Theme of the Month:

SUMMER!!! ... we're having FUN in the Sun and cooling off at our Water Table!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tot School: Weeks 9 thru 19 (16 - 18 Months)

I can't believe how long it's been since our last post. It has been a BUSY Summer but so much FUN! MunCee is growing up so quickly and what a little chatterbox ;-) We have been trying to keep up with our Tot School sessions but it has mostly been in a very informal manner. And I've been terrible about taking pics... just terrible! Anyhew, some updates: 
  • Practical Life: MunCee is such a great little helper. She knows to put away her mat and clean up when she's done playing. She helps with emptying the dishwasher and dryer. She gets her own dishes at mealtime (we're working on setting the table) and we've been letting her pour her own water (still very messy but she gets a little better ever day). She even wipes her table and tries to sweep up the crumbs. She also  asks to wash her hands and brush her teeth about 10 times per day but I suspect that's because she absolutely loves playing in water!!!!
  • Sensorial: We're still working on colors. She recognizes blue and pink but she really acts like she knows them all! It's pretty funny watching her point to a yellow object and say "purple!" with such conviction! ;-) I made her a Color Mat this week and we've been having a lot of fun hopping and jumping to find the right colors. The mat was pretty easy to make and I have lots of ideas on how we can use it so you should see it featured quite a bit over the next few weeks.
  • Reading: MunCee is very verbal. She's been using almost complete sentences a lot lately. My favorite is "Bye, bye Mommy! I wub boo". For whatever reason "Bye, Bye" is ALWAYS followed by "I love you" :-). She's also mastered her "please"and "thank you" (the cutest is "Thank you berry much") and loves say "Oh boy!" Sight reading is going very well. We have not even been consistent with YBCR but she recognizes quite a few words. She also knows most of her letter sounds from Leapfrog's Letter Factory (she loves, loves, loves this DVD) and we're working on the alphabet. She still LOVES books so we read A LOT. I remember wishing for the day she would sit still for a entire story... it is so better than I ever imagined. I just love sitting and reading with her...
  • Math: The most amazing thing ever is that this Summer; MunCee learned to count to 11. We haven't really focused much on numerals during our Tot School sessions but we do count objects around the house and we've been counting to 20 every time we as we brush her teeth. So she must have absorbed more than we realized because one day she was counting to 3 and next day to 11. She tries to go all the way to 20  but she jumbles everything after 11. We sometimes watch a YouTube counting song that goes to 11 so maybe that's also helped. Anyway, Math has always been my favorite subject so I'd like to think she gets it from me! ;-0
  • Culture & Exercise: At 18 months, she is now running and jumping. Amazing (to me) considering she didn't walk until 13 months. She is also climbing EVERYWHERE... it's gotten to the point where we can't leave her out of our sight at all. She is just obsessed with climbing on everything. And what a creative little monkey she is!!! Reallllly hope this stage passes soon!
So that's it! Few random pics below for your viewing pleasure! Hope everyone had a wonderful Summer as well!

Muffin Tin Lunch

She picked out this ensemble - mismatched socks and all!

Jello & Cornstarch makes for a fun afternoon!

Our Color Mat

She found "pink" :-)

Sitting in her Sensory Tub!

She loves the outdoors!


Not quite ready for beading with string so we used straws.

Sorting, sorta! ;-)

Sharing her playroom with cousins!

Cousins! What an adorable bunch!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tot School: Week 8 (15 Months) - Part 2

Practical Life: Pouring was another MAJOR HIT. She actually cried once when I tried to end the activity so we continued until all the water was on the floor or in the rugs…

Sensorial: We explored our Color Bag and did a Treasure Hunt for red items.  We also had fun with our water table!

Reading: Our BFAIR book this week was The ABC Bunny by Wanda Gag. We’ll probably continue reading this for another week.

Math: We worked on number “1” but she kept saying “2” J.  “1” is just soooo boring I guess! She did great with this week’s shape (“circle”) but that’s really due to the Sparkabilities DVD… she knows most of her shapes because of it. We both love this DVD a lot!

Culture & Exercise: We took the Walker Wagon out for a spin and found an empty bird’s nest. I think it would be great for a nature table but I don’t know if it was just built or not. Guess we’ll wait a bit and see…

A few random pics from the week….

Tot School: Week 8 (15 Months) - Part 1

This was the first week of our new curriculum and it went very, very well! However, rather than one super LONG weekly post, I've decided to split it out into two. This one will be a brief overview of the week's plan and will show pictures of the shelves with our "free exploration" Tot Trays (click for more info on Tot Trays). The second post will be similar to our previous Teeny Tot School posts and will show MunCee having fun with her trays and being engaged in our more "structured play" activities. So here goes:

This Week's Activity Plan:
  • Practical Life: Pouring (water into a glass)
  • Sensorial: Color-of-the-Week focus ("Red")
  • Language: Letter-of-the-Week focus ("A")
  • Math: Number/Shape of the Week focus ("1"/"Circle")
  • Culture: Music Exploration (an instrument from our Music Box)
This Week's Tot Trays:
  • Foam Letters & Numbers
  • Shape Sorter Puzzle
  • Laugh & Learn Piggy Bank
  • Stacking Cups & Bottle/Straws
  • Magnetic Dolls
  • Hammering Block 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Photo of the Week!

