Tot Tray Ideas from Target…

I managed to make it to Target the other day (which was HUGE for me because I am really struggling with pain as my pregnancy comes to an end-I rarely leave the house). I was excited to see the 1$ section restocked with cute items :). Here are a few I set up for Tot Trays, K worked on them today and really liked them.

The first is a mini George sticker book, great for concentration and fine motor skills :). This little blank book came with 4 rolls of stickers. Today I just put on of the rolls on the tray, he really enjoyed working with it and seeing his friend George!Next is a puffy (bath style) Nemo book, that just has color words in it. I added the colored pom poms for him to find as we read the book together. They also had this book with a Cars theme, which I am going to find the cars we have for him to match up with the book while reading.I also got a few more things, but these are the only ones we’ve used so far. Just thought I would share in case anyone is heading out for a weekend Target trip!!!!

2nd Grade!!!!

Look who is a BIG 2nd grader now…

Yup, Pac Man began 2nd grade today, since his Calvert box arrived yesterday! If you don’t know already-we get Calvert free of charge through our state cyber school. I still teach entirely on my own, the state just provides us with the necessities free of charge. It is an amazing blessing and I know only about 13 states do this. Even though we get this, I still do a LOT of our own thing for his schooling!
I get asked a lot about what we use so I thought I would summarize what we are planning to use for 2nd grade. And yes, you will notice that we are not traditional fall grade changers. We move up to a new grade whenever he finishes the previous one!
Here is our curriculum plan for 2nd grade…

Our plans for 2nd Grade…

  • Reading, Phonics…Calvert
  • Math…Calvert
  • Spelling…Calvert and All About Spelling (we are going back to the basics using Level 1, and then hopefully moving on quickly to Level 2, I just felt that Calvert didn’t teach enough of the rules of spelling for Pac Man’s needs)
  • Writing…Calvert and our own stuff (mainly developing his story writing skills as he loves to write “books”)
  • Social Studies/Geography…Calvert and much of our own stuff (lapbooks, puzzles, games, etc.)
  • HistoryThe Story of the World: Volume 1 We began this a while ago and are still loving it.
  • BibleOld Testament Overview Also began awhile back and it is working wonderfully for us, we both still love it!
  • ScienceLapbooks (I will make sure we cover everything in the Calvert science book, we just don’t do things their way!)

Basically we follow Calvert, as to be certain he is prepared for their testing and such, but I change things up a bit within certain subjects (science, social studies, history, and spelling mainly). I like Calvert as a whole, but I am really picky about certain things. If it doesn’t meet his needs, I make a change!

Another new thing we began today is the Workbox learning method, inspired from this great book. I am not going to write a ton about it…YET, because I want to be sure I really like it before I share much about it. But I will say I am overly impressed after our first day and so is Pac Man. It probably won’t be long until you begin hearing from me about it :). Stay tuned for more, I promise!

Pac Man is also now a blogger :). Like mother like son! He has been asking me to begin his own blog for over a year now and finally I knew he was ready. He is doing a wonderful job and I love that he is learning so much and he doesn’t even know it, he just loves it!!! It is something neat we do together now. I am keeping his blog private but if you have a great desire to see it in case you are thinking about your own child starting one, email me and let me know (don’t leave a comment). I will give you the link as long as it is for that purpose and is kept private.

I am thrilled to say that our first day of 2nd grade went beautifully, I am so thankful!!! His attitude was great, he loved the new workboxes and it was just wonderful. Now I am praying for tomorrow to go just as well!

Duck Labook Resources

I got the Duck Lapbook resources up on the site in case anyone wants to use them!! I made all of the templates myself, they are all linked up in PDF form. Pac Man is about half way done with his lapbook and then we will post the final photos.

A New Twist on the Tot Book

As most of you know, we have a lot of Tot Books available for download and I still love making them. Unfortunately, my tot does not LOVE them as much as I do! Since I need to practice what I preach-not forcing him and following his lead-I needed to adjust a bit!

