AgDisovery FREE Summer Camp from USDA

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Photo from internet.

I just found out about the AgDiscovery program from the USDA. It’s a free summer program that exposes kids to different careers. It looks super fun. My kids are too young to attend, but I thought I’d tuck it away for later.

“AgDisovery is a summer enrichment camp designed to create aware in youth ages 12-17 about careers in USDA-APHIS. This program is a partnership between APHIS, colleges and universities.”

There are 4 different programs that kids get to enroll in: Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, Agribusiness and Plant Pathology. Kids will not only learn but get to apply to attend a program in the U.S. Virgin Islands and other places around the U.S.

As we plan to worldschool, this cool, FREE summer camp looks right up our alley. Please let me know if anyone has experience with it.

 

Worldschooling Provides Perspective

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A mural about the liberation of South Viet Nam in Saigon 2016.

Most people have heard of homeschooling but few have heard of unschooling (we’re giddy everytime we something about it like here and here) and even fewer have heard of worldschooling.

Homeschooling – doing school stuff at home.

Unschooling – there is no set curriculum. You follow the child’s lead in regard to what they’d like to learn.

Worldschooling – letting the world be your child’s learning environment.

I like to think that we are an unschooling-worldschooling family. We already travel a lot so why not make a conscious effort to educate our children about the world they live in while were’ doing it. When we were in Viet Nam we visited a few museums. It was interesting to see the war from the other side. I’m thrilled that my children will learn about world events from different perspectives.

We’re just getting started but so far my oldest (he’s two) has visited Chicago, Oahu, Dallas, Atlanta, Niagra Falls, South Africa, Brazil, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. We’ve seen forests and waterfalls. We’ve visited museums.  We’ve eaten new things. We’ve met new people. We’ve experienced lots of new things and we’ve come across TONS of similarities.

I can’t wait to talk with them about  tidbits in history, mathematics, physics, music, and anything else that we might come across! I don’t know what our future holds but I hope it helps shape them into the best versions of themselves.

Climbing Out of …. Everything #ToddlersGonnaToddle

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So this week we’re staying at a new hotel. This hotel has a “kids room” with a door and a tv and bunkbeds. I basically thought it would be a good place to put them when they are playing because our toddler still sleeps in the travel playpen and the baby sleeps in our bed.

When we arrived, the toddler runs over to the bunkbeds and begins playing on it. The little one soon joins in. Both children seem to be enjoying the new toy. The toddler asks to be put on the top bunk and my partner is worried that 1) he wouldn’t be able to climb up 2) he might fall off 3) that he might fall on the baby. I’m a free-range parent and I generally let the toddler make his way in the world (as long as it’s not obviously a risk for death). I will support him emotionally (“Stretch your toe and you’ll be able to feel the ground. You can do it!”) and physically (giving him a “spot” as backup) but I try to leave the decisions about actions he can attempt up to him.

When he tried to climb the ladder, you know he tried to climb the ladder, I encouraged my partner to support the toddler in his attempt. My toddler climbed up, down, back up, and down again with no problem!

I was over the moon that he had achieved his goal. We did a happy dance. He started to go up again ……  and he fell off. We told him that we all make mistakes and we were proud of him for trying. You know what? Without any encouragement to try again …. he started climbing again. He did it a few more times and didn’t fall.  =)

What I didn’t realize was that this meant he could also crawl out of his travel playpen. We used to be able to pen him in and eventually he’d go to sleep. Those days are gone.   =(  #ToddlersGonnaToddle

 

Second Adoption TPR Granted

Baby girl had a termination of parental rights hearing on Thursday. I called her adoption worker that afternoon, but she said that she hadn’t attended the hearing and didn’t know what happened. She said the minute order wasn’t posted but that she’s see what was happening and give me a call back.

