2019-20 School Year–Week Five

It took until the fifth week of the 2019-20 school year, but we finally went on an actual field trip!

This was actually the second “Homeschool Day” at the Missouri History Museum for this school year, but the first one didn’t fit into our schedule. I was really excited about the topic of this month’s event, because I knew we needed to see the new Pulitzer Prize Photographs exhibit.

I won’t lie…this was one of the hardest field trips we’ve been on, because the content was so heavy. There were a lot of disturbing photos, and I had to constantly make sure Chickadee especially was doing ok with what she was seeing (to be honest, I think she didn’t really understand a lot of the more distressing photos, which is ok with me). I think it was very important to see, however, and we certainly learned a lot. And there were a few more light-hearted activities, too, including a cool microphone craft that Chickadee loved (although, giving her even a pretend microphone may have been a questionable parenting decision on my part!), and a newspaper assignment that allowed us to research and write about John Philip Sousa, and his connection to the 1904 World’s Fair here in St. Louis.

The rest of the week was pretty standard. Turkey and Bunny learned about arc functions in pre-calculus. They finished the second chapter on one-dimensional in physics. They also finished finished the third chapter in their health curriculum. Their literature study had them comparing “The Inferno” with what they’ve read so far in “The Purgatorio.” We finally made it to the Plantagenets in our four-year history cycle, while in US history, Turkey and Bunny learned about the Jamestown settlement, which led to a disturbing conversation about some details they remembered from the their last study of American history.

Ladybug learned about inequalities in pre-algebra. She also reviewed adding decimals. Her history lessons focused on Africa and the beginning of the slave trade. She did a few experiments about the surface tension of water in science. In literature, she read about the dwarves and Bilbo’s escape from the Wood Elves, which is one of my favorite chapters of The Hobbit, because I really like imagining Bombur getting shoved into a barrel! She also finished reading through the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I still think must be confusing as she’s only about a third of the way through The Hobbit, but she really enjoyed the books!

Chickadee reviewed carrying while adding in math. She started a chapter on Mercury in science. We’re almost done reading through Little House in the Big Woods. Her language arts lessons have overlapped a bit with catechesis, so she’s memorizing in both classes, as well as reading Bible stories for both.

I’m hoping that it might cool off enough next week for an outdoor field trip…or at least for a more enjoyable game of tennis. A week of constant 90+ degree temperatures makes it difficult to want to be outside at all!

Student of the Month

Today was a very exciting day!

Actually, the excitement started on September 5, when Moose brought home a letter from school, letting us know that the teachers at his school unanimously selected him as “student of the month” for his academic work and respectful demeanor. They even put a sign in our lawn for everybody to see!

I cannot tell you how proud I am. He works so hard, even when things aren’t easy for him. And I am thrilled that his hard work, not to mention his attitude, have been noticed by his teachers. Tonight he got to be recognized in front of the school board with the other “student of the month” winners from the various schools in the district.

I’m so happy we were all able to be with him tonight to recognize his achievements!!!

The English Woodland Garden–September

The leaves may not be changing color in the St. Louis area yet, but I can tell how different the light is as we approach fall just by looking at this month’s photo of the English Woodland Garden…it looks weird compared to every other photo I’ve taken this year!

Redecorating

At the beginning of the school year, I was…I don’t even know what the right word is. Disappointed? Confused? Relieved? That the school room hadn’t undergone any major changes. It, for the most part, looked the same as it had the year before (and maybe even the year before that!). You have to understand, this is unusual for me, because I’m always moving stuff around, looking for the best possible use of space.

Well, I lasted exactly two weeks into the 2019-20 school year before I made a major change. Really, it all started because I was desperate for more seating downstairs in our living room, so I moved the over-sized red chair that was my seat in the the school room, and that, of course, was the beginning of trouble.

In the end, you might notice four major differences in the school room. The new recliner (the first brand-new, just-for-me, chair I’ve ever had!), is maybe the most noticeable. If it’s not, the curtains I purchased to replace the old ones, which were hand-me-downs from our kitchen years ago, probably catch the eye first. But there’s also a new lamp, something I’ve been meaning to add to our school room for years, and a signed picture of Rick Steves, which was sent to us as a recognition of our summer school this year from his company.

So. it took a few weeks, but I finally made some noticeable changes. And they’re improvements to our learning space that I really like, and hope will make our educational endeavors even more successful!

2019-20 School Year–Week Four

Honestly, the busier our weekends are, the more exhausting the school week is…and last weekend was very busy! We went to the St. Louis Science Center on Friday night, where we learned a bit about biology as it relates to Pokémon…that was a lot of fun! And on Saturday, we spent the day at an air show, where not only did we get to see groups like the Aeroshell Aerodynamic Team and the Blue Angels perform, but also the Red Arrows, all the way from England on their tour of the US and Canada! That was a complete thrill…it’s something I’ve wanted to experience pretty much forever!

So, it was once again hard to get to work on Monday, but as always, we persevered. Turkey and Bunny used trigonometric ratios to determine the lengths of sides of triangles in pre-calculus. They studied the derivatives of equations in physics. In health, they learned about mental illnesses. They also both started their choir season, and are looking forward to singing some new pieces, and having a few special performances!

Ladybug worked with radicals in pre-algebra…she was thrilled, and I had some flashbacks to the last time I taught seventh-grade math. In history, she read about the Mayflower, and also the founding of New Amsterdam (and how it became New York!). She finished her second chapter in science, which focused a lot on using the scientific method. We’re both continuing to enjoy her study of the The Hobbit…and even though I have read it before (and taught its literature study), a lot of it seems new to me!

Chickadee spent a lot of time practicing her subtraction facts in math. We got to read my second-favorite chapter of Little House in the Big Woods…the one about the dance at Grandpa’s. In science, she read about solar eclipses, and she was excited that she’s had the chance to see one. She also enjoyed learning about New Amsterdam in history…I couldn’t believe how much of the information she retained over the course of the week!

And time for a school room update. Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I did some rearranging…it’s finally complete, so here’s a look at the updated portion of the room, including my very own, brand-new, teacher recliner!

We have a fairly relaxed weekend planned, and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to not setting an alarm tomorrow after so many busy weekends in a row! We’ve done some amazing things, and had a great time, but I need to just chill!

Chickadee Thursday

I can’t believe I didn’t mention it last Thursday, but Chickadee started catechesis last week! Here’s a picture of her right before class began yesterday, deep in thought, and ready to turn her first sermon report in:

It’s hard to believe that this is the last time I’ll be going through this process with one of my children…I’m trying to make sure I slow down and enjoy it!