Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Learning Notes: October II

Since my parents were visiting, we celebrated my birthday a week early. We celebrated with brunch at Cheesecake Factory before coming home and taking it easy and enjoying the Detroit Lion's win before singing, cheesecake/leftover birthday cake and presents.
I seemed to hit the birthday jackpot!
 Before my parents left, we took them to the Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan.
Tuesday we got a bit back into school by reading the Usborne book Roman Britain, which is somewhat like a DK Eyewitness book all about Rome's dominion over Britain and what it was like there 1800 years ago. We also began reading Galen and the Gateway to Medicine, which I meant to read a few weeks ago, but better late than never. Unfortunately, a cold hit us after all our outings and worked its way through all the kids over the course of the week. With a runny nose, Thomas spent his birthday doing puzzles on the iPad sitting inside a rocket train.
We didn't quite get all our work done but we got close, Felicity and Elizabeth only behind in math and we finished reading about Galen. We played Multiplication Bingo and looked at salt under a microscope both before and after boiling it. We also attended our first Little Flowers meeting for the year. The girls had a little bit of a hard time paying attention, but it went well.

On Saturday, Elizabeth had her zoo class, at which she learned about mountain animals including alpacas, Dall sheep and snow leopards. While she had her class, Cecilia, Felicity, Teresa, Brigid and I wandered around the zoo. Several of the animals were very accommodating.








Elizabeth thoroughly enjoyed her class and kept asking when she could do another one. It definitely wore out the kids. By bedtime, Thomas made himself a bed on the ottoman in the living room and claimed he was in bed.
I woke up on my birthday to a little snuggle bunny in my bed.
Since James wasn't feeling well, I took only two kids with me to Mass and enjoyed the relative peace for a Sunday Mass before picking up Chili's for everyone and coming home to relax and enjoy my birthday with a Mexican Coke.
On Monday we got back to the books. While Cecilia read about St. Athanasius in religion, I read about Joshua and the taking of Jericho, the defense of Samson and the importance of Ruth with Felicity and Elizabeth. We also read The Story of Saint Patrick by James Janda, Saint Patrick by Ann Tompert, Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola, and we began St. Patrick's Summer by Marigold Hunt. We also read about St. Patrick and St. Mary of Egypt in Saints: Lives and Illuminations and about St. Comgall in Once Upon A Time Saints.
I began sewing bed curtains for Teresa and Felicity in the lower bunks because they always try to hang blankets in front of their beds for privacy and to block out the distraction of anyone else moving about. I finished the two small curtains when Felicity was inspired and began sewing stuffed animals for her sisters and then decided to sew herself an apron with extra fabric from one of her curtains.
Wednesday was cold and gray and very wet with rain all day long. So we did the laundry and focused on school. We read 5 pages in chemistry and made our own bouncy balls with glue, borax, corn starch and food coloring. And we continued reading St. Patrick's Summer and watched a few videos: VeggieTales The Sumo of the Opera (it has a fun little sequence on the story of St. Patrick), Patrick: Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle ( an animated Seton DVD), and St. Patrick: The Irish Legend (a live action 90 minute film that was surprisingly not bad!). We also watched Cats and, while all the kids enjoyed it, Brigid gave herself quite the workout to it!



Thursday had an early start with Thomas' wellness check up. He isn't saying many words but he understands tons of them. I can ask him to put a brush in the bathroom or a cup on the counter and he does it perfectly. He is just like 4 of his bigger sisters and knows he can get by on few words and so is content to keep it that way for now. Brigid was my one big early talker. Thomas used to say "Mo" for "No" but has since figured out that "uh uh" works as well and so even stopped saying "Mo" most of the time. But if I know my kids, and he is #6, he will be saying more and more words over the next 6-12 months.
After all the rain Wednesday, the backyard was still a swamp so we didn't play outside, but Cecilia finished all her school work for the week, Felicity finished all but one math lesson and Elizabeth did more math and her spelling, leaving only her english and math to finish on Friday. Teresa completed reading lesson 74 and half of lesson 28 in her (Grade 1) math book. And then Felicity finished sewing her apron!
In the evening I took all the girls to the Schoenstatt All Saints Day Celebration.
Left to Right: St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Raphael the Archangel, St. Brigid of Kildare, St. Lucy, and St. Helena (with a photobomb little brother)
The girls had a great time going from station to station learning about Saints and collecting candy, coloring pages and little goodies. The icing on the cake though was a tour of a real running fire engine with flashing lights glowing and a fireman's gear from "St. Florian".
 Friday we played multiplication bingo and went to a local pumpkin patch.
 The kids had a fun time and we brought home a beautiful haul!
 Then Felicity finished her school for the week and Elizabeth got done everything but her english. And we did a chemistry experiment pouring pure acetone over a nice tower of styrofoam cups and watching the polymers break down saw it shrink to a puddle.
Saturday, James took Cecilia and Felicity to their zoo class, which they loved and where they learned about mountain animals and I took Elizabeth, Teresa, Brigid and Thomas to the seminary library for a reading of C. M. Millen's The Ink Garden of Brother Theophany, cookies and coloring!
On Sunday, after Mass and lunch and an afternoon taking it easy, I took all the kids to their first full all-secular trick or treating. Felicity's awesome SuperGirl costume was an early Birthday present from my parents. Teresa wants to wear it if Felicity ever takes it off. :)
 We went with friends in their neighborhood.
Personally I think it makes no sense whatsoever to go trick or treating any time other than ON Halloween, but that isn't how our area does it. So, on Halloween, while we did do some school work and do the next chapter in Religion on Samuel and Saul, we also painted pumpkins, had a movie marathon and had pumpkin bread cake for dinner. :)
Not a bad way to end October.















































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