2022-23 School Year–Week Eight

We started the week with a rare Sunday field trip, to Grant’s Farm:

Ladybug learned how to identify the conjugates of a binomial in algebra 2. In chemistry, she read about single, double, and triple bonds to finish the fourth chapter. We finally finished Romeo and Juliet…she’s glad to be done with that (although we do still need to watch the movie)! She read about the High Kings of Britain, Niall of the Nine Hostages, and St. Patrick in history. In grammar, she started identifying appositive phrases. Now that it’s October, we set aside Recipes from the World of Tolkien for the time being, and made a dinner from The Nightmare Before Christmas Cookbook, featuring Vampire Brothers Bloody Party Punch, Snake and Spider Stew, (an albondigas or Mexican meatball soup with fettuccine “snakes”), and Oogie Boogie Meringues.

Chickadee made factor trees in math, and reviewed multiplying three-digit numbers. We finished reading Heidi and started Homer Price. In history, she learned about the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and the Hyksos. We read about hyenas, mongooses, and meerkats in science, finishing the chapter on Feliforms. She put everything together that she’s learned in grammar so far to diagram some complex sentences. We also did a little baking together this week, making s’mores cookies from the My Little Pony Baking Book:

And we ended the week with a field trip to the pumpkin patch:

We’re already almost a quarter of the way done with the school year…I can’t believe it!

2022-23 School Year–Week Seven

Fun things first…on Monday, we went on a field trip to the St. Louis Zoo. Our top priorities were taking a look at some of the animals Chickadee has already learned about in science (mainly bears), and some she’s learning about next (the big cats). We were somewhat successful, although several exhibits we would have liked to visit were closed. We did see the polar bear, plus lions and leopards, which was good. And it was an absolutely beautiful day to be outside, which was even better!

This week was the week nobody was waiting for…Ladybug started working with imaginary numbers in algebra 2. She was less than thrilled. She finished Act IV of Romeo and Juliet and began Act V. In history, she read about Attila the Hun. She learned how to draw Lewis Structures in chemistry, and read about ionization energy. In writing, she worked on scripting internalization. We tried two new recipes from Recipes from the World of Tolkien: Whole-wheat molasses scones with molasses butter and Elvish white bread rolls:

In addition to those recipes, we also baked Romeo’s Sighs and Juliet’s Kisses cookies from our A Literary Tea Party cookbook…they were amazing! 

Chickadee worked on finding multiples and factors in math. She started learning about big cats in science…so far, we’ve discussed lions and tigers. In grammar, she learned how to identify and diagram direct and indirect objects. She read about the Yellow River Valley and Huang Di in history. We only have a few chapters left to read in Heidi! We watched a few episodes of Rick Steves’ Europe that were filmed in Switzerland to get a better idea of what her Alpine home might have looked like.

I hope the beautiful weather we’ve been enjoying sticks around, because we’re really enjoyed having the opportunity to do some of our schoolwork outside!

2022-23 School Year–Week Six

We didn’t have any field trips this week, but we spent all day Monday watching coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral (some of us were up by 3:30 a.m.!) and a few more documentaries about her life. It was an emotional day!

On Tuesday, we returned to our regular schoolwork. Ladybug worked with fractional exponents in algebra 2. She started Act IV of Romeo and Juliet. She compared Bohr’s model of the atom to the quantum mechanical model of the atom in chemistry. In history, she read about the sack of Rome and the Visigoths. We read my least favorite part of The Fellowship of the Ring: “In the House of Tom Bombadil”…that guy makes Dr. Seuss sound sane! We made Lake-Town beef pot roast with horseradish dumplings from Recipes from the World of Tolkien for dinner one night, and it was really delicious!

Chickadee did more rounding to the tens, hundreds, and thousands place in math. We finished reading about suborder Caniformia in science, ending the chapter with minks, otters, skunks, and raccoons. In grammar, she learned about adverbs that tell “to what extent” and also reviewed the other parts of speech we’ve done up until this point. She’s currently memorizing the poem from elementary school that Ladybug remembers best. “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. In history we read about the Indus River Valley and Mohenjo-Daro. We have reached the part in Heidi where they move to Dörfli for the winter.

Unusually for us, the first days of fall have actually felt like fall, and it looks like that trend is going to stick around, so I’m planning a day where we get out of the house and enjoy the weather early next week!

2022-23 School Year–Week Five

We spent a lot of time this week watching coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, but we did manage to get a lot of schoolwork done, too.

Ladybug factored polynomials in algebra 2. She read about Alaric and the Visigoths, and the division of Rome, in history. In chemistry, she learned about light, including wavelengths, amplitude, and frequency (having visited the ocean this summer made it easy to picture these concepts!). She finished finished Act III of Romeo and Juliet. In grammar, she worked on identifying infinitive phrases. As we continued to read The Fellowship of the Ring, we baked spiced pear and cranberry muffins from Recipes from the World of Tolkien.

Chickadee reviewed estimating sums and differences in math, and she also did some multi-step word problems. We read about different kinds of bears in science, including black bears, polar bears, and panda bears. In history, she learned about Shamshi-Adad and the “Epic of Gilgamesh.” We also read about Heidi’s return home to the mountains in literature. In grammar, she reviewed adjective and adverbs.

I was hoping for another outdoor field trip next week, but I don’t think that’s going to happen as we’re expecting a heatwave, but hopefully it won’t last too long, and we’ll have some fall weather to enjoy soon!

2022-23 School Year–Week Four

This week has been more…complicated than I expected. It started out pretty well, with a day off on Monday so we could see Moose march in the town Labor Day parade. And then on Tuesday, we had a field trip day to the Missouri History Museum (for the first time in almost three years!), to see the new Coloring STL exhibit. We had a really great time…how often are you encouraged to color on the walls of a museum?!?

