Our Homeschool Space

IMG_6527One of my favorite things to research on the internet is how others have set up their homeschool space, whether it’s a carefully planned out corner in the family room, or an elaborate room solely devoted to homeschool.  Often these voyeuristic endeavors result in new ideas for how I can improve my own homeschool space.  Over the past year and a half, my homeschool space has evolved from a portable trifold board in our family room, to a homeschool corner in the playroom, then finally into a homeschool/craft room.  With the new school year quickly approaching, I thought I would share my space with you.  It is still a work in progress, so please excuse our unpainted walls.  That’s my (husband’s) next project once I decide on a color.  I’m torn between a cheerful pastel yellow, a peaceful blue, or a  neutral khaki (let me know below in the comment section what you would choose).

This year I will only be working with my two-year-old son, so I’ve set up the room with the Little Goose Supplement in mind.   There is lots of room to move around, a place to cuddle, and an area to create.  So without further adieu, here is our homeschool space….

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Now let me show you some of the finer details…

Our Cuddle and Snuggle/Reading Area

One of our favorite parts of the Little Goose Supplement is the daily Cuddle Snuggle activity.  It’s a great time to slow down and have a quiet, bonding moment with your toddler.   This area is one of our favorite spots to cuddle, even when we aren’t doing school work.  This book caddy is from Ikea and is a great place to put the books on our monthly list (for more information on the monthly book list check out this previous post….Read With Them, Everyday)

Space to Create

Arts and Crafts are a big part of the Mother Goose Time Curriculum, and also one of my little guy’s favorite part of the day.  We’ve had this table since my oldest was a baby, and it has been well used.  It came with three sets of legs so I can adjust the height accordingly as my kiddos grow.

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We also needed an area to display all of the artwork we created, so I found an old board in our garage and glued some clothespins to it, and voila we have our own art gallery.

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Storage

When we started homeschooling, we didn’t have that much in the way of supplies, but as time has gone on, our collection of art supplies has grown.  I love finding creative ways to organize things, so I was thrilled when we got this old card catalog from my father-in-law.  It was the perfect place to store all of our crafty things.

We were also given this great hutch, which is great space to store paper, play dough, book, games and other odds and ends.

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I use this rainbow cart to store all of my Mother Goose Time supplies and daily bags.  This was one of the first purchases I made when I began homeschooling and has been one of my favorite items.  IMG_6540

Circle Time Area

When we first started homeschooling with Mother Goose Time, we used a trifold board to set up our circle time board.  We would pull it out each day, and then store it away when we were done.   Now that we have a more permanent space, I have upgraded our circle time board to a blue felt board.   The board is hung at toddler level and I laminated all the circle time pieces and put a piece of velcro on the back.  My son loves picking out the weather pieces for the day, although he is so enthusiastic about this job, most days our weather says it’s sunny, rainy, snowing, cloudy, and windy.

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I also used some more felt boards above our circle time board to create an area to put up our daily schedule and daily topic.  This is more for me than my son and helps me remember what we are going to do next.

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Sensory Play Area

Since our homeschool room is on the small side, I set up our sensory play area in our playroom.  I found this table at Ikea, and it’s been one of the best purchases I made.

Although this room is still a work in progress, it is one of my favorite rooms in our house.   I love having a space to escape to and to focus on spending time with my son.  This in no way means that you have to have a homeschool room in order to do home preschool with your child.  It is just what works best for our family.  Again when we started, we had a tri-fold board and did homeschool all around our house.   The Mother Goose Time curriculum is so versatile that it can be used in a variety of environments, and can really be tailored to suit your family’s needs.

I can’t wait to start the new school year with my little guy next week, and I hope you will join us for more Chaos on the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nDisclaimer:  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.

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Let’s Save The Earth​

We Switched gears this past week in Mommy homeschool/camp and focused our attention on the more realistic aspects of being a Superhero.   What better way to be a superhero in real life than to save the planet.  We learned all about Reusing, Recycling, and Reducing and many other ways we can help save our planet Earth.  These are some of the Mother Goose Time activities we worked on, that helped empower my kids to save  Planet Earth.  Most importantly all these activities can be replicated in your own home with common household materials.

Can Targets

When I started setting up this activity I didn’t feel very optimistic.  I figured my kids would race through it and be onto the next thing, turns out I was very wrong! The premise behind this activity is to use can wrappers (provided by Mother Goose Time) to cover aluminum cans, and then use bean bags to knock them down.  This was a great way to show the kids how to repurpose trash into something useful and fun.  My kids had a great time chucking bean bags at the cans and seeing how far away they could get while still knocking all the cans over.

