2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Nine

Another week displaced in time!

Who even knows what we did this week? I do know that Turkey and Bunny learned about secant and cosecant waves in pre-calculus. In physics they studied Coulomb’s Law. They also began a study on Elizabethan poetry and prose.

Ladybug learned about sine, cosine, and tangent in pre-algebra. In history, she learned more about Napoleon (which also lead to a study of the 1812 Overture) and Waterloo. She finished the chapter on cellular energy in science.

Chickadee started measuring in centimeters. She also read Greg’s Microscope. She finished the chapter on Jupiter in science.

We also had fun making some sidewalk art to brighten our neighbors’ days…it seems like everyone is out walking more now!

I think next week, even though we won’t have the church commitments we were originally planning on, will be a short week. Maybe regrouping will help a bit!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Eight

So, we were back to school this week following a week of spring break, but let’s face it, nothing is normal anymore, so we just did the best we could. First things first…my classroom now has five students, with Moose joining us for distance learning! That’s the one nice thing about this whole mess!

So, our school days have been a little different (we can’t go play tennis right now, but we did take a long walk around our neighborhood every day this week, both for exercise and to get out of the house), and we didn’t get quite as much done as we probably should have, but given that it was the week following a “vacation,” I think we did ok!

Turkey and Bunny graphed sine and cosine waves in pre-calculus. They started a very timely new chapter in health…one on infections. In physics, they began a chapter on mirrors…the ray tracing has met with mixed reactions. I think we finished learning about Reconstruction in US history, but I’m honestly not sure. Oh, and they read about the bubonic plague in world history, and I’m sorry, but it’s just too soon.

Ladybug worked with various forms of metric to English conversions in pre-algebra this week…weight, volume, and temperature were all included. She also started a new chapter in science, one that focuses on energy. We continued reading The Phantom Tollbooth. She wrote a temporal comparison about the Great Chicago Fire for writing.

Chickadee continued to work with multiplication facts in math. She read a new book called Mouse Tales. In science, she learned about Jupiter’s red spot, rings, and moons. She also got to do distance-learning catechesis for the first time!

And in related news…Turkey and Bunny received their SAT scores today. I won’t share the actual numbers, because they’re not mine to share, but I will say that they both scored above the mental goal that I had set for them, and I’m very proud of how well they did!

I don’t know exactly what next week will look like. I know we won’t be going anywhere, and I hope we’ll get everything done that we should, but I’m also learning to be flexible, and adjust my expectations and schedule as necessary!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Seven

I’m not really even sure what to say about this week.

We got a lot done. But it was all while the SAT (on the schedule for tomorrow…maybe?) hung over Turkey’s and Bunny’s heads, and the threat of coronavirus was on all of our minds. And this afternoon we found out that the public schools here (the whole state, actually) will be closed for at least the next two weeks because of it. That might not directly impact our school (although we are looking forward to having Moose home with us!), because we will carry on, but it’s still a cloud casting a shadow on everything.

Anyway…Turkey and Bunny worked with natural logarithms in pre-calculus. In physics, they finished the chapter on waves. They also finished The Merchant of Venice. And in US history, they started learning about Reconstruction.

Ladybug learned about slope and y-intercept in pre-algebra, and she also worked with adding and subtracting equations. She too finished a chapter in science. in history she read about the formation of the country of Haiti. And we started reading The Phantom Tollbooth, which is one of my all-time favorite books.

Chickadee reviewed measuring with a ruler in math, and continued working with simple equations. She finished reading the Frog and Toad series of books. She’s working on memorizing a new (and quite long!) poem in language arts.

Who knows what to expect in the weeks ahead? I had already planned to have our spring break next week, so at least I can catch my breath as the world figures out what is going on!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Six

Week 26 of the 2019-20 school year was one of the most confusing weeks I’ve had so far!

Turkey and Bunny have been learning about bones and muscles in health. And while they were doing that, Ladybug started a chapter on human biology in science, where she also spent a great deal of time learning about the muscular and skeletal systems. So all week, I was teaching a topic, and then the next day, teaching a topic that sounded awfully similar, but to a different audience. I couldn’t remember who had learned what when by Friday!

