Learning Notes – Week of October 13


Prayers and Bible. This week’s hymn: Immortal, Invisible.

I read three chapters of Banks of Plum Creek because they were short.  Put off the other recitation to later in the day.

Abby practiced violin early.  We needed to time her recital pieces before her lesson that afternoon.  It took almost an hour to run everything and get it all timed.

Em worked alone on math and spelling and cursive while Abby and I were doing violin.

Ben read his phonics lesson and a Bob book. I read The Bravest Knight and What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? and the stealing Roo book.  Abby came and listened to that last one – I thought she was done with math but turns out she wasn’t.  Still, I’m glad she’s listening to Pooh and hoping she’ll read it on her own.  I didn’t read it to her when she was young. 😦

Trying to shorten the lunch break, I only allowed leftovers. Done in half an hour!  Not that we have to rush lunch every day, but Mondays are crammed.

Went over Latin with Emma. Math, spelling, cursive, grammar corrections.  She wrote out The Hayloft.  Said she studied astronomy.  Shocked to find she’d actually finished everything at a decent time.

Abby had done math only.  Only math!!  I did her Latin lesson with her – watched her write painfully slowly and forced myself not to scold her for it.  Deep breaths.

Went over recitations (short form) and Christian Studies lesson with them both.  This week’s lesson was the story of Esau and Jacob, and Jacob and the ladder to heaven.

I made Abby take rest of her Latin exercises (which she still hadn’t finished) and her Famous Men review sheets to violin.  Made Emma take a book of her choice (Magic Treehouse) to read.

Abby didn’t do spelling or grammar or the Adam of the Road quiz or composition.  I’m not sure why she’s so unmotivated.  I wonder constantly if I should be doing something different, or if she’s a normal immature kid who doesn’t want to work and I should just press on.

During violin I read (to myself) the next couple of chapters in the Shakespeare book, getting ready to start passages from Twelfth Night.  Also read the Lamb version, since I’m not familiar with the play.  Then switched to For the Children’s Sake, a book about Charlotte Mason methods.  Really sort of skimming it.  It seems awfully idealistic to me.

No group strings. No swim.  Glory!  Say what you will about Christopher Columbus; because of him I got an evening at home. 🙂

Before bed – Read another chapter of Plum Creek aloud just because.  It will take too long to finish if we only do one chapter a day, so I’ve got to find more times to read it during each day.  Then Norse Myths, then a chapter in Tall Tales about John Henry, since it was in Emma’s lesson plans for last week and we hadn’t done it.  Evening prayers and catechism book.  Feeling pretty proud of all that reading.


Morning prayers. Plum Creek. Recitation. Shakespeare. We started Twelfth Night with the Willow Cabin speech.

Did handwriting (lowercase w) and then math with Ben. It was an “assessment” page so we did calendar stuff and all the skip counting, etc and then just that page, not the lesson.  Otherwise it’s too long for his attention span.  Read a Berenstain Bears book to him and then gave him a break.

Emma did math, Latin, another chapter of Farmer Boy, grammar and composition.  Worked a little on memorizing her poem, “The Hayloft.”  Everything but Greek Myths.  At the end of the day I decided we could put that off a day.

Abby did math, Latin, the spelling and grammar for today as well as catching up on Monday’s.  Took the Adam of the Road quiz.  Recorded herself saying the English Sovereigns poem.  We’ll see if that helps.  Read some more Prince and the Pauper.  We worked together on her composition assignment.  I reminded her to study for the Famous Men test, but not sure she did.

Abby actually read to Ben and listened to Ben read a Bob book to her after she was done with her work.  I’m not even sure what she read to him, but I was happy that they created the arrangement!

Both girls practiced violin, but I think I heard more fiddle tunes than Suzuki.  Emma really likes them, so that’s no surprise, but Abby was just playing Emma’s assignment and procrastinating on her recital preparation.  We’ve been slacking on piano.  I think they’ve both learned their pages and need me to teach them something new.

