Marva Collins is famous for applying classical education successfully with impoverished students, many of whom had been wrongly labeled as learning disabled by public schools. She once wrote, “I have discovered few learning disabled students in my three decades of teaching. I have, however, discovered many, many victims of teaching inabilities.”

from Ordinary Children, Extraordinary Teachers by Marva Collins

A student is like a tree.

Teachers who spend more time talking about what children should know and what they cannot do are delaying the time when that child’s leaves can once again come into fruition.

Surely the harsh winter of some teachers may be the culprit, but pointing fingers won’t help the child who sits before you. This child will constantly be at risk in society until somewhere someone sees him or her as a blank sheet of paper on which the good teacher will do the writing.

The good teacher gives children the opportunity to have their past failures burned. They are given a new lease on life …a new opportunity to have the past die, never to be born-again.

Caring cannot be forced; it must come of its own accord. When a teacher cares enough to keep polishing, the shiny luster that all children have comes shining through.

Think for a moment about going into an antique shop where one views old silver. One person sees blackened metal and calls it worthless. Another viewer sees the blackened silver and realizes what it can become. With polishing, the true, fine luster comes shining through. The same silver existed all the time. The only difference is how the viewer saw its value and potential.

So it is with children. Without vision of what a child can become, his potential perishes.

The good teacher removes the layers of dead leaves left from a harsh winter of uncaring and gives the child the sweet breath of spring. . .a new life. Spring itself means new beginnings. . .new life.


“To rear your child successfully, begin by resisting the first signs of evil inclinations and by sowing the first seeds of good in his soul. You can never pay too much attention to your child’s character formation in the first years. In this early period, the education of the child is based entirely on habits. On the parents depends the formation of either good or bad ones. To develop good habits in the little one is to prepare for him now the path he will follow as an adult.” -Education of Children, S. Hart


We often don’t realize the impact of those lessons, those Catholic lessons, that are taught each day to our children. It is so much worth the effort! The signs of the cross, kneeling to say prayers, dipping fingers in holy water, laying fresh flowers at the statue of Our Lady, etc., etc. These are gold nuggets that will live on in your children’s lives. This is building Catholic Culture!

The following  books are to help you parents with those little things…..They are story books from my new little series, “Catholic Hearth Stories”. I wrote them especially for my grandchildren….and am sharing them with yours.

Catholic Hearth Stories are tales filled with traditional, old-fashioned values. They are about everyday situations in the life of a Catholic family…Tales about home, friends, fun, sacrifice, prayer, etc. These are full-color books sure to capture the heart of your children.

Each book is about 35 pages of full-color pictures that tell a lovely Catholic story. The ages they are appropriate for are approximately 4 – 12 years.

Celine’s Advent: Take a walk through Advent as Celine and her family prepare for the coming of the Baby Jesus at Christmas! You will enjoy celebrating the beauty of the season with Celine as she helps her mom with the special traditions and activities that make the liturgy come alive in their home! Her “peanut gallery” consists of a mouse named Percy and some charming and delightful Christmas Angels! They are sure to capture your heart!

Joseph and the Bow Shoot: Meet Joseph, a Catholic boy who wants to enter the Parish Bow Shoot but doesn’t have a bow. How does he overcome this obstacle and what lessons does he learn along the way?

Two Tea Parties and a Sacrifice: Meet Agnes, a fourteen-year-old Catholic girl, who is challenged to make a sacrifice. Will she cheerfully accept what she knows is God’s will in this situation?

Brendan, The Seafarer: It’s Brendan’s birthday and he is fighting pirates, steering ships and wielding swords! He learns of St. Brendan, the Navigator and the pious Christopher Columbus. Life is a nautical adventure for him! Will his daydreaming cause him trouble? What lessons does he learn?

Available here.  (Also sold individually)