Friday, September 3, 2010

1st week-A is for Apple, Square, number 1

Monkey is 2 +4 months

Our first week started out a bit crummy.  I was sick all day and ended up having to go to the ER for an IV because I was just days shy of being allowed to be in Labor and Delivery for one for dehydration.  It was a ROUGH day and I felt so awful!  I was so excited to start our Tot School and go to the library (it's closed next week for Labor Day and the following week is the off week of the story time).  Fortunately I already had our books but I was way too sick to even read silently to myself let alone aloud to Monkey.  Monkey decided that he would start "reading" though.  He read Where Is Baby's Belly Button? to me all by himself several times when I first got him up.  He spent the morning watching "Blue's Clues" "Curious George" and "Sesame Street" from our DVR.  He did ask for his Froggy movie-

I slept through most of the movie in between trips to the bathroom to throw up though :(.  The good news though was that we were able to set an appointment for the next day with a Pediatric Urologist for Monkey's issues.  The bad news with it is that we will have to really shorten our Tot School week because the specialist is over an hour drive away.  That's life though!

We got home really late from the Urologist-3 PM.  So I put Monkey down for a nap and started getting his learning poster ready and everything set up and decided we'd do Tot School with daddy for a few minutes.  Here's everything (with descriptions) before Monkey got up.

The sources of the various cards we are using this week in our Letter Box and on our Learning Poster

Our Learning Poster for Letter A/a, Square, and Number 1
The top of our Poster-close up
The middle of our poster-the words read "apple, alligator, animal, astronaut, alphabet, ambulance, acrobat"
The bottom of our poster-read the rhyme below
The Rhyme on the poster is:
(to the tune of "Yankee Doodle")
Peel an apple,
cut it up,
cook it in a pot.
When you taste it
you will find
it's applesauce you've got.

You can find it and many other Apple poems here.

Our Books for today-see below for links
We check out most of our books from the library but we own the first two:
Alphatales Letter A book: The Adventures of Abby Alligator (or buy the whole set here or here)
Bob Books letter A/B book (The whole set of Bob Books Alphabet part of the My First Bob Books series)
Anna and the Letter A-Alphabet Friends
My "a" Sound Box
Animals should definitely not wear clothing. by Judi Barrett (author of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs)
Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington

Our Letter A/1/Square Letter Box-all the contents (including the A/B Bob Book), puzzle pieces, various flash cards, etc
All packed up and ready for Monkey to explore!
Everything ready to go for Monkey when he wakes up
I was debating whether I should use a pocket chart or a poster board and the pocket chart won.  I decided it would be easier to just slip things in pockets than to tape things up.  I couldn't figure how to hang it up at first without making more holes in our wall (we're trying to sell our house) and then I had this idea that the frame around our fireplace was metal therefore might be magnetic.  Sure enough it was!  I got some clip magnets off of the fridge and hung it up with those.  We like to do our Tot School in our family room so if we watch a movie or want to play something there's plenty of room.  We do crafts in our kitchen though (and anything coloring or that may be messy).  I decided that the fireplace makes a great place to set things because we have a nice big seat in front of it.

I had to wake Monkey up from his busy day so we could have dinner and do Tot School.  Daddy decided to join us (but like me isn't a fan of having pictures taken).  Here's what Monkey found after he went to the potty:

Monkey first found my camera and asked for me to take his picture-and gave a super cheesy smile!
Finally got bored with the camera after a minute and had to check out his poster-I had to keep him from ripping it all apart
He had a lot of fun naming the things on his poster-I helped him make the short letter a sound (like in apple and alligator).  I read the poster to him but we're saving the rhyme for Wednesday
He then went straight for the box.  It's a different one than last year because I think Daddy threw his old one away by accident-he couldn't figure out what direction it opened until I showed him
Opening the box and discovering what is inside
I had to help him put the pictures together but he had fun discovering the squares, number ones, letter As, and things that start with the letter A
The WHOLE time he was discovering his letter box he sat in that squatted position-it was about 5 minutes-his daddy was very impressed (his elbow is over there on the left side of the picture).  Monkey is discovering his Bob Book AB Book
After he got everything out of his box I read Monkey his AB Bob Book and then Alphatales and continued through the books.  His favorite seemed to be Apple Farmer Annie which even includes some fun apple recipes in the back.


