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Blossom School – January 5, 2012

Attempt. Here we go.

AppleBlossom is 29 months old.

Today we ventured in with a real attempt at “school”. We started out using our calendar (a work in progress). The board is a cardboard project board (~$2). The calendar set (including the Days of the week and Season/Weather chart) is Dots on Chocolate made by Creative Teaching Press. I bought both from a local store called The Knowledge Tree, but I have seen the calendar set on Amazon here. The color of the day is from Carisa at 1+1+1+1, and the Pledge is from Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations. Then at the bottom you see the flashcards – colors, shapes and Letter of the Week Bible verses – those are all part of the LOTW Curriculum I bought and downloaded from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler.

There are other features I plan to add once we’re ready for them. Now that I discovered that Carisa actually has newer printables I might change the Color of the Day, but I had printed and laminated this already before I found the combination ones including a movement, American state and more. I plan on adding Jolanthe’s Skip Counting Chart, and have space for it set aside, but I need to figure out how exactly I’ll put it up and we’re not quite there in counting yet anyway. Then later probably the days in school printable from her as well. Once again, just a little bit over our head esepcially since we’re not really on a strict schedule. I also plan to add the full date set up  downloaded from Mama Jenn because I think having the date shown all at once will be helpful to my little learner as well.

So anyway, what we did. We sang the Days of the Week Song (to the tune of the Adams Family) and then Counted out the days on the calendar. We did Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow and then the weather. AppleBlossom chose a Color of the Day and the I told her the Pledge of Allegiance while pointing to each word. One thing I would change if I could start over is that I would truly laminate all the pieces to the calendar, especially the Yesterday Was, Today Is and Tomorrow Will Be pieces. After about three months usage they are so bent and messed up for an enthusiastic toddler. I wish I could fix that. Or if I could replace just those pieces I would. In case you’re curious. Things are held up by a combination of glue stick, velcro dots, command hooks and book rings. (All of which came from the local store, but I have seen on Amazon most of them).

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Then I got out the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics thingy and the capital and lowercase A and we sang “the A says A and ah” several times as well as the ABC song.  We also have the Word Builder, so that’s how we also have lowercase letters (including two d’s and two m’s so we can make mom and dad).

Then we worked on the Apple Lacing Card (LOTW) and the Apple Coloring Page (LOTW). We also started on the Color Cards from A Heart for Home, but she got frustrated and lost interest about halfway through. I assume we’ll go back to it another day and try to finish it.

So you tell me. I’ve taught older kids (2nd grade, and then various middle and high schoolers) but I’ve never taught PreK. I’ve never started at the beginning. Going into it, how do these coloring pages look? Is this typical for a 2-1/2 year old? I want to encourage her to color in the lines, but I don’t want to do it to the point of her not enjoying coloring. Before the last couple of months, her main coloring experiences were in restaurants with those cheap crayons where she was never pressing down hard enough and therefore never wanted to color. She’s just recently learning these are different (she really loves markers, but they freak me out a bit).

And and OrangeBlossom sat nearby knawing on her frog. 🙂 She loved that both of us were down on the floor on her level and talkative so close.

We’re also working on our My First Bob Books Alphabet series, which I’ll tell you more about that in a review to come. Right now she just loves grabbing book after book and demanding I read it right then and there no matter what is going on. (Oh what horror, a girl that wants to read! In this house? No way! *wink*)

We also did a couple other things including reading from our My Read and Rhyme and Share Storybook Bible (my review) and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

After that, she begged for cheese, which is the sign that it’s lunch time and off we went. Now OrangeBlossom is sleeping in said chair, while AppleBlossom is whispering to herself and rolling on the floor in blankets. (I didn’t even suggest naptime!) Maybe that’s another great reason for morning school!!

Tot School

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About CherryBlossomMJ

The Creative Madness Mama also known as Margaret is a Christian Stay-at-home Mama, married to the Enginerd, Quilter, avid reader and book-a-holic. A book blogger for bunches of different publicists. She loves to share the latest and greatest about books coming out as well as her quilt and other crafty projects with some pictures of her Kindergartener AppleBlossom, newborn Almond Blossom (the boy!) and toddler OrangeBlossom in between. Plotting to be a homeschooler, she's a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, list making mama full of a little creative and a lot of madness.
  • Grasshopper turned 3 at the end of September, and his coloring still isn’t as well as Appleblossom’s. Of course, he’s way behind with everything. =P Your organization with all this has put me to shame! =)
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    • This is organized? hehe. As for the coloring, I guess she is getting the general color (that I suggested) in the general area, and then two inches or so on either side as she vigorously slices it back and forth. LOL 🙂

  • Kathryn

    Coloring is fine motor coordination and no matter how hard you try, some things just need time. I wouldn’t push at just over 2yrs old. If she’s having fun continue, when you hit a day it’s not fun (for you or her) take a break. As the mother to grown children I can confidently say ,”they all get there.” And it isn’t a race. Enjoy your time together. At this point that is what is most important.

