Saturday, September 7, 2019

Stranger Things and Back to School {A Peek into Our Homeschool August 2019}

So I haven't been keeping up with my monthly homeschool wrap-up post, but I need to get back into the routine, because I love going back and looking over pictures and seeing what we've been doing.  It helps me round out portfolio reviews too, when I recall a field trip or project or some other fun activity we did!

Although I technically posted our Summer Edition, our "summer break" wasn't officially over at that point.  While all the kids in our school district were starting back to school, we were having a Not Back to School Week . . . Husband had a work conference in Atlanta, so it was the perfect time visit my family and do a few fun field trips with the kids!

Although we didn't get to visit with everyone, some crazy things happened of course, but we did get to see several family members and we were able to squeeze in a few fun activities as well!  I already shared how we went to the World of Coca-Cola . . .

. . . and to the Georgia Aquarium!  This was the birthday boy's choice!  Those two places are next door to each other, so it was great that they were the top picks for the kids this year.

The same afternoon, we went to visit some of the locations where Stranger Things was filmed!  The Starcourt Mall scenes were filmed at Gwinnett Place Mall, just outside of Atlanta, and this mall was a ghost town!  We passed storefront after storefront after storefront that was empty, and we rarely passed a person who wasn't a store or mall employee.  It was a massive space, and I'm sure it was great in its glory days, but it was kind of sad and eerie walking through it.

I can see how an empty shopping mall makes an ideal filming location, though!  {Here's an article about how they transformed Gwinnett Place Mall into Starcourt Mall.}

The area where they filmed was blocked off, even though the set had been taken down, and there was a security guard as well.

You could only see a little bit from this angle, but the security guard was friendly and chatted with us, telling my husband about how he gets visitors from all over the United States and even other countries!

Husband asked about the parking lot scene with Billy, so he told my husband where to find it.

The guard also told my husband which doors still had the Starcourt mall logo on it from filming, so of course we had to drive around the mall and find it.  

Then we went back to the county where I grew up, to see where the middle and high school scenes were filmed!  This school was formerly the alternative high school when I lived there, but I guess it closed a few years ago due to mold--the alternative school was moved and renamed.

Prior to that, it was the original Stockbridge High School, and I didn't realize it when watching the show, but their school colors are still on the walls.  (I moved in middle school, but my sister went to high school in the same county and lives nearby so she recognized the colors!)

The girls didn't want to get out of the van for this (it was hot) but a bus driver had parked her bus and stopped to chat with us for a few minutes.  She sees a lot of people stop through here too, and she offered to take our picture!

The school was used for both the middle and high school, and when you drove around you could see different filming spots here too . . . the outdoor and "parking lot" scenes for the high school.

Overall, Husband and boys thought it was really neat!

Then we left and got Donuts, and took Emory back to my sister's where she'd planned a little birthday surprise for him.  She had decorations in his favorite color, a cookie cake, and he got some gifts!  We had a small little party with husband's parents (with ice cream cake) when we got home.  So blessed to have this boy - he's full of joy and has such a big heart!  

The week we were in Georgia was unbearably hot - I grew up there and still forget how unbelievably suffocatingly hot it can be.  We did get the chance to hit a playground one night and a wooded nature preserve in a wooded area one day, so that was nice!

We walked by part of the lake.

But most of the woods took us along a creek.

It was quiet and tranquil, as there weren't a lot of people out on the trails.

 Yes, Emory is always on the lookout for wildlife!

We came to an area where some kids were playing in their swimsuits in the water, so naturally my girls wanted to put their feet in.  

Eloise "accidentally fell" into the water, and once she did, she realized she didn't actually like being wet while fully clothed.  She was also rock hopping and making people nervous, and it looked like it was going to rain, so we ended up just doing the short loop to get back to the cars.

Once we returned home from our trip to GA, we had a "light" week of schooling, and then the last week of August was our full start!  The kids were already finished with their school day and outdoors playing (hence the play clothes) before I remembered pictures!

Eloise is 4 and in Pre-K and full of wild!  She insisted on getting a notebook and pencil for her "school" picture!

Eleanor is 6 and in First Grade.  This is her first "official" year as a homeschooler, both legally, and in the Charlotte Mason sense as well.  She's enjoying her new schedule so far!

Emory just turned 10 and is in the 5th grade!  He loves animals, the outdoors, science and history and is generally a good student!

Elliott's a smart kid and loves video games and movies.  He says he hates school, but he does well in math, science and he tends to enjoy biographies!

The kids insisted on a goofy picture!

I insisted on a regular one . . . this was their compromise I guess!  

I'll share more about each child's curriculum choices for the year soon, but we're not straying much from what we've done the last two years!  Our verse this year is Proverbs 4:7 and I am absolutely looking forward to a year full of learning and wisdom!

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