Boy, you can tell I really scratched my head over the title to this one. Unfortunately, no snappy phrases came to mind in a timely fashion, so I went with the obvious ...
What we did today:
1. We made an autumn reading wreath.
Crackerjack and I were just finishing up his reading lesson this morning when we got to talking about the books he has been reading and all the books he will be reading some day soon. We always do his reading lessons on the couch, nestled in the corner by the open window. As the leaves sailed by on the breeze we came up with an idea to make a visual record of CJ's reading this fall - an autumn reading wreath:
The white pieces are made out of posterboard, the circle being the wreath base and the leaf a template for the colorful construction paper leaves that will eventually fill in the entire wreath frame. When we read a book together (aloud) it will go on a yellow, orange, or green leaf. Crackerjack's favorite color is red, so leaves of that color will be used for books he has read himself.
This is as far as we got. I will post a picture once we get it up and start adding leaves!
2. We learned about the Book of Kells.
We read in our history spine about how medieval monks helped to return Christianity and literacy to barbarian Europe. (Remember, we covered barbarians last week?) The Book of Kells is an example of an illuminated manuscript scribed by several Irish monks somewhere around the 8th century. It survives to this day, and we were able to go online and see pictures of pages as well as watch an informative video. The most surprising thing we learned? The Book is made entirely of animal skin - paper was not known at that time. Then there's the interesting fact that the Book was worked on only by daylight; fear of fire prohibited scribes from working by candle or (oil) lamplight. No wonder it took so long!
The Book of Kells (which is a representation of the four Gospels) was only briefly mentioned in our Usborne text, so we turned to online resources for more information. I found this site to be concise and thorough. (Though being mostly Irish myself I love this site anyway!)
We also chose pages from Color Your Own Book of Kells to work on today. There were many to choose from, but we went with the Lion symbolizing St. Mark for two reasons - 1. I thought the boys would like the lion figure and 2. this Sunday's Gospel is from Mark! After a few clues, the boys caught on and as they colored I read this Sunday's Readings and Gospel aloud from Bookworm's issue of Magnifikid.
Here are the boys' pages (Bookworm top, Crackerjack, bottom):
These will be filed into the history notebooks.
I had wanted to have Bookworm read Augustine Came to Kent, but my library doesn't have a copy. So instead, tomorrow we'll read Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie de Paola. We'll look at a two-page spread of the Maria Laach Abbey inside Great Buildings and peruse our Monastery Greetings catalog, too! (Completely off-topic but I think this Christmas soap made by Trappist nuns in Norway sounds - pardon the pun -heavenly!)
We also did math (natch) and we read through the Ranger Rick that came in the mail today. Crackerjack practiced printing, Earlybird colored (trains today) and Bookworm spent a lot of time working on his Mario story.
We ate marshmallows and looked at clouds as we talked about this coming Sunday's First Reading (Numbers 11:25-29). Crackerjack colored the weekly Scripture symbol and we finally began our Celebrating the Gospels banner. I find reading and talking about Sunday's liturgy a few days ahead helps the boys pay better attention and feel more included at Mass.
And on the homefront? Well, I did the dishes, but I didn't fold laundry. I filled the birdfeeders - with helpful little hands - and then vacuumed up the "extra help" afterward. I made notes for celebrating the angel days which begin tomorrow, but realized I forgot to order the spring bulbs. I didn't go grocery shopping as I had planned, but instead had dh pick up milk and a pizza. The dear man also brought me home apple turnovers, so you can guess what I'm doing as I type up this post. :)
And before I go to bed, I am going to go back and re-read Jennifer's beautiful post at As Cozy as Spring. Because it is perfect. It is just a simply perfect post and I am in perfect agreement - these days are all gifts. Every single one of them. Full or quiet, productive or not so productive - the point is we're here, we're together, and we're learning all the time.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring. :)
Good night and God bless!