Summer School 2018

This summer has been super busy, but we still made some time for summer school. Not as much as I would have liked (we didn’t get to nearly as much of the book stuff as we usually do!), but we did get to go on some really cool field trips. We saw some great medieval illuminations, visited Medieval Times, and went to an event at the St. Louis Science Center. We also got to hear a Renaissance quartet sing, tried some medieval recipes, and created our own shields.

As for the stuff we didn’t get around to…well, we’ll be studying the medieval period in history this year, so we get another chance. Maybe we’ll even get around to the other craft project I had planned at some point!

First Friday at the St. Louis Science Center

Last night, for the first time, we went to a First Friday event at the St. Louis Science Center. What is First Friday, you might wonder? It’s an opportunity to learn about the science behind science fiction. And why did we finally go last night, when we’ve been talking about it for a couple of years? Because they were focusing on Arthurian Legends, which was the perfect final field trip for this year’s medieval-themed summer school!

It was a really fun event. We got to learn the science behind defending a castle (the focus was on simple machines, and Chickadee even got to help!), see a sword-fighting demonstration, hear a harp, make shields, participate in a scavenger hunt, write with an actual quill, hold medieval weapons, and see lots of people in really cool costumes. There were other events that we didn’t make it to, including tractor jousting, a lecture about medieval noblewomen at war, and the highlight of the evening, a showing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in the Omnimax theater. And of course there was a fun photo opportunity!

I really enjoyed this event. It was fun to see so many people with interests similar to ours there and having a good time. Next month, the theme is Harry Potter, and we’re already looking forward to going back!

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!