Archive for February, 2009

A lovely Act of Contrition

I read and I liked.  Possible choice for Eli to memorise.

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us.
In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen

This is the one Derek and I were given…

Oh My God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you.
Because you are so good, and with your help,
I will try not to sin again.

This is the traditional Catholic one….

O my God,
I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee,
and I detest all my sins
because I dread the loss of heaven
and the pains of hell,
but most of all because they offend Thee, my God,
Who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace
to confess my sins, to do penance,
and to amend my life.

And in Latin…

Deus meus, ex toto corde poenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum,
eaque detestor, quia peccando,
non solum poenas a te iuste statutas promeritus sum,
sed praesertim quia offendi te,
summum bonum, ac dignum qui super omnia diligaris.
Ideo firmiter propono,
adiuvante gratia tua,
de cetero me non peccaturum peccandique occasiones proximas fugiturum.

Thanks to Wikipedia!

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Not much accomplished this week as we have had gastro through the house.  Luckily Zi and I missed out, though we had a sleepless night with Zeek, Jordy and Eli all having it at once!  recovery was nice as we got to take time out from our overly hectic schedule this term! I realized that ‘something has to give’ for next term…. but what???  All said though, we are enjoying ourselves and loving every moment of being busy (and tee ball does end this week!).


Yay! we’ve finally finished level B!!  I am so proud of Eli for getting through it in lightning speed.  We pretty much tackled half the level (the most difficult half) in five months.  We had a marathon finish with Eli doing two lessons and then the final test (about 1 1/2 hours of maths non stop).  And yes, it was Eli’s idea, not mine.   In fact I got sucked in by his enthusiasm.  he did fantastically on the test with only a few mistakes made from carelessness with his trading and brain fatigue in his mental maths!  We are beginning level C next week and starting off by learning about Venn diagrams (I love those!).


Zi finished reading book 10 from the first set this week and found it miles easier than 7X or 8X.  It was nice to read something at his level again after ploughing through two difficult books.  Zi is beginning to realize that he can actually read and is having a go all the time, everywhere!  His writing skills are improving and he completed a few Fitzroy sheets this week.  I even gave him one that I thought may be too difficult and he surprised me and finished it easily, though I had to countdown the number of sentences toward the end.

Eli has been reading about the Indus Valley independently and wrote a passage for his ‘project book’.  He hasn’t drawn a picture yet as ‘Finding Nemo’ was on and that seemed way more interesting!

Gubbs has been learning a lot of sounds lately and is fascinated by them.  Jordy wants to get in on the act and is constantly pointing out /s/ for us.  She also knows /o/. I think I may catch her up to Caleb and then do them both together (or so I keep saying….).


We watched the first part of a BBC series on The Story of India with the three older boys.  It was about the discovery of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa in the Indus Valley – fascinating.  I don’t think the boys took that much in.  Zi was very interested in the war part though!  We also read more about the ancient civilization and Eli wrote a passage on it.  Zi did some copy work.  I introduced letter sizing and I think the lines were too small!


Not done cos we were too sick to go to playgroup!


We went to participate in Catechesis class, but didn’t know which class to attend so went home.  I spoke to the coordinator and got Eli into the reconciliation class.  It wasn’t anywhere near as hard as I thought, though I did say that we were going to do the preparation and that Eli would attend classes for community.  As of this year, Catholic school children will make their first Reconciliation in year 4, First holy communion in year 5 and Confirmation in year 8.  Interesting.  Has got me rethinking our decision for Eli to make is reconciliation this year.  Some other thoughts from David include…

Does she know she has committed a sin before you tell her?
Does she know it is wrong but does it anyway?
Does she understand that sinning is wrong because God has better things planned for her, not just because you will punish her?

Maybe it would be better to wait another year when Eli has this more sorted.  Maybe the actual reconciliation, forgiveness and resolve to change is just what Eli needs.  Things to ponder.


Eli still working on Minuet 2.  We may start Minuet 3 tomorrow. I didn’t do any lessons with Zi this week :-(.  I however have booked myself in for piano lessons beginning the 2nd of March Yay!

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Another busy week with half days at Kindy for Gubbs, Mum G’s birthday, playgroup, tee ball, drama, basketball and violin group class.  We also attended a Catholic Homeschooling group start of year mass and picnic which was nice.


  • Visited Indian restaurant and ate yummy food.  Kids didn’t really learn that much from this as we have this food all the time, but it was nice to eat while listening to Indian music and be surround with art and culture!
  • Started reading about ancient India and the Indus Valley civilizations.  I was quite interested, though the kids weren’t (Eli actually sat and listened and the others played!).
  • Eli did learn about BC and AD and was quite fascinated about it all.  I still don’t think he has totally grasped the concept of 1000 years though!


  • Did exciting experiments with dry ice at playgroup.  Eli gets the whole solid, liquid, gas thing.  Able to talk about condensation, evaporation and sublimation.


