Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The week of A

Jeannsies is 29.9 months old

Tot School

This is the first official week of tot school at home for Jeannsies and me. We have had a great time exploring the world. I decided to focus on a letter each week because it seemed like an easy way to organize myself. I'm not sure if I will stick with doing things this way because it feels a little forced. I have found that the activities Jeannsies likes best so far are art, reading books, and playing outside.
We started on Monday when I asked her if she wanted to play school with mommy, and she was pretty excited about that idea. We had a mini circle time where I told her what day it was and we looked out the window at the weather. I said that our letter this week was A. She basically just looked at me and smiled, excited to be playing the school game. I think an actual calendar of some kind would help her understand the numbers and words I was throwing at her.
We played with pipe cleaners and a sugar shaker I got from the dollar store. I got the idea from the 1+1+1=1 blog. I put the pipe cleaners in the A shape, she thought I was weird.

Here she is playing with her bird water whistle.


Next we played with the Ant color matching game from Confessions of a Homeschooler. She likes to match things, so she had fun. Although she matched almost all of them like the pink one. It kind of looked like a tiny bug was crawling on the back of a half ant bug.

All week we sang "the A says ah" from the Leap Frog letter factory. She loves this movie. She started watching it at day care and she has learned the sounds from many of the letters already.

We went to wiggle worm story time at the Stanislaus County Library on Monday as well. After lunch we started her A book. She painted the cover page and I glued it to a manila folder as the cover. This was the first time she used water colors. She loved it and we did it 2 more times during the week. I planned to have her decorate most of the pages of this book thoughout the week, but we only got through about 4.

Unfortunately, I didn't do a great job of writing down which activities we did each day for the rest of the week. Here are some of the other things we tried:
  • These adorable apple puzzles and matching that she was totally not into. I think they were more pre-K than tot.
  • I tried to include a bible memory verse this week (Romans 3:23), but it didn't work out so great.
  • We played around on Starfall twice. I tried to make sure we covered A, but she was interested in all of the letters.
  • Made mud pies, played at the park, played in the pond.
  • Played with alphabet magnets on a cookie sheet.
  • Played with beads. Lacing on pipe cleaners to make bracelets, pouring, pretending they are cereal. She loved the beads!

  • I made up a game on the fly because she really wanted to play with the reward stickers she saw in my "school box." I had some die-cut letters from the dollar store, so I scattered them in the hall. I played "The Ants Go Marching" on the computer and had her march around the room. When I stopped the music, I called out a letter and she had to find it and bring it to me. If she got it right, she got to pick out a sticker and put it on the letter. She loved this game, and we played it 3 times throughout the week.

  • I got some pom poms at Walmart. I had hoped to find some magnets to attach them to, but I didn't. Instead she just played with them pretending they were bugs and scattering them around.
  • We worked on the A book with sparkle glue pens, foam letters, markers, and more water colors.
  • We tried to make "rain coffee filter flowers," but it didn't quite work. I had seen another teacher do this before, but I must have missed something. I used washable markers on coffee filters and put them out in the rain. The colors ran the way I wanted at first, but they quickly washed off all together. I was hoping for a tie-dye look, but just got washed out!
  • She practiced gluing with a glue stick.
  • There were lots of other activities I wanted to try including making a sugar trail for ants, making fingerprint ants, and making ants from egg cartons. Oh well, maybe I can do those activites next week for bugs.
Overall, the week went pretty well for my first full week at home. I think we had a combination of too much to do, and not enough. I hope to get a little more structure and schedule into our days next week!

Looking back, I am so incredibly blessed to have this week at home with Jeansies. God has truly touched our family and is moving our lives in a new direction!