Tot School

~Krash is currently 42 months old~

** links to all toys and books are at the bottom of the post

Learning Toys/Trays…

The How to Build an A book was put away but he asked me for it again, so of course I said, YES. What I didn’t realize, is what he had in mind to do with it {which had nothing to do with letters}. He asked me for the tape. I must admit I hesitated for a bit, but then thought-what damage can he do? I handed the tape over and he got to work…

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Much, much tape later, I realized what his goal was…to make the square stand up! I had to help him a bit, but finally after much hard work, he achieved his goal and was SO happy! It was fun seeing him work hard to learn how to use the tape!

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We got a “new” set of stacking cups from Nanee, who got them at a consignment sale for super cheap…he loved them! Who would’ve known a different version of the same toy would still be new to him! This is the first time he has attempted to put them in size order by himself like this!IMG_5377 copy

Another consignment sale find, a cool magnetic transportation book, he played for so long with this…IMG_5418 copy

Zoobs continue to be a favorite around here, K asked me to use the guide to build him the Luna Rover, it was a tad difficult but I succeeded and he was thrilled!IMG_5458 copy

He had to match the colored ping pong balls into the correct colored craft cup…IMG_5464 copy

We played with his geo sorter, actually working on putting them in the proper order this time…IMG_5467 copy

Then we let our pilgrim walk up and down the stepsIMG_5471 copy

Cutting, cutting, and more cutting…IMG_5476 copythis boy loves to cut…IMG_5484 copy

Thank goodness he loves to vacuum up his mess just as much as he loves to cut…IMG_5496 copy

Coloring the entire Aquadoodle mat, again. I tried to interest him in sponge painting (see bottom right corner of the pic), but he wasn’t having it.IMG_5539 copy

While cleaning the schoolroom (results post to come this week!), I found this game, Cariboo that we had picked up at the consignment sale. I had no idea what it was and am so glad that I opened it up, it is excellent!!! One of my favorites for Krash’s age! I played with the boys for awhile and then encouraged them to play just together, it went amazingly well! Krash is learning to take turns and listen, and P is learning to be patient and understand that Krash isn’t 7, he’s 3 (I feel like I say that many times a day!).

 

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Theme…Thanksgiving

We made hand print turkeys, inspired from here. Krash cut his own shapes for the frame portion, and I helped him a lot with the rest ;-) IMG_5581 copy

K’s is on the left, Pac Man’s on the right…IMG_5685 copy

 

 

 

iTouch Learning Fun…

This might not have been K’s absolute favorite game of the week, but Mommy sure loved it, and he certainly enjoyed it! It is a letter tracing game called i Write Words, and is by far the best I have found so far (there are a few different apps like this one). They have a free version so you can test it out, and the paid version is $1.99. You can see this and other apps we love here on our website!

i write words app

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Life School…

Krash went roller skating at the rink for the first time! He didn’t LOVE it, but he did great! He had more fun hanging out with his friends and pretending to play the video games!

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Mommy’s Favorite…

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Raising Rock Stars ~ Tower of Babel


Bible Story…Tower of Babel

Daddy began by reading the kiddos the story from a printed copy, since we didn’t have a story book about the Tower of Babel. The best part was when Daddy demonstrated different languages, as you can see…

Of course we had to build towers as we reenacted the story!

We also looked at an image of a painting showing what the tower is thought to look like…

I helped the boys put together this Tower of Babel craft

I made the boys this tower craft. They each had a stack of bricks (printed on cardstock), and created their own tower. Then we talked about the type of character qualities God DOES want us to possess and glued words representing those qualities on our bricks. We discussed how the people in the story were building a tower for THEMSELVES and we were building our towers for GOD! You can download the PDFs for the whole activity here on the webpage.

We colored our coloring page and mini book about the story…

Not pictured is a cute little song I found called “B-A-B-E-L” that the boys enjoyed singing with me!

Resources used this week:

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

Tot School

~Krash is currently 42 months old~
** links to all toys and books are at the bottom of the post


It was a short Tot School week for us because my mom came to visit on Thursday!!! We took the next few days off to just enjoy Nanee! Before Nanee got here, we did have some Tot School fun!

