Sunday, May 31, 2009


When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.
And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
Par'thians and Medes and E'lamites and residents of Mesopota'mia, Judea and Cappado'cia, Pontus and Asia,
Phryg'ia and Pamphyl'ia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyre'ne, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."
Acts 2: 1-11

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Homeschool Open House

Homeschool Open House. On a day I was hardly home.

But the kids do okay without me. No one is indispensable. Not even me!

Chores, workout, morning prayers, laundry....We went to nine o'clock Mass. I dropped the younger three kids at home ( all teens now, the youngest is thirteen..).. with a little chat about morning activities. Some folding for their junk mail delivery work; some Kumon maths; Alexander working on an essay for his Italian Open University course; Thomas and Anthony to read the next section in their religion books (Fr. Laux series )~ and writing about their reading for me. Because I asked. Nicely. Pretty please. I want to know about their reading and writing is good for university study, you know...Quiet down that inner unschooling voice!

Should we play computer games before or after folding? asked Thomas.
It's up to you, I said. Ask Alexander, cos he has a deadline for that uni essay.

So, no objections from anyone re morning activities. And I went off to do some volunteer work at the parish office.

Home at lunch time, got out leftovers for lunch, we prayed, I checked in on the kids' morning. No time for lunch for me - hey, I didn't have breakfast either! I made some Kumon phone calls, suggested some reading or games or DVDs for the kids for the afternoon, then I went to a friend's house. To be a listening ear. On that irritable male syndrome.

And she fed me, too!

As the day grew cold and wet, I mentally reviewed activities...Came home, read religion reports, did some money stuff on the internet, talked to a Kumon staff member on the phone and found I will be doing MC work at presentations on Saturday so printed off material, to the post office we all trekked, to pick up a parcel and send a fax..onto junk mail delivery. In the rain. We wore our hoodies!

Home, laundry, kids reading and gaming, Alexander still at work on that essay, Thomas reading through his parcel of stuff for Open Uni ( Chinese language - Mandarin!). I mopped the floors and tidied. Dh came home - been away these last few days for work..One son came home from college today..a friend arrived to take two sons to the movies. Another son ventured home...Spent time with dh, we ordered Chinese takeaway simply because dh was home and happy - yay! - ( and, hey, Thomas is studying Chinese, right, so it all fits in with homeschooling!).

Our friend stayed for dinner, Jonathon went to a photoshoot for his band ( Bright Young Things) and we a bit too loud and noisy..and disagreeing with dh..and a little side discussion on actions that are morally good/evil/indifferent...and on our years spent reading aloud as a family..and on study and pushing oneself..that getting out of one's comfort zone thing.

I cleaned up while everyone went to bed..did the last online Kumon follow up..made a To Do List for Thursday and trailed upstairs, tired, forgetting prayers ( oh no) and my personal reading ( sad).
P.S. Our family is featured in the book, above, a day from 1999..very different from today..but just as little formal work..and just as busy...some things change and some things don't!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


That cake. A combined effort.

As Nigella says, it could definitely serve one with a broken heart.

But - even one piece was fattening. Yet delicious.

A great way to celebrate a feast day of Our Lady.

Monday, May 25, 2009


My new wrist weights -.45 kg - fun for kickboxing!

Our Lady Help of Christians

We had a fiesta at our parish honour of Our Lady..and today we celebrate the solemnity of Our Lady Help of Christians...With Mass, reading some of our Pictorial History of the Catholic Church in Australia, baking Nigella's Chocolate Fudge cake, and the consecration below. Oh, and I'm doing Kumon and the kids are playing computer, doing Maths and Chemistry. And we are all working at Kumon today...

A statue of Mary, Help of Christians, stands in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, St. Mary's Cathedral, here in Sydney. It was donated in the 19th century. Our Lady , Help of Christians is Patroness of Australia and the Cathedral was dedicated in her honour by the Irish pioneer priest, Fr. John Therry who arrived in Sydney in 1820. Fr. Therry had responsibility for the planning and initial construction of the Cathedral. The foundation stone was laid in October 1821 by the Governor of the ( then) Colony of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie.

