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September’s Adventures in Homeschooling – PART TWO

This year we began homeschooling Lucy (7) and Hattie (5). We’re including this on our Giants & Pilgrims blog as all our family adventures seem to impact our art & music so much! Also, we just like sharing the stories. So we’ll be sharing posts on the themes we’ve been covering each month and calling the adventure “ABACUS”!

To read the first half of this post, go here.

READING AND WRITING:

Here were our reading books for the month:

The One and Only Ivan for fun (it was so good), and Columbus as our history story (we are going through this series in order). We really enjoyed both books.

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We have continued with our morning Tea Time and book reading on the front porch. It is so lovely, I’ll be sad when it gets too cold to continue.

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Speaking of books, I am learning that sometimes you have to go with the momentum. One morning I had planned on having the girls do a couple of pages in a math workbook. They had other plans. They were super wrapped up in playing with their calico critters. I never want to interrupt play, so we brought the two together. The girls made tiny math books for their Critters. It was pretty sweet.

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This picture is a another funny example of learning to let things happen organically. I was trying to work on Harriet’s letters with her and she (and I) kept getting frustrated. Finally I gave up and let her go play with Beatrice. Not two minutes later I look over and she is copying the words from these puzzles.

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Tim devised this fun matching game for Harriet’s alphabet work using alphabet pretzels.

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We have been doing a weekly letter writing session – thank you notes, pen pals, love letters, etc. A lovely repercussion has been that the girls are starting to get lots of mail back. Which they LOVE.

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One day when we needed to get out, we did a scavenger hunt at our library. The purpose was to get the girls familiarized with how to find books on their own and use the library computers. It was really fun.

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Birthdays:

We have two girls with September birthdays. We have a tradition around here (see all the past ones here) where the girls and I work together to design them a birthday invitation/postcard. Here is Harriet’s this year –

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And Beatrice’s –

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Some birthday ideas worth stealing/using again –
My mom came up with this awesome little treasure hunt using picture clues. Each clue was only partially drawn and the kids had to figure out what the image was in order to find their next clue.

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As part of Harriet’s party, we drew a giant chalk maze on our outdoor patio. Later (not pictured) the kids drew their own obstacles in it to make it trickier.

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Probably my favorite gift the girls got is this really neat one player game, called Camelot Jr. –
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MAKING PROJECTS:

Lucy’s using an old reading book from Tim’s mom’s second grade class. We have been having fun coming up with projects around each story. This month was tree houses, camping with star gazing (in other post), a planets science kit, and cactuses. Here are some photos of the tree houses. I used to do a similar project for Architecture when I taught middle school. You just find a good “tree” stick and plant it in a can, fill the can with rocks, and then start building!

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SEWING:

These projects were more mama-made and kid-enjoyed, but I had SUCH a fun time making them I couldn’t not share.

Two clothesline baskets for egg collecting –

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And two very colorful capes just for fun. This pattern was so easy and straight forward.

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Well, that’s all for September! Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Adventure: Capes and Crowns

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Capes & Crowns
 
When Lucy was a baby, one of her outfits had a tiny
hidden talk bubble on it that said
“This is the begining of something beautiful.” 
This adventure is about speaking mantras into childrens’ lives.
 
Items Needed:
Free fabric samples (perhaps thrown out from a furniture or
design businesses) or other scrap fabric/felt
Plastic jewels
Scissors
Hot Glue Gun
Sharpies
Instructions:
For the September theme of “brave” you’ll be making capes and crowns for kids. Keep a couple for your family or children you know, then donate the rest to a play area of a woman’s shelter or a waiting room at a doctor’s office or somewhere you know they’ll be put to great use and play.
First, cut the fabric samples into the shapes of capes and crowns while using the hot glue gun to add bling in different patterns. Add ribbons or elastic strips that make them wearable. These can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. Have sewing skills? If so, reinforce the designs with stiches for extra durability. There are some great templates online you can use as a pattern for the crowns.
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When you’ve made some working items take the sharpie. Here’s the important part:
Hide messages into the capes and crowns. What do you want spoken over your kids? Your friends’ kids or nieces and nephews? The children at the place of donation? We suggest mantras like You are Strong. You can do this. You are loved. Great wisdom and strength is found in you.
And so on.
They may never read the message but these sentiments, like small prayers, will play over them as they dawn these dress up items; these capes and crowns that encourage feats of bravery in their stories.
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