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Welcome to News from Catholic Homeschooling Resources. About every six weeks I plan on delivering to you Catholic Homeschooling tips and ideas, product and website updates and maybe even a few good bargains.

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Issue #12 Let's Catch Up!

In this Issue:

  • From Laura's Desk: Catching Up
  • Homeschooling Tips and Ideas: Planning for the Upcoming School Year
  • Book Recommendations: Summer Reading
  • New Product Announcements: "The King of the City" CD
  • Our Favorite Recipes: Teresa's Chocolate-Strawberry Dessert Pizza
  • Used Curriculum Corner: More Math and Science Books
  • From Laura's Desk

    It has been awhile since I've sent out a newsletter so I hope you've all been having a great and productive summer - even if productive means just enjoying yourselves!

    We started off our summer with the production of "The King of the Golden City". It was quite an experience to be a part of this. Our director, Simonetta, did a marvelous job taking this story and adapting it for the stage. Five of our seven children were involved, as well as me having the opportunity to be the photographer for the event. Needless to say, it took up a lot of our time.

    We followed that up with a week of recuperation and then vacation planning and then off to Minnesota for a week's vacation. It was cold and rainy, but we had a good time in between the rain showers.

    Two weeks after that was my annual Miles Christi silent retreat. It is always a time that I look forward to. A chance to recharge my spiritual batteries and something I would recommend for everyone!

    This newsletter is getting out now only because I have been able to spend the last three days in my own home, which feels wonderful. I've been able to catch up on a few things and get to this point. I still have a lot to accomplish, but we've decided we aren't really going to hit the books hard until after Labor Day. That gives me a bit more breathing room!

    I hope that your summer has been good! The weather has left a lot to be desired all over the country and stress is high because of the economy, but remember that God is good and if we follow His ways, He will not abandon us.

    If you'd like to keep up with all the latest info, you can always follow me on facebook!

    Homeschooling Tips and Ideas

    A big part of having a successful school year is planning! As much as we may hate the idea, being organized and having a rough sketch of what you want your year to look like is a must if you are going to maintain control.

    These last couple of months, I've also been taking time to convert my organizational workshop into a workbook that you can do by yourself at home! In it, I cover what I find to be the essentials to having your life running at a relatively smooth level. I had hoped to have it out around now so that you could use it to help you plan for the upcoming school year, but life has a way of getting in the way :)

    There's a lot of information out there about how to plan and how to stay organized. So much, in fact, that you could go crazy just trying to figure it out. Pick a method that you think will work for you and go with it. The important thing is that you come up with a plan to be organized so that once school starts and things get even more crazy, you can have your system in place to keep the basics going.

    I'll keep you updated on the status of my workbook. From what I've seen in the workshops, it has really helped people to organize their thoughts and then move on to organize their lives.

    Book Reccomendations

    This summer we haven't read any books out loud, but we have all been reading the same books, just one after another. One of my daughter's checked out a lot of Agatha Christie books a few weeks ago, and we've all been gobbling them up. It is fun to watch the kids read them as they try to figure out "whodunit" before the end of the story. So far, as you may know from reading Agatha's books, most of us haven't been very successful.

    Even though we haven't been reading them out loud, it has still been enjoyable to have everyone reading the same set of books. Once we all get done with one, we have some interesting conversations. It is just hard holding your tongue until you know everyone has read the same book.

    If your schedule doesn't allow time right now for everyone to sit down at the same time and listen to a read aloud, then try this method. Check out a few books by the same author and then keep trading them back and forth until everyone has read them. Not only does it make for good discussions, it is also a great lesson in patience and perseverance!

    New Product Announcements

    As I mentioned earlier in this newsletter, we were involved in the production of "The King of the Golden City". In conjunction with that, Simonetta, our director, has also released a 2 CD set of the book. She does a great job in bringing this story to life, and has even included an original song called "Dilecta" at the end of the CD.

    This would make a great addition to your homeschool library, both for just pure enjoyment, as well as curriculum. It makes a great addition to sacrament preparation as well as a wonderful gift.

    If you'd like more information or to purchase your own copy, just click here!

    Our Favorite Recipes

    My third oldest daughter came up with this recipe last month when we were trying to come up with our monthly dessert for the grandparents. We had made another dessert pizza, so she thought she would try this variation. Guess what? Not only does it really look like a pizza, it tastes great!

    Teresa's Chocolate Strawberry Dessert Pizza

    First, the cookie base:

    1 C butter, softened
    1 1/2 C white sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 C flour
    2/3 C cocoa powder
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 C semisweet chocolate chips

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir this mixture into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Spread this onto either a round or rectangular ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. The time will depend on the size of your pan and the thickness of the dough, so keep an eye on it!

    While that is baking, make the strawberry topping.

    1 qt fresh strawberries
    1 C cold water
    1 C sugar
    3 Tbl cornstarch
    3 Tbl strawberry jello<>br>

    Wash and cut up the strawberries into small pieces. You want them to resemble tomato chunks in pizza sauce!

    Mix the water and cornstarch together in a saucepan. Add the sugar and heat until boiling. Continue boiling for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thickened. Add the strawberry jello and set aside until cool.

    Once the mixture is cool, add the strawberries and spread over the cooled cookie.

    Next you'll need a box of white chocolate squares (yes, we usually melt the whole box!). Follow the instructions on the box for melting the chocolate. Once it is melted, drizzle it over the cookie/strawberry pizza to resemble the melted cheese.

    Store this in the refrigerator, as it tastes better when it is cold. Enjoy!

    Used Curriculum Corner

    Here are some of the used books that I currently have. If you are interested in purchasing them, you can contact me and we can arrange the shipping. The price I have listed is what they will sell for PLUS shipping charges. Of course, shipping will depend on how fast you want the items and where you live in relation to me. We can work all the details out through email. Hopefully this will be a win-win situation for both of us!

    In the Math category, I have the Teachers' Guides for the following levels of Modern Curriculum Press: K, A, C, and D. These are all in great shape and will sell for $10 each.

    Some Science books that I have include:

  • Helping Your Child Learn Science is a handbook on how to teach easy science concepts to younger children. It is also in great shape and the price is $5.
  • Science and Living in God's World Grade 2 Teacher's Manual and Answer Key from Our Lady of Victory School. $3

    I have one English book set:

  • Voyages in English 4 There is the main text, the teacher's manual and key and the workbook, which has not been written in. I will not break the set apart, so the entire set will sell for $10
  • In the Spelling category, we have the following:

  • Spelling 5 for Young Catholics by Seton. $3
  • Spectrum Spelling Grade 5 Workbook that has not been written in. $5
  • MCP Spelling Workout Teacher's Edition for Level C, E and F. Each book is $5
  • MCP Word Study Teacher's Resource Guide for Level D and E. Each book is $8
  • All of the above books are in great condition!

    If you are interested in any of the above titles, just contact me with your name, email address and which book(s) you are interested in and we will arrange for shipping.

    Remember, you are purchasing used materials. To the best of my ability, I have fairly represented the above mentioned products. All sales are final.

    Comments, Feedback, Questions?

    Here's your chance to send them to me. Just click here and type away! I appreciate your taking the time to read this newsletter and provide me with charitable feedback!

    If you would like to see something in an upcoming issue, please feel free to let me know.

    Until next time, may God Bless you abundantly!