Learning Notes: Spring Thaw Edition

Ben's picture of himself as a knight fighting a dragon. He says the dragon is the snow and he's a raindrop leading the raindrop army to destroy the snow.

Ben’s picture of himself as a knight fighting a dragon. He says the dragon is the snow and he’s a raindrop leading the raindrop army to destroy the snow.

Block castle

Block castle

Lucy entertains Sophie, Ben and Anthony.

Lucy entertains Sophie, Ben and Anthony.

Monday, March 9

I didn’t get the books out Sunday night so we got a late start on the day. Sophie did her math and copywork with a minimum of fuss, though. She read me the book whose name I suddenly can’t remember about Max and the tractor.

Bella flailed a lot. She did a terribly messy page of copywork and struggled through a page of math.

I read Bella the day’s Mass readings.

Then they all went outside to play. It was warm enough that they only wore snow pants, not coats.

We went for a walk. Lucy was thrilled to be outside walking around on her own.

Afternoon stories: Friendly Gables, Little Clearing in the Woods, The Story of the World—India, This Country of Ours—Virginia, Calico Bush, and the story of Na’aman and Elisha.

The children played with modeling clay as I read.

After stories they watched another episode of Planet Ocean, which Bella is really liking. She says it’s good for her knowledge of geography.

Bedtime stories: Squirrels by Brian Wildsmith, The Dragon of Og by Rumer Godden.

Lunch al fresco

Lunch al fresco

Lunch al fresco

Lunch al fresco

Lunch al fresco

Lunch al fresco

Lunch al fresco

Lunch al fresco

On our walk.

On our walk.

Lucy enjoys the freedom of walking around outside in the driveway.

Lucy enjoys the freedom of walking around outside in the driveway.

"We're standing on top of the bush!" (The neighbor's bush is about 6 feet tall and is under the mound the boys are standing on.)

“We’re standing on top of the bush!” (The neighbor’s bush is about 6 feet tall and is under the mound the boys are standing on.)

Ben plays in the snow melt

Ben plays in the snow melt

Boys on a walk

Boys on a walk

Tuesday, March 10

Slow start to the morning. Sophie finally dragged herself through copywork and math. Her copywork was a mess with skipped letters. Obviously she wasn’t really paying attention.

Bella was too busy reading The Mitchells and didn’t want to stop to do math and copywork. Finally, after she’d read most of a chapter she came and did a page of copywork and actually did it quite well. Then she went and played for twenty minutes or so and came back and did a page of math. I read Bella the story of Cain and Abel.

Neither girl read to me. Ben and Anthony didn’t do any work.

We went for a walk and the kids investigated melting snow mounds, picked up pinecones and honeylocust pods. We talked about different kinds of ice. Mostly, we just enjoyed the warm weather. It’s funny to remember how cold 46 degrees feels in the fall when it feels so balmy now.

I wondered if I should pull them inside for afternoon stories. But they came in on their own when it got cloudy and cooler.

We read Friendly Gables, Little House in the Clearing, Calico Bush, Story of the World.

The kids watched Planet Ocean.

Bedtime stories: selections from Where the Sidewalk Ends for Ben, Hairy MacLeary from Donaldson’s Dairy for Anthony. Bella went to bed to read The Dragon of Og, Sophie read Squirrels to herself.

Bella could hardly tear herself away from The Dragon of Og to eat her muffin and brush her teeth. This week is a watershed. She’s realized she can read chapter books and she and Sophie are often to be found stuck in books. It has begun.

On our walk: Ben finds a branch.

On our walk: Ben finds a branch.

On our walk: Picking up honeylocust pods

On our walk: Picking up honeylocust pods

On our walk: Picking up honeylocust pods

On our walk: Picking up honeylocust pods

Lucy and Anthony investigate the snow mound.

Lucy and Anthony investigate the snow mound.

Outside barefoot, checking the snowmelt.

Outside barefoot, checking the snowmelt.

Reading during dessert time. Can't put the book down.

Reading during dessert time. Can’t put the book down.

Reading The Dragon of Og during dessert time. Can't put the book down.

