Monday September 12
Sophie did math, copywork, and French. She also read to me from Child’s Geography.
Bella did math, dictation.
Ben did math and then brief letter review.
Anthony did math, read me Frog and Toad, and copied part of a sentence. I think the sentence I chose was too long and he was discouraged.
Afternoon stories: Missee Lee, Mother Teresa, Pagoo, Story of the World, Anne of Green Gables.
Bedtime story: D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths, story of Prometheus.
Tuesday September 13
Miquon Math with Sophie and Ben and Bella. Bella helped Anthony with his math. Ben did letter review. Anthony didn’t read to me, but is reading quite a bit on his own. I saw him reading Frog and Toad and several other picture books. He’s regularly reading silently to himself these days. And often reads labels and things for Ben.
Sophie did copywork and worked on her French lesson. She also read to me from Child’s Geography.
Bella began copying an Emily Dickinson poem and reviewed some Latin.
No afternoon stories because I had to take Lucy to the allergist. But she passed her baked milk challenge. And has already passed the baked egg challenge. So now we can feed her both egg and milk in baked goods, which is huge. I’m supposed to give her some daily, which has simplified breakfast. I just keep a batch of muffins in the freezer and she gets one a day.
Bedtime story: D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths, story of Pandora.
Wednesday September 14
We started with a little spontaneous celebration of the Exultation of the Cross. I changed the altar table to be red and the kids put some crosses out. We sang Lift High the Cross. Then listened to Morning Prayer.
Did Miquon math with the boys and Sophie and Bellla. Sophie did copywork and her French practice and read me her Child’s Geograpy.
Anthony read me Frog and Toad and copied a sentence. I used Frog and Toad to do some letter practice with Ben and then had him copy the words “Frog and Toad”.
Bella copied two more lines of her Dickinson, we did some Latin review, she read a bunch of books, added to her timeline. I forgot once again to have her read to me. I need a go-to book for that, but I’m not sure what it should be. Shakespeare? Bible? Alternate? I need to make a decision and then be consistent.
We went to the library and picked up a bunch of books I had on hold. Plus lots of others the kids and I picked off the shelf. We are book crazy.
While we were getting ready to go Sophie asked where the Israelites got the gold to make the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain talking to God. (I’m not sure whether there was any lead-up to that question. It seemed rather out of the blue, but maybe I’m forgetting a context.) I answered that they got it from the Egyptians, thatGod told them to take it from their neighbors, and I explained about spoils of war. There followed a great conversation that ranged all over from talking about Jesus as both Davidic king and heir of Adam and his various genealogies in the Bible, and somehow drifted to talking about Narnia’s Christology. Bella was energetically making connections and it was fun to see her lighting up. It was a really good conversation.
And then when we got home:
Bella was reading a library book about Otzi the Iceman— she thereafter decided to put him on her timeline— and asked aloud: “Wait, when was this book published?” She looked at the copyright and then declared to me that her Archaeology magazine had had a more updated interpretation. What the book called a backpack the archaeologists have now determined was a snowshoe. And the mat is now thought to be a raincloak.
She also looked at the publication data for a book about Boston that Lucy checked out. “This book says the Red Sox haven’t won a world series since Babe Ruth, but that’s not true.” Dom: “The book must have been published before 2004.” Bella: “Yes. 2001.”
I’m so proud that she knows how to look at the publication date and how to use that to judge the currency of the book’s information. She’s starting to get pretty savvy about how to read books for information.
Afternoon stories: we read part of a picture book about the Titanic. Then Missee Lee, Mother Teresa, Pagoo. Then a book about Egypt: The 5000-Year-Old Puzzle, which was an exciting story about a boy from Boston who goes with his parents on a dig in Egypt in the 20s. It’s based on a real expedition financed by Harvard and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and details the discovery of a tomb in Giza. Very exciting. And best of all the MFA has some of the artifacts! We can go see them. Finally I read a Frances book for Lucy. And then my voice was done and our time was up.
Bedtime stories: D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths, Oliver and Amanda Pig, Elephant and Piggy.
Also a really cool wordless book called Zoom that begins with a closeup of a rooster’s comb (though you don’t know what it is. The next page shows the rooster. Then the next page shows a boy and a girl at a window looking at the rooster. Then you see across a farmyard to an open door through which you can see the boy and girl, then you see the whole farmyard in an ariel view but with very large fingers in one corner. Then you see that the farm is a model farm and a girl is playing with it. And then you see that the girl and farm are on the cover of a magazine. And again you see the magazine is in the hand of a boy on the ship. And the ship is on a stamp. The stamp is on a letter. The letter is held by a man on an island. You see the island from a plane. And then the plane from up above. Then the earth from space. The kids loved it, such a delightful picture book.
Thursday September 15
Began with morning prayer.
