Tired Unschooling?

I posted a question at the 4 Real Learning Forum and at the Unschooling Catholics email list.

At the moment, I am tired. I just want to do what I have to do, all my work stuff and so on, maybe make sure the kids and I do some maths and then just PLAY. Let the kids do whatever, amidst all our busy lives and activities. I don’t want to think about read alouds or strewing or an enriching environment – the few times we are home I just want to hang if and when possible. So, can I still be an effective unschooler if we don’t do anything exciting? Apart from our busy social life that is! Does an unschool have to look very enriching and exciting? Or can there be just lots of hang out time?

I got some great replies…and I thought about my question myself..

It occurred to me that I am coming down with a cold and sore throat so that is probably also the cause of my unschooling malaise. Duh!
But I also realise that this is just the ebb and flow of life, especially unschooling life where one tends to go a little more with the flow.
And our life is pretty busy and we do a lot of group things so it is not as though the kids are missing out – it is more that I was feeling like doing less big projects with them. And I’m not going to for awhile!
I’m also taking my own advice from this thread… promoting peace in your home…..
How does one be an effective unschooling parent? This post at Joyfully Rejoycing points out that one doesn’t have to plan projects but that one must interact with the kids…
[Unschooling is] not about letting my children run wild and do what they want. It’s not about shirking my responsibility, but it’s about embracing it. It’s about spending actual time with my children, about getting to know them like I would a friend or someone I was dating.
And there is a list of behaviours/ideas/activities to guide, to show the role of the unschooling parent. Check out the link above! My favourites right now are ~
Find ways to include the child in my own daily life – live a more”open-book’ life than the norm.
Live a family life that is rich with experiences of a variety of kinds both at home and outside the home.
If you want to know more about unschooling and Catholics join the Unschooling Catholics list, read the blogs in the sidebar from Nearcircle ( which is finally working again) or read about St John Bosco and his preventative method of education..
Happy feast of St Ignatius of Loyola!

Hair Today/St Ignatius of Loyola Tomorrow

Still not sure of my haircut – this is how it looked today, on a very busy day…Up early, workout, tidy up, leave early with the kids to go to my Kumon centre then the hour plus drive in peak hour traffic on the M2 to Kumon head office. I was in meetings all day – with some not very nice sushi for lunch! The kids went to the library, Borders, Games Workshop, bought some new jumpers, saw a Chinese movie with Jackie Chan, had lunch out…As Anthony said to some one,”When mum is at work we spend the money she makes!” lol! A truly fun school day for them. But, frak, no religion reading two Wednesdays in a row. Guilt. Winner of Bad Catholic homeschooling mum award..:-)

Home to deliver junk mail in the dusk, then dh came home from Newcastle – he’s been away for work. A friend’s son came over and I helped him with his uni assignments so it was pizza for dinner, with Get Smart, Battlestar Galactica, reading about St Ignatius of Loyola and reading from Acts about St Paul, for the year of St Paul. And catching up with my homeschool log.

Have printed out the Litany of St Ignatius, his prayer of surrender and prayer for generosity for tomorrow, his Feast Day, from the Catholic Culture website. And read about a Book of Jesuit Breadmaking – maybe we can make some bread tomorrow? I don’t know, I’m pretty tired and have a sore throat yet have another busy day ahead, then a Homeschool Teen Group Make Your Own Pizzas at our house on Friday, after First Friday morning Mass…But baking bread is fun!


New hair

I went for a short cut and a darker colour…Not sure if I like it but, hey, my hair grows fast and colour easily grows out/washes out…Dh likes short hair and thin women……And everyone needs a change now and then…

BTW, the nearcircle widget for Unschooling Catholcis is not working. I’ve tried everything I can think of, including contacting nearcircle, with no luck. All our members can’t get updates on blogs and live feeds. If you have any tips, let me know….

Looking Through Gary Gilmore’s Eyes

The eye receives the messages and sends it to the brain

No guarantee the stimuli must be perceived the same

When looking through Gary Gilmore’s eyes

Looking through Gary Gilmore’s eyes

Looking through Gary Gilmore’s eyes

Looking through Gary Gilmore’s eyes

The Adverts. A cool song.

