From my Inbox…

So, my inbox is full, and has been for awhile and as I sat down today to try to reply to some of you I realized that many of you had similar questions so I am gonna answer a few here for ya, just in case others have the same ones too!!! I have directly copied some of them from the actual emails and paraphrased a few that were very similar from several people.

And please accept my sincere apologies, as some of you have lingered in my inbox for many months now, I promise once I get caught up, I will stay on top of emails better (as long as no one in my house gets pregnant again!!!)

Here we go (in no particular order)…

Where did you get your trays from that you use for your Tot Trays?

How do you manage discipline in your home with the kids?

  • We used a Biblical approach all the way. I will try to write a Behind the Scenes post in depth about this soon.

Any advice you could give me about homeschooling a 4 year old would be greatly appreciated.

  • I think it depends on how you want to do things. A few programs I have heard good things about are Itty Bitty Bookworm (I will be reviewing this soon), and Sonlight. I am not an expert in homeschooling pre k by any means, I don’t really follow a formal program much ;). If you want to wait for my IBB mini-review, it will probably be a couple of weeks. They are also donating 1 year of curriculum for our 1000 Subscribers Celebration give aways!!!

How do you decide what to do each week and where do you store all the activities not out on trays for the week?

How do you decide on a certain theme and/or letter for the week?

  • I am not a big theme gal at this stage (although I wish I was-I am just not that focused right now). I do use the themes at Totally Tots, we did the pond one and are going to do the ocean theme next…as we still haven’t finished the pond. 😉
  • As for letters, I do not choose a letter of the week, or anything like that. I am more of a whole learning approach when it comes to teaching letter id and phonetics.
  • We use our ABC notebook, and I went in the order of letters that Krash preferred, and then onto the letters in his name-we still have yet to complete this-we take our time.
  • We are currently going through an artsy letter project in alphabetical order, so that determines what letter we work on. I got most of our ideas from the posts over at Totally Tots. We will add these to our ABC notebook too.
  • After we finish this set of art projects I will choose another way to expand on abcs.

Regarding Tot School…can you give me a few suggestions of how to begin this program? How do I direct her into this more structured way of “teaching” that I know she will largely benefit from? I think she will love it, I just feel like a tiny ant with a huge mountain of information and ideas dumped on top of me!! Where should I start activity-wise?

  • I am going to also write a Behind the Scenes post about this topic as I literally have almost this exact same question from at least 5 different people right now!!!! I will begin this post asap-I promise!!!

How often do you change out your tray activities?

  • If I am having a good night, I will rotate out the ones he seems to not be interested in any longer. If it’s a bad night or two I will just leave them. I never leave the same ones out more than a week though. I try to change out at least every night or every other night.

Do you have tray time for a set amount of time? Meaning, do you say “tray school” is going to be an hourish, however many trays he does is fine?

  • My goal for this is about 30 minutes-1 hour each day, I try to do it in the morning but that doesn’t always happen. We’re still working on finding the schedule that works for us now that Ladybug is here. I am being very flexible this summer and hoping to have a better routine in the fall.
  • Yes, he determines how many trays we work on, although now that he is 3 I make him finish closed activities (meaning there is an end to it, like a puzzle), you can read more about that here.

Do you know of any good resources for teaching a 2 year old about emotions and feelings?

  • I am getting ready to review and host a give away for a company called Kimochis that is all about teaching proper ways to express emotions. I am excited about this, so stay tuned, it looks really neat!

OK, I think that cleans out the inbox for now…if I missed your question-shoot me another email and I will get a new Inbox post going or reply directly to you!!!!