Posts tagged #education

Reasons You Should Start Gardening with Your Kids

As we are approaching the second year for our family garden my kids are giddy with excitement and looking forward to getting out and getting dirty! This past Easter their baskets were filled will all sorts of gardening goodies. The Easter bunny hit it spot on this year! They were filled with a watering can, mini garden gloves, seeds, and gardening tools.

Since

last year

was such a success and the kiddies were so interested, we decided that we are going to give the girls their very own garden bed to putts around in! Gardening is such a wonderful activity and hobby for young kids to take part in and here's why...

Educational

This is a

hands on experience

for the kids to learn where our food comes from and how it's made. Most kids who don't have a clue about gardening assume our food is made at the grocery store. Learning about seeds, plant needs, and how to grow their own food will make plant biology all the more fun!

Teach them about work and Responsibility

Not only do your kids learn about the educational aspects behind gardening but they learn about the hard work it takes to produce the food and the work it takes caring for the plants.

Physical activity

Kids should be out playing anyways but fun in the sun can be constructive as well and gets them moving the muscles they're not used to while sitting in class all day.

It's fun!

Most kids enjoy gardening and getting their hands a little dirty. Why not give them a productive activity that you can join in on as well.

Boosts their self-esteem

My little one felt so proud when the tomatoes and cucumbers started to grow. It's like she accomplished something big, which she did!

Healthy for the family

Growing your own food gives you the reassurance of where it comes from and the chemicals that are used. It also gets kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables because they grew it themselves. My daughter would go out to the garden and pick the green beans and eat them raw. I was shocked!

Spending time with your kids

My favorite reason is I get to spend quality time with my kids. Those early years of wonder are perfect for gardening. It's a hobby that both mommy and my girls enjoy together.

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Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom

One of the things I love most about Disney is that they take every opportunity to plug in the educational factor in almost all that they do. Animal Kingdom is a park that has educational resources everywhere. Since we have been through this park a couple of times, this visit we wanted to try something different.

We came across the Wilderness Explorers upon entrance into the park, just passed the Tree of Life. Wilderness Explorers are dressed up like the scout from the movie UP. You get these cute little handbooks to earn badges/stickers as your travel throughout the park. I was so excited about this idea because it's an introduction for my daughter earning badges for her Daisy Scout year.

After going through the book, I realized that many of the big attractions at the park have an education reference behind them. For example, the Expedition Everest attraction details the aspects of camping in the mountains. As you walk through the line, unless you are fortunate to zip through to the front, you trek on a journey through the Himalayan mountains. One of the badges was specifically related to this as we had to find and check off items one would need to venture out into the wilderness. When we spotted all the items on the list we earned our badge.

Kali River Rapids is another attraction that provides more than just a thrill ride and some scenery. As you walk through this line, you get a little education on the horrors of logging. As you are waiting to board your raft, you are disturbed by the sound of a chainsaw. You think to yourself "why would Disney have such a distraction in their parks?" Once you are on the ride and nearing the end you get a little understanding of where this sound is coming from as your raft through a mock area that is destroyed by logging. It's a can't miss part of the attraction that begs for kids to ask what it's all about.. and they do.

One of my favorite things about this concept is that it opened our family up to areas of the park that we would have normally not have seen otherwise and I'm glad I didn't miss them! This was a great guided way to really dive into the learning experience that the Animal Kingdom has to offer and Bella and Ry loved it! They were also really excited to wear their new safari outfits!

Next time we go we'll be sure to bring along our Wilderness Explorers Handbooks and finish up the badges!!! Have you earned your badges yet with the Wilderness Explorers? 

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Green Kid Crafts Awards

Teaching reading and BOB Books

When I first thought about homeschooling one of my biggest fears was teaching my child how to read. I was no expert and I had no idea where I would start. Then I came across Bob Books and it has worked wonders.

Teaching my daughter how to read has been a consistent and diligent task but not a difficult one. I'm amazed at how well Bob Books has worked for us. Bella picked it up pretty fast.

