Making Math Fun

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1,2,3 how many circles can you see?

I was catching up with a friend, the other day, and we started talking about the different homeschooling activities my three-year-old did each day.  I explained that his day is a lot like his siblings with math, art, and literacy lessons, just a lot shorter.  My friend was particularly interested in how I went about teaching math to a three-year-old.  This was a great question, because what math concepts does a three-year-old really need to know and what’s the best way to teach them those concepts?  If you had asked me these questions a few years ago, I would have had no idea how to respond.  However, now that I’m in my third year of using Mother Goose Time I know much more about what mathematical concepts a three-year-old is capable of learning.  This month alone we have worked on counting, identifying numbers, identifying shapes, sorting shapes, identifying and creating patterns, comparing sizes of different objects, and even solving simple word problems.

Using the Mother Goose Time curriculum has made teaching these math concepts easy for me and fun for my son.   Here is a peek at one of our math lessons from the other day, during which we used math story cards and tangrams to solve different word problems.   Both the tangrams and math story cards were provided in our Mother Goose Time box.

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We started off reading each card together then followed the directions on the card.

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Using stories like this, little ones become engaged in the mathematical process.  My son had a great time pretending to be the wind blowing one of the triangles away. Afterward, he was easily able to tell me how many triangles were left.  However, if I was to ask him what 2-1 equaled he would probably have no idea how to answer.

One of the other story cards instructed my son to make a tree using 1 rectangle and 4 triangles.  At first, he was stumped and actually got very frustrated.  Luckily his older brother stepped in and gave him some ideas of what he could do with the shapes.  He was quite proud of his finished project once he got the hang of things.

It is amazing to watch the progress my son has started to make in the area of math this year.  Last year it was a struggle to get him to even count to 5, but this year he seems to be taking off.  The Mother Goose Time program continues to amaze me with the amount of learning packed into each monthly box.  Next week we will dive into fall and began our Orchard Harvest theme.  As always let me know if you have any questions or comments.  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.

Color Mixing 101

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One of my favorite parts of the Mother Goose Time curriculum is the daily STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, art, and math) station.  STEAM stations are intended to be done more independently than the other daily activities.  I should note that these stations require some setup and cleanup, but after that, it’s pretty much hands off for the adults and free reign for the preschoolers.   This provides the parent/teacher with a great opportunity to observe the learning from a more passive role, and it’s also a great time to take a little break.

One of the featured STEAM stations over this past week was a huge hit with my son as well as my older kids – color mixing. The color mixing activity provided a great opportunity to introduce the concept of primary versus secondary colors for the kids and,  most importantly, this activity was mess free!

Required materials:

  • 3 plastic baggies (any size will work)
  • paint (blue, red, and yellow)
  • masking tape
  • color mixing chart (provided by Mother Goose Time, but you could also make your own)

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Directions:

  1. Put two different colors (red/yellow, yellow/blue, and blue/red) of paint in each bag.  Make sure to keep the two colors separate for the time being.
  2. Seal bag with masking tape to prevent any leakage.
  3. Let the kids go at it, and mix the colors up to see what secondary colors form.

 

*Once my kids finished mixing the colors they also found it fun to write letters and draw pictures with the paint bags.

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Although this activity was very simple in nature, it was a great hands-on way for my kids to explore the basics of color mixing.  I left this station up for the good part of the day, and my kids kept going back to it over and over again.  I hope you get a chance to try this activity out with your kids at home, it’s amazing how mesmerizing some paint in a plastic sandwich bag can be.

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Let me know if you have any questions or comments in the comment section below.  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.

Emotions and Preschoolers- A Wild Ride

IMG_3529In an average day, most three-year-olds experience a wide range of emotions, and often in a matter of minutes.  One second they are as happy as can be, then the next they are on the floor screaming with fists flying.  Often by the time, the parent or caregiver figures out the cause for this emotional shift said three-year-old is now perfectly content and occupied with another activity.  This cycle ends up continuing for the rest of the day until finally nap time arrives and both the exhausted caregiver and preschooler heave a huge sigh of relief and take a break from this emotional roller coaster.  Most children this age don’t really understand their emotions yet and lack coping mechanisms for dealing with them.  So it makes perfect sense that Mother Goose Time would add in an entire week all about feelings and emotions into this month’s Friends and Feelings unit.  Over the past week, my son and I have explored the whole gamut of human emotion, and we’ve had fun doing it!  Plus we learned our numbers, letters, and shapes too.

Here are some of the highlights of our week…

Imitating the angry face on the daily topic poster.

Creating our own Picasso inspired face art.

Making faces with our shape manipulatives.

Learning all about the Letter ‘H’…My son colored his own H/h book.