Learning Toys/Trays

Krash is finally old enough to actually play Leapfrog Bingo. We played the shape portion and he did really well!!!
A little fun with How to Build an A
I made him a simple tray with wooden spindles (some type of sewing gadget my mom had), and colored chips…

ABCs…

K made a snake for the letter Ss…

Theme…Dinosaurs (last week)

This was our final week of dinos, we had a few things left to do! He worked with the make a dino shape puzzle from the Tot Pack
We made eggs for our dinos…

Pac Man’s on the left, K’s on the right…

iTouch Learning Fun…

Yup, a new Tot School category has entered our home. Would you believe I had never even seen an iPhone OR even knew there was a such thing as an iTouch? My mom has a new iPhone that her work gave to her and we all played with it while she was here! This gadget was MADE for someone like me, I fell in love!!! Thankfully my mom decided to spoil our family near the end of her visit and combined some of her money with some of ours to make it possible for us to get this awesome treat!!!! I feel so spoiled and so do the kids, thank you Nanee! We got the iTouch since we have no need for the phone, and the iTouch does everything we were interested in. So, I will try to share Krash’s favorite App of the week here, as we are having fun learning about all the neat things that are out there for kids his age!

His favorite app so far…

Thankfully this is a free one ;), and one I downloaded on a whim! Of the 10 or so we have so far, this is by far the one he loves the most! You’d have to see it for me to explain it, it kinda didn’t make sense at first, but once I figured it out, we all loved it (including me and Daddy!). It’s a great freebie!

 

Life School…

A little fall leaf raking…

Mommy’s Favorite…

He found his beloved froggy boots, and decided to holster his bug zapper ;)

From My Inbox

from my inboxHere’s the latest batch of questions from my inbox!!! If you want to browse through past From My Inbox posts, you can find them all here!

Where did you purchase the bookshelf that display the trays?

  • Target…they still have them I think! It’s a 9-square shelf.
Do the trays stay out the whole day? And are they at the kid’s level ( for them to take at will) ? Or not?
  • The trays are in our schoolroom and available to Krash during “school time.” Although sometimes I am more slack and if he asks me later in the day if he can go do Tot School, I grin and say yes!!! I think everyone has to find out what works best for you, your home and your kids!
How much involved during Tot School is Pac-Man? I read that sometimes he participates (more like a secondary player) and sometimes he’s off somewhere else (doing his own work, something else, etc.)

  • He would love to be involved the entire time, and sometimes this is a battle. I remind him almost daily that he is not in Tot School, and he has 2nd grade work to do! But, I do let him participate whenever I can…when he is caught up on his own work and having a lovely attitude. Mostly he is sitting at the school table doing his work while I am on the floor with Krash for about 30 minutes a day. The other times they are together or I am just with Pac Man.
It’s hard to find the time to devote an hour to him (19 mo. tot) during school time…. How do you manage this in your case? Do you do tot school every day? I think you do now, but back when Krash was younger did you do it everyday or just a few days a week?

  • When K was younger (we began Tot School around age 22 mos), I did it just a few days per week. It was harder back then to find the time to devote to just him.
  • Now we do TS every day, and it has become a part of our routine, he is 3 1/2 now though so it is much easier, also with Pac Man being 7 1/2 that makes it easier too.
  • I will begin the TS journey again with Ladybug who is 6 1/2 months right now…stay tuned this spring to see me go through the process all over again with her!

My first question is: what kind of things do you do with your youngest to work with her?

  • Ladybug is just 6 1/2 months and I do nothing (out of the ordinary baby stuff) to work with her and don’t plan to until she reaches about a year. Even then, it will just be intentional playtime with her, which is all Tot School is, especially at that young of an age. Ladybug soaks in so much just being around us all day long!

Can you recommend a few options? I took a look at your Tot Trays and I feel a bit overwhelmed as I’m not very creative?

How do you schedule in time to make these games? Do you set a goal to do one a week? How long does it normally take for each activity you create on average? I am just trying to figure out how much time I should schedule and trying not to overwhelm my self with great ideas!

