Marvelous Mae, you turn EIGHT today!

What an incredible honor it is to be your mom. You are this kindest, most patient, curious, loving human being I will ever know. I was given another year with you (a completely healthy you!), that alone makes my heart burst and my eyes brim with tears – alright, let’s get away from this mushy stuff… Hopefully, as you’re reading this I am still around bothering you with these words in person, daily.

Let’s move along to see what you are like at this very moment in time!

You are, still, always good for a joke, sincere encouragement, or an adventure.

You have grown two inches in the past year!

You care about your clothes and find a way to bring about your own style. You work with what you’ve got and thankfully, your hand-me-downs are just what you prefer to wear!

You are so proud of your progress in dance and have been striving to devote more time to your stretches, your knowledge of what you’re taught as well as building up your technique. You are always floating and dancing your way from one place to the next.

You still do not like meat. Your father wants to know, “Why?” Along those lines, your favorite meal has to be dessert – even if that means designating a non-sweet item on your plate as the “dessert.” You like soup, salads, and the greatest of all foods would have to be pancakes. All types of pancakes.

You are adaptable and pleasant in every situation. You never complain about anything – and I truly mean that ‘anything’. Well okay, if there is meat on your plate by accident, say on pizza or in a meal at someone’s house, you wince a little.

You hold your sister’s hand all. the. time. and it is the greatest.

You always have paper and a pencil with you. You copy words from books, write stories, write letters and write random words whose spelling you want to commit to memory.

And, Oh!, that memory of yours. I’ve never seen anything like it. The other day, you brought up a seemingly insignificant five-minute conversation you and I had two years ago! because it related to a current conversation we were having. You can tell me how to get to Vovo’s old house in Dothan, Alabama. You know certain recipes by heart, and you hear very sophisticated words and will bring them up in the natural flow of a sentence. Words we didn’t even know you knew but had heard somewhere along the way.

You are definitely an older sister. I don’t want to say bossy so before I do, let’s jump on over to the next sentence!

Your favorite subject is probably still science – biology and robotics are where it’s at. You, like your daddy, have to figure out how things work and why they work. But, you are like your momma in the way that you always want to go somewhere, anywhere at all times.

Paris and horses and baking and reading are a few of your favorite things. You can read so well now and are understandably proud of yourself!

I feel as though saying, “We love you so much!” falls short of what we truly mean. Those words are said so frequently that they may lose their meaning if they haven’t already – but I’m not too great at or fond of metaphors. So, I will tell you we feel more deeply for you than we ever thought we could feel. When you came into this world we discovered a new kind of love that is beyond understanding and beyond measure. You share our love with your sister, yet somehow you each have more than our whole hearts in your possession. You are imperfect, yet perfect. I cannot possibly love you more but I can try, more than I do, this year to show you how much I adore you.

My beautiful, Mae. Happy Birthday sweet girl.


September flew by!

I’m very glad I decided to post more frequently throughout the month, as I used to. It feels strange to have such a short monthly round-up post!

^ My buddy on dance nights ^

Wrote a post about dance and gymnastics back here.

There haven’t been enough cold days for me to get into the spirit of autumn, but boy am I tryin’! We’ve got a few good steady playlists for fall playing on the regular, “Hobbit cookies” (above) and other such treats are making the rounds and we’ve gone simple with the decorations so far with just some candles, two pumpkins the girls bought for themselves (we’ll use them for our first from-scratch pie), and some dried oranges to hang by the kitchen window. In October, we’ll go full force with the decorating…if it has become permanently cold by then. Please oh please oh please.

Where we have been successful with the fall mindset is with our movie watching! Fall is our favorite season for movies – followed closely by Christmastime – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Our annual favorite is Fly Away Home. This year added Rudy to our line-up – Zack and I hadn’t seen it since we were kids – we ate this ham and bean soup with homemade bread for the occasion. Oh boy. So good. Some other favorites are You’ve Got Mail, Wallace and Gromit and the Warerabbit, E.T., Harry Potter series, and The Hobbit trilogy – which pairs nicely with those “Hobbit cookies” and more soup.

