2020-21 School Year–Week Thirty-Two

Hymn of the Week–“Up through Endless Ranks of Angels” (Lutheran Service Book #491)

We’re so close to the end!

Turkey and Bunny spent a lot of time this week studying for their final exams in calculus and psychology, as well as working on their final term papers. They also finished up the respiratory system in advanced biology. They started their final poetry study of high school…so far they read poems by Thomas Gray and the great Scottish bard Rabbie Burns (sadly, not the “Address to a Haggis,” though).

Ladybug had a week of review in algebra…she was surprised by how much she remembered from the beginning of the year. She started a chapter on geology in science, and got to do a family favorite experiment with plastic rock. In history, she and Chickadee read about Tiananmen Square and the end of apartheid in South Africa…it’s always a little strange when they get to the point where I have memories of historical events!

Chickadee also had a lot of review in math, including a refresher on the units of the English and metric systems. In science, she read about pests like mosquitoes and robber flies. We’re almost finished with Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. She reviewed all of the types of verbs in grammar.

We have a really fun outing planned for next week…I hope the weather cooperates!

2020-21 School Year–Week Thirty-One

Hymn of the Week–“Holy Spirit, the Dove Sent from Heaven” (Lutheran Service Book #502)

Fun things first…on Wednesday, we actually left the house for a little field trip when we visited the St. Louis Zoo for the first time in almost two years! The weather was not supposed to cooperate, and while it did pour on us at one point, most of the time we were there it was actually quite pleasant out!

As for the rest of the week…Turkey and Bunny completed their final calculus lesson, where they put many of the concepts they’ve learned this year together to solve some real-world problems. We took another look at WWI in American culture and geography. In advanced biology, they continued to learn about the respiratory system…the slide of lung tissue they looked at under the microscope was really cool! They submitted the topics for their final term paper…I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to say!

Ladybug used what she learned about the Pythagorean Theorem to solve problems using the distance formula, as well as the midpoint formula, in algebra. She learned about magnets in science. In writing, she wrote a review of a book (that happened to be written by her big sister!). Since she’s finished with literature studies for the year, she’s reading a favorite book from my childhood, Henry Reed’s Journey.

Chickadee worked on subtracting while rounding in math. In science, she learned about different kinds of beetles, including scarab beetles and fireflies. We started reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. In history, she and Ladybug read about the Chernobyl disaster and the fall of the USSR.

Three more weeks to go!

2020-21 School Year–Week Thirty

Hymn of the Week–“Jesus Christ is Risen Today” (Lutheran Service Book #457)

We actually went somewhere and did something! On Sunday, we visited Origami in the Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It’s a really cool exhibition, and we’re already looking forward to going back…it definitely fits in with our postponed-from-last-year Japan-themed summer school!

As for school…things are starting to wrap up. Turkey and Bunny finished the second-to-last chapter in their calculus text. They made it through the last chapter in their study of psychology. They’re still working on finishing up 1984. We started a chapter on the respiratory system in advanced biology.

Ladybug (and Moose, by coincidence), learned the Pythagorean Theorem in algebra. I think this is the first time all school year that their lessons actually lined up! She learned about electricity in science, and we got to make an electroscope that actually worked! She finished reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer…I gave her a few options of books she can read to finish out the school year since her official literature studies are done.

Chickadee worked on drawing lines of symmetry in math. She learned about antonyms in grammar. In science, she read about wasps and termites. We finished reading The Boxcar Children. She and Ladybug learned about conflicts between Iran and Iraq as well as between India and Pakistan in history.

I finally did the math, and now I know we only have four weeks of school left to go!

2020-21 School Year–Week Twenty-Nine

Hymn of the Week–“At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing” (Lutheran Service Book #633)

The reality of just how close we are to the end of the school year is starting to hit me!

Turkey and Bunny did integrations using an integral table in calculus…I think we’re all going to be glad to be done with that class! We discussed unionization in our study of US geography and culture. They started the last unit in their psychology course. We finished the chapter on the digestive system…not some of my best work as a teacher, because even I got the giggles when we had to talk about flatus.

Ladybug did work and investment problems in algebra. She got to the part in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Tom and Becky get lost in the cave. In science, she learned about the eye’s structure and how it works. She and Chickadee learned about the USSR as well as terrorist groups like the PLO and the IRA in history.

Chickadee practiced more division in math. She learned all about bees in science. We finally finished the list of prepositions in grammar. We’re also almost done reading The Boxcar Children. She is finished with copywork in writing, and instead has two dictation assignments a week.

We may actually get to do a few fun things outside of the house (but still outside) in the next few weeks…I hope the weather cooperates!

2020-21 School Year–Week Twenty-Eight

Hymn of the Week–“Awake, My Heart, with Gladness” (Lutheran Service Book #467)

I’m not entirely sure why we even bothered to have school this week…it’s always hard to come back after a break, but I feel like we didn’t accomplish much of anything this week!

Turkey and Bunny worked with inverse trigonometric functions in calculus. They finished reading Fahrenheit 451. For their next literature assignment, I assigned them each a different book to read that reflects their own interests…Turkey is reading Paradise Lost, and Bunny is reading Wuthering Heights. I did this one other time this year, when Turkey read The Screwtape Letters and Bunny read Murder on the Orient Express…except they both finished their assignments before the school year even began! They started a chapter on the digestive system in advanced biology.

Ladybug learned how to calculate exponential growth and decay in algebra. She and Chickadee learned about the assassination of JFK and the Civil Rights Movements in history. She read more about light waves in science, and now knows why the sky looks blue and why sunsets can be so beautiful.

