Monday, December 22, 2008

Tot School--C Week

C is for Camera, Calculator, Cat in the Hat, Counting and CARS!

So that's what went into Isaiah's Discovery Cabinet this week. He seems to really enjoy being able open it up and pull out whatever he wants, whenever he wants.


Isaiah really likes our new cookie sheets. I like the fact that they are bright green and bright blue on the outside. That doesn't make the cookies taste any better, but it's just fun.

We searched and searched and searched for cookie cutters. Finally Thomas made us some!

Isaiah even decorated a cookie with some sprinkles. The sprinkles were really hard to pick up, even for me, so we gave him another project:

He did a great job moving the coconut from the yellow bowl to the green bowl! He kept showing me his green bowl and how much fuller it was, which of course brought great praise.

C is for Color
We tried painting with brushes this week. Isaiah seemed to like it better than crayons. I had further plans for this project, but well, I was wiped out, so the "C" has been glued to another piece of paper and awaits further fun.

I think that Isaiah was just as interested in the little containers that the paint is in, but that starts with C, too; which I'm sure he realizes.

One of our favorite books is Corduroy thanks to our friends the Notts who sent us a copy. Here's Isaiah reading. I must confess that I love this picture, the way that he's concentrating. I tried to get a picture of more of his face, but then he started posing.

Check out the other Tot Schools at 1+1+1=1. And Merry Christmas!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tot School--B Week

As I looked through the pictures from this week, I realized that we had accomplished more than I remembered!

B is for Bows
As I was decorating some packages that we received in the mail, I suddenly realized that we could sort the bows by color, so we did! Then I saw the same idea, but much better planned on this site.

B is for Books, Boxes, Bottles, Balls, Bears, Big Bird, Bead
On the same site, I had previously read about making a discovery box. We modified the idea a bit by having a discovery cabinet. Isaiah already enjoys opening this cabinet and pulling out a sewing book that I have. So to add to the fun, I filled the bottom shelf with all kinds of things that start with B.

B is for Books about Bears
Or any book, really. Isaiah LOVES to read books by himself or with anyone who will read with him. Somehow we've collected several books about bears, which worked well for our focus on B.

B is for Bumble Bee
In one of our bear books I Love You, Daddy, Little Bear gathers honey with Daddy Bear. At first Little Bear is frightened by the buzzing of the bees, but then Daddy Bear reminds him that the bees can't hurt him because of his thick fur. This is one of Isaiah's favorite books, and mine, too! We attempted paints for the first time in order to try to make a Bumble Bee, of sorts.

Patting down the letter B after I glued it on our new paper (which for some reason didn't come with black paper, oh well, at least brown starts with a B, too)!
Checking out the q-tip covered with paint
And our finished project, with almost as much paint that was on Isaiah :)

And we continued to read our Advent Scriptures and sing the songs that Thomas has picked out for us. The stars are finally low enough that Isaiah can help us cover them up! We had to be on a step-stool before, and I wasn't brave enough to hold him and try to put up a star. He's such a good helper!
There will be more posts about lots of learning on 1+1+1=1, if you'd like to see some other ideas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tot School--A Week

For Tot School this week, I decided to continue with A and Red, since last week was short with Thanksgiving and all.

Monday, however, was Russian day. Isaiah's nanny Julia was able to come again at last! She doesn't speak English, and we're hoping that Isaiah is picking up his Russian from her and our other Russian friends so that he doesn't learn our mistakes or our accents! I joined them for snack time after their walk (this gives me some great practice, too!), and I was excited to see them interacting so well. Julia would tell Isaiah to do something very specific, and he would obey perfectly! What a smart boy I have--already becoming bilingual!

Tuesday we again combined therapy and school. We (I) named things with "A". Isaiah liked the pictures that I had prepared for him to color, he pointed to them and said "all done" very clearly after he wore them as hats.

He still likes to color on his clothes more than any paper, so thankfully the crayons wash out very well. :)

We tried something new to help work on his fine motor skills since coloring isn't too interesting, apparently. We have some colorful plastic cups that are great for stacking, or for talking into to make your voice sound funny, which is obviously the more important thing to do!

Wednesday we had a shopping date! We bought Daddy a Christmas present, and Isaiah was a big help as we wheeled through the store. He helped soften up the cashiers so that they were nicer to me. We strolled through IKEA (gotta love it!) and pointed out all the "A" things like alligators and armchairs and art supplies and some other things that I forget now. But, we scored a major find--the closest thing to construction paper that I've seen in Russia! Woohoo! Pretty colors and everything! I snatched that package of paper up in my hands as if it were a bag of gold!

