Friday, 24 February 2012

How life changes....

Its the end of week 4 in the school term in NSW, Australia. Its been a rather busy start to the year.
Firstly, we changed Maths Programs to Teaching Textbooks, added a Grammar Program through IEW, and started Cambridge Latin.
Of course, You have it all in sorted how the year will flow... Well God must laugh at me, He is really in control. We have tweaked our day, our week as we have added various extras.
I have always been one to be quite strict on morning routine. I feel routine is important to learn for tertiary study and  employment in the future. This routine has worked  until this year.
Our after school activities list has grown and gotten later in the evening as Brid has gotten older.
Youth group has a 9pm finish with a 30 minute drive home, so we have scheduled in a small sleep in to accomodate for tiredness and the need for teens to sleep more.
Brid has 2 disciplines of dance 2 nights a week, so we have Fridays as a rest day. Our catch up day and a generally slow start to the day. We meet up with friends and chill out.
It has been quite an easy transition and what I have noticed is the level of cooperation that has really been reached. The jobs that once were so important to set for Brid have been blurred. We all do them. Brid still takes the responsibilty and this has created a harmony. Much to my surprise.
So this term is still quite new, but with so many  changes that it feels new.

What changes are happening in your homeschool?


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Latin comes to life....

For years now we have used Latina Christiana and Prima Latin. Great Programs, but we were tired of them.
We asked around.  What were we to use instead.
Cambridge Latin we were told by 3 different families. Oh Ok, I can look into that.
So of I went finding further reviews and checking up forums. Finding out the price of the Books..and hang on, there is an online section. Lets look...
So I began clicking away. I was hooked, how much fun.
I was keen to show Brid Dermot anyone who happened to be around. I even showed a friend who was having coffee with me, while the girls chatted in another room.

Ok, we begin our official school year here in Australia and it came time to start Latin..
We both dashed to the computer...By the way, who is being educated here, Brid or Me???
We read the material and translated the Latin quite quickly. Thank you Latina Christiana, you have given us a great grounding in Latin.
We were laughing and enjoying the awkwardness of the language and how it translates.
We declined 1st, 2nd, 3rd, we found nominative singulars and plurals, and lots more. It was loads of fun. Brid certainly is very content but without a grounding in it, we probably would be a little lost.
Amongst all the learning and reinforcement  of the language, there is also fun online activities. There are links to show you about the different areas of cities they are discussing. Its well worth the look to gel History and Latin together.

We are off to a good start with Latin. Thank you to my dear friends who have shared the love of Cambridge Latin with me and my family.

The learning game.....

As we begin the new year, I put my ideas in a notebook and write a proposed study plan for Brid.
She looks over it and most of the time she agrees with what I have put together.
Often I put things together after we have talked extensively about a desire for her to learn this or that.
We came across our first compromise this week. Yes already.
Brid was working on her Science today and she didn't appear to be very enthusiastic, I suggested, why not after she completed the work allocated, research and  write up a report on her list of Animals she wanted to study? Maybe we will make it into a book.
So one happy young lady sped through her work and began her project.
Where to begin? How to set it out?
The scope was endless. I could see that look on her face.
Eventually a couple of hours later a finished product was shown to me.
A report on an animal I had neer heard of that lived in North Africa and was a mammal.
It was kinda cute looking.

Next we have discovered late last year that Maths Online was not going to be funded by a big organisation any longer, so we, the consumer were to pay for the product.
This lead me to really looking at the program. Was it worth the money.
As we began this year, I realised it was mastery in approach. Thats well and good, but how do you keep polisheded in these areas learnt a while ago?
I decided we would be purchasing a product that we could have here and use without needing online resources.
So we are down to 2 programs and I am off checking tham out.  Problem being she is somewhere in the middle of Pre algebra, Algebra 1 and Algebra 2.
Decisions. What will I do.
I rang a good friend to lay my dilemma before her. She was busy- Oh I will ring later.
But in the mean time, I saw Brid concentrating really hard on some algebra questions from the 7/8 level.
She was rather slow, and by her body language, I could tell it was overwhelming her.
Ok Leanne step in.. I actually love Algebra, so I was happy to sit and help.
So we started, Lets write the question out, what is it asking, 3(2x-y)- 4(3x+2)+24. I asked her to break down each part of the question. She isn't one for telling you what she is doing along the way, but I stressed it was important. 10 questions later of ones similar and often harder, she really understood the concept.
I loved being there at the moment and working alongside Brid.
The confidence she gained was so rewarding.

So what program have we decided on...its on my sidebar....under book list for 2012 . Oh..I have just realised that was on my other Blog.. So we ordered our new Maths from here.

Today really was a lot of fun.
I start every year with these grand plans and natural learning creeps in... and eventually takes over. Gotta love it..


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Its been a really big few weeks in this household.
We began our year parishless. Yes thats right parishless. We have beem travelling around various Parishes in our area attending Mass for a few months now. We ventured back to our old Parish- that was just like sitting in a comfortable lounge chair, but we knew we needed to find one closer.
We went to our 7 day Summer School retreat with Discilpes of Jesus community with one prayer. Please Lord, guide us to our new parish.
We have been in out area for near 2 and half years, but all the time, I was not very connected with the community. I felt like I was in the desert. It just didn't seem to be were God wanted us.  So where did he want us.?
We tried to be part of the community, but we weren't gelling. This was not for a lack of trying.
So we needed the stability of a community, but were.
I shared this with my share group at summer school.
We took it to prayer and Daily Mass.
 During the summer school week we got talking to a Youth leader, who happened to works at a church close by. She started sharing all about the ideas they had, the different age groups that are available and it began to sit well with us. Could this be it..
We were so excited God was beginning to answer our prayers.
We couldn't wait to tell Brid, but Dermot wanted to wait, but I couldn't. I had to share my excitement.
So one afternoon at summer school, We talked to her- she could tell I was excited about something anyway.
Her response was a reserved one, but I knew once she got involved she would be fine.
So we have been to our new church a few times now. A vibrant youth Mass and culture prevailed. We have a new Parsh Priest as our Bishop has shuffled a few Priests around.
So with Youth Groups, week day evening Masses,  a ready made live-in Youth Team, we are ready to commit to a new parish and have a great feeling about it.
Today while I was praying I looked up and smiled. Above the Tabernacle was St Joseph.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus one side, Our Lady on the other.
St Joseph has come up trumps again.
He happens to be everywhere we need to be. He helped find our home and now our Church.
So Brid was very involved with the Mass and the littlies today. She was immediately welcomed and hugged by a few girls she had met at Summer School. They asked her to help and it was exactly what she needed. A community with people her age and ours.

A true Blessing.