Learning Notes Week of March 20

Sisters reading together.

Monday March 20

Everyone was sluggish today, including me.

Sophie did math, copywork, and read Geography to me. No French.

Bella did math, copywork, picked out a dictation sentence, wrote a paragraph about General Henry Knox. No Latin or reading aloud to me. She did read to Lucy.

Ben did math, letters, copywork. No reading aloud, though he did sound out his copywork.

Anthony did math. No reading or copywork.

Afternoon stories: Sun Slower Sun Faster, book about St Augustine, Story of the World. Stories cut short by guy doing quote for furnace.

Bedtime story: Emma (the one about the old lady who paints illustrated by Barbara Cooney) and Each Peach, Pear, Plum.

Twirl girl.

Twirl girl. Lucy says she really wants a room with nothing in it where she can go and twirl without hurting herself.

Tuesday March 21

Field trip: Museum of Science.

The water-damaged living room ceiling was being replaced so we decamped to the Museum for the day. We didn’t have a particular exhibit or plan except that Bella really wanted to see the Archimedes screw. So we wandered about and did a little of this and that and had a really delightful day of exploring. I noticed that this time the children were a little more apt to linger longer at some of the displays and activities and to spend time understanding and exploring them in a bit more depth. Perhaps its a function of familiarity. They have a general idea of the layout of the museum and so don’t feel such a need to rush to the new. Instead they feel more free to linger and see what various areas have to offer. Highlights include building fish runs and bridges (water play is always fun), making collections, building bobsleds, programming a robot, lying on a bed of nails, looking a optical illusions, investigating a 3-D puzzle of a human torso, watching a video about an iron lung, exploring the model solar system, seeing an exhibit about the cultivation and history of chocolate, looking at plastic models of animals’ skulls.

Bed of nails, Museum of Science.

Wednesday March 22

A very late, slow start after yesterday’s early rising and long day out. Finally got our act together around 10:30. Sigh. Bella did math and copywork and we diagrammed her dictation selection. Sophie did math and copywork and read to me from Child’s Geography. Ben did math, copywork, letters workbook, and read a Bob book with me. Anthony did math, read to me from Stories for Little Americans, and did copywork.

Afternoon Stories: Sun Slower Sun Faster, St Patrick’s Summer, daily lectionary readings.

Bedtime stories: Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, Friends: Snake and Lizard

Also, today I read to them the story of St Nicholas Owen whose feast it was. Owen was an Elizabethan Jesuit lay brother who built many of the priest holes in England. He was at one time the servant of St Edmund Campion and then after Campion was martyred, he went on to serve other Jesuit priests. He helped one priest escape from the Tower of London. The son of a carpenter, he learned his trade from his father and on his travels he often posed as an itinerant carpenter by day and built his priest holes by night. He always began the work of building a hiding place with reception of the Eucharist and remained in prayer throughout the construction process. His two older brothers were priests and his younger brother, the only one to marry, was a printer who printed banned Catholic literature. Owen was eventually captured, he gave himself up to prevent two nearby priests from being taken, and then tortured to death in the Tower of London. He was canonized as one of the Forty English martyrs.

His story resonates especially with the kids as Sun Slower Sun Faster, our current read aloud, has both priest holes and the children witness a secret Mass, help a priest to hide in a priest hole and then help him to escape from prison after he has been captured. The children in St Patrick’s Summer also witness a secret mass and a priest hiding in a priest hole.

Anthony with hangar.

Thursday March 23

A very late start to the morning. Anthony did a page of math. Bella did some copywork. We went to the grocery store, all except Bella who was feeling sick. Fortunately Dom was working from home since he’s also recovering from the stomach bug.

Afternoon Stories: Sun Slower Sun Faster, St Patrick’s Summer.

No bedtime story.

Rebel Ben.

Ben and Lucy play dolls.

Friday March 24

I’m just a slug this week. So hard to get everyone going.

Ben did math, letter workbook, copywork, read a Bob book with me.

Anthony did math.

Bella did math, copywork, read to me from 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names.

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

Afternoon Stories: Sun Slower Sun Faster, St Patrick’s Summer.

Hopefully next week we’ll get back on track, have higher energy, something. Going to the museum kind of threw us off, that accounts for some of it. I’m not sure about the rest of it.

Building herring runs, Museum of Science.

Building herring runs, Museum of Science.

Building bridges, Museum of Science.

History of chocolate, Museum of Science.

History and science of chocolate, Museum of Science.

Tired Lu in the land of chocolate, Museum of Science.

Playground physics, Museum of Science.

Playground physics, Museum of Science.

Playground physics, Museum of Science.

Bella makes a collection, Museum of Science.

Lucy makes a collection, Museum of Science.

Anthony and the tiger, Museum of Science.

Classifying shells, Museum of Science.

Build your own bobsled race, Museum of Science.

Program a robot, Museum of Science.

Lucy on the bed of nails, Museum of Science.

Anthony on bed of nails, Museum of Science.

Sophie on the bed of nails, Museum of Science.

Ben and I, Museum of Science.

Making waves, Museum of Science.

Computer design, Museum of Science.

6 Responses to Learning Notes Week of March 20

  1. Amy Marie March 27, 2017 at 10:03 am #

    I recently found your blog. I loved seeing how your week went…it’s real. 🙂 Are you a Charlotte Mason home educator? Maybe you say, I’ll dig around more…the reason I ask is that your learning sounds so familiar to ours. 🙂

    • Melanie Bettinelli March 27, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

      Yes. i’m not a Charlotte Mason purist, but I’m very inspired by her and employ a lot of Charlotte Mason ideas in our homeschool.

  2. Ellie March 27, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

    That museum looks wonderful 🙂

  3. Cristina @Linguavert March 30, 2017 at 6:03 am #

    I smiled when I read that St. Nicholas Owens’s feast day overlapped with readalouds featuring priest holes. I’m sure you didn’t plan to have them run into each other, Melanie — but this makes the coincidence more wonderful! There have been several times when my reading and a different project or activity in my life have come together perfectly, and they always felt magical!

    • Melanie Bettinelli April 1, 2017 at 12:22 am #

      It is magical. Also, another delightful coincidence, the current Archaeology magazine has a brief article about a priest hole found in an English manor house. No mention of St Nicholas, of course, but I did wonder if it might be one of his.

      I never learned about the persecution of Catholics in England, priest holes, the English martyrs, any of that when I was in school. I learned about that history as an adult. So it’s particularly satisfying to me to have my kids not have that particular gap in their knowledge. (Though doubtless they will have other, different, gaps.)

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