Never one to be put off quickly (just a nice way of saying that I can be pretty stubborn), we tried coloring again after his nap. He had been using a mandarin like a crayon, so I asked him if he wanted to color. He said, "Uh-huh" (which he says to everything like other toddlers say "no" to everything). He did actually color on paper a little bit--progress, perhaps? Then I decided that we needed to practice for opening up Christmas presents, so we ripped and ripped and ripped paper--finally something he was much more interested in! But I was so busy "helping" him that I forgot to get some pictures.

Thursday was my Russian lesson day (and a migraine, sadly), so no Tot School really took place that I remember.

Friday we had fun preparing for friends to come and play. Isaiah had a blast playing with his little friend Slava who can crawl now. Isaiah was so excited that he didn't even want to eat his pizza! As soon as Slava was done, Isaiah quickly declared "all done" so that he could go and play. I think Isaiah learned pretty quickly that he could roll a ball for Slava to chase! Lots of laughter and good Russian practice for me with Slava's patient mother Oksana.

I'm so pumped about starting B next week because I have some fun ideas for ways to use my new colorful paper! I even found some glue!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tot School--Thanksgiving Week

This week was crazy busy as we prepared for Thanksgiving. Isaiah and I still did Tot School, though, as I'm realizing how I can incorporate more and more into every day activities! Being so busy, I didn't get that many pictures, however.

Monday we did lots of shopping (my eyes were bigger than my hands and backpack and stroller!). Isaiah was a great helper. We named every item in English and Russian. He did a great job repeating the names in both languages! I handed him the unbreakable ones, and he put them in the basket for me.

That evening we worked on the letter A and the color red. He colored an "A" and an apple, well sort of. He likes coloring his shirt more than the paper.

For snack he had dried fruit, some of which was red and green. He did a great job picking out the red pieces when asked, and even the green!

Here he is picking out a red piece (I promise, it was red, just as he was asked!).

Since it was Thanksgiving week, we talked a lot about the Pilgrims. I had printed out some free coloring sheets for him to work on, but again, he was way more into coloring his shirt than the paper. (The coloring pages came from here and here.) I have a picture of a red car that he really likes to wear as a hat, too.

I also made a color wheel for him to use. He doesn't seem to understand the matching aspect of this, but he does a great job pointing to the different colors!

Check out what some other really creative moms are up to with their little people here!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tot School--Our Beginning

A while ago, Thomas and I talked about homeschooling Isaiah. I'm very excited about helping Isaiah learn, but I didn't really know how to start. I recently found this blog by a homeschool mother starting preschool with her second son. Her older son named it "Tot School" and that's what she's been calling it ever since. I've picked up some tips from her and others, and I decided to start a Tot School of our own. So any of you homeschoolers out there that have great ideas for little ones, please share them with me!

Tot School

Well, this was my first week to begin "official" activities for Tot School. We started very simply so as not to overwhelm Isaiah or me!

We worked on the numbers 1 and 2, but I think next week we'll just focus on one number. (Any advice here would be greatly appreciated!) I drew some 1's and 2's for Isaiah to color with his markers. And I decided to try to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, so we did some Tot School while we did therapy. I think Isaiah enjoyed coloring. He did well repeating the numbers, and he even handed me the 1 and 2 from our little wooden puzzle when asked for them. I don't know how long it stuck, though, because later in the day he didn't do as well for Daddy, but we'll keep on working.

Tuesday we had a special treat. We were invited to join a couple other kids and their moms for some music time! Isaiah loves, loves, loves music and being with other kids, so it was perfect! We sang lots of songs about being thankful and got to act like monkeys, bears and crocodiles--tons of fun! Thank you to Mrs. O for including us.

This picture isn't of the actual music time, just the silliness afterwards as we were preparing to leave.

I don't have a picture of the next two activities, but we also worked on colors, and read tons and tons of books identifying objects and naming colors.

I have a medium-sized beach ball with the color stripes. I wrote the names of the colors on each strip. We played catch (also working on his coordination!), and I named the colors and had him repeat them when we touched the stripes on the ball. He did very well with this and enjoyed playing, too. This idea is not original to me, but I'm afraid I can't remember where I first heard it in order to give credit.

And then we did a little PE on Friday. :) Ok, this might be stretching it, but we sure did enjoy playing in our nearby park! Isaiah loves being flung around in his sled! I managed to catch him right after a really good pull and sling in this photo!

We're working on finding more physical activities that Isaiah can do on his own, or at least more on his own (I'm definitely still supervising!). Sliding has become a favorite! (I'm sorry, but for some reason this picture just will not rotate! I've tried rotating it several times with no success. This was the only one in the roll that wouldn't work--I don't know!)

I think our first week of Tot School went pretty well, overall. We'll keep on trucking!

If you're also homeschooling a little one and would like some ideas, check out the other Tot Schoolers here.