Monthly Archives: May 2009

Kindness and books from Catholics United For The Faith

faithandlifeseriesI have been meaning to write about this for some time but got sidetracked with the horrors of the Government review on home education and the even worse horror of the implementation of the really explicit and innocence busting All That I Am sex ed for Catholic primary schools. *sigh*

So now for some good news.

For some time I have been wondering what proper catechetical tool I  could use with my younger children to guide them through learning the Faith. As Ronan turned 6 I was more determined to find something as he would be requiring preparation for the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion. As you may know I was using the excellent online Catechism, but the child friendly version isn’t ready yet and so we were ploughing through some pretty difficult concepts in a rather ad hoc way.

Faith and Life had been on my radar for quite some time and I had looked at the DOWNLOADS and free chapters and really loved it; but it is not readily available here in the UK and I couldn’t find it at a price we would easily afford.

Well my friend Shana said she would look out for something her side of the pond. The next thing I know I am being sent the WHOLE series free from Mike Sullivan of Catholics United for the Faith. I was amazed and so thankful.

But when the box arrived, there wasn’t just one full set of books and workbooks, there were two. This means I have been able to lend books out to other home educating families and they will be passed around and well used.

We started using the first book Our Heavenly Father straight away. Both Ronan and Avila enjoy it although Avila being only 4 isn’t quite up to some of the worksheets yet. Even so she can draw pictures and as she already knows the Our Father she simply recited it as part of her lesson rather than writing the missing words on the sheet as Ronan did.

I think she will repeat the book when she is older and help Heleyna with it.

The series of well structured and gets gradually more in depth. The activities are good and the student book has beautiful art illustrations for each lesson and chapter. We spend some time in the lesson just looking at the art work.

It would be wonderful if something like CUF could exist over here, stocking such books and helping to support families as they try to bring children up in this rather challenging anti-family anti-life culture we live in. (Maybe one day I will get to do something like it, who knows?)

Thank God for them and I ask you to check out their website and say a prayer for Mike and all the work he does.

And don’t forget Shana and the WORK SHE DOES too. Her rosaries are tough and long wearing.

The world can feel like a dark place sometimes but there are people out there making it a whole lot brighter!

My little book of blog rules

I’ve had a few emails and requests to be linked to my blog. I thought I might explain how I go about things here.

It’s nothing personal but I just don’t add links or advertise for people I don’t know here. I have received requests that look legit but I simply don’t have time to check them out and so I just don’t feel able to add those links.

Obviously if I know a site is morally dodgy I wont link.

I also avoid linking to sites even ‘good’ Catholic ones that imo have a snide and nasty tone towards ‘less good’ Catholics or fellow Christians. Attacking bad media is one thing-atacking people is another. Having been a ‘less good’ Catholic not so long ago I can tell you bluntly the attitude I see on some sites wouldn’t have persuaded me and I am thankful I never saw such writings before I came fully Home. I am not against legit criticism-in fact I’m all for it; and I’m not against blunt forthright criticism-but spite is different, and it comes across as spiritual pride sometimes.

I also don’t link to any site where I know the owner/writer is linked with individuals, families, groups, organisations that I believe are morally dodgy if the writer/owner seems to think that they are fine and dandy.

Sorry folks-it is not personal.

Half term ramblings and thanking God

It has been a very busy half term so far. While there has been a break from the usual home education stuff we have seen other home ed families for a more relaxing time. Meanwhile there has been some crisis intervention in the University essay writing side of things for a friend of Josh’s.

I hope he’ll do okay-we have more to get through. Say a prayer.

Josh and his type 1 diabetes and being in ‘Chess’.

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Changed the blog look

I’ve decided to change the look of the blog. I hope it isn’t too girly looking and that it is still easy to use.
I think the links are clearer and that’s important for us as we use them for home ed.
Hope you like it-if not let me know :)

Why has the CES agreed to implement sex ed (grooming) into Catholic Schools?

In his letter Ian Dowty suggests that those of us who home educate have not been supportive enough of parents who choose to put their children in school. I have to say I disagree; many of us have been very hands on helping friends whose children remain in school.

One area ALL parents need to stand together on is the shocking Government approach to sex education being forced onto even very young children in our schools. While grooming has been made a crime, apparently it is perfectly fine for the Government to put teachers in a position where they are grooming children as young as 9, attacking their innocence and breaking down natural inhibitions. All this is made worse by the fact the Catholic Church in England and the Catholic Education Service are colluding in it all.

