Learning Notes Week of May 18: Bella is 9!

Learning Notes Week of May 18: Bella is 9!

Sophie reads to Lucy and Anthony
Sophie reads to Lucy and Anthony

Bella has been reading Why Not Lafayette by Jean Fritz. She read a chapter in the car on the way to Boston on Friday and more over the weekend.

Monday May 18

Bella’s birthday

Hard to get the girls to do any work today. Sophie did half a page of math and then wrote a book/card for Bella that I’ll count as copywork/handwriting practice. It was the sweetest card ever.

Bella copied part of a verse from her new Bible that she wants to memorize. I couldn’t get her to do math. She spent a lot of time reading her new books, though. So on the whole I’m not too worried. She read all of the book about the octopus. She read several verses from the Bible. She read big chunks of the D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths. Her favorite book was probably the Visual Dictionary. It’s a huge gorgeous book with picture upon picture of all sorts of fascinating things. A real feast for the eyes and mind. I could lose myself in it for hours. She had fun tracing pictures and coloring them.

Afternoon stories: Swallows and Amazons; the first chapter of Across the Rolling River, the last of the Caroline books— in this chapter Caroline meets Charles Ingalls for the first time, delightful; two pages of In a Patch of Fireweed, another of Bella’s new books, which led to a discussion about WWII.

Bedtime story: the Smithsonian Institution octopus book.

Bella's birthday, Anthony examines a book.
Bella’s birthday, Anthony examines a book.
Bella's birthday, Twelfth Night dvd
Bella’s birthday, Twelfth Night dvd
Bella's birthday: D'Aulaire's Greek Myths
Bella’s birthday: D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths
Bella reads in her new Bible
Bella reads in her new Bible
Sophie's card for Bella, page 1
Sophie’s card for Bella, page 1
Sophie's card for Bella, page 2
Sophie’s card for Bella, page 2
Sophie's card for Bella, page 3
Sophie’s card for Bella, page 3
Sophie's card for Bella, page 4
Sophie’s card for Bella, page 4

Tuesday May 19

I got the girls to do all their math, and copywork and reading. Sophie needed a bit of help when she got frustrated by the math, but she worked through it and then did a page of copywork too. I wrote Bella’s math answers for her but she did the mental work. Bella copied a passage she’d chosen from the Bible, John 7:38, a verse she wants to hag on her wall and memorize. And then she browsed through the psalms and we discussed some of them briefly and then she read me all of Revelation ch 6. She’s really loving her new Bible.

Sophie read me the St Valentine book. She likes reading the whole book, and usually hates it when I suggest she stop partway through.

We read Swallows and Amazons and then Across the Rolling River and then their attention was done.

They watched the first half of Twelfth Night.

Bella loves her new Bible. Reading the Psalms and Revelation.
Bella loves her new Bible. Reading the Psalms and Revelation.
Looking at Bella's Visual Dictionary
Looking at Bella’s Visual Dictionary
Sophie's life size paper doll. She says the hair is like hers: done in a braid in the back but escaping all over in crazy frizz.
Sophie’s life size paper doll. She says the hair is like hers: done in a braid in the back but escaping all over in crazy frizz.
Sophie does copywork
Sophie does copywork

Wednesday May 20

A better start today. Sophie did a full page of copywork and three pages of math, one in Saxon and two in Miquon. She read all of the Smithsonian backyard book about the raccoon.

Bella found that tearing out the math page from the workbook made it much easier to complete it. She wrote all the answers on her own today. She also did another line of the copywork she began yesterday and traced pictures out of the visual dictionary and labelled them. Bella read to me from D’Aulaire’s Greek myths. She’s been reading Sun Slower Sun Faster, another of her birthday books. She finished chapter one yesterday and was into chapter two. This morning she was on page 62.

Ben traced some letters and we talked about some of the letter sounds and names. Anthony also joined in on letter sounds.

The children played outside most of the morning.

Afternoon reading: Swallows and Amazons, then Story of the World chapter about the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. Bella evidently knew something about it from the Lafayette book she’s been reading.

Bedtime stories: Mother Goose for Lucy and the raccoon book again at Ben’s request. Bella read some more D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths to Dom.

Sophie’s been reading extensively in Calvin and Hobbes in her free time. She also picks up other books though. Ben always has a pile of books in his bed. He might not be all that interested in learning to read, but he does love books. All my kids love books and look at books in bed before falling asleep. I can remember when bedtimes were a terrible awful wrangle. Now sometimes I can hardly get them to look up from their books long enough to say goodnight. Though Ben always wants me to tuck him in.

