The School of Josh

It’s amazing what a short car ride can turn into when there’s a toddler sitting in the backseat.

We were driving to our local mall, a trip that would take about 15 minutes. As I drove, Joshua was calling out the names of the different vehicles he spotted on the road and in the sky.

“Dump truck!”
“Peace (police) car!”

Toddler-speak is so ridiculously cute!

Anyway, Joshua’s favorite vehicle to point out these days are the school buses. “Mommy! Sool bus! Yey-yow sool bus!”

I explained to him a while ago that those are special buses that pick up children from their homes and take them to school, and that school is where kids learn all kinds of cool things. He said, “Ohhh!” and I thought that was the end of that conversation.

Until yesterday, that is.

Yesterday, he saw a bus and pointed it out, as per usual. I repeated his words, as I always must — he’ll just keep repeating himself over and over again, much like a broken record, if I don’t — and said that the bus was probably going to a school to pick up children and take him home. Like every earlier conversation we’ve had about buses and schools, I thought that would be the end of it. But then he said something else, something that took me by surprise.

“Mama? Josh sool.”
“Josh school?”
“Yeah, Josh sool.”
“Do you want to do school?”
“Would you like to do school at home? We can do school at home if you want.”
“Yeah. Josh sool at home.”
“Okay! That sounds like fun! We’ll do school at home, and it’ll be the School of Josh.”
“Yeah! Sool of Josh!”

Needless to say, he was more than a little excited!

I’m a former preschool teacher, and as such I built a small library of resources to help me with lesson planning and activities for my classes. I pulled out my resource books and went through them, noting themes that I could work on with Joshua; books we could read together; art and science activities we could do together…

The teacher in me slowly made her way back out and I found myself thinking about everything from setting up a schedule to make it feel like “real” school to packing Joshua a lunchbox so he could eat a packed lunch at the table like regular schoolkids. I considered the many outdoor play activities we could do, starting a plan book of informal “lessons” I could create, and even how I could set up different rooms in our house to make them feel more like a classroom. I really think this is going to work, and work well at that. It’s going to take a lot of planning on my part, and I’ll have to monitor Joshua’s progress very closely just as I would for a regular classroom student. How I see it, though, Joshua is showing a rather intense interest in it and I’m willing to do it if it makes him happy and will benefit him in the long run.

Looks like I need to take inventory of all the art and office supplies we have in the house, and I should ask The Hubby if I can buy Joshua a lunchbox (SkipHop makes a Zoo Lunchie that matches his backpack and suitcase!). Investing in a few Mailbox books would probably be a good idea as well.

Next week, it’s off to the School of Josh we go!

So a question to all my teacher and homeschooling friends: What suggestions do you have for me as Joshua and I take on this endeavor? He knows all of his capital letters and many lowercase letters; can count to 13, but knows 14, 16, and 19 as well; and knows all of his colors. We haven’t done much with shapes lately, so you can bet that will be on the agenda! I will take any and all suggestions you have for me — leave me a comment below!

  • Even though mommy brain has caused me to block out my days of teaching Kindergarten, I do remember there being a huge need to teach vocabulary. Kids have a hard time explaining the meaning of words. But the best way to teach that is through reading and talking about the book (in my opinion). The Fancy Nancy Books (I know they are girly) have a lot of big words but in a kid friendly way! Going to places, anywhere from the food store to the zoo – field trips you can call them now – are also a great way to teach vocab! Another thing my students always needed to work on were positional words…next to, under, over, behind, in front of, left, right, across from.

  • Aww, so cute. I remember when my girls were OBSESSED with school buses at that age. I think it’s great that you’re doing the whole she-bang with the lunch box and the works. If you treat it seriously, he probably will as well 🙂

  • readathomemama

    Thanks!! I hope that’s how it goes. I managed to get the lunchbox for free at Barnes and Noble (yay for store credit! And for not having to ask The Hubby for money for it!) so he’s all set in that respect. Now it’s just getting all the lessons planned out and getting down to business. I know he’s really interested in “doing school”, so I’m going to take it as seriously as I can so that he can get the full experience — or as close to it as possible — and really understand how school works. (And one more yay for not having to pay tuition!)