Monday, May 21, 2018

DITL Homeschool: Preschooler and 5 Month Old

**This is a long post.  But it is exactly what happened last Friday.**


I roll over and look at the clock. 7:03 am. 
I glance at the monitor.  Everett is still asleep in his crib, but Avaleigh's bed is empty.
"Are you on the floor," I say groggily.
Up pops her little head like a wack-a-mole.  
"Go tee-tee," I tell her.

My husband, Jason, knows I was up 4 different times throughout the night nursing our
teething 5 month old.
He lets me sleep and prepares breakfast for our 3.5 year old girl, Avaleigh.
At 7:55 he kisses my forehead and tells me bye.
I look at the monitor.  Everett is moving. Time for me to move.
Get to the coffee.


In the living room, I sip my caffeine infused go juice while nursing my little boy. I let our dog, Bailey, outside.  Avaleigh finishes watching Super Why! and eating her cheese quesadilla her daddy made her.
We have a play date with some friends at 9:30.
It takes us 18 minutes to load into the car but we make it on time!
**This is a first and is NOT TYPICAL**

My friend enjoys baby snuggles while the 3 other kiddos (4 and under)
destroy her house with toys everywhere.
After 2 hours, it's time for us to go home and make lunch.  Daddy will be home for lunch soon.
We walk through the door at 11:38.
I quickly prepare Avaleigh's lunch.  I grab a frozen peanut butter and jelly and place it on the counter to thaw (I made a bunch earlier in the week), place some yellow peppers , broccoli, and a cheese stick on her tray.  I grab a container of a leftover pasta dish from the refrigerator and get it in a dish for Jason to reheat when he walks through the door.
I grab my fussy baby and take him to the living room to nurse.

12:10
Jason gets home and enjoys lunch with Avaleigh.  After his lunch and while I am still nursing, he makes me a taco quesadilla from leftover taco meat I made earlier in the week  
Everett finally finishes nursing, and I can eat. Avaleigh plays, Everett sits and babbles, while Jason and I talk some.  I quickly finish lunch, and get Avaleigh down for her nap.  I set her alarm for an hour and 20 minutes and tuck her in.   I hear Jason washing the dishes in the kitchen.  I am so thankful for him.  Our dishwasher went out in August 2 days before we had to put our beloved golden retriever, Peyton, down.  We just never replaced it.

I talk to Jason for a bit while I play with Everett in his bouncer.  It's close to his nap time-
I might get them both to nap at the same time!  
Jason leaves to go back to work at 1:00, and I put Everett in the only place he naps- his swing.
I open up my laptop debating about doing a post... 
It's been 10 minutes... I peek at Everett- he's asleep!
The house is still, peaceful, and I need a shower.
I can't tell you the last time I showered... gross I know, but it's the life I am in right now.

I shower.  I dry off enjoying the silence of the house and wrap my hair in a towel.
I head back to the computer in the dining room.  Bailey spots me out of her peripheral vision and I spook her.  She leaps up, barking nonstop, tearing into the living room while I'm running to shoosh her.  The silence is gone. The baby awakens. Ugh.
Bailey calms down after a bit.   Everett is wide eyed in his swing.  I give him his pacifier and he falls asleep again.  Whew.

I check the news on the my laptop and see what has happened in Santa Fe, Texas.  I have time to pray before I hear Avaleigh's alarm beeping.  I race to her room to turn it off.

It's 2 pm.  She shifts in her bed.
"Momma, what we going to learn about today?"
Most of the time we do our Mother Goose Time in the afternoon.
"I don't know.  You'll have to choose, but first you need to go tee-tee."


As she goes to the bathroom, I place 2 of our discovery bags from our Growing Gardens theme on the playroom floor.  I check on Everett- still sleeping.  I check on Avaleigh- she's pooping.
"You want to come read me a book?" she asks from the potty.  
I squeeze reading time wherever we can, so I grab Sunny Day- one of our Usborne books.
It has a lot of info about flowers and gardens and I think it'll be a great start to our MGT time.
I read.  She poops.  Momlife.


Afterwards, we quietly head to the playroom.  She decides she wants to learn about flowers.
She completes the calendar, finds the day of the week, and places our weather card on the window before she sits with me at the play table to discuss what she knows about flowers.
We sing a song to the tune of muffin man, and it hits me! 
We have flowers on our tomato plant.  I turn to my girl, "Let'ts go look at our garden real quick."
We grab shoes and head outside.


Yikes!  The leaves are wilted and I tell Avaleigh we have to water our plants.  We talk about how important water is for our plants as we hose them down.   Then we inspect our grape tomato plant.
She locates the little yellow flowers, and I tell her that in that spot there will soon be a tomato.  She finds a green tomato growing where a flower once was.


It's hot.
We head back inside.  Everett is crying.   The clock reads 2:53, and our MGT stops.
I get my girl some snacks and turn on Magic School Bus: Goes to Seed.  She'll learn about plants while I nurse. We watch and talk about how the bees pollinate the flowers while I nurse her brother.
After her show, and he's done, we head back to the playroom to finish our flower lesson.



I set up the Pollinating Letter F game and remember her bee costume from Halloween.
"Would you like to become a bee?"
She jumps up and down and we head to her closet.  I help her put her Dollar Tree Bee wings on and the headband from the costume we borrowed from a friend.  Perfect.



 I place Everett on the floor and sit next to him.  Bailey tries to squeeze herself as close as she can.  I think she believes Everett is hers.  Everett works on his tummy time, while I call out letters to his sister. Avaleigh uses tweezers to get the yellow pollen pom poms to the letters I call out.  The pom poms stick to the tweezers, so she uses her fingers to remove them from the tweezers and places them on the letters.
She's good at this game, but it takes her a little while to find the letters.
She's getting bored with it and I know we need to stop.
"Let's finish the letters in your name, and then we can get out some play dough," I tell her.

