Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is sweeping the world. What is it you ask? Haven’t heard of it? This interactive game for your smartphone engages players with a hunt for Pokemon in ‘real life’. It uses Google maps to take players on a journey through urban and rural landscapes on a large scale treasure hunt. There are incentives along the way to win more and collect extra Pokemon paraphenalia.

According to David Theriault the game draws on the knowledge that players use their phone for everything; to communicate with friends, blog, game, shop, view. This latest game makes the most of the smartphone as a learning tool.
Recent media reports have noted a new phenomenon and had to explain sudden mobs of people gathering around public spaces with their phones. Each one is finding Pokemon.
There is rumblings of large scale meets to walk together to find Pokemon and some say this has had responses in the thousands. So is it any good? My kids have enjoyed it with their big brother. And I can see the benefits of a game that gets players moving outside and perhaps interacting with peers. Have I got it? No. Not yet….

Saying NO to learn

image: pexels.com

Focus focus. This could be me this week juggling family life and a surge of ‘work’. My work is a strange beast at the moment. I am a research student and I am exploring some areas of great interest to me- women, leadership, learning and thinking about living in a rural area. I am trying to pull together some new ideas about how living in a rural space impacts women’s identity, especially those who are working in leadership roles in education.

I am reading, writing, interviewing, transcribing, reflecting, reading again and yes, doing more writing. (I have another blog life here) I would love to know how you juggle your life  and its demands – family life, work and study. Whether you are doing an online course, research, some vocational training or professional learning I am interested to know how you create space in your schedule to do all that you have to  get done. Do you outsource household tasks? Do you rely on extended family to help with child care? Do you and your partner play tag with home duties? Are your children expected to do more?

Perhaps this question is even more important. What do you say no to, so that you can keep on learning? Tell me, please! xx

Where is True North?

Do you ever wonder whether you are heading in the right direction? So much of life we do without a road map, a guide or any sense of the terrain ahead. And on some days this is really daunting. Terrifying even. Looking for ‘True North’ the right way forward is I believe a delicate balance of drawing on divine intervention, the framework of your belief, the discernment and wisdom of those who share the journey with you and all with an openness of learning and willingness to enjoy the travel.

Learning from Kylie Minogue

For those of you who are just dropping in on the conversation I am mid way through term 1 and this is the first time I have had all five kids at school. I am learning the hard way:

To be content in a season that I have longed for but not fully understood.

To enjoy the moment and be mindful, rather than be looking for the next best thing.

To accept again the ‘mission impossible’ of being wife to one amazing, busy, visionary man and mother to five very different kids.

To be grateful that I am healthy.

To be excited about opportunities to be creative.

To be flexible.

To balance time with people and time alone.

To determine how best to use my time.

To discover what brings me joy.

How do you learn?

PS – I discovered grooving to 80/90s hits from Kylie Minogue makes the pre-school rush in the mornings so much more enjoyable!

Learning from Kate

As a family we have had an up and down sort of interest in the national reality show MasterChef. Being a foodie of sorts from way back I have enjoyed “meeting” the great chefs of the world via the show and attending the masterclasses. But as you would know much of my food preparation today is about good, wholesome, fresh food for our 7 mouths and not 3 star restaurant quality, perfectly plated dishes.

But there are several key things we learn as a family while watching the show:

  • You need resilience to keep going, when disaster strikes, you are under pressure and things are not going right.You can do it.
  • You need to have a goal, something to motivate you to work hard, perform well and present your best.
  • You must be organised – keeping your work space clean as you go is very important – it is a shame we never see the contestants clean up afterwards, as that is what our family needs to learn!
  • Your presentation is not always everything but we do eat with our eyes, so even spag bol should look good on the plate. In my world you always need some green on the plate.
  • You must taste as you cook to season well and ensure the dish is coming together.
  • You must be a willing learner – and Kate exemplified this in so many ways. Not only did she learn about food, but herself, what was important to her in life and I suspect she learnt new things about her children and husband.
So well done Kate. It was great to see you loving your family from a distance and to keep your eyes on the prize and running the race. May your food bless many.


Can you remember your prep year at school?

Today our new prep child said she had a ‘good day’ and had made two new friends. One name escapes her, but the other new friend happens to be the girl I introduced her to at the drawing table this morning. I didn’t know her either but I read her name badge and did the introductions around the table.

What I am learning in prep is how important names are.
As a teacher I used to pride myself in how quickly I learnt all the students names. Now, in the wake of baby brain and busyness I tend to remember a few key friends that the children have and sometimes the parent’s names. But usually the grown ups become “Sarah’s mummy” or “Riley’s Mum” and their real, adult name escapes me.

image by b_d_solis

Any good communication workshop will tell you that you need to say someone’s name at least 5-6 times upon meeting them.

“So Sarah, how is your son doing?”
“And what did he say after the first day Sarah?”
“Good to meet you Sarah.”
“We hope to catch up again Sarah.”
“Oh will you be staying for assembly Sarah.”

As you know this kind of conversation can sometimes feel awkward and forced. But when someone remembers your name it is such a gift.
Someone wants to communicate with me.

So as I encourage my kids to introduce themselves to new children and remember their names I am mindful that I need to put this very important communication tool into action as well. So as you plan your week with the kids the challenge is to remember as many new names as you can from your child’s class. Are you up for the challenge?

Let me know how you go!

School Concert…..

Maddy is on the left as a cute bumble bee. Her Middle School Department presented a piece on the environment.

This is Isabella dancing to “Sweet Escape” in a Countdown themed presentation. She was a star!

And this is Jakob(right) and his close friends as the “Three Tonners” aka the Three Tenors.

The mega productions of school concerts have been lost on me until this year. I had seen them as a distraction from real “learning”. But the effort and organisation in getting 300 plus children to perform together and use all of their creative talents draws on their music, drama, dance, public speaking and team work skills. It has been exhausting but exciting seeing them perform and being acknowledged with various awards for the year’s work.