2019-20 School Year–Week Nineteen

We’ve started so many new things in school in the last two weeks that Christmas feels like a lifetime ago!

Turkey and Bunny started a study of the Formula of Concord in religion. They also began a chapter on radians in math, which is the last big new thing they need to study before they take the SAT in March. In physics, they started learning about work and energy. They finished the chapter on macronutrients in health. And we read about a dark time in America’s history…the Trail of Tears.

Ladybug finished her study of the Old Testament in religion, and is looking forward to starting the New Testament next week…it will be like Christmas all over again! She learned how to calculate permutations and combinations in math. She had a brief introduction to uniformitarianism and catastrophism in science, before studying each in more depth in the coming weeks. In history, she learned about China and Emperor Chien-lung.

Chickadee continued learning multiplication facts in math. She and Bunny are enjoying reading Alice in Wonderland together. She finished learning about the moon in science…Mars is up next!

We’re hoping to do a few fun, school-adjacent activities this weekend, but we’ll have to wait and see if the weather permits any of it to happen!

2019-20 School Year–Week Eighteen

We got back to work this week after our Christmas break…never an easy thing to do!

Turkey and Bunny hit the ground running. They started working with the law of cosines in pre-calculus. They also began reading The Hound of the Baskervilles for their next literature study. In American history, they learned about the War of 1812. And in physics, they started a chapter on centripetal force.

Ladybug worked with probabilities in pre-algebra. She continued her literature study of Anne of Green Gables. In history, she read about the collapse of the Indian Empire, and the beginning of the British takeover of that country. Her science lessons focused on different kinds of fossilization.

Chickadee continued learning multiplication facts in math. She reviewed all of the poems she’s memorized this year, as well as all of the parts of speech she’s studied in language arts. She also returned to catechesis for the first time in almost a month!

This can be a dull time of year…I’m hoping for a field trip or two to brighten our days a bit!

2019-20 School Year–Week Seventeen

This was a weird week of school.

I had planned for it to be a short week. We were going to have school Monday-Wednesday. And then the snow started.

Usually, snowstorms don’t have much impact on our school schedule. Even when Moose has a snow day, we usually keep going as usual. But this week, in addition to Moose being home from school on Monday and Tuesday, our one scheduled activity, a homeschool day at the Missouri History Museum (that we were really looking forward to), was cancelled. And that threw the whole week off.

So, on Monday, instead of going to the history museum, we baked cookies, made ornaments (really cool “stained glass” ones that baked in the oven, reminiscent of something I made as a child!), and watched three different version of The Nutcracker (something we do every year, anyway, but which I didn’t have planned for Monday!).

Tuesday we did some work, and Wednesday we wrapped up all the tests that needed to be taken before the break, and that was pretty much it. We did get out of the house today for another Advent concert at the Belleville Cathedral and a walk down Main Street to see this year’s gingerbread houses, but that wasn’t exactly the field trip I had planned for the week. It was still fun, though!

See you next year!

2019-20 School Year–Week Sixteen

Last week was our last full week of school before Christmas break!

In some ways, it seemed a lot like Thanksgiving week. There were quite a few tests, plus some holiday things. But we had a fairly normal schedule beyond that. Turkey and Bunny learned about the Law of Sines in pre-calculus. We started our annual literature study of A Christmas Carol. They read about the presidencies of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in US history. In world history, they studied the Fifth Crusade.

Ladybug worked on stem and leaf plots and box and whisker plots in pre-algebra. She has almost made it to the end of the Old Testament in her study of Bible history. In writing she analyzed “The Highwayman.” She read about the Ottoman Turks in history. We finished reading Letters from Father Christmas.

Chickadee continued to learn multiplication facts in math. She read about lunar eclipses in science. In language arts, she did a picture study of one of my favorite pieces of art from Chicago’s Art Institute: “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. In addition to Jotham’s Journey, we read some fun Christmas stories.

We also had the chance to go to a lunchtime Advent concert at the Belleville cathedral last week. It was a nice, and much-needed, addition to our week!

We just have a (maybe) field trip, a few more tests, plus some fun Christmas things left before vacation!

2019-20 School Year–Week Fifteen

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any busier, Advent started! That makes everything around here, including school, extra crazy! Turkey and Bunny finished their study of the Augsburg Confession…we’re going to wait until after Christmas break to start reading the Formula of Concord. They learned about double angle and half angle identities in pre-calculus. In American history, they read about the election of George Washington as the first president of the United States, and in world history, they focused on Sri Lanka. In health, they finished the chapter on the digestive and urinary systems. They applied Newton’s Law to more than one object in physics.

Ladybug calculated mean, median, and mode in pre-algebra. We took a short break from Anne of Green Gables to read Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas, which is a lovely book. In history, she learned about Russia and Peter the Great. Her science lessons focused on the different types of unconformities. And here’s a look at the crystal she started growing a few weeks ago…she’s very happy with how it turned out!

Chickadee continued to work on multiplication…she added 10s to the 1s and 0s she was already learning. In science, she read about the phases of the moon. She’s also still working on verbs in language arts. The real theme for her last week, though, was stories. We’re continuing to read Alice in Wonderland, and she’s been listening in on Letters from Father Christmas. Ladybug has also been reading one of our favorite Advent stories, Jotham’s Journey to her, in addition to our daily Jesse Tree readings.

I still haven’t decided when our Christmas vacation is going to start, but I know we have at least six school days before then. I won’t lie…I’m looking forward to taking a break!

2019-20 School Year–Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week is always a light school week for us…just two full days, plus some fun activities on Wednesday. We do manage to cram a lot into a short time, though! The main theme in our two regular school days last week (aside from our scheduled Thanksgiving reading about modern-day Thanksgiving celebrations, especially the Macy’s parade), was tests, tests, and more tests. It was nice to have so many of those out of the way before the holiday, though!

