Learning Notes Week of May 16

Ben decided he wanted to make a Pentecost craft: flames hanging from a string. So we did.

Ben decided, all on his own, that he wanted to make a Pentecost craft after Mass: flames hanging from a string. So we did. His plan completely. All I did was draw some flames for him to cut out and help hang the string.

Our first dinner outside of the year. We finally replaced the glass table that broke in the big snow of 2015.

Our first dinner outside of the year. We finally replaced the glass table that broke in the big snow of 2015.

Monday May 16

Homeschool group field trip to Borderlands State Park. We volunteered to help clean up the park (weeding, raking, sweeping, picking up sticks, trimming bushes, etc) and got a free tour of the historic Ames mansion. The kids loved both parts of the trip: being useful and making the area around the visitor’s center pretty, and finally seeing the inside of the big house that we’ve previously walked around. The tour was good but much too short. We’ll have to find a way to go again.

Bella at the Ames Mansion

Bella at the Ames Mansion

Tuesday May 17

Short MEP math lessons with Sophie and the boys, and a chapter of Life of Fred. Sophie did a very short copywork selection. Anthony read a Bob book and copied a sentence. Ben copied a word. Bella did a page of Miquon math and copied from The Lord of the Rings.

Sophie read to me from A Child’s Geography of the World.

We read The Errant Knight and talked about the knight’s choices. Then read The Story of Money and it turned into a good discussion about where our clothes are made. We looked at everyone’s labels and found the countries where their shirts and shorts and dresses came from: Guatemala, El Salvador, The Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam….

Afternoon stories: Secret Water, Martin de Porres, Story of the World (about WWII, the war in Europe and especially VE Day. Nice selection from Winston Churchill. That led to a discussion about the war, especially about resistance fighters, and good coming from evil. And then the kids were done with reading and ran outside.

Bedtime story: book about puffins.

Anthony's copywork.

Anthony’s copywork.

Lucy and Anthony painted themselves with blueberry juice.

Lucy and Anthony painted themselves with blueberry juice.

Lucy and Anthony painted themselves with blueberry juice.

Lucy and Anthony painted themselves with blueberry juice.

Wednesday May 18

Today was Bella’s birthday so we took the morning off. We did however watch some historic videos. First, we listened to Winston Churchill’s famous “we shall fight on the beaches” speech before Parliament. Then the suggest videos led us down a fun little rabbit trail. We watched FDR ask Congress to declare war on Japan. Then we watched a newsreel the Japanese formal surrender. And then Bella asked what a newsreel was and that led us to talking about how film works and watching a couple of videos about film cameras and projection.

Afternoon stories: Secret Water, Martin de Porres, Lord of the Rings, Winnie the Pooh.

Bella got heaps of new books and everyone dove in to look at them. Favorites were Castle Diary, City, a maps book, and All of a Kind Family Uptown. Bella apologized for putting some of the books on the shelf to save for later.

bedtime story: Bard of Avon (another of Bella’s birthday books) and Bearskin.

She's been asking for this book for more than a year.

She’s been asking for this book for more than a year.

Prismacolors!

Prismacolors!

A hanging organizer was near the top of her list.

A hanging organizer was near the top of her list.

10 candles

10 candles

Thursday May 19

Did a bit of MEP math with Sophie and Anthony. Life of Fred with Sophie, Anthony, and Ben. Anthony read me an Elephant and Piggy book. Sophie did copywork. Sophie read to me from A Child’s Geography. Bella did some Miquon math and copied a sentence from Peer Duck. She’s been reading Through the Looking Glass and several of her new birthday books too.

Afternoon stories: Secret Water. Martin de Porres. Faith and Life (children took turns narrating). Lord of the Rings. Three Pooh stories.

Bedtime story: A Year on a Pirate Ship

Bella made a bag for her doll. With blanket stitching on the buttonhole and everything.

Bella made a bag for her doll. With blanket stitching on the buttonhole and everything.

Sophie caught a grasshopper. We put him in a jar and watched him for a bit.

Sophie caught a grasshopper. We put him in a jar and watched him for a bit.

Friday May 20

Now everyone is sick with a cold. I decided there was no point in trying to get them to do math and copywork when they were feeling wretched. But Bella decided on her own to do some math and to find a passage in Shakespeare to copy. She leafed through my big Riverside Shakespeare, which I used in college and found a line she liked in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And then she decorated it with little drawings. She spent the rest of the morning drawing a vegetable garden and reading bunches of books (All of a Kind Family Uptown, Rosemary Sutcliff’s Odyssey, Through the Looking Glass).

