2021-22 School Year–Week Sixteen

Is there ever a good time to get back to schoolwork after a vacation? I don’t think so, but at some point, you just have to jump in, and that’s what we did this week!

Ladybug worked on calculating the surface area of different solid figures in geometry. She started a unit on Calvinist church bodies in religion, beginning with Presbyterians. Her new literature study is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In biology, she began to learn about genetics, how different traits are passed on from parent to child, and how to create Punnett squares. She worked on using foreshadowing in a story in writing. We also took a break yesterday to visit the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit that is currently on display in St. Louis…it was really cool!

Chickadee got right back to working on long division in math…how thrilling. We backtracked in her overview of the Bible…after going through all of the Christmas and Epiphany stories, she’s back in the Old Testament with Kings David and Solomon. The new chapter in her science book is about rays and sharks. We continued to read Greek myths, including stories about Pan, Narcissus, and Daphne. After our break from world geography over the holiday season, we moved on to Africa, where we learned about South Africa and Nigeria, and made a a cheese and apple crumble and banana fritters.

Next week may be a bit bumpy, as Turkey and Bunny start a new semester of college, and we all learn our new schedules!

Chickadee Thursday

Back to school after a nice, long, Christmas break!

This week, Chickadee also had braces put on her four front bottom teeth to match the four she already had on top…she’s not necessarily thrilled about the extra discomfort, but she was really excited that they let her pick different Frozen colors for the top and bottom!

2021-22 School Year–Christmas School

This week was a lot of fun, because it was Christmas School! Once Ladybug took her science test, and Chickadee finished up her science assignments as well, all we did was read A Christmas Carol and Letters from Father Christmas and bake cookies, do crafts, and watch The Nutcracker.

On Monday we watched the Dutch National Ballet Nutcracker, made traditional paper snowflakes, and baked Christmas Island coconut macaroons:

On Tuesday we watched the Royal Ballet Nutcracker, made popsicle stick snowflakes, and baked chocolate Madelines:

On Wednesday we watched the Bolshoi Ballet Nutcracker, made beaded snowflakes, and baked Filipino puto seko:

On Thursday we watched the Vienna Staatsoper Nutcracker, made q-tip snowflakes, and baked Czech poppyseed cookies:

Today we watched the San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker (my favorite!), made 3-D paper snowflakes, and baked chocolate crinkle cookies:

Several of the snowflake crafts we made could be used as ornaments, but we also had a specific ornament for the year…painted clay ornaments cut out with Christmas cookie cutters I bought just for this project:

In the end, we tried three new cookies recipes (plus a variation on Madelines we had never made before) and two new craft projects. It was fun to have both and old new things to try, and it was nice to have a relaxing week of school!

2021-22 School Year–Week Thirteen+

This time, I’m wrapping up a week, plus a couple of days of school!

Ladybug learned how to calculate the area of a circle and an ellipse in geometry. She learned about Roman Catholicism in her study of Christian denominations. In biology, she wrapped up her study of cellular energy by learning about cellular respiration and fermentation. She finished the second part of Beowulf. She finished reading Invincible Louisa, and is now working on Little Men.

Chickadee is starting to lay the foundation for long division in math…I’m a little scared! She finished the chapter on primeval reptiles in her science book by learning about pliosaurs and ichthyosaurs. We’re still trying to untangle Zeus’s family tree in her literature study of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths! After Ladybug finished it, she started reading Invincible Louisa…it’s interesting to listen to her compare the lives of Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Over the last seven school days, we also read some of our favorite Thanksgiving books:

  • Native Homes
  • Tapenum’s Day
  • On the Mayflower
  • Sarah Morton’s Day
  • Samuel Eaton’s Day
  • If You Were At…The First Thanksgiving
  • Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving
  • Thanksgiving: A Harvest Celebration
  • An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
  • Sarah Gives Thanks
  • Milly and the Macy’s Parade
  • Pardon That Turkey
  • Over the River and Through the Woods
  • Time for Cranberries
  • A Turkey for Thanksgiving
  • The Night Before Thanksgiving

This week, we wrapped up a few regular school things, and had some Thanksgiving fun! We visited Cahokia Mounds and had a lovely nature walk, where we saw lots of deer and even a few turkeys. We also made the 10-story climb up Monks Mound.

And we did a couple of fun turkey crafts, including my favorite, hand-and-footprint turkeys:

Next week, we get to start some of our Advent activities, not to mention the countdown to Christmas vacation!

2021-22 School Year–Week Twelve

We started so many new things this week, it almost felt like a whole new school year!

Ladybug began a study of comparative denominations in religion…we started by reviewing what makes Lutherans different. She started a new chapter in biology…now she’s learning about cellular energy. We also began reading Beowulf.

Chickadee also started a new chapter in science…she’s learning about primeval reptiles. We began one of my favorite literature studies…D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. We also finished the time of the judges in her overview of the Bible.

We took our annual fall walk around Creve Coeur Lake this week, too. It’s a little later than we usually go, but we waited until a day everyone had off school, so all of the children could come with us!

Up next…Thanksgiving School!

2021-22 School Year–Outdoors Week!

I decided on a whim that this should be “Outdoors Week.” In addition to reading Little Women under the tree in our front yard, we participated only in activities that could be done outdoors, and I even came up with themes for each day!

Monday was “History and Nature.” We visited historic Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis and found C.F.W. Walther’s mausoleum. We also learned about his life and contributions to the Lutheran church in America.

