Learning Notes – Week of February 23


We started the morning with piano lessons.  Ben hadn’t practiced all week (something he has to learn to do), so we basically went over the same pages as last week.  Abby is on the last three songs of the book, so I’ll have to remember to buy the next level.

I read to Ben: Fox Outfoxed and the first chapter of Elmer and the Dragon.  He is loving the idea of chapter books now.  (I made a big deal of how he was old enough now to listen to a longer book and added it to bedtime, and he reacted just like I wanted him to.  Super excited.  But since we’d been gone most of the weekend, and I hadn’t read to him at night for several nights, I went ahead and started this book with him in the morning.  He’s so excited about reading a series.)  He did a page of copywork and read a lesson in the phonics book, although with many interruptions.  Then we did a math review sheet.

I peeked at the kindergarten MP recitation questions and saw that I was to teach him the names of our current president and the first president.  I told him the name of the president and he repeated it back to me with a strange look: “The Rock of Ama?” 😉 I also told him the number of states and how that corresponds to the flag, and how the number of stripes corresponds to the thirteen original colonies.  I love the recitation questions for adding bits of knowledge like that.

The girls worked independently (mostly) all morning.  Emma did her math, spelling, handwriting, watched her Latin lesson dvd, and did Latin and math flashcards.  She also listened to 2 chapters of The Cricket in Times Square.  Abby did her math, grammar, Robin Hood chapter and workbook pages, and watched her Latin dvd and did the assigned worksheet, plus reviewed her Latin flashcards.  Having checklists and lesson plans has been a life-saver for teaching them to work alone.

Violin. Group strings.


Very late start for some reason.  We sang Be Thou My Vision and prayed.  Read John 5 and did the catechism question/book.  Recitation for week 21.  I read a picture book version of The Bremen-Town Musicians.  Listened to the history song and read the backs of two cards, about trade in the colonies and the French and Indian War.  Ready to speed things up a little and get to the war.  A chapter of Oz and then a review of the Shakespeare passage we’ve been working on memorizing.  The girls knew it better than I thought.  I decided to read the Nesbit chapter on Twelfth Night so they could hear an overview of the story.  We’ve been working in this play for quite awhile.

Ben read a lesson in the phonics book and did a math lesson about spheres and cones.  I read I Am Going! (an Elephant and Piggie book) and Curious George and the Dump Truck to him.

The girls did their regular stuff, although Emma wasn’t terribly diligent and had to work late in the afternoon.  We did the Greek Myths lesson about Perseus and Medusa.

Swim team, during which I ran for the first time in a couple weeks.  I walked some, ran some, on the treadmill.  It seemed to go ok.  Pretty sure I’m not going to be able to do the half.  If not, I’ll just do the 5k.

At bedtime I read Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! and two chapters of Elmer’s Dragon to Ben.  Emma read a Magic Treehouse book.  Abby read Black Beauty and Johnny Tremain.  I did some research on Charlotte Mason (which I am thinking of incorporating more – still thinking) and read a little of a Father Brown mystery.


Hymn, prayers and part of John 6 (it’s a long chapter).  Catechism. Recitation review weeks 15-21.  Read alouds: The Magic Porridge Pot by Gladone, Emma Kate by Polacco (we’d read that when Emma was younger, but I had to get it out again), a book about the phases of the moon called The Moon Seems to Change, and Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone.  Then a chapter of Oz.

Ben read a lesson in the phonics book and we went over his recitation questions, which I don’t always remember to do.  I had him do a math review sheet, but he got stuck on the first problem…I almost felt like he was doing it on purpose because it was so simple.  But he kept insisting he didn’t know what to do, so I gave up and told him we’d do it later. (Later, he wandered in and said, “Was that first answer 27?” so I’m pretty sure my instincts were right on that one.)  Meanwhile, Emma had been complaining about not understanding her math problems, so I started working with her.  Turns out she hadn’t read the lesson.  I keep catching her doing that!  Yes, child, the problems will be difficult if you don’t bother to read the lesson.  (sigh)  I guess she’s just not mature enough to do math alone most of the time.  Her focus isn’t great, either.  I kept after it until all the problems were done.  Abby worked diligently and was done with most of her work by lunch.  I put her on Baby Duty while I finished with Em.

