Category Archives: Catholic Sistas

The Official “Catholic Through the Year” Blog Tour


Catholic Sistas is pleased to announce The Official Catholic Through The Year Blog Tour
This blog tour is intended to spread the word about this budget friendly downloadable and printable Catholic planner. We will be hosting a giveaway throughout the tour as well, which will include a free calendar and your choice of any/all of our available bundles {Homeschool Lesson Planner, Household Management, or Catholic Blogger}. Scroll to the bottom to see those details, and good luck! If this if your first time hearing about this amazing planning and organizing tool, you’ll want to stop by our store and our sample pages to see what all the fuss is! 


I’m excited to share with my reader friends, Catholic Through the Year, Catholic Planner created by CatholicSistas.  It is a wonderful planner with many options and BUDGET FRIENDLY! The neat thing is that it is not just a planner:
My favorite aspects of this planner is the versatility of it and the options it has.  For example, in the calendar/agenda area you have a monthly planner: 

Also following are weekly planners:

CALENDAR details

  • 154 8.5″x11″ downloadable pages to print using your own home printer or take to a printer to have it professionally printed – your choice! {you can also adjust your printer to print it in booklet size, making it perfect for tossing in your purse}
  • print in COLOR or B&W — your choice
  • beautiful cover sheet
  • 2015/2016 academic and 2015 traditional calendar available
  • this liturgical planner was created using the standard guidelines of the Church calendar, both the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969 used in the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite {the Novus Ordo} and the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope St. Pius V and reissued by Pope St. John XXIII in 1962 used in the Extraordinary Form {the Traditional Latin Mass – TLM}
  • year at a glance
  • 12 month at-a-glance pages {two-page spread per month for maximum use}
  • weekly planners for each month, giving you plenty of customizable space to meet your family’s needs
  • includes a personal information page,
  • contact sheet for friends, family, & acquaintances,
  • multiple pages for note taking {or doodling, if that’s what you like to do!},
  • and a meaty section on prayer, including verses from Sacred Scripture, quotes from saints, & references pulled from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as a truncated list of common prayers.
In addition, there is a Homeschooling section, which includes Lesson plans:

An evaluation sheet to use with each child as well as a grade sheet for each subject:
A homeschool conference kit (created by yours truly, btw):


  •  beautiful cover sheet
  • 48 pages total
  • 36 pages of blank lesson plans waiting for you to get ready for the school year! Verses from Sacred Scripture, quotes from saints, and snippets from the Catechism of the Catholic Church laced throughout.
  • grade sheet printable to print as many times as needed
  • an evaluation sheet to monitor your kiddo/s’ work habits, as well as yourself!
  • and a report card printable for you to print on card stock, making your homeschool reporting look professional!
There is also a Household Management Set which includes a Birthday & Anniversary list and a gift list:

A Monthly and Weekly Menu organizer:

Also a budget planner:


  • beautiful cover sheet
  • 40 pages
  • a re-usable to-do list to keep track of what needs to get done throughout the day {lamination recommended}
  • 12 month of meals calendars, August 2014-July 2015
  • weekly meal planner printable to print as many times as you will use it through the year
  • daily cleaning list {lamination recommended}
  • weekly & monthly cleaning lists {lamination recommended}
  • fall & spring cleaning lists {lamination recommended}
  • 23 day organizing challenge which outlines different tasks to tackle
  • household tips sheet with some cool tidbits of information to make your life easier
  • around the house master project list
  • budget list for finances for all months of the year
  • birthday & anniversary list, by month
  • AND a gift list, with a breakdown to designate Christmas, birthday, or anniversary

For my friends who are bloggers, she has an additional Set just for bloggers to get organized and to build your sponsors:


