What We’re Cooking–Summer School 2020

Like pretty much everything else this year, Summer School 2020 isn’t what it was supposed to be. This was supposed to be an Olympic year, and we were really excited about Tokyo 2020, and all of the fun things we were going to do that involved learning about Japan and Japanese culture. But you have to roll with the punches, so I came up with a new theme to tide us over until next summer, when we’ll hopefully have our Olympics-themed unit. Instead, this year, we’re going to do something very hands-on and practical, and learn how to cook!

Instead of our usual reading selections, I’ve come up with a list of cookbooks that we’ll be using this summer. Most are old favorites of mine (and not listed is the giant binder of family recipes I put together myself), but the first one is a recently-published book that I bought for this summer. I thought that having a kids’ cookbook would be a helpful jumping-off point for me, as far as figuring out where we should start, and what cooking basics I should cover first.

  • The Big, Fun Kids Cookbook
  • Food Network Magazine
  • Eat Your Way Around the World
  • Entertaining with Disney
  • The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook
  • Eat Like a Gilmore
  • A Literary Tea Party
  • Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Do you have a favorite cookbook?

2019-20 Curriculum

Is it too late to look at the curriculum I used for the 2019-20 school year? Since time has lost all meaning, I think not, but I can’t promise that I included everything I should have!

This was a very busy year, and probably the hardest one yet for the teacher. Turkey and Bunny were in 11th grade, and while they do a lot of work independently, they also had a lot of hard subjects that required me to stretch my brain to its limit. Ladybug was in seventh grade, and Chickadee was in second, and both grades required a lot of hands-on instruction from me. I think it was a pretty successful year, even if it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, and I think we all learned a lot!

Religion

For Turkey and Bunny

  • The Lutheran Confessions Series: The Augsburg Confession and Its Apology and The Formula of Concord

For Ladybug

  • A Bible History

For Chickadee

  • One Hundred Bible Stories and Luther’s Small Catechism

Math

For Turkey and Bunny

  • Math-U-See Pre-Calculus

For Ladybug

  • Horizons Pre-Algebra

For Chickadee

  • Horizons Math 2

Language Arts

For Turkey and Bunny

  • Writing Strands Level 7
  • Wordly Wise 3000, Book 11
  • Analytical Grammar
  • The British Tradition II: Poetry & Prose from the Elizabethan to the Neoclassical Age

For Ladybug

  • Spelling Workout G
  • Wordly Wise 3000, Book Seven
  • Writing with Skill, Level Two

For Chickadee

  • First Language Lessons
  • Writing with Ease Level One
  • Sonlight Readers Grade 2
  • Explode the Code books 4-6
  • Spelling Workout Level B
  • A Reason for Handwriting Grade Two

Literature

For Turkey and Bunny

  • The Divine Comedy (all three parts!)
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • The Merchant of Venice

For Ladybug

  • The Hobbit
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • The Door in the Wall
  • The Phantom Tollbooth

For Chickadee

  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Tales from Beatrix Potter
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Winnie-the-Pooh
  • My Father’s Dragon

History

For Turkey and Bunny

  • The History of the Renaissance World

For Ladybug and Chickadee

  • The Story of the World, vol. 3: Early Modern Times

Science

For Turkey and Bunny

  • Apologia Exploring Creation with Physics

For Ladybug

  • Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science

For Chickadee

  • Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy

Electives

  • Duolingo
  • Apologia Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition (Turkey and Bunny only)
  • SAT prep (Turkey and Bunny only)
  • Tennis
  • Kantorei or Schola Cantorum (choirs)

2019-20 School Year–Week Thirty-Five

And so ends another school year.

It was a fairly low-key week, with no field trips (obviously), and several subjects already wrapped up. We continued taking our daily pre-lunch two mile walk around our neighborhood, and while I miss playing tennis, I have to say that time of walking and talking together has probably been my favorite thing to come out of our modified schedule, and I’ll be sad when it gets hot and we won’t want to do it anymore.

Turkey and Bunny read about the fall of Constantinople in world history, and we finished US history, with most of our attention on FDR and WWII, and a brief race through the decades following. They worked with limits of a function in pre-calculus. They also finished reviewing various comma rules in grammar, and read an ode by Phyllis Wheatley.

