Vanderbilt Family {Family Pictures} | Las Vegas Family Photographer

The desert can be such a beautiful place in the evening. It’s the perfect setting for family portraits with young children. With room to explore and critters to chase after, we had the ideal environment for holding toddler attention and capturing their natural curiosity.

Vanderbilt Family | Family Pictures | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Outdoor Portraits | Desert Backdrop | Young Children | Toddlers | Las Vegas Parents

Having moved to Las Vegas in the last year, the Vanderbilts were happy to be photographed in a desert location for their family photos this Fall. It’s such a contrast to the Alaska landscape they came from, but it has its own beauty. Their boys foraged for sticks, investigated the Creosote blooms, and hunted for insects. I love being able to photograph kids like this: either exploring as they do or cuddled up in a parent’s arms.

Vanderbilt Family | Family Pictures | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Outdoor Portraits | Desert Backdrop | Young Children | Toddlers | Las Vegas ParentsVanderbilt Family | Family Pictures | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Outdoor Portraits | Desert Backdrop | Young Children | Toddlers | Las Vegas ParentsVanderbilt Family | Family Pictures | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Outdoor Portraits | Desert Backdrop | Young Children | Toddlers | Las Vegas Parents

I am currently booking newborn due dates, family, baby, and maternity photo sessions into 2019. Booking your session early gives us time to plan for a beautifully artistic gallery that you can be proud of.

Contact me to book your session today! Join the VIP group to stay up to date on model session opportunities, special events, and availability.

Are you looking for a Las Vegas Newborn Photographer? There are so many styles and experiences to be found, but finding a photographer who is right for you and will take great care of you through the process can be a challenge. I have put together a guide to help you select a great newborn photographer. If you ask these questions, you’re sure to find a safe, artistic, and reliable newborn photographer for this important time in your life. Remember, you only have one chance to capture amazing newborn portraits.

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Dash’s Birthday at McKee Ranch {Event Photography} | Las Vegas Family Photographer

Dash’s parents had his birthday party at McKee Ranch this year. There were pony rides, carrots to feed to the horses, playground fun, and train rides. Kids and gown-ups alike were all having fun. This was one of those work weekends that left me exhausted, but with a big smile. What an awesome day for Dash!

Dash's Birthday at McKee Ranch | Event Photography | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Birthday Party | Family Farm | Pumpkin Patch | Farm Animals | Pony RideDash's Birthday at McKee Ranch | Event Photography | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Birthday Party | Family Farm | Pumpkin Patch | Farm Animals | Pony RideDash's Birthday at McKee Ranch | Event Photography | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Birthday Party | Family Farm | Pumpkin Patch | Farm Animals | Pony RideDash's Birthday at McKee Ranch | Event Photography | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Birthday Party | Family Farm | Pumpkin Patch | Farm Animals | Pony Ride

Miranda had custom barnyard animal donuts and a barn cake made to celebrate dash’s second birthday. These donuts were almost too cute to eat! I think the little piggies are my favorite.

Dash's Birthday at McKee Ranch | Event Photography | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Birthday Party | Family Farm | Pumpkin Patch | Farm Animals | Pony Ride

With so many fun things going on at his party, I found Dash either holding a grandparent’s hand or clinging to his mom or dad. I just had to catch a little bit of that trust that babies have for their parents.When I caught him twirling the ends of Miranda’s hair toward the end of the evening, I knew that she would cherish that capture.

Dash's Birthday at McKee Ranch | Event Photography | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Birthday Party | Family Farm | Pumpkin Patch | Farm Animals | Pony Ride

One neat thing about photographing events, is getting out and meeting new people. As the birthday party wound down, I grabbed a plate and chatted with Napoleon, the owner of Pappa Naps BBQ. We ended up talking about education actually, as both of us were teachers before owning our own businesses. Just before walking through the gate, I found Max, the owner of McKee Ranch Foundation, putting away the train and cleaning up. I really look forward to coming back to the farm again with my own kids.

