Although Zoe hasn’t officially started school yet, we loosely began last fall and have been experimenting with various curriculums, trying to figure out what will work best for our family and the official “first day of kindergarten” later this year. We know that we want to embrace the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy, and allow for lots of outdoor play and nature study. I wrote more about our educational goals and ideas here. Springtime is wonderful, because it’s so much more conductive to teaching and learning and actually getting out and exploring! We’ve been enjoying the wamer[er] springtime days by spending as much time outdoors as possible. The girls would be barefoot and barelegged, bake mud pies, find “nature collections”, and splash in mud all day long (and they do when it’s warm enough)! Sponsor Note: Although this post was sponsored by Amazon, all content, words, and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting the partnerships that help keep this blog running.
You guys know how much we love using our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet. We want to teach our children how to use technology with moderation, which is doable thanks to the tnerental control settings the daily time limits! You can require that your child read for 30 minutes before playing games, or you can give them unlimited book time and set limits for apps and videos. Parents can also control when FreeTime shuts down for the day and turns back on the next morning. It’s great!
Our tablet works so wonderfully to help keep the kids entertained on long road trips, occupied if they have to attend a business meeting with me, and keeps their minds stimulated with a vast array of educational apps and books. We decided to start a family book club and take our tablet on our “spring break” adventures exploring the history surrounding us in Virginia this spring. Yay for outdoor family field trips!
We found a lovely children’s book on Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, O is for Old Dominion: A Virginia Alphabet, to teach the girls more about Virginia’s history. The book is alphabet-themed, and each letter highlights a corresponding location, person, or event in Virginia’s history.
Not only are the girls infatuated with learning what each letter “is for”, but the book also has beautiful illustrations they simply devour. In the Parent Dashboard, we can reference discussion cards with summaries and sample questions based on the books, videos, educational apps, and websites that are viewed within Amazon FreeTime. It’s so helpful to keep their minds active! We love the portability and durability of our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet (we just have to remember to keep it charged), and how easy it is to take along on our adventures throughout the state. It has a great kid-proof case and a two-year guarantee; it we break it, we can send it back and Amazon will replace it! I can get behind this kind of hands-on, worry-free learning, and cannot wait to take it along on our visit to Mount Vernon as a family!
On the most beautiful spring day last weekend, we explored the letter “S” in our Virginia alphabet book: the Shenandoah Valley and Shenandoah River. And nearby our river adventures was another piece of Virginia history: a stunning manor house, The Retreat at Cool Springs, built in 1799 by Revolutionary War soldier Thomas Parker. The home has an incredible 200+ year history, including housing Prussian prisoner’s of war during the War of 1812; these prisoner’s of war carved intricate details into the woodwork in this magnificent manor home.
The girls were so eager to learn more about the the “Shenando” Indians and how the Shenandoah River was discovered. They couldn’t stop asking questions about the settlers, different forms of transportation from past centuries, canoes, what happened to these people, etc! I love their thirst for knowledge and hope it’s never extinguished!
I’m so thankful for the opportunity to live in the midst of a state with such a rich history, and am looking forward to sharing more about Virginia’s history with our girls, with the help of our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet.
Sponsor Note: Although this post was sponsored by Amazon, all content, words, and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsorships that help keep this blog running.
Photos by Abigail Gallop Photography
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