Barefoot Books Ambassador

I’ve decided to become a Barefoot Books Ambassador! My kids absolutely love the engaging, colorful, and content-rich products (and I do too!). Our first item, before realizing it was a Barefoot Books product, was the Yoga Pretzels card deck. My children were introduced to the cards at yoga class and had expressed interest in having the cards to use at home. We also noticed that many of the books we especially enjoyed from the library were published by Barefoot Books, so I decided to add them to our personal home library by becoming and Ambassador. Here’s a picture of the products we received in my Ambassador box:

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Many times, we use Barefoot Books to go along with our studies. For example, my daughter has been learning about ancient Hebrew culture through Old Testament stories, experiencing Jewish holidays, and eating traditional foods. We are using the The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales to expand upon this learning experience. Besides the great stories and colorful illustrations, there are two audio CDs included in the book. This is great because we can listen to the stories on-the-go or use them to read along with the book. When we first got the book, my daughter was captivated by the first story and asked to listen to the rest of the stories in one sitting (I agreed to finishing the first CD). Several days later, she opened the book to read along while she listened to the audio. Needless to say, I am very pleased with the decision to include it in our library! Here she is with her head buried in the book:

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If you are interested in taking a look at what Barefoot Books has to offer, please consider using this link to my shop: https://www.barefootbooks.com/erin-hook 

 

Thanks for visiting,

Erin

Writing Practice

We’ve been doing some fun activities to work on handwriting and fine motor skills. Here’s one that we did:

First, I drew lines on the chalkboard and wrote the letters I wanted my daughter to practice on. She wrote the letters with the chalk, then she went back and traced the letters with a dry paint brush.

Finally, she traced over the letters with a wet paint brush. Of course, the activity wasn’t complete until she added her own personal touch by drawing smiley faces. 🙂 She enjoyed this very much and we will continue these exercises to improve her writing.

Supplies for chalkboard activity:

Note about the supplies:

The con-tact paper did not stick to our walls with satin paint, it only sticks to our flat/matte painted walls. It was difficult to put up, had a lot of air bubbles, and folded over itself easily, causing tearing. For a quick use, non-permanent product it is fine. I prefer black Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Brush-On paint, but it does involve prep-work, possibly painting multiple coats and of course, it is permanent. 

Prang chalk – I really like this chalk. It is vibrant and sticks to the surface well. Almost every piece was broken when we received it from Amazon, however that didn’t bother me.

The Chalkboard Line Drawing Tool is by Westcott. I have no previous experience with these tools. It does make line drawing so much faster and neater. The chalk moves around a bit in the holder, so there is a bit of trial and error in getting the chalk in just right.

Are you working on handwriting with your children? What types of activities are you doing?

Waldorf Essentials

Screen-Free Week

Last week we participated in “Screen-Free Week”. Normally, we limit TV watching in our home anyway. However, with that being said, we did have a few weeks of excessive TV watching while the kids were being baby-sat so I could wrap things up for work. I was pleasantly surprised that the transition from watching TV more-than-usual to none-at-all, turned out not being a big deal or challenge.

Except for Monday and Tuesday, the weather was beautiful. On Monday and Tuesday we spent most of our time indoors. We caught up on laundry, went grocery shopping, and to the library. We read books and colored. In celebration of May Day, we made a cake and paper cone May Day baskets to place fresh-cut flowers in for some of our loved ones. Wednesday we delivered our gifts and then began taking advantage of the beautiful weather by spending most of our days outdoors.

While we did our normal routine activities, we added in walks and field trips to new places. We started off on Wednesday with a walk on the James F. Hall Trail and played at one of the playgrounds for the first time. We watched several types of trains whoosh! by us. Noah was excited, to say the least. As we were leaving the park, we saw our friend Officer Bob, so Noah was again, very excited.

Thursday we walked the Newark Reservoir, participated in Hannah’s Nature Nuggets class, and took a late afternoon visit to my mom’s house so the kids could see how much the 2-week old chicks changed. Hannah and Noah also enjoyed running around outdoors.

Friday, the three of us we went down to Cape Henlopen. The two-hour drive was a bit long for them, but we made it! We visited the Nature Center which had live fish, sea horses, and a tank for the kids to touch horseshoe crabs. We then got some advice on which trails and sites were child-friendly. We started out on the Seaside Nature Trail, a nice little walk in the sand that went out to the bay-side beach. We sat down on a log and had a snack. As we got up to start walking, I saw a large shadow on the ground. I looked up to see a Turkey Vulture swooping down to take a closer look at us…uh, I didn’t like that! By the time we got to the beach the wind started picking up pretty badly. We decided to try the Observation Tower next, but Hannah was terrified of the steps. We decided to skip it and head to the ocean-side beach, instead. With the wind, we didn’t stay there too long either. We did look for shells and walked a little bit, but the crashing waves and wind were really scary to Noah.  Again, we decided to come back to it another time. Hannah was disappointed that we couldn’t sit out on a blanket and use her sand toys. I think one of the things Hannah took away from the experience is that the beach during springtime is much different from the beach in the summer. On a positive note, while we were on our way out of the park, we noticed a playground. We decided to check it out. It was slightly wooded around the playground, so it kept the wind at bay. We played for about an hour and decided it was time to go home. When asked what their favorite part of the beach was, they both said, “the playground!”

