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I'm a teacher turned stay at home mama. I love finding things to make and do!

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Monday, May 30, 2011

HOW TO: Tot school and Before Five in a Row

I mentioned a while back that a friend and I sat down together and came up with a tot school curriculum for our kiddos.  The way we did this was to take ideas from a curriculum called "Before Five in a Row" and put them together with "tot tray/school" ideas to make it our own. 
The idea behind Before Five in a Row is that you take one book and read it everyday for the entire week.  You use that book to base the rest of your learning for the week.  You can really go anywhere with this and my friend and I loved how open ended it was.
For example, if you choose the book, "If you Give a Moose a Muffin," you could learn about moose, their habitat, what they eat, what other animals live where they live, etc.  You could make puppets, bake muffins, teach about cleaning up, the list goes on.
We looked through the Before Five in a Row list of books and also made a list of our own.  We added in curriculum from two Sunday School books:
Toddlerific Fun Faith Builders  and
Instant Bible Lessons for Toddlers: Growing up for God
We sat down with a calendar and just plugged in themes for each month.  We have 2-3 weeks per month planned. 
This is very casual and we aren't always doing school every week.  This is why we only penciled in two to three weeks per month, to give us the flexibility to follow our childrens' lead and to allow for us to take things slowly.  We plan to do field trips together as they tie in with our "school".

For more information on tot trays/tot school, visit these blogs:
What is Tot School?/Where to Begin?

http://1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/

http://playinghouseinmaryland.blogspot.com/  (great photos of what she does each week!)

Please keep in mind that if you plan to do anything like this with your little one, only do so if it is fun for both of you and your child is interested.  I follow A's lead.  If she doesn't want to do an activity, we skip it.  If we have a week where the weather is too nice, we take school outside or skip it.  No pressure.  I enjoy it because I know that there is a set time every day that I spend one on one with A.  The point isn't to drill academic facts into their little heads, it is to spend quality time with them and expose them to all types of learning. 

1 comment:

faux domestic diva said...

Thanks for the links---helpful!!