BOOKS ARE TRULY MAGICAL

I just read a post by our homeschool advisor, Andrea. It said if you read a book to your child everyday by the time they are 5 years old, they would have read 1,825 books by the age of 5. I wish I would have kept count! My daughter has a love affair with books. In fact, one of her favorite hiding places is in a hallway linen closet that I have turned into her personal library. LOL. The comforter bags at the bottom have become her couches that she lines up and lays on as she reads, LOL. From a very early age, she has had an infatuation with getting lost in stories. She reads them, then plays them out, as if she is those characters.

Books are truly magical when you help your child find the magic in them. Parents that read have children that read. It’s really that simple. There’s no better way to broaden their vocabulary and tantalize young imaginations. 

My daughter surprised us when she started reading at 2 years old. Now at 5, I still read to her daily and point out the words as I am reading, which helps her read along and sound words out with me. So, every day she’s getting at least 2 books in. 1 book with me and 1 book she reads on her own. 

Books do get expensive, so the library is one of our best friends. I admit we spend hours in Barnes and Noble where we read many books for free and end up buying one we didn’t read while sitting there. Books can take you anywhere you want to be! 

Happy Travels!

TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

We woke up at 7 o’clock in the morning. She jumped in the shower, brushed her teeth and got ready. Packed herself an apple, blueberry muffins and grabbed water. We got in the car. She was one of the first children to check in at her Taekwondo tournament.  She went down on the floor, looked at where the judges were sitting and immediately started practicing. She came back, went to the potty, put on her uniform, went back on the floor and practiced again. They called all the participants to ring number five so that they could go over the rules with them. I cannot sit with her but was comforted by the older children from her school surrounding her. Her master’s son was right next to her so that eased my mind since she loves him. I saw her lift her hand and ask a question. I saw the master answer her back, but I could not hear what she asked. My eyes started to swell but with tears… my mother looked at me and said, “Don’t worry she’s going to be OK.”

I’ve shared with you guys before that I suffer from anxiety. I just didn’t want my little girl to be disappointed in herself. After they read the rules, she came back and sat in my lap. She was happy and confident. I asked her, “Do you want to rehearse again?” She looked at me and said, “No, Mom, I’m good. I got this”.

A few minutes later, the lady with the microphone said, “Five and under to ring number five. My family got up and we moved to ring number five. We were right ring side in the front. They called her to come line up and my heart started pounding almost out of my chest… she was cool, calm and collected. She looked at me and gave me the thumbs up when she saw who she was competing against.

It was my little girl and three boys. There’s no way that one of those boys was five years old, he had to be eight easy. My daughter is tall for her age, but he was huge. Two seconds into the competition starting, my mind was eased. She had it in the bag and they could not hold her or outperform her. They gave her scores and all we heard was 9.9, 9.9, 9.9!  It’s the highest score you can get. Not only did she win a medal, she won a grand champion belt and a trophy bigger than her last trophy. Our baby brought it home. Grandma who was cool as a cucumber busted out crying.  She was so proud, trying to play it cool at first.

What an amazing way to spend our weekend. I’m telling you; Taekwondo is taking my baby to new heights. I am so excited to see where her future is going to go. She is one belt away from her black belt.  I know she’s going to get it. We will be sitting there, screaming right in the front all the way through her ride called life. I have never been so proud! Quoting her father, she is in Beast Mode!

24- Hour Handcuffed Challenge

I don’t do social media challenges, but I am all for challenges that make my child happy.

Be careful what you agree to. So, my daughter watches these YouTube shows, like probably many of the other children out there. She got this crazy idea that it would be fun to be handcuffed me for 24 hours. Stupidly, I told my daughter, “Fine with me, we can be handcuffed for 24 hours but you have to win a trophy at your Taekwondo tournament.

