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 :-)

21 Days of Prayer - Day 16 - Gentleness

I really like what Brooke had to say on this topic:

Aggression in men is commonplace. It may not manifest itself the same way for all of them, but it’s there

nonetheless. For the physical boys, it shows up in their need to be on the top of the wrestling pile. For the

intellectuals, it shows up in their need to score the highest on the exam or be at the top of the class.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with aggression. I don’t want to break my sons of their

aggressive streak and I’m learning not to be afraid of it. But I do want to teach them how and when to use

it. I’m beginning to think that gentleness is more of an approach to life than a specific characteristic to


Since they were born, we’ve whispered these words into our sons’ ears:

God made men to protect women and care for them. God made you a big brother! Your job is to protect your

little brother, not hurt him. There’s a time to play and a time to listen. If you can’t listen, you have to feel (true in

so many aspects of life). God wants you to use your strength to protect, not to hurt. Superhero’s don’t look for

fights, but they will fight to protect others. It’s OK to want to be the best, but the best people in life are the ones

who serve others. A gentle word turns away wrath …

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits,

impartial and sincere." ~James 3:17

Your challenge today is to pray the 10 prayers in the gentleness chapter