Learning Notes Week of March 13

Telephone.

Monday March 13

Sophie did math and copywork and read to me from Child’s Geography.

Bella did math, copywork, and worked on illuminated letters.

Ben did math, letter workbook, and copywork. And decided he wanted to try to read the first Bob book. He succeeded to his very great delight and has declared his intention of working through all of them.

Anthony did not do any work.

Afternoon stories: Sun Slower Sun Faster, Five Sisters, Story of the World.

Bedtime story: Of Swords and Sorcerers. Tricky chapter required editing on the fly. I can’t believe a children’s book included details of Lancelot’s affair with Elaine.

Lucy has been doing a lot of pretend writing.

Tuesday March 14

Everyone did math and copywork.

Anthony also read to me from his book of saints, about Saint Maud, whose feast it was.

Sophie did Duolingo.

Ben also read me the second Bob book.

Bella reviewed some Latin and picked a dictation sentence.

Afternoon Stories: Sun Slower Sun Faster. Five Sisters.

Bedtime story: Rip van Winkle.

Ben and Sophie in the snow.

Wednesday March 15

Everyone did math and copywork.

Anthony also read to me from Stories of Great Americans, the story of John Stark, who later became a general in the Revolutionary War, but this story focused on an incident when he was a young man and was captured by Indians and proved very brave. Anthony was really captivated by this story.

Bella read me a Longfellow poem, reviewed some Latin. We diagrammed her dictation sentence.

Ben did his letter book and read me the third Bob book. He’s on a roll. Very determined.

We cleared the driveway of ice and snow and then did the grocery shopping.

Afternoon stories: Sun Slower Sun Faster, Five Sisters, Story of the World (The Nazca Lines in Peru).

I notice the girls have been very inspired by Five Sisters to make paper doll after paper doll. Ben also joined in the action and made his own paper boy doll. It really is fun to see how much the books can inspire their play.

Bedtime story: Little Bear.

Funny Anthony story: I was on the phone with my sister while cooking dinner and I was describing Lucy’s current practice of invented writing, filling whole pages with neat rows of characters, a few scattered real letters, Ts and Hs mostly, and then the rest Os and thetas and scribbles. And I heard Anthony’s voice coming from his room: “What’s theta?” Oh my heart. That boy is the most thirsty for knowledge child I’ve ever met. He wants to know and understand everything. Now. Of course I told him and then my sister and I laughed a bit.

Working Ben.

Thursday March 16

Ben did math, letter workbook, copywork, and read me a Bob book. Oh the triumph when he finishes those books: one step closer to literacy!

Bella did a page of math, her copywork, wrote out her dictation, reviewed her Latin lesson, and read me Longfellow’s poem Seaweed.

Sophie did two pages of math, copywork, a French lesson on Duolingo, and read to me from 50 Great Stories.

Anthony did two pages of math, read to me from Stories for Little Americans, and did a copywork sentence.

The children are mostly playing with Sophie’s new legos, building marvelous creations and then telling elaborate stories with them.

Afternoon stories: I began with today’s lectionary readings, I’ve been meaning to get back into the habit of doing them and I think it might work better to add them to afternoon stories instead of trying to cram them into the morning somehow. We had a good brief discussion about them, especially about the parallels between the first reading from Jeremiah and the psalm, psalm 1. And they were very engaged with the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

Then we read a chapter of St Patrick’s Summer with lots and lots of pauses for discussion and questions and speculation and pondering. Then part of a chapter of Sun Slower Sun Faster, more discussion. It’s fun how the two books play off each other, both have a protagonist named Cecilia, both touching more than a little on the persecution of Catholics in Elizabethan England, both full of smuggled catechism lessons, both involving a sort of time travel. Both are very engaging and Sophie exclaims that though she read Sun Slower Sun Faster previously on her own she’s getting so much more this time. And so we also talked about the benefits of re-reading. We also read two chapters of The Five Sisters, which is also a very popular book. And we had a nice discussion about it that speculated about the future and made connections with what has already happened.

Bedtime story: Finished Rip Van Winkle.

Also, Bella blew my mind by telling me the great northern diver that Dick finds nesting in the Hebrides in the Swallows and Amazons book, Great Northern, is the same species as the American common loon. I love it when kids make connections and dig deeper. I’m also a little chagrinned that we read the whole novel and I never looked it up. But in my defense, Ransome’s illustrations are so good that I never felt a need to find photos of the bird as we read. I was a little sad as I read that I’d probably never seen a northern diver. Well, I have, though. When we stayed at the lake house two years ago we not only heard loons on the lake and saw them swimming by, I got up close to one when my brother-in-law took us out in the boat. It was maybe six feet away! I might need to re-read the book now with the knowledge of what the birds really are. I played the kid recordings of loon sounds and we all remembered hearing them in Maine and thought about the descriptions of the calls in the book.

Lucia copies her name.

Friday March 17

I managed to do baking and get all the schoolwork done this morning. Amazing. I baked chocolate cupcakes for Lucy’s baptism day and soda bread for our St Patrick’s celebration.

Sophie did two pages of math and copywork. She read me a story from 50 Great stories, about Robin Hood.

Ben did several pages of math, two letter pages, a page of copywork, and read me the next Bob book. His reading is slow and he’s prone to guessing and then I have to remind him to look at the letters, but he is sounding things out and blending. He was really pleased with his copywork. All of the words but the last one were from the Bob book set he’s been reading and so he was able to read almost all the sentence by himself. He’s been copying full sentences for a long time now, but unable to read what he writes. He’s got this funny quirk where he really doesn’t want anyone to tell him what it says until he’s done copying, which seems to me to undercut a potential boost the copywork could give him in his reading, but he’s quietly stubborn and there’s no sense arguing with him. But today he was able to see what the words said as he looked at them and it was delightful to see his joy of recognition and pride of accomplishment as he read the words on his own: Matt sat on the (bird). I do try to tickle his fancy by making him silly sentences to copy. I guess it blunts the boring side of copywork to know he’s been “tricked” into writing something funny and maybe that’s partly why he didn’t want to know what it said, because anticipating the joke helped him get through the copying? Anyway, I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished this week. His first big strides into the world of reading.

Anthony did a page of math, read me the story of St Patrick, and then copied a sentence.

Bella did two pages of math, her copywork, and then read a pile of picture books to Lucy. I counted that as her reading aloud for the day. She was so very excited to share some of her favorite books that Lucy hadn’t encountered yet. Bella really does relish this role of teacher and guide.

Listened to my Irish playlist and discussed some of the songs briefly.

Afternoon stories: Sun Slower Sun Faster, Five Sisters, Story of the World (Olmec heads), and today’s lectionary readings, read and discussed them at length.

Bedtime story: Gail Gibbons Surrounded by Sea: Life on a New England Fishing Island.

Bella reads to Lucy and Anthony.

Cream puffs for St Joseph’s feast.

My Lenten copywork.

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