Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tot School

If you will remember, I recently took a trip to IKEA with a few of my girlfriends.

I have traveled to IKEA (twice in the past month) because we were the blessed recipients of Room on a Dime sponsored my very own Mom and Dad. (Sorry, this sponsorship is only for family members, more specifically my sister and I!)

This year we chose to work on our school room. Tot School and Kindergarten had been occurring in our dining room. However, it wasn't very efficient and the close proximity of the boys to each other caused . . . tension. At the suggestion of some friends and a little bit of blog hopping, we decided that we needed to move to individualized work spaces.

Wow! What a difference organization and space makes! So thanks Mom and Dad. We are loving our new school digs!

And the best part about it all? When I came home from my weekend away at the Hearts at Home conference, the Hottie Hubby utilized his small work force and put the whole room together! What a surprise!

Tot Trays here we come!

What I love about our new work space is that I can now have the boys work on separate school lessons at the same time! I don't know why this is working better, but I think it is because we have space, more specifically my brain and body have space to think and multitask.

This week I had Mr. Me-Too sort the animals in Noah's Ark. He had to work on finding pairs.

The Hottie Hubby and I are working on helping Mr. Me-Too express his feelings. Often he wants to cry or throw something. I understand that he is frustrated. So we are trying to be patient and creative, encouraging him to learn how to tell us what is wrong. Thankfully, Carisa at 1+1+1=1 posted a feelings lapbook that we have been using.

Mr. Me-Too is matching the feelings faces.

Then, he picked out a face to color.

And completed learning about that color by finding objects in our house that were yellow.

The boys always see me sew. So I decided to have them sew something or be involved in a sewing project. I stitched some pre-designed animal pillows together and they stuffed their pillows. This really worked their fine and gross motor skills. I think this will be a project that we repeat. They struggled with it at first. It was difficult because they couldn't visualize what they were really doing by stuffing the pillow. It just seems like an endless task! Mr. Me-Too made Lady the Cat, and Mr. Smackdown stuffed Matthew the Fire Dog.

Since we have a lot of energy in our house . . . my mom helped facilitate a creative outlet for all this manliness. When things get frustrating . . . go to the punching bag! This also works great for some hand/eye coordination!

(Oh, you can get a glimpse of the old school room!)

Mr. Me-Too learned how to sort and put away the silverware.

We made pumpkin muffins.

I had the boys help me fold all of the diapers!

And we went to our last gymnastics class for a few months. Sadness!

We are currently reading a GREAT book, which I will soon share . . . but not quite yet. To reinforce what we have learned in our book, the boys decorated a feelings bucket. This serves as a visual tool to remind us to always fill each others bucket with kindness.


Prasti said...

*drool* look at that school room ;o). i love getting organized :). great idea for the dude punching bag...

christina said...

The school room looks terrific! Such a great space for growing, learning, having fun, and even punching! :) Mr. Me-Too is blessed to have a mommy and daddy who are helping him learn to identify his feelings and ask for what he needs. When are you coming to visit us?

Erin said...

Oh wow, so jealous of your new school room! It looks awesome!! I'm also jealous of the diaper folding help! I wish I could find someone to help me stuff diapers lol!

Adriana said...

We heart IKEA too. :) I have to add my jealousy for your school room. I have a shelving system like yours for your work trays. I just need to get it all organized. Thanks for sharing.

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Oh my goodness - I am loving your school area. I totally "get" what you are saying about space to think being related to actual space in your home (at least I think that's what you were saying!). It looks so organized, spacious, and inviting! I love your tot tray ideas too - so many great things! M is our silverware-putter-awayer too (official title, you know). :)

Michelle said...

I love your school area! What an awesome gift. Your week looks great! Lots of fun going on in your home! *Ü*

Jena said...

love the new school is great!!! I want to go to IKEA now too!!!!

Laurel said...

you are officially overwhelming me!!! :) I love keeping up with you through your lovely blog! MAN, you are taking wonderful pictures! I have been praying for you and your family. I have a sister who has asked about your slings. Love you! Keep up the great work, Mama!

Not So Average Mama said...

Love the set up! I can not wait to have a dedicated school room!!!!!