Didn't do much formerly for Tot School today.  I have a business meeting (for those of you that don't know I'm a WAHM or Work At Home Mom and own my own business-Monkey Bunns-I sew cloth diapers and other mama/baby products and knit just about anything-I'm hosted on Hyena Cart but have an Etsy too but as of writing this don't have anything in stock on Etsy) on the first Wednesday of the month during lunch so unless Monkey wakes up earlier than normal-he likes to wake up somewhere between 8-9 which gives me some time in the morning to work and get stuff ready for the day-and doesn't need to take a shower/bath we don't really have much time to do anything.  We totally ran out of time this time though and we ended up going to visit family in the late afternoon so nothing today besides the normal playing and what not and playing with the big foam floor puzzle letter A and number 1


We started out by reviewing our learning poster and singing our rhyme of the week on the poster.  I then went through our list of poems that I gathered from CanTeach and StepByStepcc.  We didn't go through ALL of them and I've noticed between the two sites (which we will regularly use most weeks) there are some repeats and typos.

For organization purposes I copied and pasted them in to a Word document and created a 2 column table so I could get as many as possible on a single page.  I'm also keeping everything for the week in file folders so they're easy to get to.  So far we have 3-Art (which will contain our coloring pages for the week as well as any craft ideas or any paper or anything we'll need for the craft or a card reminding me where to find everything very quickly), Games (which will contain any puzzles or printouts that we'll do during the week), and Rhymes/Poems.  So far I'm liking this system and I think as Monkey gets older we'll transition in to a workbox type system.

Back to our day though-after we read our rhymes and I sang him a few songs (he LOVES when I sing even though I'm not very good) we re-read Alphatales and did the A/a cheer in the book.  We then read:

I told you it was one of our favorites!  We still need to buy it-we borrow it from the library a lot.  This time I had Monkey take his "counting finger" (index finger) and point to the apples and count them.  Since then he's been trying to count everything though he still likes to skip number 4.

We then read a fun alphabet book: "A" Was Once An Apple Pie.  It has something fun for each letter and then funny rhyming sounds which toddler ears love.  We also read Max & Mo Go Apple Picking (Ready-to-Read. Level 1)  which is about two hamsters in a class room that get sick of eating corn so they go "apple picking".  You learn how to make apple prints and applesauce in the book and it includes easy kid instructions for both.  We also read The Magic Apple (Step-Into-Reading, Step 3) which is about 3 sisters who buy "magic" items (a spyglass, a horse, and an apple) and come together to use them to save a handsome prince.  It was a cute story but didn't keep Monkey involved as much as many of the others.  We also read Found an Apple (I'm Going to Read Series) which I think was Monkey's second favorite of the day.  It repeats a lot and has simple words.  He was trying to "read" it with me (repeating everything I said).  We planned to read An Apple Tree Through the Year (Nature Watch (Carolrhoda Paperback)) but it was VERY grown up with a ton of words.  I knew it wouldn't keep his attention so we just glanced at the pictures and Monkey pointed out the apples.

We took our Tot School to the kitchen so Monkey could color his Letter A pages-letter A in this and the coloring page here.  While he colored I read chapter 7 of Ralph S. Mouse.  We were supposed to read through the end but Monkey started getting fussy when he decided he was done coloring.  SO we had to stop and switch gears.  There's always tomorrow!


I started out the morning by requesting our books for letter C.  I like to request our books a couple weeks in advance online because it's easier than browsing the shelves with a toddler who likes to destroy!  He loves being in the library but he loves even more to pull ALL the books off the shelves so to prevent frustration from both of us it's easier to request the books and spend our library time playing with the games and puzzles and going to story time.  We also have a lot of the people in the area do the same thing (request books online) so there are usually waits on books or all the ones for toddlers for a holiday or a theme will be checked out at the same time.  We get to hold as many books as we want for 3 weeks so it's just easier to do that and get them on Saturday when I'm at my knitting group (usually without Monkey-it's my couple hours to bond with other moms).  For moms of toddlers I highly recommend this-especially if you like to get more than just a couple books each week-have your spouse or someone watch your child for a few minutes while you go get the books.  It's nice to get out of the house for a few minutes and it's also nice to have both of your hands to hold them (or bags with books).

