Thursday, 5 January 2012

Y4 - 97/365: Tot School - Day Two

I love the way Ryan wakes up in the morning. It's as though he hasn't even been asleep and he expects that when he just starts talking that I've been awake all the while as well. So, my morning looks a little like this...

Me:  ::opens eyes to see a cherub-like, bright-eyed Ryan, IN MY FACE, just STARING at me::
Ryan: Ma! Ma!
Me:  ::closes eyes again because maybe I'm just dreaming, or maybe he will forget and go back to sleep::
Ryan: Mama! Way-uhh (wake up), Mama! Mama...mama...wha's thah (what's that)? ::pokes me in eye::Me:  ::opens gimpy eye slowly::  Good morning, sweetpea.
Ryan: Ma! Wheh (where) Dada go? Dada goh (gone).
Me: Daddy went to work. Just you and Mommy today. Do you want to brush teeth and go downstairs?
Ryan: No, Dada goh...Dada go woh (work). Yeah, Mama...dow (down).

So, we brush our teeth, head downstairs and before his feet hit the floor Ryan is requesting his "Baa (sheep) boh (box)" which are his new Timmy Time dominoes he was gifted from Daz's sister, Nic, for Christmas. He's really taken a liking to them.

Although I planned to get him changed out of PJs before we began any Tot School, I wanted to roll with this moment because he initiated it. So, instead I grabbed my camera and the box of dominoes, and we sat down together as I watched him explore.

"Loo (look), ow (owl)!"

It's sweet because whenever he is telling us that there are two of something, he says it "one-two." So, he has "one-two eyes" and "one-two ears" for example. Or, on a night after his tea, he will tell you if you 'shorted' him a yoghurt and correct you when he's finished the first by saying, "one-two yeh-yeh (yoghurt)."

I watched him with the dominoes, talking about the animals on each one and he pointed out when he saw two, by using the format mentioned previously. I passively tried to show him how to look for the matching animal and 'connect' the ends together, but he was having none of it and before long he tipped the pine box over his head, shrieked and started to run about the room.

Well then, time for a gross-motor "break," I suppose?

I could soon see that he wasn't quite in the mood to do a settled activity, so I got him changed and dressed and asked what he wanted to do. I still managed to keep the telly off, however.

He told me he then wanted to colour so I taped down a piece of white paper and set out his crayons quickly into a plastic cup. He stayed a minute and did some circles and dots, and I joined in a bit with him. Then I watched as he grabbed another plastic cup from his bookshelf and tipped the first cup with the crayons into the empty cup.

He did this over and over and was really trying to concentrate and spill as few crayons as I had an idea...

I went into the kitchen and returned with two more cups, the cake pan, a clear bowl and big spoon. I didn't say anything to him and just placed the items on the floor by the window. He immediately stopped with the crayons and made a beeline for the pasta twists. He sat down and then looked up at me without touching any of the materials. I grabbed the spoon and scooped some pasta twists from the bowl and put them in the cake pan. Then I put the spoon down and watched him.

Again, very carefully he grabbed the spoon and cautiously scooped the pasta into the cake pan. He did this for ages! He even used the cups to do some scooping and "poured" the pasta twists back and forth as well!

I was so impressed at his focus, especially since he has never done this before. Now I'm thinking we really need a sand and water table!

At one point, I watched him as he tried his best to piece together a broken pasta twist with no success, but I found the observation alone quite intriguing.

I think I will stick with a loose-form of Tot School for now since a phone call last night from one of my agencies has set me up for a week of work starting Monday. For the time being I think it will take place on days when I don't have any work. Half-terms are essentially guaranteed, but it will be week-to-week otherwise depending on my own workload.

How amazing that morning set for a bit of fun/learning for my son, turned into an "on-the-fly" lesson for me?!

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