Starting Tot School and the WIP Wednesday Link-Up

10 Flares Twitter 6 Facebook 2 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 Email -- Buffer 2 StumbleUpon 0 10 Flares ×

Tot School

I have an undergraduate degree in elementary education. I’ve taught Sunday school, mission friends, G.A.’s, and 2nd grade, and tutored children ranging from ages 5-12. I always imagined myself teaching my own child. I have visions of lessons and learning and reading galore.

During seminary, God also impressed on my heart that Thomas’ spiritual development was primarily my and Michael’s responsibilities as his parents. I know teaching Thomas God’s Word from a young age is vitally important for his spiritual life. Again, visions of family devotionals, reading Bible stories, and prayers at bedtime.

I want to stimulate Thomas academically as well as spiritually.

Guess what? That hasn’t happened. At least not how I envisioned. Sure…we read a book here and there, and we pray before dinner and often at bed time. But it’s not where I want it to be. Why? Because things like that don’t “just happen”. They take planning, effort, and time.

Which is why one of my parenting goals is to have “lessons” with Thomas at least 2-3 times per week. By lessons, I mean planned lessons with a purpose and objective. Of course, he’s only 17 months old, so the “lessons” will be short and likely scattered throughout the day.

In my attempts to find something to guide me, I discovered “Tot School” by Carissa at 1+1+1=1. Wow! She has such a wealth of information and resources there. She even has ideas broken down into monthly ages! I downloaded her Assessment List and Planner to help get me organized. My goal for July is to begin writing lesson plans for August when I will officially begin Tot School. Then, as long as I continue planning, I will always be a little ahead.

I have a copy of The Young Learner’s Bible Storybook (affiliate link). I plan to work through the stories in it using the activities there as appropriate and then adding my own or those I find on the Tot School page.

I have tried to do a few semi-organized activities with Thomas, but the goal is to start doing consistent lessons in August. This is definitely a work in progress, so we will see where it goes.

Do you/have you done any form of Tot School? What are your suggestions/resources?

Enjoy reading what God is doing in the lives of others? Subscribe below for free and receive all the WIP Wednesday posts plus my other updates via email!

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

Work In Progress Wednesday

It’s time for the WIP Wednesday Link-Up! 

Last week’s featured post: Not Getting Lost in the Crooked by Megan. In this post, the recent storms caused her to reflect on the recent trials in her marriage and how far God has brought her and her husband.

What is God doing in your life? Link up a post below or let’s chat in the comments! Please make sure you link back to! This helps promote the community and allows everyone’s posts to be shared. :) If you aren’t sure how to do that, e-mail me! I’ll be glad to help!

Link Up Rules:

  • Please link to the post’s permalink so that it will go directly to the post you want us to read.
  • In the “Name” space, put the title of your post.
  • Limit 3 Links per week.
  • Please take time to visit the blogger before you and encourage them in their comments.
  • Use Hashtag #WIPwed when you tweet about your post!
  • One Post will be featured each week from the previous week’s Linky!
  • Please link back to so your readers know where to find us! (Grab the button on the sidebar!)

This post is linked with thanks to:

Works for Me Wednesday
Women in the Word Wednesday
Living Well Wednesday
Unwrapping His Promises
God Bumps and God-Incidences 
Whatever Wednesday


  1. God bless you as you find the right fit for you and your little one. We’re pretty intentional about prayer and devotional time with our kids, but it’s so much easier when they get older. I think they learned a lot by observing in early years. I remember when Anna and Lydia adopted their own “prayer journals,” because they saw me writing in mine. It just sort of happened organically, which was kind of fun.

  2. Joanne Norton says:

    I’m impressed with the dear people who are Homeschooling. It’s the best schooling in our days. HOWEVER, b/c of my intensity, I simply wouldn’t have been good at it. I’m a good learner and mentor and organizer, but wouldn’t be good overall. SO BLESS YOU!

  3. Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report says:

    I just found your blog on Twitter! I love doing tot school with my 16 month old son. And you are so right, it takes planning, and time. But its honestly a blast, and he learns a ton. I second 1+1+1=1, she has a great blog roll where you can find a lot of great blogs and ideas. I also blog about tot school at

  4. When my kiddos were young we used dried beans & felt ducks on a blue pond to count. They thought it was fun! :) Wtg getting going early girly! Thanks for linkin up today ;) Blessings friend!

    • I’m super excited about making Thomas a felt Christmas tree this year! I think he’s going to love it! I don’t quite trust him with beans yet. I see one going right up his nose. We may have to try soon though, I know he’d like it!

