Preparing for big school with Aly @grow_to_knowI’ve had the great pleasure of chatting with the adorable Aly from @grow_to_know for today’s Petit Stories feature. If you have a baby, toddler or preschooler, Aly’s Instagram account and blog are a must follow. Her accounts are jammed packed with simple, fun and engaging learning activities for little ones that you can easily implement at home often with items and supplies you already have around the house. The moment I came across Aly’s account I was hooked! Aly is a teacher with so much amazing knowledge to impart and I’m so happy we connected over our shared passion for teaching and literacy.
Aly’s kind, sweet and nurturing nature radiates throughout her content and her positivity towards developing early learning is infectious. She is inspired by learning through play and regularly features amazing tips for parents to take advantage of teachable moments in every day activities.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Besides chocolate I love spending time exploring the outdoors with my little family. I love pastel colours and I am always on the hunt for art and craft supplies, resources and home decor that come in pastel colours.
3 things we might not know about you:
- Before becoming a Mum in Feb 2016 I was a teacher and spent most of my years in Preschool, Kindergarten and Year One. I have a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood and Primary Teaching, I am married to my best friend, Ben, I am a Mum to a 2 year old with another on the way.
- I have had two years leave after having my first baby and saw this as an opportunity to start my own education blog which is something that I have always wanted to do.
- I am heading back into the classroom part time at the beginning of 2018 before baby number two is born.
I enjoy thinking of new ways parents can help their children and I want to pass my knowledge on to parents. I love the idea of children learning through play and everyday experiences where learning is engaging and enjoyable for both the children and their families.
How do you promote a love for literacy in your child and/or students?
Read Read Read!!
Reading to your child (and encouraging your little one to read themselves) has so many benefits beyond spending quality time together snuggled up with some books.
Through reading your little one is exposed to so many letters, words and new places.
Reading books also helps little ones understand concepts and emotions that may otherwise be hard to teach and talk to little ones about.
What is your favourite read aloud book?
Oh goodness this sure is a hard one to answer there are SO MANY great books. At the moment I would have to say my favourite to read is my son’s favourite book, Where is the Green Sheep? By Mem Fox
What’s the biggest lesson motherhood has taught you?
I used to be quite a perfectionist but after having a baby I realised that sometimes you just have to go with the flow because more often than not life won’t go the way that you planned. I am now starting to think of myself as a ‘Recovering Perfectionist’ 🙂
You mentioned you’re returning to work this year after maternity leave. How are you feeling about this transition?
I am heading back into the classroom for two days a week in term 1 of 2018 before going on maternity leave again in May. I am excited about teaching again as I have really missed so many aspects of my job while I have been on leave. My little one will be at day care for two days a week and to be honest I am really nervous about this transition for both of us. I think I am most nervous about juggling work and home for those two days and I don’t know how we are going to get out the door by7:30am.
Aly’s simple ideas that you can do at home to help your little one prepare for Big School:
- Follow Instructions: Give your little one more than one instruction at a time to follow.
- Waiting for their turn: Help your child develop this skill by playing some family board games.
- Looking after their own items: Have your child use their own bag, rather than you carrying their belongings for them.
- Open their own lunch containers and drink bottle: At home encourage your child to open containers, snap lock bags, unwrap glad wrap and packets of food.
- Using the toilet independently: Help your little one to identify the symbols for girls and boys toilets and can they use the locks on the public toilets.
- Packing and unpacking their bag: Encourage your little one to pack and unpack their own bag.
- Writing and recognising their name
We would love to hear any other ideas you have for preparing your little on for big school with hands on fun learning activities. If you have any suggestions please share them with us in the comments. Also if you have any questions or comments for Aly please feel free to leave them below or jump over to my Instagram page and chat with us over there!
Teri and Aly xo