Saturday, October 11, 2014

Learning Notes VII

Cecilia was inspired by Melanie's Bella and her leaf drawings and spent Sunday afternoon drawing and coloring her own. 

Monday, October 6th

The morning got off to a slow start. After several night bathroom visits, I was awaked at 3:15 to Teresa head butting me in the back in her sleep. I tried to reposition her but over the course of the following 45 minutes she continued to whack me with her hand and arm and generally rotate 90 degrees. Around 4am her massage of kicking James in the back woke him and he took her back to her own bed. I prayed the rosary until I fell back asleep around 4:30 but totally didn't want to get up at 7. 

So we didn't even start school until 9 and I can't say as any of us were especially eager. Felicity did her handwriting and geography and then trudged through Phonics. Cecilia did her geography, handwriting, spelling and vocabulary. But Elizabeth impressed me the most. She got done her handwriting, latin, poetry ("Singing Time" by Rose Fyleman) and spelling, all within the first hour. Not bad for a 5 year old.

After I got to eat my lunch, I answered a few emails, put Brigid down for her nap, made a phone call and caught up on Facebook before sitting down with the oldest three to do history. Teresa joined us and was very upset I hadn't made a copy of the map of the US for her to color as well. I'm going to need to make her copies too from now on. Fortunately once Elizabeth was done she donated hers so Teresa could complete it. We read about the Oregon Trail and the pioneering move west, which really made me want to commission them all to start reading Little House on the Prairie again but I didn't. Cecilia is in the middle of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Felicity is working through The Black Cauldron so it isn't a good time to hoist another series on them. The girls got a kick out of some of the Native American names like Geronimo and Crazy Horse. Then we read about Andrew Carnegie and the general difficulties concerning the influx of factories around the turn of the century, what it means to own stock in a company and a bit about his philosophy on wealth. And I told them the old Carnegie Hall joke. "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice!" :)

We all had dinner at Pizza Hut (dinner for 7 under $40!) and then went to our AHG meeting. Since the troop is so new, they are mainly practicing the flag ceremonies and the AHG Oath and Creed. Cecilia and Felicity are already very familiar with them but they did get to practice the proper way to fold the American flag. James watched Brigid and Teresa while they played with a few other younger siblings and I accompanied Elizabeth and the Pathfinders. They learned about Fanny Crosby and what it means to be blind and wrote their names in "braille" (they filled in dots rather than raising them). The troop seems to be coming together nicely but they also seem so concerned with learning the new AHG stuff they aren't taking much time to learn each other's names. I've commissioned Cecilia and Felicity to help Elizabeth learn the Oath. 

Tuesday, October 7th

School got off to a good start. Elizabeth got all of her phonics done and did it almost entirely by herself without any help from me. She also did her geography. Cecilia did her latin, two math lessons,  and memorized the next stanza from O Captain, My Captain. Felicity did her English and half of her latin. 

Felicity went with me for my weekly check up. She loved hearing the baby's heartbeat, which was in the 130s. I'd been having indigestion and reflux after anything and everything I'd eat, so I figured he had migrated up a bit. Turns out he is as far down as usual, just getting bigger. Measuring 38 weeks. 

The afternoon was pretty lazy and laid back. With chocolate. It is hard to get much done when you can just sit and watch this :)

Wednesday, October 8th

School did not go very well today. We got off to a late start. Cecilia and Felicity asked to go work in their bedroom, which was fine with me, until they came down twice bickering. Then I insisted they return to the table. Teresa and Brigid wouldn't give us a break all morning. They both constantly either wanted to be at the table with us or were causing trouble for each other. I lost my temper, the girls got upset and the whole morning was a disappointment. All Elizabeth got done in a 2 hour span was 3 pages of math but I gave up after that. Cecilia only got one math lesson done. Felicity made more progress than the others. She completed her spelling lesson, finished her latin and memorized the second stanza of "Bed in Summer."It definitely wasn't our most productive or pleasant morning.

