School’s Out!


The 2015-16 school year is officially over. We now get to take a 12 week and 3 day break!

During the fourth quarter, we learned about what has happened in Africa, South America, Asia, and India since World War II. We learned about the Vietnam War and Civil Rights. We learned about Iran and Iraq. We finished up with a little bit about 9/11. We completed our stock market project. We learned about the Cold War in depth. We learned about magnets, electricity, and energy. We learned about Gauguin and Degas and enjoyed viewing (and copying) their works of art. We learned about and listened to music by Ellington, Copland, and Bernstein. We also learned more words in Latin.

Cameron finished The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rowlings and also read The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde, Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, and he is currently reading Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (he’ll finish it over the next few days). He completed his in-depth grammar study and wrote a few essays. He completed Math-U-See Algebra I as well as his vocabulary book and formal logic.

Fritz read Bambi: A Life in the Woods and The Jungle Book. He completed Math-U-See Delta and then moved on to Epsilon. He completed 8 lessons in that book (he may or may not do some of it over the summer). He got really good at finding the letter combinations in Spelling-You-See and on a few days found all he was looking for in the passages. He learned how to diagram even more complex sentences.

Adrian completed Math-U-See Beta and moved on to Gamma. He completed 15 lessons of Gamma (he may or may not do some of it over the summer). He’s almost done with the third Explode the Code book (he will continue with that over the summer). He finished reading all of our early readers and moved on to Magic Tree House. He is almost done with the first book, Dinosaurs Before Dark (he will continue reading the series, at least one chapter a day, over the summer).

Fourth Quarter and Overall for the Year Final Grades:
History – A
Science – A
Art – Pass
Music – Pass
PE – Pass
Religion – Pass
Math – B (84%) / B (81%)
English – B (89%) / B (86%)
Logic – C (70%) / C (79%)
Latin – A (95%) / A (91%)

Fritz (he met his goal of straight A’s all four quarters)
History – A
Science – A
Art – Pass
Music – Pass
PE – Pass
Religion – Pass
Math – A (91%) / A (93%)
English – A (93%) / A (95%)
Latin – A (99%) / A (97%)

History – A
Science – A
English – A
Art – Pass
Music – Pass
PE – Pass
Latin – Pass
Religion – Pass
Math – A (99%) / A (98%)

May’s Science Experiments

We wound a card on a rubberband several times and then let go. It spun rapidly in circles as it unwound itself.

We made a pendulum and watched as our paper super hero swing back and forth.

We used a slingshot as a marshmallow catapult.

We made an egg carton ramp and sent marbles down it. We observed how they increased in speed as they headed toward the bottom.

We made a pinwheel and made it spin by blowing on it.

We placed a nickel and a penny next to each other. Then we flicked a penny toward the nickel. When the penny hit the nickel, the force caused the other penny to move forward.

We dropped a ping pong ball into a tub. It bounced almost as high as the level where we had dropped it from. Then we dropped the ball onto a bed. It barely bounced.

We set up several dominoes and then pushed them over.

We did some experiments from a Dangerous Book for Boys kit including a generator and an eletromagnet.

For our final experiments of the year, we set off a water rocket and an air rocket.

First we did the Water Rocket. It turned out to be totally, surprisingly awesome.

Then we did the Green (air) Rocket. It turned out to be very anti-climactic, especially after how amazing the water rocket was.

So, we abandoned the air rocket and launched the water rocket a few more times.

It was a pretty great end to our year of physics study!

Digging Degas

The final artist we studied this year was Edgar Degas. The boys painted their own (and rather very abstract) version of The Bellelli Family.

They raced to put together a puzzle of The Ballet Rehearsal on Stage. Cameron won as is typical.

They created works of art in the style of Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Cameron and Fritz completed theirs with clay, but Adrian gave up and painted instead.

That completes our art study for the year. We’ve really learned a lot (and Cameron’s art skills have improved quite a bit) over the last two years with Confessions of a Homeschooler World’s Greatest Artists.

I love this time of the school year…

With just one more week – just 5 more days – left in the school year, we are slowly finishing things up. Fritz finished his vocabulary weeks ago and Fritz and Adrian finished Math-U-See Delta and Beta around the same time (though they are continuing with Epsilon and Gamma, getting a head start on next year). Last week Cameron finished logic and this week he finished vocabulary, grammar, and math. We just have one more page of religion, two short books to read for history, a science experiment, and a picture to paint next week. This week we finished music and stopped Latin for the year (since we had finished a chapter and don’t have enough time left to complete another). It’s always fun to get things done and move things to the to-be-made-into-portfolios pile. Soon I’ll be putting next year’s stuff in the binders and bins and putting them on the shelves to await the end of August giving us three lovely months of vacation.

Playing the Stock Market

Since last fall we’ve been doing a long term stock market project in history. The boys were each given a maximum of 1,000 virtual dollars to invest in one single stock. They’ve been following the ups and downs of their stock every week for 22 weeks.

