learning and kids · summer and kids · traveling with kids

Staycations

A few weeks ago we decided to take a mini trip locally. For years I have lived bicoastal between New York and California. As I spend more time on the west coast, I am rediscovering some fun areas. We decided to have a mini vacation by the beach. That is what California is known for, it’s beautiful blue beaches and a lot of sun. Maybe too much lately….ha!

We stayed at Kimpton Shorebreak at Huntington Beach. I learned about it while searching online for kid friendly hotels. Let me tell you this exceeded our expectations. This hotel is not only family friendly, it is also dog friendly! It is a resort style hotel just an hour away from L.A. Upon our arrival, we are greeted with valet parking (although I chose to park myself) and smiling guest service employees. We were given a free bottle of white wine and shown around the premises. We were allowed to checked in a few hours earlier at no extra charge!

Our room was clean, well air conditioned, and we had a partial view of the ocean on the balcony. It was truly incredible! Their bed is comfortable and spacious for a couple or a family of three. Our favorite part is that each room has a record player! How awesome is that! We had a Beetles record that we loved! If wanted more choices we can go down to the lobby and browse the plethora of record choices in their collection.

They have a lot to offer visitors. If you want to spend the day at the beach, they offer scooters, bikes, surf boards, and beach toys for the kids. When lounging at the hotel, they offer refreshments, ping-pong and a life sized chess game. At night, get ready for fire pits and s’mores activities. It’s really a place for all young and old. There is enough quiet areas, if you want to curl up and read a book by the fire or join in the activities. They also offer a gym and a rock climbing wall. Their restaurant has a wonderful open breeze feeling and you can order some delicious choices such as their signature burgers.

Upon waking up in the morning, grab your yoga mat and enjoy some yoga at 9am in the outside garden area! They offer coffee and tea as well.

We had an amazing time and did not want our trip to end. If you are interested in staying close to the beach, you should check them out.

https://www.guestreservations.com/kimpton-shorebreak/booking?gclid=CjwKCAjwgaeYBhBAEiwAvMgp2msTfZhXBDZZ8pJnTeUSDGWa7bhSUlPRW1nYWCzNbqHwYK9DGCHHBRoC7J4QAvD_BwE

XOXOXO

Leticia

Back to school supplies · bilingual children · bilingual learning · Developmental stages of chldren

How can we connect with our children’s teachers? What questions can we ask teachers?

Kids are back in school! So, what now? Take advantage of Back To School Night and ask your child’s teacher how you can continue to support your child at home. Here are some questions you can ask your child’s teacher:

  1. How can I support my child’s social/emotional well being?
  2. Can you recommend some books that help my child talk about their emotions.
  3. Do you have a feelings chart you use in school? I’d like to use it at home as well.
  4. Can you share your daily schedule with me?
  5. How can I support my child in math, reading, and writing?
  6. What strategies do you use in reading that I can use at home?
  7. In math, what counting strategies can I apply while helping my child with homework?
  8. Share a success story about my child.

These questions open up the conversation to learning more about your child as a student. It helps you, as the parent, learn what happens throughout the day. Ask your child’s teacher for resources. If you are not sure how to explain math to your child, ask the teacher to share some sample strategies used in the classroom. If your child struggles in reading, ask the teacher what are some strategies you can use at home to help your child. Covid has affected our little ones in different ways. It’s important that we take time to support them not only academically, but also emotionally. Teachers have so much insight into our children’s world. Asking these questions help parents have a bigger picture about your child as a learner.

Don’t forget to ask your child’s teacher how they are doing as well. Teachers do so much behind the scenes work. A little cafecito or special drawing from your child is always welcome too.

xoxoxo

Leticia

Back to school supplies · bilingual children · bilingual learning · homeschooling · learning and kids · traveling with kids

Back to School Goodies!!

Happy Summer Families! It’s been a while. We are well into our summer camps and family activities. As summer is coming to an end, we are getting ready for our back to school over haul. We need supplies, clothes, backpacks and lunch bags. Here are my top choices.

