Learning Notes Week of November 27

Sun at noon.

Note from Ben. Might be his first thing ever spontaneously written on his own with no help (well, I helped him spell “you” but he didn’t ask for help with “luv”.) I melted.

Monday November 27

I had a doctor appointment. So school work was more scattered. Sophie did copywork. Bella did Khan Academy math, copywork, and Latin. Ben did MEP math and Explode the Code.

Read Alouds: Pegeen, King of Ireland’s Son, Book of Angels, Augustus Caesar’s World.

Bedtime story: Rocks in His Head

Kids in a cozy nest.

Tuesday November 28

Anthony did math and copywork and read to me from Stories of Great Americans.

Ben did math and Explode the Code.

Sophie did math, copywork.

Bella did Kahn Academy math and history, copywork, read aloud, and narrated from several books.

I read the kids an article about scientists observing a new species of Darwin’s finch evolve in the Galapagos Islands.

We took a walk, Sophie found an unusual dried flower stalk which we saw previously on one of our field trips. She brought it home in hope that we can finally identify it.

Read Alouds: Pegeen, King of Ireland’s Son, Story of the World, St Francis Xavier, North with the Spring.

Bedtime story: Library book about rocks, Jan Brett’s Town Mouse Country Mouse.

Shadows at noon.

Sophie and I found this interesting stalk on our walk. We’d previously seen similar ones on one of our nature field trips. Still trying to identify the mystery plant.

Close up of the mystery plant stalk.

Wednesday November 29

Anthony did math and copywork and read to me from Stories of Great Americans.

Ben did math and Explode the Code, read a Bob book, did copywork.

Sophie did math, copywork, recited her French prayer, and read from 50 Famous Stories.

Bella did Kahn Academy math and history, copywork.
Grocery store.

Read Alouds: Pegeen, King of Ireland’s Son, Minn of the Mississippi, Augustus Caesar’s World.

Discovered in the flower press: fall leaves from last fall.

Pressed leaves. These need a project methinks.

Thursday November 30

Anthony did math and copywork and read about St Andrew.

Ben did math and Explode the Code, read a Bob book.

Sophie did math, copywork, French.

Bella did Kahn Academy math, copywork.

No afternoon stories as we went to visit my father-in-law in hospital.

Bedtime story: Wee Gillis.

Lucy prepares her own toast in the toaster oven.

Friday November 31

Anthony did math and copywork and read from Child’s History.

Ben did math and Explode the Code, copywork, read a Bob book.

Sophie did math, copywork, French translation, read Child’s Geography. We looked at Russia on the map. Her copywork led me to look up two words that I didn’t actually know the meaning of: halcyon and vair. Halcyon is one of those words I should have looked up ages ago but I sort of knew what it means from context, so I never had gotten around to it. I’ve become much more interested in looking up words in recent years and I think a huge difference is having a dictionary and encyclopedia in my pocket. Halcyon refers to a period of calm in the midst of turmoil and derives from a Greek and Roman myth about a man and woman who were turned into birds and those birds laid their eggs on the winter solstice and the god of the winds would calm the winter storms for two weeks so as to protect the eggs in the nest. The woman’s name was Alcyon, which gave rise to the name of several species of kingfisher as well as this odd word I keep stumbling across. Vair is fur, specifically squirrel fur which in the middle ages was sewn together in an alternating dark and light pattern and this pattern also became a heraldic design. This was from Sophie’s copying of a poem by Christina Rosetti which also led to a discussion of the Pre-Raphaelites and the Victorian fascination with all things medieval.

Bella did Kahn Academy math, copywork, Minimus Latin.

We all went to the library. I got a bunch of books about Irish fairy tales, myths, and legends. I wanted to round out what we’ve been getting in King of Ireland’s Son and the Bantry Bay trilogy.

Afternoon stories: Pegeen, King of Ireland’s Son, St Francis Xavier, Story of the World, picture book about Finn McCool and about St Brigit.

Bedtime story: Children of Lir.

Sophie at work.

Dreamy Anthony.

I need to sit down and write up a revised checklist for Bella. She’s been drifting in the past few weeks and I’ve not been able to keep on top of her and manage everyone else as well. 

On the whole I feel like this term has been all about drifting. I’ve lost my sense of focus and while we certainly are making progress in many areas and learning is constantly happening, I’m rather off plan. Definitely have to regroup and refocus in January. The rest of this year is looking pretty crazy.

4 Responses to Learning Notes Week of November 27

  1. Valerie January 3, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

    I believe you have there a Mullein seed-stalk:

    https://www.novicefarmer.com/mullein.html

    Regards 🙂

    • Melanie Bettinelli
      Melanie Bettinelli January 4, 2018 at 10:40 pm #

      Mullein! Thank you! I do recognize mullein by the leaves, but didn’t know the flowering stalk. And of course only seeing it after it was dried my leaf knowledge wasn’t helping. And we don’t have any where we observe it through the seasons, only stumble upon it here and there on field trips. it’s really a huge for the size of the plant.

      Sophie will be thrilled to have it identified.

  2. Valerie January 3, 2018 at 1:04 pm #

    Oh, and, re Vair: I have read a theory which suggests that Cinderella’s shoes were originally “pantoufles en vair” and the phrase was misheard as “pantoufles en verre” which sounds much less comfortable.

    • Melanie Bettinelli
      Melanie Bettinelli January 4, 2018 at 10:36 pm #

      I’d heard that theory before, and actually stumbled across it again while googling vair, it’s also mentioned in the Wikipedia article. But the Wikipedia article debunks it:

      “A widely circulated story has it that Charles Perrault’s version of the fairy tale “Cinderella” was mistranslated into English, with vair (fur) being mistaken for verre (glass) as a description of the heroine’s slippers.[4] In fact Perrault’s original French text has verre.”

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