I had poison ivy and a cold for the first half of the month. I finally caved after a week and a half of torture and went to the doctor for some good stuff (for the poison ivy). The girls were such troopers. I’m not surprised, just happy about it.

Katie has officially grown on us. By that I mean, we have officially grown on her.

She particularly adores G. She actually curled up on his lap and purred loudly as she fell asleep. I didn’t think she was that type of cat!

We only took one trip to the river in September. It was the perfect night for it!

^ Mae’s Black Panther.

We went to the St. Louis Scottish Games.

After more than a month, we finally made it over to our neighbor’s house! It’s weird to go so long without a visit. She has brought us vegetables and other goodies over to us, but taking time to sit and chat about life with them is so nice! All of the kids adore her and she, them. What a blessing good neighbors can be.

There is also our school round-up, here. Our month with the boys, here.



This past Saturday, we drove to Chesterfield for the annual St. Louis Scottish Games. The girls called it the ‘Irish Games” all day. We love Ireland. Haha.

It was incredibly cold (Halleluiah!) – a perfect Scottish summer day. Just windy enough to fly the many flags that were hung!

Sheep and kilts, and bagpipes. Mmmm boy.

We arrived in time for the opening ceremony – which was led by an actual Scotsman. It was very formal, with men in uniform who marched across the main field and involved Scottish anthem, American anthem, and a prayer.

^ Mary ^

This wool came from the sheep up there in the pen. Each item has a card with information on the sheep it cam from and the owner actually spent the day on the spinning wheel spinning yarn.

Zack’s desire to learn how to make his own yarn may be the only way I’m ever going to get a sheep of my own. (Sorry, Don, I’m on Reagan’s side of the sheep debate!)

Mary’s owner demonstrated sheep herding. So interesting! The dog was really what we were supposed to watch. She was brilliant. The sheep only stopped eating to run where they were led. As soon as their feet stopped, they began to eat. The girls found that to be hilarious.

Mae bought herself a flute and Rae picked out a bracelet with a pink leather strap and a metal clover.

The girls both signed up for a foot race, but Rae chickened out when she realized her sister was in a different group. Mae, however, ran her heart out!

There was also a great band, booths where you could find your clan’s name. An entire kids area – complete with cardboard cabers. Actual caber tossing and well as other traditional competitions were held all day long. We didn’t stay long for it, but we also enjoyed watching the kids perform their traditional dances. Very different from Irish dancing!


School was so much fun!

Okay, I think it always is – but the balance of structure and freedom in choice was effortless this month.

The boys are always wonderful. Even so, I was nervous about how school will work with extra kids. I know homeschool moms are notorious for having large families and even single moms who work outside of the house homeschool, but, it was a frequent concern in my mind while the boys were gone over the summer.

Two months in and it could not be going better! We’re so prepared, relaxed, and in such a good groove. I even have plenty of time to give G lessons. The girls help me out here too, mainly Rae. The preschool years are still fresh in her mind…and he is glued to her hip. Ha. His lessons are always informal – taught as we play, as I believe it should be.

First on our musts for the month was to finish up lingering assignments. So – G helped us finalize our worm project by digging them out of the jar and mimicking the girls’ counting. There were four babies! – and some mighty fine dirt. We kept the dirt and set them loose into the yard.

The kids used part of that dirt to plant some pinto beans. Within a week ^ they were so tall! Instant gratification. Wonderful. We’ve planted them outside with no actual hopes of them surviving.

I’ve mentioned what we are using this semester back here, but now that we’ve been into the swing of things for a while, I’ll give an update to how it’s working out.

Mae is really into our English lessons. Our favorite ‘curriculum’ book at the moment is English Lessons Through Literature Level 2. So much goodness in there. For each lesson, it uses an introduction or review of types of nouns (It moves away from nouns eventually), a chapter reading, poem, a fable, and occasionally the Bible. I think the only downside of it for me, would be that the first book we’re reading through is The Wonderful World of Oz. I’ve never cared for the story but maybe I’ll like the book? It also includes the book in the lesson on nouns. I like that it brings it all full circle.

