Archive for Family – Page 2

On the disciplining of boys

Feast of St. John Bosco, Priest (1815 – 1888)

“There must be no hostility in our minds, no contempt in our eyes, no insult on our lips. We must use mercy for the present and have hope for the future, as is fitting for true fathers who are eager for real correction and improvement.” 

                                                                                     St. John Bosco

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my oldest son who was born 24 years ago today.  I hope his birthday is wonderful!


I needed to hear this.

“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.”

– Catherine M. Wallace

A Big Change

This past school year was a difficult one.  My dear daughter and I seemed to clash over lesson assigned.  She was capable of so much more than what she turned in for work.  Add to that the constant bickering between dear daughter and dear son and it is amazing that I have any hair left on my head.

I have thrown up my hands in defeat.  I have signed up dear daughter for public school.  I hope and pray that this is a good decision and that she will perform to her ability when she is accountable to someone other than mom.

While sitting with the guidance counselor we discussed foreign language.  Dear daughter has had one year each of Latin and Spanish.  The guidance counselor recommended she take a second year of Spanish in case she decides to attend a four year college.  He recommended Spanish because they NO LONGER TEACH LATIN AT ALL in this school.  I was shocked to hear that they had no Latin program.  It is, to me, another example of the dumbing down of American schools.

Latin is the base of all of the “romance languages.”  These include French, Spanish and Italian.  Learning Latin builds a bridge to easier understanding of the English language, as well, since many of our English words have a root in Latin.

Latin is also the language of the Church.  Of course, the public school doesn’t care that Latin is the language of the Church, but as a Catholic mother, I do.  Dear daughter and dear son have both had Latin.  I know that Latin increased my knowledge and understanding of language when I was a student.  I have tried to give my youngest two children that same advantage.

All of the older children attended public school.  They chose whatever language they wanted to try to learn.  I am not even sure if Latin was offered.

Dear Lord,

The continual dumbing down in our public schools and the indoctrination into secular belief systems are reasons that I have homeschooled.  Please protect dear daughter as she enters the shark infested waters of the public high school.  May her foundation be built on rock, not on sand.


Using “big” words


I recently used the word “titillating” in conversation with my daughter.  I didn’t use it to intimidate or sound impressive.  Indeed, I cast around my mind for the exact word to use that would most accurately describe what I meant.  My daughter hates it when I use words like this.  She told me that, “Everyone hates it when you use words like that.  It doesn’t make you sound smart.” (Insert snarky tone of voice here)

She has no love for words.  She believes in using the smallest word possible in every situation.   She does not care to expand her vocabulary or to speak with words that more accurately convey her meaning.

It saddens me a little that my daughter will miss out on the nuances of our language.  There will be things that she will not completely understand because of her refusal to expand her knowledge.  I have hope for my son, however.  He seems to have an affinity for languages which will serve to expand his vocabulary.

When I was growing up and came across a word I didn’t know or understand my father would tell me to look it up.  We had a HUGE dictionary and I looked things up.  I still look things up if I don’t completely understand.  We have several dictionaries to choose from in our home and there is always to use if you don’t want to do the actual work of flipping dictionary pages.  If I am reading on my kindle I can simply highlight the word and get an immediate definition.   Neither of my youngest two children likes to look things up.  They would rather skip something without understanding than take the couple of minutes that looking up a word entails.  I guess that looking up a word does not fulfill their immediate need for gratification.  This digital world puts information at our disposal so rapidly that anything requiring effort seems off putting for my children.

Alas, I may be in the minority these days in my usage of words.  I don’t use “big” words intentionally.  I simply try to use the best word for the job.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the gift of language.  Thank you for words that convey many layers of meaning.  Thank you for great literature which uses words to paint pictures in the mind’s eye.  Please bestow in me the patience to deal with the young people in my life who would complain about the appropriate usage of language.