Chase the Sunset

This evening the dishes were piled in the sink
(because the dishwasher was full),
the laundry was piled in baskets
(because the washer was full with that load I need to wash again),
and it was nearing the end of one of those long days where you never stop doing,
yet nothing feels like it got done.

I breathe deeply, and remember this is the Summer of Gratitude.
I am grateful that I have a dishwasher, a sink, running water.
I am grateful I have a washing machine, clothes,
healthy boys that get those clothes dirty.
I am grateful I am able to do,
and I am grateful that although it doesn't feel like it,
things did get done.

Breathe again, time to dig in and do more.

Then he walks in and says,
"Momma, did you see the sky? It's so ORANGE."

Yes buddy, the Sun is setting.

"Can I catch it?"

Sure, just go look out of the window.

He grins,
"No Mom, I mean if I chase it... can I catch it?"


Clubhouse Guest Post: A Simple Way to Teach Kids About Being Grateful

I am excited today to give a big Clubhouse welcome to Chelsea, who has decided to join us in our Summer of Gratitude. Her blog, Moments a Day, is truly inspirational. Some of my favorite posts she has written are "Teach Your Kids How to be Resourceful" and "Helping Children Recognize and Practice Kindness in Speech"
Today she shares with us a way she has taught her kids about being grateful. Thank you Chelsea, we are grateful you're here :)

Clubhouse Angry Birds: Screen-Free Edition

Let me start this post by admitting something.
I was the anti-angry bird Mom.
The game was on iPhones everywhere, and I refused to give in.
I especially refused to allow the bird addiction to reach my Clubhouse Kid.

Then he had a friend over for the weekend, and she just had to show him her pig hitting skills.
So it began.

After a few game plays myself, I realized it wasn't as nonsensical of a game as I had thought.
You have to actually think about where you're sending that bird. The launcher has to be angled the right way. They even have different birds with different skills, which means knowing who is best for which pig. I mean really, this game did require some skills.
So, I uploaded it and gave in.
Not entirely though.
My Clubhouse Kid has limited screen time,
and so we have found a variety of ways to bring the game "to life".


Clubhouse "Thank You Station"

Our Summer has started off pretty busy, and has given us a lot to be grateful for.
That's a different post though.

I just want to check in on how we're doing with our  
One item on it was that we would write Thank You cards all Summer long,
and so it begins...


Summer of Gratitude

I have a few posts sitting in my drafts folder, waiting for their finishing touches. Trying to decide which one to finish first I glanced at the stats and realized that I have published 99 posts.


That meant the next post was going to be, clearly, number 100.

For some reason to me that meant the post had to be something different. Something I hadn't done before. I tossed around a few ideas, and then boarded a plane to San Francisco, CA for a conference. The conference was going to be all about Early Childhood Education, there just had to be inspiration there, right?

Well, there was. It just didn't happen in the conference room.

It happened on a busy intersection, behind the wheel of a car. A terrifying car accident that shook me to my core. After the shock and the shaking, and beyond the bumps and the bruises, there is a very clear feeling that has completely overtaken me. It is that feeling that found this post...


Clubhouse ABC's Revisited

*This is a post I wrote awhile ago when I had no idea how to attach a printable. I've had a flurry of emails recently asking for a printable of the letters, so here is the post revisited, printable included...

In the past I have been asked how I teach Preschoolers ABC's, letter recognition, and ultimately writing their name. The answer is simple. Here at the Clubhouse, letters are everywhere, and the Clubhouse Kids manage to teach themselves.

Sure, I help them a long.

That's what I'm here for, right?

I start with a basket.


Clubhouse Garden Math: Common Core in the Dirt

We do a lot of learning here at the Clubhouse.
Everything from Math to Science, Literacy to Geography, and so much more.

The irony is, I hardly do any teaching at all.

They learn through what we're doing, not because of it.

We get a lot of questions about "Common Core State Standards" though. Basically people want to know how we're going to ensure standards are met for Kindergarten.

Because really, how can these core requirements be learned without specific worksheets, flash cards and teacher led instruction?

To that I say, we start in the Garden...

and if you want to see what that has to do with common core,
be sure to read the writing in italics over here on this side.


Clubhouse Eyeball Experiment

If you read our last post you know all about our little conundrum.

If not, let me sum it up for you. 

We have an eyeball stuck in a jar.


Clubhouse Scientist: An Eyeball, a Jar, and a Giveaway!

Whenever I travel without my Clubhouse Kid, I make it a point to bring back a gift for him. Unfortunately, I usually don't remember to get said gift until I'm at the airport awaiting departure. That leaves me to search airport shops looking for something fun that doesn't cost more than my airfare.

In this case, I found an eyeball.

What boy wouldn't be excited to receive an eyeball from California?

...and so it begins.

Clubhouse Easter Eggs, Naturally Dyed and Decorated

A visit to the Farmer's Market and some ingredients from the pantry was all that we needed to create these naturally dyed eggs...

Clubhouse Creation Station: DIY Hungry Caterpillar

Some of our favorite activities around the Clubhouse have always been to take our favorite books and bring them to life...


Clubhouse Snowman

There are parts in the Arizona desert where it snows.

The Clubhouse is not located in or near those parts.
On purpose.
When we moved here from Buffalo, NY my plan was to quite possibly never see snow again.

Then I had a kid,
and he wanted to make a snowman...


Clubhouse Calendars

Happy first day of January :)

First thing this morning my Clubhouse Kid asked me,
"What day is it and how many days until we go to Buffalo?"

He led me right into today's activity, getting our January calendar ready.

We have been working on our 2013 calendar center, and wanted to have a space where we displayed the entire month. I wanted a monthly calendar in which he could trace the name of the month and all of the dates, since he is very much into tracing right now and enjoys practicing his letter and number writing. I also wanted the month and days of the week listed in both English and Spanish, since we are always incorporating Spanish into the Clubhouse Classroom. My searches came up with no results, so I took to making the template myself...