Even I made a small contribution, because I found something mid-century marvelous!

On Wednesday, we got back to our regular work. Ladybug reviewed radicals in algebra 2. She began Act III of Romeo and Juliet. She learned about mixtures and compounds in chemistry. In history, she read about Flavius Theodosius and the Roman Catholic Church. Her creative writing course had her rewriting sentences to make them more interesting and less repetitive. We continued reading The Fellowship of the Ring, and baked Barliman Butternut’s Blackberry Pie, which was delicious!

Chickadee reviewed calculating area and perimeter in math. In science, she continued learning about order Carnivora by starting a chapter on bears. In history, she read a brief history of the Jewish people, focusing on Abraham and Joseph. She learned how to add adjectives to a sentence diagram in grammar. We continued reading Heidi, and to my relief, we have almost reached the part where she gets to go home to the mountains.

On Thursday, our school day was interrupted by the developing news in the United Kingdom, and we spent most of our day watching the BBC. Today, I decided we should continue to focus on the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, so we watched The King’s Speech and some of our royal documentaries. Hopefully, next week we’ll have a little more success staying on task!

2022-23 School Year–Week Three

We started the week with a field trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden, to take a look at the newly-opened visitors center and take a walk around the garden for the first time in several months.

It was a beautiful day to be out!

Ladybug reviewed scientific notation in algebra 2 (which also conveniently applies to chemistry, as well!). In creative writing, she practiced writing from the perspective of first person plural, which is pretty different from anything she’s done before. She had an introduction to The Periodic Table of the Elements in chemistry. In history, she read about Constantine’s heirs as well as Shapur II of Persia. She finished Act II of Romeo and Juliet. This week, we baked Bilbo‘s Seed-Cake from Recipes from the World of Tolkien.

Chickadee reviewed place value in math, as well as Roman numerals. She finished the second chapter in science, learning about different kinds of wild dogs including wolves, coyotes, foxes, and painted dogs. In history, she read about Cheops, the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza (as well as the Sphinx), and the mummification process. We continued to read Heidi, as well as The Fellowship of Ring.

I have another field trip planned for next week, and I’m really looking forward to it, because it’s to a place we haven’t visited since before the beginning of the pandemic!

2022-23 School Year–Week Two

I think we’re starting to feel comfortable with the new school year! Ladybug reviewed combining and simplifying fractions with variables. She finished both the first chapter in her chemistry text and the first act of Romeo and Juliet. In grammar, she worked on identifying gerund phrases. She read about the Jin in China and Chandragupta in India for history. At her request, I found a cookbook to go along with reading The Fellowship of the Ring, Recipes from the World of Tolkien. We made our first recipe from it this week, “Turin Turambar Tarragon Chicken,” and it was very good!

Chickadee reviewed simple equations and multiplication and division in math. She started learning about family Canidae in science. In history, she learned about ancient Egypt and Sumer, as well as hieroglyphics and cuneiform. We started reading my least favorite part of Heidi, when she goes to live in Frankfurt. She also got her very own library card this week!

I’m trying to make sure we get out of the house a little more this year…this week, we visited our local public library for the first time since before the pandemic started; next week, I’m hoping we might find time to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden and check out the new Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center!

2022-23 School Year–Week One

We survived the first week of school!

I think we got pretty much everything started this week. We’re using the Treasury of Daily Prayer for religion this year, so we can really focus on Scripture readings and additional writings. It’s nice to have something we can all do together! Ladybug got started with algebra 2…so far, she’s been reviewing exponents. Much to her dismay, she started reading Romeo and Juliet. She’s working on creative writing this year…I can’t wait to see what she comes up with! We picked up the second year of her grammar curriculum, which began with participle phrases. She also got started with chemistry, learning about matter, and reviewing conversions between systems of measurement. She started The History of the Medieval World by reading about Constantine.

Chickadee reviewed fractions and measurements in math. We started reading Heidi (which is historically not my favorite book, but I’m trying to embrace it). We reviewed nouns and proper nouns in grammar. She is restarting the four-year history cycle, so we started with how to study history and what archeology is, and how nomads became farmers. This year, she’s learning about land animals in science, but we started by talking about the different kinds of animal careers (she had already been thinking about being a vet someday!). Ladybug decided we should read the Lord of the Rings trilogy as a read-aloud, so we read the first chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring.

Next week, we’re planning on adding some cooking to our school days like we did last year…we’re going to be trying some recipes related to the Lord of the Rings!

First Day of School 2022

Today marks the start of my 15th year as a home educator!

We started the day with the Schultüte, as is our tradition:

I think they were a hit!

And of course I took pictures of my students…it’s still a little hard for me to believe that I’m down to two, and one of them is in her second year of high school!

We did some light schoolwork…religion, math, a read-aloud, and a bit of language arts. We’ll get into the rest of the subjects tomorrow, but the first day of school is mostly about fun, including building a new Lego set. I got something really different this year…an art set of Mickey Mouse, which was the perfect way to bridge summer school and our vacation to the new school year! And since we started school before everybody else, the rest of the children were still here to help!

It was (I think) a really fun build!

Here’s a closer look…I think I may get a second copy of this set for our last day of school, because there are alternate building instructions to make Minnie Mouse, and I would love to have a matching pair!

I think we got the school year off to the right start!

Schultüte 2022

Time for a look at my favorite first day of school tradition…the Schultüte! I enjoyed putting them together even more this year since I’ve been putting so much work into making our German/Austrian heritage a bigger part of our daily lives. I included all of the items you would expect…candies, school supplies, and a few fun things:

I wanted the fun items to reflect our vacation, so I added some Goofy blind bag pins, and some Lego Muppets minifigs:

This is always a fun beginning to the school year!