Learning Notes – Week of October 5


The big day! Triathlon day!  (That really needs its own post or this will be eternally long.  I will try to do that tomorrow.)

Ran 6 miles in the afternoon.  Felt jubilant at accomplishing such a thing.  Fell asleep really early on the couch.


Morning prayers always start the day.  This week’s hymn is Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.  We sing the same hymn every morning for one week.  Then recitation, including Shakespeare.  Decided not to start the next play for one more week, but reviewed our passages and talked a little about iambic pentameter.  We listened to Jim Weiss tell the story later, on our way to violin.

I knew it would be a busy day, since we had to leave by 2:00 for activities.  I told the girls to prioritize math, Latin and literature, and to squeeze other things in as they had time.  We also did “Christian Studies” (basically our Bible lesson for the week).  Ben and I did math and reading; we may have skipped handwriting.  Knowing we have a bajillion activities through the afternoon and evening makes me anxious and hurried all day.

Violin lessons, homeschool strings (I really shouldn’t call it orchestra), and on to swim.  My training schedule called for a “fun workout” — I decided taking a walk around the base was fun enough.

Ben and Wayne went to soccer practice and then out for Mexican.  The girls and I grabbed a pizza from Little Caesar’s.  I haven’t even had time to go to the commissary, let alone time to cook something.  When did my life get so frantic?

A blog post led me to the amazing discovery that Gilmore Girls is now streaming on Netflix!  So exciting!  Wayne was playing his game, so I happily watched the first two episodes on the almost-never-watched tv in our room.


Wayne had watch. Ugh. He leaves even earlier than usual, doesn’t come home for lunch, and stays later than usual.  Somehow this never fails to make my day seem longer.

Morning prayers and on into the day.  Read to Ben and listened to him read from the second box of Bob books to me.  He’s getting slightly more fluent, which makes us both happy.  Did a page of handwriting with him, too.  Ran out of time for math, but did review flashcards so that’s something.

Discovered at the end of the day that Abby had only done math, spelling and literature.  She must have been sitting at her desk staring into space all day.  I told her about the mom (whose blog I love) who recently made a similar discovery about her son’s diligence (or lack) and made him work after dinner until bedtime.  Abby seemed to understand the implications for her own life. 🙂

Emma did a little more, but didn’t do everything on the list.  Constant catch up going on and it’s driving me crazy.  I know some people say it doesn’t matter if you stay with the lesson plans, just make it fit for you, but the lesson plans are set up in a certain way for a reason.  They’re set up by week and are best done in the appropriate week.  We just need to stay on task.

Ortho consult in the afternoon.  Looks like braces are in Emma’s near future.

Wayne took the girls to swim so I could go to a homeschool mom meeting.  It was mostly the usual “stand around with a smile plastered on my face, watching people who already know each other talk to each other” routine.  My favorite.  Okay, a couple of ladies did talk to me a little.  The meeting was very long on announcements – tediously so.  They said the info for field trips was on the website and then took probably 45 minutes to discuss field trips.  In fact, there were so many field trips being discussed, I started to wonder when these ladies did math and grammar!  After the lengthy announcements, there was a discussion about organization.  Snapped some pictures of the chore charts someone passed around.  I need to work on assigning more chores to the kids.  Anyway, it was just ok.  Not sure if I’ll go back or not.  I should probably give it another chance.

Never had time for the 5 mile run on my schedule.


Feeling the pressure of not Getting It All Done yet this week.  Plus the military homeschoolers group that’s just getting started had a meeting planned for mid-morning.  The kids played at the park while the moms talked.  The other moms want to do classes or crafts or experiments together, but I think it’s clear that I don’t have time for anything like that.  Emma complained the whole time (about everything) and Abby kept making sad eyes at me and whispering that she was hungry.  Ben got hurt on the teeter-totter and shortly after, Emma called Abby a rude name, loudly.  A grand experience all around.

We worked hard all afternoon and got mostly caught up.  Didn’t do States and Capitals with Emma yet.  Abby’s a day behind on literature and composition.

While trying to figure out how I could go to the library, run, take the kids to church, get Ben to soccer, and also have dinner at a normal time, realized that I couldn’t do all that and so skipped church.  We really, really needed a night at home.  I went to the library alone, then came home and tried to get my run in.  Only made it 2.73 miles before it got so dark that I was afraid I was going to trip.  Never realized how few street lights we have around here.  I listened to a Circe podcast about starting the school year well (obviously I don’t listen to them when they’re first posted!).

The podcast must have inspired me, because we did family devotions AND read the first story in Norse Myths!  Yeah, baby.  Managed to keep my eyes open long enough to read a little more Desiring the Kingdom and The Two Towers.


I realized last night, after I wrote the previous part of this post, that I was viewing each day in terms of what we didn’t do.  How glass half empty am I?!?  I do feel like we failed if we don’t do it all every day, but maybe I should focus more on what we did accomplish.  (The laid back readers are saying, “Gee, ya think?”)  Perhaps that will give me a better perspective and help to ease my constant frustration.

One of the things I’ve been frustrated about is our lack of read alouds.  I can’t figure out how to reconcile my wish to do all the Memoria Press stuff while also being the “sit around reading for hours, all snug and cozy” kind of homeschoolers.  I decided last night to add a read aloud to our Morning Time. (AKA Morning Meeting. Ben also calls it Morning Morning, which we all enjoy.)  So this morning after the hymn and prayers, I read the first chapter of On the Banks of Plum Creek.  And then the Coville Midsummer Night’s Dream.  They really enjoyed all the beautiful pictures.