READ READ READ

We're not those parents that always read to our kids from when they were in the womb. Yeah we picked up a cute picture baby book here and there but it's not something we did on daily basis. I found that both of my children love when I read to them. They sit quietly around as I read through the picture books we take out from the library. I realized this was a great way to get them to settle down at night, too. No kidding, right?!

Start with Phonics

The one thing that I love about Bob Books is that it starts with phonics. From the first book in the beginner readers box it starts teaching you the sounds letter by letter, slowly incorporating each new sound into every new book.

We have started to incorporate the I Can Read level 1 books and I get so tickled when I see her lips start to sound out a word she doesn't know!

Let them tell the story

Another method I used was looking at the pictures and trying to create a story first. She absolutely got a kick out of this and it really encourages her creativity and imagination.

One of the greatest rewards I have gotten is seeing how proud and accomplished my daughter feels when she is able to get through the whole book on her own.

How we used BOB Books

We started off just reading

Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers

for a couple of days. I wanted her to get the concept of letters and sounds and how they create words. After the first week we started adding a new book every couple of days. Once she was able to read through a book all on her own, we would leave that book out of the rotation. Every now and then we go back and have a review of the old books.

We are just starting

Bob Books Set 2-Advancing Beginners

and she is more excited than ever!

Other activities to encourage reading

Making up their own story

Read lots of picture books to your little one

Work on sight word activities

Phonics puzzles and games

Turn it into a song!

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Hawaiian Pretend Cafe Printable Play Menu

My girls love to play pretend. They have an amazing assortment of kitchen accessories and love to play restaurant. They are always using random books or notepads as menu's and I though it would be fun to create a customized menu for them!

My kids have a wonderful imagination and I'm always looking for ways to encourage that! This is one of many different accessories I've created for them. You can easily print out a couple of these and have them laminated, to make if feel like the real deal:).

You can download you own printable play menu for free! Click 

Lilo's Cafe Menu

.

Posted on February 26, 2014 and filed under Disney, Family, Create.

Free Pre K Princess Pack

I am pretty excited to share this one with you!! This is my first Pre K printable pack. My daughter is obsessed with everything princess and I wanted to create her something she would love!

I would love some feedback, let me know what you think! Download it for free!

Download my version of

Princess Pack

for

free!

Don't forget to leave me a comment and let me know what you think!!

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Letter Recognition and Dollar Store Finds!

I don't know if you know this but... I am in love with the Dollar Tree and it's wonderful educational resources!!! I always feel like I am getting a steal! This week I was dying to show you a game I came across while I went foraging through a pin. At the very bottom I can across Frog Face-off!!! We are just happening to work on association between the upper and lowercase, so this was perfect!!!!


In addition to this wonderfully educational game, I found some workbooks!!!
Here is one we worked on today! Number recognition and matching!
In the bottom corner of her page she wanted to draw me a heart! We are working on shapes too!
I love the teacher corner at the Dollar Tree!!!!

Happy Friday everyone!! 
I hope you all have a great weekend and maybe I will post some pictures while on vacation!! We leave tomorrow for sunny Florida and Disney!!



My Little Learner and Elmo Dry Erase Book

Yes, my little learner, who is 3 1/2, informs me this every night! I can't hid the little pride I have about this. I am glad she finds joy in learning! After realizing that this is the age to start alphabet recognition, I ventured out to my bargain bookstore and picked up a pre-k workbook for Roo.

When we started, she honestly didn't know a single letter. Sure, she could recite the alphabet but that was memorization  We started the workbook in October and now she is nearly finished! Her recognition of the letters has progressed so much! She knows almost all the alphabet, with the exception of a few here and there she mixes up. My favorite part is when she can point out letters when we are out and about. "Mommy look, its an M!!"

Little Roo is a very active girl. Her teacher caregiver tells me how she doesn't know how to sit still. Even sitting in place she has to wiggle side to side. To me, this is perfectly normal but I already see how my little learner doesn't like a very instructed lecture. Our "homework" time consists of 20 minutes here and there. Her attention can only be focused for a little period of time, which is appropriate for her age! She doesn't have an attention disorder, she is just an active 3/4 year old girl. Although, she looks pretty concentrated in this picture!

