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Archive for the ‘Large Family’ 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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#7 …..13 weeks

#7 due 30th December 2013, or maybe a few days earlier! This pregnancy has been weird so far. Morning sickness started early at 5/6 weeks and very intense for a few weeks. Around week 10 it started to ease up and I got all excited and reduced my napping. Then it came back, not as bad as the beginning, but still yuck. So now at 13 weeks, I am back to napping everyday and trying to do minimal outside the house, which is very unlike me. I’m feeling like it is getting better…but who knows 🙂 I’m hoping it is all over by 16 weeks.

My tummy has popped out, but I’m still in normal clothes which is nice. I hate maternity clothes! They never seem to fit right, and then they do but they change after a couple of weeks as I grow! I have kept very few items of maternity clothes for that reason! Don’t want to weigh myself, bit scared about what it will say, but I also don’t really care 🙂

I have had major food aversions this time. I don’t feel like eating anything. Even the things I am craving, I eat with disdain. I have craved citrus fruits, milk, iced coffee, icecream and green or pink lady apples this time round. Weird I know. Especially the milk. I usually go off milk products totally during pregnancy. I can’t drink straight water without needing to throw up, but can stomach small sips of fizzy water with a touch of orange cordial in it.

With all that information, I wonder what sort of personality this little one will have. Can’t wait to find out :-).

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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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#6, week 6

Morning sickness has begun, though I am looking after myself very well!  I need to eat constantly, and yet don’t feel like eating at all because of the nausea.  It is a constantly physical and emotional battle to decide what to eat and then actually manage to eat it.  I started off with carrots, and have now moved onto celery.  These veges seem to have little taste (which is great fro that yucky taste in my mouth!), are crunchy and cold.  I want to eat my food cold all the time, go figure.  Probably not good for listeria, but it stays down :-).  I was craving cold boiled potatoes and tomato sauce yesterday.  I ate them warm instead and it wasn’t very good 🙂

I’m finding that I can either homeschool with the kids or clean, not both.  My energy levels can’t keep up.  So the choice is clean house, dumb kids or messy house, smart kids…..  sometimes the choice isn’t so easy to make ;-).  When Derek works evenings, it’s particularly hard as the house doesn’t get it’s proper tidy for the next day because I’m too pooped.

I keep telling myself that the nausea is good, the baby is growing strong and healthy.  This mantra works well for a while and then turns into ‘I am a toughy’ when I get worse….

Maybe #6 will be the last…. maybe not!!!

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The Catholic Church is often viewed as a bit of an ogre when it comes to it’s teachings on sex.  Pope John Paul II gave a series of homilies (sermons) in the 1970’s on what is now coined ‘The Theology of the Body’.  Truly a revolutionary and refreshing gift to the church and to the world…  Here’s an article written by Christopher West who is a public speaker on Theology of the body.  He brings to light the Church’s teaching on contraception.  The wisdom and depth of how the Church views sex is always a reminder of why I trust the Church to lead me in my faith.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Church has always taught, teaches now, and always will teach that the only method of “birth control” that respects the language of divine love is “self-control.”

People will often retort, “C’mon! That’s splitting hairs! What’s the big difference between rendering the union sterile yourself and just waiting until it’s naturally infertile? End result’s the same thing.” To which I respond, what’s the big difference between a miscarriage and an abortion? End result’s the same thing. One, however, is an “act of God.” In the other man takes the powers of life into his own hands and makes himself like God (see Gn 3:5).

It truly is a Church for life, right from the very beginnings of a couple’s union in marriage….

For the full article

http://www.christopherwest.com/article4.asp

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Thanks to a wonderful friend, I have had the opportunity to read Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss.  I just wanted to jot down some inspirations before I have to return the book (or pass it on to the next enthusiastic reader!).

  • create an atmosphere of learning in your home – this is what I am going to call my mess every time I get overwhelmed with the craft supplies, toys and books strewn all over my living spaces: our learning atmosphere!
  • 15-20 minutes of concentrated attention for each lesson.
  • Home education is a lifestyle – so true.  That’s our standard answer when people ask us why we homeschool – it is a lifestyle choice.
  • Narration – something that we have always incorporated into our informal read alouds, maybe something I will carry through and use more of, though not solely in developing writing skills.
  • Living Books – something that has always spoken to my heart.  I would like to base our history, science and geography on the living books we read (it probably means we have to buy more books – yay!)
  • Nature Study – something I would like to do more regularly… maybe we should start with drawing things we find in our backyard.  This would be much more achievable than actually making an excursion of it every week.
  • Tea – we have started having formal afternoon teas where we sit at the table and actually have a cup of tea (herbal or normal) and share about our day, what we have learned and discussed a particular virtue of the day.  This would be nice to do a few times a week, though I will aim for once a week when mainstream school goes back.  It would also be nice to invite Godparents for a special afternoon tea for their Godchild’s Baptism anniversary.
  • I loved the chapter on burnout. I learned to
  1. Take care of me personally, as I have done while I am pregnant.
  2. Nurture my emotional health by spending time alone and give myself permission to do so.
  3. Begin the day asking God for His graces and end it with gratitude.  I love journalling (prayer journalling that is!) and so writing down four things I am grateful for at the end of each day would be a joy to do.
  4. Be a friend to my children – ahhh so simple, so wise and so much fun!
  5. As a homemaker, decide what I can reasonably do and then get help for the rest (either paid or husband or decide to abandon that task until it seems easier to achieve – yes I am talking about the ironing!)
  6. Look for opportunities to serve from home with my children beside me.  This for me often means reaching out to other mums, doubling my evening meal and sending the other half to someone who needs it, babysitting nieces and nephews and friends…)

All in all, this was a lovely book to read.  I really enjoyed that it was applicable to large families, very practical and so easy to read.

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