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Alphabet Island

We were so excited to start Alphabet Island this month!! X has been really interested in the ocean and pirates lately, so it’s a great fit!

From pirate fun to boat science we’ve splashed and Arrrgh-ed our way through so much learning already! The Make and Play spy glass and eye patch were huge hits.

As always, the boys LOVE our manipulatives this month! It was so neat how Mother Goose Time suggested we use our foam numbers as islands for Day 1! This fun activity was expanded even further by adding a math game element. X would roll a number one the cube dice and fish out that number island. We even were able to do a little adding!

Q has been loving puzzles lately, so he really enjoyed connecting the letters and numbers.

X spent quite some time experimenting with what his boat could hold and what would make it sink. I loved the ease of creating a tinfoil boat as suggested by our Science Experiment card. Design and physics concepts at work in preschool learning! He also explored balancing items in the boat which could result in making it flip. I use any opportunity I can to bring our school into our play, especially outside, and our Day 2: Boat unit did this perfectly!

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Interactive Story: The Sad Giant

Each month Mother Goose Time includes a short story with participation pieces. These stories always have a great moral or lesson about being a good person and feelings. We really love these activities. Generally they come with cut out characters and a background so X can reenact the story (which by the way is a great activity to build reading comprehension!). It also gives us an opportunity to explore other possible endings or make our own stories with the characters.

This month the participation story went a step further. It incorporated a block building element! It also included some gross motor work and (of course) comprehension exercises. We love blocks around here, so X loved the fact that reading and building with blocks were brought together in one activity. These are easily his two favorite activities.

X was asked to build a turtle shell, cat tail and birds nest out of blocks to go along with the story. This was a great activity because it stretched his creative use of blocks. Generally he builds houses, castles, cities… he loved figuring out how to build something organic and so different with the blocks he uses so often. 

After we’d finished the story he decided to build the sad giant out of blocks. I loved his representation!

I received this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing our experience and my opinions. All content and opinions are 100% mine and truly honest.

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Homeschool Room Setup using Mother Goose Time Preschool Curriculum

For most, September brings on the beginning of a new school year. Being a homeschool family, we learn all year round. BUT September does bring a new circle time setup and any improvements that Mother Goose Time has implemented for the coming year. This also tends to be the perfect time to clean, rearrange, redecorate and reevaluate our homeschool space. When my box for September arrived, I was so excited to get started!! 

One of the additions to our Mother Goose Time curriculum is a daily “Invitation to Create”. This is a Reggio inspired activity that really helps blossom children’s creativity. I’m so excited they decided to include this for the new year! We have always taken a Montessori/Reggio approach to learning, so this fits so well into our learning style.

This also inspired me to clean off our shelving and use it for activities that X can enjoy all month long and include a space for our daily Inspiration. This not only makes the room much more “montessori” but also forced me to clear away a lot of the clutter. While I think our learning space should be joyous and inspirational, I also think keeping it tidy helps X focus. I’m not as good at staying on top of that as I’d like to be.

So I looked through September’s curriculum and pulled out the items I think he’ll enjoy using over and over.

Starting at the top left- you see our first days Inspiration to Create, followed by our story book of the month and matching puzzle, our phonics cube and our cd player and cds. The second shelf (starting on the left) is one of our manipulatives for this month (a really neat set of magnets), playdough with tools and our letters of the month cookie cutters, circle (shape of the month) stamp with pad and paper, and the circle montessori inset with paper. Bottom shelf is our 2nd manipulative for the month (family stamps) with pad and paper, and a few number puzzles with our featured numbers of the month (1, 10 and 11).

Next I setup our circle time wall with the fun new pieces we recieved.

I moved our weather area below our calendar and added a dry erase board for X to use the magnet set on.

Finally I hung our monthly topic poster and the fun nursery rhyme poster over by our work table. That area also contains our MGT world map.

Mother Goose Time continues to impress me with the quality and quantity of items I recieve. All of the beautiful posters and graphics come with the Getting Started kit. And don’t worry, if you’re hopping on board during a month other then September, they include the Getting Started kit with your first order. Also, if you don’t have a whole room dedicated to homeschooling, that’s not a problem. The Circle Time pieces are designed to be used with a tri-fold poster board (like you used for science fair in high school). The Getting Started Guide includes directions for setting it up on the portable board!

X and I are so excited to get started!!

I received this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing our experience and my opinions. All content and opinions are 100% mine and truly honest.

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Crepes: Fun and Easy Recipe for Kids

I really enjoy how Mother Goose Time includes two or more recipes each month. It reminds me the importance of getting X in the kitchen AND gives us a fun and simple recipe to do together. They really get creative and go beyond my go to’s like having him peel eggs or chop vegetables.