Backpack- I chose Hershel this year. My family and I love the cushy straps and durable feel of the backpacks. They are easy to zip and they have various kid sizes. The problem I have with major stores is a one size fits all backpack. A Kindergarten students needs a smaller size than a 2nd grader and 5th grader needs a larger size than a 2nd grade. Hershel offers various sizes. I love the choices. Some of their backpacks are on sale with free shipping so take advantage.

https://herschel.com/shop/backpacks/heritage-backpack-kids?v=10313-02462-OS

Lunchbox

Planet Box is an eco-friendly lunch box supplier. They have a 30% discount sale so take advantage. I love the compartments for each sized lunch box. They also have different choices for kids of various ages. So choose what is best for your child. Some boxes also come with containers and you can purchase a lunch bag with it. It has a lot of pockets including for an icepack and water bottle pocket!

https://www.planetbox.com/

Clothes!!

Raise your hand if you child is growing so fast you can barely keep up!! I like to shop at various places for kid’s clothes. Target’s Cat and Jack brand is great for basics!! They have tag less clothes which kids love! Keep your receipts because if your child grows out of them within a year you can return them for a full cash return.

Read more

https://www.target.com/b/cat-jack/-/N-qqqgm?lnk=snav_rd_cat_and_jack

For some long term staples such as jeans, sweaters, special event school outfits consider Janie and Jack. I just bought some long term staples for my son. They have a major sale going on, up to 60% off.

https://www.janieandjack.com/home?lang=en_US

School Supplies!

All the stores are competing so check prices at Target, Walmart, and Amazon. I personally love Amazon because I can order in bulk and it can be delivered to my son’s school. 🙂 Whatever makes it easy for this career mom!

I hope this helps!

XOXOXO

Leticia

homeschooling · Kids love of Science · learning and kids · traveling with kids

L.A. Museums with Kids: Highlighting The California Science Center

We recently visited the California Science Museum in Los Angeles. I have to admit that I haven’t visited this place in years, so it was like going for the first time. I was very impressed with the space and exhibits. We didn’t do the special exhibits because we wanted to learn our way around the museum.

It turned out to be a fun experience as my son and husband went on a virtual ride and followed a photo time line of the Space Shuttle Endeavour making its way through Los Angeles. We also visited several of the permanent exhibits such as the Ecosystem exhibit and the Air and Space exhibit. We sat and listened to a presentation given by a scuba diver in one of the fish/shark tanks. My son was able to ask questions and interact with the presenter.

Our favorite part is definitely seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavour up close. It’s fascinating how much work went into making this shuttle and viewing different parts of the shuttle up close.

If you haven’t visited The California Science Center, I highly recommend you take your children. It provides a great learning experience as many of the exhibits have hands on learning activities. Please be aware there are strict COVID protocols in place. Adults have to show vaccination cards at the entrance and wear masks at all times unless we are eating.

Happy New Year!!

XOXO

Leticia

bilingual children · bilingual learning · homeschooling · Kids love of Science · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time

Christmas Gifts For Kids

As we get ready for the that special time of the year, I wanted to share some fun kid items I found. If you are looking for last minute gifts, consider one of these for your child.

I love giving books to kids, let’s face it, our kids don’t need another toy. I feel like books are priceless and all kids should have their own library. If you are in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, consider visiting Mija Books at Lakewood Mall. Recently, I visited Mija Books and for the first time in my life, I see books that represent my culture! The store is beautifully organized by age. There is even a Spanish section. I am so impressed with the plethora of diverse books being offered. There are also stickers, coloring books, crayons and affirmation cards. I just love it! Books vary in prices and begin at $7 for soft cover books. If you are not in the LA/OC area, you can also order on line at https://mijabooks.com I highly recommend their store.

