Learning Notes Week of February 12

Ben plays Stratego with Daddy.

All the kids play Parcheesi with Daddy.

Sophie and Lucy team up in Parcheesi.

Family rainy day games continue with Monopoly.

Monday February 12

Lucy had her physical today. (I took all the kids and everyone got flu shots too while we were there.) 

Ben did math and copywork and Explode the Code before breakfast.

Anthony did his copywork at the doctor’s office and his math when we got home.

Bella did a page of math and some copywork when we got home— despite bringing her books with her.

Sophie did one page of math and some copywork when we got home.

Ben, Sophie, Anthony, and Lucy spent most of the day playing Monopoly, to Bella’s chagrin.

Afternoon stories: began reading Sword Song by Rosemary Sutcliff a book about a Viking boy who accidentally kills a man and is exiled for it, read a chapter of St Margaret Mary, read Story of the World about the Maori and New Zealand.

Bedtime story: book about St Martin de Porres.

Tuesday February 13

We celebrated Valentine’s Day today so the children woke up to candy hearts and chocolates on top of their school books on the table. The spent most of the day making Valentines cards for each other and for Dom and myself. Ben started it before breakfast and everyone got into it.

But I did manage to get everyone to do their school work as well.

Ben did math and copywork and Explode the Code.

Anthony did his copywork and math and read to me from Child’s History.

Bella did a page of math and some copywork, some Latin, her dictation sentence, and we discussed her reading and she gave me a history narration, which I wrote down. 


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

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Afternoon stories: Sword Song, St Margaret Mary (good chapter with a focus on obedience), Doorway of Amethyst (continental crust and continental drift), Augustus Caesar’s World (Silk Road), Book of Angels (Peter’s escape from prison), Book of Marvels (Yosemite Park).
I instituted a narration jar today. I think everyone has sufficient basic skills in narration that we can make this work. I put everyone’s name on a slip of paper— including my own— and then put the slips into a jar. After each book’s chapter, I drew a name— or, rather, Lucy did— and that person had to narrate the chapter. After each person’s narration I allowed everyone else to add in bits they thought were important that the narrator had forgotten. Everyone did well. Even Lucy managed a brief narration from Book of Angels, which Anthony helped to flesh out. Ben initially had his name drawn for Doorway of Amethyst, a tough book to narrate, and he froze up. But Sophie said she was hoping she’d get it, so I allowed them to trade. Sophie narrated it well. I let Ben do Book of Marvels instead and paused after every couple of paragraphs to allow him to narrate small sections. He did that well. So it’s a work in progress, but I’m pleased with how it went. Hope to keep it up as a new habit.

Bedtime story: Finished Howl’s Moving Castle. Everyone loved it but are sad it is over. the ending is a bit precipitous, I think. I wanted a little more space to have things wind down.

Ben made me a sweet micro-Valentine card.

Anthony made a Star Wars valentine card.

Wednesday February 14

Ash Wednesday

Bella did math.

Sophie did math.

Ben did math, copywork, Explode the Code.

Anthony did math, copywork.

Went to noon Mass at the Pastoral Center’s Bethany Chapel with Cardinal Sean.

Afternoon stories: Beginning of Gospel of St Mark. Sword Song (Bella narrated), Heroes of the Middle Ages (I narrated), St Margaret Mary (Anthony narrated), North with the Spring (Sophie narrated), Augustus Caesar’s World (Ben narrated).

The weather was mild and everyone played outside for quite a while.

Bella is reading Ivanhoe and narrated it to me before she went to bed.

Bedtime story: Started Castle in the Air.

Ash Wednesday Mass at the Pastoral Center’s Bethany Chapel, photo credit George Martell, Archdiocese of Boston.

Ash Wednesday, Bella receives ashes from Cardinal Sean, photo credit George Martell, Archdiocese of Boston.

Thursday February 15

Bella did math, copywork, Latin, read to me from a book about the Cassini-Huygens probe and we discussed the reading.

Sophie did math, copywork, dictation, French, read Geography.

Ben did math, copywork.

Anthony did math, copywork, read History.

We had a homeschool playground meetup because the weather was supposed to be fine. It turned out to be chilly and damp, but we braved it anyway. Homeschooling moms in New England in February will take slightly less miserable and ignore children’s complaints of being cold in order to stand around and swap stories and talk about curriculum.

Afternoon stories: We only read Sword Song. It was a longish chapter and we got home late from the playground because we stopped at the pharmacy and library on our way home.

Bedtime story: Snowflake Bently, after which we looked at a couple of books of Bentley’s photographs that I’d also checked out from the library.

Bella finished Ivanhoe.

Friday February 16

Discussed saint of the day Onesimus and his story with St Paul. Boys and Lucy drew slips from the Lent jar for prayer and fasting and almsgiving. We said a decade of the rosary, the guardian angel prayer, chose some pantry items for the food pantry, and Anthony helped unload the dishwasher.

Anthony: math, copywork, read History.

Ben: math, copywork. He was having a very hard day for some reason so I didn’t push him.

Sophie, math, copywork.

Bella, math, copywork.

Grocery store today.

Afternoon stories: A lovely picture book about Anna Botsford Comstock, Sword Song, St Margaret Mary, Augustus Caesar’s World (more about China), Book of Angels (Book of Revelation). Continuing to draw names from the jar to narrate various books. That’s working well.

Bella started Catherine Called Birdy, also a book about birds by a naturalist in Maine.

Bedtime story: The Colt and the King and Night of the Moonjellies.

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