Learning Notes First Week of February

Learning Notes First Week of February

Bella pores over the atlas with Peter Duck in hand to find all the places mentioned in the English Channel. I don't think I have to worry much about geography for this one.
Bella pores over the atlas with Peter Duck in hand to find all the places mentioned in the English Channel. I don’t think I have to worry much about geography for this one.

Monday Feb 1

Early morning dentist appointment. (We listened to On the Banks of Plum Creek going thee and back.) Afterwards everyone was eager to play outside as the weather was amazingly warm and springlike. The kids were running around barefoot. Schoolwork didn’t stand a chance. Bella did one line of copywork and no math. I couldn’t get Sophie to do anything at all.

Afternoon stories: Faith and Life story of Moses and the plagues and the first Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea. Pigeon Post, Then There Were Five. And then I fell asleep and the kids went back outside.

At the dentist. Lucy kept going and staring into the treatment room.
At the dentist. Lucy kept going and staring into the treatment room.
Sophie enjoys the balmy weather.
Sophie enjoys the balmy weather.

Tuesday February 2

Listened to Morning Prayer and then the lectionary readings of the day, discussed the Presentation and the prophecy of Malachi in the first reading. And looked at the Tissot painting of the Presentation in my Life of Christ book and then at a lot more images on Google. (I love Google image search for Biblical themes, we can usually look at more than a dozen works. I let Sophie and Ben and Anthony scroll through them on the iPad.

It was very hard to get Sophie and Bella to do any work. Bella did a line of copywork and most of a math page in Miquon, multiplying by 10s and 100s. Sophie did part of an MEP math page and a line of copywork in her cursive MP book and then I played a few hands of Speed with her as a reward. I did part of a math lesson with Ben. Anthony listened in, but didn’t really join us, he’s feeling under the weather.

Sophie and Ben and Anthony looked through the Leave Your Sleep book and I read them a couple of poems out of it.

Then the kids went outside to play. Cooler than yesterday, but still pretty nice out.

Afternoon stories: The first part of the Apostles Creed in the Inos Biffi Catechism book, which led to some discussion about God and heaven and memorizing the Creed and all sorts of things. Pigeon Post, Boer War in Story of the World— gold mines tied in nicely with Pigeon Post and Bella narrated nicely with Sophie throwing in a few bits here and there too and we also looked at Africa on the map and discussed Baden-Powell and scouting and A Little Princess and the diamond mines. Then There Were Five and we discussed what an auction is, Lord of the Rings— just a couple pages to finish up the chapter about the voice of Saruman.

We watched a documentary about a dinosaur called Bigger than T-Rex, about a dinosaur called Spinosaur, whose partial skeleton was found by a German archaeologist in Egypt but was destroyed by bombs in WWII and how a contemporary archaeologist found a second skeleton in Morocco and then how they used the two partials to create a computer model and to speculate about it being an aquatic or semi-aquatic carnivore. Anthony and Sophie and Ben are getting into dinosaurs. Bella loved the paleontology and the puzzle being solved and the mystery and the tie in with WWII.

Dinner without Dom who was working late. We had mac-n-cheese and listened to the first act of Hamilton and I let the kids dance and sing and we discussed bits of the history.

Bedtime story: Scarface, a legend of the Blackfeet Indians, and In the Bush, a story about an Australian family who goes on a camping adventure.

Bella has been reading about Krakatoa.

Wednesday February 3

Lucy had a pediatrician appointment and then after that we went to Target. (We listened to Ojn the Banks of Plum Creek again.) Bella brought her copywork and did it in the doctor’s office. And a nice job she did of it too. Sophie refused to bring her schoolwork but promised to do it when we got home.

When we got home Sophie did eventually sit down and finish a page of math and a line of copywork. Bella eventually did part of a math page.

Afternoon stories: we did another page from the apostle’s creed section of the catechism book and a bit of the Faith and Life story of Moses. Trying to get kids to narrate. Not much luck. I probably need to pull out the Aesop and do one story a day for Ben he gets the hang of having to talk. And Sophie might need a bit more help too. Then a chapter of Pigeon Post, the final chapter of Then There Were Five and Anthony is begging for the next Melendy book to be among his birthday presents. Then Lord of the Rings.

The kids watched a BBC world documentary about lions.

Bedtime story: Fox and Crow Are Not Friends.

Bella has been reading The Queen’s Own Grove and The Lord of the Rings.

Bella is reading Pagoo, I think. I need to remember to get the girls to narrate the books they’re reading to me. How do I remember to make that a habit?

Sophie has created an index for her notebook. Brilliant.
Sophie has created an index for her notebook. Brilliant.

Thursday February 4

We began reading about St Jane of Valois, the French queen whose husband divorced her and she subsequently founded a religious order. We also read the day’s lectionary readings.

