Saturday, May 2, 2009

Re-Organizing Tot School

Since starting Tot School last December, my plans, tools and storage have changed several times. I think I finally have everything in just the right place that works best for us. I thought I would share since some of my ideas came from seeing what other have done.
We now start everyday with our calender. Actually we start by looking out the window and deciding on the weather. We then choose the picture that best fits with the weather outside.

We then attach it to the correct day on the calendar. The purpose of the calender is to help Star begin to understand the passing of time with words like yesterday, today and tomorrow, as well as being introduced to other terminology like Monday, January, week, etc.

To create the calendar, I bought the base and header from the Dollar Tree store. I then added two pieces of Velcro to each square.

The top piece is for the date and the bottom piece is for the moving weather icon. We use these to mark what day we currently are on.

I also printed other icons for church, the library and Grandparents house. This way Star will see what is coming up in the week and hopefully will start to understand the relationship of time.

Then there is the dreaded "s" As you other moms should know quite well, once you have kids it seems that your house gets smaller and smaller and your possessions just keep increasing with no end in sight. I am quickly learning that this applies to homeschooling as well. My storage works as follows...

All tot tools are stored in bins on a shelf. They are broken generally into three categories. Math readiness, reading readiness and writing readiness. I try to choose at least one from each box each week.
Yep, it's just a jumbled mess. As long as I remember to dig to the bottom every once and a while the system seems to work well.
When I choose activities for the week, they are placed in these bins.

I know they look like workboxes, but really they are trays in box form. The workbox system is a great system, but not right for my home just yet. Definitely in the future I will probably use it. Right now I need some form of organization that doesn't take that much room, but I still want Star to have the freedom to choose what she does and when she does it. She can choose any of the boxes whenever she wants. If she doesn't like what I have put in one of the boxes, then she doesn't have to do it. The top shelf has a drawer system from Ikea. It holds pencils, crayons, white paper and construction paper. Again, Star has total access to these things. The bottom shelf holds the library books that we have checked out for the week.

When we complete an art project it gets hung on the blinds to dry.

By the end of the week if there is something that I think we should hang on to, it gets moved to the cupboards.

Right now, they're a little bare since I just removed all the Easter stuff. When we sit down to a meal, Star's chair faces these cupboards, so she sees what is hanging there quite often. It is my opinion that the more a child is in contact with a subject, even just glancing at it a few times a day, the more they will remmeber and understand it.

I have a few more ideas I want to implement, hopefully in the next few weeks, but this has been a great change for our home so far.


  1. This looks like a great system. It's exactly what I am attempting to put together right now even down to the calendar! Great ideas! I will probably be using some of them in the near future.

  2. love the blonds idea for a drying rack!!! :)