Adventures in Tot Schooling

Summer…

We’ve been taking a break from organized units, and have been meandering whichever way Munchkin and Little Sister’s interests have taken us. Here’s a summary of what we’ve been up to over the last two (!) months.

Inside My Body

We did finish up one more themed unit – that was a lot of fun! We explored fingerprints, made lungs, looked at x-rays and matched internal organs to their names. I don’t have sources anymore – but here are some photos.

After that, we spent a lot of time crafting. Plenty of fine motor practice going on here.

We’ve also been painting. Little Sister is now 17 mo old, and can sign and ask to paint or color. She loves to paint, but really dislikes being messy – so she will paint happily with a brush, then choose to use her fingers and struggle to keep going.

We’ve also been busy visiting museums and theme parks, going on play dates, baking cupcakes and cakes, frosting those cakes, attending birthday parties, and celebrating birthdays in our family. Both Munchkin and Little Sister have helped to measure or tip in and mix ingredients.

At 17mo, Little Sister is just starting to talk, and probably has about 15 discernible words. However, we do a lot of signing, and we all know what she’s thinking almost all the time. She provides a lot of commentary as the day goes on. In terms of communication, she actually communicates much, much better than Munchkin (who was an early talker, was speaking short phrases and could recite the ABC’s) did by this age. Over the past week or so, I’ve provided her a couple of first Montessori style “trays” – two different transfer activities. She enjoys them, and doesn’t really need any prompting in the process of getting the tray out, working on it, and then putting it away when done. She’s my little cleaner-upper. Munchkin has been watching big sister cutting with scissors over the last few weeks. I pulled out our dollar store spring loaded scissors, and she’s away. She actually needs very little help holding the paper, and no help with the actual scissors.

At just turned 4, Munchkin’s biggest current accomplishments are reading and writing. We’ve known since the beginning of the year that she has been able to pick out a lot of words, and assumed they were sight words. Over about the last three or four months, we’ve managed to catch her reading books, and got her on some beginning readers. She’s also read to her pre-school director, and we’re all convinced she’s actually reading. This week I started work on the Montessori pink series with her. I was pretty sure she is already reading many CVC words, so I started with mixed vowels, and she sounds them all out just fine. I’ve also started reading chapter books to her – we are due to finish our first, Matilda, tomorrow. I’ve tried once of twice before, but the concentration wasn’t there.

Munchkin has had “letter writing” shelves accessible for quite a while now. She is still writing letters to family and friends – and can spell a few things all by herself. However, since she’s been very into crafting, I switched part of her letter writing shelves into collage shelves. She now has white glue, scissors, a hole punch, glue stick, and stapler accessible at all time, and she LOVES it! We’ve been playing lots of games too. Over the last two months her drawing has changed – from “Mr. Men” style people, to people with clothes, to drawings of buildings and other things in her life. Puzzles are also back in, since she received quite a few ‘Frozen’ puzzles for her birthday!

So – that’s our mid-summer update! Here are our art wall photos as I took them over the last few weeks.

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