Monday, June 9, 2014

Reevaulating Tot School

I had this post all typed out to share back in March, but it never got published! 
Let's blame it on pregnancy brain...

Sophie doesn't seem as excited about Tot School as she used to be.  I always want this to be a fun opportunity for her, not something that ever feels forced or unpleasant.  That's not how learning should be!  It's no secret that I'm pretty much in love with Carisa's blog, 1+1+1=1, and she has a post called "Following the Lead of the Child" that has always stuck with me about doing Tot School with Sophie. If what we've been doing isn't working, then I'm the one who needs to adjust - not Sophie!  As a teacher, I know that there are multiple ways to approach learning any skill or idea.  I want her to explore, learn, and discover the world in the ways that she enjoys - not necessarily what I prefer or enjoy.

In an effort to reevaluate my approach to our intentional learning time, I decided to start with the way my brain works best - making a list.  In no particular order, here are the things that I know Sophie really enjoys.

- Sitting on my lap to do activities
- Taking items in and out of her wallet and purse
- Reading books, especially her favorites over and over
- Drawing and "writing" - prefers to use my pencil or pen over a crayon
- Singing, dancing, and playing instruments
- Helping me cook
- Gluing
- Pouring/stirring
- Sensory bins
- Exploring outside

Doesn't like:
- Getting messy
- Counting trays
- Paper puzzle activities
- Matching cards

After we complete the shape themes we've been doing, my plan is to start doing a letter of the week.  Sophie is fascinated by letters and will point them out and say "A, B, C" when she sees writing.  It will be used as a way to explore letter recognition and other fun vocabulary concepts - not phonics or writing until she is older.

I'm not sure exactly how yet, but this will likely look a bit different than our current Tot School set up.  I think I will back down the number of trays again (I feel like six may be too overwhelming for her) and probably focus more on related activities during our time together rather than the actual trays, and allow the trays to be more for individual exploration.

I'll share about the direction things will take soon - as I figure it out!


  1. Have you ever researched Charlotte Mason? Wonderful ideas for early childhood!

    1. I have read little bits here and there, but I've seen much more about older children than her early childhood stuff. Its something I'm interested in learning more about! I think I will get The Early Years book and check it out!

    2. Jump on over at living and learning at home! My friend is having a "mamas read" on a free mason book!