Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A snapshot into our weekend

Last week I blogged about our school week, and what lessons we did when.

Well late last week, we travelled to Canberra to catch Diana Warings last Living, Laughing, Learning conference here in Australia.

We were to meet up with two other homeschool families, so we were excited and couldn't wait to get there. I was keen to hear the talk about 'Got Teens', and we arrived with lots of time to spare. Great.

I could relax and listen. Dermot & Brid took off after saying hi, to unpack.

I enjoyed listening and interacting with Diana, and it was obvious she is well used to doing this.

There was lots of vendors to purchase curriculum from, I was pretty right, so I wasn't to compelled to purchase anything, just looking was enough.

The 3 three girls has plenty of time to share together, especially at breakfast. We all stayed in the same place, so a shared breakfast was a great way to start the day. Anything you wanted.
Brid was introduced to babychinos- thanks for that! They had some magic moments in the parks and out at night, that were hard to describe, without photos.

We enjoyed everyones company, but Dermot got into some great discussions. Late night chats his speciality.

We had arranged to go to Mass at the local church St Brigids'. Very apt, as we are parishioners of this church in our own dioceses. Anyway, we were meant to meet everyone for a take away dinner in the park. We knew Mass would make us late for dinner, but we still arrived and the kids hung out together. They collected these opened light pods and had a little fun with those.

After the last breakfast with the whole crew, including our international guest, we went sightseeing. First up was The walk alongside Lake Burley Griffin. We did some explaining, about when and whys, saw Aspin Island- a big bell tower, saw Blundell cottage, last cottage left in the area which was operational as a farm, It was preserved in the '70's- it was going to be demolished. Very cute.

We went to a glass blowing and making factory. We hoped Brid could do some hands on, but she was too young. so We just had to make do with looking, at the various people doing there work.

We decided to go to Cockington Green. Well I'd been there before, and we knew Brid would love it. She was tickled pink, and enjoyed hearing all about the cottages and buildings. We had a little history lesson, and a world geography lesson as well, at the International section of the green.

It was a very full day, and we eventually went home exhausted to have a nice coffee and rest. phew!

Dermot spoilt us, and took us to Black Tower moutain for dinner. WOW!!.It had been raining,so I thought it would be too cloudy, but hey! it cleared as we were eating and laughing. The Restuarant revolved. That was fun and was a talking point to start with. 85 minutes to revolve once. Awesome view, and we got there early enough to see the view in daylight as well.

It was a very nice evening and we certainly had to make sure Brid had her best manners in hand. It was like Diana Waring descibes as a 'chalet suzanne' experience. Best manners please.
I will conclude our adventure soon.

My Photo of the Day

This a great shot, and one I'd like to share with you all.
Brid and her two friends, sharing a special moment together.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Last post til next week

I Love this photo and its where we will be again this weekend.
So have a look at the previous ones..................


One of the things Brid & I did in the holidays was Manicure, and paint her nails.
It was a really lovely time spent together.

So we set it all out and above are some great photos of those hours spent together.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Last term we went to Questacon, in Canberra. Its a big Science Expo. Great place for kids. Heaps of levels, I think from memory around 7. Brid played for hours, and at the end we decided we would get a c uple of experimental type games.
This is an area I lack in schooling.
I can teach, cook, sew, garden, read, craft, but I really struggle with experiments, so we bought a microscope and an Electronics circuit.
Brilliant, this will be great.
Guess what, they sat in our lounge room for weeks, until the holidays.
We had sewed, quilted, cooked etc, etc, saw family & friends, but again we were not getting to these items.
I felt what a waste of money. And then the guilts starts, such waste when others cannot afford these things.
Anyway last week, I suggested we get the microscope out. She had forgotten about it, after all this time out of sight.
So finally we have looked at leaves, saliva, hair, algae, food etc etc under the scope with delighted squeals from an excited Brid. Any item could find, she would put under the scope. Even a snail trail.
Then I said, "Let's look at the circuit?"

Well that is Dermots' domain being an Electronics Engineer.
He had the time of his life explaining things, and doing experiments with Brid.
Now that's Science, on a whim, and heaps of fun doing it.
So today after all our lessons, Brid asked to go on kidshealth. She was on this sight for ages, doing all the quizzes playing the games. So would we be learning naturally, do you think?
I sorta think so.

A new day -Tuesday

Today got off to a great start . Brid was up on time, Dermot was ready for work and out the door early, I have had a morning coffee and Thanked Our Lord for helping me get a very good sleep.

