5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador and more...



5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

(Warning: Picture overload again. I got a little giddy about sharing another post about our new home in South America because I want you to see all that we are learning about.)

The house hunt is over!  We have been so impatient in finding time to explore Ecuador, but had to focus on finding a home.  But in the few short weeks we have lived here, I have discovered a lot I like.  Today in 5 things I love about Cuenca, Ecuador, I wanted to share a few of them.

1) Schedule Luv.  Once you leave the schedule treadmill of the United States, you see that a lot of countries have more laid back schedules. 

Oh sure, we heard about the manana attitude here and for the most part we have adopted it too.

Do you remember the time when stores actually closed on Sunday and spent time with their families?  It’s that way here.  The only place I know in the states that closes on Sundays still is Chick-Fil-A.

A few stores are open and the “gringo mall”, Mall Del Rio, is open too.  But the few stores that are open, close early too on Sunday. 

The first Sunday or two caught us off guard, but after that we now know to have a quiet meal at the room or grab something earlier in the day for later.

We were wondering too why we see more of these play horses on Sunday.  Ecuadorians spend their time with their families and they bring their kids to the park to ride these “rides” and spend time in the park.

Parque Calderon thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador  enjoying time at parque calderon 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

2) Food Luv.  The food is amazing here and especially lunch.  Lunch is normally a drink, soup, main entrée and dessert.  It can cost anywhere from 1.50 to 5.75. 

Now I warn you that some of the $1.50 places we have seen, I would rather skip their entrees as I don’t eat intestines (sorry, but I just had to tell you).

The first week or so we ate the traditional grilled chicken and rice, but then after that we have investigated the other food here. 

Oh yes, I have found one of my favorites, which is Mexican food too. 

Mexican Restaurant 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

(charming restaurant for Mexican food where you have to walk through a patio

El Pedregal Azteca Restaurant)

Since there aren’t any preservatives here, all the food is delicious.  It truly makes a difference in how it tastes.

Mexican Food enchiladas thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador Mexican Food Fajitas thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

At one of our favorite restaurants I mentioned in my last post, Don Colon, is owned by a man and wife that spend part of their time in the states and part of their time in Ecuador. 

The owner and chef makes all of his juices with bottled water.  So we have been enjoying all the variety of delicious home made fruit juices which is what they have for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

embracing the local drink 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

(Mr. Awesome having no problem adopting the local pineapple juice.)

3) Shopping Luv.  I love having choices when it comes to shopping.  If I want convenience, there is a chain (actually I heard it’s from the United States) called SuperMaxi.  

Then of course, if you want really good prices, then shopping off the street from the different vendors is the way to go.

SuperMaxi thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador Quail Eggs thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

Quail eggs for breakfast anybody?

(Modern meets Old World)

Pretty Typical Dress Here thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador So many new things to try in Cuenca Ecuador thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

(or you can buy from one of these nice ladies)

4) History Luv.  Of course you know my love for history and geography and there are so many exploring ventures that we want to take that I feel like an out of control child here. 

Everywhere I turn, there is something else we want to do. We have started with learning about the town first.

bus tour thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador Bus Tour of the South Part of Town thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

(Bus tour)

Beautiful Rivers Through Town thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador Amazing Detailed Architect thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

(Beautiful rivers through town and the architect is stunning to look at each day.)

Everywhere there is scenery thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

Traditional Dance is Still Very Much Alive Here thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

(Of course, we never get tired of people watching.  The skirts of the women are suppose to tell what region they are from.  We are still trying to figure that one out.)

McDonalds Anybody  thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador Payless I recognize some things thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

Of course when the kids find something they recognize, they want me to take a picture of it for you.  I guess BigMac is universal in any language.

I spotted Payless shoes the other day when I went down the wrong road.

5) Field Trip Luv.  We have been catching up on and making up with lots of field trips.  Today, we spent time at the hat museum. 

Hat Museum thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador traditional hat making thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

 

hat making thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador lcoal woman proud of their traditional hats thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

 

hat hut thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador selling hats thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

Did you know that the Panama hats do not originate from Panama, but from Ecuador?  It’s just that Panama figured out first how to export them.  And Ecuadorians are proud of their hats and hat history!!

