SCHOOL : NOVEMBER 2020

We spent the month learning our second verse of the year, Colossians 3:12.

Part of our history involved the aboriginals of Australia and New Zealand, so we elaborated the lessons with art, documentaries, comparing their colonization to ours, and listening to the Australia movie soundtrack as well as aboriginal music.

The girls both spent time working on paper mache projects – Rae a giraffe that holds treats or other items she wants and Mae made a black bear mask.

While, the girls get lessons very unlike the lessons I had in public school – in regards to the Thanksgiving holiday, and we don’t really see it as something to celebrate…and we are deliberate about practicing thankfulness all year – they did decide to make a thankful pie (They don’t even like pumpkin pie, ha). They started out writing in cursive, but slowly began writing in print.

Mae kept up her hot glue gun practice and made herself a layers of the earth disc.

More pumpkin pie, made out of Play dough.

Amelia also made a layers our the Earth model – out of Play dough. I didn’t get a photo of the inside.

Penelope found the sketchbook I keep in my purse and has been filling it up with gems,

Enthralled with the day’s lessons.

Helping Mum out when my voice gets tired. She usually reads the devotions.

“Morning time” in the sunroom, involves a lot of reading and “keeping busy” (or relaxing) when I am doing the reading.

We finished up our government lessons (for now) by watching and charting the election, and watching speeches one the winning votes came in.

They spent an hour at the library and followed it up with some more reading at the store. They still have 30 minutes to an hour of daily reading time set aside, usually once afternoon school is done, or just before bed. They still both enjoy comic novels and chapter books for their independent reading, while I read them short stories and at least one group novel. November’s book was Narnia’s The Silver Chair. (Narnia foreverrrrrr!)

Mae is still finishing up her portrait. I, and they, still prefer watercolor and gauche paint. We’re working to get less annoyed with acrylic – which is Zack’s go-to.

She did, however, enjoy, making a Christmas tree craft out of scrap wood from one of Daddy’s projects, hot glue, tiny pinecones (gifted from our beloved Mrs. Brenda), and acrylic paint.

There was, of course, much much more, but we have moved onto our very full December, so I’ll leave it here. I hope everyone was able to enjoy a long weekend (or some version of it).

SCHOOLING OCTOBER 2020

Happy November? It’s too soon to tell, but let’s assume it is. Last month’s schooling revolved, mostly, around the election, our country’s history (including various perspectives of various peoples), and our country’s government.

Near the end, we watched Schoolhouse Rock videos and they were able to take the four-minute videos and stretch them, as we filled many gaps, into twenty-minute conversations.

Rae has begun reading and mapping the story of Seabird, via Beautiful Feet Books.

Mae’s/Rae’s

To go along with our lessons on the tundra, the girls each chose to illustrate and learn about moose. I love their illustrations so much!

One of their biographies was on Hayao Miyazaki, one of our favorite animators. As they drew and wrote, they watched a part of a documentary on him that was filmed over ten years (!).

I love that Rae gave him a very funky shirt.

We didn’t have many days where we could/wanted to learn outside, but there were a few and they were lovely.

^Not mad, just being silly.

Math with Rae has been fun this month! We have begun subtraction (of both single and double digits). Turns out visuals is her favorite method. So, we collected her sister’s lovely rocks and some small shells and have been soaring through the lessons.

Reading reading reading. Thankfully, it is still one of their top past times.

I still read aloud to them upwards of ten passages and chapters throughout the day, but my throat gets worn easily and I am more grateful than ever that they are both so drawn to their own reading time.

We have upped our Bible lesson reading and pulled our novel reading back to several short stories (aloud) each day instead. But we will begin novels again in November.

They found the role of eyeball stickers and have had so much fun with them. Anything becomes instantly funny once it wears eyeball stickers.

The girls chose what they would like their president to be like.

Mae chose kind, vegan, a female, fair, smart, and helpful.
Rae chose an artist, nice, a female, and playful.

Zack began making the buildings that represent the three branches of government. They only had time for this one (but will make the others at some point). He took time to help them learn more in-depth, how to use the hot glue gun and an Exacto knife.

In case you’re wondering, this is a flat design with two triangle props on each end in the back.

We are trying to find more ways to incorperate him in our schooling. I hate to involve him in art (no, he is not their art teacher!), but he knows cardboard sculpture like no one else, and certainly better than me.

One of our artist studies was on Robert Delaunay and the girls did their own circle art.

