Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tot School

Kayleigh is 29 months

Tot School

Hello fellow Tot Schoolers! I hope you all had a wonderful week.

Ours was last minute, disjointed and unorganized. As usual. LOL We only did two days of tot school. Kayleigh didn't feel like it. Which was a shame because she's been obsessed with the book Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and I was a good mom over the weekend and got together Carisa's Five Little Monkeys Tot Pack for her.

On the first day, for the most part, she ignored the things that I set out for and raided the bins for her own activities. So here's Kayleigh's version of a perfect tot school day.

Drawing on her Melissa & Doug Chalk Board. She said they were circles. I can sorta see that.

Playing with Magneatos . They were all "red" that day. In case you were wondering. :o)

And, of course, her all time favorite toy, Melissa & Doug Nesting Blocks. They're good for stacking, knocking over, and helping you ignore Mommy as she points out the letter A.

Lastly, she tried to stand on her head. Good times.

At the end of the week she asked to "play games" which is what tot school is to her. This time I had a little more say in the matter.

First I reeled her in with something that she hasn't seen before. The Melissa & Doug Bead Sequencing Set that she got last Christmas but we hadn't used yet.
I just let her explore the toy on her own. I didn't even show her how to use the pattern cards. She rewarded me by saying "I got a skare" everytime she picked up a square. She believes in postive reinforcement. =o)

Then she choose the KinderReady Eric Carle String Along set that I put out earlier in the week. I just put out the stringing beads and string. No pattern cards yet. Although they are REALLY cute. She's been getting better at lacing beads but she was off today. She laced one and declared the activity "all dont." (She adds a t sound to the end of every word that ends with 'n'. I don't know why but it cracks us up.)

Next she pulled our icecream shoppe sensory tub off the shelf. She played with that for a long time. I love this bin so much. It's the easiest clean up ever!

She served...

Sipped on an "icecream float" complete with her improvised straw. A long spoon from the Dollar Tree.

She even practiced pouring. And I didn't cringe when she did it, like I do when rice is in that tub. I'll probably never recover from the rice being in there.

Then she got in trouble when she was finished because she didn't want to clean up her mess. So she went to time out and somehow hurt her wrist. I don't know how, I was ignoring her per Super Nanny's instructions.

After her release, and an ice pack, I slid in some of our Five Little Monkeys activities. And she did them for the first time in history. Finally all my printing and laminating wasn't in vain! There's hope for the Christmas, Brown Bear, and Hungry Catepillar packs yet. I'm excited that they will be able to come out of storage in the future.

We read the Monkey Counting book a billion times while she nursed her wrist with ice. She liked page three best. The monkey in the middle looked "angwy" and that intrigued her.

Then we played with the Monkey Body Parts cards. She loved that. We played it three times. I read the card to her. She showed me her body parts. And she insisted that she had a tail like the monkey.

Then I got out the Counting Book again and took it apart. I placed #s 1-5 on the ground and gave her some little monkey erasers from the Dollar Tree. She placed an eraser on each monkey for some 1:1 correspondance and counting practice. She did a pretty good job. I was expecting her to dump bunches of monkeys on the cards and call it good. It's harder to make a mess with only one working hand I guess.

And now for my favorite shots of the week. Kayleigh has taken to eating with only a certain spoon. A baby spoon. You know those coated Gerber spoons. Now keep in mind that as an actual baby she barely used these spoons. She would not eat baby food of any kind. Whether from the jar or something I made myself. I doubt that, if you added every bite she swallowed, it would be equivilant to 5 jars of stage 1. I find that ironically funny. She went through a similar phase with bottles. Wouldn't take one when we wanted her to. Six months after weening the child from nursing and suddenly she wants milk in a bottle. Life is never dull with her. LOL

Be sure to visit the other tots at 1+1+1=1.

Weekly Wrap-Up

It was an uneventful week here with not much to report. We hung with some friends but no big outings. We did, however, test out some of our new art supplies from A.C. Moore.

Have you seen A.C. Moore's line of store brand art supplies? Specialty paper, paints, pastels, and other artsy goodies for about $5 an item. I'm trying to be more purposeful about our fine arts studies this year so I was excited.

At any rate, we wanted to test out some of the goodies so we chose this project from Art Projects for Kids. (BTW, check out her recent post about her favorite art supplies.)

