Yesterday we had a birthday party for Alex who will turn 18 next week. We had what has now become the family tradition of the ‘wall of fame’ that is photos of Alex from just before birth to now-with a small extra bit to add photos for the next week.
Officially, as far as our culture is concerned he becomes an adult now. Although there seems to be stages to the process from 16 then 18 and then 21. I don’t think Alex is really noticing too much that there is a step up at this point. He has been planning for it gradually anyway.
As the children reach adulthood parenting adults is a bit different. I think some people think their role is finished at 16 or even younger, but the fact is once a parent always a parent, but the role changes. So we all have to adjust a little.
Charlotte Mason built a great deal of her philosophy of education on the idea that children needed to be outdoors with nature. One of the most important box loads of curriculum resources a home educating family can have must be the one full of wellies. Some of the best lessons we have had are the ones that involve puddle jumping, snail hunting and tree searching.
There’s time to play running around the garden with a football, or with the girls hurtling around with dolls prams like some kind of pink miniature Ben Hur event. Rarely does rain stop play, which is a good job because we are getting a lot of rain!
Charlotte understood children needed time outdoors to help them not only appreciate the world around them, the beauty of creation and to have a good time, but because it helped them learn. She encouraged parents to let their children explore, to spend time peering at the beetle in the grass or chasing the butterflies. She wanted children to know and understand the nature in their immediate vicinity.
Yesterday Josh went off to a conference, entering the sub-culture of diabetes. He met a couple of fellow Type 1s there but most people had type 2 apparently. It was an interesting day for him where he met with other type 1 diabetics and learned about the post code lottery for NHS provision. My type 2 people couldn’t get the strips they needed for blood testing and other people couldn’t get clinic appointments when things went wrong. Josh is fortunate in that after a few hiccups (mainly with a dopey pharmacist) he is getting all his equipment and seeing clinic staff as and when he needs to.
He wants to get involved in some of the research into type 1 which is still proving to be a bit of a mystery as to its cause.
Yesterday the biggies took the littlies out to the park for an hour. They grabbed the moment when the sun appeared from behind the clouds and set off. By the time they reached the park they needed to take shelter under the slide. After adventures in wetness and going to buy gingerbread men from the local shop they headed home just in time for a full out thunder storm. So what does a mum do when six soggy people arrive on her doorstep?
Strip the little ones and get them towel dried -wrap them in dressing gowns and make a huge jug of hot chocolate and a cuppa for Josh. (or Duppadee as Heleyna calls it). Now, that’s better.
Rumours that there was to be an inquiry into the review on home education were not exaggerated it seems. THERE IS ONE happening. It says it will be a short one. I have to say I am unsure what to make of this. Whether it is an honest attempt to understand what has made home educating families so angry or whether it is a whitewash to say how wonderful Badman, Balls and the rest of the team are and try and shut us up remains to be seen. I’m not immediately convinced this will be honest but hey.
Today is the feast of my beloved St Bridget of Sweden. She is an amazing woman and a very powerful intersessor -she must have sore knees even in heaven!
Bridget was a wife and mother as well as the foundress of the Bridgetine order. At the age of 13 her marriage was arranged with the a8 yr old Ulf, a good and gentle man. They had 8 children one of whom is St Katrin of Sweden or Vadstena. But Bridget also knew the heart ache of seeing a child go off the rails quite seriously. One of her sons, Karl got embroiled in an adulterous affair, dazzled by wealth and power and wanting whatever he wanted. His affair with the really rather nasty Queen Joanna of Naples came to an end when he died in his mother’s arms.
Bridget knows about the trials and triumphs of parenthood and her daughter Katrin is the patron saint of mothers who miscarry their babies.
You can buy a print of this picture HERE
I have a lot of resources for St Bridget -or to be more accurate St Birgitta in my sidebar. She wrote a huge amount after God spoke with her. Much like St Faustina she kept a spiritual diary and there is much to learn from it.
One of the things we see in the diaries of St Bridget and St Faustina is that God doesn’t just leave us trying to read the signs of the times. He never leaves us in the dark about what He wants of us and what is happening around us. In every generation He sends someone to speak to us, to warn us and to encourage us.
As I write this I am listening to Fr John Corapi. I think he is the one to speak to our generation. If we choose not to listen that is one thing-but we can’t say we weren’t offered the opportunity to understand can we?
“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”
I can’t reference this quote which I saw on a forum-but it fits.
Not so long ago Deb showed her savvy-shopper side with THIS POST on her bedding for a tenner bargains.
After I made a rather cheeky comment about the more slippery side of faux silk cushion covers Deb very kindly sent me some
But who needs to use them as cushion covers? The first thing Avila did was lay them out in the hall as hopscotch squares. She and Heleyna then danced around them like they were some kind of disco game.
Then there is the silver sack race approach-that didn’t work for Roni too well as he was a little too big, nor for Heleyna as she wasn’t so good at jumping, but was just right for Avila who hopped around all over the place.
Ronan did reckon he could make a spaceman suit out of his. Ummm we’ll see.
Then there is the small person’s sleeping bag approach. Then of course they make great sleeping bags for the toys.
So Deb as you see, your kind gift is getting penty of use (and abuse)
Thank you and God bless