I wrote this especially with traditional schooling families in mind as the transition to summer approaches. I am hoping it encourages both homeschooling and traditional schooling families alike to head into summer full of positivity and good ideas for fun and continued learning.
Normally at this time of year we are finishing up the school year and already sending each other memes about how we will survive the summer. Kids home all the time? What are we going to do when it gets too hot to even go outside? How am I going to keep everyone entertained and still keep the house clean? Will we survive so much togetherness??
However, this year is unlike any other year. Our kids have already been home for months. While the middle of March felt like we would never get a handle on the new reality, now that it’s May I feel like most of us have gotten a schedule down. It might not be perfect, but we’ve been at this long enough that some new routines and habits have formed in our homes.
Now the next challenge is upon us. Summer. What routines we’ve found around online schooling are going away. What will you do to fill the void that our incredible teachers have managed to still fill, even at a distance? I’d like to offer a few suggestions.
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Fans of Heath Ledger will recognize this phrase from one of my favorite films, A Knight’s Tale. In the film, Jocelyn, one of the main characters, comments that she comes to cathedrals for two reasons: Confession and the glass. The glass, as she so eloquently puts it, is “a riot of color in a dreary gray world.”
I have always loved this line. How accurate, insightful and Catholic! Stained glass has always had a multitude of purposes. Practically speaking, it’s a window, meant to let in light and keep out the wind. The glass often tells a story. The earliest stained glass were designed as instructional tools to help a mostly illiterate population learn the stories of the Bible and saints. As history and architecture advanced, the word “multipurpose” hardly does justice to all these windows were capable of.
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I know, Lent is still a little more than a month away. Don’t get me wrong, Ordinary Time is definitely important and usually anything but ordinary, but I’m considering a new approach to Lent this year that I wanted to share. A few weeks ago, I posted on my own blog about choosing a word or theme for the new year, rather than making resolutions. I am taking that same concept and want to offer it as a new way to approach Lent.
We all know Lent is coming. We usually remember that means a time for fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. How many of us take dedicated time to discern what we are going to “give up” or “do more of?” I’ll be completely honest here: Usually I finalize my Lenten plans on or slightly before Ash Wednesday. And typically, they are things that I know are going to be good for me, but I haven’t given them a whole lot of thought. It’s the low-hanging fruit — say a Rosary a day, give up snacks between meals, read a Psalm every day, give $5 extra at Mass, and so on. All good things, but maybe not the most challenging or even the most personal for my spiritual life….
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