Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tot School - January 26 - 30

Tot School

This week was a slow week for Tot School...well kind of. It was actually pretty busy for Lindsay, but I didn't take a lot of pictures because I was being a slacker...I admit it. I didn't charge the batteries in the camera, my dog ate my SD card, my husband monopolized the computer. I've got a ton of excuses, but none of them are really true. I just didn't get to the picture taking this week. :( I feel so horrible!

Theme: Food Groups / Cooking

Letter: O

Color: Orange

Shape: Circle

Since Trey was already doing Lessons on the Food Groups, I thought this would be an excellent Tot School opportunity. She learned about healthy snacks as opposed to junk food, and I showed her the different food groups. We also did a little of the following:

Fine Motor Skills: Cutting with a (child-oriented) knife: Lindsay learned how to use a kid-friendly plastic knife to help Mom cut up celery, carrots, and hard-boiled eggs. She also helped me make Mickey Mouse Pancakes one special morning. :)

Learning Center: Dramatic Play - Kitchen / Apron / Chef Hat Dress Up: Lindsay had a great time playing chef in her Kitchen Closet (our hall closet that we cleaned out for her). She and Addie got matching embroidered aprons for Christmas from their B. The chef hat was a gift to Addie from Santa Clause. But I've seen them at Bed Bath & Beyond for around $8. :)

Gross Motor: Jumping Jacks / Wii-Fit (we love this game during the winter!!)

Pre-Math: Making a "pizza" with a circle. I cut out a large circle out of cardstock and then cut out several smaller circles for the pepperoni. We then cut the pizza into 4 equal slices for each of her pizza party attendees (her baby dolls). She actually caught on faster than I thought she would. I thought the fractions would confuse her, but she was able to duplicate it perfectly.

Getting ready for some pancakes!!!!

Playing Chef Lindsay! I call this "Heaven's Kitchen"!!! Isn't that the cutest little apron??? It has her name embroidered on the front in hot pink. Thanks B!!!

Just a look at the large hall closet I cleaned out for her to play in. She loves it!

I wasn't sure what category this activity fell into. But Lindsay and Addie received these little Magnetic Creations as Christmas gifts this past year, and boy am I glad! Lindsay will sit for hours playing with these!! They come with different scenes and little magnetic figures you can rearrange. She loves to use her imagination to make different scenes.

Here's what the Magnetic Creations look like when opened up. The backgrounds are interchangeable, allowing her to choose which scene she wants to create. Lindsay likes to use all four at once and pretend it's a large "neighborhood" of folks talking back and forth to each other and going over to each other's "place" to visit and have slumber parties. :) What a sweet little imagination!
For more ideas from other Tot School moms, go to 1+1+1=1. Carissa also has a new website called Totally Tots, which is one of my favorite sites now! Go check it out!!! Have a great week everybody!!


Sweet Addison!! She got an EZ Bake Oven for Christmas from her "B," and couldn't wait to get started!! She loves to cook and bake in the kitchen with Mom, but she was especially glad that she finally got to do something all by herself! She had a blast!!

And drum roll please..................................................................................

The finished masterpiece! I showed her how to use a sandwich bag as a pastry bag and she was off!! She frosted her cake with pink icing, then made a white icing so she could pipe on little white polka dots. She even put on little flower sprinkles for a finishing touch! Now, I know that this looks a little like puke on a plate, but I'm thrilled that she has a joy for cooking and can't wait to see what she'll come up with when she's using more than a light bulb to bake with!! LOL!! As Addie puts it, "This is really delicious practice!!!"

Homeschool for Trey

As usual, Trey continues to do exceptionally well with his lessons. We've changed up our schedule a little bit. Instead of trying to do a little bit of every subject every day like public school does, I've decided to focus on one core subject each day. In addition to this, I have him complete what I call Daily Assignments, which include no fewer than 5 Math worksheets, and Daily Oral Language. I'm also working in Enrichment Activities each day that include Reading, Art Projects, Computer, or Etiquette (which I believe is becoming a lost art). We only do "school work" Monday through Thursday. On Friday, we take our field trips and we still use this day to go to the Library as well. If anyone has any suggestions that works, I'd appreciate hearing from you!! I'm still new at this and we're just kind of learning as we go, I guess.

I've also been searching for a new curriculum. I'm actually considering going with Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt. That's what a lot of public schools use, and what I've researched so far is impressive.

This week, Trey is learning about the Food Pyramid and how to make smart nutritional choices. I snapped a few shots of him while he sat in our make shift schoolroom (my room - ugh, I know the paint is was that color when we moved in, I HAVE to repaint soon, or I'll go crazy.) He was in the dining room, then the kitchen, but I quickly learned that the household distractions were too much for him and he needed a quiet space, so I moved everything to our room. It seems to be working, but it was kind of difficult to relinquish the only room in the house that I could ever get any peace.
Trey doesn't like his handwriting, so I agreed to do the titling for him, but he did everything else on this project...even the layout. I even made him tell me what titles to put and how to spell them. Is it obvious that I need to work on feeding my children different kinds of vegetables?? LOL!

