2022-23 School Year–Week Eighteen

This was a pretty quiet week of school. Ladybug worked word problems centered around “distance equals rate times time” in algebra 2. She did more problems involving stoichiometry in chemistry. In history, she read about the early Lombards, as well as Japan and China. She already finished her grammar curriculum for the year! We continued our discussion of To Kill a Mockingbird. We turned our attention to Star Wars Everyday for a change of pace, and she made Hoth Chocolate Snowballs to celebrate what was, in the end, a pretty lackluster snow day in terms of snow, but still fun.

Chickadee did word problems involving perimeter and area in math. She finished the chapter on ungulates in science. We continued reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In grammar, she reviewed conjunctions and the various ways commas are used. In history, we read about the line drawings of the Nazca and the giant heads made by the Olmecs.

I can’t believe February begins next week!

2022-23 School Year–Week Seventeen

I think we’re still trying to get used to being back to our normal routine, because this was a weird week. We didn’t get quite as much done as I had planned, but that was partially because we had an unexpected field trip opportunity pop up. I was disappointed that the Missouri History Museum discontinued their “Homeschool Days,” something we really enjoyed pre-pandemic. They have replaced it with “History Exploration Days,” however, so we went to that for the first time today. The topic was architecture in the city of St. Louis and beyond, and we especially enjoyed the “Sizing Up the Skyline” workshop, which looked at how architecture has been (and is) judged. In general, though, I felt like even though it’s advertised as a family program for all ages, it skewed quite young, so I’m not sure we’ll go back for one of those events.

There was regular schoolwork this week, too, of course. Ladybug made conversions between the metric and imperial systems in algebra 2. She finished the chapter on stoichiometry in chemistry. We continued our discussion of To Kill a Mockingbird. In history, she read about Harsha’s defeat by the Chalukya dynasty. She also read some examples of experimental fiction in creative writing.

Chickadee learned how to determine if figures are similar or congruent in math. She learned about horses and ponies in science. We continued to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and she really dislikes Edmund! In history, she read about Philip II of Macedon, and especially Alexander the Great (and added another item to her list of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World).

We still haven’t returned to themed cooking, but both Chickadee and Ladybug baked something this week. Chickadee helped me make a “Birthday Cookie Cake” from the My Little Pony Baking Book, and Ladybug and I made “Thick Frosted Speculoos Cookie Bars” according to a recipe I saw Molly Yeh make on Girl Meets Farm:

Maybe next week will feel a little more normal!

2022-23 School Year–Week Sixteen

Following our extended Christmas break, we finally got back to work this week! But we started with something fun…a trip to the St. Louis Zoo. It was the perfect January day to visit, because many of the animals were very active!

We also did actual work. Ladybug did a lesson on ratios in algebra 2. She started reading To Kill a Mockingbird. In history, she read about the life of Muhammad and the continuing decline of the Persian Empire. She identified noun clauses in grammar. She wrote a short play in creative writing, using Stitch from Lilo and Stitch for her inspiration. In chemistry, she worked with the concept of stoichiometry, and found that the math wasn’t too intimidating!

Chickadee worked on identifying polygons and drawing circles with a compass in math. She started a chapter about ungulates in science, beginning with her favorite animal, the elephant. All of her grammar this week was review, which was convenient after so much time off! She read about Greek mythology, and also some of the battles of the Greeks, as well as the first marathon, in history. We started reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and we made Turkish Delight!

We hit the halfway mark in both math classes this week, so it’s all downhill from here!

2022-23 Curriculum

Before we get back to work following our Christmas break, let’s take a look at this year’s curriculum. Ladybug is in 10th grade this year, and Chickadee is in 5th. Yes, I am annoyed that they’re at different places in the history cycle…even though they’re using different texts, it’s much easier on my brain when they’re in the same time, but what are you going to do? They are doing the same religion this year, so I guess that balances it out! The beginning of the school year seems like a very long time ago, so I hope I haven’t overlooked anything we’ve already done.

