We’re more than a month into our school year and J is loving tot school, although he has no idea he’s doing anything intentional. This past month has been a huge learning curve for me as I’ve realized that what worked for M is not what works best for J. When M was this age, she was really into “doing school” and liked her tot trays lined up on the table while she worked through each one. She also liked doing paper work, such as themed printable packets.
J – not even close. Developmentally, he is pretty much on par with where M was at this point but prefers completely different environments. He has no desire (or ability, truth be told) to sit down and work through a number of tasks at a time. He much prefers to bounce from one play-based activity to the next and that’s fine by me! I love that tot school is giving me the opportunity to understand more about how he processes things and what type of learner he is.
Each one of my kids are their own unique selves and one of the best things about teaching them at home is being able to provide them with an educational environment that is best suited for them. If you were to stop by during the week, it would almost never look like J was doing school yet I’ve been intentional in the types of activities I’ve been putting out for him.
By simply incorporating these activities into our normal playroom, he is learning new ideas and working on development motor skills while still just getting to be a rambunctious two year old! Here’s a look at some of the activities we’ve been doing:
I don’t think I can say this enough but one of my biggest goals for each of our kids is to cultivate a love of reading. It’s such a powerful gateway to explore different ideas, concepts, people and places. Because of this, J is involved is all our reading throughout the day.
One of the ways he is completely different than his sister is that he loves to curl up with a pile of books and be read to. At this age, I used to read while M danced around the room, hoping she was hearing at least a few works. With J, he is constantly asking to read from a pile of his favorite books.
I also catch M reading to her little brother multiple times throughout the week. These moments warm my heart every time.
We used cars to practice spelling his name this month. Since he is just beginning to learn his letters as well as how to spell his name, this is something that we did together. A few times, M took over the role of teacher and helped him line them up correctly. Since J loves any form of transportation, he had a blast driving each car into the right place.
Puzzles have always been a favorite activity in our house, for both the kids and adults! Since they are usually kept out of the playroom to prevent pieces from being lost, I’ve been intentionally taking them out at least once a week and J loves to work through them each. While he can do most of the chunky puzzles on his own, he likes when we do them together better. How can I resist?
We brought home a massive haul of apples after our apple picking adventures one weekend in preparation for making applesauce. Before cutting them all up, we used them to practice counting! You can see from the pictures that J was multi-tasking by counting and taste testing at the same time. To keep things simple, J and I practice counting apples up to 10.
Since we already had apples on the brain, the kids made sticker pictures one afternoon of an apple orchard. I loved watch J purposefully choose where to place each sticker, even if the final product doesn’t make that obvious. He was proud of his final picture, it’s currently hanging on the wall next to his bed! 🙂
Building Blocks and Tangrams
We are constantly taking out the blocks since J loves to build towers. We recently got these awesome blocks that provide a great opportunity for creativity and fine motor skills improvement. You can see the pride in his face when he finished his latest creation.
I also started introducing the tangrams we have. This is something we work on together since he doesn’t have the stamina to complete an entire picture on his own yet. I am impressed though that he stays focused to make sure each piece stays on its correct spot.
Whew! That was a long update but we’ve been busy! It is such a blessing to watch him grow and learn each day.