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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.

 

Gymnastics

 

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!

 

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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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Spring Break – Devil’s Punchbowl

What an amazing way to end spring break!  It took about 2 hours to get there but it really was worth it. Before we went on the 1 mile hike, the ranger invited us to their visitor’s center where they had real life animals on display including a beautiful barn owl and a rattle snack.  He placed the rattle snake in a box and shook it.  And once he did, the rattlesnake shook his rattle!  And in the pictures below, that beautiful white owl is real and alive!  Even up close, it looked unreal!

 

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

With the recent cutbacks in state budgets, the understaffed state park department wasn’t able to contact us in time for a tour.  Nonetheless, our kids had a GREAT time.  We saw a gigantic sea slug (about 8 INCHES long), a ton of sea urchins, hermit crabs, a sea star, and even a wild rabbit.  We took an unexpected hike to a truly beautiful area hidden in the hills of Palos Verdes.  It was absolutely gorgeous there.  Some of the kids were definitely tired but I’m sure that today will be a very memorable day to them.

 

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