What to Read.

I’m here in Dallas (no one told me it was beautiful!) with a slooooow internet connection, so you’ll have to read somewhere else this week. No shortage of options.

Two brand new homeschooling blogs, written by internet friends of mine, that I think are worth a look:

Home Grown is by a Catholic mom of 1, and for all everyone sighs and moans at the sight of large homeschooling families, 1-child families have a dynamic that can be quite challenging for the stay-at-home parent.  I love how Susan is up front about the problems she works through.  Also, I wish I could write as beautifully as her 4th grader. There’s a reason this blog doesn’t include penmanship samples.

[And so that you’re warned, any snide comments about family size, and I’ll scratch your eyes out. You have no idea.  No. idea.]

180 Days of Homeschool is by Amy, a mom of eight, ages baby to senior in high school.  She’s been at this homeschooling thing for a while, and the day-by-day approach gives a nice realistic look at what it is homeschoolers really do all day.  The other interesting thing for non-homeschoolers to note: by “homeschooling” what we often mean is “sending the kids to school, just not all day every day”.  Amy has a few kids taking classes at a home-school school — think private Catholic school, but courses ordered a la carte, much more like college.

On education: If you aren’t already reading Bearing’s tremendously thorough series on the goals of Catholic education, per the Church, check it out.


On the plane I started reading Grace in the Shadows by Denise Jackson.  I read a lot of self-published books for the Catholic Writers’ Guild Seal of Approval process, so I am fully aware of the trepidation one feels in picking such a work.  The content on this one is excellent.  It’s part-memoir, part no-nonsense talk about the reality of sexual abuse, and how to move forward despite a miserable past.  It has a very personal style (there’s poetry, for one thing) that you wouldn’t see in many traditionally-published books, so I’m glad Denise chose to stick to her guns and write it the way she thought it needed to be told.

At the halfway point, I’m giving it a ‘buy’ recommend for anyone who has the job of creating a safe environment for preventing abuse, or has the vocation of being the friend of a sexual abuse survivor.  Denise Jackson has a very mature, well-balanced Christian spirituality, and what has fascinated me as I read is seeing how many of the patterns of behavior and emotion surrounding sexual abuse are in fact the same patterns you see in many other situations.  Great book.  I can’t wait to finish it.

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