Religion

  • Treasury of Daily Prayer

Math

For Ladybug

  • Math-U-See Algebra 2

For Chickadee

  • Horizons Math 5

Language Arts

For Ladybug

  • The Creative Writer, Level Four
  • Wordly Wise 3000, Book Ten
  • Analytical Grammar
  • Poetry, Prose, and Drama–Book One

For Chickadee

  • Spelling Workout E
  • First Language Lessons Level Four
  • A Reason for Handwriting Cursive E
  • Wordly Wise 3000, Book Five
  • Writing with Ease Level Four

Literature

For Ladybug

  • The Emperor Constantine
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

For Chickadee

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Homer Price
  • Heidi

History

For Ladybug

  • The History of the Medieval World

For Chickadee

  • Story of the World volume 1 and supplemental materials

Science

For Ladybug

  • Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and MicroChem kit

For Chickadee

  • Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology: Land Animals of the Sixth Day

Electives

  • Duolingo
  • Cooking (featuring Recipes from the World of Tolkien)
  • Tennis/Personal Physical Fitness

Read-Alouds

  • The Lord of the Rings series (we’ll see how far we get)

2022-23 School Year–Christmas School

Fröhliche Weihnachten!

This year’s Christmas School theme was Christmas in Germany (and Austria). Everything came together in an amazing fashion, so that we had lots of experiences, read lots of stories, did lots of baking, and made some cool crafts. But first, an ornament craft to remind us of our summer vacation…memory spheres:

Back to Christmas in Germany. We got to meet the Christkind (an angel who is often the present-bearer in Germany) when we were at Christmas Traditions in St. Charles, MO:

We made five different German Christmas cookies that we had never made before…Lebkuchen (German-style gingerbread), Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescents), Pfeffernusse (spice cookies), Kardamom Plaetzchen (chocolate dipped cardamon cookies), and Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars). We got to try some new baking techniques, which was a lot of fun, and the house has smelled amazing!

We also made five crafts inspired by Germany or of German origin…painted hearts inspired by Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread hearts), a Weihnachtspyramide, ornaments inspired by the German flag and printed with words related to Advent, Fröbelstern (elaborately folded paper stars named for Friedrich Fröbel, the creator of the first kindergarten in Bad Blankenburg, Thuringia, Germany), and the German classic, Zwetschgenmännle (prune people).

Here’s a look at the Weihnachtspyramide in motion…I think it was our favorite craft!

We visited our town Christkindlmarket several times this month:

And we even got to attend a Weihnachtsgottesdienst (German Christmas service)!

It’s not often that Christmas School comes together this well, and provides us with so many fun opportunities…I really enjoyed it!

2022-23 School Year–Week Fifteen

This was a weird week of school because it fell between our short Thanksgiving week and the start of Christmas school. We did wrap some things up, and even though we didn’t read The Fellowship of the Ring this week, we did make three new dishes from Recipes from the World of Tolkien: Beorn’s Warm Baked Cheese (brie baked with honey and topped with pecans and dried cranberries), Westfarthing Fairings (light, crispy cookies flavored with lemon and fall spices), and Traveler’s All-in-One Breakfast in a Pan (which we had for breakfast-for-dinner).

Ladybug worked on isolating a variable in an equation full of variables in algebra. In chemistry, she finished the chapter introducing the concept of moles. We also finished reading The Scarlet Letter. We wrapped up adverb clauses in grammar. In history she read about the Persians and the Byzantines.

Chickadee learned how to identify and measure angles in math. She finished the chapter on rodents and other animals (including rabbits, hedgehogs, armadillos, sloths, and anteaters) in science. In history she read about the Medes and Persians (and Cyrus the Great), as well as Athens and Sparta. She also enjoyed reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever for the first time!

Up next: two weeks of Christmas school featuring crafts, cookies, and stories related to Christmas in Germany/German-speaking countries!

2022-23 School Year–Week Fourteen

We started the week with another favorite field trip…we took a hike around Cahokia Mounds. The Interpretive Center is still closed, so we couldn’t go in there, but we did take a trail we’ve never been down before, and really enjoyed seeing some different things (and we also came across several deer!).

Ladybug worked on calculating percents in algebra 2. She learned about moles (the measurement, not the animal) in chemistry. In history, she read about the deaths of Justinian and Khosru of Persia. We started the last section of The Scarlet Letter. She worked on writing non-linear dialogue in creative writing. Although we took a break from reading The Fellowship of the Ring to focus on some of our favorite Thanksgiving stories, we did bake Bilbo’s Eleventy-First Birthday Cake (even though it’s also not currently his birthday!):

Chickadee reviewed time zones in math and worked on converting units of time. She started learning about rodents in science, by learning what makes a rodent a rodent. We continued to read about the ancient Greeks in history, including their alphabet and how it relates to ours, and some of the stories of Homer. She continued to identify prepositional phrases in grammar, focusing on ones that work as adjective phrases.