Bella and I went shopping with the others stayed with Dom who was working from home. I think they actually let him get work done.

Afternoon stories: Secret Water, Martin de Porres, Story of the World (the atomic bomb), Lord of the Rings. Winnie the Pooh.

Bella got some new books

Bedtime stories: Midnight (a story about a horse in WWI) and The Cats in Krasinski Square (a story about the Warsaw Ghetto in WWII).

Bella's copywork, from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I love the illumination which has a nighttime forest stream and flowers and butterflies.

Bella’s copywork, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I love the illumination which has a nighttime forest stream and flowers and butterflies.

Dedicated to the townsmen of Hingham who served in war in the armed forces of the colony, the province, the state, the commonwealth, or the republic.

Dedicated to the townsmen of Hingham who served in war in the armed forces of the colony, the province, the state, the commonwealth, or the republic.

Ben and Lucy Hingham memorial near the farmer's market

Ben and Lucy at the war memorial near the Hingham farmer’s market

Anthony and Lucy at the Hingham memorial

Anthony and Lucy at the Hingham war memorial

6 Responses to Learning Notes Week of May 16

  1. Enbrethiliel (@Enbrethiliel) June 16, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

    +JMJ+

    BELLA IS TEN?!?! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??? AND HOW DON’T I HAVE A MINI-ME OF MY OWN YET?!?!?!?! (No need to answer the last one. =P)

    * * * * *

    Ben’s craft reminds me of some of my own from childhood. I think my mother would keep them around for a while, then get rid of them without guilt during “spring cleanings” (of which there were several throughout the year) of my bedroom. I don’t recall minding very much; even as a child, I could tell most of my “art” had a lifespan shorter than the materials I recycled to make them! =P

    Then there’s Bella’s awesome doll and its cute new bag! Did she wear a red and white dress that day so that she and the doll would match? 😉

    Which brings me to something I’ve been wondering a while, reading your homeschooling notes, Melanie. How do you “curate” your children’s more “disposable” crafts? (With respect to Ben, his string of flames isn’t as enduring as Bella’s sewing projects.) I think that some are best preserved in digital photos, but I have a hunch that you keep “hard copies” of some as well. How do you decide which to keep and which to say goodbye to?

  2. Melanie Bettinelli June 24, 2016 at 12:46 am #

    Ooh, this comment slipped past me somehow.

    How do I curate crafts? Often I let the kids curate them, honesty. I gave them each a bin with their name on it to keep pictures and things they aren’t ready to part with. And they can keep as much as will fit in the bin. But a lot of things get taped to the walls and I’ve become pretty laid back about allowing them to paper the walls with their art. Then they often find themselves needing to remove older art to make way for the new. I’ve seen them remove an old piece and trash it because they no longer think it’s quite as good as they once did. Things like the string of flames don’t last long with my crazy boys. When I find papers on the floor, I treat them as trash and sweep them quietly into the bin. And no one seems to notice. I’ve become much more ruthless as both kids and art projects have multiplied. Also, I don’t tend to give them as much paper now as I used to. So there are fewer projects. It’s probably about time for a grandmother to gift us with a ream of paper. I do tend to play favorites and try to keep the pictures I absolutely love. There are a handful I don’t want to part with and that’s just a matter of falling in love, not any criteria I can control, and maybe it’s easier because I really don’t absolutely love all their art, even though I do praise it all. Some pieces really are lovely and some aren’t.

  3. Ellie July 8, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

    Missing your posts! I hope all is well and simply summer-busy 🙂

    • Melanie Bettinelli July 10, 2016 at 12:44 am #

      Thank, Ellie. My laptop fell and the monitor was busted so I could only use it connected to an external monitor which was mounted on the wall in the kitchen. That hasn’t been conducive to writing blog posts. I can check email and facebook while perched on an uncomfortable chair in the kitchen, but not blog posts, it seems. The computer problem is now solved as of this week and I’ve got a huge backlog of things to write and learning notes to post, but at this point I’m experiencing log jam. How to even begin? And yes, we are summer busy too and that isn’t helping me to unjam.

  4. Ellie July 10, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    Oh what a bummer! Glad to hear it is resolved now and am looking torward to hearing whatall you’ve been up to — once you are unjammed 🙂 Begin where you are? And go from there …

  5. Mary July 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    Miss your blog posts — it’s been a long time! Hope all is well.

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