  •  beautiful cover sheet
  • 53 pages
  • additional cover sheets for each blogging month
  • goals sheet for each month
  • daily maintenance sheet to keep track of your posts and what you’ve done with social media, did you pray?, etc.
  • brainstorm sheet with room to spread out and jot down ideas, tags, categories, SEO, where to promote, time and supplies needed, and any offshoot post ideas
  • guest post sheet to keep track of details for those who wish to write on your blog
  • sponsor sheet to keep track of ads, $ coming in, and start/end date for the ads
  • AND a month of posts sheet to jot down all the post titles for the month, as well as recording numbers for all your social media

See what I mean? This Planner has it all oganized for you.  If you are anything like me, you need this in your life!  Even if you are not a stickler for schedules and planners, this will always help keep your life glued together.  Something you can always jump back to when things haven’t gone as planned. 😉  Want to see more pictures?  


As part of the Catholic Through the Year Blog Tour Contest, I am lucky to be able to give away an entire “Catholic Through the Year” downloadable planner! Not only will you receive the calendar, but you will also get the home management, blogger, and the homeschooling bundles as well!

Want to enter to win? Simply leave me a comment below on why you would like to win. Want to increase your odds with extra entries? Go to Raising Little Saints Facebook page and like the page and share the link to this post on your own Facebook page (or click share below!). You will receive 2 extra entries for doing so! The contest opens today and will end next Thursday, July 30th with the winner being announced Friday, July 31st.

Want a planner but don’t want to wait for the contest to end? You can order your very own planner, or any portion of it, at the Catholic Sistas website. Not only is this a great planner, but it is extremely affordable too. Check it out here.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to leave your comment below! Good luck!


JULY 20 – Ashley Woleben at Between the Linens
JULY 21 – Jen Frost at Faith & Fabric
JULY 22 – Hilary Weston at Sweetness and Joy
JULY 23 – Sarah Reinhard at Snoring Scholar
JULY 24 – Michelle Fritz at Tales from the Side of the Tub
JULY 27 – Debbie Gaudino at Saints 365
JULY 28 – Erika Drain at Raising Little Saints
JULY 29 – Catholic Mom
JULY 30 – Kerri Baunach at Journal of a Nobody

JULY 31 – Barb Szyszkiewicz at Franciscan Mom
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Foolproof {Catholic} Homeschool Days

Here is my most recent article written for for a series entitled {Catholic} Homeschooling 101:

Okay ladies, do not laugh but here it is: a foolproof plan for your {Catholic} Homeschool day!  Seriously, I’ve been working on this little list for years now and have had a chance to institute it with my lovely {but very headstrong} five little blessings and guess what?  IT WORKS!  And since it works {and I struggled so long to find something like this} I had to share it.  So here it goes; of course, some days this plan won’t work because illnesses happen, babies are born, etc., etc., but under somewhat normal conditions, this plan really does work:

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Teaching the Love of Writing in {Catholic} Homeschooling

Writing has always been a priority in our Catholic Homeschool from when we first started, I’ve always

provided our children with papers and writing utensils of all kinds.  I have basically been very informal about it.  Always making sure that the children from the moment they can grasp a spoon that they are given ample opportunities to explore with writing.  Yes, I do start them out very early.  It is a very natural approach to teaching the love of writing to my children, even if at the beginning the writing utensils spends most of its life drowned in drool.  At first, this is a messy task but eventually my children learn that putting marker, pen, chalk, crayon, or colored pencil to paper, chalk board, dry erase board, notebook, or construction paper means we write letters and then words which together turn into sentences which eventually will make paragraphs with wonderful stories.  Equally important is matching these words with pictures, beautiful colorful ones and even simple pencil drawn ones.  We are constantly writing and my children don’t even notice that I am sneaking in some very important future writing skills in to them from early on.