Did math with Ben and Anthony, with Sophie, with Bella (dividing fractions). Sophie did copywork. Bella read me a selection from her book (fictional diary of WW2 soldier) and today’s Gospel. Sophie read today’s epistle. Sophie practiced her French sequence.
Afternoon stories, read outside: Missee Lee, book about Charles Lindbergh, Mother Teresa (finished), book about Jack Horner the paleontologist, Story of the World.
Bedtime story: D’Aulaire’s Greek myths.
Friday September 16
Field trip to Gore Place.
I woke up and Bella was already working on her math. I’d told her that if it wasn’t done we wouldn’t go and she’s been dying to go back to Gore Place. She also did two lines of copywork and helped pack lunches— filled water bottles, made sandwiches, packed strawberries and grapes.
Sophie did math, Anthony did math. Ben didn’t get around to math till after we came home, but he did eventually get it in.
We had a lovely field trip. Got there just in time for the 11:00 tour. We were the only people on it, but the tour guide gave us a most thorough tour, with some extra peeks here and there to boot. It’s a lovely house, built in 1806 by a Boston lawyer and his wife. Christopher Gore was the son of a Boston paint merchant and there was a very early Copley portrait of Gore’s older sisters done when Copley was 14 (he exchanged the picture for paints). Gore graduated from Harvard and fought in the Revolution, was governor of Massachusetts and a US Senator. The house was lovely, full of history, and, excitingly, is in the process of being restored. We got to see where they are trying to determine where an original staircase was so they can put it back, a glimpse of original wallpaper, etc. I loved the library, the oval drawing room, the reconstructed wall paper in the dining room with peacocks on it, the beautifully furnished bedrooms and the peek at the suit in which Christopher Gore was presented to King George, the servants’ rooms on the secret mezanine level, and so much more. The guide was a good story teller and gave us lots of details, was patient with the children, and had some good props for them to touch and interact with.
After the tour we had a picnic lunch behind the house, the kids played in the trees, Anthony got stung by a wasp. After lunch we went to look at the farm animals, chickens and sheep.
We listened to The Hobbit on the way there and back.
Once home we had abbreviated stories: Missee Lee and Anne of Green Gables.
Bedtime story: D’Aulaire’s Greek myths.
Saturday September 17
My mother-in-law decided to join us on our Saturday morning farmer’s market outing. The kids were overjoyed. Lucy was so excited that she was up and fully dressed before anyone else was out of bed. And we got to the market earlier than we ever have before. Even with stopping for coffee we were there in the parking lot fifteen minutes before the opening bell. (Yes, they actually ring a bell to open the market, one of the quirky things I love about the Hingham market.)
We bought our usual piles of produce, some really good bread from the French bakery, a bunch of eggs, some brussels sprout ravioli that are to die for, some hummus and barley salad from the Lebanese women. Dom’s mom got some jams from our favorite jam maker and I got to chat with her and the egg lady and the folks from our favorite farm, all the people that make the market feel so familiar and friendly.
After we’d finished our shopping, the kids wanted to go down to the beach as usual but I was reluctant. I was tired, there’s nowhere to sit on the beach, I hate the sand, I didn’t want to leave Grandma in the car for too long. But once we were off the boardwalk the waves and wildlife worked their usual magic. I spotted some cormorants among the seagulls on the raft. I love cormorants. Sophie and I found some pretty pieces of granite. Sophie skipped a rock, so very proud of herself. I walked down the beach behind my eager explorers, we wondered if the tide was coming in or going out, we picked up shells and seaweed.
They clambered on the rock wall at the end of the beach. Bella found a jellyfish. I spotted what looked like two horseshoe crab shells bobbing in the surf. Well, we’re used to finding the molted shells. These were bigger than we’re used to, though. And then…. look! They’re moving. A big one with a smaller one clinging to its back. Were they a mating pair? It looks like they were. I could see little feet moving and bubbles rising from the gills. I watched as they crawled away under the mat of floating seaweed. Then I noticed some smaller movements. Bubbles rising from under rocks…. are those clams, we wondered. Then some minnows. And then a little scuttling movement. A crab! Even better, a hermit crab. Ben waded in and scooped it up and held it in his hand and it stuck out its feet and we even saw its eyes. Then Bella picked up another. All the kids took turns holding it and feeling the little tickling feet before we put it back into the water. Anthony popped some bladders on some seaweed. Sophie skipped more rocks. Bella and Lucy and Ben waded into the water, hunting crabs. As we moved back down the beach I urged the kids to show their crab finds to some little kids playing on the beach: share the wonder. We saw our two horseshoe crabs again, coming right to the edge of the water where the kids could reach down and touch them and investigate the limpets and barnacles clinging to their shells.
Mating season for horseshoe crabs is supposed to be May-June, so these two were pretty late. But it was a full moon, they came up on the sand and the female was digging in to bury her eggs.