Our catechism has been mostly studied by verbal discussion. I like when these talks last a long time. So many brilliant questions and comments from these girls!

Mae loves getting on the computer for any reason. She has begun typing her way through Typing Club. (It’s free) So far it is wonderful and simple. Rae is still playing Teach Your Monster to Read and constantly practicing ‘her words’ using flash cards, easy reader books, etc. They’re both becoming such brilliant readers!

We’ve been meaning to make a simple robot for. like. everrr. now, but have yet to. So we made a simple compass (tested against another compass we knew worked – though I’m sure we could’ve used the sun.) in the hopes that any ol’ science experiment business will sooth Mae’s mind for the time being.

Fridays are “kids pick” days. The first Friday, the girls picked to hunt and study mushrooms. The second Friday we took a field trip to the St. Louis Zoo. We researched Scarlet Ibis and made clay models of them.

Fridays are also our day to finish up any leftover assignments and chapter books from the week if there are any. If there aren’t, it’s a free day. Whoop.

We’ve found better ways of working through chores. Such as bringing back the ol’ folding laundry while they watch television routine they had when they were younger. This helps us all out because I’m not so reliable with getting clean clothes put away and they get to watch television during lunchtime when G is here. Keeps their minds moving a bit. I could easily live out of a hamper for the rest of my life, but it sure has been nice having occasionally empty hampers!

We also clean up before G takes his nap instead of waiting until he’s heading home, and our afternoons have seemed quite calmer.

We’ve also really upped our cooking game. We cook three meals a day just about seven days a week, so by cooking game, I actually mean our creativity has been sparked again. It had taken a couple months off.

We baked pizza (complete with made on the spot sauce) and a cake for a mid-week lunch and made extra dough for the following morning’s doughnuts. We got creative, once again, with our oatmeal and muffin ingredients, pancake batter, and still had the gumption to make hearty suppers – such as homemade tomato soup pair with oven-toasted grilled cheese made with freshly baked bread and good cheese. Yum. With more slow-cooked meals in the hopefully cold future, this should only get better!

We’ve been studying important colonial figures this semester. So far, it has just been founding fathers. We’re spending a bit more time on Benjamin Franklin – since there is a bit more to his story. For starters, we researched his inventions. We really liked the glass armonica. Clever fella.

Based on the stank eyes in both portraits, I’m guessing the girls are tired of drawing old white men, so our next person will be someone who is not a founding father.

^ Even one of our nature poems was written by Benjamin Franklin. ^

We accompanied as many lessons as we could with some sort of art activity (surprise surprise). Spent the chilly mornings on the porch for Bible time and the evenings indoors by candlelight (’cause they fancy) finishing up work they intentionally left unfinished so they could work slowly among the candles. The middle of the month was hot so we nixed the candles – but they’re making a comeback this week.

We read a stupid amount of books. Yay! Along with Mae’s independent reading, short stories, biographies, and quick novels –  I read them a few larger novels at an hour a day pace throughout the month and Zack began to work through The Lord of the Rings with them every night before bed – even if it meant they had to stay up past their bedtime. A sacrifice they were happy to make.

I enjoy reading and discussing stories with my girls. They always have so many wonderful, insightful questions. Fall read-alouds require candles!, and background (read : easily ignored) jazz or other classical music (such as Hans Zimmer or Pixar soundtracks), and in the case featured above, it required coloring books. I usually give them an activity to do, such as working with clay, coloring, Legos, or painting.

*We do this while G is sleeping or in the evening after he has gone home.

Mae learned how to use a dictionary! What a big help that will be for my vocal cords! She picked it up instantly. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.

She chose yodel to be her first investigated word. She then, on her own, grabbed some paper, copied the definition and drew a man yodeling on the back. She spent the following hour or so looking up her favorite things – Paris, panda, etc. – and investigated random words – Black Sea, month, sign language and so on. She gave a presentation on the words she researched. It was delightful.