McKee Ranch | Event Photography | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Birthday Party | Family Farm | Pumpkin Patch | Farm Animals | Pony Ride | Catering | Pappa Naps BBQ

Napoleon, of Pappa Nap’s BBQ | Max McKee, owner of McKee Ranch Foundation

I am currently booking newborn due dates, family, baby, and maternity photo sessions into 2019. Booking your newborn session early gives us time to plan for a beautifully artistic newborn gallery that you can be proud of.

Contact me book your session today! Join the VIP group to stay up to date on model session opportunities, special events, and availability.

Are you looking for a Las Vegas Newborn Photographer? There are so many styles and experiences to be found, but finding a photographer who is right for you and will take great care of you through the process can be a challenge. I have put together a guide to help you select a great newborn photographer. If you ask these questions, you’re sure to find a safe, artistic, and reliable newborn photographer for this important time in your life. Remember, you only have one chance to capture amazing newborn portraits.

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  • Cydnee JEx - That donut wall!!!  This looks like it was a lot of fun – totally my thing!  Letting kids explore and discover is the best!ReplyCancel

“Charlie” {Lifestyle Newborn Session} | Las Vegas Family, Baby, Maternity & Newborn Photographer

Sweet Charlotte, or “Charlie” as her family is calling her, was pretty relaxed for her lifestyle newborn session. There was so much energy at this session with three little boys who all wanted to draw pictures for me, show me their prettiest rocks, and read books to me, but she slept through most of the commotion. Charlie is going to learn so much from these three brothers of hers. I really enjoyed capturing these sweet snuggles with her family.

"Charlie" {Lifestyle Newborn Session} | Las Vegas Lifestyle Photographer | Newborn Photos | Family Photographer | LIfestyle Photography | In-Home Newborn"Charlie" {Lifestyle Newborn Session} | Las Vegas Lifestyle Photographer | Newborn Photos | Family Photographer | LIfestyle Photography | In-Home Newborn

 

I am currently booking newborn due dates, family, baby, and maternity photo sessions into Summer and Fall 2018. Booking your newborn session early gives us time to plan for a beautifully artistic newborn gallery that you can be proud of.

Contact me book your session today! Join the VIP group to stay up to date on model session opportunities, special events, and availability.

Are you looking for a Las Vegas Newborn Photographer? There are so many styles and experiences to be found, but finding a photographer who is right for you and will take great care of you through the process can be a challenge. I have put together a guide to help you select a great newborn photographer. If you ask these questions, you’re sure to find a safe, artistic, and reliable newborn photographer for this important time in your life. Remember, you only have one chance to capture amazing newborn portraits.

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  • CYDNEE L JEX - oh my word!  That face with her eyes open!  GAAAH!!!  What a precious little sister to three boys! ReplyCancel

Kennedy {Cake Smash Session} | Las Vegas Family & Baby Photographer

Little Kennedy celebrated her first birthday with me in the studio with cake smash photos. Like a typical one-year-old, Kennedy was a busy little girl and crawled all over our set up, investigating textures and sounds. Once we got her attention away from crinkly decorations and gave her that first taste of cake, she was ready for a feast. She was a big fan of the icing, and not shy at all about diving face-first into her birthday cake.

Kennedy | Cake Smash Photos | Las Vegas Baby Photographer | Family Photography | Portrait Studio | Centennial Hills | Birthday Pictures | First BirthdayKennedy | Cake Smash Photos | Las Vegas Baby Photographer | Family Photography | Portrait Studio | Centennial Hills | Birthday Pictures | First BirthdayKennedy | Cake Smash Photos | Las Vegas Baby Photographer | Family Photography | Portrait Studio | Centennial Hills | Birthday Pictures | First Birthday

Kennedy | Cake Smash Photos | Las Vegas Baby Photographer | Family Photography | Portrait Studio | Centennial Hills | Birthday Pictures | First BirthdayKennedy | Cake Smash Photos | Las Vegas Baby Photographer | Family Photography | Portrait Studio | Centennial Hills | Birthday Pictures | First Birthday

 

I am currently booking newborn due dates, family, baby, and maternity photo sessions into Fall and Winter 2018. Booking your newborn session early gives us time to plan for a beautifully artistic newborn gallery that you can be proud of.

