Monday, June 11, 2018

Intro to Tot School: Set-Up & Organization

Ever since I can remember, I've loved teaching... but, I also wanted to be a mom. I am so incredibly blessed to say I am now both. 💕

In this ever-changing journey of motherhood, I have learned many things. One of my favorite philosophers, motivational speakers and authors once said, "treat children as though they have already achieved their own greatness. Do it enough, and they will actually be all that they dreamed of becoming." -Dr. Wayne Dyer

One day while I was thinking of ways to make our time at home more exciting and still be able to teach Aria, I decided I would begin Tot School with my daughter. It's a way to keep us both active, learn through interrelated curriculum content areas, and have fun!

The idea stemmed from Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten and her AMAZING tot school curriculum! Jessica has designed the best and most creative curriculum for toddlers, preschoolers and now, infants with her baby bins!
Basically, the content that is covered in Tot School is the following:
  • Sensory Development
  • Print Concepts/Literacy
  • Math
  • Science/Discovery
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Nutrition and more
We learn through play and do lots of fun activities indoors and outdoors. When we began our Tot School, Aria was about 14 months old and we started working with the Baby Bins focusing on one color a week. I will be sharing more about these bins in upcoming posts. I just wanted to share with you how I organize all of our materials and how to get started with Tot School. 

As you can see in the picture above, I separated each unit by bin and store all of our unit books, materials and unit-specific props in each bin. In the bottom of our bookcase, I have bins labeled "Tot School Supplies" which is where I store all of the extra-curricular materials that can be used to supplement any unit: play dough, card stock, construction paper, cotton, washable paint, tongs, pom poms, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, etc.

To get started, you simply need to determine which stage your child would begin learning in: Baby Bins, Tot School or Preschool. Then, you gather your materials, storage system, plan a schedule, use/enhance the curriculum and have fun with your child/student! Jessica has more information in her blog about Getting Started with Tot School. Given that I taught the primary grades and my specialty is early childhood education, I have gathered some of the ideas and inspiration from Jessica's Tot School and made it my own. 😊

Stay tuned for more of our Tot School adventures!


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