If that wasn’t bad enough, Ladybug had an introduction to functions in pre-algebra. And Turkey and Bunny have been learning about functions of functions in pre-calculus. So once again, there was a lot of information that sounded very similar on the surface (even if the details were pretty different!).

Meanwhile, Chickadee started doing simple equations in math, and I was just not ready for that. Yet another thing that, even though I’ve taught it twice before, always manages to catch me unawares.

Anyway, we wrapped up some other stuff, got back to playing tennis since the weather is so nice, and came to the realization that we just might not get to go on any more field trips this school year due to coronavirus. That’s hugely disappointing, but what are you going to do? At any rate, we’re about 3/4 of the way done with the school year, which means the end is going to come barreling towards us at light speed!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Five

Finally, the end of February! We didn’t go on any field trips this week, although we did have kind of a half day today, which helped a bit. February is just the worst month for school!

Turkey and Bunny worked on functions of a function in pre-calculus, and found it super easy. They started a chapter on waves in physics. The read Acts II and III of The Merchant of Venice, and encountered some of the funniest moments in the play. We had a really interesting discussion about Robert E. Lee after studying him in US history. In world history, they read about Robert the Bruce…they thought he was way more interesting than William Wallace!

Ladybug learned about supplementary and complementary angles, as well as alternate interior and exterior angles, in pre-algebra. She started a chapter on human biology in science. In history, she read about the invention of the steam engine, as well as Eli Whitney’s cotton gin. We discovered that although The Door in the Wall is a small book, it takes a long time to get through it!

Chickadee learned about ratios in math…even though I’ve taught it before, I was still surprised that it came up already! She also learned the difference between meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites in science. Her spelling lesson focused on words that are contractions. She continued to read to me from the Frog and Toad books, which we both enjoyed!

Looking forward to next week, because it will finally be March!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Four

We finally got to go on a field trip this week! The St. Louis Science Center is hosting an exhibit about DaVinci, and I was just waiting for the right moment to go, which turned out to be Monday. It’s really cool, with lots of hands-on activities and replicas of DaVinci’s inventions and artwork, and we really enjoyed it!

On to the rest of the week. Turkey and Bunny began the first of several lessons on functions in pre-calculus. They finished the first act of The Merchant of Venice, and they even got to compare Shylock’s character with the Ferengi of Star Trek. In history, they read about the sultanate of Delhi. Their health lessons focused on the cardiovascular system. They finished the chapter on periodic motion in physics

Ladybug learned about skew lines in pre-algebra. She worked on outlining and rewriting in her writing course. In history, she learned about one of my favorite monarchs of the 1700s, Catherine the Great. She finished the lesson on the five kingdom system in science.

Chickadee worked on carrying to the thousands’ place in math. She continued learning about space rocks, adding asteroids to what she knows about comets. She started reading the Frog and Toad books, which I’m very excited about, because they were some of my favorite stories when I was a child!

There are still a few other field trips I have planned for the coming weeks, but I’m not sure when we’re going to get around to them…I may space them out a bit more, but I haven’t decided yet!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Three

I really think February is my least favorite month of the year for school (really, for anything), but we’re surviving, and it’s already halfway done!

Turkey and Bunny started a chapter on periodic motion in physics, and did some experiments with springs. They also began The Merchant of Venice, which is one of my favorite of Shakespeare’s works. In US history, they started what is going to be a long section on the Civil War. In world history, they learned about both the fact and fiction surrounding William Wallace.

Ladybug learned about mass in pre-algebra. In science, she started reading about the five kingdom classification system, beginning with Monera and Protista. She learned about the French Revolution in history. The Door in the Wall is her new literature study, and I don’t believe I’ve ever read that book myself, so I’m looking forward to reading it with her!

