Friday, September 9, 2011

Tot School – 3.5 years and 24 months

So, we really do more than just create tot packs around here.  Sometimes we even USE them! ;)  Yep, it’s September…and it’s back to “tot school” in our house!

We’re using Raising Rock Stars Preschool program this year, and this involves a little wall space.  The best place for us to set this up was in our bonus room.  Unfortunately, the walls are only 2 feet tall up there…so we grabbed what little wall space is available, turned it into a learning corner, and it seems to be working out all right!  (There’s also a pocket chart calendar on the inside of the closet door.)

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Max is very excited…far more excited than you’d expect from a just-turned-2 year old.  He runs to that corner, yelling “Tah Soool”. He loves to play with the cards in the pocket chart, and he just adores the popsicle sticks for singing!

Alex is very matter of fact about it.  He helped me set up the corner – moving furniture, helping to pound nails to put up the boards on the wall, and choosing which activities he wanted to do each day.

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We begin in the morning by reading our Bible verse for the week, then reading a story from My ABC Bible Verses to go along with that verse.  After that, we sing our song of the week.  This week it’s letter L, “This Little Light of Mine”, and Matthew 5:16 (“Let your light shine before men…”).   The boys were loving the popsicle stick lights, which they used for the motions in the song.

(YES, my boy is scheduled for a haircut.  I’ve been affectionately calling him “Shaggy”.)

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The calendar, because it has so many small pieces, is hung on the inside of the closet door so that Max can’t destroy it when I’m not looking.  Even so, we’re already missing Thursday.  It’s probably down a heat vent or something equally crazy! ;)

We’re learning how to put in today’s number, follow our finger up to see what day of the week it is, and singing the days of the week song.  (And I’m VERY thankful that Alex’s head is blocking your view of the “scary closet”!)

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Letter L – learning to recognize letters in lowercase is one of my goals for Alex this year.  He’s also learning to write both uppercase and lowercase letters.  I’m not concerned about mastery – just getting him familiar with the skill.

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Still gotta work on the pencil grip.  I’m the one being lazy about it; I just need to take a deep breath, use my patience, and teach him the correct way!

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Alex practiced making Ls.  Max ate crayons.
Next week, I’m printing an L coloring page for Max.
(You know, so he can look at his coloring page while he eats crayons!)

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These were spread out – one page per day. 

Here are the end results…I think he did pretty well!

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We took the boys to a little traveling circus last week, and I was excited to see that Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations had put together a circus preschool pack this weekend.  I quickly printed it on Monday night to surprise Alex.  Both boys LOVED it!

Alex showing Grace how to do a 10-piece puzzle.  He’s almost got it mastered already!
(Yes, he’s wearing a pajama shirt.  He dressed his bottom half, but refused to put on a shirt.  It was one of those “choose your battles” moments, so I let it go!)

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They are using the nomenclature cards (3 part cards).  We didn’t cut the words off of the second set just yet, so really it’s more like a matching game at this point.  Both boys loved these cards, though! 
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Alex had fun taking the nomenclature cards and matching them to his beginning sounds page.  Max loved grabbing the correct card from the chart when Alex and I talked about each picture/sound on his beginning sounds page.

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Speaking of the beginning sounds page, I was SO impressed!  Until recently, Alex really didn’t care about letter sounds.  I didn’t push it, and then a few weeks ago, he started asking about letters and sounds all. the. time.  He definitely doesn’t have it perfected, but he’s doing really well!  Out of 9 pictures on this page, he correctly found the letter sound for 7 pictures!  (He’s done it twice since then – it’s his most-requested page!)

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This is the mini-book that goes along with RRSP this week.  Each week, a sight word is introduced.  It’s not for mastery/memory of sight words, but just to introduce the word to your child.  Each pages starts with “I see 1…”.  He liked the first few pages, but before the end of the book, Alex was closing his eyes and covering his ears.  I think he was DONE with that! ;)

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I didn’t take any pictures on day 3.  We did more, but I have no proof.  Sometimes you just have to be in the moment without a camera in your hands! :)

Max.  Oh, Max.  These were interesting mornings for him.  He followed along through calendar/board time, although he did leave us a time or two to go down the indoor slide.  I’m trying to make special time for him, too.  We sorted the juggling ball cards.  He LOVED finding the balls that had stars on them.  He didn’t really care that we were trying to sort by colors, but shapes…he likes shapes! :)

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With a little encouragement, he matched all 9 picture cards on the pocket chart.
(Alex was SO jealous that Max was getting the attention at this point.  He was standing behind me doing dances, going down the slide head first, and calling out, “Mommy – watch this!”)

We’ll continue to slowly add in special things for Max – shape-sorting with our lacing beads, color matching with toy cars, using bingo markers on dot pages, etc.  This week’s focus was mainly on getting Alex into the routine.

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Just for fun – a little playdough free play.  They broke Mommy’s main playdough rule: Don’t Mix Colors

I think I’m just gonna have to get over it.  It started out as a beautiful mix of pink, green, and yellow swirls.  It’s now a not-so-lovely shade of brown with specks of pink, green, and yellow.  Mommy might need some new playdough for Christmas! ;)

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You can learn more about RRSP, Preschool Corner, or Tot School by clicking on the links below.  You’ll also see what other moms are doing with their tots and preschoolers!

Tot School


Anonymous said...

Looks like an amazing first week!! Looks like both boys loved it!

Michelle said...

What a fun first week! I hope our is just as fun next week :-) I'm cracking up at the play doh rule - I have that one too and my rule is ALWAYS broken within the first 5 seconds! :-)

SamDIBO said...

I got around the don't mix the colors rule by not buying playdoh. Yup, meanest mommy on earth here LOL

Brooke said...

I am glad I am not the only one with a son who eats crayons :) I totally feel the same about play doh. But I can't bring myself to mix the colors just yet... :p

Monica said...

I kind of giggled reading your post because I could relate to so much! My first two boys are 20 months apart (almost 4 and just over 2) and they are at different levels but want to do some things together...and well, I haven't figured it all out! Probably won't for a while too, since Boy #3 is due soon and that will change how we do things. So I'll have to check your blog for ideas! :)

Dawn said...

Brooke ~ I'm glad to hear that you've got a crayon-eater, too. Misery loves company, ha ha! ;)

Monica ~ Checking my blog for ideas...well, it's kind of like the blind leading the blind! I'm going at this one week at a time, just hoping to do my best. I'll be checking your blog, too, to see how things are going for your little guys. Good luck with baby #3!

SamDIBO ~ That's really not a bad idea, considering how many times I've scraped play-doh out of the carpet! ;)

Marlynn said...

Great Week! Hey my 2nd child thinks markers and crayons are put on this earth to eat.

I also hate the mixed playdough!!! I'm going to have to get use to the idea...or just make my own, so all they have is one color to play with...that's an idea.