Not only did she win a trophy, she won a belt and a medal. So as soon as we left the competition, I drove to the dollar store. She was so excited to get home and handcuff herself to me.  At first, yes, it was an inconvenience. I couldn’t really use my phone. I was trying to cook dinner and guess who was attached to me. But then I gave myself a reality check how cool is it that my five-year-old wants to be handcuffed to me for 24 hours. I will never get this time back in her life. Pretty soon, she’ll be off with her friends and probably wanting very little to do with me. So, I looked down at her and smiled, thankful for this moment. In the end, it is our duty as parents to make great childhood memories with our children though she never sat still so that 24 hours was very challenging for me. I made the best out of it for her so it’ll always be something positive that she can remember. I know I’m thankful 24 hours is over. I’m sure, it’s something both of us will look back on and giggle.

I love my baby girl.

YES, I COOK BUT I DON’T ENJOY IT!

Being a mother, it’s my duty to make sure my child eats and eats well. So, I cook but it doesn’t mean I enjoy it. Yes, I have a beautiful kitchen but it’s not my favorite room to spend time in. See I am used to working long hours, eating whatever has been provided and had no problem spending most of my money ordering takeout at the Cheesecake Factory, lol!

3 times a day 7 days a week, I am tryna think of things to feed my mini me. I know it’s every mom’s favorite thing to do right….wrong! I notice my weeks go by better when I meal prep and think ahead! I have a 5-year-old so keeping it simple is always a plus. I’m going through a phase where I am fresh out of ideas about what to cook. I’m on the hunt for some yummy things that are also healthy. Calling all Moms help me out, please share. What are you cooking tonight?

FUN FOOD

My daughter brought it to my attention that I no longer make her fun food! She was right, she’s only 5 so food should still be fun! Only problem is she now eats a lot so the cute little plates I used to make her would now be an appetizer. I had just brought all of our Halloween decorations inside from the garage, so I figured what better time than now to make some spooky pancakes! Lol, look I’m no food designer and they aren’t Pinterest worthy but the great thing about kids is they aren’t judgmental. They enjoy and appreciate the effort. She giggled with every bite! Keep your kid’s food fun! It’s a great way to make memories…

IT’S 3 A.M. AND MY FIRST THOUGHT IS…

It’s 3 a.m., I am 43 years old. I just woke up out of a sweet slumber and my first thought is:

“Tonight
I just want to take you higher
Throw your hands up in the sky
Let’s set this party off right

Players, put yo’ pinky rings up to the moon
Girls, what y’all trying to do?
24 karat magic in the air
Head to toe so player
Uh, look out!”

Yes, I literally woke up to sing Bruno Mars! I cannot be the only one who has music in their head at the most random times. No, I didn’t’ listen to the song before I went to bed or even yesterday. LOL. My subconscious mind wants to party. (I think?) Why fight it? I am having a dance party alone in the middle of the night. I snuck out of bed, played on IG, cleaned my daughter’s fishbowl, got her schoolwork laid out for the day, made homemade pizza dough and dough for a loaf of rosemary bread. Now I am sitting here waiting for my dough to rise wondering WTF is wrong with me, LOL. Is this normal behavior? For me, it is. I realize I accomplish way more in the middle of the night than I do in the daytime. My old night owl ways just won’t go away and let my days be great.

Problem is by 7 a.m. I’m always exhausted and by 7:30 a.m. my daughter will be ready to party. SMH.

Is this mom life? Will I be forever sleepy?

IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN FOR HOMESCHOOL PARENTS!

We are about to say, “Hello” to 3rd Grade! I went nuts researching what curriculum would be right for our daughter. One of my biggest things was she must see her own likeness in her books. If there were no black children present, we weren’t doing it PERIOD! Also, I live in a state where the laws are very flexible for parents to teach and pick whatever curriculum we want. Every district has FRAMEWORKS that they follow. (You can google frameworks in your county and see everything they are teaching.) I choose to follow Massachusetts frameworks because they seem to be the best in the country at this time.

I started off wanting to do a video school but was like why should I pay $1,500.00 for kindergarten and first grade. Now at second grade, I see it doesn’t have to be that expensive. I don’t think I have spent more than $300 a year including field trips, and the great thing is when homeschooling you don’t have to purchase all at once. My biggest fear when I started was am I sure we are doing enough? Was she getting as much as children in school? What I found is she is getting WAY MORE!! We only do school for an hour and a half a day! She gets a snack and recess in-between and the rest of the day is hers to do as she pleases. These are some of the resources we use in our homeschool!

