Storykins // Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlov by Laurel Snyder

Storykins // Swan by Laurel Snyder (Author), Julie Morstad (Illustrator), Irene Kim (photography)

Storykins // Swan by Laurel Snyder (Author), Julie Morstad (Illustrator), Irene Kim (photography)

Storykins // Swan by Laurel Snyder (Author), Julie Morstad (Illustrator), Irene Kim (photography)

Storykins // Swan by Laurel Snyder (Author), Julie Morstad (Illustrator), Irene Kim (photography)Photography Irene Kim and published by Chronicle Books

When you pull open the pages of this book, you’ll pull back the curtain of time. You’ll be swept back through to the icy snowflakes and stone streets of Old Russia, where little Anna Pavlova heard the music of Tchaikovsky for the first time. The music filled her, its swells and pauses and staccato notes becoming the rhythm to which she moved, and danced, and worked long hours as a laundress. But somewhere, somehow, between the icy winters and the endless laundry and the music inside her, Anna become the Swan, the dancer, the heroine, the one who gave beauty to the people…the one some say is the most famous ballerina of all time.

“This book was about Anna. It was cold where she lived. She walked into the snow. She walked into the sun. She was a girl who danced on the stage in the dark. A ballerina dancer. She pretended to be a bird. People felt happy. She got flowers and throwed them back to the people.” -Aveline, age 4

Want to win a copy of your very own? Follow Babiekins on instagram and Chronicle Books to win one of 10 copies we are giving away!

Momkins // Easy Breezy

Nothing beats an evening on the Bay surrounded by family.  The breeze, the salty air, the sailboats as they cruise by; its all magical.  I like to wear simple sundresses that are light and feminine and perfect for dancing around the shoreline. A classic sundress is versatile enough to throw over a swimsuit and to take you into the night hours, which means less hassle and more time to play!   A Pizza picnic and a stroll through the palms and you have yourself the recipe for a wonderful Summer night.  Shouldn’t all Summer evenings be about the easy breezy and simple living with your Babiekins?!

Babiekins Magazine | Free People Summer Dress

Babiekins Magazine | Free People Summer Dress

Babiekins Magazine | Free People Summer Dress

Babiekins Magazine | Free People Summer Dress

Babiekins Magazine | Free People Summer Dress

Babiekins Magazine | Free People Summer Dress

Momkins // Easy Breezy

 

Details//

Mom//
Embroidered Floral Dress and strappy bralette from Free People
Wool Hat and Triangle necklace from Forever21

Baby//
Checkered Baby Shoes from Vans
Striped Romper from Remie and Co

 

 

 

 

 

Schoolkins // Preparing For A New Year

Babiekins Magazine / Schoolkins - Helpful Books

Babiekins Magazine / Schoolkins - Helpful Books
I always mourn the end of summer a bit. The warm days swimming, the lack of agenda, the bounty of summer produce, but there’s something beautiful about the beginning of a new season, that first cool blast of air, the cozy holidays on the horizon, and of course the beginning of school. I’m a sucker for new school supplies. Blank paper. New pencils and paints. Books.

In the coming weeks, thousands of students and parents will shop in preparation for the new academic year. They’ll purchase clothing and books and new school supplies. Naturally, this process looks a little different for the homeschooler. We don’t need uniforms or fresh clothing (although my own children enjoy them), and depending on our style of education, we may not even need binders or spirals. Some families will purchase new, packaged curriculum while others will search for gently-used copies or simply use the internet or local library. As such, every parent’s supply list will look a little different, but this is only one part of how we prepare. Here’s a few ways I gear up for our academic season.

kid-free day (or two)

Each August, I set aside a day or two without my children for planning/preparing for the year with them. By this point in the summer, I’ve been mulling over new ideas for the year, during these preparation days I try to get them in order and make final cuts. I prefer peaceful and productive days, so if you’re the same, make your favorite morning beverage, turn on music, and get to work.

take inventory

Before you begin assessing what you need, inventory what you already have. Look at everything from your math manipulatives to your colored pencils and books. Toss, give away, or sell what you no longer need, and make note for later of what you do need.

organize your learning space

Find a proper place for everything. This makes tidying easier for the children and helps maintain a peaceful environment. Start by finding a home for your learning tools and supplies. If you have homeless objects, consider their value to your family and plans.

mark the calendar

Once our routine starts, it seems harder to remember important trips or excursions I wanted to take with the children. Find and mark them on your calendar now. Find out what exhibits will be passing through various museums and theaters and when local seasonal events open. If you have the tendency to back-out of plans, purchase tickets or make reservations ahead of time, if possible. Invite other families to join you, too. You’ll be grateful for your own forethought.

schedule a few days for you

While the calendar’s out, plan a few random days just for you. You don’t have to know how or why right now, you’ll know how to use those days when they arrive. These days can provide a little breathing room, probably just when you’ll need it.

