Friday, May 31, 2013

Little Laureates Book Group

Lina enjoyed the Little Laureates! "literature" class at The ROC in the East Village. Tinamarie Panyard, a professional storyteller, led the class for 4 to 8 year olds. It was "a creative story, movement and crafting class built around stories with a classic theme, fairy tales, and poetry. Using their ideas, bodies and imaginations, children will bring the stories to life through writing/"scripting," movement, and crafting activities that relate to the plot, characters and other literary aspects in the story."

I was proud that Lina already knew what "characters" are in a story and contributed a lot of good comments during the term. Tinamarie did a fantastic job reading the books in such an evocative manner and then engaging the young kids in conversation.

When handing out the certificates at the end of the spring term, the teacher told Lina that she is so joyful and wonderful to have in the class. Lina truly exudes joy, that's for sure.


Lina most enjoyed creating a little story of her own. She decorated the cover of the book and drew a couple of pictures in the class and then filled up the rest of the book when we got home that day.

 







Lina made it clear that she wanted to do as much as possible by herself in the class this season, no mommy help. Other mommies were sitting next to their kids, time to time, helping out. Lina still wanted me near enough to see what was happening in the class (so I was like a couple of long tables away) and she liked waving to me. I think she will be ready for short drop-off classes in the fall, we shall see.

Now, it's all fun in the sun! Though she and I prefer cooler temps (can't believe it hit 90 degrees and it's not even June...and it's so humid, ugh).

Friday, May 24, 2013

Flamingo with eye puppet ring on beak...

Lina put the finger eye puppet ring (that we bought at ImaginOcean a couple of years ago) on her flamingo stuffed animal recently and then drew a picture of it.




She made a beautiful line drawing of a flamingo a year ago.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise

We take countless field trips each month. Since Lina is not stuck inside all day in a pre-K program, following structured lessons...I was on the lookout for a community of families to join on weekdays. Though we live in the Big Apple, we don't do a lot of touristy things...so I was excited to go on the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise with four hundred (400!) homeschoolers. The field trip was well-organized by Leslie Kauffman, who has been homeschooling her twin 9 year old children since pre-K, as mentioned in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/16/garden/16unschool.html.







Lina enjoyed the tour, since the guide gave interesting facts about Downtown and Midtown Manhattan and the Hudson River. She was happy to see Governors Island (which we have visited in the past). She was most excited to see the Statue of Liberty. (Due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, Liberty Island and Ellis Island are still closed to the public, so this is the closest she has come to the breathtaking monument.)

After the boat trip, dozens of homeschoolers walked a block away from the pier to a playground (not crowded, since it was the middle of the school day). The kids had a blast playing on the gorgeous Tom Otterness sculpture sliding/climbing structure (it's tucked away between buildings on 42nd Street between 11th and 12th Avenues).





Though the temp hit 60 degrees that day, it was considerably cooler by the water. I finally convinced Lina to hop on the bus, so we could make our way to 6th Avenue. Since we were on 42nd Street already, I decided it was a good day to visit Bryant Park. After a couple of fun rides on the carousel, we went across the street and grabbed a cupcake for Lina, and a latte for me, from Crumbs Bake Shop.



We walked a block to the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, aka "The Library with the Lions"...


Old-fashioned telephone booths in the library, with functioning pay phones...ah, nostalgia.


Lina chose 11 books for me to read to her.


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I like to get the most bang out of a commute to any neighborhood...hitting many spots before we head home.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mama Love All Year Round

Lina leaves me little love notes every week. Her favorite phrase is "mom you're amazing," and she says that whenever she wants to see me smile. Celebrating Mother's Day on a designated day seems silly...but we do have fun plans for Sunday.





LC: "Me and you. Me kicking a ball and my friend climbing a high thing and another kid, a stranger, in the park...he's having a fun time on the slide there."


LC: "You and me in our new beautiful home and it's 10 o'clock."


Unlike many blogs that are about the hardships of motherhood...sacrifices made, opportunities given up, frustrations experienced etc. I have no complaints about being a stay-at-home mom. I feel joy every day. I have never felt happier, more fulfilled and confident in my whole life...raising my daughter is my favorite thing to do and I wouldn't trade one moment we spent together to be rich, successful or famous. I don't whine about the time, money and energy required to be a parent because it feels effortless. I'm no longer trying to live up to other people's expectations or dedicating myself to meaningless interests. Motherhood connected me to the real Petek I lost long ago...from childhood...I feel free to pursue creative dreams and adventures galore. I'm not a Tiger Mom. I'm proud of my daughter, but my existence does not depend on pushing her to become someone she is not, for the sake of bragging rights. I don't pressure her to do things to impress others. I let her explore and enjoy the world, at her own pace. I'd rather have a child who doesn't grow up to be a miserable adult, filled with self-doubt and fear...or worn out from competing with others. She can make her own path in life and I will be her biggest supporter, always. She is proud of my talents and skills and when she tells me I did "a good job" and understands my goals and cheers me on...I know she believes in me more than anyone ever did. We make the best team. To all the moms out there...have a Happy Mother's Day on Sunday and lots of mama love all year round.