Susan Kalis

Catholic Catechism on the Angels

Book cover: 'Catholic Catechism on the Angels'
Father John A. Hardon, S.J.

In today's culture, angels are represented on everything from popular television programs to needlecraft projects, but they are rarely portrayed accurately. This little powerhouse of a book sets the record straight on Catholic teaching regarding our "holy helpers". Thorough but concise, it is written for upper high-school students and adults.

Catechism on the Real Presence

Book cover: 'Catechism on the Real Presence'
Father John A. Hardon, S.J.

In September 1965, Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical titled Mysterium Fidei (Mystery of Faith) to provide the faithful with the teachings of the Catholic Church on the doctrine and worship of the Holy Eucharist. The first half of Catechism on the Real Presence is an eloquent question-and-answer catechism that carefully details each of the main points of Mysterium Fidei, cross-referenced to specific paragraphs in the document itself. The latter half of the book contains the entire text of the encyclical itself as a convenient reference.

First Confession

Book cover: 'First Confession'

Companion to First Communion from Our Lady's Catechists.

In twelve lessons, this little book teaches everything that an elementary-school-aged child needs to know to prepare for a holy First Confession. The text is written in the second person, for the teacher to read to the student, and assumes no exceptional degree of teaching experience. Most of the lessons use short stories to illustrate the point being made. A homeschooling parent can simply pick up the book, sit down with their student, and spend their lesson time comfortably and profitably.

Jesus and I

Book cover: 'Jesus and I'
Father Aloysius J. Heeg, S.J.

Jesus and I remains a delightful catechism used to prepare both older and younger children for their First Confession and First Holy Communion. In use for decades, the content is solid yet presented in a manner that is clear and usable with young students. Gentle black and white drawings appeal to more sensitive and/or younger children who shy away from more graphic pictures in modern texts.

First Communion

Book cover: 'First Communion'

Companion to First Confession from Our Lady's Catechists.

In a style very similar to its companion volume, this little book teaches everything that an elementary-school-aged child needs to know to prepare for a holy First Communion. These books may be the first "homeschooling" books ever written on this topic! From page 1: "It should not be forgotten that the ultimate responsibility for the child's spiritual upbringing rests on the parents." Charming full-color illustrations appear throughout the book.

Little Saints

Book cover: 'Little Saints: A Catholic Preschool Program with Classical Disciplines'
Cynthia Blum

I'm just thrilled with it the Little Saints program on my first overview. The subtitle of the book is "A Catholic Preschool Program with Classical Disciplines", and it is just what I wanted last year! I'm going to try it with my soon-to-be-3 year old and my Kindergartner this year.

I Am Special

Book cover: 'I Am Special'
Joan Ensor Plum
Paul S. Plum

I Am Special is a religious education course for three-year-old children, designed for a group-style, parish religious education program. A fully scripted, highly organized and well-planned teacher's guide allows the teacher to get the most out of the program without requiring special training or unusual materials. The student activity book and flannel board figures packet feature full-color cartoon-style artwork that may appeal to very young children. Most activities are group-oriented, but many of them could be adapted for homeschooling use with some modification.

CHC Lesson Plan Guide: Middle School Years

Book cover: 'CHC Lesson Plan Guide: Middle School Years'

I have just finished planning the school year for my 5th and 8th graders using the new CHC Lesson Plan Guide for the Middle School Years, and I have never had such a productive and enjoyable time of it! Normally, I like to plan, but there never seemed to be enough time or information in one place to do it effectively or efficiently. I prefer a customized curriculum for each of my students, emphasizing their particular interests while shoring up their weaker subjects. With six students alongside little ones, planning the school year's curriculum is a very time-consuming process.

Lesson Planner

Book cover: 'Lesson Planner'
Rita Munn

Can a practical, hard-working tool designed for everyday use also be inspiring and elegant? The CHC Lesson Planner is just such a tool. Developed to be used with the CHC Middle School Lesson Plan Guide, it is completely useful at any grade level and with any curriculum. This inexpensive plan book is consumable and designed for all subjects for one student for one academic year.

Saintly Solutions to Life's Common Problems

Book cover: 'Saintly Solutions to Life's Common Problems'
Fr. Joseph Esper

For more than twenty years, Fr. Esper has been a priest as well as an author, conference speaker, and authority on the lives of the saints. He has written this book to serve as a guide to perfecting our own weaknesses through the examples and experiences of the Communion of the Saints. This book isn't intended to be read straight through from cover to cover, but rather to be picked up and studied in short segments, so it is especially appealing to a busy, homeschooling family.


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