Friday, September 23, 2011

Tot School September 10-September 23 (A is for Apple)

**Boogie is 23 months old**

So we have been doing "A is for apple" for our theme for a couple weeks now because I had a lot of ideas. It ended up being a good thing because I am much more confident that he will like what I am planning for our "B" week. I do not think we are going to have a specific B theme because there are a lot of things he likes that start with "B". And I definitely overdid it with printing things out and laminating apple activities. It was a learning experience for me, though, and maybe Bun will like different things than Boogie.

Using a spreadsheet from 1+1+1=1, I did a quick check of what Boogie already knows and what we should focus on over the next couple years.  For colors, he has correctly identified black the most, followed by brown and green. I think the only one he has mastered (correctly identified on 3 separate occasions on his own, without being quizzed) might be black, but he does call things black that are not black as well. He has mastered circle, triangle, heart, star, diamond, oval and he calls crescents moons. All other shapes he groups together as "ock". The only letter he has mastered is R (rah rah!), and no number mastery yet. For the physical skills he should master over his preschool career, he can tip toe, walk backwards and jump. So, that is our beginning of the year assessment for Boogie's first year of homeschooling!

Tot School

Before all the apple pictures, I wanted to share this one. Boogie has been very into reading by himself lately, so when I am nursing Bun or tidying up before or after a meal, I often find him buried in this book specifically. Vehicles, of course. He is very into trucks now too. Any yellow truck is "dump", anything with big, wide front windows is "bus" (because of the one he and Hubby went in at the Please Touch Museum). So, that fire truck he is pointing to is a "bus" that goes "wee new, wee new" :)

We got Boogie a Crayola dry erase activity center, and he LOVES it! Anything dry erase really entertains him. You can get one of these with a 40 or 50% off coupon at Michaels, and by the way, all Crayola products at Michaels are being advertised as 40% off without a coupon right now! So if you have toddlers, I highly recommend the dry erase stuff! Regular price is about $15, so it is definitely worth the money if you have a child (like I do) who is a minimalist with his art work. This way, we don't waste paper because he would draw two lines then want a new sheet. Here he is working on tracing his A's (courtesy of Confessions of a Homeschooler) except really he was making squiggles and circles and saying "app" a lot. I think that just seeing the letter and hearing me say the letter and telling him what they are and telling him which color he is using will get in his head eventually. But also, practicing "please" and "help" and "thank you" as well as putting one marker back before using the next one are all just as valuable as learning the letters right now.

I printed out a three piece apple puzzle for him from 1+1+1=1 but it did not hold his attention for very long. I tried to talk about position words with him (top, middle, bottom), but he wanted to play with his cars instead.

We have been reading the story of Adam and Eve several times a day (from this children's Bible), at Boogie's request, and in the morning he sometimes wants to play with the calendar or felt board. The calendar photo was taken before it was finished and before I decided it was not a good idea to let him climb all over it. See the finished product here. And see more about the felt board and Adam and Eve here.

We made crafts for the uppercase and lowercase letters A. I got the idea for the lowercase one from Totally Tots, but created the uppercase one myself. I actually don't have a picture of the other A page because Boogie was in a mood but the uppercase A was a ladder and we made an apple tree with pom pom apples and pasted a picture of Boogie on the ladder. He loved the picture of himself!

I thought Boogie would really like playing with these apple dominoes from Developing a Heart for Home, especially because he loves to put things in a row and loves apples, but he did maybe two pieces then told me he was done. Ah, well.

The apple sequencing pieces from File Folder Fun went over better. He likes putting things in size order and he understands the word and concept of "big" so we talked about which apple was biggest. He has asked to play with these a couple times.

We watched a Blue's Clues episode about mixing colors, so I thought maybe Boogie would enjoy sponge painting (A's, airplanes, and circles) but doing some color mixing first. This was another activity that did not last very long. Boogie does not like to be messy for more than a few minutes if he can see that he is messy. Crumbs don't bother him too much but anything that is a bright color does. So finger painting and sponge painting are not a huge hit right now. We used finger paint the first time (for washability) but it didn't show up with the sponges at all, and acrylic paint the second time. We were not having much success with either type of paint as far as getting the right design on the paper. Any suggestions?

We used a letter printout from Confessions of a Homeschooler for a play dough mat and used, you guessed it, A, airplane and circle cookie cutters with Boogie's playdough. He loves playdough so we have done this a lot. He likes to put the little A cookie cutter in the triangle opening of the big A. So cute! I don't think Boogie minds, but I am ready to make some new play dough for him and break out some new cookie cutters in October!

Last but not least, we used circle label stickers with a do-a-dot page from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Boogie was not really into it but humored me for a couple minutes.

Today, at the end of the week, he is not saying A but he is calling A's triangles. He has a point :)

Veering away from apples, Boogie loves to play with his Cars pieces and felt board all day long. So I tried to do a color activity with him. He caught on with the black cars the best.

We also enjoyed a walk to the park and looked at the big circles on the basketball court. Boogie is always so excited to find shapes in real life!

On to another busy weekend and then our week of the letter B!

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