Today Bella copied a passage from Lord of the Rings, directly from the book into her notebook rather than me transcribing for her first. This is a big step for her. She’s been really uncomfortable with trying to manage to copy from the book for a while. She’s also interested in maybe beginning to keep a notebook with her favorite quotations in it. This was a sort of dry run to see if maybe she’s ready to start doing that. I can see that her confidence in her handwriting has really skyrocketed in recent weeks. And rightly so, it’s become very neat and is now almost as good as my own printing. I wish she’d try cursive, but I’m still just happy she’s got a handle on printing.
Bella also did a page of Miquon Math. And a short spelling test— I’m going to try to do one a day, mostly to improve her own confidence in her ability to spell. And I’m thinking of using it as a precursor for dictation. I want her to start doing dictation, but I think she’s a bit nervous about it. Maybe starting with single words and working our way up to prepared sentences will be a way to go.

Sophie did half of a page of math and then got very frustrated and then did some cursive copywork, she working on the first lines of Genesis now and really enjoying it. After she’d finished the passage, I discussed it with her a bit and then I looked up the Latin and showed that to her.

I did a brief math lesson with the boys.

Sophie read various passages in her Bible, starting with the Genesis passage she’d copied. She’s very excited to have her very own Bible and is loving flipping through it and reading bits.

Bella is reading in The Lord of the Rings and Ben Franklin: Young Painter. Four Story Mistake, the Queen’s Grove. It was the Ben Franklin book she did not want to put down this morning for school.

After table work was done the kids all had fun getting out the art supplies while I visited with a friend. Bella did some coloring pages from the Bodleian Library, Sophie made sketches of blocks and legos and then colored them in with water colors. Lucy and the boys painted. Bella also watercolored a coloring page of a bird.

Afternoon stories: Biffi Catechism, Faith and Life, more of the story of Moses, Pigeon Post, Lord of the Rings, Story of the World— Brazil’s first and second emperors, with a great discussion and some map work, Story Book of Science.

Ben pulled out the big National Geographic book on ancient Egypt and he and Anthony and Sophie and Bella and Lucy all took turns paging through it.

Bella flipped through Country Flowers of a Victorian Lady with me. She studied each page, trying to determine which flowers were which. I helped her by looking them up on Google. She was content that she’d done science— some botany.

We listened to some Brahms, a violin concerto and Hungarian dances.

Friday February 5

Snow day. We read about St Agatha and talked about how two psalms in Morning Prayer mention snow. Bella looked up the psalms in her Bible and read them. I read the day’s gospel and first reading to them.

Sophie did a page of math and a few lines of cursive copying. And read me The Very Busy Spider.

Bella copied a coupla lines of a poem and did a page of math. She did a spelling test, and looked at her Latin book. She read me a page of The Fellowship of the Ring.

I did a math lesson with the boys and then they practiced some letters—Ben did L, Anthony did W. Anthony read me a Bob book.

I read the kids a couple of poems by Frost.

I went outside with Ben and we made a snowman.

No afternoon stories. I went to the grocery store while the kids stayed with Dom.

Bedtime story: A Medieval Feast and The Library Lion.

Saturday February 6

Lucy had her first real adventures in the snow and loved it. Three seems to be the magic age when suddenly they are steady enough on their feet that tromping through the snow seems fun.

Kids made Valentines cards. Good copywork for the boys. Lucy even drew some upside down Ls but got frustrated with the U in her name and asked me to write it for her.

I read them some more Robert Frost.

Bella found the map of Britain in the atlas and plotted the course of the Wild Cat in Peter Duck, locating all the place names in the English Channel.

Ben throws a snowball at the snowman.
Ben throws a snowball at the snowman.
Ben throws a snowball at the snowman.
Ben throws a snowball at the snowman.
Ben throws a snowball at the snowman.
Ben throws a snowball at the snowman.
Ben throws a snowball at the snowman.
Ben throws a snowball at the snowman.

Sunday February 7

More Valentines cards. Bella is reading A Little Princess.

Everyone is making Valentines.
Everyone is making Valentines.
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  • Hello Melanie – I wondered whether you have read any of Christina Hardyment’s books, which include “Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk”. It’s fascinating to learn about the real Swallows and Amazons, and their landscape. I see that she has written many other books that I might enjoy, also: I’ll have to chase them up 🙂
    Also I wondered whether you have read to your children the poems of A.A. Milne, in “When We Were Very Young” and “Now We Are Six” – they have marvellous rhythms and are fun to read and to recite.
    Best wishes.

    • “Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk” is already on my wishlist, but I haven’t seen it yet. I do have the book Arthur Ransome’s Lake District by Jon Sparks which has lovely photos.

      And oh yes we have read a lot of Milne’s poetry. When I was in college a good friend gave me a nice hardbound two volume set, one is the complete Pooh stories and the other is the complete poems. We seem to have seasons of it and I think we’re about overdue for another one. But it’s always the case of so many good books, limited time….