Category Archives: Family

Children from space

Our family loves the local library, and I think the local library loves our family. Whenever the library (more accurately, it’s a LibraryMuseum) needs people for promotion, we get a call. I guess it’s handy: get five kids at once; home-school kids are available when paper & TV journos want to turn up.

This means the kids have featured a few times on both local TV stations as well as the local paper. Today, Border Mail front page! (You’ll need to have a pdf reader to see this. I recommend you do!)

PS I can understand the difficulty with ‘Little’, it’s such a hard word to spell correctly.


The healthy four sevenths of the Little clan has just arrived home after watching Up (in 3D – woo hoo!). Highly recommended.

Now I’m not going to try to write a review. There are plenty out there in the ether already – and assuredly more to come. You’ll also easily find how much money the movie makes, how this compares with other recent releases, and a whole lot of blah blah blah.

I have one simple observation that I think is worth shouting out loud.

Up has joined a very select group of movies – central to the whole story is a positive picture of a wonderful marriage.

And I’m not talking ‘They lived happily ever after’, without the chance to see what that means. The marriage drives the whole drama. A marriage with sadness – but with real joy and faithfulness. It brought more than a tear to my eyes, I can assure you. Wonderful.

English as Hebrew

Mattea is learning to spell and write. Catherine pointed out to me that, like the others before her, her natural approach was to leave out vowels when writing. Here are some examples, with the added bonus of her drawings.

I don’t know what the animal is. The numbers are a mystery, too.

Notice the word t b h.
This spells ‘timber.’

The writing is the name of the girl.

Can you read r e r s b s s s?
That spells ‘Rosebush.’

While you may be wondering what kind of girl has the name Rosebush, I’m wondering about children writing like Hebrew – where it’s all consonants. (Vowels are only for non-Hebrew speakers. Native speakers don’t need them.) Weird, hey? Or maybe not. Any educationalist or linguists out there able to offer comment that’s actually informed?

Concert footage

Today’s home school concert, that is.

A whole lot of local home schoolers had music, drama, dance, etc. Even a 20 minute play directed by an older member of the home education crew. (This had been in writing and rehearsal most of the year so far.)

Nahum and Ruth both played a couple of tunes on the keyboard. Then Nahum also played a tune he wrote, with Mattea providing the physical interpretation.

Family challenge

OK, here’s the plan. I just asked Nahum & Ruth if they’re keen to work up to a local fun-ride, of 40km. They both have road bikes now. We even went out this morning for 10km along the frost-lined Albury-Thurgoona bike path.

The date is Saturday 24 October 09, and you can have a look at the map and profile. I promised to ride with them too! Do you want to join us?

This is run by Bellbridge Rotary. They’ve run these events for a while now. It’s called the Lake Hume Challenge. More details of the three options here.

This is the same Rotary crew who provided so much help to run the local Amy’s Ride (for the Amy Gillett Foundation). I did the 124km option.

That’s enough URL links for now. Time to check if they work.

Call your mum

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, so you should be able to cheap flowers on Monday!

I guess it’s normal for papers to include an article on the general topic: mothers, families, fertility, singleness, marriage, etc. There are plenty of big topics connected with mothering. And that’s precisely as it should be, since family is at the heart of who we are as individuals and as a community. But I was left wondering a little at this article in today’s Melbourne rag.

Its title speaks of supporting families, but its whole point is to argue for paid maternity leave. I know paid maternity leave is a current political and economic question. I also know that I’m unaware of the reasons put forward for and against this proposal – I have no personal ‘position’ to argue for. So this topic should be discussed, and I’m not even disagreeing with the article.

What struck me is that it’s a limited way to support families. A government-sponsored standardised system which regulates employee conditions may help parents spend time with children in the first three years (the author sees these formative years as important). I can’t help feeling that this is a long way round to the intended destination. Can’t we do something else to make parents love their time with little Johnny and Jane?

Regulation is such a blunt instrument. I pity the governments we call on to do things which are matters of life and of character and of love. Governments just don’t have the tools for this. I thank God I’ll be at church tomorrow with a bunch of God’s people, reading Jesus’ life-changing words.


It’s amazing how successful is a train set. All ages, as you can see (that’s 1, 3, 5, 8, 10). Construction & spatial awareness. Problem solving – especially to see how to use every single piece of track. Imagination when it comes to creating ‘the story’ of what’s going on. Co-operation because the kids need to share favourite carriages. And occupational health and safety (Catherine chose not to trip over the network on her early-morning trip to get a drink from the kitchen).