Tot School

~Ladybug is currently 13 months old~

We had a fairly normal week around here. I had trouble with my camera card, so I lost an entire day’s photos, bummer. Ladybug is turning into quite the “little girl” right before our eyes.

Tot Trays

I set up Ladybug’s first Tot Trays! She has begun to show interest in getting things off of the shelves to play with by herself, so I followed her lead and set up 3 trays for her on the bottom row! This week I put out dice and a cup, a chunky puzzle {which she had NO interest in}, and pom poms with a empty clear container.

She loved the pom poms and the empty container and got these out daily. She loved collecting the pom poms into one hand-as many as she could fit! She also learned to put them into the bottle by herself! IMG_8187

The dice were a big hit too! She loved certain ones though, it was rather humorous to watch! IMG_8097

 

Learning Toys

Now just because it wasn’t on HER tray, doesn’t mean it wasn’t fair game to be played with. Krash had Wedgits in one of his Star boxes for his Preschool Workboxes this week also, so she happily dug into those daily too! She loves Wedgits!

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Just in case you think Ladybug is always all done up and matching-here’s proof that she can be quite the {still adorable} ragamuffin at times! She was half-dressed in this shot-is anyone else guilty of this? Somehow she had on her pants, but still her PJ top and socks.

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Another favorite of hers is our box of musical instruments. She loves to dig through them and pull out her favorites!IMG_8194

 

Up in her room, she has a few Tot School toys so we work together there too. We worked with her Shape Hippo {from Target}. She has learned how to make the shapes fly out of his mouth and loves this!IMG_8209

She also loves to play in the boys’ room! We recently got out the cardboard building blocks. She wasn’t as impressed as I thought she’d be ;-)

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She loves the Anamalz! IMG_8298

I LOVE her mouth full of teeth…IMG_8305

 

Pat-A-Cake is a big favorite right now. If you tell her to clap, she looks at you like you are crazy. If you say “Pat-A-Cake” she gets all giddy and starts clapping!IMG_8241

 

Moms FavoriteI could gaze into her eyes all day long. Oh how I’d love to dive into that little brain of hers and dig her thoughts out!IMG_8238

 

This Weeks Tools


READ THIS for more details about linking up to Tot School. If your blog is not linked back here to Tot School, and your post is not specifically a Tot School post, your link will be deleted to help Tot School surfing moms.

Please put your tot’s age (in months) after it, like this: 1+1+1=1 (41 mos)

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Tot School

~Ladybug is currently 13 months old~

Ladybug and I were gone for most of the week at my grandma’s funeral, thus our short Tot School post this week!

Learning Toys

Ladybug got this “new” wooden ball toy and she LOVES it.  I think my mom paid a big whopping $2 at a consignment sale!!!  Pac Man missed his girl a lot so was happy to spend time with her showing her how to put different sized balls into the holes.  She can’t quite get the balls that come with it in, so he found her some balls that went in easier for her!IMG_7921

She got it!IMG_7928

He also taught her how to open and shut the lids on her wooden walk toy/block holder {also a consignment sale find} IMG_7901

Look how proud he is of her ;-)  I love him.  IMG_7905

 

Techy TotAlthough I don’t have any photos of her, I must tell you that my iPod was a great traveling tool!!!  She has a few favorite apps, and I am so thankful for them {especially when the flight was just a bit too long and nap time was way over due}.

 

Tickle Tap…she LOVES the “Sound Shaker”image

 

Alpha Baby…she loved making new letters/photos/shapes/etc pop up and she knows how to sling them all around the screen and thinks it’s really funny! image

Animal Hide & Seek…She LOVES the tiger!!!!  She points to animals that are hiding in the scene to make them come out!image

 

Life School

We traveled to Sioux Falls, SD for my grandma’s funeral, just me, my mom, and Ladybug. The best part of the journey was seeing her in the arms of my uncle and my cousin who I actually haven’t seen in over 10 years myself.  It was wonderful to be reunited and to introduce them to her.  She also really enjoyed the indoor swimming pool at the hotel!

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Moms Favorite

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READ THIS for more details about linking up to Tot School. If your blog is not linked back here to Tot School, and your post is not specifically a Tot School post, your link will be deleted to help Tot School surfing moms.

Please put your tot’s age (in months) after it, like this: 1+1+1=1 (41 mos)

If you are NEW will you please leave a comment letting us all know so we can be sure to visit you?