We also studied a bit about Hannah Höch and incorporated her cut and paste method to an ‘about me’ assignment in their devotional.

Next month, we may go back to literal thinking artists, because that is what my brain prefers, but they seemed to have a lot of fun creating their own versions of these, so I may just have to continue to stretch my preferences.

They have also begun learning acrylic painting on canvas. This is Rae’s pick-your-own-theme painting and they each began painting a self-portrait. Shadowing is where they hit a wall, put down the brush and walk away until another day. I will show the final products on another post.

We are spending this day cleaning, regrouping, discussing what we want out of this month, and of course – playing outside in the chilly air!

BITS OF SCHOOL FROM SEPTEMBER

We have converted our upstairs school space into a living room/sunroom. It suits our morning routine needs (somewhere comfy to sit that won’t disturb -or be disturbed by- anyone else in the house), and it provided somewhere to put our couch from the other house!

This change has made for longer morning conversations, and provided a nice comfy atmosphere to begin the day.

We have been going to a library once a week, and while we will probably never bond with any of the librarians as we did in our last town, the girls are cheered up by the amount of new material avaliable to us!

Above, are two of their favorites from this past month. They continually brought them up for weeks after reading them. Hiawatha and the Peace Maker is about forgiveness, and Joseph Had a Little Overcoat is a delightful story based on a Yiddish song. It made us want to revisit this favorite the girls wore out years ago.

We continued our tea time two to three times a week, sometimes baking the treats, sometimes buying, if they were unique enough.

Once, they opted out of a midday tea and decided a breakfast of cider and fresh muffins was best for the day! Cold mornings are our favorite!

Nearly every day, our read-aloud time made its way outside, under the trees with the hammock. We would usually take on a bit from a chapter book (Our favorite of the month being George Muller’s biography), as well as three library short stories and our Bible lessons if the morning had been chaotic or slow going.

Davey boy joined us more occasions than Mae could handle, haha. Rae was mighty happy though.

We also took care of a few Tomato Hornworms (which grow into Five-Spotted Hawk Moths). It was so nice to watch them grow and really cool to watch them eat!

We’re picking back up Chess, hopefully we won’t get distracted again and we will begin to master it over the next few months. In this photo, Rey and Kylo were playing very incorrectly.

A still life Rae did of some of her favorite things.

We are trying out two new devotionals. I have the hardest time choosing devotionals for the girls. So many of them address public school problems and ‘a busy life’ that my girls cannot relate to. Maybe there is a homeschool directed devotional?? We are enjoying the science devotional, and have only had to skip a couple (because they are unrelatable), pages in the Fearless Faith. I pre-read so many devotionals in the store, and this one had the least irrelevant topics. We have decided, if we come to a page we don’t like (which is rare), we will discuss something on our minds. So far so good.

Rae is still into Pokémon (more into how they are drawn than anything else). She hasn’t even seen the show, but she knows the characters very well and draws them over and over.

Autumn poetry copy work and paintings. (Mae’s then Rae’s)

A few times a week, Rae will work on a nature drawing, either from an image in a book, or from something tangible we have at home or that she finds outside. “We” are working on her watercolor technique and she does not like it.

Mae tried to bake something once a week in September, and with the holidays beginning any moment now, we are starting to plan some fun treats to make for once tea time a week, or a dessert to accompany supper.

Well, it is about time for me to begin writing October’s school post, ha, so I think I will leave this where it is at. Hope you are all having an incredible month!

PARKS PARKS PARKS

These were all taken back in August (the last one by Rae), but our habit of visit various parks several times a week is still ongoing, well into September.

We plan on adding a weekly bike ride and painting sessions into the mix as the weather begins to cool.

LATELY : JUNE 2020

June really just blew right on by! Here it is July and I am just now getting around to wrapping up the last month.

We tried to continue laying low in preparation for our trip to another state. While I am thankful we are all used to being around each other so much the girls really need to make some homeschooled friends, quick! I am thinking we may have to wait until the spring semester to seek them out though. Quite the bummer.

Below, though, are some parts of our month that were not a bummer!

Zack and I swiftly passed our thirteenth wedding anniversary. We celebrated by taking the girls for a picnic of our favorite food at the park.

…Don’t let the lack of exclamation points fool you, it was delightful and just how we wanted to celebrate.

Birthday treat.

