2020-21 School Year–Week Five

Hymn of the Week–“We Praise You and Acknowledge You, O God” (Lutheran Service Book #941)

There’s something about making it through the first five weeks of the school year that always seems significant to me…maybe it’s because we’re already a quarter of the way through our doodlebug countdown to the 100th day of school!

Turkey and Bunny made and interpreted graphs of waves in calculus. They worked on persuasive writing in their Elements of Style workbooks. In advanced biology, they started a chapter on the integumentary system, and learned more about skin than they probably thought was possible. They finished the March trilogy in history. Their new literature study of Jane Eyre began.

Ladybug worked with radicals and learned how to rationalize the denominator in algebra. She finished her 800 word paper on the American Revolution, including her first experience with footnotes. She also began a new literature study, and we’re both excited about reading The Trojan War. In science she read about the hydrologic cycle. She and Chickadee learned about the Second French Republic and the Second Reich in history, and frankly, a lot of it hit a bit too close to home.

Chickadee reviewed counting money with both dollars and coins in math. We made it to harvest time in Farmer Boy. She finished the second chapter of her science book about birds. Her narration, dictation, and copywork assignments focused on a few passages from Misty of Chincoteague, which was timely, because she also recently had a selection from that book in vocabulary.

It is finally cooling off, and while we haven’t ventured out to play tennis yet, we are very glad to be able to talk comfortable walks again!

2020-21 School Year–Week Four

Hymn of the Week–“God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It” (Lutheran Service Book #594)

At this point, I think we’ve really settled into a routine!

Turkey and Bunny worked with functions in calculus. They read about several different types of writing (including travel and business), in On Writing Well. They finished the second chapter of advanced biology and started the fifth act of Macbeth. In history, they read the second book of the March trilogy, and learned about Hernando de Soto in 1491.

Ladybug went through algebraic properties in algebra. In history, she and Chickadee learned about the Dominion of Canada. She finished As You Like It…we’re looking forward to starting The Trojan War next week! She learned about water in science. She also started working on her first big writing project of the year.

Chickadee read more about how the Wilder family ate in Farmer Boy (she is very impressed with how often they have cookies, which is saying something given that we bake cookies every week!). She reviewed Roman numerals in math. In science, she learned about bird calls and songs.

Next week marks a full month of school in the books!

2020-21 School Year–Week Three

Hymn of the Week–“Jesus Loves Me” (Lutheran Service Book #588)

The first 15 days of the 2020-21 school year are complete!

Turkey and Bunny had their first science experiment of the year this week, and they got to get out the microscope! They looked at different kinds of tissue (lung, stomach, and skin), as well as a sample from a salivary gland. They’re really enjoying reading On Writing Well…especially when it tells them to break the rules! They started reading John Lewis’ March trilogy, and are enjoying that, as well. They also had their first psychology test, and since it’s an AP class, it was a little preview of college!

Ladybug is almost finished with As You Like It, and she has, well, really liked it! She and Chickadee read about the American Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in history this week. In algebra, she practiced multiplying and dividing polynomials. Our cobbled-together science lessons (I hope the new textbook arrives soon!) focused on correct units and converting measurements between the metric and imperial systems.

Chickadee learned about field marks on birds in science this week. We continued to read Farmer Boy together. She moved on to fractions in her review of math concepts. Her writing lessons for the week focused on a selection from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and we really enjoyed reading that story!

Here’s a look at our regular Friday routine. We sing our hymn of the week, and Ladybug accompanies us on the keyboard (after we discovered that I just don’t play fast enough for singing!). (In other news: Today I discovered that Moose can play by ear, when we asked if he could try, and then proceeded to play the hymn without looking at the music!)

It’s supposed to cool off next week, and I really hope that’s correct, because we want to get outside and play tennis or take a really long walk somewhere that it isn’t our neighborhood!

2020-21 School Year–Week Two

Hymn of the Week: “With the Lord Begin Your Task” (Lutheran Service Book #869)

The second week of school is complete!

Turkey and Bunny continued to review many concepts from the last few years of math in calculus. They finished the first chapter of their advanced biology textbook. We had an interesting conversation about ethics in psychology, and also some interesting discussions about early American history. They completed the second act of Macbeth.

Ladybug also did review in math, focusing on exponents and radicals. She learned about thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes in science. In history, she and Chickadee read about David Livingstone’s exploration of Africa. She made it halfway through the third act of As You Like It.

Chickadee started reviewing multiplication facts in math. She finished the first chapter in her science book, learning about bird habitats and extinction. She started doing dictation in writing. We read more about what daily life looked like on a farm in New York in Farmer Boy.

