Tot School ~ Music Time!

My boys love music, I do too, but honestly sometimes I can’t handle their idea of music (LOUD). But I am a believer in music, I even taught a toddler music class for awhile through my ministry. We have lots of instruments around our house, and often use the kitchen supplies!

For Tot School the other day I brought out one of our boxes of random instruments. K has seen them before but they stay tucked away mostly so when they do come out it is always “new” again. Almost all of the items I use for our Tot School time are things that I keep put away and bring out at special times. That way neither child gets bored with it. Here’s the boys exploring the stuff…

P located the train whistles, and K quickly followed his lead, trying to make his blow!
We sing songs for our music time too and I use these small finger puppets. P took an awesome music class when he was a toddler which is where I got many of my ideas from. Lots of the songs teach basic music concepts (high-low notes, etc.)
And of course, in perfect K style, he finds an alternative use…
And when he’s done, we’re done. He left the music time after about 15 minutes and wandered in to get out the play doh. He seems to be really into Play Doh right now! We got a few cans out and let him play for awhile. It was a great morning.
What are you doing for Tot School lately? Let’s define a “tot” as an 1-3 year old. I would say anything before a formal Pre-K curriculum. You know, the stuff we do with our little ones to provide opportunities to develop their love of learning and maybe teach them a few things. 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). Provide a link back somewhere in your post to this post so your readers can see other ideas too!

Edited to add… here is a great link explaining how to link to a direct post and not the homepage of your blog, so people can find your tot school post right away. Please remember to add a link back here in your post, so we can hopefully grow our tot school community! Thanks guys for participating, your ideas are wonderful!

Tot School ~ ABC Floor Puzzle

After my post about Tot School last week, we have totally switched our daily schedule around to be sure to give K some focused “Tot School” time each day. I am trying to provide a learning opportunity for him to explore and learn through, each morning. I will be writing more about this on my blog as I know there’s a lot of readers who are homeschooling kids and have toddlers at home too! I LOVE reading ideas from others about what they are doing with their tots, so I thought maybe someone might like to see what we’re doing around here! I read a great post from One Little, Two Little that focused on this and I loved seeing her idea about the seashell experience she offered her daughter.

My oldest is really enjoying this too as he assists me in the “teaching,” and joins in the playing. It is allowing many of his character issues to be addressed as he learns that it isn’t all about him during that time. He’s learning to be kind, loving, gentle, and how to encourage learning…not FORCE it :).

I do have a degree in Early Childhood Ed, I figured I’d better be using all of that knowledge we paid for and provide the best learning environment for my tot! You’ll begin to read more about what I believe about educating young ones too. I just really feel called to offer my best to both of my boys, not just the one with the textbooks!

Here’s what we did yesterday…

I decided I would pull out the big wooden ABC floor puzzle and let K explore it. I believe in letting a tot explore an item fully before trying to teach them anything. He played with the pieces for awhile and then big bro began putting the puzzle together, all the while I’m kinda staying out of it (sitting in my chair taking pictures :) ). Soon I noticed P looking for a certain piece, I found it and gave it to K and told him to give the P to P…he did this with several other letters.Then the puzzle was finished and K led P in a walk around the puzzle. P desperately wanted K to learn his ABC’s, but I guided him to join in and follow K’s lead.K did eventually want to find some pictures and letters and we had a good time with the boys taking turns jumping on different pictures and letters…And then, he lost interest. I believe in stopping whenever that is. Whether it is 5 minutes into it or 15 minutes, when they’re done, they’re done! K went over and grabbed his Larry books (which he LOVES) and puzzle time switched into reading time. Yes big bro had went upstairs to get dressed in the middle of this too :).More to come as I get posts together :) today we had tons of fun! If anyone would ever be interested in joining in let me know and I will put up a Mr. Linky for Tot School, I’d love to see what your Tot School looks like!

Tot School

Yesterday, P and I got into a conversation about my youngest, K, going to preschool. I told him we will be keeping K at home and we will homeschool him for preschool. Long story short…P informed me that K is already in school and it indeed does have a name…”Tot School.” I laughed and decided I like that name, so I have one in 1st grade and one in Tot School!

Here’s what our Tot School tends to look like…

This morning, K brought me the play doh and said “ball” meaning he wanted me to make balls out of the play doh for him…we did and played for awhile, working on colors, shapes and most of all…fun.
Tons of reading, thankfully K loves books, we also love the LeapFrog LittleTouch LeapPad Learning SystemLots of block building, and play with our Melissa and Doug ToysAnd he already loves the computer, his favorite “game” is KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE JumpStart Advanced Toddlers (Windows/Macintosh) Sing a Long Songs (it’s one of the disks in that set). He climbs up on the desk and says “puter pees (computer please)” until we start it up! The boys “play” lots of games together, K just loves exploring big brother’s games and P likes having someone interested in “playing” with him! Here they’re playing Cranium Balloon Lagoon, one of our new family favorites!And, of course, art! (when I have the patience to deal with the “I’m all done,” after it took me 10 minutes to get all ready and he’s painted for less than a minute!) Anyone else have that problem? But, I know it’s good for him , so we do it as much as I can handle :). He’s got the papi in so he doesn’t eat the paint!!!This is just a small sampling, as K slowly joins our school life more and more each day. I will be honest, it is HARD having an almost 2 yr old and an almost 6 yr old. K is very loud and rambunctious, but also sweet and funny. He makes homeschooling interesting, as I’m sure all of you with toddlers know what I mean! My stress level hits peaks, but then comes back down as I learn to remind myself what a blessing it is to have them both at home. I truly love homeschooling, both of them. I pray for God to give me the patience I need day in and day out to be the best teacher and mother I can be to them.