22 August 2017

Jill's Birthday Lunch!

Oh, how I love this dear friend of mine! We're back at Si Bon celebrating our sweet, Jill!

Jill has many gifts and talents and she is the Queen of Baking around here so what do you bake for her on HER birthday? Well, she loves Karen's brownies and thankfully, Karen was so sweet to bake them for us all!

We saw this cute canvas and immediately thought of our Jill.

I can't even tell you the countless ways she beautifies my life and the lives of all those around her with her thoughtfulness and generosity. She's someone who gives of herself, humbly and selflessly and she's a wonderful example of how LOVE DOES. She serves God by serving others and we are just so blessed to call her our friend.    

Happiest of birthdays, sweet Jill!
You are a gem of a friend and we love you more than all the cupcakes in the world!

(we missed you, Janette!)

19 August 2017

Preschool Prep

A is for apple and alligator.

It's hard to believe but Zach is now 3 and that means he's the same age as when I started homeschool preschool with the girls.

Look how fast time flies!!

Back then, the girls did 2 days of preschool a week and I alternated teaching with my girlfriends, Shannon and Hailey. Our first ever co-op!

Those were some sweet sweet memories, for sure!

I spent some time this week thinking about some specifics I'd like to teach Zach this year. He loves to learn so I want to make the most of my time with him by being intentional. For me, that simply means joting down some goals and making learning a regularly scheduled thing for him. My boy thrives on a schedule.
I think most kids do. Like us, they like to know what to expect.

He's been practicing his scissor cutting skills all summer with this bin that I made for him. It's just a cheap bin from the dollar tree and I tied a pair of kid scissors to it with a rope. That way, the scissors STAY with the box. If he gets bored, he just grabs the box, plops on the floor, and starts cutting strips of construction paper. I think this will go a long way towards his fine motor skills and help with writing in the future.

Zach also LOVES books of all kinds and learns so much from them. I'm always on the look out for fun interactive books. I picked up this Cheerios book for $2 at Marshall's. It's the cutest!

Again, it helps him with fine motor skills and following directions.

He gets so proud of himself!

He does this book almost every morning.

And then he eats all the Cheerios!
Although sometimes, he eats them all before he fills in the pages. 😜

Preschool is a time for play and discovery so when I say I have "goals" for him, believe me, I hold them all very loosely. Plus, he's a boy and I'm learning that boys are just so very different from girls!   

He spends lots of time in imaginative fun play.

Making all the boy noises!

Oh my heart. Love this kid.

My sweet boy!

I'm always looking for ways to tire him out because hello, active boy?! The heat is still an issue so we're glad to have 6 more swim lessons left which will take us into mid September. Thankfully, he's typically wiped out after being at the pool.

Hangin' with his favorite girl. 😄

Just like Faith and Grace, my plan is to designate 2-3 days a week where I do a morning routine with him. Our morning routine shouldn't take too long because we move from one activity to the next pretty quickly.

These are some of the things I want to focus on this year with Zach.
  • Bible Time
  • Scripture Memorization
  • Songs & Worship
  • Days of the Week
  • Months of the Year
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Counting to 20
  • Writing ABC's
  • Phonics
  • Gluing and Pasting
  • Cutting with Scissors
  • Sorting
  • Presentation Practice
Most of this will be done in the morning and others we'll simply incorporate throughout our day as we have time. He loves to learn anything by song so right now, we've been working on the Days of the Week and Months of the Year. It's SO cute! He also loves to watch educational you tube videos so I might do that a couple of times a week to reinforce phonics.

What we've discovered about Zach is that he's smart. He has a great memory and he loves to learn, as long as it's engaging, fun, and short. We've also learned that he's a jokester. He loves to mess up (on purpose!) just to get a laugh. For example, he's been singing his ABC's lately by adding the word "apple" to the end of each line. I have a class clown on my hands, y'all! 😱 

I took a peek back on the blog of the girls' preschool days and I got a bit sentimental as I recalled all the sweet moments we had together. They still remember all of the activities we did in preschool! In some ways, I wish I could go back to those times when they were little. I'd tell myself to have more fun and enjoy them more without the pressure of feeling like they had to learn something or the pressure of me, messing it all up. The girls are in 6th grade now and time just keeps moving more quickly. In spite of myself, they learned what they needed to know and them some.

Zach is my last baby. The fact that I get to homeschool him and have another chance to relive those special moments of discovery and learning is not lost on me. God is so good. He knew exactly what we needed and was gracious enough to bless us with Zach. I have never regretted the time I got to spend with my kids when they were little. What a privilege it is to teach them and grow alongside them. 

Here's to a fun year of learning, laughing, and living in the moment every step of the way!

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