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Pro-Life Witness

                           Oxford PRO-LIFE WITNESS

                                                       Saturday, 30th MAY

In reparation for abortion and prayers for all unborn babies, their mothers, fathers and all those involved in abortion,

                                                             3pm – 4pm

                   We stand at the entrance to the John Radcliffe hospital, Headley Way, Oxford.

   

Please meet at St Anthony of Padua Church, Headley Way  (car park available) – just behind the entrance.

The short video is of Dr Bernard Nathanson the last surviving founder of NARAL. It is worth a minute of your time.
Refreshments afterwards in Church hall.

Monitoring families in case of abuse?

You can read reports HERE. Ian Dowty has written a pretty good piece until you get to the questions. I am not at all sure what he is asking us to consider, but it comes across as expecting families to agree to being monitored just in case a child is being abused.

It would be lovely to believe that dear Ed Balls and his minions really do care about children being abused within their families. It would be even more lovely to believe that they cared about any abuse children suffer. But they don’t do they?

It is well documented that a huge amount of abuse goes on in schools. Balls et all could do something about this but choose not to. It is also well documented that teachers neither spot nor report children who are being abused at home.  This is not a poor reflection on teachers who have on average 30 children to field at any one time.

Children who are abused are not known for their forthrightness on what happens to them. It can take years before a child can bring themselves to ask for help or disclose abuse. Many don’t disclose until well into adulthood. Even physical abuse can be difficult to spot, let alone emotional and psychological abuse. Neglect is notoriously difficult to prove.

There is an attitude of ‘Someone should have noticed’ “someone ELSE should do something’ that makes helping children in horrible situations more and more difficult.

One other major area of concern is the complete lack of trust that so many people have for professionals working in the field. This is partly thanks to media hype and partly because there genuinely does seem to be a more bullying approach to vulnerable families across the board.  I know more than one family where they will not ask for the help they need because last time they did they were treated appallingly.

When this happens the usual mantra is “Oh it’s a training issue.” Personally, while I partly agree, I don’t see how basic human decency, good manners and treating others with respect can be ‘trained’ into adults. It’s something parents train their children into.

But I do personally believe that moving the training of nurses and social workers into Universities and away from on site training was a huge blunder. I saw a shocking change in calibre of staff coming through when I was a unit manager. We had 2nd and 3rd year students who had NO IDEA how to talk with patients and certainly couldn’t sit with someone distressed in any way. They couldn’t run a shift and wouldn’t help bath anyone (it was beneath their dignity. You don’t do a degree to bath an old woman who has poo on her apparently).

More and more of the social workers I had to work with were full of theory and utterly useless at practice. Paperwork was mountainous and meaningless.

Abuse will never be stopped. So long as humans do evil things, abuse will happen. But it certainly wont be helped by more paperwork and unskilled people ‘monitoring’ families on the off chance that they just might somehow spot abuse. The rise in false allegations and the massive damage to innocent families all this will bring about is not even being mentioned!

Government response on Home Education.

There has been a response of sorts from the Govt to the petition over home education. It is a remarkable response in that it manages to almost completely ignore the premise of the petition.  I don’t suppose anyone is surprised by this-it is the usual MO of this Govt. I really can’t imagine why Graham Badman wants to be cuddled up with this lot.

Carlotta does her usual excellent fisk and to be honest I don’t have much to add to that.

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of the day with a University student who is struggling (the Uni haven’t bothered to intervene but that’s another story). One of the essays he has been set is on the wonderful subject of teaching Citizenship in schools. AS we ploughed through the stuff it became increasinglu evident that this subject which they openly advise should be introduced into lots of other subjects such as RE, PSHE and of course we already see it in science, is a massive jugganaut of Government (socialist) propaganda. It is linked with all sorts of nasties including the ever present ECM (Every Child Matters) outcomes.

As I helped this student unravel his ideas for the essay I was increasingly horrified by the sheer magnitude of “citzenship” and how it is pure social indoctrination-with no one really having the guts to stand against it.

I am going to be blogging pretty soon about how the CES has caved BIG TIME to the Government agenda to groom children to be future clients for Planned Parenthood.