I ran my 5 miles around the neighborhood in the afternoon.  Listened to a Rabbit Room podcast about Flannery O’Connor and then to something from Circe that didn’t really hold my attention.  For the last mile I switched to Nickel Creek.  Listening to podcasts keeps me distracted during runs, but I think music makes me speed up. 🙂

Then we went to hear the Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants.  So Exciting to be out somewhere interesting and cultural of an evening!  The concert was free, so we all went.  I enjoyed it very much.  I think the kids liked it, too, even though they acted bored towards the end.  The opera portion was especially entertaining.  These musicians are the real deal – I read a bunch of their bios on the website after we got home.  Many of them have advanced degrees in music, and from some prestigious schools, too.  I always hope seeing real talent will inspire the kids to think about what can be accomplished with hard work.  What a great gig! To be on stage every night, playing in all kinds of interesting places with people who are talented and capable and love music like you do! To make your living doing such a thing!  I always leave concerts a little jealous and sad.  If I had taken a different road…


Didn’t set an alarm.  Figured we all needed the extra sleep after being out late last night.  Well, late for the kids.  I didn’t sleep well, so the extra sleep worked for me, too.

Prayers. One chapter of Plum Creek.  Shakespeare.  I forgot to do the regular review recitation, but we went over the scripture verse for the week and reviewed astronomy for a unit test at the end of the week, since I suspect they aren’t really studying it on their own.

Did a page of handwriting with Ben, the math lesson, and read Ox-Cart Man to him.  He also chose The Pinkish, Purplish, Bluish Egg; the story (and the rhymes, probably) caught the ears of the girls, who then stood around the table and listened. 🙂  I love when they do that.

Abby got on the ball today and worked more diligently. I think she did math, Latin, spelling, and grammar before lunch.  Read some Twain.  We went over some Adam of the Road as review for her final test.  I planned to hear how her poem is coming, but blast it all I forgot.  She did a fable variation and her geography lesson, too.

Emma did math, Latin, spelling.  Dictation sentence for composition.  Another chapter of Farmer Boy.  Page of cursive.  We went over her grammar memory work and then did the Greek Myths lesson.

Pulled Ben back from playing to make him read a little in the phonics book to me, plus a Bob book.  Read Song and Dance Man to him.

The girls said they didn’t want to go to church, which was fine by me.  We’re sorta kinda going to two churches right now, and the Wednesday program is at the church I don’t like…so if they don’t want to go, I’m perfectly happy to stay home.  Or to leave them home with Wayne and go to the library alone, as the case may be. 🙂 They promised to practice violin “later.”  Emma did; Abby didn’t.

Before bed I read another chapter of Plum Creek.  Gave up on Norse Myths and returned it to the library.  I think the exposure is good, but I don’t think anyone was all that into it.  And trying to read all those names is torture.  Devotions and quick prayers.


Morning prayer time includes Bible reading, by the way.  My goal is to read the entire New Testament to the kids this (calendar) year.  Today was a couple of chapters of Titus.  We also read a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible every day.  Then two chapters from Plum Creek – the part where Ma asks the girls to want horses for Christmas, for Pa’s sake.  Got a little choked up reading that but tried to pretend I was fine.  Recitation review, memory verse, working on the Willow Cabin speech.  Emma particularly likes to stage whisper, “Olivia!!!!!” It’s very dramatic.  I’m happy they seem to enjoy it.

Ben did a handwriting page.  Math lesson about doubles plus one facts.  He asked for a break after the lesson, which had included a worksheet, so I said ok.  I thought he wanted to run off and play, but he wanted me to read a Froggy book to him.  After that I told him to go play so I could work with one of the girls a bit.

As it got close to lunchtime, I kept thinking about the new Chick-fil-A that was opening today, just down the road.  Finally decided to brave the possible craziness and go.

After lunch, Ben read a little in his phonics book to me, and then a Bob book.  I read Roxaboxen to him — again, the girls wandered in to listen.  And then Abby, who had missed the beginning, grabbed the book and said she was going to go read the whole thing.  I later heard her tell Emma they should “play Roxaboxen.”  That right there is a Mom Win. 🙂

Emma did math — actually, I came in the kitchen at 7:20 this morning to find that she was already starting her math.  Said she wanted to get a head start.  It still seemed to take her forever to finish, but I appreciated the thought.  Latin review worksheet, grammar recitation, literature lesson on setting and character, Pennsylvania and West Virginia for States and Capitals.

