This was our last week of school before spring break, and the theme for the week was wrapping things up…we finished a remarkable number of things!
Ladybug graphed parabolas in algebra 2. She finished To Kill a Mockingbird. In history, she read about the breaking up of the Islamic Empire and also about Vikings in Britain. She finished the chapter on the gas phase in chemistry, focusing on the Ideal Gas Law.
Chickadee worked with ratios in math. We finished reading The Journey Begins. We also finished the science chapter on snakes and lizards. In history, she read all about Julius Caesar…the battles he fought, his rise to power, and his untimely death. She diagrammed compound sentences in grammar.
We also had an opportunity for a field trip this week…the Missouri History Museum had a “History Exploration Day” about mid-century women, which was right up my alley. The workshop on “Women, War, and the Workforce” was, in my opinion, one of the best they’ve presented. There were also some cool, um, “artifacts” to explore:
While we were out, we swung by the St. Louis Science Center:
I think we’re still trying to get used to being back to our normal routine, because this was a weird week. We didn’t get quite as much done as I had planned, but that was partially because we had an unexpected field trip opportunity pop up. I was disappointed that the Missouri History Museum discontinued their “Homeschool Days,” something we really enjoyed pre-pandemic. They have replaced it with “History Exploration Days,” however, so we went to that for the first time today. The topic was architecture in the city of St. Louis and beyond, and we especially enjoyed the “Sizing Up the Skyline” workshop, which looked at how architecture has been (and is) judged. In general, though, I felt like even though it’s advertised as a family program for all ages, it skewed quite young, so I’m not sure we’ll go back for one of those events.
There was regular schoolwork this week, too, of course. Ladybug made conversions between the metric and imperial systems in algebra 2. She finished the chapter on stoichiometry in chemistry. We continued our discussion of To Kill a Mockingbird. In history, she read about Harsha’s defeat by the Chalukya dynasty. She also read some examples of experimental fiction in creative writing.
Chickadee learned how to determine if figures are similar or congruent in math. She learned about horses and ponies in science. We continued to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and she really dislikes Edmund! In history, she read about Philip II of Macedon, and especially Alexander the Great (and added another item to her list of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World).
We still haven’t returned to themed cooking, but both Chickadee and Ladybug baked something this week. Chickadee helped me make a “Birthday Cookie Cake” from the My Little Pony Baking Book, and Ladybug and I made “Thick Frosted Speculoos Cookie Bars” according to a recipe I saw Molly Yeh make on Girl Meets Farm:
This week has been more…complicated than I expected. It started out pretty well, with a day off on Monday so we could see Moose march in the town Labor Day parade. And then on Tuesday, we had a field trip day to the Missouri History Museum (for the first time in almost three years!), to see the new Coloring STL exhibit. We had a really great time…how often are you encouraged to color on the walls of a museum?!?
Even I made a small contribution, because I found something mid-century marvelous!
On Wednesday, we got back to our regular work. Ladybug reviewed radicals in algebra 2. She began Act III of Romeo and Juliet. She learned about mixtures and compounds in chemistry. In history, she read about Flavius Theodosius and the Roman Catholic Church. Her creative writing course had her rewriting sentences to make them more interesting and less repetitive. We continued reading The Fellowship of the Ring, and baked Barliman Butternut’s Blackberry Pie, which was delicious!
Chickadee reviewed calculating area and perimeter in math. In science, she continued learning about order Carnivora by starting a chapter on bears. In history, she read a brief history of the Jewish people, focusing on Abraham and Joseph. She learned how to add adjectives to a sentence diagram in grammar. We continued reading Heidi, and to my relief, we have almost reached the part where she gets to go home to the mountains.
On Thursday, our school day was interrupted by the developing news in the United Kingdom, and we spent most of our day watching the BBC. Today, I decided we should continue to focus on the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, so we watched The King’s Speech and some of our royal documentaries. Hopefully, next week we’ll have a little more success staying on task!
On Tuesday, we went to the Missouri History Museum for the first time since before the beginning of the pandemic…almost three full years! We had a great time, and Chickadee loved the new “Coloring STL” exhibit where you’re actually encouraged and expected to color on the walls!
We’re definitely over a quarter of the way through the school year now…how is that even possible?!?
Turkey’s and Bunny’s study of the Augsburg Confession this week focused on the Sacraments…I was very impressed that it very clearly stated that absolution is the third Sacrament, something I’ve taught at home from the very beginning, but an idea with which some Lutherans are uncomfortable. They continued to work on proving trigonometric identities in pre-calculus. In physics, they finished the chapter on parabolic motion and range. They started a chapter on the senses in health. We had some very good conversations based on the cantos they read in “The Paradiso.”
Ladybug reviewed ratios in math. She practiced finding the mechanical advantage for the various simple machines she learned about in science last week. In writing she read “The Open Window” so she could analyze the plot line. She learned about Charles I and the English Civil Wars, Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum, and Charles II the 1660 Restoration in history.
Chickadee practiced regrouping tens in math. She finished the Old Testament portion of her read-alouds from The Beginner’s Bible. She also finished the first of three Explode the Code books for second grade. We read more stories from Tales from Beatrix Potter, some of which I had never heard of before! She finished her study of Venus in science by learning about its phases.
Since we worked so hard this week, I decided that today should be a field trip day, so we headed to Forest Park, where the fall color is reaching its peak:
The true destination for our field trip was the St. Louis Art Museum, where we toured the new “Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt” exhibit, which is on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
One of the best parts of the special exhibits at the St. Louis Art Museum is the Explore Lab, which adds a hands-on component to the event:
Here’s a glimpse at some of the children’s artwork:
After we finished at the art museum (and walked around Forest Park a bit more), we stopped by the Missouri History Museum to see what is admittedly a very small, but very meaningful exhibit about the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Championship:
This was a very fun and relaxing way to end a busy week!
