Getting back into it

I’m sad to say that with the move to our new home, I needed to make sure there was constant work coming in for Lifelong Impressions Photography in order to make all of our living expenses happen.  We love the new home and the new people we live with, but one casualty of this change is this family blog has gotten severely neglected since those plans went into place.  I’m ready to make some commitments to even out my time to this personal blog, Lifelong Impressions Photography and the new creative website my friend Aleesha and I love doing!  This is the year of bringing balance back into our lives.  Finding a way to work smarter and finding all the joy we can capture in this life.  Can’t wait to see what happens!!

One of the new things in our life we love is a local charter school called Exploris Middle and Elementary School {currently taking applications for 2015-16 school year}!!!  Found HERE on Facebook.  The twins were so lucky to get into the brand new elementary school opened up by Exploris Middle School.  They are an amazing school with dedicated leaders and teachers.  The kids are absolutely delighted to go to school most days.  The school is a project based school with an emphasis on experiences in learning.  We love this philosophy and love seeing it in action.  The classes are very dynamic with adjustments made all the time in reading groups and other aspects of learning as the children grown and progress.

Blake and Mia are now 6 {excited to turn 7 in April}.  This is what they looked like at the beginning of the year.

The elementary school classes combine grades so there is K/1, 2/3 and 3/4.  It is a similar structure their Montessori preschool had with ages 3-6 all together.  I love this structure.  It fosters such a great shared learning experience and helps the older kids learn leadership skills while younger ones learn to accept peer help and all learn cooperation.  The teachers are all very enthusiastic, especially with the general public school structure and philosophy.

We were so worried about schools when we were attending out super amazing Montessori preschool.  There were just so many things I heard and saw about the education philosophy & practices here that were worrisome.  This school has been the fresh air we needed and we have found the right fit for our family as the kids go through their school career.

One small thing that is really cool is a program called Explorations.  These are 5-6 week modules one day a week for two hours.  Parents, teachers and community members sign up to lead a group of children for a 1 or 2 hour block in a course.  The courses range from The People in our Neighborhood {walking or bus riding to different local places}, yoga, circus training, culture, reading or pretty much anything parents are good at or can dream up to share with the kids.  I led a recent one for photography.    Maddie {who goes by Mia at school} selected my module while Blake chose The People in our Neighborhood.

Here are some images taken in the last couple weeks.

These next few are from the kids classroom.  Their teacher is a big Dr. Suess fan.

The clocks show the cadence of their day.

Monday was our last adventure as a group.  We tried to gather together for a group shot.  One of the moms was using my camera to capture us.  I think it is funny how the girls were there with me and the boys are sooooo not cooperating for a group shot.  This action shot of trying to gather everyone makes me laugh.  Mia was a bit sad and grumpy that day too.