Sunday, June 27, 2010

Suzuki solo concert

It was a beautiful concert to listen to this afternoon. All performers played well.Master 13 played Concerto in A minor, 1st mvt by Vivaldi and Master 8 played Gavotte by Lully . Well done boys it was a joy to listen to you and the rest of the students playing! Before the concert, Master 13 listened to his piece "a trillion times" and I'm quite sure his ability at the concert was a direct result of all that listening. Our teacher always has stressed this part of the method and I will be reinforcing it in the future even more so!

The next part is a postscript and a proud mummy moment. Our violin teacher just called to congratulate us on how well the boys played in the concert and especially Toby. Apparently people came up to her and said that his playing was the highlight of the concert for them. Still others talked to her about that tall boy,all arms and legs who made the concert so memorable.

So Jenny phoned today to congratulate and to encourage us once again to go to winter school. “When I think of where we’ve come in a few short years…” she says and I too marvel and pause to give thanks to our great God who knew on this grey-day-Monday that this was the very day we needed to hear this praise.

I added this video brief as it is on Monday; because sometimes for whatever reason you derserve to be proud.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Holland honey eaters

The last few days the garden has been full of the sound of these little birds. They have been swarming down onto trees and bushes in large numbers Of course because they are such quick little birds they have proved very difficult to photograph, so I have had to rely on on line sources for images.Sill we are curious to know why just now they are coming in such large numbers.

(this last picture we found on this very informative birding blog)

Monday, June 21, 2010

The shortest day

He decided to have a brief stay over the weekend and came out into the garden to celebrate the shortest day; winter solstice with us! He really enjoys geranium leaves.

And climbing in our plum tree
was pretty good too!
please say hello to celebrity brushtail,"Poss". (short for
Possum Magic") magic which he
is very good at making, once
he decides to be sociable!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This is a picture of a possum not drinking his bottle!

And here is a secret shared!

And look how big he's growing.

And finally without further comment, "Poss" on the move:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jean Craighead George

I remember being introduced to this author at Teachers Training College. There I devoured two of her novels not realizing that there were more about Julie or that she also wrote picture books.

Although the part of the world this story takes place could not be more removed from the geography of the region we are studying(the Middle East) it somehow fits in with the season here(winter).

And reading about somewhere snowy and cold somehow makes a grey winters day seem more cozy!
Like all of Jean's books the language is rich and worthy of comment:the wind didn't just blow hard, it "bugled like a lost caribou calf".The town where Luke lived was "not more than a polar bear's trot from the North Pole." We are introduced to the culture of the Inupiat people through their language:""Alappaaq," he said to his teacher."It is cold." and their lives in relation to the cycle of the seasons:"They are telling us winter is coming,"Aalak said."And winter is very serious."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

melted or frozen

Found on a grey chilly winter's day. He brought it in quickly, excited to share his joy. grab the camera quick,catch the moment,fuse the memory.

like this frozen water, moments disappear quickly unless I take the time to share the magic and the joy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

In the evening of the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Cardinal Pell ordained six men to the Priesthood in St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney.Our oldest son was there as part of the congregation. It must have been a wonderful celebration,and such a beautiful ending, full of hope and new beginnings, to "the year of the Priest'.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

the sun on my face

The song at the end says:

I want to live like this with the sun on my face, and I sing happily, gracefully. I want to live like this, with the air of the mountains, because this enchantment doesn't cost anything.

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Coot Club

This is our third readaloud and one that falls into the "family reads' category.We are slowly reading our way through all the S+A books.The others we have mainly listened to read by Gabriel Woolf. I found Mr Woolf very willing to send cd's to Australia.(as I remember mine came in the post very promptly too)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Penrose the Maths loving cat

Another readaloud! This one we are reading just before individual maths time. Master 13 is really working well with mathsonline and a little bit of help from his sisters.He is working at the Yr9/10 level.
Master 9 is using MEP and really enjoying a different way of working with the same problems. Although he has completed Addison Wesley book 5 I am using the rest of the year as consolidation of concepts and fun stuff like Penrose!

