Monday, Feb 23
I put out the girls’ school books before I went to bed and Sophie did her math and copywork before breakfast. Bella, however, was too hungry. She ate and then did copywork and then took her math book to the office where she tried to do it and play with Sophie at the same time.
Then Sophie read me a few pages of The Kitchen Knight. Bella read me the first three pages of The Tale of Mr Todd. I read them about today’s saints and then read the day’s Gospel and reading.
After lunch we read Canadian Summer and Little Town and the Crossroad. Also three picture books: one on bald eagles, one on mountain lions, and one that was an environmental history of the Nashua River.
Then Lucy woke up and my friend Karin stopped by and that ended the school day. But I’m not sure we’d have read much more anyway, the natives were getting restless.
They did re-watch an episode of Blue Planet, the one about the polar seas.
Bella read to me a little bit of Farmer Boy. Bits and pieces from here and there throughout the book.
Tuesday, Feb 24
I put out the books on the table again last night. Woke up to find Ben drawing and tracing letters in his workbook. Sophie doing copy work. I helped Sophie with math. Bella dragged her feet and didn’t get started on work till after breakfast. But eventually did several pages of math and her copywork. Sophie read me a few pages of the library book about the Nashua River.
Bella didn’t read to me, but I overheard her reading to the other kids.
I put a phonics lesson on the board and they briefly read over it.
Afternoon stories. I read them the day’s Gospel and we went over the Our Father line by line. Then Canadian Summer and Little Town at the Crossroads, St Thomas More. And St Felix and the Spider for Anthony.
Wednesday, Feb 25
Books out on the table. Sophie finished her math and copywork before 7. Dom helped her with the math a bit, so did Bella. Ben and Anthony both did a little bit of writing practice in their workbooks. Bella didn’t get started until later but did get her math and copywork done earlier than usual. By 10 they were all off playing. Sophie read me Katie and the Starry Night and Bella read me a Boynton book.
I didn’t press them to do more, they were playing so nicely together.
Afternoon stories. Canadian Summer, Little Town at the Crossroads, This Country of Ours, Mother Goose rhymes. Anthony really is engaging in discussion about the novels. He’s paying attention, remembering past chapters, trying to anticipate what’s going to happen, making connections. It’s very sweet.
The kids all watched another episode of Blue Planet. They’re really getting a pretty good overview of marine biology.
Bella did some Khan academy, watching more of the Music videos about notes and about the harp. When Dom came home she was telling him all about it and even wrote out what she remembered: whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, and thirty-second notes.
Dom played them some Handel concertos for harp. They danced in the kitchen. Anthony especially was enraptured with the music.
Bedtime stories, Dot and Jabber and the Missing Water and the book on bald eagles.
Thursday, Feb 26
We had to leave the house early for Anthony’s 4 year physical. Despite the books being on the table, no work was done. Sophie said she was distracted by Anthony. Actually, Bella did do a line of so in her copy book.
After the appointment, we went to Michaels. Today was the memorial of Blessed Isabelle of France, the younger sister of St Louis, the king. I’ve long wanted to make Bella a nice image of her patron and since we were out I decided today was the day. I got little wooden plaques for .99 each and a can of gold spray paint and printed out an image from the web of a stained glass window featuring Isabelle and Louis and Louis’s wife, Queen Marguerite. In it Louis is laying the first stone of the convent Isabelle founded, The Abbey of the Humility of Our Lady at Longchamp. Once the paint was dry I glued on the image of Isabelle and for the other kids I used holy cards: St Joseph for Ben, St Patrick for Anthony, and the Sacred Heart for Sophie.
Afternoon stories: Canadian Summer, Little Town at the Crossroads. Hazel and Pip. St Thomas More. I fell asleep partway though and then recommenced after a micro nap.
They watched another episode of Blue Planet.
Friday, Feb 27
Grocery day. I put the books out last night. Sophie finished math and copy work before breakfast. Bella did a little copy work and an easier page of math, but at least she did them.
At the store Bella asked me to read one sign to her. Shows she was looking at it and trying to figure it out. She’s doing much more casual reading of signs and labels.
When we had put away most of the groceries and I had finished eating my lunch, Sophie asked if we couldn’t figure out the drop spindle finally, as I’d been promising her for weeks and weeks. (She got it for Christmas.) I said yes. We watched a bunch of videos, figured out how to attach a bit of yarn to start us off. And then I had her practice just spinning it. Once she’d got that down, I figured out how to attach the unspun wool and started it off. It was much easier and less frustrating than I thought it would be. And Sophie, for whom patience is not her strongest point, was surprisingly cheerful when her yarn kept breaking with the spindle clonking to the floor. She continued to try to spin all through story time, which was not conducive to getting a lot of reading done since every time she ran into a snag, I had to fix it. She also needed me to wind up the finished yarn (and I evened it out a little before I wound it each time.) Still, we spun two of her balls of colored yarn into very lumpy uneven yarn. But yarn nonetheless.
Afternoon stories were also not made easier by the fact that Lucy fell asleep in the car on the way home from the store and slept through lunch but then woke right before I started reading. When she’s there, it’s harder for Anthony to focus on the story. They two of them quarrel and squabble and drive me mad. But we read Canadian Summer, Little Town, and one section of This Country of Ours. And spun wool. And I made bread. So there was that.
I distracted Anthony with the ipad so I could read the history. He and Ben and Lucy decamped for the dining room and left me with only the spinning and bread baking to interrupt the history lesson, which still took absurdly long.
Then Bella did a bit of math on Khan academy. She’d frustrated because it makes her write out the numbers and doesn’t recognize her backwards numbers. I helped her recognize what the problem is and she calmed down. To me that might be one of the best features of Khan, if it makes her finally learn how to write the numbers correctly, a task which I’ve almost despaired of.
Then they prevailed upon me to watch a video. At first they wanted more Blue Planet, but I convinced them to try something else. They settled on a documentary about pollinators: birds, bats, bees, etc. It was a big hit.
Bedtime story: Elephant and Piggie.
Even though I’d put the books away, Sophie still got up and did math and copywork all on her own before Dom and I even got up. Totally unaware that it was Saturday. Bella, on the other hand, came in to ask what day it was. Clearly she wasn’t going to do needless work on a Saturday. Their personalities in a nutshell. Sophie likes routine, enjoys work except when she gets frustrated because she doesn’t understand the problem or she doesn’t know how to do something. But Bella just finds it overwhelming and would rather not.