Learning Notes Week of June 19

Fairest flowers.

Monday June 19

We began the day with sketching. Everyone got out their sketchbooks and drew. Ben drew some toy cars, Sophie drew a fanciful scene with trees and flowers. Anthony drew some Star Wars toys, tie fighters and the like. Bella drew some radishes and then began a garden picture. Lucy drew a bunch of different things. And I sketched an army guy, a duplo, a radish. We talked about perspective and how to use basic shapes to begin a drawing: circles and ovals and triangles for a bird.

Gradually I eased everyone into doing a math page. Then Anthony read to me about St Anthony. And everyone did their copywork.

While everyone did their school work I spent a few minutes helping Lucy write some letters: her own name and that of her friend, Emma.

We talked about spelling rules for c: sounds like s when followed by a e,i, or y, sounds like k when followed by a, o, u, or a consonant or when at the end of a word. So then when we add suffixes how to we keep the hard K sound or does it change?

I had a little impromptu spelling bee for Anthony, Sophie, and Bella. They really enjoyed it.

Then gradually everyone drifted outside. Not bad after a week away and a very interrupted week before that.

Afternoon stories we read outside, despite the high winds. It was sunny and cool and no one wanted very much to be inside. More All of a Kind Family, Herodotus and the Road to History, The Cyclopes, Greek Heroes, St Philip Neri.

We watched a you tube video which showed an 18th century woman’s dress from the shift outward. Then a couple of videos about a reconstructed trireme, the Olympias.

Bedtime story: The Saint and His Bees.

I’m not sure exactly what he’s supposed to be.

Studious Ben.

Busy morning.

Lucy wrote her own name!

Tuesday June 20

Ben had a filling, so we spent the morning at the dentist. Bella and Sophie did copywork while we were gone. Then Bella and Anthony went with me to the grocery store.

Afternoon stories: More All of a Kind Family, The Cyclopes, Greek Heroes.

Bedtime story: Beautiful Lady of Guadalupe

Anthony is reading a book about his patron saint, Ignatius of Loyola.

Big brother, little sister.

Wednesday June 21

Sophie did math, copywork, French, and read aloud from 50 Famous Stories. 
Bella sketched, looked at The Hobbit and Pooh in Latin, did copywork, and the some Khan Academy geometry and then some astronomy videos about stars.
Anthony did math and copywork but did not read to me.
Ben did math and copywork and his letter workbook.

Anthony, Sophie, and Bella did a short practice spelling bee. I’m not eliminating people yet, just taking turns spelling words. They think it’s fun. At some point I’m going to keep score.

We took a short walk through the neighborhood. It was a pleasant day. Warm and sunny but with a brisk breeze that kept it from being too hot. I was amused as we walked at how many little exchanges seemed to reveal children who are in curious about their surroundings, noticing details, appreciating beauty, and making connections with what they’ve learned. It made my homeschooling mama’s heart proud.

Heard on our walk:
Me, pointing to a bright yellow flower that always springs up at the corner of the yard: There’s a birdsfoot trefoil.
Sophie, remembering examining it last year: That’s in the pea family.
* * *

Bella: Look at that!
Me: Oh it’s a grasshopper!
Anthony: I didn’t know grasshoppers could fly!
* * *

The wind blows everyone’s hats off as we’re passing a garden that has a very Japanese feel.
Sophie: That’s just like that Hokusai painting with the wind blowing the hats and the papers everywhere.
* * *

Ben: I love that tree it’s just like a painting.
* * *

Sophie: This overgrown sidewalk feels like a path through the woods. It could be going anywhere.

* * *

Bella sees a metal sculpture that looks like a frog piping: “Looks just like Jeremy Fisher!”

We came home and had smoothies and sandwiches and then read stories.

Afternoon stories: 

More All of a Kind Family, Herodotus and the Road to History, The Cyclopes, The Golden Fleece, St Philip Neri, Story of the World.
Bedtime story: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.

Playing chess.

I think there’s a siege going on.

I like the detail of the stables behind the walls.