Here at the equator, a good hat is a must because the top of your head becomes sunburned before you realize it.

I am hoping to have pictures soon of the house we will be renting while we are here and then we will be taking some more trips outside of the city too.

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

 

5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador thumb 5 Things I Love About Cuenca Ecuador

          

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Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #34.

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Welcome to another week of Finishing Strong!

Finishing Strong is the place where parents can come together and share their thoughts and ideas for homeschooling middle & high school students.

Below are three of the most popular posts from last week. Have you read them yet?

Teaching Literature – Helping Teens Form Relationships with Books by 7Sisters Homeschool

Exploring Narrative in Art by The Art Curator for Kids

3 Reasons to Continue the All About Spelling Journey by The Sunny Patch

We hope you’ll take some time to read all of the wonderful posts that people have shared below.

 

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Easy Details to Remember & Even Easier Guidelines.

      • The link up party goes live at 5:00 a.m. CST each Wednesday and stays open until the following Tuesday at 11:55 p.m.
      • Each week we will pick our favorite links as features and share them.
      • You can link up to 3 posts. Please do not link up advertising posts, or other link ups, or parties. I will remove them. Homeschool related reviews are permitted and of course all topics related to homeschooling middle to high school students.
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5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 4 For Middle and High School

Today’s printables in my series 5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons 5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 4 For Middle and High School Day 4 For Middle and High School are from Part I. When Columbus Was a Boy (1451 – 1474), Lesson 3 and from Part II. When Columbus was in Portugal and Spain (1474 – 1492) Lesson 4.

5 Days Of Learning Printables About the World of Columbus and Sons day 4 thumb 5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 4 For Middle and High School

For studying Lesson 3, I prepared a minibook to tell about Ferdinand and Isabella and how they united Spain through their marriage.

Isabella and Ferdinand Unite Spain thumb 5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 4 For Middle and High School Isabella and Ferdinand Unite Spain 2 thumb 5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 4 For Middle and High School

Download here Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon

For studying Part II. When Columbus was in Portugal and Spain  (1474 – 1492) Lesson 4, two more characters of that time period are introduced which are Marco Polo and Ptolemy.

I have included a minibook on each one.

 Marco Polo thumb 5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 4 For Middle and High SchoolDownload here minibook Marco Polo.

World According to Potlemy thumb 5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 4 For Middle and High SchoolDownload here World According to Ptolemy

And don’t forget I have a huge Renaissance Unit Study and Glass Blowing Unit Study that will enhance your study of The World of Columbus and Sons.

Renaissance 1300 to 1600 Unit Study

Glassblowing

If you didn’t grab the printables from Days 1, 2 and 3 you can get them below:

5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 1 For Middle and High School

5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 2 For Middle and High School

5 Days of Learning Printables:The World of Columbus and Sons Day 3 For Middle and High School

Hugs and love ya,

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Making Each Day Count When Homeschooling

Beginning the journey of a lifetime when starting to homeschool, we seem to have superhuman strength and a dogged determination.  But then, each new year rolls around and we are faced with making each day count when homeschooling. 

It’s not the starting homeschooling that makes us feel defeated, but it’s the constant stopping and starting throughout the year that is sabotaging a school day.

Some things are out of our control like a sick baby, a sick momma and sometimes dad’s crazy work schedule that throws us off our pace. 

Let’s not beat ourselves up over things that we can’t control, but sometimes even those days are not a complete loss in making some headway for the day. 

Don’t Put It Off to the Future

Homeschooling with Challenges.  One of the things that held me back from attempting to cover something for the day was to realize that perfect circumstances don’t really exist. 

Waiting for the perfect day to happen, I missed out on seizing challenging moments because I couldn’t do everything in my curriculum planner.  I felt I was doing half-hearted homeschooling. 

Accepting what I could do for the day when a circumstance threatened the day would have caused a few less bitter homeschooling days for me.

Making Each Day Count When Homeschooling thumb1 Making Each Day Count When Homeschooling

Accepting the Circumstances.  When my idea of what a homeschooling day should look like and reality collided, I see that I could have adjusted more easily if I had just simply accepted the change.  This is hard to do for a scheduler type of personality.

