2019-2020 School Year–Week Two

One thing I’ll say about this school year so far…I hardly have time to catch my breath!

Turkey and Bunny worked with a chart of trigonometric ratios in pre-calculus. They’re both really enjoying their study of The Divine Comedy…they’re over halfway through with “The Inferno.” They finished their first chapter in physics, and are looking forward to their first test next week. In history they read about the great failure that was the Second Crusade. They also learned about some of the first European explorers who visited the Americas in US history.

Ladybug reviewed prime factorization in pre-algebra…she really enjoys making factor trees. In history, she learned about King James, as well as Samuel Champlain and the search for the Northwest Passage. She continued her study of The Hobbit, and finished her additional reading of The Fellowship of the Ring, and started The Two Towers. She also finished her first chapter in science, which focused on the history of scientific discovery.

Chickadee continued to review in math. She worked on several narrations about the story of Pinocchio in writing. She also finished her first chapter of science…at least she doesn’t have to worry about taking a test yet! She’s reading one chapter every day in The Beginner’s Bible for her phonics practice. We got to read one of my favorite chapters in Little House in the Big Woods today!

We also (finally) got back to the tennis courts this week, and had an absolutely beautiful morning to play…I’m looking forward to more beautiful fall weather in the days ahead!

I’ve also been trying to add some extra fun activities into our school days. For example, during lunch, we’ve been watching re-runs of Good Eats, which is a fun way to learn a little extra science (and find some new recipes we want to try!). We’ve also been playing more board games when we have time…our new favorite is Sagrada, which is, as the name suggests, based on the stained glass in the perpetually-under-construction cathedral (a place Ryan has actually had the opportunity to visit!). It’s a fun game, and very different from anything we’ve played before, which means we’re learning to think a bit differently to play…always a good thing!

I have to confess, I also did finally do some rearranging of the school room this week…I guess I just wasn’t satisfied leaving well enough alone! I’m not sure if I’m done yet, so photos will have to wait until I know for sure!

My Favorite Things–Games

Board Games

Ticket to Ride–Any and all varieties of this game rock! This family of games is my all time favorite of anything I’ve ever played. The board games, (Europe, Switzerland, Märklin, USA 1910) the card game–I’m even assuming the Xbox version is good. Each game has unique characteristics, so while the basis of the game remains the same, there are differences from version to version that make them all fun. Whether it’s the addition of stations, passengers, or ferries and tunnels, there’s a lot going on in this series. And the new card game has a whole other type of play that is confusing, intriguing and fun. It’s weird, because I don’t win too often, but I can’t help but love it. Now if I could just import a copy of the Nordic Countries board…it’s like Ticket to Ride, Christmas edition!

Mystery of the Abbey–Like Clue, but harder, and much more liturgical. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not very good at this one, but the game itself is so enjoyable, I don’t even mind losing! You even get to ring the bell when it’s time for Mass.

Yahtzee–Poker with dice. How can you go wrong?

Trivial Pursuit–I admit that my husband is the one in the family who is really good at this game, but as a child, I looked forward to the day when I would be allowed to participate (the adults always paired up men vs. women when the family got together), so it still feels special to me to get to play.

Card Games

Uno–I grew up on this one, and it will always be my favorite card game.

Phase 10–It can take a long time to play, but it’s a fun family game, good for having a conversation over.

Rage–I haven’t played this one too many times yet, but it’s easy to understand, moves quickly, and is quite fun, and that’s high praise from me as far as card games go!

Computer Games

Adventure–Remember the old text adventure game? My dad introduced me to it when I was quite young, and his work had finally given him a computer to use at home. I inevitably ended up in a “maze of twisty little passages, all different,” or, for kicks, a “maze of twisty little passages, all alike.” Good times, good times.

Tetris–I don’t care if it’s played on an old computer, a Gameboy or a more advanced game system. It can have extra features (cubes, anyone?) or be the plain old game. No matter what format it comes in, I love it, and it will make me crazy!

SolitaireFreecell, Spider, 40 Thieves–I love ’em all.

Age of Empires–Given my love of history, this was always an intriguing game to play. I especially liked building cathedrals.

Zoo Tycoon–If you ever wondered what it would be like to manage a zoo, this game fulfills the fantasy. Be careful–if you don’t have proper upkeep on your exhibits, the animals will escape!

Roller Coaster Tycoon–I haven’t really played since college, but man, was that a fun game!

Video Games

Bejeweled–You can play this game in so many formats–on your phone, the Xbox, the computer. I can’t believe I couldn’t get any achievements on the Xbox version!

Zuma–For a while last year, my children referred to the Xbox as the “Zuma machine” because that’s all I played on it.

Mario Kart–I have loved every incarnation of this game I have played, but my favorite is still the Nintendo 64 version (but the Wii version is a close second!). I love driving around with Yoshi.

Zelda: Ocarina of Time–I think this is the best Zelda ever, and maybe the best video game I’ve ever played. The story was good, the setting was pretty, I liked the characters. Of course, Ryan had to beat a lot of the bosses for me, but I still had a good time!

Mario 64–True to form, (the first version of any game I play tends to be my favorite–see Mario Kart and Zelda above), this is my favorite of the Mario games. I was introduced to video games late in life (thank you Ryan!), so while I had some peripheral experiences with Mario at friends’ houses, I never really played until college. I still love sitting down with this game, if only to run around the castle. At this point, I could do most levels in my sleep, but it’s entertaining and cute.