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New Year’s Party 2014!

I had asked our students to dress up in their dresses and slacks for our New Year’s Eve Party.  All of these kids looked so nice!  We first had our countdown at noon then went to a nice restaurant for our lunch.  It’s nice having a smaller program than some of our competitors from 50 to over a hundred children.  Although there are benefits of having a number that large, the majority of the activities and field trips we do year round wouldn’t be possible with such a big group.  When we all walked in the entire restaurant looked up and couldn’t resist saying some very nice comments about how cute our kids looked.  A lady even approached me and shook my hand for having the most well behaved group of children she ever saw.  This was something really special and I hope to do it again with my entire group of students soon.  I’m going to really push that some of our parents be a part of it as it was just so nice to sit and enjoy this dining out experience.  What a great way to end a fantastic year.

Christmas Break

It’s easier to study.  There are no options, conflicts, choices, dissatisfied parents…  It’s way easier.  If I take them to movies, parents will want to know how many movie choices there are…  If I take them hiking, they worry if kids will fall and scrape their knees, if I take them somewhere too big, parents will worry if their child will get lost, if I take them to the beach or to Soak City, parents will worry if their child will get hurt.  All legitimate worries and it’s a parents’ job to worry!  But at the end of the day, I would rather have more work on my hands by going through the process of earning the trust of these parents and the real work of being out on a field trip from 15 to 50 children than to give our children an inferior service.  Simply because there’s so much value in it!  Ivy League Academy is all about providing more than just learning school subjects, it’s about presenting the ingredients to an amazingly happy and well rounded childhood – that includes the message of the gospel, cooking classes, arts, crafts, field trips, swimming lessons, golf lessons, kids’ crossfit, and so much more.  In addition because I understand that the majority of my after school parents have always been working parents, it’s always been more important to me to take your children out for some fun in the sun.   And I’ve been so overwhelmed particularly this winter break by such nice text and email message about their appreciation for the work I’ve put into the winter program, it really made the work – and there were a LOT of it – totally worth it.  So thank you for being such awesome parents to work with…     The first set of pictures was the first day of my winter program.  This was over at my house!  The second time ever.  The first time was before any of my students now were students at Ivy - about 6 years ago.  It was SO hard that I decided never to do it again.  But I couldn’t resist and thought maybe I should give it another try.  It might just be another 6 years until the next one!  (And we even did some face painting.  And YES, these are the worst face painting done ever! LOL.  But in my defense,  although I may have a lot of skills and talents – drawing has never been one of them.  The next time I hope to have a parent volunteer!)

Thanksgiving 2014

I hope parents can appreciate just how much work it takes to run a successful after school program that provides more than just homework help and work.  I think that’s one of our greatest strengths as a program.  We’ve developed not only our academic curriculum but we’ve also invested into providing fun and lasting memories.  It’s always been a personal goal of mine that all of our students when they’re parents would want to send their future children to an after school exactly like the one they attended… instead of thinking how horrible their childhood was for them.  And I would say that taking them on field trips is exponentially more difficult and stressful than having these children study.  But here’s just a glimpse of how your children were able to spend their 3 days with us during Thanksgiving break.




It’s been a little while since the last time I’ve updated our blog… It’s not because we haven’t been going on field trips, doing arts & crafts, cooking, hiking, or working out…  We’ve been doing so much more of it that I haven’t been able to take pictures and post them yet.  We take our kids to weekly swimming classes or golf glasses.  And we’ve started a new workout class where I take our students to the park every Tuesday for some exercises in the sun!.  I’ll try to get the new pictures up on our blog very soon!


Strawberry Picking

This was something I’ve always wanted to do with my students.  But when I searched for it many years ago,  I could only find apple picking and it was too far away and they said it wasn’t good for kids.  But here at Tanaka Farms, located in Irivne, it was the perfect place to take my kids.  I also scheduled it mid-week to give them a little rest from the week’s worth of field trips.  A hiking trip, a full day’s at Mulligan’s, and to the beach, I figured they needed something leisurely like this to be able to enjoy the rest of the week.  For this field trip, my wife and two babies joined us in the fun.  We’ll definitely be back next spring break and also during the summer when they have watermelon picking!  It was my favorite fruit as a child!



Spreaking Break! Devil’s PunchBowl

Wow!  It’s been an entire year since the last time I’ve posted pictures of our kids and program.  Having two babies at home takes away so much time from my photography… This spring break, I’ve made a few changes after reading last year’s notes.  I put in too many hikes last year.  The children only needed one and so I left the best one in.  After a year, we’ve returned to my favorite hiking destination…  There’s a couple of reasons I like this field trip.  One, it’s far away.  So even though the children don’t know, the car ride there is one of my favorite parts for them.  For 2 hours they fill the vans with some LOUD noises of talking and laughing and a lot of excitement.  The second reason is because it’s a difficult hike.  And I always use it to remind them that studying is a lot like this hike when mentally they’re defeated.  It’s long and seemingly impossible to finish – and yet a few steps here and a few more there and we’ve managed to finish.

And as always, we started the day with an art activity…  on this particular day we made fusion beads!




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