Sunday Homeschool

If you had a chance to read my last post, you know that November got off to a rocky start. Unfortunately, things have not gotten better this week.  Strep throat struck our house again, and we got even more behind with our homeschool lessons. Drastic times call for drastic measures and I’ve been taking advantage of the weekends to do some catching up.  I know it sounds horrible to have school on the weekend, but luckily this is not the case with Mother Goose Time.  In fact, my older kids love joining in our Mother Goose Time lessons.  My ten-year-old acts as my assistant and my other two kids love participating alongside their little brother. I just tweak some of the activities to make them more age appropriate.

This month we have been learning about rainforests, and my older three children have been very eager to see what we’ve been doing each day.  So when I announced that I was going to do a homeschool lesson on mushrooms this past Sunday, I had many eager participants.

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We started the lesson off with a combination math/art activity.  To begin, we created our own crop of mushrooms by coloring mushroom cutouts and then gluing them to straws.  Using our delightful set of mushrooms  and some brown play dough, we got to work doing some mushroom math.  I was able to do simple counting problems with my two year old, and more complex addition and subtraction problems with my older kiddos.

Next we moved on to a science experiment.   Using three pieces of bread, we toasted one, drizzled one with water, and left the other one alone.  Then we placed each slice in their own plastic bag and hung the baggies in the window, in hopes of cultivating some mold.  My older children have been thrilled with this experiment, and have been dutifully checking the bread each morning.  Normally my little one is pretty neutral about stuff like this, but really fed off his siblings excitement, and has enjoyed this activity.

To finish up the lesson, we focused on developing fine motor skills.  I placed a bunch of beads into some playdough and gave my son some tweezers to pull the beads out.  He did really well with the first 3 or 4 beads and then grew frustrated with the tweezers, and started fussing.  His older brother saw him struggling and jumped right in to help him.  It was so heartwarming to see them working together and really made me miss the days of having them both at home.

Having my older children take part in the lesson made things much more exciting.   Each one of them put a different spin on things and it was a great way for them to work together to achieve a common goal.   It also kept them from compaining of boredom for at least an hour!  Even though Mother Goose Time is meant for preschool aged children, I have used it with all my children during the summer and on school holidays to keep everyone entertained.  The activities can easily be manipulated to challenge a variety of ages and the monthly themes are always great for engaging the whole family.  Hopefully, we will be able to catch up this week and we will get back on track soon.

Join me soon for more Rainforest adventures, and 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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What’s In The Box-December Edition

Guess what came today?  Our December box from Mother Goose Time arrived this afternoon and I thought I’d give you a quick sneak peek.  The theme for December is Winter Wonderland and looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Teacher Toolbag

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Teacher Guides

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Monthly Celebration Kit

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Manipulatives

Week 1

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Week 2

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Week 3

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Here is a closeup of the magnetic storytelling pieces (included in each monthly box).

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Week 4

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Thanks for taking a peek at my December sneak peek.  Come back soon and read about all of our homeschooling adventures here at 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.

 

Rainforest Fun

IMG_8302November has been off to a rocky start, both strep throat and the stomach flu have been running through our house! Needless to say, we have gotten a little behind with our homeschool lessons.  My little one was so excited this morning to send his siblings back to school, and get started on “mommy school” again.  When I opened the door to our classroom and told him it was school time, he bounded in with so much excitement.  He was thrilled to be back and very excited to start a new unit.

img_8299.jpgThis month we will be learning all about the rainforest.  Each week we will learn about a different layer of the rainforest, beginning with the forest floor this week.    Today we focused on roots and started off the day by exploring different roots (a sweet potato, ginger, and a carrot) that we found in our kitchen.  After smelling, touching, and licking the different products, we sliced them all in half and looked at their insides too.  Then we used one of the sweet potato halves and placed it in some water so that we could observe it over the following weeks.  Mother Goose Time even included an observation chart for us to chart our observations on.  My son is very excited to see what will happen to his sweet potato and has been checking it routinely throughout the day.  I will make sure to keep you updated on our sweet potato’s progress.

After our science experiment, we moved onto some art/literacy time and discussed the letter ‘J’.  For this activity, Mother Goose Time provided us with a coloring sheet with the letter ‘J’ on it and also some jewels.   I hid the jewels under a leaf and had my son search for them, and then we talked about how many treasures can be hiding on the forest floor. Then we glued the jewels on to the letter ‘J’ and colored the rest of the sheet.

When we finished our coloring, we moved onto a math activity.  Using this month’s shape manipulatives and coordinating shape design maps, we created different plant shapes.

We finished the day reading The Umbrella by Jan Brett.  This tale takes place in a rainforest and features a menagerie of different rainforest creatures climbing into an umbrella one by one until space runs out.