If you are looking for a hands on activity for your child, consider Professor Maxwell Kits. They come with special goggles while kids learn about Science and Social Studies. You can find the kits on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/s?k=professor+maxwell%27s+vr+atlas&crid=1V6336UTIKK46&sprefix=professor+ma%2Caps%2C300&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_12 These kits take the child to places around the world through the use of special goggles. It is a great way to integrate Science and Social Studies into your child’s world.

3. It’s so important that we take the time to talk to our kids. It’s easy to depend on a device, believe me, I’ve been there. I learned about these great conversation starters we can do with our children. You can ask questions such as, “What is the best thing that happened to you today?” Let’s get our kids talking to us and learning how to take turns talking and listening. There is nothing more impactful than face to face conversation! https://www.amazon.com/Kids-Conversation-Starter-Little-BestSelf/dp/B07Z75B81N/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=little+talk+deck&qid=1639890077&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&smid=A1FA57EE88Q1P&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFJRlUxMzZSOURVNUwmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA4NjM4MzMyMlMyUjg1STk3Tzk3JmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAzNzEyMTRMRlo5QkIyT0pYVEMmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl

4. Another favorite making it on my list this year is KiwiCo. I really love their age breakdown and their STEAM choices. https://www.kiwico.com They offer monthly, 3-month, and yearly subscriptions. I highly recommend this for children of all ages. They offer educational, but hands-on learning activities. Their directions are easy to understand and it’s an activity you can do with your child or let them challenge themselves and complete the task on their own.

Happy Shopping!!

XOXOXO,

Leticia

bilingual children · bilingual learning · homeschooling · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time

Hispanic Heritage Month

It’s so important to highlight and celebrate our Latinx culture. September and October is a great time to highlight historical figures that made an impact in our world. Most importantly, we must celebrate our Latinx roots all year long! My son and I started this celebration with reading books about Frida Kahlo. It’s a colorful children’s book that lends itself to children of all ages. As you take your child through the pages you can talk about “auto-retratos” and the importance of embracing our Latinx features.

We talked about our skin color and the beauty of our culture. He was very thoughtful about choosing colors that represent his facial features. Crayola makes crayons for different skin colors now. This is a fun activity to do as a family and at the same time teach your child about an important person in history. You can also visit Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul virtually!

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month.

XOXO

Leticia

Children and letter writing · Developmental stages of chldren · homeschooling · learning and kids · literacy development and children · Uncategorized

Connecting Parents and Teachers: What can I ask my child’s teacher?

Kids are back in school! So, what now? Take advantage of Back To School Night and ask your child’s teacher how you can continue to support your child at home. Here are some questions you can ask your child’s teacher:

  1. How can I support my child’s social/emotional well being?
  2. Can you recommend some books that help my child talk about their emotions.
  3. Do you have a feelings chart you use in school? I’d like to use it at home as well.
  4. Can you share your daily schedule with me?
  5. How can I support my child in math, reading, and writing?
  6. What strategies do you use in reading that I can use at home?
  7. In math, what counting strategies can I apply while helping my child with homework?
  8. Share a success story about my child.

These questions open up the conversation to learning more about your child as a student. It helps you, as the parent, learn what happens throughout the day. Ask your child’s teacher for resources. If you are not sure how to explain math to your child, ask the teacher to share some sample strategies used in the classroom. If your child struggles in reading, ask the teacher what are some strategies you can use at home to help your child. Covid has affected our little ones in different ways. It’s important that we take time to support them not only academically, but also emotionally. Teachers have so much insight into our children’s world. Asking these questions help parents have a bigger picture about your child as a learner.

