Learning Notes Week of May 9

Ben: "The Ax of the Apostles."

Ben made a pun and was very proud of himself: “The Ax of the Apostles!”

Ben with the Ax and Bella with the Acts of the Apostles

Ben with the Ax and Bella with the Acts of the Apostles

Monday May 9

Slow start. Kids played outside. Bella sat and drank coffee and read Peter Duck and then decided to write a story, which she worked on all morning. Ben opened his notebook and decided to continue a story he’d began and asked me to spell half a dozen words for him, which he copied out on the page. The story isn’t very coherent, but he’s writing and working on leter recognition and who knows that the spelling will lead to reading eventually.

I gathered the kids and we began with lectionary readings. Then Life of Fred with Sophie and the boys. Then a bit of MEP with Sophie. Then she read to me from A Child’s Geography. Then Anthony read me a Bob book and copied a line.

Bella finally did a little math. Never did get her to do copywork or to finish the math page. I was too distracted.

Afternoon stories: We read outside, but everyone was quite distracted. When we’re out Anthony and Ben don’t listen as well. They’re totally distracted.

Sophie read me a psalm, actually the one from the day’s lectionary readings, but she read the whole thing, much longer than the selection used for Mass. She really liked it.

Secret Water, Martin de Porres. First Christians. Chapter about water table, wells, and springs in Rocks, Rivers, Earth for Sophie who asked about springs. Lord of the Rings, finished with Book 5.

Bella made a spinach quiche for dinner.

Bedtime story: A Big Guy Took My Ball, Planting the Trees of Kenya.

Bella with morning coffee.

Bella with morning coffee.

Ben's notebook.

Ben’s notebook.

Tuesday May 10

I woke up with a headache, but it managed to be a good day despite that. Bella had already done a page of math before I got up.

I began with the lectionary readings. Then Life of Fred. Then a bit of MEP math with the boys. Then we narrated art postcards. And I sketched some of the postcards. Sophie sketched a rock in the backyard.

Anthony read me a Bob book and copied a line. Sophie did copywork. Bella copied a line from a recipe in Joy of Cooking.

Anthony is fixating on Roman Numerals in the picture book we have. He wants to memorize them all.

Afternoon stories: Aesop’s Fables. Everyone took a turn at narrating. Even Lucy. Going back to basics to practice narration and hoping to build up from there.

Secret Water. Story of the World, the Holocaust, a serious discussion in which everyone hates the Nazis and we use St Edith Stein and St Maximilian Kolbe to remember the work of God’s grace even in the greatest darkness. Since our parish is St Edith Stein, I figure the kids already have a great connection with her. Two Pooh stories. Lord of the Rings.

Bedtime story: two stories from The Children’s Book of Heroes: The Knights of the Silver Shield and one about George Washington.

Ben counting by fives.

Ben counting by fives.

Anthony counting by fives.

Anthony counting by fives.

Wednesday May 11

Began with reading today’s Gospel. Then Life of Fred. I got Ben and Anthony to write a long answer, and was quite please with that (counting by 5s from 35 to 100). Then Anthony read me a Bob book. Sophie did some copywork and tried to do some MEP math. She was having a very hard day today. Anthony picked a postcard and narrated to me.

Bella did a page of math and copied two sentences. She’s getting much more confident in her copywork.

We had a picnic lunch at Ames Nowell State Park. We saw several frogs and toads, some garter snakes, fish, two huge snapping turtles, butterflies, and birds, including two goose families with goslings. And, sadly, a dead gosling on the bank. The kids climbed rocks and explored the woods and generally had a great time. We listened to On the Shores of Silver Lake going and coming.

Back home for fruit smoothies and story time. Secret Water, Martin de Porres, Catechism. Ben pulled out the Bible story book and I read them the selection about Ezekiel and then when they wanted a bit more pulled out my Bible and read them the passage about the dry bones, one of my favorites. Sophie seemed really taken by it. Then Lord of the Rings. And finally, a Pooh story, in which Christopher Robin throws a party for Pooh and Eeyore thinks it’s for him.

Bella helped make brownies for Sophie’s baptism day.

Bedtime stories: What Makes a Magnet?

Bella and Sophie explore the stream

Bella and Sophie explore the stream

Sophie on a rock.

Sophie on a rock.

Lunch break at the park.

Lunch break at the park.

Toads

Toads

Ben picnics on the rock.

Ben picnics on the rock.

Thursday May 12

Field trip: Eco-science club, botany.

We met the eco-science club for a botany-themed tramp through the woods today. Each child who wanted one received a paper to do a scavenger-hunt sort of collection of drawings: draw a tree, a shrub, a grass, a wildflower, a moss, a lichen, etc. Bella was the only one who did any drawings and she only did a handful. But Anthony followed along and identified plants with me, at least. The others, Sophie and Ben, were more interested in exploring the woods and pretending to make maps like the Swallows and Amazons in Secret Water. But I think some botany was absorbed nonetheless.

We had a picnic lunch on the lawn at the town library and then checked out their children’s room. Really regretting that it’s not part of the same network as ours and we could not borrow any books.

Afternon stories: not much time for reading. We read Secret Water, Martin de Porres, Lord of the Rings, the kids all read bunches of library books, though. Sophie read to the boys.

Ben identifies a white pine: five needles in a cluster.

Ben identifies a white pine: five needles in a cluster.

Sophie enjoys the comfy moss.

Sophie enjoys the comfy moss.

A baby painted turtle was the highlight of our nature walk.

A baby painted turtle was the highlight of our nature walk.

Princess pine, which is actually a club moss. Who knew.

Princess pine, which is actually a club moss. Who knew.

Bella reading

Bella reading

Friday May 13

Grocery store morning.

Afternoon stories: Secret Water, Martin de Porres, First Christians, Lord of the Rings.

Bella journaling at dinner time.

Bella journaling at dinner time.

2 Responses to Learning Notes Week of May 9

  1. Mary June 3, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

    Bella drinks coffee?? I love it! 🙂

    • Melanie Bettinelli June 24, 2016 at 12:54 am #

      Occasionally. She likes it better than tea and it does seem to help her focus.

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