Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MTT :: Our Top 8 Learning Tools

One part of parenting I love the most is teaching Connor and preparing him for school. Finding ways to teach him his letters, numbers, ABC's and to explore our world has been such a fun challenge over the last year or so. It would be so easy to just chill all day in front of the TV or knee deep in the playroom but I want to provide Connor a good foundation for school. My motto is that Connor is a direct reflection of me as SAHM so I take that role seriously by focusing a part of our day, every day, working with him on one topic or another. I've compiled a list of what we've been using and I hope it helps other Mommas out there.

Resource #1 :: Kate from Gift of Curiosity is my go to site and resource for printables, lessons and even ideas on new topics/concepts to share with Connor. Subscribe to her email list and you'll get weekly emails with exclusive content. As a subscribe, you'll be able to access Kate's printables by season/holiday and they are fantastic!

Resource # 2 :: The public library! We visit the library at least once a week. We first enjoy story time. This week's Wiggly Worms class offered up 40 minutes to read stories, dance, sing songs, and complete a simple craft. Not only is the a wonderful way to get your little one to mingle with others, but there is usually a theme to each story time.

Resource #3 :: Pinterest. I know this seems like an obvious tool but for as long as I've been working with Connor, I've never needed to look any further than that site. From scavenger hunts to printables to coloring pages and so much more, an easy search will result in more than you ever imagined you would need or use. I have a couple toddler themed boards that have tools and resources we use when working with Connor: For Our Busy Little Bees, Printables and Smarty Pants.

Resource #4 :: Mommy School with Leah over at Leah with Love has great ideas for little ones. Her daughter and Connor are close to age so the ideas Leah shares are perfect for C. She is great at putting theme lessons together. Our favorite one was the unit on transportation.

Resource #5 :: Your local mall. Our mall in Texas and the one here both have wonderful childrens programs. Our local mall is taking the summer off but will start back up in September. Each event provides your little one(s) an hour or so with 25-30 other kids, goodies to take home and the chance to see a show. Last time we attended we had a gentleman that brought different animals with him and had a small show and tell. It gave the kids the fun opportunity to see and touch animals that aren't usually in their habitat.

Resource #6 :: Busy Beavers. Sounds a bit off, right? Hear me out. We discovered Busy Beaver nearly 18 months ago and I have no doubt their videos have aided in C learning things like colors and shapes along with catchy songs to reinforce particular topics. This is on YouTube so I set a timer and after 20-30 minutes, Connor has to turn it off and move on to something else. This also counts as his daily allowance of screen time.

Resource #7:: Childrens museums are a excellent way to kill an entire morning, learning about fresh topics while allowing your little one to stretch their legs and visit with other children. Often there is a special attraction or series and those make for a fun experience for Connor. Along with museums, we love visiting the zoo and aquarium. Both provide loads of fun and teachable material.

Resource #8 ::  Wife Mommy Me. I mean this is my blog so I can do a shameless plug if I want to, can't I? I try to share with my readers things that we do at home to facilitate a learning environment. Sometimes that includes free for all painting sessions or a 30 minute block of TV. But when I'm on my A-game it includes thought out activities to help Connor learn and excel.
Don't get me wrong. Some days are so full of errands and chores that we are lucky to get 2 books in at bed time. However, I actively try to fit no less than 1 hour a day with structured learning. Sometimes that means 15 minutes here or there and other times, it's a solid chunk of time. No matter how we spend our days, we always find a little but of learning along the way.

How do you incorporate "school" and learning into your child's every day schedule? I'm always look for new ideas so please share!

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