"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tot School: What Have We Been Up To?

My tot school posts had come to a stop for a few reasons.
One is because we completed all the BFIAR books I wanted to.  There were more from the list of books I wanted to do but the library didn't have them and they are crazy expensive online to purchase.  We sure did have fun with BFIAR and I plan to repeat the books again when all the kids can be included and I can add in different levels of difficulty and variances in activities. 

Another reason there haven't been posts is because I'm just not taking pictures! Lately we've just been doing life here.  Having fun, playing, reading, and making memories.  We've still been doing some fun things and pulling activities from the cupboard.  But there hasn't been a huge focus on learning specific things like colors and letters.  Our learning is happening as we go and we've just been doing a lot of painting, playdough, and pretend play.  I want to focus on being in the moment with my kids when we are playing, so I haven't taken as many photos as before.  It's hard to divide attention three ways as well as a camera....so the camera has to be the one to go:) 

I read this blog post and wanted to share it.  Take it how you want, but I think it was good to read and think on.  Right now, we plan to homeschool when that times comes.  But as this fall was approaching and everyone was talking 'back to school' talk it dawned on me that I have a child who technically could be in preschool.  Raelynn will be 4 the end of January.  I was suddenly wondering if we should or needed to be doing structured curriculum and I was really really really not wanting to. Not yet! This woman's words reminded me that it is ok to take the structure off of learning and not to push anything too early and too soon.
However, I do like structure in the day and if I don't have things planned then it's hard to come up with the ideas.  The kids all love crafts and doing activities so much, so I want to provide that for them. Sometimes I forget that even though we aren't doing an 'activity' we are still doing things together and learning.  Just this week, Declan learned to pull up and down his pants.  Elliana can put on her socks and shoes.  Raelynn has learned to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Those are big moments! Must not forget that!  And must remember to slow down and savor these years when school isn't a must and we can take all the time we want to to just enjoy truly playing.  Soon they won't need mommy to read their books or be their patient at the doctor.

Here is a peak into what we've been doing lately.  Just a lot of random stuff, but I've got the pictures, so I want to post them here before deleting from my phone.  

The kids love tic tacs! We had an empty container and they enjoyed filling it with beans. All three bigs played with this. Great motor skill practice.

Playing grocery store! A favorite of ours.  I've been saving boxes to stock our 'shelves'.  The only problem is then storing it all when we want to put it away.  This is something I play with them as they need a little help taking turns being the cashier and sharing the items on the shelf to buy.  We saved some old plastic cards and they use the magna-doodle as the credit card slot.  I don't think they are quite ready for money, so we stick with the credit card.  Soon it will be fun to get a pretend cash register and money! 

Raelynn standing in the check out line with her list, coupon in hand, and phone tucked under her arm! haha.  Only thing she is missing is a baby strapped to her in the ergo....oh, and two in the cart and one walking next to her....then she'd look just like mama:)

Sorting colors.  Why do my kids not enjoy this?? The puff balls just always end up all over the floor.

We successfully can play with play dough and none of it goes in the mouth! :)  They are getting better and rolling it out and using cookie cutters and the different tools we have.

Loving jigsaw puzzles.  Declan can now do them all by himself as long as there is a border and outlined pieces. 

This knife from pampered chef is so great!! Raelynn loves helping in the kitchen and I love having her help in the kitchen.  Her toddler knives didn't always cut it. (haha.) This knife is safe for kids! She is helping me cut up Colt's beans and carrots:)

Our aprons are always handy.  We cook a lot.  One way I keep my sanity is to have my kids help in the kitchen.  Kitchen prep--whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner, can be stressful because I'm committed to the counter and the kids are running wild.  They usually want to help, so I try to find something for them to do.  And some days we just make things for the fun of it:)

We have been reading a lot! But you can never read too much, right?! We go to the library every two weeks and get new books.  Whenever we have time we are reading.  Raelynn and Declan are enjoying the story books now so it's fun.

A tea party!! Amazing how the presentation of something can make it so exciting.  We had water for most of the party, then I did give them a little tea, too.:) They LOVE this!
They really like the song "Down By The Bay"  (you know....down by the bay, where the watermelons grow? back to my home, I dare not go.  For if I do, my mother will say.....)
So we made watermelons and I extended the activity for Raelynn by counting the seeds and writing the numbers.
Declan enjoyed using the glue stick for the first time.  Then I put little dots of glue for him to put the seeds on.  Good practice for one-to-one correspondence.

I was going back and forth helping the twins, and before I knew it Raelynn had completed her entire craft all by herself! She is getting so big!  It was great to see her take the lead and just go with it and make it how she wanted. 

Elliana had a hard time with the glue stick, so I put the glue on the papers and she stuck them on.  She liked it a lot and then liked ripping the papers off even more:)

Raelynn wrote her own name all by herself!! I had no idea she could do this!

Playing "Ants in the Pants"

We pulled this activity out again and I wrote numbers on the pieces to extend the activity for Raelynn.

Declan has been wanting to glue anything he can now

We read a book we have called "Going on a Picnic" and we used our plastic picnic set to go on a picnic in our fort. 


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