I’m combining two weeks of learning notes because we were hit by the stomach bug and did only about one week’s worth of work in the last two weeks. If that. Sadly, having survived the whatever flu-like illness that attacked us before the first communion, we picked up the terrible, awful, no-good, very-bad stomach thing from one of the cousins. Luckily Sophie and Lucy were unscathed, but Bella, Ben, and Anthony had a terrible time of it and Dom had a bad couple of days.
Monday April 27
I suppose I should have expected a rocky start after last week’s sickness and this weekend’s excitement. But I didn’t. I was blindsided by Bella’s absolute inability to focus and get started on work. And I got really impatient.
Sophie did a page of math, but doodled a picture between each and every single addition problem. She did her copywork, a very neat job of it too. She’s turning out to have excellent handwriting. She read me a few pages from Micawber.
Bella really, really couldn’t deal. She ignored or got distracted from my first four or five attempts to get her to stop playing and come do some work. When she did bring her books to me, she said her legs were all tied up in knots. She was writhing and wriggling and totally unable to deal with even opening a book. I sent her outside to run for a few minutes. When she came in she copied one word: “It.” I let it go for the day. She read me a few sentences from a couple of the history books: George vs George and Shh We’re Writing the Constitution. She did two sets of problems on Khan Academy: one on telling time and the other on simple multiplication.
Then Sophie did some problem sets on Khan Academy.Sophie kept asking for help and I kept getting sidetracked by her neediness and before I knew it it was 1pm and no one had had lunch and I was ravenously hungry and snapping the kids’ heads off. I quickly made everyone lunch (well, as quickly as one can make six lunches). Then after I’d finished eating, I put Lucy down for her nap.
Then we read a couple of books: Swallows and Amazons and On Top of Concord Hill, two very exciting chapters: Titty captures the Amazon and the family get cholera. Then we read about Captain Cook in the 1776 book. It was short but had some details the Story of the World version didn’t have. We talked about the two different versions briefly.
Then the kids watched an episode of Life of Mammals about rodents. Afterward, I noticed they were playing a game centered around Sophie’s little carved soapstone mouse that she bought at the farmer’s market. It was full of all sorts of details about food and lifestyle that had obviously been gleaned from the show. And had silliness too.
Bedtime stories: Charlotte in Paris and an Easter book. And Little Blue Truck.
Tuesday April 28
We went to the Museum of Fine Arts with my sister, who had never been there. I was shocked. We mainly visited the Hokusai exhibit. Also after lunch we briefly went through the galleries with American Colonial art.
Sophie did math and copywork before we left. Ben did some letter tracing. Bella did a little copywork.
We brought sketchbooks to the museum and everyone tried their hand at drawing something or other. Even Lucy scribbled in her notebook. I was rather proud of my four sketches. Bella drew mount Fuji and some hats and a few details here and there. Sophie drew some flowers. Ben drew a moon. Anthony scribbled something, I think.
No afternoon stories, we were home too late. Bedtime stories: two different versions of the Easter story. Bella skipped stories and read Charlotte in Paris to herself. Sophie stayed up uncommonly late reading The Dragon of Og in bed.
Wednesday April 29
Bella woke up at 3am vomiting in her bed. For the next ten hours she had constant vomiting and diarrhea. It was awful. I think Sophie did some copywork. Mostly the kids ran around and played while I took care of Bella and wandered around in a daze.
Thursday April 30
Bella was still sick, really awfully, terribly sick. No one did any school work. Bella was so tired during story time she passed out. I read It Could Always Be Worse for Anthony, a few chapters of Mr Revere and Me for Bella, but she didn’t make it all the way through. Then since Bella was asleep we skipped our usual reads, not wanting her to miss them. Instead I read a couple of Pooh stories from The House at Pooh Corner.
Friday May 1
Anthony got sick. Dom stayed home from work. He would have had a vacation day but it turned into a sick day. I gave up on trying to get Sophie to do any work nor did I read any books to anyone. Just trying to survive the stomach bug with two sick kiddos.
Saturday May 2
Ben got sick. Everything is just one blur of carrying children to and from the bathroom and cleaning up bodily fluids and forcing Gatorade down the gullets of children who hate the taste and obsessively washing my hands until the skin dries out and wiping down everything with Lysol wipes. Poor Sophie and Lucy just wandered about trying to find something to do with no other siblings to play with and no adults paying attention to them. They spent the morning pretending to have a beach day in the living room with swimsuits for themselves and their dollies made out of scarves.
Sunday May 3
No one went to Mass even the people who aren’t sick because I didn’t want to risk a well person being a carrier and getting someone else’s family sick. Let it end here.
Monday May 4
Everyone still sick. We are having a movie marathon. Have watched every animated film we own and are finding more on Netflix. Thank God for streaming on the iPads so the sick kids don’t have to fight over what to watch. As soon as one movie ends Anthony moans and rolls about until I start a new one. As long as there is something to distract him, he’s a fairly happy camper. But he hasn’t vomited much and his diarrhea seems relatively minor. He mostly has abdominal pain.
Tuesday May 5
Sophie did math and copywork. Too much sickness for anything else. Bella is on the mend, though. And even Ben and Anthony seem perkier.
Wednesday May 6
Bella did math and copywork. Sophie did math and copywork.
We read Will You Sign Here John Hancock? and several Frog and Toad stories, not our chapter books because Anthony was napping and I didn’t want him to miss out on the stories. He’s very invested in them.
Thursday May 7
Copywork and math for Sophie. Bella flipped through a recipe book, asked about the fractions, she understands fractions but hadn’t seen them with a slash. Then decided to write her own recipe. Then made it for lunch and compared her estimations of how much of each ingredient she’d need with how much she actually used. Talked about revising recipe to reflect actual amounts and actual process. But that was too much work. She did half a page of math and I counted the measuring and fractions as real world math.
Sophie read me The Selfish Giant. I had Anthony sit on my lap and read me letters from the Little Blue Truck in the City board book. He knows most of his letters. We figured out what some of the words say. Ben wanted to do it too. He recognizes fewer letters than Anthony and didn’t keep at it as long, he’s less curious about reading, I think. Anthony actively wants to know about letters. Ben has been learning more passively, it seems. And is quieter and less effusive about what he knows? But he definitely doesn’t recognize as many letters.
I read Anthony the first Pooh story about the bees. I’m always annoyed at the use of first and second person in that one. I prefer the later stories where the narrator settles into comfortable third person.
We read What’s the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? and Swallows and Amazons, at last after more than a week of not reading it. So excited to find out what John and Susan and Roger have been up to: an exciting midnight sail down the lake.
Friday May 8
Field Trip to the New England Aquarium. We took the ferry out of Hingham to Boston, just a short walk from the terminal to the aquarium. It was a lovely day. Bella sketched a cormorant and a flounder in her notebook. We left a little early, didn’t try to see everything, because I got a migraine.
I actually vomited outside 7-11 when I tried to take an Excederin. But after that felt much better, especially when I got to sit in the sun with a cool ocean breeze on my face.
The nice thing about having a membership for the year was not feeling like we had to stay to get our money’s worth.