Yesterday was odd and most of us are ill, so I never got around to a daily report. Consider this your Tuesday and Wednesday combined.
- Tuesday was supposed to be busy with afternoon activities, but two of the three got cancelled because of storm threats, so that is just as well. Except for that one of them was the zookeeper class, and that made us sad. They’ll make it up, though.
- Prayer: Scripture readings, with some conversation about prophets. I had him run over the names of the books of the Bible that he has memorized (from Genesis to 1 Chronicles). Yesterday, we talked about St. Polycarp and I told him the “away with the atheists” story.
- Copywork yesterday (literature) was February-related. As I have said before, it’s tough to find appropriate February quotes because most of them reflect climates different than ours. We don’t have melting snow, etc. But I thought this one was good, from Much Ado:
- “Why, what’s the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?”
- After he read it, I challenged him to make faces: a February face, a July face, a September face, etc.
- He did that copywork in cursive.
- Today’ copywork (poetry) was the last stanza of Dover Beach – the reason being that it plays a role in Farenheit 451, which he finished reading last week and we have been talking about. We re-read the scene in which it plays a role, then read the poem, and talked about it meaning – what is missing from the materialist vision of life.
- And a bit of geography – where is Dover Beach, anyway?
- By the way, Farenheit 451 is not fundamentally about “censorship” or “banning books.” It’s about life without the wisdom found in books – that is ,the wisdom of civilization, and what an unthinking, technologically-dominated society is like. It’s very prescient. It’s us.
- After he did the copywork, we talked about various aspects of the novel. I was going to have him write something, but eh. Discussion is better – it accomplishes my goal of engagement with the work and with other people (er, me) with far less stress than writing at this point. A key to good writing is being a person comfortable with expressing thoughts and ideas., and I believe that it’s the component most valuable to kids as they’re learning.
- Math was more of the solving equations from Beast Academy. We are taking it slowly because it’s challenging – you usually don’t see this until 7th grade math. the Beast Academy magic is working though. A couple more days, and it will be second nature. Lots of equations, followed up by puzzles (no samples on the website, sorry). Almost an hour each day of that. It’s slow going, as I said.
- Yesterday’s extra literature was “The Black Cat” by Poe. He had dug up this edition of four of Poe’s stories that is faithful to the text, but also graphic-novel like. So he read that, then summarized it for me, we talked about it, and I emphasized the aspect of the unreliable narrator. He tends to like books with a strong narrative voice (Riordan, Pseudonymous Bosch), so this interested him.
- Science – started talking about vertebrates – not too hard, but we looked at a chart with the five vertebrate orders, then just used the Animal book to explore vertebrate characteristics, their relative numbers and so on. Friday I think we’ll review systems and then Monday try to dissect the frog. Get that out of my house.
- History: He finished reading the chapter on Catholics in early America in the textbook – I had no idea of the history of Loretto, Pennsylvania. It would make a great stand-alone story, wouldn’t it?
- Latin involved starting the next chapter – future tense of esse and a slew of prepositions.
- His independent reading during the day was centered on Lucky Luke and Asterix, and then the Underground Railroad volume of the very good Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series of graphic..books.
- Boxing happened at 1 yesterday, so that was that.
- We had not done art for a few weeks, so I pulled up this project – the word he chose is “snake” – so he first was busy thinking of descriptive words to go with each letter, which involved imagination as well as dictionary work – and then just doing the thing, which he won’t finish today, and that is fine.