfully concerned about the responsibility and their lack of knowledge, this should not stop them from homeschooling.  Many of their children are not learning to read or write or do math at their public schools right now anyway.  Many of the children in public schools are way behind.  Better save their souls than be able to teach them perfectly.

Finally what is of dire importance is to keep in contact with other homeschooling families.  Besides socializing at church, these children need to be able to make friends and not be too isolated.  What we started at St. Patrick’s in Escalon/Ripon, Calif. and is still working well, was a homeschooling cooperative.  All that meant was that during the school year, one day a week, the families would get together for some common classes, socializing, eating, outings and the Christmas program.   It is very loosely organized, has a year schedule and you do the best you can.

Another option, for those who can afford it, is to hire a helper who comes to your house and tutors your children in the subjects they are struggling with or that take more time.  And another thing that is working for my friend homeschoolers is to go to a teacher’s house, pay a small tuition, and she teaches all the children at once the common courses they all need.

7S43_All_Souls_School1I want to really encourage everyone to homeschool.  Yes, it is a big sacrifice.  Yes, it takes a lot of work.   Yes, it cost money.  But it is worthwhile.  Your children do not need to be super stars.  But they do need to get to heaven.  It is much more likely that they will have fewer exposure to sinful ideas at home.  Here is a simple link that tells you everything you need to know about Catholic homeschooling.  Catholic homeschooling resources.com

Here are a few of the most popular Catholic homeschooling vendors;

 

It may be extremely difficult, but we are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be able to form children into great christian people of the future world and Church.

Catholic Christendom Charlemagne # 16

While Charlemagne was in Rome, on Christmas day 800, at the pontifical Mass, Pope Leo III surprised him by anointing him and placing upon his head the imperial crown.  He proclaimed him Emperor and Augustus, while the Romans shouted out three times; ‘Carolo, piisimo Augusto a Deo coronato, magno et pacificio Imperatori, vita et vicotria’; (To Carolus Augustus crowned by God, mighty and pacific emperor, be life and victory).Charlemagne-coronation-1024x683Spot in St. Peter’s Basilica where Charlemagne was coronated by Pope Leo III.

Charlemagne humbly recongnized that he had received this great power from the hands of God through the Pope who exercised the moral supremacy of Western Christendom.  And Charles constantly attributed his imperial dignity to this act of God through his agent, the Vicar of Christ.  His son Charles was anointed on the same day too.

On this great day, Charles was also lifted to the dignity of supreme temporal protector of Western Christendom.  He passed this on to his son Charles, and the two others, with the obligation to defend and protect the Roman Church.  Not only was he the protector of the welfare of the papacy and the Patrimony of Peter, but he also understood that it meant a religious responsibility too and showed it by:

  • protecting and encouraging missionary work,
  • advancing Catholic culture,
  • working to reform the clergy, both secular and monastic,
  • enforcing Catholic discipline on the life of the average person,
  • introducing Catholic canon laws into government, (Collectio Dionysian-Hadriana),
  • shared governmental power with popes and local bishops, (civil and ecclesiastical),
  • took advice from the pope and bishops on how to rule,
  • and worked for the earthly glory of God.

From that day on, and through the middle ages, no Western Emperor was considered legitimate unless he had been anointed and crowned by the successor of St. Peter in Rome.

450px-Charlemagne_Agostino_Cornacchini_VaticanHis statue at St. Peter’s Basilica In Rome.

Charles had a personal devotion to the Apostolic See and a special love for the Basilica of St. Peter’s.  He enriched it above all other churches and wanted to see Rome regain its ancient splendor and authority.  Again he called himself the ‘devoted defender and humble helper of Holy Church’.

He was also very concerned with liturgical rites and ceremonies of the Church.  Taxes were levied to support the dignity of public worship.  He introduced the ‘Gregorian Sacramentally’ of Rome into the Frankish church.  Gregorian Chant was also instituted and he even chanted with the choir, but in a ‘subdued voice’.   He started schools to improve church music and to educate seminarians.

The Patriarch of Jerusalem gave him the keys to the Holy Sepulchre and asked for his protection of the holiest place in Christendom.  He built a monastery and hospital in Jerusalem.

But in the rest of the new Byzantine Eastern Rome, things were very different.  They were jealous of him and did not support him because they felt that the authority of the Roman Empire rested with them.  Throughout his reign there were many attempts by them to sabotage his plans.

In a manner of purely practical things he also accomplished the;

  • developed Agriculture,
  • the growth of trade,
  • organized and codified Frankish laws,
  • protected the liberty and life of free men.

Throne-of-Charlemagne-in-Aachen-GermanyOne of the thrones of Charlemagne

In spite of his irregular marriages, he was a loving father to his children.  He joined them in their sports, swimming and relaxations.  Like his father, in his will of 806, he divided his kingdom amongst his three sons.

  • France went to go to his son Louis the Pious,
  • Frisia, Saxony, Hesse, and Franconia were to go to Charles the Young,
  • and Pepin was to to have Italy, Bavaria and Southern Alemannia, (but he died before his dad did).

