Tot School Planning Form

I have been wanting to make a planning form that fits my specific needs for my Tot School time (and all the time!) with my son.  I have been utilizing the wonderful Planning Form at Homeschool Creations (she has a second one here), in which I put down what I wanted to get done each day.  (I have found many wonderful resources from others: 1plus1plus1equals1Happy and Blessed Home, Stir the Wonder.) However, my son sometimes has other plans — and attaching specific activities to specific days (or days of the week), has not been successful.  Sometimes he loooves a certain activity or coloring material, and the next day he’ll despise it.

I wanted to make a list of all my ideas.  I certainly don’t have to get to all of them, but it is a combined brainstorm list and checklist.  I was getting frustrated with my organization and wanted to really tailor a schedule to my thoughts.  It is set up into the four Montessori categories that I have been working with: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

Since we are using 1plus1plus1equals1’s Tot School ABCs as our primary resource, this Planning Form fits her printables for the weekly letter work.  When we are done with this round of ABCs and move on, I will create a new one (or, if before then, I want to change things up, I ‘ll share that too).

You can download the Tot School Planning Form here. I hope it is a blessing to you!

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I know that everyone wants something different, so in case the above one doesn’t suit your needs, here is the blank Tot School Planning Form!  

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 photo heart_zps07fe716e.pngWe are using it for the first time this week, for Letter Ii.  I will post another update on how it is going and more insight into the categories!  So far, I absolutely love it and it has really helped me organize my thoughts and our time!

Please email me at wildflowerramblings at gmail dot com if you have questions or would like it edited in a different way!

Thank you for taking the time to visit Wildflower Ramblings!

Blessings,
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I love comments and would love to see what you’re doing with your Tot School, so make sure to leave a link!

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All those printables: My organization

I began downloading free printables from many wonderful sites about six months ago.  (From: 1plus1plus1equals1Homeschool Creationsand Mamas Monkeys, check out Blogs I Love for more suggestions of awesome sites!)  

I actually didn’t even have a printer.  I started out with printables about shape and colors and other random fun things.  And I had them printed out at, can you believe it, Office Max, for gulp, $.49 per page?!  I almost bought a printer right there in the store at that first printing session (I spent about $40, which was ridiculous), but I decided to wait, wait, wait.  Finally, I bought an early Christmas present for myself and bought the Epson 545 Workforce from Amazon for $99!!!  I love it!  I have since printed over 1000 pages… and…. counting and am only on my second set of Epson Ultra 127 cartridges (the Extra High Capacity ones).

This new obsession came in my third trimester — my baby girl was born in later September — and I was busy, busy, busy trying to get things “done” for John’s Tot School which we officially began with alphabet weeks at the beginning of this year!  Really, before then, my son was not interested in using “printables” and when I tried to put them in front of him, he’d throw them and the manipulatives that I set out with them.  I knew that when he was ready, I wanted to be ready too.  

I didn’t know how I wanted to organize all the craziness, so I started out with a white binder and sheet protectors.  Fail.  Things were falling out and I couldn’t fit all I wanted into one sheet protector (for example, all the “shape” activities I had would get all bunched if they had a paper clip or were in a little baggie).

And then a choir of angels began to sing when I found Carisa’s Storing Theme Printables post!  She came up with the most brilliant way to store all of her printables!  I have followed her advice and used the following method:

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  • Buy as many as you can of: the Up and Up brand of envelope sleeves from Target (they come in packs of 5 for $3.69).  
  • Buy the square canvas bins from Target (I have four bins so far, but I’m sure I’ll need to get more as my homeschooling supplies grow).
  • Buy a labeler and label all of your envelopes so they are easy to find! (I found the Dymo brand one at Target for $14.99 just last week and now I can’t believe that I’ve lived without it until now.)
  • Print, print, print. (I have been choosy about this and I have only, so far, printed out seasonal themed printables and others, such as a trucks and farms and baby animals, according to my son’s interests; 1plus1plus1equals1 and Homeschool Creations both have so many to choose from, which is incredible, but I can’t print out everything, right….)
  • Laminate everything with this awesome laminator and these awesome 100 packs for $9 laminating sheets — so you can use all your printables for all your children (and beyond!)

I love this method, and I have four canvas bins, now, with all my Tot School supplies, one each for: Before Five in a Row-ish reading materials, my alphabet Tot School printables, seasonal and theme printables, and my Betty Lukens bible felt set.

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Here are examples of all the materials I put in each envelope:DSC00893 DSC00892

And there you have it.  Off to go print, cut, laminate…. and repeat.