And I have felt, recently, that I have been looking through Gary Gilmore’s eyes. Not literally. Not really Gary Gilmore. But looking at myself through the eyes of another.

Sometimes, the way one perceives oneself is different to the way others perceive you.

A recent comment brought this home to me. Am I really like that? Like the comment made by another?

Possibly. Probably?

It is good to look at oneself, to think about how one acts and speaks and how this looks to others.

Too much introspection can be a bad thing, a melancholy thing, a self centred approach to life. But to question oneself, to look at behaviour and if and how and why one should change, well, that is good. It is necessary. An examination of self.

I am thankful for comments that make me look at myself through the eyes of others. Even if, at first, the comments seem to sting.

A little bit of a sting never hurt anyone!
Don’t I look fracky above? On my way to workout. A candid pic, to match being candid with myself re who I am and how I act…lol!
“What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.”G.K. Chesterton

Friday’s Outing

Wow – we found a French Fry vending machine. Never heard of one before. So, we didn’t really need any french fries but we definitely needed to use this nifty machine. You put in your five dollars, and in 90 seconds ( well, ours took 105 seconds!) – out comes a condiment box and a cup of hot french fries. How exciting!

Our biggest memory of the Sydney Acquarium and Sydney Wildlife Park.


A dinner guest

A visiting priest from Kenya. It was really interesting to hear about life in Kenya, about the differences between Kenya and Australia. We looked up maps..We discussed church history..And we were amazed to find that only one out of every twenty Kenyan families would have a TV!

Like our other recent guests, the ones from Hungary and Romania and Italy, the Kenyan Fr. hadn’t heard of Dr Who. Deprived!

Thomas and Anthony are writing mini reports today, on a country of choice from the list of our visitng pilgrims – Italy, Hungary, Romania, Kenya.

Another Day Out

Talking to another mum last night, we decided that we all need days off to play. Otherwise our life becomes one of never ending work and obligations and grown-up-ness.

Today we said a prayer to St Christopher. Went to Mass – Fr. talked about St James the Greater, about carrying our cross. Went to the doctors, dh took our pilgrims to the airport. Then I took the day off!

I and some of the kids, with a friar visiting from Italy and another friar from our parish, went to the Sydney Aquarium and to the Sydney Wildlife Park. Had lunch out.

I enjoyed the afternoon of play ~ in spite of the rain. Will post pics later…

And , to make up for the day of play, I’ve had to catch up with work related stuff tonight. Just completed my monthly work ( Kumon) reports that I started last night after work, and completed my Kumon newsletter for August. Hooray! Off to have some dinner and watch some Get Smart with some of the family, then laundry and paperwork before bed. Good night!


St Mary Magdalene

Yesterday’s feast.

In his homily last night, Fr. mentioned three words to describe Mary Magdalene ~

Faith. Prayer. Action.
Gonna remember these.
This week we also remember St Christopher, St James and St Joachim and St Anne. My middle name is Ann so the feast of St Anne, is a favourite of mine. I can also relate to her angst over childlessness – no, I am not childless but I have suffered miscarriages and secondary infertility and have always felt that St Anne would understand this pain, and the related longing.
Motorist’s Prayer to St. Christopher
On the Feast of St. James and St. Christopher it is appropriate to say prayers for travellers.
Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye. That no one shall be hurt as I pass by. You gave life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of thine. Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company, from the evils of fire and all calamity. Teach me, to use my car for others need; Nor miss through love of undue speed The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way. St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.
For the feast of St James, I thought we might make Coupe St. Jacques for dessert.
And for the feast of St Joachim and St Anne, A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family and Faith Throughout the Christian Year mentions that “[i]n both France and French Canada what would commonly be served on this occasion is a fruit tart: such exquisite desserts are traditional at all patronal festivals (as well as other special occasions), especially those falling in the summer, when such a luscious assortment of fruits is available.” The book includes two recipes, plum tart and apple tart.