2016-17 School Year–Week One

The first week of our ninth year is homeschooling is complete!

I wanted this to be a special first week of school. I’m still not sure what we’re going to do for Turkey and Bunny when they start high school next year, so I wanted to make sure this year’s first day was memorable, just in case it’s their last year of homeschooling. So we got started with some of our main subjects, including religion, math, language arts, our first read-aloud, and science, but we also had a lot of fun!

We started on Monday with our traditional first day of school celebration. They received all of their workbooks for the new school year, took a look through some of the books we’ll be using, opened their schultüte, and built a new Lego Architecture set. Chickadee was especially excited to have her very own workbook, which she wanted to get started on immediately! The only real work we did that day was math, spelling, and vocabulary, and we began reading The Iliad.


Tuesday and Wednesday we added in more subjects, including Lutheranism 101, our new church-year commemoration study using Celebrating the Saints, writing, and science: physical science for Turkey and Bunny, and zoology (focusing on swimming creatures) for Ladybug.

Yesterday, we had our first field trip of the year…we visited the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Missouri History Museum. While at the garden, we had a nice walk, and we also visited the new Brookings Exploration Center, where the girls got to make nature masks (Turkey is too cool for such things these days, I guess!). At the History Museum, we visited “Little Black Dress: From Mourning to Night” one more time before it closes, and took another walk through “Route 66: Main Street Through Saint Louis.” We also managed to sneak in math and language arts, but not much else, because we were out almost all day!





Today we got back to work, but I made sure we were done shortly after lunch, so we could watch The Young Victoria. Our history studies this year will begin around the Victorian Era, so I thought it would be a good way to familiarize ourselves with the time period, and and have a pleasant end to our first week of school!

Next week, we’ll be adding in our history and literature studies…two of my favorite subjects!

First Day of School 2016

As you’ve probably guessed by now, today was the first day of our ninth year of homeschooling! This year, I’ll be teaching two eighth graders, one fourth grader, and a cute little pre-kindergartener!

As I traditionally do, I prepared the school room before I let the children see it. I handed out the schultüte and all of their new workbooks, placed some of the books we’ll be using this year around the room, and displayed the Lego set I purchased for this year:

I love our calendar…we’ve been using it since our very first day of school in 2008!


Of course I had to take lots of pictures of my students!


We didn’t do every subject, but we did get to work on the basics:

Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug worked on building their new Lego Architecture set, a model of the Burj Khalifa:



Chickadee doesn’t have the fine motor skills (or patience!) for a Lego set like that, yet, but she did have fun working with the pattern blocks!


Here’s a look at this year’s arrangement of our school room:

And even though it’s not something I’ve done every year, I had Ryan take a picture of me with my students:


Today was a great start to what I hope will be a great year of school!

Schultüte 2016

The children’s favorite tradition on the first day of school is receiving their schultüte. Here is what they looked like this year:


It was a bit of a challenge to get Chickadee to refrain from opening hers before I got a picture!


When he got home from school, Moose received one, too, and he was just as excited to open it as his siblings were!

First Day of Pre-K

Chickadee has officially entered the Markel Family Homeschool as a pre-kindergartener! I don’t have a lot of goals for her this year, but she really wanted to join “The Bigs” in going to school, so we’re going to get started!


First Day of Fourth Grade

No one in our house was more excited about the first day of school than Ladybug. She couldn’t wait to get her new books (especially math!) and get started!


First Day of Eighth Grade

Today was a monumental day. Turkey and Bunny started eighth grade!



I can’t believe that this homeschooling experiment, which begin eight years ago on a year-by-year basis, has brought us to our ninth year of educating at home!

The First Day of Fifth Grade

It is almost unbelievable to me, but today is Moose’s first day of fifth grade.


He was reluctant to leave this morning…it was very hard for him to say goodbye to summer vacation. Hopefully, it won’t take him too long to get back into his school routine, and remember that he does actually like it!