Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
And the name of my new blog.
It is an account of our days. A list of what we do, educationally.
And because I have become increasingly bad at keeping that paper trail, that log for the Board of Studies. This way, our log is online.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
What do you think is the "bare minimum" you need to cover in your homeschool?
I am thinking about this, because of a blog post I read ~ at yarns of the heart. And because of a discussion ~ at the 4 Real Learning forum.
I am not yet sure of our bare minimum.
However, I have a leaning towards our minimum being books, or books/movies/music/living the liturgical year , just because these have been so important for our family.
Last week, Anthony ( recently turned 13) was sitting in the family room reading James Thurber and sharing with us bits of Thurber's dry, sardonic, satirical humour humour.
I tend to think that we live in a rich environment, are involved in our parish and community and so a lot of learning just happens - I don't need to put many things on my bare minimum list.
Things like literature, discussion, film and media, current events, art, music, computer, history, work education, food and technology....These things just kind of happen....and science and languages for Alexander...
Maybe, too, it depends on the child and his needs and age?
Perhaps just living in a rich, book and faith filled environment is my bare minimum.
And then we go from there, adding and adjusting and deleting things as it seems right for each child.
You know, as much as we might like to think that learning happens in a linear fashion, that if we do abc then xyz will happen, well, reality has shown me that learning is messy. It is haphazard. It is one step ahead, two steps back.
A bit like a toddler learning to walk.
Classical education, by its usual neo-classical definition, tends to be structured and orderly. Yet the child still learns in his own way, picking up bits here and there, needing review or forging ahead, finding a passion or just ticking a box...
The messiness of learning is where unschooling comes in - going with that educational flow.
When people enjoy whatever they are doing, they report some characteristic experiential states that distinguish the enjoyable moment from the rest of life. The same dimensions are reported in the context of enjoying chess, climbing mountains, playing with babies, reading a book, or writing a poem. They are the same for young and old, male and female, American or Japanese, rich or poor. In other words, the phenomenology of enjoyment seems to be a panhuman constant. When all the characteristics are present, we call this state of consciousness a flow experience, because many of the respondents reported that when what they were doing was especially enjoyable it felt like being carried away by a current, like being in a flow.THOUGHTS ABOUT EDUCATION Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
...discovered that these children absorbed information mainly by “doing nothing, observing, having conversations, exploring, and through self-directed learning”. They liken the “chaotic nature” of informal learning to the process that leads to scientific breakthroughs, the early stages of crafting a novel, coming up with a solution to a technical problem, or the act of composing music.
“Its products are often intangible, its processes obscure, its progress piecemeal,” they say. “There are false starts, unrelated bits and pieces picked up, interests followed and discarded, sometimes to be taken up again, sometimes not… Yet the chaotic nature of the informal curriculum does not appear to be a barrier to children organising it into a coherent body of knowledge.
Thomas and Pattison acknowledge that critics will say home-educated children are likely to pick up information peppered with misunderstandings or inaccuracies, and parents may unwittingly pass on their own misconceptions. “Yet the lack of information quality-control does not appear to lead to muddled, confused children,” they say.
“In some ways, it may be an advantage because, rather than presenting knowledge in neat packages, the informal curriculum forces learners to become actively engaged with their information - to work with it, move it around, juggle ideas and resolve contradictions… It is not a static thing contained in a series of educational folders. It is alive and dynamic".How Children Learn At Home
Saturday, September 27, 2008
As the years passed, it became evident that the most salient feature of Leonie's moral character was the virtue of religion. Her love for Holy Mother Church expressed itself in the most profound respect for the representatives of the Church...All ecclesiastics were the object of her veneration and she prayed often for them...
Thursday, September 25, 2008
An internet friend sent me a copy of the book God Made the Violet Too, a life of Leonie. Thank you, you know who who are! Very generous!
Ever since reading The Story of a Family, when pregnant with youngest son Anthony, I have been interested in Leonie.
The Story of a Family tells of the Martin family, parents of St Therese. Zelie and Louis Martin will be canonized in October.
Leonie was a difficult child, and struggled with religious life as an adult, entering and leaving and re-entering the convent several times..
I have been called a difficult child ( even a wild child, as an adult!) so I definitely have a soft spot for my namesake.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
God's love can only unleash its power when it is allowed to change us from within. We have to let it break through the hard crust of our indifference, our spiritual weariness, our blind conformity to the spirit of this age. Only then can we let it ignite our imagination and shape our deepest desires. That is why prayer is so important: daily prayer, private prayer in the quiet of our hearts and before the Blessed Sacrament, and liturgical prayer in the heart of the Church.
– Pope Benedict XVI
Maria asked for the recipe. Well, here it is, very much adapted from the Women's Weekly Asian Dinner Party Cookbook.
Very much adapted because that is how I cook. Slap dash. Delete something here. Add something there.
Surprisingly, this Korean Beef still turned out well. A sweet but not sticky sweet sauce. Delish.
We had it with rice and with Chinese noodles.
1kg ( about 2 lbs) of steak, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon sesame seeds ( I didn't have any so left these out - but they would make an authentic addition!)
6 green shallots, finely chopped
1/2 red and1/2 green capsicum ( pepper), sliced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger ( I couldn't be bothered to grate the ginger so just chopped it up)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry
Brown the sesame seeds, if using, in a frypan. Combine all the other ingredients. Marinate for a couple of hours ( I left out the marinate for a couple of hours step, as I only started cooking this at 8.00 p.m. I marinated for, like, 10 minutes. lol!).
Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a frypan or work. Add all other ingredients and stir fry until steak is cooked.
That is it. Simple as - especially if you follow my cheat's version.
EVERYONE in the family ate it and liked it. That is amazing!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I try to make this blog real and not a form of fantasy, nor a form of life porn.