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Mary Help of Christians, Patroness of Australia, Mother of Mercy, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine Immaculate Heart.
To thee we consecrate our country, our families, our hearts, our souls and all that we have.
And in order that this consecration may be truly effective and lasting, we renew today the promise of our Baptism and Confirmation; we undertake to live as good Christians -faithful to God, the Church and the Holy Father. We desire to pray the Rosary, partake in the Holy Eucharist, attach special importance to the first Saturday of the month and work for the conversion of sinners. Furthermore we promise, O most holy Virgin, that we will zealously spread devotion to thee, so that through our consecration to thine Immaculate Heart and through thine own intercession, the coming of the Kingdom of Christ in the world may be
hastened. Amen

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What to eat for the Ascension?

I like to do something special for solemnities and feast days - forging memories of the liturgical year .

Next Sunday is Pentecost and I know we will do a repeat of last year's successful (Twelve Fruit) Fruit Salad.

So, I searched for something different for dinner for the Ascension.

Chicken. Baked chicken with baked vegetables and risotto.

Why chicken?

It was a widespread custom in many parts of Europe during the Middle Ages to eat a bird on Ascension Day, because Christ "flew" to heaven. Pigeons, pheasants, partridges, and even crows, graced the dinner tables. In western Germany bakers and innkeepers gave their customers pieces of pastry made in the shapes of various birds. The Easter Book by Fr. Weiser

My family teased me, because chickens don't fly.
But chickens are birds!

Working it hard with the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Working it hard. Giving myself very little leeway.

It came to me this week that I needed to learn self control. Self control in a couple of areas.

One of which is the area of eating habits.

It came to me this week that, instead of always hating the way I look, I could practise more self control and do something about it.

I always work it hard when it comes to exercise. But I have been skipping meals, eating junk. And it shows .

So I am praying. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is continency or control. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are one of the effects of the gifts of the Holy Spirit .The power of the Holy Spirit enables us to do things that may be, or may seem to be, humanly impossible.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, 23 Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. Galations 5:22-24

Continency is control over impure desires.

Well, maybe my bad eating habits aren't really impure, if you get my drift, but they do show lack of self control.

So, I'm working it hard to get rid of some of this chubbiness. Chubby looks good, even cute, on some people, but not on me. Cute is not me. I am not cute. There are many things I can't change about my looks and my health but I can change this. To be a bit less chubby, at least!

It came to me this week that I can plan some of my eating; I can watch portions; I can be more mindful of calories.

And so I have. With prayer. Already I feel better ... I don't look any better, that is a difficult task, but how one feels is a terribly important part of the wellness equation, to my mind.

I have even seen a loss of weight on the scale.

One of the FIRM instructors, on a FIRM workout DVD, says , while doing an aerobic step move, Getting down with the fanny lifter!

This always makes me laugh.

And so I'm changing it to Working it hard with the fruits of the Holy Spirit!

At least this makes me laugh! Out loud.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I am

.I am Elinor Dashwood!

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

The Ascension

Printing this out for a table centrepiece for Sunday ~ remembering the Ascension of Our Lord.

The Ascension of Our Lord, which occurred 40 days after Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, is the final act of our redemption that Christ began on Good Friday. On this day, the risen Christ, in the sight of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven (Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11).

Collect for the Feast of the Ascension
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who believe Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have this day ascended into heaven, may dwell in spirit amid heavenly things. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Then Monday is the solemnity of Our Lady Help of Christians, patroness of Australia. Planning on getting to Mass. And Thomas or Anthony, or both, will make a cake in honour of Our Lady. Maybe this recipe from Nigella Lawson ~ Chocolate Fudge Cake ~ as Nigella says, this cake will serve 10. Or 1 with a broken heart.

Sounds perfect to me!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Grahame Greene

If I'm a bitch and a fake, is there nobody who will love a bitch and a fake? Grahame Greene, The End of the Affair.
People talk about the courage of condemned men walking to the place of execution: sometimes it needs as much courage to walk with any kind of bearing towards another person's habitual misery. The Heart of the Matter

Re-reading some Grahame Greene novels.
Like Edna O'Brien, like Flannery O'Connor, Greene wrote of people, of life, of pain, of love.

I know his words. I feel them. I live them.

A good writer writes..and the reader cries or nods or laughs in agreement.

Monday, May 18, 2009

In review

A review of the last few days.....

Catholic Homeschoolers..
Br. Louis gave a talk.

