Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Littles Learning Link Up: Toilet "Training" Success (Finally!)

 Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (toward the beginning of the month)
  • A guest post featuring crafts, activities, tips, snack ideas or other early childhood topics. (toward the end of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my preschoolers and/or early elementary children (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child(ren).

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

What have we been up to?

This week I would like to focus on something other than schooling for a little bit. We have been struggling with getting Harold to go potty for a while. If you were around when Littles Learning Link Up was still Toddler Idea Tuesday, you might remember that I posted about potty training early last year. We thought he was ready back then, had purchased some underwear for him. We had our good days and bad days. I even shared some tips that had been working for us. Unfortunately, poor Harold was having such trouble in the bowel movement department. TMI alert (feel free to skip the next paragraph)

It appeared that Harold was struggling to have a bowel movement because he was constipated. I would look over and he was standing with his legs crossed and seemed to be straining. But all there would be was a little runny BM. This could go on for days. Finally, one day he had eaten some chopped prunes and he had a decent sized BM. Unfortunately, after that we went right back to the same problem. And he was getting rashes.

I am not sure how long we allowed this to go on before switching him back to diapers (which I swore I would never do and talked against in my post last year). However, we didn't keep switching back and forth, I just completely gave up. So, we continued allowing him to wear diapers, even though he was way past the age of the older girls when they went potty and older than I wanted him to be. I took heart in remembering that they say boys are harder than girls, figuring he would go when he was ready.

So, a  couple of months ago, he asked for underwear again. We went out and let him choose some underwear. . . Spiderman this time. He seemed to be doing well at first, but still only one instance of poopy in the potty (which we praised immensely). Then we started having the same issues mentioned in the TMI paragraph above. I was determined to keep him in underwear this time, I mean, he had just turned 4 recently. I was constantly washing out undies. I ended up getting angry a few different times and yelling at him (one time was after he had just sat for a while with no results and promptly pooped his undies right after getting off the toilet). I felt awful when he cried because I yelled at him. A week and a half ago, I was at my wits end. I asked for some advice on the homeschool boards I am on on Facebook.

My husband and I liked this one lady's advice of using rewards. Another thing I had sworn I would never do and had even included in my previous post as one of my tips. Anyway, I had to eat my words and we told Harold he would be getting to go to the store to pick out prizes that he would receive after going poopy in the potty. After church last Sunday, I headed to the dollar store (not something I like doing on a Sunday, but I was desperate). Here is what we purchased:

He was promised that he would get to choose one little toy every time he went potty and would also earn a sticker on his chart. If he filled up the row he would get to go shopping for a bigger prize.

I didn't expect such instantaneous success! As soon as we walked in the door he asked to go potty. He was successful and immediately was given a sticker and a little man (yes, even before I could get pictures taken he had done this, as you can see in the picture above).

Now I had a new problem. He filled up the first line of the chart the first day! I figured it would be a few days at least. But he was determined to get those toys and stickers, and to go shopping. He would go in to the bathroom, have a tiny BM, which I would praise, and happily go to get his prize. Mommy and daddy decided we would go broke with this strategy. So, the next day, we told him it was day 2 and things were going to change up a bit. He would still get a sticker every time he went poopy in the potty, but he would only get a toy at the end of the day if he had not had any poopy in his diaper. He was still successful. I had to take him to go get a couple of prizes because he had filled up both rows of the chart.

We then decided we couldn't afford to keep getting him these toys. So, we changed it up again. Each time he went potty, he would receive a jelly bean or spice drop. Much cheaper for us. And still enough of an incentive for him. He has since earned almost all of his toys and hasn't been asking for them. He does NOT go poopy as often as he did the first few days. I hesitate to say the following for fear of jinxing things, but he has not had one accident, even while we have been out and about. And, while we are away from the house, he goes without asking for candy when he goes potty. I had actually taken a bag a jelly beans with me just in case, but he never asked for them, and I surely didn't offer.

He was most definitely ready, he just needed a little bit of incentive. This was my Mother's Day gift to myself (as that was the day we started this).

Moral of the story: Every child is different. What works for one child will not always work for another. I still stand behind my thoughts on allowing a child to be ready. But, I will admit there are strategies that may have to be applied for one child that didn't have to be applied for another.

Moving on...just a little look at our review schedule:

I recently posted my review for Zeezok Publishing. My reviews for Poetry Memorization with the Institute for Excellence in Writing and Greek Myths with Memoria Press will be going up this week. The reviews for Science Shepherd and Sunya Publishing will be posting next week. In June, you can look forward to the following reviews: Essential Skills Advantage, Shiloh Run Press (a book called The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins), Forbrain, the Hey Mama! Planner, Veritas Press, Laurelwood Books, LearnBop, and ArtAchieve. I'll be sharing a little more information about those products next week, so you know what they are all about.

As you might be able tell, our review products are continuing to take up a lot of our schooling time. Which could explain how we have fallen behind in our core curriculum. Though, we have been catching up a bit. Fortunately, the children are learning lots of great subjects, and we are so thankful for these great review products.

A few somethings I would like to share with you:

As Father's Day is right around the corner, I invite you to check out my Round Up from last year: Father's Day Gift and Card Round Up

Don't forget to check out this month's round up: April Showers Brought May Flowers.

And finally, don't miss last month's Guest Post: Using Crayons to Learn About Rocks.

I know I plan to do this activity when we reach our Rock unit next year.

I am lining up my guest posts for the new year. If you would be interested writing a guest post for Littles Learning Link Up one of these months, please leave a comment or contact me via my contact info on my About Me page. I will need to have your email address so I can contact you. I am looking for posts that have to do with young children: crafts, activities, foods/snacks, tips, or other ideas. I am open to suggestions.

Now onto:
Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 19 wonderful posts linked up! 
I will be picking one randomly selected post to share, plus the top clicked-on posts

Please don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's Randomly Selected Post is:

Jen from Though Shall Not Whine shared 7 Ways to Keep the Littles Busy {While the Bigs Do School}.

Now, for this week's Top Clicked-On Posts:

Shecki from Greatly Blessed shared Our Week With a Surprise Doctor Visit.

Shecki from Greatly Blessed also shared Doodle Across Multiple Subjects with Kwik Stix.

Lisa from Syncopated Mama shared Latticed Learning: Week 30.

Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on one of my relevant boards, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Monday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.



  1. I lucked out - our little Gv pretty much potty-trained herself last summer while we were camping. She'd just turned two, so I was pretty excited to be done with diapers so much earlier than I'd expected! Thanks for featuring my post and have a fabulous week!

  2. I used rewards with my boys to teach them how to use the potty and that seemed to have worked. Good luck with your little one!


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