We received our first Little Passports package. Our first country is BRAZIL! Can you believe it?! We’ve got this in the bag! Feijoada and guarana for daaaays!!!! Also, black beans and rice for days, but that’s not so unusual for us.

The world map is hung up in the girls’ room and they’ve placed a pin on Brazil. We’re going to learn a bit of Portuguese and figure out some Brazillian desserts as well as investigate everything the package came with. We know plenty about the culture, so will be nice to learn a bit about the jungle areas. We’ve gathered all of our Brazillian items from around the house (Mae’s idea) and done the activity book that came along with it. There is also online stuff on their site, so I’ll have to figure that out. It’s going to be fun!

We’re trying to soak up the last bit of bug weather (though, we’re over the hot weather!). We have seen a ridiculous number of stick bugs and mantis in the past month! Never gets old for me. We also caught a few toads. Some at the river, but most in our yard. We found a caterpillar on our neighbor’s porch yesterday and decided to bring it home. It will become a moth, I believe. We’ve made it a little home and filled it with what the internet says are it’s favorite foods (the evergreen stems, not the leaves Rae put in there). So far so good – which means for, at least the rest of September, we’ll have a class pet. (It’s in our Ikea greenhouse. You can kind of see it behind the Little Passports box up there.)

BUT! I’m ready for the abundance of birds the fall and winter bring our way and believe we’ve done well for ourselves in the way of bug investigations over the past season.

AND! We took our first field trip of the school year! We went to the zoo on a very hot hot hot day. My parents were so wonderful and tagged along to help me manage all four kids. Their presence was crucial! (Zack and the boys’ mom plan on tagging along for future trips)

October will involve more reading, cooking, sewing and piano and less time at the table and most likely, less time outside.



Mae went back to dance classes after a break for the summer. Week one was very exciting for her! This year she is taking two classes! Ballet, tap, and jazz as one class and another to help in strengthen technique and flexibility and brush up on terms and whatnot.

That last photo up there is of her watching Leap before her first class! Gettin’er pumped – as if she needed help…

Rae totally loves Leap, too. She was smiling a second before, honest.

Sometimes Rae and I (and so far, Zack) shop for groceries. Sometimes Rae and I sit at the studio and read / watch Netflix on my phone while Zack grocery shops.

We bring Mae supper between classes (very exciting!). She chose Sonic for her first night because that is what the “big girls” eat during their supper breaks. So sweet.

Sometimes we’re hungry before class and eat on the way, so then she’ll get a snack between classes. Junk food. Oh boy. They’re in heaven.

On gymnastics night, we go somewhere and sit and talk for an hour or so. On this particular night, we brought peanut butter sandwiches to eat before class and stopped by Panera for desserts (homemade junk food. Ha.) and tea.

With all of the going back and forth (their lessons are around a half an hour drive one way), there is plenty of downtime. So far we listen to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and various kid’s podcasts in the car and talk about all manner of things. It’s pretty terrific.

Having her sister with her this year has been better for Rae. She’s sticking with it this time around. No ifs or ands. They’re both killin’ it – and hopefully making friends in the process.


Zack rarely gets to go to the river with us anymore. If he does, it is for a ride in the canoe, and we’ve only done that once this year! Very rarely.

The other night, I was really itching to get out of the house before the sun went down. Usually, that’s when I would grab the girls and run for the hills. This time, Zack was home, so we asked him to go.

He had just cleaned the car (it looked better than new!) and wasn’t too keen on them messing it up, so we skipped the whole getting in the water part of it and just snooped for frogs and tossed a couple rocks. Rae caught a frog and eventually set it free. We were pretty sure her sturdy toss killed it, but it eventually swam away.

Not the most magical of evenings, but it beat watching television!



Dear Rae,

It has always bothered me when someone is fanatical about something, or somewhere, or someone – except when it came to you and Star Wars. It began when you were two. Maybe you were even younger.