Fortunately the afternoon was an improvement. It was gorgeous outside and, despite the fact the backyard isn't fenced yet, I let the oldest four out informing the oldest three they were to supervise Teresa. They played well and raked leaves in the back yard for a good 20-30 minutes but, shocker, Teresa couldn't just stay back there and wandered out front. That was when I had to join them. Since Brigid was still napping, we pulled out the bikes.

We live at the end of the street, which generally makes for very little traffic although we had 4 vehicles all come down just while we were out there... all the way to the end of the street just to turn around and then two left. Why drive all the way to the end only to turn around? I may need to get one of those "Children at Play" signs just to hint that they should turn around before they get to the end of the street.

 Cecilia brought out the rake and raked up a huge pile of leaves for her sisters to ride or jump into.

 Teresa had an absolute ball!

She really got into burying herself in the pile.

Thursday, October 9th

School definitely went better. Elizabeth finished all her math and her english while Cecilia finished her math for the week and her english and Felicity finished her math for the week. It was a bit weird and crazy trying to instruct 1st grade math, 2nd grade math and 4th grade math all at the same time but at least today had no screaming and no tears.
Brigid takes center table while Teresa colors and her sisters do their work. 
After lunch and Brigid was down for her nap, we finished the story of Moses and the plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea. We discussed how the Passover foreshadows the Last Supper and the lambs foreshadow Jesus and the passing through the Red Sea's similarities to Baptism. Then the girls watched The Prince of Egypt.

Friday, October 10th

The only thing we had left for the week were our Science lessons, which I simply hadn't gotten to, so I made a point of doing Science today.

We kicked off the morning doing our unit on weather. Cecilia had actually already read through all the books I'd gotten on the subject so she was happy to open the books to relevant pictures and inform her sisters a few of the things she had learned. She loves meteorology and goes back and forth between wanting to make animated films and be a meteorologist. I had purchased The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks and The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane, both by Joanna Cole. I'd also bought DK Eyewitness Books: Weather by Brian Cosgrove and Weather (Eye Wonder) by DK Publishing as well as a cloud chart on the different types of clouds.

We began by discussing the water cycle and the types of clouds. It didn't take long for the girls to jump from thunder storms to tornados and hurricanes, both of which we went over and watched a video of a tornado. We talked about their categories and force as well as how to prepare for one. We talked about Bentley and his photography of snowflakes and pulled out our copy of Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. We talked about hail and its different sizes as well as a bit about air pressure and humidity.

It was about when Felicity said, "Are we gonna do anything or are we just talking?!?" I knew I was starting to lose them then so we moved on to a few experiments. We used boiling hot water in a jar with a paper plate and a few ice cubes to make condensation/rain. We used the same boiling hot water in a jar and ice cubes with a strainer to create fog. We also used the same jar (multipurpose for the win!) with cold water, vinegar and dish soap to create our own tornado. The older girls had made wind socks and rain gauges last spring, so I didn't expend any energy doing that again but we did talk about sun dials and weather vanes and how to tell which way the wind is blowing from by wetting your finger. And finally each had the opportunity to color a set of trees for each of the different seasons. Cecilia didn't tire or get distracted through any of it. She loves this subject. By the end Elizabeth was, well, acting like a 5 year old and even Felicity had had enough. So we ended there. But since I bought the above books, they can always go back and learn more and review and soak more in when they are ready.
Brigid has a few late nights this week.  
She coped by hanging out with us, chewing on a toy shark, you know. 
Still cute though, even at 10 o'clock. 
Sharing a "cookie". She has been getting two upper teeth this week.
Hard to resist that face.
When you consider a teething one year old, the fact Teresa had 3 rough nights with screaming fits of hysterics, and the fact that I am now 38 weeks, I think we did pretty well. We didn't get go over energy at all as a Science lesson, but we will get there. I don't have much in terms of experiments lined up for that one anyway. And, fortunately, I've scheduled next week on the lighter side with no latin, vocabulary, geography or history. So, barring the arrival of the little one, we should be able to do a lesson on energy next week.

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1 comment:

  1. Did Felicity get my 'thank you" present?