Friday, July 14, 2017

Camping with Mother Goose Time

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This is such an awesome theme from Mother Goose Time!  We are learning all about camping, and guess what?  We are going camping in two weeks.  Day one we learned all about backpacks.  What kid doesn't love a backpack.

We got our My Little Journals in day ones box this month and Adam wanted to draw a picture on it right away.  He drew a backpack, which actually really resembled the shape of a backpack.  
 As always, my big 8 year old even joined in.  He drew a quick face on his backpack.
Then I had him write his last name on the name tag and practice spelling it out loud.  We have a LONG last name.  Other eight year olds may already have theirs memorized, but I have been afraid to tackle ours.
Peter, who is 6, traced and cut out hands for his backpack craft which he ended up turning into a puppet.
Adam, who is 3, has gotten really good at cutting so I gave him the alphabet cards that we were supposed to cut and put in our backpacks.  But this time he decided to try to cut them all together at once.  When I stopped him, he was heart broken and mad.  It took us a while to recover.  I really should know better by now.  I just really have a hard time seeing the beautiful Mother Goose Time tools get destroyed.   But I know the heart of the CEO of MGT and she would be genuinely happy for a child to just enjoy and be happy creating and learning however they see fit.  And cutting three pieces of card stock at once sure would build hand strength!
 When he had finished cutting his letters he put them all in his backpack.
 Peter's puppet just got out of the pool and is wrapped in a green towel.
 He put on his backpack . . .
 and herded chickens out of our house.
When he was in the backyard I took one of the extra name tags and wrote Adam's first and middle name on it with a red marker.  He had already written his "name" on one at the start of the day.  But his name as written by him is a bunch of zigzags.  I asked him to follow the lines of his name and he sat down and made sure to get them all.
 I took a video of him hard at work.  I love watching him concentrate.
And here is my table after they have all cleared out.  My coffee, which is now cold.  The egg we collected from the coop, papers everywhere.
Not to mention soggy cereal that never got finished.  I don't know why I keep doing this. I always jump into Mother Goose Time when we are at the table for breakfast.  It really works the best for us because with out the idea of food being served, my boys wouldn't stop long enough to come to the table.  But so much wasted cereal . . .
Mother Goose Time really can be done anywhere, I just need to get better about bringing it to them.

I put the Look & Find Glasses in Adam's backpack and set his backpack under the theme poster which I have taped on the wall this time.
 I put Adam's two name tags that he did this month on the back of our display board where you can see the progress he has made through out the year.
And then I cleaned up our table leaving just a few of the items they had been working on at their place setting so they can pick it up again at lunch or the next time they run by the table and it happens to catch their eye.  I also left the teacher guide out in my spot so that I could glance at it easily.  I often like to use the discussion questions as conversation starters through out the day.
We pretty quickly moved through this day of lessons and there is so much more that we could do.  We really could dive into each day of lessons for a few actual days.  I just keep telling myself, doing something is better than nothing.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Shape Stamps - Collecting Learning Tools All Year Long with Mother Goose Time

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Every month with Mother Goose Time we receive new and amazing learning tools.  When you add all of them up for the year you have one complete set.  We get alphabet cards, I Can Read books, puzzles, color wands, number counting sheets, alphabet cookie cutters and this year we got shape stamps.
This is why I recommend to my friends who are interested in using Mother Goose Time to buy a full year in a row.  If I wasn't so blessed to receive MGT for free in exchange for blogging, this is what I would do.  I would find a way, somehow, to buy one full year of MGT when my child was three.  I would use MGT 2 days a week when the child was three and 3 days a week when the child turns four.  This would allow you to use the 1 year of MGT for 2 full years of preschool at home.  The other thing to think about is that it's only about another $5 approximately to add material for another child.  So you could buy materials for 2 or 3 children during this one year and file it away to use it for another 2 years of school for your second child.  But if you can afford to just keep ordering new boxes, you won't be disappointed, they are always adding more and improving upon themselves.  

On this day, Adam wanted to use our complete set of shape stamps.  At the beginning of the year when we got our first stamp, Adam tried to stamp by placing the wood side on the ink and then on the paper.  Here we are at the end of the year and he knows exactly how to use them, what a difference a year makes.  I still cover the wood portion with packing tape so that if ink gets on them they don't get ruined.
We use a lot of scrap paper around here.  I gave Adam the blank backside and he flipped it over to stamp on the words. He had no rhyme or reason for where he stamped or what he stamped as far as I could tell.  But as he worked we talked about each shape he was using.
He celebrated with each successful stamp.

These are tools we will come back to over and over again and not just for stamping.  We have used the shape stamps for stacking and we have hauled them around in our trucks, all while talking about shapes.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Random Mother Goose Time and Experience God Learning

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Although my follow through of Mother Goose Time lessons may be random, what they teach and how they teach it is not.  That I know for sure.

We have implemented the new 10 drawer system which has lead to bits and pieces of Mother Goose Time done here and there.  I don't see that as a negative though because it has given my 3 year old much more choice and freedom in how he wants to do "school".   He is able to initiate school time which has lead to some really amazing time together.  So this post is going to include random MGT and Experience God activities we have done here and there.

First up is an Experience God lesson.  We have taken a long break from Experience God because I just didn't feel like I was using it to it's full potential.  What we did instead was read little daily devotionals from the Jesus is Calling book or spent some time memorizing scriptures from our Awana book.  Although these are great and quick options, Experience God really makes things interactive and brings a whole new level to biblical truths.  This month is called "God is Eternal" and in week one we are learning that God Always Was, Is and Will Be.  All three boys were sitting at the counter eating breakfast and I was across from them, I thought it was perfect time to pull out the tri-fold paper I had pre-folded.  I painted a pattern on the center section, then folded one side in and then the other.  Then I showed them that the shape was the same in all three sections and I pointed to them and called the first section, "yesterday", middle section "today" and the right section "forever".  Each day has a little blue box with a simple synopsis of the lesson.  "God never changes.  We can trust him to always love us."  Then I added, He is the same yesterday, today and always.
And then we went to the beach for our anniversary with a plus one and ate gelato.
Now onto day 1 learning about islands. We actually completed most of this days lessons.  First Adam got to explore the new foam letters and numbers.  I sent numbers one through six with him to the bathroom sink.