I finished it!

Oh my gosh, I just finished “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”!

A really, really good book. Very sad. Very powerful.

And I am feeling sorrowful at the close of the series. I want to go back and

re-read every book again…..

A favourite quote ~ you know, I have to share quotes

“Because”, said Harry, before Hermione could answer, “sometimes you’ve got to think about more than your own safety! Sometimes, you’ve got to think about the greater good!..”

I have got to know these characters so well, that I have tears in my eyes now, as I type these words and remember the sacrifices of characters, in the novel.

A good book touches your soul, doesn’t it?

Two quotes

From two very different sources.

And yet they seem connected to me, in support of unschooling, in support of the type of living and learning that occurs in our Catholic homeschool.

“The trouble with talk about ‘learning experiences’ is that it implies that all experiences can be divided into two kinds, those from which we learn something, and those from which we learn nothing. but there are no experiences from which we learn nothing. We learn from everything we do, and everything that happens to us or is done to us.”John Holt, Instead of Education

And, from ZENIT News, July 25 ~ One of the priests asked the Holy Father about enjoying human things, such as recreation. “I liked playing soccer more than going to Eucharistic adoration,” the priest said, explaining that his superiors in the seminary scolded him for this. “Doesn’t bringing man close to God, and God to man, happen in our humanity, even for us priests?” he asked the Pontiff.

“I would be against choosing whether to play soccer or to study sacred Scripture or canon law. Let us do both,” Benedict XVI responded. “We cannot always live in high meditation; maybe a saint at the highest levels of his earthly existence can do that, but normally we live with our feet on the ground and our eyes fixed on heaven. “Both are given to us by the Lord and therefore loving human things, loving the beauty of this earth, is not just very human, but also very Christian and quite Catholic.”

The Pope said that a “healthy and truly Catholic pastoral care” includes living in what he called the “et-et,” Latin for “and-and.”

He explained that this should prompt us “to live humanity and the humanism of mankind, all the gifts that the Lord has given us, which we have developed and, at the same time, not to forget God, because in the end the great light comes from God and only from him comes the light that gives joy to the realities of the things that exist.”

“Therefore,” the Holy Father said, “I would like to work for this great Catholic synthesis, for this ‘et-et’; to be truly man — that everyone according to their own gifts and their own charism loves the earth and the beautiful things the Lord has given us, but to also be grateful for the light of God that shines on the earth, that gives splendor and beauty to everything else.”

Let us live in this Catholicity joyously. This would be my answer,” Benedict XVI concluded, prompting applause from the priests present.


A cooking night. And Harry Potter.

Thomas and I felt like cooking tonight, on our return home from Sunday evening Mass. We were in a cooking mood!

Thomas made Chocolate Profiteroles. I made small meat and vegetable pies.

A finger food dinner.

And now I am back to reading, one could say devouring, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” I am drawn to the story ~ what will happen next? I can smell the evilness of Lord Voldermort. I can taste the fear of the characters. Gosh, I need to finish this book!

Rowling is a good storyteller.



Today’s homeschooling was archery.

I’ve organized a few lessons for a homeschool group, today’s lesson being the first.

It was grey and cloudy but still a fun morning, and the archery session was followed by lunch and everyone chatting together, hanging out together.

Robin Hood anyone? Or maybe I should be Maid Marian..

Religion and Graphic Organizers

Doing some religion related reading this morning ~ Anny read a section on citizenship and on obeying lawful authority. An interesting discussion has ensued….and we have looked for a way to demonstrate this discussion. A paperwork trail…

I did an online search for graphic organizers and Anny found one that interested him. He is writing his graphic organizer on citizenship as I type.

And now we have looked at the Catechism of the Catholic Church. What does the Church say about legitmate authority?

1897 “Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all.”
By “authority” one means the quality by virtue of which persons or institutions make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them.
1898 Every human community needs an authority to govern it.16 The foundation of such authority lies in human nature. It is necessary for the unity of the state. Its role is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society.
1899 The authority required by the moral order derives from God: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
1900 The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and good-will.
Pope St. Clement of Rome provides the Church’s most ancient prayer for political authorities: “Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, concord, and stability, so that they may exercise without offense the sovereignty that you have given them. Master, heavenly King of the ages, you give glory, honor, and power over the things of earth to the sons of men. Direct, Lord, their counsel, following what is pleasing and acceptable in your sight, so that by exercising with devotion and in peace and gentleness the power that you have given to them, they may find favor with you.”
1901 If authority belongs to the order established by God, “the choice of the political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens.”
The diversity of political regimes is morally acceptable, provided they serve the legitimate good of the communities that adopt them. Regimes whose nature is contrary to the natural law, to the public order, and to the fundamental rights of persons cannot achieve the common good of the nations on which they have been imposed.
1902 Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a “moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility”:
A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.
1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, “authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.”
1904 “It is preferable that each power be balanced by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it within proper bounds. This is the principle of the ‘rule of law,’ in which the law is sovereign and not the arbitrary will of men.”

An interesting morning, the feast of St Joachim and St Anne.


A 1960s theme.

A friend had her 40th birthday party on the weekend ~ a party with a 1960s twist.
Whole families were invited and we had a wonderful time – the DJ organized games for both children and adults and the kids and teens played and danced and talked.
My friends and I and our dhs danced the night away – some cool 60s dances! And we enjoyed vodka cruisers and champagne. 🙂
Here we are in 60s regalia.


Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Through my fault, my most grievous fault. The Confiteor.

I am re-reading Kathryn Hulme’s novel “The Nun’s Story”.

Sister Luke, the main character of the novel, describes the weekly culpa, or ritual of proclaiming one’s faults.

“..and all of it [ note – the confession of faults] sounded like trivia wrought out of senseless scrupulosity until your turn came and until you felt beneath your scapular the white-hot burn of humiliation which told how much of your pride was still alive within you and how far away was that perfection in humilty…”

This sense of pride is one area that leaves a sting within me and encourages me to go to Reconciliation or Confession.

As a convert, the Sacrament of Reconcilation seemed strange to me at first. But there is a beauty, a sense of grace, yes, sacramental grace, within the sacrament . A grace that I could never have imagined before becoming Catholic.

A Brethren friend and I were discussing Confession and she wondered aloud if this really was just a measure of control, of the Church having control over us all in general, and of men having control over women in particular.


But I doubt it.

I see instead the peace and the grace. It is not forced but something that helps one in developing charity. Makes one better. Makes the world better.

” The word reconciliation is rich in meaning. It suggests the gift of God’s forgiveness and the removal of the barriers we place between ourselves, our community and our God. Reconciliation means the rebridging of the gap between God and us and between ourselves and others. It also suggests the deep peace that comes from being brought back into harmony with God, with sisters and brothers and with the whole of creation. “


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

We picked up our copy of the book this morning – we should have bought several copies as there is a waiting list of those wishing to read the book!

And, no, no-one wants to have it read aloud. At least, not right now.

They want, instead, to devour the book and then share, discuss, take the book apart….

Thomas is reading it first – curled up right now, in between folding the junk mail he delivers on the weekend.

Anthony has read the ending – and sent me text messages in answer to my queries of “Who dies??”.

Why text messages? Because no one else wants to hear the ending in advance.
🙂 Just Anny and Jonathon and me.

A happy weekend and week of reading, to all HP fans!

A Homeschool Morning

Was this morning a typical homeschool morning? Probably not. But it has been a pleasant morning, an enjoyable morning, with learning being our lifestyle … so, I thought I’d share….

Gerry was off to work early and Alexander and I woke early-ish, to workout. I tidied, did laundry, checked email, asked kids to help me clean uo the kitchen ~ the usual.

Jonathon has spent time studying for his uni exam tomorrow ( Screen History and Research) and discussing the effect of TV and cable TV on cinema attendance. Thomas checked ninemsn for news and we got into a discussion on the Liberal government, on Prime Minister John Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello.

Thomas and Anthony made a motorized model car – well, it is almost finished. Alexander tried reading more of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in Latin, with a Latin dictionary nearby!

Anthony worked on folders for his role playing game – writing, diagrams, statistics; and he and Thomas played a computer game, discussing strategies. Everyone played music – guitar and piano, singing along, listening to CDs.

Anthony went on a bike ride around our small housing estate ~ by himself!

The kids played basketball and “guns” , involving running around our end of the cul de sac and trying to shoot each other with foam bullets and toy guns. 🙂

And there has been a lot of reading ~ the spoiler of the new
Harry Potter book, an anthology of 1960s humour ( including Thurber and Belloc), an autobiography of a fighter ace of WW2, Choose Your Own Adventure Dr Who. Anthony found my copy of “The Nun’s Story”. I have been looking for that book for ages, wanting to re-read it after I re-read Godden’s “In This House of Brede” earlier this year.

Thomas cooked dinner for tonight, ahead of time! ~ I helped.Spaghetti and Meatballs. Alexander made signs for my Kumon centre and I worked on Kumon paperwork and phone calls and emails and on the parish newsletter.

I read aloud a bit about the saint for today – Blessed Peter ToRot , from Papua New Guinea.

Now, time for more laundry and lunch . Alexander ( and others) are going to watch an old Dr Who TV episode over lunch, with book comparisons, of course, and then we are off to work at Kumon. Anthony will do some Kumon English reading and writing work, until Gerry picks him up at 5 or 6-ish, while the rest of us are working at the centre.

A pleasant winter school morning!


Literature Activities

Today I have suggested that we look a little deeper at the book “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson.

All of us have read the book. Some of us have seen the movie.

We have printed this list of NewberyMedal and Honor Books and highlighted those we have read ~ and any we may like to read.

How many have you read?

We have discussed the novel as a coming of age novel – how did Jess change? From here, our discussion has become more personal ~ personal growth and decisions, talk about other books we have read and other movies we have seen.

Does this growth ever stop? Do we ever really “come of age” or is it a continual journey?

We are reading about exposition, climax, rise and fall of events, resolution and a couple of the kids have completed a plot graph for “Bridge to Terabithia.”

All this literature focus has brought us back to discussion of the Harry Potter books and movies. We saw the new HP movie last week and started watching one of 0ur older HP movies on the weekend. A few of us are re-reading some HP books, while waiting for the release of the seventh novel on Saturday July 21.

I found a few online study guides for HP and thought we might explore some Harry Potter themes and literature in our homeschool, over the next few weeks…

HP and Language Arts
Harry Potter Units and Lesson Plans