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It was great to get back into our routine, and hopefully, we will be able to continue it the rest of the month.  Join me next week as we explore the understory layer of the rainforest, 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.

 

Halloween with Mother Goose Time

Today is Halloween, which means I’m going to have a house full of sugared up kids in just a few hours! My older three kids are off at school, having lots of fun participating in class parties, parades, and lots of other excitement.  Meanwhile, My little one and I are relaxing at home and enjoying the calm before the storm. This may sound a little anti-climatic seeing as its Halloween,  but don’t worry we still had lots of fun.

Lucky for us, Mother Goose Time has us covered, with their monthly Celebration Kit.  Each box from Mother Goose Time features a new celebration kit which corresponds with whatever holiday is being celebrated that month.  This month Mother Goose Time sent us everything we needed (except paint and a pumpkin) to have a fantastic Pumpkin Patch party.

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Here’s a peek of all the fun we had at our Pumpkin Patch celebration…

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A Halloween Themed Counting Game

 

Design Your Own Pumpkin

 

Pin the Patch on the Scarecrow

 

Pumpkin Pounding/ Pumpkin Dissection

 

Storytime

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A Halloween Themed Lunch

 

My son and I had a great time doing all of these Halloween themed activities.  After lunch, he even asked to go back into the school room and do more school!  Unfortunately for him, it was naptime, but there’s always tomorrow.   Tomorrow will mark the beginning of the month, and we will be starting a new unit tomorrow.  Join us as we explore the rainforest and of course experience 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-November Edition

I can’t believe that it will be November next week!  It seems like October flew by in the blink of an eye.  Nonetheless, our Mother Goose Time box arrived today, and I’d thought I’d share what was inside.  November’s theme is Rainforest Adventure and we can’t wait.

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Teacher Toolbag

 

Teacher Guides

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Monthly Celebration Kit

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Bonus Gift

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Manipulatives

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Week 1

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Week 2

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Week 3

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These are the new magnetic storytelling pieces included in each monthly box.  They have been one of our favorite new additions to the Mother Goose Time curriculum this year.

 

Week 4

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Thanks for taking a peek at the November box with me.  Join me later this week 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.

 

 

Day In The Life- Of A Homeschooled Two-Year-Old​

When I first started using Mother Goose Time a year and a half ago, I was unsure of how to schedule our days.   I found it very helpful to read other blogs to see how others implemented the program in their own homes.  Now that I have some experience under my belt, I thought it would be fun to do our own day in the life.   I should preface this by letting you know that we did have some unexpected hiccups on this particular day, but that’s what makes things exciting.  So without further adieu…

6:30 am Rise and Shine

img_7722.jpgMy little one normally wakes up between 6:00 and 6:30, so we were lucky on this particular day that he was on the later side of things.  He had a little bit of a cold on this morning and was not thrilled with me taking his photo.  His sour mood quickly changed once he got his morning milk and was comfortably curled up on the couch with his blanket.  While he enjoyed his milk, I packed lunches for my other three children, got them dressed, made their breakfasts, and packed their bookbags.

7:50 Bus Time

img_7725.jpgSince we live down a dirt road, the school bus will not come directly to our house.  Instead, I have to pile the kids into the car and drive everyone to the bus stop at the main road.  My little guy loves seeing the bus arrive each morning (what two-year-old boy doesn’t love a big yellow bus) and loves waving bye-bye to his big sister and big brother.  My other daughter goes to another school across town and is dropped off by my husband on his way to work.

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast Time and Morning Chores

Once the morning rush was over, my little guy and I took advantage of the peace and quiet and enjoyed a pleasant breakfast together.  After breakfast, my son enjoyed having the toys to himself and played for a little bit, while I got started on morning chores.

9:00 am Tray Play Time and Homeschool Setup

After 30 or 40 minutes of independent play, my little one is ready to move onto the next thing and I have a few more chores to finish up.  So I pull out our tray play activity for the day.  Each day, the Little Goose teacher’s guide features a new tray play idea, complete with a picture of how to set it up.  These activities are a great way for toddlers to work independently and develop skills.   On this day we were going to be learning about daylight and darkness, and the tray play activity was entitled ‘Cutting Sunshine’.  The premise of the activity was to cut yellow strips of paper (sunshine)  and glue them onto a blue piece of paper.  I tweaked the activity and added both a blue and black sheet of paper and white and yellow strips of paper to cut.  I told my son that the black paper represented nighttime and the blue was daytime.

My son happily practiced his scissor skills, while I got everything ready for our school day.  Mother Goose Time takes all the hassle out of preparing for the school day.  I just pull out our daily bag, my little goose guide, and teacher guides.  I quickly read over the activities for the day, cut out anything that needs to be cut out, and set up the art project supplies.  Then we are good to go.

