Learning Notes – Week of September 8th

Join us in the Guilt Free Learning Notes Linkup at Melanie’s blog The Wine Dark Sea!


Ah, a day of rest. I went to work to tend to my mice. David went to play with his grandpa, which involved the introduction of a Star Wars reader. He is now obsessed with reading the Star Wars reader, and when he has mastered it, Big Daddy has agreed to get him the next one.

It’s a small victory, I guess. But I suspect I may end up previewing a lot of bad extended universe novels for content.

The next hurdle will be to get him reading better quality stuff.


Today was a MoMo day. When I got home, I found that Mom had been dealing with the same sinus crud headache we have all been having lately, and hadn’t felt up to chivying little boys to do their work and he’d only done one page of his spelling workbook (out of four) and read a little.

So we sat down right then and there and finished his spelling work. He was aggravated, but kid, if you don’t do your work when you’re supposed to, you’ll do it when I find out that you haven’t done it yet.

I’ll grant, I’m not really happy with the beginning exercises of Spelling Workout, because sometimes it’s hard trying to figure out what the picture is supposed to be. So I can’t blame him all that much. We’ll see how it goes later in the book, we’re almost to the end of the picture and beginning/ending sounds section.

We also briefly discussed the distinction between wild, domesticated, and feral animals, spurred by a random comment of mine about feral cats.


I meant to start with Lauds, but I got distracted. Then we did about 2/3 of a spelling lesson and went to meet my mom at Sam’s. The vigil lamp is almost out of oil, and I can get a 5L jug of the good stuff at Sam’s.

As soon as we were home from the quick errands, I did say Lauds. It was still officially morning. I forbade David to interrupt me unless someone was bleeding or on fire, although he was very welcome to join me.

While we were out, I picked up a quad ruled composition book for David to do math in. And so we did some math when we got home. First we did left to right addition problems, then I switched it up and started giving him vertical addition problems. He loved the latter and wanted more, so I started teaching him how to add up bigger and bigger numbers. I’ve never heard anything quite like the delighted cackling noises he made during this lesson. When I showed him how to carry the ten, he actually burst into maniacal laughter.

After lunch, David finished his spelling, and then we moved on to history. Chapter 3 of Story of the World, followed by some perusal of the Eyewitness Ancient Egypt and a couple of laminated thingamagumies that came from the Fine Art museum gift shop when they had their Egyptian exhibit. One is Egyptian gods, the other hieroglyphics.

Then we tried doing some still life drawing with a lemon and a vase and a weird rock thing, but Raphael wouldn’t leave the objects alone. Too much life and not enough still for drawing.

We went to our parish after the day school let out to help distribute the CCE textbooks into the classrooms. I’m glad we went, because we were the only ones who came to help. And then we ran to a different grocery store because our regular one was out of andouille sausage and I needed it for jambalaya. On the way home we had our biology lesson, talking about what kinds of living things there were and how we could organize them into three main groups: Microbes, which were too small for us to see with our eyes, Plants, and Animals.

David was astounded to hear that human beings are animals. And he wants to come to work with me to look at Microbes in my microscope. This isn’t really feasible, but I’ve promised the eventual acquisition of a proper microscope for looking at Microbes.


And today, he did half of the math problems I wrote out for him (and had trouble with the two digit addition, but I was expecting that) and none of his spelling. When I got everyone home, I set David down to do his work, hopefully inoculating the very important lesson of ‘if you don’t do it when you’re supposed to, you will do it at the very first opportunity thereafter, even if you would rather be doing something else.’

On the plus side, when I reviewed yesterday’s history with him, he remembered the which color crown went with which Egyptian kingdom, and where they were located, and the shape of the Nile Delta, if not the name.


Raphael is clearly feverish today and had a second bad night in a row. And I absolutely had to go to work today, so Himself stayed home with the boys. No work happened. David was puckish today, which is a sure sign he’s next.


No school today. Boys were both sick, so I took them to the doctor instead. Raphael, who was feeling better, tested positive for strep. David, who is feeling worse, did not.

David did this weird thing where (it felt like) he tested positive for strep all the time as a baby, even when he didn’t have any real symptoms of strep. Then when he was weaned, this tendency tapered off. Now Raphael is doing it too. I wish I’d taken better notes with David.

Anyway, I’m not so thrilled with paying $60 of copays every time the boys get colds. And Amazon sells a 25 pack of strep tests for $40. So I will probably buy them and do the throat swabs myself, and only take the antibiotic requirer to the doctor from now on.

The specificity aren’t quite as good as the tests I could buy from Fisher Scientific, but the sensitivity is better, and for a home test to determine whether a pediatrician visit for Ab is in order, that’s actually preferable.

We came home and chilled on various horizontal surfaces for the rest of the day. I can already feel myself coming down with whatever this is.


I’m sick. David is getting better. He (spontaneously!) read some Elephant and Piggy aloud this morning and played with his cash register. Raphael is still asleep. And really, we’re going to spend the whole day watching the Clone Wars cartoon, because what are sick days for?

I did mean to take more pictures for this week, and I think I did, but I’m too sick and tired to put them in the edition. Oh well, there’s always next week.

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1 Response to Learning Notes – Week of September 8th

  1. Big hugs and chicken soup to all of you!!

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