Learning principles

Read Julia’s post on learning principles.

Very interesting.

Julia is quoting the book A Thomas Jefferson Education and is discussing four of the seven learning principles apparently mentioned in the book –

1)Use classics
2) Inspire, not require
3) You, not them
4) Structure time, not content

Now, I am not sure I agree fully with these principles. Each has value but so does part of the opposite principle. For example, while I aim to inspire , I also see no harm in requiring, sometimes. And I am not sure about NOT structuring content – there is definitely some content that I’d like to run past my children. Plus, I am fond of the idea of children ( sometimes?) structuring their own time – a learning time happening at any time.

However, the principles, and Julia’s informative posts, are making me think.

Reading these sorts of ideas keeps me on my toes, educationally speaking.

And that is important for a mother-educator, don’t you think?


A liturgical year staff.

On Thursday, Anthony made a staff as a symbol of the liturgical year.

Well, the instructions, from the We Believe Grade 6 catechetical materials, describe the making of a staff, used as we journey through the liturgical year.

We adapted this and used a branch, making a decorative item for a vase, to be placed near some of the Bibles in the hall.
Anthony coloured in each card for the liturgical year and copied a prayer from the missal onto the back of each card.He sent a text message to a priest to get help with the liturgical colours for the Tridium. 🙂
So far, we have added the cards for Lent, the Tridium and Easter to our staff/decoration. We will add in Ordinary Time , Advent and Christmas as the year continues.
Advent is the start of the liturgical year and will therefore be at the top of our staff.
I like a number of the activity sheets on the We Believe website. Have a look!We don’t use the We Believe religion books . I do find, however, that some of the online suggested activities fit well with our religion related discussions.

Anzac Day

Yesterday was Anzac Day.

ANZAC Day – 25 April – is an important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day.

You can download a booklet for children for Anzac day history, ideas, activities.

We went to Mass for an Anzac Day service and then out for breakfast. Thomas and Anthony had to deliver the local paper and while I helped them deliver, we discussed the Anzacs, Julius Caesar, ancient Rome – a whole history discussion!

Later that day, after work on my Kumon newsletter and after the kids had a violent game of Greed :-), I needed to watch the training videos for CaFE – Catholic Faith Exploration, a programme our parish is running in July. I am helping with the presentations so needed to do these videos and take notes. Well, the kids ended up watching some with me, talking about the analogies and our faith. A natural learning religion session.

Thomas made Anzac biscuits to go with tea/coffee and we had a visitor over for an Aussie/English roast beef dinner for Anzac day. He quizzed the kids on Latin and religion and history – in a light hearted way. The kids did as well as usual. As in Star Wars…

“How are we doing?” Hans Solo in The Return of the Jedi.
“Same as usual” , Luke Skywalker replies.
” That bad, huh?”, said Hans.

But, I did well – I didn’t burn a thing – even the mini Yorkshire puddings and the apple crumble were cooked properly! A first??

A Public Holiday but still a day of learning, of fun, of talking, of cooking.

Homeschooling never really stops, does it?


This morning’s activities….

Chocolate Maths – graphing Smarties. Practical statistics?

Solving a crime – maths from the DVD/TV series Numbers, using the free online curriculum from Texas Instruments. Thomas and Gerry finding the circumcentre.

The tomatosphere project – planting our seeds, setting up prediction statements and observation journals.

Oh, and getting ready for our Board of Studies visit this afternoon. A representative from the Board of Studies visited to discuss our programme and to complete the state’s homeschool registration ( homeschool legalities).

We had an interesting visit – the BOS guy just left. Lots of chatting and talking about science fiction, Stargate, Latin, the Church, politics…you name it.

And we have our registration for the next two years.


Thinking Blogger Award

Susan tagged me with the Thinking Blogger Award.

Susan’s blog is always interesting and often makes me think and smile.

But, what does one do with a Thinking Blogger’s Award?

Well, if you get tagged with a Thinking Blogger Award, you are then supposed to do the following:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

Here is the post on which I was tagged.

And here are five of my favourite Thinking Bloggers ~

Cindy and her post on trust.

Maria has a post on Classical learning – relaxed style.

Faith shares her plans and schedules…

Rebecca describes the planner she created for her eldest child – lots of thinking here!

And Mary talks about homeschooling and the book To Kill a Mockingbird…

I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I.


A comment overheard… our dining room yesterday.

“The Pope wants me to go on a crusade!. Oh, no, I’ll lose my troops. Do I have to go?”

Thomas, talking to his brothers, while playing the computer game Medieval Total War.

Whither thou goest, so will I follow? 🙂