Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tot School- e is for elephant, earth, eggs, elves, & engines

Tot School
Jonathan is 28 Months

I haven't posted a Tot School post for the several weeks. We were busy with Easter and traveling. But we did continue our alphabet adventures and studied the letter "e" the past couple weeks. We've focused on eggs, elephants, the earth, elves, and engines. 

Easter 2011


We reviewed our new memory verse this week from the Songs for Saplings CD:

"The Word of the Lord Endures Forever" 1 Peter 1:25. 

We printed out the memory verse from the Totally Tots printable. This is really hit or miss at this point. Sometimes Jonathan will sing along with the song, and sometimes not. I don't know that he's really capable of memorizing verses at this point. But it's still something I want to attempt with him. Have any other moms had success with memory work at this age?

We also read through a little devotional in the morning, Everything a Child Should Know about God by Kenneth Taylor. We do one page each day and talk about the pictures.

What has been the biggest hit was an idea my husband came up with. We had been trying to read Jonathan from a toddler Bible, but found that the stories are often truncated with one story per page. He wasn't paying attention well or engaging in the story. Brian thought maybe if we had a separate children's book for each Bible story, he would engage more. We bought a few books from the Beginner's Bible I Can Read and Jonathan loves these books. Each night he asks for one or more stories and he remembers the basic plot of the stories. He's started telling me that Noah was happy because he loved God and that the mean king of Egypt said "No! No! No!". It's really quite cute.

The stories in this series are retellings of the Bible stories, so they are not the actual text of Scripture itself. Our hope is that by reading these at night, we'll be able to transition more easily into an actual children's Bible.


We read lots and lots of books the past couple weeks about all of our "e" words. Here were some of Jonathan's favorites- click on the links to see our full reviews and lots more books!

And those are just the highlights of the books we read the past couple of weeks! We also read books by Gene Baer and Keith Baker as part of our Reading Our Library project.

And we also read some books about the letter "e":

My "e" Sound Box by Jane Monclure

Jonathan has really been enjoying this series. Each letter is represented by a little boy or girl who finds objects that begin with his letter sound and put them into a box. He requested this book several times and it gave us chances to talk about words that we aren't covering as part of our "e" unit such as envelope, Eskimo, and eggplant.

Alphabet Bob Books 

We were reading the "E F Book" this week. Jonathan has liked this series as well, but not as much as the sound box books. 

Motor Skills 

We did some work on lacing using cards (eggs and elephants) I printed from Confessions of a Homeschooler and 1+1+1=1's Tot School Printables. Jonathan wasn't so interested in the lacing this time though.

He has been really focused on gross motor skills. Lately he's becoming quite the little boy- very, very active. Everything is a baseball bat or a hammer to him. We've been trying to set boundaries over kicking balls in the house. It's a little of a struggle for me because I don't want to squash the little boy in him, but yet the constant activity drives me nuts sometimes! Anyone else deal with this?

Fortunately, we've been able to play outside a lot more. Spring (or Summer) has officially arrived to Chicago. We've spent a lot of time playing in the yard where it's perfectly acceptable to kick or throw balls (as long as he doesn't throw them at Grace!). He seems to really enjoy soccer and he tries to "golf" with his baseball bat and golf clubs:

Letters  & Writing

We did some pre-writing exercises from our Tot School Printables pack. Jonathan's getting better at making lines and circles on a page. However, he gets so excited that then he wants to scribble all over the page!


We made an elephant out of shapes. This was good for shape recognition as well as practice gluing:

We finger-painted the earth:

Painted pictures of eggs and dot painted upper and lowercase "e" to practice letter recognition:

And used markers to color an "e is for elf" page:

Pretend Play/Music/Games

We played with Jonathan's Thomas the Tank Engines a lot. He loves these!

Jonathan got a new game this week, the Bambino Luk


We practiced number recognition by using our elephant floor numbers from Confessions of a Homeschooler and practiced running from one number to another. (Great rainy day activity!) 

We practiced number matching/counting by using an Easter egg printable from Confessions of a Homeschooler. This one was hard because the eggs were printed on the page and Jonathan had a hard time knowing which eggs he counted already. 

We practiced more counting using another printable from Love My Life x 4. This one was easier for him because he had to move eggs into a basket. So he knew which eggs he had counted already. 

We practiced counting and matching by pulling Grace's shoes out of a bag (a tie in to the elves and the shoemaker story). This was another great way to count because he could touch and manipulate the shoes to see if he counted them already:

So that's what we've been up to the past few weeks! Now it's on to letter f. :)

I'm linking up to:

Link & Learn @ No Time for Flashcards
Tot School @ 1+1+1=1
What My Child is Reading @ Mouse Learns, Mouse Grows
Feed Me Books Friday @ Little Sprout Books


Michelle said...

We're up in Northern Illinois, so I hear you on Spring finally being here! hahah! (Summer with that 91 degree day we had this week)

I have 2 boys and they constantly want to throw and kick balls in the house even when they know the rules, now I was getting used to opening the door and saying 'outside!'

Well this stormy weather put a stop to it for a bit again, so this time I said, put on your rain boots and go! hahaha!!!

Here is our reading list this week:

Jennifer said...

Wow! You sure had a busy and fun week! Your children are so adorable!! Visiting you from the Tot School blog list!

Jackie H. said...

We'll have to make that elephant since we are reading about elephants this week!
Also, I've been looking for good Bible story books like you described. I'll have to check it out!

Raising a Happy Child said...

Thanks for joining WMCIR! The "guessing books" you mentioned sound very interesting, especially by Mia Posada. We just read another of her books. I'll be looking for the Egg book!

Brandi said...

Those are awesome! I was going to start the letters with Marlee this year, but think I am going to wait til the fall to do it with her. But I am def. going to use some of your ideas! How fun!

I also love the manipulatives to count with! We do that sometimes too!

Anne@LittleSproutBooks said...

Catching up on neglected links! Thanks for linking up at Feed Me Books Friday! So glad I finally made it to your post - your devotional and bible story books sound so good, and the letter sounds book has me intrigued too!

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