- Another late start. We haven’t gotten started before 9:30 any day this week. In one sense, it’s fine, but even thirty minutes earlier is better. Next week, maybe.
- Prayer – the 1 Samuel readings skip all the way to chapter 8, so first order of business was to summarize what happens between 4-8 and then read chapter 8 – from the Bible, w/a quick review/recitation of the books of the OT up to 1 Kings, have him look up the passage in the actual Bible, and so on.
- Gospel/pray a Hail Mary. Not super intense.
- No copywork. Instead, dictation first: the passage from Johnny Tremain that was copywork on Tuesday. I dictated, he wrote it correctly. We also talked about the last sentence of the passage, which is the last of a section : Swimming, he could forget it.
- The “it” was his injured hand. We talked about how this construction was different – and stronger from say, “While he was swimming, he could forget it” or “He could forget about his hand while he was swimming.” Especially as the final sentence of a chapter or section.
- I tell you, this homeschool thing is a much for me as for others.
- Then, as per usual, Friday is also “illustrate any of your past copywork” day. He chose an African proverb from back in November: “However long the night, the dawn will break.” Simple scene with a nice-looking savannah.
- Math was yet another sheaf of Beast Academy puzzles. This time involving finding “blobs” of factors in a grid whose product is the same target – say -660 or 525. It involves keeping your signs straight and, if you want to make it easier on yourself, prime factorization.
- This was done on the couch, looking out at the bird feeder. The number of doves was commented on – so we looked up mourning doves at the Cornell site, read about them, listened to their call, and so on. We had a couple all last summer and early fall, but there were…a lot this morning. Migrants, we concluded. We welcome them!
- Someone wondered what a group of geese was called. He knew it was something odd. A Gaggle.
- He’s fascinated by the movement of birds’ heads.
- Speaking of the Cornell site – this is nifty – an interactive bird anatomy activity.
- Saw red-winged blackbirds, which were new. Having a birdfeeder (or birdbath) is one of the best nature-education things you can have at home. You can just sit and look outside and talk and – boom – education.
- Next, writing with Writing and Rhetoric. The assignment was on pages 14-16 of the book, found here – amplification of a story about John Henry. First, to add dialogue, and then to add descriptive details. That is being done in his room, with his keyboard on automatic, playing as accompaniment.
- Then he did a quick Latin review on his own.
- Timeframe, not including the museum: 10-12:30.
This afternoon after lunch, we went to the excellent Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. It’s my fourth time, but his first in a couple of years – and it’s a big difference seeing it when you are barely nine than when you are eleven.
We had prepared by reading the “I Have a Dream” speech, pulling out the themes King drew from the Declaration and the Constitution and then I did a bit of explanation of the history between the establishment of the US and the 1950’s Civil Rights movement – it was covered at the museum, but I wanted to emphasize it.
The museum does treat Civil Rights history in general, but given its location – across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church and from Kelly Ingram Park, where the bulk of the confrontation between Bull Connor’s forces and the protesting young people took place, and given King’s activity here and nearby, it has a legitimate Birmingham focus. The pre-1954 material gives an excellent overview of segregated life in Birmingham, then with Brown, the way is paved for more in-depth politics and protest. Today, we spent the most time with the Freedom Riders exhibit, the Letter from a Birmingham Jail section, the display and videos on the youth protests, a good video overview of the issue of voting rights from post-Civil War to the Voting Rights Act, and the heartbreaking exhibit on the church bombings, which includes a case, you might say, of relics – a pair of one of the girl’s shoes, a cross worn around one of their necks, and so on.
As we left, we stopped and chatted with the woman staffing the computer room – a retired schoolteacher. She told us more about the church bombing, including about the fifth victim – who survived – Sarah Collins Rudolph. It was a very interesting conversation.