We always visit Cahokia Mounds around Thanksgiving (well, except for last year, when my ankle was broken), and this year, we went twice! The second time we went, later in November, was actually a more pleasant trip, weather-wise, than our first was…it was a beautiful day!

We also played a game based on one Native American children might have played. I made the pieces years ago, following the directions in More than Moccasins, and it’s still just as much fun to play!

In between helping me make pies on Wednesday, the children also found time to make their hand-and-footprint turkeys for the year. Well, except for Turkey, who discovered that the paper we use is now too small for his hands and feet, so he went with a Minecraft-style bird, instead…I love how creative he is!

Tomorrow we’re back to our regular schedule…I haven’t decided yet if we’re going to have two or three weeks of school before our Christmas break. I also haven’t figured out what ornament we’re going to make this year…I guess I should get started on that!

2019-20 School Year–Week Fourteen

We actually managed to have a full week of school this week!

Turkey and Bunny finally finished reading “The Paradiso.” I know it seems like we’ve been studying the Divine Comedy forever, but if you look at it as three separate books, it really hasn’t been that long. I think we’re all sorry to see it end…it’s one of our favorite literature studies ever! In health, they started a chapter on processing nutrition and hydration. They learned about some of the lesser-known women, children, and minorities who served in the Revolutionary War in US history.

Ladybug learned how to calculate profits and royalties in pre-algebra. In history, she learned about Isaac Newton, as well as how scientific advancement helped society not only in academic circles, but in things like farming, as well. She started learning about geology in science, which included a fun experiment in which she is attempting to “grow” crystals!

Chickadee starting working on multiplication in math! I’m always surprised by how early that comes up. She learned about verbs in language arts…so far, she’s covered action verbs. We started reading Alice in Wonderland, which Bunny is excited about, because it’s one of her favorite books, and she’s really excited to share it with Chickadee.

We also did the first five days of our annual “Thanksgiving School” this week…we covered Native Americans, the Pilgrims, life at Plimoth Plantation, the first Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving celebrations in the 1800s. Next week will be a short week of school, but we’re looking forward to the last few days of our Thanksgiving studies!

2019-20 School Year–Week Thirteen

Another late recap, because it was another crazy week! My last wrap-up came at the end of a long weekend…or what I thought was the end of a long weekend. As it turned out, we had some snow last Monday, and Moose’s school ended up being cancelled on Tuesday, stretching his long birthday weekend to a full six days! I didn’t want to take another full day off from school here, so I let my students have an independent study day that day, where they could work on current assignments on their own, work ahead on what they could, and catch up on anything they needed to (well, except for Chickadee…I worked with her on a few things, and then she got to watch The Magic School Bus). I think it was a refreshing change to our school day, and I may think about doing it again sometime!

In the end, we only had three standard days of school last week, but we still got a lot done. Turkey and Bunny started working with sum and difference identities in pre-calculus…they weren’t exactly thrilled about that. They finished the chapter on Newton’s Laws in physics. In history, they read about the crusade against the Cathars…they are not fans of Pope Innocent III! They are almost finished with “The Paradiso”…they’re almost to the fixed stars, and have encountered Peter, James, and John.

Ladybug calculated discounts with percents in pre-algebra. We got to read the funniest parts of Anne of Green Gables…both when she hit Gilbert with her slate, and when she unintentionally got Diana drunk. She learned about the internal, external, and bibliographic tests in relation to ancient documents in science. in history, she read about William Penn and the colony he created.

Chickadee continued to practice borrowing when subtracting in math. She learned about pronouns in language arts. In science, she finished up her chapter on the Earth. She’s especially excited about reading some of our Thanksgiving books this week!

I guess things are going to get busier before they slow down, but we’ve got a lot of fun things to look forward to!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twelve

Today is the end of a long weekend for us, so I figured it’s a good time to wrap up what was a short week of school last week…except, I waited so long, I’m not really sure what we did! I do know that Turkey and Bunny finished the chapter on the senses in health, Ladybug learned about Frederick the Great and Prussia in history, and Chickadee worked on borrowing when subtracting in math.

Since we did have some time off, we decided to make our annual visit to Cahokia Mounds a little earlier than we normally do. We had a beautiful and brisk morning for our walk (and climb up Monks Mound!), and we spotted lots of wildlife, including many deer, while we were out!

Hopefully we can get a lot accomplished with the time we have left this week, because there’s only one full week of school in November before Thanksgiving, and we really need to make the most of our time!

2019-20 School Year–Week Eleven

Happy November!

We only had a four-day week this week, but somehow, I don’t feel like we had any time off!

Turkey and Bunny continued their study of the Sacraments in their reading of the Augsburg Confession. In physics, they began learning about Isaac Newton and his Laws of Motion. In “The Paradiso” they encountered Thomas Aquinas and King Solomon. They read about both Africa and Japan in history. Their health studies continued to focus on the senses…so far, they’ve read about sight, hearing, and touch/balance.

Ladybug also read about Solomon this week, but her readings were in her overview of the Bible. In math, she worked on decimal to percent conversions and scientific notation. She got to read “The Monkey’s Paw” in writing, which was funny, because Moose also read that story this week at his school! Her history lessons focused on the Sun King, Louis XIV. She started a section on the life sciences in science.

Chickadee also enjoyed learning about Louis XIV this week. She has started memorizing the 10 Commandments for catechesis. In math she practiced carrying into both the tens’ and hundreds’ place. She began a chapter on Earth in science. Her literature study of Tales from Beatrix Potter is almost complete.

I think next week will probably be a short week for us. Moose has a five-day weekend (which coincides with his birthday!), and while we don’t normally follow the public school schedule for our days off, I think it’s time that we had more than a single day’s break!