Ladybug wrote a 1,200 word paper on one of her favorite books to finish her writing curriculum for the year. Her final chapter in history focused on the California Gold Rush. She finished science by learning about the five senses. She also read about Paul’s final missionary journey in religion.

Chickadee finished reading The Sword in the Tree. We also finished My Father’s Dragon. She wrapped up her study of astronomy. Her math lessons were mostly review, although some more complicated borrowing when subtracting was a fun surprise for her.

Today we built a Lego set, as we always do on the last day of school. It was nice that Moose was able to be with us for our last day, even though he won’t be done (and graduated from eighth grade!), until the middle of next week. This time it was the Lego Ideas ISS, which goes well with all of our other Lego space sets!

This is the most anti-climatic last day of school I can remember, and I have to admit, it was kind of a sad day for me. I had so many things that I wanted to do in the last few months…visiting the Van Gogh exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum, touring the Mississippi River exhibit at the Missouri History Museum, spending many lovely hours walking around the Missouri Botanical Garden and sketching the spring blooms, enjoying tulip time in Forest Park, and visiting the St. Louis Zoo were all on my list. Obviously, none of that could happen, and we also haven’t been able to look forward to our annual trip to Chicago that we were supposed to take next week. I’m also trying not to think ahead to the future too much, because it scares me a little when I think of what the beginning of our next school year, Turkey and Bunny’s last year of homeschooling, could look like. I’m trying really hard to focus on the positive, so I’ll leave you with some pictures from Wednesday, when we got to play with dry ice, something we probably wouldn’t have gotten to do if it wasn’t for this weird time of isolation:

2019-20 School Year–Week Thirty-Four

We have reached the penultimate week of the 2019-20 school year!

Turkey and Bunny finished their health curriculum this week. They’re also finished with physics, other than the last test. They analyzed several of John Donne’s works, including Meditation XVII, which I thought was very felicitous in this time of isolation. They also learned about the Great Depression in US history, which may have been a bit too felicitous…

Ladybug read about the brain and nervous system in science. She started a section of review in pre-algebra, in anticipation of the big final exam next week. In history we read about the Alamo and the Mexican-American War, as well as the colonization of New Zealand. We also reviewed United States geography this week.

Chickadee learned a little bit about measuring volume in math. She read about Pluto, and all of the reasons it is no longer considered a planet, in science. She finished all but the final review lesson in her Explode the Code books for this year. We’re almost done with My Father’s Dragon, and she has really enjoyed the story!

One more week to go, and then I don’t know what we’re going to do with ourselves!

2019-20 School Year–Week Thirty-Three

We are so close to done with the school year!

Turkey and Bunny finished up their health curriculum with the chapter on reproduction. They started learning about electric currents in physics (and did an experiment involving a battery and foil that they did not enjoy!). I remembered grammar, which we haven’t done for…well, it’s been awhile. So we learned more comma rules.

Ladybug worked with translations and scaling in pre-algebra. She finished up the respiratory system in science and started learning about the lymphatic system. In history, we read about the opium wars in China.

Chickadee’s math was pretty much just review. In science, she learned about Neptune. We started reading My Father’s Dragon together, and she also read The Sword in the Tree out loud to me.

Two more weeks to go!

2019-20 School Year–Week Thirty-Two

Only three weeks left in the school year, so today I’m going to take a look at the things we wrapped up this week!

Turkey and Bunny finished their study of the Formula of Concord. I’ve really enjoyed our introduction to the Lutheran Confessions this year, and I’ll miss all the great discussion we’ve had!

Ladybug and Chickadee finished reading The Phantom Tollbooth with me. Ladybug, in particular, really appreciated it (Chickadee is still too young to get all of the humor), and I always love a read-through of that book!

Chickadee finished up her handwriting curriculum for the year. I think that means that cursive is up next, which is a little scary to me, but I don’t have to worry about that for a few more months!

We’ve got plenty of other work to keep us occupied for the next several weeks, and then it’s time for a break!

2019-20 School Year–Week Thirty-One

I know, I’m late…but does it really even matter when time has lost all meaning?

Last week in pre-calculus, Turkey and Bunny started working with arithmetic series and sequences. In physics they started a chapter on electric fields. Their current health chapter is very appropriate…its focus is on peace in difficult times. They also got to read and analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 (you know…the famous one).