 

Upcycled Art

One of my children’s favorite things to do is to make creations out of things we have laying around the house.  So when Mother Goose Time presented us with an Invitation to Create that was essentially doing just that, I knew my kids would enjoy it.  Mother Goose time did provide us with paper cups, yarn, wax sticks and an inspirational photograph, but the rest was up to my kids.  They had a great time creating different creatures and sculptures with the provided materials.

 

Sorting Trash

We have single stream recycling where we live, so we don’t actually have to sort our recyclables on a regular basis.  However, Mother Goose Time provided us with a fun game, which allowed my kids to experience the joy of sorting trash.  I know that sounds slightly sarcastic, but they actually really enjoyed the sorting experience.  In fact, they told me how much more enjoyable recycling would be if we could sort it into individual cans.  Mother Goose Time provided us with shape signs to tape onto boxes or bags, and trash shapes which we crumpled up and threw around the room.  The kids had fun picking up the trash and sorting it into the appropriate brown bag.

 

Making Paper

One of our favorite projects of the week was getting to make our own paper.  We used various pieces of colored paper and scrap paper and mixed in water to make a pulp.  We also added some glitter for extra pizazz,  and then spread the pulp onto a screen and let it dry for a couple days.  It was a great way to teach the kids about the process of recycling paper and all the effort that goes into making something they often take for granted.

 

This has been one of my favorite weeks of Mother Goose Time all year.  My husband and I are big advocates for the environment, and regularly discuss environmental issues with our kids.  We try to reuse, recycle, and reduce on a regular basis, but it is still nice to have a refresher every now and then.  This week’s activities have helped to reinvigorate my kids’ passion for environmental issues.  I am proud of my little environmentalists, and can’t wait to see what they do with all they have learned and will continue to learn.

As usual, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know.  See you next week for more Chaos on the Creek.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Popsicle Stick Superheroes

Last week at Mommy Summer Camp/homeschool, we continued to work on our Superhero unit.  We focused on Superhero powers, naturally sparking a discussion of what super powers we would have if we were superheroes.  My older son decided he would have the power to play tricks on people, sort of like a Super Pranker. Since my two-year-old isn’t very verbal yet, his siblings decided his power would be to make super stinky diapers (a power he already possesses in my opinion).  Personally, I would love to be able to fly or to be invisible, kind of generic I know, but it would be pretty awesome to be able to fly everywhere.

IMG_6184As is customary with Mother Goose Time, there were lots of fun activities for the kids this week, but one stood out from all the rest.  It was another one of the Mother Goose Time Make and Play projects, entitled Flying Hero.  During this activity,  the kids made super heroes using a popsicle stick and also created a piece of scenery using a paper bag.  Then they used the two pieces to act out adventures.  Since my youngest son was napping at the time, it was a nice opportunity to spend some toddler free time with his older siblings.  It was fascinating to watch each of them approach the project in different ways.

My older son used multiple popsicle sticks, breaking some of them apart to give his superhero arms and legs.  He used his bag to recreate the crazy demolition bus, Miss Fritter, from Cars 3 (which he is a little obsessed with).

My youngest daughter made a fantastic superhero, complete with a bejeweled cape, and also a pet to go along with her hero since her special power was having the ability to talk to animals.

My oldest daughter made multiple superheroes, one evil one and one good.

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Each of them ended up with awesome popsicle stick superheroes which they played with for the rest of the day.  I worked on a superhero too so my littlest guy would have something to play with when he woke up from his nap and he was delighted with my Super Mommy superhero.

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This project was easy to do and could easily be replicated with materials most of you have around your house.   You could be very flexible with this project and use the popsicle sticks to make whatever characters your child might be interested in, whether it be princesses, pirates, or knights.  We have had a lot of fun this week and are looking forward to exploring more superhero fun next week with Mother Goose Time.

Join us next week as we focus on Saving the Planet, and of course for more Chaos on the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nDisclaimer:  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.

What’s In The Box-September Edition

The start of a new school year is always an exciting time, whether you are homeschooling or sending your kids to a traditional school setting.  Although we are still a few weeks away from the official start of school, my kids are already bubbling over with excitement.  When our Mother Goose Time box arrived this afternoon, they all went crazy.  Everyone was so excited to see what was inside, including me.  The theme for September is My Amazing Body, and it looks like it is going to be so much fun.  Here is a look at what was included in our box.   There are a ton of new features for the 2017/2018 school year, which I will do my best to highlight for you.

