Ashley Holifield

Blog

tot school adventures

When I came home from teaching to full time momma I knew I still wanted to teach but this time, my own little one! We started tot school back in August and have been learning, exploring and experimenting the past few months. I have definitely learned just as much as she has! Teaching 1st grade is just a little different than a 2 year old and when its your own it takes a whole new level of patience! Sharing what we have done so far and what has worked for us!

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Each week we focus on a new letter by introducing the letter, vocabulary words that begin with the letter and crafts! I found great printables to use for each letter on this website, The crafts I have done are all on my Pinterest! I’m nothing fancy for sure! Just a momma using great ideas already out there!! Thank you to all you creative mommas!!

 

I also like to incorporate some type of sensory and fine motor activity. We love painting with brushes, q tips and stamps. Simple activities like feeding straws through holes punched in the top of empty oatmeal containers. Digging in colored rice for small objects, shaving cream and play-do! There are so many activities to do with all of these and for CHEAP! Most of what I use can easily be found around your house, at the dollar store or Walmart. It doesn’t have to cost a ton to make a fun activity for your toddler.

 

The other main part of our week is colors, shapes and numbers. We have done all colors, shapes and number 1-10 each week. This is done through different sorting activities, matching, pictures, stickers and games. There are so many different ways to practice recognizing colors, shapes and numbers. See my Pinterest for some ideas I have used!


Another big question I get is how to organize the day or create a schedule for tot school. I am definitely a routine person and when I transitioned from full time teacher to full time stay at home I needed that routine! Sharing our schedule below in case you are like me!

Tot School Schedule

6:30 - Both wake up (Evie has morning milk + cartoons while mom works out)

7:00 - Breakfast

7:30 - Devotion + morning chores, independent play time

9:00 - Tot school activities (letters, sensory, shapes, numbers. colors)

10:30 - Snack + music/dance time

11:00 - Clean up tot school + independent play

12:00 - Lunch

1:00 - Nap time (mom works)

3:00 - Snack

3:30 - Outside play, park, games, sensory play

5:00 - Independent play (mom chores + dinner)

6:00 - Dinner + clean up

7:00 - Bath, story + bedtime

Obviously this is our tentative schedule! We all know when dealing with a toddler and real life some days don’t go quite as planned! We typically follow this Mon-Wed and Thursday is our outing day to the library for story time and Chick-fil-A for lunch and play! Fridays are grocery and family day.


Also wanted to pass on a couple tips and tricks I’ve learned over the past few months that have helped me!

ONE

The most important thing to remember and I am constantly reminding myself of is to always keep it fun! If it any point it becomes a chore or a battle—stop, take a break, try another day. I never want my little girl to dread learning. If there is a day either one of us is not in the mood we will change it up and take a break from regular activities.

TWO

I have also learned because of my slightly OCD ways of wanting things to be clean and not messed up I have to allow tot school time to be messy. Live in the moment, be present and with her as we play. Then when we are done I can clean it up! No need to stress— this goes back to keeping it fun!

THREE

Attention spans are short! Keep expectations low! haha I will see a fun activity or craft and sometimes it goes great other times she is over it after 2 minutes. I remind myself she is JUST 2! She gets bored quick and will want to move on to the next thing usually quicker than I expect. I keep little filler activities with coloring or stickers to help give her something to do while I get ready for the next activity!

FOUR

The last thing is to always be flexible. This is a lesson learned from teaching days. Things come up, schedules get changed and some weeks looked more like review and less new. That’s okay! This is not a strict school schedule, no report cards or deadlines here! WOO! So I can take it slow and at a pace that works for us!

 

So thankful for the opportunity to be able to do this with her and hope to do the same with the next!