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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Author Archives: John Clark

John Clark
John Clark is a homeschooling father, a speechwriter, an online course developer for Seton Home Study School, and a weekly blogger for The National Catholic Register. His latest book is “How to be a Superman Dad in a Kryptonite World, Even When You Can’t Afford a Decent Cape.”
Do Homeschool Kids have an Unfair Advantage?

Do Homeschool Kids have an Unfair Advantage?

We can’t socialize well (because we never go out of the house); we’re not good at sports; it’s not healthy to spend so much time around your Mom; we’re not qualified to teach geography (because we never go out of the house); we’re not qualified to teach anything; snow days are healthy for kids and homeschoolers don’t get snow days, and so forth.

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Does Time Change How You See Things?

Does Time Change How You See Things?

A few months ago, I wrote an article dealing with blaming yourself as a Catholic parent whose children have veered off course. In it, I told the story of a man who spent an afternoon in a famous museum. The man walked around and observed the paintings of Raphael and the sculptures of Michelangelo.

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How To Be Your Best In Homeschooling

How To Be Your Best In Homeschooling

In my experience, no one makes comparisons more than homeschoolers. We say things like: “Mrs. Jones is better than I am at teaching math,” or “Why can’t we get our kids to do their violin practice as well as Mrs. Smith’s children?” or “That family doesn’t let their kids watch television—they’re better than we are.”

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Homeschool Analogies: Got Any?

Homeschool Analogies: Got Any?

Someone mentioned to my wife lately that she doesn’t usually read my fatherhood/homeschooling columns because I use too many sports analogies. For instance, over the years, I have written that baseball is like “raspberry sorbet for the mind;” I have said that life is about “how many shots you take, rather than how many baskets you make;” and I recently wrote that being a good father was like being a “hockey goalie,” and so forth.

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waffle with berries - Why We Should Sit at the Kids’ Table

Why We Should Sit at the Kids’ Table

As I took a little trip down the memory lane of my mind, I started to explain to my little children that, although I was 42 years old, I had never quite “graduated” from the kids’ table. At first this bothered me, but I had come to respect the camaraderie, the conviviality...

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how to homeschool better immediately

How to Homeschool Better… Immediately

As we parents sit down to help our children with their homeschooling, I think we would have to admit that some of the biggest distractions are often the ones inside ourselves—the ones that keep popping into our minds as we attempt to teach.

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Thank You Cards: Keeping it Grateful

Thank You Cards: Keeping it Grateful

When a person complains, his creative abilities break free. But it’s also proof to me that we fallen humans don’t commend people well; we don’t thank them enough; and we pat each other on the back far too little.

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Un-Common Core: Where Does it Go?

Un-Common Core: Where Does it Go?

There has been a lot of worry lately among homeschooling parents regarding the “common core” curriculum. Judging by the amount of views by readers of this journal, it is the biggest issue of the day. But the problem is not so much in merely having a common core—it is in what that common core consists. Some cores are good and some are rotten.

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Diary of a Country Mother: A Year Remembering Tim

Diary of a Country Mother: A Year Remembering Tim

After you finish the last page, there are books that you forget about right away. But then there are those rare ones that remain with you forever. Cynthia Montanaro’s Diary of a Country Mother is one of those. This book is a biography of her mentally-challenged son, Timothy, whose life was cut short in an accident as a teenager. Montanaro, a homeschooling veteran, says that she wrote it as a celebration of Tim’s life, but most of all as a “thanksgiving journal to God.”

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4 Ways to Stop Blaming Yourself as a Parent

4 Ways to Stop Blaming Yourself as a Parent

First, stop insisting that you “went wrong” with your kids. I don’t know exactly how Jesus felt when He was betrayed by Judas. But I do know this: I know that Jesus did not wonder where He went wrong with Judas. Jesus didn’t “go wrong.”

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Ten Books That Changed My Life (And Might Change Yours) Part I

Ten Books That Changed My Life (And Might Change Yours) Part I

My father, an accomplished carpenter, always seemed to be building “one more bookcase” to meet the literary demands of his wife. For all the things that our large Catholic family did not have, we had a treasury of books. My mother’s consummate genius in homeschooling pedagogy reached its zenith with a simple rule for her children: you can stay up as late as you want as long as you are reading.

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child eating ice cream

Cookie Cutters and Angels

It’s often lamented that babies don’t come with manuals.  Of course, this isn’t true—babies do come with manuals.  They are called “parenting books.” There are books that tell you how ...

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The Primrose Path

The Primrose Path

When I was about five or six years old, I remember that my maternal grandmother had a beautiful garden in her backyard that she spent many hours cultivating. Among her ...

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