We had welcomed Our Lord into our day.

Already Brid has completed, her Faith reader, English subjects, and is working on Maths, and its only 0950hrs. I use a timer for maths. I break the lesson into 10 min timeslots, including a 20 min morning tea break. It helps her concentration.

We finished all our book work by 11.30am.

So during break, she has been beating her own record and trying to get from the bottom of our 'close'- street, up our driveway in record time, today she succeeded.

So in came a very happy girl ready to complete her maths lesson for the day.

We will revise the eye with a quiz today, and then history will take up the rest of our schooling day.

We plan to start a new reader this term. Anne of Green Gables- it is used in Serendipity for young Ladies. We will start the book, but leave the Study until next year.

There is a great site called kidshealth.org. It has cool experiments, quizzes and info. I use there worksheets. The Human body has been a fun unit of study this last 2 terms.

Now its down time, nearly 12md, Brid is perusing a human body book, called How the Incredible Human Body works- its a DK book. Very easy fun read and laughing and saying 'guess what Mum'.
History took us all of 10 mins, so after looking at Julius Caesar we decided to look at the play. luckily I knew exactly where to look. Mater Ambalis has Shakespeare notes. So we will look at those now, while we have a drink of tea and juice.
Oh we nearly forgot The Angelus.
We read shakespeare notes, but it wasn't very successful.
so its 1pm and we have had a very smooth day, lots of interjections and healthy questioning. Anne Of Green Gables certainly posed some interesting thoughts.
Our schooling day is now complete.
Now relax. oh hang on ...... there is..... yes housework to do.

Monday, 19 October 2009

What did we achieve today

It was Day 1 of Term 4, and after getting up a little tired from tooo many sleep ins- but hey thats what holidays are for- we started at 9am. on time, good start.
We welcomed God into our school day.
Brid read her Saint reader, St Claire & St Francis, she managed her dictation and Language arts by 10am.
We went through her Maths Lesson, and she worked on the allocated questions I set her each day.
Brid had a break at 10.30. Brid played on her bike and had morning tea. I was doing the Business Statement. It needed to done by the end of the week, so Today was the day. So I worked through her breaktime.
Maths continued for a little while after Break. Cuppa for me as I finish my work off.
Next comes History links- Julius Caesar. We read and talked about him, and as Brids favourite Latin saying is 'veni vidi vici'- I came I saw I conquered, We had a bit of fun with that and played around with what we knew about him.
The dishwasher man arrived to fix the machine at 11.45am. Another distraction, her first was being distracted by her extended morning tea break. Anyway Distraction 2 out of the way, We had lunch, all together,
Then we had blood and guts, we are doing the eye at the moment- well that was fun. The book had lots of cool games and experiments to do, so we spent far too long laughing at each other, and being distracted.
Our last lesson was Latin. Its always fun, because we talk to each other in Latin, and Brid is getting very good. She beats me hands down. We are only on Prima Latina, but its been rather successful. We have 6 lessons left for the year, and as we try to do 1 a week, it shoud be completed this year. At the moment, we have Latin words up all over the family room walls.
I squeezed in the last 3 pages of St Patricks' Summer. Thats Brids' favourite time, cuddling on the lounge and reading. It was an excellent book, with a lovely story line and a surprising ending.
So thats our school day today. It isn't always so full, but today is 'stay at home day', so I make the most of it.

Tomorrow will be another matter. It will hold its own challenges, and Friday will not exist, as we are off to Canberra.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

St Teresa of Avila

Today is the Feast day of my Patron Saint- St Teresa of Avila. A women I truly admire.
St Teresa was the foundress of the Carmelite order. A Doctor of our church. She was a great writer and a mystic.
She was born in Avila, Spain- she is also its patroness.
By a life of constant prayer she brought many souls to Jesus. Her writings show her great love of God.
Teresa wrote these beautiful words:
"Let nothing trouble you, let nothing make you afraid. All things pass away. God never changes.
Patience obtains everything. God alone is enough".
As St Teresa was especially prayerful for our priests Spiritual Motherhood of Priest says many more words about this, than I can. Pop over and see this wonderful Blog,
I have included just a small part of todays' post
"Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world."
~ St Teresa of Avila
Pray for us, St Teresa of Avila.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Jesus all about Life and Bathurst

