Jadwiga – King of Poland

I have been reading a book on the Polish Kings. I have currently read up to Władysław II Jagiełło.The one king that stood out to me was King Jadwiga – (Yad-veega) . This king stood out to me because she was a female.

Jadwiga was born in the year 1374, she was the youngest of three. Her father was Louis I of Hungary, and her mother was Elizabeth of Bosnia. Her elder sister Mary, became Queen of Hungary after their father’s death. While Jadwiga became King of Poland at the age of ten. She had her coronation on the 16th October 1384, at Wawel Cathedral in Kraków.

Jadwiga was taught to read and write, and she was able to speak at least six languages. (I think that is a great achievement, I have trouble learning two languages!) She was able to speak Bosnian, Latin, Polish, Serbian, Hungarian and German. (I’m learning Polish, I can say “Hello!” in German and a few other things, and I’ve always been interested in Latin. The reason I’ve been interested in Latin, is because I’m interested in the royal family from any country, but my heritage is a mixture of Polish, Irish and English, so I   am mainly interested the British royal family. Anyway, every British royal family member I’ve read about has learned Latin, so that has sparked a desire in me to learn Latin.)

Jadwiga was crowned a King to show that she wasn’t a queen consort, and that she ruled by herself. In 1386 she married Władysław II Jagiełło, who was the Grand Duke of Lithuania. At the time of their marriage he was 26 years old, and she was 12 years old. This marriage led to the creation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which happened a number of years afterwards in 1569. Though it was the marriage between Jadwiga and Władysław II Jagiełło which began this friendship between the two countries.

Kraków Academy went through a period of time with little funding, until King Jadwiga and King Władysław II restored it in 1399. Jadwiga gave her Crown Jewellery to the Kraków Academy to help it with its restoration process. Kraków Academy is now known as the Jagiellonian University. Jadwiga would attend cultural and charitable activities throughout Poland, and chose to donate her personal wealth to many different charities.

I personally think Jadwiga was a wonderful and thoughtful woman. The amount of devotion she had towards this country that wasn’t even her own, I believe is amazing. Jadwiga is now a saint, she was canonized on the 8th June 1997, in Kraków by Pope John Paul II.

Jadwiga gave birth to a baby girl at the age of 26, whose name was Elizabeth Bonifacia of Poland. A month later both the mother and daughter had passed away. They are both buried together.

Port Arthur in Autumn

A few days ago we visited Port Arthur with some friends. Port Arthur is a UNESCO heritage site located on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania. It is a penal settlement used for the convicts. The convicts were criminals from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

03 May 2013_1362

This is the church.

03 May 2013_1246

A lot of these buildings were destroyed by fire, and what is left of Port Arthur nowadays, is just a small amount of what it used to be.

03 May 2013_1206

This path leads past the Guard Tower, which overlooks the bay in which Port Arthur is built around. The tower to the left of the picture is part of the Guard Tower.

03 May 2013_1203

These are the old sleeping quarters of the convicts. They were quite cramped spaces.

03 May 2013_1252

03 May 2013_1329

Although what happened at Port Arthur isn’t the nicest story,
visiting Port Arthur in autumn can bring some great photo
opportunities, as shown above.

03 May 2013_1242

This picture looks back on the Penitentiary, which is the main building in Port Arthur.

Many free settlers, which were people who had come to
Tasmania (known as Van Diemens Land back in the day) of their own free will, lived all around Tasmania.

If convicts could serve their sentence of 7 years without causing any trouble,
they got a ‘Ticket of Leave’ and were able to leave Port Arthur and become settlers.
If they were caught breaking the law after they left, they would be brought back to Port Arthur.

Convicts tried many times to escape, and some were successful for a little while, and some weren’t successful at all. Port Arthur’s location was chosen well. It is surrounded on all sides by water, and the only way to get off is by this small strip of land called Eaglehawk Neck. It was small enough that soldiers could chain one dog on one side of the strip of land, and another dog on the other. They were kept far enough apart that they couldn’t attack each other, but close enough that no one could get through. The only other way to get out was to swim, and the majority of the convicts couldn’t swim.

A lot of convicts were brought here for the crime, which was a serious offence back then, of stealing a loaf of bread. Other offences included stealing fabrics, stealing livestock, stealing clothing, and housebreaking.

Table Cape Tulip Farm, Lighthouse Rd Wynyard, Tasmania

Last Sunday, on the 30th September, we travelled to the top end of Tasmania. The reason for going there was to visit the Table Cape Tulip Farm. Because it is spring time in Australia, the annual Blooming Tasmania festival experience is currently on.

There were many different colours of tulips, including, purple, orange, red, white, pink, and yellow. It was very beautiful even though all the tulips hadn’t bloomed yet.

Here is a slideshow of some of the pictures we took.

[slideshow id=35 w=512 h=340]

[slideshow id=33 w=340 h=512]

A New Year in Learning Dawns.

The start of October has seen us venture into Higher learning with Phinee. Traditionally Phinee would not be starting high school until 2013, but because we home educate we have the flexibility and freedom to choose when each of our children progresses towards the next step of their learning.

So for Phinee we have decided that October 2012 is the start of her higher learning journey. This decision has been made as Phinee has been bored for quite some time with the work that she has been getting at grade 6 level. No matter what we seemed to give her in the last 3 -6 months or more, it was just not challenging enough, not interesting enough for Phinee.

So the time has come when we have looked forward to her next phase of learning and ventured into the high school arena. So as from the 1st of October, Phinee is stepping up the level of work required and the input she delivers as she steps up to a year seven workload.

So now with the decision made to bump Phinee up to the next level of her learning, we had to decide just what she would be required to learn and how she would learn it. So we have spent many hours and countless days working on exploring various methods and styles of learning as well as the Australian Curriculum. We have checked out resources available, books we might utilise and so much more.

Phinee had expressed a desire to attend mainstream schooling in 2013, before deciding that she had changed her mind. So with this in mind, we have decided to loosely follow the Australian Curriculum over the next 12 months in case the desire ever returns and Phinee wishes to attend mainstream schooling in the future. Also by loosely following the Australian Curriculum, this would give her a solid foundation if she ever transitioned away from her desire to continue to be home educated.

So with this in mind, the conclusion we have come to is that in her first year of higher learning Phinee will explore the subjects of

  • English
  • Maths
  • History
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Economics and Citizenship.

Australian History – Learning Through Reading

Recently we have added some more books to our Home Library. These books are dedicated to our need to learn more about Australian History and what it would have been like to live in early Australia.

When learning Australian History sometimes we do the usual lessons etc, but the children always retain more when they learn through doing or reading. In fact it is when they are engaged in the learning purely for fun, that the most learning takes place, and the greater retention of information is achieved.

We have found that Jackie French is a wonderful author who engages us with her writing and easily brings to life the characters she creates within the historical periods she writes about. Jackie has written many Australian Themed books and we are working to collect them all – as well as many books by other authors.

Here are some of the books we have recently purchased or have in our collection that we are reading in 2012 as we explore our Australian History Journey (In no particular order).

Nanberry Black Brother White – Jackie French

Nanberry: Black Brother White

Tom Appleby Convict Boy – Jackie French

Tom Appleby Convict Boy

The Donkey Who Carried the Wounded – Jackie French

The Donkey Who Carried the Wounded: The Famous Story of Simpson and His Donkey - a True Anzac Legend (Animal Stars)


A Waltz for Matilda – Jackie French

A Waltz for Matilda

A Banner Bold Nadia Wheatley

My Australian Story: Banner Bold