Monday, September 21, 2015

Tot School: Unit 1 Dance/Music

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   We kicked off tot school with a unit on music/dance. We did several activities with a variety of focuses (pretend play, matching, sound discrimination, movement etc.) using the book, Baby Dance by Ann Taylor as inspiration. We also watched our Baby Einstein - Meet the Orchestra - First Instruments video at times during the week. He caught on to many of the activities, though there were some in which he was less interested.. Overall, we really enjoy getting this time together! I look forward to us continuing our "homeschool" "tot school!"

Below is a little summary of our first tot school unit. Follow the tag on the right side of the page to follow along with all our tot schooling moments.

Day 1: Loud & Soft

     We began by reading the book & exploring the pictures on the pages. At the beginning of the book the mama is resting and the daddy is trying to quieten the baby. This scene provides a great inspiration point for learning the difference between loud and soft.

     We used homemade shakers to demonstrate  this concept. One shaker bottle was filled with salt and the other with dry pasta. I then shook each and talked about the sounds they made. I also talked about places (church, park etc) and occasions (Annelise sleeping) in which each sound is appropriate. For instance, I explained that we need to be quiet when Annelise sleeps & shook the salt shaker bottle. When we're outside, though, we can be loud & I shook the pasta shaker bottle. Throughout our time he was free to pick up & play with the bottles (of course, I reiterated the sound each made each time) & flip through the book himself. We concluded by reading the story one more time.

     I don't expect him to have fully understood everything. I do believe in speaking to our children on a mature level though. Again, my aim in our tot schooling is exposure & quality time between us. He seemed to thoroughly enjoy both of those elements today!

Day 2: Dance & Music Cards

     We used the 3 part Montessori cards that corresponds to the letter "d" packet from Moms Have Questions Too. I printed them out on cardstock, backed them with colored cardstock, and then laminated them for durability. My printer unintentionally printed and extra sheet of cards and so I clipped those together with a binder ring to make a busy bag activity.

     We began our time today by first reading the book. We then briefly reviewed yesterday's lesson with the shakers. Then, I brought out the cards. I showed him the cards with the words. I pointed out the picture and word on each. (I felt like only doing one part of the 3 part Montessori cards method was sufficient at his age). He them spent some time freely exploring the cards & I would say the word of whichever card he was holding. I later took our three cards from the other set for a matching game. Last, we concluded by rereading the book.

     He seemed fairly interested in the cards. I think they'll also make a pretty good busy bag for him. We're two days in to our "tot school" and having lots of fun!
Day 3: Do the Baby Dance
      We attempted to do the baby dance described in the book ourselves. Our first time involved me holding Tennyson & we danced to and fro in the living room while I recited the words or steps from the book. Then we tried it again with him also standing on the floor.

     He was not too amused by dancing. He has always been very taken by music and will be still & listen intensely to it. He doesn't dance to music though. So, today's movement activity using dance wasn't a big hit with him.

     I decided to turn on some videos of dancing for him to watch for the remainder of today's school time. I found some great videos on YouTube on various dances like swing and he was fairly interested in watching. I was probably just as captured by their movements. Amazing to be able to move like that!

     (I don't have a single dancing bone in my body so I'm not surprised that he responds about the same to the idea of dancing. We also play a lot of classical or instrumental music for him which doesn't illicit the same desire for dancing as other music genres. Hahaha)

Day 4: Make Music- Instrument Play

       We started our time with reading the book once more. Then, we got out his music instruments and had some fun making lots of noise! Our instruments collection is rather small currently, involving only a drum and xylophone . I hope to get him more pieces in the future. Fortunately, young children don't know they're missing anything and will enjoy whatever is available.

Day 5: Dance with Monkey
     Today was suppose to be an opportunity for pretend play. The idea was that we would pretend we were doing the "baby dance" with his monkey stuffed animal. I playfully danced with his monkey pal, and Tennyson grinned as he watched. He didn't quite follow suit when it was his turn. Perhaps a little early still for pretend play? Oh well, we still enjoyed our time together!

Extra: Busy Bag(s)
Music/dance theme cards

/Violin button snake activity

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