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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‰

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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).Β  πŸ˜‰ 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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Bridging to Kindergarten

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about our home school bridging ceremony yet… this happened at the end of August. We had a little ceremony for the little home school nature group I host every week. I printed out posters of the work we did over the summer, so they could revisit everything. I set up a little bridge for the girls with flowers and I said a little bridging poem I made up for each of them as they walked across from preschool to kinder. They also got several badges I made for the summer work they did. The other moms brought a beautiful tea party for us to enjoy afterward. It was a really nice morning and a perfect beginning to our fall semester!

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Portrait Project Catch-up

I’ve been taking them…. I just can’t seem to find the time to post them. Here we are almost 5 weeks behind again…

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Eloise: You started your first official year of Home school Kindergarten in September. We’re taking it slow and allowing for lots of play and exploration of your interests as well as throwing in a bit of those “academics” too. I’m excited for this journey, however long and fruitful it may be.

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Eloise: Hair flying all over, glasses on because your friends are wearing theirs too, milk mustache and always in mid-sentence. Perfect Ellie portrait.

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Eloise: Your Aunt Katie is getting married and I captured this great shot of you at the rehearsal. You are very excited to be the flower girl and I can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle throwing those petals.

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(Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture any photos myself of Ellie walking down the aisle, so this photo is courtesy of my cousin, Laura Shine- thank you!)
Eloise : You did a wonderful job walking down the aisle, as the flower girl in your Aunt Katie and Uncle Nick’s wedding! You loved playing the part of the “flower fairy girl”!

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Eloise: We headed up the coast this past weekend to go apple picking this year. However, it was sadly too late to pick apples, so we enjoyed the hay maze, horse rides, tractor rides and fun with friends instead- and brought home a pumpkin too.

Portrait Project

Not sure if I’ll ever get back to doing this once a week, but at least I’m still taking photos regularly! πŸ˜‰

So I have for you, portraits, 33, 34 and 35…

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Eloise: This week you had to get your first cavity filled (hopefully your last, but with your Mama’s teeth genetics, I’m afraid it will be never ending issues)… You were incredibly brave. Mama had to bring Dada along not for your sake but for hers.

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Eloise: With your new glasses and your good friend Lucy’s new glasses, “glasses” have been the new, hip thing in your social circles. Every one wants them… even your stuffed toys.

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Eloise: Deep in play with Mama made birds and peg dolls. I relish in watching these kinds of independent play sessions. You can tell stories with these little guys for hours if you want to.

” A portrait of Eloise, once a week, every week in 2017.”

Home school Club- Flower Science

We spent the first half of the summer studying flowers and herbs forΒ  Home school club and the second part of it swimming in the pool, beaching and enjoying the summer sun with friends and family. I didn’t get the chance to blog about our last home school meeting for the summer, so I will now.
In mid July we met at one of our favorite parks and wrapped up our flower study with some science. We talked about the different parts of the flower, how flowers take in food, with the classic “carnation in the food dye” science project and then we let the girls build the parts of a flower with clay.
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Portrait Project

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Ellie: Five years ago I was still pushing through a very long, rough labor (22 hours to be exact)… and at 10:00 pm on August 5th, you finally showed your face sunny side up! you are my greatest joy and my greatest challenge. You are full of spunk and imagination. You are fierce and mighty and gentle and funny. You want to be a paleontologist, zoologist, geologist, engineer (so you can build your own theater), and then actress (so you can sing The Last Unicorn song for anyone who asks).
You love dinosaurs and dolls equally and think Madagascar Hissing cockroaches are cute. You live for play dates with your friends but will still cuddle with me when ever I ask. These five years have been amazing…. I love you Kid of mine!

Happy Birthday Ellie Lou! Your Mamasaurus loves you!

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Ellie: zoned out watching Dino Dana on t.v., naked with a dino mask on. This is classic Ellie.

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Ellie: My beautiful sunshine girl. You love riding your bike anywhere and everywhere! A perfect summer day riding down the beach boardwalk!

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Ellie: It’s always “the best day ever” when you get to play with your friends, paint together and make music together! You are one lucky little girl!

“The 52 Project! A photo once a week, every week in 2017”