Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallows Eve

On the table.....our unschooling strewing...

Dies Irae, Dies Illa

The Hymn of the Church, in Meditation of the Day of Judgment

That day of wrath, that dreadful day, shall heaven and earth in ashes lay, as David and the Sybil say.
What horror must invade the mind when the approaching Judge shall find and sift the deeds of all mankind!
The mighty trumpet's wondrous tone shall rend each tomb's sepulchral stone and summon all before the Throne.
Now death and nature with surprise behold the trembling sinners rise to meet the Judge's searching eyes.
Then shall with universal dread the Book of Consciences be read to judge the lives of all the dead.
For now before the Judge severe all hidden things must plain appear; no crime can pass unpunished here.
O what shall I, so guilty plead? and who for me will intercede? when even Saints shall comfort need?
O King of dreadful majesty! grace and mercy You grant free; as Fount of Kindness, save me!
Recall, dear Jesus, for my sake you did our suffering nature take then do not now my soul forsake!
In weariness You sought for me, and suffering upon the tree! let not in vain such labor be.
O Judge of justice, hear, I pray, for pity take my sins away before the dreadful reckoning day.
You gracious face, O Lord, I seek; deep shame and grief are on my cheek; in sighs and tears my sorrows speak.
You Who did Mary's guilt unbind, and mercy for the robber find, have filled with hope my anxious mind.
How worthless are my prayers I know, yet, Lord forbid that I should go into the fires of endless woe.
Divorced from the accursed band, o make me with Your sheep to stand, as child of grace, at Your right Hand.
When the doomed can no more flee from the fires of misery with the chosen call me.
Before You, humbled, Lord, I lie, my heart like ashes, crushed and dry, assist me when I die.
Full of tears and full of dread is that day that wakes the dead, calling all, with solemn blast to be judged for all their past. Amen.
Lord, have mercy, Jesus blest, grant them all Your Light and Rest. Amen.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Some of Anthony's unschooling week..

Doing an experiment on salinity
Visiting with Br.

Ice Cream Cake for the feast of St Jude - Jude being one of Anthony's middle names

Identifying shells

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reflecting on Friendship

We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over. -- Samuel Johnson

Reflecting on friends and on friendship tonight. With the kids. A great discussion.

What makes a a friend become a very close friend, a kindred spirit, to quote Anne of Green Gables?

Hard to tell. I am someone who makes friends, who loves people and being with people, but who only occasionally finds a close friend. You know. Those friends with whom I can truly be myself, truly love, as much as I, with my issues, am capable of love; without fear of judgement, without fear of vulnerability.

This year, I had the opportunity to re-connect with an old friend.

It was as though we gathered the threads of yesterday and kept on sewing our friendship. Despite the passing of time since we last saw each other. Despite the little rips and tears and worn spots of the fabric of our friendship.

I think it was the connecting of souls.

What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. -- Aristotle

I have been blessed. In Sydney, I have come to form friendships and share memories with some , with some friends close to my heart and soul.

And my experience of re-connection with my other friend reminds me that, often? every now and then?, certain friendships are forged. Certain friendships that withstand the tyranny of distance; the pull of time and years, of sorrows and misunderstandings.

Your souls have been touched, have been sewn together in some fashion, and, regardless, regardless of other experiences, you are friends forever.

Yet, to be a true friend I must also be worthy of this friendship.

I must love. Without calculating cost. Or inconvenience.

My love of God should show, should be visible, in my love of others.

We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others. ~ St. Clare of Assisi

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Keeping Company in Wollongong

Keeping Company ~ being companions. With each other and with friends in Wollongong.

We shared a super lunch, home cooked, everything fresh and beyond delicious.

We visited the Kiama Blowhole; North Beach; the Minnamurra Rainforest.

We ate fish n chips at the beach. We walked a lot. We talked a lot. We laughed a lot. And I drank a lot - cocktails; too much wine at dinner.

