Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tot School - The week I researched teaching ideas for the fall

Tot School

Summer is in full swing . . . which means we are just playing a lot.  This past weekend, we went to a local Farm and Tractor Show because I have a 2 year old who loves tractors and had a ton of fun.  Josh would stop in front of a tractor, turn, and smile, waiting for me to take a picture because he likes them so much.  If that isn't good learning, I don't know what is!!  :-) 

As I really start to think about the fall and teaching my Pre-schooler (seriously???) I'm really trying to focus on some main ideas - or maybe it would be better to say, I'm trying to set my own focus on what and how I want to teach my little guy.  One of the key areas on my heart is Bible - how to incorporate daily learning into Bible.  I started digging and came up with some websites and a few blogs I thought I would share.  This doesn't mean I will be doing all of these ideas (or any of them - I'm still early in the process) but a couple of key thoughts keep hitting me.  1) I love literature based ideas and 2) I love easy, simple, ideas that build on each other.  At my boys ages, teaching through the ABC's seems to be the very best idea.  First, Josh is ready for that now (he knows his ABC's) and second, Nate can tag along this year and than be ready next year to get his full lessons. 

One thing that I did early on this past week was to set out a schedule of what to accomplish each week throughout the summer.  This week, my main gaols are:
1. To research the circle time concept; decide how I wanted to do that time in the morning; make a list of needed supplies; get as many of those supplies as possible.
2. Create or "morph" (from someone else) a lesson plan set up for our teaching.
3. Layout a basic overview (very, very basic) of Sept-Dec.

In doing research on Circle Time, I ran across a blog called The Ramblings and Adventures of a S.A.H.M..  and found exactly what I was looking for!  (How exciting when that happens?!?!)   She not only shared what she does for Circle Time (or Calendar Routine) she also gives lots of links for the information she gathered as well.  So, if you start at her blog, and click away, you'll not only get the printables you need, you'll also see other examples of the set up and other ideas of what to use in this time each day.
I feel like I have this task moving along.  I do need to get lots of things printed and I'll probably use Staples or Office Max so they turn out with great color.  I have a Calendar that I used when I taught school previously which will work perfectly :-)  The only other thing I really have to do is decide how to set up my dining room decor for this to fit in!!  (A small house means rooms have many purposes!) 

For the second item on my list, I totally 100% "happened" upon exactly what I needed! 
I post a link every week in this actual post to this very blog but I had never really explored everything she had on her site.  She has a tab that is called Preschool Corner and in that little tab she has a link for Preschool Planning Sheet and Tot School Planning Sheet!!  Seriously??? That is exactly what I needed!
My plan is to use the Preschool Planning Sheet for 32 month old.  He'll be three in October and I think the set up will work well for him.  Looking at the Tot School Planning Sheet really helped me focus how I was going to work with my 19 month old as well.  Using the two separate sheets will allow me to focus on 2-3 three each day for him specifically.  One will always be circle time; 3 days a week he will be part of what I do for Bible.  After that, I'll just have something for him to do related to what his big brother is doing as well.  I really love how just finding that little list of things on a blog I've followed for awhile, solved a problem for me!

My final goal . .. I'm still working on this week :-)  I'll save those links for next week as well as a link to whatever I design for my basic plan. 

Please note, this concept is all new to me.  We are strongly considering homeschooling for our boys for many, many reasons and this is just a great way to do a "trial" run.  Maybe you are also thinking about something like this and what I write, share, post will help you out as well.  I'll share links to all of the ideas I find to use - it is so easy to get overwhelmed with what is available; maybe what I do can help someone else too!

Enjoy :-)


jess_hak said...

It is so nice when you find exactly what you're looking for! So many inspirational blogs/mommies out there!!

It is very nice to lay out a plan of action. Enjoy! Thanks for sharing. :)

Deanna said...

I am also just starting with a 3-year old and it is so overwhelming! But, there are awesome sites out there...and you found some of my favorites! You will love the planning tools you found. I have so far! You might also like 1+1+1=1 and the Preschool Rocks program. Good luck!

Giggly Girls said...

Careful, homeschooling and planning for it can be addictive. LOL Soon you'll be a curriculum junkie like the rest of us.

Confessions of a Homeschooler has an awesome Letter of the Week curriculum that's very easy to implement with kids of varying ages. We did that this year and next year we're going to combine some of that with Carisa's Raising Rockstars pre-k program.

The latter might give you a good jumping off point for incorporating Bible since it's based around bible verses each week. She also shares her completed lesson plans which can give you additional ideas.

Just popping in from tot school.

Ambra said...

I'm in the process of planning my 3.5 year old son's preschool year too! I have been doing Circle Time for a couple of months and both my son and my 16 month old daughter LOVE the routine it gives us. I got all my printable pieces for our Morning Board from 1+1+1=1 and I use a pocket calendar to count up to the date each day.

I've also decided on Confessions of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week curriculum as well as Preschool Packs and holiday/season themes from Homeschool Creations and 1+1+1=1. Now I'm just working on printing it all out and having things ready to go so I don't have any excuses for lazy weeks!

Good luck planning! It's takes a lot of prayer and podnering to figure out what will work best for your kids.

Marlynn said...

Oh I'm So glad I'm not the only one! I'm glad I clicked on your link there at tot school.

I'm starting my planning and researching for preschool/tot school ideas too.

I'm also incorporating parts of Letter of the Week from confessions of a Homeschooler and the Raising Rock Stars Preschool from 1+1+1=1. I'm also incorporating other tot packs that I've found online.

I've been busy printing, laminating, cutting, lesson planning. Good Luck to you!

sbswtp said...

Thank you so much for linking to me!!! And I am glad that I was able to be helpful :-) This year I am teaching both Tot School and K4 so I will have all new Calendar/ Circle Time routines up (probably August/September- ish)

Dana said...

Hi My name is Dana and I am an Early Childhood Educator. I found you while doing my own research. It sounnds like you are doing great things for your children:) I just wanted to remind you that we are social beings. Social learning has to happen at this young age as well. Please make sure you are exposing you children to others their age so that more learning can happen. You can teach how to share for instance but without true practice it won't become a mastered task. Good luck and good learning:)