Featurekins // Kardashian Kids AW15

Babiekins Magazine // Featurekins :: Kardashian Kids

Babiekins Magazine // Featurekins :: Kardashian Kids

Babiekins Magazine|Kardashian Kids

Babiekins Magazine // Featurekins :: Kardashian Kids

Babiekins Magazine // Featurekins :: Kardashian Kids

Babiekins Magazine // Featurekins :: Kardashian Kids

Babiekins Magazine // Featurekins :: Kardashian Kids

Babiekins Magazine // Featurekins :: Kardashian Kids

We are loving the Kardashian Kids AW15 collection that is available at Babies R Us and online at Nordstroms.

Credits //
Photographer Josh Rothstein | Stylist Jill Rothstein | Hair Corey Tuttle | Makeup Susan Donoghue  | Models City Models | | Location The Out NYC Hotel

Schoolkins // Helpful Homeschool Reads by Bethany Douglass

Babiekins Magazine / Schoolkins - Helpful Books

Babiekins Magazine / Schoolkins - Helpful Books

For parents who are interested in homeschooling or are even already on the journey, the amount of resources surrounding education can feel large and overwhelming. Each style and method has its own roots and research. Depending on the parent’s learning background, one might find it difficult to begin at all. Of course, friends and local groups are the best resource for this, as you can interact, ask questions, and observe. Beyond your local resources, reading and researching online is the next resort. This is where the parent begins modeling (even for the youngest children), we never stop learning. Even as adults, we forge our own paths and research in decision-making. Although this is not a finite list, here are a few of the reads that have impacted me the most during our seven years of homeschooling.

The Homeschooling Option by Lisa Rivero

When people tell me they are considering homeschooling, I always suggest this book first. Rivero, a homeschooling mother and engineering professor, offers a broad look at homeschooling, from styles and methods to specific resources and common questions. Her writing is engaging and easy to follow and the layout is equally simple and neatly divided for reference or quick browsing. She offers a variety of content, covering more common concerns of socialization, sports, and prom to quieter conversations on homeschooling children with special needs or knowing your state’s laws. At the back, she includes a list of advocacy groups and websites divided by state.

The Well-Trained Mindby Susan Wise Bauer (co-authored with Jessie Wise)

Susan Wise Bauer is a strong voice in the classical niche of homeschooling. She is a mother/homeschooler of four, writer of several books and curriculum, and also a professor at the College of William and Mary. For parents looking for an academically rigorous education for their children, this book is for you. In it, Wise gives a background to classical education and then offers a guided outline to follow pre-K through 12th grade. She has divided the book into loose age groups based on classical learning–grammar, logic, and rhetoric–and offers several of her favorite curriculum choices with descriptions all along the way. Parents who prefer more structure and want educational thoroughness will adore this guide.

How Children Fail and/or How Children Learn by John Holt

John Holt is often considered a forerunner in the “unschooling” movement. Written in the 1960s, these complimentary books are separate and distinct in content. The titles are almost self-explanatory–one focused more on his observation of childhood learning, the other more focused on the situations that caused failure (think of failure more as disengagement, not grades). Although they are both slow at points, Holt’s writing is more intrinsic than practical HOW-TOs. I read these books at the very beginning of our homeschooling journey, and although I would not consider myself an unschooler, they have shaped how I observe my children and how we learn together.

Weapons of Mass-Instructionby John Taylor Gatto

Gatto is a former New York public school teacher, who resigned 30 years of teaching (the same year he received Teacher of the Year for the state) in the op-ed section of the Wall Street Journal. He currently travels and speaks, advocating for school reform. As one might guess from the title, his writing is witty and zealous. He writes from experience and research, detailing the history and purpose of public ed or “compulsory schooling”–a shocking revelation for me. His writing is at times a bit eccentric and rife with controversy, but you will never be bored with this read. It will stir you to think of education in a new manner, and most importantly, you’ll feel empowered as a parent, regardless of your educational choice.

Teaching Montessori in the Home: Preschool Years by Elizabeth Hainstock

While we have never solely followed the Montessori approach, I appreciate the use of manipulatives and the emphasis on independence, ingenuity, and connection to environment of her theses. Hainstock, certified in Montessori pedagogy, offers practical and accessible activities for little ones in this book. I used it often in my children’s early years, applying the activities to all areas of our learning. I also adapted what Montessori refers to as the “prepared environment” in our home: open shelves and containers and specific age-appropriate pots that were more accessible for independent learning. For families of older children, consider the book Montessori Today by Paula Polk Lillard.

Understanding Waldorf Education by Jack Petrash

I am currently reading this book, a telling sign that a homeschooling parent never stops learning and recreating their homeschool. I’ve always gravitated toward reading and writing in our curriculum, but over the years have noticed the gap of incorporating art and hand-work into the same subjects. I love the way Waldorf holistically approaches this, and this read is a simple and easy-to-follow introduction to this style of learning. I can already tell it will certainly impact our homeschool.

