What a Mess!

At the end of every school day, I often glance around our small homeschool room and think to myself, “What a mess!”  Often there are books strewn across the room, papers everywhere, and paint covering the craft table.  So, then begins the daily drudge of cleaning the mess up, just so we can make a new mess tomorrow.  With that being said,  I have to admit that the days when the mess is at its worse are often some of our best days.  Those are the days that everyone seems to have the most fun, and be the most productive.

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Things are always tame in the beginning…

This is especially true for my preschooler, who happens to be the messiest of all of us.  This is extra-especially true when we do our Mother Goose Time Art projects.  When we paint, my son loves nothing more than to cover himself from head to toe with the paint.  Initially, things start off well, he uses his paintbrush appropriately and paints whatever it is he’s supposed to be working on for the day, but then things almost always head south quickly.  His favorite thing to do is to cover his hands with paint and squish it around with his adorable, pudgy, little fingers.  Meanwhile, I sit close by watching this whole scene play out, cringing on the inside, hoping that no paint ends up on the floor or walls today.  I know that his mess making is an important part of his learning process, and I try not to crush his spirit by admonishing him too much.

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Inevitably we always end up here…with paint all over our hands.

 

Although I’m not an expert on the inner workings of the preschooler’s brain, after four kids I know that messes are to be expected.  In fact, after a small amount of research I have found that mess making is actually an integral part of the learning process.  If we as parents constantly keep our little ones from making messes we are actually doing them more harm than good.

When our project is done, we always talk about cleaning our mess up, and how important it is to help.  At this point, I do a lot more of the clean up than he does, but I know that he will help more and more as he gets older.  I take a deep breath and remind myself that he won’t be three forever, and one day (probably sooner than I think) I will miss those paint covered hands.  I am so happy to be able to spend my days making messes and memories with him.

November has been a very busy month, and we’ve had a great time with Mother Goose Time’s Transportation Station unit.  Next week we will move onto our December Sights and Sounds unit.  Let me know below if you have any questions or comments, let me know below.  See you soon for more messes and 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.

Airplane Launchers

fullsizeoutput_e4a.jpegIt has been one hectic week, and I was not remotely as productive as I had hoped.  Nonetheless, we did manage to squeeze in a few homeschool lessons at the beginning of the week.  My little guy and I are continuing to work our way through this month’s Transportation Station lessons, and he is loving every moment of it!

As you may know from my previous postings, one of our favorite components of the Mother Goose Time boxes are the daily art activities.  Typically these art activities fall under one of two categories: either they are a make and play or an invitation to create.  I tend to favor the invitation to create activities because they are generally more free-range and allow for more freedom of expression.  The make and play activities feature more of a cookie cutter type of craft activity which tends to frustrate my kiddos because their final product never matches the example.   However, there is an exception to every rule…

Our lesson for the day focused on airplanes and the art activity for the day was a make and play one during which we created airplane launchers.  This was hands down one of my son’s most favorite Mother Goose Time art activities of all time!  This activity would be perfect for a rainy day, and can easily be recreated with supplies you probably have lying around your home.

Materials Needed:

  • paper
  • straw
  • tape
  • stickers to decorate the plane

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Directions to Make Launcher:

(In full disclosure, I did most of the plane making for my son, but he was solely responsible for decorating and the launching of the plane)

Step#1-  Wrap paper around the straw and secure with tape.  This will serve as the body of your airplane.

fullsizeoutput_e41Step #2- Fold one end of the wrapped paper down and secure with tape.  The tighter you can tape the end, the better it will perform when you launch it.

Step #3- Use another piece of paper to make the wings and tail and tape them onto the body of the plane.

Step #4- Decorate the finished plane to your heart’s content.

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Step #5- Place the finished product back on the straw and blow with all your might.

My son played with this for days afterward and had so much fun launching his plane over and over and over again.

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Thanks for stopping by, please let me know if you have any questions or comments in the comment section below.  I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving, 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.

Some Much Needed One on One time

 

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Sometimes he’s so charming…

As many of you know, this is my first year homeschooling my older children, and now that we’re 5 months in (we started in July) it’s safe to say that things are going pretty well.  We have finally fallen into a good rhythm and everyone seems pretty content. Everyone, that is, but my three-year-old.  I’m not saying that he has been unhappy, but he has definitely seemed more frustrated.   His mood swings have been more dramatic and his destructive tendencies have definitely increased.  Today, for instance, he spread toothpaste and shaving cream all over the bathroom while I was working with his older brother.   I know some of this is typical three-year-old stuff, and it too shall pass, but I am also guessing some of it is attention seeking behavior.

