2018-19 School Year–Week Twenty

I know I’m late with last week’s wrap-up, but that’s because I wanted to share the cool learning experiences we had over the weekend, too! Briefly, as far as our regular subjects go, Turkey and Bunny learned about ratios in math (which tied in very nicely with their chemistry lessons), Ladybug read about Marco Polo and the Forbidden City in history, and Chickadee measured in centimeters. Oh, and there was other stuff, too, some of which was mostly the same as the week before.

On to the fun stuff! We were in the Chicago area over the weekend, so I planned some special field trips to places we hadn’t had the chance to visit yet. On Thursday, we went to the Brookfield Zoo, and had what may have been our best zoo experience ever. It was cold and a little bit snowy, but the animals were so active! We really enjoyed the chance to observe them in a way we never really have before!

On Friday, we went to the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, where we learned about rocks and gemstones, and how gemstones are cut. It was unlike anything we’ve ever done before, and we learned a lot!

Yesterday, we stopped at Chicago’s Field Museum on the way home from our trip north. We toured the Hall of Birds and the Hall of Gems. We also took a look at ancient Egypt. The highlight of the trip, though, was walking through the Halls of Evolving Planet and Hall of Dinosaurs on our way to see Chicago’s most famous resident…Sue the T. rex:

We drove through snow for about the last hour of our trip home, but fortunately, the clouds cleared in time for us to see the Super Blood Wolf Moon during the lunar eclipse:

So we had three regular days of school last week, and then a lot of fun field trip days and unique experiences…it was definitely a nice way to spend a school week in January!

2018-19 School Year–Week Nineteen

We’re back to work after our Christmas break!

We started a whole bunch of new stuff this week. Turkey and Bunny had the most new material to cover. They got to work with applications using percents in math, which is a very practical, real-life topic. They learned about the succession to Muhammad and the Rashidun Caliphate in history. They were introduced to stoichiometry in chemistry. They also started reading The Scarlet Letter.

Ladybug practiced finding perimeter, area, and volume in math. She started a literature study of King of the Wind. In science, she read about mules, burros, and donkeys. She learned about Genghis and Kublai Khan in history.

Chickadee probably had the easiest week. She finished her second I Can Read It book. She worked on putting dollars and cents together in math. We also started reading a new book in the Grandma’s Attic Series: (Sixteen And) Away from Home. We also enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather earlier this week (a stark contrast to the winter storm warning and predicted 9-12 inches of snow we have right now), and took a walk around the Missouri Botanical Garden.

I have a few more fun field trips planned for next week…stay tuned!

2018-19 School Year–Week Eighteen

We’re done with school until next year!

This week was all about finishing up. Turkey and Bunny finished chapters in history, math and science. Ladybug finished a vocabulary lesson and Justin Morgan had a Horse. Chickadee finished a section in math and a handwriting lesson. We also read A Christmas Carol, watched several productions of the Nutcracker, made ornaments, and read some other Christmas stories. We even found time to visit the St. Louis Science Center to see their new lights display, “Science Illuminated.”

So that’s it for a few weeks. We’ll be back to work in January, hopefully feeling rested and ready to tackle the second half of the school year!

2018-19 School Year–Weeks Sixteen and Seventeen

What a crazy two weeks!

Turkey and Bunny have been doing all of the things in math and science. They learned how to use the quadratic formula and find discriminants in algebra. They learned about moles in chemistry. Plus they finished Romeo and Juliet, continued to write poetry (this time using metaphors), and learned about Mohammed in history. We also started our yearly study of A Christmas Carol.

Ladybug has also been busy. In math, she reviewed base 2 and divided using decimals. Her science lessons focused on horse grooming and diets. In history, she learned about the Jewish Diaspora. She is also almost done with Justin Morgan had a Horse…she’s pretty worried about how it’s going to end!

Chickadee is learning about fractions in math! She is also learning hundreds numbers. She finished another series of stories in her I Can Read It book. Now that we finished Treasures from Grandma, we’re taking a break from the Grandma’s Attic series, so she’s really been enjoying listening to me read some of our favorite Christmas storybooks!

We’re going to have school next week, but probably not a full week…and then it’s time for Christmas vacation!

2018-19 School Year–Week Fifteen+

Since Thanksgiving week is never a full week of school for us, I combined last week’s wrap-up with our full week this week, starting with our annual hand-and-footprint turkeys and our completed Thankful Tree for the year:

Turkey and Bunny have been doing one of my favorite things in chemistry…balancing equations. Unfortunately, I don’t think they enjoy that activity as much as I do. They have also been completing the square in math. They finally made it to the fourth act of Romeo and Juliet. Their creative writing assignments have focused on poetry. In history, they learned about Gregory the Great, among other things.

