Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Start of Something New

I have never had the desire to homeschool my kids. And by never, I mean NEVER EVER. Even though I was a teacher, I was a high school teacher of a very specific subject and have not been trained in Elementary Ed or the fundamentals of teaching children the basics of reading, writing, math, phonics or anything else. I know that I'm passionate about education and teaching, I know that I'm creative and I know that I can come up with some great ideas for art projects, games, and hands-on activities, but I never put those facts together with the notion of homeschooling my kids. Yes, I know that my boys are only 18 months old. Yes, I know that they don't talk yet. Yes, I know that 'homeschooling' wouldn't officially begin for another several years. But I also know that when I found out about the concept of 'Tot School', my heart skipped a beat. Tot School is basically 'intentional learning through play.' You develop age appropriate lessons for your child based on the skills or knowledge that you want them to learn and then reinforce those skills throughout the week through various applications during playtime. Wow, that actually sounds really complicated! (But it's not, I promise!) After talking this through with Charlie, desiring to put my skills as a teacher to good use and wanting to give the boys the best educational opportunities that we can, we decided that Tot School was in the very near future for the boys... and by 'very near future,' I mean we start tomorrow! For my own planning and focus purposes, I thought that having a Theme of the Week would be helpful. This upcoming week we'll focus on Circles. The next is Squares and the next is Triangles. I think Colors will be shortly after that. If you'd like to learn more about Tot School, I would recommend the Tot School link and the ABC&123 link along the right of my blog. And if you have any ideas that tie into the upcoming themes (listed along the right hand side of the blog) PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know. It's never too early to start something new. This is going to be an adventure!


suzannah | the smitten word said...

"intentional learning through play" sounds like good parenting, homeschool or not:)

amy said...

also check out

LOVE it!

Trisha said...

I am finishing our Thomas Tot Book today and am excited to see what Sam thinks! I will keep you posted.

fpod77 said...

The reading teacher in me thinks you should always add a literacy component even if it's just writing the word circle or triangle on some things to relate words to things. The National Institute for Literacy has lots of free resources (

The Cox Family said...

Hey Beth!

I stumbled across your blog from the Tot School website. Our Owens around the same age and I was looking to see what other moms with 18 month old boys were doing. We haven't started tot school yet as I'm trying to get my head around it. Thanks for sharing your ideas!- Shannon

PS I typed this earlier but I'm not sure if it went through. My computer got hung. If it did, please delete this one.un

Brittani said...

Hey Beth!
Huts started following your blog and I have to say you have gotten me so excited about starting 'Tot School' with my 19 month old! I was evading this particular post which I know is a few years old...I was wondering if you could give me the two links you talked about above?