Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tot School ~ Letter K and more

Turbo is 33 months
Sweet Pea is 7 months

What a fun week we had! It was such lovely weather, so we spent more time outside and less time on Tot School this week again. But there's rain-a-comin' so we wanted to enjoy the sun while it was here.

I'm getting better having my camera handy!! YEA! So we actually have some pictures this week. 

SENSORY TUB:  Turbo's favorite activity by far this week!  I hid a bunch of keys - luggage, old house keys and toy keys. I also put in some key chains for fun.  The one you can see is an adorable keychain from Tupperware that's a replica shape sorter.

Letter Art: We used an idea from for our K letter art.  Turbo thought this was tons of fun. However, I realized this was the first time I actually cut up his art. I've cut around his art before, but never actually cut it up.  He saw me cut it and got his feelings hurt when I crumpled the extra and put it in the recycle. Mommy felt SOOOO bad!!!  All was forgiven when he saw he got to glue the pieces.

Easter Egg hunts - He loved this! I would hid them in difficult places and give him hints to reinforce 'over, under, behind, above, beside, around, near, closer, too far etc.'    He knows these pretty well, but I learned he gets 'behind' and 'in front' mixed up sometimes.

Household Life:  Turbo has a couple routine jobs he does around the house. He removes the lint from the dryer while I'm folding the loads and he helps me unload the dishwasher. He surprised me by asking to take pictures after we unloaded the dishwasher. Awww!

Practical Life:  We've been working on independent dressing/undressing a lot this week. I didn't get any pictures of our TotSchool time on this, but here's Turbo doing some 'independent study'. HA!
Another 'independent study' was when he started pouring water back and forth from my very large cup into his small cup. I was very impressed that he stopped at the right time when pouring into the smaller cup. He stopped the water right at the little inside line. Guess all that previous water pouring work really helped!
Letter Activities ~ This week was letter K and we did a bunch of the pre-made activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Aren't they just adorable! We didn't do as many as I'd hoped because I didn't have a laminator and the thin, flimsy pieces of paper weren't working for us.  So I ordered a laminator WOOHOOO!! I can't wait to do our Letter Activities next week.

Awwww, such as sweet big brother.

Art Projects:  In addition to our Collage Box, we did our new Do-A-Dot makers. These are a huge hit around here.  Turbo's favorite part is working on color blending. He loves to stamp red, then cover all the red with yellow. He shouts ORANGE Mommy - I made ORANGE!

Fine Motor Skills:  We worked with Playdough this week. One of the Moms in our Moms Club gave us this awesome toy. It seriously keeps him busy for close to an hour.

Music ~ As usual, we played the guitar, sang and played the keyboard all week.  I'm seriously considering some violin lessons for him when he turns 3. They don't do guitar until 5.  My hesitation is that I don't want to smother his passion with structure if he's not ready. However, I want to follow and expand on his interests..... 

Science ~ Sink and float. We mostly did this last week, but he asked for it again on Monday. 

Other Activities this week:
Check out the evolving Collage Box Art

~ ~ ~ Tiny Tot School ~ ~ ~
Ok, not really, but isn't she getting so cute!  I love that she's a part of our story and play times. She's so easy going and mellow.  Her latest thing is shaking her head no. Turbo and I laugh like crazy when she gets going. The two kids are very sweet together. Turbo is really gentle and tender with her. He brings her all his soft toys and makes sure that all the hard toys are out of her reach. He got worried and 'corrected' me the first time I gave her his wooden blocks. Yep, that's a protective big brother!  We haven't seen much jealously from either of them about time, attention or toys. Hopefully that will continue as Sweet Pea gets more mobile!

Next week is Farms & Animals; Letter A  _ OK, I've changed it already. My playgroup is going to the zoo on Monday, so we're swapping weeks.  Next week will be zoo instead!  I can't wait!

Collage Art

Shannon over at Welcome to our Wonderland is hosting a weekly link up for Collage Boxes.  If you remember all our Open Ended Art projects were inspired by her themes and link-ups.  I've seriously been needing to get back into a Weekly Art link up because I'm not the crafty, creative type. So I'm excited that she's hosting the weekly Collage Boxes.

In the late Summer last year we did a Contact Paper collage. I taped Contact Paper to the wall (sticky side out) and gave him some tissue paper, google eyes, pompoms, and construction paper.  I thought for sure I had blogged about it, but can't seem to find the post  *snif*.  At a little over 2 years old, he was very interested in the texture of the items, the stickiness of the paper and the defiance of gravity when he put the items on the paper. He was very intent on filling up every inch of the contact paper with all the pieces. There wasn't really a pattern or order to the placement.

I decided to see what he'd create 8 months or so later, given similar materials.

Here's his art at the end of Day 1.

Day 2 -  he took down all the google eyes (he loved that part) and this is what he created. You can see there's a definite pattern to his use and placement of materials today.  He did a lot of sets of 3s.
Also, he talked about the pieces as he placed them "long, orange rectangle; green circle, red pompom etc."  I glad about that because when I tried to work on long, longest, short, shortest with him earlier in the week, I was convinced he'd forgotten it all as he was not at all interested.  Sort of like my story about money, here Much to my joy, he was listening even if not interested. (Hope his teenage years are like that!)

Day 3 - Today he added hearts and squares. He seems to be keeping the shapes and items organized on his paper. I wish I could find the picture from months ago so you could also see the change.

Day 4+ - He lost interest in it towards the end of the week. That's ok. He really enjoyed it the first few days and I know he will enjoy doing this concept again next week.
I think I will do this more often - bring out old projects/materials to use again in a similar way.  It's fun to see how his thinking has changed and how he brings in concepts we've learned to art!

Mind of their own

This is just a side note, funny story.  Probably more for the grandparents than anyone!

Turbo is all about playing with his coins. He loves to carry them around, put in/take out, and especially play grocery store!  I've been looking for ways to teach him counting by 5s, 10s. Coins seemed like a great way. So while we were playing grocery store, he had set all his coins out. We sorted them and I started telling him that dimes are 10 cents; nickles are 5 cents; quarters are 25 cents. He looked uninterested and went back to moving his coins around. I tried again (mistake) and said so cheerfully -  Turbo, look here, this dime is 10 cents. It's worth 10 pennies." I think I saw his eyes roll! He looks right at me and says "Don't care about that. Just want to play grocery store! Don't care about that"   Ok, then. We'll be saving that concept for a different day - in the distant future.  Seriously, it's laugh central around here!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What's coming...?

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!! It is so lovely here. The sun is warm, the birds are singing and there's a feeling of awakening in our neighborhood and community. Now that the days are longer and the weather better, we're spending more of our time outside - parks and playdates. 

While that still leaves time for TotSchool, my other interests have taken me away from all the planning. I've decided to set perfection aside in the interest of moving forward. There are many wonderful online resources for TotSchool. Therefore, now through the end of summer, I plan to primarily use these pre-created ideas. This will lessen my prep work significantly, still give Turbo plenty of great activities and hopefully leave me the time to blog about our fun too!

Here's a sneak peek into our broad theme for the next several weeks. Turbo is going to love them and I'm very excited about the topics!  It is my plan to have most/all of the next four weeks of resources and activities together by this weekend. 

THIS WEEK - March 21 - We are doing - what else - KITES! Perfect for springtime.

week of March 28th - Farm Animals

week of April 4th - Birds, nests,

week of April 11th - Flowers/Gardens

week of April 18 - Earth Day, recycling (maybe weather too)

week of April 25 - Zoo

So that's what I've got.  How are you planning for your kids' educational time?