Monday, July 29, 2013

I'm Back...with decisions to be made!

    Well, I am back in NY after a week of Disney Fun in Florida!
    I must say, I wish I could still be on vacation so I don't have to deal with making the difficult decisions I have to make, with the new school year around the corner... .
   I'm feeling highly unmotivated since we got back from vacation. Between sending my son to a military charter high school and sending my daughter to a full day Kindergarten Readiness program (which are limited out here), NOTHING is falling into place.
   The suburban school district we live in denied bussing for my son to attend the military charter high school (which is in the city)  because of a stupid application deadline that is the same date as when charter school acceptance letters are sent out....
   And my daughter's start time for school is the same as my start time at work!
     What is a career mom to do??????
    My options seem very limited right now. Because we don't really have family or (non-working) friends we can ask for help, I feel I can do one of 2 things:  I can return to work at my Head Start center and be able to take my son to school myself (both are in the city)  HOWEVER, if I do that then I cannot send my daughter to the K Readiness preschool program (which is near home) because of a time conflict with drop off and she would go back to costly daycare. OR I can look for a job closer to home (I would have to teach my son how to take public transportation, but still be able to do morning drop off for my daugher)  OR work part time.  (And then I can take both of them to school!) 
    Thing is, teaching jobs in the nearby school districts are scarce. The opportunities are just not there.... yet. There is always the option to sub, but I don't know about that!! 
    On paper, we will be just fine financially, if I settle for a part time job or even not work at all for a few months until something comes up. 
    So I have some big decisions to make in the next few days.  Wednesday is my deadline... I might just end up with a part time teaching job somewhere and have to take a back seat to teaching in my own classroom this coming school year... And I don't really know how I feel about all that!   
     Ugh, the decisions!
    What would YOU do? Any advice to offer?

    Anyhow, enough on that. The little munchkin is ready to get back into learning mode! So as I stress about what is in store for the next school year, we will continue tomorrow with our learning fun!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Disney or Bust!

    Alright, so here we are on the eve of our family vacation. I'm sitting here sipping a glass of wine b/c I really hope it all goes well. Sometimes the little munchkin can be unpredictable! So I have to be prepared for anything!!
   Anyhow, so I got a little carried away in hyping up our trip. Check it out: 
          *Thank You, Pinterest for all the wonderful inspiration!
    I purchased a personalized Minnie head (on Etsy) and used it both as an iron on transfer to make the little munchkin's carry on bag. And then just printed one out and used contact paper to secure it onto a paint tin. I filled it with Minnie Mouse goodies that are now in her carry on bag.
    AND we made our very own autograph book with foam sheets, index cards, ring binders and a cute Princess scrapbook sticker! It will save me some $$!
   After that purchase, I was hooked on Etsy. I came across seller, The Lemonade Girl, who personalized these cute cups for my little one to take into the parks! SUPER cute!! You have to go check her out! She makes lots of cute, personalized things!
    And LOOK! Even I wanted in on all the creative fun, so I went to the nail salon and they designed these awesome Minnie Nails for me (using an example from Pinterest, of course!)
   Ah, so much fun to be had with anything Disney!!
   For the past 2 days, (as if the excitement wasn't there already), I had quite a few activities planned for the munchkin. I found this Fairy Princess Bingo at From The Pond.
 We got really creative and here is our version of the game:
*We used her Princess toys as cover ups!
   And I used some printables from this Princess Pack created by 123 Homeschool For Me. ( I made sure to put some sheets aside to use on the plane ride)
She worked on Patterning.
                     And she made stick puppets!
    Here is another Princess Pack I found  at Over the Big Moon and I printed a few pages for this one too...
     Super cute packs!!!

Well, I just wanted to share some of my Disney excitement with all of you!
Now it's off to bed for me!! We have an early flight to catch tomorrow! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dots! Dots! Dots!

    The little munchkin is learning about the letter Dd!
    Dd is for Dots, Donuts, and...Disney!! 
Yep, only 4 more days until we are in Disney World!
    Anyhow, our fun started with DOTS!! Lots and lots of dots!
    She worked on the Dd sound by using sparkly dot letter stickers (from Target's Dollar Spot) to spell words that begin with the letter Dd. She matched the letters, spelled it out aloud and then wrote each word.
    She worked on counting and number identification with these math mats I use in my classroom.

