Friday, February 25, 2011

It's potty training time!

This week has been interesting to say the least. Ethan just turned 2 1/2 and he started waking us up in the mornings asking to go potty. For three mornings straight he had already done his business by the time he came to tell us...and we're not talking "number 1" if you know what I mean. On the fourth morning he woke me up the same way but I found he hadn't quite finished his business. He insisted on sitting on the potty so I quickly took him to the bathroom. He grabbed a story and lo and behold "number 2" made its way into the potty! I almost broke out into the Hallelujah Chorus!! I figured we'd take the rest of the week and work on potty training. 

One thing I'm learning for sure about potty training, it requires incredible amounts of patience!! We started the first few days going commando, implementing rewards, etc. Ethan has done really well. I think mentally he totally gets it but physically he's not quite ready and that's okay. I've backed off the "boot camp" method and I'm going to just let him lead. I know when he's ready he'll do what he needs to do. However, I figured it wouldn't hurt to spend a day of preschool learning more about potty training!

Yummy gummy bears from Trader Joe's are good motivation!

Ethan with his potty chart. He gets to add a sticker for each successful potty time. Once the chart is full he'll get something extra special.

Bible lesson: 
  • Open in prayer
  • Read today’s devotional (from The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers)
  • Sing Sunday School songs

Story Time:
  • Read The New Potty (by Gina and Mercer Mayer)
  • Read I Want to Potty (by Izzy Neis)

Music Time:

Online Learning:

Coloring Activity:

Learning Activity:                                       
  • Wet and Dry activity:
    • Let Ethan feel wet and dry first-hand with a pair of mittens. Keep one mitten dry, then dunk the other mitten in a tub of water. Let Ethan try both of them on and see what each one feels like. Talk about the difference. Which feels better? (from
I didn't have mittens to fit Ethan's hands so I used two of his socks.

Ethan loved this experiment. He absolutely couldn't stand the feeling of the wet mitten and couldn't wait to get it off! We talked about how when you go potty in your big boy pants they feel like that wet mitten, yuck!

Puppet Play:

The puppet theater was Ethan's favorite part!! He loved acting out the steps of potty training, over and over again. :) 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A quick review

Thursday was spent reviewing the letters we've learned so far: F, P, T and A. This class was very simple and fairly short. Sometimes less is more and Ethan really enjoyed the morning.

I will confess that I'm finding it difficult to plan lessons and maintain all my other family and household responsibilities. I know this will only become more difficult as our family grows. Organization and time management are areas I need to improve. I'm praying for God's guidance and strength as I learn how to balance everything. Only He can help me accomplish what I see as impossible!!

Bible lesson:
  • Open in prayer
  • Read the story of God’s special promise to Abraham (the Jesus Storybook Bible, p. 56)
  • Sing Father Abraham song

After singing through the Father Abraham song with Ethan while doing all the motions, I had to stop for a second and wait for the room to stop spinning. Talk about being dizzy and nauseous! Is that a sign I'm getting old? That I can't nod my head up and down while turning around and around? I don't remember that from when I was a child and Ethan certainly wasn't affected by it. He just stared at me like I was crazy when I told him mommy needed a minute. :)

Review and Assessment:
  • Review letters F, P, T and A while reciting “What Do I See?” chant (look at pictures in PowerPoint presentation)
    • What Do I See? (Letters and Sounds pre-K book, p.67)
Teacher:              [F], [F]; what do you see?!
What do you see that begins with [F]?
                                Children:             I see a [fish]; that’s what I see,
                                                                That’s what I see that begins with [F]!

This chant made reviewing so much fun!! Ethan loved shouting out the letters and words while I showed him the different pictures. We will definitely use this chant again!

Guided Instruction:                                   
  • Sticker activity (Complete the tomato, carrot, eggplant, and cucumber from the Let’s Sticker and Paste workbook)
  • Learning to trace lines activity (Preschool Skills book, p. 11)

Activity Center:
  • Shopping for letters:
    • Collect empty food containers
    • Label with letters (use letters already learned like F, P, T and A and a few new letters like C, N and W)
    • Give Ethan a shopping list and have him go shopping for the matching letter

This shopping activity was so much fun for Ethan and we will be using this again in the near future. When we first started I didn't think he was understanding what he was supposed to do. But he figured it out pretty quick and he loved it! It was fun watching him get so excited about finding the matching letter! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rainy days and baby food

Because of the rain today Ethan was bored out of his gourd and needed something to do! So he got his first lesson in baby food making.

I've made different kinds of baby food before but this was my first time making peaches. I get all of my ideas and recipes from

  1. Wash the peaches, cut in half and place face down in a pan of water 1 inch high.
  2. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until soft. It took me about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the skins and pit.
  4. Puree and blend in a food processor until smooth (use the reserve water from the baking pan if needed for thinning out).
  5. Pour into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
Once the food freezes I remove from the tray and place in a freezer bag. I label the bag with the type of food and date stored. 

For this project I only had two peaches left and those two peaches ended up filling 7 ice cubes. Each ice cube is about 1 ounce, so I have seven ounces of peaches. Next week I'll be buying a whole bag of peaches and making a whole lot more baby food. 

After the peaches were finished baking, I had Ethan stand on a chair next to me to assist in removing the skins. He didn't like the texture at all and giggled while saying "ooh, yuck." So I removed the skins while he laughed at me. Then we placed the peaches in the food processor. I showed him how to turn it on and off. He did a great job of remembering which button did what and would turn it on and off when I asked. 