We had a mum from church, and her little daughters, over for morning tea..and look what she made. Isn't she clever? She's agreed to teach a cake decorating class to homeschoolers, too.

A farewell dinner for a friend, my Kumon assistant and my "adopted" son...He is leaving to join the Royal Australian Air Force..

Taking a visiting Franciscan friar out to see Sydney - Br. is an American living in Rome..we saw Darling Harbour, went on the monorail and train and ferry, went to Circular Quay and the Opera House.

Br. came to our youth mass and supper last night - and, hey, I even cooked! Pastries and mini quiches...My new name? You can call me The Homeschooling Domestic Goddess ( as in Nigella Lawson's cookbook The Domestic Goddess..a birthday gift from dh..wishful thinking?)

And we read about St Pachal Baylon ~ 1540-1592 ~ Franciscan lay brother and mystic. According to accounts of his early life, Paschal laboured as a shepherd for his father, and was distinguished for his austerity. He also taught himself to read. He became a Franciscan lay brother in 1564. He displayed love for the Blessed Sacrament, so much so that while on a mission to France, he defended the doctrine of the Real Presence in the face of threats .

The Power of Words

Feeling fat and ugly ....did a Taebo Advanced Live Workout today..and Billy Blanks, the instructor, reminded me of why I do is not all about looks but also about health..and fitness..and energy..and who I am and how I feel..and learning self control and discipline..and smiling ( those endorphins!).

One of Billy Blanks' maxims ~

Get Fit
Be Strong
Have Fun
And put the losing weight part last...

The power of words.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Our Lady

Check out our Catholic Homeschool blog ~ Saintly Warriors.

Our group meets monthly and we try to update our blog about each meeting and topics of interests.

Thomas wrote about Our Lady of Fatima. Today's feast.

Anthony wrote a report of yesterday's meeting and of Our Lady Help of Christians.
See, unschoolers do write and read, you know. They even blog! And hang out on Facebook when mum is at work meetings...

Short Workouts

What workouts do you do, when you have little time but still want an effective and not easy workout?

Like today - I had exactly one half hour to workout after early Mass ( Our Lady of Fatima) and before I had to go to work meetings. I chose Jillian Michaels' Biggest Winner Cardio Kickbox - fats paced kickbox and calisthenics, bootcamp in feel.

So my list of short but not easy workouts are ~

Jillian Michaels' Biggest Winner series - Cardio Kickbox, Shape Up Frontside, Shape Up Backside - all bootcamp style
Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred - any level but especially levels 2 and 3 - circuit training
Turbo Jam Fat Blaster - four turbos, each done low impact then high impact.
Turbo Jam Cardio Party Remix - fun music, high impact danbce and kickbox, two turbo drills.
Cindy Crawford's Shape Your Body Workouts 1 and 2 - weights, low weight, high repetition, great music, great production.
Turbo Jam Kickin' Core - just the 30 minute high impact cardio section...
Taebo Cardio Circuit 1, with light weights
Taebo Original Bootcamp 1
Taebo Abs and Glutes ( ouch, is all I can say!).Joyce Vedral's book workouts, to my own music - Definition or The College Dorm Workout or The Fatburning Workout ( all weight workouts).

Monday, May 11, 2009


Lost in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Mother's Day..or is it hiding from the camera?

Lost in a kitchen dilemma - wtf??these are what?..I was given a flour sifter and a meat tenderiser for Mother's Day, a gift from one-who-shall-not-be-named. I never, ever have owned either..I obviously never sift flour when baking ( who does?). Fun presents - made us laugh!

