2020-21 School Year–Week Fifteen+

Hymn of the Week (Thanksgiving)–“Praise and Thanksgiving” (Lutheran Service Book #789)

I’m not even going to pretend that I remember what we did on Monday and Tuesday last week, which seems like an eternity ago, so here’s a look at this year’s Thankful Tree, plus the hand-and-footprint turkeys the Fab Five made:

Hymn of the Week–“Savior of the Nations, Come” (Lutheran Service Book #332)

Lots going on this week, though! We started all of our favorite Advent traditions…the Jesse Tree, Advent calendars, the Advent wreath, and reading A Christmas Carol and our Arnold Ytreeide selection for this year, Tabitha’s Travels. Chickadee also picked a different storybook off our Christmas shelf each day, and we read them aloud:

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
  • Eloise at Christmastime
  • The Nutcracker Comes to America
  • Too Many Tamales

Oh, we had our regular schoolwork, too. Turkey and Bunny worked with implicit differentiation in calculus. They began a chapter on the nervous system in advanced biology. In psychology, they learned about the psychology behind hunger and friendship. They read about the Deep South, the Midlands, and Greater Appalachia in history.

Ladybug factored polynomials in algebra. In history, she and Chickadee read about the Balkan Wars…WWI is not far off! She learned about the different kinds of chemical reactions in science. The voyage is almost ready to begin in Treasure Island.

Chickadee worked on carrying while multiplying in math. She had her first 20 word spelling test! Her writing assignments were based on excerpts from The Mouse and the Motorcycle, so she decided to read the whole book. In science, she learned about nest-building and eggs.

In other news, I also finally found (and built) an Advent wreath for our school room..it’s perfect!

Only one more true week of school before we break for Christmas!

2020-21 School Year–Week Fourteen

Hymn of the Week–“Now Thank We All Our God” (Lutheran Service Book #895)

I always enjoy the week before Thanksgiving in school, because not only do we read all of our favorite Thanksgiving books, this is also usually the week we visit Cahokia Mounds, which we did on Wednesday. It was a beautiful, clear, chilly day, and we had most of the trail to ourselves, which made our masks pretty unnecessary. I’m extra thankful for the few traditions we can continue to do in this very strange year!

As for the rest of the week…Turkey and Bunny continued to work with derivatives in calculus…I guess that’s pretty much all they’ll be doing for the near future. They started reading A Tale of Two Cities…I think the themes of the book are going to very timely and appropriate. They read about Yankeedom and New Netherland in American Nations.

Ladybug multiplied binomials by trinomials in algebra. She finished the first section of Treasure Island. In science, she read about cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension. She and Chickadee learned about the Russo-Japanese War and the Treaty of Portsmouth in history.

Chickadee continued to practice division in math. She finished the chapter on birds’ nests in science. Instead of starting a new book right before Thanksgiving, we read some extra Thanksgiving stories together. She learned about conjunctions in grammar.

Next week will be a super short week of school because of Thanksgiving, so I’ll save my next wrap-up for two weeks from now…have a happy Thanksgiving!

2020-21 School Year–Week Thirteen

Hymn of the Week–“Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” (Lutheran Service Book #892)

This has been A Week. It started out well enough, with a Sunday evening visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden for Garden Glow.

And Monday was nice, too, as it was Moose’s birthday (although we did still have school). Things kind of fell apart after that, however, as my mom was admitted to the ICU on Tuesday. So we did school this week, but I have to admit, I think we were all pretty distracted.

Turkey and Bunny did derivatives of trigonometric functions in calculus. In advanced biology, they learned the names and functions of a lot of muscles. Ryan commented that it learned like we were casting spells from Harry Potter one day! They learned about language development in psychology. They read about “El Norte,” “New France,” and “Tidewater” in American Nations.

Ladybug continued to work with systems of equations in algebra. She and Chickadee read about the Boxer Rebellion in history. In science she learned about valance electrons and how chemical reactions occur. We started reading Treasure Island.

Chickadee started some simple division in math…I was not ready for that! We finished reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins…she wanted it to last forever! In science, she learned about several different kinds of nests. She was relieved to have a review week in spelling…that means no test!

I don’t know what next week will look like, but hopefully it’s a little better than this week has been!

2020-21 School Year–Week Twelve

Hymn of the Week–“For All the Saints” (Lutheran Service Book #677)

I’m so happy it’s finally November (even if it has been unusually warm the last few days)!