Tuesday was “Art and Nature.” We went back into the city to walk around the Missouri Botanical Garden and Forest Park, and sketch some of the beautiful things we saw:

Wednesday was “Fitness and Nature.” We finally got back to the tennis court for the first time since before the pandemic began, and we also did a fitness course on a local walking trail.

Thursday was “Exploration and Nature.” We took a five-mile walk down some trails we’ve never used before, and also tried to identify some of the trees we saw along the way based on their leaves, pods, and nuts.

And today we took it easy, and ended the week by watching Little Women (the Winona Ryder version, because it’s my favorite), since we finally finished the book. We’ll get back to our regular work next week, but this was a really fun way to spend the first week of November!

2021-22 School Year–Week Eleven

This week has been rather nondescript. We didn’t go anywhere, we didn’t do much in the way of cooking and baking (there were some culinary adventures, but none related directly to school)…it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect at this point in the school year before the fun of the holidays begins and when spirits are starting to lag because a third of the way through the school year is enough to feel like you need a break, but not so far into the school year that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!

Ladybug learned how to calculate the measure of the interior angles of different polygons in geometry. We discussed Hammurabi in history. We moved on to diagramming indirect objects in grammar. We just have a few chapters of Little Women left…we’re looking forward to watching the movie next week!

Chickadee learned how to multiply two-digit numbers by three-digit numbers in math. We added predicate adjectives to her sentence diagrams. She learned about salamanders in science. We started reading about South Africa in geography (but no recipes this week).

I’m looking forward to the start of November!

Tasty Tuesday–The Little Women Cookbook

I’ve been sharing pictures of the recipes we’ve tried from The Little Women Cookbook every week…here’s a look at the full selection! We tried breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, plus lots of desserts, and even a few beverages. We didn’t make everything in the book…some recipes weren’t that appealing to us (milk toast), some we couldn’t find the proper ingredients for (buckwheat pancakes), and some just didn’t make the cut right now, but we may come back to later (even more dessert recipes!).

In case you’re wondering, here’s the full list:

  • Cheese and Jam Turnovers
  • Amy’s Frothy French Drinking Chocolate
  • Amy’s Lemonade
  • Amy’s “Christmas Day” Muffins
  • Apple Orchard Chicken
  • “Lemon Cheese” Tartlets
  • Hannah’s Pounded Potatoes
  • Maple-Cornmeal Drop Biscuits
  • New England Fish Chowder
  • Black Raspberry Jelly Cake with Lemon Cream
  • “Indian Meal” Griddle Cakes
  • Meg’s Chicken and Macaroni Soup
  • Oatmeal Porridge with Apples, Cinnamon, and Maple Syrup
  • Meg’s Macaroni and Cheese
  • Vanilla Butter Cookies with Mr. Bhaer’s Chocolate Drops
  • Hannah’s Smoked Sausage and Potato “Mess”
  • Meg’s Currant Jelly Sauce
  • Beef Stew with Molasses and Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Chicken Salad with Grapes and Almonds
  • Parisian Cream Puffs
  • Apple Slump
  • Meg’s “Plum” Pudding
  • Apple Turnovers
  • Jo’s Much-Improved Corned Beef
  • Cheese, Butter, and Celery Sandwiches
  • Jo’s Shellfish Relish
  • Roast Beef Picnic Sandwiches
  • Jo’s Gingerbread
  • 1850 Tartar Sauce
  • Baked New England Cod

This was a fantastic cookbook, and every recipe we tried was excellent. Some of the top favorites were the Parisian cream puffs, Amy’s lemonade, Jo’s gingerbread, and the cheese and jam turnovers. We’ll definitely be using the cookbook more to repeat selections in the future!

2021-22 School Year–Week Ten

This has been a really long week, so I guess I’m kind of glad it’s over. But we have had a lot of fun, too, so it wasn’t all bad. Ladybug learned about the different kinds of triangles in geometry. She worked on writing conversations for her writing course. In science she looked at the difference between plant and animal cells under the microscope. We’ve made it through the worst part of Little Women…but now there’s very little of the book left! We finished all of the main recipes I wanted to make in The Little Women Cookbook…Jo’s Gingerbread, and baked New England cod served with 1850 tartar sauce.

Chickadee continued to make factor trees in math. We read about sea snakes in science. She continued to diagram the predicate nominative in grammar. Her geography lesson focused on Antarctica, so we didn’t do any cooking this week…and we didn’t want to eat raw fish like penguins!

We also visited the pumpkin patch this week, and picked out a nice trio of pumpkins. This is always one of my favorite field trips of the year!

I can’t believe next week is already the last week of October!

2021-22 School Year–Week Nine

This week has felt really busy!

Ladybug learned about the Christian Scientists and Scientology in her study of comparative religions this week. She calculated the area of different shapes in geometry. In astronomy, she read about wavelength and frequency. Her new biology chapter is about cells. She started adding direct objects to her sentence diagrams. We have made it to the part of Little Women where we want to put the book in the freezer, because Beth is really sick. We also did a lot of cooking from The Little Women Cookbook this week. We made apple turnovers for dessert one night, and Jo’s much-improved corned beef for a dinner. We also made a trio of recipes for lunch…roast beef picnic sandwiches, Jo’s shellfish relish, and cheese, butter, and celery sandwiches.

Chickadee made it to the end of the Israelites’ time in the desert in religion, and started the time of the Judges. She started making factor trees in math. She learned about the different species of sea turtles in science. She started identifying the complete predicate in a sentence in grammar. In geography, we visited Argentina, and made Argentine butter cookies and Dulche de Leche…Chickadee thought it was hilarious that we literally cooked a can!

I’m hoping that next week, we’ll get to go pumpkin picking!