Masterbooks – We use their Math and Social Studies Only.

My referral code

https://www.masterbooks.com/r/V3bEoJlk/

History comes from Urban Intellectuals. They have flash cards which are small and so cute for little hands. The facts aren’t overwhelming but sure opened my eyes about American History. Black History at this point is it! My little one is so young that black history is all I teach. I figure she has time for the Gold Rush and things for when she’s older. Right now, Ima work on her pride and self-esteem as the white curriculum does for white children.

https://store.urbanintellectuals.com/aff/CherieJ75/

I also use another resource that comes from Blessed Heritage. It’s written more like a teacher’s guide than a text or work book but pointed me towards some great literature to back up things like Christopher Columbus got lost and never stepped foot on US soil that’s was written in a way my daughter fully could understand. http://www.blessedheritage.com/primary-vol-1.html

Health comes from ABEKA (I found ours on eBay for like $6 in perfect condition)  https://www.abeka.com/abekaonline/bookdescription.aspx?sbn=197564&gclid=Cj0KCQjwpavpBRDQARIsAPfTwiwCSIQ4PK9WIIdac3foUypVUm6fJuELyQ0xUoB7sm7R4BZZFVing8MaAhjIEALw_wcB

So as far as language arts, when she was younger we did kindergarten using a lot of worksheets from The Big Book of Kindergarten & 1st Grade https://www.amazon.com/School-Zone-Kindergarten-Workbook-Matching/dp/0887431461/ref=asc_df_0887431461/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198066994475&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8751043359419606877&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9028267&hvtargid=pla-404115530087&psc=1

Spectrum workbooks https://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-Grade-1/dp/1483816257/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=spectrum+1st+grade+workbooks&qid=1563113938&s=books&sr=1-3 and a workbook called Head of the class. The workbooks helped to guide me to make sure I was teaching what kids learned at the grade level and also to have hard copies of what I was teaching. Here is where I feel ABCMOUSE.com prepared her by the time she got to the worksheets, she already understood what to do. I make sure I read with her a lot and we pick out things she learns in the workbooks in her literature as well.

Core Knowledge has also been a great FREE resource for language arts. I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews with people complaining it’s not the vintage literature we grew up with, but my daughter enjoys it and the characters and subjects are diverse unlike the stories we grew up with! Native Americans, Immigrants and Job Hunting are just a few of the amazing topics they cover! Real world things in text that’s age appropriate.

https://www.coreknowledge.org/curriculum/

For Writing, the Dollar store!!! They have those workbooks with the ABC’s in them. I buy like 5 for every grade and she does 2 pages a day. This year she will be doing cursive!

Science, she has a spectrum book we will pull from as well as a book she was gifted by her tutor, which is full of experiments! She has a science lab her Aunt Vickie, Uncle Mark and Cousin Vivie sent her. (Yes, a whole little LAB) that came with a box of experiments and a microscope so please pray she doesn’t blow up the house! Science is her favorite subject!

I also teach Spanish. Amazon and YouTube have great kid resources. We purchased a workbook from Amazon that was under $10.

I refuse to take the arts out of her schooling just because most schools have done away with them! It’s a fundamental part of children’s minds and let’s face it for many of us, it was the most fun we had all day! All work and no play is never the way to go in my book!

art

She takes art classes for $3 a session at Michael’s! If you have an Amazon Firestick there is an art class on there that has taught her how to draw animals. The Dollar stores and 5 and Below have become fun places to buy art materials and projects. I’ve found ways to tie in unit studies with her art as well and that’s fun!

art project

My daughter was gifted a Ukulele from her Uncle Mark, Aunt Vickie and Cousin Vivie, so she takes music lessons at the Guitar Center.

I am blessed to be surrounded by educators. I work along with a few great teachers if you ever want to speak to them as well for guidance. Reach out to me and I will connect you, because all kids are different!

Tae Kwon Do & swimming and soccer are my daughter’s P.E. Don’t forget to get them out and moving.