The super thing about being away for a few days, away from the everydayness, from the myriad of things to do, is that we take ourselves along with us. Our jokes, our way of seeing connections, of learning, of seeing wit in both the new and in the ordinary.

The bad thing about being away for a few days is, no matter what, we still take ourselves with us - grumpiness, a need to fill a day with a million things, to plan a BBQ and a shopping list and a...

We also take with us our journals.

Our Once-In-A-Blue-Moon journals -the kids write in theirs only on holidays, or after special holiday events - perhaps Christmas with all the brothers? I write in mine sulum interdum - kinda, roughly, every now and then. (Nowadays I blog more than pencil and paper journal).

Taking our journals with us, on our occasional breaks from home, is a good thing. A very good thing.

We have a chance to reflect on our past entries. We joke. We guffaw. We smirk. We cringe. I surreptiously smudge away a tear , over some of the things we share from the past, from the years. The years of journaling.

We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.- Cecil Day Lewis

We have an opportunity to work on writing style and on developing writing and drawing voices... Once-In-A-Blue-Moon journal writing goes past recording events. It it is a companion that supports but doesn't judge, a place of discovery and a creative playground. It can be a mundane list. It can be facts. Photos. Postcards. Sketches. And sometimes poetry.

She began back in the years of being a young wife and mother on a ranch. She kept them, not in a fancy little diary but in ledgers, little or even big spirals, anything that she could write in suited her just fine. ....She had glued, pasted, taped in newspaper and magazine articles and pictures that either pertained to her family or just interested her. She saved postage stamps, stickers, cards of every size, style and shape, letters, cartoons, poetry and her own personal entries. What a wonderful legacy for her family to have; when she is gone, to be able to go back and learn even more about her life from the time she was very young.
Barbara Gould; Journaling

Anthony shared a line or two from his last break in Wollongong. January 2009. How we visited Bluescope Steel and his earpiece was defective. He only heard half of the tour, yet told no one until the tour was over...We laughed!

These journals are A Good Thing because they count as schoolwork for we unschoolers. Yes, schoolwork on holiday!

The concept of a "communications triangle" of reading, writing, and discussing implies the need for a methodology whereby the teacher could stimulate the natural interaction of language uses in students to further linguistic development. Specifically, it implies the need for a method with which the teacher could connect reading and writing assignments to teach "the art of communicating" (Simpson, 1986).
As the cornerstone of such a communications method, student journals have proven simple, yet effective (see
Bromley, 1993). ...As a result of this technique, the students practice listening and speaking--reciprocating in group discussion, and reading and writing critically--recognizing and evaluating their opinions and beliefs (Simpson, 1986). Effective use of Student Journal Writing

We write new facts. Like ~ The name Kiama is from the aboriginal word Kiaram-a, to which some sources give the meaning "Where the sea makes a noise"- a reference to the famous Kiama Blowhole.The first recorded reference to the district was by George Bass who anchored his 28ft whaleboat in the sheltered bay (now known as Kiama Harbour) in December 1797.

We write reflections - from my previous journal entry October 29, 2008.

Be what I wish my mother was.
Be as God is to me.
Not emotional.
And along the way
do what God wants me
to do ~ wife, mother, friend, helping others, using talents.
Do my job, be who I am and move on.
Keep in touch.
That's all.

And from my Once-In-A-Blue-Moon journal, Keeping Company in Wollongong, October 23 2009?

Food, family, friends, fun.
Prayer, pain, peace.
Silly, satisfying and sad.
These always go together, don't they?
Well, often.

Thank you, Chris Shaw's Mum!

Er..Mrs Harmer..Thanks for the vases..We had the vases on the table, with flowers from our garden, for French class the other day

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Break

Visiting today, I was struck by a mother's love for her son. And for her husband.

Reminded of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and her devotion to her Son.

