Thursday, December 25, 2014

Holiday Season

November and December were busy months. The holiday spirit was in our home as soon as Advent time started and we put up our Christmas tree. We lighted the advent candles and told stories leading to the birth of Jesus. 

We spent few mornings tending our little garden where we have planted marigolds, pumpkins, corn, cilantro, beens, squash. It is Ecuador so everything grows year round! 

We also had the homeschoolers come to our house for a pizza party. We made 5 pizzas and we enjoy each other company. The children went all around the house playing with Mateo's toys and cats.

Mateo insisted that he wanted to wash the fresh fish we bought from the market. He said" I want to be a butcher". Samu and Mateo spent a good amount of time examine the fish.

We could not miss a Christmas concert and for the first time we went to the Nutcracker play. Mateo has never seen live ballet before and once the show started he said "they don't talk"

Our family Christmas Photo 

 New Christmas eve fashion!  We had a family gathering and Mateo had a great time with all the children present. 

And Santa brought him the baseball bat and ball that he asked for. Pat explained the game for Mateo and they have spent all morning playing. Mateo score 10 home-runs! He said to Pat " this is my favorite game". I am so happy that Pat can teach this game to Mateo since Ecuadorians do not play it. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Celebrating and Creating

On November 2nd, we celebrated the Day of the Dead making bread and colada morada. Samuel and Mateo made the bread with a little bit of my help. What a joy to eat the same bread that their little hands helped make. 

Guaguas de Pan - tradition in Ecuador on the Día de los Difuntos

Enjoying the meal. 

Then we have been preparing for Martinmas by making the lanterns. We have not gone on the lantern walk yet but we have been singing the songs that go with the celebration.  

"I go outside with my lantern, my lantern goes with me"

"This little light of mine, I 'm gonna to let it shine" 

And together we have been creating these pieces of art!  Mateo's requests that he learned from "Mister Maker" 

Feathers made with pencil sharpenings 

Butterfly: I made the drawings and Mateo did the paintings. 


Thursday, November 6, 2014

September and October went by fast!

September and October came and went very fast. We were busy doing activities at home but also taking trips to the land and visiting other beautiful places in Ecuador such as  Baños,  Antisana Reserve and the Pasochoa Reserve.  Mateo is into animals these days, all kind of animals. We have visited the Guayllabamba Zoo and the Baños Zoo and printed all the pictures of the animals and placed them in an album. We also added the photos from the Florida Aquarium and the Lion Country Safari, photos that we took when we visited Florida early this year. He has an album of almost 200 photos to look at and show to everyone! He also knows all the names of the animals. 

This is the first family drawing that Mateo has made. We are all pretty happy and have belly buttons! 

Running up hill with cousins Samuel and Zahir in the Pasochoa Reserve

Only to roll downhill and have so much fun. 

In one of the Zoo's we visited

Looking at condors in the Antisana Reserve. We were very lucky to see 3 and very close!

Happy running around and pretending to be a bunny rabbit. It was pretty cold and later on we got caught in the rain and hail. 

Beautiful on our way back home from the Antisana Reserve

Preparing for Halloween making sock puppets

This was all we had for Halloween. The next day we went to the land and carved a green papaya since you can't find pumpkins to carve here. It was great to have the two jack'o lanterns shine in our dark cabin as we fell asleep. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Different Activities

Homeschooling an only child is not such an easy task. I always have to be "on" duty but I need to remind myself that this time is so precious and all we do with Mateo will stay with him for ever.
We try to stay on the schedule but not always is possible. For example, when we go to our land we don't do the activities of the schedule but instead we hike a lot play with water and dirt, look at trees, leaves, etc, read a lot and rest. We are totally absorbed by nature and that is priceless. When we are at home we something fun everyday.

Wool animals for the nature table

Notice the eggs in the previous photo that have hatch on this one

This "osito" is Mateo's favorite, it still comes out hard though 

"Chichen Licken" story was fun to tell using paper puppets 

This is our first chalkboard drawing using color chalk! 

Cutie pie posing when we went for a trip to Baeza

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Leaning a lot

We are really enjoying our time learning and doing many things together this summer. The schedule went well last week. We made little animals for our nature table (a dog, a bunny, a mouse and later a bird to take care of the eggs in the nest), we also made beeswax eggs.  We had our first tea party with home made chocolate muffins which Mateo helped make, you can see him wearing his chef outfit! On Friday we went to the pool and on Saturday we went to our land where he also practiced swimming in a nice puddle left on our new construction site. What a great way to have fun and dirty!

Nature table with some things made on our crafts days

Tea Party. Samuel was the guest 

Helping in the kitchen 

Swimming in clean water

Swimming in a mud puddle

I have not mentioned it before but after Mateo turned 5 years old, he began to read in Spanish. He now goes around reading all he can in books and street signs. Today, I notice that he also can read few words in English! I really don't push him to read because I want to wait until he is 6.5 or 7 to start formal schooling with language arts and math; however, we never tell him not to do something that is unfolding naturally. It is amazing how much he is learning outside school! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Trying out our schedule!

We have come up with a schedule for our homeschooling activities which will formally begin in September, however, during the month of August we will be trying out the schedule and making some changes as needed.

On Monday we will do watercolor painting in the morning and gardening in the afternoon. 
On Tuesday we will go for a hike and come home to rest in the afternoon and watch something. 
On Wednesday we will draw with crayons, or work with beeswax or do crafts, in the afternoon free play in the sand box. 
On Thursday we will bake bread, cake or muffins, soup or anything else we would like to try.  And in the afternoon we will have a tea party.
On Fridays we will join the homeschooling group doing different activities including going swimming once a month. 
On Saturdays we will clean the house and on Sundays we will try to visit a new place or park.
We also plan to go to our land once a month for 4-5 days. We will see how this goes...

Basically kindergarten in the Waldorf schools resemble a home life, the academics are not yet introduced this year, so we will try to follow this simple schedule. Of course Mateo spends a lot of time playing with his cousins, Samu and "the bebe", who live next door. Pat and I will also continue to read and tell stories and I will be singing new songs as often as possible! 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer time activities

The weather this summer is great. We are trying to keep busy and outdoors as much as possible. Between the land and the city there has been not shortage of activities to be part of. 

Mateo's new bike with training wheels

Playing in the sand box. The garden is dry these days.

Making kites and learning to fly them

Playing with water in Puellaro

Going for a hike in the forest

Raking our new road in the land! 

Tidying the escuelita in the land 

Painting on Mondays