Saturday, January 9, 2016

Tot School, Here We Come



I was inspired by Jessica over at Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten to jump on the Tot School bandwagon.  You can check her out and read about how she started and follow her to see what she ends up doing! I have no doubt it will be amazing! 

I have heard the name Tot School before while searching Pinterest and had no clue what is was and where to start!  So I did some online searching! 

What is Tot School?

While searching the internet and trying to see what this whole Tot School is all about, I found the website 1+1+1=1 and this is where the whole Tot School name came from. The philosophy of Tot School is to choose a time that works for your tot and your family and set that time aside strictly for learning. This should be a fun based play and exploration time!

A Little Back Ground on Me 

For the last 11 years I was an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and just this year I took a new position in our district as an Early Childhood Inclusion Teacher Coach. This is a part time position and gives me the opportunity to stay at home with my sweet little girl more!! My sweet little girl has some delays in speech.  I currently do a lot of activities already with my daughter but I love the idea of planning a time that is dedicated to just my daughter: NO PHONES, NO TVs, NO COMPUTERS, just us and learning!! 


Where to Start?

 I decided to take the plunge and am starting Tot School with Alli next week!  Being a part time stay at home mom I will not dedicate five days to Tot School as I feel she may be overwhelmed with all the other activities we have going on, but I have Thursdays and Friday off, which is when I will dedicate an hour or so to Tot School! Once she shows an interest and a desire to do this more I will just continue adding more days and plans to our lessons!

I searched online and of course started my own Pinterest board titled Tot School with ideas, activities and some awesome resources. This board doesn't have a cute cover like the rest of mine yet, but that will come!  

My Tot School Schedule

You need to decide what you want to focus on and when this will fit into your schedule! My daughter is the freshest in the morning, and likes to relax after her afternoon nap, so I plan on sticking with a morning time to have our school.   

I want to focus on these five areas:
1. Academics (shapes, colors, letters, Numbers)
2. Speech (even if your child doesn't have a speech delay, you can still focus on increasing their vocabulary, sentence structure, etc.)
3. Sensory Play (It is important to develop and support all of the sense and it's just plain fun!) 
4. Story Time (Choose a book to read to her. Be mindful of length!)
5. Arts and Craft/Fine Motor(I love arts and crafts and planning fun activities for us to do! Color, tracing, stringing beads, puzzles, etc)

I think I will plan for all of these five areas since she will only be having our Tot School twice a week BUT I will be mindful that these all probably won't happen everyday!  One thing that is VERY important to remember is YOUR CHILD SHOULD BE HAVING FUN!! If they are not having fun and/or you see frustration STOP and do something else or give your child a break. My activities will start out VERY short 1-5 minutes each, and then slowly increase to around 5-15 minutes per activity.  This all depends on your child, their attention span, and their interest in the activity! When Alli really enjoys something, like sensory play, she can do that for 20 minutes or so, but if it is something she doesn't enjoy doing her attention span is more like 1 minute! It doesn't matter if you didn't get to all your plans.  Learning should always be fun, but especially at this age!!  

You can download my FREE Tot School Lesson Planning forms here.  You don't have to have any formal lesson plans but this helps keep me on track and reminds me what our focus is for the day! I plan on blogging about all our fun adventures in Tot School so keep checking back! Next week we are doing snowmen and I have a GREAT snowman felt activity that I will share with you VERY soon!! Just need to get some good pictures first!
 



2 comments:

  1. Love this! Good luck on your Tot School adventures! I have been at it a week, and so far so good, I can't wait to see what next week brings :)

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