Possible Home School for Pre-K

One thing that I really admire about the idea of home school is the luxury of catering an education to the child’s pace and family’s beliefs. I love the thought that I can be in control of what my child learns. At this point in time, Chris and I aren’t at a place financially where I would be able to stay at home with Addison. We also have some financial goals that require a second income (home remodel, debt, need a second vehicle, etc), so I can’t foresee homeschooling any time soon (also, she’s two so we still have about 3-4 years). That being said, even though Addison is not at school age, she is still constantly learning. She is learning even if I am not consciously teaching.

The other day after one of Addison’s doctor’s appointments, we took our first trip to the library to check out some books. There was a board of magnetic letters and Addison brought one to me. I casually asked her what the letter was, not thinking she would know. She excitedly said, “O!” I was shocked. It was an “O”. I’m not sure where she learned it (daycare? my mom’s? Super Why?) but she picked it up along the way. So it clicked. If she could recognize one letter, she can recognize them all. She knows what sounds animals make, why not letters too?

Where To Start
There is so much available and so many suggestions on what a child should know. Even for preschool, if you just take a glance at Pinterest, it can be overwhelming. I really like the Charlotte Mason style of teaching, so I’m going to be loosely following the preschool foundations: habits, outdoor play, read-alouds, and Bible. In addition to making a point to focus on those things, I want to set aside time for “school”. Addison already knows pretty much all of her animals and body parts, so those are things we will still discuss but not solely focus on. She is already starting to recognize letters and numbers, but still hasn’t mastered it. Here is what I think Addison is capable of learning by age 3:

-Recognition of letters of the alphabet and their sounds
-Recognition of numbers 1-10 and the ability to count up to ten
-Know basic shapes
-Know basic colors
-Know seasons

How To Proceed
Now that I’ve decided what I want to work on for the upcoming year, it’s then time to plan how we are going to achieve those goals. They say that children are sponges and the best way to learn is through immersion. I’m going to focus on one number, letter, and color or shape each week. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Then after a month or so of learning, we will have a review week where everything we have learned will be reviewed together. Maybe we’ll make a sensory bin and play I-Spy. Maybe I’ll make a color page and ask her to point something. I might have her help me in the kitchen and count my ingredients for me. I also know I want to do an awards chart. Addison loves stickers and she is always ready to participate if she knows she can get something fun out of it.

When To Teach
Working full-time means I couldn’t do “school” at the time that I would generally like to which is around 9am. I’m not going to do it in the morning before work because I hate the morning and we already have an established morning routine. That leaves the only time of the day left: afternoon. From the time we get home until bed time is about 2 hours. During that time we have to eat, takes baths, get ready for bed, and now fit in 20 some minutes for school. Sounds like a lot, but I think it will be doable. She’s two so that means that sitting down for anything longer than fifteen minutes is laughable. Whatever I plan has to be interactive and fun.

That’s all I have set in stone so far. I will probably do an entire post on how I prepare to teach her and what actually works. I’ll keep you all updated!

Those Crazy Sorokas - Kaitlyn Signature

The Biggest Boo Boo: Addison’s First Broken Bone

I had originally planned to write some recaps of the Leesburg Lightning game we went to and our trip to Ft. Meyers to visit our best friends, but our awesome trip took a turn for the worst the morning we were going to leave. I’ll still post those but I figured everyone would prefer to be updated with this visit.

Addison's broken arm with pink cast and flamingo sing // Those Crazy Sorokas

So on 07/30/17, I was in the guest room at Karla & Anthony’s apartment in Ft. Meyers, deflating the air mattress. I asked Addison to sit on it so that it would deflate faster. Well, Chris was coming in the door, tripped, and landed flat on the mattress. His 190 lbs shot her 25 lb body 6 feet into the air and she landed with a bang. Chris will tell you he laughed at the time but we didn’t realize how hurt she was then. She cried and cried pointing to her arm and wrist saying she had a boo boo. She didn’t scream bloody murder so I originally assumed she was just going to get a bruise but usually kisses heal all her boo boos and kisses weren’t working this time. While we were finishing up breakfast, I kept staring at her arm. It just didn’t look right. Then I saw it. The obvious curvature of where the top of her arm dipped in. Definitely broken.

