Learning Notes Week of August 29

She says she's the Princess, off to rescue the Queen who is in prison. She's going to kill the guard with her sword.

She says she’s the Princess, off to rescue the Queen who is in prison. She’s going to kill the guard with her sword.

Back from our vacation in Maine, ready to dive into school. We took it a bit easy this week, easing into the more rigorous routine.

We finished up our modern history, reading the last couple of chapters of Story of the World 4, ready to dive into volume 1 on Monday. Then it will really feel like a new school year. I still need to submit my education plan to the town, which is mostly written. I’ll maybe try to post it here when I’m done.

Officially Bella will be a 5th grader, Sophie 3rd, Ben 2nd, Anthony kindergarten. Of course, if you ask them, they won’t have a clue what grade they’re in. And what grade they’re in doesn’t at all determine what work they do. They do the work that they are ready for and I don’t worry at all about assigning grades or evaluating progress. Learning is a lifestyle here. And yet…. I’m not so completely divorced from the idea of school as not to feel the tug of the school year tides. And so it goes, pushed and pulled, ebb and flow, some days more schoolish, some days much less.

Monday August 29

Discussed St John the Baptist on his feast day

Dentist and then errands all morning. Home for lunch and relaxation.

Afternoon stories: Picts and Martyrs, Mr Popper’s Penguins, Mother Teresa, Anne of Green Gables, Story of the Word (end of the Cold War.) Discussion about JPII and fall of Iron Curtain, and then about popes and history and theology and all sorts of things. A big meaty conversation.

Bedtime story: D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths.

Storytime fidgets.

Storytime fidgets.

Attempted sundial.

Attempted sundial.

Hostas in the evening light.

Hostas in the evening light.

Tuesday August 30

Everyone did a little math in their Miquon books. A page for Ben, half a page for Anthony, a page for Sophie, part of a page for Bella. Finding our feet again.

Bella and Sophie did copywork, a poem for Bella, continuing on books of the Bible for Sophie. Ben is still working his way through an alphabet workbook and getting much more solid on which letters make which sounds.

Anthony spent most of the morning drawing and didn’t read to me or do copywork.

No one read to me, in fact. I was inspired to pull out my colored pencils and to attempt a study of a Van Gogh self portrait, trying to just draw with colors, not a contour outline. It was fun, though hard to get the colors to imitate what he does with paint, of course.

Afternoon stories: Picts and Martyrs, Mr Popper’s Penguins (final two chapters), Pagoo (first chapter, this selection inspired by our vacation tide pool explorations), Anne of Green Gables, Story of the World (communism in China, Tiananmen Square). Finally a picture book: When Marian Sings, about Marian Anderson. After that we listened to a bunch of Marian Anderson songs on You Tube including her famous Lincoln Memorial performance. A good conversation about race and discrimination, I’ve been trying to hit that topic in several ways as it’s come up in our history readings this term.

Bedtime story: D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths.

Anthony's copywork.

Anthony’s copywork.

Wednesday August 31

Everyone did some math. Sophie did hers orally with me writing down the answers as she barked them at me in an angry sounding voice. But she did three pages and didn’t want to stop. So there’s that. 

Bella wasn’t feeling great but she did a little math and finished the copywork poem she’s been working on with the author’s name. Well, I considered that enough for the day. She was proud of herself for making her own string of fiddle beads to worry with her fingers when she’s thinking, antsy, reading, nervous, or whatever. She needs something for her hands to do and the beads on her shorts inspired her to find a string and some spare beads and to make a little bracelet sized string with five or six little beads on it.

Sophie finished copying her books of the Old Testament and is looking forward to writing the Twelve Tribes of Israel tomorrow.

Ben worked on a few pages in the phonics book.

Anthony read me a Bob book and copied a sentence.

We’re slowly easing back into the groove and I’m reminding myself that when it feels easy that’s a good thing and that I don’t need to rock the boat and make it harder just because or weird worries. It’s ok for the kids to be humming along happily learning at their own pace.

Sophie read to me from A Child’s Geography and then we pulled out the map and found the Mississippi and Minneapolis and St Paul and St Louis and New Orleans on the map.

Bella read to me from a book about St Katherine Drexel. She also read an article online about reindeer killed by a lighting strike. And we looked at a Boston archeology FB page with photo of a shard of pottery.

