An A to Z Review Of Our Year With Mother Goose Time

It is hard to believe that we have completed a whole year of homeschool, it seems like we just started yesterday. My boys have grown so much this year and learned a ton. I thought it would be fun to do an A to Z review of all the things we have loved about our year with Mother Goose Time.

So without further adieu…here are some of our favorite moments.

Awesome Art

One of our favorite times of the day is when we get to do an Invitation To Create or a Make and Play project.  The best part is that Mother Goose Time provides most of the materials for each project, which saves time and money.

Beautiful Books

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Every month we get a new book from Mother Goose Time.  My boys love looking at these books and they have become some of the most popular books on the bookshelf.

Circle Time

We start each day with circle time, and love all the circle time tools that are included in our Mother Goose Time box each month.

Dance Time

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We end each day with dance time, and the boys love to get wild and get their wiggles out.

Experiments

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My boys love doing the science experiments each month.

Fun, Fun, Fun and More Fun

Whether making art, making an experiment, or just making a mess, we are always making memories and having FUN!

Great Games

Each month several educational games are included in each box.

Helpful Community

If you ever get stumped about an activity or need help with anything, the Mother Goose Time Team is always there to help.

Interactive Stories

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My boys love to read and participate in the interactive stories that are included in each monthly box.

Journals

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The boys love to work in their little journals, which help reinforce the letters, numbers, shapes, and colors we learn about each month.

Kid Centered Learning

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Mother Goose Time has spent a lot of time and research creating a program that is kid centered and fun.

Little Goose

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My two-year old loves being able to participate alongside his older brother by using the Little Goose supplement, which gears all the activities towards toddler aged little ones.

Manipulatives

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Each month two sets of manipulative are included in each box, which are used throughout the month in a variety of activities.

Number Fun

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Mother Goose Time makes learning math fun.

Organization Made Easy

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The daily bags making being organized a breeze, even in a chaotic home like ours.

Postcards

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My older son loves working on the postcards each month and sending them to family and friends.

Quality Time Together

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The time we have been able to spend together this year has been so rewarding , and we have made lifelong memories together, that I will always cherish.

Reading Lists

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Each month a reading list is provided, which helps take the guesswork out of what books to read.

Sensory Play

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Learning through sensory play is one of the best ways to engage little ones.

Terrific Themes

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The boys have loved the different monthly themes and we can’t wait for the new themes for next year.

Unpacking The Box

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We all love when our special box with the school bus on it comes each month, and we get to open it up and explore what adventures lie ahead.

Vocabulary Practice

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Mother Goose Time even finds ways to make learning new vocabulary fun and interesting for little ones.

Weather Time

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Each day we use our Circle Time materials to describe the weather for the day.  The weather helper is one of the most sought after jobs of the day.

Xerox Worksheet Free

There are no boring xerox worksheets with Mother Goose Time, instead the materials are high quality and engaging to preschoolers.

Year Long Fun

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Mother Goose Time can be used all year-long, and has themes that are summer appropriate, in case you need something to keep your little ones busy during the summer.

Zany Songs to Sing

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Each month we get a new CD, with lots of fun songs to sing and dance to.

Now we know our ABC’s…

We have had so much fun this year, and have learned so much.  I have been blown away by Mother Goose Time, their curriculum has been so easy and wonderful to use.  My boys and I have made memories this year that will last a lifetime.  I am so excited that we get to continue the fun this summer. Join me next week as we begin our Alphabet Island unit, and of course, create more Chaos on the Creek.

 

Disclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found the Mother Goose Time curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

 

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Child-Led Learning

img_3816.jpgToday was one of those days, when I didn’t want to get out of bed.  My two-year old had been up all night, with a stuffy nose, and I was starting to catch the same bug.  Nevertheless lunches needed to be packed, kids needed to be dressed for school, and breakfast needed to made.  Then once the morning rush was over, the matter of doing a homeschool lesson with my boys was hanging over my head.  It’s times like these that I am so grateful to have Mother Goose Time.  With Mother Goose Time, I just pull out the daily bag and teacher guide, and I’m good to go.  At least I didn’t need to worry about planning out activities and lessons for the day.