"Thank you, Momma! I love play dough."
We finish, but leave everything there.  I am hoping we can play again later... maybe after dinner.
It's 4:45.  I put Everett in his swing again for a short power nap.  Jason will be home soon.  I grab the container with all our play dough and let Avaleigh pick out some colors.



We head back to the playroom.  I place jewels, pony beads, buttons, shape cutters, and a few play dough supplies in our green flower tray from Dollar Tree.
We begin to make flowers.
Avaleigh finds a bee toy and starts talking about what she learned from Magic School Bus and our book Sunny Day.  We talk about the bee gathering nectar to take to the hive, and we make sure our flowers have nectar for the bee.


5:20 Jason comes home.  Everett wakes up.
Avaleigh tells her daddy all about what we learned today.
I am so proud of her as she tells him about "First a flower then a squash, Daddy!"
She points to her toy bee on her play dough flower.  "Daddy, look.  The bee.  It's getting nectar."


We go into the driveway to play a bit before dinner.
A friend stops by who has been working on the house next door.  We go to survey his work.  It's amazing!  They are hoping to move in at the end of July.  Everett is getting fussy.  What time is it?
We head home.  Holy smokes!  It's 6:38!  I feed Everett inside while Jason and Avaleigh finish talking to our friend.  They come inside and Jason gets the leftovers together for dinner.

We eat.  Afterwards, Avaleigh plays, Jason finishes the dishes, I work on the laundry placing a pile of clean clothes on Avaleigh's bed to put away before bedtime. Everett sits awaiting his bath. It's 7:20 and I bathe him and head to his nursery to nurse him to sleep.  Jason and Avaleigh take Bailey outside to play.  At 8:15 I place my sleeping baby in his crib.  His eyes open. UGH!  I give him his pacifier and leave.  I grab the monitor and go outside to meet the rest of the family.

Daddy and Avaleigh are building a fire in the old chimenea bottom.  Sticks are gathered in a pile and Avaleigh is excited. "You want to come sit down with us?" She inquires.
Yes.  Yes I do.
Jason gets the fire going.  It's over 80 degrees outside and we have a fire.  Whatever.
"We're camping.  We need a teepee," she says.
"I think you mean tent."  She agrees.
The monitor lights up red.  Everett is hollering.
I go inside. Again. And again. Finally deciding I need to nurse him to sleep at 8:45.
Jason and Avaleigh come inside.  He gives her a quick shower and puts her to bed while I deal with Everett.  I emerge from the nursery at 9:30.  He's still awake, but my nerves are shot.  I need some alone time.  Avaleigh's door is shut but I know she's not asleep.
I scoop some ice cream.  I need some Bluebell chocolate peanut butter in my life.  I take my ice cream into the bedroom and talk to Jason.
I savor every bite as I witness Everett finally fall asleep on the monitor.
Whew.

It's almost 10pm.  I check the monitor to see Avaleigh.  She's not in bed.
I get up and find her hiding in the living room.
"I need to go tee-tee."  She's smart.  She knows when she says this we take her word for it, and she doesn't get into so much trouble.
"You better," I say as I take her to the potty.
She tee-tees a few drops.
Afterwards, I tuck her into bed and tell her she better not get up again.  It's late.

I head back to our bedroom.  It's 10pm.  I'm exhausted but want to spend some time with Jason.
We decide we need to laugh so we turn on our favorite episode of Arrested Development: Mr. F.
We both laugh hysterically as at the giant mole and rocket man part.  It's our fave.

After our show, I turn in and he heads to the office to work on web development stuff.  He has a website business on the side that allows me to stay home with the kids.

I pray for good rejuvenating sleep and a baby that will sleep through the night.
Because tomorrow will come quickly and it will all start again.



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Preschool Garden Sensory Bin

I've been trying to build thematic sensory tubs each month that coincides with our theme from Mother Goose Time, our preschool curriculum.  
This month it's all about the garden, so here's how we built ours and a few activities you can do with the bin.

You will need:
black beans, pinto beans, floral foam, fake flowers, little ceramic pots, floral cutters ($1 at Dollar Tree!) or scissors, a large tub and any other trinkets you want to add  to your garden.
Everything pictured below (except the beans and tub) was purchased at Dollar Tree, and I might have spent $10. 


Pour both colors of beans into your tub.  This allows it to look more like dirt and is great if you are wanting to do a sorting activity.

Build Bouquets.

Cut the flowers to where each is on it's own stem. Then let your preschooler stab them into the floral foam.  My girl started building it bouquets by scooping beans into her ceramic pots and then placing flowers inside.  (The ceramic pots are breakable!  Please only purchase if you feel they are safe for your child. My girl is very gentle and doesn't throw things around, so I didn't mind her playing with the ceramic pots under my supervision.)




Play a Matching Game.

Remove the flowers and now you have "soil" to plant all sorts of things in your garden.
We played a matching game with vegetable cards during our Soil Day, and when we had a match we buried them in the "soil."


Act out math problems.

We added some produce from my girl's toy kitchen to act out math problems from our Rabbit Day.



There is so much more you could do with the garden bin!  

  • You could have your little "pick" the produce to sell at the make believe market.  
  • They could also make bouquets to sell at the market. 
  • You could act out stories you read.  This allows you to actually grasp your little's reading comprehension all while playing.  Win-win!
  • Hide fishing worms in the bin and have your little find them.  What a great sensory experience!
  • For older kids:  Plant sight words in the garden and have them pick the words to make a sentence.

I love having a sensory tub to go with the theme.
My girl loves to make believe play with it and I love having a bin to expand her learning.

Here are a few more tubs we have built:



What kind of bin is your favorite and what is your favorite activity to do with it?