- So, sorry about that, not that any of you are breathlessly waiting for these things.
- I was trying to think what has thrown me off since late last week. Well, maybe it’s:
- Friday: Stations of the Cross
- Saturday: basketball semifinal (lost)
- Sunday: serve Mass at convent; piano recital
- Then, Monday. Monday is usually a full day at home, but the piano instructor had a conflict with the usual Thursday time, so we moved the hour-long lesson to Monday at 1. So now the week was shaping up as: Monday – piano at 1. Tuesday – boxing at 1, zookeeper class at 4:30. Wednesday – brother out of school, so good luck with that. Thursday: Cathedral class in the morning. (last one)
- Plus, I have a writing project due in three weeks (hahahaha), plus I need to plan my talks for the National Catholic Library Association meeting in San Diego.
- So, okay school. This won’t be a daily report, nor will it have all those interesting rabbit trails, because I forget them.
- Prayer: the daily Mass readings, as per usual.
- Math. As I mentioned, we finished Beast Academy, with no hint as to when 5B is being released except for the vague promise of “spring.” Which could mean June 20, for all we know. So since the last section in BA was on expressions and equations, we did a bit of reinforcement of that with discussions and problems from Becoming a Problem-Solving Genius. Then it was on to fractions – specifically adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators – the usual 5th grade stuff, and new to him. But I don’t have a 5th grade book, only a 6th grade book leftover from my older son – the Pearson Envision program, hated by many, but not hated by me. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t think it was terrible. I liked that it demonstrated different approaches to problems. My issue was requiring mastery of all of those approaches – I thought the idea of presenting a number of approaches was that you would then be able to use the one that made the most sense to you.
- But anyway, I still have the book, and the CD with all the practice problems and solutions, so we are just going to do the fractions chapter in that, and then probably go back to more problem-solving stuff, maybe even start on the AOPS Pre-Algebra book.
- Also did some Khan Academy on fractions, which we’ll continue as we proceed through the chapter.
- History. The chapter in the text is Lewis & Clark and War of 1812. He covered L & C last week, but I think we will not continue with the Burns video – it was good, but it’s so long, and he’s not that fascinated with it. So just move on. For the War of 1812, he has bounced between the text, A History of US and some library books. Today (Wednesday) and tomorrow, he’s reading sections from Primary Source Accounts of the War of 1812, which led to a discussion of the difference between primary. secondary and tertiary sources in historical research.
- As he read, we discussed who the presidents were, and can recite them through Jackson. I know it’s impressive to be able to reel all their names off through Obama, but it strikes me as a lot easier and more meaningful to just learn their order as you’re learning the history – just as we have done with the books of the Old Testament.
- Oh, copywork. Forgot. We got three days in, and that’s going to be it, probably. Monday was a Scripture passage from the day’s readings. Tuesday (literature) was this from East of Eden: “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” Discussed what that might mean.
- Today (poetry) was “A Prayer in Spring” by Frost. He wrote the whole poem in his copybook, and in our discussion, we focused on the line: “Oh give us pleasure in the flowers/in the flowers today;/And give us not to think so far away / As the uncertain harvest; Keep us here/All simply in the springing of the year.”
- We discussed what that meant, beginning with the literal sense – why the harvest is uncertain – and moving on to metaphor: you don’t know what is going to happen in the future, so take joy in the present and live in it.
- No “school” novel or short stories this week. He has been reading literally hundreds of pages a day of the Seven Wonders series in anticipation of the release of the 5th volume in the series, which happened on Tuesday. Unfortunately, libraries do not instantly place books on shelves the day they are published, and this is not a book I’m going to buy, so, well, patience is a virtue.
- Latin has been prepositions all the way, which works win with reviewing what prepositions are all about in English as well.
- Today, I sent him outside to find signs of spring and then come back in and tell me about what he found: the almost instantaneous reappearance of bees and wasps, budding trees, flowers and, in his narrative, the coolness of clover.
- Science was inspired by his zookeeper class on Tuesday – birds were the focus, so he talked a lot about what he had learned by feeding the various birds mealworms, oranges and dead rats (vultures). Most exciting, though was the cassowary sighting. He has never been able to spy it on any of our previous visits – I don’t know where it hides – but this time, well, that was the big news. “I FINALLY saw the cassowary and its feet are AWESOME. They’re like dinosaur feet!”
- Lots and lots of drawing happening lately – illustrating stories in his head.
- The snake shed, so there’s that science demonstration happening right in his room, as well.
- Writing and Rhetoric: still working on that chapter introducing refutation. The interesting exercise from today, which actually had nothing to do with refutation, was a lesson on not overusing adjectives. He was given a paragraph, told to cross out all the adjectives, and then replace the previously modified nouns – which were all pretty ordinary nouns – with stronger nouns. The point being, to try to communicate something interesting about the person, place or thing, simply depending on strong nouns rather than adjectives.
- So, with the addition of an intense hour of Beethoven work, a boxing class and time outdoors, that’s it.
- Things coming up: Holi celebration at the museum Saturday, which we will try to hit after a piano sonata competition in which he is playing. Pi Day at the science museum on Monday.
Not a Daily Report
March 10, 2016 by Amy Welborn