Here’s a look at something fun the Fab Five are working on this year. I bought them each a copy of The Illuminated Hymnal to color in while we learn about different hymns from Lutheran Service Book each week. Some weeks will be student’s choice, because the hymns in this book don’t always match up with the hymns I’ve selected, but this week they were able to color a beautiful picture to accompany “With the Lord Begin Your Task.”

I’m hoping for some pleasant weather soon, so we can get outside and do something fun in lieu of our usual museum field trips!

The Transformation of the School Room

Since I’m already feeling nostalgic about this being Turkey’s and Bunny’s final year of homeschooling, I thought I’d take a look way back, and see how our school year looked back then in kindergarten and now…it’s undergone quite a transformation! The first few years, we did school in our “extra” bedroom (now Ryan’s office), and the furniture consisted of two bookshelves, a card table and two folding chairs, and a rocking chair for the teacher. That was it, and that was really all we needed when Turkey and Bunny were in the early elementary grades.

Our educational space (technically spaces, I guess), has gone through many iterations, but we’ve been doing school in the “bonus room” (formerly the play room), of our house for many years. We now have eight regular bookshelves, plus four other non-standard ones, five student desks and chairs, a computer desk, and a cubby organizer, plus a recliner for the teacher. And we won’t even get into how many more books (and Lego sets!) we have now!

Of course this doesn’t even take into consideration all the ways we’ve rearranged our current room over the years…and there have been a lot of rearrangements, from the time we had a huge corner sofa until now! What a difference a decade-plus makes!

2020-21 School Year–Week One

Hymn of the Week: “Earth and All Stars” (Lutheran Service Book #817)

The first week of the 2020-21 school year is complete! We kind of eased into things…we did get to all our new subjects, just not all on the same day…we had to save something new for next week! Our first day was especially fun, and the Fab Five like the new Lego Architecture set of Dubai we added to our collection!

This year, our religion studies will be done together as a group, as it is a curriculum of my own making. We’re using Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Hymns, along with the hymnal, to learn about a new hymn each week (see above), as well as the author, and the changes made to it over the years. We’re also using the school room keyboard to learn to play at least the basic melody line of the hymns…since choir is on the back burner due to COVID-19, it’s nice to add some music to our school days!

Turkey and Bunny started calculus with a whirlwind review of everything they’ve learned in math in the last three years. I guess it all stuck, because they both received perfect scores on their first test! They also reviewed basic concepts from biology in their advanced biology course. Their psychology class, which like advanced biology is an AP class, was full of new information at a very quick pace, which is going to take some getting used to. They began reading Macbeth this week, and also the first book I chose for our study of American geography and culture, 1491.

Ladybug also did review in algebra, and I was happy to see that she, too, retained what she had learned last year over the summer. We had a little hiccup in her physical science course, because I hadn’t realized that the updated text is basically an entirely new book, and the workbook that goes with it is incompatible with the old text we have. So we decided to study weather until the new book arrives. She and Chickadee learned about Queen Victoria and the British Empire to begin the fourth year of the history cycle. Her first literature study is one of my favorite of Shakespeare’s works…As You Like It.

While I’m not responsible for teaching Moose, it has been interesting to see what he’s been up to in his distance-learning. He is taking and algebra and biology this year, in addition to world geography and English. I’m curious to see exactly how band is going to work out, but they’re giving it a try, and Moose was very excited to discover that the first piece he gets to learn is a medley from Hamilton!

Chickadee is probably the most enthusiastic of my students (shocking, I know!). Like her older siblings, her math was review this week, and she also remembered everything she was supposed to. Her first literature study is Farmer Boy, which is my favorite of the Little House books (although the endless descriptions of food make me hungry!). She is learning cursive this year, and it’s not as difficult as she expected so far. Science for this year is all about winged creatures, and she’s looking forward to learning about everything except bugs!

I chose a motto from Doctor Who for this school year: “Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up. Never give in.” I also picked two Bible verses (because I couldn’t decide)…Psalm 27: 13-14 (I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!), and Hebrews 12:1-2 (Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.). This year is kind of A Big Deal, as it is Turkey’s and Bunny’s last year of homeschooling before college and adulthood, and I pray that we all learn a lot, and enjoy this time together, especially with Moose home during this very unusual year!

First Day of Twelfth Grade

I can’t believe that Turkey and Bunny are in the 12th grade!

How is it possible that it’s our 13th year of homeschooling?

And a look back at their first day of school here, way back in 2008 when they started kindergarten:

Time moves awfully fast!