I keep records and I keep EVERYTHING! Some states, you just need a portfolio of your children’s work for the year. Just in case someone gets bored and wants to question what we have covered, I’m ready for Back to school night. They will get EVERYTHING!

I hope this helps and takes away any second guessing yourself that you have. All children are different and there are so many homeschooling options! Education isn’t cookie cutter…listen to your child’s needs. Children will express their interest to you. When my daughter started talking about hot lava, I knew it was time for a volcano unit which I goggled and Homeschool pop on YouTube was fun. When she was talking about butterflies, we did a butterfly unit. I found a butterfly farm (who knew they had those). Kids will lead their own education and it’s the perfect way to keep it fun and free as long as we can.

IMG_4968

 

Good Luck and I am always here.

IT’S 4 A.M. AND I’M AWAKE CUTTING UP FLASHCARDS!

It’s 4 a.m. and I’m awake cutting up flashcards! Preparing for 3rd grade, homeschool is about to take on a whole new form and I am ready for it. This year will be more fun, I’m convincing myself. This year I will be a better teacher, now that I got the hang of it. This year I am going to prepare and get all of the paperwork done earlier. I will lay a foundation that will not be broken because NOW I know exactly what needs to be done. Hahaahahah

Truth is my daughter will come in, take the reins and guide her own education and let me know everything she needs. While prep is good, I have also learned to be flexible. Just because Tuesday went exactly as I planned, Wednesday was totally off course but on that beautiful Wednesday, we had fun and we both learned a lot!

Children are resilient and flourish in their own environment! With their own tribe, on their own time. Life is a lot different for them when they can receive a hug after a ruff assignment. They also can feel when those around them lead with love! So, as you’re planning your homeschool year, remember to schedule in the love!

Good luck, parents. It’s a dirty job but we are the best ones to do it!

ROOKIE SOCCER MOM

Okay so, it’s been officially 33 years since I have been on the soccer field. My daughter started asking me a year ago if could she play soccer. I was honestly hoping that she would forget! In between swimming and Taekwondo, I just didn’t feel like she had time. Call me a bad mom but I just wasn’t sitting on a hot field during the summer with all that heat and sun for a sport I am not sure she will love or stick too. Fall is here and she is 5 so the you’re too young excuse doesn’t work anymore. Fall Ball, here we come!

She’s got her shorts, cleats, her shin guards, her socks, sunblock, 2 soccer balls and a pump. I have my hat, my chair, my cooler, sunblock, water bottles and Gatorades.

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED?

I spoke to my sister in law, Vanessa, who is a pro soccer mom now. Her advice to me was healthy snacks, in case my name is called to be snack mom. No sugary stuff or candy, no Capri Suns. Check, I got that. I texted my sister in law, Vickie, who just laughed at me. LOL, I think she thought I was over thinking or joking. But I would like to hear from you “Soccer Parents”? I like to be prepared so what else do I need to know and have on me? PLEASE, HELP A SISTA OUT?

RED BELT!

Just like that right before her fifth birthday, she’s a red belt. For those of you who are not familiar with Taekwondo, my young daughter is two belts away from getting her little champions black belt, which is a big deal!

This journey is super amazing to witness. During her last testing was the first time I wasn’t nervous for her. I was excited! I watched her create her own journey. You know, just a couple years ago she asked me if she could she take Taekwondo and I really thought it was gonna be a phase but it’s her thing. It takes people years to figure out what they’re good at, find their purpose and their interest. For her to be so young and already know herself, I am so grateful. I only have one choice and that’s to foster what she loves. She’s determined to get the black belt before she turns 6, and I know she will. Right now, that belt is her goal. I hope she sticks with it because she’s already counting on having her second belt by the age of 12! Lol, wish me luck. She just convinced me to sign her up for soccer, which starts next month. So, on top of Taekwondo and swimming Ima bout to be a soccer mom! (She gets it from her cousins) I didn’t see this one coming when I gave myself the soccer mom hair cut a couple of years ago, LOL!

Hey soccer moms, Rookie Mom coming. Can I please get some tips?