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

 

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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.

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.

 

Momkins // Floral and Turquoise

A  floral shift dress and Turquoise jewelry (or anything Turqouise) is my favorite Summer uniform.  Turquoise reminds me of all the tropical vacations that I dream about daily, and a good floral frock is always a must.  Pick bold and oversized floral patterns with a dark background so the colors pop.  This will make your  dress have a more modern vibe, and be less “borrowed from my grandma’s closet”.   I love pairing shorter dresses with neutral suede or leather booties or sandals to keep it grounded and not too girly.   Or! Even better, forget the shoes and go barefoot and dance away with your babiekins on the sand at the beach!  Summer is here, horray!

Momkins // Florals and Turquoise

Babiekins Magazine | Floral Shift Dress

Babiekins Magazine | Floral Shift Dress

Babiekins Magazine | Floral Shift Dress

 

Babiekins Magazine | Floral Shift Dress

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Floral Dress from Free People
Suede Booties from Sam Edelman
Bar Necklaces from James Michelle

 

 

Featurekins // Grass Stains Boutique

FEATUREKINS // Grass Stains Boutique

In many places, this weekend marks the start of summer vacation, and no more school until fall. I remember that exhilarating “School’s out!” glee like it was yesterday, don’t you? For my friends and I, summer break was always full of so much exploration and imagination. Our bicycles became our chariots, and we spent the days alongside creek beds, in the shade of old orchards, making paths through the endless grasses of the prairie, and picnicking on the mossy carpet of a forest floor. All these places were transformed, and became our castles, our fortresses, our uncharted territory. The world was ours, and it was magical.

FEATUREKINS // Grass Stains Boutique

These perfectly summery images from one of our summer issue (print no. 6!) advertisers, Grass Stains Boutique, bring back so many memories of those carefree days — how we gathered sticks and twigs and gleaned bits of string and leather and wood from the workshop, and used these found objects to assemble little forts and fancy accessories and build an entire kingdom and become whoever in the world we wanted to be before the late, long shadows of midsummer sunset called us back inside.

FEATUREKINS // Grass Stains Boutique

FEATUREKINS // Grass Stains Boutique

FEATUREKINS // Grass Stains Boutique

Grass Stains Boutique is a brick-and-mortar shop located in Graham, Texas. The friendly little shop stocks some of our favorite brands — labels like MarMar Copenhagen, Tutu du Monde, Manuela de Juan, How to Kiss a Frog, Wheat, Emma Levine and Petit by Sofie Schnoor. Be sure to check out the Grass Stains website, and say hello on Instagram or Facebook!

Photography: Susan L. Stroud of Two Sisters and a Bubba | Hair: Jennifer Atkins | Styling: Dawn Donohoo Phillips | Clothing: Grass Stains Boutique 

Lil’ Stylekins // Auckland Adventures

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In our home town of Auckland here in New Zealand, winter has arrived so it’s all about layering the children at the moment. It was also Queen’s Birthday weekend here and a long weekend so are some fun activities happening around the city to celebrate. We went and explored the big smoke today and the winter sunshine came out to play.

We found a festival down at the Wharfs and visited our Maritime Museum for the first time, it was fun finding new places that the children loved right here on our front door, we were venturing inside and out so they were losing and gaining layers all day, and guess who has to carry them.

We love supporting small New Zealand online shops that talented Mums with children of their own have set up to be able to stay at home with their children so most of the kids clothing are brought from these smart Mums.

Credits//Clothing from: Beau Loves, Bobo Choses, Gifted Lil’ Ones, Mini melissa, Minidressing, Carbon Soldier, Bella and Lace.
Online NZ Shops: sobeaubaby, beaumondebabe, carbonsoldierchildrenswear, littlewhimsynz, coandminii

Featurekins // Loved By Sophia Claire

With all the rainbow of colors, faces of animals, and light up everything, it is nice when you can actually find baby gear that is simple and stylish.  I love anything for baby that has a nod to simplicity and good design, rather than in-your-face fussiness.  These pacifier/toy clips are perfect, because they are hand-braided and real leather.   These clips from Loved By Sophia Claire, have become an everyday necessity that I, and my baby, enjoy using on the regular. Oh! An added bonus, is that you can customize the clip shape and color of leather, so now you and your baby have something to smile about!

 

Babiekins Magazine | Pacifier Clip

Babiekins Magazine | Pacifier Clip

Babiekins Magazine | Pacifier Clip

Babiekins Magazine | Pacifier Clip

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Pacifier clip by Loved by Sophia Claire