Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Congratulations, Teresa!!!

On Sunday, May 20th, on the Solemnity of Pentecost, Teresa received Jesus for the first time and it was absolutely beautiful! 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

May Learning Notes: Weeks 32, 33, & 34

May was a busy month but, as I was coming closer to the end of my pregnancy, it made sense to try to get as much of the remaining school work for the year done.

So, in the first 2 weeks, we worked ahead to finish all our religion for the year. The older three and I finished reading the Gospel of Matthew and read F. A. Forbes' St. Vincent De Paul followed by a viewing of Monsieur Vincent. Teresa and I finished her religion lessons including the Eucharist, the Ascension, Pentecost, the Church, Mary, the hierarchy, and Heaven.

We also finished all our science for the year, including lessons on Cephalopods, Echinoderms, Cindarians, and other interesting aquatic life. We also read The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor and watched Planet Ocean (which I found very disappointing and would not recommend), Blue Planet, and episode 11 of Planet Earth. We also enjoyed watching Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

And I made a valiant push and we finished our history for the year with a unit on William Shakespeare. We read Diane Stanley's Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare, Michael Rosen's Shakespeare: His Work and His World, and Aliki's William Shakespeare and the Globe. Then we watched a documentary on youtube about the original pronunciation and how it would have effected the understanding of the play and another on the remade Globe theater in Great Britain. Then we read Bruce Coville's Romeo and Juliet and watched Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (fast forwarding through the nudity) and West Side Story. We watched Elizabeth Taylor's Taming of the Shrew and Kiss Me Kate. Then we read Coville's MacBeth, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. Then we watched the 1980 BBC's The Tempest before reading Coville's Hamlet and watching Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. All in all, I think it was a nice introduction to Shakespeare. Elizabeth loved West Side Story and they all thought Elizabeth Taylor was hysterical. I learned about a few new plays myself, though Hamlet is still my favorite.

Basically, we finished religion, science, and history for the year and about 6 weeks earlier than I had initially planned but expecting a new baby made it worth it. Teresa also finished her English and Phonics for the year and Brigid got to Reading Lesson 95... so close!

We also got a fair amount done outside. I got the monkey bars up, which we hadn't put up in 4 years... they've grown a bit since they were up last.
And we got stepping stones put in from the back door to the spigot so we could turn it on and off without wearing shoes and without fear of stingers.
And we got more soil for the garden bed, the garden bed weeded, and the garden planted.
We planted pumpkin, cantaloupe and watermelon in 1 bed on the end so if they do well I can pull their vines away from the rest of the garden towards the gate. Then the others have corn, squash, potatoes, sweet peppers, onions, broccoli, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes (big and small), carrots, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, strawberries and garlic. I also have two small boxes I drilled holes in the bottom for drainage and planted chives, basil, and lavender.
 I also planted an hydrangea behind the gate and began our hopeful Marian Garden with a new rosebush!
 We still have book work to finish for the year (math, reading lessons, spelling, and english) but, thankfully, have a much needed week off coming up and at least have completed our group subjects for the year.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

April Learning Notes: Weeks 29, 30 & Catch Up Week

Usually I type up these posts as they happen, but having gotten sick the first week of Easter and losing my voice by the second, it just didn't work out that way. We also had a snowstorm just after Easter that complicated a few things.
 On April 11th, I took Felicity and Elizabeth to the ballet to see Beauty and the Beast. It was a very nice performance.
 Unfortunately, we also had an accident when Teresa tripped and fell in the street and bloodied her lips and face and chipped her front permanent tooth. Thankfully the tooth was not cracked, but she did a number on her poor, beautiful face. :(
In April we read Harold Gardiner's Edmund Campion: Hero of God's Underground. The oldest three and I read the 24th and 25th chapters of Matthew and Teresa did lessons 26 and 27.

In History we read about Edward IV, Mary I, Elizabeth I and Philip II. This included the tension between Protestants and Catholics in England and the persecution of Catholics in England and the priest holes. And it also covered Sir Francis Drake and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. I also tried to include the Battle of Lepanto. We read David Hilliam's Philip II: King of Spain and Leader of the Counter-Reformation, Don Nardo's Sir Francis Drake, John Malam's You Wouldn't Want to Sail in the Spanish Armada, Simon Adams' Elizabeth I: The Outcast Who Became England's Queen, Garnett Henry's Crossbows and Crucifixes, and Robert Marx's The Battle of Lepanto. A couple were far wordier than I planned for and, without my voice, less than completely practical, so we did skim a few. But overall I think it was a good covering of the period of history.

In Science we did lessons 8 and 9 on crustaceans and mollusks. We also read through DK Eyewitness: Seashore, DK:Eyewitness:Shell, and Dr. Seuss' Clam I Am!.

During our catch up week we went to the Milwaukee Public Museum. We finally got to see the new Mayan exhibit, which had some great hands on activities for the kids.
 Despite the cold that ran through the house, we got all caught up with all our book week during catch up week and, while it took me four days, I finally managed to declutter and clean the garage completing my decluttering project for 2018 to declutter the entire house.
My grand decluttering totals are:
We hadn't done a proper decluttering in years, so it was way overdue and has been a wonderful improvement to everything. It is so nice not only not having stuff we didn't need/use, and having things in their place, but also knowing just what we do have.

I also managed to get all the text and workbooks for next year and plan all of next year. (The only thing useful about a 3 week cold.)