Next week will be a short week of mostly fun and catching up, and then Thanksgiving!

2022-23 School Year–Week Thirteen

This was a busy and fun (not to mention short!) school week! We had one day that was a field trip day (Tuesday) and one day off (today, for Veteran’s Day). But first…cooking! Ladybug helped me make another three recipes from Recipes from the World of Tolkien…Lembas Bread (spicy cornbread), Sam’s Coney Stew (but actually chicken thighs according to the suggested substitution in the cookbook), and apple and blackberry cake:

Chickadee also did some baking with me this week…we made “Canterlot Cornbread” from the My Little Pony Baking Book. It was some of the best cornbread I’ve ever had!

Our previously mentioned field trip was to Creve Coeur Park for our annual walk on the four-mile loop around the lake. We timed it so Turkey, Bunny, and Moose could come with us, and he had a great time!

We did get some school work done, too. In algebra 2, Ladybug learned how to identify discriminants. In chemistry, she learned about decomposition, formation, and combustion reactions, and did an experiment to break down water into its constituent parts using an electrolysis machine. She read about dynasties in Japan and China in history. She has almost finished the second part of The Scarlett Letter. She tried her hand at crime and horror writing in creative writing.

Chickadee had mostly a review week in math, covering many of the topics she’s worked with so far this year. In science, she learned about chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas. She learned about early Greece and the Mycenaeans in history. We continued to read through Centerburg Tales. And we got to tag along with Bunny on a visit to the St. Louis Art Museum today!

Next week we have a full week of school, with some Thanksgiving fun thrown in, and then it will be Thanksgiving Week already!

2022-23 School Year–Week Twelve

Fun things first! Monday was a mostly fun day, split between reading creepy stories for Halloween (mostly Poe, featuring “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven”), and stories about Martin Luther and the Reformation. We also worked on our final The Nightmare Before Christmas dinner for October, which included the Witches Cauldron Brew (full of fantastic fall flavors), Christmas Tree Empanadas with picadillo filling (possibly my favorite recipe we tried all month), and a Sally Patchwork Layer Cake, which Ladybug decorated by herself:

And then there was regular school work. Ladybug learned the quadratic formula in algebra 2. She also learned how to balance equations in chemistry, which I think is fun, and she…does not. In history, she had her first introduction to Mecca, and also read about Justinian and Theodora and the Bubonic Plague. In creative writing, she worked on fantasy writing. We finally made it to the part where the fellowship is established and sets off in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Chickadee is really into long division in math now! We finished Homer Price, and began reading Centerburg Tales, just to find out what happens next. She learned about the difference between monkeys and apes in science (not that she didn’t already know that from Veggie Tales!). We started reading about Crete in history, including the story of the Minotaur. In grammar, she reviewed the list of prepositions, and learned how to identify the object of the preposition.

I’m hoping the weather next week is as nice as they’re saying it’s going to be, because we have something fun planned!

2022-23 School Year–Week Eleven

Ladybug learned how to complete the square in algebra 2. In chemistry, she learned the difference between chemical and physical changes and we did a few fun experiments to demonstrate the concepts. She read about the Americas in the 600s in history, which put us in the mood to visit Cahokia Mounds in a few weeks. She worked on rewriting selections in her own voice in writing. We also made a few more recipes from The Nightmare Before Christmas cookbook…The Mayor Chocolate Pretzel Spiderwebs, Mummy Boy Dogs, Oogie Boogie Bag of Bugs (roast Brussels sprouts with cranberries and pepitas and a balsamic glaze), and Christmas Town Gingerbread Snowflakes with Spiders.

Chickadee learned how to calculate simple exponents in math, and made more complex factor trees. She started the chapter on primates in science. In history, we read about the return of the Assyrians and Ashurbanipal and the library of Nineveh. She reviewed subject and object pronouns in grammar. We started the final chapter of Homer Price…it’s gone by very quickly!

On Thursday, we took a break from our regular schoolwork and used our Missouri Botanical membership to take a 5 mile hike around Shaw Nature Reserve. It’s the first time we’ve been there for anything other than Prairie Days, so it was really our first chance to explore the property. We especially liked the trail down to the Meremec River, but the whole place is beautiful, and we’d like to go back in the spring!

I can’t believe we’re headed toward November…it’s always one of my favorite months for school!