Contact me book your session today! Join the VIP group to stay up to date on model session opportunities, special events, and availability.

Are you looking for a Las Vegas Newborn Photographer? There are so many styles and experiences to be found, but finding a photographer who is right for you and will take great care of you through the process can be a challenge. I have put together a guide to help you select a great newborn photographer. If you ask these questions, you’re sure to find a safe, artistic, and reliable newborn photographer for this important time in your life. Remember, you only have one chance to capture amazing newborn portraits.

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  • Christina - How adorable! I love the floral backdrop. The face in the cake! I love that!ReplyCancel

Lucky {Lifestyle Newborn Session} | Las Vegas Family & Newborn Photographer

Miss Lucky Jean is a special girl. It was impossible to miss all of the love for her at this lifestyle newborn session. Mallory and Zell were both smitten as they snuggled with her. She and her momma were getting pretty comfortable with breastfeeding routines, while her fur-sister Daisy barely left their side.

Lucky | Lifestyle Newborn Session | Las Vegas Family & Newborn Photographer | Family Videography | Newborn Film | Baby Photos | Breastfeeding | Motherhood

The beauty of lifestyle newborn sessions, is that a baby’s routine doesn’t need to be altered for the occasion. Life just goes on as normal for the morning, while I visit and capture this stage. My job is to just capture the little things you will miss as she grows. Don’t you love how tiny she looks in daddy’s arms? Or that half smile she flashes when she’s dreaming? I’m just there to document the tiniest stage of raising her.

Lucky | Lifestyle Newborn Session | Las Vegas Family & Newborn Photographer | Family Videography | Newborn Film | Baby Photos | Breastfeeding | Motherhood Lucky | Lifestyle Newborn Session | Las Vegas Family & Newborn Photographer | Family Videography | Newborn Film | Baby Photos | Breastfeeding | Motherhood Lucky | Lifestyle Newborn Session | Las Vegas Family & Newborn Photographer | Family Videography | Newborn Film | Baby Photos | Breastfeeding | Motherhood Lucky | Lifestyle Newborn Session | Las Vegas Family & Newborn Photographer | Family Videography | Newborn Film | Baby Photos | Breastfeeding | Motherhood

For this lifestyle newborn session, I was pleased record video of Lucky and her family as well. These little family films record the pieces of memories that still photography cannot. Tiny stretches, squeaks and grunts, and all the memories in motion to look back on.

 

I am currently booking newborn due dates, family, baby, and maternity photo sessions into Summer and Fall 2018. Booking your newborn session early gives us time to plan for a beautifully artistic newborn gallery that you can be proud of.

Contact me book your session today! Join the VIP group to stay up to date on model session opportunities, special events, and availability.

Are you looking for a Las Vegas Newborn Photographer? There are so many styles and experiences to be found, but finding a photographer who is right for you and will take great care of you through the process can be a challenge. I have put together a guide to help you select a great newborn photographer. If you ask these questions, you’re sure to find a safe, artistic, and reliable newborn photographer for this important time in your life. Remember, you only have one chance to capture amazing newborn portraits.