[I’d also really love to add a quiet time to our schedule, where everyone reads independently, but I just can’t figure out how or when such a thing would happen.  We already start at 8-ish and go until close to 3.  And I have no idea what we’d cut.]

Ben’s math lesson was about adding two digit numbers! I’m shocked that my baby is ready for this.  It was really just adding dimes and pennies, and he had no problem with it, but it sounds so advanced for my youngest!  I read the new Froggy book to him (he’s a big Froggy fan) but didn’t make him read to me (yet). He also did a page of uppercase W’s and then ran off to be annoyingly lost all day.  Couldn’t figure out what to do with himself.  Some days are like that.

Emma did math, Latin, and spelling on her own.  I later went over those subjects with her and helped her with literature (Farmer Boy is dragging on and on and on), her Greek Myths review, and grammar. One sentence of dictation for composition.  Delaware and Maryland for States and Capitals.

Abby did math, grammar, and Latin on her own.  Later helped her with literature (finished Adam of the Road!) – and practically begged her to finish memorizing the poem for that.  It’s the “English Sovereigns in Verse” one and she’s dragging her feet something awful.  I wrote it in on the lesson plans for the next week so I won’t forget to ask her for it.  She has it about halfway learned.  Helped her with the fable exercise for composition and did math and Latin corrections.  We also went over the Famous Men of the Middle Ages assignment that she did yesterday.

While the girls were at strings, I started the audio book of Prince Caspian.  (Having finally finished the series this year, I decided to “re-read” them by listening to them.)  I may have also popped by Baskin Robbins.  Don’t tell the kids. 😉

While the girls were at swim, I did the arc trainer at the gym and listened to another Circe podcast, this one about teaching the seven liberal arts.

Never did get Ben to read to me, but we did do family devotions and Norse myths for the second day in a row!  Winning!


Morning time included the hymn, prayers, They Were Strong and Good, a chapter of On the Banks of Plum Creek, recitation (review across subjects) and a review of all states and capitals learned so far.

Abby had tests in Latin and spelling, some grammar, and some Famous Men review pages.  Still has some work to do on that poem.  I wish I could find a recording of it and make her listen to it over and over…maybe I should just have her make a recording of it and listen to that over and over!

Emma had tests in Latin, Greek Myths, and spelling. Oral review in grammar. A page of cursive and a chapter of Farmer Boy.

Ben read a page in his phonics book to me, and then I read to him: the Winnie the Pooh book about kidnapping Roo, How to Make an Apple Pie (and see the world), and a Mo Williams book.  The Pooh book has a lot of words and few pictures, but he hung in there.  I feel like he’s getting the benefit of all I’ve learned since his sisters were his age!

Ended the school day with a big review of astronomy for a test next week.  Really should schedule a visit to a planetarium.

Swim practice. Family devotions and Norse Myths.  We’re on a roll.

I finished The Two Towers, and I have to say, I mostly enjoyed it.  I still think the multiple names for things are distracting, but the story actually was more interesting than I thought it would be.  I just have such a hard time with fantasy.  I’ll take a little break before I tackle the next one, but my goal is to finish the series by the end of the year.

I continue to take a scoop of greens powder every day.  My psoriasis spots on my face are better, but I’ve still got spots on my scalp and neck, so I’m not proclaiming a miracle cure just yet.  Maybe it requires more than two weeks. 🙂

Go check out the other Learning Notes posts!

About waymel

Navy wife. Homeschooling mom. Adoptive parent. Pianist. Introvert. One who loves quiet and beauty.
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4 Responses to Learning Notes – Week of October 5

  1. Melanie says:

    I started doing learning notes precisely so I would focus on what I did accomplish each day instead of all the things I didn’t. It is a hard habit to break, though and I still find the lists of stuff I didn’t do creeping in.

    “I can’t figure out how to reconcile my wish to do all the Memoria Press stuff while also being the “sit around reading for hours, all snug and cozy” kind of homeschoolers.” And I’m the other way around. I’d love to be able to do all the Memoria Press kinds of stuff but it just seems overwhelming to me. But I’ve got the snug and cozy reading thing down. I guess the grass is always greener, huh?

    “I’d also really love to add a quiet time to our schedule, where everyone reads independently, but I just can’t figure out how or when such a thing would happen.” Me too. I think quiet time is so important and I always assumed we’d have one. And then we just slipped into the habit of afternoon reading time and quiet time never ever happens.

  2. redkeeney says:

    It sounds to me like you get a ton done!! Can’t wait for the tri post also.

  3. Anne says:

    I’m both sad and delighted that we could be an inspiration and by word.

  4. amgboord says:

    I really enjoyed reading your learning notes! I had to laugh when you when you mentioned wanting to do everything by Memoria Press *and* being the kind of “snug and cozy” homeschoolers who sit around reading all day. I think I’ve had that same wish, but I usually end up on the snug and cozy end of the spectrum and then I start worrying that we’re not doing enough grammar or Latin or logic. (Well… I know my teenagers are doing enough Latin, because they’re taking classes in the Memoria Press Online Academy! But my younger kids have to depend on me.)

    Anyway, I thought you got an amazing amount accomplished, but I also tend to the “half-full” outlook as far as homeschooling goes… but I do find that keeping learning notes/weekly reviews helps with that!

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