Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Topic Approach week 2-

Last week, we covered several Musical Composers, and this week Brid is looking at rivers of the world.
 I wrote a lesson plan, last year and I just tweak it to suit our needs. I chose to look at rivers, because there can be so much that can be discovered about the surrounding countries and landscape.
Firstly, I ask Brid to identify where the river is and support this by adding the longitude and latitude, and landmarks. This gives us the opportunity to discuss map referencing.
I then ask her to look at the townships and cities on the river and ask her why they were established there. Now sometimes, I need to help with this one, but she is learning to identify the reasons. So the question then arises what is this rivers' main purpose, and who are the people of this area, particularly for rivers like the Congo and the Amazon.
She then finds the length of the river, and discovers does it cross states, countries and if so which ones.
Where is the source and where does the river flow to. We use google earth to look along the river. Some are fascinating.
We are loving this approach to our school day.
Once we have covered the main rivers of the world, we will journey to looking at people of the world in greater depth. This will merge with history at times as well.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Marriage Weekend

Last weekend, we were immersed and assisting in a marriage enrichment weekend attended by a large number of couples. It was the first weekend in 3 years that had been held in Newcastle area.
The scene was set, the venue was the grounds of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Hamilton- suburb on Newcatle. 15 couples booked and all the team- of previous atendances were assembled and gathered to play there part. Other couples, who couldn't help out physically supported the weekend by prayer.
Some couples were nervous, some were excited, others were just curious, but all were being prayed for and arrived to a beautiful late breakfast/ morning tea. it was a way of making them feel at ease before entering the flow of the weekend.
Many couples who attend are so ill informed about our catholic faith, so it is a great time to re educate and rejuvernate there marriages.  It was a lovely experience and one that is well presented by the Newcastle team.
We attended our weekend around 9 years ago, and it has enriched our marriage and has been the greatest influence on our marriage. It was also were we experienced our couple conversion and were able to re-ignite the fire of love we have for each other.
Since then we have either supported this community through hospitality for the weekend, running gathering  groups monthly in our home, for couples after they have attended the weekend, or mentor engaged couples through  there Embrace program. We run it is our home as we need to. So it is one on one. Couple to couple.
For many couples this program is the first contact, after getting married in the church, that they have with a community, so the theology behind the weekend, is not watered down, but is tailored and smart enough to entice them to know more.
They are then able to deepen their Faith and learn more about God and what a beautiful message, he has for the marriage and their family.
It certainly did this with us. We learnt and deepened our relationship, but it also took us on a journey of discovery of who God was in our lives. As we grew deeper in love, so did our love for God, and so then our desire to want to know God and all about this church deepened as well. We developed a deeper relationship with God.
The flood gates flew open and we were ready to say 'yes' to God as a couple, and as individuals.
If you get the chance, say Yes and attend the weekend. It will be a blessing in your already wondeful marriage. The link above, has links to the New Zealand, UK and USA, as well.

Friday, 23 July 2010

New posts and pages

Finally, I am beginning to get somewhere with putting all our resources together. I have finally got my homeschool resources page in some type of order- although, I would like to add photos.
I love the beginning of term, there is so much creative energy, just waiting to be unleashed.
Last night for example, Brid got powerpoint working, without any instruction. I was impressed, but I figure its every child these days is good at these applications.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Cursive Writing

I posted several months ago, about Brid wanting to improve her handwriting. She has been doing this with success.
However, it was one of the drills I culled late last Term, and she was ready to do this. We were chatting, as we do in the car, and we came up with an idea of continuing to do handwriting, but with a purpose.
I suggested she write quotes into a book, 'no' that wasn't her style. The Psalms? 'Yes', that was a suggestion that pleased her, and she proceeded to explain how she wanted to acheive this.
We purchased a note book of Brids' choice with a lovely pen, and she began writing in her best handwriting the Psalms.
Today, as she was reading St Benedict- her Saint reader, she discovered that the Divine Office was replaced from reading 150 Psalms. " You have that book in your room Mum".
It is amazing how God places areas of learning in our path.

Again Praise God for his direction and weaving us in our journey.

