February 22, 2011

Tot School Tuesday - A Little Planning Goes a Long Way

We finished up Valentine's and the Letter V this week.  Boy did we have fun with all of our crafts and baking!

We showed some love by having some of our cousins over for dinner.  Other than Cash having some issues with hitting our poor cousin Scott, we had a blast. The boys wanted to make the dinner really special for the grown-ups so we set out to make a beautiful tablecloth.

Anything that involves finger paint is a win in this house!

We added some hearts to make it really festive...

And it made a beautiful table!

Stone finished all of his Letter V activities and we had a blast working through the last of our Valentine's Tot Pack.  Check out the links to these materials.  The women who create them are amazing, and many of their printables and curriculum are free - or very low cost.  I don't know what I'd do without their guidance!

We're still struggling with the cutting, but Stone is doing better focusing and taking some direction from me.

One of our new favorite activities is graphing, with M&Ms, because honestly, is there another way to build a graph?

Behind the Scenes
I get a lot of questions about how I plan out our days and the different curricula and tools I use.  I pull most of what I use from the web, specifically from three sites: Totally Tots, 1+1+1=1 and Confessions of a Homeschooler.  Using these, I build up my own outline for the week, with the goal of doing six hours of schoolwork over a three-day period.  You can see what we're using for this week here.

Until very recently, Stone and I did the majority of our schoolwork while the little boys were napping, but we're slowly transitioning into doing all of our schoolwork together.  Since my boys are so close in age this works well for us.  I wouldn't think that this is a normal situation.

Starting next week, I'll be changing my posts a bit to reflect us moving to more of a pre-school format than Tot School.  I'll post our outline for each week and try to get as many photos as I can to show what we're doing through the week.

A Little Q&A
I get these questions a lot, so thought I would answer for you here.  You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions section to get a bit more info about our family.

Don't the boys go to school?  Why do you feel you need to do something so formal outside of that?
Stone goes to a speech school that helps him tremendously with his speech and social skills.  Because of the extreme focus of this program (which is GREAT), Stone doesn't get a lot of pre-school basics.  I do have the option of enrolling him in a state-sponsored program in the afternoon, but with him already in school each morning, five-days-a-week, it's not something I'm interested in.

Stone shows amazing abilities in reading and math, but he struggles in other areas.  I feel blessed that I am able to have the time to work with him, pushing him in the areas he excels and boosting his self esteem, while giving him special, individualized attention in other areas.

Do you plan on homeschooling?
If you would have asked me this question a few years ago, I would have told you absolutely not!  Now, I don't know.  It's an option that I haven't ruled out.  I want what's best for my kids, as every parent does, and I'm more than willing to provide that for them if I feel that the school district can't.

So, I guess my answer is.. maybe!  I think that us stepping up the curriculum from Tot School to a more organized pre-school curriculum will be a true test of my abilities, and the kid's abilities to learn more challenging skills with me.  If we did choose this route, we would still have a lot of enrichment activities outside the house, so no worries for our kids being unsocialized.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anna said...

I can't imagine your children EVER being unsocialized! I think homeschooling is intimidating from my perspective - can I do it? And sports were such a big part of my husband's school life, it would be important to continue that outside of school. All in all, though, I love the flexibility, and having more time together as a family.