As we started day two of this, our fifth homeschooling year, I am able to see how much this has helped my children be comfortable with writing.  This year I am formalizing our writing a little more as my eldest little is in the third grade.  I do realize when I was a school teacher children in the first and second grade were composing paragraphs, which is fine but I wanted to try a different approach.  In my way of teaching I wanted the children always exposed to writing and drawing.  As a Reading Specialist I thought it would be a great way to help children with reading comprehension in the future.  I have noticed that when I read to my children they are constantly examining the pictures on the page as I read the lovely little stories they have been exposed to.  This, in turn, helps them create images in their minds as they are reading to better understand and remember what was read.  It is a known fact that children who write before they read become better readers than those who do not.  So, to me, providing so much writing so early is a win-win situation.  (This does not mean I am not providing reading opportunities either, reading to my children is equally important for both reading and writing.)

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10 Steps to Selecting a {Catholic} Homeschool Curriculum

Selecting a curriculum can be a truly overwhelming task each year for homeschooling mothers.  So many times I have said to myself, “if I could see that book, I’d know if I want it!”  Right?  Then you hop online look through blogs of perfect homes, with perfect mom teachers, that have the perfect school rooms, and then there is Pinterest…then you are headed to Confession, jealousy is a lousy sin.  No seriously, is it not just frustrating?  😀  How do these women just *KNOW* that’s the right Math book?  Why did it not work for *MY* child?  🙂  Well, here’s why:  There IS NOT one set curriculum that is perfect for everyone.  There I said it.  So here’s another secret that lady that introduced you to homeschool forgot to mention, the beauty of homeschooling is that you are able to create a custom curriculum that is beneficial to *YOUR* family.  What works for another family may not be the best fit for another, or *gasp* what works for one of your children may not work for another.    Okay, so now lets take a deep breath and investigate how these ladies on their blogs look so with it.  I confess many times I have said, “when I grow up I want to be just like Jessica from Shower of Roses.”  Don’t laugh, I have said it..even to her.:D
Over the years our family has tried a variety of things – ranging from being an eclectic homeschooler, to using a complete curriculum package to creating things to use, and it has morphed into a combination of pieces that we now use together as a family and components that we use individually to round out the various subject areas.  So how do you decide what is the right fit for your family/homeschool?
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Getting Over the Free Range Chicken Syndrome in Catholic Homeschooling {OR How to Find Order in Your Homeschool}

For me, homeschooling was about pride for a long time. We were going to do everything differently from schooled children, every day, and all the time. There was no way I was going to teach my children like school systems teach or keep such a tight schedule. We will school in our pajamas and we will wake up when our body is ready to wake up! We will go on field trips at least once a week! We will do arts and crafts every day! Free range chickens vs. those chickens in those super crowded, mega sized coups. We are free range chickens!!! At least we were… until I realized that we are not.
I realized that my family has needs that free range chickens do not have. By my family, I mean the mother hen (the rooster kinda goes with the flow most of the time when it comes to homeschooling issues. He mostly steps in to discipline when called upon by a frantic mother hen). Two years ago I gave in and took another look at my Free-Range Chicken Philosophy. Even though we were getting all our schoolwork done, there was an overall feeling of chaos throughout the day. From meal planning to lesson planning to crisis management, it was all improvised.  Day in, and day out…free range chickens!
So what was not working with this free range chicken philosophy? 
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Teaching Religion in the {Catholic} Homeschool

Quite often I am asked about how I deal with teaching religion in our homeschool. My thoughts on this have evolved over our 15+ years of homeschooling, mainly because I have evolved over that same time. When we first began homeschooling I was still in the learning phase of my faith; although I guess a more accurate term would be the “re-learning” phase because supposedly I had learned about my faith during my 10 years in CCD. What a joy it was to go through religion books with my oldest children when they were first starting out and learn right along with them. I think back in those early days we used almost every religion program out there: SetonFaith and Life, Image of God, The Baltimore Catechism.
As our knowledge and our children grew, we began to venture out into the world of activities more often. We happen to belong to a homeschool group that is very focused on activities that revolve around the faith. It was after a few years of being involved in processions, Masses, field trips to religious places, talks given by priests and lay faithful, religious ceremonies, reading saint stories etc. that I realized that this was our religion class. Yes we still needed to read about the specifics and learn the ins and outs of our faith, but living it is what made it all come to life.
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Raising Heaven-Bound Children: Dumb Saints Instead of Brilliant Sinners

