Learning Notes–Halloween & beyond


I missed a week of note taking, and then this week the end of DST wiped me out. But the learning train keeps chugging along, and we did have some bright spots the past two weeks, so I’m linking up with Melanie again.



Pumpkins and pirates


Digging for fossils at the Houston Gem & Mineral Society Annual Show (the kids actually got to hide these fossils in wet concrete a week ago while volunteering to help set up the show!)


Grinding corn and washing clothes at Pioneer Day at a park



There better not be any more complaining about moving clothes from the washing machine to the dryer!

Math & Writing:

Doing fine. William has scored 100% on every math test so far in Saxon 7/6. I asked him if he wanted to just switch up to the next book, which would be Pre-Algebra, but he is happy to have an easy subject this year. Totally understandable.

Louis completed the lower case cursive handwriting book this week and is moving towards all copywork in cursive.

Memory work:

William–Psalm 1 and The Gettysburg Address

Louis, Ben, and Marie–John 3:16 and more poems from A Child’s Garden of Verses


William–finished Will at the Battle of Gettysburg. He enjoyed it and would like to see the film Gettysburg with Nathaniel and me. He started reading Muddy Banks, a novel about the only Civil War battle fought in Texas–which wasn’t too far from here,

Muddy Banks

and Called to Serve: A Guidebook for Altar Servers.

Called to Serve - Guidebook for Altar Servers

Louis–read Frog & Toad All Year and The Fire Cat. Now he’s reading Mouse Tales. He really likes it and is even reading ahead of his read-aloud assignments!


Benedict–read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and Dr. Seuss’s ABC.  Now he’s on to Cat in the Hat. I find Dr. Seuss more tiresome than Ben does. 🙂

Marie–finished reading all our Little Bear books and A Fly Went By. Now she’s reading our other copy of Cat in the Hat. Won’t be too much longer and we’ll be out of the Dr. Seuss level (I hope!).

Family reading: 

We finished listening to A Little Princess and are searching for the best film adaptation. We watched the 1939 version and while it’s a classic Shirley Temple film, it is basically nothing like the book and so pretty disappointing to the kids. After it was over, we counted on one hand the things in the movie that were the same as the book. That added up to some of the characters’ names and about 3 scenes.

Now we are listening to Where the Red Fern Grows and it is one exciting story. What my kids wouldn’t give to live in the woods somewhere!

Where the Red Fern Grows

On-the-couch read-aloud is a biography of St. John Bosco & St. Dominic Savio. We’re reading it for our kids’ book club this week, but I’m afraid we’re not going to finish it in time.


We finished the story of King Saul in our children’s Bible, and the younger kids have been having homework to complete from Sunday CCE. The boys are serving at Mass a couple times a week now.


One morning we watched a bunch of clips from Gone with the Wind. We skipped “the love parts” (their words). The film does a great job of showing the extreme contrast between the confidence with which the South entered the war and the humiliation of the fall of Atlanta and end of the war.

Then William and I read bits from the first-person accounts of slavery that were collected in the 1930s from former slaves by the Federal Writers Project (all available online). They were incredibly interesting and varied from “we had a lot more food to eat in slave times” to stories of Union soldiers taking over plantations to memories from the years of sharecropping and Ku Klux Klan visits.


The field trips plus lots of animal catching in the backyard. Who knew so many creatures lurked in the grass? Marie can spot a lizard on the trunk of a tree from a moving car, and she is a master catcher. William is getting into it too and will read to her about the animals they’ve caught from the reptile/ amphibian field guide. My constant refrain: “Wash your hands!!”



3 thoughts on “Learning Notes–Halloween & beyond

  1. amgboord

    That’s pretty good, being able to catch lizards. They’re fast! I have a lizard story, but maybe I shouldn’t tell it… one day one of my twins came in to tell me, “I caught a lizard and it bit me. At least I think it had legs…” Moral of the story: always make sure your lizard has legs. (Actually, his did, but he still got a tetanus shot out of the ordeal — and so did his twin brother, who hadn’t been bitten at all, because they were both due. Another moral of the story: don’t let your twin brother get bitten by a lizard! LOL)

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