Archive for February, 2012

Actually it has turned into storage areas…. Have moved on from work boxes. They were fantastic for encouraging independent work and helping me get more organized. This photo is mainly for me, I have just cleaned the area and would like it to stay that way!


Each child has a column of slots. The top slots are filled with random things that don’t fit anywhere else like finished time work for when they have finished the work I have set. The second row has reading program materials. The third row is for writing, the fourth for spelling/narration and the bottom is for Maths.

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This is a bit late in the writing…. But in October of last year we decided to attend the World meeting of Families in Milan in June this year. God works in strange ways in our marriage. As soon as we knew World Youth Day was going to be hosted by Sydney, there was no doubt in our hearts that we were going to attend. We didn’t even consider the number or ages of children we would have by then…and we wouldn’t have known anyway!

A sense of calm and purpose came to Derek and I when we first considered attending the meeting of Families. There was no doubt in our minds that it was doable. We assessed the finances by googling airlines and finding rough prices and even though we knew we were cutting things very slim, it seemed so right. We discerned this trip for a weekend… Holding in the excitement of a possibility of taking our kids to see the wonders of Italy. We asked Derek’s parents to attend with us, a dream of ours since before we got married. They said yes. This is a trip that is to serve something beyond ourselves. I still feel it….a sense of being church and family…a time to plant and grow those seeds. A time to be Australian. A time to be in communion with others, in a way so profound we will carry it and share it with others for the rest of our lives. There is no better catechesis for our children than to give them a real, true, live experience of being Catholic, celebrating the Eucharist with 1 million other families. I pray that it sets their hearts on fire. That others can see that fire within them as they mature into faith filled adults.

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Well, we have begun….never really stopped to tell the truth. We went slow over Christmas, but kept trudging through. This year gave way to un unexpected change…school at home! This is our second week of the experiment….why does it always feel like an experiment? It all started with the kids being unruly during the allotted school time. I tried to enforce a routine yet someone would always slip through the system! Usually I, ds2. So…. After much consideration I decided that we would all do school together. Our day looks something like this….

Wake up and do morning jobs and routine

Music for the older 3

Drop Z to kindy

Do Maths together around the table- no talking. I do lessons individually, play a game with young ones, and am right there to answer older ones questions. We have been getting everyone’s Maths done each day. That’s a record!

Recess….something very new to our day. They are having a piece of fruit and playing outside for a period of time determined by me and by N who needs some attention by this time

Reading- E is reading the Hobbit to C, I is reading Boxcar children to J, then we gather and the older ones do comprehension questions while I do focus reading with C and J. Z gets reading time too whilst the others are having read aloud time. Perfect!

Writing- E is working through IEW. I,C,J are doing Draw! Write! Now! Which they are loving. I is writing his own story, C is doing a bit of copy work and his own writing and J is doing copy work. Z is practicing writing his own name….it’s very long!

Spellling for E,I and C. And music for J and C.

That’s it! Ready for afternoon activities or a dip in the pool. So far we are enjoying it, I am yelling less and we are achieving so much more in a shorter amount of time. There is also the natural consequence of ‘homework’ if the allotted work is not completed in the given time (which I am flexible about to a degree). I completed all of his work and homework today and then got to play in the pool! Victory!

I’ll report back soon with the longer term results!

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