Learning Notes Week of November 30

Sunday November 29

Sunday night ended with a trip to the emergency room with Ben, who fell off the rocking chair and cut open a gash along his right eyebrow. We turned off the stove and left the curry sitting in the pot while we bundled five kids into coats and rushed to the hospital.

Bella was the hero of the day, helping to get everyone’s coats and boots and things, holding the washcloth to Ben’s head while I got my own coat and boots on and during the drive to the hospital. She also talked to Ben and distracted him while we drove.

Poor little guy had to get 8 stitches, but I was very impressed by the pediatric ER staff, doctor, nurses, and coordinator in charge of distracting small children. They were really amazing. They even scrounged up some turkey sandwiches, one on gluten free bread for Lucy. We were in a room right away, didn’t even sit down in the waiting area. They had a movie on and coloring pages and stickers within minutes of us coming in. And they had an iPad for Ben to watch during the actual stitching. Perfect distraction. And they gave Ben a medal for bravery. He didn’t say anything to them when they put it around his neck, he doesn’t talk to new people. But he gushed about it as soon as we got home and he wore it for days. I’m so glad we have South Shore Hospital with it’s dedicated pediatric ER.

Needless to say, though, this minor emergency threw the rest of our week a little off kilter.

Ben waiting to get stitched up.

Ben waiting to get stitched up.

Ben waiting to get stitched up.

Ben waiting to get stitched up.

The ER staff gave Ben a medal for bravery. He didn't take it off except to sleep for the next three days.

The ER staff gave Ben a medal for bravery. He didn’t take it off except to sleep for the next three days.

Monday November 30

Bella did a page in Miquon math, copied out a phrase that caught her attention from Sunday’s first reading to make an ornament: “The Lord our justice.”

Sophie did a page of Saxon math, a line of copywork, and some cursive Ys.

I didn’t try to get the boys to do any math or reading. We were all tired from last night’s excursions.

The kids spent much of the day playing with one of the books we got at the hospital, titled simply Music, it was one of those that has an electronic player. You enter the number from the page, and it plays you a sample of music. It seemed to have a little everything from stuff about music theory, classical, jazz, Chinese, African, American folk… the kids loved it. I think Sophie might have even read a bit of the book.

Afternoon stories: more of the Council of Elrond from The Fellowship of the Ring. A chapter of Junipero Serra. Half a chapter of Story of the World, about Paraguay fighting against Brazil and Argentina.

Bedtime story: book about Our Lady of Guadalupe, a few pages of One Small Square: Pond.

Dancing in the kitchen.

Dancing in the kitchen.

Tuesday December 1

We started off reading today’s first reading from Isaiah. Talked about the stump of Jesse and the shoot and then the funny animal pairings and the babies with snakes.

Bella did a lesson on fractions in Miquon and she got it and she thought it was fun. It’s the first time in a long time she’s thought a math lesson was actually fun.

Sophie did a page in the MEP book I printed off for her. And she thought it was fun and really liked the way the page was organized.

I did a MEP math lesson with Ben and Anthony, starting on Year One book 2. They had fun. Anthony did a worksheet page on letter P. Ben didn’t do any letters. his head was hurting on and off all day and he stayed in his pajamas all day. On top of the head wound, he also has a bit of a cold. Poor guy.

The printer printed off an extra copy of the boy’s math pages, so I gave them to Lucy who then asked me at every problem set, “What am I supposed to do here?” It was cute at first but then became aggravating. “Just color it in, Lucy.” It’s not like she can actually write numbers yet.

Sophie did some copywork and cursive practice. Bella never did get around to copying anything. Bella did read all of the abridged version of Call of the Wild that she picked up at the hospital.

Sophie read the boys and Lucy a Christmas picture book, one of the Peter Speirs ones. She paused in the middle to contemplate how Jesus is the light of the world and commented on it to the others and led a little discussion before going back to the story. It was a sweet moment, both because she was so into the story, but also because the habit of contemplation and discussion is so obviously second nature at this point.

Afternoon stories: A chapter of Treasure Island, which we aren’t all that into, but I want to just finish it and the chapters are short. It’s a book I think we’ll be glad to have read if only to be able to get the references when everyone else refers to it— like in Swallows and Amazons. Then we read the final section of the Council of Elrond. Some heavy stuff there and Bella wanted to discuss it at length. We were too tired for more stories at that point. Or at least I was.