Our Teeny Tiny Fashionista! ;-)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Schedule & Curriculum Update

I've decided to make a few tweaks to our current schedule and curriculum. The changes for our Schedule are pretty minor - just moving things around a bit. I've been researching and like Waldorf's philosophy of having a daily rhythm so our new schedule reflects that. The biggest change is while before we were more focused on time, now it’s about having a consistent flow to our days. For instance, before, if we got up late, we would skip/move around things in the schedule to play catch-up. Now we try to keep the daily pattern/flow intact regardless of time. This way we both know what to expect during the day. It’s only been a couple of weeks but it’s going really well…

Daily Rhythm:
  • Mommy’s Early Morning Routine
  • MunCee Wakes Up
    • Breakfast
    • Tot School Session 1
    • Morning Nap
    • Lunch
    • Tot School Session 2
    • Afternoon Nap
    • Free-Play/Field Trip
    • Outdoor Gym/Nature Walk
    • Dinner
    • Bath Time
  • MunCee’s Bedtime
  • Mommy’s Pre-Bedtime Routine
Weekly Rhythm:
  • Monday:            Planning Day
  • Tuesday:           Grocery Day
  • Wednesday:     Laundry Day
  • Thursday:          Cleaning Day
  • Friday:                Fun & Frolic Day
  • Saturday:           Anything Goes Day
  • Sunday:             Family Day
The other changes are related to our Curriculum. As in my previous post, we use a combination of several books and blogs to come up with something that works for us. The major change is that instead of a subject per day, we will do all subjects each day and the same activities all week. There may be minor variations to the daily activities but the key idea is repetition. We’ll also reintroduce Circle Time and use our morning session mainly for Educational Media and free exploration of our Tot Trays. So, here’s the new format…

Tot School Session 1

Circle Time:
  • Welcome, Calendar, Weather & Action Songs
  • Yoga
  • Godly Character Trait
Educational Media:
  • From our selection of DVDs – Letter Factory, Preschool Power, Preschool Prep, Sparkabilities, Signing Time, Trebellina, Themes to Remember, Your Baby Can Read
Tot Trays:
  • New trays set out each week for free exploration
Tot School Session 2

  • Practical Life
  • Sensorial
  • Language
  • Math
  • Culture
Library Time:
  • Before Five In A Row (BFAIR)
I’m excited to see how this new approach works out! New posts will be labeled Tot School (instead of Teeny Tot School) to represent the updated curriculum.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Teeny Tot School: Week 7 (Age: 15 Months)

My grand-mother/MunCee’s great-grandmother spent this week with us and we had a great time! Surprisingly, we actually did most of our planned activities.

Practical Life: I wasn’t sure if she was ready for this but introduced a Transferring activity anyway – just to see. She’s definitely not ready for the tongs but used the spoon to transfer one or two (lol) and liked playing with the pom poms a lot.

Sensorial: A little twist on the stacking cups; we added objects from our color bags and tried a bit of matching!

Reading: Still reading/discussing Brown Bear, Brown Bear! I told you we love this book! ;-) On our way to Brooklyn last weekend, my aunt taught MunCee A-B-C (not the entire alphabet, just A, B and C…heehee) so we also played with our foam letters.

Math: Also started working on numbers this week. We used our Peg Board to count to 5. Her favorites are apparently 2 and 5… she’s been saying them ALL WEEK!

Culture & Exercise: Nature Walk around the yard was fun. We have lots of birds, bugs, squirrels and even rabbits so it’s an interesting event. And MunCee got to work those muscles climbing the hill!

Happy July 4th!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Teeny Tot School: Week 6 (Age: 15 Months)

We skimped on some of our activities this week to work on decorations for my cousin’s Baby Shower… but we made up for it with lots of “field trips” to Target, Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart!!! And to the Shower of course, which was sooo much fun!

Practical Life: Object Identification is becoming one of my favorite activities… I think MunCee likes it a lot too. I set out a few items on a tray and asked her to point to/hand me each item I named. I guess this could also be considered a language activity.

Sensorial: Play Doh is my new “go to” activity. A little bit messy but there’s so much you can do with it that it’s totally worth the mess. We talked about colors and just had a fun afternoon rolling, cutting and squishing!!!

Reading: This week we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin Jr. We love, love, love this book!

Math: To continue with our shapes theme, we identified shapes using our shape puzzle.

Culture & Exercise: Walking in Shopping Malls and Grocery Stores was our exercise this week. And we sure did a lot of it but I never remember my camera so no pics. :-(