August 10, 2015

preschool homeschool-- summer + a sweet summer tutor

We received a list of the 45 words that Logan would need to know before completion of Kindergarten. We wanted to get a head start in tackling this list being that some of them should pretty familiar as we we have worked on them this past year at home. I'm big on the "Use It, Don't Loose It" method in teaching, and feel that review is always a good idea. Plus, the more familiar she is with words, the more confidence she will have in reading and writing them.

My nephews spend a great deal of the day here during the summer. That means lots of distraction for my nosey girl here. So we've been struggling to get much of anything accomplished. This morning we were all sitting around in the living room when I had the brilliant idea to have one of them work with her. I didn't have to convince my nephews all that much to work with Logan. The two younger ones (almost 12 and 13 year old) both wanted to sign up. Logan chose Angelo today.  He was thrilled and eager to teach. Surprisingly it worked out perfectly. He took his big-cousin responsibility (and the fact that he was in charge) very seriously, and in turn, Logan did too. I gave him complete and total freedom to tutor how he saw fit, I just provided the materials. After all, it is summer vacation and anything learned is something. I had to laugh a bit when I saw him return from the kitchen with a reward: juice. He's too funny. But very smart. Apparently having to earn it made it all the more enjoyable.

A few of my favorite videos for learning beginning sounds are below. They are cute catchy tunes perfect for beginning sound memorization. I wanted to share them and document them here for easy reference. We've been listening and watching them on youtube for several years, but now that Logan is learning about beginning sounds, they are even more appreciated. Phonics SongPhonics Song 2,Phonics Song 2 (new version)

The entire KidsTV123 is wonderful. It's easy listening, even on repeat. I will often play songs in the background while Lo colors or plays at the table with play dough. It's so cute when I catch her bouncing her head or signing along. A few of our other favorite songs on the channel are: Spooky Spooky- Halloween SongThe Baby Animals SongThe Planets SongColours Song 2

We plan to continue with beginning sounds, daily writing, and word recognition throughout the summer. As always we will continue to focus on Nature, as it happens, naturally. This means no formal lessons or focal points, with one exception: a nature exchange.  We have signed up for a couple of nature exchanges with friends from different parts of the world. We are looking forward to preparing our items to send out to them. We will pick through our nature box for items to share. We also have a beach date coming up where we will gather some treasures to share as well. 

It's summer. We hope to swim swim swim, eat lots of popsicles in the sun, and enjoy good food and cold beverages late  into the summer nights. 

**I wrote this post in the beginning of july and never got to posting. Better late than never. Update to follow.

summer. everyday. simple.

This summer is flying by and I cannot believe in less than one month, this girl of mine will be starting Kindergarten. We have been cramming as much as we possibly can into these long summer days: swimming, exploring, playing, and just being in the moment, together. We've been loving on each other and loving on the beach, our favorite summer spot (our favorite spot in general really.)

Bathing suits are a summer staple as we spend just about everyday in them. 
Logan has about 10 bathing suits and she makes sure that she wears them all. 

We try our best to eat healthy throughout the week, but divulge in daily ice treats. Dirty feet are mandatory and formal bed times are non-existent. While we all know routine and structure is just around the corner, we're putting that out of our minds and enjoying August and all it has left to offer. 

This summer has been so sweet to us with warm sunny days and cool calm nights. We've had just enough rain to refill the pool just as it begins gets low, and to water the garden for squash and tomatoes to grow. We've picked the fuzziest peaches and ate the most delicious melons. We visited theme parks, boardwalks, and many different pools and beaches. We are filled to the brim with special memories from our summer, but my favorite are the ones where we stayed home; swimming, sharing lattes, rearranging the dollhouse, and paging through random magazines. 

Life is so much happier when you choose to find beauty in the every day, and eventually I have found, that you don't need to try anymore, it just happens.

Hope you are enjoying your summer. 
August is my favorite. 
Sun shining, children splashing, the freshest of fruits, sandy toes, messy buns, and so much more.
Happiness everywhere you look.

June 18, 2015

cloudy night on the beach

This trip was impromptu. We battled traffic the whole way there simply because we didn't take time into consideration.  We didn't mind all that much though. We had a CD book full of all of our favorites we used to listen to when we first started dating.

The water was warmer than the air. We didn't really intend on getting wet, but the ocean had other plans. Hello high tide. The sky was full of clouds, but it was still so very beautiful. 

We collected shells-- one being a crab's shell. The last time Logan held a crab, it began to move in her hand. That photo above may have took some convincing. 

We ate pizza and ice cream and left with full tummies. 
Another successful beach trip.

21. 22. 23. 24. || 52

21. ||  five going on fifteen. the new normal.

22. || cigar shop vibes in the coffee shop

23. || second nap this week

24. || doodles on the dock

June 9, 2015

pick your own: strawberries

We have ben taking Logan strawberry picking since before she could walk and it's always the sweetest time, literally. You can see a few of our most recent pick-your-own adventures here, here, and here. It's one of our favorite things to do together as a family, and one I hope to continue to do for many more years to come.

May 28, 2015

if it's the beaches

This past Tuesday the weather was predicted to be warmer than it typically is this time of year, Scott was home for the day, so planning a beach trip accordingly just made sense. We packed a bag and headed east with our sweet girl and her favorite stuffed pal in tow. 

When we arrived we were so bummed as the wind was whipping. The past few times we made day trips, they had to be cut short due to wicked sandy wind storms. For the record, there is nothing pleasant about sand in the eye. Fortunately though, the wind did die down a bit and it was tolerable. We decided to overlook the wind and go on with our day as planned. We spotted spring blooms on the beach dunes, a definite first for us. They were so pretty, and such a different look for the rather generic dunes we see all summer long. 

We pretty much had the beach to ourselves and were able to run free up and down the shore. Logan loved having this freedom of being able to hunt for treasures without strict limits. Along with with lots of shells and beach stones, we found a few dead crabs near the waters edge. They soon became the obsession. Logan had so many questions regarding how they got there, where they would end up, could we take them home, etc. She picked one up for me to snap a photo of to send off to Grammy, and it began moving in her hand. I unintentionally screamed, startling her. Our attempt to 'wow' Grammy resulted in us being wow'd when the dead crab began moving in her little hand. Awful or awesome parenting? We still can't decide. 

Naturally we forgot sunscreen, so I had to make a stop to grab some.  We did however remember our beach pails and shovels, which provided to be great entertainment for both Logan and Scott. They played for quite a while, only torturing me slightly as I tried to catch a tan. 

I did catch some pretty great moments on my iPhone of Logan running wild and free with sandy hands and dancing feet that moved to the rhythm of the sea. It made my heart so happy seeing her loving good on mother earth. I melt watching, knowing those feelings all too well. Some of my best memories are ones from beach trips with family, and still to this day, the beach is a place that provides me with so much comfort and peace. I hope Logan carries with her those very same feelings into adulthood. I can only hope that she never looses the desire to pick up random items, intrigued and excited. And that she continues to see the beauty in everything, like those broken shell souvenirs she gathered up, typically unwanted and usually tossed back into the ocean.

Later on in the afternoon, we headed down a town over to grab our favorite boardwalk pizza. It was even better than we anticipated, and just what we needed to fill our bellies for the drive home. 

It's such a beautiful day when all of those little imperfections complied together make it more than perfect. We are already talking about another visit.