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Sometimes he makes a mess…

His behavior has been wearing on my patience.  I get frustrated with him and then he gets upsets with me and so on and so forth.   I’m in no way saying that every day has been horrible with him, in fact, we’ve had a lot of awesome days.  He still loves doing his Mother Goose Time activities and is still a huge bundle of joy.  I have just been feeling frustrated with the increase in undesirable behaviors.

Then the most wonderful thing happened this past weekend – my husband took my older three kids camping.  I had two days of one-on-one time with my little guy.  I knew that this would be a great opportunity to re-connect with my little guy.  I had lots of errands to do, and of course, wanted to take advantage of not being tied down with my whole entourage, but I also wanted him to have fun.

We had just begun our Mother Goose Time Transportation Station unit this past week and had been busy discussing roads, service stations, etc… My son has been having so much fun with this unit so far.  He made his own mini road for his cars to drive on and a pretend toolbox to carry his tools around the house.

He has loved all of the books we’ve read and has been absolutely enthralled with the theme, so I knew the perfect thing for us to start our weekend together off on the right foot.  We went to the car wash!   My son loves the car wash, and normally we go to one where you sit in the car as it goes through the washing process.  However, I decided to try something different for our special weekend.  I found a car wash which allowed you to observe the whole car washing process through several floor-to-ceiling windows.  Needless to say, my son was mesmerized.

After the car wash, we did a few errands and headed home.  We ended the day with a dinner of chicken nuggets and carrots (his choice) and topped it off with a slice of chocolate cake.  The next morning my little guy climbed into bed with me, wrapped his arms around me, and told me he loved me so much and was so happy to have a weekend with just the two of us.   It was a great reminder that I needed to spend more one-on-one time with each of my children – something I’m going to work on in the future.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments below.  Come back 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.

Getting Sidetracked

To say we got sidetracked this past week is a bit of an understatement – we actually went completely off the rails.  On top of our already busy schedule, we also had to contend with dentist appointments for all four kids and Halloween.   We barely did any homeschool work until Thursday, and by the end of the week, I was feeling like a failure.  Then I reminded myself that weeks like these are exactly what year-round homeschooling is all about.  Just because we didn’t do math and language arts every day doesn’t make the week a failure.  In fact, when I take a look back at our week we actually had a pretty awesome week.

On Monday…

All four kids went to the dentist and no one had cavities!  We spent the rest of the day at our homeschool co-op, where my older kids got to enjoy an art history and sewing class.  We ended the day on the playground with a beautiful rainbow in the distance.

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On Tuesday…

We managed to get in a little homeschool in the morning, then headed to our homeschool science class at the local nature center in the afternoon.

While my older kids were busy in their science class I worked with my little guy on his Mother Goose Time in the lobby.  Have I ever mentioned how easy it is to transport our Mother Goose Time lessons?  Over the past three years, I have done our Mother Goose Time lesson in the car, on an airplane, on vacation, and even in the lobby of our local nature center.   Of course, I don’t incorporate messy art activities into our on the go lessons, but everything else is fair game.

 

On Wednesday (Halloween)…

I foolishly attempted to get some of our homeschool work done in the morning but realized it was a losing battle. So we switched gears and had some Halloween fun.  We started with a little pumpkin carving fun.  Then we made our jack-o-lantern spew foam (baking soda and vinegar).   Next, we moved on to reading spooky stories and finished our school portion of the day by writing our own Halloween stories.  Then it was off to Trick or Treat!

On Thursday…

We attempted to return to normalcy, sugar hangovers and all, but we had a rough start.  However, after a while, things started running smoothly and we got through the day with smiles on our faces.

My three-year-old was especially happy to be back to our normal routine, and back in our classroom. This was the final week of our orchard unit, and on this day we were learning all about chestnuts.  My little guy had a ton of fun slicing open pretend chestnuts (made out sparkly blue playdough) and counting the seeds inside.

On Friday…

My older kiddos and I finished reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and to celebrate we had an ice cream sundae party in the afternoon along with a viewing of the movie version of the book.

All in all, it ended up being a pretty good week.  Although we didn’t stick to our normal schedule and get done everything I had planned, we had fun and enjoyed different ways of learning this week, and that’s what homeschooling is all about!

 

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Happy Halloween!

 

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.