Ladybug worked a lot with decimals in math. She continued to practice outlining in writing. In science, she learned about horses’ diets…both what is good for them to eat, and what is bad. Her history lessons have focused on the Crusades. She’s also enjoying reading Justin Morgan had a Horse for the first time!

Chickadee practiced counting different kinds of coins in math. She also learned more beginning blends in reading. There’s been a lot of overlap between the words she’s learning to read and her spelling words, which is nice. We’re getting close to finishing Treasure from Grandma, and she was worried that was the last book in the series…until I told her we have two more books at home, and should be able to get the rest from the library!

We had a Christmas-related field trip this week, and it tied into our medieval-focused history for the year, too! We went to the Boar’s Head Festival for the first time since Chickadee was a baby. It was a lot of fun to experience the production again, and it gave us a good approximation of a medieval celebration.

2018-19 School Year–Week Fourteen

I think this week of school felt a bit more “normal,” although we haven’t had school in the actual schoolroom since I broke my ankle. We’ve been making do with having our lessons in either the living room or even my bedroom.

Turkey and Bunny worked more with factorials this week, and they both scored 100% on the test, so it was a good math week! In chemistry, they learned about physical and chemical changes, as well as density, and did a few experiments to illustrate those concepts. Next week, they get to balance chemical equations, which was always one of my favorite parts of chemistry! They finally finished Act Three of Romeo and Juliet, and got to write a short story in the style of experimental fiction in creative writing, which was a lot of fun to read!

Ladybug worked with fractions in math, which was a nice follow-up to her review of decimals last week. Her science lessons focused on horse health, especially as related to the digestive system and vision. She also started her literature study of Justin Morgan had a Horse. In history, she learned about the feudal systems of medieval England and Japan, and their knights and samurai.

Chickadee practiced more subtraction and learned how to count by 2s in math. She also reviewed counting coins. She did a great job on her spelling lessons this week! She is continuing to improve in reading and handwriting, and she loves the stories in Treasures from Grandma.

We also had an unexpected mid-November snowstorm this week, which gave Moose a snow day. Since we had already taken the day off on Monday with him for Veteran’s Day, we still had school, but the children did have time to go out and play in the snow for about an hour yesterday afternoon. Bunny came in and grabbed my phone to take a picture of their snow creation to show me (snow and a broken ankle don’t really mix!)…I love their interpretation of Iron Man and Spider-Man:

The one thing we didn’t do this week that we normally would have was our annual “Thanksgiving School.” I place the blame for that partly on my ankle, and partly on the fact that Thanksgiving is so early this year. We weren’t going to be able to take our normal field trip to Cahokia Mounds, because there’s just too much climbing there for me right now, but I didn’t mean to skip over the books and crafts we should have been doing. I’m hoping to make up for it a little bit next week, with the reading of at least some of our favorite Thanksgiving books, and our favorite Thanksgiving craft: hand and footprint turkeys, but we’ll just have to see how it goes. At least we’ve more or less kept up with our Thankful Tree…I am thankful for many things, especially this CAM boot that allows me to walk around more than I would have been able to in a cast, and all of my helpers who have kept the house running!

2018-19 School Year–Weeks Twelve and Thirteen

What a week(s)!

Originally, I was going to do my weekly wrap-up for week twelve last Sunday…a few days late, because I was feeling lazy last Friday, and I wanted to share our Extra Life for Kids marathon on Saturday. Which I did…kind of. Except that on Saturday, in the middle of the marathon, I broke my ankle. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was lucky I could remember how to type anything, much less a homeschool wrap-up, so instead, I saved it to go with this week’s summary. Despite my ankle, we had a mostly normal week of school, except for the part where we did all of our subjects downstairs, because I couldn’t make it upstairs to the school room!

Turkey and Bunny have had all kinds of fun in math. They learned about Paschal’s Triangle, factorials, and binomial theorem. In chemistry, they learned about molecular geometry and non polar and polar covalent bonds. Their creative writing assignment had them writing a scene from a play, which went nicely with their continued study of Romeo and Juliet. In history, they studied Justinian, among other things (I think…it’s been a very long week!).