Since I was still feeling under the weather, I was worried about being able to muster up enough energy and enthusiasm to teach the day’s lesson the way I normally do.  Turns out this was a perfect opportunity to let them take the lead and it showed me that we don’t always have to stick to the book. IMG_3784IMG_3790 Our first activity involved the shape manipulatives that we received in this month’s box.  The premise of the activity was to roll our picture cube and pick out the corresponding piece and use it to construct our own bug. The boys were instantly taken with the shape manipulatives, and proceeded to get to work ignoring all my instructions regarding the task.  Instead they did things their own way,  my older son picked up each piece and stated which shape it was, and carefully constructed several bugs.  My youngest had fun watching his older brother and figuring out how to fit the various pieces together. Normally I would have intervened after a few minutes of free play and redirected them to the planned activity, but today I let them play.  They ended up playing for almost forty minutes before they asked about the next activity.
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In the end they didn’t do the activity as it was written, but they had fun doing it their own way.  They still made their own insects out of the shapes, and also practiced shape identification as they played.

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My son’s bug even helped with our art project.

My oldest son was so proud of his bug that he has refused to let it be deconstructed and has carried it around with him throughout the day.   Most days I try to keep my guys on track and try to complete the tasks as written, only straying slightly every now and then.   As it turns out, my cold sidelined me today taught me an important lesson about letting my boys take the lead more often. After all, a child led learning is one of the reasons I wanted to homeschool my son in the first place.  From now on I will try to let my little guys have a little bit more free play time before rushing them into the lesson.  You never know where the free play will take them.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to let me know.  Next week we will be wrapping up our unit on bugs and crawly things and getting ready for lots of summer fun.  With the addition of my 7-year-old and 9-year-old daughters, we are sure to have lots of adventures and lots of Chaos On The Creek.

Disclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found the Mother Goose Time curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning With The Five Senses

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My little wizard at work.

If you have a preschool aged child, then you have probably heard about sensory play or sensory learning.  It seems to be the hottest trend in early childhood education and with good reason – engaging a child’s various senses is imperative to their learning process. When a child is able to use multiple senses while simultaneously playing/learning, it makes the topic more engaging for them.  As we all know a preschool aged child that is engaged in learning is a truly miraculous thing.  Over the past week, we have continued our study of insects and crawly things, and I can confidently say that every one of the boys senses has been engaged, even taste!

IMG_3358Let’s begin by discussing tactile learning, since its one of the most important senses a preschooler uses during the learning process.  Sensory bins are one of the most popular ways to engage a child’s tactile sense.   A sensory bin is a container filled with some sort of substance (sand, water,corn, etc…), along with other items of interest (toys, shovels, spoons, etc…).  If  you go on Pinterest and look up sensory bins it doesn’t to take long to become overwhelmed with all of the options.  Luckily, Mother Goose Time takes the guess-work out of it, and offers many suggestions for sensory play throughout the month, including ideas for sensory bins.  IMG_3209

During the past week we have used sensory bins containing leaves and sand in combination with our bug manipulatives, to explore various bug habitats, and even create some bug adventures of our own.   To further engage our tactile senses, we used the contents of our bin to trace the letter ‘L’ and ‘S’ on the floor of our classroom.

If you have ever spent anytime with a preschool aged child, you know they touch everything in sight.  I think that’s why the sensory bins have become so popular in early education settings.  While the sensory bins are a ton of fun,  I don’t think we should forget about the other 4 senses. Here are some of the ways we integrated the other four senses into our activities over the past few weeks.

Nature Walks

img_3624.jpgIf you have read any of my other posts, you know that I am a huge fan of getting my boys outside.  We live in a very rural area, and have a dirt road which loops around the neighboring houses and ours.  Each day we try to take a walk around the loop as we call it, and take the opportunity to explore the ever-changing wildlife in our area.  Nature walks are a great way to engage so many of the kids senses, especially sight and sound.  I often make my boys take a break during our walks and we stop and listen to all the sounds of the birds, bugs, and other critters all around us.

