Monday, 27 September 2010

Homeschool camps

Well we have been Blessed enough to have attended 2 homeschool camps in the last 3 weeks. One was in the glorious sunshine provided by Our Lord- 7 hours drive north, the other was in the cold crisp air also provided by Our Lord, a few hours south of our home.
We had an awesome experience at both Camps, and neither could be compared.
Fr Terence Mary is a Franciscan Priest who provided the Latin Mass, Adoration, Rosary, Benediction,  Rosary Procession and Confessions for us at the first camp ( Northern Rivers). He also provided great spiritual direction and gave us adults and our children great talks.
We played on the beach and caught up with friends and made new friends.
We had wonderful games and concerts in the evening.
We had the Bishop of Lismore attend the local church for Confirmations and Holy Communion. That was a beautiful Mass and the Girls including Brid sang in the Choir.
An opportunity was provided for the Mums to have a Mums only night and the Dads to have a Dads only night. So we talked homeschooling, exchanged ideas and encouraged each other at these nights.
The beach was the scene for lots of fun and sandcastles and sculptures. Lots of competition between the kids.
A Sports day was a lot of fun with MacKillop, Assisi and Bosco being the 'house names'. There was lots of support and encouragement for each other. Fr Terence was there to encourage the stranglers who may have given up, that was a blessing to see.
Each Day Fr Terence fed us Spiritually and each day our tummy's were fed as well. Our hearts were fed with encouraging warm supporting homeschooling Mums and Dads. Wonderful experience.
And our bank accounts had the opportunity to be debited by resources freely available. Especially the divine Gifts in support of the Carmelite Order- Lismore.
Lennox Head Beach

The next camp was one we attend twice a year- Easter and September. Its were we have several friends, and a place that gets so cold, but its atmosphere is very warm and welcoming. The best bit was that Dermot attended with us.
Fr Perry, from Wagga Seminary, Provided our Spiritual Direction and Our Mass, Adoration and Benediction daily. He was also there for our Confessions.
Food was provided by 2 very gorgeous and pregnant young Ladies- God Bless you both. They are sisters- there Mum organises September camp, so lots of helpers where in the kitchen to help them out. It was great food and lots of networking happened in the dining room meal times.
We had several talks during the day by several parents and Our Priest. The children were broken up into age groups and had catechism as well as practical talks. Brid learnt about Relics and Hospitality, in her group. Her group had a high tea to celebrate what they had learnt in Hospitality. We had discussed Relics in our History earlier in the month, so it was timely.
The Sisters of Charity were available on Monday to spend the day with us. It was Mother Teresa 100th birthday and they wanted to talk about her. It was a brilliant opportunity to talk with this order.
The kids had lots of free time. The girls around Brids' age found a cabin free and played and chatted in there.
Did I tell you that there was a book store as well. yes, but the prices were so outrageous I didn't purchase very much.
There is a bed time curfew for the kids and as the cabins are away from the main dining areas, its easy to sleep. Usually I would go off to bed early, but with Dermot at camp with me, it meant I wasn't responsible for driving, so therefore we stayed up chatting.

I loved both camps, and as they are spread out next year I think we will go to both again. I loved spending time with my blogger friends from both camp, namely, Erin, Tricia, Linda, David & Gil, who did I forget.! I loved spending time with my 4 real friends at Lennox head - Erin, Tricia, and Linda. My only regret was not getting a photo of the hunter valley mums- Tricia, Jane, MaryRose at Lennox head.

Now its official, its school hols in this state~!!

Fitzroy Falls chapel

Tricia, me, Erin, Linda- Lennox Head

A cross

Todays thought

"If you pray and pray and your Cross is still there that Cross is what God sends you to help get you to heaven. "
It definitely was not what I was expecting to here from a play, but it was exactly what I needed to hear right at that moment.
So Thank you Lord for sending me those words.