I never did quite figure out what it was about those films that you enjoyed. I enjoy them, but what can a two-year-old get out of it? You knew the names of every character (with the exception of movies one through three – ’cause ew). You had -have?- a crush on Luke Skywalker but otherwise favored every member of the dark side. You knew the entire Imperial March tune by heart before your third birthday and hummed it frequently and would march around knees high and proud.

Well. Today, Rae, I asked, “Would you like to watch Star Wars?” and you said, “No.”

Just like that.

I’m sure you still adore them, but I can’t help but feel it was a phase and you – a child who does not make changes lightly – are beginning to move on.

Thankfully, your beloved C3PO and Hux figurines (you call them “figure actions”) are still making the rounds from car to couch to bed.

Hold on just a ‘tweensie bit’ longer for me. K?

My phone’s two-year mark has come and gone. With that came the usual side effects – quick draining battery, slower reaction time, etc. What I didn’t expect was my camera to stop focusing. My camera has two water spots on the lens which was well, I dunno…annoying? Not enough to fuel a desire to order a new lens, though.

Well, I finally decided to leave my Nikon permanently dusted off.

Day one yielded such good results (according to me). I caught myself noticing little details like I used to, like the girls’ matching stance as they worked through a poem and I played with the baby on the floor. G looking oh so cool biting his nails, staring off into space, while wearing “boss glasses,” and Rae scrubbing dishes from above as I grabbed cinnamon from the spice cabinet for Mae’s pancakes.

Rae even took an interest and snapped a photo of me changing a diaper…and about twenty photos of the “flamingo parade” from Planet Earth II (not pictured).


August was filled with several heart-breaks, finished projects, and new responsibilities for the upcoming fall semester.

The heart-breaks came in the form of unexpected deaths. One of an old friend, one was a student of Zack’s, and one was our sweet boy, Buckey. I began writing this post at the beginning of the month, stretching it further as things happened. I decided to leave my simple insignificant thoughts about Buck as they were. It’s still so weird that he is not around.

All that being said – this post is a weird one for me. The beginning of the month is very different from the ending.

Zack began the month with meetings and a sense of comfort blended with the unknown that comes with a new year and new students and now has an entire month of school out of the way.

The girls and I started the month by helping Zack unpack the fresh art supplies for him and the other art teacher. That always feels good and gets him eager to start teaching again. I noticed him swooning over the painting and paper supplies Terrill received. He sure is going to miss teaching drawing and painting this year.

*Also! This is his seventh year teaching!

Bucky Boy. He takes up the entire couch but still thinks he’s a lap dog…

See. Insignificant thought now very significant.

Our neighbors gave us blackberry bushes two years ago and they are finally bearing substantial fruit! Sure, the birds get most of it, but that’s okay because we enjoy having birds in abundance.

We took many a trip to the hardware store for paint and wood and wood and paint. We have finally painted the majority of the walls! …in the front of the house. Honestly, I barely noticed the drywall, but I really enjoy how bright the front of the house is now.

We attended the memorial for our friend, Sarah, who passed away. I left my phone in the car but managed to snap this photo just as we were getting out. I just wanted something to reference that night. As sad as it was, it was such a good night full of long-overdue reunions.

As I mentioned, our boy, Buckey died. I found him as I went to take him ‘potty’ and thought he was sleeping. Thankfully he didn’t get hit by a car. That is the typical fate for a dog around here. Zack and Rae dug his grave by Mae’s favorite reading tree and we buried him with his favorite things. He was a year and two months old.

G got himself a fresh baby brother, A, over the summer. Their mom went back to work with Zack, so we started watching our favorite little fellas again!

I wrote a post for them back here. Also – they are my cousins. That’s very confusing for many people. While I claim them to the dowting cashier at the grocery store, I did not birth, foster, or adopt these kiddos. I just hang out with them when public school is in session.

She has been the number one helper with the hens this month!

I added a post about our schooling this month, here. I accidentally left out this gem of a photo. It’s always exciting to finish an assignment! No victory too small in this house!

Mae wrote that “Pen” and shouted, “Look, Mom! It’s in computer mode!” Clever girl.