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  • Christine Tustin - Such a sweet sessions. I love the warmth and homey feel to this shoot. <3ReplyCancel

    • sbchamberlainphotography - Thank you! Their household was so full of love, I don’t think the warmth could be missed.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I totally adore this session! You captured them beautifully they will love these forever. ReplyCancel

    • sbchamberlainphotography - Thank you! They were so amazing.ReplyCancel

  • CYDNEE L JEX - What a beautiful family!  Lifestyle photography can be so hard to do but you have captured this sweet moment so well!  Great job!ReplyCancel

Sunshine After Dusk | Las Vegas Photographer

Living in the desert can be pretty brutal during the hotter months when wiggly kids want to play outside, but it’s just too hot. We play at dawn or dusk pretty frequently for this reason. Sometimes my favorite photos of my children come from an after-dark play sessions, when all of the other kids have gone home for the night. I suppose one of the perks of homeschooling is that we don’t have a big early, morning school rush the next day. This is also a beautiful time of day for lifestyle photography, and to work on my personal storytelling.

Sunshine After Dusk | Las Vegas Photographer | Lifestyle Photography | Personal Photo Blog | Chidlren | Motherhood | Playtime | Littel Girl | Toddler

Being a homeschool educator and a work-at-home parent, most of my day with these two loves is hard work. Even getting this little unicorn-child, three-year-old to nap is a laborious process. It makes me appreciate our outside time even more. It’s probably the only time of the day that I just get too chill. They play, and I sit back and watch them be children. We are really going through the threes with our little girl right now, so this sunshine that she dishes out after the sun goes down is a gift.

Sunshine After Dusk | Las Vegas Photographer | Lifestyle Photography | Personal Photo Blog | Chidlren | Motherhood | Playtime | Littel Girl | Toddler

I chose to focus on Evie for this series, because we’d had a pretty tough day with her. Her brother was a rockstar, super helper in so many ways that day. As we got ready to head outside for evening wiggles, she changed her soaked undies for the umpteenth time, and put on the cutest ensemble. And my heart exploded. Do your kids ever drive you unbelievable crazy all day, and then just go and do the cutest thing to soften you? That’s pretty much Evie and I, everyday. When she’s happy, and those big three-year-old emotions are at rest, she’s a great big ball of sunshine.

Sunshine After Dusk | Las Vegas Photographer | Lifestyle Photography | Personal Photo Blog | Chidlren | Motherhood | Playtime | Littel Girl | ToddlerSunshine After Dusk | Las Vegas Photographer | Lifestyle Photography | Personal Photo Blog | Chidlren | Motherhood | Playtime | Littel Girl | ToddlerSunshine After Dusk | Las Vegas Photographer | Lifestyle Photography | Personal Photo Blog | Chidlren | Motherhood | Playtime | Littel Girl | Toddler

Sarah Beth Chamberlain is a family and baby photographer located in Las Vegas, Nevada. In this blog you will find posts featuring client sessions, as well as family adventures, essential oils information, homeschool happenings, and moments in motherhood.

If you’re hoping to know more about your photographer, you’re in the right place. If you’re looking to book a session, contact Sarah Beth  to book your session today! Join the VIP group to stay up to date on model session opportunities, special events, and availability.

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Fall Diffuser Recipes {Essential Oils} | Young Living

Fall is my absolute favorite season of the year! I have so many memories pumpkin picking, walking in the woods back home with my dad, hiking with friends in Alaska, and nibbling homemade doughnuts during my cousins’ Fall festivities.  The whole season is just filled with nostalgia, and many of our traditions trigger those memories. This year, we don’t really get to experience Fall as we know it. We live in a desert. One way that I can simulate Fall for our family, is by diffusing blends that welcome Fall memories.

Fall Diffuser Recipes | Young Living Essential Oils | Apple Pie | Pumpkin Spice | Cider | Snickerdoodle | Foliage | Cozy Layers Doughnuts | Pumpkin Farm

It’s fortunate that we were able to order up a bunch of the ingredients for these Fall blends for free this Fall. We are loyal customers with Young Living essential oils, and place monthly orders that earn back 25% of our order in rewards points. This month I redeemed those points and made my giddy, Fall heart happy! If you’re curious about how to enroll in essential rewards and build your essential oils collection with rewards points, just ask me. Essential rewards is my favorite thing about Young Living.

