2021-22 School Year–Week Nineteen

Our school week was punctuated by a winter storm which left us with lots of ice, and finally snow (and three snow days for Turkey, Bunny, and Moose!)!

Ladybug learned how to move a radical out of the denominator of a fraction in geometry. We started discussing the Methodist church in her study of denominations. She did a great job on her biology test, which included a large Punnett square! We continued reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. She read about Homer writing the Iliad and the Odyssey in history.

Chickadee learned some geometry terms in math this week (line, ray, point, etc.), and also learned how to identify different types of angles. She started memorizing one of my favorite poems…”Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” (perfect for the weather this week!). We finished Another Trip Around the World with a visit to India, where we made lassi, a yogurt-based drink…next, we start US geography!

For the next two weeks, our school days will be mixed with the Olympics!

Chickadee Thursday


Apparently, Chickadee had never seen someone use a snowblower before, because she ran up to me this afternoon and said “Our neighbor is cheating!” and upon further investigation, I discovered it was because he had, in her words, “an electric shovel.”

Chickadee Thursday

Chickadee and I were outside at 6:45 this morning, now that it’s not so bitterly cold. She had a great time “mountain climbing” on all the snow piles. She doesn’t have that opportunity often around here, but in the last week or so, we’ve had about a foot of snow!

2020-21 School Year–Week Nineteen

Hymn of the Week–“‘Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here” (Lutheran Service Book #414)

First things first…we finally had a “snow day” this week! No, we didn’t take the day off…we almost never do. And it really wasn’t even that much snow…just two inches or so. But it’s the most we’ve had so far this winter, so we took a break to take a walk in the snow, and we even built a (small) snowman!

That was our excitement for the week…the rest was business as usual. Turkey and Bunny applied what they’ve learned about derivatives in calculus to physics problems…it was like last year all over again! In advanced biology, they started learning about the peripheral nervous system. They continued to learn about developmental psychology, focusing on adolescence. They started The Lively Art of Writing, a book that was fundamental to my development as a writer in high school.

Ladybug worked with complex fractions in algebra. She started learning about Isaac Newton’s contributions to science. In history, she and Chickadee read about the Great Depression and FDR. She’s nearing the end of Treasure Island. We read about the separation of powers and checks and balances in our study of the US Constitution.

Chickadee practiced reading thermometers in both Fahrenheit and celsius in math. She finished the chapter on bats in science, learning about breeding and bat nurseries. We’re already nearing the end of A Bear Called Paddington.

Next week is the start of February, which has historically not been my favorite month for homeschooling…without any field trips or activities to look forward to this year, I’m afraid it’s going to be more challenging than usual, but at least it’s a short month!

Snow Day, Animal Crossing Style

This has been the most disappointing winter I can remember. While we have had a dusting of snow once or twice, we haven’t enough snow to shovel or play in so far, and I’m beginning to think we just won’t this year. Luckily for me I’ve had quite a few snowstorms on my Animal Crossing island, and I’ve even been able to make snowmen and dress for the weather (I’m really liking my new ski suit!). While I’d really like to have an actual snowstorm, an Animal Crossing snow day is better than no snow day at all!

The Top Five–Photos of 2019

Time to take a look back at my five favorite photos from 2019! Notable this year is that a lot of my pictures were taken (or cropped) in “square” mode, since I’m using Instagram more than ever.

First, a picture from early in the year, when we enjoyed a snowy day in the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden:

Another winter picture, this time of two snow leopards at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago:

A spring photo featuring cherry blossoms in the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Japanese Garden:

The Red Arrows in flight!

Fall at Forest Park’s Pagoda Circle:

And an honorable mention…a photo taken at the holiday flower and train show at the Missouri Botanical Garden just a few days ago!

Obviously, I have my favorite places to take pictures, but I like that I’m constantly finding new ways to highlight them!

A Markel Family Snow Day

Today we had a snow day! This was a special snow day, because not only did Moose’s school close for the day, the homeschool event we were supposed to attend at the Missouri History Museum was cancelled, so we were all truly home for the day!

Of course we had to play in the snow:

When a snow day happens the week before Christmas, you bake Christmas cookies. And while we baked, we watched not only the unbelievably fluffy flakes fall outside the kitchen window, but also the Nutcracker, something we do every year around Christmas. We watched three different productions today: The Dutch National Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, and my personal favorite, the San Fransisco Ballet. Three Nutcrackers and 13 dozen cookies later, and all of our “fancy” baking is done!

We also made “stained glass” Christmas ornaments while we watched White Christmas. I love how they turned out!

We found time for a nice walk in the snow:

And had our standard Markel Family snow day dinner!

The Fab Five had time to build two bags of their Lego Hogwarts Castle set today. Here’s a look at some of the detail:

After shoveling (something that I really enjoy doing!), we watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The older I get, the more I relate to Clark Griswold, which is a little bit scary!

This was one of the nicest days I’ve had, and I really enjoyed the chance to both slow down and get a lot of work done!