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Our daily walks also give us an opportunity to see many different types of wildlife.    This week we have seen deer, rabbits, horses, snakes, worms, a plethora of insects and spiders, and of course the occasional neighborhood dog and cat.   My boys also like to take in all of the neighborhood smells on our walks.  Since we live near some farms, the smells aren’t always pleasant, but nonetheless, this can lead to interesting conversations about what the smell is coming from and why it changes from day-to-day.  Luckily today the smells were more pleasing, as we inhaled the beautiful fragrance of all the spring flowers coming into bloom.

Play dough

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We love to make homemade play dough.

Play dough is another great way to engage multiple senses within a child.   In our house we like to make homemade play dough, and the kids alway join in to help.   We also like to add various essential oils into the play dough, which engages the olfactory senses.  Yesterday  my son and I made a new batch of play dough, which we split in half and made one half yellow and one half orange.   Based on an activity in our Mother Goose Time Teacher Guide, my son used the yellow play dough and various tools to make his own bee hive.

Science Experiments

We went a little rogue on the next activity, as we were supposed to do an experiment about freezing honey.  However when I pulled out the jar of honey,  all my son wanted to do was eat it.  He also noticed that we had a lot of different jars of honey in the pantry, and wanted to know if they tasted different. IMG_3549 So we switched gears, and I pulled a few additional jars of honey out and we set up a taste test experiment.  We tried 4 different types of honey including: a jar of local honey (from some very generous, bee-keeping friends), Manuka honey, Turkish Honey, and Clover Honey.  My son gladly tasted all the different honey, and noticed that each one tasted differently.  This lead to a discussion about why each honey had its own unique taste, and how honey was made.  Most importantly we got to use our sense of taste and learn about bugs, without having to eat any bugs.

 

The boys have had a great time this month, exploring the insect world with all of their senses.  It is a pleasure to see them so engaged and excited about learning.  I hope they continue to be this excited as their education continues, and I hope they continue to use all of their senses to explore the world around them.  Hopefully they will use their sense of taste in a discretionary manner.   Although I suppose that’s one way to figure things out.

As always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask, and join me next week for more Chaos on the Creek.

Disclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found the Mother Goose Time curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

 

 

 

Perseverance

Throughout our homeschooling experiences this year we have been focusing on the word img_3099.jpgperseverance, what it means, and how to incorporate it into our lives.   In my opinion, perseverance is one of the most important character traits my children can develop. When faced with a challenge, I want my kids to have the confidence to push through and not give up.  Most of all I want them to feel that amazing sense of pride one gets after completing a daunting and challenging task.  That pride that makes you feel ten times bigger than you actually are and makes you smile from ear to ear.

Throughout the year, my boys have had to face their share of challenging tasks.   While I hate to see them struggle, I know they need to figure out how to deal with their frustration and finish the task.  When they start to get frustrated,  I always remind them that they don’t need to be perfect but they do need to put in their best effort.  Being able to watch them deal with some of the challenges they’ve faced, and watching them revel in their success has been one of the highlights of my homeschooling experience.

My youngest son was faced with one of these challenging moments today, as we worked on one of our Invitations to Create.  IMG_3294We had spent the earlier part of the day learning all about plants and how they were excellent areas for bug habitats.  To cap off the lesson, Mother Goose Time  included an Invitation to Create, in which we made leaves out of construction paper, used a hole puncher to punch holes in the leaves, and then used embroidery floss to thread beads through the holes.   Since it was an Invitation to Create, I let my older son complete the task completely independently.  Once his leaf was cut out, he decided to use the hole puncher to make his leaf completely disappear.  He explained to me that he was a very, very, very hungry bug.

On the other hand, my two-year old still needs a little guidance with the Invitations to Create.  IMG_3287So I cut out a leaf shape for him and then helped him punch the holes with the hole puncher.  Then I showed him how to thread the embroidery floss through the holes, and handed the leaf and thread off to him.  At first he was extremely frustrated with the task.  He kept handing the leaf back to me saying, “No, No mama.” As hard as he tried to get the thread through the holes, it never seemed to go where he wanted it to.  IMG_3310However after a few tries, he was finally able to get the thread to do what he wanted it to, and he moved on to adding the beads to the project.  This too, was met with some frustration, but with a little perseverance he was able to master the task.  When he finally got the bead onto the thread, he was beaming from ear to ear, with the cutest smile.  It was a joy to see, and made my day.  I was so glad that he was able to push through and complete the task. Moments like these remind me why I wanted to homeschool these little guys, and will be a memory I will always cherish.  Hopefully he’s as determined when it comes to potty training in a few months.