The next Tot Book with the highest number of votes was by far Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, and thankfully Krash loves that story too! As I lay in bed hurting (from my pregnancy) I rolled ideas around in my mind of how to change things a bit to meet his needs at this stage.

I then thought of my Activity Pack I had made for the boys a couple of weeks ago and realized I could do the same thing with the Tot Book items. Instead of just making the few things that fit in the Tot Book, I could make an assortment and keep them all in the clasp envelope while we work with them.
I also thought of YOU and how this might be better for anyone else using them as we all desire to expose different skills to our particular tots. With more of a variety to choose from, I hope you will be able to adjust your Tot Book (or Activity Pack) accordingly to suit your tot.

So, here is our first Tot Book/Activity Pack…

Of course we have a few mini-books, the first one is about colors…And the other about counting/numbers 1-10…My tot loves the pockets with cards so I created a few of these for this set. The first is a simple story retelling pocket. You can see I added a photo of myself to be the “Momma” for him!The next is a Monkey Parts pocket, focusing on identifying body parts. I included a photo of Krash in this on also, so he can point to his parts and the monkey’s parts using the cards (except the tail, hopefully).I made a Monkey ABC set, including both lower and upper case letters. Krash knows all of his upper case and we re working on lowercase right now. I left his letters cut in strips like you see, as the 26 individual cards are just too much for him right now. I plan to help him sing the ABCs and lay them in correct order, and also match up the upper/lower case strips to each other. As he advances, I will cut them apart.Finally, I made a size sequencing set…

I plan to collect all of our stuffed monkeys, plastic monkeys, etc. and place a monkey on one of his trays with one of the new components. It will be tray work for him-which he likes, with a new little surprise each day! When he tires of the pieces, I still plan to put them into a Tot Book (might need to be bigger) for safe keeping, but until then, I plan to just keep them in an Activity Pack envelope, letting him go back to the pieces when he wants to.

You can find all of the PDFs for these here, on the Tot Book site. I hope you enjoy it and as always, let me know if you use any of these so I can link up your blog to the page!

Tot School ~ Sick Week

~Krash is currently 34 months old~
Not much Tot-Schooling in our house this past week..we got hit hard with the sickies! We watched tons of movies, read lots of books, and slept a lot. Thankfully Daddy never got sick so he managed our care for the week. Also my Dad “Baba” has been here helping too, unfortunately he got sick though towards the end of the week. I think we are all on the mend though so hopefully back to normal next week!

Here’s the few photos I managed to get of Krash this week…I showed him one part of his Tarzan 2 Tot Book and he really liked it, I can’t wait to show him the rest!

We managed to have about an hour of really fun Play Doh time one day, I had a blast with both boys! I love Play Doh for that reason!!!

This day we took out our Veggie Tales accessory pack and had fun making the veggies together!!!!K has really been enjoying his toy animals these days, and often loads them up on different toys. We always have fun with the many animals he has, naming them, making their noises, and interacting with them. This day he loaded many of them onto his Little People Playground (that’s the one we have but that price on Amazon is outrageous- what’s up with that?)... And then off to the tractor (got it at a consignment sale) for a ride… And no, we didn’t get out of jammies ALL week long-me or the boys!!!!

If you have a tot (approximately ages 1-3) at home, join in the fun and share what you’re doing with your tot! Here’s how to get started if you’re new…

If you’ve never read this: Go HERE 1st for more details- please do!!! Then if you have any ideas you’d like to share, link up your exact post to Mr Linky (if you have questions about how to do that, let me know in a comment or email-links to homepages will automatically be deleted).

New: when you add your name(blog name) to Mr. Linky will you put your tot’s age (in months) after it, like this: 1+1+1=1 (34 mos)? I think this will help new readers a lot as they look for ideas for their specific aged tot!

If you are unsure of how to add your direct link to Mr Linky-I added a tutorial with photos here, scroll down to see it!