Chickadee worked on subtracting fractions in math. She started a chapter on social insects (ants, bees, and termites) in science. We continued reading The Boxcar Children. She finished the last of the Explode the Code series of workbooks!

We also started a few nature-based projects in the last week. Chickadee and I set up a hummingbird feeder…I thought it would be fun to try to attract some birds so she could observe them since she’s studying flying creatures in science. Moose also has a science project for his biology class that we’re all enjoying…he studying the effects of different amounts of water on grass. So far, the experiment is going exactly the way we expected it to!

I hope we get more accomplished next week, but three of us are scheduled to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, so we’ll see how we all feel…

2020-21 School Year–Week Twenty-Seven

Hymn of the Week–“Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle” (Lutheran Service Book #454)

We made it to spring break!

As is often the case the week before a vacation, things were kind of a blur, especially since we took a day off for Chickadee’s birthday. So let’s take a whirlwind look at some of what we did.

Turkey and Bunny started reading Fahrenheit 451. They also had a rapid tour of the lymphatic system in advanced biology. Ladybug and Chickadee learned about the Space Race and the Cold War in history. Ladybug wrote another short essay, this time on the formation of tornados. Chickadee and I started reading The Boxcar Children. She also had her last catechesis class, which is a Big Deal, because she is being confirmed tomorrow!

Now I’m looking forward to having some time off!

2020-21 School Year–Week Twenty-Six

Hymn of the Week–“I Bind unto Myself Today” (Lutheran Service Book #604)

It was fun to have a week with celebrations! In addition to our annual St. Patrick’s Day feast, we also celebrated Turkey’s 18th birthday yesterday…where have the years gone?!?

In between fun events, we did a lot of work this week. Turkey and Bunny faced their most challenging lesson in calculus to date, which focused on definite integrals. They finished reading The Great Gatsby. In psychology, they learned about different kinds of therapies. They did one more review of the structures of the heart in advanced biology.

Ladybug learned how to to show inequalities on a number line in algebra. She also learned about and/or compound inequalities as well as conjunctions. She wrote a short paper on the bombing of Pearl Harbor in writing. In science, she started learning about light. She and Chickadee learned about the fight for freedom in the Belgian Congo and Juan Perón in Argentina in history…we’re firmly in “We Didn’t Start the Fire” territory!

Chickadee did a lot of review in math this week, including Roman numerals, division with remainders, and converting fractions to decimals. She learned about various insect defenses in science. We finished reading Charlotte’s Web…the final paragraph of the last chapter always makes me cry, and then it occurred to me that this is the last time I’ll be teaching Charlotte’s Web, so I cried even more!

Another four-day week to look forward to next week (and another birthday!), and then spring break!

2020-21 School Year–Week Twenty-Five

Hymn of the Week–“Lamb of God, Pure and Holy” (Lutheran Service Book #434)

This has been a long week.

Turkey and Bunny learned about Riemann sums and how to find the area under a curve in calculus. In advanced biology, they finished up the chapter on the circulatory system, and even typed their own blood, which was really cool! They started reading The Great Gatsby…so far, they like it better than A Farewell to Arms. They also read about psychological disorders in psychology.

Ladybug learned about functions and relations, as well as direct and indirect variations in algebra. She and Chickadee read about the partitioning of Vietnam and the Korean War in history. In science, she finished the chapter on sound waves, learning about the Doppler effect. She continued reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. She had to write a short paper about a person, so she chose to focus on Bunny!

Chickadee learned how to add fractions in math, and continued practicing reducing them. We’re almost to the end of Charlotte’s Web…I’m ready to cry! In science, she learned about complete and incomplete metamorphosis. We’re still working on prepositions in grammar!

We have two four-day weeks coming up, and then a week off for spring break!

2020-21 School Year–Week Twenty-Four

Hymn of the Week–“In Silent Pain the Eternal Son” (Lutheran Service Book #432)

I’m so glad it’s finally March! At least I think I am…it is hard to think about the fact that we’ve been dealing with COVID-19 for a whole year, so that does put a damper on things a bit.

Turkey and Bunny learned integration formulas in calculus. They finished reading A Farewell to Arms. We started discussing what is probably the most controversial book in our list for this year: A People’s History of the United States. They learned about blood typing in advanced biology.

Ladybug did word problems focusing on concentrations in solutions in algebra. In history, she and Chickadee learned about the beginning of apartheid in South Africa, and Mao and the Chinese Communist Party. She reviewed all of the topoi she’s learned in writing.

Chickadee began learning some basic geometry terms in math. We continued to add to her list of prepositions in grammar. We finished learning about the different sections of an insect’s body in science, focusing on the thorax and abdomen.

I’m already looking forward to our spring break at the end of the month!

2020-21 School Year–Week Twenty-Three

Hymn of the Week–“O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (Lutheran Service Book #449-450)

We made it to the end of February!

This was kind of a chaotic week…I think I had more appointments this week than I have had any other week since the pandemic began! So of course, school was kind of chaotic, too.

Turkey and Bunny were introduced to antiderivatives in calculus. They started reading A Farewell to Arms. We wrapped up our study of the unique geographic areas in the US. They finished the chapter on the endocrine system in advanced biology…it was surprisingly short!

Ladybug learned how to use the discriminant in algebra. She also graphed parabolas. She and Chickadee read about the partitioning of India and Palestine in history. She also finished a chapter in science. We discussed voting rights in her study of the US Constitution.

Chickadee started division problems with remainders in math. We continued reading Charlotte’s Web, and got to Charlotte’s first message. She learned about exoskeletons while she studied insects in science. Her writing assignments focused on passages from Little Women, one of our favorite books.

I’m looking forward to March!