  • Eli only has about 4 lessons left of level B.
  • No maths done with Zi this week 😦


  • Zi read 7X and 8X this week.  He had quite a bit of difficulty with them.  They seem quite a bit harder than book ten of the first set, so I think we’ll tackle that next.  He was able to read words like goblin with a bit of assistance in tackling the syllables.
  • Eli spent a lot of time reading some Usborne books he received for his birthday.  Nothing formal accomplished this week.


  • Eli completed Minuet 2 and can just about play the entire piece on the slow cd.
  • Zi still playing on E or A string Twinkles (Busy busy stop stop).
  • Attended group class which immensely improved Eli’s tone by being told to make his thumb stronger.  Zi was given lots of great feedback about his posture and bow grip which was nice for his confidence.

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Our Week Learning Life


What a week!  We have formally begun our school year and it started off with a bang!  Monday was fairly low key – I basically prepared myself for the rest of the week.  Tuesday it was Gubbs’ first day at Kindy, then Eli had his seventh birthday party.  Wednesday we attended playgroup, then a drama/sport group for Eli, then we had tee ball training (oh, and it happened to be Eli’s actual birthday!).  Thursday we did a marathon swimming afternoon which will become our regular Thursday event.  Friday we had a park meet with the Catholic homeschooling group – Phew!!!  So after all that, not a lot was accomplished on the academic front, but we learnt so much more!


This week was the intro week for our first country study – India (obviously!).  We read a few books about India.  We talked about their weather, the cities, where Grandma was born, the countries surrounding India, the types of housing they occupy etc etc.  Eli was fascinated by the different religions and now calls Zeek, Buddha-ism (his nickname was just ‘Buddha’ before!).  We coloured in the flag and located India on a map.  We plan to visit an Indian restaurant in a couple of days.


Our topic was states of matter (ie.  solids, liquids and gases).  I ran ‘science’ at homeschool playgroup and surprisingly, Eli took in a lot more than I thought.  When quizzed by Derek about what he had learned, he replied, ‘we learned about states of matter.  They are solids, liquids and gas.  Ice is a solid then it turns into water which is a liquid then into steam which is a gas.’ – Perfect! Zi and Gubbs were too busy playing to even think about joining us for science and any other week I may have done a bit more at home, but not this week!  Eli has enjoyed the experiments so much that he has started a science book where he can do easy experiments by himself and record them.  On Friday he did a bouncy egg experiment where he placed an egg in water and another egg in vinegar to see what happened.  Apparently if you leave the egg there for 7 days, it will bounce – let’s see…


Eli did a couple of lessons over the week.  I planned to have finished level B by this week, but we have about ten lessons to go.  Good thing there is no rush and we can just sit back and enjoy the ride!  Eli is learning about measurement and made his own ruler and measured perimeter and diagonals.  I’m finding it a bit harder to get motivated for maths because I have to convert the American measurements into Australian measurements, a bit more prep than usual!

I reinforced the 5+ _= _ (to10) equations with Zi informally this week and he seems to be getting them really well.  He would often say to me ‘mummy I know what seven is – five and two!’

Gubbs has taken an interest in identifying numbers.


Zi has been going well with the Fitzroy readers and we’re ready to start book 9 (in the first set) this week.  He is blending well (when he’s not tired) and beginning to get the hang of blending four sounds.

We haven’t really done anything formal with Eli this week, though he did write up that science experiment.  He has been reading the books he got for his birthday.  He is proving to enjoy non fiction more than fiction like his daddy.

Jordy and Zeek

Jordy is well and truly potty trained now after a spell of laziness and not bothering to go to the toilet to deposit her goods!

Zeek is getting around everywhere, following his siblings everywhere!  He is pushing anything that will move and walking.  He is saying ‘ta’, ‘u’ for up, mamamama for me!, dadada for Derek and screaming a lot when he is told off!  he is understanding much more now and we can actually tell him to stop doing something and expect him to listen, often though he doesn’t and gives us a cheeky grin!

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Today my oldest reached seven years old.  Hard for me to comprehend that I have a seven year old who calls me Mummy!  We had a full on day today with playgroup (science and cupcakes), drama and sport, and then tee ball training (with more cupcakes).  Eli really amazed me today.  He has started doing sport and drama once a week with a group of homeschoolers.  I knew he would love the sport, but the drama I thought may be confronting for him.  Anyway, he did drama first and was quite shy about having to take his shoes off (which he didn’t have to do!) and then with introducing himself to the group.  I held his hand while he was in the circle and the teacher asked him his name which he said with confidence and also his age.  They then sat down and I left the circle but stayed in the room.  I said to him that he will have to use his courage and that I would be right there, but to my surprise and delight the teacher asked the mums to leave the room.  Eli was a legend.  I peeked in on him a couple of times and he was smiling and enjoying himself. The older boys took him under their wing and Eli’s confidence grew amazingly in the space of an hour.  I am so proud of him for conquering a fear that I am not sure I have even conquered myself!