Monday rolled around and I hadn’t heard about the hearing so I gave her a call. She said only a supervisor could see the minute orders so she didn’t know anything yet. She told me that she was off Tuesday so she’d give me a call Wednesday. Hmmmm …

I called our adoption worker and asked if she knew. She also said that only supervisors could read the minute orders. She said she’d see if she could get her hands on the hearing info. She called me back in about an hour and said that the termination of parental rights had happened. Baby girl’s parents had 60 days to appeal the ruling. We had another hearing scheduled for November and if nothing went wrong, the case would be transferred from foster care to adoptions. She also said that if things kept up, at this pace the adoption could be finalized as early and February! Wow!

Our toddler’s adoption took almost a year to the day for matching, placement, termination of parental rights, and finalization and I thought that was pretty quick. This one is zooming by. At this rate, it’ll be about six months in total!

We’re working her baby welcoming. The holidays are quickly approaching. Before you know it, her finalization party will be happening.

Eek!

=)

 

Two Under Three on a Flight

 

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My babies at a park. A year and a half apart. #DoubleTrouble Lol

We are taking two flights in the next few months. One is a coast to coast flight (baby girl’s first) and one is a short one-hour flight. I’m a bit anxious about it. My biggest concern is what to do with them both while on a long flight.

Usually the boy goes back and forth between our laps. He really enjoys looking out of the window. Well now …. she’ll probably want to go back and forth between our laps. He’ll have his own seat now but I’m not sure if that will be better or worse. Lol

I’m excited that:

  • The toddler has first first airline points account.
  • The toddler will have his own seat.
  • The toddler will be able to have his own bag.
  • Baby girl is taking her first flight.
  • They will be able to entertain each other.

I’m worried that:

  • The toddler will want more attention that we can give.
  • Baby girl will not like flying.
  • It will be hard to juggle two little ones.
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Early morning siblings.

We’ve gone on a few driving trips and we’re getting comfortable traveling as a family. I usually get all worked up about something, try to research and plan, and it’s not as big a deal and I had worked myself up for it to be. Let’s hope that pattern continues. Lol

Anyone have any tips for traveling with two little ones?

 

Living in Mazatlan

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One of my life goals is to live in a different country for at least a few months. Now that we have kids, we’re taking into account things like safety, schools, kid activities, and cost of living. While looking, we’ve come across Mazatlan. I was originally considering the Costa Chica but …. this could work.

Kinda like Tinkergarten

A blog about life with a kid in Mazatlan. This blog also has a great post about schools.

I found this great list of schools from a Trip Advisor post:

From my book, “Mazatlan IS Paradise:”

Appendix 7 Schools in Mazatlán

Printed with permission of Lani Wooll

Pre-kinder – nursery school – and Kinder – kindergarten – are preschool, for kids from 3-5 years of age. Primaria – Elementary – is grade 1 through 6 and secundaria – junior high – is grade 7 through 9. Preparatorio – high school – is grade 10 through 12, and although not mandatory at this time, the Federal government is moving to make it so quite soon. The curriculum and school year doesn’t vary much from school to school as it is mandated by the Secretaría de Educación Publico (SEP) – Department of Education, both Federal and State. All schools must meet specified criteria and guidelines.

These are some of the most popular schools although there are many more to consider. It seems every neighborhood has its own private school.

1. Instituto Británico, located at Blvd. del Marlin #34, Fracc. Sábalo Country, this school promotes small class size as well as 100% bilingual education with a great physical education program, which is very rare in Mazatlán. It is one of the newer, more popular schools amongst the upper middle class and foreign population, and is non-denominational. Tel: 913-5919. http://www.britanicoac.edu.mx/

2. Instituto Anglo Moderno (Anglo), is currently the biggest and most popular and one of the more expensive private schools. The pre-kinde, kinder and grade school are located in Lomas de Mazatlán at Avenida Lomas de Mazatlán #242 and #222. They have also built a brand new junior high & high school (secundaria and preparatorio) in the new Marina area, Av. del Delfín #6203, Fracc. Marina Mazatlán.

