Archive for the ‘Home education’ Category

Just a record so I can look back and know that I did actually teach my kids, and that I was actually very busy!

7:00 wake up and nag children to do jobs and brush teeth! Have coffee made every morning by Derek and have a chat.

9:00 start formal homeschooling with #5. Other kids do independent work.

10:30 ish start #4 mummy time

12:00 ish start #3 mummy time and get lunch while he does dictation/reading aloud. Everyone have lunch….usually on the go at varying times! #4,5,6 all finished and play outside.

1:30 #2 mummy time.

2:30 check in with #1. Do dictation or help with something….

3:00 collapse and have a cup of tea. #6 needs me by then and we read books, sing songs, have a tickle and cuddle or on ‘those’ days, watch tv.

3:30 start dinner prep and basic clean up. If day has gone smoothly I may put the tv on for a little while. Kids have free play outside. #1 usually finishes schooling around 3/4pm.

5:00 bath and silent reading/tv (if none until then!) ready for daddy to come home for dinner.

6:30 daddy home…..this time varies a lot! Dinner when daddy gets home.

7:30 bed for #4 and 5

8-8:30 bed for #1,2,3

Around 10 #6 bed.

Well, this is what a day looks like if everyone gets everything done happily and efficiently! It pretty much never happens (well maybe once a fortnight!). Usually I have one or two kids who don’t want to do something or who haven’t finished work…. Sometimes I am schooling until 6pm (with a break in the middle) because I am waiting for someone to catch up after being distracted most of the day! There always seems to be one. Luckily they learn and it is usually a different child on any given day :-). Currently I do 11 individual lessons with kids in a day. That’s a lot….probably too many.

And I take heart in that as they get older, they become more independent. #1 is totally independent of me now and I plan to have #2 there in about a year….the others will quickly follow suit…hopefully.


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Long time no blog! 2012 has been a whirlwind and we are  finally getting to slow down a bit this year!  Kids did Vac swimming for all of January and so homeschooling went on the back burner, we needed a good break. All the kids did very well in vac swim.  #1 made it through to level 10, #2 to level 7, #3 level 6, #4 level 4 and #5 will be enrolled in level 3 or 4 depending on his skill level in October   #5 is an exceptional swimmer, learning how to do freestyle with breathing in five days! #6 is very confident in the water and thoroughly enjoyed swimming after his cast was removed! He is able to swim independently under water and is beginning to take his own breaths. He even tried to do freestyle arms courtesy of #4’s teaching!

After swimming the kids have been enjoying the first season of the Brady Bunch borrowed from the library.  It’s been the first ‘sitcom’ series they have watched and we are all enjoying it immensely.  #4 is learning a lot about how girls interact and behave among each other   A good lesson I think 🙂

We have also enjoyed numerous playdates with cousins and friends.  Holidays always means playdates, especially with those who go to school and the kids have been enjoying catching up with old friends and meeting some new homeschooling ones who live up the road!

We reorganized the playroom and the library and so the house is easier to clean! The smallest things make the biggest difference.  #1 now has his own study area in the library which is the first step up he takes in homeschooling this year.

#1-4 have been enjoying playing with the snap circuit set we have.  What a wonderful toy!  Even though we have taken a break from formal learning they have been doing science all month.  #1 and #2 have invented new circuits and come to a new level of understanding electronics, I am finding hard to keep up!

All in all, a fantastic month, renewing and fun, readying us to face the new 2013 school year.

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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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A friend of mine posted her 11 goals…. so I thought I’d follow in  her footsteps:-)

1.  Increase my fitness and lose weight in the meantime.  I would like to do the 5 km run in the City to Surf in August… well Derek would like to do it with me!!

2.  Keep up with my homeschooling responsibilities (which is another post in itself 🙂 )

3.  Begin prayer journaling again.

4.  Pray the rosary every day/second day (to begin with… this may change as the year goes on)

5.  Keep up with my bible study

6.  Develop more emotional self control with the kids.  This is something I am constantly struggling with.  I am finding it changing as the kids get older.  E is growing up so fast… and we are occasionally having arguments where I am losing my control… not a good model :-(.

7.  Have J reading by the end of the year so that we can embrace my homeschooling dream of studying together in 2012.

8.  Travel to Darwin (and back) as a family.

9.  Being happy and content in our current home.  It really is a good home with heaps of space and meets our needs perfectly, even if I do have a moving itch!!!

10.  Play enough piano to keep up with E.

11.  Be more organized in my work and use it as a place of ministry in my life.

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#6 week 32

Okay, so I am actually huge :-).  Baby and uterus measuring about 2 weeks bigger…. hmmm either a big baby or it’s going to come early.  Considering Derek is away the weekend before the ‘due date’ I think I’ll opt with bigger!!

Baby dropped a bit last week and then rose up again this week, so I’m lacking a lot of gusto.  I have gone back to either cleaning or homeschooling, not both.  The kids are not in a very good routine.  They are whinging every time I mention formal work.  Natural homeschooling is working brilliantly though.  Zi’s reading chapter books (with pictures) and Eli is really into the Secret Seven.  I’m doing reading eggs again with Gubbs because it’s easy and we have a free five week subscription, may think of purchasing this time 🙂  We went to a Gladiator fighting demonstration on the weekend which has inspired ancient Rome to come alive in our backyard… yay!!

Music seems to be on the backburner.  Eli does some practice by himself, though he really needs at least a couple of mum lessons a weeks which he is not getting.  Gubbs and Zi get violin when I am able which means there isn’t a lot of progress happening :-(.  I was hoping Gubbs would play Twinkles at his solo, but not sure if that is going to happen in the next two weeks.  Zi is enjoying playing now that he has a few songs under his belt.  He will often pick up his violin and just play his songs without me :-).  Eli is up to me in piano.  He is about to start book2 and so I am hoping to pick up my practice and learn along with him…. we’ll see :-).  Thinking vaguely about introducing Zi to the piano using his violin songs and seeing what happens…..

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