Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring Vacations

I am So ready for Spring. I can't wait until the weather is warm, and we can get outside. Even if it is just for a few minutes. I am getting stir-crazy being in the house all the time. The wind last night was horrible. I had to run outside in the rain last night, and rescue Lily's plastic trike that was blowing down the driveway.

We have a couple of mini-vacations coming up. I can't wait! A nice, long 4 day weekend is what I need to re-charge sometimes. Next week, we are going to Busch Gardens, then staying 2 nights at the Great Wolf Lodge. It will just be the girls and me. Hubby is working in TX for a few weeks. It's ok, though. He doesn't really like theme parks. I am excited about the Great Wolf Lodge. It's been years since I have been there, and I have never stayed the night. Lily LOVES water parks, so this will be a perfect vacation for her. Gia will be happy-she gets to stay out of school for 2 days to go.

In June, I am going to Richmond for the HEAV homeschool conference. This will be my first conference, and I am super excited. There are so many workshops that I want to attend, I don't think I will be able to get to all of them. I will have to make a list, and put the ones I REALLY want to see at the top. The Duggars will be speaking at the conference, and I want to hear what they have to say about homeschooling. The exhibit hall will be full of curriculum, which will be good and bad. Good, because I am a visual person, and I need to see everything. Bad, because I have shiny object syndrome, and will want to buy it all!

I am very excited about starting Lily on her homeschool journey this Fall. She is already learning so much just from me running the preschool at home. We made a sensory bin the other day, and it was a huge hit! If you want to keep a child busy for a LONG time, just fill a box with rice or beans, and give them something to scoop with. Seriously. I have seen kids that will sit for hours with that.

We are working on fine motor skills right now. Sensory bins are great for that. The spoons, scoops and such are perfect for developing the skill without being frustrating. I put this down, and she dove right in. It wasn't long before the scoops were out, and the ponies were in. I love how sensory bins bring out her imagination.

We are also working on handwriting. That isn't going as well as I would like. Lily doesn't like to sit down with worksheets or workbooks. I found that she loves dry erase markers, though. I print out some worksheets and put them in a plastic report cover, and Voila! A dry erase worksheet. :)  Worked like a charm. She will work on those for a few minutes, at least.
One of Lily's favorite things to play with is my Ipad. I wanted it back, so I bought her a Kindle Fire. It was perfect, because I have been sticking back all the great free books that Amazon offers. Lots of great home school resources! The Kindle has a feature called Free Time. It pretty much turns the Kindle into a kid's tablet. It disables the browser, turns off purchasing, and only gives the child access to age-appropriate content. You can also set time limits for books, videos and apps. One of her favorite apps is tracing letters, so that helps with the handwriting. She really gets into it.