As I filled up the ice tray I had him practice his counting. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!!"

When we were all finished I let him sample the peaches and he got to clean off the spoon, his favorite part!! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The ants are still marching...

 Today was a fun preschool day. I truly enjoyed the time with Ethan. Keeping my expectations realistic and trying to be more relaxed made a difference in the way he responded to learning today. 

Bible lesson:
  • Open in prayer
  • Read today’s devotional from The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers
  • Read On Noah’s Ark (by Jan Brett)
  • Sing Arky, Arky Song and Noah’s Ark Song

Online learning and Music Time:
  • Watch animated videos about the letter A and the sound /a/ (
  • Sing Hooray for A! (Letter & Sounds pre-K book)
(sung to “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you see the letter A, shout, “Hooray!”
If you see the letter A, shout “Hooray!”
A for animal and ant; A for apple trees we plant.
If you see the letter A, shout “Hooray!”

Snack Time:
  • Create Ants on a Log snack (using pretzels, peanut butter, raisins)

Guided Instruction:

  • Complete the Animals Two by Two Craft (Christian Craft book, p.9)
  • Highlighting activity (Highlight the letter A from a magazine ad)

Free Play:
  • Create ants using play-dough
  • Recreate Noah’s ark scene using play-dough and animal shape cutters
The only thing we didn't get to do today was free play with play-dough. We decided to meet some friends at the park instead. That's okay though because it gives us something to do tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A is for Ant

Today's lesson was thrown together last night at the very last minute. It seems like life is never going to slow down and my house will always be a disaster zone but we're making memories. We're learning and growing together. Today's preschool had good moments and then times where I found myself getting frustrated. I'm still learning what works best for Ethan and how long his attention span is for different activities. I'm continually reminded that I have to be flexible and readjust as we go. I'm trying not to get frustrated or disappointed if he doesn't get something or if we don't make it through everything I planned. I'm so thankful for my husband and my mother who are both teachers and have given me lots of insight and encouragement along the way!! 

New shirt from Uncle Cliff and Aunt Antoinette. It says "I will not moose behave!" :)

Bible lesson:
  • Open in prayer
  • Read the story of Noah’s Ark (Jesus Storybook Bible, p.38)
  • Discuss how God loved Noah and saved the animals
  • Point out that animals and ark start with A
  • Sing Arky, Arky Song and Noah’s Ark Song
  • Begin the Animals Two by Two Craft (Christian Craft book, p.9) and complete on Thursday
  • Allow Ethan to play with the wooden Noah’s ark display

 Direct Instruction:
  • Watch Letter A presentation
    • Learn about words starting with the letter A

In the presentation the picture of the ant links to a video of acacia ants and the picture of the anteater links to a video of an anteater. I usually try to include short videos of what we're studying so Ethan can see the animal or object in action.

 Music Time: 
  • Sing Hooray for A! (Letter & Sounds pre-K book)
(sung to “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you see the letter A, shout, “Hooray!”
If you see the letter A, shout “Hooray!”
A for animal and ant; A for apple trees we plant.
If you see the letter A, shout “Hooray!”

Story Time:
  • Read A Was An Ant (Babybug magazine, March 2010)
  • Read Andy the Anteater (Wild Animal Baby magazine, July 2010)
  • Read Ants, Although Admirable, Are Awfully Aggravating (The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, p. 74) 

Snack Time:
  • Create Ants on a Stump snack (using apples, peanut butter and raisins)
  • Ethan will get more practice learning how to spread peanut butter with a knife 

Trying to eat the "ants" like an anteater

Owen wishing he could have some ants too!
Guided Instruction:

Free Play:
  • Let Ethan explore outside and encourage him to search for ants
  • Recreate Noah’s ark scene using play-dough

We did not get to finish all the activities planned for today so we'll continue our theme of Noah's ark and ants on Thursday! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

T is for Train

Typically we have preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. But this week was one of "those" weeks, you know what I mean right? I just couldn't pull everything together in time to have preschool on Thursday, so we had class on Friday instead. It was an interesting morning, very stop and go. My almost 7-month old, Owen, usually sleeps right through preschool. Well, not yesterday, and we can blame that on teething! :) Despite the challenges we managed to get through our morning. It was very simple and we didn't complete everything I had planned, but Ethan learned a few new things and had fun while doing it, and that's all that really matters. Here is the outline of our morning: 

Bible lesson:
  • Open in prayer
  • Read the story of Zacchaeus
  • Talk about how Jesus is the friend of sinners
  • Sing songs: Zacchaeus song, This Little Light of Mine, The B-I-B-L-E, Deep and Wide

Story Time:
  • Read Chugga Chugga Choo Choo
  • Read Freight Train
    • Ethan will identify the colors of each train car
    • Ethan will be able to count the train cars

Direct Instruction:
  • Watch Train presentation
    • Learn about train related words starting with the letter T

Music Time: 

Snack Time:
  • Build trains out of whatever snacks are found in the pantry!
  • Have Ethan learn how to spread peanut butter with a knife
  • Be creative and have fun! :)

Craft Time:

  • Make an Easy Train Paper Craft 
  • Color the parts of the train using markers
  • Cut out and have Ethan paste the train parts onto construction paper

Free Play:
  • Let Ethan explore and build with the wooden train set

Owen observing all the preschool fun