Today is Moose’s last day of junior high (his virtual graduation is yet to come, on Thursday). Let’s take a look back at every first day of school from kindergarten through 8th grade!
And his last days of school in kindergarten and 8th, kind of. The kindergarten graduation picture was easy, but his “last day” of 8th grade took a little more thought. I didn’t get a picture of his actual last day of classes at the physical school, because at the time, who could have known that would be the last day? So I decided on the day about two weeks ago when we dropped off a few things, and picked up his 8th grade stuff, including a nice sign they had made for our yard.
It was a fairly low-key week, with no field trips (obviously), and several subjects already wrapped up. We continued taking our daily pre-lunch two mile walk around our neighborhood, and while I miss playing tennis, I have to say that time of walking and talking together has probably been my favorite thing to come out of our modified schedule, and I’ll be sad when it gets hot and we won’t want to do it anymore.
Turkey and Bunny read about the fall of Constantinople in world history, and we finished US history, with most of our attention on FDR and WWII, and a brief race through the decades following. They worked with limits of a function in pre-calculus. They also finished reviewing various comma rules in grammar, and read an ode by Phyllis Wheatley.
Ladybug wrote a 1,200 word paper on one of her favorite books to finish her writing curriculum for the year. Her final chapter in history focused on the California Gold Rush. She finished science by learning about the five senses. She also read about Paul’s final missionary journey in religion.
Chickadee finished reading The Sword in the Tree. We also finished My Father’s Dragon. She wrapped up her study of astronomy. Her math lessons were mostly review, although some more complicated borrowing when subtracting was a fun surprise for her.
Today we built a Lego set, as we always do on the last day of school. It was nice that Moose was able to be with us for our last day, even though he won’t be done (and graduated from eighth grade!), until the middle of next week. This time it was the Lego Ideas ISS, which goes well with all of our other Lego space sets!
This is the most anti-climatic last day of school I can remember, and I have to admit, it was kind of a sad day for me. I had so many things that I wanted to do in the last few months…visiting the Van Gogh exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum, touring the Mississippi River exhibit at the Missouri History Museum, spending many lovely hours walking around the Missouri Botanical Garden and sketching the spring blooms, enjoying tulip time in Forest Park, and visiting the St. Louis Zoo were all on my list. Obviously, none of that could happen, and we also haven’t been able to look forward to our annual trip to Chicago that we were supposed to take next week. I’m also trying not to think ahead to the future too much, because it scares me a little when I think of what the beginning of our next school year, Turkey and Bunny’s last year of homeschooling, could look like. I’m trying really hard to focus on the positive, so I’ll leave you with some pictures from Wednesday, when we got to play with dry ice, something we probably wouldn’t have gotten to do if it wasn’t for this weird time of isolation:
Most of the real work was actually done last week. Turkey and Bunny finished Algebra 2 and did a good job on the final exam. They completed their study of the medieval world by learning about the Crusades. They also finished their study of Old English and Medieval Poetry, Prose, and Drama. In chemistry, they got to play around with pH paper and other indicators in their last experiment of the year, which was a lot of fun!
Ladybug also finished up math and had her final exam for the year, and she was very happy with her grade. She wrapped up her writing curriculum (minus one paper that we’re saving for summer school, because the topic fit). She also completed her equine science course by learning a bit more about horse behavior. Her final history lesson was on the sinking of the Spanish Armada.
Chickadee finished her spelling curriculum for the year…she’s really come a long way! She also took her final math test, and did a great job! She read Summer, which seemed appropriate, and Snow (just for fun), plus Little Bear.
Yesterday, we attended the final Missouri History Museum Homeschool Day of the year…and this time, it was held at Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, a place we hadn’t previously toured. We really enjoyed having an opportunity to learn about St. Louisans who served in various wars, as well as St. Louis’ contributions to those conflicts. There were some fun and educational craft projects, as well. It was an excellent field trip for the end of the year, especially so close to Memorial Day!
We enjoyed what seemed like a rare nice day with a walk around downtown St. Louis while we were out:
Today we wrapped up the loose strings of a few subjects (we finally finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Ladybug had her final history review, and Chickadee finished her handwriting curriculum), and built our annual end-of-the-school-year Lego set. This time, I chose the San Francisco skyline Lego Architecture model, which is one of the few we hadn’t yet built.
I asked my students a few questions to end the school year…What was your favorite book? What was your favorite subject? Who was the historical figure you enjoyed learning about the most? What was your favorite field trip? What subject are you most looking forward to next year? Here are their responses:
Turkey—The Planets: The Definitive Visual Guide to Our Solar System; Algebra 2; Robert the Fox; Chicago’s Field Museum; Pre-Calculus
Bunny—The Astronaut Wives Club; Literature; Rugila the Hun (Attila’s uncle); Chicago’s Field Museum; Literature
Ladybug—Misty of Chincoteague; Equine Science; Elizabeth I; Chicago’s Field Museum; Literature
Chickadee—Summer; reading; Mary I; Soldiers Memorial Military Museum; Astronomy
We’ll have some time off before we start this year’s summer school…we’re going to be (vicariously) traveling all around Europe with Rick Steves!
Yesterday was the final day of the 2017-18 school year!
We ended the year strong. Out of all of the combined tests over the last six days, which included geometry, biology, ancient history, sixth grade math, and spelling, no one scored lower than a “B!” I’m so glad we finished all of our subjects well!
We had an end-of-the-year field trip last week, to visit the “Destination Moon” exhibit that is currently on loan from the Smithsonian to the St. Louis Science Center. It is an excellent display, from the re-creation of a 1960s living room to the actual command module from the Apollo 11 mission, and everything in between! I know we’ll be going back to see it again before it moves on!
Yesterday was mostly a fun day (once the last of the tests were complete). We watched the Henry V section of The Hollow Crown. It was interesting to see it performed after having read it. The children also re-enacted part of Julius Caesar. And, as is our tradition, the children built a new Lego set to add to our architecture collection…this time, the skyline of Shanghai.
Up next is summer school. We’ll be studying the Medieval period this year…stay tuned for our reading list later this week!
I had to work to make this photo gallery happen. Back when we started homeschooling in 2008, I didn’t even really know how to put pictures on my blog! Because the pictures weren’t archived here, I really had to dig to find them, but here they are…Turkey and Bunny, together on every first day of school from kindergarten in 2008 through eighth grade in 2016!
And a final two pictures…Turkey and Bunny on the last day of kindergarten in 2009, and today, the last day of eighth grade!
This has been an amazing journey, that we’ve always taken on a year-by-year basis. But we’re not done yet…this fall, we begin a new homeschooling journey, as we begin high school here at home!