After lunch I helped Ben with his math paper, which was mysteriously and suddenly easy for him.  Then went over Abby’s work with her, which was pretty simple because she’d really done everything.  Although…her grammar lesson was about lay/lie, which made her angry because the correct answer didn’t “sound right.”  Well, we mostly ignore the “lie, lay, lain” thing, so I can see why.  Then back to working with Em until she was done.

I hid in my room and read a little of Imagining the Kingdom until time for church.  (My church is having mid-week services during Lent.)  After church, I read Don’t Let the Piggie Stay Up Late! to Ben (again) and a couple chapters of Elmer’s Dragon.  Emma listened to The Return of the Indian.  Abby came and told me she didn’t know what to read, so I showed her some books that I’ve bought fairly recently.  And guess what? She chose The Lord of the Rings!  All on her own!  I haven’t asked yet what she thought of it.  I’m scared to break the spell.  I read some more John Adams.


Hymn, prayer, remainder of John 6, catechism.  Recitation review of a few random weeks.  Picture books: The Amazing Pig (Galdone) and Will’s Quill  (Freeman).  Then a quick listen to the history timeline song followed by a chapter in one of the Hakim history books, about the French and Indian War.  Then a chapter of Oz.

The rest of Thursday…no notes, no idea what we did.  Isn’t that terrible?  Let’s assume it was a magical day of learning for all.

Thursday evening I went to a meeting about Classical Conversations.  I’ve gone to those before and decided it wasn’t a good fit for us, but for some reason I was compelled to check it out again.  Yeah.  Still not for us.  I am looking into other co-ops for next year, though.  Maybe.


We had plans to meet friends for lunch across town at 11, so I decided to skip Morning Time and prioritize a few other things.  First, I did History with the girls.  We did the VP worksheet pages about trade between England and the colonies, and the French and Indian War.

Ben and I did some math flashcards and played a game from the phonics book.  I would read a sentence telling him to do something, but he had to read one word in the sentence, which was on an index card.  (This is my third time through this book.  I’ve got the index cards all done and saved from the first round.)  The sentences were things like, “Put this card on something you love to play.”  Or, “Put this card on the place where we bake.”  Or, as pictured here, “Put this card on your brain.”  (Obviously we’ve been working on ways to spell the long-A sound.)

He thought it was very fun.  🙂

We also read yet another Mo Willems book.  We’ve read this particular book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! almost every day this week.  Ben said this is his favorite part:

I also read If You Give a Moose a Muffin and he did a page of copywork.

Abby did a Latin test, a math test, a grammar worksheet and practiced piano.

Emma finished reading The Matchlock Gun and did her Latin flashcards.  She hasn’t been good about keeping up with newer vocabulary, so I decided not to give her the test from this week.  Instead, she’s going to focus on studying the vocab from the past few weeks.  I don’t want to go on if she’s not ready.  I had her do a puzzle of the United States as a fun means of reviewing her states and capitals.  She had an “Investigation” (new stuff) in math, and immediately started complaining that she couldn’t do it alone, so I tried something new – I copied a math “test” in the back of the lesson plans and had her do that.  MP uses a different math curriculum in their core plans, so I usually ignore the math in the lesson plans, but it worked pretty well as a last minute review to throw at her.  It gave her some math and let me off the hook in teaching the new concept, which I didn’t have time to do right then!

Check out more Learning Notes at Melanie’s link up.

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 February 23

  1. redkeeney says:

    The Rock of Ama? ha ha. Sounds like another busy week to me! So the knee isn’t going to let you run the half? boo.

  2. Melanie says:

    My kids have a pretend character called “Scary Obaba” based on a funny picture iof a geeky guy in glasses n one of my writing prompt books and I can’t help but wonder if the name didn’t start out as a mishearing of “Obama.”

  3. Rebecca says:

    Ben’s “brain” picture is adorable! So the recitation questions. . . Could one purchase those and just teach them as a memorization thing without doing the mp curriculum? Or would that be weird?

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