2023-24 School Year–Week Six

Ladybug read about Origen and Clement of Alexandria and their differing views on pagan philosophy in religion. She worked with angles of elevation and depression in pre-calculus. In physics she started solving problems involving two-dimensional motion. She learned about mental illness in health. We finished The Hound of the Baskervilles…the Divine Comedy is up next! She finished the second section of US history, focusing on the establishment of the colonies. In grammar she moved on to punctuating with quotation marks. She read about Henry II and Thomas Becket in world history.

Chickadee started reading about Moses in religion. She continued to work on long division using estimation in math, and reviewed giving back change. In science we started a unit on the digestive system. She continued to learn about the spread of the Islamic faith in history. In grammar she worked on subject-verb agreement. We continued our study of Anne of Green Gables, and made three more recipes from The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook…Creamy Butterscotch Pudding, Thick and Creamy Vegetable Soup, and Orange Angel Cake (just in time for our Michaelmas celebration today!):

Maybe next week it will actually cool off…we’d really like to get outdoors for a change of pace!

2023-24 School Year–Week Five

Ladybug read about Justin Martyr and Irenaeus in religion. She learned about arc functions in pre-calculus. In grammar, she finally finished all of the comma rules. She continued working with vectors in physics, with vector addition and calculating magnitude and direction of vectors. In US history, she read about John Smith and Christopher Newport and Jamestown. She learned about various forms of neurodivergence in health. In world history, she read about how the Almohads attempted to conquer Spain. There was a murder in The Hound of the Baskervilles!

Chickadee completed the section on the Patriarchs in religion by reading about Job. She worked through more complicated long division in math. In grammar she conjugated verbs. She read about Muhammad and the Five Pillars of Islam in history. She wrote a chronological narrative of a scientific discovery in writing. In science, we continued learning about the muscular system. We continued reading Anne of Green Gables and stuck with a dessert theme in our cooking adventures (following the chocolate cake we made last week), and baked Afternoon Ruby Tea Biscuits and Coconut Macaroons from The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook.

We have had some nice days mixed in here and there, but I’m hoping we’ll have true fall-like weather soon so we can get out of the house and do something fun!

2023-24 School Year–Week Four

Fun things first! We took some time out of our school day today to go to the library and visit our town’s Oktoberfest as long as we were downtown!

Ladybug read about the expansion of the early church in religion. She used the trig table to solve for an unknown in pre-calculus. In writing, she came up with a conflict for a story. She read about Jeong Jung-bu and the overthrow of the Goryeo Empire in Korea. There were even more comma rules in grammar. In physics, she started learning about two-dimensional vectors. She continued her literature study of The Hound of the Baskervilles. We also started reading The Two Towers.

Chickadee reviewed everyone’s favorite, long division, in math. She started a chapter about muscles in science. We started reading Felicity Learns a Lesson. She learned about Justinian and Theodora in history, and then moved on to the Gupta dynasty. In grammar, she reviewed simple, progressive, and perfect tenses. We read my favorite parts of Anne of Green Gables, when Anne cracked her slate over Gilbert’s head, and when Diana inadvertently got drunk when she came to tea. We also baked the Chocolate Goblin’s Food Cake from The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook:

“I just grow cold when I think of my layer cake. Oh, Diana, what if it shouldn’t be good! I dreamed last night that I was chased all around by a fearful goblin with a big layer cake for a head.” –Anne Shirley

2023-24 School Year–Week Three

This week, Ladybug learned how to work with trig tables in trigonometry. She continued to work with one-dimensional motion problems in physics, this week focusing on free fall and vertical velocity and acceleration. In grammar, she continued to work with comma rules. At this point, we’re really excited to see what happens next in The Hound of the Baskervilles! In US history, she started reading about early English colonization of the Americas. In world history, she read about Peter Abelard and his conflicts with Bernard of Clairvaux, as well as the Taira clan in Japan. She learned about neurotransmitters and synapses, as well as different kinds of brain injuries, in health.

Chickadee reviewed properties of multiplication and division in math. She practiced writing summaries of a narrative in both first and third person. In grammar, she reviewed diagramming the subject and predicate of a sentence. She continued learning about the skeletal system in science, including how bones heal. In history she read about the Byzantine Empire. We continued reading Anne of Green Gables, and made three more recipes from The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook: Chocolate Caramels, Old-Fashioned (Pink) Lemonade and “Cowcumber” Boats:

The weather next week is looking pretty promising, so hopefully we’ll get outdoors!

