2022-23 School Year–Week Eleven

Ladybug learned how to complete the square in algebra 2. In chemistry, she learned the difference between chemical and physical changes and we did a few fun experiments to demonstrate the concepts. She read about the Americas in the 600s in history, which put us in the mood to visit Cahokia Mounds in a few weeks. She worked on rewriting selections in her own voice in writing. We also made a few more recipes from The Nightmare Before Christmas cookbook…The Mayor Chocolate Pretzel Spiderwebs, Mummy Boy Dogs, Oogie Boogie Bag of Bugs (roast Brussels sprouts with cranberries and pepitas and a balsamic glaze), and Christmas Town Gingerbread Snowflakes with Spiders.

Chickadee learned how to calculate simple exponents in math, and made more complex factor trees. She started the chapter on primates in science. In history, we read about the return of the Assyrians and Ashurbanipal and the library of Nineveh. She reviewed subject and object pronouns in grammar. We started the final chapter of Homer Price…it’s gone by very quickly!

On Thursday, we took a break from our regular schoolwork and used our Missouri Botanical membership to take a 5 mile hike around Shaw Nature Reserve. It’s the first time we’ve been there for anything other than Prairie Days, so it was really our first chance to explore the property. We especially liked the trail down to the Meremec River, but the whole place is beautiful, and we’d like to go back in the spring!

I can’t believe we’re headed toward November…it’s always one of my favorite months for school!

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!

2022-23 School Year–Week Seven

Fun things first…on Monday, we went on a field trip to the St. Louis Zoo. Our top priorities were taking a look at some of the animals Chickadee has already learned about in science (mainly bears), and some she’s learning about next (the big cats). We were somewhat successful, although several exhibits we would have liked to visit were closed. We did see the polar bear, plus lions and leopards, which was good. And it was an absolutely beautiful day to be outside, which was even better!

This week was the week nobody was waiting for…Ladybug started working with imaginary numbers in algebra 2. She was less than thrilled. She finished Act IV of Romeo and Juliet and began Act V. In history, she read about Attila the Hun. She learned how to draw Lewis Structures in chemistry, and read about ionization energy. In writing, she worked on scripting internalization. We tried two new recipes from Recipes from the World of Tolkien: Whole-wheat molasses scones with molasses butter and Elvish white bread rolls:

In addition to those recipes, we also baked Romeo’s Sighs and Juliet’s Kisses cookies from our A Literary Tea Party cookbook…they were amazing! 

Chickadee worked on finding multiples and factors in math. She started learning about big cats in science…so far, we’ve discussed lions and tigers. In grammar, she learned how to identify and diagram direct and indirect objects. She read about the Yellow River Valley and Huang Di in history. We only have a few chapters left to read in Heidi! We watched a few episodes of Rick Steves’ Europe that were filmed in Switzerland to get a better idea of what her Alpine home might have looked like.

I hope the beautiful weather we’ve been enjoying sticks around, because we’re really enjoyed having the opportunity to do some of our schoolwork outside!

First Day of School 2022

Today marks the start of my 15th year as a home educator!

We started the day with the Schultüte, as is our tradition:

I think they were a hit!

And of course I took pictures of my students…it’s still a little hard for me to believe that I’m down to two, and one of them is in her second year of high school!

We did some light schoolwork…religion, math, a read-aloud, and a bit of language arts. We’ll get into the rest of the subjects tomorrow, but the first day of school is mostly about fun, including building a new Lego set. I got something really different this year…an art set of Mickey Mouse, which was the perfect way to bridge summer school and our vacation to the new school year! And since we started school before everybody else, the rest of the children were still here to help!

It was (I think) a really fun build!

Here’s a closer look…I think I may get a second copy of this set for our last day of school, because there are alternate building instructions to make Minnie Mouse, and I would love to have a matching pair!

I think we got the school year off to the right start!

First Day of Tenth Grade

Ladybug is a sophomore now! She’s especially looking forward to the second of year of the history cycle (the medieval period), and doing more cooking (this year’s cooking theme is The Lord of the Rings).

