2018-19 School Year–Week One

We are back to work in our 11th year of homeschooling!

Monday was basically a fun day, with all of our traditional 1st Day of School activities…getting all the new books organized, opening the schultüte, and building a new Lego set.

After that we, dove right in. Turkey and Bunny are studying algebra 2 in 10th grade this year, so they began by reviewing exponents, absolute value, factoring, and order of operations. To go along with algebra 2, they’re also studying chemistry, and they practiced converting from one set of units to another to begin that text. They also started their creative writing books and the first chapter of their medieval history book. They only thing they really haven’t gotten into yet is their first literature study of the year, which is Romeo and Juliet.

Ladybug is excited, because her 6th grade year is somewhat horse-themed. She dove right into her equine science lessons, learning about the anatomy of the horse, and the differences in a few different breeds. She’ll begin her horse literature next week with White Stallion of Lipizza. She also worked on some review in math, focusing mainly on place value and equivalent fractions.

Chickadee is very excited about being in first grade! Her reading skills have improved tremendously over the summer, which is weird, because we didn’t practice too much. Her math skills also improved, which is no surprise, because she’s very numbers-oriented. She no longer needs any help counting to 100 or counting by fives! She’s already enjoying reading through In Grandma’s Attic (and I think her siblings are enjoying hearing those stories again, too!).

We also almost always go on a field trip the first week of school. This year, I had a few options, but I decided we should check out the new museum at the Gateway Arch. It’s very well done!

Picking the museum downtown turned out to be a good option, because we discovered that Fredbird was making an appearance at Kiener Plaza, and we always love an excuse to stop and say “hi” to him!

Next week, we’ll pick up the few remaining subjects we haven’t already started, and really get down to the business of learning!

The First Day of Junior High!

Today is Moose’s first day of junior high!

This is definitely going to be a different experience. For the last almost 10 years, he has attended the same school, with the same people, and has only had a few teachers each year. This year, there will be new faces, a different room for every class, and many new experiences. I hope it will be a great year for him!

First Day of School 2018

We have officially begun the 2018-19 school year!

Our first day of school is pretty much the same from year to year…the children get their new workbooks, and open their schultüte:

We do a little work (today that included religion, foreign language, and reading time):

And then build our first day of school Lego set…this year, it’s the Hogwarts Great Hall!

Tomorrow we’ll get into more serious work, but for today, we mostly had fun!

Schultüte 2018

Another first day of school means another opportunity to put together schultüte for my students! This year, in addition to the standard crayons, glue, candies, pens, and pencils, I went with a Harry Potter theme, and added a pin and a Lego minifig to each cone.

The children were very excited, because they each received a unique minifig, which is pretty hard to accomplish with blind bag items!

I’m always happy we added this tradition to our first day of school celebrations…it’s so much fun!

Ready for the First Day of School!

Our super-fun summer has just sped by, and tomorrow it’s already time for the first day of school! To make our last week of vacation extra special, I prepared everyone’s favorite meal (with some exceptions…for example, no one was allowed to request Thanksgiving dinner!). Our lineup for the past week was:

  • Amanda–Reuben casserole
  • Turkey–Stromboli
  • Bunny–Brazilian black bean stew with Pao de Queijo and Brazilian lemonade
  • Moose–French toast with bacon and cranberry-pineapple juice
  • Ladybug–Creamy onion soup with Irish soda bread and pumpkin fizz
  • Chickadee–Mac ‘n’ cheese with bacon
  • Ryan–Cock-a-leekie pie

Tonight we had a “Farewell to Summer” dinner of hot dogs (including Chicago-style and chili dogs) and brats, with a special cream puff dessert:

The school room has been cleaned and organized, and for once, there really haven’t been any significant changes in the way it’s arranged! We’ve either found a really good layout that works for us, or we’ve run out of room to make any changes…or most likely, a combination of the two!

And the First Day of School outfits are ready to go…we’re going with a Harry Potter theme this year!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of our 11th year of homeschooling. As always, I am both excited and terrified, but one thing is for sure…I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

2017-18 School Year–Week One

The first week of the 2017-18 school year is already behind us! This year, I have two ninth graders, a fifth grader, and a Kindergartener!

We started on Tuesday, so it was a short, four-day week. And the first day of school is always mostly fun…finding out what’s in this year’s schultüte, handing out books and organizing desks, taking lots of pictures, and building a Lego set. The latter took several hours, as it is the largest Lego set (the Lego Ideas Saturn V), that we’ve ever built in school. It was a fun project that everyone got to help with (we intentionally started before Moose’s first day of school so he could participate), and was educational, thanks to the fantastic extra details in the instruction book.

On Wednesday, we had a pretty full day of school, beginning most of our subjects for the year, from high school geometry and biology to fifth grade math, spelling, and vocabulary, all the way down to reading Ramona the Pest out loud and Kindergarten handwriting. But then we took a break from our work on Thursday to go on our first field trip of the school year, to see The Discovery of King Tut at the St. Louis Science Center. It was a fantastic exhibit, full of extremely well done replicas from Tut’s tomb, and was also a great way to kick off our history studies for the year, as everyone is going to be studying ancient history in one way or another.

Today we finished off with another regular school day. The only subject we haven’t started yet is our various literature studies (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to start for Turkey and Bunny, and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for Ladybug), which we will add to our schedule next week. I’ll close with something new for this year…I chose a Bible verse to be our theme for the year for the first time ever, and I think our chosen verse of Philippians 4:8 is an especially good reminder with all the chaos in the world right now:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”