Goodbye Summer

fullsizeoutput_b31Although this week isn’t actually the last week of summer meteorologically speaking, it is the end of summer in every other way.  Next week my oldest daughter will go back to school and we will kick our homeschool endeavors into full gear.  The days of sleeping in and spending afternoons lounging by the pool will come to an end.   Overall we’ve had a great summer, but it seemed to be shorter this year than previous years.  I still have a huge list of things I wanted to do this summer that never happened.  I’ll just add them to our list for next year.  We’ve been taking things pretty easy this week as we savor the last few moments of summer, but we’ve still had time to do a few Mother Goose Time days.

My son has really enjoyed the fables and folktales unit, and this last week has been the best one yet.  The focus of this week had been international folktales, and we have been enjoying stories from around the globe.  Here’s a peek at some of our fun…

Learning about Sharing

First up this week, we learned all about sharing by reading the Native American tale, How the Rainbow Was Made.  After the story, my son decorated a sharing bird which he wore around the house to show all of his siblings how well he could share (hahaha, he’s three and the baby of the house, need I say more).   At least it was a good opportunity to discuss sharing with him.

Rainbow Race

Using a rainbow game card, color cube, and pom poms we raced each other to see which color of the rainbow would fill up first.

Rainbow Letters

I tweaked this activity a little bit to suit our needs. Using an alphabet puzzle and bag, my son picked out one letter at a time. We said its name and sound, and then I showed him how to write the letter on his rainbow letter sheet.

Snake Necklace

Later in the week, we read the African tale, The Black Snake & the Eggs.  My son’s favorite activity on this day was stringing noodles onto a piece of yarn to make a snake necklace.

Snake Math

We finished the day with some Mother Goose Time style math, using the manipulatives included in our monthly box.

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What a fantastic week to end our summer, now for a weekend full of friends, boat rides, pool time, and barbecues.  See you soon for 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.

 

Homeschool Room Tour-2018/2019 School-year

fullsizeoutput_88fOur homeschool space is constantly evolving and seems to change monthly. Most of the time these changes are small and pretty insignificant, certainly not worthy of an entire blog post.  However, this year our homeschool space had a major overhaul because we’re adding two more students to our roster.  We have kept a lot of the same furniture, but have added a few more pieces as well, and most importantly, we finally painted the walls! To take a peek at our homeschool room last year click on this link…Our Homeschool Space.  Anyway, enough with the chitchat, let’s get to the tour.

Here is an overall view of the room…

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This is a close-up view along the wall to the left of the door when you come in.  First up is our bookcase, which houses some of our curriculum, our readers, our read-aloud books, and lots of reference books.

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My daughter got the window with the best view, and get’s to enjoy a view of the river as she does her work.

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Meanwhile, along the next wall, sits our reading area.

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This book caddy is one of my favorite purchases (from Ikea).  It is a great place to put all of our monthly Mother Goose Time books for my younger son, as well as books of interest for my other kiddos.

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Behind our reading chair, you may also notice our weather tree.  Over the course of the next year, the kids will color a leaf for each day of the month indicating the weather for the day.

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Next to the reading area is my son’s desk, which also has a nice window view.  I made good use of the desk’s opening meant for computer wires and fashioned it into an impromptu pencil holder.

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Along the next wall, you will see most of my storage area.  I have my trusty rainbow cart from Amazon, which holds all of my Mother Goose Time Curriculum.   Normally I have about two months of the curriculum in here and just put a week’s worth of daily bags into each drawer.

Next, to my rainbow cart, you will see my storage hutch.  This hutch is packed full of so many things – from playdough to pencils, to index cards, and even my laminator.

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The inside looks like organized chaos!

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I love the small wooden set of drawers which sit on our hutch.  It houses all of our natural treasures (animal bones, shells, rocks, and even some snakeskins).

Next up is my blue felt board, which features all of our Mother Goose Time circle time materials.  Each day my youngest kiddo and I gather by this board and put up the date, pick out the day of the week, and talk about the day’s weather.   I also use this board to put up our monthly theme poster.  As a side note…Mother Goose Time sends you everything you need to set up your own circle time board with your first box.

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Right below the board, I have a bin, which houses all of our days of the week clouds and weather icons.

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Along the last wall, I have my trusty card catalog, which has turned out to be an excellent piece to house all of our craft supplies. Next to the card catalog is my youngest son’s work area.  This table has been around since my oldest was a baby, and is still going strong.

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I love this carousel, from Michael’s, which houses all of the supplies we need on a daily basis (markers, colored pencils, scissors, glue, etc…).

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I have made use of the door by hanging an organizer on it to help keep track of everyone’s work.

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Lastly, take note of our big circle rug in the middle of the room.   Even though everyone has their own desk, most of our work ends up being done on this rug.   In fact, my first grader says lying on the floor to do his work is one of the best parts of homeschool.

So that’s our homeschool space in a nutshell.  It is a small room with a lot going on in it on a daily basis, but it is one of my favorite spots in our house.  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.   As always, see you soon for 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.

Curriculum Choices for the 2018-2019 School Year

If there is one thing that really makes homeschool moms excited, its curriculum.  With hundreds of options out there, finding the perfect curriculum for your children can be a daunting task.   After making the decision to homeschool my crew, I immediately began researching all of the options and read many blog posts just like these.  Finally, after changing my mind several times, I finally had a plan for our school year.  In a few weeks, we’ll get to see how it all works.

Preschool Picks

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For my three-year-old, and this should come as no surprise to those of you who follow my blog regularly, I have decided to use Mother Goose Time for the third year in a row!  There are so many reasons I love this curriculum, but since I’m just writing a blog post and not a novel today, I will keep it short…

Let’s start with how easy Mother Goose Time is to use.  It eliminates all of the guesswork and preparation that can go along with homeschooling a preschooler.   Each month we get a box full of everything we need for the whole month (they even throw in most of the art supplies).   All I have to do to prepare for a lesson is to pull out the daily bag and teacher guide and spend about 5-10 minutes prepping the items for the day.

