June 24, 2012

Tot Preschool - Weekly Wrap Up

I haven't posted a Tot School post in over a month!  The truth is, I got burnt out on writing up all our school time activities.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to have an online scrapbook of our homeschooling journey, so I want to get back on track with posts.  I decided that in order to avoid getting burnt out again I'm going to take some pressure off myself.  I'm not going to write about every single learning activity we do.  Instead, I'm going to highlight a few trays and favorites from each week.

JZ began kindergarten this week!  When J-Bug asked me if he was in kindergarten, too, I told him that now he is in preschool.  I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled he was!  All week he has been telling people he is in "rescool" now.  For some reason I have a mental hang up about the term preschool.  (I have nothing against preschool whatsoever), but I don't deem preschool necessary for a three year old.  JZ never did any preschool or schooling at age three.  The only reason I do any organized schooling with J-Bug is because he wants to tag along while I work with his big brother.  For that reason I am declaring J-Bug's schooling Tot Preschool.  It is somewhere between Tot School and Preschool.  It's school time, Train Up a Child style.  ;-)

*J-Bug is currently 38 months old*

J-Bug is never required to participate in school time.  I set up these trays to give him something educational and fun to do while JZ works.  I would give him toys only, but he requests work.  Like  most younger siblings he is eager to keep up and be just like his big brother.  Please note:  I do not encourage pushing young children to do school work.  If you want to engage in educational activities with your young child remember that early learning is best accomplished through play.  I encourage you to follow your little one's cues and have fun!

Here is a glance at a few of J-Bug's Tot Trays for the week.

On one tray (which I neglected to photograph) he had Magnetic Color Cubes with a pattern card from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  J-Bug enjoyed making patterns, but mostly he stacked the magnets like blocks and knocked down the towers.

Every single day he put the letters in their places on this Melissa and Doug Jumbo ABC Chunky Puzzle.

Using rhyme cards from Confessions of a Homeschooler's K4 curriculum we played an animal game.  I read each rhyme, and J-Bug guessed which animal I was talking about.  Then he selected the correct rubbing plate and make a crayon rubbing.  JZ had to join us for this one, because it was too much fun.

These math puzzles are always a favorite.

You may recognize this, since we've done it many times.  J-Bug put toothpicks into a cheese shaker for fine motor practice.  

Another tray I forgot to snap a photo of before we began had paint, paper and a few random odds and ends to experiment with making different prints.

Of course JZ got in on the painting!

I made JZ a calendar time notebook, and of course I knew J-Bug would want one, too!  I have no expectations for him during calendar time.  He is not required to even crack open the notebook.  Wanting to be just like his big bro, he participated each day as JZ did his own calendar notebook.  Thank you Carissa from 1+1+1=1 for creating a Tot Time Notebook for her tot and passing the printables along.  She sure made my tot happy.  :-)

Other activities we did this week are linked under each photo:

I compiled a round up of ideas for food play and how to minimize waste.

We made Chocolate Chip Protein Bars.

We experimented with making JELLO Glow.

As part of the MeMeTales Readathon we made Frog Puppets and explored a Frog Sensory Bin.  If you haven't yet joined the Readathon I encourage you to sign up today!

Our sensory bin for the week was full of Glowing Waterbeads!


And finally, in case you missed my post yesterday, I am pleased to announce that I have teamed up with some fantastic bloggers and am now one of the co-hosts of The Sunday Showcase!  Stop by and link up your favorite child centered ideas from the week.  Feel free to link up more than one as long as they are child centered.  (Educational, play related, cooking with kids, games, crafts, etc.)

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