When we were discussing Italian artists we recieved a neat recipe for spaghetti sauce. I put whole stewed tomatoes in a zip top bag and X squished them until they were all broken up. This was great for working his hand muscles (hand strength is an important first step to writing)! I took it a step further and had him rip up basil leaves to sprinkle on top. Mother Goose Time recipes always keep it simple and healthy. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand.

This week we’ve been studying French artists. Today our recipe was crepes! Crepes are thin, egg pancakes that can contain sweet or savory fillings. X cracked the eggs, measured and poured the ingredients and mixed it all up. He was working on hand strength, hand eye coordination, math and building focus. I cooked them and rolled them up with ham and cheese. We made dessert with the leftover crepes by filling them with fried cinnamon apples. It was a fun recipe to whip up together and since they only need to cook for 1-2 minutes per side, they were also quick! X was so proud to help make a lunch that we all really enjoyed.

Here’s a peek at the recipe if you’d like to try these tasty treats with your kids!

I received this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing our experience and my opinions. All content and opinions are 100% mine and truly honest.

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July- The Art Studio!

I am so excited for July’s Mother Goose Time unit! The Art Studio! July and August have more of a summer camp feel and I’m really looking forward to it.

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Lately we’ve been exceedingly busy. Q turned 1 and I threw a party for that. We had a few days that were a little cooler then normal, so we took advantage of them by getting outside. Due to the chaos of our schedule we’ve been a little more laid back with our school time. Most days I’ve pulled out our activities while Q is napping and X and I will sit at the dining room table and work. I apprecuate how MGT seperates each days supplies into one bag per day, so when life gets hectic I can just grab a bag and be all set.
Since our school room has been neglected, I decided I would get a head start on setting up July. There are a handful of new components that haven’t been in our previous curriculums, so I needed to spread everything out and plan a setup that would work best for next month.
I can’t even contain my excitement! Not only will we be learning about famous artists AND doing an art project every day, but we’ll be learning about money and financing, 4 European countries AND 5 important values (discipline, integrity, resourcefulness, contentment and generosity).
Every day as X completes each lesson he will earn Fly Dollars which he will divide into Save, Spend and Give pockets. He’ll be responsible for using his Fly Dollars to purchase art supplies each day as well as other activities including learning about the difference between needs and wants.

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I love that he’ll gain an understanding of earning and spending money in such a kid appropriate way.
X definitely took to heart June’s lesson on being helpful, so I’m looking forward to exploring more values with him this month. We’ll read about Falco the Featherless Bird and hopefully learn from some of his mistakes while getting a deeper understanding of some important values.
I’ve always felt strongly about introducing children to beautiful art. X has had books on great artists like Monet and Van Gogh since he was a baby. I’m thrilled to have these beautiful posters to teach him more about these artists and display in our school room.

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We’ll be learning about these pieces as well as the artists who created them, the countries those artists are from and the techniques used to create them. July is full of so many creative projects in a huge range of styles and mediums.
With a game, story or song, Art project, world activity, value lesson and money activity EVERY SINGLE DAY, we’ll be having a blast! And of course we’ll be reviewing colors, shapes, numbers and all of the other important preschool skills!

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I received this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing our experience and my opinions. All content and opinions are 100% mine and truly honest.

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A to Zoo Animals!

We are so excited to be working with Mother Goose Time! Our June theme is A to Zoo Animals, which is perfect timing for us. X has been really interested in letters lately and animals are always a hit around here. I’ve thought about introducing letters before now, but he had a hard time telling the different letters apart. This was a big sign to me that he wasn’t ready. I feel it’s really important to wait until he’s ready before introducing concepts. It saves on so much frustration for both of us.
My enthusiasm for this unit has really showed in how many extra activities I’ve added. We love carrying our learning themes into our play and skills work. Mother Goose Time really provides the flexibility I need. I can stretch one day’s lessons over a week, skip days, or stay right on track. The letter A took us 2 days to complete. We will take 2 days (or more) with each letter. The extra time will reinforce the letter recognition and give us a chance to learn a little bit more about each of the animals. (I’m considering taking an entire week for B as the birds theme has so many possibilities.)
This is our setup for each letter. I collected all of our figures, magnets, flash cards and reusable stickers that feature the animals and letters we’ll be learning about. They will be presented with the theme poster and the daily posters. X was really drawn to the setup on the table right away.

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Day 1 suggested creating a zoo for children to play with. I took this a step further. X used our play silks to create a zoo with a variety of different habitats. We’ll be adding animals to our zoo as we learn about them and leaving the zoo set up for the whole month. X loved adding his alligators to the habitat and asked about what he (the zookeeper) should feed them. This was a great segway into further discussion about these fascinating animals.

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X really enjoyed the activities for Alligator. He particularly loved the puppet and building an alligator nest. I loved that he got a chance to work on cutting skills, fine motor and number recognition!

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He made a really big nest with lots of layers to keep the eggs safe and warm.

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We’ve been reading our bird books from the library all week and are excited to see what Mother Goose Time has for us to do tomorrow!