We reviewed our learning poster again.  We then read our books for the day.  Our two favorites were:

I know-we RE-READ it but we really enjoyed it the first time so we HAD to read it again.  Expect to see it again come our "F-Fall" week!  This book also includes recipes for Applesauce, Apple Muffins, and Applesauce Cake with Butter Frosting.

This was our second favorite because of the simple words and pictures as well as the whole idea that the tree shows how it goes through the 4 seasons which is fun.  Like the last book it also includes a recipe (for Apple Pie) and it has some information about how bees help apples grow which could lead to a nice Science lesson on pollination of flowers-especially nice for a spring theme.

 We also read:
-How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (Dragonfly Books) which is a fun book to help kids learn a little bit about Geography and about how communities (and the world specifically) work together to create one thing.
-The Apple Pie that Papa Baked.  This one was also a really fun book that used repetition and building on to create a story about how things work together to make the apples on the tree grow so that Papa can bake apple pies.  It also uses a lot of adjectives so it would be a great book with older kids to demonstrate how to use adjectives.
-Orange Pear Apple Bear.  I highly recommend this book too.  It's very simple and was a fun read.  There are very few words in this book and they repeat while the picture changes.  Monkey really enjoyed this one.

I think out of all of the days of our Tot School week we liked this grouping of books the best-it's kind of funny how that happened!  Usually we like 1 or 2 a lot and the others are ok each day but we really enjoyed all of the books today.

We then finished (chapter 8, 9, and the Epilogue) Ralph S. Mouse.  We really enjoyed the conclusion and can't wait to borrow another Ralph Mouse book from the library.

Monkey decided on one more learning activity he wanted for the day/week.  He asked to "watch hands" while sitting in front of his Signing Time DVDs so I asked if he wanted to watch the ABC Signing Time (this of course was all before his nap).  I explained that he needed to "nap then ABCs".  He fought me for a bit but once he got the idea in his head he ended up being OK with it.  When he woke up a couple hours later he IMMEDIATELY (as soon as we opened the door) said "ABCs?"  So I took him to the bathroom and while his daddy cooked us dinner we watched ABCs.  The Alphabet Signing Time is really fun and I highly recommend it.


I hope you enjoyed reading about our week!  We had a pretty good first week of Tot School with very little whining (mainly due to Monkey begging to watch Blue's Clues-sigh).  Now I need to figure out how to break THAT habit or help him understand that shows are to watch when mommy needs to be in the other room doing chores and that our morning doesn't revolve around them (I seriously have NO idea where he got that idea other than the fact that Monday he got to watch whatever he wanted because I was too sick to even move).

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  1. I'm sorry to hear that you were under the weather. That sure didn't stop you though. You guys did a lot! More then we did that's for sure. LOL

  2. what I *really* want to know is how you managed to convince your child to sleep in until after 8! Both my 15 month old tot and my 6 year old seem congenitally unable to sleep past 6:30am. I'd love to recover my mornings; maybe I could rediscover what it feels like to be clean the first half of the day instead of waiting to shower until nap time ;)

    We'll be doing an apple theme soon; I appreciate the book recommendations!

  3. It never has taken convincing-it's TOTALLY him. He goes to bed between 8 and 9 (it's closer to 9 in the summer when it's light and lately closer to 8) and he just plain sleeps until at least 8. I do kind of sneak around when I get up between 6:30 and 7 and hubby is really quiet as he gets ready for work but he's always been a good sleeper. He started sleeping through the night (6+ hours) most nights from about 8 weeks on (at that point he'd wake up about 6:30 though). He'll wake up earlier some days but for the most part he loves his sleep :). You could always read No Cry Sleep Solution (especially the toddler/preschooler one)-maybe there are some recommendations in there to help your kiddos sleep longer?

    Good luck with the Apple theme! I printed out a puzzle and the apple size ordering from Confessions of a Homeschooler but due to our short week we didn't get much time so we didn't use them.