Friday, July 31, 2009

Tot School starting August

"For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does 'just for fun' and things that are 'educational.' "  ~Penelope Leach

I have seen that to be true in our home.  If Mom enjoys it and has fun with the kids doing it (be it math, science, reading, or cleaning the bathroom) the kids do too.  At least when they are little.  So live it up while you can: teach them early that cleaning and working together and practicing the violin is fun while you still can, right?  

Oh the fun you can have with bubbles!  We went to see "The Bubble Man" at the library this week and Jay loved it and now tries to make neat bubbles too :)

Jay playing with his little violin and comparing it's size to my violin.

We had a great time making doodle rubbings.  Go here to make yours (easy!)

Our music listening includes some classical, church, and violin practice music.  Here are a few we focused on this week:
Jay is really improving with telling time.  Now he can read times that are written out too, like "four thirty-five."  He likes to set the clocks around the house too :)

Jay did a handwriting practice all on his own this week.  I was amazed at how well he had done when he brought it into me to see it!

Kay and Jay have had a lot of fun pouring water into containers on the back porch this week for their toys to play in :)

Our store in the village helps us learn about foods and where they come from.

Messages from the sun were fun to make too.  The sun fades the paper to leave a message behind.

Kay nurturing (aka washing its face) her little doll :)

Playing with friends at the splash park!
 We also did lots of cutting and sorting and reading this week, as well as playdoh and blocks/duplos creations with imagination galore :) I love watching them in action!

Here is where you can find what others did this week for Tot School.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tot School ending July

The weather has been so great this week for our family.  We spent a lot of time playing in the sunshine.  The kids also had fun playing with bugs outside.  I had to catch Kay with them too...some day she might not think she likes them so much :)
We had some reMARKABLE fun drawing letters.

This is a common scene this week.  Jay loves that his trike doubles as a scooter.  Kay can't get enough of pushing her favorite things around in the stroller.

I love how creative Jay gets with his "tools."

Self-portrait time at the mirror.

Jay finally got to use his violin bow this week.  Here are some photos of us practicing the correct bow hold and then counting down for the "rocket" to take off!

working on that beautiful bow hold.

Kay loves reading books to herself.

Touching trees...not for long...they're sharp!

Jay worked on bouncing and catching the ball.

Everyday my couch ends up looking like this on the floor.  It becomes a nest or fort of some kind.  One day it became a book nook and they both took a bunch of library books in and read for a while...

Jay can read a lot of words on his own.  I heard him reading this book to himself from the library books.

We found mushrooms in the backyard under ours and the neighbor's trees!

We had a fun week at tot school and even made it to visit a our first great lake to play in the sand and water :)  Go see what others did for Tot School.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Do schools kill creativity?

If you haven't had the chance to check out TED, you've been missing out.  Here is a wonderful talk about how creativity is critical for our children.  It's 20 minutes that is well worth your time.  TED celebrates the gift of the human imagination.  As a parent it is a wonderful reminder of the hope our children are and what our job really is.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tot School July

I haven't been as good with taking photos this week.  We've enjoyed the library, splash park, and lots of imagination time too.  I'm amazed at what the kids can come up with!

Jay learned to push Kay in the stroller:

Here he is taking a bow with his box violin, which he learned to do this week.

Kay is trying to potty train herself.  She yells "potty!" or "poop!" and pulls everything off and dashes for the bathroom.  Things look like this pretty often around here:

We got to see about 20 horses and their little colts!  So cute and the kiddos loved it!  I love it when a wrong turn on a trip turns into this:

We got out the letter cookie cutters and dipped them in paint to make names on the big pieces of paper.  We're using these for history.  There's lots of room to draw pictures of the things that remind us about what each person did.

They loved doing this puzzle TOGETHER!  Which I loved too!

Kay started some geography with naming states.

That's about it for us.  Go see what others did for Tot School this week.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tot School

I love taking pictures of my kids.  They love to have their pictures taken too.  Jay has decided that he loves to go around taking pictures also!  I will be including a few of his photos each week because it is fun to see the world from his perspective :)

This is a project that started out different than Jay wanted to do.  Here is what his idea of it was:

I love this photo of him reading to himself!

He loves playing learning games on the computer.  This week we practiced states and their capitals, herbivores vs. carnivores, and did puzzles of national monuments all on the computer at this site

Kay loves horses and animals in general.  We did lots of stickers and talked about the different breeds of animals.

She did stamps on a paper plate and we turned it into a purse.  This girl is a bag fan!  We were inspired by this

I picked up this Mother/baby puzzle this week at a thrift store.  Kay loves it and is really good at it!

This is what the project from the first photo really was.  We've been practicing memorizing letter combinations.  Jay glued on the sticks.
Jay took this photo of Kay playing with our village.

We did transportation stickers and Jay and Kay both loved them.  Jay made a story out of his.  Yes, the airplanes are all making a crash landing!  Stickers never get old!

More friends from the village.  That is Jay with his birds.  This week we made a farm.
Jay took this photo too.  It's of his favorite book next to his bed :)
And he did this airplane puzzle in no time flat on his first try!

That is all I have photos of, we've also been having fun with music :)
To see what others did this week, go Here

Monday, July 13, 2009

Violins and Videos

This past week was exciting for us.  Jay got a little violin.  He is thrilled!  I love watching him love everything about it!

I was showing Jay some videos of violinists on You Tube.  This one is really fun since I've been on both the dancing and the violin ends-but never together!

I wish You Tube had been around when I started the violin.  It's so inspiring to hear and see so many great violinists!

These are the 2 books I am using to help us get started.  I will do a little review of them in a bit.

I was lucky to be able to see my violin teacher for a lesson on how to teach tiny people to play the violin a few weeks ago when I visited Utah.  I was 12 when I started.  This is very different than being 12!  We've been practicing with his box violin and just getting the real one out to look at :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tot School 7/09

We've had a great week.  Sometimes I think that I should have a "structured school time" like I know other families do.  But, it seems that all of life is about learning so we happily go from one activity to the next and the kids never even know they are "at school."  It works for us for now.

Kay is sorting some things from around the house by color.  We have been working on colors and sorting this week.
Here she is grouping them in piles instead of rows :)
For kitchen time this week we had fun making edible sparklers and rockets for the 4th of July.  To see how they turned out, go to our other blog

Tracing airplanes (obsession!)

Cutting out the airplanes he traced...

Next Jay read a book about season and we split this paper into 4 seasons and he glued airplanes into the sky of each season and drew pictures on the land and in the air of what happens in that season.
Kay had fun tracing airplanes too...that girl can be dangerous with a pen though!

We've been feeding the birds in the backyard and had some fun visitors!
Kay says, "Monk!" every time this guy comes around!

Another life skill at work.  I added some height with some wood blocks to Jay's pedals so he can reach better=lots more fun!  Kay is a natural at steering the stroller.

Jay is really into stop signs and road signs in general.  He told me he had to stop here because there was a stop sign.

Jay likes to take pictures around the house.  I gave him my camera for about 7 minutes and these are a few of his shots:
It's fun to see things from his perspective.  These are some of the letters he's been writing each day.  I guess I should explain why they are all hanging from the chandelier: we are only here for the summer and can't put any holes in the walls!  Crazy end of the ribbon tied to the window and one to the chandelier to display :)
some of his favorites from our village...I love how his knee is in the pic.
Can you tell what his favorite animal is from this photo of one of his puzzles?

Kay loves to put on and take off her shoes.  Most of the time they are on the correct feet...sometimes not )

We were lucky to find some great duplos at the thrift store and Jay has been busy making "peacocks and birds on skates."

Hours of fun for everyone!