Pretty successful table time. Boys sat still for at least 20 minutes. Bella and Sophie did copywork. I read Bella the daily Mass readings while she wrote. Sophie did not like me to read while she was copying. Grr.
Then Bella ran outside to play while Sophie drew a picture. Then they both did a quick math page. I was impressed when Bella was able to add 16 and 16 and get 32. She’s definitely understanding place values. Bella read her word list off the white board but didn’t come back later to read sentences. Sophie didn’t read to me at all.
Mom read them a bunch of poems and several picture books. Hooray for Grandma! Lots more read alouds when family are visiting! Even Lucy climbed up and let Grandma read her a book.
I read a chapter of Beyond the Heather Hills. The last two chapters of Francie on the Run. And the last chapter of Who Was First? Also The Three Billy Goats Gruff for Anthony– it’s his current favorite and several pages of Charlotte in New York for Bella.
For bedtime Bella asked for the Smithsonian Backyard book about chipmunks and then waxed rhapsodic about how much she loves the series, listing off all the reasons they are the best books about animals. I don’t recall what Dom read to Sophie.
Tuesday: Field Trip Day– The Franklin Park Zoo
An awesome day at the zoo. On the way there we listened to The Little House on the Prairie cds that Sophie got for her birthday. This is the first time any of us have listened to them, even though it’s been four months since she got them. I rather like the narrator’s voice. She’s got a Southern accent and it is a pleasure to listen to. I like that they use fiddle music to bridge from one chapter to the next and try to sing the songs. (Though the tunes they use for the songs we’ve heard so far don’t match the tunes on the Pa’s Fiddle music cds we own and that bothers me.)
Bella was riding in the other car (We had to take two cars since my mom is with us this week.) and so didn’t get to listen with us. Which was a shame because my ears perked up when they crossed over the Mississippi River. Wait, what lake were they crossing? Because we’ve been reading Minn of the Mississippi and looking at maps of the headwaters. I wanted the map in Minn so bad so I could figure out where the Ingalls family’s path crossed Minn’s.
Dom says he and Bella discussed even numbers and did some mental math in the car. So that was good too.
The day was hot, but I’d had the foresight to pack a little spray bottle in my pocket to mist everyone when we got hot. And lots of ice water. And a nice filling lunch, much better than over-priced concession stand junk.
Once home we read a chapter of Beyond the Heather Hills and a chapter of Minn of the Mississippi. (And yes, looked at the map and found Lake Pepin where the Ingalls family crossed just before the ice began to break up.)
Wednesday: Ben’s Birthday
Table time was totally sabotaged by our after-breakfast opening of presents. I got Bella to read a few sentences and then declared a school holiday. I know when I’m fighting a losing battle. I did get the kids to do a little practical math. We cut lengths of string the height of Sophie, Bella, and me and then used them to measure our arm spans (it it the same or nearly the same?) and then the length of the kitchen.
Bella also helped me to bake Ben’s birthday cake and I made her do the math for cutting the recipe for a two layer cake in half to make a one layer cake. She has no problem with fractions and even asked a good question: how do you figure out half of a quarter cup?
Also, Bella spent some time perusing one of the Anno’s Math Games books. That totally covers math for today, even if it wasn’t my planned lessons.
Afternoon reading: First Ben’s new book Richard Scary’s Day at the Fire Station. Then Rose Red and the Bear Prince, both at Sophie’s request. Then Bella and I spent almost an hour reading Armor by Charlotte and David Yue, all about the development of medieval armor. This is a book geared at middle school or high school even with all sorts of technical details about construction, nomenclature, etc. She is a true geek, eating it all up.
We paused mid read to have a discussion about castles and fortifications with a good question from Bella about what happens when an army is besieging a castle and another army comes to the rescue of the besieged. We looked up a website and read a bit about Mont St Michel. Sophie joined in, asking about what if she built a castle on an island. Bella discussed several different castles she remembers seeing and various defensive points.
Then we read a chapter of Minn of the Mississippi, reaching Minneapolis and St Paul (Miss Meghan lives in Minneapolis doesn’t she? Bella asks.) and then two short chapters of Beyond the Heather Hills.
Discussions about whether an armadillo is a mammal or a reptile. Are horned toads poison?
Bedtime stories: Lucy asked for Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Sophie wanted Mouse Count. Bella’s request was Two Scarlet Songbirds.
Thursday: Field Trip Day– Museum of Fine Arts
Of course a day at the museum is chock full of learning, but we didn’t do any formal school work not have an afternoon reading time. We did buy the catalog for the quilts exhibit and when we got home I looked through it with Sophie and Bella and we noted how the photos didn’t really do the quilts justice. The colors seemed off, the textures were missing and the details of the stitching couldn’t be made out.
I did buy a color-themed toy at the museum gift shop. A set of 100 little wooden cubes painted in ten colors, a gradient from orange to purple. The cubes have magnets on one side and adhere to the lid of the little tin they come it. The children loved making patterns and pictures with them. Lucy too.
My mother left this morning, we are all sad to see her go. As a parting gift she left us four toy swords, two rustic wooden blades and two heavy duty polypropylene blades which are longsword size in little kid hands.
It was a grocery day and I didn’t even try to get in any formal lessons. We just did the shopping, came home, had lunch, and read some stories. We began Pegeen. Read a chapter of Beyond the Heather Hills. And a story from the Princess Tales book.
Ben and I read a bit from a book about the archaeology of the Bible. Bella and I identified a new species of bee buzzing around on our sunflowers: the metallic green bee.
Bedtime story: Five Chinese Brothers, and Smithsonian Monarch Butterfly book.
This has been a busy on the go week. The house is a shambles, the kids are tired and cranky, but we had some great adventures. And maybe Bella and Sophie will be more eager to tackle reading and writing next week after a week of true vacation.
Photos: some of the pictures my mom took while she was here.