Friday, February 19, 2016

Tot School

 Have ya'll heard of Tot School? Orrr maybe you have and I'm the only one late to this party. Well, let's just pretend you don't know a thing about it because I am too excited about this to keep it in.
 Tot School is (from my understanding of it) exactly what it sounds like. School for toddlers. Or rather, "school". It's basically fun, educational activities and crafts that are centered around a weekly theme. It's a precursor to preschool. So, like, pre-preschool. Is that a thing? I think I just made it a thing.
 I first discovered the concept of Tot School when I stumbled upon this Instagram feed. My interest was instantly piqued, but I didn't look at it very in-depth right away. Fast forward a few months and one day I started browsing through the blog Let's Tot School; I was hooked. All of the activities and art crafts had me giving all kinds of heart eyes and I just kept thinking, Jaxon would love this.

 So, why Tot School? I mean, what's the big deal? Let your kid be a kid before shoving them into school before they're out of diapers. Well, yes and no. Mostly no. I view Tot School as more than school and less than school. Haha have I confused you yet? Ok, good, let's move on. I don't really view Tot School as "school" per se, but there is definitely going to be an educational bent to it. Just a super fun bent. What I hope Jaxon gets out of Tot School is early learning skills. Knowing his colors, shapes, and beginning on letter and number recognition. Putting some stepping stones in place before he launches into the real academic world. I think this will also help to prepare him for other things like going to Sunday School. At our church, children are eligible for Sunday School at the age of 3. For Jaxon, that's in November. I know he has a lot of time to mature and get ready for it, but I want him to have some basic skills in place beyond just scribbling violently on a sheet of paper and throwing his crayons across the room just to see how far they can go. With Tot School, he will learn that there is a designated time when he has to sit still and complete an activity or art project. I also really feel like he could use some structure in his day. He has little to no structure right now besides eating, playing, sleeping and repeating in no particular order (eating, eating, playing, playing, playing, sleeping, eating, playing....). Having more of a schedule during his waking hours will do him a lot of good, I think.

 How do you get started?
The very next place you need to go after reading this, is right on over to Let's Tot School. She has taken all of the hard work out of planning Tot School with a whole slew of Pinterest boards at your disposal. She has the schedule with the weekly themes already written out. Since we are starting a few months behind, I'm only doing about half of the themes that she has listed. I picked and chose which themes I thought Jaxon would get the most out of. At this point, we will probably be doing Tot School through at least part of July and I'm looking forward to seeing what the preschool curriculum will be like for this fall.
 The wonderful thing about all of this is that it is completely adaptable to what works for you and your child. And don't shy away from doing "school" with your toddler. It doesn't have to be an all day thing. Dedicate however much time you want to it each day. You can plan your activities and art projects however it suits you best.

 I am so super excited to get started on this. So excited in fact, that I bumped up our start date by a week. I am hoping to post a summary of our weeks at the end of each month, so stay tuned! I will also be posting over on Instagram, so follow along there as well!

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