Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Day 68

Oh, I am enjoying this quiet week at home. It makes such a difference in the pace of our homeschooling. This was a day of conversation in front of the fire, of laughing and a rhythm of tasks fitting in between discursions. Yesterday was much the same, with the quiet joy of Paddy's birthday thrown in (our tradition is to have quiet birthdays with only family and sometimes a friend family around).

We discussed:
  • Whether religion causes more trouble to the world than non-religion? (Kevin raised that one and we kept it up after he went back to the office). We all agree on this so we don't get to hear the "other side" except by Kevin quoting someone or one of us playing "devil's advocate". So it is all permutations of the one side, but is still lively and interesting.
  • Then we discussed some other similar question, but have forgotten what it was since I neglected to write it down.


  • He had no math today, so he did his Greek and Vocabulary, then read Screwtape Letters and Church's Stories from the Aeneid. Then I gave him Luke chapter 1 to read, and had him copy out part of the section on the Incarnation from the Penny Catechism.

  • I did Latin with him and Kieron together -- review, declension quiz. This took quite a while and the whole family got into it with discussion of the vocative ("Et tu, Brute?" and "Ave Maria") and pronunciation, etc.


  • He did his math test, so he gets tomorrow off. I had him read the first page of the chapter on Incarnation in the Baltimore Catechism, then I asked him the questions. Then he started reading MacCaughrean's Jesse Tree, and continued for quite a long time. I had him draw curves and up to down lines.

The Little Ones:

  • Mostly playing with Paddy's presents from yesterday -- Katana swords, and Candyland, and a table basketball game.

Then Brendan came out with a box of things he was getting rid off and presented them to the little ones -- we call them "Hobbit presents" after Bilbo's birthday party. This is an Advent and Lent tradition -- decluttering and gettting rid of things, passing them on to someone who can use them. We have talked about it many times through the years (because it's an issue of my own -- detaching from my "treasures" that are just clutter). Obviously Clare and Brendan have internalized it because they do it now independently.

This reminded me to tell the middle ones to try to do the same during Advent. Then this brought up all kinds of family reminiscences, including how I used to pay the older kids to throw away or give away their things. Doesn't that sound crass? but at the time I explained it as a sort of rummage sale or recycling project and tried to show them that things mobilized outwards were more valuable than things piled up around one and cluttering up the mind and heart. Brendan used to cling very ferociously to his mementos when he was young and paying him helped him make concrete the value of negation.

So I will mention it to the middlies later and perhaps help Kieron work through his store of "treasures" and junk. It is nice symbolism for clearing a space for Jesus in the heart and home, too.

So -- a nice informal day. This afternoon Sean will lift weights with his Dad and then Kevin and Clare are going to the production of "Evita" in town -- Clare is really looking forward to it.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a truly wonderful day! I need some lessons on de-cluttering and letting go first before I can teach my children. :) Once again you've given me lots to think about.