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We also worked with one of the new letter cards and some magnetic letter pieces to make the letter H.

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***As a side note, the magnetic pieces are something I found on Amazon, but Mother Goose Time does provide cardboard letter pieces to be used with the cards each month.  I decided to invest in the magnetic pieces due to my son’s unbelievable destructive powers.

It was a great week, and my son seems a little bit more in touch with his emotions than he was before we started.   He has been letting me know each morning what mood he is in for the day (of course it changes multiple time throughout the day).   Let me know below if you have any questions or comments and I will 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.

 

 

Day In The Life-Mom Edition

I’ve posted many days in the life post from the perspective of my son, but never one from the mom’s perspective.  No day is ever the same, but I try to stick to a similar rhythm each day because both my children and I do best with consistency.  In case this is your first time stopping by Chaos on the Creek, let me give you a little background information.  I’m a mother of four children ranging in age from 3-11 years old, and I’m currently homeschooling my three-year-old, my first grader, and my third grader.  We have been homeschooling all summer with a more relaxed workload.  This week is our first week back using our full curriculum, and it’s been a much bigger adjustment than I expected it to be.  So what does a typical day in my life look like?   Take a look…

5:50 AM  (AKA dark thirty)  Wake up/Work Out Time

I try to get up before everyone else in my house, so I can get in a morning workout and get going before I have to deal with everyone’s morning demands.  Unfortunately, my kids are earlier risers, and this day was no exception.   On the brighter side of things, my daughter was able to step outside and take a look at the moon (which had not set yet) and note what phase it was in for her homeschool Science.

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6:30 Shower Time

After a quick workout, it was time to get my sweaty-self cleaned up and ready for the day.

7:00 Breakfast/Lunch Packing Time

Next up I pack a lunch for my oldest daughter, who still attends a regular school.  Then it’s time to get everyone’s breakfasts ready.

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8:00 Morning Chore Time

Breakfast is done, my oldest daughter is off to school, my husband is off to work, and ideally, my homeschooled kids are dressed and ready for the day.   However, before we get started with our schoolwork I try to get the house in order.  I do dishes, start laundry, make beds, change cat litter, and try to straighten up the kitchen from the breakfast mess.

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On this day some of our butterflies hatched out of their chrysalis’.

9:00 School Time

We try to get school started by 9:00, but this time isn’t set in stone.  We use our morning time to work through language arts, math, spelling, and handwriting. I take time to work one on one with each of my kids on their language arts and math, and then help them get started on their independent work.

9:45-10:00 Preschool Time

fullsizeoutput_b7dOnce my older kiddos have gotten into their groove, it is my three-year-old’s turn.  I’ve played around with the scheduling of his school time quite a few times, and for now, this seems to be a good time to work with him.  He often starts his morning out playing in the playroom, while I get started with his siblings.  After a while, he starts feeling left out and makes his way to the classroom, and by that time I’m ready for him.  While his siblings are busy at work, my little guy and I get started with our circle time routine.   Mother Goose Time provides us with everything we need for circle time including our calendar, weather pieces, and daily topic poster.

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On this day my son colored his very own letter ‘F’ book and also worked on using  clothespin letters to spell various words including his own name.

10:45 Recess/ Dog Walking Time

The humidity was horrible on this particular day, so the kiddos opted to play inside for recess with their legos.  I, on the other hand, got the opportunity to take the dog out for a stroll around our meadow.   This is also the time of the day when I switch the laundry and tidy up any areas of the house that I didn’t get to earlier in the morning.

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11:30 Lunch Time/Naptime (not for me)

After an early lunch, my little guy heads down for a nap.

12:15 Butterfly Release

Before we can get started on our afternoon work, my daughter needed to release her monarch butterflies.  I love homeschool science!

 

12:30 Read Aloud Time

To transition the kiddos from recess, we start our afternoon school time with 20-30 minute of read-aloud time.   They love lying on the rug in the homeschool room and listening to me read to them. In fact, my kids have reported that this is their favorite time of the day.  Currently, we are reading The Tale of Despereaux.

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1:00 School Time

We use this time to work on our Science and Social Studies, usually alternating back and forth between the two every other day.  Today we were working on science and were learning about hurricanes, which included watching a few videos on the laptop.

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2:50 Pick up Time

Time to go and get my eldest from school.

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3:30 Pool Time

There is nothing like a dip in the pool after a hot, homeschool day!

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Then the rest of the afternoon is spent getting dinner ready, getting kids to bed, and finally having some down time to watch a TV show with my husband or to read.  Then off to bed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed following along with me for a day in my life as a homeschool mom. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.   As always, I will 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.