On Monday, we took our annual walk around Creve Coeur Lake…it was the perfect day for it, and there was still plenty of fall color to see. And most importantly, we got out of the house!

After our very rare field trip day, we got back to our regular work. Turkey and Bunny learned the chain rule for derivatives in calculus. They started reading two new books for history: American Nations and Light in the Dark Belt. Now that they’ve learned about how muscles work in advanced biology, they’re learning about specific muscles/muscle groups.

Ladybug worked with adding, subtracting, and multiplying systems of equations in algebra. She learned how elements are grouped on the periodic table in science. She also learned how to write a scientific paper. We finished reading The Trojan War. In history, she and Chickadee read about the Oregon Trail.

Chickadee started carrying in multiplication in math. Her writing lessons focused on passages from 101 Dalmatians. She learned a bit more about migration in science. We read about the first theater performance of Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

Ladybug and Chickadee put the finishing touches on their election lapbooks this week. The biggest addition was the “Vocabinet,” which summarized all the terms they’ve learned over the last month:

Both Ladybug and Chickadee were very proud of their finished projects!

Next week will be a pretty normal week, and then we’ll add in our Thanksgiving studies!

2020-21 School Year–Week Eleven

Hymn of the Week–“A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (Lutheran Service Book #656)

Turkey and Bunny solved for derivatives in calculus this week, which was not the most fun thing ever. They started the third volume of Jane Eyre. They finished reading about the muscular system in advanced biology. They also learned more about conditioning in psychology.

Ladybug worked with solving and graphing inequalities in algebra. In history, she and Chickadee learned about the First Sino-Japanese War. She read about various models of the atom throughout history in science. We’ve almost made it to the end of The Trojan War!

Chickadee worked with more fractions in math this week. She loved reading about Captain Cook’s and Greta’s adorable penguin chicks in Mr. Popper’s Penguins! She learned about bird migration in science.

Ladybug and Chickadee have almost completed their election lapbooks…last week we spent a lot of time trying to figure out the Electoral College!

I think this might be a long week, but we have a fun outdoor activity planned, so that’s something to look forward to!

2020-21 School Year–Week Ten

Hymn of the Week–“Thy Strong Word” (Lutheran Service Book #578)

I can’t believe we’ve finished 10 weeks of school already!

Derivatives made an appearance in Turkey’s and Bunny’s calculus lesson this week…I guess we’re really in it now! They started a chapter on the muscular system in advanced biology. They read about Pavlov’s dogs in psychology.

Ladybug put all of the information she learned about slope, equations, and graphing together to solve some fun word problems about roller coasters in algebra. She and Chickadee read about the emperors of Brazil as well as Abdulhamid the Red in history. In science, she learned about phase changes.

Chickadee worked on arranging fractions from largest to smallest in math. She learned about the muscles that enable birds to fly in science. She’s really enjoying Mr. Popper’s Penguins! Her narrations and dictations in writing were about Pippi Longstocking.

Here’s a look at one of the more clever things Ladybug and Chickadee did in their election lapbooks this week…there’s a wheel that spins to rain glitter confetti down on the candidate family!

Next week, we’ve looking forward to spending some time on the Reformation!

2020-21 School Year–Week Nine

Hymn of the Week–“Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” (Lutheran Service Book #655)

This week was a little strange. We had Monday off as part of our long weekend, and then we had what I’m calling “Documentary Day” on Tuesday. We watched various episodes from different shows covering nature (Frozen Planet), architecture/history (Great Estates of Scotland), American history (America: The Story of US), and biography (The Diamond Queen). This was a nice way to have a different and laid-back day of school, especially since we don’t have our usual field trips that we would enjoy going on for a break, and I think we may do it again at some point!

On to the rest of the week. Turkey and Bunny learned about the different kinds of joints in advanced biology. They read more about dreams and states of consciousness in psychology. We discovered that even our hymn study can include some humor, and although we weren’t expecting it, we had a good laugh when reading the text background for “Lord, Keep Up Steadfast in Your Word,” because it include a parody lyric that was popular at one point. They finished reading There are No Children Here for our study of US geography and cultures.