Math and Hobbitus Ille

Sophie does copywork.

A giant dandelion.

Thursday June 22

We began with sketching again. Ben sketching while Sophie did her math and copywork, then doing his math. Anthony sketching while I helped Ben with math. Sophie got very excited about her math exercise which was doubling numbers starting with 1 and then doubling the product and doubling it again. She decided to keep going past what the math book asked for her and spent a good hour at it. She was quite excited to get up to 8 digit numbers. 67 million and something. “Math is fun!” she declared. She also did a French lesson with me. We’re still working on translating Contes D’Amanda Cochon. She even did a whole sentence on her own.

Anthony finished his math and then copywork and then read me a chapter in his book about St Ignatius Loyola.

Bella did math and copywork, studied Latin, and read me a poem and recited a poem she’d memorized. She did a Khan Academy geometry lesson and then watched some astronomy videos about stars, coming and narrating to me after each video “so I won’t forget it.”

Ben was really absorbed in his sketching and declared that drawing is fun. He did a page of math, but I couldn’t get him to do his letter workbook or his copywork. His mouth is still sore after Tuesday’s fillings, he chewed up his lip and cheek and now they’re quite sore.

I read them the story of St John Fisher and everyone was taken by the anecdote about him opening his Bible before his execution, reading a passage, and then declaring that was enough to last him the rest of his life.

We took a walk around the block, picked up and examined catalpa flowers, and discussed which are our favorite house and why.

Afternoon stories: More All of a Kind Family (finished), Cyclopes (finished), The Golden Fleece, Herodotus, St Philip Neri, Story of the World. Anthony was thrilled with a cameo appearance of St Ignatius of Loyola in the Philip Neri book.

Bedtime story: Little Blue Truck.

Math fun.

Math serious.

The girls are doing the same page!

Sketching.

Sophie’s pet project: doubling.

Serious walking.

Under the catalpa tree.

Gather ye catalpa blooms while ye may.

Anthony looks puzzled.

Friday June 23

Sophie continued with her doubling from yesterday, but didn’t do a math page or any copywork or French or reading. But, at least she’s liking math!

Bella did a math page and some copywork. She did some Khan Academy math too and then watched some more astronomy videos. Quasars today and nebulae I think. Some of the other kids watched at least one of the videos with her and that led to some conversation about nebulae and light years and the vastness of the cosmos and the wonder of God’s creation and how scientists help us to appreciate that beauty and majesty.

Anthony did a math page and some copywork. He didn’t read aloud.

Ben did a handful of math problems, did a couple of workbook pages, and wrote two words. He was having a very fragile day.

Lucy spent the morning practicing her letters. She wrote out several words too: “bad Lucy is good.” They accidentally made a funny sentence.

Anthony asked me how a propeller plane can go faster and that led me to reading him an article about how propellers work. I sketched some pictures to explain as I went and I think he understood some of it.

I pulled out the Barefoot Book of Classic Poems and read more than a dozen of them aloud and we had a brief discussion of them. Then Anthony grabbed the book and went to read some of the poems to himself.

Afternoon stories: All of a Kind Family Uptown, The Golden Fleece, Herodotus, St Philip Neri.

Bella and Sophie biked to the library to return some overdue books, to pick up my holds, and to select some books for themselves. It’s so lovely that they can get there and back on their own.

Among the books Bella picked out was a Mike Venezia book about the Beatles. So while I was making curry I put on some Beatles for the kids to listen to. They were surprised to learn that their favorite Ob-la-di is a Beatles song. (I heard Sophie humming Bungalow Bill at dinner.)

At dinner I put on some classical music for a softer mood. First Saint Saens The Swan from Carnival of the Animals. Then Debussy’s Clair de Lune because Bella thought The Swan sounds like moonlight and stars. Finally, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

Bella’s also going on a Patricia Polacco kick and so tonight’s bedtime story was The Art of Miss Chew. We briefly discussed how Polacco’s stories are drawn from her own life and from family stories of her grandparents and great grandparents and more distant ancestors.

Jedi math.

Lucy is copying words.

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