Don’t forget to ask your child’s teacher how they are doing as well. Teachers do so much behind the scenes work. A little cafecito or special drawing from your child is always welcome too.

xoxoxo

Leticia

bilingual children · bilingual learning · homeschooling · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time

Back to School

It’s that time of year! We are getting ready to send our children back to school. We are enjoying the last few weeks of summer, getting that back to school list together, and look for clothing and supply deals! This is another unique year! We are still living in the times of COVID. Two years later. We have to prepare our kids the best way we can. We have our checklists, supplies…check…..clothes…check, room assignment…check…Let’s not forget the most important part of all. Let’s make sure our children are emotionally ready. Don’t forget to check in with them. Ask them how are they feeling? What are they most excited about? Are they scared? If so, why? Plan something fun right before school starts. If you haven’t already, start those back to school routines. Get to bed early, early rising, have breakfast planned out, and get them out the door. The sooner you do it, the easier it will be for you.

Don’t forget to read some fun books with them! I am including some back to school books along with a bilingual book titled Basquiat coming out soon from https://lillibros.com/collections/fall2021. If you haven’t learned about him, you must get this book. It’s also a great opportunity to support a Latina owned book publishing company.

Isabel is starting school and she doesn’t speak Spanish. She shares her language with her classmates through her artistic work.
It’s about a little girl who feels like an outsider and isn’t sure where she fits in. She stays strong through it all.
Children learn about a Brooklyn, New York based artist and how he changed the world through his masterpieces.

ENJOY!
XOXOXO

Leticia

homeschooling · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time · Uncategorized

Reading Nook

I wanted to give my son a space where he can enjoy his reading time. I really want to give him a sense of ownership and responsibility when it comes to putting his room together. He is a vivacious reader, so he asked for a special reading nook. I wasn’t sure what that would look like in his room, so I had to think outside the box. We looked around his room and tried to pick a quiet space where he can focus and read without distractions. We chose a corner of his walk in closet!. I know it sounds outrageous, but it’s even more outrageous that a child would need a walk in closet, so it will be part walk in, and part reading nook.

We started with going to Home Depot and picking out a color. He chose green, I had to bite my tongue! I know that means letting go as a mom and allowing him to make choices on his own. I decided I will add some neutral decals to it to balance out the bright green.

He really enjoyed painting the wall and learned how to paint up and down instead of side to side. I decided to let him paint as long as a he wanted to and then even out the paint when he tired out. That happened very soon. I could see the pride on his face as he painted his wall. Once he gave up, I took over and finished the painting project.

Next, I ordered some hot air ballon decals from Amazon and my friend sent inspirational quotes to put on his wall. It all came together well. He is so happy with his reading nook. This is an easy and simple way to give your child space to enjoy reading without the outside distractions.

bilingual children · bilingual learning · homeschooling · Kids love of Science · learning and kids · summer and kids

Summer Learning Activities

As summer comes to a close I want to share some of the fun activities I did with my son. I provided some days where he was able to sit around, play, and watch a little TV. Sometimes we take fun day trips that include visiting friends or going to the beach. I created a short schedule for my son that includes some academics and afternoon playdates. This seemed to be the best mix for him.

I really love the Learning Bridges books! They are a great review of what he learned and he is introduced to new concepts for the upcoming school year. He completes about 2-3 pages daily and reads two chapters of Magic Tree House (he also has to write a reading response). This takes him about 1-1.5 hours to complete.

I decided to invest in two programs this summer. The first one is Kallpachay. Please read my prior post about my son’s experience. The next one I chose to invest in is KiwiCo. I’ve heard so much about them. You can have a monthly subscription, or every 3 months, or a yearly one. KiwiCo provides all the materials for your child. The directions are easy to follow and it has a lot of visuals. My son is a lego lover so following these directions is very simple for him. He needed minimal help from me. I chose a Science based subscription with some art activities. It is very much STEAM driven.

In his first subscription he made a claw for a game. He was so excited and it was wonderful to see his face light up as the claw came together. He even went as far as making a box to hold toys in it. Then, he asked me to take him to the 99 cent store so he can buy small toys to put inside the box and he made some fuzzy dolls with the KiwiCo materials. Now when his friends visit, they can grab a small toy using his claw. This is hands hands-on learning, literacy, science, and art all in a fun box!

Happy Learning!

XOXOXO, Leticia