Back at Busch

Yesterday, for the first time in I’m not even sure how long (at least five years!), the whole family went to a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium! We took a walk around Ballpark Village when we arrived downtown:

It’s changed a lot in the last few years!

We stopped to say “hi” to Stan, of course:

And then got in line almost an hour before the gates opened:

The reason we got in line so early was to make sure we were there in time for the giveaway…Molina and Wainwright Mystery Championship Replica Rings. This is my favorite type of giveaway, and they’re really nice!

Our seats were excellent…we were in the last row, so we had a nice breeze, and we were in the shade for pretty much the entire game! Plus, we could see the Arch, which is always nice.

When we were walking around, we found this cool life-size bobblehead of Ladybug’s favorite player who isn’t named Albert Pujols:

And Bunny, Chickadee, and I went in search of Fredbird:

Ballpark food is the best!

It was the perfect day. We got to see everyone’s favorite battery (Wainwright and Molina) start their 316th game together, putting them in a tie for second place on the all-time battery list! And we got to see Tommy Edman get his first walk-off, which was a total thrill! We couldn’t have asked for a better ending!

It was so good to be back at my favorite place!

The only thing that could have made today better is if we had gotten to see Pujols bat, but we did see him in the dugout, so we’ll call that good enough, and the perfect day at Busch!

2021-22 School Year–The Final Field Trip

The 2021-22 School Year officially ended a week ago, but yesterday, we took our final trip of the year…we visited the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station, something I promised Chickadee we would do after she finished her science course about swimming creatures. Since Bunny is done with finals, she was able to come along, too, so we had a full girls’ day out!

There were lots of hands-on opportunities…we even got nibbled by “Doctor Fish” and high-fived by sting rays!

It wasn’t too crowded when we arrived, so we had lots of good views and were able to take our time:

We walked around outside for a bit after we were done:

And we even went inside the Union Station hotel to take a look at their beautiful lobby:

This was a fun field trip, and a great way to wrap-up our school year!

2021-22 School Year–Week Thirty-Two

And just like that, the 2021-22 school year has come to an end! The week was mostly spending time outdoors (our daily walk is now at about four miles, even in the unpleasant heat we’ve been having!) and wrapping things up.

Ladybug took her final geometry exam (and got an “A”!). She finished the chapter on mammals in biology by reading about learned and innate behaviors, and various forms of conditioning. She also finished her astronomy course by learning about celestial navigation…she even used Google Earth to find the approximate coordinates of our house! We finished her study of religious writings by reading about the Book of Mormon. She read about Constantine in history. To conclude our study of Henry V, we watched The Hollow Crown, episode four.

Chickadee also finished up math by reviewing equations, fractions, and how to cross multiply and divide. We read about sponges in science (we do still have one field trip left related to her study of aquatic animals…stay tuned!). She reviewed all of the parts of speech she’s learned by diagramming some fairly long sentences. We wrapped up our study of US geography by learning about Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington D.C.

As always, we built a Lego set to celebrate the last day of school (and since Turkey and Bunny were home at an unusual time due to their finals schedule, they were able to lend a hand):

This was a different year for all of us, and it took some getting used to. I’m really glad we did some very different things this year instead of trying to force things to be “normal” (reading Little Women, especially outside under our tree when the weather was nice, and cooking together were my favorite moments of the school year), and even though things felt strange a lot of the time, as always, I’m sad to see the school year end!

Fifteen!

Today is Ladybug’s 15th birthday! We did a lot of our celebrating yesterday, because it’s more fun to have a birthday on the weekend, but she waited until this morning to open presents:

I think she liked them!

Her birthday dinner came entirely from The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Online Cookbook…Pixieberry tea, cabbage rolls (her birthday dinner of choice for three years running!), and rye bread:

For her cake, I re-created (or tried to) a chocolate cake she had a few years ago, with white and milk chocolate mousse fillings and chocolate ganache. I wasn’t entirely thrilled with how it turned out (the mousses weren’t as stiff as they should have been, and I wanted the ganache to drizzle, not cover so well, so you could see the fillings), but she liked it, and it was delicious, which is all that really matters!

Happy Birthday Ladybug!