Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day 2: Two feasts and lots of fun work

Today is not only the feast of Our Lady of Knock, it is also Pius X's feast day! So for religion we didn't start reading the Old Testament (as originally planned) but instead reviewed these two wonderful feasts.

Our Lady of Knock, one of my favorite Marian apparitions, occured in the small Irish town of Cnoc (meaning "hill") on August 21, 1879 to a crowd of 18 parishioners. It's a "silent apparition" -- the tableau was described as the Blessed Mother, hands raised in prayer, with St. Joseph to one side and St. John the Evangelist on the other. Near the church gable, a lamb floating over a table, surrounded by circling angels. In other words, no one needed to speak -- this apparition is so filled with Catholic symbolism. It is an absolutely awe-inspiring site!

It is also Pius X's feast day. He's the one who said:
"Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven".
He also believed that children as young as 7 should receive First Holy Communion -- so he's a popular guy around here (and we're fortunate to own a first-class relic of him)!

In addition to learning about these two wonders of Catholicism (and making sure we included the info in our new "Book of Ages"), we got math done in record-time. Even Bam-Bam got into math when I read him, 20 Hungry Piggies, a fantastic picture book that helps practice both cardinal and ordinal numbers!

We also started our history unit using a wonderful book mentioned on 4real, called A Little History of the World, written back in the 1930s (but updated by the author when he was 94 in 2003!). This book is written for children and really does a good job. The kids loved it! We were originally going to use Bauer's Story of the World, but it just doesn't compare for interest and readability!

We also got some copywork done (which is probably the first time in the past year or so!). And began our read-aloud for our Beatrix Potter unit, The Fairy Caravan, which is Ms. Potter's only long novel about a wonderful jumble of animals on the road. I was only going to read the first chapter, but the kids were enjoying it so much we got through the first four!

Just before lunch, we tried our hand at mysteries by reading three Challenging Whodunit Puzzles. These are fun and really get the kids focused on WHY something happened or WHY someone did something. We also fit in a game called "Cross-It" which is a cooperative game (I'm trying to cut down on the competition around here!) sold by FUN Books. We had fun, working together, coming up with words that worked and just generally enjoying the non-competitiveness of the game!
We also fit in some reading practice -- my three children are so very different in learning to read that we're all over the board with what we use. But, I think it's all finally starting to kick in -- LegoManiac is a BIG fan of the Asterix series and is avidly reading those, String Bean WANTS to read the basal readers (the old style, Catholic school type where it's "Jean and John" or "Joan and John" instead of "Dick and Jane"), and BamBam is just so thrilled that he knows his alphabet he's ready to jump right in.
Another GREAT day at St. Athanasius Academy!
St. Pius X and Our Lady of Knock -- PRAY FOR US!

1 comment:

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Oh, Mary, I chose and purchased the same history book!