PDF is not always a document

Fridays are not a great day for my year 9 boy. His timetable unfortunately has left him with all academic subjects for the last day of the week.  If my memory serves me correctly his last 2 lessons of the day are double maths!

When he arrived home last Friday he was tired and worn out, but to make things worse, every teacher had given him homework for the weekend, which amounted to a lot of work!  By the time the boy got to Saturday afternoon he was pretty brain dead and grumpy. He had not had his PDF.


My year 11 girl is on the business end of schooling, where it all gets a little more serious and she too is being conscientious and working well and hard on her school work. I am very aware of providing PDF for her.


The situation my kids are in caused me to recall a clip I had seen that talked about
PDF.  The question was asked “How do you know if your kids are overscheduled and overworked?” The thought is that if there is time for PDF and a balance of it then they should be ok!

P = Play time
D = Down time
F = Family time



I really appreciated this acronym and have found myself recalling it on several occasions, but not just for the kids in my house, but for myself and my hardworking Man.


When was the last time we played a card game, when it wasn’t holiday time?
When was the last time we played some backyard cricket, just because?
When was the last time we just sat as a family talking about the things we like or don’t like?
When was the last time we sat down together on the couch and just read? (My Man is reading one of the kids novels ‘Rangers Apprentice’ and loving it)

Since reading finding this acronym, the last time for doing these things is not quite so long ago!


This clip from Geater Good Science by  Christine Carter, is worth a look, and it only goes for 2 minutes… Slow down, take a moment and watch! (Just click on the word ‘clip’ below)








A thought for the long weekend.

In my part of the world it is a long weekend. That means that Monday is a public holiday. That means that I get to be with my family for an extra day. Yah!

Photo Credit: acaloans.com.au

Photo Credit: acaloans.com.au

Usually we go away, but due to different circumstances we decided it best to stay home.


Photo Credit: iconarchive.com

Below are some of the things I hope to do with my bunch:

Forget the ‘to do list’ for a moment and go on an adventure – even one that takes only a few hours.

Forget the ‘to do list’ for a moment and exercise in some way – a form of exercise that we usually don’t do.

Forget the ‘to do list’ for a moment and have a family ‘tea party’  – or hot chocolate or whatever, just sit down together.

Forget the ‘to do list’ for a moment and play something – searching the cupboard for a board game that hasn’t been played for ages!

Forget the ‘to do list’ for a moment and spontaneously do something kind.

Forget the ‘to do list’ for a moment and sit and ‘be’ for a while.


Look at the ‘to do list’ together and work on that project as a family.

May you too have a blessed long weekend, doing some things that you usually don’t do.
Variety is the spice of life!

Photocredit: klbaileyart.com

Photocredit: klbaileyart.com

Editor’s (the man of the house) note : we need to print this off and put it on the fridge as a reminder over the weekend!


whole heartedness

It has been a different week for me. Time away as a family on a term time weekend, my boys first sports day in a ‘real stadium with a real running track’, losing direction and encouragement in what ever it is I am meant to be doing, topped off by the mixed emotions brought to surface after meeting with high school friends some of whom have not be seen for 10 or so years!

I sat down today to write an overdue blog – that is after fighting the thoughts of ‘why am I doing this any way?’ and found myself encouraged after reading an interesting introduction to a book by researcher Brene Brown “The gifts of imperfection: letting go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are”.


Photo Credit: oprah.com

Whole heartedness is what she is working through. Whole heartedness meaning ‘people living and loving with their whole heart’. Brene considered what people who live this way do, and don’t do. What does it take to cultivate and what gets in the way.

She came up with a list of what wholehearted people seem to do and what they don’t.

Do: worthiness, rest, play, trust, faith, intuition, hope, authenticity, love, belonging, joy, gratitude, creativity

Don’t: perfection, numbing, certainty, exhaustion, self sufficiency, being cool, fitting in, judgment, scarcity

I found this list challenging, confronting and worth pondering. How do these ideas fit in our society? How do we teach and model these concepts to our kids and classes? How do I personally live these values?

Brene then follows this up with an interesting sentence
“How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a wholehearted life: loving ourselves.”


As I look at myself today, I realise that is a key to so much. It comes back to love again.
It comes back to the idea that education is important but it is much harder if kids don’t have self-respect and love.

See if you can find time today to look at yourself, look at your class, look at your kids can you help them with an aspect of the ‘do’ list and are you able to help them love themselves in some small way?

Play..again and again…

As I write this entry I can hear 5 different voices from the next room “go to jail, do not pass go” followed by shrieks of “you owe $200” followed by “sorry you are bankrupt”. The freedom of holidays and play!


Photo Credit: freeweb.com

The holidays have provided a needed rest from the running around, organised sport and music activities. ( Sadly, I have noticed this year some organisations trying to encroach on this!)

My gorgeous mother cut out an article (which I am assuming was in our local newspaper) that gave me a timely reminder about organised activities as we begin to think about the school year commencing.