Miss Maybe celebrated a birthday as well! She is seven or eight now? I think we went with eight…

We found a secluded river spot (minus a family down the way that had a dog that loved the girls) and enjoyed a swim for a bit – with Daddy!

Have I mentioned how great it has been actually seeing him on his summer break? It has been years since he has been able to enjoy summer with his ladies, we’re all feeling a bit spoiled.

Family bike rides are now a thing! They both have a bike now, and while Zack and I have many many bikes, we have been using the tandem bike.

Puzzles, and Pokemon, and Lincoln logs. Hours and hours of play.

Rae’s

Drawing flowers and then watering them. Clever girl.

“Okay, time to go in and take a shower…”

Before it became too hot outside, the girls enjoyed evenings and mornings outside with sidewalk chalk.

A new secret swing set in the woods!

Mae and I have been spending most of our time together. She is such an incredible human being and I am really grateful for our long conversations about anything and everything.

We had, for about two weeks, a sandpiper living nest to our driveway. It was so cool. Something got its eggs and I think it moved down the road a bit.

Mae is still a reading machine. She prefers to read while next to me, so I read while she reads, stopping occasionally to listen to her tell me about her book. It is so wonderful.

Watching the rain.

As part of our pioneer studies, the girls tried a few different honeys and made corn cakes with Aunt Jenny’s homemade jam for breakfast one morning.

Mae’s / Rae’s

We (always, myself included!), spent a few days learning about the Statue of Liberty. They really got involved with it.

We renewed our licence plates! Haha, but more importantly Mae stepped in to learn a new skill. She now knows how to take off and replace licence plates. So, if you’re in need, look no further.

July has had its own fun so far, but the rest of it may entail mostly work on our other house. That should be fun in its own way, but probably not blog-worthy. We’ll see.

We also took a trip to Tennessee, which you can read about here.

PIONEER SUMMER

For our schooling this summer, we (Mae and I) have decided to enjoy the life of pioneers and things that surround that era. We will incorporate pioneers into science, history, read alouds, practical skills/art, field trips (as much as we can), and food.

We are using the free co-op grid from The Peaceful Press as a guide, but we will also use the minds of our girls and see where they want to take this.

Of course, Mae wants to take it to infinity and beyond. Rae is happily one hundred percent involved, but like me, she is a follower, not a leader, so she may not take the reigns much.

As one of the many practical skills, we are learning embroidery more in depth. Daddy is our teacher for this particular one, ’cause he is incredible at it! You can see we were totally off on our technique, as we piddled waiting for Daddy.

Mae and I (while Zack and Rae were at the other house for a few days), took a breakfast to a local park/preserve/historical site. My fellow history buff was in heaven.

We walked a bit of the trail, snooped in the homes (closed for quarantine), read e v e r y plaque, sat on the dock for a bit, and sat on a bench to read our daily bit of On the Banks of Plum Creek, before heading home.

After lunch, we planted a flower garden, laced up a loom for another day, and played a game.

Here is her narration of the chapter we read at the park.

We will also be enjoying late night candle drawing sessions, accompanied by our fall play list or soundtracks -such as Little Women, Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 version), or Downton Abbey. This is a child-led activity.

As part of science, they will diagram various animals, starting with a horse. This is Rae’s horse.

Mae sewed a journal to use with her quill pens. (But, Mum lost the ink…and keeps forgetting to buy more.)

We have begun remodeling Grandma DeeDee’s doll house. It is getting a fresh exterior, new floors and fresh wallpaper and paint inside..maybe some crown molding for good measure?

Pioneer cooking – recipe one was hot cross buns at Mae’s request. We used this recipe for cinnamon raisin buns with an orange glaze!

To go along with the buns, we had a breakfast cooked over a fire and an early morning read aloud while we waited for the fire to get just right! (We timed both activities so that the buns were made the day before a sunny morning.)

I bought the girls some slates (per their request) for them to use for cursive practice. (Mae is using Primary Language Lessons -Volume one)

The girls decided they would like to begin at the beginning, with Native Americans – so to begin, we started light, with some crafts and worksheets…

We made Sculpey clay oven-bake beads (Grandma included! Hers are red white and blue) and then made necklaces with them. Mae stuck with the Native American theme and only used primary colors (they are also her favorite colors), while Rae used her favorite colors -pink and purple, and I went with a nautical blue, white, and gray.

Afterward, we (mostly I, on account of the hot glue used to stick on the thick leather) put together a couple rain sticks. They also wrapped leather string and more homemade bead around the tube.

