I started schooling Mae when she was three. Rae was a year old, and took a lot of naps, so Mae and I had quite a bit of one on one time for school and play.

Fast forward four years and we’ve made it back to that glorious time together.

This time around, however, she can read and write. What a difference that makes.

She asks questions that stop me in my tracks. She’s always been an “old soul,” but now I am seeing a new version of what that means for her. She absorbs information, ideas, and theories so brilliantly. Constantly in awe of her. – Maybe this is normal for a nearly seven year old, but I don’t remember being seven, so I’ma ganna gush on m’lady like its a new thing. Thanks for indulging.

She is very interested in science. All things science. Anatomy (of humans, animals, and bugs), Astronomy, experiments (baking soda + vinegar type biz), studying nature, and weather. If she gets interested in time travel, Daddy will be tackling that nonsense.

On Rae’s school days, we pick a spot outside – a park, a river, a cemetery or a lake. We get formal school work done, and then fill the rest of our time by exploring.

If we’re at a park, we’ll hike, follow squirrels as quickly and as far as we can, or simply collect nuts, bugs, and leaves.

If we’re at a cemetery, we’ll spend our time reading the oldest headstones and making up an interesting life story or researching origins of surnames.

If we’re at a lake or river we’ll fish, and observe spider webs and tadpoles.

Climbing a tree is an option everywhere we go. We love ourselves a good, low branch.

We also hit up the library at least once a week. We usually read a chapter book a day (3 days a week), and it’s quickly become one of our favorite ways to spend time together. Ya’ll know I can’t pass up a chance to snuggle – especially if it’s with a fellow snuggle enthusiast.

This past week, we read Kylie Jean – Cooking Queen (The Kylie Jean books are her favorite right now), Spiderwick Chronicles – Book 1, and Princess Poesy and the Crazy Lazy Vacation. We finished that last one is 15 minutes, and I take my sweet time reading books! I need to find more of those Princess Posey books! Even Rae can sit through that.



Rain has become a regular visitor here. It wasn’t raining when we woke up Friday, so we ran out of the house with a bag of blueberry muffins we’d made the night before and went for a hike…really, just a stroll along a bike trail.

Mae brought her phone (She usually just listens to music on it at home while she does chores. It doesn’t do anything beyond the camera without Wi-Fi). She wanted to take photos, like Mama. She managed to get in a few before the battery died. I enjoyed observing what she found interesting.

As a rule, we only really take photos the first few minutes of any given outing, if that, and then put the phones away, although this was the first outing we’ve taken photos in a while.

The photo we sent to Zack on his break ^ Would’ve been more fun with him there!

Blurry, but, man does she look old. Ugh. Time really does fly on this side of childhood.

We saw a dung beetle on our way back to the car. Both Zack and I had no idea “we” had dung beetles. Mae painted this gem while watching the episode of Puffin Rock that features Dung Beetles.


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(Naturally, we had to include a nature walk!)

This year Rae is starting kindergarten ‘curriculum’ just as Mae did at her age, and Mae is doing 1st and 2nd, depending on the subject.

We’re to the point with Mae of reading a chapter book a day! I’m having to pace myself. We have a read a book, buy a book system so the cost can add up quick. Its worth the money, obviously, or we wouldn’t have the reward system. We’ve just started the Magic Tree House series. I love her attention to detail, and the questions she comes up with as we read. (We’ve read some Ivy and Bean books, Kylie Jean – which she loves – and we started with classics when she was three)

Rae is incredible with numbers. Really, anything to do with math.
She d r e a d s writing, but picked it up quick and completes her work in 5 minutes no matter how much a give her. I think she just doesn’t see the point in yet, so it bores her. I’ve started to only do writing with Rae once a week, and math with Mae once a week.

Mae still finds maps, American history, the Bible, and world cultures interesting.
Rae enjoys learning about the Bible, world cultures, animals / /nature.

We’re almost 2 months into this school year, and so far it’s a great one!


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Papers organized, pencils sharpened, goals to achieve scribbled on a scrap piece of paper (Clearly I’m going to follow through with each and every goal), daily schedule assembled and lightly written in a fresh planner.

Day one: Mae becomes frustrated that she writes bigger than the prescribed amount of practice space. School work for the day is cut in half. Glance at Rae to see her progress. Papers covered in scribbles, crayons snapped in half and lying naked next to piles of wrappings.

We’ll get back into the swing of things. Tomorrow.



As I took my sweet time getting out of bed Monday morning, I decided “Today is the day we’re going to start getting this girl learned, and have fun doing it!”

I noticed several of the homeschooling “helpful hints” I had found on Pinterest,  had lesson schedules which were set around a theme, and included “exercise breaks.” So I gathered up some things and we had a wonderful experience with it!


After breakfast I made a bridge. The game was you have to crawl under it and run around the couch. We were sweating and I, and only I , was exhausted within ten minutes.  She had a blast with it!


Penelope took a photo of Amelia tumbling for me. Looks quite a bit like a blurry fan to me, but it’s the though that counts, right?

We tumbled (summersaults) after the bridge game. Amelia clapped after each of her turns and crawled back to my lap for another.


We began the schooling part of the day by reading “Just One More Swim.”

We followed it up with learning about polar bears on a Planet Earth DVD and snacking on gold fish (because they eat fish).


As I made lunch, she colored a page about a polar bear cub. She used the book as a reference. It ended up blue and purple though. 🙂


After her nap, we continued our lesson with a craft. We made a polar bear face.

Materials: :

Plate – plastic or paper

White tissue paper

White yogurt cup or clear fruit cup



White + black paper


She was most excited about placing the eyes on it.


I cut out some ears (free hand) and glue them to the back of the plate.


I crumpled then shredded the tissue paper, and swirled glue around the plate (and plastic cup for nose). Penelope then placed the pieces of paper and pushed the paper down.

If you decide to do this, and use a white yogurt cup, you don’t have to cover it in tissue paper.

I glued a larger piece of tissue paper down in the center of the plate so the nose cup would stick to the plastic plate better, but I’m sure this isn’t necessary for a paper plate.


We then “finally” put the eyes and tip of the nose on our bear. – oh, and smile!


She can’t stop talking about her bear plate, and it will soon have a home on a wall around here!

We also watched a web cam video of a live polar bear and and danced to a polar bear song.

Penelope informed me multiple times at supper that she does not like carrots, so tomorrow we will be learning about carrots. What they are good for, how to grow them, painting a giant carrot to put on the fridge, etc. She has already been informed of one fact: No matter if she likes them or not, she still has to eat them! I don’t like carrots either, and I eat them simply to avoid being a hypocrite.

I really enjoyed this preschool thing! I hope this goes well and I don’t find excuses to stop doing it!