Abby did math, Latin, and a fable reduction.  She said she studied her astronomy and Famous Men and Adam of the Road…lots of tests tomorrow.  We did the grammar lesson quickly – so much review this year.  I think I prefer First Language Lessons to Rod and Staff.  I checked her Geography from yesterday – where it asked for a “fun fact” about Mali she had put a question mark.  Reading a whole page of information about Mali did not inspire her to write even one single thing about it.  I think I need to add something to this Geography text.  Probably need to check out some library books about the countries she “studies.”  It’s a pretty bare-bones text; seems to be more about map-making than anything else.  And I’m not sure I care if she can properly place all the countries in Africa.  I sure can’t.

Both practiced violin, though not with me.  But playing alone is better than not playing.

Took them to swim.  My training schedule called for 4 miles, but I only had time for 3.  I confess that I ran them inside, on the gym treadmill, expressly so I could listen to Prince Caspian on my Kindle.

Rebelliously skipped prayer and evening read alouds because I was done.  Just done.


Sang our hymn, read the Bible, prayed.  Skipped Shakespeare.  I let everyone skip math.  In fact, I let everyone stay in his/her pajamas for school today.  Just felt like relaxing a little bit.

Ben chose two Pooh stories for me to read to him.  I also read Animals Should Definitely Not Wearing Clothing to him.  Found him looking at it on his own later.  He read two Bob books to me.

Abby had tests in Latin, spelling, astronomy, Famous Men of the Middle Ages, and her final for Adam of the Road.  She also wrote a fable variation (so thankful that those come easily to her!) and we spent, like, 5 minutes on a grammar lesson.  It was something she’d learned last year and gets.  She read Percy Jackson and practiced violin.  She was supposed to do another chapter of Famous Men, but she convinced me to let her put it off until next week.  (I reminded her that she wouldn’t feel like doing it then anymore than she does now, but she insisted that next week would be eversomuch better.)  In the end, she didn’t finish the FMMA test, either.  Came to me looking extremely frustrated and I just gave in.  We can go over it next week.  Sooo…big emphasis on Famous Men next week!  She recited her English Sovereigns poem — she’s got all but the last three stanzas down pretty well.

Emma had tests in Latin, spelling and astronomy.  She recited her grammar rules for the week, and we worked on the first two stanzas of her poem (The Hayloft).  She did a page of cursive and read for awhile — I think they were pictures books, but I let it go.  Practiced her violin.

We skipped swim because we were celebrating Abby’s birthday! More on that later.

Go check out the interesting things other families are doing here!

About waymel

Navy wife. Homeschooling mom. Adoptive parent. Pianist. Introvert. One who loves quiet and beauty.
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11 Responses to Learning Notes – Week of October 13

  1. shirley wilmoth says:

    Loved catching up on your school days and accomplishments. It sounds like there were many “wins” here. They are learning so much! It sounds like an extremely busy day…everyday. Loved the photos too. Everyone is growing up so much!

  2. Catherine says:

    On the Banks of Plum Creek is my favorite Little House book (I think–so hard to choose!).

  3. Interested to read you are using the Bob books, I’ve been wondering and wondering about buying them, my finger keeps hovering over the buy button

    • waymel says:

      I’ve used them with all three of my kids. Sometimes the phonics text gets a little boring and they want to read “real” books. The Bob books have worked well for that.

  4. amgboord says:

    Are you using the Memoria Press geography texts? I have wondered about getting those, but I notice the same thing in their States and Capitals book. After a while it seems a little dry.

    • waymel says:

      Yes. I’m not thrilled with the geography text. It’s super boring. My younger daughter is doing States and Capitals…at least that text is more colorful and the “fun facts” are more interesting. AND the info is more relevant, since I do want her to know where the states are! It seems more important than being able to locate all the African countries accurately. 🙂

  5. Rebecca says:

    Wow. Just. . . wow. I could definitely NOT do all that you are doing. And running miles every day, too! You are truly Super Mom. And by the way, I got choked up at the part about wanting horses in Plum Creek, too. The kids never even seem to notice that I can barely read!

  6. Rebecca says:

    Oh, and I LOVE the picture of the kids at Chick-Fil-A! Beautiful!

  7. Letty says:

    I just happened to click through your FB link and wanted to tell you: Roxaboxen was my oldest’s favorite picture book! I hadn’t considered it to be a popular book so that is exciting to me to see someone else talking about it!

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