Saturday, January 16, 2016

New Beginnings

A new year has dawned upon us again, and at this stage I'm thankful for the excitement that is in my spirit. 

There is always something incredible about a new year, it's like the delectable aroma that oozes from freshly baked bread, or hearing a new song that makes your spirit fly, or meeting your nieces son for the first time or facing a wave in the ocean and then diving under it. 

A new year always brings that sense of new beginnings. 

Even though we are only hitting the middle of January, and I have already faced some fierce storms, I still believe that this is going to be our best year yet. 

We begin Ambleside Online's year 6 and I must say, as I open each package from the mail, and see the books that we are going to be reading this year, I'm filled with such child like anticipation, that I can hardly contain myself. 

I'm looking forward to learning, growing and having discussions with my children as we meet new people through these pages, and discover something new in history, of science, of someones life and how we can develop ideas. 

What a plethora of new beginnings we are about to embrace. 

I'm glad to share this journey with you. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Back into the swing of things.

This week we are heading into week 6 of term 2 AO5, after two weeks off. I'm feeling ready and prepared to face the next 6 weeks with fresh vigour. 
What an extraordinary blessing it is to help educate the little persons in our worlds. Well they're not so little anymore, as a matter of fact I think my 14yo son has just grown taller than me. 

We press on, knowing this is our destiny. 
Life is hard and challenging at times, but we press on. 
Life is not all about English, Grammar and Maths. 
It's about knowing you are made and loved by the creator of this universe. I think when one truly grasps this truth, you are freed to become all that you were destined to be. 

We were recently away at a Christian conference, and I sensed God whispering and reminding me of Charlotte Masons motto-
I am
I can
I ought
I will. 
So today I have written them up, and I am going to say these words out loud with my kids everyday.



Words are so powerful.

I heard a quote- 'Words are not just used to communicate but to create'. I love this, as it reminds me that God used words to bring this phenomenal universe into existence. 
It's something that is vital in our home schooling atmosphere. To use words that create dreams, life and encouragement. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On Conscience talking

“An instructed conscience rarely makes mistakes."
- Charlotte Mason 

Since this is my open journal, I'm going to write something my son said today. 

It was about lunch time, my 10yo daughter had done all her language arts- Bible reading and journal entry, Latin, English & Spelling, and my 14yo had only played violin, fed his magpies a few times, stared at the pouring rain, did some work in his grammar of poetry and had read Dr. Suess' poem- 'Cat in the Hat'. 

I know boys and girls are totally different, I get that, but still...

...I was beginning to freak out a little, because I am struggling to get him to do anything. 

During spelling, he made a mistake and walked out of the room. I just let him go. Before we started spelling, I remembered that I was making myself a cup of English breakfast tea, so I headed back out to the kitchen, and there was my son, telling himself to be quite.

I was like, what are you doing?

He looked at me with a very charming smile and stated that when he was in his room, his conscience told him to get back to the school room. 

I just smiled at him, and thanked God, and then just hoped and prayed that he listens to his conscience. What else can you do?

Then somebody posted this you tube clip on facebook, and I just thought, how ironic. 

Please tell me you have days where you are struggling to get your child into action...

What do you do with those days?

We are experiencing a lot of these days, and at times I am struggling to not be anxious about it.

I must say though, I am thankful that his conscience is loud and clear, that he knows what he should be doing, that he knows right and wrong. In the end having knowledge of right and wrong is better than academics. Don't you think? 

Listening to your conscience and not suppressing it, is another step. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

On Character building

Last night at church I met a wonderful lady; she was the guest speaker to talk about Kairos prison ministry. 

We connected straight away, and at the end of the service this lady came over to me and said, 'I have just been having a lovely conservation with your son, and I also am a home educator, and I just want to encourage you to keep on keeping on, as it's all about teaching character, and in the end that is what is most important'. 

What adjectives can I use to describe my heart and soul at those uplifting words?

- Uplifted
- Blessed
- Raised

The encouragement was simple, but for me it was like someone just coming along and picking me up again. 

This lady doesn't know what hardships I'm enduring with a certain 14yo, and how I am daily struggling to just not turn into a yelling, screaming arguing monster. 

Building character is the most difficult and trying thing to do as a parent, and I know that millions have gone before me, but sometimes I still feel so alone.

I know that God is the character builder, He is the potter and I am clay, and He is the one who shapes and moulds our lives, so we show His very attributes; His nature; His character. 

It's the constant battle between right and wrong. I know that arguing is wrong, that yelling is wrong, but I still do it at times because I am flawed, because my character is still being developed. 

I'm being taught to be humble and always apologise to my kids when I have messed up.

Miss Mason said 'More than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend'. More than anything! 

So those words 'keep on keeping on' are echoing in my spirit today as a gentle reminder to hold strong, even though I am weak, to hold my tongue, even when I want to vomit wrong words, to keep walking in love, even though I want to run away. 

Today is all we have, and today I have the greatest teacher with me, guiding each step, who recently told me 'I don't own my children', they belong to Him. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

On Northanger Abbey

"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs 
of disappointed love"

This was the first time I have read 'Northanger Abbey'. I enjoyed this novella of Jane Austen's much more than I thought I would. I did not believe that it could be up there with 'Pride and Prejudice' or even 'Emma'. 

But once again, Miss Austen draws you into her world of characters, to the point that you forget that these people are only fictional. Her characters become your friends or you at least desire to have such rich, kind and loving friends. 

I love the lessons that Miss Austen teaches about true friendships, and the natures of those whom we cannot trust in life. I love the pure romance that unfolds and how the truth always outshines the lie. 

My daughter asked me 'what is that novel about'?

I said 'friendships, balls, dancing, romance with beautiful language. 

That pretty much sums up Northanger Abbey.

Five stars out of five stars for me. 

Northanger Abbey is a free read for Ambleside Online year 9, but I think my daughter (who is 10 and in AO5) will read this one in the next couple of years. 

Northanger Abbey was my choice Novella for the back to the classics challenge.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Folksong Term 1 2015

It takes a little searching to find a genre of music that gets my children's attention. Since the beginning of this term one I have played different styles of Barbara Allen, which is the folksong chosen for term 1 of AO 2015. 

Today I began playing this one and it got the attention of both of my children aged 14 & 10.

The lyrics are a little different to the ones AO have on their site, but we still enjoyed listening.

You know you have a winner when your children request you to play it again.