The boys and I really enjoyed our tot school the last two days. Right after breakfast I’ve been reading a different Bible story each day ever since they were born. I’ve now decided to pick a story for the week and read it out of the four different children’s bibles that we have. We started yesterday with the story of Jonah. I used our rhyming bible yesterday and I have to say it’s my favorite to read to them because it sounds so fun but I think the Story Bible captures their attention more with better illustrations. We talk, rather I tell them, about obeying and what that means and just briefly about obeying God. Lance had us all laughing yesterday when he turned to look at my husband and said Daddy obeys and I followed up with most of the time. I know it will take years of training in obedience and I look forward to being able to give mercy and grace sometimes when disobedience occurs. This morning we were watching the Dinosaur Train and a whale was swimming around and Lance shouts out Jonah!!!! Ok, so it was a very big shark but he gets the idea.
I’ve started the shape and color of the week again because we can only learn so much with shape sorters. We are working on the square and the color white. We have a brief art session after our Bible story. It works great because they eat breakfast in their high chair, they finish up their milk while I read the Bible story and now I take off the tray and slide them up to the table for our art. I tape our paper that we are working on right in front of each boy. When I say tape, I mean every corner or it gets pulled right back off. I gave them a colored piece of paper and I handed each boy a square with glue on the back. To avoid the chaos of two toddlers with glue, I used a glue stick and put the glue on the backs of the squares myself then handed them out one at a time. They got to put the squares wherever they wanted to on the paper. I had to try hard to hold my tongue when Lance put a square right on top of another one but I let him and later he moved it to another spot. I have to remind myself that art is self-expression, not perfection. I used white copy paper for the squares and I pointed out that the color was white. Now the square collections are hanging on my refrigerator so we can look at them and remind ourselves what squares look like when they are not in the 3D shape of a shape sorter.
I have started working with them on not just sitting down and scribbling with crayons. I’m not talking about writing or sophisticated things, I’m talking about working on somewhat of straight lines across the page and down the page. I know the lines won’t look straight and smooth until later on, but we are starting out with our first attempts that look like a snake having convulsions it’s so curvy. I taped down a piece of paper that had several different types of balls. My boys just love balls so we named the types before we did anything else. Then I took Lance’s hand first and showed him how to make a pointer finger then I held his finger as we traced the horizontal lines between the balls. I turned to James and did the same thing. Then I gave them a break by letting them color. While they were coloring I pulled out the white crayon and told them that it was called white and had each one repeat the color back to me. Then I gave them a pen, one at a time, and helped them draw lines across again. When we are done with all the paper things and crayons, I pull up the papers and I give each one of them a damp washrag and let them go to town wiping up the crayon marks that strayed off the page. Oh yes, we only use washable crayons in our house and mommy isn’t the only one who cleans up around here!
After we finished our art, we heard the trash truck coming. This is a big deal in our house and it wastes about 30 min of
time. We stand out in the alley and watch the truck turn into our alley. They play explorer while we wait for it to get to our house. This morning James found a huge rock that he kept with him until lunch time. Lance picked a flower and took turns with James on trying to blow the petals off. When the truck gets a few house away, the boys climb up into my lap and we sit at the edge of the driveway. The trash men are super friendly and Lance yells hi while James yells bye.
The boys have been throwing things for a while now and I thought it would good to fine tune those throwing skills. I was doing some laundry today and I grabbed one of the baskets while the clothes were in the washer. I gave each boy two small bean bags and I set the basket about 1′ away and told the boys to throw the bean bags into the basket. I had to work with them several times so that they wouldn’t get up and come right to the basket before they threw. After they got the hang of that, I moved the basket back 2′ and let the take aim. Each time Lance tried to inch closer so I moved the basket back as well and we traveled up and down our living room several times.
So our structured learning for the day is over. Learning in general though is not over. While the boys play, they are problem solving and learning about life as they go. We work on manners, picking up toys and new words. This afternoon will be world of possibilities for learning new things and it’s a big surprise just waiting for my boys to discover. And through all this learning, God has given me the mercy of trash trucks, glue sticks and bean bags.