Featurekins // Dress Rags Playwear

Babiekins Magazine // Dress Rags Playwear

Babiekins Magazine // Dress Rags Playwear

Babiekins Magazine // Dress Rags Playwear

Babiekins Magazine // Dress Rags Playwear

Babiekins Magazine // Dress Rags Playwear

Babiekins Magazine // Dress Rags Playwear

Babiekins Magazine // Dress Rags Playwear

It was literally love at first sight when we were first introduced to Dress Rags. The playful lines and whimsical colors of the clothing in this line play off each other beautifully to form perfect summertime outfits.

Dress Rags believes domestic production, and is dedicated to continue working directly with local factories. Each batch of garments is produced in a small run, ensuring the handcrafted pieces are all unique and made with love. Dress Rags also personally sources all the fabrics, selectively choosing only the highest quality cottons for your littles.

We love how they’re pursuing authentic and imaginative styles, we love their dedication to local production — and we especially love how they stand for COLOR! We are so impressed with this brand, and can’t wait to see more from them in the future.

Dress Rags ::  Website  |   Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest

Photography/Direction :: Megan Dendinger 
Model :: Ava, Trinity (Paloma Model + Talent), Anya, Lily 

Featurekins // KNOT Hairbands + Party Ideas

Featurekins // Knot Hairbands

3

3blog

4blog

7blog

We recently stayed at a home in Solana Beach in San Diego (thank you Kid and Coe!) and also put together an adorable party for Print issue 6 full of colorful accessories, games and of course piñas!

One of the most fun parts of putting together this little party was dressing the children which included the incredibly cute use of KNOT Hairbands!

Knot Hairbands is a new accessory brand that sells an array of hair accessories that are perfect for anything from a walk in the park to that birthday soiree that your kiddos won’t stop talking about! They are even offering FREE shipping on orders over $50!

We love their scarf bow clips, turban headbands and butterfly bands!

Want to create your own piña party bowling game?

You Need//
+ 6 Pineapples
+ Spray Paint
+ Watermelon
+ Paint
+ Paintbrush
+ Cardboard box or paper

Take your watermelon and have your kiddos color it up. We added quirky polka dots to each watermelon but feel free to use stickers or stencils to customize your own.

Next, take your pineapples and spray paint each. We used a flat cardboard box as our working area so the paint wouldn’t go all over the place.

Credits //
Girls Outfit: 01. Flower Fringe  Crown 02. Dress 03. Shoes and Socks

Boys Outfit: 01. Shirt and Shorts 

Photography : Angelina Lopez  |  Wardrobe and Prop Styling: Priscila Barros

 

Schoolkins // Typical Day With Ruby Bratcher

Schoolkins // A Typical Homeschooling Day With Ruby Bratcher

Schoolkins // A Typical Homeschooling Day With Ruby Bratcher

Schoolkins // A Typical Homeschooling Day With Ruby Bratcher

Schoolkins // A Typical Homeschooling Day With Ruby Bratcher  copy

Schoolkins // A Typical Homeschooling Day With Ruby Bratcher

Schoolkins // A Typical Homeschooling Day With Ruby Bratcher My children go to school one day a week with other homeschoolers. On this day, they take Spanish, Theatre, American Girl (yes, they have a class for that!), and Geography. It’s a great way to still give them opportunities to socialize with other children, and also learn about other subjects. The other days of the week, we stick to a pretty routine schedule at home. This is what our typical homeschool day looks like…

8:15-9:00am Piano practice and their Spanish homework

9:00-9:30am Spelling and Latin (Latin takes about 10 minutes)

9:30-10:30am Math

10:30-12:00pm Writing, grammar, and reading

12:00-2:00pm Lunch/play

2:00-3:00pm History/science (we alternate the days)

3:00-4:30pm Spanish

While it may seem intense, there’s so much flexibility in homeschooling that we really get the opportunity to be creative with subjects and take learning outside of the book. Many times, the girls stay on task, so they finish early. Sometimes, lessons plans get completed earlier in the week, and Friday ends up being a light day and we go on outings or just play (they play, I catch up on housework).

The older two children have much more intense work to do than my preschooler. During lessons for the older girls, my preschooler is usually working on some simple alphabet or counting activities, and the baby is napping during our school time. My baby, Glow, is 3 years old and still naps twice a day! It’s the strangest thing to us, but we’ll gladly take it. She naps between 9-12pm and 2-4pm. She’s been the best at napping, and if she doesn’t get her nap, she’ll start complaining that she’s tired. We are pretty amazed at her napping abilities. When I go to get her from nap, most times, she’s still sleeping! If not, she’s quietly playing by herself. I’ll gladly take it for as long as possible because it allows us to get our schooling done during this time.

I’m very organized with my day, so that helps the flow of things. Things do get out of sorts from time to time, but we usually can make up for it the next day. Every month, I set up monthly learning plans and goals, and that really helps keep me focused.

We mostly follow Classical Education, and while it really emphasizes facts, memorization, and language-based learning, especially in the early grades, I tweak and change it to what fits my kids best, and I give them plenty of opportunities for creativity. The structure of Classical Education is something we do well with, and I believe the learning of facts as a base is very important, but we always extend beyond the lessons to include creative projects. My children are visual learners, so I accommodate for that in our lessons.