Learning Notes Week of January 16

Learning Notes Week of January 16

Not too heavy.
Moss and little fingers.

Monday January 16

Sophie is copying an Emily Dickinson poem, Volcanoes be in Sicily; she did a page in Miquon math. She read to me from her geography and did a Duolingo lesson.

Ben did part of a page of MEP and some Miquon too. A page in his letter workbook and copywork.

Anthony did a page in Miquon, read me a saint story, copied a sentence.

Lucy meanwhile colored quite happily on her new drawing tablet.

Bella did a page in Miquon, read a bunch of poems in The Harp and Laurel Leaf out loud to me, and decided on a couple of lines to copy. We decided on tomorrow’s copywork, another poem which I’ll write out for her because she finds it easier to copy when the poem is printed on lined paper somehow. Then she looked at Latin for a bit, we decided to make flashcards so she can learn new vocabulary. Then she was off to play with Sophie.

At lunch I read a selection of Omeros to anyone who would listen, mainly Bella, but Sophie and Ben listened to a little bit of it.

Sophie and Ben played dominoes, one nice thing about the new shelves, it’s easier for the children to help themselves to games, supplies, books, and so things like spontaneous dominoes games happen.

Afternoon stories: Anne of Avonlea, Calpurnia Tate, Life of Our Lord for Children.

Bedtime story: The story of Cupid and Psyche from The Bronze Cauldron. It struck me again how Beauty and the Beast is really just a variation on this story.

Math or flute practice?

Tuesday January 17

I took Lucy to the dermatologist. While we were gone Bella read poems to Dom and did copywork, Sophie did copywork, the boys forgot. Sigh. So when I got home, I did math with everyone, got Ben to do letters and copywork.

Bella’s loving the Harp and Laurel Wreath. Also, the Royal Diary books and the Dear America. Today, though, she fell in love with the Vision book about Fatima. She had to tell me the whole story as I was brushing her hair. She was heartbroken to find the library copy she was reading was missing eight pages, looked like they’d not been sewn into the middle of a signature.

I read them a snippet of Omeros.

Over dinner we discussed a poem Bella was reading that took us on a nice rabbit trail to find out what historical event it described, which took us to finding out about the author, and then to me remembering a play I’d seen about a different part of his life and Dom to remarking he’d heard of him because he was former editor of the local Catholic paper.

Sophie wants to know what Mammon is.

We made pumpkin muffins for Anthony’s name day. The kids played with Lego, modeling clay.

Afternoon stories: Anne of Avonlea, Story of the World (Crete and Minoan bull dancing, with a iPad tour through Minoan art, Bella gave a nice narration about Theseus and the Minotaur, which was not mentioned in the chapter, she remembered it from elsewhere), Calpurnia Tate, Jesus in the Eucharist.

Bedtime story: Bronze Cauldron, an Indian story about Ganesa.

Dominoes. Sophie says they’re scavengers from Jakku.

Wednesday January 18

Miquon math all around. I bribed everyone with muffins. Start your math, do three problems, and I’ll give you a muffin to eat while you finish it.

Sophie is copying Emily Dickinson (“I love Emily Dickinson!”) To hear an oriole sing. Bella is copying Old Ironsides, Oliver Wendell Holmes’ poem about the USS Constitution.

Anthony read to me about St Genevieve. Ben did two pages in his letters workbook.

Afternoon stories: Anne of Avonlea, St Jude, Calpurnia Tate, Secret Soldier.

While I was making dinner: the younger kids were all getting crazy after being cooped up inside on a rainy day so I gave Anthony a stack of three books to read to Lucy and Ben: The Napping House, Miss Suzy, and something I forget. He read them all. They got a little silly again, but at least were calm and quiet for a little while. It really is magic and I need to remember more often when he gets wild that I can redirect him to books.

Over dinner we looked up: what is wheat germ and also the answer to Sophie’s question about what is mammon.

Bedtime story: from The Bronze Cauldron, Dr Faustus.

Anthony reads to a captivated audience.

