OUTDOOR SCHOOL: SEPTEMBER 2019

We already spend quite a bit outside, but this year we are attempting to be outside for several hours a day together, no matter the weather. At the very least, half an hour on the coldest of days.

We began the official ‘everyday’ goal in September but got out and about plenty in August.

We have been enjoying walks/bike rides along various bike trails here in town.

This, I believe will be what out outdoor time involves on the rainy and snowy days.

We also go up to our favorite park a couple times a week. We often have a picnic lunch at the lookout spot or under a tree by the water. Afterward, we spend about an hour walking around the spring and the river. It stays cool by the water, but not so much at the playground. So, if it is not too hot, they will spend the last hour swinging and sliding and making up new games.

Looking for crawdads and tadpoles.

We spent three entire days swimming in the river. Some days got really hot, so we took advantage of having the place to ourselves, save a couple of other homeschooling families on one of the days.

Another one of our favorite spots for wandering, reading, and painting has been the lake in town.

So many cool critters – and it is another cool spot on a hot day!

Looking for acorn caps to send down the river.

Some more photos from the park.

The girls also enjoyed a field trip to the zoo, and nearly had the place all to themselves.

There were many other breakfasts, lunches, and evening spent outside left unphotographed. Our time outside and freedom to go where we want, when we want has made all the difference in our moods. I hope we can keep it up!

SCHOOL: AUGUST & SEPTEMBER 2019

These past two months have been SO incredible, especially in regards to our schooling. I have been enjoying this year (the first two months of it) more than any other time in our homeschooling past, which gives me so much hope for every year beyond this one.

Not that they are accomplishing any more or less than before. We have found a good rhythm, and we are enjoying being together – and somehow have avoided becoming overwhelmed (by design).

Mae practicing her spelling words.
Wearing Momma’s glasses while she fills in her Thankful journal.

The results of drawing with Momma’s notsogreat vision were adorable and made her laugh so hard she couldn’t breathe.

We started the school year with Zack teaching (as he learned along side her) how to build a motherboard. She was in her element. She’ll take any excuse to take something apart and put something together. She’s a tinker like her daddy.

Poetry is still their favorite copy work. We haven’t had any biographies yet, but they will in October.

Cardboard Parthenon with extraordinary Adventure Time detailing.

We spent a full month (or more?) studying Greece. They did a lot of art studies, crafts, larger-scale projects – like the Parthenon, above – they studied how the Greeks began as a nation as well as how their discoveries have helped us today. We read about some of their myths, gods, about the Odyssey, Illiad, Troy, and Alexander the Great.

Here are some of the short videos they watched to tied certain lessons together:

What did the Greeks do for us?

How Can I Recognize Ancient Greek Architecture?

Listening to The Horse and His Boy.

We enjoyed reading several books, including The Horse and His Boy as we continue weaving the Narnia series among our other read alouds. While that is one of my top three Narnia books, we didn’t do a large project to go with it as we did with previous books.

Mae teaching Rae

The girls each picked a skill they want to focus on daily (Monday through Friday).

Mae picked archery and Rae picked drawing techniques. Right now, Mae practices an hour a day and Rae is working with me on drawing faces. We have done the face as a whole and are now focusing on the eyes.

Completed Ninjago dragon.

Rae has really increased her interest in Legos over the past couple of months. You’ll often find her building as we do lessons that only require listening and verbal narration.

We have always done some form of art every day, but this year we have begun studying famous artists and their work as well as How to Study Art.

We have been posing for portraits and taking ourselves out into the world for landscapes.

On this particular day, we go to witness a bald eagle fly overhead, swoop down, catch a fish and observed it as it landed and ate the fish! Amelia even included the bird in her painting (you can see it there in the final image.).

Out to lunch after seeing the play, Miss Nelson Has a Field Day.

The girls also went on two field trips – one with Mom to the zoo and one with Mom AND Dad to see a play and we took them out to lunch.

ZOO FIELD TRIP

A week or so ago, I had a book club meeting and had to bring the girls to Saint Louis with me, so we -in our usual fashion- tried to make the most of our required travel. We left that morning and drove the two hours north to the zoo.

We left at lunchtime for my mom’s house (an hour west of the zoo) and spent the afternoon with my parents before I had to drop them off with Zack’s mom and head to bookclub. It was a big day! We also spent the night, since Zack was busy with something all day Saturday and we wouldn’t see him anyway.

It was a perfect day to walk around the zoo! It was just us, a few older couples, and two classes on a field trip. Even the parking lots were empty when we arrived. So quiet!

You may notice in some photos that Rae is not wearing shoes…welp, she wore the wrong shoes and developed a blister before we made it into the zoo. oye.

So, she walked barefoot like the ferrel homeschooled child she very well may actually be…

Rae took most of the photos I decided to post of the animals. She really liked that blue-black bird. It posed quite nicely for her until she began to walk up to it.

The orangutans ( mom and her child) walked over to the window as we showed up and played hide-and-seek with each other! The animals were on their a-game for us that day!

The cheetahs and hyenas were even out! A once every ten years occurrence, in my experience!

The cheetah walked out just for us (or so I think) and was gone again before anyone else turned the corner.

The hyenas just stared us down and thoroughly looked as though they desired to eat each and every onlooker.

Rae found a little seat within a rock ledge and decided it needed to be scaled for a posed photograph.

Rae’s favorite animal was not out and about, so here she is next to the sign.

She sure is cute.

Can you spot the sea lion? It just bobbed like that for so long!! Maybe it was sleeping?

We didn’t get to visit as much as we would’ve liked too, but we did see a ton of flamingoes really close and the girls didn’t have to wait for other kids to finish using the giant misting fans. Ha.