Afternoon stories: Picts and Martyrs, Pagoo, Mother Teresa, Anne of Green Gables, Story of the World (communism in Europe crumbles.) Anthony asked for another picture book about Mary Anning, something about Mary Anning and the Sea Monster or something like that. I liked the text and the pictures were pretty, but I was quite annoyed that it showed her digging up the fossils on the beach as if they were buried in the sand instead of out of the cliffs.

The girls and I watched some videos of the fall of the Berlin wall.

Bedtime story: D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths.

I got Sophie started on reading The Little White Horse, which seemed a perfect book for her. She’s so picky about what books she reads and is rather hard to choose for. I handed Bella The Light Princess.

Fierce warrior Ben.

Fierce warrior Ben.

Queen Sophia and her train.

Queen Sophia and her train.

Thursday September 1

Everyone did some math. Ben did a little letter practice. Anthony read a Bob book and copied a sentence. Sophie did copywork. Bella copied a line from Shakespeare after re-reading much of As You Like It.

Afternoon stories: Picts and Martyrs (2 chapters as we just had to find out what Great Aunt Maria said to Colonel Jolys), Pagoo, Mother Teresa, Anne of Green Gables, Story of the World (Persian Gulf War).

Kids watched the second part of Much Ado about Nothing. They love the scenes with Dogberry and laugh and laugh. If nothing else, I’ve conditioned them to thinking of Shakespeare as funny and not boring.

Bedtime story: D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths, Wizard of Oz graphic novel.

The Queen of Ivy.

The Queen of Ivy.

The Queen of Ivy.

The Queen of Ivy.

Friday September 2

Friday September 2

Everyone did math. Sophie did copywork, cursive 12 Tribes of Israel. Bella copied from Picts and Martyrs.

WE went to the library and checked out a mountain of books. I’m not sure what the checkout limit is, but I’m shocked we didn’t hit it.

When we came back home the children were too stuck in their books and almost didn’t eat lunch. I love how Sophie sits down and reads to the boys and Lucy. Bella also read to Lucy while we were at the library. The girls are so conscientious in helping the younger kids.

Afternoon stories: Of course we read some of the picture books from the library. A book about the Wright Brothers and one about boas (as in snakes), and a couple of books the kids picked out whose merits aren’t worth mentioning. Picts and Martyrs (last chapter!), Mother Teresa, Anne of Green Gables, Story of the World (last chapter: end of colonial rule in Africa.)

We’re looking forward to starting Story of the World vol 1 on Monday. I got a bunch of books on archaeology and Mesopotamia in anticipation. This is going to be fun!

Bedtime story: Annoying Curious George book. I hate Curious George. This one had him being shot into space in a rocket. Blargh.

Sophie is reading The Fantastic Flying Journey, and The Little White Horse, and a book about St Joan of Arc. And a bunch of picture books. Bella checked out Little Women so she could re-read it for herself. My copy that I read to them is at least 30 years old and very fragile so I haven’t let her read it. She’s not gentle with books.

Bella's copywork from Picts and Martyrs. I cracked myself up making a Hamilton joke about her writing "and Peggy."

Bella’s copywork from Picts and Martyrs. I cracked myself up making a Hamilton joke about her writing “and Peggy.”

Our library book receipt. I said we got a mountain.

Our library book receipt. I said we got a mountain.

Mo Willems bookmarks from the library.

Mo Willems bookmarks from the library.

3 Responses to Learning Notes Week of August 29

  1. the mama nerd September 3, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    Love slipping back into the rhythm of the school days tales… Thanks!! liked the comments on the merits of curious george and misc library books. And **** yeah *** for the Hamilton slip-in!

  2. Ellie September 3, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

    It always feels so good to start a fresh new year of homeschooling 🙂 We homeschool year round and I don’t pay much mind to grades either, and yet, there’s just somethng about end of summer ‘back to school’ for me! Love it.

  3. Cristina @ Linguavert September 7, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

    I haven’t read any of the Curious George books, but I did catch an episode of its German dub, Coco, der neugierige Affe, on a German children’s channel. I confess I found it entertaining!

    I’ve been watching a lot of cartoons lately, because they seem to be perfect for my learning level. (Easy enough to understand; challenging enough to teach me new things each time.) And I appreciate the clarity voice actors bring to their lines, that live action actors don’t seem to consider. I wish there were some in Latin that I could recommend to Bella . . . or any in Latin that I knew about at all!

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