Stay at home day as the car was in the shop. Also a rainy, stir-crazy day.
We got off to a pretty good start. Bella did math and reading. (Never did get to her copywork. Oh well.) Then I tried to put Lucy down for a nap– she dozed but never went down– and then had to get snacks for everyone before Sophie could work. Then Sophie did her math and reading.
The boys seem to have hit a threshold and have both been increasingly interested in the toilet the past few days. Today I tried the Jennifer Fitz method and after a successful round of toilet sitting, I handed every child a chocolate covered cranberry. There was much rejoicing and that seemed more than anything else to date to be the bribe that motivated Ben– not a treat for himself but one shared with everyone else. Maybe he felt too self conscious getting a treat when no one else did? For whatever reason, it worked. And then Anthony decided he wanted to wear underwear and Ben did too. Only one accident and that not a terrible one. And several successes. I think perhaps after many false starts, this time we’re really on our way. We let the boys play on the ipad while they are sitting on the toilet (it sits on a tray table in front of the toilet, not on their laps). So the girls naturally wanted turns too. Lots of iPad learning then. Sophie is especially in love with a phonics game whose name escapes me. Also the Princess Learn French app.
This afternoon’s reading was The Far Side of the Loch, St Louis, and a chapter of history. History being about the Renaissance, I then got out my Story of Art and let Bella look at the art we’d just read about. And then she decided to flip through the whole book. And then Ben and Sophie did too and even Anthony pointed at a few pictures. So I guess we knocked out art appreciation too.
Bedtime story: The Gingerbread Man.
Since in Boston we are blessed to celebrate the Ascension on Thursday, we began the day with Mass. Sadly we’ve been trending toward a later bedtime and later rising and so I decided last night there was no way we were making it out the door by 7:30 to get to 8:15 Mass at the Pastoral Center (aka “Daddy’s work”). So we opted for the 9:00 at our parish. And as soon as we walked in the door we began to regret it. We’d forgotten that our parish has a school and that on feast days the morning Mass is the school Mass. And for some reason they had their May crowning today. In the middle of Mass. (And I’m going to stop my complaining right now or I could go on all night.)
Anyway, it was an hour long Mass at least. Phew.
So then we were meeting some other homeschoolers– and one prospective homeschooling mom– at the playground. So we dashed home, packed a quick lunch, did a run through the bathroom for everyone since the playground does not have public toilets. (Especially important as both my boys have spontaneously decided to potty train this week and were wearing underwear out of the house for the first time!!!)
Our meeting was lovely and the kids had fun on the playground.
Home and we finished out lunch. The kids played in the yard. More time on the potty with time spent on the iPad as a carrot.
Afternoon stories: The Far Side of the Loch, Frog and Toad, The Striped Ships (we came back to it after a break, skipping ahead a couple of chapters to where Juliana is actually working on the Bayeaux Tapestry, which was why we were reading the book to begin with. Some really good stuff there.
Sadly potty training, which was amazingly successful all day, hit a snag with the sudden onset of a tummy bug. Diarrhea hit one of the training boys at the same time it hit one of the big girls. I’m hoping the knowledge that his big sister also had an accident will mitigate the sense of failure and that as soon as the upset passes we’ll be right back on the horse.
No schoolwork really, though Sophie did read me some flashcards with sentences from the Bob Books set.
Grocery day. We got a late start, mainly because Lucy slept really late. Also because trying to get two boys to just double check on the toilet.
Ben and Sophie were trying to play Mass before breakfast and a squabble broke out over the use of the coffee table and so I promised we’d get out the Mass kit and use it after lunch. Which we did. It took up our whole afternoon and made me late at getting dinner on the table. Ben was frustrated because I insisted on them doing everything right and learning the names and where everything goes. But I thought it was important that they do it right. However, I departed from the CGS script which said we were supposed to put the materials away unless they wanted to do the lesson. So after we’d done a painstaking lesson on the objects and how to set up the altar. I let them play Mass with them with me holding on to the Missal and reading the prayers while Sophie was priest and Bella was lector and Ben, Bella, and Anthony took turns as altar servers and acolytes and deacons and cantor and congregation. I tried to keep things reverent and make sure they were careful and precise with the materials, but we aren’t a CGS atrium and my kids would have rebelled had they not had the chance to do the full Mass. As it was, there was too much talking for Ben who just wanted to skip to communion.
I’m still trying to figure out the “rules” for doing this at home. It can’t be as rigid as an atrium and I want them to be able to follow their own desires to some extent. On the other hand, it seems to me that using the Mass kit does require some reverence. It’s meant to be a teaching tool.
Farmer’s market. Wahlburgers for lunch. Home and then I went back out again with Ben and Bella to run to Target. Dom stayed with Anthony, Lucy, and Sophie to mow the lawn. When I came home I did a bit of yard work and then we made dinner: grilled steak and pork chops, turnips, and asparagus from the farmer’s market. And some home fries. No books except the bedtime stories. Somehow Saturday is always too full for story time.
Mass with donuts afterward. A little gardening, a family walk. Bella rode her bike with Sophie and Ben cheering her on. They are the best cheerleaders a big sister could want.