Family, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – February

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE…a beautiful overcast day. I can also see some gorgeous new shoots on the rose bushes. If the parrots don’t get to them, I should be able to pick some soon to bring inside.

I AM GIVING THANKS….that Jay was feeling much better than usual yesterday and he was able to enjoy his birthday.

I AM PRAYING FOR……..Jay – that his up and coming medical treatment interstate will fix his health and he can lead a normal life again!

I AM LISTENING TO…a very quiet house!!! Only one of the big kids are up so it is very quiet. I can hear many different birds chirping outside.

I AM THINKING ABOUT….how I haven’t posted ANYTHING in so long. I really want to get back into it again. I like to blog so I can document our days and have something to look back on. Hopefully I can start up again.

I AM LEARNING….more and more about the bible. This year for Religion we are focusing on the bible. Not that we don’t already know how to read it, but this year we are using lots of resources to come to love and understand scripture more deeply and to understand the timeline from Adam and Eve right to Jesus.

I AM CREATING….lists, lists and more lists. I will be in Melbourne for 2 1/2 weeks with Jay. Our GAPs diet will have to continue at home, and so will school work. The kids will need to know what to do while we are gone.


IN THE SCHOOLROOM….there is plenty going on. I will have to do a separate post all on our chosen curriculums for this year. Dami is in Kindy this year. Although I prefer learning at this age to be completely natural, there are days where he wants to be like the big kids. Sometimes we enjoy a cup of tea together while he is doing his ‘Kindy’ work.


How are we supposed to do school with this little guy peering in the window?!!


COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….last night was a no dairy, no sugar, peppermint ice-cream for Jay’s 15th birthday. It was delicious!!


IN THE MORNING BASKET…we are listening to Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes and we are learning the poem My Country.


IN THE GARDEN…we are fencing in the property so our new puppy won’t escape! We needed to cut down a few trees to be able to put the fence in. The logs became a good table and chairs.



I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….a cute little moment from Jay’s birthday yesterday….Dami spent the morning bringing ‘presents’ to Jay from the playroom. He gave away his Octonaught toys, his keyboard, a backpack and some toy cars. When he was off to bed that night he also gave Jay his teddies. It was a very serious activity, he was adamant that Jay was not to give them back.

The kids enjoyed a trip on their Poppy's sail boat. The boat literally rocked Dami off to sleep!
The kids enjoyed a trip on their Poppy’s sail boat. The boat literally rocked Dami off to sleep!
Australian Curriculum, Faith, Family, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – September

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE….a beautiful spring is truly magnificent!

My morning walk, down the back of our block.

I AM GIVING THANKS….. that the term is nearly at an end. Holidays are in sight and we are taking time out to go down south for a week – I can’t wait!

I AM PRAYING FOR……..a dear friend’s children who have been in a car accident.  And I am praising God that they miraculously came out ok.

I AM LISTENING TO….Zac cooking an omelette for his breakfast. At 8 years old he is quite a whizz in the kitchen….he makes awesome omelettes and scrambled eggs.


I AM THINKING ABOUT….how to add more steps into my day. I bought a fitbit for my birthday with some vouchers that I had. I am so pleased that I got one, it is really helping me to get more steps into my day. Hopefully I am going to be fit enough to climb Bluff Knoll in a few weeks!

I AM LEARNING….all about the gut. I am reading and enjoying ‘Gut‘. The big boys are also reading it. I love that they are learning so much about their body at such a young age.

I AM READING…. I have a number of books on the go right now. ‘Anne of Green Gables’, ‘A Story Formed Life‘ ‘Gut’ and ‘Brain Maker‘.

I AM CREATING….checklists to show my homeschool moderator. I know any day now she will call and make an appointment to come and see me, and I want to be prepared!

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….we are enjoying our world war one studies. I have been using Bloom’s Taxonomy with the kids lately and it has really enhanced our homeschool experience. Here is a good post explaining how to use it in your homeschool.

We have also just finished ‘On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness’. It was such a fun read-aloud we didn’t want it to end! Now I have to decide on the next family read-aloud. Any suggestions?

COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….as always… our GAPs food and plenty of ferments.

IN THE MORNING BASKET…a new read aloud! I don’t know what yet. We are also learning about Handel by listening to these. Maestro Classics is a wonderful site for teaching the kids more about Classical music. They also have downloads to integrate into other learning areas.

I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….How much fun it is playing games with the kids. We have plans to spend most Saturday nights playing games. Last games night I played Labyrinth with the younger kids and then once they were in bed Paul and I played Dominion with the big boys. Our games cupboard is quite extensive as I buy the kids a new game every Christmas. One of my most treasured childhood memories is playing games with my sister. We still reminisce  about the games we used to play. My kids still play the exact games now, in fact Labyrinth is from my younger days. I can’t wait to play games again with you one day my lovely sister!

The fire after it had burnt down a fair bit


We had an awesome bonfire on Saturday night. The kids had a ball riding the motorbike and playing tag with friends in the dark. They also played ‘King of the Castle’ on a huge pile of dirt. The aim was to stay at the top of the dirt pile as long as you could – all the other kids would try and pull you down. As you can imagine, they were all filthy and black by the end of the night – I wish I had a photo of that!

The dirt pile…it looks bigger in real life!

PLANNING FOR THE WEEK AHEAD…organising costumes for our drama concert and trying to finish off subjects for the term.

Home Schooling, Uncategorized

Beth’s Zentangles


I have mentioned briefly before how Zentangle has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool morning basket. Since beginning to add this to our read aloud time, Beth has taken quite a liking to it and continues to do it in her own spare time.