The kids were lost when they saw the presents. I asked Thomas if he knew what this was ( the flour sifter) He looked blank - uh, no! And I told Greg I had been given a meat tenderiser - he said I've heard of those but never seen one..
I had a kitchen-ish Mother's Day...a food processor from dh ( well, I bought it, but with his blessing..); a rice cooker from the kids and the above presents from a friend ( no, I am NOT this friend's mother)...The kids cooked dinner...Very much needed and very much appreciated after a lot of junk mail delivery and with my cold and cough making me feel less than stellar...A fun Mother's Day, even if kitchen-ish!
Lost in Austen, lost in books and movies..
Our current book basket - Jane Austen novels, after watching Lost in Austen and visiting some Jane Austen-like gardens on a nature walk at Fagan Park; the St Joseph Baltimore Catechsim, opened to the page of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Ghost, after Fr's homily yesterday; my missal so we can pray the Litany of Our Lady for May.
Lost. Lost in books, and sometimes the books melt into real life..When I first read The Magician’s Nephew by C S Lewis as a child, I was always on the search for a door on the attic that would lead to another room, another world...Then when I read From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by E L Konigsburg at age 12, I spent years looking for “good places to hide out in”, especially at museums...reading My Side of the Mountain by Jean George made the kids and I, for many years, try to find trees we could make into homes..and watching Lost in Austen last night made me say that “I’m off looking for those doors” ( doors to the book world)...Jonathon thought that was a blonde moment and a blonde comment but, hey, books make, have made, my life..Sometimes, who can tell where the book ends and real life begins?

Last week in St Anthony Academy's Unschooling

Journey North
Kumon Maths
Reading and talking
Shakespeare sheets - Romeo and Juliet - quotes and character game
Computer and games and blogs and Facebook
Work at Kumon
Stargate Atlantis
Read aloud, taking turns, re saints for this week
Fold and organise envelopes for church
French class - lesson, read French blog, activities in French from website, phrases to use in conversation this week
Games with friends for lunch and active play
Alexander work at Kumon
Reading and discussion
Mass and serve at St Anthony Mass
Cook dinner (crustless quiche) while mum out at a meeting
DVDs and games with a friend
Fold and deliver junk mail ( Salmat)
Science Club - atoms and chemistry, youtube, worksheets, experiments, discussion
Lunch and games at the park with friends
Discussion re Confirmation and sacraments
Computer and gaming
Music lessons
Discuss economics and political parties
Discussion re choices and decisions
Attend Mass in Extraordinary Form ( Latin Mass) and chat after
Kumon Maths
Read religion books - Fr Laux - Anthony write points re rite of Baptism, Thomas write answers re free will
Review periodic table of elements ( to Abba's Ring Ring) and French phrases
Work on novels
Check ninemsn for current events/ news and talk about some of the topics
Nutrition discussion during lunch at Subway
Fitness and trampolining
Alexander uni stuff
Work at Kumon
Games with Dad and friend while mum out
Talk about forgiveness related to Mum's Women's group session
Stargate Atlantis and discussion re plot
Read part of Twilight aloud and talk about grammatical structure, comparing novelists
Attend Mass, serve at Mass, discuss homily, talk about St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross and Christian Feminism
Homeschool Teen Group - breakfast and social at Ikea, walk along Brickpit Ringwalk at the Olympic Park, look at area and ruins, read and talk about history, trade unions, privatisation, natural habitats.
Alexander work at Kumon
Hang out and games with a friend
Youth Group
Finish Stargate Atlantis and discuss possible endings
Silent reading
Stick up flyers at church
Attend picnic with a local parish - games of soccer, talk to others, bbq lunch, nature walk. Talk about different gardens in International Gardens section, about English gardens and Jane Austen Chat with a visitor at home; shop for Mother's Day presents; plan menu for Mother's Day
Some out with friends, others read and play games and play music
Some begin watching Lost in Austen and discuss Austen, Pride and Prejudice, fave books and characters, which book we would like to be live in and why...
Set up book basket - Austen, catechism re gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, missal re Litany of Our Lady for May...

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Bludging? An Aussie term that means to evade work..As in You're a bludger, you don't work..
Are we bludging by unschooling?

Yesterday, we went to Mass, discussed Fr.'s homily, went to Ikea with Homeschool Teen group for the $2 breakfast, talked with friends, went with Teen Group on the Sydney Olympic Park Brickworks Ring Walk (and read about and talked about Australian history and trade unions and natural history). Not your typical school day.

Effortless education, I guess. Bludging to some.

Sometimes natural learning seems to be ‘doing nothing.’

I think the thing is that following a natural learning lifestyle means that the parental role is so different to that of a teacher that even we home educating parents have trouble seeing and recognising it for what it is sometimes. We don’t appreciate how hard we work to help our children learn because we cease to consider it ‘work’ and just think of it as ‘life’. The truth is that natural learning involves much more than ‘doing nothing’ or letting the kids do whatever they want. On the contrary, parents are very involved in their children’s natural learning. ....

