4.12.2020

The Ten Commandments and a Poetry Recital


We had our first poetry recital. I was going to do it sometime during the week, but no one wanted to give up one of their subjects, so we had it Saturday morning instead.

The kids were really excited about this and they felt a lot of pride in their work. Linus told me that memorizing poems was his favorite thing of the whole week. Moses said he was going to write all the poems he memorized in his journal.

Ruby and Linus memorized all ten poems and earned eleven cookies. (I awarded two cookies for “If”. Only those two memorized it.) Herbie and Moses memorized nine poems, Penelope seven and a half, and Archie three and a half (although he lost one cookie for a rude outburst during one of Ruby’s recitals—it was in the rules, announced ahead of time).


Woo made a great dead-tired dad face and pose during everyone’s recital of “Only a Dad”, and Penelope went over to help him hold up his head.

The kids all told me that "The Gate of the Year" was the most difficult poem to memorize because it didn't rhyme, and a few of them vowed to skip it, but by Saturday all of them had it except Archie.

I am already prepared with the new proclamation (worth a cookie a paragraph), and five other poems for our next couple weeks. (I think the proclamation will stay up longer with the poems rotating out.) But I’m not putting them up until Monday to give everyone’s brains a break.


The daily spelling or geography bee is still something to look forward to.


Penelope is an excellent speller. I had to move her up a grade level to have any chance of getting her out, and she’s still getting most of those. Archie spells some things as if they were Portuguese, but he is learning.


Herbie and Moses know quite a few world capitals. Herbie knows a lot of state capitals. Linus, Penelope and Archie know hardly any at all, but they’ve been good sports this week and have learned a couple more every time.


Ruby usually has some sort of reading at the end of the day that she would prefer to do over the bees, so she doesn’t always participate. Only when the others appear to be having too much fun, will she put it down and come join us.


Christopher Columbus has become an exciting figure for both Herbie and Linus who are reading a lot about him. I think the interest sparked when they learned Portugal would be involved and then Linus was more excited when the book he read said that Columbus prayed when he set foot in the New World. He wants all his history books to be about Columbus.


Ruby has been reading about World War I and she laughed a lot while reading her book on great composers... I guess they almost always were characters, weren’t they?


Moses really loved his Abe Lincoln book. He asked for more by the same author for his history reading time and was excited to start reading about George Washington and Buffalo Bill.


We learned that school will be out for the rest of the year, tests are cancelled, and starting the end of April, the country will be teaching grades 1-9 by TV (?!??!).

We’ll see exactly what that means later, I guess, but when we told the kids about the TV part Linus and Moses and a couple of other kids were like—do we have to?? Can’t we just keep doing this?

Herbie told me he liked the homeschool, if only he could go surfing, then it would be perfect. Unfortunately, emergency state has been extended until May 1st.

I’ve always thought of Ruby as my most social child, but in questioning her this week, she said she didn’t really miss school, or didn’t think about it much. This is possibly a strengthening blessing she’s receiving? She had already had some concerns about attending high school here (as did we), and seemed to think we were resolving them.


The most stressful thing for me all week was the figuring out which library book was on which library account at any given time, but I got that straightened out on Saturday and also in a way that the kids can easily do it themselves.

I’ve mostly dropped our home library in Utah, but I discovered that they had Harry Potter in like ten languages, and no one was ever checking out anything but English, so Ruby and Herbie spend some of their French time reading a French one (and laughing over the French words for muggle and Hogwarts).


Ruby, Moses and Herbie spend some of their Portuguese Reading time in a Portuguese Harry Potter (Linus prefers to read the Portuguese translation of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Penelope is reading some Enid Blyton books we already had in Portuguese), and Herbie is reading Harry Potter in Spanish. I also checked out a German copy, but no one knows enough German to read it but me, and I don’t want to, so I guess I’ll return it.

On the morning of our fast I mentioned something about the Passover, Woo remembered he’d enjoyed the movie the Ten Commandments as a kid, and we decided to show it to the kids during lunch to distract them from that large empty time period where they wouldn’t be eating anything.


Woo found it in short increments on YouTube. Which meant he showed it to the kids on his phone and they were still absolutely enthralled.

There was a lot of discussion about what the movie showed and what we know from the scriptures. Also, the Passover has come up a lot in talks today and other places recently. It seems I encounter Elijah's appearance in the Kirtland temple a few times a day. I really think it is meaningful for us right now.


Upstairs man only yelled at us once all week, but he wasn’t upstairs, he was pulling into his building in his car. He did call us murderers a few times, but we ignored him like we always do.

I didn’t have large chunks of time to myself, but during the little ones I read a few short books by George MacDonald that I’d never read before: The Lost Princess, The Golden Key, The Light Princess. It was enjoyable and I felt like reading the Lost Princess helped me be a better person. In fact, after reading it I was led to understand a line in my patriarchal blessing better—a line I thought I already understood.

We had our first Sacrament meeting by Google Hangouts today. It was... difficult to pay attention to. I felt the Spirit, and I'm sure it was the right place for us to be, but I kind of hope it's not our new routine.

And that's our week. Hope yours was great!