 

Raising Rock Stars Preschool ~ Introduction & Unit 1

 

Raising Rock Stars Preschool

Preschool. Whoa. It seemed so far away and yet now here we are, our first official preschool post!

In my normal fashion, I had to reinvent the wheel so it would turn the exact way I desired it to for my little guy, so I have something brand spankin’ new to share with you…

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Yup, it’s a whole new preschool program for Krash {and for anyone else who wants to tag along}. I have spent months preparing it not only for Krash but also for you, as you will see from the website. The website itself will explain the many basics, which I will highlight here briefly. You can start here if you are interested in reading more about what it is, why I did it and so on. I also started a FAQ page here, which I began by answering some basic ?s I know I am sure to receive.

Why did I need to reinvent the wheel? In a nutshell, I had certain goals in mind for preschool in my home. I wanted something simple to pull out each week, while also being sure to expose the basics, with a strong Biblical foundation. I wanted our program focused not only on preschool skills but on Christian character values and God’s Word. I wanted music as a integral part, Christian music! I wanted to highlight Christian character qualities every single day, not just as a side note. I wanted our books to be focused on this idea rather than a general theme {like I had been doing}. I brought these together in the best way I knew how and this is what God brought out of my many thinking and brainstorming sessions!

Each week I will share the unit we are on, and also make the printables available for you, free of charge. I am also almost done with a members only section of my website which will offer interactive Power Point shows to go along with these units. I am not done with this part yet, so even though it talks about that on the site-the links are not available yet as I iron out some last minute details. I promise more to come on that soon!

We completed the first unit of our program about a month ago as I wanted a test-run before I worked on upcoming units. I ironed out kinks and added what I wanted. I am finally pleased with the format!

Unit 1…

This is the main board, which will be changed out for each unit. I needed something simple to mesh well with my teaching style as well as K’s learning style. I explain each component of the board in DETAIL here on the Sample Lesson Page, which is based on this particular unit. I am also working on getting some videos uploaded to show different parts in action, for you visual/auditory learners!

RRSP Board

Krash jumped right into preschool-mode and knocked my socks off with his pre-writing skills…image

He did well with his mini book, reading it to me every day. Some days he wanted me to be more involved, which was fine. He didn’t quite grasp the concept of his sight word {see} but that’s completely fine. He DID thoroughly enjoy reading on his own though and has since had a heightened interest in learning to read.image

He colored his verse… image

He cut most of the beginning sound cards out himself {again knocking my socks off}… image

He worked on a few L’s each day…image

He loved cutting his long verse out…image

and using TAPE by himself… image

We measured the verse next to him! image

I cut out the cut, color & glue craft and he colored it.image

We stuck it on together. image

 

Krash DID memorize the entire verse, which actually shocked me. I figured I was expecting too much, but apparently I had my expectations a tad too low.

After we finished our unit, put it all into our RRSP notebook {photos of this coming soon} and K enjoyed looking through it all together. It took us about 2 weeks to complete the unit, I imagine that will change from week to week depending on his attitude ;-) and our family schedule. I am going to be flexible with this.

In addition to RRSP, we will be using many preschool learning tools, including store bought toys and also printables. I hope to plan for a theme each week {like the types of themes we have been doing}, but who knows-I am not putting pressure on myself in that area. If we have a theme great, if not…oh well! I am making new preschool printables but mine are focused on concept rather than a theme so they can be used over and over again at any time {also reducing the need to print and laminate new items each week}. We will still do some theme printables, I am sure, but not as many as we had been doing.

Starting next week I will share about our preschool workboxes also, along with our RRSP unit!

If you find something wrong on any of the new preschool webpages, please let me know. I tried to proof everything one last time, but I just know I probably left something unlinked or spelled wrong! There were so many pages to create and I have been working on them for months!

More Preschool Links…

Be sure to visit Preschool Corner to see all of the other amazing home-preschool moms!

Tot School ~ The Grand Finale for Krash!

~Krash is currently 47.5 months old~

~Ladybug is currently 12.5 months old~

After years of being the Tot School STAR, the reason it all began in the first place, Krash will be retiring from his usual starring role in the Tot School posts and handing the role over to his little sister officially!  This is the last post for Krash as a Tot Schooler, he moves to Preschool Corner next week!

This was a transition week for us BIG time as we returned from vacation and I got myself ready for the official transition.  I didn’t do too much school-wise with either of my tots, but we had an awesome week together…that’s what really matters!