Any parent, whether they home educate or have their children in school, need to take notice now and start fighting back.

I read recently that Ed Balls denied that parents had a right to remove children from lessons.

As I have said from the beginning this is not just about home education-it’s about our rights as parents and the very real damage planned against our children.

Obama is wrong (again) on Stem Cell Research

Not long after gaining the Whitehouse President Obama decided to overturn his predecessors ban on embryonic stem cell funding and went ahead to fund it. I can’t imagine why he chose to do this when the economy is creaking at the seams.

Therese picks out the following quote from Obama talking at Notre Dame which shows to me the President is ignorant of what disabled people really think and want and has the nerve to pit emotionalism against a science he patently doesn’t understand.

Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.”

Lori Janeski puts it very well.  Like my own son she is not awaiting a cure from the mass slaughter of human embyros but from the much more realisitic hope of the work being done with adult and umbilical research.

Adult stem cell research is moving along at a fast pace. There really is hope that beta cells or even a whole working pancreas could be made for transplant in the future.

But money that could be used to push this forward is being side tracked and wasted on embyronic research that has NO value and is ethically appalling.

Obama has openly said he would happily have his own grandchild aborted. He is not a man who comes across has understanding the value of each person no matter what. No one in their right mind would sacrifice the life of one child on some blind hope they could help another. It’s not good ethics, not good science and not good sense. Why can’t Obama actually LOOK at the evidence and put all that funding into adult stem cell research where it can do some good?

Sidebar update

I’ve updated the sidebar quite a bit. See if there is anything useful. :)

Sign the Petition against ads for abortion.

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Please take a couple of minutes to sign this NO ABORTION ADDS ON TV PETITION. I can’t imagine why it is considered a good idea to have the fake charity big abortion industry advertising for mothers to bring their unborn children for a ‘procedure’ but this Government are so far into the pit that all things are possible.

One day mothers will receive some real choices they can make with all the information put in front of them.

On day girls will be given the dignity and respect they deserve so that they don’t go running off and getting pregnant. Older married women will feel safe enough and supported enough to have that extra child they hadn’t quite planned on; abused mothers will receive the support they really need, rather than a quick fix, no questions asked and sent back to the abuser; one day adoption will be seen a choice so that a child has a life and parents who will love him; one day disabled children will be given the same love and respect as ‘perfect’ children and not simply killed. One day, but not yet, so sign the petition.

Staffordshire County Council

Sometimes words fail me! YOU JUST HAVE TO READ WHAT STAFFs  COUNTY COUNCIL ACTUALLY WROTE!**%^! Matt Hupfield will soon be a legend in his own lifetime as he so doggedly refuses to let Staffordshire County Council pull him down. I think I may have posted a link previously HIS FIGHT-but if not, here it is again.

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Nature Study; Charlotte Mason style.

DSCF5715Charlotte Mason was a great believer in getting children outside and exploring their surroundings.  I have to admit Nature Study is something I find a bit challenging. I walked it down to the park with the children yesterday and they had a great time; but ye gods I am paying for it now. Taking the wheelchair is so awkward though.

Anyway the park has plenty to look at; beech, copper beech, oak, sycamore, rhododendron and loads of othr stuff. There is a pond at one end of the park which needs some serious tlc but even so we saw some lavae of some sort and water boatmen.

DSCF5716Then there was time for hide and seek and a whole lot of rolling down a bank.

And to think so many people think home ed kids don’t do PE :)

The RSPB website is great for looking at local birds and listening to how they sound. Then the children can try and listen out for birdsong in the area even when the birds aren’t in sight.

We are using an old copy of The observer’s Book of Birds and The Mitchell Beazley pocket guide to Trees by Keith Rushford, as well as Nature Detective Handbook with Ray Meers.

Essentially what I am aiming at with these walks and play times outside is for the children to get to know the things that live and grow in the neighbourhood. We are lucky to live somewhere that despite being ‘city’ has a lot of green spaces.

Sparklebox has a good few resources for minibeast study.

Type 1 Diabetes: Josh update

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Josh is in the early stage of trying to get on top of his diabetes. The Diabetic clinic have been very good, phoning regularly and checking up on him. They did say they would see him in 6weeks but as his glucose remains in the 20s they will see him next week.

