Monday, January 14, 2013

Tot School : Day 1


This was our first day of tot school. It went pretty well. They stayed focused for 10-12 minutes today on our Apple/Letter A. They had fun making the sound of "A" and finding Apples on their worksheets. For a free printable of this weeks Tot School go here Tot School Printables : She has A-Z. My goal isn't for them to catch everything right away. Just be exposed and have fun learning. Luckily they both are eager to learn right now, so they had a lot of fun with this. Today we "learned" what the letter Aa looks like, what it sounds like, what starts with the letter Aa (apple), and the color red. Later this week we'll do fruits, counting apples, and matching apple puzzles.

EC really just wanted to play with her new pink folder.
They loved finding the apple on the page and scribbling on them.

We also read the same book about 20 times today. They laugh every time I read it and want to read it over and over. I would finally have to tell them I was done reading the book and they could read it on their own if they wanted to. And that is exactly what they did. Pretty much between every activity they would grab this book.

I actually really like the book. There aren't very many words so you get to add a lot of expression, which they think is hilarious.

So I'm looking forward to the rest of the week. We have one sick girl today, hoping it doesn't spread. And she is over it soon. We have story time at the library tomorrow and then Thursday my ladies bible study starts so they will get to play with some other kiddos. 

I'm looking into some Valentine activities we can do in Feb. Of course Pinterest will be one of my first go to resources for this :)

Hope everyone has a great start to their week!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Prep for our first week

Everything is ready to implement our new Tot School time. As of right now I have it planned to start between 9:00am-9:10am. My goal is 20 minutes to start. And that will only be the "sit at the table learning" time. There will be a craft and an activity or two throughout the day to coincide with the lesson. We will also have a bible study time. I will share with you what we are using for that in a minute. Let me show you our school supplies first.

I only spent 3 dollars on everything we will be using the next several weeks. Awesome, huh?! (Dollar Tree is one of my favorite stores, no lie.) I also have been collecting tons of random craft supplies since I was in high school. So I have a lot of supplies I just have to be creative with them.

Here we go. I made a school bucket. This will be our bucket for all lessons and activities during the week.

Every week I will switch out for the next weeks lessons. That way everything is in one place. And since I travel everyday to work I won't have to carry supplies back and forth every time. Now, on top of this bucket I will have their "Folders" (Pictured below). My plan is to tell them it is school time and they will bring out the bucket, grab their folder, and go to their table. I think they will enjoy this task and look forward to getting their very own folder. (I'll let you know how it goes)

Mesh zipper pockets from Dollar Tree. Trying to think of something to use to add their names. 

The "curriculum" we are going to be using I found at She has free printables for A-Z. "Each unit has a focus letter, focus object to emphasize the main letter sound, a focus color and a vocabulary development theme that is based on the object. Numbers, shapes and other concepts will be as a whole each week." I will chronicle some of our activities and how it is working for the girls as we go through it. 

For the Bible Study times we will be using this Bible, the Hands on Bible that was given to us for Lyla from our church. It has two activities with each group of passages, a section that explains Jesus in each story throughout the old and new testament, and a prayer. This is ideal for preschoolers 3 and up. But after reading through it on my own, it is adaptable for younger. I haven't decided when we will do this and if we will do the same story for a week or do a different one everyday. I want to see how the girls respond and then I will make a more concrete plan on what works for them right now. 

Check back here next week to see how our first day and week go with Tot School! I will leave you with an activity we did today :

Matching/sorting colors.

I found this idea while scrolling through one day on this blog: we can do all things. I had everything already. I just had to cut a green and purple piece of construction paper to attach to the brown bags. We didn't have blocks so legos worked since they were solid colors. You could really use anything you want. The girls enjoyed dumping them after the most. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A place for everything

Three reasons I started this blog.

1. Tot School. It all started when I began researching a teaching schedule for my little girl Lyla (18 months) and the little Girl I nanny for, EC (20 months). About 4 months ago I wanted to set aside an actual school time for them. I had planned on starting when they were two. But after some research I found that you can try implementing a school time at 18 months or sooner if you want. Here is a link to the website that gave me TONS of ideas and inspiration to get started. It's 1plus1plus1equals1. This is also where I got the materials for our first "curriculum" for free. 
We officially start Monday. So this week we have done a brief overview with fun activities each day involving things we will be concentrating on later. Like colors, letters, sounds, matching, puzzles, sorting, numbers etc.

Here is a picture from today:
Learning colors.

I mixed up some vanilla pudding and added food coloring. Found here. (You could use finger paints and save them to refer to throughout the day, we just didn't have any.) We worked with 3 colors today. Yellow, blue and green. They finger painted on their paper plates which were on top of cookie sheets. (most of this you will already have in your house. Just be creative with what you have.)
As they were painting we practiced saying the color they were using. Once we had all three colors painted, I asked them what each color was. EC loves to say yellow. So she called them all yellow most of the time if I didn't help :) Lyla loves to say blue. So she called them all blue most of the time. haha. They love learning, and I am excited to see their progress over the next few weeks!

2. Crafts. I just recently opened up an accessory shop through Facebook, The Little Lady Shop. I really wanted a place where I could showcase ideas and new products. I also wanted to have a place to do some tutorials for some of the items I have for sale. And to show the progression of this new adventure of mine. All while juggling being a wife, mom and "teacher". :)

Here is a picture of a special order I finished today:
small ruffle hair clips for a 1 month old

Last but not least...

3. To get all (well some)of my pictures about Lyla and her activities off of Facebook. My Facebook page should really be Lyla's. So, I thought some of my FB friends might appreciate if I toned the all about Lyla posts down. So this is my new space for kid stuff  :)

So, I hope you come back to see some of what daily life looks like for me and my family. I would also love to connect with other wives, moms with toddlers, and small shop owners! I cannot promise a post everyday, but I will do my best. And see where this leads...