Learning Notes Week of September 19

Ben does math.

Ben does math.

Monday September 19

Math with Sophie, working on factors in the Miquon book. Ben did a page of matching in Miquon, what makes 20. Anthony did clocks in the Miquon. Bella decided to eschew her math book and instead I helped her to calculate the volumes of four different boxes from the pantry. So she learned multiplying two and three digit numbers as well as the geometry.

Sophie is copying Psalm 23. Anthony read Frog and Toad and copied a sentence. Ben copied words from coloring book pages. Bella is copying a Dickinson poem.

Sophie practiced her French sequence and then read and narrated Child’s Geography.

Anthony and I used the linking cubes to measure the couch.

Everyone went out to play in the rain.

Afternoon stories: Missee Lee, Pagoo, St John Paul II, a book about Paleontologist Jack Horner, a book about the Titanic, Story of the World, looked at the big National Geographic book about Ancient Egypt, Anne of Green Gables.

Bedtime story: Greek Myths (Asclepius and the Nine Muses)

Anthony's copywork.

Anthony’s copywork.

Tuesday September 20

Lucy had an appointment so I left the others to begin their school work with Daddy. Ben and Anthony finished math and Ben did some letters in his workbook. Bella tried to do math and failed, tried to do copywork and got distracted. They did find the tracing paper and traced a bunch of animals in the big Smithsonian Natural History book.

Fortunately, the appointment was much shorter than I’d anticipated so I was able to jump in and rescue the day.

I did part of a math lesson with Bella. I did some math with Sophie and then she did her copywork and French and read to me from A Child’t Geography.

Anthony read me Frog and Toad and then copied a sentence.

Meanwhile Sophie’s penguins, Waddle and Slidey, were being paleontologists, digging up dinosaur bones in the spring, summer, and fall, and curating their collection in the winter. Just like Jack Horner. Sophie explained that they only take their spaceship, The Martian, on voyages when they can get all the crew together. I love seeing the narration play out. The penguins have dug up a spinosaurus, just like on the documentary we watched, and they also found skin and eyes.

Afternoon stories: Missee Lee, Pagoo, more chapters of the Jack Horner book, a book about Ötzi the Ice Man, Anne of Green Gables

While I was making dinner Bella sat with me and chattered about the books she’s been reading. She said she wanted to listen to more Duke Ellington, so I put on what I had and then we moved on to Ella Fitzgerald after that. We also listened to Evening Prayer and she asked about the saint of the day, St Andrew Kim Taegon and the Korean martyrs.

Bedtime story: Greek Myths, a book about the last princess of Hawaii.

Tracing animals in the Natural History book.

Tracing animals in the Natural History book.

Waddle and Slidey, paleontologist penguins.

Waddle and Slidey, paleontologist penguins.

Wednesday September 21

Read today’s gospel and talked a bit about St Matthew.

Miquon math with Sophie, math with Bella— we’ve decided to backtrack and review some stuff she skipped because she wasn’t getting it last year. Math with Ben and a little math with Anthony.

Ben copied some words from his armored vehicles book. Anthony read Frog and Toad but didn’t copy a sentence.

Sophie did copywork and French and read me A Child’s Geography. Then we looked at the map to find the states she was reading about. Then I marked up the map to show places I’ve been, where my parents were born, etc.

Bella did copywork. She is making up an imaginary country complete with various imaginary trees and mosses and plants. Bella is also very busy making play food for her doll. She loves the doll that I got from my grandmother, it really is the perfect thing right now.

Afternoon stories: Missee Lee, Pagoo, Jack Horner, Secrets of the Ice Man, Blood and Guts (chapter on skin), St John Paul II.

Bedtime story: read about Padre Pio in Book of Saints, Princess of Hawaii, Greek Myths (Cadmus).

Bella made a frame for a holy card.

Bella made a frame for a holy card.

Thursday September 22

At Dom’s urging we took the morning off of school work and drove to the pastoral center to venerate the relics of a saint with whom our family has an unlikely relationship, Padre Pio. Six years ago on Sophie’s baptism day a young man gave us a framed portrait and it’s been hanging in the girls’ room ever since. Well, I guess since he’s adopted us we should pay him a visit since he’s so close.

