Learning Notes Weeks of December 12-23

Learning Notes Weeks of December 12-23

Baby Jesus in the pew for Bambinelli Sunday.

Monday December 12

I woke up feeling sick, so it’s amazing anything got done at all.

Everyone did math and copywork. Bella and I worked on her dictation sentence. Sophie did a French lesson and read to me from her geography.

Storytime: Carry on Mr Bowditch, Life of Our Lord for Children, Hippos in the Night, St Anthony of Padua, Story of the World.

Ben’s copywork.
Anthony’s copywork.

Tuesday December 13

Put out the statue of St Lucy. Looked up the recipe for Lucia bread. Got distracted by the internet rabbit trail and instead listened to Lissa reading Hannah’s Christmas first. Then made the bread.

Everyone did their usual Miquon math and copywork. Sophie finished her copybook. I’m going to have to start making her copy pages. It was the most productively creative day we’ve had in a while. Lucy got down the pattern blocks and she and Ben played with them. Bella’s math required cutting some squares, rectangles, and triangles and that led to more cutting and shapes. Ben and Sophie ended up playing war since the basket with the playing cards had somehow fallen down.

Storytime: Carry on Mr Bowditch, Life of Our Lord for Children, Hippos in the Night, Lucia Saint of Light.

Bedtime story: Breaking into the Christmas books. Silent Night, Christmas Eve, Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella.

Anthony’s copywork
Lucia with the St Lucia buns and a book about St Lucia.

Wednesday December 14

Everyone did Miquon. Sophie did several pages. She’s been averaging two to three pages a day, on a roll. Everyone did copywork. Bella copied a short paragraph out of Peter Duck. Sophie copied a stanza from a Chesterton poem I wrote out for her, switching to printing since yesterday she finished her cursive copybook. We need to figure out a plan for ongoing copywork for her. Anthony read about St Basil and copied a sentence. Ben did a page in his workbook then copied a sentence.

Bella narrated from Archimedes and the Door to Science. And then we talked about the origin of zero and I read her an online article about the development of zero.

Storytime: Carry on Mr Bowditch, Hippos in the Night, Life of Our Lord for Children, St Jude.

Then I read a few more Christmas books that Lucy and Anthony picked out, everyone came back to listen though. Good King Wenceslas, Legend of the Poinsettia, and a book that was a retelling of the Christmas story

Bedtime stories: finished reading The Story of Holly and Ivy.

Thursday December 15

Sophie did math before we went grocery shopping. Nothing else accomplished. We’re all getting a bit sick, I think.

Afternoon stories: Carry on Mr Bowditch, Hippos in the Night, Life of Our Lord for Children, Story of the World.

Bedtime story: I really can’t remember. Something Christmas-y, I think.

Sophie reading her Bible.
Lucy at the grocery store with a free tangerine.

Friday December 16

Dom’s brother John and his friend John were replacing the floor in the dining room and hall so I took the kids to the Museum of Science for the day. The kids made bobsleds and raced them against the clock and each other; sorted and classified animals, looked at mammal skulls and at painted turtles and various fish; climbed in the model space capsule; played balancing games; examined dioramas of New England wildlife. We saw an Omni Theater film about dolphins. We visited a special exhibit about Leonardo da Vinci’s world which had some of his notebooks, reproductions of paintings, lots of his inventions fully realized as life sized models. To the kids the best thing, though, was the working trebuchet and trying to hit the toy castle with a little ball.

We listened to Lord of the Rings going and coming.

Bedtime story: Miracle of St Nicholas

Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. Trebuchet!
Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.
Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.
Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.
Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. Trebuchet!
Audio-kinetic sculpture.
Audio-kinetic sculpture.
View from the cafeteria. Charles River icing over.
Cafeteria lunch.
Native water systems exhibit.

We mostly took off the week before Christmas. I was fighting bronchitis all week, the house was a mess with the not quite finished floor replacement, and I wanted to just get ready for Christmas. I only took notes on one day, but to the best of my memory, we might have done some of our usual read alouds on Tuesday.

Trimming the tree.
Trimming the tree.
Trimming the tree.
Sophie has been spending much of her time as Kylo Ren, here she’s keeping a secret diary in persona. (Bella’s doing a diary as Leia, or so I understand.)

Monday Dec 19

Went to the doctor with concerns about bronchitis because I was still sick. Was diagnosed with viral bronchitis, told to check in if not feeling better by end of the week.

Star Wars mania: Sophie as Kylo Ren, Bella reading a Star Wars book.

Tuesday Dec 20

I think everyone did schoolwork, but I didn’t write down notes. I did totally forget to go to my afternoon allergist appointment because I forgot to set a reminder and I was in the flow with read alouds.

Wednesday Dec 21

Everyone did math and copywork. Anthony read me his saint story. Sophie also did French and read me geography.

Bella wrote in her timeline, looked at her Latin, practiced some cursive, reviewed her dictation sentence, did copywork.

Afternoon stories: Carry on Mr Bowditch, Life of Our Lord, Story of the World, Hippos in the Night. Good narrations.

Bedtime story: Aeneid for kids, tied in nicely with SOTW reading about Carthage.

On Thursday we did the grocery shopping. Didn’t take time for school before we left, did minimal read alouds in the afternoon. I think just Carry on Mr Bowditch.

On Friday we all took the day off. John came and finished the floors and I did some baking. We made Christmas cookies and gingerbread and challah for Christmas Eve. I also went to the allergist and she gave me a prescription for an antibiotic to fill if my cough didn’t get better. I woke up on Saturday with a slight fever so sent Dom to the pharmacy when he went out to get lobsters for our Christmas Eve dinner. I was so very grateful I had that prescription.

Making sugar cookies on Christmas Eve.
The traditional running of the lobsters on Christmas Eve.
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    • Thank you. As holiday illnesses go, it wasn’t so bad. I still got baking done and we had a nice meal and I don’t think anyone felt that festivities were dampened. Thanks to my new allergist and new asthma medications this round of bronchitis was comparatively pleasant. I had hardly any wheezing and only used my rescue inhaler a handful of times.

  • I am always impressed by your boys’ handwriting. They’re so neat and tidy! The stereotype is that girls have neat handwriting and boys don’t, but my family doesn’t fit that stereotype so far — the only one who’s been really legible from the beginning is my current first-grader.

    We narrowly escaped having a norovirus at Christmastime (we had it a couple of weeks before) and then I picked up an awful chest cold, which is mostly over now but has left me with a postinfectious dry cough that’s keeping me up at night. Perhaps I will try sucking on chocolate chips.

    • Yeah, their handwriting is kind of amazing to me. I don’t feel like I can take any credit. I am really lazy about handwriting instruction and I’m sure my kids make their strokes all wrong, according to the experts. But it’s legible and neat. I do think the whiteboard helps because they will erase and redraw over and over until they are satisfied with a letter and it’s much easier to do that on whiteboard than paper. But that can’t be all of it because there are kids whose handwriting is messy on the whiteboard too. Bella’s handwriting used to be pretty sloppy but suddenly in the last year she developed a really neat print hand. Sophie has had a major jump with cursive and suddenly it’s all flowing instead of each letter being a distinct entity. I should snap some photos of what they’re doing and post them.

      I hate that lingering cough. I hope yours resolves itself soon.