2021-22 School Year–Week Six

Fall is finally here and this was a beautiful week for school! On Tuesday, we enjoyed a cool (albeit rainy) walk around Forest Park and the St. Louis Zoo:

Ladybug learned about complementary and supplementary angles in geometry this week. In her study of comparative religions, she traveled to the Far East, where she read about Shintoism, Confucianism, and Taoism. She started learning about ecology in biology. We finished the first book of Little Women, and made a bunch of new recipes from The Little Women Cookbook: Meg’s chicken and macaroni soup (plus more maple-cornmeal drop biscuits), oatmeal porridge with apples, cinnamon, and maple syrup, Meg’s macaroni and cheese, vanilla butter cookies with Mr. Bhaer’s chocolate drops, Hannah’s smoked sausage and potato “mess” and Meg’s currant jelly sauce:

Chickadee worked on rounding in math, including rounding money. She started learning about pinnipeds in science…so far, we’ve learned how to identify a true seal. We worked on diagramming adverbs in grammar. We finished our first trip around the world, and made three new recipes…a meat pie which was surprisingly well-received, plus damper bread, both from Australia, and a blueberry crumble with “snowballs” (vanilla ice cream) from Canada:

Since the weather was so nice, we spent some extra time doing our school work outside this week…I especially enjoyed reading Little Women under the tree in our yard!

It’s supposed to warm back up, so I guess next week won’t be quite as pleasant as this one was, but more beautiful fall days are on the way!

2021-22 School Year–Week Three

We had a fun week of school! On Monday, we got to visit a sunflower field, something I’ve been wanting to do for months, but hadn’t gotten around to. It was a beautiful morning, and seeing that many bright and cheerful flowers was a really nice way to start the week!

Ladybug worked on measuring and drawing angles in geometry. She learned a little about the periodic table and chemical formulas in biology. We discussed ancient forms of writing in history. We read one of my favorite chapters in Little Women…Camp Laurence. I love the part where they play “rigamarole!” We also made two recipes from The Little Women Cookbook this week…Amy’s lemonade, which had the added flavors of orange and clove (so tasty!), and Amy’s “Christmas Day” muffins, which really did taste like Christmas thanks to orange, cranberry, and cinnamon. I’m a little disturbed that three of the four recipes we’ve tried are attributed to Amy, but the next bunch of recipes on the schedule represent a more wide variety of characters, which is good.

Chickadee reviewed Roman numerals in math, as well as adding and subtracting fractions. We started reading about whales in science. She reviewed verbs in grammar. In our study of geography, we traveled to Africa, where we visited Egypt and made a simplified version of palace bread, and Kenya, where the featured recipe was tapioca pudding with pineapple. I especially loved the pudding!

I haven’t decided if we’re having school on Monday or not, but at the very least, we’re looking forward to not having to get up early!

First Day of School 2021

Just like that, our 14th year of homeschooling has begun!

Ironically, while the roster of my homeschool has changed dramatically, with Turkey and Bunny starting college next week, and Moose returning to in-person learning later this week after almost 18 months of distance learning here at home, the school room looks pretty much the same as it did last year…this may be the least it has ever changed between school years!

It is pretty strange having only two students, though!

The number of students may have changed, but our traditions didn’t:

And we did have a few guests, which made things feel a little more normal:

I wanted to make our first day of school extra special, so we made lemon-poppyseed waffles and lemon-blueberry sauce for lunch:

And of course we built a Lego set…this time, the Taj Mahal:

Our “Farewell to Summer” dinner had a local theme, so I decided to also go with a theme for our “First Day of School” dinner…Chicago-style hot dogs and Portillo’s chocolate cake for a Windy City theme!

It was a very different first day of school in some ways, but there were also familiar moments, and it was nice to get started while everyone was still at home before they go their separate ways!

K to 8

Today, Ladybug graduates from eighth grade! Here’s a look back at every first day of school she’s had, from kindergarten through 8th grade:

And a last day of 8th grade picture, too:

On to high school!

Fourteen (on Mother’s Day)!

It’s not often that Ladybug’s birthday falls on Mother’s Day (I think it happened once before), but this year, we got to have a double celebration! After church, she got right to opening presents…I think she was pretty happy with the things she received!

This afternoon, we watched a few of her favorite movies, while I worked on dinner. For the second year in a row, she requested cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes…I think my cabbage rolling technique was much better this year, because they really didn’t fall apart in the cooking process!

She asked me to make a mirror glaze for her cake, which is not something I’d done before. Fortunately, I did a test run last month, so I knew what needed improvement, and in the end, I think I may have reached the pinnacle of my cake decorating abilities with this dessert! Yes, there is edible glitter on it!

And here’s a little glimpse at Mother’s Day (although the Oreo truffle bouquet is technically from last weekend, but it was made for a Mother’s Day celebration, so I think it still counts):

Happy Birthday Ladybug!

Sartorial Saturday–Unicorns and Pegasus

Anyone else feeling a bit whimsical?

I love this new print designed by Hope Morrison for Pinup Girl Clothing. The Unicorns and Pegasi bring just the right amount of whimsy, and the bright colors against the black background of the skirt make it so easy to accessorize. This time, I went with a bright Yemak cropped cardigan and stack of Splendette duchess bangles, but black gloves, belt, and Erstwilder brooch.

It’s the perfect outfit for transitioning to spring!

Ladybug also loves this print, and purchased the Ella dress, a style I’ve never worn, but she really likes.

Pinup Girl is also going to be offering a peasant top in this lovely shade of mint, and I’m really looking forward to getting it to wear instead of this Sabrina top as it gets warmer!

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!