I’m not sure I’ve mentioned to y’all that I plan to homeschool Lorelei next year. She’s going to be in fourth grade, and I’ve done that before, so I already have a lot of resources, and I’ve slowly been gathering others over the last several months.
There was one place I was stuck, though, and it’s kind of an important place! I couldn’t find a religion book that I liked.
The religion book I used for Jake and Teddy was actually my own religion book from way back in 1976-1977. (Yes, I saved those kinds of things and I’m glad!) While it’s true that catechesis in the 1970s was a mess, this book was pretty good. St. Joseph’s School switched to a new program the following year–I still have that book–and it was dreadful, practically content-free. But this one covered all the basic fourth grade stuff–Commandments, Beatitudes, Works of Mercy, and more–that is still being taught in fourth grade today.
And because I was using it for William in 2011, and it was in his backpack in the living room of what we now call “the burned down house,” it’s gone forever.
But you can find anything on the internet, right? But I couldn’t remember the name of this book. I knew what it looked like, and roughly when it was published, and what grade it was for, that’s all. And no book that looked like that EVER appeared, not once, in many, many months of off-and-on searching. I even asked the school if they had a record of what book we used back then–no dice. I conducted research on Catholic publishing companies and looked up every book that was published around that time. My head swam with publishing companies (Sadlier, Benziger, Loyola) and their various programs. Nope. I spent hours on this, y’all. I really had my heart set on that book.
Surely, you ask, there are plenty of other fourth grade Catholic religion textbooks out there? Why, yes, yes, there are. But I didn’t want to risk an old one that I hadn’t seen before because, as I mention above, many of the ones that were around back then were just bad. And I don’t like the modern ones I’ve seen which are too jam-packed with information and fill-in-the-blank pages. (Honestly, I just don’t like modern textbooks.) What I liked about this one is that it was very simple with short chapters that I could then expand on.
I finally found one that seemed similar in content (by looking at a screenshot of the Table of Contents) to the one I remembered. I thought I could maybe try to make do. But when I went to order it on Amazon it was about $25–kind of a lot to spend for an unknown. I searched for it again and found some really cheap copies put up by someone who did not even bother to include a picture of the cover. So that’s what I ordered.
Have you figured out the punchline yet? We came home from a short vacation yesterday and my package was waiting for me. As I tore open the bag I saw not the book I was expecting but the ONE I HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR. Apparently, it was just a different edition of the one I thought I was ordering. Some of the material has been rearranged, and of course it has a different cover. And to sweeten the pot, it’s not written in (which of course mine was) AND it’s a teacher edition with all kinds of other good stuff at the end.
So that’s a propitious omen for my return to homeschooling. I look forward to sharing my other adventures with you this year!
For more of my writings on homeschooling, see below: