Friday, September 23, 2016

Field Trip // The Living Desert Zoo in Palm Springs

We had a chance to visit The Living Desert Zoo while we were visiting Palm Springs this past week. We have been frequent to Los Angeles zoo these past few years as girls have grown to be really interested in animals... and I am so glad that we have found this lovely zoo only 2 hours away from our home!

Firstly... I adore the name, "living" zoo.  The quiet and serene space of The Living Desert Zoo was such a nice contrast to the zoo in the city. We loved watching the desert animals live in an actual desert environment and was inspired to find out that some of the exhibits actually use the natural landscape that existed before zoo moved in. Because we were there on Tuesday morning, it felt like we had the whole zoo to ourselves. We got to ask a lot of questions to a really friendly animal keeper after the reptile show was over and was able to spend quite bit of time getting to know a desert tortoise.

Palm Springs was still pretty hot (100 degrees...) so I was expecting that we will probably stay for two hours or so... but weather became little bit overcasted and we ended up spending from 9am all the way to their closing time at 1:30pm.

Since we have a lot of small trips to desert cities coming up, we have incorporated "desert habitat" as one of the targeted topics to explore for homeschooling. We had a lot of fun watching some of the episodes from the nature documentary Planet Earth, reading stories from "Life in the Desert" via Be Naturally Curious (thank you Kaori-san for your recommendation), etc.

I can't wait to visit The Living Desert Zoo again once the weather cools down and explore the other 1/2 of the zoo we didn't get to see this time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Keep Traveling // Palm Springs weekend

Since Frido is traveling for a good chunk of 2 weeks, my girlfriends and I decided to head out to Palm Springs to spend time together and reflect on life. I sometimes have to remind myself how close Palm Springs is to us. Just about 2 hours... we are there! We are very much in a motion of everyday... so having a long stretched time with friends brought a lot of thoughts to the conversation.

Our friend Sara found this lovely place on airbnb to stay in Palm Springs. I brought extra inflatable mattress from Frontgate (which is amazing!!! Thanks Susan for the recommendation.) so girls can sleep in a queen size bed and I can sleep in the same room but on a separate mattress. The common space had so much space that even on the day when all seven of us were there (including 3 little ones:), it didn't feel too claustrophobic.

This was my second trip this summer just with kids (+ friends). Now they are little older, it is becoming easier and easier to travel with them... and it has been so fun to witness them grow everytime we take our adventure.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Value the realness of a life truly lived

I am beyond thankful for all the lovely support we have been receiving about our choice to go with the homeschooling route.

One of the comments that were shared on my previous post by Juliana really brightened my day. 
"Value the realness of a life truly lived"

I loved that the idea of "realness" felt inclusive of good and hard time in everyday... not just the "highlight" of the day. It was such an encouraging word and I thought it might bring inspiration to every family who is having the real life:) 

We have just finished our first meeting with our educational specialist from homeschool charter school. We enjoyed every moment of having a very special teacher all to ourselves for a good hour or so. Also so nice to be able to check in to see how we are doing with our routine with another individual who are very familiar with the concept of homeschooling. Now that we have a whole month under our belt, the new routine is starting to feel more natural to us and we are understanding what works and what doesn't. For us... playing, self-motivated exploration/learning, and everyone having the voice to be heard in the family seems to be working.

Adventure continues... 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Field Trip // California Science Center

Thank you so much for your kind comments and feedback on my previous post. It is so nice to know that there are many other homeschooling families out there... doing what they love:)

As we will be taking many many local adventures in Los Angeles with our kids, I thought it would be fun to keep track of fun places to enjoy with little ones.

So here it is!

Our recent family trip took us to California Science Center for the first time. I seriously could not believe we have never been there considering how close we actually are! We heard a lot of buzz about it when space shuttle Endeavor moved in couple years ago.

Since Frido was in his semester break, we were able to visit there on Wednesday morning and the trip exceeded our expectation. Seeing the space shuttle in person was quite overwhelming. To witness this incredible artifact that has traveled beyond atmosphere... and come back. Girls also found very entertaining to learn how astronauts go to the bathroom in the space. It always amazes me to watch which information sticks the most to them. Not always the ones I predict!

We combined our visit with their IMAX movie A Beautiful Planet. The film was a perfect compliment to our first encounter with the real space shuttle.

Aside from seeing Endeavor..., they have different exhibits throughout the museum space... all for FREE! (I couldn't believe everything was free... ) We loved their small aquarium with kelp forest and meeting divers who were feeding the fish in the tank. Since it was our very first trip there, we didn't see everything in the museum but are looking forward to going back. Especially when they open the new exhibit The Science Behind Pixar in October.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Learning from the world... with our girls

I never realized the significance of "back to school" until Satchi started her kindergarten last year. It was such a shift from carefree summer to more structured schedule with the sign of fall.

This year... we are doing things little differently. This year we decided to take a break from being a part of the school system and do learning more independently. In the most general term..., we are now categorized as "homeschooling" family. We started the transition a while ago but three weeks ago, our new way of learning started officially. 

There are many reasons why we decided to do things differently and the decision-making journey was probably one of the most engaged soul-searching processes we went through as a young family. One of the question we asked ourselves a lot was "do we only have certain ways to learn or is learning organic?" Of course. There are so many different answers to this and I hope every family has their own unique answers that define who they are. For us... the answer was, "There might be a whole another world of learning that's not entirely driven by standardized tests and everyone learning at the same pace... Let's give a shot." 

Our goal as a family is to be open-minded, creative, to keep traveling... and most importantly to have fun learning together from all over the world. 

I am pretty sure you will continue to see a lot of our homeschooling adventures on our IG account as well as here on our blog. I am curious to also see how our new lifestyle inspires our Baum-kuchen in a big picture. 

For now... here are some snapshots I captured from last few weeks!

p.s. These pictures are captured during our happy moments.We do have ups and downs. (trust me on this one) But most of the time, we are pretty happy:) 


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