May you as parents, grandparents, friends of kids and teachers read it and be challenged (like I was).

Is it possible to leave room for those play times?





Go outside!

As a kid, I have such strong memories of my Mum telling me to ‘go outside and get some fresh air and run around, go play.’ I am pretty sure that she did not know the science behind it, but it was and is such great advice.


On the blog ‘Simple Mom’, the writer Tsh recently wrote about how she had been feeling down.  Then it came to her that she had not been outside very much.

“Get air in your lungs and work your muscles. It doesn’t have to be a marathon—just getting out of the house and moving will do wonders for your attitude and outlook on life. There are all sorts of studies that prove outside time an immediate antidote to depression, but you don’t have to even be depressed to find respite from fresh air and the natural world.

We spend so much of our lives indoors, and that’s really a shame, I think. We can all spare half an hour per day. Get out there, and experience creation. Your body and soul will thank you for it.”



In this age of technology and so much screen time, I think we need to be constantly reminded to get outside, to move around and to take time out to ‘be’ in a different way.  And, this is not just for us personally, but for our children, our classes and even our families.

It does wonders on so many levels – well-being, talking while walking, clears the head, lifts our eyes, opens our world up…plus so much more. What would you add to the list?

Set a goal, enjoy the outdoors in some way each day.




Practise what you preach…

“Do you practise what you preach?”  was the thoughtful question my gorgeous sister asked me last night as we ‘vibered’ back and forth from Australia to Ethiopia.

“Great question” was my response.  “You have made me realise that the reason I believe in my blog is because I have been trying to practice what I preach and it has actually made such a difference to me, my kids and my teaching. So, even when I wonder if I am doing the right thing and check how many followers I have or even share my blog address with someone and the result is a blank face, I keep blogging because I know it makes a difference”.

My sister then wanted to know “What things have made the biggest difference? I am really interested.”

So, today my blog is the answer to that question.

*Searching for treasure.  At different times we now stop to ask ‘What treasures have we experienced?’ (‘Hunting the good stuff’ is the other term) This is not just done at the end of the day but even when driving in the car.

*Living for the moment.  We have noticed our surroundings a lot more. Things like clouds, blossom, trees…that refocusing amongst the busy times and pace.


The roses and clouds I saw as I ate my lunch in the backyard
photo credit: rebekah bleby

*We have all realised the importance of play and at different times slot in small moments to enjoy. The Uno cards have made a big come back in our home.

*The reiterated knowledge that relationships are really what it is all about and that in this techno world we need to disconnect to connect.  One  way of doing this, is that as Spring has sprung we have together as a family walked to feed ducks together and be.


photo credit: rebekah bleby

*Undivided attention. This has been a lot harder than I thought, but the desire and the effort is there to listen more carefully to conversations and those comments that kids give when they are actually giving me a privileged window into their world.

*I think a lot more about positive emotions, what they are, how they look in everyday experiences, especially when things go wrong or are difficult.


My 12 year old painted this for me to put near my desk! (spelling error and all)

*Life is not always about succeeding and taking the safest option, but it is also about experimenting and being willing to explore options. It is about having grit when the going gets tough.

There is much more than this, but enough for now.

Overall, my writing and sharing on this blog has brought an awareness of the way I am perceiving things and it seems like my thoughts are slowly being rewired in a more positive way. But, not just me. My family are reading the blog, they are taking it on board, they give feedback and at times quote it back to me!! I love it and just want to share it with others and help make a difference.

Please can we go play?

This week’s blogs, seem to have become reminders of topics I have previously written about.  (Just in case some of you didn’t know,  if you click on the words in blue, they are links to the past blog entries.) In my readings this week these topics of treasure and play surfaced again.

When I step into a classroom, one of the first thing kids ask is “are we going to do fitness today?”

As I was doing some reading, the penny dropped. I knew that play was important and I have written about play in a few past blogs (Play , More on play, Positive emotions in play…again!)  but I was reminded again how important it is for positive emotions.


photo credit 123rpf.com

“Play is what we all LOVE to do. Play is where our subconscious naturally guides us. Play is the state where we are truly ourselves, once we let go of our egos and fear of looking stupid. Play immerses us in the moment, where we effortlessly slip into flow. Play allows us to imagine, to create, to bond with and understand each other. Play is what creates our strongest social circles.

And most importantly, play utterly destroys anxiety. Play gets you around other humans, face-to-face, and allows you to form a real connection with them. Play allows you to stop taking your life so damn seriously, so you can start living again.”   Charlie Hoen  How I Cured My Anxiety


Hoen suggests that we “write down all the activities that repeatedly brought you joy from your childhood, then start incorporating them back into your life.”

He tells the story, instead of meeting a client for coffee he suggested meeting in the park and throwing a football.

Kids seem to know the importance of play instinctively and they want it. As parents,  teachers and adults we have the challenge to build it into their lives and ours!  What do you think? Try making the list and playing this weekend.

I would love to hear if anyone does it.

Dr Suess   “Adults are just obsolete children.”