Bedtime stories: An Otis Christmas. Sophie noted there wasn’t Jesus in it, but otherwise it’s a good story.

Lucy with lightsaber.

Lucy with lightsaber.

Lucy with lightsaber.

Lucy with lightsaber.

Wednesday December 2

Sophie did a page of MEP math and some copywork and the rest of the Y page in her cursive book.

Bella started doing the Miquon page, fractions, before we left for the grocery store and finished it this afternoon while I was making dinner.

We did all the grocery shopping. Ben’s still feeling under the weather.

Afternoon stories: Treasure Island, it’s a good thing the chapters are short, this one isn’t holding our attention very well. Finished the book about Junipero Serra. It wasn’t a great book, kind of bland and it felt rather like an outline waiting to be filled in, but at least we now know something about the US’s newest saint. The Mystery of the Periodic Table and made a pneumatic trough according to the instructions. The Fellowship of the Ring, the Ring Heads South.

Bedtime stories: Brambly Hedge: Winter Story. The Baker’s Dozen.

Lucy does math.

Lucy does math.

Thursday December 3

Bella did more Miquon, multiplying fractions. Again she wrote This is fun! on her page (backwards writing today) we’ve finally found her math niche. She copied a bit out of a Little House book.

Sophie did a MEP math page, copywork in her Memoria book, and cursive. She read me the Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabelle picture book. (Text in cursive, so pretty impressive.)

I did an MEP lesson with Ben and Anthony and Anthony did some Montessori letters on the iPad.

Lucy is loving the extra MEP pages that my computer accidentally printed twice. She’s got amazing fine motor skills, writing squiggles in the tiny little boxes. And it’s so cute to hear her imitating the big kids: “What do I do here?” and “This one is too hard, I’ll do the next one.”

Afternoon stories: Treasure Island; Story of the World, Canadian independence; Pope Pius XII by Louis de Wohl (a really big hit, I love de Wohl so much). Lord of the Rings.

Kids watched two episodes of Life of Birds. Sophie wants to be a hummingbird.

Bedtime stories: picture book about Jane Goodall.

Friday December 4

Bella and I read and discussed the lectionary readings.

Sophie did MEP math, copywork, cursive, all before I was up. She read Hannah’s Christmas to Lucy and the boys.

Bella continued to copy a passage from These Happy Golden Years. She did a Kahn Academy math lesson, place values up to 10,000, I think. She read a book to Lucy, but I’m not sure which one.

I did an MEP math lesson with Ben and Anthony. Ben did some Montessori sandpaper letters app.

We all went to the library and checked out books. Bella was thrilled that January’s book club book is by Jane Goddall. She immediately signed up and checked the book out on her own card. When we got home she dove into it and was very, very happy with it. We also got some books on the Civil War.

Afternoon stories was mostly library books. I did read the last of our Lord of the Rings chapter. And we read a bit of the Abraham chapter in Faith and Life. We read books about elephant seals, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, also some silly picture books picked out by the younger kids.

Kids watched Life of Birds.

Bedtime stories: a book about the Underground Railroad and some other library picture books.

Sophie reads Hannah's Christmas to Lucy.

Sophie reads Hannah’s Christmas to Lucy.

4 Responses to Learning Notes Week of November 30

  1. Valerie, NZ December 14, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    Ben’s accident must have been an unpleasant upset for you all: I hope he heals up nicely, and that you all stay safe and well henceforth 🙂

    • Melanie Bettinelli December 17, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

      Thank you. He’s healing very nicely. Three of the stitches have already worked their way out and the scar is hardly noticeable. Looks like he’s going to get off pretty easy.

  2. Ellie December 16, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Man oh man. So glad he’s ok. When my eldest was 3 he was having a bedtime ride on the rocking horse, went flying off and broke his wrist. I didn’t have a phone so put him on my hip and hiked up the street to the pay phone (at 8:30pm, in the late autumn, so it was full dark) to call around for a ride to the ER …. Those were the days …

    • Melanie Bettinelli December 17, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

      Scary. So far we haven’t had any broken bones. This is our first ER-worthy injury to any of the kids. (I’ve been in twice in the last five years because I evidently have problems with knife safety.)

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