Chickadee worked on borrowing from the hundreds’ place in math. She started a chapter on space rocks in science, beginning with comets. We’re almost done reading Winnie-the-Pooh already…I always forget how quickly the chapters in that book go by!

I decided to take the day off of school yesterday, not because it was Valentine’s Day, but because Moose had a half day at his school, and I wanted to share his good fortune with his siblings. We did do a fun Valentine’s Day craft, though. Since the Makit & Bakit ornaments we made at Christmas were so popular, I thought it would be fun to make sun catchers, too…they’re so pretty!

I am almost positive that next week we’re going to finally get around to one of the field trips I’ve been planning…stay tuned!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-Two

I feel like we got a lot done this week!

Turkey and Bunny started a chapter on vectors in pre-calculus (which sounds an awful lot like some of the things they’ve done in physics!). They’re on the last section of The Hound of the Baskervilles…since they’ve both read it before, they know how it ends, even if they don’t remember all of the details. In US history, they learned about some influential women, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, as well as some famous American writers. They finished the chapter on momentum in physics, and did an excellent job with the calculations!

Ladybug learned how to find the volume, surface area, and lateral area of various figures in pre-algebra. She also finished up a chapter in science. There are only two chapters left in Anne of Green Gables, and neither one of us wants to read them! She learned about the colonization of Australia in history.

Chickadee started learning about Roman numerals in math! We started a new literature study…we’re reading Winnie-the-Pooh. She managed to make it through a spelling lesson that included the word “color” without her oldest sister teaching her to spell it the English way. In science, she finished up the chapter on Mars.

I have a few field trips on my schedule for the next few weeks…we want to see the new Da Vinci exhibit at the Science Center, and there’s a modern art exhibit (featuring a few of Van Gogh’s works) coming to the Art Museum this month. We still haven’t seen the new exhibit about the Mississippi River at the History Museum yet, either, so we definitely have some places we need to go!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty-One

This week in school, Turkey and Bunny practiced graphing polar equations (which is an interesting process!). They started learning about momentum in physics. In health they learned about various micronutrients, what they all do, and in which foods they are found. They read about the western US in the early to mid-1800s in American history…things like the gold rush, the pony express (and later, the telegraphy), and the introduction of stagecoaches.

Ladybug started learning about polyhedrons pre-algebra. She also read about the four qualification of life in science. In history, she learned about the American Revolution, and George Washington’s presidency. We are getting close to the end of Anne of Green Gables.

Chickadee practiced counting paper money in math. She enjoyed learning about the American Revolution, especially when we read “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Longfellow. She and Bunny finished reading Alice in Wonderland, and now Chickadee is reading it again to herself!

I feel like we need something fun and interesting to look forward to in school, because January and February aren’t the most interesting months of the year!

2019-20 School Year–Week Twenty

Now that we’ve started the 21st week of the 2019-20 school year, I guess I should wrap up week 20!

Turkey and Bunny worked with polar coordinates in pre-calculus, which was very new and different. They finished the chapter on work and energy in physics. Their study of The Hound of the Baskervilles finally took them to Baskerville Hall. In history, they read about the seventh crusade, and to be honest, it seems like the Crusades will never end!

Ladybug calculated the perimeter and area of different shapes in pre-algebra. She also finished a chapter in science. In history, she learned about several European wars that led up to the American Revolution. Bunny accidentally gave her a spoiler about what is coming up in Anne of Green Gables, and she was not happy about it!

Chickadee had a very light week of school, because she was sick for a few days (she even had to miss catechesis, which made her very sad!). She did a lot of reading, and started her second math book of the year, where she learned how to write fractions. She also started learning about Mars in science.

And, in kind-of-related-to-school activities, Turkey and I went to see Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back live in concert at Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra last week. I think an important part of any education is music appreciation as well as exposure to cultural events. I’m trying to make sure each of the children has an opportunity to see the symphony play something, and so far, the three oldest children have all accompanied me to Powell Hall for an event. It’s a lot of fun, and a good introduction to live orchestral music without the pressure of a more, shall we say, high-class, event!