Pumpkin Picking in the Time of COVID-19

I was kind of worried about pumpkin picking this year. Actually, I had pretty much given up on the idea of us going, and I was planning on just buying a pumpkin when I went grocery shopping, because there was no way we were comfortable with piling into a tractor-pulled wagon with a bunch of people who would hopefully be wearing masks. But then I found out that most sincere pumpkin patch in the area, Braeutigum Orchards, was not only requiring masks and social distancing, they were also offering the option to walk to the pumpkin patch, and that was something we were all comfortable with! Yesterday was the perfect fall day, so we took a break from school to find the Great Pumpkin.

Actually, in some ways, in addition to being a slightly new and different experience, it was a superior experience. We got to see some parts of the farm up close for the first time ever, and it was beautiful:

There were still quite a few pumpkins left, even though it’s pretty late in the season. One thing I love about Braeutigum’s is the wide variety of pumpkin shapes and colors they offer. Being able to borrow one of their hand wagons was a fun new experience, and made our job much easier, too, which is how we ended up with four different pumpkins in three colors!

We stopped to visit the animals while we were there…we always see the chickens and turkeys, but we don’t usually get to see barn cats…we came across at least six of them!

Taking pictures was a little different this year, what with the masks and all, but it’s a memory.

Did I mention it was a beautiful day?

Of course we picked up apple cider and apple cider donuts to enjoy at home:

This was a really positive experience in a surreal time, and made yesterday feel almost like a normal day!

2020-21 School Year–Week Nine

Hymn of the Week–“Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” (Lutheran Service Book #655)

This week was a little strange. We had Monday off as part of our long weekend, and then we had what I’m calling “Documentary Day” on Tuesday. We watched various episodes from different shows covering nature (Frozen Planet), architecture/history (Great Estates of Scotland), American history (America: The Story of US), and biography (The Diamond Queen). This was a nice way to have a different and laid-back day of school, especially since we don’t have our usual field trips that we would enjoy going on for a break, and I think we may do it again at some point!

On to the rest of the week. Turkey and Bunny learned about the different kinds of joints in advanced biology. They read more about dreams and states of consciousness in psychology. We discovered that even our hymn study can include some humor, and although we weren’t expecting it, we had a good laugh when reading the text background for “Lord, Keep Up Steadfast in Your Word,” because it include a parody lyric that was popular at one point. They finished reading There are No Children Here for our study of US geography and cultures.

Ladybug learned about atoms and molecules, compounds and solutions in science, as well as the states of matter. She and Chickadee learned about the Boer Wars in history. She read about the death of Achilles in The Trojan War. Both she and Chickadee continued to work on their election lapbooks…here’s a look at some of what she added this week:

Chickadee continued to multiply two-digit numbers by one-digit numbers in math. We started reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins together. In spelling, she worked with “ee” and “ea” words. She learned about what gives feathers their color in science.

Also, we finally had an outing today! Our local pumpkin patch is offering some different options due to COVID-19, and I was very comfortable with how they’re doing things, so we went a picked a pumpkin (or four) this morning!!!

This was a nice, low-key week of school, and just what we needed!

2019-20 School Year–Week Nine

Let’s do something different this week, and recap all the special activities first!

We attended Legends and Lanterns in St. Charles, MO, last Saturday. If I was going to count a Halloween event as a field trip, this would be it. In addition to being a lot of fun, there’s also a lot to learn about characters from history and literature, and it’s become one of our family’s favorite annual events!

We took a four-mile walk around Creve Coeur Lake last Monday when Moose had the day off. This is another favorite annual event, but we missed out on it last year due to my broken ankle. We may actually repeat this activity later in the fall, when the fall foliage is at its peak!

And Thursday after school, we visited Braeutigum Orchards to pick a pumpkin (or two!):

Now on to the normal “stuff.” Turkey and Bunny worked on proving trigonometric identities in pre-calculus. In writing the practiced drafting questions without bias. They finally started “The Paradiso” in their study of The Divine Comedy. In physics, they learned about the parabolic motion of a projectile.