We read about real numbers and then "from Auckland" we learned about Pythagoras(and his school of the Pythagoreans)who believed in the literal reality of numbers. They were so shocked when one of their number discovered irrational numbers that they kicked him out of their school.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Down the stream the swans all glide

We have been reading several books together in our homeschooling. Usually we have a family type book going together. examples of these in the past have included"the Mitchells" by Hilda van Stockum,Llittle Britches" by Ralph Moody, "The Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Currently I am noting how soon we will be done with readalouds, plus it is winter and a great time for sitting close by the heater; and so we have added other groups of readalouds.
We started a nature readaloud section straight after Bible and breakfast. And we introduced this time with an old favorite: "Miss Hickory". Our next book combined Australian studies with Nature study in "Spotty the Bower Bird".
We have had two books by James Pollard for quite a while just sitting on our
shelves. They didn't look particularly inspiring, so imagine our delight when we started
reading this one to discover it is set in our own city and takes place on our very own river!
What I like about this book is that opens up a zillion more rabbit trails as it quotes
/references artists/poets/other places in Australia.
Here is a quote from the book:' what a thrill had Cheno as he felt the waters
lip away below him and knew himself riding the wind! For a moment or two he shook, and he swayed in the air. But he flew harder. And he found that he could depend on his wings. He steadied himself and began to enjoy the swift movement of the air,lifting away from the earth into sky. The river and the trees and the city glided beneath him as a world of shadow and twinkling lights....."
Finally if anyone has any information on James Pollard it would be great to hear !

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Feast of Corpus Christi

SING, my tongue, the Saviour's glory,
of His flesh the mystery sing;
of the Blood, all price exceeding,
shed by our immortal King,
destined, for the world's redemption,
from a noble womb to spring.

Of a pure and spotless Virgin
born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
then He closed in solemn order
wondrously His life of woe.

On the night of that Last Supper,
seated with His chosen band,
He the Pascal victim eating,
first fulfills the Law's command;
then as Food to His Apostles
gives Himself with His own hand.

Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
by His word to Flesh He turns;
wine into His Blood He changes;-
what though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
faith her lesson quickly learns.

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble sense fail.

To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honour, blessing,
might and endless majesty.
Amen. Alleluia.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


One great result of birthdays is how much new learning takes place following them ! This book, which was very much a last minute find, has thoroughly aborbed T's attention for hours at a time!

and here is the final result

The rainbirds

We often read picture books in our homeschool, even though my children are now 13 + 9. I find picture books are a very useful tool. Because they are by definition short in text they are perfect for Charlotte Mason style short lessons. They have to, again because of size constraints, bring the focus on a topic more directly into view. By that i mean if you like they are a bit like a magnifying glass, they help us to "see bigger". This is an excellent post on the way older children use picture books
Today we read "the rainbirds" by david metzenthen and sally rippin. To begin with we just examined the cover in detail. I asked the boys what they could tell me . They commented on how the art work looked "cut out" from the background. They also noted the limited colours used. I commented on the lack of capital letters in title or names and this lead to a short lesson on when we use capitol letters. I also mentioned a poet who used no capital letters and asked if they could remember his name from last years poetry study We then read one of his poems.
Then we read the book. After our first reading we went back through the book and studied all he art work. The boys commented on how the artist had used color to add meaning to the story. The trees being black seemed wintery,the storm being purply emphasized its drama and the misty green of the forest added to its mysteriousness and magical quality.We won't give away all but when you read the book yourself you will be able to see other aspects of nature that the artwork underlines.

Now it was time to look at the descriptive language and imagery in the book. I said, "tallest trees" and asked the boys to look through and discover other phrases like this. They found "gloomy gullies","sky-scraping","large loose","big black birds", 'swirling storm","swooped and swung",'longer and lighter" "waited and watched". Master 13 suggested that "clear rocky creeks""hammering with hail" and even "leaves that lay" were also deliberate choices of the author.

ds9 also thought the positioning of the words on the page were very important as he noted on the storm page and in the spring page where the words themselves grow up and the green lettering emphasized new growth.

Finally I asked them to choose a sentence or phrase that they liked particularly. Surprisingly they both chose the same:...and he would hear again the bright,wild calls of the rainbirds cutting throgh the park "curra-wong,curra-wong!"