Welcome Pack

This packet is included in all September boxes for returning customers and is included in your first box if you are new to Mother Goose Time.  It contains everything you need to set up a Circle Time Board in your classroom/homeschool area.

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Here is an example of one way to set up your Circle Time board

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Teacher Tool Bag

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This Teacher newsletter was included this year and features the monthly activity calendar on the inside, and some interesting insights into teaching as well.

This year the teacher guides are in full color and there is a different guide for each week.

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Manipulatives

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Celebration Kit

Each monthly box includes a different celebration kit, corresponding with the month’s featured holiday.  This month’s celebration is a back to school themed party, which would work well in both a preschool or home setting.

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Week 1

At the beginning of each week, a set of Daily Notes is included to send home to parents or to include with your child’s artwork.  These would be great to use in a scrapbook with your child’s work as a reminder of what they were learning about when they created their masterpiece.

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Week 2

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Week 3

I am missing day 13, I received two of day 14 by mistake.  One quick call to customer service resolved this quickly, and I will post a picture of Day 13 as soon as I receive it in the mail.

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Week 4

This year Mother Goose Time has included high-quality magnetic storytelling pieces that correspond with the included story book.  I have a feeling these are going to be well played with in our house.  (They are inside Day 19’s bag)

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This box was jam packed with fun and I can’t wait to get started with my little guy.  We are really looking forward to the whole year ahead.  This calendar was also included in our box, highlighting all of the wonderful monthly themes for the year.

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It will be so fun to watch my 2-year-old learn and grow with this fantastic program.  Become a follower of my blog so you won’t miss any of the fun, and join me soon for more Chaos On the Creek.

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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.

 

 

Creating A Superhero

IMG_5990We are closing out the summer with a unit all about superheroes.  This month the focus will be on both imaginary superheroes and real life superheroes.  As is customary with the Mother Goose Time summer units, there is lots of letter and number review included in each daily lesson.

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My son loved using his super secret spyglass to decode different pictures.

Each month, Mother Goose Time features weekly subtopics, which coordinate with the monthly theme.   The subtopic this week was Superhero dress-up.  The boys learned all about the different components of a superhero’s uniform including glasses, capes, masks, belts, and the Superhero’s Symbol.  We have had so much fun this week, playing games, reading stories and reviewing concepts we learned throughout the year.  The boys also worked on creating their own superhero alter ego, complete with superhero name and special powers.

All of the art projects this week were Make and Play projects, resulting in a kid-made prop to be used in dramatic play.  Conveniently all of the materials to make the items are included in our Mother Goose Time box.   My boys love creating their make and play projects, but often the projects end up being destroyed during play.  Inevitably this ends in tears and dismay over their hard work being destroyed.  To prevent this from happening this month, I came up with a brilliant idea!  Using easel paper, I traced each boy and hung their outline on the wall.  IMG_5907As we completed the different make and play projects during the week, we add them to the outlines and created our very own superheroes before our eyes.   The boys’ special creations were preserved and used in a creative and fun way.

The boys have had a ton of fun making the various superhero elements, and have used untold amounts of glitter, sequins, and gems.  Our superheroes are now decked out with a superhero symbol, name, mask and belt.  My older son also had fun picking out special power’s for each of their superheroes, his superhero’s power was being able to do all sorts of magic tricks.  As for his little brother, he decided that his special power was creating the world’s stinkiest diaper…boys will be boys.  We will continue to work on them as we progress through the month.  They loved adding the different elements to their superheroes and have really enjoyed watching the transformation during the week.

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Glitter everywhere!

This month marks my last month of homeschooling my soon to be kindergarten student,  and I am so grateful for these last weeks of fun we have together.   As I prepare him to head off on the big yellow bus in a few weeks, I am confident that he will have a fantastic year, and will also have wonderful memories of our past year together.  Most importantly it’s not the time for school yet, we have a few weeks to go and we can’t wait to learn more about superheroes.  Next week join us as we learn about Superpowers, and of course, use our own superpowers to create more Chaos on the Creek.  Next week join us as we learn about Superpowers, and of course, use our own superpowers to create more Chaos on the Creek.19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_n 

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.