Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tot School

Actual tot school has really been few and far between these last couple of weeks! We have had lots of Life School, at camp and at home, but not as many formal learning activities planned out! I have been focusing almost ALL of my 'free' time on planning for this fall, and I am getting SO excited about what I have planned - I'll share more about that at the end of this post!

So...what have we been learning about? How about septic tanks? We got to watch a big truck with a crane take an extra septic tank out of our yard one morning, so that was exciting.

I thought it was pretty cool, too - that thing must be really heavy!

Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie Beth came for a visit, and they did LOTS of reading! They brought us the book Tikki Tikki Tembo, which was a favorite of mine, and I love reading it to Zachary - he can say the whole name by himself now - so cute! :) Here's Grandpa reading to Z. :)

They also brought him a little golf set of his own, which he asks to play with every day, rain or shine. :)
We did make a craft this week - well, I should say I made a craft! Z's part was to glue the windows on, but he got so excited about driving his cars into the garage door I made on this building (made out of a quart-size milk carton) that he just wanted to skip the craft and play with the building. So we did. So it is windowless. It has a regular door on the other side, but that picture didn't turn out.

We also played the spoon game this week - but we spent more time using the spoons to eat imaginary ice cream than actually matching them with anything! Z has been loving using his tool sets this week, so we talked about hammering & using a screwdriver, and I taught him how to use the claw end of his plastic hammer. :)

Z also amused himself by taking pictures of himself. When I caught him with the camera, he had taken 20 pictures, all some variation of this:

One day, he decided that he had to wear his camo winter coat with his camo shorts. So here's a picture of that:

My Two Tots

Okay, so there's only one tot in this picture, but do you see what Natalie is so happily playing with? I was working on something for Z's preschool, probably cutting something out, and I asked him to help Sissy feel better. I turned around at her squeals of delight, and saw what he had given her & just had to take a picture! It's Z's favorite tractor- Johnny Tractor!

Z also loves to 'help' Natalie jump in her Johnny Jump-up! :) As you can see, she doesn't mind!

My Tiny Tot

Natalie is seven months old now - wow! She is such a big girl, and so sweet! She has had a cold this weekend, sadly, but still has smiles for everybody! :) She does occasionally cry, though (and isn't it cute???? Love this pouty face!).

She is eating jarred baby food like a champ, and starting to try different foods in her Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder - she has tried frozen banana (pictured), watermelon, and a strawberry fruit popsicle. She liked the popsicle the best, and hated the watermelon! :)

Tot School Planning

So, our curriculum this year is 28 weeks - 26 weeks with a letter assigned to each week, and 2 weeks of review. I originally thought it was going to be ALL about the letters, and letter -based activities. And then I started planning my A-Z Bible verses for each week. And I got SO excited about them, that I'm actually going to be focusing on my Bible verse, corresponding song, and Bible story for each week, with a few other letter, number, color, and shape activities thrown in.

I did make a file of my A-Z Bible verses that I will print and use in my daily calendar time - it is a Word file, and you can download it here for free if you want to! (Just click on the word here to go to the download.) I also have the lyrics for the corresponding songs typed up, and if you want, you can download them here, but a lot of the songs come from this CD set, so if you don't have that CD, many of the songs may not make sense. The songs are either the actual memory verse set to music, or a concept that fits in with the verse. I am working on picking out a Bible story or passage to study each week with Z that go along with the verse and song, and really enjoying making the Bible study the center of our curriculum! After all, that is the most important thing for him to learn, right?

Here is a picture of my planning notebook - isn't it cute and exciting? So organized... we'll see how long that lasts.... these pocket inserts have a pocket on each side, and I have one pocket for each letter, with the activities tucked inside. As far as our other activities go, we will definitely be doing these letter collages and these playdough mats each week, along with these active exercise cards. I printed out the Dolch sight word cards for primer and pre-primer as well, and I'm looking forward to starting those on an as-we-go-along basis this fall.

I have about a bazillion more little pieces to laminate and cut, so I will share those as I get them finished. :) But here is one game that I do have finished, and I'm looking forward to playing this in church with Zachary next Sunday morning. This is a file folder game called Paintbrush Color Matching, and I got the idea and the printables here.

I hope to soon sit down and write a post soon about all the blogs I get my ideas from, and I will share the rest of my planning as I go - I am spending a ton of time on this right now, but it is SO fun and exciting!!! I am really getting addicted to all of the planning, and I'm definitely using my elementary education degree! :)

To see what others are doing for Tot School this week, head on over to 1+1+1=1!


Morgan said...

Your plans sound great! I have had so much fun with that part of tot school and preschool!

Our Family for His Glory said...

Wow! You have gotten so much done! I'm excited to hear more & see how your year goes!

Ambra said...

I love the spoon idea! I also have a 31`month old (32 months in just a couple days!). Are you shifting your focus to more "preschool" in the fall as Zachary approaches 3 years old? I'm trying to decide when to do that myself. I LOVE your planning folder! So neat and organized!

Crystal Roberts said...

What precious and cute pictures! My lodest son would love to be seeing the septic being done, he adores trucks : )

Stefanie A. said...

Aw, sweet Natalie! Wow, can't believe how fast these babies grow... and I LOVE following you tot school activities!!!

Valerie @ Inner Child Fun said...

Wow! You have been busy, and looks like you have a lot of exciting things planned. Can't wait to see!