Thankgiving 2017

This year for Thanksgiving, Jeff and I hosted once again and it was a really wonderful day all around. My family (mom, dad, sisters and brother plus Jeff and Ellie) were there with my sister’s new husband and his mother and brother as well as my Grandmother. The weather was nice, so we ate outside. Jeff and I recently lost a friend to a tragic car accident and so that family was on our minds as well as the fragility of life. And my Mom is also going through a lot right now with a tough diagnosis of breast cancer and that has been the focus of making every day special and wonderful before her surgery and the long road to recovery. We have so much to be thankful for- and I’m once again thankful for a day like yesterday with my family and friends. We ended the night with Jeff’s famous apple pie, brownies and nilla wafer pudding and a round of Heads Up that put a smile on everyone’s faces and utter thankfulness in all of our hearts.
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Homeschool Friendsgiving

Last week we got together for a special homeschool club- a Friendsgiving! We made corn husk dolls (thanks to Julie who provided all the materials and showed the girls how to make them). I read about the Native American history of these dolls to the girls while they made them. We also made gratitude rocks and talked about what we could do with them as well as what we were all thankful for. And then we had a lovely Friendsgiving lunch! Thank you to my dear friends for hosting us.

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Happy FRIENDSgiving to all my friends out there!

A Homeschooling Autumn

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We spent the last couple weeks delving into “tree study” in home school club. Using the wonderful Into The Mountains painted rocks, I told the story of Why the Evergreens stay green. And with MirusToys story set, I told the story of the Why the Maple Tree makes syrup. The girls loved the stories and wanted to make their own story stones (I had little bark flats for them to make story stones- they worked just as well).

The older girls collaborated on drawing and labeling a large tree and its parts and the younger girls climbed trees in the park. 😉 We talked about the trees in the particular park we were in, what their bark looked like and what it might be for, the rings on a tree and what they were for (we used Into the Mountains beautiful crocheted tree ring to guide us). And the girls ended with an open-ended painting on large slabs of wood.

Portrait Project

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Eloise: It’s moments like these that make me feel really good about our choice to home school you for kindergarten. You delve into a project and figure things out on your own and then proceed to keeping building… layer upon layer of learning.

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Eloise: I am certainly thankful for you, my spunky, precocious, incorrigible, funny 5 year old.

Portrait Project (late again)

Oops, well, so much for being on time with these. Looks like I’m another 4 weeks behind! Here you go!!

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eloise: We spend our Tuesdays learning about letters and sounds and numbers. We’re taking it nice and slow with lots of games and silly stuff throughout the “academics”. This is you trying to make a “J” with your body.

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eloise: Emotions have been running high around these parts. Lots of challenging behaviors that I thought we were finally leaving behind us. I’ve been trying my best to be gentle and patient but there are some days where that’s been very hard. I have to remind myself that you are still only 5 and are still learning to control your emotions and behavior. This photo was after a “tantrum” of sorts… you finally decided that playing with magnatiles would calm your body down. And it certainly did.

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eloise: You had your art class art show the other day and donned all in witch attire (you’ve been wearing this outfit daily all month), we got to see what you have been working on! You were very proud of the art you made and rightly so. I’ve watched you blossom in this class, from not really wanting to do much to coming to pick you up and seeing that you are still engrossed in your art work hours later.

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eloise: “Mama, I’m going to be a good witch and build my own apothecary and do spells… good spells. I’m going to be a witch every day.”

Portrait Project (On time!)

Well look at that! I’m finally back on track with 2017’s Portrait Project! It only took half the year. 😉

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Eloise: I love this photo so much, because as I was taking it, I got a little teary over your completely innocent and utter excitement about winning “1st place as the most sparkly witch”, in your dear friend’s Halloween party costume contest. You were joyful, your dear friends were so excited for you (even though they all won “1st prize” too in their respective costume categories).  😉 Moments like this make me truly believe in the path we are taking with your schooling. This home schooling community we are so lucky to be a part of and the friends we have all made are truly magical.

“A photo of Ellie, once a week, every week in 2017”

Home school Club this Autumn

We’ve been meeting every week since our bridging ceremony and continuing on with our nature studies as a small group. The girls all go to a wonderful art class for a couple hours and then we all meet up at a park and Teacher Summer (that’s me) falls in line to facilitate our weekly lesson.
We’ve talked about “seeds” and “seed dispersal”, “apples”, “leaves”, and the changing season. We even tried to go apple picking up north as a group, but alas, we were too late and apple picking had been bumped for pumpkins. We are still using Lynn Seddon’s amazing nature curriculum, Exploring Nature With Children as well as adding in all sorts of other materials I have discovered along the way.

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