Learning Notes Week of November 15

Sophie reads to the boys.

Sophie reads to the boys.

Sophie reads to Lucy.

Sophie reads to Lucy.

Sunday November 15

Took Bella to see Hamlet. We left before 3 and got home after 9. A long day, but so very good.

Bella and I had a pre-show dinner at Pret a Manger.

Bella and I had a pre-show dinner at Pret a Manger.

Bella had chicken noodle soup, blueberry yogurt, and a croissant.

Bella had chicken noodle soup, blueberry yogurt, and a croissant.

View of the sunset on Boston Common, Bella in the red coat. The real thing was a really deep orange.

View of the sunset on Boston Common, Bella in the red coat. The real thing was a really deep orange.

Waiting for Hamlet to start.

Waiting for Hamlet to start.

Monday November 16

A slow start, we were all pretty tired after a late night.

Sophie did math and copywork and cursive and read me some Mother Goose selections.

Bella did math.

Nothing for boys, I was tired and distracted and nobody was really very focused.

Took a walk around the block before lunch.

Afternoon stories: Treasure Island. Junipero Serra. Mystery of the Periodic Table (also did experiment with baking soda and vinegar per the book’s directions). Lord of the Rings (first part of the chapter Knife in the Dark.)

Tuesday November 17

A little more focused today. Sophie did her math, copywork, and cursive. For copywork she copied out a panel from the Calvin and Hobbes book— much, much more writing than she usually does. And it was so neat too!

Bella did a page of Miquon math and copied out the first line of the To be or not to be soliloquy.

I did some math with Ben and Anthony and then had them doing some copywork on the white boards. I gave Ben a deck of letter flashcards and told him to copy six letters onto his board. He did seven or eight, I think, both the big and little letters. So actually 14 or 16 letters. I’m still just working to overcome his reluctance to engage at all with the alphabet. He was quite happy to look at the cards and was finding matches, discovering there were two of each letter in the deck. Anthony had me write out his full name and copied it onto the white board: Anthony Ignatius Bettinelli. He also had fun writing out some math problems on the whiteboard: 1+1=2, 2+2=4. He’s gotten much more confident with writing numbers and he’s enjoying math as is Ben.

We went to the bike shop to get Sophie’s bike repaired and the guy talked us out of the repairs and said it would be cheaper to just buy her a new bike. An honest businessman. I was impressed and said as much to the kids afterward. The bike shop is also a locksmith’s shop so the kids had fun looking at bike gear and at locks and safes and doorknobs while we waited. We listened to Prince Caspian in the car there and back.

Then we took a walk before lunch. Identified spruce and hemlock trees and gathered some pinecones, looked at some interesting shrubs, saw moss flowers and talked about how grass grows up over sidewalks. These daily walks are doing us all good. I really do hope we can keep them up even when the weather turns. It’s a good habit to get outside and observe things.

Over lunch I played a little Duolingo and then Sophie took a turn. She’s frustrated because she can’t remember enough French to really do it on her own, but she tries at least. Today she managed to memorize the sentence “Je suis une fille” and was quite proud of herself. Everyone’s picking up words and phrases and I found myself trying to explain bits of grammar. Everyone is practicing counting in French, a nice change to the counting in English.

Afternoon stories: Mystery of the Periodic Table— we read about alchemists and the importance of the study of gases to the development of chemistry, Bella is asking for this one now; Treasure Island— with lots more interest now as a source for the Swallows and Amazons; story of the Tower of Babel; Story of the World, chapter on the Civil War; My Family and Other Animals, about the gull and the convict; Lord of the Rings– a very short passage continuing the Knife in the Dark chapter as they reach Weathertop, but not getting to the end of it because Bella started to get nervous and it was growing late anyway. Kids did some brief narration and discussion of various books along the way. We’re getting used to talking about them at least.

Bella has been reading Half Magic and Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas, the book I got from the library hoping it would have pictures for Anthony or might be something I could read him but it seemed too long and we’ve never got around to looking at it. (Fortunately she was disturbed by a story about Dian Fossey taking a dog and she stopped reading. I picked up the book and read it and there was a lot of inappropriate content. Stuff that I found over the top and unnecessary and intrusive. I definitely would not give this book to a child. Thank you, Guardian Angel, for her not reading further.)

Anthony makes up his own math problems.

Anthony makes up his own math problems.

Anthony makes up his own math problems.

Anthony makes up his own math problems.

Sophie copies from Calvin and Hobbes

Sophie copies from Calvin and Hobbes

Ben copies letters.

Ben copies letters.

Ben copies letters.

Ben copies letters.

Wednesday November 18

Said morning prayer with Sophie, cuddled in bed and so sweet. Read the biography of St Rose Phillipine Duchesne to her. And again to everyone else. Also read today’s first reading and Gospel to everyone.

I did some math with the boys and then they purported to do some letter practice on the white boards, but I didn’t see any letters. Just drawings of planes and such.

Sophie was in a contrary mood and dragged her feet but eventually got through a page of math, some copywork (the last part of her Calvin page from yesterday) and a bit of cursive.

Bella was even more distracted but eventually finished her math after lunch. And late afternoon saw her finally finishing some writing, a story about a cat.

We did manage a pre-lunch walk. I confirmed by birch identification.

Afternoon stories: Treasure Island, Junipero Serra, Faith and Life selection about Abram’s obedience, Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun. Lord of the Ring, finished the Knife in the Dark chapter finally.

Kids played on the iPads for a bit while I made dinner.

Bedtime stories: Lucy brought me her daily devotional. Bella requested The Fantastic Flying Journey.

Thursday November 19

Sophie did math, no other schoolwork got done by anyone. We went to the grocery store.

Afternoon stories: Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun; Junipero Serra; The Mystery of the Periodic Table; Treasure Island; Lord of the Rings.

Kid watched Life of Mammals: Back to the Ocean.

Bedtime story: Pooh for Ben: In Which we meet Pooh. Anthony wanted The Illustrated Book of Knights.

Friday November 20

Field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts.

2 Responses to Learning Notes Week of November 15

  1. Enbrethiliel (@Enbrethiliel) November 25, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    +JMJ+

    When I got really serious about learning German this year, I didn’t just start counting exclusively in German, but also changed the way I used my fingers to count. Filipinos my age seem to begin with the pinky; but the only German I could find counting on his fingers on YouTube started with his thumb. So now I start with my thumb as well.

    • Melanie Bettinelli November 26, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

      Interesting. I usually count starting at my index finger. Though when counting with kids, I do sometimes find myself beginning with the thumb as it seems less confusing. But I’ve never seen anyone start with the pinky, I don’t think.

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