Fall Diffuser Recipes | Young Living Essential Oils | Apple Pie | Pumpkin Spice | Cider | Snickerdoodle | Foliage | Cozy Layers Doughnuts | Pumpkin Farm

Fall Diffuser Recipes | Young Living Essential Oils | Apple Pie | Pumpkin Spice | Cider | Snickerdoodle | Foliage | Cozy Layers Doughnuts | Pumpkin FarmFall Diffuser Recipes | Young Living Essential Oils | Apple Pie | Pumpkin Spice | Cider | Snickerdoodle | Foliage | Cozy Layers Doughnuts | Pumpkin Farm

We can’t exactly zoom back to the places and people that we are missing this Fall, but having our home filled with scents that stimulate those memories is truly warming. Diffusing Cypress, Cedarwood, and Pine, for example, reminds me of Alaskan hikes and autumn walks in New York. StressAway, Cinnamon Bark, and Orange makes me think of the doughnuts on the Iron Kettle farm. I am glad we’ve stocked up on our favorite Fall essential oils, so that I can diffuse warm memories all season.

Fall Diffuser Recipes | Young Living Essential Oils | Apple Pie | Pumpkin Spice | Cider | Snickerdoodle | Foliage | Cozy Layers Doughnuts | Pumpkin Farm

Want to learn more about the essential oils we use?

Click Here

 

I am an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils. Any information shared by me on my blog is not reflective upon Young Living. The information contained here is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information represents what I, an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils, have chosen to do for my own wellness or for my family. Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products. Information found here should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment.
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  • Jessica - LOVE the smells of fall too! It is probably my favorite season for so many reasons. ReplyCancel

    • sbchamberlainphotography - We’re going to need all the Fall aromas we can whip up this year. We have to create own cozy season in the desert.ReplyCancel

  • CYDNEE L JEX - Sweet!  I was just thinking the other day that I need to get some fall scents in my home!  They are my favorite!ReplyCancel

Moody Kids, Moody Mom | Balancing Emotions with Outdoor Release and Essential Oils

People tell me that I must have super powers to homeschool my children and run two businesses like I do. Truthfully folks, I am just like any other mom. We are currently homeschooling, because it was the best choice for my kids and truly felt right. Every parent makes choices like this for their children. Making the choice to homeschool doesn’t mean that I do it perfectly, or that I love every second of it, everyday. I really do love being their teacher most of the time. We have great days and bad days, and our moods are always shifting. I look forward to mornings teaching my kids, and I look forward to weekends when I can leave them with daddy and catch a break. Sometimes that break doesn’t happen, and we’ve all just had enough of each other. It leads to days full of stress.
Balancing Emotions | Outdoor Release | Essential Oils | Golden Hour Hike | Stress Relief | Roller Bottle RecipeEmotions and feelings are what make us human. If you’ve ever met a toddler, you must know that they are a little extra human and might have slightly contagious emotions. Usually we can talk and cuddle our way through their emotions, but if we don’t get that release of energy and stress it can be an extra moody day for all of us. Whenever the kids or I are feeling extra stressed, there are two things we do to change the tides: outdoor time and essential oils.

Balancing Emotions | Outdoor Release | Essential Oils | Golden Hour Hike | Stress Relief | Roller Bottle Recipe

It’s amazing what a little time at the park can do for my kids. The same is true for us parents. Sitting on my butt and binging a show on Netflix might help for a night, but I need outdoor freedom and exercise now and then too. As we were getting settled into Las Vegas and beginning to set up homeschool routines, I pretty much stated it as a rule. “Babe, if we’re going to do this, I need to escape and hike on the weekends. We need to go somewhere outside of the city and just breath fresh air.” Truly, we all need that kind of release.

