Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tot School

I am a teacher.

Everyone is, really.

I never thought I would be a teacher, but I became a teacher. In middle school, I thought for sure that I would be a pilot in the Air Force because not many girls aspired to this dream. In high school, I decided that I would become a doctor. But, they have to go to school a long time. (I also fainted watching someone get a spinal tap.) So, I decided to become a physical therapist. It was predicted that there would be a shortage of therapist due to the rapidly aging Baby Boomers (sorry Mom and Dad). However, volunteering at the local physical therapy hospital wasn't exactly fun.

I went to college anyway. Thanks Mom and Dad! My education prepared me for the most important work of my life.

Well, Jesus happened and Chemistry didn't that freshman year of college. I left school jaded by a large school setting and looked forward to a bright future in accounting at a small college deeper in the Bible Belt.
But God had plans other than accounting for me. I read a book called, In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, which is the reason people wear those popular WWJD bracelets. I thought that it wouldn't hurt to ask God what I should do. The answer I got was, "Be a teacher." OK.

I am a teacher. I love to teach. Even though I thought I would be a High School teacher, God still had other plans. I taught Middle School. The crazy thing about this is that one of my students is now a close friend!
Then I took an even bigger leap. I taught kindergarten for 3 years. I think it may be the best age to teach.

At two years of age, Mr. Smackdown had a mommy that was already preparing for school. Now that he is 4, I am in heaven. We are almost to kindergarten! I am loving teaching him to read, think creatively, learn to write, and count.
However, there is another individual in our house who doesn't have quite the attention span, but wants to be like big brother. What makes it worse is that this Little Man (AKA Mr. Easy) is quite passionate about his desire to participate. Like his birthday, he gets fired up and hot like a firecracker to do school and then his attention fizzles out into thin air. The solution?

Tot School or Tot Time! It is great fun and I am so thankful for the idea from a fellow blogger of 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. Here is what Carisa has to say about the purpose of Tot School:

Tot School is nothing more than intentionally providing your tot with
age appropriate activities that are fun and engaging. By choosing specific
toys and activities, we expose our tots to a variety of early learning
skills. Mastery is not the goal, FUN is!

I think that Mr. Smackdown enjoys Tot Time even more than the Tot in our house! Most mornings, after quiet times, we come downstairs and have Tot School. Because Tot Time is short, we can usually do it while Mr. Smiley takes his morning nap or crawls around.
What does Tot Time look like? Well, here is what we did yesterday.

We read a story about a little boy who didn't obey his parents and subsequently fell into a manure pile (the boys enjoyed saying "poop," as did their Grandma). As a result the boy learns that children should obey their parents because God tells us to and it offers protection. Then they colored and glued on some textured items to the picture of the little boy. I don't know if they learned a lesson, but it was fun to talk about who poops.

Mr. Easy is very intent on using his pencil correctly.

Big Brother, Mr. Smackdown, enjoys getting to use markers for Tot Time.

Mr. Easy separated "squishy" and "hard" items.

Tot School


Sarah said...

I'm so glad I know someone in real life doing this now! My aunt, well David's aunt but I claim her as my own, also a homeschooling momma, turned me on to it a few weeks ago! I LOVE IT! SO MANY great ideas, Aaron loves what we've done so far!

Sarah said...

I love your intro! I am reading In His Steps right now! What a neat thing to have in common.