    • Thank you Kathryn! I didn’t mean that I was going to push her if that’s how it sounded. I’m just truly curious, because with her being my first to hit this stage I don’t know what to expect. But every day is teaching me something new! 😉

      • Kathryn

        Oh no! I am so very sorry to sound as if I were accusing you of pushing your daughter. That was not my intention at all. I only meant to say that I believe these things too happen on God’s timeline, not ours. I agree to following your daughter’s lead and if she is eager by all means full steam ahead.

        • Oh no worries! Thank you — it is so helpful to bounce thoughts other mamas. New or long experienced 🙂

  • Looks like you are having a lot of fun – love your calendar! As for teh colouring it took my daughter til three to be ABLE to colour neatly – she didn’t however ever want to use the “correct colours” and even now at 4 I just let her choose her own colours as when I ask her what colour something is she can tell me but when she draws it she uses some other colour (and usually multiple colours) At 4 she still often scribbles and draws out the lines and then she will suddenly colour something terribly neatly look at me and grin and say: “This is neat. I’ll show my cousin (older than her) and she won’t be able to be as neat as me.” And then she’ll scribble in the rest of the picture. I definitely wouldn’t push for staying in the lines now.

    • I’m hearing that a lot about using whatever color. I guess that’s part of the natural learning of the artist inside. 🙂

  • I LOVE your calender wall! We just started homeschooling both our kids (3 and 4 years old) this past September and are always looking for new ideas. I might just have to create one of our own! 🙂

    • So far creating the calendar space has been one of my favorite things. 🙂

  • What a wonderful start to the new year! I love the calendar you have setup!
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  • Hi, I’m stopping by from Tot School. I love your calender set up. I’m just not organized enough to get something like that together yet! As for the coloring, I have boys, which I’ve heard are even less enthusiastic about coloring, but even my 5 year old still refuses to color coloring pages neatly/correctly. However, he loves to draw. I watched him scribble over the pumpkin on a P is for Pumpkin tracing page, then turn it over and draw his own pumpkin before coloring it in very neatly and drawing the green stem…then another time he used a toy as a model just to make sure the colors and shapes were correct for his drawing. Both of my boys (2.5 and 5) prefer plain paper and being allowed to “do their own thing” so I don’t offer coloring pages much anymore.
    Brittney´s last blog post ..Tot School in the Winter

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    • I hadn’t thought of that. I vaguely do remember once or twice at a restaurant we gave her their sheets and she turned it over to the blank side. Perhaps I should also give her some blank pages to have the option to do which ever she wants. Now that’s a great idea!

      Thanks the calendar is a work in progress, but everything we need so far. 🙂

  • Love your calendar wall! Looks like you put a lot of time and love into it.

    I bought some Bob Books for my little guy too, but I started off with the pre-reading skills set. I was planning on getting the alphabet set eventually, so I’ll be interested in seeing your review.
    Jenny@Get ‘Er Done, Momma!´s last blog post ..Winter Theme: The Mitten

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    • Thank you! I have put more thought and time in than action, but it’s coming around. 🙂

      So far I’m a fan of the Bob Books, right now she’s kinda grabbing them ahead of when I was ready and when she brings me one we read it. But in a way I feel like these that are about spatial reasoning and shapes it’s okay. 🙂 I’ll have reviews of several of them coming soon.

  • LOVE your calender. I made ours last year, and it needs a re-vamp. Thinking I can go all pink because my boys are growing out of enjoying our Calender Time. Thanks for the great ideas! You will love having these posts to look back at where she started! Stopping by from 1+1+1=1.
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Tot School- 2 Years Old!

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    • With my first daughter I swore I wouldn’t go pink. We went purple. This time (now two girls) I said I cannot help myself but to go pink. LOL 😉

  • Wow! Your little girl is doing awesome! Reminds me of my daughter at that age! What a difference it makes from tot to tot because my son wouldn’t be able to do that, and they are a month apart! You are doing a lovely job, and your calendar board is great! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    • Mariah, thank you so much for commenting. It really is helpful to bounce things off other mamas, especially when I feel like I haven’t a clue what’s going on! 🙂

  • I’m so glad i found your page! I have a 27 1/2 month old daughter, we are beginning letter A tomorrow! I just printed off some materials from 1plus1plus1’s tot school site. I love being able to see someone close to where I will be in this process. we just relocated & living in a hotel right now…so I can’t set up her school room yet…so we’ve been doing the best we can. I just became a stay-at-mom with this move! It’s all such a big change, but a dream come true! maybe we can chat and exchange ideas & such! 🙂

    • I’m so glad for your change! Being a SAHM is honestly the best, even if there is no reprieve. LOL I love the idea of finding a kindred spirit here. I definitely hope we can touch base. 🙂

      Where are you moving from? to? Husband’s career or what?

      • We lived in Tampa,FL – our whole lives! & yes, he had a better offer to transfer here…so here we are!
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  • My calandar area is much less permanent and I am envious (in a good way) of your organization. I am thinking it is time that I just mounted something on my wall! It would make life and teaching so much easier!
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    • Thanks. It helps me to have somewhere, and then I know where things are!

  • Stopping by to say hello. Enjoyed your post.
    Melissa´s last blog post ..Now I know my ABC’s…. or so I thought