My Circle Time post generated a lot of questions, and a reader suggested that I answer the questions in a post...good idea! I have a feeling that my answers may be a little disappointing... I'm starting with the easy ones first :)
1) I was just wondering if anyone else joins you for story time.
It's just O and I for circle time, so it's not an actual circle :) Sometimes Gracie (our cat) will sit with us for a while and sometimes a baby doll or 2 will participate, but it works out well to just have the 2 of us. Little Kicker will help make our circle complete in August :)
2)Where do you get these songs from?
The vast majority of the songs we used for circle time come from cds that I've borrowed from the library. They are simple songs that are sung to the tune of songs such as London Bridge is Falling Down, etc. I also have a book of Spanish songs that are sung to familiar tunes. For example, we sing "Hola means hello" to the tune of London Bridge, and we sing "Uno, dos, tres, amigos, cuatro, cinco, seis, amigos, siete, ocho, nueve, amigos, diez amigos son" to the tune of 10 Little Indians.
3) How do you plan to continue homeschool with O when Little Kicker arrives?
I have no idea! I am planning on doing a lot with O this summer so that we can take a few weeks or a month off from any planned activities without me feeling guilty about it :) I'm hoping that Little Kicker will love the wrap that my mom recently made for us (like a Moby wrap), and that she spend a lot of time in it while O and I do our homeschooling activities. We'll see...
4) What Spanish lessons do you use?
Boca Beth sent us a dvd, cd, coloring book, and puppets, and we use all of these (excluding the dvd) during circle time. (I'm planning on writing a review of Boca Beth's products after we've used them for a while). We also use Teach Them Spanish. I have several children's books that are bilingual and a few that are just in Spanish, and she chooses one to read each morning. I have several sets of spanish flash cards that my sister bought us from Sam's Club last year. Lastly, a friend recently sent me Flip Flop Spanish, so we'll try this out, too. I'm especially excited about the calendar component of Flip Flop Spanish as I think she's a little too young for the workbook right now.
5) I wanted to find out when/how you do your planning/prep for your days. Do you plan out your week or prep the night before?
This is a tough one because I just really don't have a good answer. I write LOTS of list of things that I want to do. Often, I forget to ever look at my lists, but they do help when I remember. For circle time, I have a bin full of circle time activites on our hearth (which is where we do circle time). I just grab activities from the bin as we go, so there is very little planning involved. I let O have some choice in our activites, although we always do Spanish.
I star LOTS of activities from other blogs on my google reader (I have more than 700 starred items!), and I've recently started going back and making lists from the starred items. I'm hoping that will help me organize my thoughts...
I plan to print blank calendars for June, July, and August and write in a mommy directed art activity, a science project, and a book with story stretchers on the calendar for each week. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow...
Most of the story stretcher ideas and science project ideas will come from library books that I checked out and took notes on. I've made lists of the activities...now I just need to find the lists :)
So... you can tell that I'm not that organized. I strive for organization, but I'm not there yet. I'm not sure if I really answered the question. I guess I really just decide what we are going to do about 10 minutes or so before we actually do it :) Although, I like the idea of planning the week ahead, so maybe I'll try that...
There were also lots of questions on the embroidered t-shirts posts, so I'll answer those questions here, too.
1) Where did you learn how to do it (embroidery)?
I bought a Klutz book on embroidery about 6 years ago to teach myself. It's is super easy to do! I am a pretty lazy embroiderer (is that a word?), so I typically only do the back stitch. Here is a tutorial that is better than any I could ever do :)
2)I'm curious about the EC process. Is O completely potty-trained, if so, how long did it take using the EC process?
O wears diapers at night, so she's not completely potty-trained. She wore panties for a few weeks, but then she decided she'd rather wear diapers. I'm letting her choose because I want her to do what makes her comfortable.
We started EC when O was 10 months old. Although, I'd never heard of EC and had no idea that such a thing even existed. We were just doing what came naturally to us. My sister started putting her daughter on the potty at about 10 or 11 months, so we decided to give it a try, too. O pooped the first time she ever sat on a potty. She just instinctively knew what to do. After that I probably only changed 3 or 4 poopy diapers. It was easy to read her signals, and she quickly learned to sign potty while saying an approximation of "potty." After I learned about EC, I briefly read about it on the internet, but did no research because we decided to just do what worked for us. We kept O in cloth diapers until she was about 15 or 16 months old. Then she started wearing panties, which made EC much easier. She had a couple of potties around the room, and she would crawl or toddle to them when she needed to go. She continued to wear cloth diapers when we were out and about, but she mostly wore panties at home from then on. She has been completely day time potty trained since she was about 19 months old, I think. Although, we did still put a diaper on her when she was in the car seat just in case we couldn't stop in time (until after she was 2). It's no fun to clean a car seat!
3) Did it take long for O to get the concept of using the potty at 10 months?
She immediately understood that she should poop in the potty. It took a little longer for her to start peeing in the potty.
I recently read Diaper Free Baby, and it convinced me to try EC from the beginning. It's a great book that makes SO much sense :) I highly recommend it if you are considering doing EC.