Learning Notes Week of October 19

Post-library book binge.

Post-library book binge.

Monday October 19

Late start, but eventually we did get the ball rolling. I did math with Ben and Anthony and a little letter writing too. iPad time like a carrot waved in front of them. No iPad until everyone has finished their work.

I did math with Sophie. We had to review subtraction. She was having a wretched day. She did a bit of copywork and then read me a couple of pages of the Abigail Adams picture book. Then Anthony read me two Bob books. And then surprise, Ben brought me a Bob book and we read through it. He’s doing what seems to be a combination of memorizing and guessing. But we worked through it word by word and he seemed to maybe be getting the idea of blending. I didn’t push him much at all. Fed him the letter sounds as soon as he hesitated, let him have the experience of getting through a book. He was very proud. Not that he showed it, of course. I think all the praise Anthony has been receiving has got to him.

Bella did a page of math— multiplying by 5. And a couple of sentences written. She also read me the first few pages of the book about the orange grove.

So everyone did math, writing, and reading. A major success. Even if the attitudes were a bit off.

We got a new map in the mail. A world map that adheres to the wall and which the kids can draw on with dry erase markers. Sophie immediately drew in some pirates. Bella planned trading voyages to Europe. And was very concerned she get the cargo right. So we talked about the imports and exports at various times in history. She knew a lot of them and was able to think of more with some prompting. We also discussed the names of the Tropics, why Cancer and Capricorn. And why is Lesotho entirely surrounded by South Africa? Ben and Anthony drew on the map too.

Afternoon stories: Winter Holiday. Story of the World: The Crimean War. St Elizabeth Ann Seton. Microbe Hunters. Good discussions and Bella and Sophie gave a good history narration.

Bedtime story: Picture Book of Davy Crockett, Calvin and Hobbes.

Sophie admires our new map.

Sophie admires our new map.

Tuesday October 20

Did a math lesson with the boys and what sound do the letters Q and O make. Anthony read me a Bob book and Ben did a reading lesson with a Bob book, but was much more distractible today.

Sophie did a page in Saxon and a very tiny bit of copywork. And then crumbled. She did read me a couple pages of the Beethoven Heroic Symphony book. She spent some time looking through a tree identification flip book and we talked about several of the trees.

Bella did a page in the Saxon workbook and wrote out the names of all the New England states. I had to help her with the spelling on most of them. She did not read to me today. She was reading about the life of Elizabeth I in the Famous People book.

Afternoon stories: Faith and Life, the consequences of the Fall. The Story of Florence Nightingale from the Lives of Famous People. Winter Holiday. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Junipero Serra. Microbe Hunters.

Bedtime stories: picture book about Sam Houston, Five Little Monkeys.

Sophie reads to Lucy and the boys forget their own books.

Sophie reads to Lucy and the boys forget their own books.

Wednesday October 21

Well Sophie at least “felt like doing schoolwork” this morning. She tackled her math and her copywork right off, after making her own egg and getting dressed and brushing her teeth. Such a change from the last couple of days. And she knew it too, because her “thank you, God” tonight was gratitude for “feeling like doing school.” Makes me wonder if the last couple of days she wasn’t a little sick, under the weather… something?

Bella, on the other hand, was not at all feeling like school work. She picked up several books. Couldn’t settle. She read about Chaucer and then picked up the picture book of tales from Canterbury Tales. She looked at the map and wanted to look at trade routes and currents and the northernmost towns. (Which came in handy when we got to Winter Holiday at reading time. She recognized that Spitzbergen was an island in the Arctic. I hadn’t bothered to look it up.) But, alas, no math.

I did a math lesson with the boys but decided they didn’t need to do any writing or reading. They needed to go play. And play they did. The laundry room was a fort and they lined it with blankets and had all sorts of weapons.

Well, I let them play and did some baking. I had Bella come back to math right before dinner and looking at the page with her I was able to get her on the right track. And she did about half the page before she got distracted again and went to play outside.

Afternoon stories: Faith and Life end of story of the Fall. I quizzed the kids on the Catechism questions and they all did pretty well. Winter Holiday. St Elizabeth Ann Seton. St Junipero Serra. And then we began The Lord of the Rings. I read the first part of the Prologue, much to the chagrin of Ben, Sophie, and Anthony who just wanted to get to the story. But Bella liked it. Oh well. And then we read the first part of chapter 1, up to Frodo leaving the party. I think we’re going to try to take it slow and do less than a chapter a day while we can. The chapters are so long they could well overwhelm our school time. I almost didn’t want to start for that reason. But I also have a hard time staying away. Oh I love it so.

Bedtime stories: I read Calvin and Hobbes to Ben and Sophie read Richard Scarry to Anthony and Lucy. Bella ducked back to her room for more Chaucer.

I know I need to work on getting Bella motivated for math. But it’s hard to get too, too worked up when she’s diving into Chaucer and studying geography on her own. She’s an autodidact and more often than not I just give her her head and let her go at it. She’s learning and thriving. Even if I wish she were a bit sharper about math and spelling. She’ll get there someday. I hope.

Sophie reads to Lucy while both cuddle dolls.

Sophie reads to Lucy while both cuddle dolls.

Thursday October 22

Kids colored pictures of St John Paul II.

Did math with the boys. Sophie did math and copywork and cursive. Bella did math. Sophie and Bella both demonstrated that Slice Fractions is indeed helping them to master fractions.

We went for a picnic and a hike. Then to the library.

We read Winter Holiday. No other books.

Bedtime stories: library books.

Picnicking with Lucy at the park

Picnicking with Lucy at the park

At the park

At the park

At the park

At the park

At the park, Ben storms the castle.

At the park, Ben storms the castle.

Dragonfly at the park

Dragonfly at the park

Picnicking with Lucy.

Picnicking with Lucy.

At the park

At the park

At the park

At the park

At the park

At the park

Friday October 23

Everyone did math. Short lesson for Ben and Anthony on the whiteboard. Longish lesson for Sophie on the whiteboard from Miquon. Bella did a page in Miquon on prime numbers.

Grocery store. On the way home we finished our audiobook of The Silver Chair. Now we need to decide what to listen to next.

Afternoon stories: Winter Holiday. St Elizabeth Ann Seton. Story of the World chapter about Afghanistan which led to looking at maps and talking about recent conflicts in Afghanistan. St Junipero Serra. Fellowship of the Rings, finished chapter 1.

While I was making dinner the kids and I listened to Act I of Hamilton the musical (warning: some language, preview before playing for kids) and spent some time discussing the history, the songs, the form of the musical, why the songs are sung so fast. It was fun. I don’t think the kids have ever heard or seen a musical before.

Bedtime story: Birthday for Frances.

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