15 October, 2008

Liturgical Wheel

It took me 2 1/2 terms to finally perfect a schedule for our daily/weekly homeschooling that works well for me, the boys and my husband (he has to keep them on-track for the two mornings each week when I'm studying Auslan at TAFE) - we started with LEM's planner, which was a very valuable exercise for me, however we've now settled on a schedule/programme that I devised myself.

The next step to getting our homeschooling year well and truly on track, rather than lumbering from one thing to another without any real pre-planning, is to finally (after talking about it for 4 years) make our own liturgical wheel/calendar (I've posted a photo of one of my friend's wheel).

I'm hoping that, apart from helping me plan ahead properly for forthcoming feasts and liturgical seasons, it will help my children get a real grasp of the seasons of the church and how our faith should be an integral part of every part of their daily lives.

27 April, 2008

Some of my Favourite Sayings

On Education ...

** Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds (Plato)

** After you understand about the sun and the stars and the rotation of the earth, you may still miss the radiance of the sunset (Alfred North Whitehead)

** Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results (John Dewey)

** It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts … it is to teach them to think (Robert Hutchins)

** Only the educated are free (Epictetus)

** It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education (Albert Einstein)

On God ...

** Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of God (St Jerome)

On Life ...

** Those who tell the truth, love you. Those who tell you what you want to hear, love themselves (Mother Angelica)

** Love me when I least deserve it ... because it's then that I most need it (Chinese proverb)

On Parenting ...

** Children learn to smile from their parents (Shinicki Suzuki)

26 March, 2008

Friends Confirmed into the Church at Easter

At the Vigil Mass on East Saturday, a homeschool parent whom we have come to know was confirmed into the Catholic Church. It was a very nice service, and amongst the witnesses present were her two daughters, who had been received into the Catholic Church just last year.

After the service we congregated in the church hall to share a late supper and offer personal congratulations to Tracey and her family.

(please excuse my abyssmal photography ... sigh)

Awesome Nature Studies/Science Resources

I've discovered an amazing place to obtain information and resources from to enhance science studies (botany, biology, zoology, etc) - it's the Nature Education Centre Inc. I'm so fired up to do some nature studies now!

You can hire/buy all sorts of amazing things for home science, e.g. axolotls, caterpillars, cockroaches (ugh), cellar beetles, daphnia (?), earthworms, dunnarts, plains mice, spinifex hopping mice, finches, frogs, guinea pigs, hermit crabs, huntsman spiders, mice, blue tongue lizards, bearded dragon, cunningham's skink, gidgee skink, geckoes (3 kinds), sleepy/stumpy tail/shingleback lizards, rabbits, rats, scorpion, spiny leaf insects, tortoise (3 kinds, mealworms, planaria (?), silkworm eggs, ant lions, pond snails, garden snails, tadpoles, yabbies, amoeba, bacteria, etc.

And that's just the critters!

You can also buy/hire all the equipment to go with them, e.g. tanks, cages, food, feeders, information sheets, incubators, microscopes, and all sorts of accessories.

And then there are plants, geological specimens and fossils, preserved specimens (ugh), books and poster, and educational kits, etc.

You can also visit the Nature Education Centre to see the animals and learn about them - if you book ahead an NEC Education OFficer can conduct a hone-hour talk between 10am and 2pm weekdays.

Or you can book an Education Officer to come and visit instead.

If you want a copy of their catalogue then you can contact the the centre as follows:

Nature Education Centre Inc
39 Osmond Tce, Norwood, SA 5067
(on the campus of Norwood Primary School)
Ph 8363 0238, Fx 8362 0102

12 March, 2008

Wildlife at home (and not just the kids!)

Wow, we were so excited ... well, actually it was my husband and sons (I mised out) ... when they were on their way out the driveway and suddenly saw a goanna scuttle across it! John leapt out of the car and followed it with his mobile phone camera to get a shot to prove he wasn't going to be telling tall tales!

We've also seen blue tongued lizards in our front garden.

On our dirt road frontage we've also seen bearded dragons sunning themselves from time to time, too.

What a treat to see such creatures in the real 'wild'!

(the blue tongued lizard is the first photo, and the young goana is the second one)

09 March, 2008

What an Angel!

I know Christmas has long passed by, but I couldn't help wanting to share this beautiful photo of our boy, James - it was taken at a local fair where one of the churches had 'nativity dress-ups' with a photographer on hand. I just want to stare at this photo all the time - it's amazing how angelic he looks.

24 February, 2008

Trying out a different Blog Provider/Format

Hi folks

I already have a web blog over at HomeschoolBlogger.com (http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/MissTardy/) but think I like the look (easier to read) of the ones I've seen here at Blogger.com (Google) so am trying this out for a while. If Blogger.com is easier to update/use then I will most likely stop using the other one (it's all I can do to find time to keep just one up to date!)

We also have a family web page (http://www.wrightfamily.com.au/), but as we are only learning how to do one (and barely have time to manage email, let alone web site development) it is nothing more than a basic front page (sigh). Hopefully this year we will be able to do something more useful with it.

Some time soon we may get ourselves one of the personal distributor web sites from Neways (they are a really ethical company that sells non-toxic personal hygiene and home cleaning products, and high quality nutritional supplementation). Our very dear friends (who are also Christian homeschoolers) have one and it looks really great: www.myneways.com.au/fountain-resources