Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tot School--W Week

Isaiah is 48 months old

We had a lot of fun with W this week, and Isaiah's pronunciation of the letter definitely improved, though it still needs a little work. I was surprised that W was on our list so soon, but we decided to go with it and have fun!


We had tried watercolors before, but Isaiah didn't seem to understand the process. This time for several minutes he understood that you take the brush (as opposed to your fingers) from water... paint...
...and then to paper! I was so excited that he did the complete process that I forgot to get a picture of the last step. He however decided that his fingers worked better, of course, and tried to pick up water and put on the paint then rub his fingers on the paper. It worked, and he had fun doing it.


And with paint on his fingers, it made his hand show up better when waving bye to Daddy.


While Isaiah is still working on lines and circles, he steadily shows improvement in his pre-writing skills. He found a pencil and actually asked to use it with paper! Scribble on, Little Man!


We don't have a globe, but we do have some resources. I found a free printable world map on this site, which has tons of maps that you can print out in all kinds of sizes. We had a blue balloon that would suffice for water for our globe. I cut out the map and helped Isaiah glue it onto the balloon. Then I traced my hands and cut them out for him to glue on the back of the balloon, and we sang He's Got the Whole World in His Hands. Isaiah really, really liked this activity and asked to play with the balloon a lot this week. We do have to be careful with his exposure to latex though, so he didn't get to play with it as often as he would have liked.

But, lo and behold, that very same day we received a package, complete with an inflatable globe! Great timing, Grandma!

White Ws blowing in the Wind

While working on Isaiah's walking and balance, we also experimented with windy conditions and the letter W. We glued white Ws onto strips of crepe paper, which I then tied to the light fixture in our living room. We tried blowing on the paper, then using my hair dryer and finally a big fan. The beginning of this idea started when I read online the suggestion of hanging the letter of the week from the ceiling in a classroom so children would often see it, but unfortunately, though I thought I had bookmarked the site, I can't find it now. But it grew from there to include some W-inspired activities.


Isaiah definitely preferred the woosh to the wind, though.

So that's what kept us occupied a good bit this week. Enjoy visiting the other Tot Schools at 1+1+1=1.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tot School--H Week II

Isaiah is 48 months old

This week's letter was H, and while we didn't do a lot of activities for various reasons, as I thought about the week, I realized that a lot of life skills learning took place! But first we'll start with the letter-based activities:


"Show me your hand, Isaiah!"

And what better activity to strengthen those fingers on that cute little hand than strumming and plucking on Daddy's guitar--a special reward for some AMAZING walking!

I traced Isaiah's hands, and then he helped trace my hands for a special project for Daddy. He really did look at the paper he was coloring, I promise, and he didn't even fuss about it this week!


I cut out a large heart on which we could glue our hands to give to Daddy.

I also cut out 4 differently-sized hearts to work on sequencing. (thought I took a picture, but must not have, oh well) Isaiah did identify the biggest heart and the smallest heart, but that was as far as it got. For his first sequencing activity, I thought he did pretty well! I'll definitely try to pull that one out again with other letters.


Isaiah was somewhat enamored with this mask, which he decided was a hat. He had to wear it every day!

And of course that meant Mama had to wear it, too.

We've been working on life skills with Isaiah in order to give him as much independence as possible. Sometimes he really fights against this for whatever reason. But I've noticed over the past week, that he has definitely improved in several areas:

Dressing--Isaiah will now put on his shirt almost completely on his own. I do have to hold him steady to provide balance for him so that he doesn't do a face plant, but other than that, it's pretty much all him!

Outside--Related to dressing, Isaiah now tells me which articles of clothing he needs before we go outside. He can say shirt, pants, braces, coat, gloves, hat, scarf. He's even started saying them without me asking "what is this?". So excited about his speech improving!

While he is still dependent on us for many things, and most likely always will be for something, we are really excited about his wanting to do more on his own. But I also am thankful for the reminder that he gives me every day of how I must depend on God for everything!

Be sure to check out the other Tot Schools at 1+1+1=1.