Addison's broken arm with pink cast and flamingo sing // Those Crazy Sorokas

We headed to the nearest urgent care and thankfully were seen within 15 minutes. The xray guy took Chris and Addison back (only one of us could go back). Chris came back white as a ghost. “The xray tech said that it’s the worst break he’s seen on a child this small! He said she would need surgery to get some pins and plates!” I was furious. Who was he to say that?! Technicians are not qualified to give results! “Just wait for the doctor. Everything will be fine.” I tried to console him but I could tell his mind was going a mile a minute.

Addison's broken arm with pink cast and flamingo sing // Those Crazy Sorokas

Addison's broken arm with pink cast and flamingo sing // Those Crazy Sorokas

The doctor brought us out and showed the images again: midshaft radius and ulna fracture. Definitely really broken. Chris asked about surgery. She shook her head at the thought. “Probably will just need a cast. She is very young so her body is going to heal itself quickly. You will need to see the orthopedic as soon as possible to get an evaluation.” Chris’ face softened but it was still frightened.

Addison's broken arm with pink cast and flamingo sing // Those Crazy Sorokas

So this morning at 8 am sharp, I called the insurance to verify we wouldn’t need a referral, checked the in-network provider list to find the nearest doctor, and set up an appointment. I was lucky enough to get an appointment same day with Dr. Topoleski, the pediatric specialist.

Addison's broken arm with pink cast and flamingo sing // Those Crazy Sorokas

The appointment went great. Addison was her regular happy self. She was talking to the nurse about her Moana toys and when they pulled out the pink casting she whispered to herself, “piiiiiinkkk!” She did so well and didn’t even shed a tear. The nurse and doctor were super friendly and gave her all the stickers! She walked out a happy customer.

Addison's broken arm with pink cast and flamingo sing // Those Crazy Sorokas

Surprisingly, because she is so young, they estimate we will be able to get the cast removed at the end of August which I am relieved because I thought for sure she’d be going into September with her cast.

All is well over here now and thank you to everyone who prayed for her while we were at the doctor’s office. We really appreciate it!

Those Crazy Sorokas - Kaitlyn Signature

Two Looks Good On You: A Letter

Dear Addison,

You’re officially two. It definitely looks good on you. I’ve actually been telling people you’re two for a few months now because you don’t seem one anymore. One year old is babyhood. Two years old is toddlerhood. I think you hit it early. And by hit-it-early, I mean those tantrums and pouting…. yikes! I try not to laugh when you pout, but I’m not good at that. Usually, you will walk away with your hands over your eyes and just plant your face into whatever is softest. And yes, I roll my eyes at you a lot. I know you don’t believe it now, but not getting to shove knives into light sockets or not suffocating a dog with a plastic bag is just not reasons to cry about. Take it from me.

Those Crazy Sorokas // Two Looks Good On You - Letter to Addison on Her Second Birthday

You’re such a real person now! I know that seems like a weird thing to say but before you were just so different. You couldn’t communicate like you do now. You are beyond stubborn. Stubborn to the point where I’m taking deep breaths and wondering if I should take up meditation. And even though I hate this stubbornness, I love it. Who are you going to be in 16 years? I want that stubbornness to push you to be the best you can be. I pray you will follow your dreams and no matter how many time life says, “no. stop it!” You just push right past. Because that’s who you are.