Another great thing about the Mother Goose Time curriculum is the monthly themes.  I haven’t found a theme yet that my son hasn’t enjoyed!   Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I see results with the Mother Goose Time curriculum.   My son’s vocabulary, counting, letter recognition, art skills, motor skills, etc… have all improved during our time with this curriculum.  As a homeschooling mom, growth is one of the most reassuring things to see.  If you want to know more about this amazing curriculum you can check out their websites by clicking any of the links above or leave me a question in the comment section below.

First Grade Picks

fullsizeoutput_6b3My first grader was home with me for his pre-k4 year and is thrilled to be coming back home, although he was very disappointed to hear that he had outgrown Mother Goose Time.  Luckily, when I told him about all of the awesome stuff he’d be doing in first grade, his disappointment vanished.

After tons of research, I decided to use the Oak Meadow curriculum as our base curriculum for everything but math.  Oak Meadow is a Waldorf inspired, all in one curriculum, and I loved the fact that they focus on the development of the whole child not just the academic side of things.   Oak Meadow also does a great job of incorporating nature studies into the curriculum and that is something my husband and I really want for our children.  Oak Meadow takes a very gentle approach to the learning process, which is really the way learning should be in the early years.

However, with that being said, I found some of the language art lessons to be a little redundant for my son (after his year of public schooling), so I am using a few things to supplement in this area.   As a supplement, I will use the language arts program by The Good and The Beautiful levels K/1 and Spelling You See Level A with him.  We have been using these supplementary materials this summer, and my son has responded really well to them.  For math, my son will be using the Horizons Level 1 program, which was particularly appealing because of it’s easy to follow lessons and colorful workbook pages.  Additionally, we will be using lots of different readers. My son is pretty comfortable reading any of the level 2-3 readers out there, and I’d like to challenge him a little bit with some beginner chapter books like the Magic Treehouse series.

Third Grade Picks

fullsizeoutput_6b4My third grader will also be using Oak Meadow as her base curriculum, excluding math.  While Oak Meadow does include math, the Waldorf inspired approach to math seemed a little abstract for my public schooled kids.  So for math, my daughter will be using Teaching Textbooks Level 3.  The best thing about this program is that my daughter is able to do all of her math lessons independently on the computer, which frees me up to work with her brothers.  She has been using this program all summer and loves it.

Like her brother, my daughter will also be using The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts (Level 2) and Spelling You See (Level C) as supplementary material.  The spelling supplement was especially important for my daughter since it was an area of much distress for her last year.   The typical weekly spelling list and memorization approach to spelling was not her cup of tea, nor did she seem to be retaining anything.  So I chose the Spelling You See program for her after seeing their unique approach to spelling.  She has been working with it all summer and hasn’t cried over spelling once, so it seems to be a huge success!  She will also be reading lots of good books this year – right now she is working her way through the Pippi Longstocking series.

So that’s our year in a nutshell…  If you have any questions about any of the curriculum I have mentioned let me know below.  Additionally, let me know if you want me to do an in-depth review of any of the curriculum I’ve discussed.   Next week I will give you a tour of my homeschool room, and tell you about our favorite homeschool supplies.    See you soon for 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.

 

Fables and Folktales

fullsizeoutput_681The countdown is on!  Back to School time is officially here and school will be starting in just a few weeks.  Even though we’ve been homeschooling throughout the Summer, we are excited for the traditional start of the school year.  Over the summer, I have kept things pretty light in regards to our homeschooling, but come September we will kick things into full gear.

With only three weeks left until the school year officially starts, I thought it would be fun to tell you about some of the different ways we prepare for the new year.   Throughout the month of August, I’m going to do a series of posts all about how we get ready for the new school year at our house.  I’ll share our curriculum choices with you,  give you a tour of our homeschool room, and share some of our favorite homeschool tools and supplies.

However, before I delve into all of those fun subjects, I wanted to share some of the fun we’ve been having with our Mother Goose Time unit this month.  The theme this month is Fables and Folktales and, as usual, my son loves it.  Each day we explored a different fable and enjoyed activities related to the story of the day.

fullsizeoutput_5abOne of my son’s favorite aspects of the this month’s box has been the wonderfully illustrated book of fables and the coordinating CD featuring all of the stories in audio format, both included in this month’s box.    I have never tried books on tape with him before because I honestly didn’t think he would pay attention to them, but turns out I was wrong!  We have been starting each day by reading the story out loud, then we complete all the activities, and finish the day listening to the story in audio format.   While this may seem redundant, the repetition seems to be very beneficial to my son.  I’ve noticed that he picks up on completely different details the second time he hears the story.  A little side note…Mother Goose Time now features all the monthly CD music on their website in a digital format (so if you don’t want to bother with a CD player you don’t have to).

On top of all of the great story time, my son has been loving all of this month’s fun activities as well.  Here is a peek of all the fun we’ve been getting into…

Puppet Making

To go along with the classic fable, The Lion and the Mouse, we created our own Lion and mouse puppets.

Letter Review

Using our Mother Goose Time cube and corresponding letter cards, we reviewed letters A, B, and C.

Number Review

Using popsicle sticks, playdough, and a colorful number spinner, we reviewed our numbers and made some cool creatures at the same time.

More Number Review…

We played a fun game with this month’s manipulatives to see who got more to eat –  the ant or the grasshopper.

Tic Tac Toe (MGT style)

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As you can see we’ve been having lots of fun!  Next week I will write a vlog all about my curriculum choices for the upcoming school year.   See you soon for 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.