To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ...Pope John Paul II

We are taking a break from home for a few days. One son tonight asks me a hard question. Hard to answer, hard to explain.

I fall back to prayer. To be more specific, I fall back to praying the Rosary.

Unschooling is sometimes nothing other than contemplating the face of Christ, in prayer and in my family.

I suck at this. Yet I keep on...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Language of the Mass

Anthony and I read part of his religion book today. Mass and the Sacraments, A Course in Religion, Book 2. By Fr Laux. Copyright 1934.

Why read an old book?

Well, we read old and new. Just as we might read Shakespeare today and Terry Pratchett tomorrow, so we read religion books of old..and of new.

The Faith is unchanging.

Excerpts of note, and of discussion today ~

The advantages of having one liturgical language, and that an unchangeable one, are obvious: ( Don't you just love this heading? Made us smile. The unchangeable. One language, Latin. The advantages being so obvious one need hardly state them?)

The use of the same language throughout the Church promotes the unity and union of its members..

The liturgy would have lost much of its sublime and venerable character if, in the course of time, as often as the words of a living language would change their meaning, or become obsolete or trivial...(Do we still think of Mass in terms of being venerable? )

Wherever a Catholic goes, the language of the Church makes him feel at home...

The Mass being a sacrifice, and not merely a form of prayer or a sermon, it is not necessary to understand all the words said by the priest in order to take part in the service...( Ah. Sharing this with other family members later, Greg and I stopped. To talk. Have we lost the notion of sacrifice, of how to participate and pray at Mass without external, audible participation?)

There were other arguments, listed by Fr Laux, but these were the ones that stood out for us, that made us talk. That made us think.

Homeschooling religion, for all the family.

Being Julia

Being Julia. As in Julia Child. Inspired by the book and movie Julie and Julia.

I skipped the pearls.

I skipped the high heels.

But I made stuffed artichokes.

After a very busy, exhausting day, it was even fun.

And yummy. Especially with wine.

I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking Julia Child

And Julia's thoughts on dieting?

In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal.

So, how does the book Julie and Julia inspire you?

It makes you want to do something with your life.

It makes you laugh at yourself, and at your blogging.

It makes you want to cook.

It makes you hungry...for food, for life...Went to bed, hungry last night, hungry in more ways than one, past midnight, after seeing the film Julie and Julia.

Julia Child wants you -- that's right, you, the one living in the tract house in sprawling suburbia with a dead-end secretarial job and nothing but a Stop-n-Shop for miles around -- to master the art of french cooking. (No caps, please.) She wants you to know how to make good pastry, and also how to make those canned green beans taste alright. She wants you to remember that you are human, and as such are entitled to that most basic of human rights, the right to eat well and enjoy life.And that, my friends, blows heirloom tomatoes and first-press Umbrian olive oil out of the fucking water.Julie Powell

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Some of my kitchen cupboards

With the new organised, blue and white boxes! Containers for ( nearly) everything! I can find things....

I kinda, sheepishly, like housework, I love working, I am just bad at it.

I lead a semi organised life, you know?

And when you are working - like yesterday, six loads of washing, grocery shopping, cleaning the kitchen cupboards, cooking for a dinner guest , in between reading some of the letters of St Ignatius of Antioch, - the physical work allows one to create a mini cone of
silence. (Remember Get Smart?)

Quiet in which one can pray. Or think. Or compose sentences for your next writing or blogging attempt. While also having the cone of silence interrupted, interrupted in a nice, familiar, I-love-this-family way, by your kids talking to you, laughing at you, making their usual witty comments and asking their usual myriad of questions.

Part of the draw of housework is that it is a fantastic counterpoint to thinking work. One friend who works from home says: “If I am stuck on a work problem, I take out the ironing and watch old episodes of Dallas on cable. I think I am pretending I am my mother, and it is comforting.” The Joy of Housework

I play at being a good housewife, a 1950s televsion mother. Or Mrs Brady from the Brady Bunch. ( Greg pointed put - Did she wear a short black skirt and knee length bright pink and green striped Ramones socks to clean, as you do, Mum?..) My kids can be so sarcastic!