Thursday January 19

Everyone did a page of math and some copywork. Anthony read me from his saint book. Then we went to the grocery store and library. Sophie and Bella copied more lines of their poems. I’m trying to work with both of them to memorize the lines as they copy them. So maybe all of us will have a little more poetry by heart.

Afternoon stories: Anne of Avonlea, Calpurnia Tate, Story of the World (more about the Minoans, this time Theseus and the Minotaur), Jesus Is with Us Always. The latter led to a discussion about sacrificial lambs and then about confession.

After stories were over I put on some Scott Joplin since his Maple Leaf Rag was mentioned in Calpurnia Tate. The kids loved it. Especially Bella.

Over dinner we discussed the space program, the nomenclature of space missions and planets according to Greek and Roman mythology, the Vestal Virgins. Sophie was able to supply the fact that the Vestals served a term of 30 years. She remembered it from the book Could You Survive as an Ancient Roman. She’s getting to be as geeky as Bella, quite good at remembering things and tying them together, quite proficient at narrating a story.

Bedtime story: Dom read Asterix to the kids as I was wiped out.


Friday January 20

Ben, Sophie, and Anthony each did a page of Miquon math. I bribed them with croissants. They only got a croissant after they’d done the first three problems on their page. (Sophie actually forgot and did the whole page before she got a croissant.) I really need to used baked goods to bribe them more often. The day goes so much more smoothly.

Bella has been frustrated with math and needs practice anyway, so I let her do drills on Khan academy.

Sophie and Ben and Anthony did copywork. Anthony read to me about St Briget.

Then we went to spend the day with my friend Zina, whose daughter Emma was born a few weeks after Lucy. She’s Lucy’s best friend and they adore each other so much. All our kids get along very well and we had a pleasant day.

We listened to Lord of the Rings on the drive there and back and Bella drew pictures of Celeborn and Galadriel.

I guess the kids were expecting a birthday party with lots of guests and were surprised when we were the only ones there. On our way out the door Anthony and Ben were marveling that people would chose to have that kind of party with all those people and noise. I suggested that some people actually like noise and crowds and Anthony was incredulous. “Why?” It made us all laugh for he is often a very loud child.

Bedtime story: Bronze Cauldron and Mouse Soup.

Khan Academy.
Birthday presents!
Balloon sword.
Balloon sword running battle.
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  • We are enjoying our first of the Royal Diaries. I read a few excerpts of Dear America, and they looked a little intense for my sensitive 8yo, particularly the one set in Valley Forge. I think we’ll wait a few (or many) years. It sounds like your girls are handling them fine?

    Along similar lines, we are thinking about a trip to Boston, and there’s so much history that it seems a pity so miss it, but the revolution was complicated and I don’t really want to teach about war yet, so I’m not sure what to do. Have you done the Freedom Trail with your kids?

    • So far I’ve noticed that different kids are disturbed by different things and what scares one of my kids another will be fine with. Bella couldn’t handle the third Betsy-Tacy because the girls broke the rules. She runs out of the room during Star Wars and what really bothers her is not so much violence as dramatic tension. Bella says that she likes the diary format because it helps her to manage her anxiety. She knows that the character has already survived what they are describing and that they will be back to tell about the next bit. Bella seems to handle wars and battles and death pretty well as long as they aren’t embedded in a dramatic narrative. Bella loves history– it is her favorite subject. And she knows that in books for kids the hero doesn’t die.

      We did the first part of the Freedom Trail, from Boston Common to Faneuil Hall. We’re hoping to do the second half in the spring, from Faneuil Hall to the Bunker Hill Monument. Though we might do that in two legs: do Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution on one day and do the North End, Paul Revere’s House and the Old North Church on another day.

      If you don’t want to try to teach the whole war maybe you could teach isolated stories like the Boston Tea Party or Paul Revere’s Ride which are dramatic stories that are fairly self contained and don’t require you to get into the whole context of the war?

      We did the

      Sophie isn’t nearly as sensitive. She does get worried when we talk about things that could possibly happen to us. Like talking about what to do in case of fire. And that stuff doesn’t worry Bella at all.