Cameron chose to invest in Apple (AAPL). This was a mistake (though he says right now would probably be an excellent time to invest in them). He bought at $112.49 and was able to get 8 shares for a total of $899.92. He sold today at $93.90 with a loss of $148.72.

Fritz picked PepsiCo stock (PEP). He earned a little bit over the course of the project. He bought at $98.83 and was about to get 10 shares for a total of $988.30. He sold at $102.82, giving him a profit of $39.90.

Adrian likes Skylanders and other games so he invested in the company that makes them, Activision (ATVI). He is our big winner in this project. He bought at $34.47. He was able to purchase a 29 shares for a total of $999.63. He sold today at $38.60, the highest Activision stock has been in the last 22 weeks, earning a profit of $119.77.

Meet Filli and Kree

We are Filli and Kree. We are very loving and happy sugar gliders who have very distinct personalities. We were born (came out of our mother’s pouch) on St. Patrick’s Day.

*Kree must do everything first before Filli will. She has to eat the food, drink the water, play with the toys, climb the cage wall before Filli will follow her example because it’s safe.
*Filli usually steps back and lets Kree do whatever she wants because Kree is a bit rougher and more energetic unless apples are involved… then Filli shoves Kree out of the way so the apple can be hers.
*Kree will stand on Filli’s head if things aren’t going her way. She has to be the dominant sister.
*Filli will happily sit and watch everything Kree does and get the same enjoyment out of it that she would if she were doing it herself.
*Kree will lunge at Filli to play fight and then stop just before we collide and we start grooming each other and then we chase each other around our cage or the tent happily.
*We are not good at sharing so the people we own must give us each our own apple slice when in the bonding pouch so we don’t fight over one. They even had to buy us a second food dish so we wouldn’t shove each other anymore.
*Kree is a little bit smaller than Filli which amuses the people we own because Kree acts younger, but also tries to glide more which is an “older glider” thing.
*We don’t really know what to think about the dog yet… she just growls at us like we’re a danger.
*We love to play together, but we always play with separate toys because, again, we’re very bad at sharing.

Hello, my name is Kree. I’m one of two Sugar Gliders that adopted a family of Duks last weekend. I figured I should introduce myself to everyone.

*I am hyper, clumsy, outgoing, jumpy, brave, and trusting.
*I like climbing, toys, chewing on everything plastic or fleece, sleeping, standing on my sister, crabbing (my annoyed “LEAVE ME ALONE” sound), drinking, my ball pit, and my banana sleeping pouch.
*I DON’T like when my sister gets too close, when my sister tries to eat my apples, when anyone tries to wake me up and I’m not ready to get up, and being picked up and not being allowed to run around that person’s back and shoulders.
*I love dangling toys and running in my wheel.
*I will crab at you if you attempt to wake me up before I’m ready.
*I will happily bury myself in my ball pit and sleep for hours.
*I will chew on the bars of my cage loudly if I want to run around in my family’s tent.
*I will try to do things as fast as possible because I’m so excited and then get confused and fall down because I don’t know where I should go next.

Hi, I’m Filli. I’m the other Sugar Glider… Kree is making me introduce myself.

*I am shy, nervous, sleepy, slow, happy, friendly, loving, cuddly, and curious.
*I like playing with my toys, cuddling my tail, cuddling any fleece blankie around, cuddling my plastic frog, sleeping in my toy bin, cuddling my sister, chattering, hanging upside down, watching my sister do everything, and chewing hair and fingernails.
*I DON’T like when my sister crabs at me, when anyone looks at me, when I can’t climb, and when my sister is asleep and I’m awake.
*I love apples and watching Kree run in our wheel.
*I will chew on everything in the toy bin. I especially love the frog, snake, and rings. The bracelet is okay, but it’s a little big for my mouth.
*I will find the smallest hiding place possible and hang out because it’s warm there.
*I will try and wake up my sister if I’m awake because I need entertainment.

Filli running in the wheel.  Usually Filli is content to curl up behind the wheel in the x-mount or just hang out watching Kree run (and run and run) in the wheel, but sometimes she gets in the wheel, too.  This is a Stealth Wheel from AtticWorx.Com.

(This is a slightly modified form of three posts my daughter made on Facebook. She took all the pictures and I took the video.)


I love sopapillas. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to make gluten free things that are just like their gluteny counterparts. After several tries that weren’t bad, but weren’t right, either, I am finally getting the hang of sopapillas.

I use Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s recipe.

I make the dough and then Cameron does the rolling and cutting. We usually get around 30 or 32 per batch.

I have found that I have to put four in the boiling oil pretty much all at once. Otherwise some of them won’t puff up. I have no idea why this is.

Once they’ve been in the oil about 30 or 45 seconds, they are floating and nice and puffy. I poke them with a big spoon and they flip over so the other side can get brown, too.

I drain them on paper towels and they come out nice and brown and puffy and delicious.

We eat them dipped in warm honey.

Perfect! And the best part is they don’t taste gluten free. They just taste good.