American numbers are quite different. I reckon the 20s for us is in the high300s for American numbers. I am sure Therese knows all this far better than I do.

Josh has been told to rest and when he does that keeps his ketones under the magic 0.6 but he has to move around too and then they start climbing up towards 2 again. I think he just needs to put on some weight to help with this.

He is feeling much better and it is lovely to see him more awake and more energetic.

Getting to grips with the complicated prescription is proving a challenge for us and the pharmacy. There is so much stuff to have. So far there has been a lack of Xceed strips, no SoloStar pen available and he gave him the wrong size needles somehow.

The clinic have changed Josh’s doses so he is on 18 units SoloStar and 8 then 6 and 6 of NovoRapid. We are assuming that will have to change again as Josh’s glucose levels remain high.

Therese is doing some excellent posts on Type 1 Diabetes.

Part One

Part Two autoimmune

Part Three Treatment

Part Four-Pump Treatment. Josh isn’t doing this, but may do in the future.

I’ve also found mooching through THIS BOOK very useful and thought provoking. The information about cows milk in particular caught my attention. I was intolerant of cows milk as a child and have always tried to keep the children’s milk drinking very moderate. It is interesting that they think even breastfeeding doesn’t necessarily protect against type 1.

I was also glad to see in this book that there is encouragement for self assessment of insulin need. Josh is really keen to do this already, so I hope the clinic will support him in learning enough to do so.

Ronan wants to understand what is happening to Josh and I think Grandma Sandy’s site looks great for this.

Therese, if you or anyone else has sites, books or other such things you think will be of use, please do say so.

Education Otherwise try to deal with the devil;Ahed don’t and more TAKING BACK OUR PARENTING.

Things have been a bit rough here so I simply haven’t read the EO document that has so many home educaters up in arms. As things stand I don’t think I’ll bother. Gill and Carlotta have done a great job fisking it as they see it and I see no reason at this point to disagree with their general points. If it is true (and it would seem it is) that this EO but (bizarrely) Not EO document was written without members  having any imput or say in the matter, that says all I need to know.

Was this document a somewhat panicky attempt to have a statement for damage control before the report from the Review comes out in the next few weeks? Was it, as I think some suspect, an attempt by the higher ups of EO to position themselves for a nice pay check from the Govt?

I was a member of EO very briefly but to be honest I wasn’t really all that impressed. There were obvious political problems in the management, with some bickering in the magazine that I personally found off putting so I didn’t renew membership. However I do think there is a need for groups such as Education Otherwise because often home educating families need advice and support. What we don’t need is these groups taking it upon themselves to deal with an incredibly dishonest and anti-family rights Government on THEIR terms. The law, let us remember, is on OUR SIDE.

AHED have put up a PARENT’S DECLARATION which all parents can sign. You do have to create a login but it isn’t too fiddley. It does look as though others with a login can add names so if you want me to do it, just put something in comments.

I must confess to being unsure how to go about fighting this review and all its implications for undermining the rights of parents and children.  The DCSF are so arrogant and sure of their place as bullies that they can even reject FOI requests.

I don’t buy the idea that all we have to do is wait it out and at the General Election the Torys will come in a sweep the anti-family stuff away. I have seen no evidence that they will do anything of the sort. Conservative MPs have been quite shockingly silent in the face of all of this. And let us not forget the appalling National Curriculum came from Thatcher’s Government.

I think too many parents, even home educagtion families, are sitting back and trying to ignore this. I don’t believe it will go away. (Hopefully I can be proved wrong).  Don’t leave this as someone elses problem, someone else’s fight. The more we stand together on this the better.

Yes, we are all different in our philosophies of home ed and even parenting, but we surely all agree that family rights, parents rights and children’s rights need to be protected.

Don’t hang around waiting for some other Government to save our parenting. It’s up to us to take back our parenting ourselves.

Heleyna sings and does home education.

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It can be really easy to forget or get confused about the things the little ones do as time and so much activity get in the way.

I want to remember that at the grand age of 2 Heleyna loves to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” but much prefers to sing Queen’s “We Will Rock You” especially if she can stamp her feet in wellies when she does.

She loves to have no clothes on and this is a good thing when we are doing home ed activities that involve paint, glue, glitter, felt pens and feathers. I have found bathing her after the event is quicker than all the washing involved if she is dressed. Anyway she likes painting herself.

