Tuesday, October 01, 2013

A Spectacular September...

My baby is in Kindergarten and Talia is in Pre-school
 They love to play at the park at East Beach- I love the view.
Watching the Elephants. Did i mention Oliver dropped his sippy cup into the exhibition. Good thing we know someone at the zoo that was able to get it back for us 
 We are loving walks along the Harbor- I love the Sea Horse Statue
Lucky Penny- how cool is this building we found on our date night 
Oli surfing with daddy 
 Talia surfing with daddy
 Aricin surfing with daddy
 Moustache's at the Copus House

 making monsters
 Making Silly Monsters
Me and Grandma at Lotus Land 
 Grandma and Great Grandma
 East Beach finds
 Dinosaurs for Oli's 2nd bday
A new tradition is that we ride the SB Carousel when it's someones birthday. The kids love it! and it only costs $2- not bad for a 5 minute ride 
 Aricin got his first goal last weekend at Soccer and managed to somehow pop his ball
These cacti look like something out of Fraggel Rock or Dr. Seuss. This was at Lotus Land 
Lotus Land 
 Lotus Land
Lotus Land 
 Lotus Land
Lotus Land- she burried these statues outside her Paris Chateu during WWII and they survived 

 Oli's 2!!!

September really was Spectacular. I feel like we are in the full swing of a normal school rhythm with the kids... more on that later. Aaron flew to Kansas City for a Zoo Conference and I had so much fun hanging out with my mom and Grandma Ruth. The kids also enjoyed lots of stories and sweet moments with their grandmas- not to mention they were spoiled like crazy :) Aricin is LOVING SOCCER and scored his first goal in his last game- it's fun to watch him make new SB friends. I have started MOPS and am excited to start to meet new friends. Aaron and I have also decided on Santa Barbara Community Church and have joined a Wednesday night Home Group. There are 8 couples in the group and we meet in a room at the church- one thing that's kind of cool is that we already know 3 of the couples in the group from different connections. I'm finding Santa Barbara feels pretty small. I'm constantly blown away at how many people we meet that are connected to or are familiar friends from Westmont or San Luis Obispo or from when we lived in Orange County. We have a handful of friends we see regularly that we already knew moving here that it's been fun to reconnect with and do dinner with often. 

Home Schooling has been way better then I anticipated. Let me give you a quick rundown of what it looks like for us... I signed Aricin up for a program called Home Based Partnership through Santa Barbara Charter School for home schoolers. Through this program I drop Aricin off on Tuesdays from 10-2:30 and he plays and does art and hangs out with lots of other home schoolers and even does circle time and a brief lesson with his teacher Miss. Marcie. Thusdays he goes back to Home Based Partnership because he's taking a class titled "Medieval Heraldry" from 11:30 to 1:00 in this class he learns some Medieval history as well as creates different crests on shields. He loves it! We also signed up for Classical Conversations which both Aricin and Talia go to on Wednesdays form 9-12. In this program both kids are in the same class and have 5 other class mates and a teacher. The majority of their time is working on memorization stuff: history, geography, latin, etc. They also do a science experiment and have art time. I'm in the class the whole time assisting his teacher and Oliver is in the nursery. 

So what does a normal day look like for us? Most days we get out in the morning- we go to the beach, zoo, or parks. We come home, do lunch together, put Oliver down for his nap and that's when the magic happens :) 
I try to start out each day with Handwriting. I've laminated their names- so they pick their dry erase markers and start tracing and praciticing writing their names, Upper Case letters, lower case letters, and numbers. We also talk about the Calendar- what day it is, what the date is, and how many days we've been in school. I follow this up with a quick devotional (We like to use the book Long Story Short- it' has 10  minute Devo's that are easy for kids to grasp). Next we do our Phonics time. Aricin is doing really well learning how to read with hooked on phonics- i picked up a brand new unused box for $1 at a garage sale before we left Colorado. Talia usually watches the Letter Factory to learn her letters and sounds while i'm reading with Aricin. Next we do Math. We started doing Saxon Kindergarten math but have moved up to 1st grade because the K-Kit was boring and he had mastered it. After Math we try to practice our times table songs (these are from the Classical Conversations Curriculum). We also practice our TimeLine History song (from Classical Conversations). Next we do some Geography (We mostly use the Classical Conversations Curriculum but I like to supplement landmark flashcards with pictures of places like Big Ben, The Eiffel Tower, etc). Next we try to do Journal Writing- I'll give Aricin and writing prompt and he usually gets to draw a picture and sound out words to make a story. We've started doing piano practice (thank you Youtube for free piano lessons for kids) and i'm happy to report Aricin has learned his first song by himself. Depending on the day we cover either history, Latin, Spanish, Art, or a Science Lesson. My goal is for us to end with a memory verse and praying for the nations- but we haven't gotten there yet. 

Some days we hit everything, other days if the kids aren't feeling it- I back off and we do art or end early. So far they really enjoy learning and it's been such a blessing to be able to sit and watch Aricin learn how to read. This really is a gift. I'm enjoying homeschooling but like anything I'm holding it losely- I never dreamed i'd be a homeschooling parent but I really felt the Lord telling me to do it, so here I am and we will see how long we'll do it. For now it's great for our family and a good fit for A and T's learning styles. I don't know what kind of a learner Oli will be. 

Living in Santa Barbara still feels like vacation. I can't believe we really live here. We go to the beach often and are outside a lot. It's starting to feel more and more like home. I'm thankful for the Journey God has us on. It brings a smile to my face to think back to May when I started praying that God would provide friends for us and to now start to feel and see that  prayer answered in the relationships we're growing is just awesome. 

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