Topic Approach

Well for a while now, we have been alluring to just focusing on a topic or subject a day. Late last term, Brid was becoming quite tired, so apart from reducing activities, early bed etc, all those things you do as a Mum, we fine tuned her daily work.
Her timetable looked very schooly, and for many years it suited us. Can you see the word timetable.
Late last term we reviewed her daily work and reassessed it, I realised that she need not do so many subjects in a day. She has moved from a little girl to being  mature in her approach to her bookwork. She was needing to spend more time embellishing an area of learning.
She did this successfully, in a notebook approach to a topic Ballet. I noticed her focus and her need to remain on one topic for a long period of time.
So in saying all this, we chose to try just one subject after her Faith, and Maths. ( English is interwoven in her bookwork, using the IEW framework). I jotted all her secondary key learning areas subjects (s.k.l.a's) down on paper.  There is around 5 areas.
This week, we are looking at Music & Music Composers. We spend many years using Classic for Kids, but she has moved past it. I was recommended a Book, called The Gift of Music..-Jane Stuart Smith..,  so with that book , and U tube, she is studying each individual composer. So far, she has looked at Bach, Handel, and Haydn. She has plans to move onto Mozart today.
After Morning Tea, she begins reading or being read too, summarising, and writing notable information to make up a report each day, with Music playing in the background. She has plans to use these in her newspaper column, that she is writing.
She also has plans of highlighting her work, with a powerpoint presentation. All in the pipeline, but I am sure she will make it happen.
Next week, we focus on Geography, particularly Rivers of the World. I was reading a thread on here and someone suggested using rivers as a framework. I didn't have a book or curriculum to go by, I just wrote a plan for Brid to follow.

We will see how this approach goes and we will review it mid term. Although, Brid is already saying she feels much more relaxed. She isn't chopping and changing between work.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

my girl

Have a ever told you how proud I am of my eldest daughter Louise. She is in her last year of a Primary teaching degree at our local University.
She struggled earlier in  studies, but has now focused and apart from her 'pracs', she has 2 semesters left.
She has so many beautiful qualities and recently I had the opportunity to say.' Louise. I am so proud of you'.
She is shaping into a lovely young lady.
God Bless you sweetheart.

Monday, 12 July 2010

St Veronica Giuliani

St Veronica Giuliani (1660 -1727)

Veronica was born in Mercatelli. It is said that when her mother Benedetta was dying she called her five daughters to her bedside and entrusted each of them to one of the five wounds of Jesus. Veronica was entrusted to the wound below Christ’s heart.
At the age of 17, Veronica joined the Poor Clares directed by the Capuchins. Her father had wanted her to marry, but she convinced him to allow her to become a nun. In her first years in the monastery, she worked in the kitchen, infirmary, sacristy and served as portress. At the age of 34, she was made novice mistress, a position she held for 22 years. When she was 37, Veronica received the stigmata. Life was not the same after that.
Church authorities in Rome wanted to test Veronica’s authenticity and so conducted an investigation. She lost the office of novice mistress temporarily and was not allowed to attend Mass except on Sundays or holy days. Through all of this Veronica did not become bitter, and the investigation eventually restored her as novice mistress.
Though she protested against it, at the age of 56 she was elected abbess, an office she held for 11 years until her death. Veronica was very devoted to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart. She offered her sufferings for the missions. Veronica was canonized in 1839.
Why did God grant the stigmata to Francis of Assisi and to Veronica? God alone knows the deepest reasons, but as Celano points out, the external sign of the cross is a confirmation of these saints’ commitment to the cross in their lives. The stigmata that appeared in Veronica’s flesh had taken root in her heart many years before. It was a fitting conclusion for her love of God and her charity toward her sisters.
Thomas of Celano says of Francis: "All the pleasures of the world were a cross to him, because he carried the cross of Christ rooted in his heart. And therefore the stigmata shone forth exteriorly in his flesh, because interiorly that deeply set root was sprouting forth from his mind" (2 Celano, #211).
Saint of the Day

suffering and reflection

"Even suffering is part of the truth of our life. Thus, trying to
shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of
suffering, we risk creating, despite our good intentions, fragile
persons of little generosity:
The capacity to love, in fact, corresponds to the capacity to suffer,
and to suffer together." Benedict XVI".

I found this passage today written by Our Holy Father, and it really spoke to me. Thanks Maria.
As we struggle through the map of our daily life, with Brids' older siblings. I wonder has the suffering and turmoils been hurtful to her. I pray often that she is surrounded by Gods' protection and held always in his loving arms through this all.
She is a very resilient young lady and often her words are far beyond her years. God truly has her under his wing. Not that I didn't know that, but he reveals to us often in ways we don't expect.
Praise God.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Peaceful service

I receive a beautiful reflection into my mailbox each day and today I read this:
It is only a small selection. I hope you enjoy the sharing.
Keep your heart in peace and let nothing trouble you, not even your faults. You must humble yourself and amend them peacefully, without being discouraged or cast down, for God's dwelling is in peace.
Hope in His goodness and redouble your confidence in proportion as your troubles increase.
To do this I must resolute to:.
 I will practice peace in God's Will. I will try to be content with my life and where the Lord has brought me. The things that happen to me are all part of His plan.
I have these words on my bedroom wall, and remember the same Mary Vitamin giving me the same feeling of peace about 2 or 3 years ago.

May God Send you peace in your heart and your actions today