Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tot Time: Our First Week of Preschool

It's true!  We started Preschool on Monday, August 29th.  After months of planning, printing, laminating, and wondering how I would keep my 1 1/2 year old from learning too much while I was teaching his brother (ha!) it all came together.
I learned a few things right off the bat on day one.  First, I had been a little mindful of the fact that I didn't want my 1 year old starting "preschool" just because his brother is right now.  Well, I had no worries because he is not interested!  He doesn't mind coloring (or eating the markers) but beyond that he just wants to go play.  Another thing I learned is that I really did over plan/over expect.  The biggest area is Bible and I'm already altering what I'm doing.  The curriculum I'm using has a 2 year old plan and a 3 year old plan.  I've moved back to the 2 year old plan because I feel like my . . ummmm . . 2 year old will learn more and remember more if I slow it way down.  Yet another thing I learned is this, as posted at Confessions of a Homeschooler about starting her 2.5 year old with some tot time
 "She is currently 2.5 years old, so we’re keeping it light. She is excited about school this year, and is eager to have her own work to do! I want to point out that I do most of this because she has older siblings. If your toddler is your oldest, don’t feel pressure to do tons of activities with them! Let them lead you, if you sense they are frustrated, take a break for the day or move on to something else. At this age, just keep it fun and light!"
So, with that in mind, I'm also going to be cutting back on some of the other things I have planned.  I still plan on doing the ABC's and 123's because he is already very interested in that stuff.  I also plan on incorporating a book or two each week for specific learning.  Reading is so fundamental and both of my boys love to be read to so picking out books for an intentional purpose is always a good thing!  Beyond that I'm going to focus on colors and shapes.  I'll pick activities we can do that are fun and entertaining but I also only plan to do planned activities on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Tuesday and Thursday will be free days - I might try to sneak in a few games but it will be driven my my son more than me. 

I knew I would learn some things right away as I started this program and I was right.  I think I was more excited about it than anything and just really wanted to start this now instead of waiting a little longer :-)
On to the fun stuff! 

This week we are learning about Creation during Bible time.  I am using ideas found at ABC Jesus Loves Me for Bible.  This Creation Book idea was linked through ABC Jesus loves me and is from Blessings for Bible School Teachers.  I prepared all of the papers, they just had to glue them together.  When we are done, we will have a nice little book to retell our story.

Josh really loved using these Paint Dot Markers on this letter A Do-A-Dot page from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I will be using a lot of printables for our ABC learning time.  I also had a Letter A coloring page to color that I found at Meijer.  It is a roll of coloring pages from RoseArt and includes one page for each letter.  
Our book this week is 5 Little Ducks and all we did today is read it using hand motions.
One other things we started today (Monday) that was a HUGE hit was we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and put the Letter "A" on our Coconut Tree.  Josh LOVED this book.  When we finished our morning time, he pulled the book out of the basket and held onto it almost all day. I think I read it 6 times throughout the day.

On Tuesday, the Magnetic Calendar because the teaching tool of choice - Josh absolutely loved playing with the tiles - taking them off and than matching them back to the right squares.  Self directed learning is sometimes the best kind!

How could I not share this picture of Nate on our first day?  (You can see the RoseArt coloring page . . .I photo copied one for him).  Notice the crayon is going in his ear, not the on the paper?? HA!