2023-24 School Year–Week Two

Ladybug read about Gnosticism in her study of the early church. She worked with secant, cosecant, and cotangent in pre-calculus. In grammar, she continued identifying the different comma rules. She started a new chapter in physics, focused on one-dimensional motion equations. In history, she read about Pope Eugenius III and the Second Crusade. She continued to read The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Chickadee reviewed the properties of addition and subtraction in math. In writing, she started constructing one-level outlines. She read more about Britain in the Middle Ages in history. In science we started a chapter on the skeletal system. She picked up her read-through of the American Girl stories with Meet Felicity. We continued reading Anne of Green Gables. We also started making recipes from The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook. For our first dinner, we started with one of the most famous items in Anne of Green Gables, “Diana Barry’s Favorite Raspberry Cordial.” We had “Miss Stacy’s Baked Macaroni” for the main course, and a side of “White Sands Scalloped Tomatoes.” For dessert, we had the other most famous recipe from the book, “Anne’s Liniment Cake” (but we substituted vanilla for the liniment!):

“Mercy on us, Anne, you’ve flavored that cake with Anodyne Liniment. I broke the liniment bottle last week and poured what was left into an old empty vanilla bottle. I suppose it’s partly my fault–I should have warned you–but for pity’s sake, why couldn’t you have smelled it?” –Marilla Cuthbert

We also celebrated “Back to Hogwarts” today, and Ladybug and Chickadee helped me prepare all of the dishes we made from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. We started the day with Oversized Blueberry Muffins with Crunchy Tops like Mrs. Weasley might have made for Harry on the morning of his hearing in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. No Harry Potter-themed day would be complete without Butterbeer like Harry enjoyed at Hogsmeade in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. We baked Hot Rolls like the ones made by Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For dinner, we had Creamy Onion Soup like Mrs. Weasley cooked in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We finished with Rhubarb Crumble with Custard Sauce from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

I’m so glad it’s September…bring on autumn!

2023-24 School Year–Week One

We’ve officially finished the first week of the 2023-24 school year! Before I recap the work we’ve done, here’s a look back at the fun we had on our first day last Friday:

We really got to work on Monday. Ladybug is trying out something new for religion this year…a study of the history of the early church, which has her reading Eusebius’ History of the Church and The Early Church by Henry Chadwick. She completed her first pre-calculus/trigonometry lesson which was a review of sine, cosine, and tangent. She blew through the first chapter in physics, which focused on velocity and acceleration. She also started her health textbook. We began a literature study of The Hound of the Baskervilles. In grammar she learned about comma rules. She practiced creating dialogue in writing. She has two history classes this year…world history, where she read about Pope Paschal II and one of the many Crusades she will learn about this year, and U.S. history, where she is studying pre-Columbian America.

Chickadee began another read-through of the Bible in religion. Her math lessons were primarily review, focusing heavily on fractions and place value with decimals. We’re trying a new grammar curriculum this year, and she reviewed nouns, proper nouns, and proper adjectives. In history, she read about the Fall of Rome and the Celts in Britain. She practiced writing short narratives in writing. We started reading one of my favorite books, Anne of Green Gables…we’re also really looking forward to trying some recipes from The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook. In science she’s studying anatomy, so we began with learning all about cells, and we made an edible model of a cell to go along with what we read:

This week has been unbearably hot, so we haven’t even thought of doing anything outside of the house, but I’m hoping to find a fun field trip soon!

Schultüte 2023

It’s the first day of school, and that means it’s time for our favorite beginning-of-the-school-year tradition…Schultüte!

This year, I wasn’t able to find Lego minifigs, and I also didn’t see any pins I liked, so I found a few new things to add to the cones…pencil toppers that are absolutely adorable (both girls got rare characters, too!), and bag charms:

The fancy pens I found were also a popular item!

I really love that we continue this tradition every year!

First Day of School 2023

I decided to do something different this year, and start the new school year on a Friday, so we could spend a day doing only the fun, first-day-of-school stuff, and not worry about diving into the work until next week. Last night, I made sure the school room was ready to go…I made a few minor changes this year, but for the most part, our setup is the same as it has been:

I also got the Schultüte assembled:

After we look through our materials for the year, pictures are always a priority:

I decided we needed a fun outing to kick things off, so we drove all the way to Livingston, IL (about 40 minutes away) to the Twistee Treat Diner at The Pink Elephant for ice cream cones. It’s on Historic Route 66, and we’ve driven by it every time we’ve gone to Chicago, and I thought the time was finally right to check it out!

Would it even be the first day of school if we didn’t build a Lego set? I decided the Disney Villains Icons set would be a nice bridge from our fairy tale themed summer school…it’s a very clever set, and the girls let me build the Sleeping Beauty part. We’ll just ignore the hard time they gave me over the VHS tape build!

A (poison) apple for the teacher!

Ladybug requested a special dinner from Lilo and Stitch: The Official Cookbook. She really wanted to try the Pelekai Sweet and Sour Pork, and it was excellent! I also made a super decadent, super chocolatey cheesecake for dessert.

I really liked starting the school year this way…it was nice not to have to immediately get started on our actual work! I think we just might do it this way again next year (which will be Ladybug’s last first day of school with me)!