Balancing Emotions | Outdoor Release | Essential Oils | Golden Hour Hike | Stress Relief | Roller Bottle Recipe

Our other tool for stress relief is our essential oil stash. I don’t think I’d be the same person without my Stress Away and Valor blends. These two blends have gotten me through cross country road trips alone with two kids, long homeschool days, bill-paying on a tiny budget, and so many more life stresses. I have also created a roller bottle blend of lavender, vetiver, Stress Away, patchouli, and grapefruit essential oils which is extra calming. My son and I tend to share that roller bottle a lot. We apply lavender essential with a carrier oil to our toddler’s feet when she needs some help calming big emotions. Peace and Calming is what I diffuse in the kids’ rooms after a particularly tough or excitable day. Helping them transition to peaceful sleep is a good way to set us up for a better tomorrow. Having essential oils like this in our home and using them regularly, helps us have so many fewer stressful days.

Balancing Emotions | Outdoor Release | Essential Oils | Golden Hour Hike | Stress Relief | Roller Bottle RecipeYou might not see it, but beneath this series of serene photos is a whole pile of stress. This was just one of those days. Our three-year-old skipped her nap and became a whining, demanding siren of whoa. It put all of us on edge, and made me wonder if we should even attempt our planned hike. My husband couldn’t go, because he was studying for class and needed to complete an assignment on time. I am SO proud of him for that! However, we had missed our outdoor adventure for a couple of weekends now, and I knew we couldn’t start a new week without it. So I packed snacks and filled their Camelbacks, and just the three of us piled in the car to go on an little walk. We found fresh air, beautiful light, and a renewed spirit. Well, sort of. We still had a napless toddler on our hands when we arrived back home. Anyway, when you see a fellow mom sharing pictures of a day that looks like everything is dandy, just know that every family has their battles. Figure out what helps you manage the stress of parenting, jobs, budgets, and life, so that you can be your best self. Maybe oiling up and taking a walk is just what you need to tame those moods.

Balancing Emotions | Outdoor Release | Essential Oils | Golden Hour Hike | Stress Relief | Roller Bottle RecipeBalancing Emotions | Outdoor Release | Essential Oils | Golden Hour Hike | Stress Relief | Roller Bottle RecipeBalancing Emotions | Outdoor Release | Essential Oils | Golden Hour Hike | Stress Relief | Roller Bottle RecipeBalancing Emotions | Outdoor Release | Essential Oils | Golden Hour Hike | Stress Relief | Roller Bottle Recipe

 

Want to learn more about the essential oils we use?

Click Here

 

I am an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils. Any information shared by me on my blog is not reflective upon Young Living. The information contained here is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information represents what I, an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils, have chosen to do for my own wellness or for my family. Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products. Information found here should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment.
I am a bit of an Amazon mom, and purchase a lot of our homeschool materials and oily supplies from Amazon. Because I’m using Amazon so much and sharing resources on my blog, I became an amazon associate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases linked from my blog.
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  • Jessica - You really are a saint to be able to juggle it all! Good for you to delegate time to yourself too though. ReplyCancel

  • Christina - You are so good to do this with your family! I really need to take the initiative and start doing this on the weekends with my family too.ReplyCancel

  • CYDNEE L JEX - Sometimes I feel exactly the same!  Everyone is fighting or cranky and we just need to get outside!  Everyone feels better too!ReplyCancel

Cozy Cabin Christmas Sessions {Holiday Mini-Session} | Las Vegas Family Photographer

Fall is here, and the season is sure to breeze by us. Soon you’ll be searching for the perfect Christmas gifts for those you love, preparing meals to share, and addressing Christmas cards. Let me help you check off one of those holiday to-dos early. This year’s holiday mini-sessions will be held on November 3rd for Alaskans, and November 10th for Las Vegas families. My cozy cabin backdrop is big enough for the whole family, so mom and dad can snuggle right in too. We will have fake snow and cocoa mugs. You may wear Christmas jammies, cozy sweaters, or dressy layers. Your style will make your holiday photos unique.

