Thursday, September 30, 2010

What is Tot School?

Tot School
When I mentioned to a few friends and family members that we were going to be doing "Tot School" with Super Tot this year, I got some strange looks and comments.  I thought I would explain exactly what Tot School is at our homeschool.

Basically, Tot School is what we like to call play with a purpose.  It is one on one time I set aside each day to play with Super Tot.  It is intentional, but fun.  Yes, I do plan and prepare, but Super Tot really takes the lead.  If he doesn't like something, we don't do it.  If he plays with something in a different way than I had planned, fantastic!  There is no pressure on him at all and he usually loves it.  When he doesn't, we find something else to do.  Our Tot School is focused on montessori-style play with a goal of exposing him to early learning concepts.  The goal is not for him to be forced to learn, but to be exposed to things in a fun way.  

Baby School Graduation

When we first brought Super Tot home from Korea, Princess was so excited about doing "Baby School" with him.  Baby School was basically time she set aside to read to him each day.  Around the time he turned 18 months old, we started calling him a tot, instead of a baby.  That was when Princess decided he needed to graduate from "Baby School" and move on to "Tot School."  

Around this same time, I was cleaning out some old e-mails and stumbled upon one from a close friend that had a link to a blog about something called Tot Trays.  I clicked on the link in her e-mail and was thrilled to find an awesome blog by another homeschooler about her Tot School!  She even called it Tot School, just like Princess.  I was super inspired and told Princess about it.  We spent our free time over the next few days looking at other blogs and coming up with ideas on how we were going to implement "Tot School" in our homeschool.  

It was important to Princess that Super Tot actually "graduate" from Baby School before starting Tot School, so I allowed her to put together a graduation ceremony complete with a graduation cap and diploma.  She wrote a speech and planned it for one evening just before we were to start school for the new year.