Heaven forbid that any of us take a moderate approach to cleaning. That is too boring. And with boring comes another kind of shame. Take my screen visits to Flylady: when I am reading her tips on the website and my husband or kids come into the room, I immediately switch screens as if I had been looking at porn, because I don’t want them to know that I have sunk to this sink-shining low. Reading about housework is my dirty little secret. It sure beats actually doing any. From that Times article above.

St Gerard Majella

God, by Your grace St. Gerard persevered in imitating Christ in His poverty and humility. Through his intercession, grant that we may faithfully follow our vocation and reach that perfection which You held out to us in Your Son. Amen.
Gerry's name day! Father helped us celebrate..and as our table centrepiece we had candles, flowers, as usual, and our saints book ope to the segment about St Gerard Majella.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Lady of Fatima. Today. I have our Geography book on the dining table..set at Portugal, of course!

And I am responsible for posting a novena to the Unschooling Catholics list, a novena for families, to St John Bosco, starting today.

Good luck! I am often remiss at posting. Even here at logging what we do.

Why? I used to document faithfully but , now, well, I know the State requres it, but I just see kids learning, sometimes a lot, sometimes, a little and the need..urge..desire document... just isn't there!

What have we been up to ?

Well, Anthony just asked Greg - Is talking of God here, in the accusative case? He is reading his birthday book, a primer on the ancient language Akkadian.

So, Akkadian is on the list of educational things we do...Thomas is studying Chinese through Open University..Alexander and I just completed a unit on Christian prayer for certificate courses in Religion. Starting units on The Creed and on The Sacraments.

Thomas and Anthony continue Kumon Maths study; Religion reading has been about the Cure of Ars; from Fr Laux's book Mass and the Sacraments; living - discussing - celebrating - reading about the liturgical year; I have Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis out for Thomas to read this week.

We've done Latin, mostly translating hymns and prayers, using Lingua Angelica and listening to the oh-so-calming CD.

French class. Cooking. Volunteer work at the parish ( Gardening! Chickens! Woo hoo!).

Anthony has started his beach biology project - wave diagrams, ocean zonation, why waves break what causes waves of different sizes et al; will start a labelled shell collection after our trip to Wollongong.

Writing. Music Piano. Games. Work at Kumon and Salmat. Lots of reading, including Dracula and War and Peace. Lost of movies. Time with friends. A Singstar party. Role playing games. Visitors.

Blogging. Internet research. Questions. discussion, follow up, talking about books and movies...Current events...Facebook ( is that educational??).

Education must no longer be regarded only as a matter of teaching children, but as a social question of the highest importance, because it is the one question that concerns all mankind. The many other social questions have to do with one group or another of adults, with relatively small numbers of human beings; the social question of the child, however, has to do with all men everywhere Maria Montessori

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Sharing ~ Quotes, books, trust, blogs

An engaging quote for a Sunday afternoon.

Earlier that evening, after the gynecologist appointment, when I was standing in the Korean deli staring at produce, I'd been thinking, "I'm twenty-nine, Im never going to have kids or a real job, my husband will leave me and I'll die alone in an outer-borough hovel with twenty cats and it'll take two weeks for the stench to reach the hall. " But now, three bowls of potato soup later, I was, to my relief, thinking of nothing much at all. Julia Child's soup had made me vulnerable. Julie and Julia

Now, isn't that the truth? You go from one emotion to the next, sometimes in the space of an afternoon..or an evening.

Food can do that. Hanging out with people can change how one feels.

So can a text. Or an email. A book. A movie. Prayer.

Or for me, this morning, a workout and a homily.

I did a three and one half kilometre walk/run before Mass today. Cardio makes me so happy, makes me shout woo hoo inside. (Okay, I also gave way to an occasional audible woo hoo).

