Preschool Graduation and the Last Day of School

And that’s a wrap…Preschool is officially over, Summer is upon us and Kindergarten is headed our way!

On Thursday, May 18 the girls’ preschool program held their preschool graduation. The children wore blue cap and gowns as the walked into the ceremony to the traditional graduation song. Tears filled my eyes as I heard the song and watched my precious babies walk in. (Tears in my eyes now as I retell this). They walked up on stage so proud of themselves and excited about this special ceremony. As the children sang their songs which told the audience all that they had learned this year and where they were going in life, I kept thinking about the little babies that only entered the world 4 plus years ago. Four years have flown by so fast and now my baby girls are heading to kindergarten. We have had a crazy journey learning to raise this precious duo, learning how to conquer any of the challenges that have come our way. From preemies in the NICU, physical therapy, reshaping helmets, critical illnesses, glasses, and speech therapy. These two have fought through the challenges that have come across their paths. I look at them in awe to see how strong they are at such a young age. Any one of these things could have set them back in life, but it didn’t.

Their ceremony continued with more songs and speeches from the teacher before handing out the “diplomas”. It ended with a final song from the children. We took pictures with the girls in their cap and gowns, each with mom and dad. Joel and I are both so proud of the sweet girls they have become.

Reception

Following the graduation ceremony there was a reception at the church to celebrate the children a little more. Parents then left the kids at the school so they could finish their day with their friends. Although the graduation ceremony was that Thursday, it was not their last day. They had one more day of school.

To celebrate the ending of school and start of summer, their preschool has an end of year luau. This year was no different. The kids all returned in their best Hawaiian outfit. They learned to hula dance, ate Hawaiian food, and played Hawaiian games.

I have to say that my girls have loved attending this school for the past three years and am excited to say that little brother has been accepted to attend starting this fall. I can only imagine that his life will be as enriched as his sisters at this preschool.

Coming Up:

Summer

Homeschool Recaps

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Homeschool Month 8: Recap

April was a great month for us.

We completed all four lessons! Yay for a healthy household and for completing a month of lessons. Week one was the lesson on flowers and did gardening this week. Bailey loves to “grow a garden” as she tells us, so this week was her favorite week yet. They are showing what great little readers they have become. They can pick up their letter readers on the first day and read the entire book with little or no help on words. This reading program has been such a blessing in growing them as readers. Their phonemic understanding is also growing with each lesson.

Week two was a lesson on Recycling. Bailey and Brooke loved this week’s lesson. We covered the letter e this week, so in Science we had an Easter Egg float. It worked out that this week was just before Easter and our plastic eggs were already out. We finished out our recycling week by setting up a recycling system in our garage. The kids loved setting it up. We have been recycling for years but never had a sorting system. I enjoyed setting it up with them and talking about why we recycle in our house.

During week three we reviewed past weeks and had the word study ET. This week’s theme was Nature. Another great week of shifting themes because Earth Day fell later that week. We took a nature walk in our neighborhood and talked about the things we saw. They love talking about the animals and plants in our neighborhood. I hope to do this same thing where we go camping in the future to talk about the differences in the nature.

Our final week of homeschool was Camping.

To make this week special I set up their tent in the playroom for reading time. They all loved having this tent set up. By setting this tent up they have started asking and talking about camping more. We are planning to take them soon but right now we are in soccer season, so that takes up Saturdays for us.

Coming up next month is our final month of homeschool. I will do a summer reading and math program to help keep their minds ready for school. Children can and often do regress over the summer. It’s something that teachers know happen and plan for each year. Keeping your child reading and doing small amounts of learning will strengthen their chances of no regression when they start the next school year. I will be sharing our plan for our reading/math program for the summer.

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Homeschool Month 7: Recap

The first week of March was another rough week. All three of our little ones were sick so school was out for the week. With illness striking all three kids, we bumped our homeschool lesson for a week choosing to let everyone rest and heal for a week. The second week of March, March 6th through 10th was Arctic Animals. At this point I was wondering if we were going to finish this homeschool program. This semester had started rough and slow, so many obstacles were causing us to push pause on homeschool lessons. It had me questioning whether or not I could finish it as well. By this point, the major attitudes were starting and school was becoming a fight.

Originally I had planned on making up time during Spring Break since they would be out of school for a week. After a month of children sick and the four-nagers invading our homeschool classroom and home, I need a fun week with no school with my kids. I think they needed the fun too, so we took the week off and enjoyed our Spring Break.

The final lesson for March was Ocean. We discussed all of the ocean animals and talked about our beach trip last summer. This week was the letter V which meant we could build our volcano, something Bailey has asked about for about a month. Monday the girls helped me create a paper-mache volcano. Then they painted the volcano brown on Wednesday and on Friday we erupted the volcano. They talked about this experiment for over a week afterwards.

