Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Too Busy to Blog …

on October 24, 2012

The past few days have been a whirlwind, with life and “school” melding into a single chaotic adventure.

Topping the charts, Baby Bear has developed a sudden fascination with the toilet. Not a safe, portable, toddler-sized potty. Oh, no, Little Miss Must-Do-What-the-Big-People-Do will have none of that. She insists upon perching her 17-month-old self on the “real” toilet … although she now accepts the kiddy seat as a necessary evil after falling through the regular seat and getting herself quite “Guck! Guck! Guck!” a couple of days ago.

She’s young, and she’s got a long way to go to master the process, but bless her heart, she’s trying. And trying. And trying. In fact, she gets so excited when she succeeds in going potty that she refuses to get off the potty. She’s sat there for up to half an hour at a time, shaking her head each time I ask if she’s finished and declaring “More! More!” … which means I’ve spent a good part of the last three days sitting in the bathroom alongside her, cheering her on, keeping her safe, and begging her to declare her business finished and let us all move on with life.

Little Bear, meantime, has been having to work alone more than she’d like. As I told her this evening, “You can write, color, draw, cut, paste, and to a certain degree, even read without assistance. Your 17-month-old sister cannot perch precariously above a tank full of water without supervision.”

On Monday, she busied herself with the fine motor work in her work bins, played Camelot Jr. (a single-player logic game), played a rhyming word matching game, and put together her human body layer puzzle. We also squeezed a reading lesson, several critical thinking activities, and some number practice into Baby Bear’s nap time. We did theme reading and just-for-fun reading between Baby Bear’s bathroom breaks.

On Tuesday, we spent much of the morning reading Usborne’s Flip Flap Body Book, discussing our five senses, and diving into a study of hearing. We used our senses of hearing to arrange a set of handbells from the lowest note to the highest note, to duplicate a beat, and to identify sounds. We discussed how the ear drum, much like a musical drum, carries and amplifies sound vibrations. In the process, we drummed on a blanket, a pillow, the floor, and a hand drum, observing how only the leather (aka skin) covered hand drum “carried” the sound. We wrapped up the morning with a game of Sound Bingo.

Today was library day. We spent an hour there gathering books and enjoying story time; then, the girls had a lunch date with Daddy while I shopped for groceries. By the time we got home, Baby Bear was more than ready for a nap (after some potty time, of course). Little Bear “worked” on the iPad, reluctantly tracing letters and building word families and much more eagerly dressing princesses between rounds of “work.” I’d planned to work with her while Baby Bear slept, but she was thoroughly enjoying her screen time (after several days without). So I instead handed her the computer and let her finish up with a couple of lessons on

Once Baby Bear awoke, we headed outside for a couple of hours of active play and fun with friends. Then it was time for dinner, bubble baths, and bedtime stories — LOTS of bedtime stories.

At the library today, I stumbled upon a copy of Thomas the Tank Engine: The Complete Collection by the Rev. Wilbert Awdry. Yes, the original tales as penned by the man who created Thomas and his friends. At 415 pages, it’s hardly a one-night read, but we put a significant dent in it this evening. Then, Little Bear asked to read the other 11 books we’d gotten at the library today. … We made it through half of those before I finally insisted that it was time to turn out the lights and go to sleep … a half hour past bedtime. Oops! But really, who wants to go to sleep in the face of a bag full of books just begging to be read?

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