I thought I would share some of her creations – she is becoming quite an artist (and she definitely does NOT take after her mother 😉




Her ‘Zentangle’ bag is ready to go whenever she knows that she will be sitting around at appointments for a while. In it she has her Zentangle books, her notebook which she draws in, a fine line marker, a pencil and her kneadable eraser.


For those who want to know how it works here is a brief description:

  1. Draw what is called a ‘string’. This is a few lines across your page, this will make little segments for you to draw patterns in.

thumb_IMG_1717_10242. Choose a section to begin patterning in. Beth got her ideas from her Zentangle books but you can make up your own. Some examples are here.

thumb_IMG_1723_10243. Keep going until you have filled all of your sections.

Only one section to go…


I hope you now are inspired to go and do some Zentangling of your own!

My Daybook, Uncategorized

Morning Basket Plans


Morning Basket

8:00 – 8:30

  •   Morning Offering
  • Saint of the Day
  • Bible Reading (During lent do Jesus Tree)
  • Sol Fa singing practise – individual notes > scales intervals > short echo tunes > familiar songs


  • Poetry, Drawing, Virtues

Read Alouds:

  • Fun – Mr Lemoncello’s Library Olympics
  • History – John of the Sirius

I am pleased to have our morning basket plans done. I am really looking forward to trying some new things this year. As always, we start with a prayer and our morning offering. Then we will read a little about the Saint whose feast day it is. We will also be continuing our reading from our family bible. During Lent we are going to do a ‘Jesus Tree‘.  I have planned on doing this for a few years but have never got around to it. This year I am determined to complete it.

I want to spend just a few minutes doing some singing with the kids. You know the song ‘Do Re Me’ from The Sound of Music? Well it is a bit like that but with hands signs. Here is a little explanation.

After this we will move onto our new project….doodling. I have been reading about how doodling is actually good for your brain. It is a wonderful way to learn new concepts. So all those times that you remember when you were drawing some crazy patterns on paper, you were actually doing something good! When I get put on hold on the phone I often draw weird patterns and flowers! During some of our morning time the kids will be required to put pen/pencil/texta/paint to paper. I don’t mind what they do but they must be making marks on their paper. Repetitive words/phrases/patterns are all fine. While they are doing this I will be reading poems, or teaching them a virtue, or reading Shakespeare…whatever takes my fancy that day. They may also continue drawing during our read aloud time. This term we are excited to read the sequel to Mr Lemoncello’s Library – Mr Lemoncello’s Library Olympics. It has been sitting on my desk for a few weeks and there has been at least one person who keeps trying to snatch it away – he is finding it very hard to wait until next week. We also will be reading an out of print book ‘John of the Sirius’. This fits in with our Australian history plans.

This all should take approximately 1/2 an hour. Everything during our morning basket is quick. It is designed to be little snippets of things so no one gets bored. I like to spend this time together before everyone goes off to their individual work for the day.

If you haven’t already read about my morning basket plans, you can find it here.





Home Schooling

Morning Basket

Morning Basket with a cup of tea!
Morning Basket with a cup of tea!

Our school day starts anywhere between 8am and 8:30am. Whenever all morning jobs are done then we begin. We start with prayer (generally the Morning Offering) then I will read from the bible.  A few months ago I was very generously given an Ignatious Study Bible. We started reading from the beginning of the gospel of Matthew and we are working our way through. For the older kids I then read the commentary. The gives us a really good understanding of what we have read. I must admit I am learning a lot along with the kids.


After this we do one of our current read aloud novels together. I have written about this here.


This special time together in the morning is a nice way to connect before everyone goes off to focus on their own lessons. When the kids were younger I enjoyed teaching science and history as a family. Now they are older and the learning ability has widened, it is not possible any more. I got a wonderful idea from Jen at Wildflowers and Marbles. It is called the Morning Basket. She does a much better job than me though.

This is a time to add beauty to our day. After prayers, bible reading, and our read-aloud book we try to do something else ‘beautiful’. This time is for those lessons that often get missed. Poetry, stories, music, drama…The kids are usually disappointed if we don’t set this time aside. This morning basket time unites us. It is always changing and evolving. I love that we have that time together before everyone goes off to do their individual subjects.

During term one this year we studied Shakespeare. I used a wonderful book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare. Although some of the kids were horrified and quite reluctant at first when I told them that they were going to memorize Shakespeare, after we began they realised how much fun it actually is. We had fun reciting, reading and even acting!

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare picture

I have also used this time to do picture study. We often read from this book;

Picture Study Example
Picture Study Example

Art Book

Then I allow the kids to study the picture in silence for a minute or two. Then the book is shut and they tell me what they saw. The youngest gets to go first because they will generally say the most obvious things they saw. The oldest is expected then to say the more obscure things in the picture. It is then a free for all. Anyone gets to say what they liked and observed about the picture. Doing picture study helps the kids to become more observant and more critical in every day life.


Reading poetry is also a good morning basket activity. This is as simple as grabbing a poetry book and opening to any page and start reading. My kids love limericks. They like to make up their own. My husband is fantastic at making them up on the spot. Here is one he made up just now;


A family with girl and four boys

Didn’t have much need for toys

They spent time climbing trees

and scraping their knees

And making a musical noise.

Once the poetry book comes out, the kids will keep picking it up for the rest of the day.

Poetry Picture

Over the next few weeks I plan on doing a composer study (Beethoven’s the choice!) and some singing lessons.

Katie's Home

If we are off out early in the morning for Mass or lessons out of the home we miss our Morning Basket for the day. Some days we only have time for about 5mins. That time together is worth setting aside. It creates memories. The kids aren’t going to remember particular maths lessons or spelling lessons but they (hopefully!) will remember time spent together; reading, listening, singing, acting. It’s is one of those things that makes homeschooling worthwhile.

Katie's Home
Our Morning Basket