Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tot School-Week 2

It was not the most productive week for us. I am 21 weeks pregnant and not feeling well much of the week. I tried to stick to my plans as much as possible but some days just didn't go well. I'll try again next week! Here's what we did accomplish!

We did some spooning of beads into different size cups. I used a measuring spoon and some pinch cups from Pampered Chef. She loved this!

I got out the velcro food and let her cut to her little heart's desire! I was going to have her match the halves back together but she got bored before we got to that.

I hid some small firemen and policemen in a tupperware box of popcorn kernels. We got these red, white, and blue popcorn kernels for a Christmas present and they did not pop well so I dumped them in a box, hid the men, and let her dig. It made a huge mess, mainly because big sister just had to play too!

We did transferring pom poms again but this time I gave her an ice cube tray. She did good at first with only putting one in a hole but by the end she was stuffing them all in one!

I let her hammer golf tees in a styrofoam block with a toy hammer. She didn't like the hammer (?) but would push them with her finger. She loved this and so did big sister (who used the hammer). I got this idea from Delightful Learning, I think.

Everyone's favorite activity this week was farm animal sounds bingo. I have had this game forever and got it out this week for both girls. My older daughter and I used the game cards and Lyla used the toy farm animals. When the animal sound came on I would ask Lyla to find that animal. They got the biggest kick out of those animal sounds!

That's all we did this week. She was much more cooperative and "stable" this week but I was careful in choosing activities that I knew she would like. And we didn't do the trays every day since I didn't feel well. Overall a good week though!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Raising Rock Stars Preschool-Tt

This week was a little hectic. I am 21 weeks pregnant and didn't feel well for most of the week. I had a hard time getting motivated to "do school". Hopefully, next week will be better!

We continued our RRSPS curriculum with letter Tt. We did the Power Point slideshow this week and both of my girls loved it! They don't get to use the computer much so it was a real treat for them.

While baby sister was doing tot trays, Abby worked on this clothespin number match game from

We also did an ABC safari from, apple patterning from, and rhyming memory match.

Everyone's favorite activity this week was farm sounds bingo. I got this set at Wal Mart several years ago and had never used it. The girls got a huge kick out of the animal sounds, especially the donkey!

I have been very proud of Abby this week. She has been such a good helper around the house, something she is not usually known for. She helped hang up laundry, sweep, vacuum, and unload the dishwasher. We are really trying to encourage this with lots of praise and hugs and kisses!

She has also been a big helper to her baby sister. Again, we are trying to encourage her to be kind and share and use sweet words with her baby sister, even when it is hard. I have overheard her "inviting" Lyla to play with her several times this week. It makes me so proud!

On a different note, I have art boxes for each of the girls with basic supplies, crayons, stickers, etc. and they can get them out anytime they want as long as they clean up after themselves. Abby got her art box out one day this week and made this paper bag puppet. Then she put on a puppet show for me! It was so funny!

My plan was to do a missions activity with Abby every week but I fell short this week. One day we were watching the news and it was about India. Abby said, "We saw India on a map last week!" So we got the map out and looked at India. Then last night while watching some news coverage of the World Cup we brought out the map and showed her where South Africa is. I have been looking for missions activities for preschoolers and came across some neat things that I will share as we do them. I really have a strong desire to give my girls a heart for missions!

That's it, that was our week! Hope you had a great one!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Our Tot School Zone

I hesitated about posting this since we just started doing tot school and preschool but I think the more pictures and ideas you can get the better.

We live in a small house with 2 bedrooms and a tiny but open living, dining, and kitchen area. We don't have an extra room to dedicate to play or school. But this house does have a large laundry room and lots of closets so my school stuff is spread throughout our house.

The majority of our books are on this bookcase in the girls bedroom. I recently narrowed them down to fit on the shelf. It is hard for me to get rid of books, but I am trying to learn to live within our current space :) Their toys are also in their bedroom closet.

This is our coat closet in our hallway, although it isn't really a hallway. Its a weird space with all the doors to the bathroom, bedrooms, and closets. I put all our school stuff that we won't be using very often. On the top shelf is a bin for all their art and the stacked bins have toys, seasonal books (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc), and all of my theme materials. I was a speech pathologist at a preschool so I have a lot of books and language materials. I also use this closet for odd objects that don't have a place.

The majority of the school stuff is in our big laundry room. This small bookcase is for our tot trays. I have a dry erase board over it to keep me organized. The red baskets are to keep the materials I will use for the week. Like I said, I am new, and this may change, but last week I got so tired of digging through boxes every night for materials so I got all my stuff ready for the week and put it in the red boxes. Each night I take the stuff out and put it on the trays. Working good so far.