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9:30am Time For School

In order to provide a smooth transition from playtime into school time, we start our lessons with circle time each day.  During circle time we put the day’s date on the calendar, hang up the day of the week, discuss the day’s weather, and talk about the daily topic.  My son loves being able to participate in all of these activities and loves hanging the date up each day.

9:40am Art Time

IMG_7757IMG_7758After circle time, we moved onto Art time.   My son loves doing the daily art project, and will not focus on anything else until it’s done.   On this day we made an ‘N’ out of black strips of paper and stuck star stickers to it. We talked about how ‘Night’ starts with the letter ‘N’, and that the stars and moon come out at night.  While this project sounds pretty mundane, the act of peeling the stickers off the sticker sheet and placing them onto the ‘N’, actually required quite a bit of hand-eye coordination.

10:00 Counting Stars

Next, we moved onto to some of the other daily activities.  During this activity, my son had to pull a shape link out of a box and match the link to the star on the carpet with the same color.

10:15 Outside Time

My little guy was getting antsy, so we take a break and headed outside.  On this day we had a great time playing fetch with our dog.   ‘

10:40 Shining Letters

After a little fresh air, we were ready to get back to work.  During this activity, my son used a flashlight to find different objects around our classroom, including some of the letters he is familiar with.

11:00 Reading Time

We always finish up our school time by reading a story together.  We read Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon, by Karen Viola, which paired well with the topic of the day.

11:15  Lunch Time

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11:30 More Play time

12:00 Time to pick up Sister

His sister had an early dismissal on this day, so we had to head into town to pick her up.  On our way, we got a call from the nurse at my other childrens’ school letting us know that my other daughter had a sore throat and fever, and I needed to come and pick her up.  So after we did pick up at the first school we drove across town to get my other daughter.

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1:30 pm Naptime

Finally, we arrived home and everyone immediately went down for a nap.

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With a few exceptions, this is pretty much what a typic day looks like for us.  This schedule works well for my son and me, giving us a nice balance between learning time and open-ended playtime.

If you have any questions about Mother Goose Time, let me know in the comment section.  See you next week 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Watching Your Little Ones Grow

When my first child was born I loved checking the milestone charts to see how she was progressing.  I was always elated when she met a milestone ahead of schedule and filled with dread when she wasn’t meeting other ones.  Of course, her pediatrician reassured me that she was doing excellently,  and I didn’t need to worry. By the time my second daughter came into the picture, I was much more relaxed about the whole thing and only checked the charts on an intermittent basis.  When my two boys arrived I had given up the practice altogether and relied on my kids’ teachers and doctors to point out any red flags to me, otherwise, I assumed everything was progressing as it should.

IMG_7660Fast forward to present day and my youngest is now two and a half years old.  Typically this would be the time that I would enroll him in preschool.   Afterall that’s what we did with the other three kids.  Like many children, my other 3 kids all learned their colors, shapes, numbers, and letters in a traditional preschool setting, and I had routine meetings with their teachers to monitor their progress. I was never unhappy with this setup but was itching for a change. So I decided to give home preschool and try and loved it.

Being able to watch the learning process unfold and happen on a day to day basis has been amazing.  However, there are times when I second guess myself, and wonder if I’m doing a good enough job.  When my older kids were in preschool, there were always the parent-teacher conferences that provided the reassurance that your children were progressing as they should. Now assessments of my child are left up to me.  Luckily our Mother Goose Time Curriculum has a wonderful assessment system that gives me the confidence that what I’m doing is actually working.

In the back of each Mother Goose Time teacher guide, including the Little Goose Guide, there is a developmental continuum chart.  This chart lists roughly 33 skills, that your child will be working on throughout the month, and then provides benchmarks to measure your child’s progress.  Although this may sound complicated, these benchmarks are based on easily observable behaviors and make it very easy to assess your child.  To give you an idea of how it works, here is the system in action.

First, complete the chosen activity with your child, and make observations as you work with them.

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Then follow these steps to assess…

#1 Pick your activity and find the skills and corresponding skill numbers in the teacher guide.

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#2 Use the number to find the skill on the Developmental Continuum at the back of the teacher guide.

 

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#3 Use your child’s work and or your observations to assess which benchmark most closely aligns with your child.

That’s it! As easy as 1-2-3!

Typically I don’t assess my child every day, but I do check up on things every now and then.  I really appreciate these tools being part of the curriculum and the peace of mind that they give me. I love knowing that what I’m doing is working with my son and that he actually is making progress.   Most importantly, my son has a love of learning and is excited for school time.

Please let me know in the comment section if you have any questions or comments, and join me again next week 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.

 

 

 

Ice Painting

We started a new Mother Goose Time unit this week all about weather and the changing seasons.  This week we focused on weather, and have learned all about the Sun, wind, clouds, snow, and rainbows.  My son and I have had so much fun with this unit,  it has been a wonderful experience to watch him learning new concepts and growing each day.  So far this week, we have made our own sun/moon craft, painted cloud pictures, and made homemade snow dough (aka playdough with no coloring, glitter, and some peppermint essential oil).