Then a thinking homily about detachment.. drew us all into a discussion about loving God first and foremost..about too much attachment to other things, other areas, other thoughts.

So, now I am happy and thinking.

Thinking about detachment brought me, brought us, to C.S. Lewis' book The Great Divorce. Another elegant Sunday quote.

I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) was precisely nothing: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in "the High Countries." Preface, ibid

One of the people from the book, on Lewis' bus, between heaven and earth, can't, won't, simply won't, get off the bus to get to heaven. My son needs me she wails. I can't leave my son. And we see her choosing earth, choosing her son, over heaven.

Now, we are not really asked to do this in life, are we? It is not often an either/or situation for a Christian. But the point is made. Are we so attached to earthly loves that we forget about God? Shouldn't love for Our Lord be foremost, shouldn 't we trust that by loving, and following, Him , that other things will work out. Eventually. Even if we can't see it right now..

And, to be frank, love for Our Lord deepens our love for others..we love more deeply when we truly see and experience that God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion..Catechism of the Catholic Church 2331

In loving, we trust.

It is this trust that St Therese of the Child Jesus talked about, in her Little Way.

Trusting in God and His Church. Trusting in love.

Homeschooling can be seen to be completely about this trust. Not about intense methods of teaching, documenting, curriculum. Education and discipline within that sense of trust.

Another riveting (?) Sunday quote to share..

The element of unschooling that I would love to see all families embrace is the virtue of trust. I think the heart of unschooling is the trust that grows between parent and child. The parent embarks on a cycle of trusting the child to learn, seeing that the child does learn, and thus having that trust increased. The child’s assurance of the parent’s love and confidence in him grows as well. Perhaps most important of all, the parent and child grow in their trust in God – His plan for their lives, His patience, His eternal Merciful Love. ... And He does not expect us to manufacture our children’s success and salvation on our own. He has provided for all these things; we need to learn to trust Him.

...I would have to refer to the deep anxiety that so many of us experience as we try to help our children along the path to Heaven. I think that St. Therese is one of God’s antidotes to this anxiety. In my own life, St. Therese has been a wonderful role model in littleness, and has shown me a glimpse of God’s great love. She has taught me that “Jesus does not demand great actions from us, but simply surrender and gratitude.” I think she is trying to help me realize that even if all my worst fears are true, and I am not a good enough parent (wife, friend, Catholic), God loves me even more for this, and knew all about me when He entrusted my family to my care. He trusts me, and so I can trust Him. But most of all, St. Therese has helped me see that I am not a failure, that as I learn to accept my weaknesses and disappointments I will also learn to see myself as God sees me: as His beautiful and beloved child. Learning from St. Therese how to become gentle with myself, I am also learning how to be gentle with my husband and children, and I see this gentleness as a precious gift. Suzie Andres author, Homeschooling With Gentleness
I am not very gentle. With myself in particular.

Will you still like me if I admit to being, many times, the antithesis of gentle with my family? That I am the kind of mum who (today) swore, in anger, crossly, under her breath of course, at her child in church?..I don't even like myself for that....

This Sunday blogging, Sunday quoting..Why do I go there? Why do I blog? And blog private things, like that thing above..Though even I have limits. There are definitely some things that even I won't blog about. Or will blog about euphemistically...

When you read, a lot, and write a lot, you find writing to be part of your life, who you are.

I read, I write, I blog. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes very little.

Blogging started as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends, as we move around.

Became a vehicle for sharing the joy of homeschooling and the joys of the Catholic Faith with others.

Helped me meet new friends.

Formed my thoughts, my ideas, by the act of writing. (Almost) superseded journalling.

Or diary writing. Like that diary of Samuel Pepys. The one we studied in English Lit at high school.