This shelving unit holds things I use more often. On the top shelf are my supplies (file folders, pockets, scissors, etc.) and the other two boxes are found items (containers, bottle tops, funnels, ice cube trays, etc.). The stacked up pink boxes are for very small items like beads, feathers, googly eyes, etc. Next shelf, red boxes. These house ribbon, tissue paper, paints, fabric, etc. Next shelf, more boxes. These house alphabet, number, color, rhyming, manipulatives, etc. Play Doh is in the smaller boxes. Next shelf, more boxes which house puzzles, card games, construction paper, and workbooks. I have art boxes for the girls on this shelf as well. The bottom shelf is non school items.

The girls don't come in the laundry room much. Our computer and office stuff is in there as well. I don't let them get the tot trays themselves. I put them on the kitchen counter in the morning and we sit on the living room floor or dining table to do our work. Then it all goes back to the laundry room.

I don't have a big collection of tot toys so there are only a few toys that are off limits. As I acquire more learning toys I will probably keep them out of reach.

I dislike how spread out everything is. I wish I had a dedicated school room but I do feel lucky to have such a big laundry room in such a small house.

That's our space!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tot School-First Week

Lyla is 26 months old.

This was our first week at attempting tot school. Most of it didn't go anything like I expected. I have a 4 year old daughter who just started the Raising Rock Stars preschool curriculum and I have other planned activities to do with her at the table. Lyla wants to be a part of that (which I knew would happen) so we are doing tot school during that time. I sit between them and try to help both of them. It took a few days to figure it all out but by the end of the week it was going more smoothly. I was surprised at what Lyla enjoyed and what she didn't.

She usually loves puzzles, but not this week. Play Doh kept her attention for a whole 2 minutes.

Pouring rice turned into throwing rice, everywhere. Coloring lasted for 1 minute. Except with a pen she found, that she used to color her legs :) The bears and cups ended up on the floor and then she refused to pick them up!

But she did enjoy several other activities. She liked putting spaghetti into a salt shaker.

She loved putting stickers on a piece of construction paper.

She liked stringing penne pasta onto a chenille stick, but she needed a lot of help from me to complete.

Her favorite activity was tranferring pom poms from a bowl to a paint tray with tongs (she barely got the hang of those). She did this over and over. Then she counted them with me and identified and named the colors.

I got out nuts and bolts for her to play with and tried to show her how to do them but she didn't get the hang of it. Big sister tried to teach her how to do it too! So sweet!

She didn't like this puzzle earlier in the week but I brought it out at the end of the week and she enjoyed it then. She was pretty independent with it.

We put some of the shapes in an empty Kleenex box and she had fun pulling them out.

She is sitting in on the Rock Star stuff and is enjoying it. She sang songs with us and listened to the stories.

For fun this week we spent a lot of time outside in the water. We went swimming in big pools twice this week which she loved. She is quite a daredevil in the water!

But she also enjoys her kiddie pool.

She also likes helping me drown the plants, I mean, water the garden!

I learned a lot this week about planning and organizing. I hope the next week runs more smoothly but we'll see! I know that tot school is supposed to be one on one focused time but I just couldn't make that work. It worked better having both girls at the table working. I am going to try to make time for one on one play next week.

Friday, June 4, 2010

First Week

This was our first week of "preschool" and it went pretty well. "Tot school" is another story, but I will post about that later! We are doing the Raising Rock Star Preschool Curriculum and I am adding in other activities as well. Since this is our first week, we started with the letter L. Abby is 4 years, 10 months.

Here is a picture of our board. We sat in the floor every day to go over our memory verse, life application, song, key cards, easy reader, and to read the L story from the ABC bible verses book. Both of my girls loved it!

After our sit down work, we would move to the table to do the activities with the curriculum, and some of our other activities. Here is Abby cutting apart some of her L cards. She has loved practicing her scissor skills. We did the curriculum pretty much as written, except that I condensed it to 4 days instead of 5. Abby has memorized the verse, can read the easy reader (which she is so proud of), and even learned the life application list. I can't say enough about this program. I love it! I became a member so we have access to the Power Point slides. I haven't done it yet, but plan to this weekend.

Our other activities included ABC identify and match, Play Doh, stringing beads, shape and color bingo, shape puzzle, number file folder game and probably some of things that I can't think of right now!

We also did the L craft from Totally Tots. It didn't go as well as I thought but I'll try again next week!

The other activity we did was a mission related story and activity. We read "Cool Drink of Water" by Barbara Kerley. It is a National Geographic book and has a lot of pictures from around the world. We read the book and talked about how people live all over the world, not just around us. And then we talked about how all those people need water, just like us. We found the locations of where the pictures were taken on a small world map and marked them with small stickies. Then I told her that those people not only need water, they need Jesus. And the Bible tells us that Jesus is the living water. I read a small section of the story of the woman at the well. I briefly talked about how missionaries go all over the world to tell people about Jesus. It went pretty well. She seemed to understand and she really liked finding the locations on the map that matched the pictures.

That was our week. Not a bad start and I have learned a lot about what she can and can't do and how I need to be even more organized! Check out the other posts at Preschool Corner!