Suchi Myjak

Finding Darwin's God

Author(s): 
Kenneth Miller

This book sat on our bookshelf for quite a while, unread. Honestly, I found the title offputting, especially given Charles Darwin's known rejection of God in his own life. Eventually, my husband read it, and encouraged me to do the same.

Cuisenaire Rods

When I first researched homeschooling products and resources, I spent quite some time looking at different math manipulatives. For one thing, there are so many, and for another, I love math. I remember wondering whether these colored rods would really be worth purchasing, as they are on the expensive side. And my math education, as far as I could remember, had been accomplished without a single manipulative.

Then I found Miquon Math, and immediately liked the concept. Miquon uses Cuisenaire rods as their primary manipulative, so with some trepidation, I acquired a starter set.

My First Number Book

Book cover: 'My First Number Book'
Author(s): 
Marie Heinst

This delightful picture book introduces many math concepts to preschoolers. We have enjoyed working through concepts such as counting, matching, sorting, sets, and sequencing. The illustrated pages make it fun for my son to discover more, less, and equal, addition and subtraction, geometric solids, and more. For example, matching begins with familiar matching pairs such as handprints, shoes, and earrings. Ideas of more or less begin to take shape as the child ponders such questions as, "Are there enough collars for the puppies?"

Othello

cover from first quarto, c 1619
Author(s): 
William Shakespeare

Othello, which we studied in tenth grade, is a dark play, a tragedy brought about by Othello's surrender to Iago's campaign of deceit.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Title page of the play, from the first quarto
Author(s): 
William Shakespeare

We studied this Shakespeare comedy in 9th grade using an "interleaved" edition featuring the original text on one side and notes to clarify the meanings of archaic terms on the facing pages. Looking at the text on the pages was a little daunting, but it is amazing what a difference reading it aloud in class made. Suddenly the words were not so strange or difficult to follow any more, and as it is a play -- not a novel -- reading aloud really helped bring it to life. Our class was also able to attend a live outdoor performance, which further enhanced our study of the play.

St. Patrick's Summer

Book cover: 'St Patricks Summer'
Author(s): 
Marigold Hunt
Illustrator(s): 
Theodore Schluenderfritz

I recently read St. Patrick's Summer aloud to my children. They absolutely loved it! Frequently, they begged for "just a little more," and I enjoyed it so much that I often obliged.

The set-up: Michael and Cecelia need help preparing for their First Holy Communions, but Mrs. Murphy, their teacher, is at her wits' end. She says their questions would stump a bishop. So she asks St. Patrick to help and he does so in a most unusual way: by appearing to the children, showing them events from the past, and answering their questions.

Life is a Blessing

Book cover: 'Life is a Blessing'
Author(s): 
Clara Lejeune
Translator(s): 
Michael J. Miller

Written by his daughter, this book brings us a portrait of a great Christian, loving husband and father, and devoted son who was also one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century.

Rome Sweet Home

Book cover: 'Rome Sweet Home'
Author(s): 
Scott Hahn
Kimberly Hahn

From a young age, Kimberly wanted to be a minister. When her study of the Bible convinced her that the ordination of women as pastors was unbiblical, she deicded that she would do the next best thing and be a pastor's wife. Enter Scott, a fellow student at Grove City College whose plans for the future focussed on preaching and teaching. This book tells the story of their journey from anti-Catholic to Rome Sweet Home. Along the way, we see God working in their lives in events large and small.

Surprised by Truth 3

Book cover: 'Surprised by Truth 3'
Author(s): 
Patrick Madrid (ed.)

This third collection in the series features the stories of ten more converts. As with the previous collections, these make great reading for those inquiring into the Catholic faith.

The New Catholic Answer Bible

Book cover: 'The New Catholic Answer Bible'
Author(s): 
Paul Thigpen
Dave Armstrong
Illustrator(s): 
Kevin Davidson

The New Catholic Answer Bible is a pretty standard revised New American Bible (RNAB) plus inserts about various aspects of Catholic teaching. It is not (as I had at first thought) a "study Bible" with lots of notes about the Scriptural content, relating it to doctrine, liturgy, history, etc. The inserts are basically short apologetic tracts written by a pair of well-known Catholic apologists. A reference to the book of the Bible into which they are inserted often, though not always, provides a connection.

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