Monthly Archives: November 2008

A vision of a homeschooling method

children_readingI’ve been talking with a few homeschool mums and watching Montessori vids on Youtube as well as reading my Charlotte Mason books. Every so often you have to sit back and reassess how you are going about the business of educating your children; what they are getting; what they are missing and what we ought to be doing as a group of parents with different children with different needs.

One of the major themes that has come up in conversation is how we as parents can support each other in the task of educating our children -and what that task entails.

In our little group of four mums, two of us have some experience in home ed, one is just starting out and the other has children too young as yet, but she intends to homeschool. Our children are different ages and have different needs and abilities but we believe we can work together for the common goal of ensuring our children get the best education we can give them.

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Oxford Pro-Life Witness

Oxford Pro-life witness

 Saturday, 29th NovemberWe meet at St Anthony of Padua Church, Headley Way, Oxford.

3pm – 4pm


This is just behind the emtrance to the John Radcliffe Hospital where we witness along the roadside.

We have Exposition for the hour inside the Church, and a short Benediction afterwards.

Prayers led by Fr John Saward, in reparation for all abortions, for unborn babies, their Mothers and Fathers, and all those involved in abortion.

Refreshaments available afterwards in the Church hall.

Car park right outside the Church.

As always I ask that we keep this courageous group of people in your prayers.

I have also received this via email. Those who want the destruction of innocent human beings never stop their campaigns. We must stand strongly against them to protect the vulnerable in our societies

On December 10th, pro-abortion groups will present petitions asking the United Nation’s General Assembly to make abortion a universally recognized human right.
The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute created an alternate petition drive that calls for government to interpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as protecting human life from the moment of conception to natural death. They need at least 100,000 signatures by December 10th, the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please go to the Website:

Christmas gift places I recommend

It’s that time of year when we are trying to budget and sort out the Christmas shopping. The usual guilt trips are marched out to make life confusing and make us feel like terrible Christians if we don’t give our kids a stocking with an orange and a bag of nuts in.

So I fully admit and without shame that yes I do buy from mainstream shops. Woolworths will see my money.

Despite some snide remarks I’ve seen on a rather popular blog on this matter- I will be handing out homemade gifts too. I know some people on my list don’t want that so we try and find them something else.

Homemade stuff this year will include; chutney, strawberry and gooseberry jam, Christmas cake, dark ginger cake, chocolates and biscuits. We are also making mulled fruit juices and ginger beer. I’ve bought a load of really lovely bottles from Lakeland for them.

I’m buying bits and pieces from the Deli where Alex works. These are tough times and they have been good enough to employ my son so I will support them. I also support them because they are local. We’ll get meat from the local butcher and I will order some extra stuff from my milkman. It’s important to help keep people in work at the moment.

For other stuff I highly recommend the following:

Shana’s rosaries are practical and lovely. ST HUBERT’s ROSARIES She will make what you ask for.

Cards and some simple gifts from Aid to the Church In Need. The money goes where they say it will and they have no dodgy political or moral points to make.

We will probably pop in a buy bits and cards from ST MARY’s HOSPICE shops.

Buying from charities can be a minefield. I’ve stopped supporting a lot of them. CAFOD wont get any support from us again this year. I avoid Unicef, Christian Aid and until I am more sure of them Oxfam are off the list too. Too many charities are bending their ethos to get Govt handouts.

What are the rest of you doing?


Rita has suggested PRACTICAL ACTION as another good place to go Christmas shopping this year.

normal service will resume soon


I’m afraid most of us have gone down with the lurgy. So far only Ronan and Al have escaped it.

As seems to be the way with me-I had to have it in a more dramatic form than everyone else. I have to say I had a proud parent moment on Friday.

I was so ill I could barely move-or stay awake. Alex was still unwell and Avila hadn’t started the morning well either.

Al went to work and Iona took care of the little ones. She was marvellous with them. I sent them out with Josh in the afternoon to get an airing and to give Iona a break. She was patient and gentle the whole time.

She went down with it Friday night herself poor kid. She’s reasonably okay today but it was depleted family that went to Mass this morning.

Learning to take care of each other is an important part of life.

Anyway-normal service will resume soon 🙂

Regina Doman books

When I first pulled Alex and Iona out of school I wanted them to have access to ‘teen’ friendly books that had a Catholic worldview. I have always believed that the foundational way we learn is through stories. it is the way people have learned about who they are and what values their community have, probably from the time of Adam.

REGINA DOMAN has written some lovely books which you can BUY HERE. Iona loves the books and I have read them too. Even Josh has read and enjoyed them-although he thought they were a little bit ‘girlie’.

For the younger children we have read ANGEL IN THE WATERS online. I have added the link under Living Fiction in the side bar.

THANK YOU for the award.

LEIGH of Mommy Memoir has kindly offered me the PRIMIO DARDUS award.  She tells me that Americans don’t tend to use the word “Twaddle” but thinks they should use it more. I am sure dear Charlotte Mason would love to know her friends across the pond knew twaddle when they saw it. LOL.

God bless Leigh and thank you.

Homeschooling and Nursery considerations.

On Tuesday the little nursery Avila attends had been flooded so she stayed home. She doesn’t go Wednesday and Thursday and then on Friday I forgot to send her. I forgot again yesterday and they phoned to see if she was ill! Honestly I can’t believe the things I forget sometimes-but then the three biggies managed to miss the fact she hadn’t gone as well.  I was quite touched that the staff were genuinely concerned in case she had been readmitted to hospital.

Part of the reason I am forgetting to send her is that she is joining in with Ronan’s work more and more. She is beginning to read and while he wrote a letter to his cousin yesterday she was busy practicing letter formation. She does counting and number recognition when he is doing maths and she joins in with catechism and making the big display. She sits with us for story time and even likes to join in with Astronomy sessions or looking at dinosaurs.

With the other home ed families coming over she is joining in with the children in singing and playing. One of the children M is 4 and he and Avila have begun reading the Oxford Reading Tree books together.

What with all that and going off to the chiropractor twice a week I have lost track of Avila going to nursery. She loves it there and has friends so I don’t want to stop her going at this point-but it is something I am wondering whether I should cut down on. Not sure yet. I’ll reconsider after Christmas.

Learning to Read.

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*sigh* Another reason to homeschool

On the front page of the Catholic Herald I discover that the school I pulled my daughter out of-for a 15number of reasons- had invited Ms Claire Short MP anti-Life politician who consistently voted against anything that might save the life of a baby- to some kind of prize giving event. Apparently ‘Ms’ Short was an old pupil there.

After Fr Guy Nichols of the Oratory-a very good and holy priest-and some parents protested, the invitation was withdrawn. Ms Short is very cross believing the withdrawal is ‘rude’.

It is just so sad that when there are so many Catholic women out there trying to follow the teachings of Christ and His Church, that this Catholic School couldn’t find one for it’s prize night.