For example, when my husband worked a crazy work schedule or had to be out of town for a long period of time, I could have simply had a read aloud day.  That would have been the perfect time to catch up on some reading.

When both the kids and I were tired trying to keep up with my husband’s changing work schedule, we could have slept in and planned a field trip for the day.

Meeting the Challenge

Avoid All or Nothing Days.  Another key to not completely stopping and then starting up again is to lose the mind-set that each day has to be an all or nothing day. 

If your personality is more laid back and you are a respond to the moment teacher, then you may have an easier time accepting changing circumstances.  Again, because I like to plan, it was harder for me to accept those things out of my control. 

Looking back now, though you can’t see it at the time, I was my own worst enemy.  It’s just that you realize that being organized allows us to make good use of our time. 

However, setting unrealistic expectations and not accepting the present moment sets you up for burnout too and homeschool disillusionment.  It’s that feeling of being disappointed because we think homeschooling is not as good as thought it was.

Soon we may regret homeschooling and that is where the bitter homeschool days come in.  As you can see, if we don’t accept what we can’t control, it can have devastating results.

Homeschooling When Sick.  I think the hardest times, once I determined that my days were not a complete loss when something unplanned came up, are homeschooling through sicknesses. 

When I had more than one child sick, then I called off school.  But I have found that when one child is sick or if I am sick that homeschooling for the day was a relief. 

Having activities lined up for sick days beforehand is essential.

Back before Netflix (I am not real ancient I promise), I would buy tapes about history or science at the homeschool conventions.  Too, I would look for museum quality educational coloring books like Edupress  Making Each Day Count When Homeschoolingor Dover Making Each Day Count When Homeschooling and buy board games. 

Special art projects and art supplies were also part of my arsenal that I stocked up on. 

But I would hold all of them back, in what I call my Mary Poppins bag only to pull them out when I needed them throughout the year.  Keeping all the goodies a surprise from the kids is key to them being something that will keep their attention for the day when you need it most.

As soon as I purchased those things, I would hide them and put them away when the kids were occupied.  It’s sounds crazy, but it’s almost like they looked forward to the days when I was sick because they would get something new.

One year at the end of summer, I stocked up on games that were meant to be played inside during the long hot summer months.  Of course that is not the reason I bought them. 

For example, I bought an indoor mini croquet set.  All of the pieces, the balls, mallets and stakes were lightweight and made to be played indoors.  When I had morning sickness when pregnant with my third son, I pulled the set out for my two sons and they played indoors while I was hanging out in the bathroom.

They had no idea they didn’t miss a day on strengthening their gross motor skills and I got my much needed rest.

Buying a pail and shovel at the end of summer that is suppose to be used at the beach made for great indoor play in a plastic pool that I filled with rice, beans or indoor sand during the winter. 

Your imagination is the only limit to creating hangouts at your house when you need them.

School at the Park thumb Making Each Day Count When Homeschooling

Taking the kids to the park to study so the Mr. could have the house quiet to sleep in are some of my fondest memories of them when they were little. 

Of course grabbing some of their favorite food at the time like hotdogs, which we ate on special occasions made it more special too.

Seasons of Adventure

Now with iPads and tablets, finding an activity is much easier. 

I still prefer activities, like board games, where my children have to interact with each other instead of an iPad.  But it’s a relief to have options from our iPad too because you can purchase board game apps, like Monopoly for a group to play too.

Though it took me a while to expect the unexpected, some of our best homeschool moments of learning were ones that I have not planned.  I learned that the constant stopping and starting was sabotaging my teaching efforts. 

And despite what I thought at the time, I could push on through the interruptions.  Besides, I would have missed out some of our fondest memories so far in homeschooling. 

Don’t pass up the opportunity to make each day special in homeschooling, you won’t regret it.

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature Making Each Day Count When Homeschooling

Keep on Going!! Check out some more tips!

How To Fake Homeschooling

Biggest Challenges to Homeschooling

Looking Back To Stretch Forward.

Helping our Homeschool Children Find their Inner Drive When We are Not Sure We Have It

40 Reasons I Homeschool

          

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Free Art Notebooking Pages

I have another set done of my free art notebooking pages.  If you are new to following me, I always have some long term project going on and this one turned out a bit longer with my move, but I have another set completed.

