Reviews by Contributor
Maria Rioux began her undergraduate studies at Thomas Aquinas College, where she met her husband, Jean. Jean is a professor and chair of the philosophy department at Benedictine College, where Maria is a theology major slowly completing her degree. They have been blessed with eight children, and are eagerly awaiting the birth of their youngest son in January.
Together they have been home educating their children for the past 19 years. In those early days of homeschooling there were not many resources available. As a consequence, they developed their own curriculum which reflects their love for classical education as well as their affection for Charlotte Mason. It is now available upon request and will soon be available online online (no cost) at this site.
Maria loves philosophical discussions. She and her husband can, and have, spent a good part of a pleasant evening out wondering about such things as what would happen if you were travelling in a car at the speed of light and then turned the high beams on. She spends much of her spare time studying Scripture and theology. She also likes to study history primarily because it is, at the core, a study of human nature and God's providential care. (She is owner and co-moderator of the yahoo group, TheHistoryPlace.) She loves to write. She likes to take long hikes with her children, who also love to discuss, and especially enjoys the window into their minds and hearts that this provides. When she's feeling well (i.e. is not pregnant) she enjoys horseback riding and biking with her children and working on home improvement projects. She does not enjoy gardening, but will work hard at growing flowers and herbs for the sake of small children.
Maria has been a speaker at homeschooling conferences and a guest lecturer at Benedictine College. Her talks include: Living the Liturgical Year in the Domestic Church, The Woman's Role in the Church, The Best of Both: Merging a Classical Education with Charlotte Mason's Methods, The Blessings in Crosses, and Ora et Labora: Service as Prayer. Maria is a member of the planning committee which helped to develop the Charlotte Mason based curriculum, Mater Amabilis. She is a contributing author to Cay Gibson's book, "Literature Alive!" She occasionally writes articles for Catholic and homeschooling publications. She has helped to design religious garments for children (http://www.ourcoatsofmanycolors.com/), and is currently working on unit studies to accompany them.
She is also working jointly with Frances Butek on "Sacramental Scholastychs": a series of lap book type projects. Just as a triptych unfolds to reveal the icons within, the projects children can create with these kits merge the beauty of art with that of Church teaching as it pertains to the sacraments, in a three-fold manner. They explain the connections between the Old Testament pre-figurement and the New Testament fulfillment of each sacrament, clarify how, when, where and why each sacrament is received, and explore the lives of saints who provide lived examples of grace in action. They will be available through Illuminated Ink and Emmanual Books.
Of the various projects she has contributed to or worked on on her own, none is as satisfying as the one most suited to her vocation: that of caring for and educating the children she has been blessed with.