What's On Your Mind?

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By Rebecca Teti


Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti

Comments

  • I was impressed and humbled by all those who participated in this past weeks pro life activities in DC. Especially the young people who were there and those who took the podium from Ave Maria U. Prayers for them and much admiration.

    Posted on Jan 29th, 2013 at 5:55 AM by Toots

  • I'm looking for suggestions on a thoughtful gift or book for my aunt. She lost her husband unexpectedly this past November and her birthday is coming up on Valentine's Day. She's been having a tough time and I know that day will be particularly hard. Thanks!

    Posted on Jan 29th, 2013 at 8:57 AM by Kim

  • Kim, does your aunt have a yard? What about giving her a rosebush or other flowering plant that may remind her of her husband? Of course it may not be feasible to plant anything if she lives in a cold climate but if she lives somewhere warm this may work. Or what about a family birthstone rosary? You could design one and have someone make it--you could use the colors of their children's birthstones for the decades and the birthstone from the month your aunt and uncle were married as the "Glory Be" beads, or perhaps use the birthstones from the month they met, the month they became engaged, the month they were married and the months each of them were born for the decades. That would be a very personal gift!

    Posted on Jan 29th, 2013 at 10:54 AM by Allison

  • Hi, I am struggling with what to do about middle school for my daughter next year. She currently attends Catholic school and our school does go up to 8th grade. She is in 5th grade now. My problem is I see how mean some of the girls are getting and I fear for my daughter. She is shy and sweet and has a couple of good friends. She is not part of the so-called popular crowd, and that is fine with me. She has discovered so many new interests in the last year or so and I feel like she still has this amazing sense of wonder about the world around her. When she is at school, she is very guarded and very self conscious. She is afraid of being noticed and ridiculed by the popular clique. I don't want her to change, I don't want her to be ashamed of herself - but i feel like that is where all this meanness is leading. It breaks my heart to see her keeping her head down when she walks through the school hallways. I am leaning towards homeschooling her, but I am afraid I might be isolating her if I do that. Has anyone been there/done that? I'd love to hear your experiences..thanks.

    Posted on Jan 29th, 2013 at 11:05 AM by E

  • E, I personally know several families who pulled their children out of school and homeschooled them for the middle school years for the very same reasons you mentioned. There are many homeschool classes available for middle schoolers that take place in a classroom setting via a homeschool co-op. I would ask other homeschoolers, even if they have younger children they can usually recommend someone else to talk to or know of a local co-op that offers classes for middle schoolers. I have a middle school son (who has always been homeschooled) who sounds like your daugther. He is involved in Boy Scouts, takes piano lessons, a group music theory class, and a pottery class. This allows him to pursue his interests and gives him a chance to practice making friends and being a friend but doesn't require me running a taxi service. In my opinion it is a common misperception that homeschooled children are socially isolated. I find that my three boys are able to talk to anyone about anything because they are used to being around multiple age groups instead of isolated all day with their peers. My husband and I often receive comments from casual acquaintances (this morning the hair dresser) about how much they enjoy talking to my boys because they can actually carry on a converstaion with them that involves more than "yes" and "no". I can hear in your message how concerned you are about this and your daugther's well being. Have you asked her what she thinks about being homeschooled? You can always try to and if it doesn't work out she can go back to school. Don't forget to pray about it and I'll say some prayers for you, too.

    Posted on Jan 29th, 2013 at 11:37 AM by Jenny

  • Jenny, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful response. I have spoken to my daughter about her feelings on the subject, sometimes she seems interested but other times she says that she would miss her friends. I have nieces & nephews who have been homeschooled and they are very social and confident, the kind of kids who are not at all afraid to speak to people. We live in a small town and I know of only one Catholic homeschool group. I will take your advice and reach out to them - I think I would feel better if I knew there were some kids her age in that group. Thank you for your prayers. I will continue to pray about it. I'm also very unsure that I would be able to do a good job educating her. I'm not always great at explaining things to her when helping her with her homework. I do feel that teachers have a special gift, I'm not sure if I have it. I might be able to save her innocence for a few more years, but I am worried that her education might suffer. Thank you Jenny for responding and understanding.

    Posted on Jan 29th, 2013 at 1:21 PM by E