Ladybug worked with English and metric conversions in pre-algebra. She finished the chapter on simple machines in science. We started Anne of Green Gables, a book I really enjoy…I hope Ladybug will, too! She wrote a 600 word essay about horses using the brainstorming map she created last week.

Chickadee reviewed telling time in math. She also practiced counting by sevens. She continued to read about Venus in science. She started memorizing her fourth poem in First Language Lessons. She has also been doing a great job with her memory work in catechesis!

I don’t think I have anything particularly exciting on the schedule for this week, which is ok…we could use a couple of quiet days!

An October Afternoon at Braeutigum Orchards

Yesterday, the Fab Five and I headed out to Braeutigum Orchards to pick our pumpkin for the year. It was a beautiful day to be out…clear, and fairly cool, and lots to see:

We picked two pumpkins this year…a really cool pink and green one seen below:

And a beautiful yellow (yes, yellow!) pumpkin that I just couldn’t leave behind (I couldn’t leave the apple cider or the apple cider donuts behind, either!):

This is the third year in a row we’ve visited the pumpkin patch at Braeutigum Orchards, and I’m so glad we decided to start going there regularly, because it’s a lovely and friendly place!

Chickadee Thursday

Today we visited the most sincere pumpkin patch in the St. Louis area! As always, Chickadee loved the experience:

And a bonus picture from our visit to Legends and Lanterns in St. Charles, MO, last weekend. The first characters we ran into (Josephine Clofullia, who is better known as the Bearded Lady, and Captain George Costentenus, the tattooed prince), were eager to get a photo with her!

At the Pumpkin Patch

It seems like we visit the pumpkin patch later and later every year. I was really starting to think we weren’t going to pick one this fall, but we decided to head to Braeutigum Orchards to try to beat the rain after school on Thursday, and we were rewarded with what was one of the most perfect fall days we’ve had for pumpkin picking…it was just the right amount of chilly, which around here, can be hard to find in October!

2018-19 School Year–Week Eleven

Each week seems a bit crazier than the last!

Turkey and Bunny did begin conjugates in math, as promised. Fortunately, they mostly thought they weren’t too bad. Their history lessons focused on medieval India, particularly Java. They had their choice of writing either a horror or crime short story in creative writing. In science, they began dealing with polyatomic ions. They also finished the second act of Romeo and Juliet.

Ladybug thought math was interesting, because she got to work with base-2 this week. She finally got to meet the title character in Misty of Chincoteague. She learned about the Vikings, and a bit of Norse mythology in history. (I discovered how much of my knowledge of Norse mythology comes from the Marvel movies!) She also worked on rewriting sentences without using clich├ęs.

Chickadee started subtraction in math! She began her second I Can Read It book, and was very excited to discover that the first story is about a family of her favorite animal (the elephant). She had her first handwriting lesson that was not straight review, and got to use one of her fancy pieces of handwriting paper, which was very fun.

Yesterday, we had a field trip to the most sincere pumpkin patch we could find, where we picked out what Turkey thinks is our best pumpkin yet (not the biggest, but the one with the most perfect shape), and his standards are very high! Since we waited to go after Moose was done with school, I’m not sure it counts as a school field trip, but I’m going to share a picture anyway!

I have a few fun things planned in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, including our annual nature walk, but I’m still hoping that we can keep going without taking a full fall break!

Chickadee Thursday

We finally made it to the pumpkin patch today!

Chickadee had a great time inspecting all the pumpkins…

…until she discovered a few burrs stuck to her boots. She started shrieking, and would barely stand still long enough for me to pull them off. Once she finally calmed down, I was able to figure out what the problem was. She had never encountered a burr before, and thought she had “baby porcupines” stuck to her! In the end, she still had a great time, and I don’t think any of us will forget the porcupine story!