2018-19 School Year–Week Twenty-Four

Another week of school is complete!

Turkey and Bunny didn’t have a whole lot of new work this week. They did start graphing inequalities in algebra, and I was very impressed with how much they remembered about doing so from algebra one! They got to write a nonsense poem in creative writing, which was fun for them and me! Their history lessons focused more on Charlemagne and the time immediately following his reign.

Ladybug reviewed time zones in math. She also calculated the surface area of different objects. She read about the War of the Roses in history. Her horse science lessons focused on how to tell when something is wrong with a horse. In horse literature, she finished King of the Wind and started Brighty of the Grand Canyon. She also wrote a five paragraph essay about octopuses.

Chickadee continued to add three-digit numbers in math. She also worked on putting events in the correct sequence. Her spelling words all contained different ways of making the long “e” sound. She’s trying to read everything she sees, in and out of the house!

The girls also made a fun Valentine’s Day craft which is now hanging in our school room:

We still have a full month before we have any kind of a real break…I hope we make it that long!

2018-19 School Year–Week Twenty-Three

Well, I’m finally getting a wrap-up done before the next school week starts…I think that’s progress!

Turkey and Bunny started reviewing slope-intercept in math. It’s been awhile, but they remembered how it works fairly quickly. They finished up everything in their science chapter about acids and bases except the review and test…I’m sure they’re really looking forward to that this week! For creative writing, they analyzed the poetic style of a pop song. In history, they read about Charlemagne.

Ladybug learned how to find the area of a circle in math, and also learned about pi. She then used that information to find the volume of a cylinder. In science, she learned about different horse diseases, which was not her favorite topic. In history, she learned about the Black Death, and how it changed much of the way Europe was structured. She’s almost done with her study of King of the Wind…we’re looking forward to reading Brighty of the Grand Canyon next.

Chickadee was a little under the weather last week, so she didn’t do as much school work as usual. It was ok, though, because she had a lot of review last week, especially in math, where she worked on time, money, and bar graphs. Her spelling unit focused on words that have the long “O” sound spelled different ways. We started reading A School of Her Own, which is the next book in the “Grandma’s Attic” series.

I’d still like to schedule a field trip soon…we’ve had a lot of damp, grey days, and there are lot more like them in the forecast, and I think a change of scenery, even for part of a day, would do everyone good!

2018-19 School Year–Week Twenty-Two

I’m still off schedule on these weekly wrap-ups, and strangely, having a whole weekend to think about it makes it harder for me to remember what all we’ve been up! Let’s give it a go, I guess…

Turkey and Bunny have moved on to studying acids and bases in chemistry. I’m pretty excited about this, because it’s always been one of my favorite topics. And who doesn’t love working with pH paper? Algebra 2 has involved mostly more d=rt problems. They’ve continued to progress through The Scarlet Letter. They took a break from actual writing in their creative writing course to memorize a creative poem. One of the options was “Jabberwocky,” which is pretty darn creative! In history they studied…something. I don’t remember what.

I do remember what Ladybug has been learning about in history…Suleiman the Magnificent. There has been some horse peril in King of the Wind, which she has not been thrilled about. She wrote some biographical sketches in writing. In science, she learned how to appropriately stable a horse. Her math lessons focused on temperature conversions and other metric measurements.

Chickadee started adding two three-digit numbers in math! She has also really become determined to read our “Cat in the Hat” library of books on her own, so she’s been making her way through those. It’s very exciting to see her actually wanting to read! We’re almost done with Away from Home…after that, we only have one Grandma’s Attic book left in our home library, and then I have to pray that our library system will be able to locate the remaining four (I think) books…in the past, they’ve been mis-shelved, and I’ve had to go searching for them at various branches!

2018-19 School Year–Week Twenty-One

After our fun trip to Chicago, it was a little difficult to get back to work, but we pressed on. Turkey and Bunny made quite a bit of progress in The Scarlet Letter…and have already pretty much figured out how it’s going to end. They learned about medieval Japan in history. They worked on diagramming sentences with infinitive phrases in grammar. They also finished up the chapter on stoichiometry in chemistry. In math, they began to work on everyone’s favorite kind of distance problems…you know, the ones that begin “If a train left New York traveling 75 mph at the same time a train left Chicago traveling 50 mph…” This quote from Star Trek: Enterprise says it all…and I think made them feel a little better, knowing that even the ship’s chief engineer shared their feelings about these kinds of problems:

“A train leaves New York at three a.m. heading west, while another leaves Chicago at four thirty heading east. I never could figure those out.” Connor Trinneer as Commander Trip Tucker on Star Trek: Enterprise

Ladybug has made it about halfway through her study of King of the Wind. In science, she learned what kind of food is good for horses, what’s bad, and what is poisonous. In history, she read about Ivan the Great and Ivan the Terrible. Her math lessons focused on the metric system.

Chickadee learned how to read words beginning with “qu” last week. Her handwriting is really improving! In math, she learned the names of some shapes that, while familiar, she hadn’t identified by name before. She’s really enjoying reading about Mabel and Sarah Jane’s high school experience in Away from Home.

This is the time of year when the school year gets kind of long. Hopefully, I’ll come up with some fun activities to break up some of the monotony that always seems to accompany the arrival of February!

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┬ácompleted 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!