^ Those feet!!! ^ (and Buckey!)

The girls each grew twelve feet this summer. I’m so grateful they are healthy and growing like weeds but it’s so gradual that when I finally get around to observing a change, it’s always such a shock. I’m sure that is the case only when they are your own children, so, let’s move on-

As the warm weather is going farther away, the cats are hanging around the house more and being extra snuggly. Bailey fell asleep like that…right on her neck. She lied there until the cat’s nap was over. One of her happiest moments, I’m sure.

Rae drew a lot. It’s not unusual for her to draw, she just drew / colored every spare moment she had this month. E V E R Y spare moment. Most of her drawings were portraits of me. Her absolute favorite person. (I’m writing the story – I can tell it any way I want)

The girls had a regular dentist check-up. So far so good! I can’t help but hold my breath in the assumption that one of them is going to inherit my garbage teeth. I really hope they don’t.

One of our favorite cousins, KaLyn, married her best friend! (She is G and A’s aunt.) It was such a great evening. Their vows – written in secret – synced up perfectly, his seemed to be a response to hers. and they danced to Flight of the Conchords. Perfect.

Zack and I also learned, “Real men place their left hand atop their right.” 

Look how manly they appear. Scores more manly than the did moments before with their arms dangling about willy-nilly.

Thanks, Logan.

At about 10:30 that night, Mae fell on the dance floor (the ground) and busted her nose. She’s fine and got snuggles and selfies in abundance back at Grandma’s house until about midnight.

The girls have really enjoyed getting back into the habit of slow evenings filled with their “handicrafts.” So far their favorite ways to spend time doing things while listening to a book or unintrusive music has been practicing their stitches and building with Legos. It’s so so nice.

I thought once school started back up, the girls would get less time with their friends, but so far, that’s not the case!

Mae even had her first sleepover without her sister. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. In the end, Rae really seemed to need time with just Daddy and I. Just one night though. She missed Mae somethin’ fierce.

We took a couple trips into the city this month…they were all trips to Ikea – shocker – but this time we actually bought things. Ha. We picked out new furniture. We didn’t have enough seating for all four of us to sit down at the same time. (The smaller couch is now back in the girls’ room.)

Our friends, Daniel and Heather, had their fourth baby this month. He has had some issues. We took a short trip up to visit him (and Heather) in St. Louis. I didn’t take a photo of their sweet boy, Joshua, but I took a few within the hospital’s rooftop garden…and of Mae being adorable on the way home. That kaleidoscope was so cool. the wind blowing the leaves made it exceptional.

The girls started gymnastics! They also seem to favor the same two leotards…cuties.

As Zack was finally mowing the lawn the other day – the first time since June! – I snuck the girls away and explored the river down the road. The water was warm, yet the air felt like fall. We had the place to ourselves (another mom showed up with her daughter and they swam, just as we were leaving). We saw one crawdad and one minnow. No tadpoles, but plenty of rocks and leaves!

Once the mosquitoes get gone, we’ll be back. Zack and I prefer the river in the fall (Him on account of the sun, me on account of the mosquitoes). Maybe he’ll be able to join us next time.

AND – I know I shouldn’t rush the seasons, I should enjoy the moment. But. Rae is still getting ticks, our air conditioning went out over a month ago, and we’ve had just enough cool and rainy days this month to get me in the mood for fall. I’m over you, summer. Please be colder, September!


It’s a new school year! Okay, we never really stop our school year, but we spent the summer focused on reading and otherwise solely learning through living. Hippy much?

When Zack heads back to teaching art at our public school, we get back to more of a schedule or at least a guided system of learning. I love the back to school season and the structure of it all. Well, as structured as a hippy can be…

The girls have been back at it for almost a month now. Here is what we have been up to!

The girls have (at least) two big projects for this school year. The first is one on ecosystems. We’re following along with Properties of Ecosystems. So far we’ve done a lesson a week – on our own habitat, food chains, etc. – and we made our own worm farm – an idea from the book – and charted its progression. When we are done, we’ll dump the worms into Mae’s large compost she has going on in the backyard.

