Monday, November 17, 2008

Tot School Anyone?

Ok, I admit it: I'm a serious blog-stalker. I was surfing around trying to find ways to get Lindsay (3 years old) involved in our home-school lessons. I knew she wasn't ready for the types of activities that Trey (9 years old) was doing, but I couldn't stand seeing her just sit around all day watching cartoons - waiting for Trey to get finished with his work so they could play. I felt like we were wasting valuable time! So I started making out lesson plans for me to work with her on while Trey was working on his lessons. This created a few problems: 1.) Trey is ADD and does NOT work independently. 2.) Lindsay wants all the attention for herself and gets extremely aggitated if I have to stop working with her to help Trey. 3.) While Lindsay had loads of extra time on her hands each day, I couldn't seem to find enough!

Ladies and gentlemen, I've found my answer. The great news is that I don't have to spend the entire day doing it. I can work it into our morning schedule before Trey starts his lessons. It's called Tot School. It's just a group of moms devoted to their toddlers, trying to make a difference by spending one-on-one time with them while sneaking in a little education. You can learn more about it here:

Tot School
As for our first day of Tot School, it went really well. Of course, Lindsay likes to be the "teacher," so I let her run with that. We couldn't quite make the 1 1/2 hour mark because, well, Lindsay was the teacher. So that will be one of my goals as we progress. I'm a former Pre-K teacher (Jack of all Trades, I know), so I like a little structure in our learning time. I think this is good for Lindsay because most of the rest of her day is unstructured. So I made her a make-shift "desk" from our piano bench and a little chair of hers. This is the way that she and Addie play school in the afternoons, so I thought that I shouldn't mess with a good thing. All that being said, I do like Carisa's approach to child-led learning. This week we are doing a mini unit study on the letter A. We are learning all about apples, doing some arts and crafts, and singing songs. Here's a little bit of what we did today:

Floor Time:
Talk about the Letter A and apples.
Learn Song: Ten Shiny Apples -by Victoria Smith
(tune: Angel Band)
There was one, There were two, There were three - SHINY APPLES!
There were four, there were five, there were six - SHINY APPLES!
There were seven, there were eight, there were nine - SHINY APPLES!
Ten SHINY APPLES in that tree!

Arts & Crafts:
For Arts & Crafts, we colored a picture of an apple and the letter "Aa", and pasted it on red construction paper.

Our favorite thing we did today was to cut out apple tree shapes out of construction paper. I numbered each apple 1 - 10, and she pasted the apples on the tree while we sang our song we learned during floor time. I typed the song out and she pasted that on there, too.

She also did a worksheet or two from her Pre-K workbook, in which she was directed to color all of the pictures that start with the letter A. I know she's not quite at the Pre-K level, but I like to challenge her. She did great!! She loves the idea of having "school" like Trey and Addison, and even referred to one of her worksheets as her "test". Then she told me to stop talking during school...yep she's definitely got my genes!!

Then she helped mom make her snack of applesauce, graham crackers, and juice.

We have lots of other fun activities planned for the rest of the week as well. And the great part is, that I have tied all of her lessons to coordinate with what Trey's learning about Washington State this month. So she'll be able to help us out with his Washington State Lapbook as well!

Click here for more Tot Reports from other moms!


  1. Hi!! Welcome to Tot School, isn't it amazing that something so simple can be exactly what we as moms (and especially former teachers) need to just feel *ok* about our tots.

    I will never forget the relief I felt the day my oldest named Tot School and I realized what a simple concept it was to just put focused time into play with him each day. I am a better mom because of Tot School!!!

    I am so glad it was your answer too, I love meeting other moms online who feel that way!

    Glad you are sharing and your tot is adorable!!!


  2. sounds like a great fun day! what fun apple activities!