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My Daybook: 14th June, 2017

Can hardly believe two months have gone by since my last post! In over eleven years of blogging this is the longest I’ve gone without writing, I thought a Daybook would be a good way to break the ‘blogging drought’ 🙂
Outside my window…

the rain is still pouring down, it has been torrential for days and is forecasted to continue raining for the rest of the week. Towns only a couple of hours away are on standby for floods yet once again, whilst they are still recovering from recent devastating floods

I am thankful…

for a huge house, when children are kept inside by rain for days on end, a huge house is a sanity saver

I am thinking…

about Michelangelo who graduates at the end of this term, in only three weeks! Teaching and nurturing this young man for the past 18 years has been a privilege, and as we approach this bittersweet milestone and I reflect over the years, I realise most of all I’m incredibly grateful for our gift of time together

Learning all the time…

we’re having a major focus on Language Arts at present; I’ve just completed All About Spelling 7 with our teens as remedial work (upcoming post), we’re also daily working on four varying levels of All About Spelling with the younger children, as well as using two different levels of All About Reading with the three youngest. As well as juggling the various levels I’ve just introduced various Language Arts Lessons from Cottage Press, which I’m totally impressed with (more later when we’ve delved deeper)


Celebrating the liturgical year……

we celebrated Easter away from home with family, we journeyed through the Eastertide, celebrated Pentecost Sunday and now we settle back down into Ordinary Time. I love the Seasons of our Holy Mother Church, the rhythms

From the kitchen….

we’ve been enjoying a variety of new meals, a welcome change after the ‘same old’ for years, most successes though a few not so much 😉 Mostly I’ve been using the slow cooker which just brings a whole new level of ease to life. Soups, pulled pork, stews and even a roast lamb, it’s just so simple to prep a meal after breakfast, have the aroma fill the house all day and then leisurely finalise preparations in the evening

I am creating….

a nightgown for our three year old. I turned my hand to a little upcycling on the weekend, I cut an adults nightgown down to child’s size and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result!! I’ve caught the bug and keen to make some more. Simply I cut along all the seams, tossed the previous yoke, measured from Bella’s ankle to shoulder, cut new shoulders and neck at that point, careful to follow the shape of the previous shoulders and neck. Then I measured from her arm to shoulder, then cut the sleeves shorter at the top, keeping the previous shape. Truthfully the cutting was the hardest part, making sure I measured and shaped correctly. Then I sewed the nightie back up along the seems, turned the neck over to make a casing, threaded through hat elastic, pulling that tight took ages as it was a lot of material to gather in. By doing all my cutting at the top of the nightgown it enabled me to keep the pretty sleeve edges and the sweet ruffle at the bottom of the nightie, saved on lots of time too. Such a satisfying project with a terrific result 🙂


I am working on….

organising all of our All About Spelling/Reading cards into file drawers. Several weeks ago I finished laminating all the cards from all seven levels, a huge job! I’m committed to laminating the cards as they will ‘last the distance’ that way. Now I’ve a huge pile of laminated sheets waiting for me to cut, sort and file, problem is I shall soon run out of space in my file drawers to fit all the cards

I am going….

been and gone; the first, ever Australian homeschooling Summit was well attended and enthusiastically received!  I rather enjoyed preparing for and presenting my reflections and practical suggestions on ‘Nurturing a Love of Literature’ within our families as it’s something near and dear to my heart. In fact all the collating of thoughts and reminiscing of books read, along with comments I’ve received has me wondering how I can further help you, my dear blog readers… this space 😉

I am hoping….

to hold our annual homeschool Sports Day as soon as possible. Due to the torrential rain on the weekend we had to cancel our annual homeschool Sports Day. Sadly 113 children were rather disappointed but hopefully the new date will ensure all goes ahead smoothly

I am praying….

  • for our own children’s various needs
  • for my brother and sister-in-law who are only weeks from welcoming their firstborn
  • for our god-daughter’s parents who have lost their firstborn son to Trisomy 13
  • for our niece and her fiance who are marrying in August


I am pondering….

about many in society who don’t think, who accept whatever rhetoric the mainstream media bombards us with, the media no longer present news ‘as is’ but their own partisan agendas

I am reading….

reading aloud the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling – Maryrose Wood. I listened to a Read Aloud Revival podcast with the author and thus was eager to read the book, I just loved the author’s vision regards the governess

I am listening to……

as always only ever subscribe to the two same podcasts, no time to listen to others, really no time to even listen to these; What Should I Read Next? and Read Aloud Revival

I am hearing….

the house stir as children awake, I’ve already had one child stealthily creep in, sneak up and scare me. Six year old boys find it hilarious when they can successfully make Mum jump in her seat and set her heart to pounding. He’s dedicated to doing this every morning and every morning he succeeds!

I am struggling….

to be disciplined regards ensuring the children are completing their lessons, when the winter sun is shining they want to be outdoors playing and it takes energy to call them away. Still discipline is important and so we persist in the struggle


Around the house….

as the rain continues, the majority of play is happening indoors, play involving toys being spread from room to room and the house is beginning to look rather ‘trashed’.  Though there are periods when the sun shines and the children venture out, they return only to track wet sand (from the sandpit) and mud inside

One of my favorite things….

books, I love books and discussions about books and I’m so excited to have found my book community at Reshelving Alexandria 🙂 a community dedicated to assisting families in collecting the ‘gems’ of literature, feel free to join us

A few plans for this week….

a friend and I have begun hosting a regular meet-up at our local library for our younger homeschoolers, we’re targeting the under 9 set. Simply we’re reading a few ‘meatier’ picture books and enjoying a related book craft, some simple, some more complicated, the children have meet this activity with great enthusiasm. Coinciding with this venture our younger members tally has drastically risen from 6 to 16! So it’s all so timely to have something regular to offer them

A little peek at my day….

focusing on spelling revision at present, I’m using the All About Spelling cards as a ‘test’ to see just what ‘level’ each child is at, what rules/weaknesses we need to target

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  • Lisa

    Oh wow, look how Bella has grown. She cannot be three already! She looks so much like you Erin … absolutely adorable wee thing. You are so blessed.

  • Sarah

    We just listened to The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place ourselves during a road trip last week. The Read Aloud Revival interview also sparked our interest. The reader for the audiobook was fantastic – she really added to the book. My husband and I were nearly crying with laughter ourselves, perhaps because the nanny’s life raising a pack of feral children is not so different from raising our own pack of wild toddlers.

    What a pretty nightgown!

  • Theresa Blackstone

    Hi, Erin! I loved all of this! It was so wonderful to get an update from an old friend <3
    We've also loved the Incorrigible Children series. So clever and funny!
    The nightgown and Bella are both beautiful 🙂
    It's good to hear your school updates and about the success of the summit! Congratulations!
    Hope all continues to go well!

  • Peta

    Hi Erin, I enjoy reading these kinds of posts. I had to stop homeschooling halfway through term 1 this year because I wasn’t coping well with the stress of it all. Do you ever find it stressful having all the children home all the time? All the ruckus and constant mess? I felt lost without homeschooling and have spent the year struggling to find a new focus. I am hoping to homeschool our children one at a time beginning when they’re in grade 6. (I do NOT want them going through puberty while attending a public school) Though I’m a bit worried about how I will handle it. How have you kept going with home schooling for so long? How do you cope with stress? Any advice?

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