I’d heard there had been huge crowds the day before in Lowell, so my plan was to get out of the house to be there right at 9 when they opened the doors. But one thing and another—hair needing to be braided, breakfast finished, and everyone visiting the bathroom— we didn’t leave the house until 9.

I knew there’d be a crowd but I still was surprised that there were people by the door when we pulled up. Had they only now opened the door? No, one of Dom’s former coworkers told me as we approached and he recognized us, there had been a huge line wrapping around the building, but we’d had perfect timing and there wasn’t any line. By the time we’d said hi, we were able to walk right in. We met another familiar face just inside the door. There was a bit of a line stretching from the door to the chapel, maybe a 10 minute wait. We spent a good part of it saying hi to people who recognized us, feeling like celebrities. But there was also some quiet standing and waiting.

When we got into the chapel we could see that most of the seats were full. The line ended not too far ahead of us where a priest held the reliquary, which was a very plain oblong glass box on a silver stand. The Sisters of Mercy were there praying the divine mercy chaplet. I was mostly focused on herding my five kids forward. And then I noticed our friend, George, taking photographs. Not surprising since he’s the official photographer for the archdiocese, but still nice to see another familiar face. And happy too since there was no photography allowed in the chapel to know that he was taking good pictures of the kids. Yes, that’s what I was thinking as we approached the relic.

When we got there I kissed it, helped Bella touch her picture to the relic, lifted kids up so they could kiss it, and then herded them away. We found some seats and knelt for the last of the divine mercy chaplet and then we left the chapel. We stopped outside to say hi to more people and to buy some holy cards.

It was nice. I didn’t have any kind of profound emotional or spiritual experience. I didn’t really expect to. I’m much more likely to be moved by reading his story. But even so there’s something about the experience of going, of being there. It’s irreplaceable.

Afternoon story: Missee Lee.

Bedtime story: Greek Myths.

Venerating Padre Pio's heart.

Venerating Padre Pio’s heart.

Bella with Padre Pio.

Bella with Padre Pio.

Friday September 23

Math with Ben and Anthony. Math with Bella. Math with Sophie. Bella did copywork, a hymn. Sophie is still copying the psalm. Sophie practiced her French and read to me from A Child’s Geography and then we talked about my visiting Death Valley and had a nice conversation about the chapter.

Afternoon stories: Missee Lee, Pagoo, Aboard the Titanic, Mystery of the Ice Man, Anne of Green Gables. Bella found the archaeology magazine that had an article about the Ice Man’s snowshoes and we read it. She was so proud to have made the connection and to be able to correct the library book.

Bedtime story: Last Princess of Hawaii, Greek Myths (Danae and Zeus, Perseus and Andromeda).

Sophie has picked up Mitchells: Five for Victory and has had a hard time putting it down today. This is a first. She was reading it before she got out of bed, after breakfast, before lunch, after lunch, before dinner, after dinner, in bed. She’s usually baffled by Bella being so stuck in a book, I pointed out that this feeling of compulsion is what Bella feels every day. Yay Sophie!

Bella’s been reading a wide variety of books, as usual.

Bella reads

Bella reads

Bella's been making doll food for Emily.

Bella’s been making doll food for Emily.

3 Responses to Learning Notes Week of September 19

  1. Cristina September 27, 2016 at 6:23 am #

    What a wonderful experience for your family!

    Tell Anthony that I’ll send him a letter if he likes. 😉

    • Melanie Bettinelli September 27, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

      Heh. Anthony’s sentence was copied from a Frog and Toad story about Toad being sad because no one had ever sent him a letter. And then Frog sends him one but it takes days to get there because he gave it to a snail to deliver. But I bet Anthony would be thrilled to get a letter of his very own.

  2. Kimberlee September 27, 2016 at 11:30 pm #

    I love the picture of Bella holding Padre Pio. Just beautiful. We had the opportunity to venerate Maria Goretti’s relics when they traveled near us. As you said, it’s a very unique experience to have the saints among us in this way.
    I thought the same thing as Cristina – something about the earnest look on Anthony’s face makes you want to send him a letter. Such a dear picture.

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