Reading The Dragon of Og during dessert time. Can’t put the book down.

Still can't put the book down.

Still can’t put the book down.

Wednesday, March 11

Funny reversal. Bella was the one who sat down and banged out a page of copy work and then read me a page in her current book, The Dragon of Og, and then did a page of math.

Sophie didn’t even get started till after Bella was done. She did her math and copy work and read me At the Same Moment Around the World.

After that we went to the library. We got there at the end of story time and Bella made friends with a couple of the girls who were there, four years old and half her size, but Bella doesn’t care.

We came home and everyone played in the driveway, the bigger kids got on snow pants and did some climbing and sledding on the snow mounds. We’ve had quite a bit of melting, but there’s still an awful lot of snow in the yard. I cleared some of the ice from the walkway and then made lunch which they ate outside.

Afternoon stories were truncated by outside play. We read Friendly Gables and Little House in the Clearing and a bit of a book about birds. And then they went right back outside. Who can blame them?

When they came in they watched an episode of Planet Ocean (and made figures out of clay, Bella made St Juan Diego and the Blessed Virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel, Sophie made an angel). Then right back outside again. There’s so much more daylight!

Bedtime stories: Hildegard’s Gift and The Boy Who Drew Birds.

Sophie reads At the Same Moment Around the World to Ben.

Sophie reads At the Same Moment Around the World to Ben.

Bella's St Juan Diego

Bella’s St Juan Diego

Bella's Holy Mary

Bella’s Holy Mary

Sophie's guardian angel

Sophie’s guardian angel

Bella's Archangel Gabriel

Bella’s Archangel Gabriel

Thursday, March 12

Sophie and Bella each did a page of copywork and a page of math. Ben copied his name and did a math lesson, sorting coins and matching cups of coins to number cards. The kids all played CandyLand.

We went to the post office and then to the park. There we watched the ducks and geese and gulls and pigeons and a swan. And observed the frozen pond. We ate our picnic lunch in the car because the benches were buried still beneath banks of snow. The first park day of the year and perhaps our earliest. Or maybe it just feels earlier because it’s colder and still buried in snow?

Read a bunch of library books including one on the skeletal system and one on parrots and a really funny one about pairs that asked how two things are alike and then on the next page gave a silly answer: What do an orange an and apple have in common? We listed a bunch of things. Answer: They both don’t wear glasses. Read a chapter of Friendly Gables. Then I had a headache so I didn’t read anymore.

Kids watched Planet Ocean.

Bedtime story: Dom read the book about pairs again.

Ben counts coins while Lucy tries to cut them.

Ben counts coins while Lucy tries to cut them.

Bella was excited about something. Yay geese?

Bella was excited about something. Yay geese?

Ben with frozen pond

Ben with frozen pond

"I just didn't know geese poop on the snow! I didn't know that! Geese poop on the snow!"

“I just didn’t know geese poop on the snow! I didn’t know that! Geese poop on the snow!”

Sophie and Ben with geese

Sophie and Ben with geese

Anthony watches the birds

Anthony watches the birds

Geese in the snow.

Geese in the snow.

Bella watches the birds while the others examine the snow.

Bella watches the birds while the others examine the snow.

Flying goose and the water hole.

Flying goose and the water hole.

Sophie and Ben watch the geese

Sophie and Ben watch the geese

Friday, March 13

A slow start to the day, no school work before we went to the grocery store. I decided we needed a break day. Afternoon stories: we read a chapter of Friendly Gables and part of a chapter of Faith and Life and then the mail came with a late birthday present for Sophie from Grandma B. Legos. And that was the end of that. The rest of the afternoon was taken up with Bella putting together Sophie’s Lego kit for her while all the kids watched.

Bedtime stories: I read the first part of Tree in the Trail to Bella. Sophie wanted the book about the little digger.

Sophie's new Lego. Bella is the designated builder.

Sophie’s new Lego. Bella is the designated builder.

Sophie's new Lego

Sophie’s new Lego

Sophie and Ben with Sophie's new Lego

Sophie and Ben with Sophie’s new Lego

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