Pepys gave us a picture of life in England in the 1600s. Maybe we armchair, boring bloggers, not the exciting bloggers of travellers and terrorists, or the loony bloggers of conspiracy theorists, but we everyday bloggers..perhaps we are scribbling a small, defective, often ill written but personal archive of life now.

My final Sunday eccentric quote? From my current novel, Julie and Julia, again, but this time not about food. About blogging (Julie Powell began her book as a blog..) and about Samuel Pepys.

What I think is that Sam Pepys wrote down all the details of his life for nine years because the very act of writing them down made them important, ar at least singular. Overseeing the painters doing his upstairs rooms was rather dull, but writing about it made overseeing the painters doing his upstairs rooms at least seem interesting. Threatening to kill his wife's dog for pissing on the new rug might have made him feel a bit sheepish and mean, but write it down and you have a hilarious domestic anecdote for the centuries..

Will blogs be the the fodder for those anecdotes of the furture? Tongue-in-cheek here of course... - I mean, aren't our blogs so sociologically, anthropologically fascinating ? The medium, the attraction of writing and reading blogs could be the dream answer to how life was lived in the postmodern age, to the anthropologists of the future...

Sunday sharing of blog quotes, fifty years hence?

Or of Facebook statuses? And Facebook quizzes...What would a future historian have to say about we Facebookers who do Facebook quizzes back to back, quizzes like What Religious Order Would You Join and Who is Your Lover of the Day?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sustenance Bound Up With Anticipation and Want

Isn't that a great quote? Sustenance bound up with anticipation and want. From the book I am reading, Julie and Julia.

The whole quote? ...Reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking - childishly simple and dauntingly complex, incantatory and comforting - I thought this was what prayer must feel like. Sustenance bound up with anticipation and want. Reading MtAoFC was like reading pornographic Bible verses.

Prayer, for me, is sustaining, and, yes, there is that high, that rush, that peace. I just feel better, I feel different after praying, after talking to God, after listening to God, after meditation.

Sad to say, I also look for sustenance and that rush of pleasure from less healthy sources.

Like chocolate and too-much-food.

You may know what I'm talking about. The lure of the forbidden.

Happy, laughing, with others. Quiet and thoughtful in prayer, after Confession.

Then .... The door shuts. That window closes. Criticism. Disapproval. Smile fades.

And you eat too much chocolate. Get that rush. Again. Feel better temporarily. Enjoy that forbidden pseudo sustenance, with much anticipation, with want.

What is the answer? Is there even an answer? Maybe this is life, that process of learning to live, together, to love God, to accept the hard times with the good, my learning to die to self, to not use food as a panacea? Maybe it doesn't get any better than this, maybe it does.

Maybe it doesn't matter.

There is nothing love cannot bear, no limit to its faith, it's hope, it's endurance...1 Corinthians 13

And I can always diet tomorrow. Again and again. As long as I don't keep reading Julie and Julia ~ the descriptions of the recipes are too tempting!

There is blogging, too. Cathartic. Honest. Writing has always been important in my life. As a friend said yesterday, sharing your addictions, making oneself vulnerable, is an important step. She was talking about that cafe game on Facebook. But it applies to eating, to life. In its own way.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

October 8

Dh's Confirmation pavlova we had. You have to remember these milestones. don't you? Even if dh thinks I am freaky for remembering something he doesn't...and celebrating something from his childhood, before we ever met..That's me! Freaky!

And this pic is of Thomas and Anthony sorting socks..the kids thought it funny ( and weird!) that I started our usual morning discussion with..Today for schoolwork, I want you to sort the washing..That's not schoolwork, said Thomas..But it's Life Skills, Work Education, Personal Development even..Right? ..Thomas said he'd sort washing gladly but only if it was called work and not schoolwork!

October 7

The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world. Pope Blessed Pius IX

Our table centrepiece was.. still is...a rose from the garden, for Our Lady; rosary beads (of course!) and some Catholic History Readers ~ so the kids could refresh their memories re the Battle of Lepanto.

