Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Off on the right foot!

Pregnancy is exhausting...anyone want to argue with that?

I feel like I've been neglecting so many things, especially my son's education. Where I used to do some really fun, creative, and engaging activities most days, now I'm lucky if I can find the motivation to even try it engage him. For me, that has been very frustrating. As a parent and former teacher that is planning to home school, I feel like it my duty to make sure that my son is constantly learning. I'm not trying to force him to do things that he can't or resists, but I do like to show him new things and see if he can handle it or if he gets a little frustrated.

Well, after having a full 24 hours of down time (thank you Mom and Dad), I was able to get enough sleep to realize that I did still have the drive and motivation in me to plan and do some great things with my son. Plus, perhaps if I just get started it will all start to fall into place.

Q. Where is my biggest downfall as a teacher?

A. Deciding what to plan! Let me explain. I do not have problems with planning in the sense that I can't be organized, but the problem comes when I am looking at so many great activities and can't decide which are the best to focus on. I often and up just feeling overwhelmed and irritated with myself.

In all honestly, I've planned out "tot school" before. I've had great plans for books and song and crafts, but in the end, I either put so much planning into one week that I'll never be ready for week #2 or else I just let things slide.

How to combat this problem????
FINALLY take the advice that I was given while I was in college and beg, borrow, and steal! I have always felt like taking someone else's work and using it is cheating. So when it came time to do that in college (and it was okay to do that for the teaching method's classes most of the time), I shied away from doing that and constantly found myself trying to reinvent the wheel! Imagine how exhausting and what a bad use of time it is to be constantly creating worksheets (that are probably already out there), making up games (that I could probably pay under $10 to own), and constantly trying to think of something "new".

I'm putting all of that aside this time! I started searching through home school blogs and found a GREAT toddler curriculum that is not a "store bought" curriculum, but was made by a Mom that is a great planner and brought together many elements to make it well-rounded. Here are the plans from "From A to Z: Our Tot School Adventure". I didn't use only what she had and I didn't like some of the topics, but luckily she planned for a year, so I was able to move things around. She did have links to just about EVERYTHING though!

Matthew and I started yesterday with the "Fall" theme, which will last the entire month and most likely into October for us. We did the "Musical Monday" and listened to Vivaldi's "Seasons", which I found easily on youtube.com. He loved it! I think that because each season had a sideshow of the season, it reminded him of "Baby Einstein" and he always loved his "Baby". We also worked with the pattern blocks and had our first day of calendar yesterday.

Today, we are going to do some of the "Letter A" activities, which I know he will enjoy since it means he gets to use scissors!!  :)

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