After 47 years of reigning and in his 72nd year, he died.  He was buried at Aachen in an octagonal Byzantine-Romanesque church.  In 1000, Otto III opened his tomb and found his body seated on a marble throne, robed, crowned and with the book of the Gospels opened on his knees.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know about what God has done in the past for his glory in heaven, but also on earth.  May we continue to do what we can to extend His Kingdom and Christendom today.

Catholic Christendom, Charlemagne #15

After conquering Lombardy, Charlemagne went south to Rome.  Here he was welcomed with great pomp and ceremony and proclaimed their Imperator, (Emperor).  With great humility he prostrated and kissed the ground where the Apostles and the many martyrs had shed their blood for Jesus Christ.

The Frankish king Charlemagne was a devout Catholic who maintained a close relationship with the papacy throughout his life. In 772, when Pope Adrian I was threatened by invaders, the king rushed to Rome to provide assistance. Shown here, the pope asks Charlemagne for help at a meeting near Rome.
The Frankish king Charlemagne was a devout Catholic who maintained a close relationship with the papacy throughout his life. In 772, when Pope Adrian I was threatened by invaders, the king rushed to Rome to provide assistance. Shown here, the pope asks Charlemagne for help at a meeting near Rome.

It was in this Eternal City, after conversing with Pope Adrian I for a whole week, that he was inspired to use his power and wealth for the Glory of God and the exaltation of Holy Mother the Church.  In spite of his human weaknesses and ignorance, on Easter 774, he was consecrated the first champion of the Catholic Church.  Shortly after this, Charles put his desires into practice by assuming the crown of Lombardy and returning to Pope Adrian I all that his father Pepin had given to the Church in 752.

Pope Adrian I was his confidant who guided him to grow in moral statue.  His natural physical and mental superiority, now combined with his new moral growth, helped him be successful in all his endeavors.

For the next twenty years, Charles was constantly battling for God, justice and trying to stomping out pagan satan worshippers.  He endeavored to do this especially in Saxon where he tried his best to convert them to Catholicism, beginning with the kings, every time he would subdue their rebellions.  Some did, some did not.  He divided Saxon into missionary territories.  But the Saxons continued to rebel and cause great problems for Charles.  Finally after a victory, the main king leader of these rebellions, Wittekind, acknowledged that Charles’ God was stronger than his god Odin and received baptism.  Charles was his godfather.

CharlemagneIn 778, Charles led an unsuccessful crusade against the muslims into northern Spain.

In 783, his mother Bertha and third wife Hildegarde died unexpectedly.  They both had been a great moral influence on him and it is said that he went a little down hill from here.  He soon married for a fourth time, Fastrada.  She died and then he married Liutgarde who also died not to long afterward.

Like Constantine, Charles also meddled in the deliberations of synods and questions of dogma.  He went against the sanction of the Holy See who condemned the East on Iconoclasm, (condemning veneration of holy images).

Upon the death of his dear friend, Pope Adrian I, Pope Leo III was elected.  He welcomed him with presents and a strong reminder to the new pope of his grave spiritual obligations. The Romans did not like the new pope and spread false rumors of immoral behavior before being elected.  They banished him from Rome.  But Charles returned the pope to Rome.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know TRUTH.  May we be willing to do what we can to spread Christendom, starting with our own hearts and conquering the world from there.

Catholic Christendom, Charlemagne # 14

All of us who admire Christendom, (where God’s divine rules of love are enforced by the Catholic Church’s authorities in conjunction with Government leaders), hold up Charlemagne as one of the most exceptional examples of this.

Charlemagne is French for the Latin name; Carlus Magnus or in English; Charles the Great.  He was given this name by later generations who admired his great accomplishments that still remain up to today.  His real title is Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.map-carolingian

Charles was the son of Pepin the Short, Mayor of the Palace for the ‘theoretically King’, Childeric III, the last of the Merovingian Kings of the Franks.  He was bon 742 and died January 28, 814.  His mother was Bertrada, daughter of the Count of Laon, Charibert.

Charlemagne was acknowledged by the Holy See as its chief protector and coadjutor in temporal affairs as well.  He consolidated Catholic Europe and worked to reform the Church as well.

Charlemagne’s career began at ten years old, (752), when Pope Stephen III traveled over the Alps from Rome to anoint his father Pepin with the oil of kingship.  But, at this time,  Pope Stephen III also anointed Charles and his younger brother Carloman.  The pope declared that the Frankish Catholics were to never ‘to choose their kings from any other family’.   At St. Denis, on July 28th 754, in the Kingdom of Neustria, by a solemn act of the supreme pontiff, the Frankish throne was established in the Arnulf house.  This is the new beginnings of the Carolingian dynasty named after Charles, (Carol, Karl).Frankish kings and queens of the Carolingian dynasty

As a child, his father King Pepin would take Charles to war with him.  He learned the important rudiments of war and the discipline it took to be a warrior.  As he grew into a man of extraordinary physical strength, he became a popular hero to the Franks long before he became king.   Before Pepin’s death, (768), he divided his dominion between his two anointed sons.

