Continuing to be excited about the learning that is happening this Term.  Solid, consistent progress, lessons not only about King Alfred and Japan’s closure to the West but lessons about diligence and time management. A friend and I were chatting yesterday, we’re both long term home-educators with graduates and several children still to educate, we shared how when we were young and dewy-eyed we wanted our children to love learning, well we still do, truth is though, these days we’d settle for application. Actually a whole series in the making there once I’ve formulated my thoughts.

Speech Therapy
I suspect the speech therapist twigged that I was not being consistent with homework here, ouch, so being quite the experienced teacher she devised a little chart for us. Five days work laid out in a grid, three small, achievable tasks for each day, as each is completed we place a sticker.  This I can do, I have too or the teacher will know I haven’t, the stickers remember! Have cheated a little and older siblings have begged some days to do Bass’ speech lesson with him, go for it!

Last fortnight I received comments from you that this is an area many struggle with, and that you have several children in therapy, hugs of support and encouragement to you all. {{}}


  • Sacramental Preparation for Confirmation and First Confession/Holy Communion for JJ and Jem respectively is still a major focus. Finally finished the Sacrament of Confirmation workbook with Jack Jack, hooray!!  And My Jesus and I with Jem, hooray!!!
  • Read My Confession – Daniel Lord
  • Jack Jack nailed memorising the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit with the help of a youtube, corny actions for each Gift but highly effective, alas I can’t find the link to share.
  • Jem has been struggling to remember his Act of Contrition, found Raising Little Saints printable, which alas is no longer available to print but I was able to copy and paste and with difficulty make some changes, as our Act is slightly different, so changed some words, added some clipart and he’d mostly ‘had it’ by recitation 3.
  • Jem is most likely making his First Confession this weekend, asking for prayers please, he is one nervous boy, mostly over his struggle to remember the Act of Contrition.
  • Jelly Bean read Stories to Learn By –  Msgr John Koenig, a collection of stories imparting values and virtues in a natural manner. She has totally amazed me with how quickly her reading skill is progressing.
  • Princess read a couple of chapters of Introduction to Catholicism and completed the answers.
  • Princess also read a chapter of Where is That in the Bible? – Patrick Madrid
  • Michelangelo completed a chapter of Understanding the Scriptures and read several sections of Beginning Apologetics Set and read referenced source material.


  • The children all worked rather hard on the maths lessons(Maths Online) this past fortnight and consequently pushed through some ‘barriers’ and started having ‘some wins’. Application can bring its own pleasure in learning, enjoyment of learning doesn’t always equate with fun but with achievement.


JB and the boys enjoyed an afternoon of nature journal-ling, spontaneously organised and enacted by themselves. I love it when learning like this happens.




Michelangelo read and pondered several sections of Critical Thinking
Princess increased her Spanish fluencey to 46%, She continues to enjoy Spanish and her father continues to share that love with her:)


Creative Arts
  • Princess attended our local homeschool handcraft day and taught one of the younger girls how to finger knit.
  • Extra curricula of three dance classes for Princess and soccer games for Jelly Bean, Jack Jack and Jem still continuing.

Continued with ‘handwriting on the board’ wherein the children gather with me, I demonstrate and they copy. The older boys and JB are focusing on cursive, Jem is working on his printing. Had a frustrating session with him in which he won’t take correction as to where he should start his letters. He was determined to begin his Rs at the bottom of the line, not at the top and wouldn’t budge.


  • Princess continuing with 20 words weekly from ‘Spelling for Secondary Students’ spelling very well.
  • Spelling Wisdom with our teens went well the first week, however we were slack the second. Resolving to focus on Language Arts with our teens first before I work with the younger children in future.
  • JB and JJ began using Spelling Wisdom for their dictation lessons too. They were rather nervous believing it too hard, which it isn’t at this stage, a little way in it does get much harder, so we shall see.


  • JB and JJ – using Marist Brothers Grade 5, we focused on comprehension passages, which are a real challenge and pronouns, their person, number and gender.
  • Teens – synonyms and pairing nouns with their synonyms in the first week, using Ridout, in the second week we failed to do grammar, hence part of my resolve undertake Language Arts with our teens first.
Composition/Creative Writing
  • JB and JJ are weekly writing creative essays, each child brainstorms with me, I write on the board as they dictate and then they copy. Long gone are the days I believed in inventive spelling, what a disaster that was.
  • Michelangelo and Princess – Precis Writing – Ronald Lane worked on note taking. 
  • Princess used Story Starters to write and essay titled, A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed.
Poetry/Short Stories
A Child’s Book of Verse daily with the younger children.
Princess and Michelangelo continuing to read daily from Four Corners.
Michelangelo finished reading short stories from O’Henry.


  • JJ read a couple of books to me(see below) sadly however he isn’t yet keen on reading, he only lacks practise and then he’ll be off ‘flying’. Consistency and perseverance is the key.
  • Jem completed AAR Level 1! We are now revising the cards, I was slack throughout the program and wasn’t always diligent in this area, Jem is very proud of the amount of cards he knows and he has every right to be proud.
  • Jem is still keen to ‘read’ and we found a couple of books for him to have a ‘go at’, most impressed (see below)

Family Read Alouds

John of Sydney Cove – Doris Chadwick –  With JB and younger boys. As always with Chadwick’s series we are immensely enjoying this peek into Australian history in storybook form.
All The Green Year – Continuing to read to our older two, really enjoying this time with them and I believe they are enjoying it too.Science Read Aloud
Under 11s
Seals and Walruses – Louis Darling
Ponny the Penguin – Veronica Basser
Up, Down and Around – Katherine Ayers (pic bk)Geography Picture Books
Mbobo Tree – Glenda Millard (Africa) – 4 Star
The Twelve Dancing Princesses – illust – Rachel Isadora (Africa) – 3 Star
The Wonderful Journey – Paul Geraghty (Africa sort of) – 2 Star
The Third Gift – Linda Sue Park (Middle East) – 5 Star
The Dance of a Thousand Stars – Julia Hubery (Middle East) – 4 Star
Ahmed and the Feather Girl – Jane Ray (Middle East) – 3.5 Star
Olivia Goes to Venice – Ian Falconer (Venice) – 1 Star
Mr Chicken Goes to Paris – Leigh Hobbs (Paris) – 0 Star
Michelangelo Read:
Wisdom of Fr Brown – GK Chesterton (1/2)
The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
I Marched with Hannibal – Hans Baumann
The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool – Rosemary Sutcliffe (most)
Science Matters (several chapters)
A Writer’s World: Travels 19-50-2000 by Jan Morris (several chapters)Princess Read: 
Castaways of the Flying Dutchman – Brian Jacques
Ties That Bind, Ties That Break – Lensey NamiokaJelly Bean Read:
White Sails to China – Clyde Robert Bulla
Three Dollar Mule – Clyde Robert Bulla
Little Obie and the Flood – Martin Waddell
Carlos the Street Boy Who Found a Home(Brazil)
Chayna The Girl No One Wanted( Bangladesh) 
Stories to Learn By –  Msgr John Koenig
Whitefoot: The Story of a Woodmouse – Robert McClung
Tiger Tales – DK Reader (1/2 book)
Egg to Chick – Millicent Selsam
The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railway – Monjo
Trail of Tears – Joseph Bruchac (1/2 book)Jack Jack Read:
Penny and Her Song – Kevin Henkes
Penny and Her Doll – Kevin Henkes
Fred and Ted’s Road Trip – Peter EastmanJem Read:
I Love to Dance – Anna Walker
“Only Joking Laughed the Lobster – Colin West