Alright… I’ve been promising this post for months, and I’ve finally found time to get it posted! Well, I say I found time, but really I’m procrastinating and don’t want to clean the house! Haha! So, I’ve received many questions and inquiries about tot school. What is it? How does it work? Is that really home schooling? Is it necessary? Etc etc. I don’t necessarily have a plan for this post, so I’m flying off the seat of my pants with this… so bear with me!
First, and foremost, please know that I am not an expert. I am just diving into this and figuring things out as I go. I just want to share what has worked for us so far and what my Boogie and her buddy Miss V has enjoyed. My favorite site thus far is Confessions of a Homeschooler, I even purchased her Letter of the Week Curriculum. You can find some of the printables for free on her blog, but I found that there were a LOT of printables that I was missing out on before I purchased the curriculum! Lots of great stuff including lesson plans! I don’t follow her lesson plans right now, but I’m thinking about trying out her plan next year when Boog is a bit older. Another great site is 1+1+1=1, there is an abundance of freebies for tot school and preschool, and you can find some pretty phenomenal planning materials, organizational tips, and so much more. I love that she has a lot of Christian based curriculum and printables, check out Raising Rock Stars to see more! There are a lot more sites that I use, too many to really get into on this particular post, but I will try to update the Info tab at the top of my page with those at some point.
All kids learn better in different ways, I’ve found this to be incredibly true for my daughter and for Miss V (who comes to my house 3x/week).
Meet Miss V, she and Boogie fight like cats and dogs…. and then they love each other and according to Boog are “super bestest friends”.
Boogie is more hands on, she likes to sit at the table to color, play games, paint, etc. Miss V likes to be active and GO GO GO! all the time! So I have had to figure out ways to teach them both in ways that they can learn and have lots of fun doing it! It’s definitely been a challenge, but a good one! For Boog I have created lots of matching games, file folder games, etc. She loves games like these:
Our first two weeks of tot school this year (in August/September) we focused on ‘A’ is for Apple! I still haven’t completely decided if I want to stick to a theme for each letter every two weeks or if I want to just do lots of fun letter activities that don’t follow a theme. It is fun to do themes around holidays, so we will see. For ‘A’ we did lots of apple crafts, colored our ‘A’ coloring sheets, went to the apple orchard, made apple snacks and treats, and lots more.
We also put all of our favorite crafts and worksheets into Boogie’s ABC Book, she loves to go back and look through to see her hard work. And it’s a great way to review her letters! You can find the cover printable in the packet I mentioned before from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I just used a basic white binder with the clear cover sleeves, and for now I’m just hole punching her work to put inside. When she gets older and is writing her letters and learning how to write and spell words we’ll make an ABC/writing binder with clear protective sheets so she can use dry erase markers on them.
I keep blank worksheets in the pocket, I usually have extras for days that we need something to fill some free time or if she finishes her games/activities sooner than expected. I usually need quite a few… my girl REALLY likes school right now! 🙂
We also do these fun collages with these photo albums that my mom (Mamaw) found at a thrift store… they work GREAT for this! They have adhesive pages, so all Boog has to do is stick the magazine cutouts on the page and then we close the clear sheet over it. It makes for a very colorful and fun way to review her ABC’s. I try to find one really large letter for the center of the page and then have her cover the rest of the page with smaller letters and pictures that go with the theme of the week.
We make lots of crafts of course, the girls love to paint and do stickers…. sometimes I prefer the messy paint. The stickers end up EVERYWHERE.
Since doing ‘A’ is for apple we’ve also done ‘M’ is for Monster, ‘P’ is for Pumpkin and ‘F’ is for Fall…. although I’ve really slacked off these past two weeks on ‘F’. We will move on to ‘T’ is for turkey later this week, so I may revisit ‘F’ later on. I love that Boogie is enjoying what we are doing, we only spend 30 minutes to an hour on tot school stuff, unless she requests to do more. I try to do lots of fine motor activities, gross motor activities, crafts, and music with all the kids. I haven’t gotten brave enough to do any major crafts with Bubby yet, but we will soon! If you have any questions please scroll to the top of the page and use the Contact Me Tab, or you’re welcome to post a comment right on this post!
My pinterest page has LOTS of great resources, I even have an ‘A’ is for Apple folder! Here are a few links to some of my Home School boards:
And just because they’re cute…. we’ll end with a picture of my babies!