Learning Notes Week of August 28

Learning Notes Week of August 28

On Sunday I caught a glimpse of something big and green in amongst the cosmos. It was a mantis and it had a bumbleebee held in its grasp and it was busy eating it. I called the kids and they all came running to watch.


Anthony with mantis.


Mantis eating a bumble bee.

Monday August 28


Anthony did math, read to me from Stories of Great Americans, did copywork.

Ben did a page of math and two pages in his Explode the Code book, did a line of copywork.

Sophie did a page of math, copywork, read to me from Geography, and reviewed her French prayer.

Bella did a page of math, math in Khan Academy, reviewed some Latin, did copywork.

Ben and Bella went to the library with me.

Stories, outside on the new patio.

Hitty, Story of the World, Golden Fleece, St Elizabeth, Roman Myths, Minn of the Mississippi.

Bedtime story: library book.


First lost tooth! It came out in the middle of the night. He woke up with something in his mouth and it was his tooth. He didn’t tell me about it immediately when I got up though.


The royal court on the new patio



Tuesday August 29

Field Trip, Nature study at Duxbury Beach with a guide from the Mass Audubon Society. We explored the mudflats under the PowderPoint Bridge to see how many different animals we could find. Our guide was excellent. I felt a little sorry for the one other person who showed up for the event because my gang sort of hijacked it. It was supposed to be an activity wherein we cataloged all the different living things in a square meter of beach, but our guide decided that might be a little stationary for our gang and so instead we just did a sort of scavenger hunt: trying to find and identify twenty different species. Our guide helped identify the children’s finds, pointed out many things they’d have missed, and told them a little bit about most of the critters we found. 

Our list included: oysters, mussels (two different kinds, ribbed and purple), soft shell clams, quahogs, razor clams, slippershells (which evidently can change sex), periwinkles (he taught them how to hum a periwinkle out of its shell), a moon snail (which Bella thought was called a moose snail), lots of crabs: blue, green, lady, horseshoe, hermit), barnacles aplenty, shrimp. And of course some birds: herring gull, laughing gull, pigeons (that lived under the bridge), plovers. And later on the ocean side of the barrier beach, we saw a jellyfish. We also identified some seaweed, sea lettuce, chenille seaweed, and sour grass. Bella found an egg shell, that our guide thought might belong to a duck.

After our program was over we headed to the beach for some swimming (not much for it was a chilly 67 degrees) and a picnic lunch. Then back over the bridge and we headed home, listening to The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Afternoon stories: Hitty, Golden Fleece, St Elizabeth, Minn, Roman Myths.


wading in the tidal flats.


Our guide shows us a horseshoe crab.


Whistling a periwinkle out of its shell.


Whistling a periwinkle out of its shell.


Teeny tiny hermit crab in my hand. Bella saw it running across the bottom of the pool. The shell is smaller than a pea.


Shell from a lady crab.


Tidal flats exploration.


Lucy in the surf.


Running Anthony.


Lucy talks with her hands.


Playing in the surf.


Back across the bridge.


Wednesday August 30

I read the kids the first two chapters of North with the Spring. Bella at least really seemed to get into it, even tracing some of the locations in the atlas.

Grocery shopping.

Afternoon stories: Hitty, Golden Fleece, Augustus Caesar’s World, Story of the Chosen People, Secrets of the Universe.

Anthony and I did the activity from Secrets of the Universe, drawing ellipses with string over two pins.

Bella says the star chart in the atlas is so much more exciting since she started reading the various astronomy books she’s liked lately.

Thursday August 31

Another Audubon program and beach day at Duxbury Beach. Today was charts and navigation. We learned how to read a navigational chart and how to plot a course using a compass. Bella was especially engaged and fascinated through the first part of the program. Swallows and Amazons forever! But it was a rather long program and by the end the children’s attention was waning and they just wanted to get to the beach. The guide (same one we had on Tuesday) was very knowledgeable and very patient with the children’s questions, very good at anticipating questions, responding to tangential questions, and generally an amazing teacher. I learned a lot about charts, using a compass, and dead reckoning. We plotted an imaginary course from Duxbury Beach to Plymouth Rock.


Afterwards we had a frolic on the beach. The weather was sunny and warm, the breakers were high and the kids were thrilled. We had fun spending time with friends who we haven’t seen in far too long.

It was 4pm by the time we got home and everyone was too tired for reading. But we did listen to The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in the car.

Bedtime story: The Empire Striketh Back.


Charts and navigation. Learning to read a chart and to use a compass.


Charts and navigation: Bella plots a course.


Lucy finds navigation boring.


Beach frolic.


Fun in the surf.


Fun in the surf.


Fun in the surf and sun.




Friday September 1

Anthony did a page and a half in Miquon, read me the story of St Anthony of the Desert, copied a sentence.

Ben did a page of Miquon math and two pages in his letter book. No copywork or reading practice.

Sophie did a page and a half in Miquon, copied a few sentences from a Pooh story. Reviewed her French prayer, read to me from Child’s Geography.

Bella did some Khan Academy math and science videos. Reviewed her times tables. Did some copywork. Wrote a short paragraph of a story. Reviewed some Latin vocabulary. Read me a poem from The Rattle Bag and discussed it. Narrated her science videos about astronomy, parallax and variable stars. Read a page from Book of Discovery and narrated it. Narrated a bit of her Royal Diary about Elizabeth I. We also discussed future books and composition and dictation. Probably going to have her read Beowulf and a book of Medieval history. She asked me to buy her a copy of Exploding Suns because she loves it so much.

Afternoon stories outside on the patio: Hitty, Story of the World, The Golden Fleece, St Elizabeth.

Bedtime story: Katy the snowplow.


Sophie working.


Schoolwork in costume.
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