Corn is in season! I bought some to go along with our Sunday lunch, and we saved the husks to make corn husk dolls once they dry out (she soaked them again for five minutes before forming the dolls.) and…

Mae made two on her own (with the help of a Youtube video). Meet Mary and John. Like her mom and dad, they enjoy kissing each other. It’s the best.

I am so looking forward to school in June! I hope your next month is very full and relaxing!

SCHOOL : APRIL 2020

Homeschooling just gets better and better for me as a mom and a teacher. It has always been some version of good, but -and maybe it is something that has come with time and experience – at this moment it feels as natural as any other part of our lifestyle. Maybe the most natural part.

This month, in this place, has brought such a ‘home school is life’ feeling that so many homeschoolers talk about. The three of us are pretty at peace here.

We now have our computer in the schoolroom, and it is a nice addition. The girls do some online stuff (typing, math, games), and we are able to watch educational programs when they suit our lessons…and when they don’t, like when we discovered two families of eagles via live cam (1 and 2) and became obsessed with watching them take care of there babies.

Mae also enjoys filling some of her free time with Age of Empires 3 and Prodigy math, while Rae prefers PBS games.

We converted our fish tank into a worm farm. Very exciting.

We also started composting again. We ordered seed, and are planning an indoor growing area. We are still waiting for a major job to get done in the yard before we can start a garden, but we should at least have a flower patch again this year. We’ll see.

An ongoing family project has been the creation of country flags. We have ten or so to go until we have covered the ones (still in existence) we have studied about so far. The humidity (on the one warm day this month) got to the tape we used and they began falling down -as Mexico is doing in this photo…

When we moved in the girls requested a disco ball for the school room, and boy is it great. We really enjoy the morning sparkle.

We are an art family. I’m sure that is no surprise to anyone. We work on some form of art every day. In this house, there are so many areas to do such work. As a result, the girls and I have really upped our art…intake? We are doing larger-scale projects without dread of clean up or lack of proper space. It is so much fun!

During the first half of the month, we didn’t use the schoolroom at all. There was construction going on right outside, so we completed formal lessons on the couch (ours downstairs) and spent hours upon hours in what we call the ‘workspace’ creating larger-scale projects and did zero watercolor painting and only one nature drawing (unheard of!).

Rae has, however, drawn and painted plenty everyday on her own.

We found a spot for our swing! I was bummed when the ceilings in our area downstairs were too short (for our tall girls anyway), but I really love it in the school area. They rotate days so there is no arguing over who had it last.

Rae’s / Mae’s Julius Caesar

We finished up our second run-through of The Story of the World – Volume 1 (Nomads to the end of ancient Rome), this time with study questions. Mae has inherited my interest in history. She even requested we have history lessons each day!

I highly recommend The Story of the World series…and the workbooks, but they are good even without. So far there are four volumes. We’ll begin Volume two (“The Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance”) this week.

We are still continuing our German lessons. I am looking for other ways to branch out with German, but I am coming up short.

We are also beginning some large scale projects. Mae will be working on one about our state, while Rae will be working even closer to home -using ideas we found here.

Rae’s New Mexico home.
Mae’s hanging plant

We (They, as I haven’t started mine yet) started building small cardboard homes – based on @houseinhabit’s homes. We still have at least a month’s work to do on them (they dream big). We are waiting on some molding clay to arrive in the mail so they can add food, bowls, etc. inside.

Mae is completing a ‘pioneer barn’ house, Rae is working on a New Mexico adobe style house, and I am torn between a Hobbit hole, Irish farm complete with sheep, and a row of Amsterdam-style homes…or all three…so I’ll finish mine sometime next year, haha.

Practicing her hand sewing and trying new stitches.

We also read through two Narnia books (Prince Caspian and The Silver Chair) this month, began rereading On the Banks of Plum Creek, dug deeper into grammar lessons, as well as progressed farther into math (multiples for Mae and double-digit addition/ subtraction for Rae). We have begun to bake again, and even tackled French macaroons! Mae hopes to try her hand at English coconut macaroons soon.

The rest of May will involve a lot of their Missouri projects, finishing their homes, reading, reading, and more reading, and we will make preparations for our garden(s) and draw up blueprints for summer plant life. We are mostly excited about our flower patches, but we will attempt a few food items. Nothing extravagant though.

SCHOOL FAVORITES

This semester, along with working through multiplication and division, Mae will be running her own bookstore! …on paper…

She is so good at it!