In pre-algebra, Ladybug began adding and subtracting polynomials…the FOIL method is approaching! She continued to learn about digestion in science. Her history studies focused on Mexican independence. She wrote a short essay about Robin Hood after having read the tale previously.

Chickadee had a review lesson in spelling, which was nice, because we haven’t exactly been getting around to every test. In math, she started measuring in quarter-inch increments. She finished learning about Saturn in science. We’re getting close to the end of The Phantom Tollbooth…I don’t want it to end!

And here’s a look at the one constant in our days…a two-mile walk around our neighborhood. It’s nice to get out of the house for something, even if we are a little weary of seeing the same houses every day!

2019-20 School Year–Week Thirty

Another week of school is done, and now we’re taking a long weekend for Easter…we really need it!

Turkey and Bunny finished up chapters in pre-calculus, health, and physics. We’re getting really close to the end of those textbooks! They’ve been learning about the Gilded Age and Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Morgan in US history.

It’s been really interesting to watch how Moose does his distance learning. He has videos to watch for science, online worksheets to do for math, and has even gotten to record himself playing his clarinet for band! We also make sure to take a walk every day for his P.E. requirement, which may not be as much fun as playing tennis, but at least gives us a chance to get some fresh air, sunshine, and physical activity!

Ladybug started learning about polynomials in pre-algebra. She also began a chapter on digestion in science. We read about Simón Bolívar and his vision of a United States of South America in history. She read Robin Hood this week in preparation of writing a paper about it next week.

Chickadee continued reviewing multiplication facts in math. She started a chapter on Saturn in science. She has continued her spelling lessons, although, I have to confess, it’s been a few weeks since she had a spelling test.

We’ll get back to work on Tuesday, but finding the motivation to do our work, especially without having any field trips to look forward to, is probably going to continue to be an issue!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Nine

Another week displaced in time!

Who even knows what we did this week? I do know that Turkey and Bunny learned about secant and cosecant waves in pre-calculus. In physics they studied Coulomb’s Law. They also began a study on Elizabethan poetry and prose.

Ladybug learned about sine, cosine, and tangent in pre-algebra. In history, she learned more about Napoleon (which also lead to a study of the 1812 Overture) and Waterloo. She finished the chapter on cellular energy in science.

Chickadee started measuring in centimeters. She also read Greg’s Microscope. She finished the chapter on Jupiter in science.

We also had fun making some sidewalk art to brighten our neighbors’ days…it seems like everyone is out walking more now!

I think next week, even though we won’t have the church commitments we were originally planning on, will be a short week. Maybe regrouping will help a bit!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Eight

So, we were back to school this week following a week of spring break, but let’s face it, nothing is normal anymore, so we just did the best we could. First things first…my classroom now has five students, with Moose joining us for distance learning! That’s the one nice thing about this whole mess!

So, our school days have been a little different (we can’t go play tennis right now, but we did take a long walk around our neighborhood every day this week, both for exercise and to get out of the house), and we didn’t get quite as much done as we probably should have, but given that it was the week following a “vacation,” I think we did ok!

Turkey and Bunny graphed sine and cosine waves in pre-calculus. They started a very timely new chapter in health…one on infections. In physics, they began a chapter on mirrors…the ray tracing has met with mixed reactions. I think we finished learning about Reconstruction in US history, but I’m honestly not sure. Oh, and they read about the bubonic plague in world history, and I’m sorry, but it’s just too soon.

Ladybug worked with various forms of metric to English conversions in pre-algebra this week…weight, volume, and temperature were all included. She also started a new chapter in science, one that focuses on energy. We continued reading The Phantom Tollbooth. She wrote a temporal comparison about the Great Chicago Fire for writing.

Chickadee continued to work with multiplication facts in math. She read a new book called Mouse Tales. In science, she learned about Jupiter’s red spot, rings, and moons. She also got to do distance-learning catechesis for the first time!

And in related news…Turkey and Bunny received their SAT scores today. I won’t share the actual numbers, because they’re not mine to share, but I will say that they both scored above the mental goal that I had set for them, and I’m very proud of how well they did!

I don’t know exactly what next week will look like. I know we won’t be going anywhere, and I hope we’ll get everything done that we should, but I’m also learning to be flexible, and adjust my expectations and schedule as necessary!