Wednesday, May 16, 2012

San Antonio Catholic Homeschooling Conference

Please pray for the 2012 San Antonio Catholic Homeschooling Conference to be held this weekend. This is the first year in a long time there has been a Catholic homeschooling conference in San Antonio! It started as a dream between two friends and has become grander than even we had hoped. God's generosity is overwhelming. Thank you for praying for the success of the conference, for the speakers (who are mostly volunteers), and for the planning committee to make it through these last few days (including me)! Thank you.


The Survey Explained

It is that time of year when readers are searching for my old webinars and the sort-of-famous Personal Reflection Survey! I wanted to pop in here to put up something I have been intending to do for quite a while. This is a basic explanation of the survey for anyone who cannot watch the full webinars or did long ago and just wants a refresher. The link to the survey is at the bottom and here. Please, as always, let me know if you have any trouble accessing the webinars and/or survey. May they bless you and your homeschool!

Prayerfully Reflecting on Last Year

This reflection is meant to be used in an atmosphere of prayer. Please take it to your quiet time or Holy Hour if possible. If your season of life insists your prayer be done while toddlers are in the tub or children play outside, bring along this reflection! As mothers our work should be a constant prayer, because our interior attitude of prayer is much more important than external appearance.

Jesus frequently spent time in prayer when He was not teaching. From this prayer He received the grace to be an effective educator.

Take a moment to think about the life of Jesus. He frequently spent time in prayer when He was not teaching. From this prayer He received the grace to be an effective educator. The same is true for homeschooling mothers. We need the graces that time with God provides, so let me suggest we pause, right now, and pray.

When was the last time you took time to evaluate yourself, your home, and your homeschool?

So often, as mothers, we keep going full speed ahead without stopping to see if we are on the right path. We fall into the temptation of trying new things constantly without taking the time to identify the true source of the problem.

Are you settling for survival or actively seeking an abundant life?

There are seasons of a mother’s life that must focus on basic survival skills: when a new baby arrives or a pregnancy has complications; when there is illness or significant strife in family life; during a move or after a death in the family.

Nevertheless, there is certainly more to life than simply surviving. God desires to bless us abundantly and draw us closer to himself, not only through struggles, but also through daily serving Him in our vocation as wives, mothers, and homeschooling teachers.

What we did with our local group

Several remarkable women and I put together a three step process to help Catholic homeschooling mothers in Miami step aside from the daily grind to prepare and plan for the following academic year.

  1. Personal Reflection & Self-Evaluation Survey: First, we created this survey and had each mother fill it out on her own prior to our first group gathering.
  1. Day of Reflection: Next, we met to share and pray about what we had learned through the survey, focusing on what we felt God was telling us through the questions.
  1. Planning Day: Finally, we met again to give one another practical help, only giving advice once we had prepared to receive it.

Planning: Curriculum, Materials, & Lesson Plans, Oh My!

Some days homeschooling can be overwhelming…at least once a week, right? So, preparing for the next academic year can be daunting. Especially for those of us who modify existing curriculum to suit our family’s needs, it can seem impossible to know where to start with our planning. This process is an attempt to help you sort through that difficult process.

The Personal Reflection & Self-Evaluation Survey

The survey itself is 61 questions long and divided into four sections. It is not a test, and you will not turn it in. This survey is meant to be a tool to help you evaluate how things are going in your homeschool. It is for your personal reflection over the course of several weeks. Please print it out and take it to your quiet time on several separate occasions, perhaps to Adoration, responding to the questions carefully and honestly. Be sure to reread it all the way through several times before considering it complete. The survey is lengthy and detailed, deliberately redundant at times. This is by design to provoke thought in a variety of areas. It is fine, if after considerable reflection, you leave a question blank. Attach additional pages as necessary. Begin in prayer.

The Four Sections

  1. Personal spirituality: This section of the survey is mostly about Mom.
  2. Struggles and challenges: Here you examine the tough stuff that needs solutions.
  3. Successes and blessings: These questions echo the previous section but celebrate the positive.
  4. Goal-setting: At the end you figure out where to go from here.

Prayer and Fasting: A Challenge

My challenge to you is to take one day before you begin planning for next year (but after you finish this survey) to pray and fast amidst your daily duties, however you choose, for the intentions of your homeschool. Scripture teaches us the power of prayer and fasting, and I believe our homeschooling can benefit from this practice.

Prayer and Support: A Promise

With this survey, I send my prayers that every mother who prayerfully completes the evaluation will receive the graces she needs to truly enjoy the spiritual journey of homeschooling and treasure her children more every day.

I also offer my support to you. My homeschooling journey is not long, but what I lack in experience, I certainly have replaced with extensive research and reading. If I do not know the answer, I will try to point you to those who do.

Feel free to email me at antonina31 at gmail dot com whenever you need.