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 applyed 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!

2019-20 School Year–Week Ten

We’re definitely over a quarter of the way through the school year now…how is that even possible?!?

Turkey’s and Bunny’s study of the Augsburg Confession this week focused on the Sacraments…I was very impressed that it very clearly stated that absolution is the third Sacrament, something I’ve taught at home from the very beginning, but an idea with which some Lutherans are uncomfortable. They continued to work on proving trigonometric identities in pre-calculus. In physics, they finished the chapter on parabolic motion and range. They started a chapter on the senses in health. We had some very good conversations based on the cantos they read in “The Paradiso.”

Ladybug reviewed ratios in math. She practiced finding the mechanical advantage for the various simple machines she learned about in science last week. In writing she read “The Open Window” so she could analyze the plot line. She learned about Charles I and the English Civil Wars, Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum, and Charles II the 1660 Restoration in history.

Chickadee practiced regrouping tens in math. She finished the Old Testament portion of her read-alouds from The Beginner’s Bible. She also finished the first of three Explode the Code books for second grade. We read more stories from Tales from Beatrix Potter, some of which I had never heard of before! She finished her study of Venus in science by learning about its phases.

Since we worked so hard this week, I decided that today should be a field trip day, so we headed to Forest Park, where the fall color is reaching its peak:

The true destination for our field trip was the St. Louis Art Museum, where we toured the new “Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt” exhibit, which is on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

One of the best parts of the special exhibits at the St. Louis Art Museum is the Explore Lab, which adds a hands-on component to the event:

Here’s a glimpse at some of the children’s artwork:

After we finished at the art museum (and walked around Forest Park a bit more), we stopped by the Missouri History Museum to see what is admittedly a very small, but very meaningful exhibit about the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Championship:

This was a very fun and relaxing way to end a busy week!

2019-20 School Year–Week Nine

Let’s do something different this week, and recap all the special activities first!

We attended Legends and Lanterns in St. Charles, MO, last Saturday. If I was going to count a Halloween event as a field trip, this would be it. In addition to being a lot of fun, there’s also a lot to learn about characters from history and literature, and it’s become one of our family’s favorite annual events!

We took a four-mile walk around Creve Coeur Lake last Monday when Moose had the day off. This is another favorite annual event, but we missed out on it last year due to my broken ankle. We may actually repeat this activity later in the fall, when the fall foliage is at its peak!

And Thursday after school, we visited Braeutigum Orchards to pick a pumpkin (or two!):

Now on to the normal “stuff.” Turkey and Bunny worked on proving trigonometric identities in pre-calculus. In writing the practiced drafting questions without bias. They finally started “The Paradiso” in their study of The Divine Comedy. In physics, they learned about the parabolic motion of a projectile.

Ladybug worked with English and metric conversions in pre-algebra. She finished the chapter on simple machines in science. We started Anne of Green Gables, a book I really enjoy…I hope Ladybug will, too! She wrote a 600 word essay about horses using the brainstorming map she created last week.

Chickadee reviewed telling time in math. She also practiced counting by sevens. She continued to read about Venus in science. She started memorizing her fourth poem in First Language Lessons. She has also been doing a great job with her memory work in catechesis!

I don’t think I have anything particularly exciting on the schedule for this week, which is ok…we could use a couple of quiet days!

2019-20 School Year–Week Eight

After so many busy weeks, this week was actually fairly laid-back, which I really appreciated!

Turkey and Bunny continued to work with reference angles in pre-calculus this week. Their physics studies were related to that, as they practiced vector addition. They completed the chart they created to keep track of the five parts of each cornice in the “The Purgatorio.” In history, they read about Saladin. They also finished the chapter on interpersonal relationships in health.

Ladybug reviewed adding and subtracting fractions in math, as well as converting fractions to decimals. She started learning about simple machines in science, beginning with the lever. In history, she read about the end of China’s Ming Dynasty. She finished The Hobbit…we’re looking forward to starting Anne of Green Gables next week! She also created a brainstorming map for her next writing assignment.

Chickadee worked on “magic squares” in math. She continued reading Tales from Beatrix Potter…”The Tale of Benjamin Bunny” was a favorite. She has also been reading through a biography of Mister Rogers with me. She’s still working on nouns in First Language Lessons, and she’s also memorizing her third poem.

And finally, a photo not from school, but so fun, I had to share. We saw the Stanley Cup car in St. Louis, so of I course I had to take a picture!

The School Mascot

This is our, what…12th year of homeschooling? And we have a school name, and a school room, but we’ve never had a mascot…until now. Meet Hugsy, our school-time penguin pal:

Yes, this is Hugsy of Friends fame. You know…Joey’s bedtime penguin pal. I have wished I could get a Hugsy replica for years. And when I saw that the Friends25 pop-up shop had him in stock, I was ecstatic. But I didn’t think I’d buy him, because he was kind of spendy. But Ryan told me that I’d regret it if I didn’t buy him, and the children said we needed him, so after looking at how much money I had, I figured I could make it work, but only if he had a position of prominence in our family. Albert (and family) is already our pet, so schoolroom mascot seemed like the perfect occupation for Hugsy. And so, there he sits in my (new) chair when I’m not in it…our school-time penguin pal!