Wednesday, 29 May 2013

How am I going to cover....


Will it be interesting. ?
Will It keep Brids attention and mine.?
What one shall we begin with?

These were all real concerns for me.
When I studied Shakespeare, it was in a class room full of teens my age, with an enthusiastic teacher, and books and essays.

Well that wasn't going to be the case with Brid. So where do I begin. I just knew I wanted it to be alive.
I was having morning tea with a friend and we both aired our concerns about this topic. We both said
"Let's have the girls do it together"
Great idea.
I had a few ideas of how we would do this and proposed them to my friend. We chose to start with Romeo and Juliet.

Firstly we would meet fortnightly for 2 hours.
Brid and I drive over each fortnight -as its on our way to Ballet.
We have hot drinks and morning tea snack while we read and do our work. It doesn't seem like work though..Its relaxing and enjoyable.

We have chosen to read the story first. This would give the girls a real understanding of the story before we began on the 'Old English'.
our lesson plan is quite loose.
Week 1. read the story and chat about the time place and anything else that comes up.
homework. - where is Verona.

Week 2. Continue reading the story and use the Socratic list from Teaching the Classics to stimulate further discussion and grasp a greater understanding of the story, its time and place, characters, protagonists, antagonists, themes etc. This was quite a lot of fun. some real serious questions were discussed.

Week 3. Read the play aloud. Use a new English version to interpret as necessary.

Week 4. Continue reading the play.

Week 5.( This maybe a night time activity). Craft activity. Decorate Masks. watch the Ballet or drama.

We are putting no pressure on the girls. They are coming up with there own ideas. We are hoping to have the last lesson as a night time fun activity that will embellish the whole Shakespeare play.
Its turning out to be a great adventure.

They are already asking, what one will we do next?
Thats a good indication of its success.
This lead Brid and I on a discussion regarding literature on our way to Ballet.
Brid has a great list of literature books, she is reading her way through. I haven't asked her to write a review or a report for a long time. It creates tension and as Brid says, it makes the novel dead from the beginning.
Les Miserable - Is her latest novel. She has several that she is wanting to read, so I can't ask for anymore than that can I.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

what are you reading? What are you covering this year?

This year has been filled so far with so many good books.

Brid has read
The Scarlett Pimpernel

A heart for Europe
We are on A mission from God

A Distant Prospect- Annette Young ( A friend of ours).
The story of Van Trapp family singers
Her next book is The diary of Anne Frank. I read this book after visiting Amsterdam and seeing the house. It is the Pan Books edition.

Now I don't bother with book reports or notebooking.
I know she has enjoyed the book because she explains the book to me. I know many would say this would not be how they do it, but its less restricting and allows flow in our day. Often Brid will have several books on the go...She has plans to read Les Miserables this term too.

I waver between formal learning and child directed learning.
It works best for us.

Brid is working her way through Australian based History Writing IEW. I was going to ask her to read several books along side it. I changed my mind as I wanted her to make that decision. Well she has. She asked if she could buy a book on the Cobb & Co..Of course I was delighted and quickly directed her to my proposed Australian history reading list.
She is looking through the list deciding what she'd like to read.

A lesson in Poetry & short stories by Australian poets, has been a rabbit trail today. Henry Lawson- A drovers wife, A look at various poems like the Bush Girl and reciting A Sunburnt country.

Next week we wil be beginning Romeo & Juliette with a friend. Using this book as a translator. It will be simple but effective. We will look at a play or a Ballet once we complete it.

Our other subjects covered are
 Maths. using teaching textbooks -Algebra I
IEW - fix it Grammar
Biology- Using Apologia.

Of course Brid has been researching and writing about various Ballet companies, Dancers- male & female, choreographers and Ballets. She listens to Ballet as she works and its rather energising.
I was worried at the beginning of the year, that we wouldn't have enough time for all of this but it just seems to flow.
As oiur AP said, if the child has a passion this will flow over to there school work as well.. It certainly has been the case with Brid... 


Friday, 3 May 2013


During term 1 this year, Brid asked if she could make a special meal for us. She always helps me cook, prepare and serve and she is quite capable. We gave her our Blessing to go ahead.
She went about her planning. She sat with several recipe books around her, trying to locate the perfect dinner menu.
She sent us both invitations in the mail... and added the date to our calendars and diaries so that we would not double book it.  Not that we would Wednesday nights are our home nights.
She then drew up a list of required ingredients, shopped for them, decorated the table, and began preparing her feast.
It was adventurous.
She had never used oil to pan fry before, so a little help from me was required.