We are also working our way through Fun and Easy Nature and Science Investigations. It is small lessons that always involve a hands-on approach to the subject – from an easy task of filling in rain record sheets to something just as easy, but more complex, like watching mold ‘bloom’ on food. This we will do here and there and won’t be scheduled unless it directly relates to something else from the book above – or, you know, if it happens to be raining a lot ( hello next seven months! )

Their second large project is a catechism study. Why we believe what we believe. We are using the New City Catechism app as a guide on where to ‘go’ next. They will spend until November studying the Holy Spirit and will spend that entire time memorizing the verse above – John 14:16-17.

We recite the verse as well as add a discussion onto our morning devotion. We still use Indescribable for our devotion – because, science! 

This fall, the girls’ biography studies will go along with our colonial time-period research.

We read through If You Lived in Colonial Times and If You Lived in Williamsburg in Colonial Days while they painted their portraits as if they were chapter books. We didn’t plan on breezing through them.

We also read related portions from The Story of the World – Early Modern Times (My all-time favorite history ‘textbooks.’ I read through all of them as though they were novels. So, if you like history, you may like them on their own)

The girls have slowing begun getting back to writing their penpals. Hopefully, we can keep it a once a month deal – and once a week for Grandma since e-mail does not require stamps.

We do a lot of “narration.’ I will read them a story or passage from something and they tell it back to me in their own words (I separate them for this part). As they talk, I write it down word for word – recalling the story to help them really think about what they’ve heard. Then they spend time writing it down for handwriting practice and illustrating it to practice their drawing skills.

For this, so far, we’ve read some Aesop’s Fables for Kids, and short stories by Beatrix Potter.

The girls also do ‘poem paintings’ – this month, and possibly this entire semester because we have so many – we’re concentrating on poems about animals. Our entries come from Over in the Meadow and Eric Carle’s Animals Animals.

For grammar, Rae is working through sight words. Something I never did with Mae but they learn differently and I think she’ll learn better this way. We’re using some flashcards, a list of words I wrote myself, and a Paw Patrol wipe-away book. She is also reading through some BOB Books (which we love!) and some Dick and Jane level books. I’m also using methods from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons without digging the actual book out.

Mae s working through English Lessons Through Literature Level 2, Learning Grammar Through Writing, and Primary Language Lessons.

Geography! My favorite subject!

The girls are still getting skilled at reading maps. For this, we’re working through Sucess with Maps and simply pulling out a map and observing it. Also this year for the girls’ birthdays, Grandma got them a subscription to Little Passports. They’ll get stuff from a new country every month! I’ll try and dedicate extra time to diving deeper into each country, such as eating the food they eat (both meals and treats) and listening to their music while we work.


Group Read AloudMeet Felicity | Magic Tree House – Viking Ships at Sunrise (Basically the movie Secret of Kells) |Smith of Wootton Major | Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot – Uranium Unicorns | The Black Star of Kingston | The Mouse and the Motorcycle  | Eerie Elementary – Recess is a Jungle

*Smith of Wootton Major is very expensive. We got it from our library. There is a free online PDF of the entire book (It’s short) here.

*The Black Star of Kingston is a prequel to the Green Ember Series by S.D. Smith – which is fantastic.

Audiobooks | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – We listen to audiobooks in the car and while doing ‘handiwork’ – Legos, sewing, crocheting, clay, etc.

Mae’s Self-readingThe Princess in Black | Penny and Her Doll | Amelia Bedelia |Helicopters and Gingerbread (her favorite!) | Sounds of Numbers

She has also read several short story books to herself and the other kids ^ those are just the ones her and I sat together and read.

Foreign Language | Mae wants to learn French and Mandarin – Zack thinks she should learn Spanish, ’cause, America – or Mandarin. For now, she uses a Little Pim app for French and wants to start watching all of our movies in French. Once we decide on a language, she’ll likely use Duolingo. Hopefully by the time she graduates she will know a few languages. One or two fluently and a few basics for others.