August 16, 2013

Week 1 on the Alphabet Path: The Letter A

Well, we are “officially” starting “homeschooling” here at St. Catherine’s Academy. (Our non-public school is officially registered with the state now.  That was the easiest thing Craig has ever done!)  I’m borrowing the “curriculum” from Elizabeth Foss.  Heavy on literature and saints, and everything else follows behind.  So the idea is that we follow a little boy, Michael, as he explores the world of the Flower Fairies, one flower and letter at a time.  One letter each week, you get the idea.  So we do letter-themed science, art, baked goods (especially baked goods), etc.  Here are the highlights of week 1: Letter A and the Apple Blossom Fairies.

We met the apple blossom fairies and Mrs. Applebee, our tour guide along the alphabet path.  Our poem for the week was Apple Song by Frances Frost.  Lucy did that as copy work (a.k.a. handwriting and spelling and reading).  It was supposed to be memorized, too…but we’ll work harder on that next week.

Our saint of the week was Saint Ann.  We made a clothespin doll of her, and read her story.  Lucy actually made her clothes and pajamas, and a house, and carried her around for half of the week.  We also talked about St. Anthony.  And Johnny Appleseed.  Not that he’s a saint, but there isn’t another “famous person” category this week.

We practiced making letter A’s by walking on a chalk “A” outside and a masking tape “A” inside.  We made an apple pie with an A crust:

A-Week Desert

…which we shared with several of Craig’s co-workers who came over for tea, and to celebrate the end of the first week of school.  Everyone helped!


I wish I had some pictures of the process, but Lucy helped slice the apples, and Samantha mixed the sugar and spices together, and everyone cut out the letter A’s from the pie crust.

And the best part, of course, was the books.  Here are the ones we got to, and a few thoughts:

Sister Anne’s Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki

A poignant look at overcoming racism.  Just beautiful, and doesn’t pull punches, but not too difficult for the girls.

The Art Lesson by Tommie DePaola

Nice story, but I beg to differ – of course artists copy!  This is a philosophical discussion for another day…

Grandfather’s Journey and Emma’s Rug by Allen Say.

Say is one of my favorite children’s authors.

Life and Times of the Apple by Charles Micucci  Amazing artwork, and beautiful, powerful stories.

A little out of date (1992), which matters in that I don’t think the USSR is still one of the top apple-producing nations (!), but thankfully the science of how apples grow hasn’t changed.  Lucy thought grafting and apple anatomy was really cool.

Apple Cake: A Recipe for Love by Julie Paschkis

I love the artwork in this book.  It is a simple story, beautifully told, and the recipe is in the back!  Can’t wait to try it!  Worth finding, I think.

Applesauce by Klaas Verplanke

 This might have been the girls’ favorite this week.  Definitely Clare’s favorite.  I think we can all relate to “thunder-daddy”.

(A note to grandmas – we got all these books from the library, and we have added the books we loved to the “Lucy and Samantha” wishlist on Amazon.  Just in case you need ideas for birthdays and such…you know.  🙂  And anybody who follows one of the links to Amazon on these pages, and buys the book, means we get a small credit to our account…so we can buy more of those books!)

I feel like I’m missing something…I guess I can add it later

if so.  I also changed the belt on my sewing machine by myself this week, so that I could machine-quilt for the first time, so that was my learning adventure.  Which I am pretty darn proud of.

But now we’re prepping for “B” week – birds and Bugle flowers and Jan Brett and blueberries!  Should be a fun week.  Lucy has already broken into the week’s reading.  She disapproves of taking Saturday off.  She also wrote her two pen pals today, which was long overdue.

Need to do better with math, writing, memory, and art next week.  But a good start, I think.


Posted by Christina
At 02:58 PM

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Christina is a writer and mother of five who usually has a book in her hands and dirt under her nails. Grab a cup of tea, and come join the fun!


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