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While we loved the program, the center, and the wonderful teachers, we haven't continued with Language Stars since Mag began a language immersion program at school, surrounded by Spanish for 7 hours a day. But I have had it in mind to get her back into French once she seemed settled in her new school routine.
With that thought rolling around in my head, I was thrilled to receive this email today:
If you live in Chicagoland, check it out! There are 14 locations in the greater Chicago area, offering 5 languages, and now a super awesome 40% discount for enrolling for the summer program before December 31st.
Currently, there is also a 25% discount for the remainder of the academic year tuition.
Click the image to get to the website. (And no, I'm not on their payroll, nor do I receive commission or sponsorship... just love the place and want to share!)
Every day from now until December 24, bloggers from around the world will be sharing their local Christmas traditions. I'll be posting on December 21 with traditions from Kam's homeland of Philippines.
You can get the complete schedule of bloggers and countries, as well as checking out the linky party of other traditions, crafts, and recipes of Christmas around the world, here.
So grab a mug of gløgg and a buñuelo, and get ready a festive trip around the world!
Yesterday we left the Midwest to spend Thanksgiving week in California with Kam's family; our first flight since our trip to Europe this spring.
Previously, I would have preferred to remain home-bound rather than face O'Hare International Airport during the holiday season. What is it about ORD that is so disenchanting in the winter? The Chicago weather delays? Or maybe the fact that bad weather anywhere on the continent will somehow delay flights out of Chicago? I don't know, but whatever it is, I have spent far too many hours in lines at gates in ORD, waiting and hoping to get a coveted remaining seat on a back-up flight for my back-up flight.
And then yesterday arrived. I was prepared for anything as we headed toward ORD, just days before the busiest travel day of the year.
Prepared for anything, that is, except a pleasant and enjoyable journey. Just minutes into the airport, it hit me: no matter what the issue, everything is easier to face in domestic travel. In this, our first trip since our travels in Europe,
I realized how many things I love about domestic travel:
Being able to read the signs. All of them. Without thinking. Without using context. Without wondering what the symbols mean. I just love to be able to look up at a sign have instant access to the information I was seeking, especially in an airpot.
Understanding the queuing system. I won't try to say the North American way of lining up in a neat and polite manner that respects the time and space of fellow queuers is better than other -ahem- systems. No matter where you're from, it's just easier to line up with people whose method matches yours.
Clean restrooms. Okay, admittedly this experience will not be shared by all who travel domestically, depending on where your domicile is... but here in the States, it would be on rare occasion that I would cringe at the thought of a public privy. All the more important when traveling with a child!
And my newfound favorite part of domestic holiday travel: TREATS!
Treats? Really? Now, I'm not one of those people who sneaks around the big box mega discount stores, trolling for free samples... but I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised to be met, not by weather delays at ORD, but by this happy scene, courtesy of American Airlines, and featuring apple cider (not just apple juice, but apple cider!) and Starbucks coffee, with a little sign offering holiday greetings from the American Airlines family, and three of the happiest airport personnel I have ever encountered!
Not to be outdone, the ubiquitous Starbucks in the world infamous LAX had an employee actually walking through the baggage claim area, offering little cake bites to holiday travelers. In all my years of flying during the holiday season, I have honestly never experienced anything remotely close to the hospitality that met us in our travels yesterday. (And for those who caught the news yesterday, I should say that we consumed our treats and claimed our bags just early enough to miss the LAX shut-down last night... or this might have been a completely different post!)
So thank you, American Airlines and Starbucks, for the pleasant entry to not just the airports, but to this holiday season!
Anyone else who loves world travels find that you love the logistics of domestic travels just a little bit more?
I am mid-project with a super fun Christmat TpT Spanish/French set these days, but just needed to get back into the present season for an afternoon. So it seemed a perfect time to whip up another FREEBIE! (That last one served us well when little Mag was home sick today. So nice to have some Spanish resources at hand to make up for all the hours missed at school.)
When we moved to the Midwest a few years ago, we were so fortunate to find the perfect house. (Well, perfect for us. Maybe a tad small for the average Midwesterner, but we have different expectations.) I love almost everything about our home, with two exceptions, one of which is: the kitchen floor. Agh! I despise that hideous (and poorly laid!) dreary linoleum. It is so affreux that I didn't even mind when Kam dropped a knife on it and gouged a hole in it... or did I do that?.. It is just that horrid.
But like many unpleasant things in this world, there is often a bright side. The bright side of this hideous piece of flooring is: flashcard races!
Let me back up a moment...
We recently had our first quarter conference with Mag's wonderful Dual Language kindergarten teacher, Sra. C. She mentioned that reading groups will be starting up in December, and that we might like to practice sight words at home in the meantime. So I did what any TpT addict would do: I raced home to make some flashcards... oh, and bought a bag of M&M's, too!
Click to download!
As soon as the ink was dry on the flashcards and the M&Ms were open, Mag took her place on one square of the aforementioned hideous flooring. From there, we began one the regular routines of my own childhood: read a flashcard correctly, advance a square on the linoleum. Reach the flashcard holder and get an M&M! (And the flashcard holder, that's me!, gets and M&M, too, of course.)
Right now, we're targeting 10 words, and soon we'll add another 10. If you'd like to join in with some flashcard fun, zip on over to my little store on Teachers Pay Teachers, and grab these flashcards for FREE. The current download also includes a game of "Yo tengo/¿Quién tiene?"... with directions, if you're not familiar with the game.
I'll post an update when we add the next 10 words. Hope you'll join us in some flashcard fun... you're welcome to play along, even if your flooring isn't hideous!