As summer comes to an end, I wanted to share some of the activities we have done.
Summer: Summer in our family means two things, Lake Tahoe and Cars! This year it also meant CAKE!
This year, our annual trip to Hot August Nights, in Reno, Nevada, coincided with the annual ICES convention. If you are a cake person (as in a cake decorator…not a person who really loves to eat cake – LOL!), you know this is one of the biggest events in cake decorating!
I had the opportunity to volunteer at the ICES convention as part of the Icing Smiles team. This amazing nonprofit organization provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families affected by the critical illness of a child. They understand that the simple things, like a cake, are luxuries to a family battling illness. Their goal is to create a custom cake for the ill child, or their sibling, that provides a temporary escape from worry and creates a positive memory during a difficult time. I have volunteered with them for a little under a year, and I love it! It is the perfect fit for me and my family, I love cake, and I love that something so simple can bring such joy to the lives of people who need something to help them keep fighting. If you have some time, so check them out…and maybe make a donation.
Summer in our family also brings birthday fun…and yes…you guest it…CAKE!!
Years ago I got inspired by the original cake show, Aces of Cakes. I am a big fan of Chef Duff Goldman, founded Charm City Cakes and Ace of Cakes star. I made my first cake for Love Bear’s 1st birthday, and many others have followed. I have developed my skills as a cake sculptor and decorator for almost 5 years. I’m not amazing, but I love to work with sugar! People enjoy looking at my designs and I enjoy creating something people can admire and then enjoy.
Imagination Bear turned 3 this year and wanted a princess party…that is because on any given day she will be found dressed in full princess regalia – heels and all! This child LOVES dress up and anything sparkly! This year we had her party at a local indoor play place and gymnastic center called My Gym. They have an amazing staff that helps with decorating, entrainment, and clean up! I was a happy hostess!
I made a castle cake (at her request) and we had an amazing time with friends and family. It was the first year she actually cared and had specific requests for her birthday – it was a blast! Happy birthday princess!
We have had an absolute blast! Gardening, traveling and planing for our first “real” year of homeschooling. Who knew I would have so much fun planing and picking curriculum!! We have narrowed our curriculum and will be using the following.
Reading/Language Arts: Explode the Code & Montessori Movable Alphabet
Over summer Love Bear figured out how the letter sounds, which she has learned through things like, Super Why? and Letter Factory by Leap Frog, are put together to make words. Thus, she has began to sound things out all over the place and is a beginning reader. I gave her the placement test for Explode the Code and we will begin with Book 1.
We have also ordered a Montessori inspired movable alphabet. We will use it for our writing/spelling.
We also got a double line dry erase board from Target and will us it to practice letters….and a few other things I’m sure!
Math: Singapore Math – Earlybird Kindergarten Math B
I gave her the placement test for Singapore Math and although it suggested we start with grade 1 , I know we never did Book B for Kindergarten, so we will start with that. I know with this program every step is important and necessary because it is so different to what every other math program teaches.
If you don’t know much about Singapore Math, here are some basics: It is a comprehensive, activity-based program designed to provide kindergarten students with a strong foundation in mathematics. Math concepts are developed in a systematic, engaging and fun way. Hands-on tasks, meaningful activities and attractive illustrations rich in mathematical content engage students’ active participation in the learning process.
Science: Variety of Children’s Books & Magic School Bus Science
We love Usborne books, so we have a collection of them with different themes. We will start with the body! I’ll incorporate some hand-on-activities and some Magic School Bus videos and science experiments we got from The Young Scientists Club – The Magic School Bus Science Club
Social Studies: Variety of Children’s Books & Montessori geography activities
We love living history type books, historical fiction for kids. We are excited to have a selection of readers from a variety of sources including Beautiful Feet. I will not be using their teachers guide, but will use many of the books in their reading list to create some units. I will also be incorporating some more awesome Usborne books to our Social Studies units.
We will also do some great geography Montessori activities to get acquainted with the continents/world. I have to admit, I’m terrible at geography! I’m excited to learn along with the little bears!
PE: Gymnastics, Yoga, family walks and free play!
We will continue with some stuff we have been doing already. For example, this cool yoga DVD, called Storyland Yoga, that the little bears love! We do it at home every other day or so. They also attend a yoga class at our local YMCA and both little bears continue with gymnastics class.
Visual Performing Arts: Kindermusik, Art and more!
We have the fortune of having access to the awesome Kindermusik program. We are excited to introduce music to Love Bear (possibly Imagination Bear too!) The program is describe on their website as: Using a small-group approach to music education, Kindermusik for the Young Child provides a pressure-free class where your child can develop a strong musical foundation by learning the concepts, language, notation, and vocabulary of music and its greatest composers.
Art will be a bit of free art at home and some very basic introduction to different media.
We may also look into some acting classes, and the both little bears will continue with ballet!
The little bears have already started learning Spanish and will be attending Spanish classes/co-ops this year. We also will do some fun activities at home, but I don’t think we will do any “formal” curriculum this year…unless some of you have some awesome suggestions! I’m looking for something with music, as both little bears love to sign and dance!
We really hope you had an amazing summer too!