Tot School--N Week

Isaiah is 48 months old

As we focused this week on the letter N, I decided to take this opportunity to work on numbers with Isaiah. Coincidentally, we also started reading Numbers in our family Bible time each day. "Thrilling" you must be thinking. :) We just read a short section from the OT in the morning after breakfast and another from the NT before bed time. We use this time to teach Isaiah his catechism and how to pray. I love hearing him talking to God!

I wrote the capital and lower case Nn for Isaiah on some construction paper. I cut out thenumbers 1-4, and Isaiah enjoyed gluing them down. For the first time he put the objects to be glued on the paper all by himself, exactly where he wanted them. He told me where he wanted them, and I made sure that they were facing the right direction in his hand (glue side down), and then he put them down and patted away! This would be why they are in a pile, but hey, he did it himself!

And then he played peek-a-boo, still a favorite in our house!

Every morning we then looked at his letters and traced them with his fingers and said words that start with N. His pronunciation improved throughout the week. Naturally, his favorite N word is "No" in all it's, nah, nope. I think nope is my personal favorite. He says it very clearly!

I made these number cards for him. While I'm no artist, he recognized the little pictures at the top for what I had intended them to be--cars, of course!

I made these with different colors, but we're not using the colors as much right now, at least not on purpose. Every day we reviewed the numbers, focusing on the number 1. I would hold one card up at a time, and we would trace the number and touch the cars. A few times I held up the number 1 and number 2 cards and asked him to touch a certain one. He did it correctly a couple times but not consistently.

We also used a "needle" to work with his lacing beads (shaped like cars) again. He is getting better and better at this! This takes a lot of action on my part, too, though, so we never do get a picture. But speaking of needles, Isaiah helped me on a sewing project this week, so we talked about the needle on the machine going up and down, which seemed to give him a thrill.

We also worked on writing, which requires some hand-over-hand action as well. This week, however he didn't put up nearly the fuss, and he actually wrote a lopsided kind of N!

I am really trying to focus on life skills with Isaiah more and more. He is actually starting to show interest in some things that he hasn't up to this point.

Isaiah is fascinated with cutting things with a knife lately, so we cut play-doh with a plastic knife.

And he helped me cut biscuits one morning!

We have been pleased to see increased strength in Isaiah's legs. Six months ago he could not have gone from this...
to this...
in the small braces that he is wearing. Thomas is only helping him balance, which means that Isaiah's knees are actually getting some strength! Praise the Lord for development in so many different areas!

Be sure to check out the other great Tot Schools at 1+1+1=1.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tot School--M Week II

Isaiah is 48 months

This week M was for Motivation, or lack thereof, as the case may be! For some reason this week started out particularly badly for Mama. We did manage to get in some Tot School here and there, but not many pictures because a lot of work was hand over hand.


I hadn't done much matching work with Isaiah, so I thought this would be a good week to start. Inspired by the car cards my husband had printed, we made another set and had Isaiah begin to learn about matching. He did really well with McQueen and Mater, so I added 2 other cars. I think 2 was his limit for now, but that's all right. I was pleased!


While I cut his hair, Isaiah got to practice balancing and standing while watching one of his favorite things: Muppets! He is very good for his haircuts.

We also watched Letter Factory a few times. This will probably be a regular activity for us. I can tell Isaiah is beginning to pronounce his letters much better, and we're working on recognition. He says the sounds with the characters on the DVD now much more frequently! And his M is marvelous!


We worked on pre-writing skills again with his markers, which he has begun to call "colors". So fun to have him identify things! This went horribly this week with lots of whining and tons of resistance. I had to do more hand-over-hand work during this activity than I have in a long time, so obviously something to continue working on.

In the kitchen we enjoyed meatballs this week, and Isaiah started wanting to mix things with his spoon!

I looked at our past M week, and thought that it had gone much better, but this week ended well with celebrating Isaiah's 4th birthday! We worked a lot on teaching him to say "I'm four", and his pronunciation has greatly improved! He even remembers to say "I'm four" instead of "I'm three" sometimes. We celebrated with all things Lightning McQueen, much to Isaiah's delight!

Check out other great Tot Schools by visiting 1+1+1=1.