Ladybug got to learn about horses’ hooves and teeth in science. In math, she has been working with decimals. Her history lessons focused on medieval England…Edward the Confessor, the Norman conquest, the development of the English language, and the history of English castles. So basically all my favorite stuff! She’s almost done with Misty of Chincoteague…had it not been for the topsy-turvy week thanks to my broken ankle, she probably would have finished it already, and started her next horse literature selection, Justin Morgan Had a Horse.

Chickadee continued to work on subtraction in math. She practiced reading words that begin with blended sounds. She also enjoyed learning about English castles…she would like to play hide and seek in one! We finished Still More Stories from Grandma’s Attic, and she’s a little sad at how quickly the books are going. We get to start Treasures from Grandma next, which I’m really looking forward to, because it contains some of my favorite stories to share!

We’ve also been trying to remember to do a thankful leaf every day. That’s been a little challenging, because the tree is upstairs, and we’ve been doing school downstairs, but I’m sure we’ll catch up. I always love seeing what the children are thankful for, and how that reflects what we’ve been doing!


2018-19 School Year–Week Eleven

Each week seems a bit crazier than the last!

Turkey and Bunny did begin conjugates in math, as promised. Fortunately, they mostly thought they weren’t too bad. Their history lessons focused on medieval India, particularly Java. They had their choice of writing either a horror or crime short story in creative writing. In science, they began dealing with polyatomic ions. They also finished the second act of Romeo and Juliet.

Ladybug thought math was interesting, because she got to work with base-2 this week. She finally got to meet the title character in Misty of Chincoteague. She learned about the Vikings, and a bit of Norse mythology in history. (I discovered how much of my knowledge of Norse mythology comes from the Marvel movies!) She also worked on rewriting sentences without using clichés.

Chickadee started subtraction in math! She began her second I Can Read It book, and was very excited to discover that the first story is about a family of her favorite animal (the elephant). She had her first handwriting lesson that was not straight review, and got to use one of her fancy pieces of handwriting paper, which was very fun.

Yesterday, we had a field trip to the most sincere pumpkin patch we could find, where we picked out what Turkey thinks is our best pumpkin yet (not the biggest, but the one with the most perfect shape), and his standards are very high! Since we waited to go after Moose was done with school, I’m not sure it counts as a school field trip, but I’m going to share a picture anyway!

I have a few fun things planned in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, including our annual nature walk, but I’m still hoping that we can keep going without taking a full fall break!

2018-19 School Year–Week Ten

A lot happened this week!

Chickadee probably had it the easiest. She did learn how to add three numbers in a column, and practiced adding two-digit numbers. She is close to done with her first Explode the Code book, and has also completed her first I Can Read It story book. And we finished More Stories from Grandma’s Attic, and started Still More Stories from Grandma’s Attic.

Ladybug learned about exponents and roots in math, and if that wasn’t enough, she also started working with scientific notation! She continued to learn more about horse movements in science…I had no idea there was so much to consider in how a horse moves! She also started reading another classic horse story, Misty of Chincoteague. In history, we returned to France, and read about Charles the Hammer and Charlemagne.

Turkey and Bunny continued working with Lewis Structures in chemistry, and learned how to indicate double and triple bonds. They finished their introduction to imaginary numbers in algebra…I think conjugates are up next. They started the second act of Romeo and Juliet, and for all they claim they don’t like the play, their written work has been excellent, and we’ve also had some really good discussions. In history, they learned about the Hephthalites in Central Asia as well as the Wei Empire in China.

We haven’t had a fall break yet, but we have had several four-day weeks, so I’m going to try to just keep going until Thanksgiving week…we’ll see how that goes!

2018-19 School Year–Week Nine

If I were being completely honest, I would just say imaginary numbers, and end it there, because that’s about all my brain can handle right now…

…But, there were other things this week, even for Turkey and Bunny (although, the imaginary numbers did take up a lot of their brain space!). They also learned about Lewis Structures in chemistry, as well as more on how to “read” the Periodic Table. They finished the first act of Romeo and Juliet. Their creative writing assignments continue to impress me!

Ladybug has started mixing some more complex equations with the order of operations in math. She finished her study of the White Stallion of Lipizza. She also learned the importance of center of gravity to both horse and rider in science. And in history she read about Clovis and the Kingdom of the Franks.

Chickadee learned how to “read” the quarters of the hour on a clock in math. She read some longer stories out loud, and they included “qu” sounds! Her handwriting is improving, as are her map-reading skills. Her enthusiasm for school is a lot of fun!