After that Dermot and I vacated the kitchen and enjoyed an evening together, being served by our sweet teenager
Would you like to see the photos..? Here they are

It looks good, company great as wel

the mood was set..
Chicken parmigiana

Ice cream, jelly and chocolate- simple but yummy.

It was quite a feast and we could let her sit alone, so we asked her to join us.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Our Lady- The Virgin Mary

                                   This month is a month we dedicate to Our Lady.

I look forward to this month every year.
I sit our statue of Our Lady at the dining table surrounded by a blue cloth, flowers and a candle and our rosary beads.
This year I can proudly add our candle from Lourdes. Its 60cm tall at the moment.
Its wrapped neatly with a blue ribbon
It is Our Lady I turn to in times of trouble, She directs me to her Son.
I turn to her when I am happy and joyful, she again directs me to her Son.
I love her simple prayfuness.
So serene and gentle, yet very strong and powerful..
I am reading a book at present. ' Spiritual Warfare: Attacks against the Women..Its a very good read, easy and not too heavy. A strong component is Our Lady- as you would imagine.

It was my grandmothers devotion to Our Lady that first drew me to her. I have shared this with you before. My Nanna would sooth me to sleep as a little girl by rubbing my back and whispering rhythmic  words. It was when I learnt the Rosary that it occured to me that this was what she was reciting. Our Lady has had her hand on me since I was a little child...

My favourite prayer would 'Mary conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recource to thee''..I pray this often, very quick and simple.

This month we also honour our mothers, with Mothers' Day. Such a beautiful time to spend with family and our mums, remembering and just being.

How will you spend this month? How will you be spending Mothers 'Day?



That's right Umbrelli...

It was a word we heard all over Europe..Particularly Rome, Paris, Venice.
If it was drissling, the umbrellas would be brought out by the street traders.
If it was sunny, the hats, the water bottles and sunscreen would come out.
In other areas of Rome, there were sheets layed ot with bags on them...all ready for purchase.

The ones that annoyed, amused and followed us the most were the street traders with practical useful items or souvenirs.
Interesting prices.

Several days in Rome, it was , drissling, raining heavily, or showering. Umbrellas were everywhere. The street traders often followed tourists to buy there product. We had our raincoats and we were set for any weather.
We didn't need the 'umbrellis'

On our last night in Europe- Paris it was drissling. "Umbrelli, Umbrelli". We heard.
As the rain stopped, we were bombarded with tiny souvenirs of Eiffel Towers.
The further away from the Eiffel tower we walked, the lower the price became.

We would soon be gone, but there are many memories, and at times little things like an Umbrella at a shop or a street trading van would remind us of our wonderful memorable holiday.

Umbrelli Umbrelli...


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The visit..

Early this year, we had a letter from the Board of Studies. Registration was now due..I was fairly prepared. I knew what was expected of the interview.
I began putting the documentation together in anticipation of the phone call that precedes "the visit'.
The day of registration came and went. No phone call, no contact. 'How come?". I wondered.
Then I remembered. OH I need to print the document from the BOS website..
After I did this, sent it away and I had a letter arrive rather quickly.
I then just needed to wait.
On Monday, I heard from the AP- Approved Person, who would be out this week.
So today was the day..
I dressed early, tidied the house and organised all the school work into subjects. Placed everything onto the dining room table, the documentation of my current plan, my proposal for the coming year seperately displayed. I just needed to wait for her arrival.
She was early, so instead of leaving her outside in the car, we asked her to come in. It didn't matter if  she was 15 minutes early. It was neither here nor there.
It began... all the niceties were over.
Brid made a brief appearance, she had 2 extractions the day before, so was resting in her room. The AP knew this and encouraged her to rest. I was then left to explain our schooling plan, past and present...
explaining how this works,
 how we do this,
why we choose this.
It was rather a smooth easy interview.
Just two people chatting. She was quite delighted in my choice of literature books for Brid...

 As she is Catholic, she was delighted and interested in all our Catholic books. Our Catholic culture books. Our living Saint and Catechism books.
We spoke of our trip to Europe, She spoke of hers.
It all ended too quickly, but with me acquiring 2 years registration.

So I would say it was quite a successful day. A nice parting and our AP onto her next visit....