I thought the ‘mark-up percentages’ and taxes would be too much, but she began doing problems like $6.80 marked up 150% in her head! She is learning how to write a check, which may be irrelevant by the time she is old enough to use such things, but I am glad it is included. She pays bills each month out of her monthly ‘allowance’ as well as choose which books and how many of each to order before taking the orders she receives for the month. (It also includes a cheat book for parents, just in case)

We have gone from our once a week schedule of working our way through, to twice a week. She loves it that much. The curriculum lets her run a bookstore for 12 months (or quicker if she wants but it is set up for January through December)

The program is Your Business Math. Rae says when the time comes (it is recommended for 3rd-6th graders) she wants to run a pet shop. I wouldn’t have figured her as someone who would want anything to do with it, but she is. What do I know…

Mae’s Eurasian Bittern
Rae’s European White Stork

The girls have really been doing well on their nature drawings. Rae has been making all of her animals Mexican (traditional, sombrero-wearing Mexicans- like in Coco), and it is adorable. Her stork is also wearing a vest and holding maracas.

The birds were from a lesson on estuaries and the hippo is from a poem Rae did as her daily copy work. We also skipped our ‘no meat’ schtick and ate salmon like Grizzly bears to go along with our estuary study. Raw salmon Nigiri is our favorite way to eat it – Mae says the bears would like it too.

Lastly, Mae picked out a wooden crossbow to build at the store. I had plans to help her, but Zack saw it and got really excited at the thought of building it with her. It was mostly Zack doing the work (some parts took patience and a little strength), but she joined in a bit and watched the process…and has really enjoyed shooting the pegs across the room!

I may do an official February school related post, but lately, I haven’t stopped to grab the camera, so who knows. I hope I do. I always like to look back on things they have (We have) done.

SCHOOL: NOVEMBER 2019

Cheering her spelling words.

November was not as full as I had hoped it would be. I barely had a voice for about two weeks, so I had to get creative when I was feeling up to teaching anything a bit formal. Thankfully, during those two weeks, the weather was decent so the girls could get out of the house and didn’t develop the dreaded cabin fever this early in the season.

Science this month involved animals. It meant I didn’t have to talk, just prepare lessons and let David Attenborough fill in the gaps. Ha. Mae took it upon herself to investigate more by digging through books we own and *approved* Youtube videos.

We only made it through one, shorter group read aloud this month. (I had three chapter books set aside) But it was a great one!

We also read The Quiet Little Woman: a Christmas Story, by Louisa May Alcott in one sitting. It too was delightful!

Mad Mattr seemed to be the activity of choice during group read-aloud time.

The girls had lots of copy work, which has not been as big of a priority this semester. So much writing! Rae was not thrilled and will surely be bummed to find out I liked the results and plan on bringing it back full force.

We also played more games in a single month than we ever have.

Their favorites right now are Settlers of Catan, Five Crowns, 6 nimmt, The Game, Bananagrams, Kings in the Corner, Dungeons & Dragons, Battleship, and Hangman. They also played checkers but that game frustrates both of them when they play each other.

Rae even made her own Candyland game! She made paper people go with it, but we used legos because it made it more fun (and that way she could be Lloyd). Her candy spots were peanuts, a lollipop, Twizzler, and an ice cream cone. The characters on the board were the four of us. I’m definitely framing it when we’ve worn it out.

Mae took to writing songs. Whether they amount to something or not, I thought it would be good practice for writing and identifying the notes.

Rae keeps to herself and never really needs help with anything no matter the subject. However, if I sit with her while she works, she becomes the biggest chatterbox and laughs at all her own jokes. It’s the best.

Mae wrote while Rae drew this one.

Throughout the year, we read up on and talk about native Americans. The girls and I are fascinated by them. In November, we have formal lessons about them in preparation for Thanksgiving. Because I couldn’t talk much, we are probably going to continue researching them into December, because I think of too many projects I want to they would like to work on and there is always more to say.

We read a few books from the library, but my favorites are some we own –

The People Shall Continue, North American Indians, and the most in-depth book -given to me by my brother, Joseph – Through Indian Eyes. The girls look through it often. It is an encyclopedia of sorts.

I have put our Kings, Queens, and Medieval era lessons on hold until next semester sometime.

Hopefully, most of you actually get to enjoy a long weekend. I’ll post the monthly round-up of loose ends on the 30th.

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!