So what of the parents’ role? No we are not implementing timetables but we are very far from being divorced from the process of learning which is going on in our homes. Encouraging natural learning is very much a facilitator’s role. We teach our children how to find out what they want to know. We answer their questions as toddlers and, as they grow older, we show them how to use the index of books, the library catalogue system and the internet but none of this is done in lesson form. It is just ‘taught’ naturally as the need arises. We search high and low for books that will appeal to them – both fiction and non-fiction. We take them to clubs, exhibitions, festivals, sports and activities that will interest them. We stock up on resources – books, art materials, writing materials, board games and so on. We provide the time and the freedom for them to develop their imaginations through long imaginative games. We display their models and artwork. In short, we help them in thousands of ways to actively pursue any interest they have.... Susan Wight, Natural Learning is not Doing Nothing

Definitely not bludging. Just education in a very different sense, educating in a very different way to schools. Different ~ yet still work and still education in its own right.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I may be exhausted ( busy week, bad day yesterday..) but..trumpets please least I lost a kilogram...2.2lbs for my US friends.

My eating hasn't been great but I have tried to watch portions and continue to workout. Obviously with some success.

A loss of weight, good news on the scales, can make up for a multitude of bad days and for an exhausted TGIF grumpiness..

Don't you think?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Today I am singing...

..No, today I am not singing the Credo.
But Ring Ring by Abba...
Well, strictly not Ring Ring but the Periodic Table of Elements, sorted by atomic number, to the tune of Ring Ring.

The elements fit. Just. Kind of. With a few ohs , with a few ands...

Why? I've taken up the challenge, taken up the gauntlet. Some of my older sons and dh have memorised the periodic table. I never did when at school - I know some of them but not all....
I was challenged, by a friend ( some friend, huh? Another homeschool mum, who else?). Challenged to learn the table in song form ..but I didn't want the Gilbert and Sullivan song presented ..I chose Abba.

Trying to persuade the younger three kids to learn it with me.

Oh-oh, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper and zinc....

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


What song is that?

Not really a song but something going through my mind. making me sing aloud at odd moments.

You know what it's like. You hear something and then you keep on singing it, sometimes mentally, sometimes audibly.

For me its been the Credo, after praying at Mass in the Extraordinary Form last Friday night.

I can't stop singing the words, humming the music..

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium, et invisibilium. Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero. Genitum, non factum, consubstantialem Patri: per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: Et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis: sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in caelum: sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, judicare vivos et mortuos: cuius regni non erit finis. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum, et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur, et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per Prophetas. Et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum. Et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

The Nicene Creed.
The Nicene Creed was formulated in the 4th century, to affirm the beliefs of the Christian Church.We sing this entire hymn during Mass, or at least we follow along with the Priest and Choir.

A few words, like Filioque and consubstantialem were furiously debated by faithful Catholic bishops amid a multitude of heresies that existed at that time....Some stated that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Son as well as the Father, so the insertion of Filoque "and the Son" counteracted this belief. Others had issue with consubstantialem, which means "of the same substance", because they believed that Christ was not equal to the Father.

And right now, I am enjoying the words and the music....You can check them out here.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Good Shepherd Sunday


Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world! We humbly beg of Thee to manifest in Thy Church the Spirit Whom Thou didst so abundantly bestow upon Thy Apostles. Call, we pray Thee, very many to Thy priesthood and to the religious life. And may zeal for Thy glory and the salvation of souls inflame those whom Thou hast chosen; may they be saints in Thy likeness, and may Thy Spirit strengthen them. O Jesus, give us priests and religious according to Thine own Heart! O Mary, Mother of Jesus! Obtain for fervent souls the grace to hear and the courage to follow thy Divine Son in the path of religious perfection. Queen of Apostles, pray for us. Queen of Virgins, pray for us.

Hey, what do you do for school?

What do you do for school? Some one asked.

Well...I feel guilty about our our lack of schoolwork ( another thing for me to feel guilty about - my guilty as a wife, the budget and money, my weight, the house and disorganisation, my laziness, I should be doing more Kumon and more maths study for me, my lack of cooking, our homeschool! Argh!)

So...I talked about this with friends at ice skating.. and remembered the Emergent curriculum..