I absolutely love how much they are enjoying Science! I never liked Science as a kid which is why I have really tried to make it fun for them. We have two months left of homeschool. I am determined that all of these set backs will not keep us from finishing. We are about three weeks behind my original schedule so I have opted out of finishing those three lessons. They were lessons that I added so that their homeschool lined up with their preschool dates. We are going incorporate part of those lessons into our summer activities.

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Mother’s Day 2017

I want to start this post by saying, Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers out there!

As I checked my facebook news feed the other day an article popped up from Joanna Gaines' blog about motherhood. It got me thinking about Mother's day and the meaning of it for me. Mother's day to me is a blessing, not because it is a celebration of me but a celebration of my children who made me a mom. After all, without them I would not be a mother.

It's funny to me how different Mother's day has changed for me over the years. I would try to make Mother's day so special for my mom. I remember decorating my kitchen with banners and signs that my brother, sister, and I made for her. I would make breakfast for her (not in bed because that was against the rules). When I went to college, I would send her flowers while I was away. Mother's day was a day I tried to really show my appreciation for my mother.

As a young adult, prior to children, I imagined Mother's day to be a day that I would be spoiled, pampered, given just me time. Now that I am a mother of three, that is not how Mother's day goes in my house. And I'm truly thankful that it's not that way!

Mother's day for me is a day for spending time together. Our lives become so busy and absorbed with jobs, chores, home projects, sports, and school that we hardly stop and spend an entire day focused on our family. Please don't take that as we don't spend time together, because we do. Mother's day gives us a day with our family to celebrate us.

This year our celebration was

 

 

Coming Up On The Blog:

  • Homeschool Recaps
  • Preschool Graduation
  • Soccer Games

Homeschool Month 6: Recap

Home school Update

We are officially over the half way mark and with the previous month being so difficult, we needed some cheering up in our house. The first week of February we studied Bugs. They loved this week. I read some of my favorite Eric Carle books to them. We watched Magic School Bus videos on insects and spiders. I wanted them to see how they help our Earth. We still struggled with illness but we made it through.

Week two went a bit crazy for us. We started out hoping to have a positive week of homeschool but by Wednesday there was no completing homeschool lessons. I put our Birds lesson on hold, picking it up in week three. Birds lesson was our third review lesson. This was the OT word study. Although it took us two weeks to complete, it was a great lesson for them. They have grown to love review weeks and get very excited when it becomes a review week.

Final Week in February

The final week of February was on the Farm. This week’s lesson discussed farm animals and what people do on the farm. We have visited a couple of farms so they have some understanding of what happens at the farm. Bailey’s favorite part of the farm is the garden that grows. She is obsessed with growing gardens. I think that Mason loved this week most of all. He loved making animal sounds with us and singing Old MacDonald. I started a new activity with the sight words this week. Instead of tracing the word one time, I had them create rainbow words with their sight word. This meant that they traced the sight word with three or four different crayons. It gives a rainbow effect to the word and makes tracing more fun. It was a big hit with these two, a win for this homeschool mom.

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Hale Yes Designs

A quick post for today.

I have an Etsy shop where I sell some items but haven’t found that Etsy was the best choice to reach the audience I was hoping to reach. So I have added a shop to my blog. This shop is Hale Yes Designs.  I have personalized cups, coffee mugs, wine glasses, t-shirts and more.

Click on the Hale Yes Designs link above to visit the page and place an order.

 

Coming up on the blog: Final Soccer Games, Preschool Graduation, Summer

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Homeschool Month 5: Recap

Christmas break was a nice break of school for our family. I waited to start homeschool until the week they were returning to their preschool. Waiting meant that we didn’t start homeschool again until the second week of January with the lesson on Space. I have to admit that it was hard for all of us to get back into the routine. In this first week the kids loved the Humpty Dumpy Egg Drop. I think Science has become their favorite subject in our homeschool time.

Week two was on the topic of Earth. As I started to teach this week, I noticed a new issue. They were getting bored bored with tracing their sight word. Both girls were making zig-zag lines and scribbling all over the page. It was obvious this page was causing issues yet again. So plan C needed to happen.

Week three of January was about Weather. Boy this week was a great week to talk about weather, especially how weird weather can be. Our weather was crazy! Warm days in January…who knew it would be that way. This week was cut short with yet again more colds. With the warm weather breaking through, we had a yo-yo affect happening. One day it was warm, then a cold front came through bouncing temperatures all over the scale. This wildness in weather made the respiratory issues stir back up in our house. Poor kids couldn’t stay healthy. Have I mentioned how much I hate winter time!

By the time week four hit, we were trying to survive from yet another one sick in our house. This week we did the bare minimum with the Dinosaur’s lesson, scraping any extra or redundant activities. I incorporated a lot of breaks because they needed the rest. We would work about 45 minutes and then take a snack and water break. Then work another 45 minutes before another break. Then I finished the rest of the activities after lunch and nap or quiet time. This is not our normal routine but it gave them the time they needed, not rushing them when they weren’t feeling well.