Friday, 17 September 2010

My Grandfathers Birthday

My sweet lovable Grandfather was born today in a little town called Clarencetown. Grandfather was born Arthur Sullivan in 1914, and married his beloved wife Audrey in 1943. They were blessed with one goegeous daughter, the apple of his eye- my Mum.
He was always a very quite private man and kept to himself, but had a huge heart.
I remember when I went overseas in 1985, he gave me all that was in his wallet. $20.00. I knew it wouldn't go very far, but you know what, I came home with that $20.00 because of how he handed it to me, with such generosity.
He would always take to do the chores with him on a Saturday morning 'down town'-  I remember the butcher having sawdust on the floor, and on a Sunday he would cook my Nanna and myself breakfast after we came home (in a taxi), from 7am Mass.
Grandfather kept Orchids and they are in bloom right now. We still have many many pots of Orchids and every time they flower I remember my Grandfather.
Grandfather died in 2004, just before his birthday. He was a widower for near 20 years, My Nanna died 3 months before she could get a chance to meet Dermot- my dear sweet husband.
I will always love you and remember you my dear Grandfather. God Bless you

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The way we approach our school day

Recently I was asked to talk about how we approached our day, at a Homeschool camp, It was very late, so I skimmed through my notes and picked the most important and relevant parts for that evening. It did make the talk a little jumpy, so I decided to share it here. Some of this has been shared before.

A few months ago, Brid was feeling very tired and after all the usual good food, rest, reducing activity etc., and these were not effective, we decided to take a break from the usual book work. ( she had grown 8cm in a few months, looking back on it).

I searched homeschool share and others for inspiration, for a lapbook/ notebook and saw one on Ballet. Brid loves to dance, so I knew she would love this. Brid entered into the spirit of the project with zest and got out all her old ballet books, picture books and used them as references as well. It was interesting to see her style of learning, how she organised her work, and worked her way around her project.

So my mind started working overtime,why not trial this approach with all her topics we cover? All we would keep from our current timetable would be religion/devotion, saint reader, cursive writing practice and maths. This meant after morning tea @ 11ish, she was free to embellish her topic.
So what topics would we do like this?
Science, History, Geography, Music, Art, Latin, Virtues, everything.

So what’s so good about it?
Brid gets momentum, there is no stop/ starts. I see it as a preparation for high school work. (in Australia high school starts from 13). She is free from scheduling as such. I know she can stick to task as her concentration has increased. We are seeing much more work completed and being put on display more often. So Brid is very much encouraged by this.

So what about subjects she isn’t keen on? Well that is why we created a newspaper. It can be quite a fun thing to write a newspaper and all those areas that you ‘have to do’, can become much more alive.

So will we continue? Yes we will in one form or another. I can see a place for it. I know Brid has matured in her studies, and on reflection, we had moved away from a bookwork, schoolie approach a while ago.

So in the future we will tweek it as I need to. Next term, we are looking at American Indians- we haven’t studied much American history, and although this will only be a snapshot, we can spend lots of time unpacking and discovering so much more. Its been fun researching and purchasing/ borrowing great literature and references, knowing it will be a source of fun. Thats a whole post ofits own.

So from the mouth of the Brid “ I don’t feel so rushed”. “ When I start something I want to be proud of it, by doing it thoroughly.”

Friday, 3 September 2010

Skirt making

Recently Brid and I have been sewing and creating. She has been making presents for Fathers Day and I have been Embroidering. My Nanna taught me to embroider as an early teen.
This began to inspire me to finish off making Brids' skirts. I found a lovely pattern that suits my slightly built darling a few months ago, and it never ceases to amaze me how good it looks on her. I have made a couple of skirts from this pattern.

this one looks heavy, but its very light and so pretty on.

As most are aware it is very hard to locate modest wear. The only real alternative is to sew. So what I did was convert 3 dresses that I couldn't give away as they were gorgeous, into skirts. I have been avoiding this, as I didn't want to make a mistake. So led by inspiration, I have now completed them all.

This was the easiest to alter, and it gave me confidence to tackle the next two

I just cut the bodice and used it to make the waistband

So now we have 3 fresh skirts ready for spring and summer.