This will be our last official "third grade" wrap-up. Next week Mackenzie heads off to Xtreme Kidz Kamp with our church and the following week we start Fourth Grade!!! Woot!
Be sure to see what everyone else has been up to this week at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Homeschool Village~Heart for the Arts

This is my first link-up with The Homeschool Village and, ooooh, how I love the topic. Art has always been something that I've tried to incorporate into our learning but I haven't always been as successful as I'd have liked. The last two years, following the arrival of our youngest, have been the most difficult. Our wee babe is, shall we say, a handful? Spirited? Demanding? =o) We were able to get a little more accomplished mid-way through last year, so I'm hoping we're over the hump.

We'd better be because I've got a lot planned for this year. =o)

First we're going to attempt more formal artist and composer studies. We've always had some level of art/music appreciation with our Sonlight books. I was inspired to attempt this more purposfully by the art and music studies from Jimmie's Collage. Her blog and lenses are a wealth of information on how to get started. I've been scouring them and making lists for months.

We're going to study four artists and four composers this year. I plan on alternating between one artist and one composer each semester. I know Charlotte Mason advocates studying for longer periods but she doesn't live with Kayleigh. I'll be happy if we actually accomplish half of what I have planned. LOL

Artist Study: Edgar Degas, Mary Cassat, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet
Composer Study: Mozart, Beethovan, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky

We're going to be doing picture studies, creating art from Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning), notebooking, listening to music, and field trips.

Our art program will be rounded out by:

Piano Lessons at the Young Muscians of Virginia
I Can Do All Things art program~ As a non-artsy person, I cannot praise this program enough. The bundle comes with the book, all the supplies needed, and a dvd instructor. I'm learning right along with my daughter.
How to Teach Art to Children by Evan Moor

Some of my favorite sites that inspire me are:

Art Projects for Kids~lots of fun and simple projects that will teach great skills
Deep Space Sparkle~more great art lessons
Jimmie's Collage~a wealth of info and inspiration for your artist and composer studies and, really, homeschooling in general

I've been stocking up on new art supplies at A.C. Moore. I'm loving their store brand line and the prices attached to them. We've got watercolors in all forms, pastels in all forms, quality paper for painting and sketching and a whole bunch of other goodies. And don't forget to print out your 40% off coupons.

We were very excited with our loot so we did a little project to test it all out.

It was a lot of fun but mommy needs more work mastering the art of mixing liquid watercolors. LOL

You can peek at our other art resources (books and cd's) here, if you'd like. Just scroll down to the bottom.

And that will, hopefully, be our year. =o)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tot School

Kayleigh is 29 months old
Tot School

Hello fellow Tot Schoolers! I hope all is well with you.

We had an interesting week. By interesting I mean that Kayleigh was not that interested in doing anything that I suggested and therefore we didn't do much. I hope this doesn't mean that she's back to her old "normal." Ack!

It was hot, hot, hot this week so we spent some time in the pool. My husband and I finally got her to release her death grip on us and she was kicking around on her own with the help of her Speedo Swim Vest. I took a little video with my phone, as she was so cute. Hopefully it will upload properly so you can enjoy it.

We used our Teddy Bear Counters counters and mats. This time we were sorting by size. You were supposed to put the daddies on the slide, mommies on the swings, and the babies on the merry-go-round. Kayleigh had other ideas this week. Apparently everybody wanted to swing and nobody was interested in the slide. There was one baby who did enjoy the merry-go-round. LOL

Then I thought we'd practice our shapes in a fun way. A way that was suited for Kayleigh's temperament. I got out our shape poster and a our fancy fly swatter, both from the Dollar Tree. I was going to call out a shape and she was going to whack it with the swatter. I mean she does like whacking her sister and Swiper "that neaky box" in her Dora book, after all. She did it once. Then she has other ideas.

Apparently her Bitty Baby, "Randa" (named after our friend Miranda) wanted to sit on the shapes. And only the shapes that I didn't call out.

Then we played a Magnifying Lens Picture Matching Game using our cool Melissa & Doug Mombo Snake Magnifying Glass . This didn't go well. She did it once but that was it. She wasn't interested in using the magnifying glass on the little pictures and she certainly wasn't interested in matching the little pictures to the enlarged ones. These shots were the beginning and end of this activity.

We also did a Fruit Loop Sorting activity. This activity went slightly better because I told her that she could only eat the ones that she sorted correctly. I had to add that last bit in because you know she started off putting them on the wrong colors. Then I'd take them off the mat and put them back. Eventually, she decided eating the Fruit Loops was more important to her than messing with mommy.

Lastly she wanted to read Zoo (Little Scholastic) ,which is also a puzzle. The pieces are pretty thin so she got frusterated, as usual. But do not try to help her. She won't react well. LOL

And that was about it. Mostly she played with her sissy and they had lots of fun and got really annoyed with each other. Typical.

Be sure to check out what the other tots are up to over at 1+1+1=1.


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