On Monday, the kids elected to stay home and catch up on stuff when I went for coffee with a friend. They did their Kumon Maths, Alexander caught up on language study and Anthony did some more exploring with Journey North stuff - it is almost finished, so he and Greg looked up latititudes and longitudes and pics of possible places...I did Kumon. Then we went to Kumon! Read some more of Inkheart, watched Stargate Atlantis.

Tuesday was French class- a review of body parts, of dialogue, some translation and grammar. We wolfed down morning tea and went to the movies with French class to see Inkheart. Discussed Brendan Fraser's character and the power of words over lunch and shopping with friends. Work for Alexander and me, serving at Mass, novena to St Anthony , games with brothers and friends - while mum went to movie club.

Wednesday began with games and fitness, silent reading, Alexander and I went to the dentist and shops. We read about St Catherine of Siena and Doctors of the Church. Anthony regaled us with information about The Great Schism and the Byzantines. He went through a Byzantine-ish reading frenzy awhile ago. And while we talked of Shakespeare and found our copy of the book Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb, Anthony and I also discussed his personal reading. Bulldog Drummond ( an bit B grade, he says), poems by Tennyson and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Prayed the Anima Christi. Morning tea with a visitor, lunch out and a long discussion of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and the Holocaust, delivery of junk mail, work for me, games with brothers and friends while mum at a meeting.Lots of reading and writing of novels.

We began Thursday with Latin Breakfast Club, after mum going to mass and working out and kids doing chores and using the computer. The kids played at the park, played active games, played Star Trek Monopoly -oh, and did Latin! We reviewed some Latin words and greetings and grace, listened to Veni Veni Emanuel, learned Adeste Fideles and vocabulary. Work at Kumon, gaming and ordering pizza for dinner, cake with dad when he came home from interstate, discuss Womens' Group with mum when she came home.

Friday fitness, Mass and serve at Mass, discussion about the internet andappropriate/inappropriate conversation,ice skating with other homeschoolers, reading, lunch with dad, music practice, more reading, parish stuff me, youth group for some, attend a Missa Cantata in Extraordinary Form for others, discussion of our different nights with family and a friend. Oh, and a Numbers episode before bed!

Saturday Mass, breakfast and family meeting at McDonalds, chores at home while I grocery shopped, a very late lunch, role playing games, serve at mass, some went out with friends and some watched the old movie version of Escape to Witch Mountain with me, comparing it with the new version we saw at the cinema a week or so ago.

Emergent curriculum is a way of learning based on the student’s interest and passions as well as the teacher’s. Emergent curriculum starts with the children’s interests rather than starting with a lesson plan or a “hook” to get the children interested .

People who hear the words emergent curriculum may wrongly assume that everything simply emerges from the children. The children’s ideas are an important source of curriculum but only one of many possible sources that reflect the complex ecology of their lives. Elizabeth Jones, Emergent Curriculum

The same is true of unschooling - we live a complicated life of work, of family interests, of kids' interests, of appointments and meetings and chores and prayer and mass..people often think unschooling is all about the child when it is really also all about the family.

Our week reflects the complex ecology of our family's life.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

May and Mary

Wherever there is faith there is the example of Mary, because she lived by faith - as the Scriptures remind us.

Why do we remember the month of May and Mary, mother of Our Lord?

This Christian custom of dedicating the month of May to the Blessed Virgin arose at the end of the 13th century. In this way, the Church was able to Christianize the secular feasts which were wont to take place at that time. In the 16th century, books appeared and fostered this devotion.
The practice became especially popular among the members of the Jesuit Order — by 1700 it took hold among their students at the Roman College and a bit later it was publicly practiced in the Gesu Church in Rome. From there it spread to the whole Church.

Catholic Culture

On our bulletin board we have two pictures. Remembering May as the month dedicated to Our Lady.

This one of Madonna and Child by Duccio. Duccio di Buoninsegna (c. 1255-1260 – c. 1318-1319) was an Italian artist . Born in Siena, Tuscany, he worked mostly with pigment and egg tempera and he painted religious subjects .

And this one of The Madonna of the Roses by William-Adolphe Bouguereau , 1825 –1905, a French academic painter. Bouguereau was a traditionalist who created realistic genre paintings . He created an idealized world, with an almost photo-realistic style .