It took until the fifth week of the 2019-20 school year, but we finally went on an actual field trip!
This was actually the second “Homeschool Day” at the Missouri History Museum for this school year, but the first one didn’t fit into our schedule. I was really excited about the topic of this month’s event, because I knew we needed to see the new Pulitzer Prize Photographs exhibit.
I won’t lie…this was one of the hardest field trips we’ve been on, because the content was so heavy. There were a lot of disturbing photos, and I had to constantly make sure Chickadee especially was doing ok with what she was seeing (to be honest, I think she didn’t really understand a lot of the more distressing photos, which is ok with me). I think it was very important to see, however, and we certainly learned a lot. And there were a few more light-hearted activities, too, including a cool microphone craft that Chickadee loved (although, giving her even a pretend microphone may have been a questionable parenting decision on my part!), and a newspaper assignment that allowed us to research and write about John Philip Sousa, and his connection to the 1904 World’s Fair here in St. Louis.
The rest of the week was pretty standard. Turkey and Bunny learned about arc functions in pre-calculus. They finished the second chapter on one-dimensional motion in physics. They also finished finished the third chapter in their health curriculum. Their literature study had them comparing “The Inferno” with what they’ve read so far in “The Purgatorio.” We finally made it to the Plantagenets in our four-year history cycle, while in US history, Turkey and Bunny learned about the Jamestown settlement, which led to a disturbing conversation about some details they remembered from the their last study of American history.
Ladybug learned about inequalities in pre-algebra. She also reviewed adding decimals. Her history lessons focused on Africa and the beginning of the slave trade. She did a few experiments about the surface tension of water in science. In literature, she read about the dwarves and Bilbo’s escape from the Wood Elves, which is one of my favorite chapters of The Hobbit, because I really like imagining Bombur getting shoved into a barrel! She also finished reading through the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I still think must be confusing as she’s only about a third of the way through The Hobbit, but she really enjoyed the books!
Chickadee reviewed carrying while adding in math. She started a chapter on Mercury in science. We’re almost done reading through Little House in the Big Woods. Her language arts lessons have overlapped a bit with catechesis, so she’s memorizing in both classes, as well as reading Bible stories for both.
I’m hoping that it might cool off enough next week for an outdoor field trip…or at least for a more enjoyable game of tennis. A week of constant 90+ degree temperatures makes it difficult to want to be outside at all!
Last week was a short week of school, but we were so busy, I didn’t even get a chance to think about what we did until today!
On Monday, we went to the monthly homeschool day at the Missouri History Museum. It’s been a long time since we had room in our schedule and enough interest in the topic to make it to one of these events, but we were really excited about the topic–poetry and prose. It fit in perfectly with Turkey and Bunny’s current study of Medieval poetry and prose, plus we got to hear a Cardinals historian talk about the process he went through writing his most recent book, which was amazing. The craft activity was also very popular…the children got to make magnetic poetry kits. While Bunny and Ladybug chose to use poems written by local authors, Chickadee wanted to do something a little different, so Turkey wrote a fun poem for her. We also finally got to see the Muny exhibit, which is good, because it will be wrapping up soon. While we were in Forest Park, we also took a walk to enjoy the beautiful spring blooms.
As for the rest of the week…well, like I said, it was short. We did find time on a nice morning to practice our increasing tennis skills. Turkey and Bunny learned more about thermodynamics and continued to read To Kill a Mockingbird. Ladybug started adding and subtracting negative and positive numbers and read about the Counter-Reformation and the Council of Trent in history. Chickadee read a few more Dr. Seuss books on her own, and worked on reading and writing word numbers in math.
The rest of the week was spent observing Holy Week and preparing for Easter, which may have been a break from school, but left us even busier than we are during the school week. The children had many choir commitments from Palm Sunday through Good Friday, which they enjoyed, but their voices are all ready for a rest! We’re back to work tomorrow, and we have less than a month left in our school year, so it’s full speed ahead until we’re done!
For the fourth summer in a row, “The Bigs” have participated in a Kantorei Kamp at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis. It’s a busy, fun week for everybody, because while they’re at camp, Chickadee and I go adventuring…sometimes, I think she has more fun than her siblings do!
On Monday, while the Kamp had a full day of music theory, handbell practice, and choral rehearsals, Chickadee and I went to the playground in Forest Park and to the Missouri History Museum, where we visited the History Clubhouse and the new “Muny Memories” exhibit:
On Tuesday, Chickadee and I went to the Missouri Botanical Garden in the morning, and then joined the Kantorei Kamp for some swimming at the YMCA:
Wednesday was a little bit cooler, so Chickadee and I walked around the St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Art Museum:
We only had a little bit of free time on Thursday morning, so Chickadee and I visited the St. Louis Public Library and read some books before joining the Kantorei Kamp for a backstage tour of Powell Hall, a picnic lunch, concretes at Ted Drewes, and a concert by a quartet from the Greenleaf Singers for Make Music St. Louis Day:
And today we went with the Kantorei Kamp to the LC-MS International Center to hear them sing for chapel. After that, Chickadee and I visited the St. Louis Science Center before picking up “The Bigs” from their last day of Kamp:
And a bonus handbell piece from church on Sunday, which I managed to record while they rehearsing before the service: