Fun Times & Focused Times

These summer days are going fast and watching Bubs grow is going faster.

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This is the first summer that he is truly fully mobile and alert to the world around him so we are enjoying a whole lot of summer wonders like time at the lake, the zoo and just exploring at the pool and splash pads in our area.

This age is so fun but in some ways I’ve been more challenged than ever.  About a week or so ago,  after experiencing frustration after frustration of gaining control of our days,  I realized that we had outgrown our schedule.  Mason seemed to be getting into anything and everything and trying out new “buttons” to push.  This created a challenge for me as working from home and trying to set aside “fun” time with him was becoming more difficult.

After thinking about it, expressing frustration, praying, asking for prayer and talking through it with friends, I came to an important realization.  We had outgrown our schedule!  As a work from home mom, I have always thrived on structure and nap times.  The more I thought about it, it became obvious that the things we were doing before just weren’t working in the present.  We needed something more to focus on than what Bub’s “isn’t supposed to be doing” and provide him with some things he CAN do.

As I set out to search and find what others in the bloggosphere were handling their schedules with little ones my age, I stumbled on this wonderful practice: Tot School!  All of a sudden it made sense.  Bubs loves activities and crafts.  He thrives with them in fact and seems to crave them.  The trouble is that try as I might I had difficulty adding these activities into my day unless I intentionally planned them.

tot school room
Getting our tot school room ready

The great thing about Tot School is that it is short.  I’m adding just one hour into my day.  Maximum 10 minute learning time and then the rest I have set aside to play.  Many times the “play” we do incorporates colors or shapes but it’s more fun time with no pressure.  I’m also not doing tot school every day of the week. Only 2-3 days.  Sometimes we just need a break and at least one day of the week Bubs goes to a babysitter so mommy can get some focused work time and get work done that has to be done out of the house.  Of course through the summer at least I plan on some field trips here and there to get outside.

We are now in our second week of tot school.  These are the things I have learned so far:

  • I’m loving the way this is helping us work on attention span, focus and tantrums for transition between activities.  When we are idle, we get into lots of trouble but when we are busy, we often have lots of fun together
  • Love how I’m going to slowly learn patience with my son through these activities.  A toddler on a marker rampage is not pretty…
tot school-week 1
tot school-week 1
  • Love seeing the glow on his face when he discovers something new.  Totally priceless
  • There is A LOT of information on tot school out there, so I’m going to need to be disciplined and plan ahead of time so that we can have our 10 minutes of focus and move on.  Our first day went really badly structure wise because I wasn’t prepared
  • I am treasuring the experiences as imperfect as they are and trying to soak each moment in
tot school- week 2
tot school- week 2

Not really sure why I started this in the summer but all I can say is that somehow we both needed this for many reasons.  For our sanity, for our growth and for some focus time together and apart.

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L-O-V-E my boy!

If you have any tot learning advice, I’d love to hear it!  Shoot me a message or reply in the comments below.  This is a process we are just beginning and we are learning as we go so I love hearing ideas at this stage!

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