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Learning Notes Week of May 11: Herring run and Boston’s Freedom Trail

Learning Notes Week of May 11: Herring run and Boston’s Freedom Trail

Monday May 11

Sophie did copywork and a math page and counted some coins. Bella did half a page of math, a line of copywork, and played with modeling clay. Bella read me a couple of paragraphs from the pirate book. We talked about nouns and verbs. Ben and Anthony practiced writing letters. Ben filled in his calendar and practiced counting pennies. Anthony read me the first two Bob books. Oh yes he did, with a little help.

Bella and Sophie have been playing a fairy game that involves writing notes back and forth to each other. I’ve been asked how to spell “know” and “four” and “where”. I have corrected the spelling of “Dandy” (as in the fairy of the dandelions) and “enemy”.

I read Swallows and Amazons, we are learning a lot about small boats. And On Top of Concord Hill, Bella was dreading the cholera chapter, but it wasn’t so bad. And oh I was so excited today. Ben requested a chapter of Treasure Island. I’d let it lapse when no one seemed all that interested. I think it got off to too slow a start. But he asked to read it and we did. This chapter was much more thrilling as Jim and his mother plead for help and then sneak back to the inn to break into the dead captain’s chest to get the money he owes them.

Sophie’s baptism day, renewal of promises. And chocolate chip cookies.

Bedtime story: Take It to the Queen,

Sophie the fairy
Sophie the fairy
Two fairies
Two fairies
Fairies passing notes to each other.
Fairies passing notes to each other.

Tuesday May 12

I laid out the books and math manipulatives on the table last night and that does make such a difference. Sophie did her copywork and math first thing. Bella did hers, well, some of hers. Ben did a big of letter tracing and filling in his math calendar and then we looked at clocks a bit.

Bella read me a page from Little House on the Prairie, I think, from the Fourth of July scene where Pa reads the Declaration of Independence. Which means that Bella read me substantial excerpts from the Declaration, really tackling all those big words and difficult phrases. I think she must have picked it out precisely because we’ve been reading about the American Revolution.

Sophie read me Forever You.

We went to the grocery store then.

Afternoon stories: Poetry from Where the Sidewalk Ends, On Top of Concord Hill, Treasure Island, Swallows and Amazons. Then the others went outside to play and Bella stayed and finished reading Valley Forge with me and the first chapter of Why Not, Lafayette?

During dinner it began to rain and all the kids had to run outside to glory in the sunshower.

Sunshower
Sunshower
Sunshower
Sunshower
Sunshower
Sunshower
Sunshower
Sunshower
Sunshower
Sunshower

Wednesday May 13

Field trip day with Catholic homeschooling group: Herring run. We went to Bourne to the Cape Cod Canal where a ranger gave us a presentation on herring, showed us the herring run, caught some herring so the kids could see them up close, and then led the kids in a game where some kids pretended to be herring and others were predators. The kids playing the herring had to run through a course outlined by ropes while the predators tried to catch them. First they ran the course one at a time and then in a school to demonstrate that schooling allows more herring to get through.

After the game we had a picnic lunch and they had a chance to play with some friends while I chatted with other moms. So nice to chat with other moms.

Those big kids who answer all the questions and know all the answers? Bella’s one of them. She knew the answers to most of the ranger’s questions. And volunteered knowledge about herring that she’d gleaned from the Blue Planet documentaries. I’m seeing so clearly just how much she learned from them. I can definitely count the winter term as a unit of marine biology. Recently someone was arguing that just as some books are living books, some documentaries can be living documentaries, so to speak. I think these are. Really fostering a relationship with the material.

Then we came home and cleaned the house and made dinner because we had a dinner guest, Fr Matt Williams, who is a pastoral associate at our parish. The kids all helped clean and set the table. We didn’t get any reading done but hospitality is a major element I want to emphasize in our home and homeschool.

Sophie is tired from running about as a herring
Sophie is tired from running about as a herring
Bella the seal tries to get some herring
Bella the seal tries to get some herring
Bella is a herring running upstream
Bella is a herring running upstream
Ranger Sam lets the children see some herring up close. (The fish were later released back into the river.)
Ranger Sam lets the children see some herring up close. (The fish were later released back into the river.)
Bella plays at being a seal
Bella plays at being a seal

Monday May 11

Thursday May 14

Mass for the feast of the Ascension then trip to Target. So no morning school work.

Afternoon stories: Swallows and Amazons, Treasure Island, we finished On Top of Concord Hill, Bella wanted me to re-read the first chapter of 1776.

Friday May 15

Field trip to Boston to walk the Freedom Trail.

We started at Boston Common, looked at the Civil War monument. Then up to the State House and the Robert Gould Shaw memorial. And then back across the Common to the Park Street Church. Then the Old Granary Burying Ground where Sam Adams and John Hancock and Paul Revere and others are buried. Then King’s chapel and the King’s chapel burying ground. Then Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market for lunch and then back past the old State House, the Irish Famine memorial, which makes me cry every time, the statue of Ben Franklin at the site of the former Boston Latin School which was then the courthouse and is now a restaurant? Then we looped back to the common. Such a long, long day with lots and lots and lots of walking. Dom’s iPhone fitness app estimated 3.9 miles.

Bella read a chapter of the Lafayette book in the car and Sophie read Calvin and Hobbes. Otherwise no school work today.

This week has been very light on math and writing and reading, but heavy on experience. This is the way I anticipate much of our summer will be. We will try to do school work as much as possible, but will not avoid trips in favor of work, quite the opposite. We don’t take an actual summer vacation, but the rhythm of life changes and the work becomes less intense and we get out of the house a lot more.

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Civil War monument on Boston Common
Civil War monument on Boston Common
Civil War monument on Boston Common
Civil War monument on Boston Common
On Boston Common
On Boston Common
Anthony at Boston Common
Anthony at Boston Common
On Boston Common
On Boston Common
Lucy on the streets of Boston.
Lucy on the streets of Boston.
With Bella on the Freedom Trail
With Bella on the Freedom Trail
In front of the State House
In front of the State House
At the Old Granary Burying Ground
At the Old Granary Burying Ground
At Faneuil Hall
At Faneuil Hall
With Lucy at Faneuil Hall
With Lucy at Faneuil Hall
At the Old Granary Burying Ground
At the Old Granary Burying Ground
With the statue of Samuel Adams.
With the statue of Samuel Adams.
Lunch break at Quincy Market, Lucy eats some rice.
Lunch break at Quincy Market, Lucy eats some rice.
Anthony eats pizza at Quincy Market
Anthony eats pizza at Quincy Market
Lunch break at Quincy Market
Lunch break at Quincy Market
At Faneuil Hall
At Faneuil Hall
Ben at Faneuil Hall
Ben at Faneuil Hall
Painting of the Battle of Bunker Hill
Painting of the Battle of Bunker Hill
Bella watches the crowds from the window at Faneuil Hall.
Bella watches the crowds from the window at Faneuil Hall.
Watching a street performer at Quincy Market.
Watching a street performer at Quincy Market.
Statue of Benjamin Franklin
Statue of Benjamin Franklin
The Irish Famine memorial. Makes me cry every time.
The Irish Famine memorial. Makes me cry every time.
Bella and Sophie on the stairs at Faneuil Hall.
Bella and Sophie on the stairs at Faneuil Hall.
Bella eating lunch at Quincy Market
Bella eating lunch at Quincy Market
Sophie eating lunch at Quincy Market.
Sophie eating lunch at Quincy Market.
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