2018-19 School Year–Week Eight

Can I be totally honest for a moment? I’ve been having a really hard time writing these weekly wrap-ups this year, and for a pretty silly reason. I’m finding it hard to remember everything we’ve done across three grade levels, even within the span of just a week this year! I find that I have to quiz the children on what they’ve covered in their subjects (not a bad thing, I guess), and look back over my lesson plans at the end of the week just to keep up. Even then, I’m sure there’s stuff I’m forgetting, which is probably why the wrap-ups have been so short! Anyway, I’ll continue trying to keep up with it, but you’ll have to be patient with me, and assume if there are big gaps in the reviews, it’s not because we’re slacking off or not doing every subject, it’s just that I can’t remember everything!

Turkey and Bunny started working with fractional exponents in math, which looked intimidating at first, but turned out to be not too bad. In grammar, they identified participle and gerund phrases. Their study of Romeo and Juliet has been going really well, and even though Turkey still says he hates the story, I don’t think he actually minds the work too much.

Ladybug has continued to learn some basic geometry in math. Her history lessons focused on the Aborigines in Australia and the Maori in New Zealand. She was surprised to discover that she knew some of the information from watching Moana! In addition to outlining, she also created narrative summaries in writing.

Chickadee has now had several spelling tests, and is doing a great job! She learned how to rewrite horizontal math problems vertically. Her reading skills improve daily. She also loves listening along with everybody’s lessons…it will be interesting to see how much of it sticks as she gets older!

2018-19 School Year–Week Seven

Another week completed…we’re already about a fifth of the way through our school year! How crazy is that?!?

What’s really crazy is how much Turkey and Bunny have been learning in chemistry. They’ve learned things about the atom this week that I’m sure I never did. One especially interesting topic was orbitals. They also wrote a few more short stories for creative writing, and I have to say, I really enjoyed reading them! We also started our literature study of Romeo and Juliet (Turkey is less than thrilled), and a lesson on the Huns (including Attila), in history.

Ladybug enjoyed her math lessons this week, because they focused on geometry. She finally got to use her protractor to measure angles. Her history lessons were centered on China at the time the Grand Canal was built. She’s also almost finished her literature study of the White Stallion of Lipizza, and is continuing to enjoy learning about horses in science.

Chickadee has reached a really fun stage in reading. Now that she’s learned some more blends, she’s started noticing all the things there are to read everywhere, and she’s attempting to sound out the signs she sees when we’re out and about. She got to work on counting with money in math this week, and she’s also really enjoying the second Grandma’s Attic book.

We finally went on the field trip I’ve been hoping for, and the weather was perfect for it…it actually kinds of feels like fall! Laumeier Sculpture Park just debuted an exhibit of restored neon signs and new neon artwork by David Hutson. It’s been awhile since we visited the park, and neon signs are right up my alley, so we took the morning today to see the exhibit and walk through the park.

We also watched Rick Steves’ The Story of Fascism in Europe special this week. I highly recommend this show, because he ties history and the present day together very well, explaining how the horrors that accompanied WWII came to be, and what European countries are doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It was definitely heavier than the regular Rick Steves’ Europe shows we watch, but it contained a lot of good information, and gave us much to talk about.

2018-19 School Year-Weeks Five and Six

It’s been a busy two weeks of school, with the fun of orthodontist appointments (Turkey and Bunny) and a case of poison ivy (Ladybug) thrown in just to makes things more interesting…let’s see if I can remember what we’ve been up to!

Turkey and Bunny factored in math. A lot. I think they’re both kind of over it, but at least they remembered how to do it from eighth grade! They learned more about atoms in science, and did another experiment that had an unexpected result and really amused them. They finished their literature study of The Emperor Constantine: A Chronicle, and learned about some of the other early Christian sects besides Arianism in history.

Ladybug learned about different horse movements in science. She reviewed finding area and perimeter in math. In history, she learned about the beginnings of Islam, and also the story of Sinbad.

Chickadee learned how to tell time in math…well, hours and half hours, anyway. She learned some new words in her reading book, too. This week she also had her first spelling test, and got all of the words correct! We finished In Grandma’s Attic, and will be starting the next book, More Stories from Grandma’s Attic, on Monday.

I’m still hoping for a field trip soon, and I have something in mind…as long as the weather next week is as cool as they’re predicting!

2018-19 School Year–Week Four

This year is continuing to fly by!

Chickadee has been having fun reading this week…more fun than usual! Why, you might ask? Because she has been reading words ending in “ass,” which continually makes her giggle when she comes across one! Her handwriting is really improving, and she’s continuing to love (and excel at!) math.

Ladybug learned about the skeletal and muscular structures of the horse this week. She read about Justinian and Theodora in history. Her first big writing assignment was writing a chronological narrative of at least 150 words about the life of Alexander the Great. Her math lessons focused on long division, magic squares, and estimating with the multiplication of large sums.