  5. Amy Tilson says:

    1+1+1=1 is a great place for resources. When your little guy gets a little older you can start being a little more “academic”. Max is 3 and loves the Kumon books. It’s a great approach to learning to write by using coloring and tracing, but also has books for skills like cutting with scissors. I really need to be more intentional with him, too, but I think he will be starting 2day/wk preschool with immersion Spanish soon. We read TONS and he is already recognizing words. Amazing to watch the little sponge. I have an education degree as well, but just don’t tink I’ll be able to do him justice when it times for actual school. Good luck!!

  6. Interesting web site so I copied and sent it to my daughter who has a three year old and twin one year olds. Glad we connected through the blogs.

  7. You’re a good mom.

    I had a sister who always played school with me and I’m a big advocate of learning before school starts. It helped me tremendously!

    • Well thank you. We moms need to hear that every now and then. Sounds like you had a good sister even though I bet you didn’t think so as a little guy!

  8. As others have mentioned, I’m also a big proponent of natural learning but it is so easy for other stuff to get in the way. I try to spend specific times each day getting down on the floor and playing with our daughter (where she inevitably learns a ton just through our interactions). I also try to have specific times where we read books together. So while I don’t do specific lesson plans, I do try to have specific times each day where I’m interacting with her in more intentional ways.

    • That’s what I’m hoping to do–get in a routine of doing certain types of activities during the same times each day. The teacher in me just has to have a plan!

  9. My daughter just turned one and I plan to start getting more “official” about learning time in the Fall. I thought about posting my lesson plans on my blog. We shall see… :)

  10. Courtney Schaub says:

    I bought “Slow and Steady Get Me Ready” by June Oberlander. It breaks down a lesson or skill for each week they are born until the age of 5. But like you, I have yet to take much action! :D

  11. Alicia Bruxvoort says:

    You’re right- “schooling” our kids spiritually doesn’t just happen. It takes so much time and effort. I think the Enemy loves to distract us so we’ll never get around to having a plan for shaping those hearts. Love your commitment to intentional parenting. And Tot School sure sounds fun :) Glad I stopped by from Jen’s link up today. Blessings from a mom in Iowa!

  12. Girl, we truly are kindred! I had this same eye-opening experience when my oldest was around the same age. And I went to the same resources!!!! My oldest is old enough now to endure a children’s devotional each day, which we do. You let me know when you’re ready for that, and I’ll let you know what books have worked best for us! :)

    • You make me giggle the way you said “endure”! Right now he looks at pictures in The Jesus Storybook Bible for about 5 seconds before insisting we turn the page so I quickly try to tell the story. Reading it is definitely not an option!
      Mary Beth

  13. Love your enthusiasm to train and disciple Thomas. So much of what we do as parents is caught, not taught. I’m seeing the fruit of that truth in my kids who have both entered the teen years. So thankful for grace when it comes to parenting. There is so much more I could’ve, should’ve done but He knows what will speak to their hearts. You are starting out the right way, being intentional.

  14. Michy loving our journey says:

    Great post…as I too was a teacher beforehand, I feel that “need” to plan lessons at times…but am such a believe in natural learning. Her site is awesome…I do like your goal of 3 a week…I’ve used her site before and need to check out the assessment/plan page you listed…I won’t send J to 3 yr old preschool, will do that at home, so we’ve made a nice little learning corner in our home already! :) I’ll be back at naptime to link up and read….I wrote on this topic recently so i”ll come back and link that one up!

    • I’m a big proponent of natural learning too, but I’m finding if I don’t at least plan a time to focus on learning, then I spend the day doing other chores without ever spending intentional time with Thomas. I’m kinda weird–I will probably send Thomas to some sort of preschool–He goes to Mother’s Day Out twice a week now, but I’m considering homeschooling. Odd I know.

      Looking forward to your post!

  15. MomsMustardSeeds says:

    I love Carissa’s blog…all of her resources are really good! Yes, we have to be intentional…and remember that God needs to come first in all areas….Love your post, your heart and how you are keeping our Lord first!


  1. […] year I set a goal to be more intentional in teaching Thomas. We had a slow start as I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing, but we’ve fallen into somewhat of a rhythm since he turned 2 in February. Several folks have […]

  2. […] I could barely muster up the time and energy to read my son a Bible story during the day or do some intentional play time with him like I planned. Especially after I became pregnant, it became painfully obvious that I […]

  3. Tabernacled says:

    […] think, friends?  Am I way off here?  Please share your thoughts in the comments. Linking up with New Life Steward and Women Living […]

  4. […] Plans for Tot School: We plan to start Tot School in August, so I have started sketching out some loose lesson plans using Carissa’s Planning Guide (the […]

  5. […] has God been doing in your life lately? If you've written about it, link up to #WIPwed !… […]

Speak Your Mind


10 Flares Twitter 6 Facebook 2 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 Email -- Buffer 2 StumbleUpon 0 10 Flares ×