 

 

 

 

While all those activities were fun, my son’s favorite activity was ice painting.  It kept him occupied for a decent amount of time, and he created multiple pieces of artwork. Here are the steps we followed so that you can do this craft with your own little ones.

Ice Painting 101

#1 Put a drop or two of food coloring or liquid watercolor into an ice cube tray.  I used gel food coloring because I knew it would create very vibrant colors.

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#2 Fill the ice cube tray with water, being careful not to splash water from one cube into the others.

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#3 Place tray in the freezer for two hours or so.

#4 Once the water is semi-frozen place popsicle sticks in the tray.  This helps keep the food dye or watercolor from staining little fingers and also helps little ones who might be bothered by the colored temperature.

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#5 Freeze Overnight

#6 Paint Away.  We started painting inside, and then took the cubes outside to watch them melt.

 

#7 Enjoy your masterpieces!

 

 

Thanks for tuning in and reading about our adventures.  Join me next week 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.

 

One Crazy Week

This past week was one crazy week for my family, as we had a family vacation planned, complete with a two and a half hour plane ride each way.  This was our first time we flying with all four kids in tow!  In the weeks leading up to the trip, the kids’ excitement was elevating itself to almost unmanageable levels. Not only were they excited about the trip, but also about having a week off of school.  The trip also meant a week break from our homeschool preschool for my youngest son.  Seeing as he’s only two this wouldn’t be a huge deal – the lack of a consistent routine was much more worrisome. My son thrives in a structured environment when he can eat his meals and nap at consistent times.  Another point of concern was the two and a half hour plane ride.  My son had not been on an airplane before and does not enjoy sitting still for long periods of time.  I was filled with pure dread over the chaos we would surely invoke on our flight.

In preparation for the flight, I packed an arsenal of toddler-friendly items, including snacks, coloring books, crayons, books and even img_7337.jpgsome of our Mother Goose Time lessons in hopes of keeping him busy.  In the end, the books, crayons, and snacks did little to keep him entertained.  It wasn’t until I pulled out some of our Mother Goose Time activities, that he actually settled down.  He had a grand time working with the button manipulatives and pattern strips, which kept him busy for almost a half an hour.   We finished things off with a book from the monthly reading list, and before I knew it he was asleep.   Just like that, we had made it through his first airplane ride without creating too much mayhem.

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We ended up having a fantastic, but tiring week on vacation.  We returned home on Thursday and had planned Friday as a recovery day for the kids and ourselves.  However, as soon as we finished breakfast, my little one asked to go to “Mommy School”, so we pulled out the lesson on hand washing and had a great time doing the art project and practicing our writing skills with shaving cream.

The mother Goose Time curriculum continues to be a wonderful part of our daily lives and I am so grateful for all it provides for my little ones.  Next week we will be moving onto our next unit, Weather and Changing Seasons.  As always if you have any questions or comments, please let me now, and join me again 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.

 

​Art Time

IMG_7219.JPGOne look at our homeschool art gallery and it’s easy to tell that school is back in session.  It is so gratifying to look at our little art gallery and to see all of my two-year old’s masterpieces hanging there.  All of my children love art, and it is easily our favorite time of the day.  What’s even better is how easy Mother Goose Time makes art with a two-year-old.  Mother Goose Time provides almost all of the materials (excluding paint and glue), so it is so easy to set up and get going on an art project.

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The new Invitation to Create Informational sheet.

I have posted previously (The Creative Process) on the Mother Goose Time art features and don’t want to be redundant, so today I want to focus on one of the new additions to the Invitation to Create projects that I’m really excited about.  This year Mother Goose Time recreated the informational sheet that accompanies each Invitation to Create. They added a brief overview of the artistic technique being used in the project and/or some information about the artist that created the inspirational piece.  While my two-year-old isn’t particularly taken with information about Van Gough and his painting Starry Nights, it is great information for older preschool children and beyond who may be working alongside a younger child.  I also find the information to be a nice art history refresher for myself and enjoy the brief bit of culture added into our day.  It is a great example of how versatile Mother Goose Time can be, and how easily it can be used with a variety of ages.

Mother Goose Time continues to add the suggestive prompts in the teacher guide to help a child who may be struggling with the more freeform artistic process.  In addition, Mother Goose time has included some tags to help identify the different steps of the project, which we don’t use, but may be useful to kids who prefer more structure.

Although these tweaks aren’t huge, they have made the Invitation to Create even more interesting than it was before.  Here are some of the projects we worked on this week.  Enjoy!

Exploring Pointillism

Van Gough’s Starry Night

As always if you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comment section.  Join me next week 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.