Those Crazy Sorokas // Two Looks Good On You - Letter to Addison on Her Second Birthday

You play it tough but you’re soft. I can tell because when you lash out in anger and you see me cry or hear the dog squeal, your face changes. It goes from livid to sorry. You always try to fight back your tears because you didn’t really mean it. “S-sorry, mommy…” you whisper. “S-sorry, Bently…” you say as you try to console him. You’re not a mean as you try to play. You’re sensitive. And that’s ok.

Those Crazy Sorokas // Two Looks Good On You - Letter to Addison on Her Second Birthday

Another thing I hope never changes is your love of sharing. Even if it’s the last bite of a cookie, if someone asks, you’ll always give it up. And the smile on your face shows that you were just happy to have a bite at all. You just pass it off and giggle as you climb down from the barstool. Like it was a no-brainer to you. Like it’s just that simple. I hope that even when you’re older, you still share whatever you have, even if it’s all you have. You should never regret giving your best to others, even if they don’t give it back in return.

Those Crazy Sorokas // Two Looks Good On You - Letter to Addison on Her Second Birthday

I hope that you know that I love you.  I hope one day you realize that when I say no, it’s not because I want to be mean but because I want only the best for you. I pray that year two will be the best year yet. I hope you climb higher, jump further, and continue to grow into the person that God planned for you to be. Be who you are, no matter what others say.

Love,
Mom

Previous Letters:
Dear Addison, You’re One (7.13.16)
Addison: 3 Months (10.18.15)
First Letter from Mom & Dad (2.24.15)

June Six // Summer Book Rotation 2017

My husband is the best husband. He is also the best father. Going into June, I knew I wanted to highlight the importance and privilege of having a father. Not every child gets a kiss and hug good bye when their dad leaves for work. Not every child has a father who will sneak them an extra spoonful of ice cream after mom has already said no. Not every child has a father who takes pride in them.

I know Addison is little and my reasoning will not resonate with her, but regardless, I wanted my June Six to feature dads. The story that makes me smile the most is “My Dad Used to Be So Cool”. The illustrations are bright and the story makes me heart smile knowing that good parents will give up parts of their past to make a life that is focused on loving their children.

June Six 2017 Book Rotation // Those Crazy Sorokas

Board Books
My Dad is the Best Playground by Luciana Navarro Powell
Mighty Dads by Joan Holub
Because I’m Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa

June Six 2017 Book Rotation // Those Crazy Sorokas

Hardcover
My Dad Used to Be So Cool by Keith Negley
How To Surprise a Dad by Jean Reagan
Daddies by Janet Frank

I hope you enjoy the books I picked out this month. And happy Father’s Day to all the great guys that invest in their children!

May Six // Spring Book Rotation 2017

May is right around the corner and that means Spring is coming to a close and Summer is on the way. In my mind, May is the month that pastels fade into warmer tones of red and orange. Still a month full of life, but it’s not new and fresh like in April. May makes me thinks of being outside in the garden. The greenery of plants sprouting up and the soft, moistened bed of dirt the plants are emerging from.

I’m in love with the books I chose for this month. I love the illustrations for each book and even books as simple as Flora and the Chicks, seem to sink into my heart because the pictures are so endearing. I featured a few books that made me think of Mother’s Day (Guess How Much I Love You & Are You My Mother?) and I also brought out one of my favorite Shel Silverstein books, The Giving Tree. But as always, I had to include some books I was less familiar with and I’m glad that I did!

May Six - Spring Book Rotation 2017 // Those Crazy Sorokas

Board Books
Flora and the Chicks by Molly Idle
Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

May Six - Spring Book Rotation 2017 // Those Crazy Sorokas

Hardcover
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Two Little Gardeners by Margaret Wise Brown

I hope everyone’s month of May is great. I’m going to try and make more of an effort to play outside with my daughter and maybe even start an herb garden in my backyard. I’m determined that Central Florida’s rising temperatures won’t keep my family inside! I know it’s still considered Spring but it was starting to feel like Summer last month, so we’ll see how this goes. Don’t forget to leave book suggestions in the comments down below. I love to hear about people’s favorite books!