Thursday, April 13, 2017

My Summer Projects! Faith Formation for this Fall

Try the first packet FREE, click to download Week 1
I've really been burning the midnight oil as I put together short saint studies (about 4 a month) for elementary students, and it has been so much fun to see these come together!  Each study is just one page, with a short kid-friendly biography, saint image to color, and fun review activity (cro
sswords, word search, word scramble, etc). April's saints are on TpT now (individually and as a bundle) and I've already begun preparation of my first May saint, St. Damien of Molokai. Others for May will be St. Rita, St. Philip Neri, St. Augustine of Canterbury, and St. Joan of Arc.

The other project that has enriched my evening hours so deeply is a set of supplemental lessons for use with the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism I.  I've used SJBC I in my religion classes for years, and find that my students love the illustrations and review questions at the end of each lesson. My project expands on these activities, adding greater use of the treasury of prayers, devotions, and information available in SJBC I, especially the dictionary and index at the back for helping students understand the theological terms used in the catechism.  Each lesson also includes catechism Q&A sheets requiring students to fill in missing words from each Question/Answer set. The first week's packet is available for free in my TpT Store.  To download this sample, click here. And be sure to FOLLOW my store for updates as the remaining lessons become available online.
Click here to purchase the April Saints Bundle

Please pray for these projects as summer activities ramp up and the school year winds down.  My daughter is really eager to begin work on her set this fall.  I hope you also find them useful!

God bless!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Reviving the Mobile Atrium 2016-17

Below is a link to a slide show of our Atrium on the first day of school. We've added several new works since September, and more are on the way.

Photos of our works and activities this year will be posted soon (after the last day of classes at the end of April).  All of this material is transported into and out of the church once a week, and sets up in about 30-40 minutes.  Thankfully, the bookshelves belong to the church, as they would never fit in my van!

The responses of the children and their parents to this effort have made it all worthwhile!  I have had a wonderful year and am looking forward to another in the fall.


Helping Kids Know the Saints --> That's My Goal!

My most recent adventure has been the creation of short (one-page) saint studies for grades 1-3, with an answer key and teaching notes.  I am learning so much myself, and my daughter loves the colorful images of the saints and the fun review activities.  This month's saints (so far) are:

  • St Bernadette, April 16 (coming soon)

New saints will be added every month, so check them out!   God bless!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Handwriting Resources for Catholic Children

It is very exciting to see my "creations" serve other moms, dads, catechists and teachers. I feel so blessed to have a chance to offer low-cost and free resources to others who are working to instill the Catholic faith in young children.

Since I opened my TeachersPayTeachers online store in February,  dozens of resources have been downloaded, and hundreds of views have been recorded.  I've purchased several free resources and new products to enhance these teaching tools, including images related to the mass, the saints, and more.

Two of the most recent offerings I've added
are my "Trace and Copy" handwriting worksheets for young children or elementary students in need of copywork.

A collection of weekly lessons and lesson plans for use with the Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism I is under construction, and is slated for release by the start of the new school year this fall. To be notified when this resource is ready, visit my store and click the "follow me" link under my store name to receive email updates about this and other products as they become available.

My other catechism resource, First Communion Flash Cards for use with the Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism is available now and has been very well received.  It is available in a full color, and an inksaver format.

Some of my popular free resources are also available at the store:

If you purchase or download any of these items, please take a moment to rate the product. TPT provides store credits for ratings on any purchased items.

I hope these resources are useful and affordable tools for your faith formation endeavor.  May God bless you!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

A New Bible Study Resource for Young Catholic Students

The dishes are not done. The laundry is not folded.  BUT the kids are fed and I've got a great new resource for Catholic faith formation that teaches how to study both the Bible and the Catechism!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Introducing OLG Creations for Faith Formation

After years of teaching Religion at our parish, our co-op, and in my homeschool, I am pleased to roll out some of my teaching tools for use by others.  My first items were posted at earlier today, including:

Please check out these items and follow me at TPT for future products, including a black & white version, and combo pack for the First Communion flash cards.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Homeschooling Our Way - Making Math Fun

Math -- the ultimate homeschool battlefield. Since pre-school, I have struggled to help my daughter grasp the basics of addition and subtraction.  It was, as my husband called it, the explosive subject. I tried many different approaches suggested by other homeschooling moms, to no avail. And it all came to the surface this fall, when my 7 year old daughter packed a bag and walked away in frustration.  I watched her sitting on a neighbor's porch, trying to hide from me, feeling like a failure in everything I was trying to accomplish as a mom and as a teacher.
 I had already moved her back from the advanced level she did last year to an easier, second grade curriculum. We were battling over the basics: 1 + 1 = I hate you. And this was after she had succeeded in triple-digit addition and subtraction at the end of her first grade year (although not without a fight).

As my husband returned from his walk, I alerted him by text to stop by our neighbor's porch and comfort her.  Once he arrived, she felt compelled to cooperate.  Yet, I knew he would be returning to campus very soon, and I would not have him present to help when the next skirmish might arise.

In the days that followed, my husband and I discussed our daughter's very unique personality and temperament.  We decided on an experiment I greatly doubted -- introducing her favorite "puppet personalities" into the classroom.  Since she was two, we've had a host of puppets around to entertain her, and each has developed its own quirky character over the years.  While I reluctantly consented to this approach, I was convinced it would not work.

To my husband's credit, I was wrong.  Our classroom experience has been transformed.  She and I are no longer at odds over homework, not even MATH.  In fact, it has gone from her least favorite subject to her new favorite pastime.  Today her reward for helping with chores was an extra math lesson taught by her puppet pals, Piggy and Cow.  With me urging them on, these two fuzzy puppets write problems on a white board and wait eagerly with red pen for grading (Piggy loves the red pen!).
They encourage her as she reads. And whenever her quick temper begins to spark, Cow yells "Bacon" and Piggy faints. The familiar banter continues, as a temper tantrum and total homeschool shutdown is averted.

We've come a long way over the years, and we have finally learned the most important lesson of homeschooling -- it doesn't have to mirror the methods traditionally used in the public or private school classroom.  Common errors can be made by a puppet, and corrected by another, so that our daughter learns from the mistake without having to make it herself.  Schoolwork can be chaotic and silly.  It can anticipate distraction and a puppet can shout "Focus" without invoking great wrath and defiance from my extremely strong-willed child when her attention wanes. 

We have gone from "making:" her do schoolwork to begging her to STOP doing so many extra lessons so I can prepare the evening meal!  Math has gone from being a dreaded chore to a special reward.  And that's just fine with us!