SCHOOL: OCTOBER 2019

We really hit our stride in October. Maybe I said that for September? I don’t know, but October felt so full and lazy all at the same time. My ideal blend of goings-on.

We learned a ridiculous amount about Vikings which took up most of our history and geography. Aside from that, we continued to focus on reading, grammar, and math as our core subjects.

Below is a bit more of the additional school-related things.

One big change we’re trying out is rotating days. I teach Mae Mondays and Wednesdays (Grammar, math, reading, writing, sewing, and whatever she adds to it.) and Rae on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Grammar, reading, math, drawing, and whatever she wants to add to it).

They also cook all the meals on their days (especially supper). We meet each day for lunch/tea time and work on Bible lessons, German, and our group read aloud – this month focused on mysteries such as Nancy Drew and Box Car Children.

Fridays, we are all together and accomplish our history, science, and anything else they want to do, like play board games, go for a walk or bake a new-to-us thing. We all cook breakfast and supper together on this day.

It has been so nice having an entire day one-on-one, and I can tell they enjoy a bit of scheduled time alone to work on what they want. Sewing, scrapbooking, crocheting, drawing, painting, Barbies and babydolls, PBS computer games, Legos, and archery have been some of the things they chose during this time. Mae also chose to watch folks make things on youtube. Primitive Technology and Evan and Katelyn are two of her favorites.

Mae read Sarah, Plain and Tall as one of her independent read alouds.

I always love my time listening to her read. I no longer have to chime in with help – unless the writer chooses a strange name – but she is someone who discusses the book all the way through. So many questions and comments come from her. It makes me happy to see what she finds funny.

As a kid, I loved watching the movie at my Vovo’s house, so as a surprise, I ordered the movie to give her when she completed the book. Watching it with her was just as fun! She really liked that most of their words were verbatim from the book. She’s so cool. She was most excited about the scene where they go swimming in the pond. It did not disappoint.

Rae looking very early 2000s. What a cool lady.

While the weather was still decent, we made a point to go on a few picnics a week. We may yet decide to hold some soup and cider picnics before the month is up but with so much rain and snow in the forecast, I may chicken out.

Rae has officially begun typing lessons along with her sister!

We use typing.com and they enjoy it…and enjoy seeing their progress…and having their own account they get to sign into. Ha.

Layers of the atmosphere project.
Mae’s first newspaper.

This month Mae began writing. She has always had a desire to write stories (and tell stories). I decided to forgo the struggle of letting her work through her limited spelling vocabulary and now I type her narration and show her how to use Google docs and format a book, save it and print it so she can ease into doing it all solo.

I had her write a book a week. About two weeks in, we started up the fireplace – which meant we pulled out old newspapers for kindling. She typically saves the newspapers we receive and reads through them and does her best to memorize the weather for the week. One afternoon, she told me she wanted to write a newspaper and already had the day’s hourly weather written up (which she figured out independently). How could I say no? We drew it up in Photoshop and printed four copies, one for each of us (She gave a couple to Zack’s friends, too).

I have given her the job of creating one at the beginning of every month so we know what is going on and what we have to look forward to!

When she was done designing her newspaper, we began her first sewing lesson. She has done a lot of hand sewing and used the machine a ‘tweensy’ bit but she wants to be great at it. So! great she shall be. (And her legs are finally a good length!)

In the first photo, she is getting used to the speed by stitching rows and rows of straight lines while also turning the fabric to make the stitch continuous.

After she felt comfortable and was less mad with power (she makes everything in life hilarious), I helped her make the cutest bento bag for Rae’s American Girl doll.

She wants to open a small shop/sale (yard sale style). I told her if she works hard this winter she can have one with her homemade goods. She knows how to make scrunchies so she will be making a ton of those and bento bags (normal size) and hopefully many more things.

I can already tell that most of her winter schooling will consist of creating anything and everything her beautiful brain thinks up.

We became obsessed with checking in on the bears in Alaska via this live stream. We keep it up at all times and run to see them a few times each day. Sometimes the girls bring their copy work to the desk so they can watch them while they work.

Rae stealing the Terebridae, or auger shell, back for her picture presentation.

We got back into nature journaling! I love drawing natural and true things (my imagination does not exist when it comes to fiction), so I am all for drawing animals, trees, flowers, shells, pinecones, etc…sometimes even people.

Now it is perfect.

After reading and watching Sarah, Plain and Tall, the girls chose sea shells as our nature drawing subject. Rae really wanted me to take a photo of her drawing set up juuuusst right.

She is so detail-oriented when it comes to drawing. Zack and I are constantly in awe of the doodles she brings us.

I don’t have a photo of it, but her colorings of the shells were immaculate and even more detailed.

Mae doesn’t care for drawing or coloring, but she took the time to draw two angles for each shell!

She sighs at the thought of drawing and d r e a d s coloring.

However, she adores writing and Rae loathes it. Haha.

One week, for our composer and painting lesson, we held off until nighttime, ’cause it was somewhat of a spooky one. Some of you may have seen the videos of it in my Instagram stories.

We listened to Night on Bald (Bare) Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky over and over and over while we discussed Mussorgsky, came up with stories for the music, and at the very end of our talks I told them what it was really about – so I didn’t steer their stories.

For the assignment, we all chose a type of mountain and who was climbing up that mountain. Rae chose a pointed snowy mountain with skiers and Santa overhead. Mae chose a candy mountain with gingerbread men climbing up it. I chose a trash mountain with a raccoon climbing on it.

Elwood P. and Miss Maybe joined us, too.

It was kind of windy, so we used the propane lantern instead of candles. It kept us nice and warm, as did the girl’s hot chocolate.

We took many walks about town, but our favorite place was definitely the new addition to the already very long bike trail in town.

A photo one of the girls took of me getting the Bible biz together. Rare.

Mae happened to be sick on Rae’s day at one point. I got her a real nice set up back in the bedroom and thoroughly enjoyed my morning alone with Rae.

We did whatever she wanted to – worksheets, youtube stories, coloring, and Legos…with an episode of Adventure Time to accompany her breakfast. It was so nice hanging out with a six-year-old doing only six-year-old things.

Mae got back into the habit of e-mailing grandmas while she was sick.

We often found ourselves crocheting and knitting while watching cozy fall movies. Some of our favorites were Fly Away home, You’ve Got Mail, Little Women, and Harry Potter.

They also began to find joy in practicing cursive white listening to calm music (by candlelight, of course). They really like soundtracks – Little Women, Wall-E, Inside Out, The Hobbit, Pride and Prejudice, and Downton Abbey are a few favorites.

I am so glad Autumn is just getting started!

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