Night at the movies….

Hey all, Jonathon here. Finally back!

Haven’t been up to an awful lot lately, just the normal stuff.
My brother and I are still working on our band (State of Decay). We’ve all learning some covers,
including a Jimi Hendrix song, but I’m writing a lot of originals. I’d like to begin recording a demo in January, but who knows right now!

One thing we have been doing a lot lately is watching movies! There’re some great new releases coming out, so. We’ve watched “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, “Batman Begins” and “The Interpreter”, all really good. I was a bit unsure about Batman at first. The last Batman movies have all been pretty bad…..except for the Tim Burton one, but that was far too dark for my liking. Tim Burton has great imagery, but his films get a bit hard to sit through without squirming. The part where Catwoman put all her stuffed animals into the blender for instance……

But anyway, this Batman was good. It had a really good brooding moodiness about the atmosphere, something that was accentuated by Christian Bale’s acting. He’s impressed me before, with films like “Equilibriam” and “Reign of fire”, but this is probably his best performance so far…..He actually portrayed Batman with real feeling and emotion, something which Clooney’s version lacked.

My favourite part of the movie would probably have to be when Batman is given a dose of Scarecrow’s fear gas. A bit surreal and rather chilling, but very effective. It almost made me scared of bats.

And Hitchhiker’s is fun….Very unusual, almost offbeat humour.
The kind of film that some people are going to love, and that some people won’t get at all.
Douglas Adam’s script is almost as good as the book. Almost though.
As far as the acting goes, the casting is perfect. Every character looks talks and acts just the way you’d want them to, especially Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox. Rockwell’s characters are always a little Zany, but Beeblebrox was hilariously insane. Just his appearance with the whistle in place of a cigarette for instance. When I saw that in the cinema, I couldn’t help laughing.

Unfortunately, I didn’t actually watch most of the Interpreter. It was just far too suspenseful for me. I really can’t handle suspense you see. From what I did see, it was good. Had a very good statement to make.
I’ve never actually been a big fan of Nicole Kidman or Sean Penn, but their acting here was absolutely believable. Even Kidman’s french accent was good.

So, some films I really enjoyed. Some of the best I’ve seen in a while (I’ve been on a Kurt Russel/John Carpenter kick. Unusual films.)

I’m going to try and get a movie called Brazil I read about in my course on film art, so I’ll post a review soon!

Bye for now,



Microscopes and Plants and MC Lars

This week, a miscroscope arrived in the mail – addressed to Anny!

We had subscribed to the Horrible Science magazines – we already get the Horrible Histories magazines, although that series is almost finished.

One of the special offers with the subscription was a new microscope – one of those models with a viewing screen at the front, in addition to the usual eye hole.

There was major excitement in the house when the microscope arrived. Anny and T spent several hours investigating the slides that came with the micrscope and also making their own slides and observing. A found an old How and Why book about microscopes and we compared the old model in the book to our model.

That same day, I was putting dried kidney beans into the crock pot to cook. I decided to save a few and keep them on a saucer of damp tissue, to observe the growth.

The beans are now staring to sprout. We have talked about plant growth and conditions for growth and photosynthesis. I looked up some information on the growth of seeds and shoots in our Childcraft book The Green Kingdom – and now this book is on display in the kitchen. This makes it handy to reference during our observations.

BTW, this is a pic of the rapper MC Lars. The Homeschool Spring Concert is on next Sunday and J and A are part of a group of teens who are organising the concert – no adult organisers! T will help sell tickets on the day.

T, Anny and I are going to perform MC Lars’ rap version of the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. Should be fun, I hope. We have our baseball caps to wear backwards 🙂 and some props.

J and A are performing in a “rock” band with some other homeschoolers – A is bass guitar and J is the vocals ( and dancer/performer!). They are playing a rendition of Purple Haze ( Jimi Hendrix) and The Anthem ( Good Charlotte).



“Children should transcribe favourite passages.– A certain sense of possession and delight may be added to this exercise if children are allowed to choose for transcription their favourite verse in one poem and another. This is better than to write a favourite poem, an exercise which stales on the little people before it is finished. But a book of their own, made up of their own chosen verse, should give them pleasure.” Charlotte Mason, Volume One of The Original Homeschooling Series.

It was my suggestion, tonight, for us to do some copywork ( or, as Mason calls it above, some transcription ) in our journals. There was some “do nothing” time, in between our return home from Mass and waiting for dinner to finish cooking.

We each transcribed our current, favourite passages.

For A, this was a neat copy of a poem that he has been writing – The Machine.

For J, it was song lyrics.

For Anny, it was Tony Hawke’s Ten Hardest Skateboard tricks – Anny has just finished reading Hawke’s autobiography for children.

For T, it was verse one of The Charge of the Light Brigade. This drew T, Anny and G into a discussion of the Light Brigade, the battles, the Crimean War, differing concepts of obedience and honour and duty.

For me – some words of wisdom about small changes leading to progression, to bigger and better things.

I guess, that if the kids had baulked at copywork, then the whole idea could have been dropped – for now? As it was, it is a family thing – we all ( well, most of us) try to update our journals or nature journals in some way on a regular basis – so it is as natural for us as talking and sharing. It is something we do together – although T has been known to complain.

At times like that, he usually elects to draw while we write or transcribe.


Beach Biology

Today we went to Fisherman’s Beach with other homeschoolers. Beach Biology is something we enjoyed with a group of homeschoolers in Adelaide – visiting the same beach each month and walking,playing, observing. We use field guides and may sketch or take photos.

It is fascinating to really see the changes at the beach over the seasons. And the social aspect is also enjoyable.

I am so glad to be a part of this beginning Beach Biology group. It was a glorious day at the beach, walking, observing and sharing lunch after.We found chocolate shale, ironstone, bubble weed and many other specimens – all of which must remain at the reef.

We learned a bit about the history of the reef – there was even copper mining there in the 1880s.


What is a textbook?

It is the close of school holidays and thus the re-commencement of all our homeschool and other commitments.

In the spirit of thinking about the new term, I asked the boys about their plans and ideas for the upcoming weeks.

T mentioned a science textbook.

Anny asked – “What is a textbook?”

It is funny – he has read many living books but we are not into textbooks here, usually – so he had no idea of what T was talking about.

T’s description of a textbook was pretty unique, too.


Too Many Books, Too Little Time

Or perhaps I should say, too many things to do, too little time to blog.

That is how it has been these last two weeks. And one of the “many things” to do has been reading late at night . I have had a stack of books to read and have been reading in bed, getting involved in the stories.

Most of these books have been fiction, which is pretty unusual for me. Maybe I have needed this time . I know that my kids often need down time and it is in the down time, the rest time, that one can sometimes see progress and growth.

I have also read a book by an Australian mum, Karen Gatt, who lost an amazing 67kg. The book is her story, in question and answer format – “Why Haven’t I lost Weight Yet?”.

Catchy title, huh?