  • I make things randomly. I like doing it, so it is not a burden for me. Sometimes I get on a big kick and make tons of stuff at once, sometimes I just make only what we need when we need it.

Question…. where do you store all this stuff? Is your school in the basement or at the kitchen table…. I am really wondering how to begin and where to “set up”. :)

  • Our schoolroom is a small room off the back of our house. We live in a very old row-home in the city. I store almost everything in the schoolroom and we do school in there too. Sometimes we do use the kitchen table and the living room floor ;).

Do you still have Pac in the cyber charter school?

  • Yes, it continues to work for us. I get asked a lot about this and how we get Calvert for FREE ;). You have to Google (I guess) to see if your state is one of the 13 or so that offer free cyber charter schooling. If your state is one of them, you then need to find a list of the specific cyber charter schools and then check each one out to see if it might work for you. The state I am in has several and I have heard bad things about some of them. The one we use is AWESOME (very flexible and supportive of how I do things with Pac Man). Basically cyber schools are NOT all created equal!!!
  • As for Krash, I am not sure what I am going to do for him. Pac Man enrolled for Pre K, and with Krash I am not sure at this point what I am going to do, although I am leaning towards enrolling him and then adapting the curriculum to fit his needs, like I did with Pac Man.

Do you have a separate blog about the things you do with your older son? I love your ideas, but my son is closer in age to your older son.

  • No I do not, this is my only homeschooling blog. I write more about my tot because that is my area of “expertise” since I am actually educated as an early childhood-K teacher! I feel I have more to share in this area. I do write about Pac Man some, you can see all posts about him here.

Anyway….I am struggling with organizing a set ‘calendar time’ for my kindergartner. I have limited space and honestly don’t want the huge obnoxious calendar I used as a ps teacher to be in my house. I have seriously thought about using a tri-fold foam project board for all our calendar stuff, but am just having trouble visualizing it and putting it all together. I’m very curious to see what you do for your calendar time. The biggest challenge I’m having is figuring out how my sons can see the date written each day. What do you do?

  • Ooooh I have your answer coming very soon! I have an entire homeschool calendar webpage that is almost done…videos, printables and all! I plan to post the link to the page in just a few days!!!

My question is do you keep an inventory of all of your tot tools and supplies? I am trying to make some kind of inventory sheet that lists activities, games, and supplies I own that I can use in workboxes, etc. I find that I forget about things I have! I would love to hear how you do it, and if you have a sheet or something to share, I would love to have that, too!:)

  • I tried to do this and it was overwhelming for me so I stopped. I have a pretty good mind about the stuff we have and try to organize it well. I do *forget* about things sometimes though-it’s hard!

If I missed your question, and haven’t replied to you in an email, please feel free to email me again! I try my best, but I am a scatter brain sometimes with too much going on!!! I hope these answers help those of you who sent the emails and anyone else who might have had the same ?s!

Again, thanks to all of you who read here, and send me kind comments and emails, I really appreciate your thoughts and SO wish I had the time to reply to each and every one of you.

Raising Rock Stars ~ Noah’s Ark


Bible Story…Noah’s Ark

Daddy began by reading the kiddos Noah’s Crew Came 2 by 2, which they all love!

Then it was time for a little Noah’s Ark play time! We are blessed to have 2 toy arks. One is Melissa and Doug, the other is hand made!

I also set out ALL of our Noah’s Ark books and Krash enjoyed looking through a few of them…
Then it was coloring time…
We always love coloring together, this has become a regular part of our Bible time each week!

After coloring time we watched the Noah’s Ark story on our Read-n-See DVD Bible, and also enjoyed singing Arky Arky together! (also on the DVD)

Throughout the week we re-visited Krash’s Noah’s Ark Tot Book, but I forgot to take any pics of him with it!

**I will not be posting our weekly verse here anymore, as we are a bit off on my posts, due to the Halloween posts I did. I will leave the link below so you can always find the most recent printables which go up each Monday on Totally Tots!

Resources used this week:

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