Learning perseverance is not only important for children, but really for adults as well.  Often I find myself faced with situations requiring perseverance, and sometimes it doesn’t come as easily I would like it to.  Sometimes when life throws challenges my way, pushing through and facing those challenges head on doesn’t seem feasible.  I think in the future it would behoove me to take a page out of my two year-old’s book, and to just keep going until I achieve my goal.   I need to remember that sometimes the struggle makes reaching the end result so much better.  Then I can smile, ear to ear, just like my little guy, although in all honesty my smile is not nearly as cute as his.

Again if you have any questions or comments please feel free to write me a comment.  Join me again next week for more homeschool stories and of course more Chaos On the Creek.

Disclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

Let’s Go On A Bug Hunt

April seemed to fly by, and now, all of sudden it’s May!  We finished up our bird and egg unit and are (very excitedly) moving onto bugs and crawly things.  Since We were blessed with beautiful weather this morning, we took advantage of it and kicked off our new unit with a Bug hunt.

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My youngest son chasing butterflies.

Spring is the perfect time of year to go on a bug hunt around our ‘neighborhood’, as everything has reawakened from its winter hiatus.   I should preface this by explaining that our neighborhood isn’t really a neighborhood at all, its more of a dirt road with a dozen or so houses and farms on it.  This being said, our little dirt road happens to be a fantastic place to explore nature, and today was no exception.  We found dozens of insects including, ants, butterflies, moths, ants, ladybugs, bees, and spiders.  We also found a variety of crawly things too, including earthworms and caterpillars.

The most exciting thing that we spotted on our bug hunt wasn’t an insect at all.  Our neighbor’s cows had babies a few weeks ago and the calves were hard to resist, especially when they were sitting right up against the fence, allowing the boys to get a close look at them.

Although the cows are in no way related to our studies about bugs and crawly things, they were adorable to look at, and we found several bees buzzing around the wildflowers in their meadow.   Our little bug hunt was a great way to get the boys excited to start our new topic of study.

When we  returned inside from our walk, we began our homeschool day by utilizing the introductory chart in the front of our Mother Goose Time Teacher Guide.IMG_3026  With the Mother Goose Time curriculum, the monthly Topic is broken up into weekly sub-topics.  Each week has a chart, which helps kids identify what they know about a topic, what they want to know, and what they have learned (at the end of the week).  This chart is a great tool to use to build excitement for the week’s activities, and to gauge which areas might be more interesting for my boys.   We were easily able to fill the chart with all of the observations they had made during our walk, and also came up with lots of things that they wanted to know about bugs.

IMG_3029This week we are focusing on backyard bugs, and started off with one of the most beloved backyard bugs of all time -The Ladybug.  The boys started off the day working on writing their names on name tags, which are included each month.  One of my favorite things to do, is to compare the name tags from each month, and see how much progress they have made.  This month my older son continued to write his name in lower case letters and challenged himself by writing his last name as well.  My younger son enjoys just scribbling on his name tag, but I try to help him trace his name each month so he begins to understand some basic writing concepts.  The boys also got to add spots to their name tags today, in honor of the ladybug.   They were supposed to put as many spots as they were years old onto the tag, which my older son did with no problem.  On the other hand my younger son was simply enthralled with the bingo bottle filled with paint, and put spots everywhere.

IMG_3030There was a lot of curiosity about the Ladybug’s spots and their purpose, so we spent some time discussing them and how they were used as a way to ward off predators.  Then we played a counting game, in which we spun a spinner which told us how many spots to add to our ladybug.   IMG_3039We finished off the day by making adorable ladybug headbands, and danced around the room to some of the new bug music on our Mother Goose Time CD.

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The Cutest Ladybug in the world!

We had a fantastic day, and the boys seem super excited to learn all about bugs this month.  Join us next week for more tales about our homeschool experience, and of course more Chaos on the Creek.

Disclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.