Cozy Cabin Christmas Sessions | Holiday Mini-Session | Las Vegas Family Photographer | Christmas Card Photos | Child Christmas Portrait | Christmas Jammies

3-2-1 Snow!

The snow we’re using for these holiday mini-sessions looks and feels like the real deal. My kids had so much fun playing with it in the studio. A sensory experience like this is sure to bring your Christmas card photos to life.

Sessions are now open for booking, so be sure to secure the session time you desire.

Book Your Session Below


 

I am currently booking newborn due dates, family, baby, and maternity photo sessions into Summer and Fall 2018. Booking your newborn session early gives us time to plan for a beautifully artistic newborn gallery that you can be proud of.

Contact me book your session today! Join the VIP group to stay up to date on model session opportunities, special events, and availability.

Are you looking for a Las Vegas Newborn Photographer? There are so many styles and experiences to be found, but finding a photographer who is right for you and will take great care of you through the process can be a challenge. I have put together a guide to help you select a great newborn photographer. If you ask these questions, you’re sure to find a safe, artistic, and reliable newborn photographer for this important time in your life. Remember, you only have one chance to capture amazing newborn portraits.

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  • jessica - Ah this looks like so much fun!! the cozy feel is really great for the holidays. ReplyCancel

  • Christina - This looks like SOOO much fun! I love it!ReplyCancel

  • CYDNEE L JEX - I love the woodsy Christmas themes!  So much more my style than the white and crystal type look.  Gorgeous!ReplyCancel

Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines

Until midway through our first child’s kindergarten year, we never imagined we’d be a homeschool family. The thought of it was overwhelming at first. Even with six years of classroom teaching experience, I knew teaching my own kids would be different, and I had to juggle more in my already limited time as a mom and business owner. However, it’s much more simple than what I was picturing at the time. Homeschooling does not need to involve a six-hour time commitment everyday, and it doesn’t need to be completed on a strict schedule. We certainly do have a learning routine, but it’s a flexible one. Rather than start activities at a set time, we have a flow of subjects that we work through each day. We start when we start, we take play breaks, and we come back to learning after a break for appointments or a mental stretch. It really can be so flexible, if you just get into a learning routine that’s easy to plan for and follow.

Language Arts

We begin our day with with handwriting. Both kiddos have a Handwriting Without Tears workbook for their level. We spend about five minutes on handwriting right after breakfast. Evangeline, our preschooler, is working in My First School Book, which includes fine motor building activities, coloring, and beginner penmanship skills. She has been practicing pencil grip with her twistable crayons, chanting “pinch and flip” as she prepares for her practice activity. Everett, is using the My Printing Book for first grade handwriting practice.

Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math

The next activity in our day is word study. The Words Their Way word study program is a conceptual way of teaching children phonics and spelling. Instead of memorizing spelling lists or rules, they are asked to sort pictures and words by their sounds and spelling patterns. Our preschooler is working in the Words Their Way Level A Student Workbook, and our first grader is beginning the Level B Workbook. Each week we start a new sort, and complete a similar learning routine over the course of the week.

  • Monday: Cut, sort, & discuss the pattern
  • Tuesday: Memory Game
  • Wednesday: Speed Sort (beat your own time)
  • Thursday: Glue Sort / Silly Sentences (big kid)
  • Friday: Spelling Check Up or Quiz

I do supplement this routine for my preschooler, to make learning more appropriate for her level. She really is just beginning to learn her letters and sounds. She loves sorting tangible objects. Since Everett was little, I’ve been collecting mini-figurines of various objects that the kids may sort by sound. We’ve recently purchased salad containers to store these in, so that I can readily grab letter tubs to go with her sound sorts. If you’d like something similar for your young learner, but want to skip the collecting process, these Alphabet Soup Sorters are made ready to go.

Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math

Reading instruction is often done snuggled up together in one of the kids’ rooms. I’ve compiled a book bin for each of my kids filled with books at their independent level. While I work on skill building with one child, their sibling is reading from their “just right” bin. Evangeline’s bin is filled with board books, and Everett’s contains books that aren’t too easy, but ones that he can read independently. When it’s my first grader’s turn to work with me, he read’s from text that offers a little more challenge. As he read’s I guide him to use strategies to decode tricky words and to understand what he’s reading. I will get into more specifics on strategy-based reading instruction in a future post. Evangeline and I work on her letter identification for her one-on one time. We’ve found this Letter Recognition Curriculum helpful and engaging for her.

Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math

Our first grader will continue to build his sight word vocabulary this year. He’s mastered the pre-primer and primer sight word lists, and has quite a few first grade sight words as well, so we will pick up right where we left off. I began the year with a sight word inventory, simply asking him to read words from the dolche sight word lists, and marking down which he knows and doesn’t know. What really helped Everett take off last year with his fluency and emergent reader skills, is a sight word activity I found on Teachers Pay Teachers. These Pyramid Sentences by The Moffatt Girls introduce sight words along with a decodable word and a sentence pyramid. The sentence pyramid allowed Everett to practice the sight word in context, and set up a habit of rereading phrases of text so that they sound smooth. He does this in his guided and independent reading now when he meets a word that he’s got to stretch out. As a former teacher, I know it’s a really good reader habit for building fluency. This year, I’ll give him five words per week, attached to a ring. On Mondays I’ll have him read the words and fluency pyramid. For the remaining days of the week, he will practice the words with one of four word study activities. Each week he builds the words with cubes, stamps the words, beads the words, and rainbow writes. We use the following tools for these activities:

We use the same sight word practice activities each week and just switch out the sight words on his practice ring. This makes our routine run smoothly, and takes very little planning time on my part.

Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math

Writing time is one of those flexible parts of our day. Some days I model write, before having my first grader write on a topic. Other days, I ask him to write a brief journal entry. The neat thing about only having two students, is that I can teach them exactly what they need to improve upon their writing skills. Right now with my first grader, we’re working on writing opinions and supporting them with detail sentences and a closing. My preschooler is still tracing and printing letters. Writing instruction is a guided process.

Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math

Math

This year, I selected Mammoth Math for our first grade math curriculum. It’s a very affordable math curriculum that is align with core standards, and is quite simple to follow. Each day we work through one or two pages of his work text, and then play one of the listed online games or a tangible game that reinforces the learned skill. I have a few different number workbooks, preschool busy bags, and math puzzles that our preschooler can do for math time. We spend no more than 30 minutes on math each day. It seems to be enough time for them to master the focus skill.

Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math

Science, Social Studies, & Life Experiences

The cool part about keeping our learning routine simple, flexible, and short, is that it allows us to take learning outside of our home classroom. We visit museums, parks, hiking trails, and more. Experience learning is so important for growing a child’s background knowledge and building a foundation for learning. These kids have so much time to play and explore, because we can complete our day of formal schooling in a few hours. Sometimes we take more play breaks in the middle, and sometimes we knock it out in a morning and go do something with our afternoon time. They learn so much from our family outings, and from everyday play.

Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math Starting the School Year with Simple Homeschool Routines | First Grade & Preschool | Learning Routine | Homeschool Schedule | Language Arts | Math

Homeschooling children does not have to be a complicated thing. Sure, choosing curriculum and getting organized can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you find what’s right for you and your kids, the everyday routine of school is pretty simple. We have a routine that we can repeat each week, and adapt to various family or social activities that come up. My kids are thriving with me as their teacher. They are getting a completely customized education, and we’re able to give them rich life experiences as well.

Disclaimer: As a homeschooling parent, I purchase a lot of our homeschool materials from Amazon. Because I’m using Amazon so much to gather learning materials, I became an amazon associate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases linked from my blog.

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