Announcing: The Coralean Islands!
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
8M ago
Exciting news: Gianna has a new novel out! The Coralean Islands is the second book in her Four Red Banners series. (She published the first book, Four Red Banners, a couple years ago.) I honestly enjoyed this story even more than the last. It picks up where Four Red Banners left off but centers on the royal brothers. Here's the book description: The Coralean Islands have been suddenly attacked by an enemy neighbor, and King Colan and his army are headed to defend their territory. But deeper trouble than war awaits them there. Colan and his cousin Marius have a serious quarrel that threa ..read more
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Catholic History and Religion :: 2023-24 School Year
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
1y ago
It's my annual post on our Catholic history and religion for the upcoming school year! Below you'll find lots of Catholic supplements for medieval and modern history, which is what we'll be studying the coming year with the CMEC. As usual, I have also included some Bible and religion resources I'll be using and links to recommendations from years past. This post is organized into the following categories: Bible for all Forms, Catholic Historical Supplements for Forms 1-3, Religion for Forms 1-3, and Catholic Historical Supplements and Religion for Forms 4 & 5 (High School). P ..read more
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{This and That} :: Summer's End
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
1y ago
Well, we are in our FINAL week of summer here. This break has flown by -- I have gathered some of the reasons why below! Now we are closing out our long break and putting final touches on our plans for a new year of learning together... ~~~ First, the big news: I shared on Instagram a few weeks ago but don't think I shared here yet. We are so very grateful to be pregnant with another little Cruz! I'm almost at the half-way point and the kids can't wait to find out what gender this little tie-breaker will be. He or she will join us in January, God willing. ~~~ A highlight of my summer was the ..read more
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Catholic History and Religion :: 2022-2023 School Year
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
1y ago
Thanks for your patience as I put this annual post together! Here I'm offering some suggestions for books that tie to the 1780-1900 time period we are studying this year in American, English, and world history (as well as a few for ancient Rome, our focus for ancients!) and additional resources for our regular Bible and religion studies. This year, I am assigning Catholic reading for eight formal students: two in Form 5 (11th graders), two in Form 3 (7th grader and 8th grader), two in Form 2 (4th grader and 5th grader), and two in Form 1 (1st grader and 3rd grader). Once again, we will b ..read more
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{This and That} :: A June Update
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
2y ago
Hello friends! Last time I was in this space, I shared about Christmas baking; somehow six months flew by and now it's June. Time for an update... ~~~ We finished our school year back in April, so have been on break for the past six weeks or so. I always begin summer break with really high hopes for all I will be able to get done. Then about a week or so in, I realize that I still have children to care for, meals to cook, and all the usual life tasks to stay on top of, even if it is a "break." So I have to put my projects in perspective and go through a few iterations of a summer schedule ..read more
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{This and That} :: Baby Edition!
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
2y ago
If you follow me on Instagram or on the Joyous Lessons Facebook page, you have already heard our happy news! But in case you haven't... Introducing... Emilia Agnes Cruz Born January 18, 2020 6 pounds, 12 ounces 19.5 inches Despite the long wait for her arrival (she was 11 days overdue, my second latest) and the loooooong days of mild and sporadic contractions that dominated last week for me, labor itself was fast and unlike any of my others (which all followed roughly the same pattern). I actually went into active labor right when we arrived for my scheduled induction at 9pm. Baby arrived ..read more
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So This Is the New Year
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
2y ago
This year's Christmas card (If you know the song my post title comes from, we might be of a similar age. I was taking a walk down musical memory lane the other night, revisiting old favorites. It has been a while!) I'm back! Jumping back into online life now that the Twelve Days of Christmas are through and we're easing back into regular routines. Well, not quite regular routines. My due date is today! We are doing Term 2 exams this week and then will be back on break until after our babymoon. So this is just a short (God willing!) stretch of normalcy as we play the waiting game fo ..read more
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Sweet Treats for Christmastime
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
2y ago
I don't do a ton of baking for holidays, but I do have a few tried-and-true recipes that are always on our list. Below are five treats I make every year without fail. 1. Knock-Off Cranberry Bliss Bars This is a Starbucks copycat recipe and always gets rave reviews from friends and neighbors. After misplacing my mom's recipe, I pulled together a variety of online versions and combined them to make my own favorite. I always make a double batch (two 9x13 pans) on St. Lucy's Day -- I frost one for our St. Lucy's tea, and put the other unfrosted pan in the freezer to pull out and frost for Christ ..read more
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{This and That} :: December 1st
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
2y ago
Hello friends! Are you enjoying the start of December? With Thanksgiving past, Advent present, and Christmas to come, it's one of my favorite "seasons" of the year! We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving that I took literally zero photos of. How is that possible?! Thanksgiving Friday we were able to go to Mass and visit the graves of family members for All Souls' Day/month. It's always so striking to see children at a cemetery -- a good reminder of both the mortality of the body and the immortality of the soul. ~~~ Advent is such a holy time of the year. I love how the preparation we must do in ..read more
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Learning in Community :: Fall 2021
Joyous Lessons Blog
by Celeste
2y ago
When I first began homeschooling, there were no Charlotte Mason groups in my area, so I decided to start one! I began with a nature club, and for the past ten years, we have been meeting almost every Friday for a walk/hike/meet-up in a wild space of some kind, with time for exploration, nature journaling, and play. A couple years later, we added on a monthly-ish Charlotte Mason study group for those interested. Together we have gone through Mason's volumes and many Parents' Review articles. Over the years, members have come and gone -- some have made different schooling choices, some have mov ..read more
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