He had a small party yesterday with his cousins and the boys from the M family.  It was nice to be able to focus on a small group of kids and to play games while the other two mums made themselves at home (and even got their own coffee!).It was quite stressful at one stage when Eli, Zi and Gubbs were all crying and wanting my 100% attention and I was trying to run a game!  Eli chose a great cake, a pinata cake.  He used a hammer to smash the shell of chocolate covering the cake which was topped with Easter eggs (cos there were no gold coins in the shop!) and smarties.

Eli got some lego (which he already built!), books, a game, a marionette puppet, an electricity kit and crazy crabs for his birthday.  He has named his crabs Thomas and Snoopy.  Another milestone was reached when Eli requested Hungry Jacks for his birthday dinner (I wasn’t going to cook after a long day!) – he had his first big whopper!  Happy Birthday Eli, we love having you as the big boy in our family.  I love watching you grow, everyday in little ways, into a strong, good man.

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Gubbs began his adventures in kindergarten today.  He was so excited.  All he wanted to do was play with play dough and paint, which amazingly were available on the first day!  He knew the drill so well.  he placed the fruit in the bowl, looked for his name, put his bottle in the box, bag on the hook, hat next to the bag and then we read some books before the bell went.  Gubbs knew exactly what the bell meant and promptly kissed me and said ‘bye mummy’ and sat down in front of Mrs S’ chair.  Even Jordy knows the drill and can’t wait to go to Mrs S’ pink kindy (why pink you ask? Because anything that is pink must be Jordy’s!).

When I picked Gubbs up after half a day, he was most upset that he didn’t get to bring the picture of a man that he had painted home.  He’d had a fantastic morning.  We are so blessed to have Mrs S as our teacher.  She has taught Eli and Zi kindy as well and we all love her.  I cannot fault her teaching practises (which is amazing for a home school mum!) and she is so respectful of the children.  Our kindy experiences have been amazing because of her!

Oh, I got some beautiful pictures of Gubbs in uniform that I will post later!

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Our plans for 2009

Here is a brief run down of what we hope to achieve academically this year.  Derek and I sat down and brainstormed what we would like the kids to learn this year and we came up with this plan.  Each block consists of six weeks with a seventh week added on for rabbit trails/preparation for the next block.  We should finish in time for Advent, but we shall see!

We decided to base our geography and history around a countries study this year.  We plan on covering the ancients in history, so we chose countries that deemed appropriate.

Science will cover major areas, with topics being broken down further into two/three week blocks within the six week block.

French will comprise of a vocabulary topic for the six weeks, but I also will include about 3 songs and 2 picture books.

We will explore a different artist within each block, with a new piece of art being introduced to our ‘art gallery’ hopefully every week, though I’m not counting on that because I haven’t been able to source a good supplier of reasonably priced prints!

Block one

  1. Geography/history – India
  2. Science – Chemistry (states of matter, homogeneity, water)
  3. French – greetings
  4. Art – Indigenous art

Block two

  1. Geography/history – Egypt
  2. Science – Astronomy (moon, planets, sun and stars)
  3. French – Colours
  4. Art – Monet

Block three

  1. Geography/history – Greece
  2. Science -Earth science
  3. French – Food
  4. Art -Rembrandt

Block four

  1. Geography/history – Italy
  2. Science – Weather
  3. French – around the home
  4. Art – Leonardo Da Vinci

Block five

  1. Geography/history – Africa (as a continent)
  2. Science -Biology (plant, human)
  3. French – animals
  4. Art – Van Gogh

Block six

  1. Geography/history – China
  2. Science – Physics
  3. French – family
  4. Art – Michelangelo or Degas

As you can probably see, we haven’t totally completed the specifics.  I’m really happy about that as we need to have a lot of flexibility to enable us to go with what the kids are more interested in.  Of course, I haven’t forgotten…


Eli – Aim to complete Rightstart C (though they say it takes 1.5 years to complete, but we’ll try!)

Zi – Aim to complete Rightstart B by the end of 2010.



  • Soundwaves 4 for spelling.  I’m being flexible with this as he tends to pick up spelling with ease through informal writing.
  • Writing for geography, history and science.  We are going to do at least one writing activity a week in one of these areas.  We may even give lap books a try!


  • Keep going with Fitzroy.
  • Soundwaves 1 for writing and spelling practice.


  • I would love Gubbs to be reading by the end of the year, but I really don’t know if we will get there, let’s see…

and of course we are still doing violin and sport and probably a billion other things that will take our fancy over the year.  I love the freedom homeschooling gives us….

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Our Week Learning Life


We began the week with a public holiday for Australia Day, which we spent having a barbecue with my family and then relaxing at home.  We had a busy day on Tuesday with a swimming assessment for our swimming lessons in Term 1, a lovely play date  with the J family and then a trip to the doctors.  I have used this week to prepare for the first of our six week blocks of Geography/history, science, French and art.  So, we also visited the library on Wednesday and got out a range of lovely books on India and Chemistry as well as some picture books.  We have laid low with the academics this week so not much was accomplished on that front!

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