That’s right, I would rather raise a dumb saint than a brilliant sinner. Why? Because I am raising my children to be heaven-bound. Obviously there were many great saints who were brilliant, and intelligence and holiness are not mutually exclusive. As parents we should certainly help our children strive for excellence in education. However, the salvation of their immortal souls should be our PRIMARY aim. I will do whatever is in my power (through God’s grace, of course), to be certain that my children will thrive in this secular world. So how? How is it possible to raise children to be heaven-bound you ask?

When my first born was placed in my arms for the first time, fifteen years ago, it was both the happiest and the scariest moment of my entire life. No other joy in this world compared to the joy I felt at that very moment. At that moment, it dawned on me that I was personally responsible for taking care of this brand-new life. No other fear in this world compared to the fear I felt at that very moment. Forty-eight hours later, as I sat in the wheelchair and the nurse placed my little bundle of joy in my arms and waved good-bye, my heart sank for a second and I thought, “How on earth am I going to do this?” As I walked in the doors of our home, my concern turned to prayer and I said, “Help Lord, I don’t know what to do!” I felt the ginormous responsibility. My prayer was not necessarily for the physical needs of that tiny infant; my worry was more for the spiritual needs of my son. How was I, a sinner, going to do this incredible task of raising a child… a heaven-bound child?


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The {Catholic} Homeschooling Socialization Myth

A couple of years ago, in my local newspaper, there was a nice article about a homeschooling family with five children. They quoted the home schooled children and the author spoke statistics…when I saw it laying on my kitchen table, I thought wow how exciting and went on, with much enthusiasm, to read the article. Later on I checked my e-mail and saw lots of messages from local home schoolers who were outraged by the comments being left on-line regarding the article. I skimmed through those messages (a bunch had already been blocked by the paper) and noticed the one prevailing topic: socialization. Generalizations about any group of people is common among humans. So this was not a shocker. But when I read comments from other who have never walked in the shoes of a homeschooling family it made me think that they believe that we keep our kids in a closet (without windows) and don’t allow them to go out and be “socialized”.

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Holy Week: Helping Our Children Walk with Jesus

Holy Week is here! Do you feel like your children are ready for Holy Week? Are they ready to walk with Jesus? A couple of years ago, I had been stirring because I felt like my children were not really ready for Holy Week and the Crucifixion and, of course, Easter! Yes, we’ve been doing things all during Lent but I felt like now, they needed something more. One night I woke up in the middle of the night and the Holy Spirit gave me an idea! I say He gave me the idea because it was so perfect and brilliant that it could only be from God. So the next day, I put this together for our classroom! I am so proud of our children because they were so into our lesson as we talked about the days of the week and our Holy Week Journey to Easter Sunday! I really enjoyed making this and also loved its simplicity! What I wanted to accomplish with this was a visual of what Jesus, our Lord, went through during Holy Week. I wanted to help them walk with Jesus.


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Goal Setting in {Catholic} Homeschooling

Have you set goals for your homeschool before you began your journey?  
Are you thinking about homeschooling your children but do not really know the reasons why?

Here is an easy way to set goals for your homeschool. Though a “dry topic,” goal setting is very important for every family thinking about homeschooling or home educating already. Knowing them in your head just is not enough, you need to organize them and write them down. 

I mean it’s not a super exciting topic BUT a very important one because I truly believe that if you set your philosophy and goals ahead of time, you will not doubt nor will you feel intimidated by others when questioned about your family’s decision to home educate, not that it really matters what others think BUT when you have well thought out reasons, it’s a great feeling!


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