For Christmas, she got lots of tools to help with her letters!! I was also able to buy out the Dollar Tree's line of education resources!! Have you checked them out? They've got some great stuff!!! Like these Sesame Street dry erase book!! Only a buck and she uses it over and over. Can you tell how excited I was when I found these? I think the old lady next to me in the store her my cheer under my breath "SCORE!!". She probably thought I was so ridiculous... lol.


 This is my half @$$ attempt at a learning center....

I figure I have some time to create my dream homeschool room like this...
Craft room/play room
photo credit? Let me know.
Until then, my yellow bins will have to do. On the bright side, I scored them at Dollar Tree as well! I love cheap organization! I would have tried to give photo credit where it's due, but every time I searched this like in Pinterest and error or blank page popped up? I really hate when that happens.... so if you know, please inform me so I can edit that in.



And...... This is how our study session playtime usually ends....
Little Monster wants to learn too!




Big decisions: homeschooling?

Sedona, AZ
It's been busy, that's for sure!! I guess that's what happens when both parents go back to school full time!!! I've had a two week break from classes and I start my next class in a week.

So what's new?.....

  • The family took a vacation to Arizona in November! 
  • Ry turned ONE last month!!
  • The juicing diet has been successful so far.
  • I've decided to make all efforts to arrange homeschooling for my little learners!
Montezuma's Castle, AZ
I don't have any school age children just yet, but I have noticed my child's pre-k learning abilities. I have both girls in an in-home daycare, that I have thought really long and hard about. I trust this daycare and the children are all so nice. 

There is just one thing that bothers me, her care givers comparison of my girls to the other kids. I understand that there might be some brilliant 4 year old, that can read chapter books already, but that is not my kid. I mean, are 4 year olds suppose to read? This really isn't that serious of a concern and trust me I have spent hours looking into the right care facility. The point is, it bothered me and then I realized, this is exactly what is going to happen in a public school system. The word system makes me cringe.

Fall fests are the best!
So I looked into my options and after a few unsettling documentaries (Waiting for Superman), I realized this was my calling and right as the mother of my children. I want to home school  I wanted to be a school teacher at one point but realized it was more about classroom and behavior management than the education. That's not how I want my children to experience learning.

I've been working really hard with my 3 1/2 year old on her ABC's, with a little pressure from other people's opinions. I need to learn not to let the pressure of others affect my decisions on how I want to educate. Despite that downfall, Roo has really caught on and enjoyed the education! The 20 minute sessions here are there have made all the difference and have kept our passion for it alive. I think it also helps that she watches her Daddy and I do homework each week and wants to feel involved. This is the best benefit of being in school while raising kids, maybe one of the only!
I've got the road map in my head and hopefully, within the next couple years this could be a real possibility! Until then... hard work, finish my husband and I's free college education (provided by my very generous employer) and make our free time with the kids filled with a passion for learning and education! 

Since the girls are not in a structured academic daycare, I will have to work on the preschool curriculum on my own for now! How fun!!

Here are some pictures of the past couple months....



Loving the fall

We started Roo in a gymnastics class that is perfect for her!!


Tinkerbell didn't like Captain's hook




Posted on December 27, 2012 .

Employment Rejection

Taking time off of having a full time job, to spend time raising my child, has definitely put me in the dark to our current economy. Of course, I would watch the news and keep up with my yahoo news. I heard reports of unemployment, foreclosures.... It wasn't until I actually devoted my efforts to find a full time job again, that I realized this job market really SUCKS!

I have been trying for about a year now. Really, just recently these past couple months have I devoted some serious time and effort to the search. I have sent out over a hundred resumes and applications. Of those inquires I received maybe 15 call backs, all which landed me an interview. Of those interviews I received ZERO job offers! A couple of the interviews I even had an inside employee recommend me. I've gone over my resume several times, spent too many hours to count preparing for interviews. Its very hard to stand out when 400 other candidates are up for the same position with similar credentials. I'm really not being picky with the type of job, or the wage. There are just not enough jobs for the people who are looking for one.

So I'm going back to school, or at least inquiring about it.
Posted on March 1, 2011 .