Goodbye 2008!!!!

I'm so glad that 2008 is over! Last year was not the greatest year for my little ones. Addie was diagnosed with (and subsequently teased at school about) Alopecia. She has 1 large and about 5 smaller bald spots on her head now, and was the target of teasing at school. She has the most beautiful thick black hair that I've ever seen, and it's so sad to watch her cry every morning getting ready for school. She's a trooper and wants to keep going anyway. So I'm blessed that she's such a strong little girl!

Of course, earlier last year, Trey was diagnosed with having developed a heart condition due to the ADD medication he was on. He is homeschooled now because things didn't really go so well at school once we took him off the medication. He's doing great at homeschool, but misses having friends to play with. We really want to sell our house and move into a neighborhood with at least SOME other children. The old folks in our neighborhood are sweet, but not very good at climbing trees. :) With the economy and housing market the way it is, I doubt that we'll be able to sell anytime soon, though.

Then for the last few months of 2008, Trey started complaining of back pain. I originally thought it was either his bed, or maybe he pulled a muscle working in the garage with Granddaddy. When I finally came to the realization that 9 year old kids shouldn't be pulling muscles, I made an appointment with his pediatrician.

On Monday, she diagnosed him with Scoliosis. They did some x-rays to make sure he doesn't also have Spondolythiasis. We will hear back either today or tomorrow with those results.

While I can't help but ask, "What Next??," I still know that none of these conditions are life threatening, and that all of my babies are still healthy!! Thank God for that!! I know it could be so much worse. There are so many other kids out there fighting for their lives, and I can't imagine how their parents are able to hold it all together. I could have literally drown in the worry that flooded my soul on Monday. But when the doctor said that he only has a 5% curvature, and that he should be fine, I knew that God was in control, and that I shouldn't worry.

Trey and Lindsay swinging on the swingset last week...Lindsay just woke up from her nap and made Trey take her outside to swing. She loves her Trey!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tot School Jan. 5 - 9

Tot School
I know it's been a while since our last post. I have Trey and Lindsay on the same schedule as the public school that Addison attends, so we were off for 2 weeks. Last week was our first week back to school, and I'd love to say my lack of posting was due to my unwillingness to step away from the school room for even a moment so I could blog. But in all actuality, I was just plain tired. I used my 2 weeks off wisely and got caught up on the laundry monster, and tackled the kids' closets and dresser drawers. When 6:30am Monday morning rolled around, it was all I could do to get in the mood for school. It's usually not that difficult, but then again, I've never had a 2 week vacation before either! Ha!

Anyway, here's what we did last week:

Theme: Trains
Shape: Rectangle
Letter: "T"

We read "The Little Engine That Could," and discussed the moral and theme. I have to say that I was a little more than appalled at how difficult it was to find this book in stores. I searched over 3 bookstores to find a copy, and ended up purchasing the very last copy that Books a Million had in stock.

Letter "T" worksheets: Trace and Copy sheets and one where she had to find and circle all the items that started with the letter "T". She did amazing as usual!

Lindsay's "T"s!

We also did another variation of the Name Recognition game. She seems to really like this game, so I made one that would coordinate with our theme this week.

In addition, we also did the following:

Learning Centers:

Language: Alphabet Slap Jack - We used Alphabet Flash Cards to play the game Slap Jack. I told her we were looking for the letter "T," and to slap the deck when I laid the letter "T" down. She liked this game and we had lots of laughs!!

Pre-Math: Box Car Number Flash Cards - (pretty much the same pattern as the Name Recognition Game above, only with the numbers 1 - 10.)

More Pre-Math: AB pattered "Trains". I used more of my scrapbooking squares in two colors only and showed her how to make an AB pattern "train." This was a new skill for her, but she had fun with it. I kept the squares in a little ziploc baggie for her, and she found herself going back to this little game all day.

Fine Motor: Scissor Skills - I made several different types of lines (zig-zag, curvy, etc) on a piece of construction paper. I put train stickers on the ends and told her to cut along the "train tracks" to catch up to the engine.

Gross Motor: Human Train (we chugged and chugged all over our house...I'm STILL tired!!); we also played Train Track Hopscotch outside. I used sidewalk chalk to draw a really easy "hopscotch" train track on the drive way (it was 72 degrees that day). It was a challenge fore her because she'd never played hopscotch before, but she quickly got the hang of it.

Songs: Down by the Station, I've Been Working on the Railroad.

Train Fingerplay: (works on "forward" and "backward" skills)

This is a choo-choo train(Bend elbows)

Puffing down the track(Move arms forward)

Now it's going forward(Push arms forward)

Now it's going back(Push arms back)

Now the bell is ringing(Pretend to ring bell)

Now the whistle blows(Hold fist near mouth and pretend to blow)

What a lot of noise it makes...

Everywhere it goes.(Cover ears with hands)

For more Tot School ideas, go check out Carisa's blog at 1+1+1=1. Have a great week guys (or what's left of it)!!