By the end of January I was exhausted. All we wanted was to have everyone feeling well, not how it turned out at all. Is it Spring yet?

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Homeschool Month 4: Recap

December was a short month for us. With my lesson planning, I scheduled that we would take time off when their preschool was out too. It would keep all of us from getting tired of homeschool. December was only two weeks of lessons for us.

Weekly Reviews

The first week was Baby Animals for our theme. It was a good week with them at home. They both were so excited about the fun festivities at their preschool so I tried to keep the excitement going at home. Elf Belle helped with that excitement. After homeschool lessons each day, we enjoyed holiday activities.

The second week covered the lesson Jungle Safari. This was another review week. We reviewed all of the letter readers and completed the word study IG. This week was another great break in the lessons. The review lessons from Reading the Alphabet brings a different perspective on the same letters. It also has more games which gives them something fun to do while learning. They also loved this week’s theme. They are obsessed with the Lion Guard and learned about some of the animals during this week’s stories. Bailey was especially excited when we got to Cheetahs, her favorite animal. I read the nonfiction book to her and then she had to look at it herself to “re-read” the Cheetah information. So precious!

Looking Back…

As I looked back at the first semester of homeschool, I could see how much they had grown in a few short m onths. They were becoming more independent with the lessons and really were loving learning. They both love reading to me and then showing their daddy what they learned when he got home. I think that was the most important part for them each day, being able to show them what they had learned. I love that he comes home to ask them about school each day. It really gives our homeschool journey a family process and not just mom with the kids. This month they have also started attempting to read books on their own, identifying the words they are familiar with. Proud homeschool mom here!

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Homeschool Month 3: Recap

September and October have flown by which means we are in the third month of homeschool. The girls are quickly growing into wonderful readers. Both of them are loving reading, which makes this homeschool mom happy. This third month of homeschool was October 31 to December 2, taking the week of Thanksgiving off from all school.

Weekly Reviews

Having all of that candy from trick or treating is such a bad thing for all of us. The first week of the month, we covered the lesson Being Healthy. I planned this for after Halloween as reminder of healthy habits.  This week was another week with a lot of resistence on the sight word poke page. I put the dots a
gain for Brooke after she sat for about 10 minutes refusing to try it on her own. But then Bailey had to have the dots too. If you do something for one, then you have to do it for the other.

For week 2, we covered Forest Animals. This week was a rough week for all of us. The week started with a full meltdown over the poke page. This page was beginning to cause me so much grief. Brooke refused to do the paper this week. I was ready to scrap this activity altogether. Then, I chose to look at what the goal of the page was and change the activity we were doing with it.

In the next week’s lesson on Thanksgiving, we changed up the sight word poke page. This week I had them trace the word one time, which helped a lot. They both were happy to trace the words, such a relief for this homeschool mom. By the end of the week I was facing three sick kids. The first cold virus swept through our house.

Finishing up the month

We skipped Thanksgiving week because we needed the break and we were planning on traveling. Ugh, The kids were still sick. We skipped our trip and chose to stay home and have a small Thanksgiving with our little family of 5. After a week of relaxing and healing, we started a new week of homeschool. This lesson was The Pond. Considering we had just had a week off and they had been sick, this week’s lesson went really well. I’m not sure if it was them enjoying the school or the fact that Elf Belle had returned to our house to kick off the Christmas season. This was Mason’s first time seeing Elf Belle, of course he didn’t know what to think about her.

Three months of homeschool is in the books and we are looking forward to teaching and their learning as we move forward.

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Homeschool Month 2: Recap

We started the second month of homeschool on October 3. The first month was a great start to homeschool and I was optimistic that the second one would be too. The first week was on the topic of Sports. This week was a lot of fun for the girls because we had an obstacle course in the backyard. Each day we played a different sport such as t-ball, soccer, basketball, and more. For Science this week we made a cloud in a jar. They loved this experiment.

Week two was the lesson Sharing. I felt like this lesson was an important lesson for them. Their little brother is very active and getting into their belongings, which really upsets them. This week’s lesson reminded them how to share with others as well as with their little brother. We talked about all types of ways we can share. During this week I started to see Brooke struggling with the sight word poke page. It was hard for her to poke holes all through the letters to form the words so that the light can shine through in the window. She became frustrated and would refuse to do the activity.

During week three we started the Halloween festivities with the Monsters and Scary Stuff theme. This was our first review week in the Reading the Alphabet series. It was a good change of pace for all of us by introducing new activities and games.

The final week of October was Halloween theme, of course. This week started with a new letter book and sight word. Again Brooke refused to do the sight word poke page so I added dots on the word so that she could only poke the pin through those dots. I was trying to make it easier for her, and allow her to feel accomplished.

The second month of homeschool was another great month for us. I love seeing this read and watching them learn. It has also been good for me. I feel like I’m back in my element of teaching which is something I love.

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