It had been a tradition in my family upbringing to watch battle of the race drivers and cars, at Mt Panorama, Bathurst, NSW. It was a real family day.
I didn't follow it so much as our family was smaller, but the last few years, its been a day event.
It is such a changable race.
I figure Dermot has football all footie season, and every other sporting event, so I get my one and only racing day.
Its been fun explaining the history and the whys' to Dermot, who didn't grow up in this country, so the culture is different.
Anyway, we noticed this morning that 'Jesus all about life', has a car in the race. We were delighted to see this.
I figured all they needed to do was stay in the race for as long as possible, to get the name Jesus out there as often as the commentators announces the orders of the cars in the race.
Unfortunately, the team didn't last as long as wewould have liked, oh well.
BUT it was great to see God come first, with prayer, at the beginning of the race, before our national anthem. That was a real win.
So what is Jesus all about life and why in a car race?
it is Eucumenical. All churches working together.
In NSW we have a campaign at the moment, to place the name Jesus all about Life on every church building and Church associated school in NSW, everywhere we can, so everyday people get to see the word Jesus and ask who is he? Its sad in a way.
It was meant to be a local campaign, but it got bigger.
There are TV and radio campaigns as well, placed on at high viewing TV times. Its not meant for conversion, just for awareness and bring Jesus into every home. Our local church keeps getting its banner defaced, or removed. So intimidated by this campaign are some people.
So many of our children who are educated in state or government school do not know the name Jesus. He is so far from peoples' minds in this fast lifestyle we lead as a society these days.
I heard recently that Europe is fast becoming an Islamic culture. Why is this ? They all attend church and pray.!! alarming that, that we as a whole are choosing not to do either. I for one intend to bring all my family to heaven, but in this climate of me me me, want want want it is hard to keep there minds and thoughts on the ultimate reward- heaven. This is particularly true for our older teens caught up in this untruth and the culture of death. Another reason why Homeschooling is a winner.
This is why Jesus all about Life being involved in this worldwide event is so important.

thank you, I will now get down from my soapbox.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

It was a great homeschool camp

Last week Brid and I drove to Fitzroy Falls for the September camp. It was a great week, filled with many blessings.
To begin with we celebrated some wonderful Feast days. The Archangels, Our Guardian Angels, St Therese of Liseux, to name just a few.
back to the beginning- We didn't think we would make it on time, as Brid was on a go slow, and wasn't ready when we planned to go--is she in homeschool mode-yes!
We were given a caravan for the week, but quickly changed to a room, attached to the 2nd Auditorium. Meaning, a hot shower and facilities without going out in the cold. YES. And the second night, we had a sleep over at a friends' room- thanks Kathleen.
The weather-
It was cold, but it warmed up, and at least it was dry.
Mass started the camp. We had Fr Bernard Murphy as our spiritual director, and he was great. He really enjoyed his role.
Every day we had Mass at 7.30am, and Holy hour at 3.30pm, consisting of Benediction and the Rosary. It was very peaceful hour.
We had young boy make his First holy Communion- he was very excited, but very reverent. It was a very special day.
The parents were asked to keep there children with them for Chapel times, which was a very wise idea. It really made it a much more reverent time for us all.
So our Souls were fed, now the meals. they were healthy and nutritiously made. There was so much food, I have been on a diet all week. We were constantly being fed.
Next the Theme of the week was Little House on the prairie and The Bush boys.
The girls made cushions or dolls depending on there age. the 7-9 year olds had a Tea party, which the older girls really wanted to join in on. They were adorable sitting politely and drinking and eating correctly. gorgeous.
Brid was in the older girls group, so she made quilt cushions and rag mats.
The boys learnt bush skills and to top it all off, they slept out on the oval. It really kept the boys occupied all week.
The teens visited a local nursing home, learnt Shakespeare and performed it, and had wonderful talks. Scott gave them a talk on Pro-life Australia and they learnt some home truths on the Internet, ipods and mobile phones.Very encouraging talks.
The adults also had wonderful spiritual talks and practical help on different areas of homeschooling.
Brid loved her daily spiritual talk on the Saints. They were explained the process to Sainthood.
Of course there was the necessary bookshop. Very hard to resist it, it certainly was very successful this time around.
All round we had a great week, tiring, but enjoyable.
We didn't hear the news all week. We were in a bubble.
But the best part of the week was coming home to find Dermot waiting for us, to share a cuppa and talk about our weeks apart.
Dermot surprised me on the first night of camp, by giving me a pillow he asked Brid to give to me. It was a heart shaped pillow basically saying how much his life was empty unless I was in it. So needless to say, I had tears in my eyes that night as we were settling off to sleep.