Learning Notes Week of February 13

Learning Notes Week of February 13

Sophie in the snow

Sunday: Stayed home from Mass with sick kids (I was feeling pretty sick too). Read a pile of Beatrix Potter books to sick Lucy.

Monday February 13

Ben did a page of math and two pages of letters and copied a sentence.

Sophie did a page of math, copywork, and read to me from 50 Famous Stories Retold.

Bella did a page of math and read Hittite Warrior. No Latin, copywork, or reading aloud.

Anthony was feeling too sick for math or reading aloud, but did copy a sentence.

I took a walk in the snow with the girls while the boys played on the iPads. We took a nice walk down the street and around the neighboring block. Then we came back and tramped trails in the backyard, Sophie and Lucy did some swinging on the swings, Bella, Sophie and I worked on shoring up the snow fort that Sophie and Ben began yesterday. And Lucy sat inside and enjoyed playing house. Then Ben and Anthony came outside to work on it and to play briefly.

After lunch stories: Anne of Avonlea, Calpurnia Tate, Secret Soldier, Story of the World (Cyrus and the Persians Empire, the defeat of Croesus), Africa Trek.

Kids watched the first part of the Globe Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Bedtime story: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.

Then we looked at my Art of Beatrix Potter book for a while.

snowy day walk
snowy day walk
snowy day walk with Lucy
Lucy swinging on a snowy day
Bella with snow fort

Tuesday February 14

Bribed the kids with candy. One piece after each completed school task. Math and copywork completed at double pace!

Everyone did a page of math. Bella did two, introducing her to sets with Venn diagrams, such fun. I want to go more and more of that.

Ben did an extra page of math too for an extra chocolate.

Sophie even did French, practicing Duolingo. She got frustrated at the verbs, but I told her that asking for help with stuff she doesn’t really know yet is no more shameful than riding a bike with training wheels. She just got the training wheels off and knows how freeing it is. I told her right now you’re just learning, you haven’t mastered everything. Some day, eventually you’ll take the training wheels off, but not right now. She seemed much mollified and we daydreamed a bit about going to France some day. She read to me from her geography book.

Bella read to Dom. Did copywork but no Latin. She did do some drawing.

Anthony read to me from Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans. He’s really liking that book. Later he had a long diatribe about how reading chapter books is boring because there are too many words he doesn’t know. I told him he won’t always feel that way and his big sisters backed me up.

I spent much of the day sketching from a photograph.

Afternoon stories: Anne of Avonlea, Calpurnia Tate, Secret Soldier (finally finished, we resolved to go find her house in Sharon and maybe her grave too), St Patrick’s Summer.

Watched a short video about rhythm with African malinke people, drawing a connection between work and music, the rhythms of bodies in motion and the rhythms of drums playing and people singing.

Bedtime story: St Valentine book and Psalms for children.

Star-Wars Valentine from Bella to Sophie.

Wednesday February 15

More Valentines candy bribery…. wow, it really keeps things moving along when there’s chocolate waiting at the end! Despite a late-ish start and everyone having a cough and the house sounding like a plague ward, the school work was all done well before noon.

Sophie did a page of math, copied a verse of her poem, and read to me from geography. She’s reading about France! Yay! And we looked up what is the French for English Channel. We found the literal translation, Chaîne anglaise, and the actual French name, la Manche.

Ben did math and letters and copywork. Anthony did math, read to me from Stories of Great Americans, and copied a sentence.

Bella did copywork, a page of math, read me a poem (How they brought the good news from Ghent to Aix), and reviewed a page of Latin. She also opened up the atlas and studied maps and quizzed herself on European capitals. We looked up Browning’s poem and discovered it is not based on a historical event. And we looked up Monaco and read briefly about its history, something I’d never done before. So now I know.

I read them a chapter from Omeros.

We watched a bunch of videos on You Tube from Julia’s playlist, Music Fundamentals, rhythm. Drums of all kinds, Irish dancing, flamenco, castanets.

Afternoon stories: Anne of Avonlea, Calpurnia Tate, Story of the World (Sparta), Suretsy.

Bedtime story: Bronze Cauldron (Mayan myth).

table work
table work
table work
map work

Thursday February 16

Everyone did math and copywork. Bella and I went grocery shopping Dom stayed home because of snow so I left the other kids home.

Afternoon stories: Anne of Avonlea, Calpurnia Tate. Feeling too sick to read more than two books. Coughing and short of breath.

Bedtime story: finished Bronze Cauldron (Romany myth).

Ben copying.

Friday February 17

Everyone did math and copywork and then we watched the second disk of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Globe Shakespeare production.)

Afternoon stories: Anne of Avonlea, St Patrick’s Summer.

Bedtime stories: Knuffle Bunny Too and A Year on a Pirate Ship.

I hope we all get better soon. I’m tired of being sick and so are the kids.

Bella’s cursive

Bella’s cursive is coming along nicely. A year or two ago I bought a cursive book each for Bella and Sophie. Bella got frustrated and bored and went back to perfecting her printing. Sophie kept on with cursive. Now suddenly Bella has decided to teach herself cursive. She decided to skip over the boring instruction book and just copy from the models in the copybook. This way she’s copying interesting texts, not boring letters and sample words. And she’s making huge strides quickly. I know there are many proponents of teaching kids cursive early, but for her waiting was really key.

And here’s a list of recent library reads for Bella, piled up next to my chair as I prepare to return them, all overdue because of a combination of snow and sickness:

Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, PA 1763 (A Dear America book)

Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards, Dalhart, TX 1935 (A Dear America book)

Cleopatra VII Daughter of the Nile (Royal Diaries)

Marie Antoinette Princess of Versailles (Royal Diaries)

Isabel Jewel of Castilla (Royal Diaries)

A Prairie as Wide as the Sea: The Immigrant Diary of Ivy Weatherall Milorie Saskatchewan, 1926 (Dear Canada)

Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey

Saint Joan, the Girl Soldier by Louis de Wohl (An Ignatius Vision Book)

Our Lady Came to Fatima by Ruth Fox Hume (An Ignatius Vision Book)

The Twenty-one Balloons by William Pene duBois

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  • Sounds lovely, especially all those books.

    I had a housework day, with everyone working mostly independently — which meant my 7yo did not get any math, but he did get to go to the climbing gym, put together his Kiwi Crate, and have four chapters read to him.

    • For us grocery day is often math-optional. Though I know theoretically I could work math into grocery shopping, I’m usually too focused on the logistics of buying food. But Bella practices her math at the store at any rate.

      How do you like the Kiwi Crate? I see adds for that one and others but I’d like to know how they work in a real homeschool.