    And dots are TONS of fun to paint, right?
    First she placed dot stickers all over cardstock paper and painted over it.
     When it was all dry, we peeled off the dot stickers!
    And then I found these fun dot painter thingees for her to paint with.
Lots of Dot fun!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rubber Duckies Rock!!

    We are camping with the Virtual Book Club Summer Camp again this week!
    We took last week off from the Book Club Summer Camp because of the 4th of July holiday and we had family in town. The first half of our week was filled with last minute family fun and we said goodbye to our family this morning. 
    So with the house empty (with hubby at work and my teen son in Chicago until Sunday), the little munchkin and I went camping again!
    This week's theme has been Water Play.
    One of the recommended books for this week is "10 Little Rubber Ducks" by Eric Carle.  Again, me being me and wanting to do so many things at once, I looked for a way to combine learning activities. 
   And since the next letter we are going to learn about is Letter Dd, a Duck themed book/activity was perfect!! Ah, some times I love the way I think!!
   Anyhow, here is the math (and water play) activity that I created for the little munchkin.
      I had originally wanted to use her water table, but with all the rain we have had, there was too much wet sand in it (and you know wet sand weighs a ton) for me to clean it out all by myself! 
    After reading the book, she searched each duck for the numbers to match the Number Line.
And here is alternative version that was a little more challenging.
    Then the REAL water play fun started when she added in some dish soap and I gathered random toys & objects for her to use.
  Discovering that some of the rubber duckies blew bubbles was the best part!
    After about an hour of playing, she was pretty wet from all the little splashing and splashing and she wanted to come inside to change. I'm sure if it was warmer outside, she would have continued to play.
    Once she got settled inside, we did a quick spelling activity using letter stamps. She spelled the word DUCK, not one time, not two times, but THREE times!!
So that was the awesome Ducky Water Play fun we had today! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Letter Cc is for Cookie!!

   We are moving along with our SWEET unit, and after drooling over ice cream activities (and ice cream!), we have moved on to learn about the letter Cc.
   Last summer, we did an extensive Cupcake theme when we learned about letter Cc and had lots of fun with Laura Numeroffs If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.
   Here are a few pics from that Cupcake Fun!
   So this time, we focused on a Cookie theme for our Letter Cc fun!
   To introduce a few items that begin with the Cc sound, she cut out a huge circle and looked at different pictures to determine which ones began with the Cc sound. She glued them onto a smaller brown circle and then made a large Chocolate chip cookie!
   And what better book to use than another of Laura Numeroffs books: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”?
   We used my storytelling kit as we read the book and then used some printables that I came across from 123 Homeschool 4  Me, centered around the book. Best part: It's FREE!!
   I made each of the printables into more of a game, just to make it more fun and exciting.
   The packet has a few word tracing sheets and her and I took turns tracing the letters of each word and asking each other to name the letters. Can you tell which ones are her writing?

  She also worked on her counting with a Cookie Jar Ten Frame game I created, which will be available soon in my TPT store.
   And then she had some spelling fun with these ABC Cookies for Learning Resources.  

And I bet it was that much more fun because she was doing it in her new Tinkerbell tent that I snagged in the Clearance shelves at Walmart for a whooping $7! 
  Tomorrow I will be posting some Water Play fun as we join the Virtual Book Club Summer Camp once again! Stay tuned for tomorrows Water Play theme activity!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let the Countdown Begin!!

   Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fantabulous 4th of July holiday! I sure did as I spent time with my family from Texas and my mom! Good times!!!
   Now that the 4th has past, it's time to look forward to our upcoming family vacation... To Disney World!! 
                    So... LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!! 
   Check out our awesome Countdown to Disney calendar! I was soooo excited to make it!!
     The little munchkin and I are more excited than my husband and my son.... Ugh, boys, right? 
     Anyway, I even have a few Disney themed activities that I hope we can get to, starting next week!

          So, in the meantime, I have to remember ONE thing only...