They are non-denominational with some sports and a soccer program that is linked to a top Mexican soccer team, plus a computer lab and well-equipped kitchen for culinary arts. This seems to be the upper middle class’s choice. The downside to this school is very large class sizes. Telephone numbers for contact are: Kinder and Pre-kinder: 916-6029, Elementary: 913-5376, Junior High: 182-2100 and High School: 182-2100. Their website is: http://www.anglomoderno.edu.mx/

3. Instituto Cultural de Occidente (ICO), is a Catholic school located on east side of Ejército Mexicano at the junction with Rafael Buelna. This used to be THE school for the wealthy and powerful families of Mazatlán and outlying areas. It is very difficult for a foreigner to get into and it helps if you have connections. Class sizes are fairly large, with a decent phys. ed. program. Call them at 986-1466. http://www.ico.edu.mx/

4. Colegio Andes is located behind Home Depot, at Av. de la Universidad #205, Fracc. Alameda. Tel: 986-2488. This is, in my opinion, the best school in Mazatlán. It has small class size, excellent bilingual education and some of the richest, most influential people send their children there. The downside is a strict Catholic, very conservative, Opus Dei education. http://www.andes.edu.mx/

5.Colegio Begsu is on Av. Insurgentes with two locations between the Malecón and Av. de la Marina, and is solidly middle class, non-denominational and the popular choice of many small business owners, hotel workers, etc. Telephone them for more information at 984-5621.

6. Colegio Remington is behind Ley #1 at calle Rio San Lorenzo #223, Col. Palos Prietos, and is a elementary (primaria) school run by Catholic nuns. This school generally has more girls than boys since it used to be an all girl school and is known to be a springboard to acceptance in ICO. Their number is 981-3347.

7. Colegio Vallodolid, has two locations; one downtown on Belisario Dominguez,

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and the other out near El Conchi,

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These schools are relatively inexpensive and popular with the working class families. They are non-denominational, with discipline and security not being the same as in the more expensive schools. Connections are not needed to be accepted here. For more information call 985-6333.

8. Colegio el Pacífico is at calle Cruz #2 in Cerro del Vigía and is a great choice for those in El Centro. This is a solidly middle class school. My bilingual co-workers who are themselves alumni are now sending their children there and believe that the English program is excellent. Contact them at 981-2215. Their website is http://www.colegioelpacifico.edu.mx/

9.Instituto Pedagógica Hispanoamericano, Av. de las Torres #10100, Fracc. Los Olivos. This is also a middle–class school with good academic standards. They frequently score amongst the best in the state on standardized testing. They are nursery (pre-kinder) through high school and offer many after-school activities. Telephone: 990-2101.

There are 2 new large schools. One is Colegio Rex Av. del Delfin #6221, Fracc. Marina Mazatlán, Tel: 922-0700. They say their teachers have been trained by graduates of the University of Arizona. They offer nursery through junior high. http://www.colegiorex.mx/

The other is Colegio Montfort, calle Eduardo Fountanet #203, Fracc. Plaza Reforma, east of the Soriana on Rafael Buelna and behind the bullring just east of Av. de la Marina. Tel: 913-0267 http://www.colegiomontfort.com/ , which opened February of 2012.

Most of what I wrote in the K-9 section applies to high schools. Preparatorio is equivalent to a U.S. prep school and is a fast track to university. There is a prep school affiliated with the Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, 985-5917. The Tec de Monterrey, Mexico’s most prestigious university system, has its own prep school. Attendance at Tec de Monterrey prep school will virtually guarantee you a spot in the Tec University system, providing the qualifying grades are attained. A tough admissions exam is required to get into the Tec de Monterrey and it is very expensive. They have also moved to a brand new, state-of-the-art campus in the Mazatlán Marina area. Telephone: 989-2000

 

Babies Sleeping Door Sign

At least twice a week someone I don’t know comes to my door. They usually ring the doorbell and knock. Loudly. Just now, someone came, uninvited, and rang the doorbell three times in a row. Both of the babies are sleeping. I wanted to hit the person with a brick.

Since that’s illegal, I’ve decided to hang a sign on the door. Perhaps this will get us some peace and quiet.

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Or this one with a wax print background

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