Bella's new shield
Bella’s new shield arrived on Wednesday

Thursday May 21

Bella and Sophie had their yearly physicals and then we went to the grocery store. Sophie did a math page and a page of copywork before we left. Bella began her math, but didn’t get very far. Nor did she do her copywork. She brought them in the car but she also brought her Bible and she ended up reading that. Actually, she chose a Psalm and sang it.

We came home and had lunch, Bella read a bit from Isaiah out loud to herself as I unloaded the car. Then when Lucy was down for her nap I read to them outside: the story of Moses and the burning bush from the picture Bible, Swallows and Amazons, Across the Rolling River (only half a chapter because the chapter was 30 pages long), Treasure Island, Story of the World. Then inside for snacks and I read Bella’s new book about lobsters. Then Bella finished her math and copywork and read me part of a chapter of Canadian Summer.

At some point we spent some time looking at the human anatomy diagrams in Bella’s Visual Dictionary. Some good discussion about digestive systems and the urinary tract and a cursory discussion of mammary glands and the function of the uterus. So count that as a science lesson along with the lobster book. Also an investigation of caterpillars in the backyard.

Then we watched the second half of Twelfth Night.

At bedtime I read Lucy a Frog and Toad story and for Bella and Sophie a couple pages of Seabird. In bed Bella continued reading Seabird and Sophie read Calvin and Hobbes.

Friday May 22

Both girls did math and copywork. Bella’s copywork was rushed and sloppy. I should have made her redo it, but I really wanted her to do her math and it seemed likely that she’d be able to do one or the other. She got started on the math on her own, which is huge and was able to do most of it on her own. She got a little stuck and I was able to give her a few nudges. It was a fun page that provided a series of three numbers and she had to put in the operation signs to make a true number sentence. Sophie has decided that she really wants to master telling time. When she’d worked all the clock pages in her workbook, she took to drawing clock faces on notebook paper. I had to help her with figuring out how to put the numbers in the proper zones. She drew one for herself and one for Anthony. I think she’s really getting it. Her copywork is getting quite neat. She rewards herself by not doing the illustration until she’s completed a whole passage.

Sophie read me a bunch of nursery rhymes and then read more to Lucy and Anthony. Anthony decided he wanted to practice his reading. So he picked a book and read me every single letter on the page, one at a time. Then when he’d read out all the letters in a couple of words, he would have me read him the words. Then he’d read out the next set of letters and he’d make me read all the words he’d done to that point, starting at the top of the page. He was very particular about my not reading any further than the letters he’d read. Working back and forth like that we did a couple of pages. Just about the point where I was about to die of boredom he decided he was done for the day. It’s a very interesting method he’s chosen, but I guess it works for him. He’s got very good letter recognition. He knows almost all of them and only gets confused on m and w, n and u, b and d. And when I correct him he’s able to remember the correction fairly well. He definitely understands the connection between letters and sounds and how those make up words. Once or twice he’d only read half the letters in the word and he didn’t want me to read the second half of the word, only the part he’d said the letters for.

Bella and Sophie are using a lot more writing in their games. Bella is getting more comfortable with invented spelling. She showed me a secret club notebook that I wasn’t supposed to read out loud because the boys might hear but I couldn’t decipher the invented spelling without trying to sound it out, especially with the letter reversals. Sophie declared that she knows sometimes she’s spelling the words wrong, but she’s trying to apply the rules she knows and is happy to be able to write something that’s close enough.

We didn’t do any afternoon reading because I had a doctor’s appointment.

Bella in her new birthday dress from Grandma and Grandad Scott, she and Sophie have a secret club with lots of note passing.
Bella in her new birthday dress from Grandma and Grandad Scott, she and Sophie have a secret club with lots of note passing.
Princess Bella
Princess Bella
Bella and Sophie playing in the backyard
Bella and Sophie playing in the backyard
Lucy in a twirl dress
Lucy in a twirl dress

Saturday and Sunday

Bella has been reading Sun Slower, Sun Faster all weekend. She’s finished chapter 6 as of Sunday evening. She’s in love with it.

Also popular is her Visual Dictionary. The kids are fighting over who gets to look at it and I don’t blame them. It’s gorgeous, full of lovely, informational, intriguing pictures of so many things. I can’t say enough how much I love it and how thrilled I am to have it.

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