What We’re Reading–Medieval Times

I came up with the idea for this year’s summer school way back at the end of last August, while we were still only in the second week of school. This reading list came together very quickly after I came up with the theme, and we already had many of the books on it. I have to admit that it’s rather heavy on the British history side of things, but I tried to find at least a few things from other countries, too. Aside from Olympic years, I have definitely never planned summer school this far in advance, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to get started for months! (As always, at the end of the list, there are few non-literary items that fit the theme.)

2017-18 School Year–Week Thirty-Four

Yesterday was the final day of the 2017-18 school year!

We ended the year strong. Out of all of the combined tests over the last six days, which included geometry, biology, ancient history, sixth grade math, and spelling, no one scored lower than a “B!” I’m so glad we finished all of our subjects well!

We had an end-of-the-year field trip last week, to visit the “Destination Moon” exhibit that is currently on loan from the Smithsonian to the St. Louis Science Center. It is an excellent display, from the re-creation of a 1960s living room to the actual command module from the Apollo 11 mission, and everything in between! I know we’ll be going back to see it again before it moves on!

Yesterday was mostly a fun day (once the last of the tests were complete). We watched the Henry V section of The Hollow Crown. It was interesting to see it performed after having read it. The children also re-enacted part of Julius Caesar. And, as is our tradition, the children built a new Lego set to add to our architecture collection…this time, the skyline of Shanghai.

Up next is summer school. We’ll be studying the Medieval period this year…stay tuned for our reading list later this week!

2017-18 School Year–Week Thirty-Three

We only have one week of school left, and now things are really winding down!

Turkey and Bunny took their penultimate math test this week…all they have left is the final exam! They’re on the last chapter in science (birds and mammals) and history (Constantine). They only have one act of Henry V left to read, too.

Ladybug learned about range, mean, median, and mode in math this week. She only has a few lessons left before her last test! She also finished the last chapter in her science book, and just has a few short chapters of history left.

Chickadee has mostly just been reviewing what she has learned this year. She still has the letters “X” and “Q” to learn, but let’s face, at this level, she won’t be using them too much yet! She finished her religion lessons for the year with the story of the Ascension on Ascension Day, which was timely.

So, we have a few tests left, and a few fun things to do, as well. We have one more field trip (to the St. Louis Science Center) before we’re done, and we’re looking forward to adding to our Lego Architecture collection on the last day of school…I can’t believe it’s almost here!

2017-18 School Year–Week Thirty-Two

Things are both winding down and speeding up at the same time…the end of the school year is always so crazy!

Turkey and Bunny had a brief introduction to trigonometry in math. There’s something comforting about knowing they’re still teaching SOH-CAH-TOA the way I remember it from over 20 years ago! They also started the last chapter in their science book, and it’s a big one, covering reptiles, birds, and mammals. They’re almost done with both Henry V and Julius Caesar, and especially looking forward to acting out Act III, scene i of the latter.

Ladybug worked on reviewing different types of charts and graphs in math this week. She’s also on the final chapter in her science book, and they saved the grossest chapter for last, because we’re reading all about flatworms…ick! She’s almost done with history, too…this week, she learned about Constantine, and up next is the fall of Rome.

Chickadee is finishing up her study of the alphabet…she only has “X” and “Q” left. She’s also been doing some simple word problems in math.

Because it was so nice on Monday, we took a field trip to the St. Louis Zoo. This was very timely, as Turkey and Bunny recently learned about sharks and stingrays, and we were there in time for the free hour of the up-close-and-personal stingray exhibit. And since Ladybug just learned about insects, we also spent some extra time in the insectarium (much to my chagrin!).

I’m working on one last field trip, and just about two weeks of school left!

2017-18 School Year–Week Thirty-One

What a week this has been!

Actually, first we have to back up to last weekend, and our special Saturday field trip to Chinese Culture days at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was a beautiful day to be outside, we had a lot of fun, and we all learned something!

Now, let’s cut to the chase. Yes, various students continued to work on things like translations, reflections, and dilations (geometry), conversions using the metric system (5th grade math), and subtraction (K math). We also continued to learn about Rome, moving on to Octavian. We’re also still making progress reading through Henry V and Julius Caesar, in addition to everything else everyone is working on. The most notable event this week, though, was Dissection Day. It was rough, but Turkey, Bunny, and I survived (I think). They dissected an earthworm, a crayfish, and a frog. Even though I dissected a frog on more than one occasion as a student, I was surprised by how…froggly it was! Turkey and Bunny did NOT enjoy the task, and there was a lot of apologizing to the specimens, but they did a good job of it. I’m just relieved that I don’t have to think about it again for several years!

There was one other big event this week, that would have taken the spotlight were it not for the dissection. Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug each took a test in choir on Tuesday in hopes of advancing to the red RSCM medal. I am proud to say that Bunny passed with honors, and Turkey and Ladybug passed with distinction! They work very hard in choir all year, not only singing, but also learning about music, and I am thrilled that they will be recognized for their hard work.

Today we had a P.E. morning and visited a fitness park in Caseyville. There are cool, outdoor fitness machines that use body weight instead of adjustable weights. The children had a fun time trying out each apparatus, and we got a good workout on a very pleasant morning!

If I’ve counted correctly, we have less than three weeks of school left in this school year, and a lot to accomplish in that time!

2017-18 School Year–Week Thirty

This week has seemed like it’s been about a year long, so forgive me if I don’t cover everything!

Math continues on. I think this was the last lesson about proofs for Turkey and Bunny…Turkey is disappointed; Bunny is relieved. The Math-U-See instructor said at the beginning of our journey into proofs that about 50% of students love them, and 50% of students hate them, so at least we’re statistically correct! Ladybug did some more work with ratios and percents…next up is the metric system! And Chickadee is still working on subtracting and telling time.

Our science studies have continued to focus on both arthropods and vertebrates. If learning about tarantulas didn’t do me in, the lesson about fish innards should have, but I’m still ok. Next week, though, we finally reach the day we’ve been awaiting (dreading?) all year…dissection day!

We finally began our study of Henry V. Even though my children are familiar with Shakespeare, and his influence on the vernacular, they are still sometimes shocked to discover phrases they know and use were coined by him! Turkey and Bunny are also reading through Julius Caesar, so Shakespeare is a big theme here right now!

Our history lessons have continued to focus on Rome and the aforementioned Julius Caesar. We also had a great opportunity to visit the St. Louis Art Museum today to see the new “Sunken Cities” exhibit. While it focuses on the Egyptian city of Thonis-Heracleion, that city was at its best around the same time we’ve been studying…we even saw statues dating to the time of Ptolemy II, who we learned about just a few weeks ago!

We have a special weekend field trip tomorrow, and then just about four weeks of school left after that!

2017-18 School Year–Week Twenty-Nine

We’re another week closer to the end of the school year!

Turkey and Bunny are still working on proofs in geometry, but we’re going to be moving on to the last few topics, including trigonometric functions, soon. Ladybug is working on determining percents. Chickadee is working on identifying 3-D shapes.

Most of our history lessons have focused on Rome. Ladybug has been focusing specifically on Julius Caesar, while Turkey and Bunny have been focusing on multiple Roman personalities.

In science, we’re attempting to study both arthropods and vertebrates at the same time. So far, it’s going ok. It’s also almost dissection time, which is still a little horrifying to me, but I imagine we’ll all survive!

In other news, spring may have arrived in St. Louis (we’re still waiting to see if it will stick around), so we took our sketchbooks to the Missouri Botanical Garden yesterday, and enjoyed examining all of the beautiful blooms!

I’m looking forward to hitting the thirty week mark next week!