Saturday was Music Class and “Creek Fest” at White Clay Creek. The kids really enjoyed Creek Fest. We listened to live music, had fresh ice cream from the UDairy Creamery and visited the tables of various vendors and displays. Hannah enjoyed the tent with various falcons, hawks, and owls. She asked the naturalist some questions about the names of the falcons. We saw our church friends, The Juggling Hoffman’s. Hannah and Noah had their own little show as they were sitting next to us in the shade during their break! Hannah and Noah gravitated toward the playground and loved it so much asked if we could go back on Sunday. We decided after church we would go back to the playground at the park, which was a fine way to wrap up our Screen-Free week! Did you participate in Screen-Free Week? If so, what was your experience?

A Hectic Week

This week has been pretty hectic. I gave notice of my resignation to my employer last Thursday and I’ve have spent the week wrapping up a project and teaching my successor how to do the work she will be taking over. Because of the crazy work schedule, my 2-1/2 year old is off of his sleep routine and I’ve been dealing with meltdowns and behavioral issues with both my 5-1/2 and 2-1/2…not too much fun. I will be glad to have this phase of my life completed and to move on to full-time mothering at home with no outside work obligations and distractions.

Despite my hectic schedule, we made it to the library for story time and to select some books. The books we chose were related to the earth and nature (Earth Day was on Monday this week). One of the books we borrowed is called Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. The book is about a little boy bear, named Buddy, who receives a package in the mail from his grandfather. The package contains five activities for Buddy to do while learning about seeds. My kids love it! I recommend the book because it really caprtures their attention and the activities can easily be done at home as a go-along with the book.

We also made it to nature class this week! We missed it two weeks in a row; last week because of my work schedule, and the week before because I was sick with a head cold. Coincidentally the nature class this week was about seeds, where they come from, how they grow into plants, etc. After the instruction was over, the children decorated a plastic cup with stickers and planted a few sunflower seeds. Then we went for a nature walk in the wood looking for seeds and nuts. Mostly, we found walnuts.

Today when I went into work, I brought the children with me and we went to the Spring Sale fundraiser afterward. Luckily, we didn’t see much we wanted to take home with us (I’ve been de-cluttering and organizing). I did find a nice small wooden bookshelf for Noah’s room, though. 🙂 Because it was so beautiful this morning, we made an impromptu stop at the park. We walked a couple miles, listened to the birds, saw a few trains go by, played at the playground and saw a few Mallard ducks. When we got home at 11:30 Noah was ready for his nap! Now Hannah and I are going to cuddle up on the couch and read some books. How was your week?

Angel Bear Yoga

Angel Bear Yoga

Angel Bear Yoga!!! I love the idea of it…so much so that I took the training course with  Christi Eley, creator of ABY. I am now an ABY Certified Instructor!

I started the program with my five year old daughter last week. We started off slowly, doing the 15 minute activity. I chose to start with the character trait “acceptance” to tie in with the turtle themed homeschool science class Hannah participated in last week at White Clay Creek State Park (our first experience there, and it was great).

Hannah really enjoyed discussing turtles, so I thought the add-on at home would be appropriate. We read one book suggested in the ABY lesson book, The Turtle Who Felt Boxed In by Taylor Brandon. Hannah loves it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get our hands on a paper copy of it through our library or Amazon because it is out of print, so we bought the kindle version. We also read a book we already had on hand, The Foolish Tortoise, by Eric Carle, which is similar to the Turtle who Felt Boxed In. You wouldn’t really need both books, as they are so similar. That being said, we used the books as a learning opportunity and discussed the difference between turtles and tortoises.

We read the book five consecutive days and continued adding on to the ABY each day. There are two main characters used throughout the program, Angel Bear and his little friend Sweet Pea. We have a sweet little Panda Bear who we named Sweet Pea, but we do not have a large Panda for Angel Bear. After the first week, I realized this is something I will have to work on acquiring! There are so many acitivities to do with this program I feel like it really enriches our homeschooling experience. I will post more about ABY as we progress through the year. I hope this first post helps those who are looking into ABY, or who bought it, but aren’t sure how to start. Just dive in, it is wonderful! Oh, and start off reminding your children of the rules before you start: putting on their listening ears, staying on their mat so they don’t leave the enchanted forest, etc. it REALLY helped us. Best wishes!!