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!

Chickadee Thursday

On Sunday we went to Grant’s Farm. It’s the first time we’ve been then for a normal visit since before COVID-19, and we found that we didn’t like some of the changes they’ve made, but Chickadee still had a great time!

Grant’s Farm in the Time of COVID-19

It’s been a long time since we’ve been to Grant’s Farm!

Last week, the day before they announced the opening of the park to regular guests, we took a private “Deer Park Adventure” tour. We’ve been on a private expedition at Grant’s Farm once before, but it was before Chickadee was born, and long enough ago that Moose and Ladybug really didn’t remember it. I decided we needed a special end-of-the-school-year activity, especially after the last 15 months of staying home and missing all of our usual (not to mention spontaneous!) field trips. The tour was very much like I remembered it from last time…we got to ride in a safari van with a great driver and narrator who made the experience amazing, and go on trails not taken by the normal trams, and see the grounds up close and personal! Of course, some things were different, from temperature checks and masks to being pretty much the only visitors in the park, and not getting to see some familiar things like the Tiergarten and the Clydesdales, but such is life during COVID-19.

We had a nice moment for a family photo in front of Hardscrabble cabin before we took a peek inside the house built by Ulysses S. Grant:

Probably the best part of the private tour is getting up close to the animals:

We even got to hand-feed some of them, including elk, buffalo (a buffalo actually licked me!), and, of course, goats:

This was a fun and memorable activity, and I’m really glad we had the chance to do something special as a family before the school year ends. I’m looking forward to going back now that they’re open to the general public again, too!

2020-21 School Year–Week Thirty-Three

Hymn of the Week–“Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise” (Lutheran Service Book #917)

The penultimate week of the 2020-21 school year (and the penultimate week of Turkey’s and Bunny’s high school careers!) is complete!

Turkey and Bunny really don’t have a ton of work left, but they did fly through the chapter on the urinary system in advanced biology. They also continued their poetry study, covering classics like “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” “Sonnet 43,” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” We also discussed some of the complexities of the Vietnam War in our study of US Geography and Culture.

Ladybug continued to review in algebra to prepare for the final exam. She and Chickadee started our fun, end-of-the-year study of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” in history. In science, she learned about rocks and minerals, and we started “growing” a new batch of crystals:

Chickadee also did review in math. We finished reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. She learned about grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids in science. In grammar, she learned about contractions (even though she discovered that she actually already knew them!).

Since we’ve had so few field trips in the last year-plus, I splurged on a private tour of Grant’s Farm, something we did years ago before Chickadee was born. It was a fun experience, and so nice to visit again after almost two years!

We also stopped by the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, White Haven. We’ve driven past it every time we’ve visited Grant’s Farm, but never actually went in. We weren’t up for the house tour yet, but we did enjoy walking around the grounds!

Next week is it, and I’m not sure that I’m ready prepared…I think it’s going to be a very emotional week!

Chickadee Thursday

This has been an exciting week! On Tuesday, Chickadee had her first appointment with the orthodontist and had spacers put it in…next month, she’s going to have a few brackets attached, as well!

And yesterday, we went on a Deer Park Adventure Tour at Grant’s Farm, which was a blast! We went on a private expedition there many years ago, before Chickadee was born, and this was a similar experience, and currently the only tour they’re offering before they reopen the park following COVID-19 restrictions. We were pretty much the only people there besides employees!

It’s going to be hard to top the excitement of this week!

2019-20 School Year–Week Seven

What a week! I keep wondering when things are going to slow down, but at this point, almost a quarter of the way into the school year (!!!), maybe I just have to realize they’re not going to…

Turkey and Bunny finally reached something in pre-calculus that made them pause (a bit)…they started a chapter on reference angles. They were a little confused, until they realized that they were basically learning about the same thing in physics in regard to vectors, and then it all came together, which was exciting for me as a teacher to watch! Their US history lessons focused on troublemakers in colonial America: Roger and Abigail Williams (surprisingly, they were unrelated!). They practiced utilizing different points-of-view in writing.

Ladybug worked with metric conversions in pre-algebra, which was pretty easy. She is almost done with her literature study of The Hobbit. We were sad when Lake-town was destroyed! In history, she read about the self-imposed isolation of Japan in the late 1500s. She practiced composing different styles of introductions and conclusions in writing.

Chickadee started her study of Tales from Beatrix Potter in literature, beginning with the story of Peter Rabbit. We also read the “Tippy Bunnies” stories by Candace Fleming, because they have so many things in common with the story of Peter. She worked on carrying numbers to the hundreds place in math. She also finished the chapter on Mercury in science…Venus is up next!

We also played a new game this week. While we’ve already enjoyed Chrononauts and Chrono-Trek, this is the first time we’ve played Early American Chrononauts. Turkey and Bunny are edging closer to the Revolutionary War in their study of US history, so I thought this would be a fun addition, because I really like talking about the domino effect that is events throughout history, and this really helps us visualize just how differently things could have ended up. I hope to play √úberChrononauts with them soon!

And for a little extra fine arts education, we attended two different organ recitals this week. While we are very familiar with organ music within the church service, it’s a completely different experience to hear the organ playing on its own, especially when you have the opportunity to hear an artist like Christopher Houlihan play on an exceptional instrument!

And finally, we did get to go on another field trip this week, this time to Grant’s Farm, because not only was it pleasant out, it actually felt like fall!!! This is the outdoor field trip I’ve been saving for really pleasant weather, and we weren’t disappointed. And even though we’ve been to Grant’s Farm countless times, we all learned something new (and we heard the call of an elk for the first time, which was something special!).

I can’t wait to see what next week has in store!

Stripes and Umbrellas

I have been meaning to wear this striped jailbird top and Mary Blair umbrella print Jenny skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing¬†for months, but for some reason I never got around to it. I finally thought to put the outfit together over the weekend, for our visit to Grant’s Farm. I don’t care what “they” say about plus-size women wearing stripes…I love the way the black and white looks with the pink! This is one of those outfits that just makes me immediately happy when I put it on!


What fashion “rules” do you like break?

An October Morning at Grant’s Farm

I was beginning to think that we weren’t going to make it to Grant’s Farm at all this year, but we managed to sneak in a visit the last weekend they’re open! It was a little warmer than I was hoping yesterday (I’m still waiting for fall to really arrive), but it was a beautiful day to be out:

We saw lots of animals, both during the tram ride through the Deer Park, and at the Tier Garten:

Every time we walk through the Bauernhof, I see something new, and I always feel like I’ve been transported to Germany!

I’m glad we finally made it out there…it’s still one of my favorite places to visit in St. Louis!