3rd grade Artist Study Packet 1 with 3 text and 1 sketch box thumb Free Art Notebooking Pages

You know how I feel about art.  It is one of those subjects that should be enjoyed from K to gray.  So even though the free art curriculum guide at Concordia University Chicago – Art Lessons that I am following to create printables divides the art into grade levels, I did not create the art notebooking pages babyish. 

This way whatever the ages of your children are, they can use any grade level guide of their choosing along with the printables I created to have a complete art program for each year.

After all if you haven’t covered an artists or art work before, then does it matter which grade you do?  Besides, you can use the guide questions in the upper grade art if you want to cover some of lower grade art and visa versa. 

I know the questions in the upper grade level hone in more on artistic design, composition and principles of design.  And though the lower grade guides provides the same framework, they do not do it as in depth. 

Again, I hope this makes sense because you should be able to do any packet you choose by using the free curriculum guides from either an upper or lower grade depending on the ages of your children.

Keep in mind, that you need BOTH the free Curriculum Guide from Concordia University ALONG with my notebooking packets to have a complete art program for the year.

Today, the 3rd grade set is ready.  Remember there are 8 grades now (use to be 7 Grades).   Grade 8 has been added since I started this project (yippee). 

I have completed grades 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 and only have grades 1, 2 and now 8 to do before I am completed. 

If you cover one artist per month, then each grade level will take you one year.  So free art for a year!

One last thing I need to remind you of because I have some new faces here is that I also create TWO SETS of the SAME art notebooking page, but each set is slightly different.  I know, I know, I like things perfect to have options and I love for you to have them too.

Look below at the graphic I created to show how each set is slightly different. 

One set has ALL text boxes in case you have a kid or two like I do that doesn’t want to sketch the art.

Especially at the high school level, my oldest son just wanted to make it more about art history.  So he wasn’t interest in sketching every piece.  He just wanted to read the background information about each artist, read about the artwork and move one.  Oh yes,  I used some of these packets for high school art credit.

The second set has ONE sketch box instead of the text box because then I have another kid who wants to sketch the art that we were learning about. Too, I keep the sketch box not too big so it doesn’t become a project to sigh about.

How to Use Art Notebooking Pages 1 thumb Free Art Notebooking Pages

So the art is the SAME for both pages.  Too, this allows you to choose from either set depending on the time you have for that month.  For example, one piece my sons may want to write, so I would print off that page.  The next art piece they would want to sketch so I would print off that page from the other set.

Give your child options and don’t think you have to use ALL the same pages from one set.  I mixed and match depending on the mood for the day or month. 

I have a more pictures from each set to show you.  This is how the pages look from the set that has sketch boxes and

 

3rd grade Artist Study Packet 1 with 3 text and 1 sketch box 2 thumb Free Art Notebooking Pages 3rd grade Artist Study Packet 1 with 3 text and 1 sketch box 3 thumb Free Art Notebooking Pages

this is how the pages look from the set that has ALL text boxes.

3rd grade Artist Study Packet 1 with 4 text boxes 1 thumb Free Art Notebooking Pages 3rd grade Artist Study Packet 1 with 4 text boxes 2 thumb Free Art Notebooking Pages

Again, BOTH sets have the same art and are the same except for that one box.   Choices in any subject makes learning about it more enjoyable.  We don’t feel so hemmed in.

I hope you enjoy this next grade level, which is Grade 3 according to Concordia University AND be sure to download both packets so you can decide which set best suits your needs for each art piece.

3rd grade packet. Download Here Set with SKETCH boxes.

3rd grade packet. Download Here Set with TEXT boxes.

Remember don’t forget to download the Free 3rd Grade Curriculum Art Guide too from Concordia University to go with this packet.

Did you miss my other sets and the free art curriculum guide to go along with it?

Download Grades 4, 5, 6, and 7 Notebooking Pages AND the FREE Guides to go with each set on my Art Notebooking Page.

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature Free Art Notebooking Pages

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Thoughtful Spot | Finishing Strong Middle & High School | Hip Homeschool Hop

          

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