I blog to share with friends, family, new friends, people I will never meet..to share the ins and outs of life.
I blog for myself.
I share some intimacies, some secrets but not others.
There are few guidelines as to which secrets I will choose to share and which others I will hide. Privacy of other individuals, of course, is important to me and the protection of this privacy is one of my guidelines.
Is sharing some intimaces, some secrets, a method of encouraging blogging voyeurism? Again, I hope not.
I hope, instead, to help others, in the sense that being real helps others.
Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing. Rollo May
And blogging helps me. I think and find solutions while writing. While blogging.
Writing about an idea frees me of it. Thinking about it is a circle of repetitions. Mason Cooley
Or read George Orwell on Why I Write ~
1. Sheer egoism...
I think I blog, I write, for historical impulse - writing things down for prosperity. For memories.To keep in touch with others.
The Korean Martyrs were the victims of religious persecution against the Roman Catholic Church during the 19th century in Korea. At least 8,000 adherents to the faith were known to have been killed during this persecution, 103 of whom were canonized en masse in 1984.
I made Korean Beef . Yum! This recipe is a keeper.
And I had a very relaxing day. Met a friend for breakfast ( fruit and nut bread) at Borders. Did some shopping, had my nails done ( mauve/purple). Met dh for lunch (lentil soup) at Coffee Club. Had a woman at the nail salon make a pass at my dh. Truly!
Do you think my life revolves around food, conversation, workouts, DVDs? Sometimes I think it does..Well, I do homeschool, too, and work for Kumon and do volunteer stuff for homeschooling/Kumon/our parish.
It is not all about food and talking and being social!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Neither am I going on a rant, nor off on a tangent about who should define modest dress, dress for Mass, what I wear as a woman.
Or on why statutes on modest dress are (nearly) always addressed to women and rarely to men. How it is assumed that men will have little or no self control. How revealing clothing is seen as a source of temptation for most men.
Now, I am not advocating wearing revealing clothing to Mass. But I am advocating teaching the virtue of self control - yes, self control in dress ( I have a couple of very short skirts that I wouldn't wear to Mass, for example - I wear my more temperate short skirts to church. lol!).
And teaching self control also in lust, in desires. It is not always the dress that is immodest, but sometimes the hearts of those who look upon it.
But this is not a diatribe, remember. Just a few words on modesty, since this issue has come up, again, on email lists.
The few words?
Well, I agree with ~ And Sometimes Tea ~
We'll just agree to say, "We should dress modestly," and leave the details up to the individual properly-formed conscience, the person's spiritual adviser, and the person's spouse/mother/other close friend who can be trusted to tell the person if he/she is venturing out dressed like a gigolo/tart.
Maybe. On that last bit.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Glimpses of our day, yesterday..
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Ten Principles of Intuitive Eating ~
1. Reject the Diet Mentality
2. Honour Your Hunger
3. Make Peace with Food
4. Challenge the Food Police
5. Respect Your Fullness
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
7. Honour Your Feelings Without Using Food
8. Respect Your Body
9. Exercise--Feel the Difference
10 Honour Your Health
Monday, September 15, 2008
I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Went to Mass, kids went on a homeschool walk in the Cumberland Forest and I went to a funeral. We all met up again and with homeschool friends went to Castle Towers food hall for lunch.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Anthony is reading a book on Ancient Egyptian Literature and someone recently asked me if Anthony was studying Ancient Egypt in homeschooling this year. No. He became interested because older brother Greg is learning Ancient Sumerian. As a hobby. And I think Anthony is more interested because this study is not a school requirement or a subject, he is free to pick and learn things without me making them schooly.
Of course, he has days and days of just reading Battlestar Galactica comics, too!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Yes, I was tired and I did go to bed earlier than usual - about 11.20 p.m.
But I also successfully wasted time at clairol.com. You upload your photo and try on different hair styles and hair colours.
And, yes, they have a section for men, too.
The kids and I had a screamingly funny time, playing around with my hair and colour.
Dang, I always wanted to be blonde but the blonde hair swatches just didn't fit my (old and wrinkly) face...
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Homeschooling on holiday? Yes, it is all life.
Each time we go away, or over a holiday season, the kids and I pack either our general journals or our nature journals. We paste things in. We add a few lines. A quote. A sketch. Anything that seems appropriate for us to remember our time.
And we re-read and share and laugh or ruminate over old entries.
Education in a journal.
Excerpted from Wild Days: Creating Discovery Journals by Karen Skidmore Rackliffe.
There are many kinds of journals, as there are many journeys in life.... Journals are a place to remember thoughts, ideas, images, dreams, events, developments, musings and hopes. Discoveries are flashes of thought that make the world seem somehow brighter, more beautiful, interesting, or bizarre.
A discovery journal places moments of insights together, page upon page, building connections between seasons and years. It is a record of days, a bringing together of scattered experience into a meaningful whole.
A discovery journal...is a book you write yourself about anything that has importance to you. You make all the rules, and you can change them anyway you want.
There are many names for these personal books. I like the word journal because it implies a journey, a beginning and a destination, with turning points along the way. I like to imagine my life as a journey, finding my way one step at a time.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Drove three hours to the caves, enjoying the NZ scenery along the way. Well, sort of. Long story...
Had to take the McDonalds pic ! Like many of the homes here, even the McDs are built not of brick but of wood or weatherboard. The food was yucky though ~ had a ham salad sandwich from the McCafe and it had mayonnaise. Lots of it. I skipped lunch...
The caves were awesome - the glowworms, the structures, the boat trip in the dark, the two hour caving walking trek after
The guide asked our group to sing in a cave cathedral structure, to hear the acoustics. No one would sing ~ among strangers, I guess. So, I sang Abba and Jonathon joined in.