Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Toddler Time with Mother Goose Time and Owl Art (Kind of)

This year I am now teaching 3 kids.  My oldest is in 2nd grade and my middle son is in Kindergarten, but will be joining my oldest on most of his 1st and 2nd grade curriculum.  Adam, my youngest, is 2.5 year old.  Oh how important that .5 is.  They grow so much in those 6 months.  He has a new word or 10 everyday.  His understanding of things surprise me daily. 

It wasn't so long ago that Peter was tiny and understanding way more than I anticipated.  Because he was so far ahead I didn't really do any intentional learning with him.  But then I was convicted. 
It dawned on me that it wasn't very fair to him to not investigate his potential. On top of that, going at their pace is one of the reasons we homeschool.  Not just to go slow when a subject is a challenge to them, but to speed ahead when they are ready. 

So here I am, setting up the circle time display from Mother Goose Time and I hold up the "shape cloud" and ask Adam, what shape is this?  He responds with out hesitation "circle".  How did you know that I exclaim?! and he points to his brain.  I realized then, I need to carve out some time for him. 

But to say that teaching 3 children is overwhelming is an understatement.  So I gave myself a little pep talk.  "Tracy, if all you do is the circle time routine, calendar, weather, talk about the letter, the shape and the new numbers, he will learn tons!!!" 

So this is what Mother Goose Time looked like for my toddler.  We sang the finger play song about brother's and sisters while we were sitting at the table doing school with big brothers.

Where is brother, where is sister
(Wiggle left thumb for brother then wiggle right thumb for sister.)
Here I am; here I am
(Wiggle brother thumb then sister thumb.)
Do you know I love you
(Wiggle brother thumb.)
Yes, I do; I love you too
(Wiggle sister thumb)
Let's go play; let's go play
(Wiggle brother thumb then sister thumb.) 
Sung to the tune of Frere Jacques.

Every time we sung the part "Where is brother?"  He would answer, "right there" and point to Lachlan.  He got a little annoyed after a while.  :)

But later in the day I would hear him sing "here I am, here I am" as he was playing.

After his nap, when he woke up nice and happy, we spent some time at the circle time display.  This I did not get pictures of.  But pretty much I talked to him about what day it was, we looked at the numbers on the calendar, I talked to him about the circle shape, the color green, and the letter A.  I even pointed out the number 1, but the only number he likes is 2. 

I had read through the Teacher Guide earlier in the day and picked out one or two of the days activities that would be best for him.  I chose the Design a Sibling activity which had us put shape cards in our cube and toss it looking for a circle.

When I told him we wanted to see if we could get a circle he spent some time studying the shapes.  
 Then he tossed it big.  I love these new soft cubes that we really don't have to worry about.
 Such a big toss he almost comes off the ground. 
 It took quite a few turns to get a circle and each time it landed and was a different shape I would say "that's not a circle, that's a triangle."  So we were naming all the other shapes as we went. 
 He had fun showing me all the different shapes. 
The second activity I had picked out was Jack and Jill which was mostly reciting the rhyme from the Rhyme Time poster.  I had it laid out for us to read, but he was done after the shape toss.  So as we played and interacted the rest of the day I would recite the rhyme to him.

And that's it! But it was enough and I know he will learn so much through this time together. 

But I have to also show you how I grabbed one of the activities for my older boys.  I used the Invitation to Create Owl project for them to have a creative outlet for the day.  Something besides, reading, writing, math and social studies. 

With these new invitations there are no directions, just material.  So they can do whatever they want.  Lachlan chose to use the black paper to cut out shapes that you could shine a flashlight through and make cool shapes and shadows on the wall.  He used the trifold design of our new Mother Goose Time display to make it stand up on it's own.  That kid is always observing.  But of course, as cool as this is, it's not anywhere close to an owl and that's okay. 
Peter chose to stick with the owl theme and first drew an owl shape on the brown paper bags, then cut it out.  He wanted to follow his lines perfectly and we had an almost catastrophe because the foot of the owl was almost falling off. 

 Such delicate little owl feet. 
 He even cut out a beak for each owl baby using the extra material from the bag. 
I was so impressed by his cutting skills and his perseverance.  They are cute little birds.  He chose not to do anything else with them.  I think they would look pretty cute glued to the black paper with some cotton ball fuzz added.  But hey, it's not my art work, so I am going to try my hardest to stay out of it. 

Today was also the official first day of school.  So of course we had to go out front to take pictures.  It was a bit hard to convince them that this was a fun thing to do. 

Lachlan smiled for me but he would not let me take a picture of him with out the skateboard and helmet.  This is also the first year he picked out his own outfit which is a too small buzz light year jersey type shirt and yet, he is still adorable.
 Peter's picture looks more like a mug shot. 
And Adam, well he was just throwing a fit because no 2 year old will do something they don't want to do.
But finally, Peter let me take a picture with a smile. 
 He is so big.
Adam was next to concede to photos.  "Okay Mom, you can take pictures now" as he opened the front door by himself!  (Yikes)  First he had to get set up.  He realized he couldn't hold the paper with his tractor truck thing in his hand, so he set that down.  Then he held the paper but wasn't sure where to put it. 
 I helped him get it right under his chin and then he "smiled" for me. 
 Cheese!  I promise you, he is not in pain. 

You have to take note of his shoes, which he did "all by myself".  Ah, 2, it's a fun and a frustrating age.  They want to be big and do it all on their own, but it takes SO long to do life at a toddlers pace.  Not only do I have my anxiety to ease but now two older brothers that are like "come on, let's go" when Adam is refusing to go out the door because he has to open it and is shouting "I do it! I do it!"  That's when I gently remind them, that they too would not let me out the door or let me buckle them in.  They usually take it pretty well. 
So here's to a wonderful year of toddler learning.  Some intentional and some forced on us by the toddler himself.  :)

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