Learning Toys

We played Leapfrog Bingo several times this week, helping Krash work on game skills and his numbers.  He did really well!IMG_6283

My mom found this awesome number train puzzle at a consignment sale, we LOVE it! I always snag giant puzzles at thrift stores and used sales, the kids love them but I think they are way too much to buy new ;-).IMG_6291 copy

Krash had fun stringing beads this week too.  I tried really hard to get him to count with me, but he just wanted to string them ;-). IMG_6298 copy

Tiny Tot SchoolLadybug is still very fond of the whole in-and-out thing so I gave her two containers and some beads and she went at it for awhile. IMG_6306 copy

We also got out the bottle shakersIMG_6416 copy

I added in a metal mixing bowl, which actually freaked her out at first!  She warmed up to it soon, and had fun banging them in and out for a long time!IMG_6453 copy

Pac Man taught her how to spin, using his Uno Spin board…IMG_6440 copy

She is all over the place now!  She is finally completely mobile and into everything!  IMG_6424 copy

 

Life School

Krash inherited Pac Man’s old baseball glove and was super excited for Daddy to teach him baseball skills too ;-).IMG_6341 copy

Social skills in action…Krash enjoyed a play date with his good buddy Daniel!   They were fighting pirates for most of the afternoon.IMG_6531 copy 2

 

 

Moms Favorite

Krash LOVES how interactive and playful Ladybug has become and he is showering her with love often.  She doesn’t quite know what to make of all his energy but she adores him too {even if she looks totally annoyed}.IMG_6374 copy

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. This Weeks Tools

Raising Rock Stars ~ Daily Bible Reading

Family Bible Reading

I am taking a break from posting about our weekly family Bible time to share with you what we do each weekday morning.

Each morning {for many months now}, we sit together in our living room promptly at 8:30am.  We begin with Daddy reading from the Bible to us, and end with family prayer time.  Although it rarely takes more than 10-20 minutes, I am so thankful for this time together and that I have a husband leading us like this.  Yes it is wonderful, yes it is amazing, and yes it is difficult.  I must be honest and keep it real, sharing with you the difficulties of doing this, while also sharing the great rewards.

If you notice in the shot below, you will see a few things…

  1. K’s less-than-enthusiastic face
  2. the boys sitting on pillows beneath Daddy’s feet.

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These things are part of what I want to share with you.  You see, keeping a daily Bible reading time with young children is HARD.  I think the enemy sets out to just destroy this time {or at least drive us parents whacko in the process}.  We have determined to not let the enemy win and remove this time, but oh it is tempting to just give up sometimes as it can be such a battle and often looks nothing like the dreamy picture I like to envision in my mind.

The pillows are there because of two highly distractible boys, especially in the morning, especially when being read to with no pictures to look at out of a big person book ;-).  After many weeks of naughty morning behavior I began daily afternoon training with the boys to train them how to behave during our family reading time.  During this training time, I had them sit on pillows {to give them a clearly defined space of their own}.  They must criss-cross their legs and keep their hands on their lap.  I set a visual timer {we have that exact one and I love it} for 5 minutes and they SIT.  Each time they move drastically or make a noise, I move the timer back one minute.  I made sure to do this right before lunch, snack, recess or some other thing they really wanted to ensure that the moving backward would be painful for them ;-).  Within a few days it worked and they were able to sit still MUCH better.

For training time, I also read to them from Proverbs for 5 minutes too.  We are still trying our best to remember to do this every day-I have yet to make this a concrete habit, although I am trying.  When we began, we did 5 minutes sitting silently and then 5 minutes paying attention to me even if they had no clue what I was reading ;-).  I also did lots of teaching and explaining to them about why this is all important.  I certainly didn’t just do the training!

Morning Bible reading time has improved greatly but is still a struggle sometimes.  Daddy does a good job of keeping the stories real for the boys, like he is doing here showing Krash how Moses lifted his arms up.  He was sharing the part about how they would begin losing the war when Moses put his arms down.

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Even below, you can see that Pac Man was a little done with all of this arm raising stuff.

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Me having the camera out on this morning certainly did not help any.  I did it so I could share with you here, but I will not be letting the camera distract this time again.

We know there will soon come a day when we all sit around the living room for morning devotion/prayer time and everyone is behaving, because they are older.  We will  remember these chaotic times with a smile-I am sure of it.  We are trying our best to enjoy the moments each and every day-even the imperfect ones.

Visit theRaising Rock Stars Webpage to download your own notebook pages and to see links to previous Rock Stars posts!