Thursday, November 27, 2014

Home Tot "School"

While wandering around on Pinterest one day, I came across the idea of tot school. Tot school? So, I began to do a bit more research and found many activities based on letters, numbers, shapes, colors, fine and gross motor skills, etc., for toddlers not yet ready for preschool. Why didn't I think of this!? Winters are very long and cold where we live, and I'm always trying to think of ideas to keep us busy, so why not tot school?
I decided to base my little tot lessons around a letter. We will work on that letter for two weeks, while incorporating other skills like colors, counting, etc. I also plan to go on outings based on the letter we are working on (for example, we just had a breakfast date together at a local cafe and ate muffins while learning about the letter m). I also plan to involve music and dancing, as we do lots of this anyway. 
We began this week with the letter m for several reasons: /m/ is one of the first sounds a baby makes, and MC loves and has many books based on moose, mice, and the moon. I also wanted to incorporate something that had to do with winter, and it just so happens that mitten starts with m too.
I turned to Pinterest for some ideas, but also came up with lots of my own. I even organized my house and added an art shelf into my walk-in closet so the art supplies are always ready to use. We read lots of books in a day anyway, so I pulled out all of her m books and put them into a special bin. Besides reading, we do two or three projects/activities a day based on the letter m. By the end of the first day of tot school, she was saying /m/ when I asked her what sound the letter m makes! 
I know there will be people who read this and roll their eyes, thinking that I'm pushing her too far too fast. And believe me, I am not trying to rush things or make her grow up too quickly. It's just that I am a creative person. I believe in making learning fun. We read, do crafts, and other fun activites anyway, so why not let her learn some new things along the way? 
So I've decided that I will NOT get frustrasted if she glues an eye ball in the wrong place, or if she just can't seem to remember the sound a certain letter makes. We are doing this purely for fun, and that's exactly what we will do...have lots of fun! 
So, watch for my posts on each letter! I'll try to post each as soon as we finish and move onto the next letter. They will be out of order (we started with m, and I plan to do p next), and there will probably be a break this my next post to find out why!

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