Learning Notes Week of March 23

Two weeks late for these. It’s been busy and crazy. Holy Week, sick kids.

Monday March 23

It was a hard start to the week. None of us were focused. But eventually I got Bella through a math lesson and she did a little copy work. Sophie did math and copy work and read to me a Smithsonian Backyard book about robins. Some really hard sentence structure and vocabulary in that one. I had to help her figure out the syntax several times. But she soldiered through until the end.

I made pretzels for lunch and Sophie had a little crisis because she’d given up pretzels for Lent, which I’d forgotten. I told her she could forego the homemade pretzels and that would be a really huge sacrifice or she could decide that what she meant was to give up hard pretzels at snack time. She decided the latter. And slathered peanut butter all over her pretzels, making them a good lunch.

Afternoon stories were delayed because I had to sort out calling doctors. We read Little House in the Clearing and then the first chapter of Swallows and Amazons. The kids were hooked. I’m making mental notes to read them Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe. We also read a picture book about bears that we have out from the library.

The kids watched an episode of Planet Ocean.

Bedtime stories, I read the first part of the book about skeletons to Anthony and when I started to fade Bella finished it. I also read At the Same Time to Ben.


Sophie says the three figures at the bottom are all the number 3. One is facing left, the other is facing right, the middle one is turned facing the viewer. Bella didn’t get it, so I found a foam number to demonstrate. Sophie has a great spatial awareness. Bella does not.

Tuesday March 24

Again on the rocky start to the morning. I need to start putting out the school books. But also, this has been a rough week. Dom has to work late Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Late as in getting home after bedtime. So I suppose I can cut us all some slack. A bit.

Anyway, eventually Sophie and Bella both did math and copy work. Sophie read to me from the Margaret Hodges Joan of Arc and Bella read Lucy the Smithsonian Backyard book about robins. I listened to her read a page and counted that as her reading practice.

We went shopping for Easter clothes. Fun!

Afternoon stories: Swallows and Amazons, first chapter of Treasure Island, Little House in the Clearing.

The kids watched The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Wednesday March 25

Bella started her copy work before I got up. Sophie finished first, though. Did her math and copy work and was ready to read to me but had to wait until I’d helped Bella with her math.

Sophie read me part of Creation by Gennady Spirin. She was thrilled to realize a verse she’d copied sometime ago was from Genesis. Bella read me At the Same Time Around the World. We talked about pronunciation of names. Also tried to figure out what time of year the day that was being depicted in the book. We figured winter in the northern hemisphere because there was snow on the ground. Bella remembered that in China the character was preparing for the Chinese Lunar New Year, so I looked up the dates of that and we were able to narrow the time down even further. Then Lucy wanted to read to me. She flipped through a Boynton book and had me read each page to her and then she repeated something sort of like what I’d read while tracing her finger across the words.

More Easter clothes shopping at a local thrift store. I found dresses for the girls and rain boots for Lucy, belts for the boys and a First Communion dress for Sophie. And several books: big beautiful photo books of The March of the Penguins and the sister book about the Arctic. And books two and three of the All of a Kind Family series. The kids played in the drive when we got home.

Afternoon stories: More All of a Kind Family, The Old Man Mad About Drawing (getting ready to go to the Hokusai exhibit at the MFA next week), Swallows and Amazons, Little House in the Clearing, Treasure Island, and Story of the World.

The kids all watched Planet Ocean and then went out to play until dinner time.

Bedtime stories: we read a little bit of Mary Mother of God and then Two Tiny Mice.

Thursday March 26

The girls each did a page of math but not copywork or reading. Then we went to the grocery store.

Afternoon stories: The Old Man Mad About Drawing, Swallows and Amazons, Little House in the Clearing, Treasure Island.

The kids watched the first half of As You Like It.

Bedtime story: Chipmunk at whatever street, the Smithsonian Backyard book.

Friday March 27

Homeschooling Lent retreat. I could write a volume about it or just mention it briefly, but since I didn’t write it down immediately except a short summary for a friend on Facebook: We started off with songs then a short talk about grace, then an invocation prayer. Then the kids broke into groups by ages for age appropriate sessions. Then adoration. Then potluck lunch. Then stations of the cross. The kids all said they enjoyed themselves, even the boys and Lucy. I got to see friends and the kids got to see friends and cousins! And time for prayer and fellowship, always good.

Afternoon stories: The Old Man Mad About Drawing, Story of the World.

The kids watched the end of As You Like It.

Bedtime story: Caps for Sale. Bella skipped the story and retreated to her room to read All of a Kind Family.

4 Responses to Learning Notes Week of March 23

  1. The Sojourner April 8, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

    I love the story of Lucy “reading.” And all the pictures of her. She looks like such a little girl lately!

    • The Sojourner April 8, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

      (Little girl v. baby. Not, like, little girl v. little boy or something. 😉 )

    • Melanie Bettinelli April 8, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

      She’s so precocious! And thinks she can be just like the big kids. I agree, she’s such a little girl. But she insists, “I baby.” If she weren’t still nursing, I’d have a hard time seeing her as anything but a little girl.

  2. Valerie, NZ May 16, 2015 at 4:54 am #

    Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons” series of books is absolutely marvellous. I still enjoy reading them myself!

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