No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary:
either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary.
Bishop Hugh Doyle

And we have this pic as one of our computer backgrounds.

The Rosary is in a certain sense the typical prayer of the Christian family.... In reciting the Rosary, the domestic church savours its own unity, enjoys the sharing of affections, is elevated to the contemplation of the divine, places its own needs, concerns and the conquests of daily living in this higher dimension. (Pope John Paul II)

Dh and I went to Mass at seven in the morning. In our parish church ~ Our Lady of the Rosary. Very fitting!

The kids and I went to Mass in the Extraordinary From in the cathedral in the city at four pm. Then hung out at Starbucks together, drinking coffee and shakes; eating cake and chatting.

Finally, home for a (late, as always) takeaway dinner with dh.

What a great way to celebrate the feast.

Although I notice a tendency to always celebrate feast days with food!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Out and About

We never unschool in isolation, do we? Our latest ventures have been..

A trip to Taronga Park Zoo..

A visit to the Australian Museum and Hyde Park..
Celebrating the feast of St Francis..
An unexpected visit from a friend...
...the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity. Catechism of the Catholic Church #1666

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A Quote from the educator, John Holt

No use to shout at them to pay attention. If the situations, the materials, the problems before the child do not interest him, his attention will slip off to what does interest him, and no amount of exhortation of threats will bring it back. -- educator, John Holt

A quote to ponder as we move into a relaxed day of writing an essay for me and Alexander ( for our religion course)...Chinese study for Thomas ( for Open University)..Anthony starting beach biology...( we will be collecting shells in Wollongong sometime over the next few weeks!).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Being a Suco

Reading recently about this reading fits in with the unit I am studying, on Christian prayer.
You know how, sometimes, when one is reading, certain phrases or words seem to jump out ?

This happened to me. Sitting at the orthodontist, waiting for Anthony, while he was having his braces fitted, I read.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Luke 1:42. St Luke notes that Elizabeth gave this greeting with a loud cry. Luke 1:41.

Can I emulate this generous and joyful spirit of Elizabeth? Am I even generous and joyful?


My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her lowliness;
henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy his name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on Those who fear Him.
Luke 1:46-50

Mary expresses great joy in God. Her heart, her speech exemplifies praise, humility and gratitude.

What does my speech say about me?

Don't ask! I have been told that I offend others with my speaking-before-I-think...

I have been told that I am a Suco.

The Urban Dictionary lists Suco as a woman suffering from the Superwoman Complex (i.e. “She's a bit of a Suco; insisted on splitting the bill, wouldn't let me walk her home. I'm not dating her again”).

A woman with a Superwoman Complex works to do everything well, to prove she is smart, efficient, capable.

And, so I am informed, women like me offend others. Especially males.

Is this a particular problem of homeschooling mothers? Do we want to do it all, have it all, and do it all well? Homeschooling certainly attracts strong women. Or, perhaps, doing something different, against the mainstream, ie homeschooling, makes us strong women?

And are men really so fragile, as to be offended by we Sucos?

(I'm not really displaying that generous and humble spirit here, am I?)

On behalf of fellow homeschooling Sucos, I say Je Suis Desole..I am sorry.. to those I/we have offended...see I am even learning French with the kids!

And give us a break. We really aren't superwomen, we really are still working on things..including having that gentle and meek spirit.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.

The meek are those who bear patiently all the contradictions of life, looking upon them as happening through God's Will or by His permission.
The meek shall have peace of heart and peace of life, loved and respected by all, and at death will "possess the earth" of the living, heaven.
Those are also meek who, though of a naturally fiery disposition, master their anger, impatience, or desires for revenge.
The meek man does not get angry or curse or seek revenge. He forgives his enemies, and even wins them by gentle words. He imitates Christ, Who said: "Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart" (Matt. 11: 29).
My Catholic Faith

Homeschooling our children while homeschooling ourselves.