I know some people wonder how a parent with a toddler-especially one who is as on the go as mine-gets any home education done. Sometimes she is the disruptive one in lessons it has to be admitted, but usually I simply let her join in. We have been learning about dinosaurs again. She gets the plastic dinosaurs out and says “What’s this?” and then “Dinosaur RRRRRAAAAR!” Well, it’s the beginning of her education.

Josh has type 1 diabetes

august-08-032First I would just like to say thank you for all the prayers. Yesterday was a tough day but it went well.

Josh hasn’t been feeling good for a few weeks now and he has lost more weight than is good for anyone (and he has never been even remotely overweight). He had all the classical diabetic symptoms but like a man he refused to go to the doctors.

So I bought the dipsticks. The results were alarming -so much so that even Josh agreed he would go to the docs. I managed to get an emergency appointment at the GP yesterday morning and he was excellent. He diagnosed Type 1 diabetes (as we had suspected) and after a firm phone call to the hospital we were told to turn up for assessment and he would probably be admitted. We spent the afternoon at the hospital and Josh was extra fortunate in that the diabetic nurses were available and we were sent to the clinic where he had his training and first insulin injections, both of which he self administered. His glucose was over 30 so the check simply said ‘High’- though it did fluctuate between 26/27.8 to High.

He has had all fingers pricked and lots of blood taken. His ketones were very high but dripped to 4.7 and are now 1.5 which is much better. The high ketones explained the 2 stones of weight he has lost over the last few weeks. His blood acids were okay thank God.

Josh was allowed to come home-but to his relief. He has been back this morning and since being home we have been really impressed as the clinic staff have phoned him three times already and will continue to do so until his insulin dose is decided on and his glucose and ketones are within normal range.

He came home last night with a bag load of kit. Two insulin pens (two different types), reflocheck, needles, strips, pouches, booklets…there’s a lot to take in at first. He is handling it well. He is so thin he can only inject the top of his legs at the moment, but we are hoping he will soon put back some weight and be able to use other sites soon.

I have to say he already looks better. Not so grey and he is more awake and even managed to sleep most of the night last night (no more up and down to the loo). He is still thirsty, but not as badly and he can swallow now without difficulty.

In case you’re interested. He takes Glargine 16 units (from the rather snazzily named SOLOSTAR pen) and then NovoRapid 6units three times a day just before meals. That’s changed from 4 units yesterday and may change again.

It’s good to see him looking better. Keep him in your prayers and thank you everyone. Thanks especially Antonia for your information.

I also have to thank the home ed family who come here on Tuesdays. When they arrived we had just returned from the GP and were to head off to hospital. J was unfazed and took over the home edding for the afternoon while her husband did the hospital run for us dropping us off and picking us up early evening.

We got home just in time to baby sit for another home ed family, LOL. It was a busy day!

Alistair had carer’s leave today so he did the clinic trip with Josh this morning.

RONAN’s Hospt Appoitment.

A few weeks ago Ronan told me he would see out of his blind eye. It was just peripheral but we let the hospital know. He had only just been discharged! Fortunately we didn’t have to go through the rigmarole of re-referral and got todays appointment through quite quickly.

They tested his eyes and he does have some vision. He can’t read anything with his blind eye and can really only make out large shapes and movement but can identify shapes (hand, face etc). It doesn’t seem this is enough to make it worth operating though she will check with the consultant and phone us. If he wants to see Ronan another appointment will be sent. If not, then discharge again. I’m not really holding out hope although I think it was worth it anyway.

I didn’t do any more ‘day in the life posts’ because we got too busy.

Sorry. I did intend to do more ‘Day in the Life’ kind of posts but things just got so busy I didn’t post at all! I wanted to post about St Joseph the Worker, especially in light of the Review and the Government attitude toward children-but I didn’t get around to that either.

Surfice it to say that last week we met up with other home ed families and studied insects for Spring, and Egypt from Story of the World. Then there was a trip to the library and a visit to a dear friend who is now 84 and not too well these days. We have a get together with a home ed family this afternoon to celebrate a birthday and we’re off to another family tomorrow for the Bank Holiday.

I will try and formulate a moderately coherant blog entry over the next couple of days.

In the meantime keep our Josh in your prayers. He is facing some challenges which I will blog about soon.