Turkey and Bunny learned about Theodosius I and Ambrose of Milan in history. The Arian controversy that Theodosius faced fit well with their continued literature study of The Emperor Constantine: A Chronicle. In science they learned about chemical formulas and ionic and covalent bonds. They also had their first real experiment, which resulted in cool color changes from mixing cabbage water with vinegar and then with lye…that was a lot of fun, and it wasn’t even the main point of the experiment! (They were observing the Law of Conservation of Mass at work.)

I’m hoping to add in a field trip sometime in the next week or two…by this point in the school year, we’re looking forward to mixing things up a bit more!

2018-19 School Year-Week Three

I have to admit, I’m kind of shocked that we’ve already completed our third week of school!

Turkey and Bunny survived their first chemistry test and second algebra 2 test. Now that they’ve worked on conversions and counting the correct number of significant figures, they’re going to be moving on to atoms next week, which is very exciting to me. In history, they learned about Roman Britain and Hadrian’s wall. They’re both enjoying creative writing, even when they have to write from uncommon points-of-view, like the first person plural.

Ladybug learned about post-Roman Britain in history this week, particularly the arrival of Augustine of Canterbury. She continued working on one-level outlines in writing, and also worked with a thesaurus. In math, she started on some slightly more complicated equations.

Chickadee has started using flash cards to memorize addition facts in math. Her handwriting lessons now include whole words instead of just letters. And she learned even more sight words in reading, and is adding new suffixes to her list, as well. We’ve all been enjoying reading In Grandma’s Attic with her…I love sharing all of those stories again!

2018-19 School Year–Week Two

We’re starting to fall into a routine with school, but it is a bit more challenging now that Chickadee is doing more work. She had her second word list this week, and it was much longer than the first one, and took quite a bit of time to go through. Along with that, she also had new stories to read and more pages in spelling, Explode the Code and handwriting to do. And in math, she worked on counting by twos!

Ladybug learned about the Angles’ and Saxons’ arrival in Britain, and also read an abbreviated version of the story of Beowulf in history. She started working on one-level outlines in writing. In math, she reviewed the various properties of addition. She’s loving both her equine science lessons and reading the White Stallion of Lipizza for the first time!

Turkey and Bunny had a lot of fun in science being introduced to significant figures. They also learned about Kelvin temperature, and how to convert from both Fahrenheit and Celsius to Kelvin. Their creative writing lessons moved on to writing from a second person point-of-view, which they don’t really care for. And we decided to postpone our literature study of Romeo and Juliet to read through Dorothy Sayers’ The Emperor Constantine: A Chronicle (one of my favorite pieces of literature ever!).

2018-19 School Year–Week One

We are back to work in our 11th year of homeschooling!

Monday was basically a fun day, with all of our traditional 1st Day of School activities…getting all the new books organized, opening the schultüte, and building a new Lego set.

After that we, dove right in. Turkey and Bunny are studying algebra 2 in 10th grade this year, so they began by reviewing exponents, absolute value, factoring, and order of operations. To go along with algebra 2, they’re also studying chemistry, and they practiced converting from one set of units to another to begin that text. They also started their creative writing books and the first chapter of their medieval history book. They only thing they really haven’t gotten into yet is their first literature study of the year, which is Romeo and Juliet.

Ladybug is excited, because her 6th grade year is somewhat horse-themed. She dove right into her equine science lessons, learning about the anatomy of the horse, and the differences in a few different breeds. She’ll begin her horse literature next week with White Stallion of Lipizza. She also worked on some review in math, focusing mainly on place value and equivalent fractions.

Chickadee is very excited about being in first grade! Her reading skills have improved tremendously over the summer, which is weird, because we didn’t practice too much. Her math skills also improved, which is no surprise, because she’s very numbers-oriented. She no longer needs any help counting to 100 or counting by fives! She’s already enjoying reading through In Grandma’s Attic (and I think her siblings are enjoying hearing those stories again, too!).

We also almost always go on a field trip the first week of school. This year, I had a few options, but I decided we should check out the new museum at the Gateway Arch. It’s very well done!

Picking the museum downtown turned out to be a good option, because we discovered that Fredbird was making an appearance at Kiener Plaza, and we always love an excuse to stop and say “hi” to him!

Next week, we’ll pick up the few remaining subjects we haven’t already started, and really get down to the business of learning!

First Day of School 2018

We have officially begun the 2018-19 school year!

Our first day of school is pretty much the same from year to year…the children get their new workbooks, and open their schultüte:

We do a little work (today that included religion, foreign language, and reading time):

And then build our first day of school Lego set…this year, it’s the Hogwarts Great Hall!

Tomorrow we’ll get into more serious work, but for today, we mostly had fun!

Schultüte 2018

Another first day of school means another opportunity to put together schultüte for my students! This year, in addition to the standard crayons, glue, candies, pens, and pencils, I went with a Harry Potter theme, and added a pin and a Lego minifig to each cone.

The children were very excited, because they each received a unique minifig, which is pretty hard to accomplish with blind bag items!

I’m always happy we added this tradition to our first day of school celebrations…it’s so much fun!