Ladybug learned about atoms and molecules, compounds and solutions in science, as well as the states of matter. She and Chickadee learned about the Boer Wars in history. She read about the death of Achilles in The Trojan War. Both she and Chickadee continued to work on their election lapbooks…here’s a look at some of what she added this week:

Chickadee continued to multiply two-digit numbers by one-digit numbers in math. We started reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins together. In spelling, she worked with “ee” and “ea” words. She learned about what gives feathers their color in science.

Also, we finally had an outing today! Our local pumpkin patch is offering some different options due to COVID-19, and I was very comfortable with how they’re doing things, so we went a picked a pumpkin (or four) this morning!!!

This was a nice, low-key week of school, and just what we needed!

2020-21 School Year–Week Eight

Hymn of the Week–“What is This Bread?” (Lutheran Service Book #629)

We made it to our first long weekend of the 2020-21 school year! Since Moose has a five-day weekend, I thought we should take a break, too…but we’re “only” taking off today and Monday.

Turkey and Bunny continued to work with limits in calculus. Their study of 1491 turned local, with a section on Cahokia Mounds. In advanced biology, they learned about the structure of bones, and looked at some bone tissue samples under the microscope. They started volume two of Jane Eyre, and things have gotten mysterious. In psychology they learned about sleep cycles and dreams.

Ladybug continued to graph in algebra, adding point-slope and standard form equations to her repertoire. She and Chickadee read about the colonization of Australia and Africa in history. We raced through the first chapter of her science text, trying to make up the time we lost waiting for it to arrive.

Chickadee starting multiplying two-digit numbers by one-digit numbers in math. Her cursive handwriting has really improved! We finished reading Farmer Boy, and she was so sad it was over, she started reading it again to herself. Next week, we begin Mr. Popper’s Penguins. She also learned more about the different types of feathers.

Here’s a look at the progress Ladybug and Chickadee have made on their election lapbooks…the design is quite clever!

We’ll get back to work on Tuesday!

2020-21 School Year–Week Seven

Hymn of the Week–“Christ, the Lord of Hosts Unshaken” (Lutheran Service Book #521)

October is finally here!

Turkey and Bunny worked on finding limits in calculus. They finished the chapter on the skin and the skeleton in advanced biology. As part of this year’s focus on American culture and geography, they started reading a book that had a profound impact on me when I was in high school: There are no Children Here. They read about the senses in psychology.

Ladybug worked with slope-intercept form in algebra, and made a lot of graphs. She and Chickadee learned about the War of the Pacific and the Suez Canal in history. She wrote an essay about the moon landing in writing. We finally got her new science textbook!…and now we have to play catch-up.

Chickadee practiced solving equations with parentheses in math. We got to read about Christmas in Farmer Boy, which she was very excited about. She learned more about the structure of feathers in science. In writing, she worked on a longer piece of dictation.

Ladybug and Chickadee also started a special project that they’re going to be working on throughout the month of October leading up to the presidential election…an election lap book!

Last year in October, we went to see a special exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum, and Bunny made a really cool picture. She reproduced it in chalk on the driveway this week, and I think it’s really cool!

Sometime in the next two weeks, we’ll reach the quarter mark in the school year…I can’t believe it!

2020-21 School Year–Week Six

Hymn of the Week–“Listen, God is Calling” (Lutheran Service Book #833)

The weather has finally cooled off (in the mornings, at least!), so we’ve added our two-mile walk back into our school days!

Turkey and Bunny reviewed natural logarithms in calculus this week. They continued to read Jane Eyre, and they seem to like it more than they expected they would. In advanced biology, they started memorizing some of the more familiar bones in the skeleton. They read about Gestalt psychology and looked at some illustrations that illustrate figure-ground perception…some of them were pretty hard to figure out!

Ladybug reviewed graphing in algebra. She wrote an essay about Kublai Khan in writing. We continued to study the hydrologic cycle in science, reading about glaciers and icebergs as well as groundwater. In other news, the backordered new edition of her science text finally shipped! Her character list for her study of The Trojan War is getting long!

Chickadee started working with ten thousands numbers in math. In science she began learning about the different types of feathers, as well as the structure of the feather. She was very excited to have a review lesson in spelling, because that meant she didn’t have a test! She finished learning each individual letter in cursive, and is going to move on to writing whole words next week.

Here’s a look at one of the more whimsical things I came across in our school room this week:

I’m really looking forward to the start of October next week (although I am a little concerned about how fast this school year is flying by)!