The division was made in respect to different clans and laws that made up the complex Frankish dominion.  There was some strife between these brothers because Carloman did not like or support his older brother.  But this ended when his brother died in 771 and gave Charlemagne the unity he would need to make his kingdom great.

From his father, Charles had also inherited the role of ‘Patricius Romans’, which entailed the obligation to protect the temporal rights of the Holy See, (St. Peter’s Patrimony).  At this time, the greatest threat to the See was Desiderius, King of the Lombards.coa_of_the_carolingian_empire_by_tiltschmaster-d7obgf6

Charles had married Himiltrude, but then went on to marry the daughter of Desiderius, Desiderata.  The pope objected to this.  He then left her for Hildegarde which caused Desiderius to fight against Rome and the Holy See.  Pope Stephen died in 772.  Adrian I, an opponent of Desiderius, and was elected.  Immediately, Desiderius, advanced against Rome, seized some of the Pope’s cities.   Meanwhile, Charlemagne was dealing north with the Saxons were still pagan barbarians killing many of the Catholic missionaries and invading his territory.

In 773, Charles tried to negotiate with Desiderius, but when that failed, he sided with Pope Adrian I and traveled over the alps to fight the Lombards.  Easily he overcame Desiderius and headed to visit Rome.

IND113006 Charlemagne crossing the Alps in 773, detail of the Emperor and his retinue (oil on canvas) by Roger, Eugene (1807-40) oil on canvas Chateau de Versailles, France Index French, out of copyright
IND113006 Charlemagne crossing the Alps in 773, detail of the Emperor and his retinue (oil on canvas) by Roger, Eugene (1807-40)
oil on canvas
Chateau de Versailles, France
Index
French, out of copyright

Charlemagne, whether he really realized it or not, received his temporal power from God, through the pope, when he was anointed by Pope Stephen III.  This is Christendom.  We can also see that he was not a saint, (Three women), but, nevertheless, God used him.  Will continue with Charlemagne…….

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to see God work throughout time.  We know that we are in a very bad period right now, but we know who is behind the chess player and who wins in the end.

Catholic Christendom #13 Merovingian Dynasty 457 – 751

In order to enter into the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne, we need to travel through his Frankish roots.  King Childeric I, (the first king in the Merovingian Dynasty), was the father of King Clovis.

When King Clovis was loosing the battle of Tolbiac, in desperation, he turned and prayed to the God of his wife, Queen St. Clotilda.  He promised if her God were to get him out of his desperate situation, he would believe and be baptized a Catholic.

Mariage-ClovisHere we see the beautiful relationship of a saintly wife converting her husband, and who then goes on to help Catholicism spread throughout his realm.  King Clovis was convinced that Catholicism was a fundamental part of a healthy society.

Through time, the Frankish kings became lazy and allowed the Mayor of the Palace to rule.  One of these Mayors was Pepin Herstal who ruled from 680 to his death in 714.  He had two legitimate sons and one illegitimate son, (Charles Martel, the Hammer in french).  Both of his legitimate sons died before him, so he left his power to his two grandsons.  But upon death, Charles fought to overcome the many rebellious areas of his father’s kingdom and thus gained control of the Frankish kingdom.  He was not officially the king, but he ruled as a Mayor of the Palace.CharlesMartel

He was the one who stopped the advancement of the muslim take over of Europe.  At the Battle of Poitiers, (732), with a small army, he overcame 200,000 fierce muslims.  He also supported St. Boniface reforming the Frankish Church and converting the Germans and the Saxons.   Charles is said to have set up the foundation of the Carolingian Empire.

Charles left his two sons, Carloman and Pepin the Short, (or the Younger), to rule the Frankish kingdom.  His two sons had been educated by monks and were very well disposed towards the Catholic Church.  Carloman was even so pious, that eventually he entered into the religious life.

This left Pepin II to be the sole ruler of France.  He continued his father’s work and support of St. Boniface and the pope.  He was coronated by the Bishop in 751 and again by Pope Stephen II, who traveled all the way from Rome 754 to do it.  At that time, Pope Stephen II also anointed his two sons, Charlemagne and Carloman.  PepinTheShort1Pepin being Coronated by Pope Stephen II with his two sons Charlemagne and Carloman.

Pepin won a war against the Lombards in Italy and gave to the pope what would later become the Papal States.   This was called the ‘Donation of Pepin’ in 756.  Pepin was given the title Patrician of Rome.  And this led to his son Charlemagne to be eventually coronated the Holy Roman Emperor.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know how God has worked through concrete history to rule real kingdoms in this real world.  We pray that God will again, in our times, raise up holy Queens who will convert Kings to be holy rulers.  We also pray for holy popes, cardinals, bishops, religious and priests who will obey Jesus and humbly rule for Him.